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     Joy 101  Life  Coaching

              Your Pathway to 
                          Personal Fulfillment

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Excerpts from

How to Eat an Elephant

      A Guide Book for Playing  the Game Called Life      ®

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Section Thirty-Three

Context

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           What is a Context? 
                        Why Are They Important?  
                                         How do I Create One?

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Page Content

A Context Defined

The Spider On My Wall

Four Major Types of Context

An Example of a Societal Context

An Example of a Co-created Personal Context

An Example of a Self-Created Personal Context

Your Most Important Contexts

All Activities Occur within a Context

Commitment

The Forces of Creation Are Derived from Context

Resistance

Getting Derailed or Sidetracked

Blocks Along The Way

Summary of the Creative Process

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A Context Defined

Webster’s Dictionary defines a context as,  "The whole situation, the background or the environment relevant to a particular event, personality, creation, etc."   A context is the environment in which something is or occurs.   Contexts are vitally important because they control/influence/affect everything within them.   

Everything occurs within  a context.  Each context is unique.   A context dominates its content.    In accomplishing any and all goals, understanding the three element of a context are critical:  a)  What is a context?   b)  Why are contexts important?    and c)   How  do I intentionally create a context.   

Before we get into our discussion, let me share a personal experience that may assist you to see more clearly what contexts are and  how they interrelate with each other.

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The Spider on My Wall:  

One evening just as I had settled into my easy chair, and my pet cat, Tiger, had taken up his position as exclusive resident on by lap, I noticed a spider crawling along the wall.   Being both tired and contentedly relaxed, I sat, unmoving, watching it's progress.   I thought, "Where is it going?  What is it doing?   Is it blindly roaming, or is there a plan in it's mind?"   

I though of the relationship between that spider and myself.   It's was doing its thing completely oblivious of the context it  was  in and the control that I had over its  environment, its future, and even  its life.   Had my wife, sitting nearby, seen our fellow resident, she would have requested that I capture it and evict it from the only home it has ever been in.   I, on the other hand, simply sat and watched. 

 The Hermetic Principle known as Correspondence  came to mind --  "As above so below;  as within so without."°    It occurred to me that in the larger context that we call God,  I, in all probability, hold a position similar to that which the spider held in my home.  The spider was unaware that it was, at the moment, being watched, that its home, its lively hood, and its very survival were completely in my control.   It was also unaware that with nothing more than a pre-programmed, mechanical reaction I, or any nearby human who saw it, could easily have turned it into mush with its only lingering influence being that of a slight stain on the living room wall.   

I shifted my thought to God and asked,  what is my relationship to whatever it is the we call God?   Am I being observed?   Does God care where I crawl or what I do?   Is He/She/It  even aware of my existence?   Could it be that I am merely something that simply happened along God's way to a "somewhere" or a "something" that I know nothing about?

I looked at the spider and thought:  I neither need, desire nor expect it to kneel and pray to me.   I don't need a special, spider building dedicated to worshiping me.   I don't need any virgin spider sacrificed, nor do I want any burnt offerings.   I really don't care what the spider does or doesn't do.   And I'm definitely not interested in its sexual habits.  

It occurred to me that what I know about God is about as much as the spider knows about me.  It also occurred to me that in one context I am God and in the other I am the human equivalent of the spider on my wall.   

I continued to sit quietly.  Soon becoming bored contemplating  the spider's life,  I reached for the TV remote control and clicked the "on" button.    The spider continued its journey, unnoticed, to who-knows-where.   

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Four Major Types of Contexts.   

Universal Context:  The largest context, the ultimate context is the sum total  of all creation.    What the Universal Context is --  where it came from -- what its true nature is -- how it functions -- and numerous other questions --  are all, from our present, human perspective, unknown and unknowable.   

Christian theology refers to the universe as the product of an superhuman being sitting on a cloud in some distant place called heaven.    Science offers no answer to the question of who or what created the the sum total of all that is.   In relation to the entirety of Creation,  scientists see Earth as an infinitely small speck of dust.   

While confined in a human body, we can  approach this context only from guess work, from conjecture, from speculation, and/or from belief in fairytale stories made up by our distant ancestors.   Humans have no control over this context.

Human life on Earth:   The next largest context is human life on Earth.   It is both content within and controlled by the larger, above-mentioned, Universal Context.   Still, in human terms, life on Earth a grand and all-inclusive context.   It's  who and what we are as human beings.   Everything we do is done within that framework.

Humans have developed religions which attempt to answer the unaswerable questions about this context -- questions  such as:  "What is life?"   "Where does it come from?"   "What is the nature of its creator?"  They are able to offer only faith-based answers.   Science offers theories using logic, reason, experiment, and experience.   Humans have no control over this context.

