Welcome to the course book 'How to Communicate' in 8 chapters. Write engaging documents and have enjoyable interactions with people in the kitchen, office or on stage.

Good communication can resolve any problem even among the cacophony of today's interactions. Conversations between people are at the root of all problems and also integral to solving them.

Please read the foreword first and then we wish you a fun journey in the art of communication.

Ideas on this site are free. What it took to get them to you is given freely also. In future we shall sell books and audio books.

6. Replication

Replication or duplication


This is, in a sense, the sixth chapter in the course.

I say ‘in a sense’ because the word is bound up with Division. It could be the opposite of duplication though in the way we use division nowadays with the overtone of divisive – the bad boy – the split, the double-face, the cloven, the cleft, the semi and the demi bilateral. Above all these words were added to the thesarus before they fully realised that replication is also THE major sign of something being alive.

“United we stand – divided we fall”

The originator of the expression put this over appealingly as a war cry:

So before the study of replication I want to say that I take no part in the divisive aspect at all. Division, as a part of binary fission, branching, once more and over again is about all I shall accept here as an essential element in communication.

One of the first words Roget’s thesaurus associates with ‘duplication’ is ‘germination‘ and a few more words with feelings of growth to the wonderful word ‘renew’. This part of communication is about giving life to an idea and renewing it if it’s an old idea.

The real problem is with the pride.  You know the sort of pride that’s ‘below the line’ as an emotion. Hints of jealousy and blame creep in at that level. This is entirely different from and quite unlike the pride ‘above the line. that has ramifications of courage and honour – not to mention a good deal of strength. Why on earth would strength be a function of pride?
Because there are always temptations like sex and drugs which require strength to command control.

There are temptations in any communication to insinuate an agenda or to refer to another quite different agenda that greatly distracts from the point.

To duplicate an idea is such an easy and practical thing to do it is too simple for the mind. a dozen good reasons can so easily dismiss the pure simplicity as banal, new age, primitave and so forth. Our pride can get in the way of taking on this simple exercise called active listening.

You don’t have to worry about pride though, the energy released by the affirmation and validation will shoot the pride above the line and the pride kicks in with the strength of ten men. Above the line pride is not foolish pride but what makes a statesman out of a politician.

People about to have their head cut off in public have been known to hold an audience enrapt as their pride kicked in with the sort of energy a person can get when he’s about to meet his maker.

It was the strength of pride that the audience of thousands, gathering to watch the death of a man, were watching for. In the Colliseum, as the gladiators had to overcome enormous odds to stay alive, pride above the line could save a gladiator’s life. More recently the crowds that gathered at a public execution were watching for the same thing. Inspiration.


Andrew and Jane are on a ‘date’.

Andrew – “My auntie’s in the kitchen”
Jane – (replying unemotionally) “Your aunt is in the kitchen”

Andrew – “My aunt is not in the kitchen – I ALWAYS call Agatha my auntie”
Jane – “I see – so  Agatha is in the kitchen and she’s not your aunt. You call her auntie?”

Andrew – “Exactly” he answered with a smug nod.
Jane – “Why did you tell me that though?”

Andrew – “I was getting on to that – she’s making some Irish soda bread and putting a chicken in to roast”.
Jane – “Good – is that what we’re having for lunch?”

Andrew – “No I’m a vegetarian and besides Soda Bread has bicarbonate of soda in it. Don’t like it.”
Jane – “Then why did you mention she is in the kitchen? Does that mean I can’t eat lunch here? – personally I love both roast chicken and soda bread”.

Andrew – “Look Jane I never said owt about lunch lass – Auntie cooks for herself. I was trying to say I don’t like her kind of food and while she’s in the kitchen I can’t fix my own.”
Jane – “OK I assumed the lunch sorry – you are right and if you like I’ll pop into the kitchen and find out for myself if she minds me fixing something for both of us. Would you mind if I did that?”

Andrew – “No – you go on and try your best” (aside) “cheeky lass just invited herself to lunch.”
Jane -(calling from the kitchen) “I heard that  Andrew  I just invited myself to lunch!.  I found some free range organic eggs and some goats cheese and basil – fancy one of my famous omelettes?”

Andrew – “Why not? – no milk mind”.
Jane – “ Yes milk makes a great  omelette – your’re right though  – I always use mostly spring water – makes the omelettes very light and fluffy – is that OK? And can you lay the table for three please?”

