Natural Communication for Animal Communicators
As an animal communicator, it is imperative that you have a robust understanding of communication. Common understanding lacks substantial depth and nuance. Indeed, the preconceptions of most people are generally limited to notions of language. The truth is that communication is far more natural and fundamental to the structure of reality than mere language.
In this section, you will come away with a more comprehensive understanding of natural communication, including its physical and metaphysical properties and layers. This view of communication will help you cultivate the mindset of an effective animal communicator.
What is Communication?
When we think about communication, the first thing that comes to mind is usually spoken or written words. However, communication goes far beyond just language. At its most fundamental, material level, communication is simply the transmission of information from one individual to another.
At the level of material communication, each individual represents a unique source of information, a discrete entity (consisting of distinct or separate parts), and it is only by combining and exchanging information between multiple individuals that meaningful exchange takes place. In other words, communication is not a one-way street; it requires both sender and receiver to be participants (active or passive) in order to be effective.
Information itself is an abstract concept that can be difficult to define. At its most basic level, information is a state of fact. There can be true information or false information. We can think of information as bits of reality, and all information is the whole of reality; it includes everything that is and is not.
Every state of fact is conveyed in nature, but it is encoded like a scrambled signal. Only when we crack the code does this information become meaningful, and we can actually map symbols to states of fact.
The importance of information cannot be overstated; it is the foundation upon which all communication, consciousness, and even all of reality is built. Without information, there would be no way to convey meaning or understanding between individuals. There would be no experience and no being. By understanding the nature of information and how it is transmitted and received, we can better understand the process of communication itself and how to make it more effective.
From this broad view of communication, where states of reality are exchanged from one entity to another, we can extend communication beyond “conscious beings.” We can therefore understand the sun to be communicating with the earth by exchanging states of reality in the form of gravity, light, and many other factors. All interaction in the universe and beyond is a form of communication, though this may not be a conventional understanding of communication.
Communication of Meaning
We are all familiar with using common forms of language to convey meaning. It not only affects physical states of reality but also of perception. For example, an object can meaningfully communicate its approximate distance to you just by looking at it. A binocular visual perception is interpreted in your brain, and you instantly become aware of the object’s approximate distance.
Communicating meaning is about how information in the environment is decoded by the receiver. Information is communicated meaningfully when the receiver is able to sort through noise and perceive a signal that gives order to the seemingly chaotic, churning sea of information that is the universe.
Organisms evolve to favor certain ways of perceiving their environment over others. They become more or less sensitive to certain signals or patterns, depending on how important the signal is to their survival.
Communication can be either intentional or unintentional. The sender can either intentionally or unintentionally communicate meaningful information to the receiver. However, they are both effective forms of communication since the information was decoded into a meaningful pattern.
The most basic form of communication is verbal, using words and sounds to communicate a message. Another form of meaningful communication is nonverbal. This involves sending and receiving messages without using words. Nonverbal communication can include body language, facial expressions, and gestures. It can also include things like tone of voice and how quickly someone speaks.
Nonverbal communication can be conscious or unconscious. Conscious nonverbal communication is when we deliberately use nonverbal signals to send a message. Unconscious nonverbal communication is when we send nonverbal signals without realizing it.
Nonverbal communication can be very powerful because it can convey emotions that words cannot express. For example, if someone is sad, they might cry even if they don’t want to. The tears themselves are a form of nonverbal communication that conveys sadness even if the person doesn’t say anything.
Broadly speaking, there are two types of nonverbal communication: visual and auditory. Visual nonverbal communication includes things like body language and facial expressions, while auditory nonverbal communication includes things like tone of voice and how quickly someone speaks.
One important thing to note about nonverbal communication is that it’s often more reliable than verbal communication because it’s less susceptible to distortion due to factors like stress or anxiety. This is because verbal communication requires both the sender and receiver to be in possession of the same information, which isn’t always the case. For example, if someone is stressed out, they might not remember what they were supposed to say during a conversation. However, they will still likely exhibit signs of stress that the other person will pick up on through nonverbal communication
Cues are passive, non-evolving biological and environmental traits that inherently provide the observer with information. For example, mosquitoes use CO2 as a cue to find their prey. They fly upwind until they detect the higher CO2 concentration coming from a mammal.
Cues are read by a receiver to ascertain information about their surroundings, such as the presence of water, a suitable nesting site, a potential meal, and so much more. They can either come from objects or other living agents in the receiver’s environment, and can be both innate or learned.
A cue is not sent intentionally, as it can also be received by inanimate objects without agency. Instead, cues are only considered from the perspective of the receiver of the cue, which in some sense is a one-way communication, since the sender is not an active participant.
