Search for Lost Meaning
Search for Lost Meaning
Point 1. Crisis of Obviousness
Sum of technologies
It began when we set out to create human-like artificial intelligence. The path seemed complicated, but much of the work had already been done. Classical methods of knowledge search, neural networks, semantic models, ontologies, reinforcement learning...
Trying to form a general picture, we were adding more to it and the inevitable question arose: would further complications lead to a new quality? Will a homunculus be born from the alchemical mixture?
In the beginning, there was a word
Using different approaches, we kept coming up with the same question: Words, concepts, symbols, signs, attributes; they are the basis of everything, but what is their nature? We knew the «obvious» answer, but the further we went, the less obvious it seemed. We realized that there really is no unambiguity in the world of words. We became convinced that attempts to define phenomena through their attributes are doomed. We realized that each word is a separate universe within which the experience of all other universes is contained.
«Obvious» doesn't mean correct
Seeking our philosopher's stone, we have concluded that the obvious path is inherently flawed. Tempted by the first quick results, it confidently leads to a perfect combinatorial hell. Moving farther and farther away from trying to defeat harmony with algebra and carefully studying the functionalities of the real brain, we began to create an approach that we called a context-meaning model. As a result, we’ve built a model based not on traits, but on the meaning. It allowed us to understand not only how the real brain works, but also showed the way to create full-fledged artificial intelligence.
Nothing is new under the moon
And there was a huge surprise waiting for us. Suddenly, we began to recognize familiar motives in the reasoning of the ancient philosophers. Moreover, in both the ancient myths and the biblical stories, we clearly saw traces of stories about meaning. Then we began a historical investigation. At that moment, we could not imagine how far it would take us.
Point 2. Philosophy of meaning
I know that I know nothing
Socrates argued that thinking is based on concepts. Using them, we describe the world and formulate our thoughts. He also believed that we do not know what our brain knows, which subconsciously determines the essence, but does not tell us how it did so. We know beauty, but we cannot explain it with words.
In trying to understand our own hidden knowledge, we often cling to external signs. We make definitions out of them, not even realizing that by doing so we kill the essence.
How many planks can be replaced in Theseus' ship so that it remains the same ship?
It seems obvious that «to know» means to compare with a model and find similarities. Hence, the natural desire to find a prototype for each concept. And as a consequence, the desire to reduce everything to definitions and rules.
Provoking his students, Plato declared that «man is an animal with two legs, lacking feathers». Diogenes plucked a rooster and said that this was «the man». Then the followers added to the definition: «...lacking feathers and with wide nails».
No matter how the definition is extended, it will always remain limited and will never be able to convey meaning. No matter how long Diogenes walked around with a lantern, he would never find a man. It is his fate to live forever in a cramped barrel and ask Alexander the Great not to block the sun.
A genie for the perfect consumer
A well-known Buddhist koan says: «A red cow passes by the window. The head, horns, and four legs have passed. Why can't the tail pass by? » The essence of the cow is not conveyed by its color, or the presence of its head, or the number of legs. Any features are powerless, the cow's tail is out of reach.
The impossibility of reducing everything to rules was proved in the 20th century by Kurt Gödel, who formulated his famous incompleteness theorems. But thousands of years before him, the ancient Egyptians were already drawing a snake devouring its tail, hinting that the definition of any concept would sooner or later short-circuit itself.
When someone points a finger at the sky, only a fool looks at the finger
The same thing is perceived differently from different perspectives. As the viewpoint changes, so does the interpretation of what we see. A successful interpretation allows us to understand what is in front of us. And here it's important to remember that sometimes «what you understood» is not as important as «where you saw it from».
You found scars on a girl's arm. Assuming the girl had a cat, the scars turned into cat claw marks. Did you recognize the scratches? Or did you find the cat after all?
First comes the smile, then the cat itself
Each phenomenon is capable of being a point of view. Every concept is a context that creates its own interpretation. To find meaning, one must look at the visible from all possible angles. The direction where a reasonable interpretation emerges is the essence sought.
To resurrect Osiris, Gore must remove his eye.
Meaning is omnipresent
The deeper we had dived into the analysis of the ancient myths, the more certain we became that they all described the same philosophy. Behind the system of complex allegories, the story of meaning emerged everywhere. Sumerian myths, Egyptian myths and the Book of the Dead, the Akkadian Gilgamesh, the legends of ancient Greece, Homer's poems, accounts of Greek philosophers, Buddhism, Old and New Testament books, the Talmud, the Koran, the tales of Thousand and One Nights - it is a non-exhaustive list of what appeared to be entirely devoted to the philosophy of meaning.
