by Destiny Chukwuma Ogbonnaya
Connecting thinking, knowing and doing is understandably difficult for many people. Yet, integrating them is necessary, although not sufficient, to achieve any self-defined or collaborative goal or objective.
James 1(22) states: “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves”. In the end, our life efficacy and impact under any criteria for measurement would depend on what we did and not just on what we heard, read, were taught, know or intended. Upon this assertion shall I present this philosophical and psychological discussion on my propositions on the theory of mind and thinking. Since we all have mind, you will use your mind as the experimental platform as we proceed. To assure you of real benefits afterwards, I will focus on how my propositions can help you to be effective at the art of execution by explaining how one can move from thinking to knowing and to doing.
Borrowing from Apostle James, I would say that we should be doers of our thinking, and not thinkers only, deceiving ourselves. We should be doers of our beliefs, values and truths and not knowledge-bank only, deceiving ourselves. Individuals, organisations and corporations spend a great deal of time to produce strategic, tactical and operational plans every year. However, many still achieve little or sadly retrogress. The problem is not only that there was no plan in some cases, although it may well be that the planning process was poor, flawed ab initio or that the plan itself was inexecutable. The major issue is often in the execution of the plan. I would therefore argue that one can achieve more when efforts are expended towards executing an imperfect plan than when no efforts are expended towards executing a perfect plan. This is why I want us to explore together the art of execution to understand what it takes to move from thinking, knowing, doing and achieving conceived objectives based on the Questelligence framework. Indeed, this is a difficult philosophical undertaking that I have willingly imposed on myself, and you need to be patient to understand my arguments and please do well to give me feedbacks or ask for more follow-up contributions on any aspect.
To create executable complex dynamic thoughts, I hypothesize that the 7 questelligence domains may probably need to be incorporated. If they are not combined properly at the thinking phase, it may turn out to be what King Solomon described as things that are crocked that cannot be made straight, at the knowing and doing phases. Do not forget that it is the mind that plans and executes plans and the mind needs the domains of questelligence to create an actionable story of what to do and how to do it and continue to update the domains as may be required. If the questelligence domains are properly populated, the mind can work on the domains consciously, subconsciously and superconsciously. This is where the laws of recognition are set in motion because you could engage actively with your internal and external environments to piece-up the domains in order to achieve the overall objective of thinking (please refer to laws of recognition: Laws of recognition).
The speed, non-linearity and complexity of thinking, knowing and doing may not allow one to observe the three-phase model (TPM) proposed herein- thinking, knowing and doing. The TPM has an important feature of multi-level-multi-domain (MLMD) iteration. This means that one can think in terms of a domain and many items from the domain, as well as in terms of combinations of domains and many combinations of domains. This conceptualisation is important in understanding how the mind thinks, creates and analyses. What does thinking mean within the framework of questelligence? Thinking is a mental process of computing over a limited or full spectrum of the mind. Then what is the mind? The mind is an inbuilt abstract mental space created by the vibration of waves produced by the brain. What is the brain? The brain is matter we can see if the skull of any animal is opened. This presupposes that a human being as an organism is conceptualised as a system which receives input stimulus, processes them and produces outputs. How the mind processes stimulus through thinking, how the brain stores the knowledge in memory and how human species have evolved cognitively over the centuries are matters to be explored herein.
I propose that the taxonomy of thoughts, based on the Questelligence framework, follows this hierarchy: I. Items. II. Domains. III. Frames of domains. IV. Story. V. Opinion. VI. Truth. VI. Wisdom. VII. Reality. In my future article, I will focus on detailed characterisation of the 7 components of the taxonomy of thoughts. Briefly, items are the simplest unit of thoughts which must be located within a domain of thoughts. Analogous to Items in Science are cells in biology and elements in chemistry. The second hierarchy of thoughts are domains. There are 7 domains which can be seen in the figure below.
We can think of the domains as analogous to Groups of elements in Chemistry in which we have many elements under each Group in Mendeleev’s periodic table. For instance, we have Lithium, Sodium, etc under Group I. Biologically, domains are similar to the classification of cells into plants and animal tissues. Notice that there is no conflict as to where the items should be classified. The same way, there should not be any conflict as to the domain of thoughts that the items of thoughts should belong to. The same way you would say that a cell extracted from an elephant would fall under animal cell, and that chlorine is under halogens (Group 7 elements), is the same way you would agree that 7 pm is referring to a notion of time, which is a time domain item, given that other items in time domain include all possible combinations of 12 hrs and 24 hrs clocks, days of the week, months of the year, centuries, millenniums. Thus, within the time domain alone, we have past, present, and future notions of time and this is already infinite combinations of the the notion of time.
Moving up the hierarchy after the domain is a frame. A frame is a combination of two or more domains. Chemically, a frame is at the level of a chemical compound since a compound is the combination of elements. For instance, you can combine sodium and chlorine to create sodium chloride (NaCl) crystal. Biologically, the frame is at the level of tissue which is a combination of cells. A good example is blood which has plasma, red and white blood cells. Frames are at a critical position in the hierarchy of thoughts because they are at the level where appearances become physically manifest. The mechanism of the mind during the coupling of the frames influences the outcome of the story which is at the next level of complexity. Because of the importance of frames, you may wish to perform the following fun activities.