External Environmental Context:   The next largest context is the external, human-created environment.    It exists within and is controlled by the two larger contexts mentioned above.  It is made up of the social, political, technological, religious, and physical environment that we as humans, have collectively created.   It's what we see when we look outside of ourselves.     As human beings, we each influence this context, we each play a small role in creating it, but we do not control it.

Internal, Personal Context:   Fourth, is our internal, invisible, personal context.   It exists within each one of us.   It is content within and controlled by the three  larger contexts mentioned above.    We cannot control the grandest context we call God.   We cannot control the Earthly context -- the fact that we live in human bodies on Earth.   Although we influence them, we cannot control the environmental context -- the technology, politics, or social structures in which we live.   The only place were we have any real potential for control is in our personal contexts.  

For each of us, our personal context consists of the belief system within which we live our lives.   It's how we mentally hold and view things.   It's our ground of being, our mental condition, our  mind pattern, our mode of functionality.    It's our way of being who and what we believe ourselves to be.  It's the mental creation, a mental box,  (a belief box)°  within which we create our own experiences.

Although at times, it may seem impossible, we can control our personal lives.    If we so choose to actively participate in directing our lives, we must do so within the grander contexts mentioned above,   To do so, we must not only understand the contexts within which we create these experiences,  we must also understand how we create our personal experiences. 

Because they control our personal contexts, we will offer what the evidence tells us are some of the most probable characteristics  of the two grandest contexts°  mentioned above.   We will refer to our answers as "the most probably reality."   We'll also offer what the evidence tells us is the most likely way that we create  our personal reality.°   

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A  Classic  Example of a Societal Context:

The classic public example of creating a context occurred on May 25, 1961 when President John F. Kennedy told Congress:  "This nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth."   In spite of the fact that, in 1961, such a goal was clearly impossible, by 1969 the goal had been accomplished.   Why?   Because a context was created within which everything else became content.   Even the belief that "it's impossible"  became a part of making it happen.

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An Example of a C0-created Personal Context:

If you are like most people, you  grew up in what is called a family.   Terms like  mom, dad, children, siblings, parents, etc.  refer to members of the family.   Where did this family unit come from?  Your parents created it.   On their wedding day, they formally declared its existence, and later created children as a portion of the content within their self-declared context.   Before your parents  declared it into being, what you refer to as "my family" did not exist.

Your family unit is an example of a personally created context.   In this example the context was created by two people together.  Your parents created that context, and you, your siblings, your mom, and your dad are all content within that context.  This is just one example.  Every relationship you have is a co-created context.   

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An Example of a Self-Created Personal Context:

Your life is filled with contexts.   Your relationship to your physical body is a personal context.   Your relationship to your home is a context.  Everything you do is within several contexts.  Most of these contexts were originally created when you were a very young child.   Remember, a personal context is a mind set, a mental attitude, a way of being.   Below are some more examples of contexts.

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A few of  Your Most Important Contexts:

The main and most common ones are listed below.

contexts that are not changeable  ...  

Social and Environmental Contexts:
     (Contexts that are fixed and unchangeable)

        You are a divine being;  
            (some will argue against this assertion)

        You live on planet Earth;

        You live in a masculine or feminine human body;

            (some will also argue against this assertion)

        You live at a specific time in human history;

        You live within the presently existing, economic, 
           technical; religious, social structures;

        You grew up in a specific social, religious, economic, 
           and family structure;

        The age of your body is whatever it is;

        Your past is whatever it is  --  your education, your relationships, 
          your experiences, etc.

contexts that are changeable   ...

Personal contexts:
     (Contexts that are changeable)

        Your personal religious and philosophical belief system;

        Your beliefs about yourself;

        Your attitudes and opinions;

        Your emotions and feelings;

        Your expectations;

        What you will or will not allow into your life.

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Doing — All Activities Occur Within a Context:

To intentionally create within a context, things are not done for reason or as a result of content.   One neither stops and waits for things to happen nor does he rush out and take action.   One continues to live his/her life and does so in the space of positive, joyous expectancy.   One does, or allows to occur, whatever feels appropriate, whenever it feels appropriate and all the while, continues to hold the goal in mind as though it were already a physical reality.

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Commitment:

When you make a commitment to something, you are creating a context.   Creating a context sets the forces of the universe into action.  The following is probably the most famous quote regarding commitment:

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.   Concerning all acts of initiative [and creation] there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans. 

The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.   All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.   A whole stream of events issue from the decision raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.

                                             W. H. Murray

                                           The Scottish Himalayan Expedition

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"Whatever you can do or dream you can do, begin it.   Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.   Begin it now."

                                             Goethe

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The  Forces of Creation  Are  Derived  from  Context:

The forces of creation are derived from the context within which things are done and have nothing to do with the doing.   Remember that a context is created in your mind.   It's an intention and a commitment to accomplish a goal.   What you do, your physical activity: 1) is content and 2) is done within that context.   Your goals manifest in accordance with your belief system, your mental mindset, the context in which you hold them.    Your personal  belief system is your filter through which all your thoughts must pass on their way to being manifested.