Cues can be verbal or nonverbal. Verbal cues include things like tone of voice, choice of words, and volume. Nonverbal cues include facial expressions, body language, and gestures. They may not be intentional modulations on the part of the sender. But you, as a receiver, pick up on these changes, and you can ascertain much information that was not intended to be shared.
Verbal and nonverbal cues are important to note during any communication as they often offer significant information. For example, if someone interrupts you while you’re speaking, you may interpret that as a cue that they’re not interested in what you have to say. Or if someone looks away while you’re talking, you might assume that they’re not paying attention.
Signals are an evolved means of actively conveying information and influencing the behavior of receivers. For a signal to be effective, it must be reliable and consistent so that the receiver can interpret it accurately. Signals can be used for virtually any communication purpose, such as warning of danger, indicating food sources, or attracting mates.
According to this definition, a signal must induce an organism’s behavior to change in such a way that both the sender and receiver benefit more often than not, or else signalers would stop sending signals and receivers would cease responding.
One example of a signal in nature is the alarm call of a bird. When a predator is spotted, the bird will give an alarm call to warn other birds in the area of the danger. This call is reliable and consistent, so other birds know to take cover when they hear it. Alarm calls can also be used to communicate other types of information, such as the location of the predator or whether it is dangerous.
In humans, signals can be used for a variety of purposes, such as indicating emotions, requesting help, or giving orders. Nonverbal signals are often just as important as words in communicating meaning. For example, a person might actively use facial expressions to intentionally indicate whether they are happy or sad or use hand gestures to ask for something.
Signals are an important part of communication because they allow us to intentionally share information with others. By sending and interpreting signals accurately, we can build better relationships and effectively navigate our social world.
As an animal communicator, it is important that you understand the difference between a signal and a cue, be able to identify them, and be able to read them in various contexts from various species. Just remember that cues are read and signals are shared.
Empathic communication is a distinct type of communication in which two entities are not only signaling to one another but also understanding one another. In empathic communication, one entity has a relatively accurate representation of how the other feels or thinks.
There are three layers of noise that can interfere with empathetic communication: temperament, species, and individual. Each layer affects how an animal encodes and decodes meaning. The more similar two animals are on these layers, the easier it is to open an empathic channel between them.
Empathic communication requires a shared understanding of the situation and feelings involved by at least one of the two animals. Interestingly, empathy emanating from one party inevitably affects the empathy emanating from the other party. This can be illustrated by the fact that when a person feels we understand them, they become more open to understanding us. For this reason, empathy feeds empathy. This is why empathic animal communicators can communicate with an animal that is not initially empathic towards the communicator. By developing their empathic abilities, the communicator can, in a sense, overwhelm the animal with empathy such that it is immediately reciprocated.
The empathic channel is what allows for accurate communication in all its forms, including telepathy. It is important to remember that we must consider our own layers as well as those of the animal we are trying to communicate with. By better understanding the temperaments, species, and individual experiences of both oneself and the animal, we can become more empathic towards them. This makes us more sensitive and receptive to authentic telepathic communication.
Intra-species communication is communication that occurs between members of the same species. This is the most common form of communication among animals, because each species prioritizes its own survival over others. Intra-species communication is used to share information about food, danger, and other important aspects of life. It can also be used to communicate emotions, such as happiness, sadness, or anger. Where inter-species communication is usually quite simple, intra-species communication is often very complex. Human language is a testament to this complexity.
Examples of intra-species communication can include a huge variety of expressions such as gestures, vocalizations, and scents. For example, when a dog barks, it is communicating to other dogs that it sees something that may be a threat. When a lion roars, it is communicating to other lions that it is in control of the territory. When a deer sniffs the air, it is communicating to other deer that there is a predator in the area.
It’s important for animal communicators to understand intra-species communication because it can help them better understand the animals they’re communicating with. By understanding how animals communicate with each other, communicators can learn to better interpret the animals’ messages, which can make the communication process more accurate, efficient, and also much safer. We need to be able to differentiate between the types of languages we have with other species and the languages those species have amongst themselves.
A good way to visualize the importance of understanding different animal languages is that different species of animals have different “accents” when communicating telepathically. Having an idea of how these languages work will help you bridge the gap of a potentially “thick accent”. What we often find, however, is that humans are really the animals with the thickest “accent” in telepathy, since our verbal language prevents us from practicing and maintaining our telepathic ability.
inter-species communication is a system of communication between different species. This communication happens all the time and can take many forms, including vocalizations, body language, scent, touch, and, of course, telepathy.
The importance of inter-species communication in the animal kingdom is vast. Perhaps the most well known form of inter-species communication is the use of language between humans and their companion animals. Dogs, for example, are able to understand a wide variety of words and commands that their owners use, which allows for a greater level of communication and understanding between the two species.
