(September, 1998)

By Noel Huntley, Ph.D.

The concept context is a universal key; it will be found that all knowledge and all energy is contextual. The meaning of context is simple but its application can be unimaginably profound. We may recall the comment made by the late, eminent mathematician, Stanislaw Ulam, when asked what the key was to artificial intelligence (simulation of human behaviour by computers), replied, 'Context!' Then as the story relates, he walked away, presumably recognising the monumental task of understanding fully the subject. (See article: New Physics Principles for further references to context in scientific observation.)

Everything references everything else at some level (nonlinear hierarchy). If something doesn't have a context, it is useless; it can't be related. For example, if we said, 'He did this or that,' without preceding this statement with the name for he, that is, the context for he, the statement is floating; it is not connected; we don't know to whom he refers.

Let us build up a reality for the meaning of context. If we are told, 'Pick up the book', we need a context; possibly many contexts. For example, which book? But this question may not address the first layer of context. We may have to ask, 'Which room?' Then, 'Which table?' and now, 'Which book?' (on the table, in the room). We might extend this to 'Which house?' 'Which planet?' before homing in on the book. Now we can almost certainly stop the sequence here, that is, we can very likely assume it is 'this planet, Earth', or possibly, say, assume it is 'this house'. We thus see that these bits of information, house and planet, may be assumed contexts since they are objective---common to all circumstances---and can be taken for granted but, for instance, to simulate human intelligence in, say, programming a robot, none of this information can be taken for granted.

The human being has a mass of hidden, objective contexts, which act unconsciously. These can be thought of as layers of contextual fields of information. It all depends how advanced we wish to make the programming for the robot. But just as a moderately advanced mechanical robot cannot possibly learn a wider context than it is programmed for, humans cannot imagine a higher context than the span of their present consciousness. But we shall see that in the case of humans, consciousness is a non-Newtonian system and is capable of quantum regeneration (this means that inherently this higher consciousness is already there in, what we might call, a virtual state). We shall not become involved in a debate here about whether a robot could ever achieve the status of consciousness but we have to admit that if it is operating on quantum principles with biophysical properties it could be capable of quantum regeneration, providing the necessary emergent software (basically everything natural has life).

We might consider there are two categories of context: 1) parallel or associative, and 2) nonlinear. We gave an example earlier of an associative context when referring to the use of he without having identified who he is. The pronoun he must be associated with the context John or whatever is his name---it is a simple linear, parallel (on the same level) association. There is only one he to associate with the name. But if we consider the other example, that of picking up the book, on a table, in a room, in a house, on a planet, etc. we see that we have a withinness operating. The book is inside the context of the table, which is inside the context of the room, etc. The significance of this is not just that there can be many positions of the book on the table, or many books, and many tables of books in a room, etc. but we have a nonlinear relationship in the sense that the book does not have a one-to-one basis with the table, which in turn does not have a one-to-one basis with the room, etc. We shall see below how this relates to internal nonlinearity and higher probabilities---the nature of a holographic quantum reality.

Now the above example regarding the book, etc. could be viewed purely linearly since it is an external type of nonlinearity. Nature works on true internal nonlinearity. As we advance in the technology of artificial intelligence we will find that somehow the robot never becomes as intelligent as the human; it keeps referencing limited probabilities. We are envisaging a robot obeying Newtonian principles but one as advanced as one could imagine in both hardware and software. It is, however, operating on the above-mentioned external nonlinearity. It cannot compete with the human's consciousness which acts truly nonlinearly (internally) with an almost infinite contextual network of quantum states of a holistic and abstract nature. What is the difference between external nonlinearity and internal nonlinearity? For example, the book/table/room/house nonlinearity, can be external since it could be handled in a manner using Boolean logic (3D). It is all on one level. But the mind doesn't work that way. It is layered multidimensionally with increasing degrees of wholeness---true quantum states---as we go inwards into higher space (internally) and greater probabilities. Many of these are abstract states relative to the logical conscious mind, which is focussed on the lowest, linear level of 3D. Later we shall show that the universe works exactly the same way.

Linearity and external nonlinearity cannot handle life, mind and the universe, let alone the spirit. Increasing degrees of true unity are essential and form a higher-dimensional holographic quantum reality. We have yet to show how context pulls together, chaos, quantum reduction, fractals and probabilities. In fact context is the glue or framework which holds together all knowledge in proper relationship.

We have briefly described the nature of context and its function in thinking, with a hint at its essential property of bringing order into immense complexities. Are these countless contextual states really needed? We are not aware of them apart from a few obvious ones. Does it really go beyond the obvious?

Let us present a fictitious thought experiment that may indicate how much we take for granted. Consider an individual seated on a swivel chair. Within his field of vision is an object, A. The individual is in full deprivation of all senses except the visual perception of the object---the mind is a 'clean slate'. In fact we would prefer the latter condition so that the consciousness of the individual is totally naive, nascent. It is fully focussed on the object and there is nothing around it. We could imagine the person was hypnotised to see only the object in front but this is not actually necessary since if he has a totally blank mind and his consciousness is operating on one level (the foreground of the object) he will think that the vision of the object is his entire universe, with no awareness of body, chair, space around the object, etc.