POSTULATION I: FRAMES HAVE NO SINGLE LINGUISTICALLY CONSTRUCTED WORD FOR THEIR REPRESENTATION:
Experiment: Scroll through your photos and try to use a single word or formulate a new word that can incorporate the essence of people in the picture, time picture was taken, specific facts about the picture, process used to take the picture, reason for the picture, place where the picture was taken, objects in the picture.
Conclusion: Unarguably, it is safe to state that it is impossible to invent a word that can describe frames of thoughts. A photo represents a snapshot of reality at a particular time and place. Every photo has many items within it or aspects that the viewer may choose to zoom in on or focus on.
POSTULATION II: A STORY IS A LOGICAL ARRANGEMENTS OF FRAMES ON THE TIME DOMAIN.
Experiment: Get an album containing photos (frames) for your birthday, wedding, or other events. If it is taken with electronic device, it will be arranged automatically based on the time they were taken. If they have been printed, arrange them based on the time they were taken from the start to the finish of the event. Now, tell a person or group of persons stories of what was happening in each photo. Link the story about the photos chronologically whilst focusing on various items belonging to different domains.
Conclusion: A story can be constructed from frames of thoughts. The storyteller (thinker) may often emphasis each domain based on the importance attached to the domain or items within a specific domain.
IMPLICATIONS OF POSTULATIONS I & II FOR MEMORY, COGNITION, LINGUISTICS AND COMMUNICATION.
At human conception, each individual is genetically equipped with a system of communication as has been advocated by Noam Chomsky. Once a healthy baby is born, the 5 senses of sight, taste, hearing, feeling, and smell are present but not fully developed. There is also a sense of consciousness, although it is yet to be incorporated into the scientific model. As a child grows and develops, the child would start acquiring stimulus through these 6 senses and store them without a conscious order in the memory. However, language skill is not developed and the child can only communicate through means such as crying. As the child continues to interact with the environment, they will grow to observe that older people combine what they also have in their memory into certain pattern. This realisation is the beginning of a conscious attempt to develop their language capacity in order to meet their needs in order to survive. Since the inputs of domains of questelligence would be in the language the child is exposed to (e.g. English, French, Igbo, German, etc), the child would eventually construct sentences in the relevant languages. Initially, the combination of the items of the domains may be random as the mind permutates and combines at item level without being conscious of the rules of grammar and nuances of the contextual culture and non-verbal cues that make up social communication. As the child grows, the child would learn alphabets, numbers, rules of grammar, representation and pronunciation of words that can enable the child select the right items from the domains to create frames, as well as link the frames to create stories. At this point, the child can make logical and intelligible sentences, but not indepth creative or analytical explanation of events. Whenever the child experiences stimuli, the stimuli would be decomposed into domains which will make the items to be recognisable. Cognition happens during the segregation and filing of stimulus into items and domains. The brain enables cognition and cognitized items and domains constitute memory storage. Recognition is the process of retrieving the items and domains in order to create frames and stories which are prerequisite for effective communication. Creativity is more of the ability to create logical mix of the items, domains and frames in novel ways. Prolonged indulgence in domain-based thinking would make a person spontaneously creative because executing MLMD iterations would be done with less cognitive costs compared to those of less creative people. My wife is my first disciple of the Questelligence framework and I am oftentimes baffled at how creative and productive she has become.
The activation of the mind would cause the mind to execute MLMD to create meaning from the memory storage. The mind can also spontaneously execute MLMD even if a person is not aware. For instance, during dreaming, a person can still recognise 7 domains of questelligence existing in the physical world. From the beginning of human species, human beings have been creating representations and meanings from the dynamic permutations and combinations of items, domains and stories and have passed them down to subsequent generations with the subsequent generations creating and adding new items, domains and stories in order to advance human cognitive evolution.
POSTULATION III: INSTEAD OF EVOLUTION OF ORGANISMS AS PROPOSED BY CHARLES DARWIN, EVOLUTION OF THE MIND APPEARS MORE PLAUSIBLE.
Argument: If humans truly evolved from plants, apes, etc, as it were, humans should have evolved into a higher being. Instead of evolving into a higher being, human beings die after some years. However, if Darwin’s theory of evolution is reconstructed as an evolution of the mind, it can be explained that human beings have evolved cognitively now compared to the age of hunting and gathering and agriculture age. Through individual contribution to collective memory and collective consciousness by creating items of the domain and naming them, and communicating them with other humans, the would would progressively become a better place.
This presupposes that most of the pains and sufferings of man are creations of human mind. Science, Arts, societies, Government, States, economy, etc are creations from the human mind and not necessarily absolute intrinsic characteristics of nature. I also believe in the capacity of human mind to create a better world in the future because collective cognitive evolution will continue to reinforce shared humanity.
The capacity to draw, make sound, write and share their meanings up to the time where philosophical contemplations of Greek philosophers such as Socrates, Aristotle, and Plato contributed to logical classification of thinking into domains of study or discipline have led to a hastened cognitive evolution. This means that new fields can be created and new enquires and methods of enquiry can be developed and shared to enrich human collective cognitive capacity (i.e. the highest thoughts that individual and group of people can engage in). For instance, I am building these discussions on ideas of the previous generations and hopefully, the current generation and future generations would leverage my contribution to reexamine the thrusts of my arguments and propositions. The advent of computer and telecommunications have further increased the rate at which humans are creating and sharing meanings thereby increasing the rate of evolution of human collective mind.