Jane and Agatha emerged laughing with two plates of chicken, hot bread and a splendid omelette.



Please re-read the conversation and count how many times Jane replicated Andrew’s dialogue. What happened when she didn’t?.
Did she nearly miss lunch?

The passing of an idea over space to a recieving point hits the the great big arena when people can replicate the idea. If you have to sound like a copycat verging on banal at first then sobeit. This is where the fool turns into a genius.

The early ventriloquests – like Archie – always repeated their hand’s words and children love that.  Babies love it so much that Teletubbies re-ran half the programme exactly replicated – no changes at all. I heard a lot of the grownups who liked it too as they saw their baby children intent and jumping around to it even more a second time. Yes the adults liked it too. I used to see things the second time around that my smart ass mind missed the first time.

Replication is so popular that advertisements hit the mark more the third or fourth time they are published.  Familiarity provides a feeling of safety.

Restrain the temptaton to show the person you are talking to how clever you are.. Remember your high noble diginity with pride.
Listen to the girl, repeat what she says back to her faithfully – boringly, banal as you please. Then just watch the urgent tone in her voice turn into a gentler timbre. Hear how she ceases to implore you for attention – and feel how validated she gets when you affirm her words by replicating them.

A tip – be careful to keep your tone even and gentle otherwise she could clam up – assuming that you are mocking her.  Should you let a hint of sarcasm slip through it will take you to the main course and two glasses of wine for her to drop her guard and start laughing.

It could be said that getting and laughing at a joke  is one of the best bonding things you can do – under the umbrella of replication – look how jokes spread like wildfire.


A young man called jonathan felt disatisfied with his rich life and determined to seek the counsel of an Eastern Guru. Having researched  google he found a famous man – let’s call him Ran in the orange robe.

Jonathan travelled a tough road up mountains and sat at Ran’s feet for seven days, bringing him fruit and saying nothing until one day Ran looked at him with an eagle eye and asked him a question.

“Do you imagine that the world is an orange?”
A silence hung in the air. No one stirred. Jonathan was tonguetied. His mind tried to provide im with the answers.
‘He doesn’t like the fruit – or maybe he does – I got him oranges yesterday – and today a few as well’ he thought quickly. Just as the silence started roaring in his ears he blurted out

“The world is what we make it”.
Ran rose and swiped him a lash on his shoulder with a little stick.

“So you want to study with me and you open your world to me by telling me an opinion you read in a birthday card?”

“I humbly apologise Holy One” I will meditate how to answer you better next time”

“ The name’s Ran by the way should you wish to address me further. Do you wish to study with me?”

“Oh yes Ran – yes please” said Jonathan

“Then go now and learn the answer to my question and return in three months exactly”

Jonathan scurried from the great marble hall and through the ornate gates opened for him as he approached them. They shut behind him with a clang.

For three months he asked everybody he knew and all he thought about was the similarity between a round planet and a round orange. He made his way back and waited outside the gates until they opened for him. A monk met him and told him he must start again in seven days bringing gifts as before.

This time Jonathan brought a variety of beautiful polished pebbles of turquoise, jade, and so forth.  He had been warned about being too flash with his gifts.

Ten days passed before Ran asked him again

`”Do you imagine that the world is an orange?”
I imagine Ran that the world has a skin like an orange
has holes in its skin that spurts orange oil as our world has oil wells. The Orange and the world both offer us riches thus”.

This time Ran’s stick was a bit bigger and he got a swipe on both shoulders which made Jonathan red with pain and rage.

“Go now for a further time and talk to some people with brains to help you out. Come back in six months exactly. This time you came early.  You were lucky to see me.”

Jonathan rose and left. When he returned on the dot – six months later, he felt light hearted and confident. he brought gifts of small trees in pots, neither costly minitures nor saplings. Real trees – very small. The first. was an oak and the second a cedar.

This time Jonathan boldly addressed Ran and said

“The world is not an orange”.


Please re-read this shaggy dog story (Brit joke style)
and see how many times Jonathan replicated Ran. Also this has a humourous conotation and circulated many times in the fifties and sixties causing great merriment re-told in many ways.  In one version Jonathan was beaten to within an inch of his life before yelling out the answer – in this century this is not particularly funny. What’s so funny now? Could you tell this joke with your own words keeping the gist of the story?

It has been observed that ideas duplicate themselves. Especially on Web sites, forums and by email, twitter texts and phone.  They circulate at clubs, pubs, schools, via press and, over the garden wall in the hearing of gnomes. They are called Memes at the moment after a book by Kate Distin called ‘The selfish meme’.