One famous case study of inter-species communication is the story of Koko, a gorilla that learned how to communicate with humans using sign language. Koko was able to learn an impressive 1,000 signs, and she has been able to use her skills to communicate with people about a wide range of topics, from her feelings to her thoughts on the news. Her ability to communicate with humans has allowed researchers to gain a better understanding of gorillas as a species, and it has also helped to improve the care that gorillas receive in captivity. You can watch the full documentary here:
Inter-species communication between humans and their working animals is also common. Horses, for example, are often used for riding or pulling carts, and require specific instructions from their handlers in order to complete these tasks safely and efficiently. Similarly, dogs are often used as guide dogs, service dogs, or detection dogs, and need to be able to understand various commands in order to perform their jobs effectively.
Aside from communication between humans and their companion or working animals, inter-species communication also occurs between many different species of nonhuman animals. This type of communication can take many different forms, such as signalling danger to others, warning others about food sources, or providing information about predators or prey. By communicating with each other in this way, different species can collaborate more effectively and increase their chances of survival.
Inter-species communication, or communication between different species, is a vital part of life. It allows different species to interact and cooperate for mutual benefit, which improves their chances of survival. inter-species communication is then really just energy interactions and exchanges between species, which in a very real sense is the foundation of all healthy ecosystem relationships.
As animal communicators, inter-species communication is our vocation. It is the entire purpose of the profession. Being aware of the enormous prevalence of inter-species communication in the natural world can help foster a mindset of connectedness with nature. It can help you really believe that communicating across species is quite natural and not at all unusual.
We often see relationships in nature between different species that are mutually beneficial. We call this type of relationship mutualism. In a mutualistic relationship, both species involved benefit from the interaction.
One well-known example of mutualism is the relationship between bees and flowers. The bee collects nectar from the flower, which provides them with food. In return, the bee spreads pollen from the flower to other flowers, which helps the plant reproduce. This relationship is beneficial for both the bee and the flower, and it helps to ensure the survival of both species.
Another example of mutualism can be seen in the relationship between clownfish and anemones. The clownfish lives among the tentacles of the anemone, where it is protected from predators. In return, the clownfish cleans the anemone and brings it food. This relationship is also beneficial for both species involved and helps to ensure the survival of both the clownfish and the anemone.
As animal communicators, we often find ourselves in mutualistic relationships with the animals we work with. We provide them with our time, energy, and attention, and in return they provide us with companionship, love, and wisdom. These relationships are beneficial for both parties involved and help to ensure the survival of both the animal and the animal communicator. Mutualistic relationships are classified into three types based on how resources or services are shared.
The 3 Types of Mutualistic Relationships in Nature
1. Resource-Resource Relationships
Both organisms benefit from a resource-resource mutualistic relationship, which is a type of symbiotic relationship. One common example of this is the mycorrhizal association between plant roots and fungi. In this relationship, the plant provides carbohydrates to the fungus in exchange for primarily phosphate but also nitrogenous compounds. This benefits both the plant and the fungus, as the plant can access more nutrients from the soil and the fungus can get energy from the carbohydrates.
2. Service-Service Relationships
In a service-service relationship, both organisms involved offer each other a service that benefits the other.
One example of a service-service mutualism is the relationship between sea anemones and anemone fish in the family Pomacentridae. The anemones provide the fish with protection from predators (which cannot tolerate the stings of the anemone’s tentacles), and the fish defend the anemones against butterflyfish (family Chaetodontidae), which eat anemones. However, in common with many mutualisms, there is more than one aspect to the anemonefish-anemone mutualism. The ammonia waste from the fish feeds the symbiotic algae that are found in the anemone’s tentacles. This helps to keep the anemone healthy and provides it with food.
Other examples of service-service mutualism include cleaner fish and their clients, which are typically other fish, and bees and flowers. Cleaner fish are small fish that live in coral reefs and eat parasites off of other fish. They have special bristles on their bodies that allow them to remove these parasites without harming their clients. In return, the clients do not eat the cleaner fish. Bees are attracted to flowers by their color and fragrance, and they collect nectar from the flowers to make honey. In turn, flowers are pollinated by bees, and they produce fruit that contains seeds.
3. Service-Resource Relationships
In a service-resource relationship, one organism provides a service that benefits another organism in exchange for a resource that it needs. An example of this is the relationship between nitrogen-fixing bacteria and plants. Nitrogen-fixing bacteria are bacteria that can convert nitrogen gas into ammonia, which plants can use to grow. In return for this service, plants provide carbon compounds to the bacteria.
Service-resource relationships are common in nature. Three important types of service-resource relationships are pollination, cleaning symbiosis, and zoochory.