PREDICTION: Development of dynamic permutations and combinations and integrating it with artificial intelligence could cause human cognitive evolution to advance even much faster.
Mathematical modelling of questelligence is based on permutations and combinations (Q = dCi = d!/i!(d-i)!; where Q is number of combinations of items, n is total number of domains (d = 7), i is the number of domains included in the thinking.
This means that 7C1 = 7; 7C2 = 21; 7C3 = 35; 7C4 = 35; 7C5 =21; 7C6 = 7; 7C7 = 1. Total possible combinations assuming that the mind is so static not to stray into other domains would be 127. Any change in any item from the domain could cause a change in meaning.
Mathematical challenge of the Questelligence framework: theory of infinite intelligence.
The mathematical challenge for modelling thinking in humans is due to the speed at which the mind execute MLMD iterations. Perhaps a combination of the field of probability and permutations and combinations may be explored in the first instance. Probability may be necessary because the mind thinks of the domain at random, although the domain the mind focuses on might be an indication of domain of priority, interest or concern. To illustrate this, imagine that you want to fix a meeting with a colleague to solve a problem. Suppose that you notice that your colleague is struggling with the time domain, say, finding it hard to select suitable time looking at prebooked appointments. You can reduce the relative cognitive costs of co-creating the appointment by exploring the time domain to find a time suitable for both of you. Any attempt to be talking about other items from different domains might interfer with the permutations and combinations in the mind. This is what we refer as distraction because we cannot help but think about other domains activated even when we do not want to. To co-create effectively, you focus on the same domain to sample and consider the items and select the specific item. You can do same to agree collaboratively on the place for the meeting, objectives to pursue during the meeting, people to be involved, specific deliverables, etc. A checklist is a means of focusing the mind to think within a domain.
Theologically, God is all knowing (omniscient), all present (omnipresent), and all powerful (omnipotent). The implications of the questelligence framework on the ontological explanation of God as an intelligent being is that God executes MLMD so well that God knows all the items of the domains that have existed, currently existing and will ever exist. God has a supermemory to cognitize all activities in the universe and can dynamically update the domains. For God to have infinite intelligence, God should cognitize , memorise and should be able to recognise and retrieve perpetually all physical and metaphysical items, domains, frames, stories, opinions, truth, wisdom, and reality. However, before advancing beyond the hierarchy of stories, the use of opinion, truth, wisdom and reality within the Questelligence framework will be contextualised.
Analogously, camera (human eyes) capture frames of photos while videos capture stories (sequences of frames). Think of frames as the pieces of evidence that lawyers tender to a judge. Both the prosecution and defence lawyers are arguing about the same pieces of evidence based on their theoretical proposition to the judge. However, the judge will decide the most credible story ( i.e. logical arrangements of the frames) to believe. Based on the judge’s conviction, (s)he will give a judgement. The judgement will become the legal opinion of the judge on the case based on laws, precedence and the overall circumstances of the case. However, the opinion of a good, fair and just judge may not be the truth of the case, but may be the right opinion based on the analysis of the items, domains, frames, and stories. For instance, alibi is a crucial evidence that is hinged on the domain of object(ive), time, people and place domains. If a person is not at the scene of a crime, the person may not have committed a crime by himself or herself. But there maybe an indirect connection that could be discovered, although not in the place and time domains. Take for instance that someone uses a remotely controlled drone to commit a crime 20 miles away. In the process, the drone was apprehended and DNA test shows that certain persons must have been involved because their DNA matched with the test result. Those people can be invited for investigation even though they were not present at the scene of the crime at the time of the crime.
Therefore, the opinion level of hierarchy of thoughts is still below the level of truth. For instance, the presence of the DNA of the people in the above illustration does not mean that they were involved in the commission of the crime. The role of investigations is to uncover the truth. The truth is the epitome of thought, it marks the state in the mind which each items, domains, frames, stories, opinions are coupled as they were. This is the foundation of Bolean Algebra and the foundation of computing. That is reducing everything to either true/false or 1/0. So, truth is a state. Falsehood is a combination of frames into a wrong configuration (e.g. fake news). Falsehood is a creative output of the mind created by falsifying the combinations of the frames of thoughts, deliberately or out of ignorance. Notice that I carefully avoided the impression that falsehood is always illogical. Falsehood can be logical. A logical falsehood created to replace truth is called a lie. Again, it is assumed that a judge must have made efforts to uncover the truths and lies before deciding to construct a story of the legal opinion. This leads to the higher hierarchy called wisdom. Wisdom is not a property of items, domains, frames, stories, and opinion. Wisdom is a strategy to uncover truths and lies. So, wisdom is expressed by the person seeking truth. In research parlance, wisdom can be likened to the research design which is constructed in a manner that it would produce the right conclusion. If you need to use experiments to find out the truth but you used a qualitative approach, you will still get a story and probably publish your findings but the wisdom is questionable and with time, future researchers will need to close the gap by constructing an experiment to validate your wisdom. This leads to the next level which is reality. Reality is a proven wisdom. Reality closes all alternatives for furthering the stories or looking for more truths. Reality shows that wisdom has held sway. Reality has a huge impact on human behaviours and actions. If you set an alarm for 6am, even if you were busy till 5am and tries to catch some sleep from 5:05am, the reality to expect is that the alarm will still be activated at 6am, and actions for setting it up the alarm must commence once it is activated, say preparing for work.
