It is a little known secret that Context and Content are lovers, and have been for millennia. They don’t get together as often as they would like, as with most lovers. When Context and Content do get together all truth and meaning breaks loose.
One is no good without the other, and that’s a fact. In America, we tend to keep context and content as separate as possible, emphasizing only content. Content is the “guy” in this relationship. Content is the guiding force, the Patron Saint in the worlds of science, pharmaceuticals, economics, industries, education, nutritional and health industries. I use the last phrase, well, sarcastically. In all cases, Context, the bigger picture, is surgically removed from our collective psyches. The surgery is done for the sake of the economy, meaning, for the benefit of a few corporate giants at the top. Funny thing about corporate giants, ironically the super-duper wealthy corporations are homeless. They don’t care what country they live in, because they, like migrant workers, pick up on a weekend and move to where the money is with no allegiance to the counties they abandon. Unlike migrant workers, corporate giants do this because they want to, and not, as with migrant workers, because society gives them no choice.
When you take Context out of the equation, life has no meaning, and I mean that literally. Meaning, the phenomenon of something making sense, occurs only when context and content are both in the picture; share the same perceptual space, if you will.
Meaning itself is that subtle tension of attraction between context and content. For example, when we use the word House, we think of two things, a doctor on TV, and a structure to live in. Taking the latter, we have said nothing about the house by that word alone. “House” is simply content. If we add a context, such as “The house is immaculate.” we have given the word meaning. Switching the Context alone, we may say “The house is sliding over the cliff.” We may see that context and content create meaning.
Comedians take full advantage of this principle. In a joke, for example, a comedian will set the audience up by implying one context for the given content. Then, when the audience is totally bored, they switch and reveal another context that changes the meaning totally. The energy released in the switch from one context to another is undefined, raw energy, and expresses itself as laughter. In a drama, switching the context unexpectedly may result in tears, and often does. Laughter and tears are expressions of raw energy being released from the confines of one context into another.
For a joke as an example of context switching, a Texan is visiting the State of New Hampshire. He sees a resident at his mail box in front of his home. The Texan pulls his car up and stops to visit. The two men carry on small talk. In a moment, the Texan says to the New Hampshire man, “Say, by the way, how long would you have to drive to get from one end of your property to the other?”
The man from New Hampshire scratches the side of his chin and thinks a moment.
“Well, I guess about half a minute.” the resident replies.
At this point the Texan is astonished. “Half a minute?” he cries, “Why I’d have to drive allll day to get from one end of my property to the other!”
The gentleman from New Hampshire thinks a moment and then says, “Yep—I used to have a car like that.”
By switching context, we switch meaning. We have created an American culture that is devoid of context. Scientists work intensely on projects that are clearly going to be used against life, with no consciousness of the context their hard work will be placed in. Soon the FDA may be approving the release of genetically modified mosquitoes into Key West Florida “as a test.”, as one example of smart men without awareness of context. Engineers are feverishly developing cars that have no drivers. A major search engine has four of them driving around the country and have covered 140,000 miles already, deaf, dumb and blind, running on trust in electronic programming. This is an expression of human arrogance. It says that we can match and surpass consciousness itself. It boasts of being superior to Awareness. It declares that our ability to write code will soon be superior to self awareness. We see this today, when something goes wrong with a system that is assumed to work perfectly. No computerized system builds into itself the possibility that its own system has failed. It can only give you a staggering number of possible things that might have gone wrong on your side, rather than hire one human being who can apologize for the computer glitch and help you out. A computer driving onto the freeway at sixty-five miles per hour can crash as soon as it drives under a high voltage AC power line. Such power line fields are shown in more than one magazine to light florescent lamps that are being held in the hands of a person with no attachment to current except from electro-magnetic fields from the wires high above. Such alternating current fields are what are used to erase hard drives, and even my marvelous spell checker gives up if two letters in a word are wrong.
