Context

One day I got into a discussion of context with my friends Upstairs, and this is what they said:

It is a temptation, in learning something new, to see that “something” out of the general context of life. It is said that if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Well, if what you now have is a technique like Hemi-Sync or if what you have is a subject like guidance, it is natural to isolate it in your mind – that is, to consider it — in isolation. There is nothing wrong with this as a method of concentration. There is everything in the world wrong with it if you never re-establish a context for it.

Now, hear us well. It isn’t that there is only one context for any given thing; it isn’t even that there is necessarily one or even a few preferred contexts. What is important – this will be so obvious it will seem not worth stating – is that it have some context, rather than existing in isolation from the rest of one’s world.

To rephrase: While you are first considering a new subject, or learning a new technique, non-related matters naturally and rightly fall into the background. There is only so much that can be held together in consciousness, and this isolation makes it possible for you to deal with the new material. It is as if you are assembling a new toy with many pieces. You cannot afford too many distractions.

But after the toy is assembled, you use that toy in the context of the rest of life. How else could it be? If some new way of seeing things, some new way of doing and being, cannot be applied – practically by definition it has no real relevance. Indeed, it is in the language: If it cannot be applied, it has no practical application. The redundancy in the definition is hopefully enough to drive home the point.


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