Categorically, the human mind does three operations during thinking. I. Create. II. Analyse. III. Mixed operations (create and analyse). The mind is creating when it is computing over the mental space to synthesis items, domains, frames of domains, story, opinion, truth, wisdom into reality. On the other hand, the mind is analysing when it is computing over the mental space to decompose reality into respective wisdom, truth, opinion, story, frames, domains and items. The mixed operations as the name implies is computing over a mental space with an interchangeable mixture of creating and analysing. All mental operations can be classified into these three operations. The mental space is the spectrum of the MLMD sampling space in the memory where dynamic probalistic permutations and combinations can be performed during thinking.
Ontologically, based on the the proposition for a mind space, God is the carrier of the brain in which the mind space that created and analysed the universe exists. This does not posit that God is anthropomorphic but the mind of God is equivalent to the spirit of God based on the Genesis account. I opine that all things in the universe share the imprint of God’s intelligence, radiating the wisdom of God, yet they are not God. The same way all apple phones bear the logo of Apple Corporation and yet cannot be equated to Apple Corporation itself. Big bang is an event which requires an agent to create a framework that would point at the wisdom of the agent. The proponents of Big bang may need to provide a description of the intelligent mind space involved which should be found in an first causal agent.
On the contrary, the proponents of the intelligent design in the Book of Genesis (i.e. book of beginnings) told a story of an intelligent being with the capacity to create, analyse, and mix-operate with his mind. That being they called God whom they characterise as anthropomorphic based the description that man was created from the dust in the image and likeness of God. Therefore, any conceptualisation of God must confer on God intelligence as the universe is too ordered, even in its complexity, to have been a product of chance. Moreso, the universe has resisted all thermodynamic entropy to remain orderly over the years of its first creation. Indeed, known induced entropy on planet earth are anthropogenic in form of climate change. Therefore, all we know are products of the mind but we cannot equate what we know as the ultimate reality because we know in parts and we are limited linguistically to construct words, concepts, theories, laws and philosophy that are comprehensive to explain anything we think that we know. The prove of an existence of a mind of a thinking being, known and known, are thoughts which have manifested as reality. The mind does not die in biological terms but lives as long as the reality it created exists. It therefore follows that the mind of Einstein, Darwin, Newton, Abraham Lincoln, Mandela and past great minds exist in human collective memory eventhough their biological body are non-existent. Thus, since we cannot rationalise the existence of the universe without the people domain in which intelligence and wisdom situate, finding the creator whom St Augustine describes as the unmoved mover, the uncaused cause and source of all things will continue to intrigue the collective mind of humans.
Perhaps the wisdom of empiricism is faulty by excluding consciousness when it is applied in the ontological argument as God consciousness is an extension of human consciousness if it is true that God created humankind with the capacity to co-create with God. The thrust of naturalism, materialism, empiricism are based on the five senses. This ab initio presupposes that anything that cannot be proven up to the hierarchy of reality does not exist. This is problematic as there are things that exist that cannot be proven. By adopting logical scientific proves as the basis of reality, science places a heavier burden of proof on itself compared to the burden of proof that the intelligent design needs to provide to prove the existence of God. For instance, the intelligent design posits that God is a thinking God. The Science equivalent of God does not appear to be thinking. Therefore, a non-thinking being must not be God and God must be a thinking being. God is called Allah, Chukwu, etc in many languages; but regardless of what the proponents of intelligent design call God in their language, the word refers to the being with the mind that created the universe and arranged it with an infinite intelligence which appears to have eluded human comprehension, in the same way human civilisations would elude the comprehension of rats or insects. Based on the story of intelligent design and big bang, I am persuaded that perhaps the intelligent design is more intelligible. However, I believe that there should be no arguments about human origins but a concerted efforts to hasten human cognitive evolution if human species must survive the next few millenniums.
Read the judgement of Solomon from 1 King 3: 16 -28 as a summary of the integration of items to the level of reality.
16 One day two women came to King Solomon, 17 and one of them said:
Your Majesty, this woman and I live in the same house. Not long ago my baby was born at home, 18 and three days later her baby was born. Nobody else was there with us.
19 One night while we were all asleep, she rolled over on her baby, and he died. 20 Then while I was still asleep, she got up and took my son out of my bed. She put him in her bed, then she put her dead baby next to me.
21 In the morning when I got up to feed my son, I saw that he was dead. But when I looked at him in the light, I knew he wasn’t my son.
22 “No!” the other woman shouted. “He was your son. My baby is alive!”
“The dead baby is yours,” the first woman yelled. “Mine is alive!”
They argued back and forth in front of Solomon, 23 until finally he said, “Both of you say this live baby is yours. 24 Someone bring me a sword.”
A sword was brought, and Solomon ordered, 25 “Cut the baby in half! That way each of you can have part of him.”