Now we imagine there is another object B to one side of the individual, say, 90 degrees. While viewing object A, object B cannot be seen. We next envisage the action of quickly turning the chair through 90 degrees so that the person is now viewing object B. He is aware of the new object and can have a memory of it (and also A). We can even consider swivelling the chair back and forth so that the individual has two states of consciousness, the view of A and now that of B. However, he will not be able to choose to change his view from one object to the other. There is no awareness of B while looking at A, and vice versa.

A third state of consciousness is necessary. If he is allowed to have another layer of consciousness, in addition to the two existing states that are on the same level, he will now be able to remember object A when looking at B, and vice versa. This third state is the unity, or composite of the view of A and that of B---of course he will have some extra information, that the object B is, say, to the right, and that he can turn towards it. We could simplify this by saying the two objects were side by side and justifiably argue that he could initially only see one or the other; this is not important. The point has been made. Now note that quantum physics of today can handle this with three wave functions for the three states, A, B and A+B (say, C).

We see that C, as one whole, is the background context that one would be quite unaware of but is essential to enable one to choose to look at object A or object B. The attention oscillates from A, or B, to C. The objects A and B are always in the context of C. This is an extremely simple model; only three states are involved. But we are indicating that C is on a different level with respect to A and B and this is a short hierarchy---C is sensed in a rather abstract manner. The 3D logical mind can't easily think of two objects simultaneously. One might begin to see the implications---the immense complexity of the mind with countless contextual fields, linking together levels, such as in the example above, the person's view of object A in the context of C, which is in the context of eyes looking at the objects, in the context of the head, of the body, of the personality, of being seated in a chair, in a room, etc. And how many contexts have we missed? We shall take this up again later in considering the contextual quantum fields of the universe. The mind works the same way as the universe.

As a final comment in this article we might note that the secret of mind programming is creating contexts, and manipulation and shifting of contexts. The force behind a prejudice is a context, which one could do without. A person could be programmed to kill someone and they would do it with awareness, but the awareness is continually referencing the programmed context and there are no other competing contexts. Or, an example of more subtle programming, normally undetectable, would be the analogy of making a measurement using a meter, which is from the zero point, but the zero point invisibly moves up the scale. The context 'zero' is shifting. The measured value seems to be the same, relative to the new zero but it is, as we can see, of greater value, relative to the true and original zero. The subjective sensation is that one has become used to the change. For instance, say, not questioning the degeneration of a society and becoming used to the new level of deterioration, particularly as the changes would be accompanied by logical reasons.

To finalise this analysis of context let us show how we base judgement on context and how we manipulate gradient variables (degrees) to produce the illusion of opposites, such as good/bad. We reference contexts usually unknowingly and make judgements on this basis---we state whether something is good or bad without specifying the context. What is this relationship between context, judgements, opposites and gradients?

Let us give a simple example for illustrating the mechanics of how humans evaluate or judge events and that this judgement depends usually on unrecognised, hidden contexts. Imagine a gradient scale from what we would consider is bad at one end to what we would consider is good at the other end.

We begin with an unconscious context that we consider to be objective---since it is assumed. Then we use judgement to compare what we observe with this assumed hidden standard.

Let us imagine our yardstick with the label bad to its left and good to the right. This is an imaginary scale which we conjure up at moments of judgement and on which in some position we unconsciously place our context. The circumstances of the event determine its automatic positioning. For example, you show a drawing to a friend and ask, 'What do you think?' stating or implying, 'Is it good or bad?' Your friend has an objective idea of art standards as does everyone and without requiring further data (which could have determined a more true context position on the scale) he states that the drawing is bad. This is because he has placed the context, say, about 75 percent of the way towards 'good' on the right, that is, a quarter of the scale from the right side, since this represents a good standard of art---above an average adult. This might represent an objective average of people's assessment of a standard by which to judge art.

His judgement positioned the evaluation point of the drawing, say, about mid-point on the yardstick, representing about average and not very good. Now since this is to the left of the standard he has unconsciously set (nearer to the right), the mid-point is relatively towards the left, that is, on the bad side and therefore is judged as bad or not very good.

But now you state that the drawing was done by a 5-year-old child. This causes his automatic judgement to determine a new context that is now changed from its previous position, which was a quarter of the scale to the right to, say, about a quarter of the distance to the left side---a much lower standard. The actual merit of the drawing of course remains the same at about the mid-point. He now judges the drawing as 'good', since the mid-point is to the right of this judgement.

We could take this a stage further just to illustrate how the viewpoint, assessment, measurement, can change. You could now tell the friend that the art work was done by a child from an advanced planet in the Alpha Centauri system. The information changes the judgement yet again---back to positioning the context, say, a quarter of the way from the right again, making the standard, the mid-point, appear on the left. He thus judges it as bad again. This is a very common activity throughout the human's day, manifesting in many different ways.

In the next examination of 'context' we shall see that virtually all personal arguments are simply due to each person referencing a different context. If these contexts are perceived (as in an advanced civilisation of which the individuals can read vibrations or communicate by telepathy) there can be no conflict.

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