A context must be continually recreated.   It can be likened to creating balance while riding a bicycle.   The moment you stop creating balance, the bicycle falls over.   

 Contexts have contents but contents do not create contexts.   First a context is created  (a commitment to accomplish a goal)  and then all of its contents fit inside.   Being precedes action because being is the context and action is the content.   A context is a way of being.   It is not something to do.

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Resistance:

When something becomes a context, it has room for its opposite within it as content.   Within a context there’s even room for for those who believe  "it's impossible."   A context allows space for all positions and beliefs.   A context allows space for all contents.   There is no need to resist any contrary ideas.   There is no need to defend anything.   There is no need to hold any ideas as positions. (i.e. “This is why such and such is happening.”   “This is how to solve the problem.”   “This is what to do about that.” Etc.)   Whatever is done within a context is done by choice and is not done for a reason in response to content.

Avoid being stopped by what is logical and reasonable.   Intentions often get overwhelmed by the intellect and by reasonableness.   For example, if Einstein had been reasonable, he would have never come up with the theory of relativity.   Become aware that when we get our limited personalities and egos out of the way, we make room for the intuitive and inspirational aspect of self to work through us.

Become aware that what is a context (a ground of being) in one area of life is often also a context, and a controlling factor in other areas of lives.   For example, if you believe that suffering here on Earth is the only way to get to heaven, that belief, that context, affects not only your religious behavior, it also affects everything else you do in every other area of your life.

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Getting Derailed or Sidetracked:

People lose sight of their contexts when they stop: 

     (1)   to deal with things that give the illusions of being negative or
              counter to the context, 

      (2)   to deal with things that are totally irrelevant to the contexts,
               and 

      (3)   to praise those things that appear to support the context.   

With our limited amount of knowledge we often have no way of knowing whether outside events are positive, negative or neutral.   Avoid being at the effect of those self-created, seemingly outside-created events.   Observe them and keep on going to the goal.   

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Blocks Along The Way:

When a barrier comes up, just be with it.   Avoid resisting it, trying to dominate it, or trying to control it or trying to change it.   Instead, include it in and make it part of the context you have created.   Rather than challenging it, make space for it, simply allow it to be as it is.   Shift your focus onto your intended outcome.   This focus directs your creative energy toward your goal rather than wasting it on that which is not wanted.   In your mind, create an imaginary shelf in which the goal is already accomplished.

Be in charge, but do not attempt to dominate or control.   Press on to completion by staying in the ground of being that knows: "I am the cause."   And remember, there is no room for victims at the “Inn of Success.”

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Summary:

We must accept the contexts that are not changeable; however, even with the fixed contexts being as they are, you can still alter and re-create your own personal reality by examining, and then altering the contexts that are changeable.   Remember, thoughts act as building blocks,°   emotions act as the power plant that energizes your thoughts into physical form, and beliefs, attitudes, etc. are the molds (the contexts) within which our thoughts must fit if they are to become physical reality.   Think of yourself as a ship in a multi-dimensional ocean.   Your thoughts are your steering mechanism and your emotions are your engine.   

An excellent example of how to create a context can be found by reading the thirty page booklet entitled, The End of Starvation: Creating an Idea Whose Time Has Come, by Werner Erhard.   For a copy of the booklet contact:  The Hunger Project, 15 East 26th Street, New York, NY 10010.     <http://www.thp.org>°       <info@thp.org>°       

Read it for its humanitarian value.   Read it as an example of how to create a context.

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Coaching Clients       Coaching Clients       ...

End of  Section  33

What is a Context?   Why Are They Important?     How do I Create One?

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OK, Now What?  When you become one of our coaching clients, we'll take the exercises and the concepts on our web site to their next level.   We'll help you to determine which of them are for you; and the we'll show you how, when, and where to make the best use of them.   We'll also expand each of the chosen topics and concepts to their logical conclusions. 

Free Session:  We have found that the best way for you to get a clear sense of what we have to offer is for you to experience a coaching session.   Then, by personal experience, you'll know what we can do for you and what you can expect to gain from coaching.   The introductory consultation is a free, personal, private, one-on-one session.

Your Choice:  In addition to the examples included on our web site, there are literally dozens of additional ways we can assist you.   You tell us about your specific goals, needs, and desires, and then, based on your own heart and on our advice, you can decide what is the next best step for you.

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Contact R. Robin Cote'

robin@joy101.org

and put his tested and proven 
principles and techniques to work in your life.

Consultations are available by phone 
from anywhere in the world.

818/727-0727

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   "How to Eat an Elephant®  A Guide Book for Playing the Game Called Life"

By R.  Robin  Cote’   The Life Center   Copyright  1995    Revisions  ©   2001-2004

All rights reserved    For details, see: Terms of Use

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