26 “Please don’t kill my son,” the baby’s mother screamed. “Your Majesty, I love him very much, but give him to her. Just don’t kill him.”
The other woman shouted, “Go ahead and cut him in half. Then neither of us will have the baby.”
27 Solomon said, “Don’t kill the baby.” Then he pointed to the first woman, “She is his real mother. Give the baby to her.”
28 Everyone in Israel was amazed when they heard how Solomon had made his decision. They realized that God had given him wisdom to judge fairly.
From the foregoing, if I ask you to match 1. Calcium 2. Court. 3. Synonyms. 4. Prayers to domain of knowledge of A. Religion. B. Chemistry. C. Law. D. Linguistics, you would do it because the classification of knowledge has evolved through a concept I would could “domaineering”. This is the cognitive computation in domains terms to create, understand, file knowledge based on the 7 domains of questelligence. Epistemologically, anything outside the domains may prove complex to human comprehension unless the mind evolve to accommodate it. Even when new knowledge is created, it has to be filed based on the available epistemological domains within the grasp of human comprehension. My propositions in theory of questelligence and theory of the mind may elude the comprehension of many because there may not be familiar epistemological Scalford for the current propositions. Yet, this merely validate the fact that the mind can be likened to a computer, howbeit, an adaptive and evolutionary biological computer that can create and analyse realities based on logic of thinking and expressed in rules of communication.
As an Openscience advocate, the concept of questelligence and the theory of the mind will be published in this Questelligence Forum. Follow the page and subscribe! We all have a mind and we should ask whether the theory of questelligence gives insights into the workings of the mind. Let us now focus on how to apply this propositions in our daily life.
For you to do anything, you know completely or partially that such actions can be taken. For you to know, you thougth about it. Thus, there are causal links between thinking, knowing and doing. There are situations that require fast thinking, knowing and doing while there are situations that may require slow thinking, knowing and doing. Please refer to the intuitive (fast thinking) and analytic (slow thinking) propositions of Daniel Kahneman in “Thinking, Fast & Slow (Audiobook )”. Interpreting Daniel’s propositions within the Questelligence framework, computing in lesser number of domains may result in quicker actions but that does not imply that such actions would lead to more accurate outcomes compared to computing in multidomains that could allow multiple domain linkages, thus may lead to a more comprehensive outcomes. Nonetheless, the system of thinking ( fast or slow) depends on the circumstances.
The quality of anyone’s thinking, knowing and doing correlates with the quality of their life. This is true for scenarios of collective thinking as in some organisations, nations and true for our world. The concept of collective thinking describes situations where more than one person think. This is not the same as group thinking but closer to co-creation. Based on the cognitive evolution of human species, humans have developed signs, symbols, languages, cultures, and ways of communicating. Communication is therefore a domain-based interaction of two or more distinct minds and those minds are able to communicate because the human mind have evolved in the 7 questelligence domains in which mutual meanings, knowledge and actions can be co-created and updated in the process of communication and actions. Theoretically, Questelligence proposes a communication process in which thinking is domain-based; that is, the 7 domains in the mind of those communicating are the nucleus within which meaning are co-created and shared cognitively. The Questelligence framework deviates from the cylic model of communication because the mind creates meanings with sensory inputs whether they are directed towards it or not. Sensory inputs that activates the domains could also be triggered internally through processes such as remembering stored past experiences, reflection, meditation and learning. The cyclic model of communication proposed by Shannon and Weaver may not account for communications individuals make with themselves, or communication with spiritual beings or inanimate objects. This is because the cyclic model of communication did not consider the cognitive processes involved in communication. Domain-based conceptualisation of communication focuses on explaining why it is possible for people to communicate with self, others, God, nature or inanimate objects.
In Isaiah 1:18a, the notion of domain-based communication was implied as follows. “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool”. What does “reasoning together” in this text mean in operational terms? I imagine that it implies a direct fusion of domains of God’s mind and the domains of man’s mind in order to co-create a mutual meaning and understanding. The image below is the fusion of a mind with a source of domain stimulus, which must not be a human being. The fusion should logically be by domain-for-domain, meaning that for a person-person communication, each domain in a mind needs to couple/fuse with the exact domain in the other mind(s).
During communication, the two interacting minds engage to fuse to exchange, extract or co-create meanings. The notion of understanding is when there is a successful fusion of corresponding domains of all interacting minds while misunderstanding is when the domains are not completely fused. Thus, when you are communicating, you are populating the mind of the other person with the contents of the domains of your mind. The transfer from one domain to the interacting domain are notional but could be concrete. This means that people can understand when items of people, time, place, reason or other domains are populated even if the items used in populating those domains are not real. Domain-based model of the mind can explain dreams, visions and consciousness because the mind can be activated by both notional or concrete, real or imaginary items of the domains, combined into frames and then into stories that make meaning.
By conceptualising thinking into domain-based activities, for instance, humans can advance artificial intelligence since the intelligence of any computer depends on the intelligence of the human being(s) that designed and produced it. Domain-based thinking can elucidate new domain linkages that humans are yet to explore. Human beings can create new domains and assign meanings to them.