In pollination, a plant trades food resources in the form of nectar or pollen for the service of pollen dispersal. For example, the plant might make nectar, which is a food source, to attract animals that spread the pollen. The plant may also produce food resources in the form of pollen to feed the animals that disperse the pollen.
Phagophiles clean (symbiosis) by eating ectoparasites, providing anti-pest service. Elacatinus and Gobiosoma are gobiid genus that consume ectoparasites off their clients while cleaning them.
Zoochory is the term for when animals spread the seeds of plants. This is similar to pollination in that the plant provides food for the animals that spread its seeds, such as fleshy fruit or an abundance of seeds. To let animals know about these resources, plants might advertise using color or scent. For example, some plants produce fleshy fruit that’s eaten by animals. As the animal digests the fruit, they also release and disperse its seeds.
Perhaps counterintuitively, even predatory relationships are mutually beneficial service-resource relationships. The predator gets food, and the prey population is kept in check, which ensures that there is enough food and resources for all. This may not seem like a mutualistic relationship, but it is important to remember that both parties involved benefit from the interaction.
A good example of a predatory relationship can be seen in the relationship between lions and zebras. The lion preys on the zebra, which provides them with food. This may seem cruel, but it is actually a vital part of keeping ecosystems healthy.
All species have their place in the natural world, and all relationships are inherently mutualistic. It is only humans who destabilize this mutualism by taking more than they need and not giving back. Humans uproot entire ecosystems through industrial agriculture, farming, forestry, mining, and energy projects and the dissemination of invasive species across the globe. As animal communicators, we can help to redress this imbalance by entering into mutually beneficial relationships with the animals we work with and giving back to the natural world.
How Animal Communication is a Win-Win-Win
One of the key aspects of being an effective animal communicator is entering into a mutualistic relationship with the animals we work with. This means it benefits the animal, its owner, and even the communicator. The animal communicator helps the animal by understanding what is causing it to behave in an unwanted manner and then provides potential actions that can be taken to improve its wellbeing. The owner benefits by having fewer behavioural issues with their pet and improving their own sense of wellbeing. The animal communicator benefits from resources paid for by the owner or by gaining more experience in animal communication. By maintaining this idea in our heads, we are more apt to project positive intentions to the animals, gain their trust, and connect with them more effectively.
Summary of Key Points
- As an animal communicator, it is imperative that you have a robust understanding of communication. The truth is that communication is far more natural and fundamental to the structure of reality than mere language.
- All interaction in the universe and beyond is a form of communication, though this may not be a conventional understanding of communication.
- We are all familiar with using common forms of language to convey meaning. Another form of meaningful communication is nonverbal.
- Cues are passive, non-evolving biological and environmental traits that inherently provide the observer with information. Many animals use Cues and Signals to communicate with and understand each other.
- Cues can be verbal or nonverbal, and they can be used to send messages unintentionally, which are read by the receiver.
- A signal is an observable behavior or feature that has evolved to convey information. One example of a signal in nature is the alarm call of a bird.
- By sending and interpreting signals accurately, and reading subtle cues we can build better relationships and effectively navigate our social world.
- Empathic communication facilitates information exchange and understanding between entities.
- Distortions due to temperament, species, and individual dispositions can affect empathetic communication. The more similar two animals are on these layers, the easier it is to open an empathic channel between them.
- Intra-species communication occurs between members of the same species.
- Inter-species communication occurs between different species.
- Different species of animals have different “accents” when communicating telepathically.
- Perhaps the most well known form of inter-species communication is the use of language between humans and their companion animals.
- Inter-species communication also occurs between many different species of nonhuman animals.
- As animal communicators, inter-species communication is our vocation.
- Mutualism provides benefits to both species involved in an interaction
- There are 3 Types of Mutualistic Relationships in Nature:1.Resource-Resource 2. Service-Service and 3. Service Resource.
- Perhaps counterintuitively, even predatory relationships are mutually beneficial service-resource relationships. All species have their place in the natural world, and all relationships are inherently mutualistic.
- It is only humans who destabilize this mutualism by taking more than they need and not giving back.
- As animal communicators, we can help to redress this imbalance by entering into mutually beneficial relationships with the animals we work with and giving back to the natural world.
- One of the key aspects of being an effective animal communicator is adopting a mindset of mutualism in your work and in your whole life.
- This means it benefits the animal, its owner, and even the communicator.
Exercise: Reflections on Communication
In one paragraph define an animal communicator’s understanding of communication.
Consider what you’ve learned in this section. In your animal communication journal take a moment to reflect. Write down your thoughts and questions about the section and think them through as you write.
How has your understanding of communication either changed or perhaps remained the same? Do you feel as though you have learned something that is particularly interesting to you? Why or why not? Perhaps this section served as more of a refresher for you.