Point 3. The Quest for the Ark
Religions don't have straightforward paths
To discover the philosophy of meaning in all the religions was so incredible that we spent years carefully deciphering the allegories, checking and rechecking them. We created unique tools that enabled us to study the original texts written in Sumerian and ancient Hebrew.
But for a long time it remained a mystery as to why and who needed to encrypt everything so intricately.
Any complex problem has a simple, easy-to-understand incorrect solution
The war that has been going on for thousands of years, never ceasing for a moment, is not a war of good against evil, but a war of rules against essence. Seth kills Osiris. The sophists judge Socrates. Eve plucks the fruit from the tree of knowledge plain and simple. The scribes and Pharisees crucify Christ. The lawyers try to put the letter of the law above its spirit.
There will be always legendary Gordius, who thinks that only he has discovered the great and simple truth. And time after time the Phrygians, left without a ruler, take as their king the one whom they first meet on their way to the temple. Always, after becoming a king, Gordius builds a new temple around his wretched wagon, tying it more and more tightly with knots. Always Gordius has an heir, Midas, who, of all the wonders of this world, chooses the ability to turn everything he touches into gold. His gold makes things useless, but «better» and «delightful». And always Midas befriends the shepherd god Pan, and believes that Pan's playing of the whistle is better than Apollo's «fake» music. For that, he gets donkey ears, which he is madly embarrassed about, and thus ready to kill anyone who sees those.
The savior is doomed
In the tales of Thousand and One Nights there is a parable about a king who suffered from leprosy and a healer who was able to heal him. When the king was cured of his ailment, he first lavishly rewarded the savior and then cut off his head. For he who can save can also destroy. But even after his death, the healer continued to speak to the king. His severed head told the king about a book that described all the mysteries of the world. He opened the book, but saw only blank pages. He scrolled through them, not realizing that they were all saturated with poison.
A bonfire of books is inevitable
Creators are needed to discover, to create, to win. But they are always in doubt and dispute. Any power is susceptible to the temptation to monopolize the truth. Therefore, at the first opportunity it destroys both the creators and their free philosophy. Already at the dawn of writing, it became clear that no text about meaning written openly would survive the inevitable advent of the dictatorship. Then the idea of the Ark arose.
A cloud goes over the sky, a barrel sails over the sea
The creators of the first civilization on the planet, the Sumerians, compared the world flood to the sunrise, when the blue floods the sky and all the stars drown in that blue. They used the allegory of the flood to describe the coming of dogmatic truth, which kills all other points of view. So that knowledge could survive the flood, the Sumerians came up with the idea of writing down the philosophy of meaning allegorically. They created a complex system of gods and myths about them. This is how the first Ark was built.
What was, will be; and what was done, will be done; and there is nothing new under the sun
The philosophy of meaning has been rediscovered many times. With its revival came the understanding of the strange myths left by previous civilizations. But in addition to new knowledge, the myths also warned of the inevitability of the flood, and admonished the need to build a new Ark. The great design became clear. It was necessary to die in order to survive.
To be, or not to be, that is the question
Paradoxically, but it is people's faith in the supernatural that has always been the only reliable Ark. Believers received a story about the gods that they understood and kept it blindly, unaware of what it is that they really worship.
There was only one flaw in the grand plan.
«Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them. To die—to sleep»
The philosophy of meaning, realizing it was doomed, had to die willingly. To sacrifice itself, leaving its dead body to the faithful. Hence Christ will plead: «Abba, Father all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will» and then will doomfully ascend to Golgotha. For this reason, the phoenix will every time burn itself up, only to rise again from the ashes a thousand years later.
Point 4. Chosen People
The very first book of the Old Testament declares the chosen people, the Jews. They are the only people to whom God is willing to communicate and to whom he gives all his instructions. Without much ado, the Bible divides all mankind into first class and second class, the chosen and the rest. But is it really that simple?
The Sumerians called themselves «blackheads» but so did their neighbors, the Akkadians. In this paradox, we discovered that «blackheads» never meant either race, nationality, or hair color. The name «blackheads» in the sense of «dark in the head» symbolized the way of thinking, the commitment that one should question everything and beware of the blinding light of indisputable truth.
Later various Greek tribes began to call themselves Hellenes, believing that they were the heirs of Hellenes, the son of Deucalion and Pyrrha, the only survivors of the Flood. Even later in the Torah, there appeared the name «Jews» meaning «from all sides».
As we continued our research, we discovered that the Jews were never a nationality either. The Jews are the same Sumerians. The one omnipresent God of the Jews is meaning, and the one chosen by God is the one who puts meaning above all else. And regardless of desire, if you have begun to think critically, you are already a Jew.