The Questelligence framework is a theoretical framework for thinking which proposes that thinking computationally take place in seven domains from which items can be combined to create or analyse frames, stories, opinions, truths, wisdom and reality. More illustrations are given to reinforce the understanding of the domains of questelligence when one intends to move from thinking, knowing and doing.
1. The objective domain. The first thing to create in your mind and have a knowledge of its existence is the object(ive). The object(ive) maybe tangible or intangible. Jesus would usually ask people with very obvious needs, “what do you want me to do for you?”. Unfortunately, many people do not know what they want, let alone what they need. It sounds so trivial but it is noticeable from observing daily conversations and interactions of people. To illustrate this with a story, pay particular attention to verse 6 on a question about the objective domain; and see how the paralysed man could not define his objective in verse 7 of John 5:1-8:
“After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. 3 In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. 4 For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. 5 Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”
7 The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”
8 Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” 9 And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked”.
Many tell stories like this paralysed man when defining their objectives in life, business, work, family, etc. This also explains why they do not make any meaningful progress like this man because the quality of life varies proportionally with the quality of the mind and thoughts. There cannot be a measurable progress without an objective or an object of pursuit. Knowing exactly what you want is very fundamental! It is so important that it can help you recognise moments of potential breakthroughs and people/organisations that would help you achieve your dreams, aspirations and plans. Let us contrast the ineffective definition of the objective domain with the story of Blind Bartimaeus in John 10:46 -52.
“Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth,he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David,have mercy on me!”
48 Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
49 Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”
So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” 50 Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.
51 “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.
The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”
52 “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.”
Bartimaeus was spot on and Jesus equated such clinical precision of knowing what he wanted and acting desperately to get it as “faith”. I dare say that faith is of no effect if we do not define the object(ive) of our faith and follow it up with actions. If miracles respond to faith, faith is invoked by knowing the object(ive) of pursuit, and the object(ive) is created through thinking.
The second story is a complete contrast of the previous one. Let me pose the following rhetorical questions: do you think that the blind man has ever imagined the day he would see? Do you think that he has heard of Jesus and his powers to heal? Do you think that he believed that Jesus could heal him? Is it that the blind man attracted Jesus to pass by him or that he recognised that the moment he has ever looked forward to arrived with the passing Jesus; and his objective was within reach if he is active in that moment? Do you think that he recognised his moments and acted appropriately to receive his sight?
2. The time domain: Again, I strongly recommend that you read an extensive description of the time domain (” The notion of time and the fluidity of the mind“). Let us create a fictional story of Blind Bartimaeus. One day he heard a story of how one Jesus of Nazareth healed the sick and displayed supernatural powers. He asked questions and got clarifications. He imagined that one day, he may come across this Jesus but that was just a daydreaming. As he continued to imagine how and where he will encounter Jesus, he kept hearing more stories of his display of wonderful miracles. One day, he started hearing noises and commotion and he asked about what was happening? One of those standing by told him that Jesus was passing by. He recognised the moment as probably his first and last chance to encounter Jesus. Hence, he started shouting and drawing Jesus’ attention to the extent that Jesus could not ignore him anymore. Alas, he got his healing that day. Now, what is the difference between the time he created the image of “I want to see” preconceived before meeting Jesus, and the time he said to Jesus, “I want to see” and the time he received his actual sight. They are all in the time-process domain and understanding the mechanisms of moving the mind from the state of thinking to a state of knowing to a state of doing increases our chances of achieving our objectives.
Let me state a collorary of the theory of Questelligence: Any domain(s) focussed on dominate(s) other domains and determine the actions or avoidance of actions of the thinker. For instance, if the dominant thoughts creates a reality of potential reward, a person might be motivated to act. If the dominant thoughts create a reality of potential pains or punishment, a person might tend to be demotivated to avoid acting. To illustrate further, if a 4-year-old child spills milk on a parent’s cloth during breakfast. The parent can focus on the object domain (shirt) and think about the quality and cost and how someone has messed it. Or on the time domain and get stressed up by the difficulty of ironing a new cloth and changing the soiled cloth. Or focus on the people domain and rationalise that it is a thing of joy that his/her 4-year-old is learning and engaging with the environment. What the parent thinks will influence the interpretation and reaction to the incident. This agrees with what has been said that how people react to events of life is more important that the actual events. Now, you can understand that how one thinks about events of life is more important because of the primacy of thinking over reaction.
In The notion of time and the fluidity of the mind, you would see that time is fluidic. Do not think of time based on its characteristics of measurability alone. Time has other properties such as equality, fluidity, eternity, tradability, etc. The ability to apply specific property of time could have significant impacts on thinking, knowing and doing. Time could be used as a framework to build an objective such that the objective becomes clearer with time whilst acting dynamically to do all that are required to create the objective. Let me illustrate, if you have an objective to make £2 million as profit in your business at the end a financial year, which starts from 1 January to 31 December. The first time item about the objective of profitability is that the plan has to take place before 1 January of the reference year. Assuming that all the variables of business are right, you know what to do as you are entering into 1 January. The doing phase will be between 1 January and 31 December. Within this phase, all the items of plan are executed, monitored and controlled to achieve the set objective of profitability. We know that profit = Revenues – costs. If you have a revenue strategy, you might focus on holding the current cost constant whilst increasing the revenues to make up for expenses/costs to leave the desired profit. If cost strategy is adopted, the focus would be to cut and manage costs to the level that profit would still be realisable even if revenues did not grow significantly. A mixed strategy to optimise both costs and revenue might be adopted such that the justification of actions withing the doing phase would be determined based on case by case. Ultimately, at the end of 31 December, a review can be undertaken to compare the set plan, which is a product of thinking with the outcomes which is the product of doing. A determination of achievement would be made after the doing phase. Of course, if profit is >= £2 million, then objective is achieved. If profit is < £2 million, objective is not achieved. In both cases, there are things to learn for the purpose of continuous improvement.
