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Consciousness Communication
The Birth of a Dream Navigator

Masahiro Morioka

A work, published in 1993 before the advent of commercial internet and portable phones, that anticipated today's chaotic cyber-society, employing such terms as "community of anonymity," "consciousness interaction field," "consciousness communication," and "dream navigator." (Winner of the Telecom Social Science Award)

This book was written in 1991 and 1992 and published in 1993. While there were no commercial Internet services, or mobile phones at that time, it nontheless succeeded in predicting many aspects of today's cyber-society.

In this text I analyzed computer-mediated-communications from the viewpoint of deep psychology and sociology. I distinguished two concepts, "information communication" and "consciousness communication," and concluded that the latter would be greatly activated in a networked society. As Niki Lambropoulos puts it, "consciousness communication" means "the communication for the purpose of social interaction itself," which is now prevalent in email communication through mobile phones and chatting on the Internet. This kind of communication was once called "consummatory communication" (Festinger, 1950), or "intrinsic use" (Keller, 1977). In this book, I added new meaning to these concepts, and proposed a new term -- "consciousness communication." In consciousness communication, my consciousness flows out through the feeler of my personality, and gets mixed with other consciousnesses in the consciousness interaction field. I proposed the"consciousness interaction model" as a replacement for Shannon and Weaver's communication model.

I introduced the concept of a "community of anonymity" where anonymous persons meet and interact with each other. I argued that this kind of community would expand and prevail in cyber-space. In 1993, I was not able to find the concept of a "community of anonymity" in English books or papers, so Consciousness Communication may very well have been the first text in which this concept was articulated. It is interesting to compare this idea of a "community of anonymity" with Webber's "non-place community" (1967).

In the last two chapters, I proposed the new concept of "dream navigator," and depicted possible future interactions among the subconsciousnesses of participants in cyber-space. In these hypothetical interactions, people's consciousnesses and subconsciousnesses are guided by a dream navigator, and their collective imaginations create an unimaginable world of collective dreams. This is the most provocative part of the book. Some people criticized it as total nonsense, but others found this description of a dream navigator compelling.

After the publication of this book, the words "consciousness communication" and "dream navigator" have been repeatedly used by commentators and researchers in this field in Japan. Consciousness Communication won the 1994 Telecom Social Science Award.

Tassos Missouras , a Greek painter, held a retrospective exhibition under the title of "Dream Navigator," in Greece in 2006. The catalogue of this exhibition, published by the Frissiras Museum in Athens, stated that its title was inspired by one of the chapters of Consciousness Communication.

This book is currently out of print, but you can read the entire Japanese text on the web. It was written more than 15 years ago, and while the Internet has significantly transformed itself since then its fundamental characteristics seem to have remained the same. I believe this book should be rewritten in the future.


Part 1 Thoughts on Media

Chapter 1 
Consciousness Communication

  1. From Information Communication to Consciousness Communication
  2. Telephones and Anonymity
  3. Partial Personality
  4. Self-presentation
  5. Citizen's Band and Nicknames
  6. Telephone Party Lines
  7. Personal Computer Communication and Chatting
  8. Self-presentation and Another "I"
  9. Human Relationships in a Chat Room
  10. Compusex
  11. Integrated Media and Anonymity
  12. Communication in Anonymity
  13. The Existence of the Face
  14. The Two-world Problem
  15. In Search of Lost Others

Chapter 2 
Community of Anonymity

  1. Cities and Crowds
  2. Eyes in a City of Fashion
  3. Crowds and Communication in Anonymity
  4. Two Communities
  5. Non-place Communities
  6. A Third Community
  7. What is Anonymity?
  8. Consciousness Communication and Various Human Relationships

Chapter 3 
Consciousness Interaction Field

  1. Communications Theory
  2. Shannon-Weaver Model
  3. Development of a Consciousness Interaction Model
  4. Five Elements in the Consciousness Interaction Model
  5. Interacting Personality
  6. Feeler
  7. Morphology of Personality
  8. Self-expression
  9. Consciousness Interaction
  10. Aspects of the Flow of Consciousness
  11. Structure
  12. Consciousness Interaction Model
  13. Meaning of the Model

Part 2 Dream Navigator

Chapter 4  Dreams Dreamt by Society

  1. Activation of Subconsciousness
  2. Deep Layer of Group Media
  3. Unconsciousness of Society
  4. A Dream Dreamt by Society
  5. Dream Work
  6. Dream Navigator
  7. Evolution of "Group Media Intervened by a Host"

Chapter 5 
Toward a Deep Layer of Consciousness Interaction

  1. The Structure of "Group Media with Intervention by a Host"
  2. Development toward Integrated Media
  3. Design of Consciousness
  4. Anonymously Designed Communication
  5. Journey of a Dream Navigator


Book Reviews

Toru Nishigaki - "We can feel the author's eternal yearning for a shaman in an electronic age." (Sankei Simbun Newspaper, Jun.3, 1993)

Editorial staff of Kyoto Shimbun Newspaper - "This is a stimulating book that provides a new vision of communications theory." (Kyoto Shimbun Newspaper, Jul.13, 1993) >>

Pipi - "A world of science fiction, just like Solaris. An astonishing communications theory floating in the world of The Matrix." (bk1 book review, Sep.30, 2003) >> Read more

Niki Lambropoulos - "Morioka cited in Aoki describes this kind of use as "ishiki tsushin" (conscious communication). According to Morioka, it is the communication for the purpose of social interaction itself, which is distinguished from "joho tsushin" (information communication)." (Intelligent Dynamic Enquiry Methodology for Innovation Technology, 2004 ) >> Read more (pdf)

Kumiko Aoki - " (....) In addition to the above mentioned communities, another kind of communities exist in computer networks, which can be called "communities of anonymity [tokumeisei no komyuniti]" (Morioka, 1993). These communities of anonymity are the communities whose members are anonymous and share virtual spaces for their self-expression which may not be possible in the situation that they have to identify themselves. In such virtual spaces, people play whatever role they want to play, knowing other people are also presenting created images of themselves." (Pacific Telecommincations Council 1994 Conference) >> Read more

Book reviews also appeared in the Asahi, Nikkei, Mainichi, and Yomiuri newspapers and various other publications.

Publication Data

Chikuma Shobo, Apr.25, 1993 Out of Print
--- Chikuma Gakugei Bunko, Jul., 2002, 263 pages, 1100yen. Out of Print
Written in Japanese

Japanese website for this book
You can read the entire book free in Japanese.

Chikuma Shobo edition (1993)

Chikuma Gakugei Bunko edition (2002)