Every Jew is commanded to go to Canaan. To the land that lies between Mesopotamia and Egypt. Between the disputes over power and the unchallenged power of Pharaoh. Just as the Sumerians were to strive for Nibiru, the ferry between the Sun and the Moon. To the Egyptians, to maintain the balance between the truth of Maat and the chaos of Ispheth. Followers of Buddha - always and in everything to seek the middle way leading to Shambhala. These are all allegories of the fact that meaning must be born out of debate and lead to the creation of laws. But these laws must never replace meaning, but only serve it. This is the way it should be in Canaan.
Point 5. Conspiracy theory
Historians are well aware that a great deal written in ancient chronicles is an intertweaving of reality and fiction. It has always been a mystery - what drove the chroniclers to such a forgery. We have found that each time such mystification was associated with an attempt to convey the philosophy of meaning. Sargon the Great, Gilgamesh, Odysseus, Socrates, Mithridates the Eupator, Christ, King Arthur, and many other semi-mythical characters are all links of the same chain.
The Catcher in the Rye
At all times there have been secret societies. It was never a secret in itself. But what was their secret was known only to a few initiates. Further investigation revealed that it was the knowledge of the real content of the sacred texts that was what everyone from the Pythagoreans to the Freemasons so carefully concealed.
Naturally, many guardians believed themselves to be also progressors, called to bring closer the end of the flood and the arrival of mankind to the Promised Land. So the Templars, aka «Poor Knights of Solomon's Temple», were created to protect the pilgrims going to the Holy Land, that is, to that very Canaan.
It is difficult to judge whether secret societies have actually been able to accelerate progress, but one form of their progressorship has certainly left a huge mark on history.
Labyrinths of Reflections
Knowing the mystery of allegorical texts, it was difficult for the guardians to resist the temptation to join the creators. For this purpose, they purposefully sought out talented writers and introduced them to the circle of the chosen. As a result, amazing works were produced that were strikingly different from everything else. The unbelievable truth in them was mistaken for brilliant fiction.
By understanding where and how to look, we rediscovered Shakespeare. We found the real Lukomorye and began to understand Pushkin. But this was only a small fraction of the discoveries. It turned out that very, very much in art and science makes much more sense than it seems at first glance.
Point 6. The end of the world
A good prophecy is but a memory
It is believed that sooner or later the Messiah will come from the north, and then all the fun will begin. He will enter Jerusalem through the locked eastern gate, raise the dead and restore Solomon's Temple. The Jews will be ransomed from captivity and return to Canaan.
So the Messiah is a resurrected philosophy of meaning. Jerusalem is a Torah scroll with its encrypted text beginning on the right, that is, «in the east». The dead are the words waiting to be read. The destroyed Temple is an allegory of the Torah not understood today.
The biblical texts themselves have detailed instructions on when and how the philosophy of meaning is to return. According to those instructions, first the Messiah will turn to the church and hold it accountable. «I will deal with you as you have done, you who have despised the oath in breaking the covenant, yet I will remember my covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish for you an everlasting covenant.»
Power is in the truth
Then he will face «toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal». To those very literary projects that many years have been created, circulated throughout the world, and waited for their moment. They are the main tools of the Messiah. «In the latter days I will bring you against my land, that the nations may know me, when through you, O Gog». The allegories hidden in many famous books, movies, and songs will come through and it will make people accept the unbelievable.
Then, according to biblical prophecy, there will be a war for Jerusalem. «Every man's sword will be against his brother». Many stereotypes will have to be abandoned, the idea of the world and its history will have to be turned upside down, the nature of meaning will have to be understood. The simple and obvious, and reinforced by faith, will meet in a battle with thousands of arguments to which previously it was possible to turn a blind eye. And the tails that fall two hundred times in a row will finally begin to surprise. There will be a decisive battle - Armageddon, after which the end of the world will come.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
The glimmer of essence is always ghostly, and you have to wait until the sun sets to see it. The end of the world is literally the end of «light» when dogma is replaced by doubt, certainty by search, the sun by the Bethlehem star. But will the sunset bring the kind of freedom that allows us to take off or the confusion that drags us down? This is the eternal question.
The progressors keep their secrets, believing that humanity is not ready yet to accept them. And in some ways, they are right. Socrates believed that one cannot teach anyone anything by simply telling them. That one must first make the individual see for himself the fallacy of a simple solution. And then guide him through the discoveries he must make on his own. Only hard-earned knowledge is worth anything. First you have to become a poor knight and only then enter the Temple of Solomon. The genie kills anyone who lets it out without being prepared for it.
We got to the bottom of this on our own, without any hints, and that's a good sign. We are not bound by any oath of silence and believe that since we were able to walk the path of discovery ourselves, it means we can help others to do so as well. We have already prepared everything we need to do this. So it looks like the time has come.
Point 7. Essential