The time domain allows the mind to segregate thinking into past, present and future in order to create flow and continuity of time. In particular, the art of execution can be grouped into things to do before execution, things to do during execution and things to do after execution. This would allow the mind to create the story using the time domain as a framework.
3. The place domain: Before the advent of the internet, communications were taking place in the physical spaces. Now, the place domain can now be virtual. Recently, the Nigerian government banned Twitter from operating in Nigeria. This was intended to block everyone within the geographical area of Nigeria. However, the notion of place was disrupted when Twitter granted Nigerians access through VPN. Blocked off by Telecoms, people in Nigeria could still tweet with VPN while in Nigeria, from other locations like US, Germany, etc. The way we think of places and the place domains have changed over time. Innovations around telecommunications and ICT are groundbreaking because they redefined the place domain. Before the advent of telephone, delivering a message from, say, England to Nigeria would be through ship which will take several days. With telecommunications, people at any location across the globe can have real-time communications.
Consider again how the place domain was redefined in many instances during the COVID-19 pandemic. Virtual places like the E-commerce portals/websites become more real and have physical relevance like physical places. During the pandemic, people worked from home, students and teachers continued from home. Board meetings and legal trials were conducted from home. Innovatively thinking companies that foresaw that the domain of place can be moved from physical places to virtual places were more resilient and sustainable during the pandemic while those who got stucked in thinking of places as physical locations lost out and some businesses closed down during and after the pandemic.
Could there be other places apart from physical places and virtual places. Yes, the mind space where thinking occurs is a mental place. The mental place is defined as the location in the mind where cognitive activities take place and their outputs stored subsequently in memory. The same way you can cook a meal in a physical place and store it in a fridge, you can organise a virtual Zoom cooking session and demonstrate how to cook the same meal, afterwards store the video in a virtual place such as YouTube. You can also prepare the same food in a mental space and store it in your cognitive memory. If you think that there are no mental places, why do we move from one place to another in the dream?
To be productive, rethink places! Before now, when I am travelling to a long distance by bus or train, I sit quietly and watch what is happening outside. Later, I started using my time on the bus to watch videos or read relevant articles, while taking a look outside from time to time. Over the years, I have been researching and working on the theory of questelligence but I rarely write about it. Now, I use part of my travelling time to listen to music whilst writing. Your or organisation’s productivity can improve if you analyse how and where you use up significant amount of time to see if there is a way to optimise the time-place domain. Remember that the optimisation depends on the objective domain.
Take for instance that you have a manufacturing process in which enormous time is consumed in a particular station because of the complexity of the tasks that are required. The problem is that people in that section complain and some have resigned because they could not be transferred to a different session. The organisation may decide to conduct a scientific study of that section with the objective of improving the working conditions in that section. This could be beneficial to the company because productivity, staff wellbeing and happiness would increase if the place is improved. The Questelligence framework can be used to interrogate the 7 domains in that section. This will throw up solutions that can be considered for implementation. Examples of actions towards solutions of a place domain include using robots to replace hazardous tasks, ergonomic redesign of the workspace, staff rotation, installing music and better lighting, etc. Moreso, can those that complained or quitted that section be interviewed as inputs for finding solutions?
4. The process domain: Whenever you see A=B, the = between A and B is a good indication of the process domain. Mathematics involves a lot of proves. Proving is a process of showing through logic and symbolism that, with some assumptions, that A can be equivalent to B. Away from Mathematics, I was watching a video from Oputa Panel, a Nigerian panel setup by former President Olusegun Obasanjo to create national healing. The aim was to create a process of healing by allowing everyone to pour out their heart and bring any matter whatsoever before the panel. A statement made by Justice Oputa and re-echoed by Bishop Matthew Kuka activated a thought in my mind. The statement was this, “we will choose who to believe”. This appears trivial but it matters so much in idealistic execution of actions of justice/injustice, fairness/unfairness and equity/inequity. In matters like biases, stereotypes, prejudice, there are no computational tolerance to other possible realities other than the preconceived reality. This is the fundamental problem why racism, which as a construct of the mind will not disappear until Africans whom the phenomenon was constructed for rise to demonstrate that they can think, know and do. Imagine that Africa becomes a united nation state and become the richest economy in the world, Africans would be perceived differently and the significance of racism would reduced because every race would be respected. Even Darwinism confers superiority and power to people that can think, know and do. Although by the way, I have advocated that Africa should create a philosophical framework for science and society upon which they can start building a civilisation. Such efforts would contribute to the collective mind and collective cognitive evolution of mankind, which was done previously by Egypt.