While old America is pushing its context-less reality harder and harder into the face of probable disaster, New America is waking up to the contextual whole. People are beginning to organize into cooperatives and alternatives in every field of human activity. In healing, for example, the holistic community has reached the clear understanding that the first thing a healer needs is to see the person to be healed as a whole being. This means that the process of healing a person involves knowing the answer to questions like, how stressful are their relationships at home and at work. Do they have work? Can they pay their rent and their bills or are they stressed with an insufficient income to match their needs? What do they eat? How much do they eat? Do they know what is good to eat and what is doing them continual harm? Do they sleep well at night? Are they so traumatized from childhood experiences that they actually want to die? Do they do any kind of physical exercise? Do they have a harmful relationship with their body or a nurturing relationship with their body? Do they ever sit down and thank their heart for beating day and night, or do they spend time chewing themselves out exactly like their parents chewed them out for living? In other words, we are beginning to see that healing someone actually involves caring about them as a person. Healing the sick is a love relationship, not an appointment. Caring about this whole person who is ill is an example of Context, while all aspects of the person who is suffering is an example of content. When we hold the content of what the person does every day in the context of having genuine concern about finding out what is wrong with them because we care about them, meaning begins to reveal itself to the healers as well as to the patient.
If meaning itself is the relationship between context and content, then what is the primary context and content? What, in short, is the meaning of life? Believe it or not, there is an answer to that question and it is simple. To see the answer let us first look at the Primary Context and Primary Content, for that alone will deliver the Primary meaning to life itself. The Primary Context in this life experience is the Awareness we all share. This is the one phenomenon that remains constant no matter what. If the universe explodes, and swirls down some cosmic drain pipe, Awareness will still be there as a witness, watching it happen. There will be no swirling, ending universe without Awareness there to witness it before, during and after its total annihilation. When the universe ends, Awareness will wonder what to do next with the rest of eternity. Awareness is the Context of all contexts because it is always here and without it nothing can exist. We are that Awareness, believing ourselves to be human beings and creating that experience.
The Primary Content is always forming and transforming itself, while as a whole it remains constant. I am speaking of this medium of Awareness’ Self expression that we call physical reality and are starting to call energy. These are the primary context and content, and therefore hold the answer to the question what is the meaning of life? The meaning of life is found when we look at the energy medium of self expression through the eyes not of believing ourselves to be just another human being, but when we turn and look inside and see that we are pure Awareness Itself. Whatever we look at from this field of vision delivers us to laughter at the great irony of it all and tears at the astounding beauty and meaning of this eternal experience of being.
We, as this Pure Awareness, are starting to recognize that we are ceaseless Awareness and we are expressing this astounding truth in the medium of Self expression called energy. This medium of self expression formulates us as human energy expressions of Awareness. We are a way to celebrate, bear witness to its staggering intelligence and beauty, and express our chosen aspects of its (our) eternal being as Awareness. When we see this, we become awakened to the truth of our being. We become permanently happy. We see the meaning of life, and all of the magic that was driven out of us as children, returns to us. The only down side is, we may be the only kid on the block who sees this, and that causes us some pain. But we are less and less alone in this realization of our true nature. More and more people are gathering in the name of who they truly are. In increasing numbers people are smiling at one another on our American streets, acknowledging each other consciously even in passing and knowing that they probably will never meet again. More and more the masks of just being human in a tough world are becoming transparent, and hearts are opening to the truth of who we all are.
We are entering a golden age of open hearted connection to one another. As old powers fall, new powers are rising. If at present you are suffering from something, have no fear. You are being prepared for a new level of awareness. Trust even your illness. It is taking you by the hand to a realization that sees life and all that it delivers in its proper Context, from an opened heart as we, one by one, begin to see that everything that comes before us is sacred.
Painting ( Time For a Second Opinion ) and article by Ross G. Drago
Paint Rag Magazine
Suggested Donation $1.50/month Thank you for your support of Paint Rag Magazine.