3. Preliminary movements

Division and movement were marked as the most important constituencies of a communication. The division has been briefly indicated as a rational act of slicing up a unity into parts. More parts (in a primary division) mean more opportunities to distinguish detail, but their presence also complicates the understanding.

Personal communication has, for that very reason, always been an act of compromise. Certain situations, mostly in the field of biological survival, ask for decisive and immediate action. Two-fold thinking is most effective in this way. This decisiveness by lower division thinking, however, also operates in complicated situations or crisis in which no rational solution is at hand. When nobody knows what to do, people tend to drift to elementary answers. Dictators are masters in using these tendencies in the human mind. They use the arsenal of oppositional devises, aiming at some sort of existential fear to continue their power.

Fortunately, there are in history also times in which the primary survival techniques are not of direct interest. Then the range of division can be widened, leaving room for nuances and attention to detail. It is granted that the decision speed has to suffer in this process, but the depth of investigation is enhanced. At first, a third term is added, as a go-between, to the ‘either – or’ of dualistic thinking. The triple division system offers more dynamic possibilities, but is, in essence, unbalanced. This fundamental inequality gives the chance to create new value systems, but has also been used to the advantage of those who were interested in power play and hierarchical predominance.

Later, generally as a mature step in the practical application of division thinking, a fourth term can be introduced. The communication system is back as equilibrium. The hierarchy is not the main characteristic of the quadripartite order, and the gradations will be confined to specific places within the subsections. Lower division arrangements also get their own place within the boundaries of the four-fold system.

All these theoretical accomplishments within the evolutionary range of division thinking are only possible when a second conceptual act is performed: the movement of the (hypothetical) parts along each other. An observer can only compare, validate and make visible if a shift in the division is performed.

A division without movement is a static affair, situated and received on an abstract level. Mathematicians can play with it, just like Mandelbrot did with his fractals, born in the highly theoretical environment of broken dimensions (MANDELBROT, 1982). A division becomes ‘visible’ when the parts are involved in a dynamic process of comparison with the observer. When I see an object (a part), it is only because I notice boundaries between the object and its environment. Observation is a continuous process of to-and from or in short: movement. A comparison (leading to a form of ‘visibility’) can only take place as a movement takes place.

The four major means of transportation (or movement) of the initial material in a communication can be listed as follows:


These four types are related to each other in a circular way. The signal gives rise to a symbol, which is understood as a sign and used in a language. The opposite movement is also possible in which a language produces signs, which are interpreted as symbols, functioning as signals. A graphic representation of the arrangement is given in fig. 12:


 Fig. 12 – This scheme indicates the means of transportation in a quadripartite communication. The sequence must be seen in a cyclic setting whereby each element is related to, and included in, the other elements. The sequence of quadrants does not indicate a hierarchy of importance.

The four major components of every communication will be discussed briefly, because they reach into the heart of the quadralectic issue. The four constituents are the ‘faces’ of the quadrants. Their character can be read in their expression.


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