Richard Dawkins had an idea that as culture evolves, what he calls memes are the cultural replicators of ideas just as genes are the biological replicators of our flesh and blood,  he suggests that they are subject to variation and selection in just the same way as genes.

He gives them life because they duplicate themselves.
They germinate other ideas and seem to act like genes do. He called them memes and that meme took off duplicating itself all over the place as a popular book.

Kate Distin acted as a partner and added her meme/s to Hawkins’ and published a book called ‘The selfish Meme’ which did very well and sold many copies as the presses duplicated them.

A good example of this lifelike process is the same as any virus which is why a computer process with the capability of replicating itself (in a hermaphrodite sort of way) is called a computer virus.

This is the foundation of billions of memes on the Net vying for partners and replicating themselves whenever a mate takes up an idea and duplictes it. Some fall by the wayside and some on stony ground. Others take root and become a part of our language.
That’s life.

One of the most resounding teachers of our times was Krishnamurti who never referred to the conscious and the subconscious which for a century became the ‘great divide’ between the mind and the part of the mind that actually runs us. This term was made popular by Freud and the steam of psychiatrists and psychologists that followed in his wake.

It is only within the last decade or so that there have been so many studies of the mind and the fifty trillion cells (give or take a few for trouser size) that make one human. In addition ENERGY has been given more attention in the twenty first century than in the last two millennia under the Roman lash.
This is not the subject of this book although it runs through each of the elements as does the warp in the cloth of communication.

Btruce Lipton has brilliantly expounded an idea talked about by many, that the subconscious is like a bank of tape recorders that records everything a child sees, hears and does in interaction with others. While children are in the first years of development they absorb everything whether they remember it or not. According to how it is perceived by their own character they attach beliefs to it which are endorsed by the beliefs of their culture and family. And that’s them programmed for life.

Fortunately for some, who want to change the way life deals with them, and are capable of understanding that they deal with life instead, according to their wish (and payoff), there are tangible ways to change their perceptions, beliefs and hence their life.

The Jesuits used to boast that if they had control of a child for the first 6-7 years of its life they could ensure that the roman church would have them for the rest of it – unto death. They had no idea that methodology would emerge that would free people who wanted to be free – often spontaneously. The fact is that even at this time, while we are in the balance on the cusp of indescribable change, that will start a golden age or end as another asteroid belt, many people do not want to change. Some are counting on transcending it all as spiritual beings.

As much as we would like to, we know that Communication per se cannot just fix it on its own. However it is a culture that does all the cells in it an awful lot of good. it is worth studying. It IS the environment as is the original substance. The great divide between the dark days of subconscious rule that allows parasites a free rein in the chase for power, is over.

Active listening as a well known exercise in good communication has been responsible for healing disruptions of disaagreement since a vast majority of people do not lisen to the speaker but have sub processes and ancient beliefs they formed as children automatically filtering the idea before it even hits their semi conscious brain.

Why do i say semi-conscious?  Because there is a war of thoughts raging in a person’s mind – especially in the well educated or intelligent mind. This battle actually uses up physical energy and sinks the mind into a less alert state.

Indeed sleep often hits a hitherto wakeful student in a lecture. Nudge as his neighbour might, the sleepiness is a powerful agent often striking in classical concerts where people are generally forgiven the odd doze.

As ideas fight in the mind, often anger, irritation or boredom set in making it difficult to hear or ‘agree with’ the speaker.

It is, in my view what Christ’s analogy meant

‘It is easier to get a camel through the eye of a needle than to get a rich man into heaven’ A rich man being interpreted in this context as a knowledgeable one.

In order to replicate an idea you have to take it in fully. Completely hearing each word in order. You can listen and with a still mind you can let the words hang in the air so you can listen to them again and even again. At this point they are yours especially if you visualise something to go with it – the idea that is.

This is the advantage of actively listening. You are active enough for you to to be able to still it with your intention. This process takes energy. A good learner will be able to actively listen in a state of understanding – not a judgement in sight – and be able to replicate the words enough to say them back as heard.

When a person feels heard they are relaxed. The war subsides, comfort is at hand. Hostility dies within and communication can proceed unhindered in this way.

When a person’s own words are used in saying what they said back to them then the communication has a good chance of hitting the mark. That’s what active listening is. Surprisingly it can bring the idea to life