Human beings understand reality through conceptualization. For material and concrete objects, language naturally defines them easily. As concepts become more abstract – such as regarding the social and spiritual reality – this becomes more and more difficult. The language of science, however, is well equipped to meet this challenge, for it progressively moves towards precision and clarity when describing concepts. As its methods to achieve clarity, science uses repetition of language with slight alterations each time, identification of subtleties and implications in word choices, realization of possible logical contradictions at a later time, and a vision to take creative and calculated leaps forward. Gradually, using these processes, the language that science uses in understanding a concept becomes unambiguous and takes on unique meaning.
The quest of scientific language to be precise is not a mechanical, cold, and sterile set of operations; nor is it mutually exclusive with certain spiritual faculties that have always aided in scientific discovery. The role of imagination, intuition, and attraction to beauty have always characterized the scientific enterprise. After all, the role of science – just like the role of religion – is to unravel the mysteries of reality and witness the marvelous beauty inherent in the order of the universe.
Inseparable from clarity of language is clarity of thought. Many of the requisite characteristics of successful consultation are also needed for clear thinking. These include eliminating false dichotomies, tolerating temporary ambiguity, being detached and dispassionate with one’s ideas, thinking in terms of process, being flexible and open-minded in considering views, relating the practical to the principle, adopting a wider vision, attention to details, and very importantly, the ability to understand and identify causality on a complex level.
What are your thoughts regarding the clarity of current speech? In education? In politics? In medicine? In music and entertainment? In relationships? In family? In friendship?