The process domain is usually very critical in determining a justified end. For instance, Pilate knew that Jesus may not be legally guilty based on the case against him but chose to find him guilty. What did he do, he subjected the process of justice to a voice vote. Voice vote or voting is still happening in parliaments and organisations that take critical decisions that influence humans across the globe. Think of the process of decision-making by which Libya or Afghanistan were invaded by NATO or US respectively? The process may have been agreed by majority but the outcomes were catastrophic. The process of execution of goals and objectives may be the hallmark of what make it just or unjust, fair or unfair, good or bad.
Businesses or organisations that have been able to define their plans as a process do better than the ones that get stucked in thinking that a plan is a static document that they must implement to the letter. Imagine for a moment how plans for 2020 would have been messed up, when the pandemic struck. Questelligence framework helps us to interrogate domains where significant changes occurred so that we can dynamically update such domains instead of thinking statically about plans. Those that think dynamically about plans were more socially adaptable, better at managing change and uncertainties. A plan is a tool, planning is the process of creating it; but the plan in relation to your objective domain is a process. That is, executing plans is the process of moving created experience in the mental place to a physical/virtual place.
Did you know that manipulations, frauds, magic and miracles are products of the process domain? Products of chemical reactions are subject to chemical process changes to create new products from reactants. The process domain is where changes and transformation happen. Just as any other questelligence domain can be the objective domain, achieving innovative outcomes might well focus on the process domain engineering. When executing, ensure that the instantaneous frames are directed towards the storyline of the objective. If not, intervene and guide the configuration of the frames towards truth. This is why execution is an “art” instead of a pure “science”. So, executing the objective domain involves a process of combining the questelligence domains to achieve the specific objective within the objective domain.
5. People. The people domain includes natural persons, artificial persons such as corporations, a group of people or a state. The people domain introduces the human element into the process of thinking. Zooming into the people domain usually reveal interesting things about the possible interactions between individuals, groups, organisations, etc. Take for instance the concept and practice of democracy which is often defined as the “government of the people by the people and for the people“. A critical look at the the use of “people ” will reveal that the word “people” could be elusive if it is not analysed within the specific domain side by side the reality of the day.
6. The reason domain. The reason domain is a sorting mechanism of the mind. This involves a process of applying known rules, laws, theories, beliefs, ethics, experiences, symbols, etc to create or analyse the domains of questelligence. The role of the reason domain is to justify why an item from a domain should be chosen instead of the other. The reason domain is important in decision making because it allows the thinker to navigate the complexity of the knowns and unknowns to arrive at a specific item of the domain.
Reasoning together or co-creating creates understanding, harmony, friendship, collaboration while reasoning at variance creates misunderstanding, mistrust, separation, abandonment of mutual objectives. Take for instance, why do experts have different views on climate change and its potential impacts on the future of the earth. The variance in thinking creates variance in knowledge which then creates variances in actions. This is not just true for climate change but anything humans can think on. Questelligence is a theory of thinking and its application should predict and explain thinking as a phenomenon of the mind. We can see that misunderstanding or disagreement happens as a result of variance in thinking of domains of questelligence. Recall that truth was defined as a state. If two persons are negotiating on an objective, the goal is to achieve a True-True states in their mind. If for any reason True-False, False-True or False-False states occurred, there will be disagreement.
The significance of this analysis to the art of execution is that mutual communication in the people domain must target understanding. In order words, the cyclic process of communication should continue as long as understanding is not established. Let me illustrate. If you ask a child to bring a plate and he brings a spoon. You may be inclined to provide more information (items) to populate more domains of the mission and still ask the child to bring the plate. If the child goes again and brings a fork, you may provide further information still and guide the child to get the plate. Probably, this time around, the child will return with a plate even if it not the specific plate you intended.
One of the challenges of execution is miscommunication due to inability to co-create domains to engender understanding. Like the collapse of the Tower of Babel (objective domain), objectives will always collapse with a breakdown in communication. Even when you are executing personal objectives, pay attention to the people domain so that you can engage the relevant people and achieve effective understanding which is a prerequisite for actions.
If you ask me to list three most important items to build strong and productive relationships at family level, at work and in the society, I would list them as communication, more communication and much more communication.
7. The specific domain. The specific domain is critical for execution because it narrows the items in the domain and complexity of the frame to specifics. At times, excellent execution may well be a matter of specifics.
Think of the specific objectives to pursue; specific people involved; specific places that are relevant; specific processes that should be adopted; specific reasons for selecting those domains; specific times associated with the execution. I have heard that we can be more effective by being selective. This is true. By thinking in specifics, knowing in specifics, you engage in a near-action field where you eliminate most alternatives and focus on the executable specifics.
In summary, using the Questelligence framework for thinking could provide both creative and analytic insights. You can apply the Questelligence framework for personal thinking, interpersonal thinking, organisational collective thinking, social thinking or general thinking.
PERSONAL TUTORIAL, COACHING OR ORGANISATIONAL WORKSHOPS/SEMINARS ON THE QUESTELLIGENCE FRAMEWORK AVAILABLE THROUGH COMRADE EDUCATIONAL SERVICES (UK) LTD.
1. Theory of the mind.
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3. Mathematical modelling of thinking.
4. Implications of Questelligence to biology, psychology and philosophy.
5. Creativity and analytical skills using questelligence framework.
6. Systematic and system thinking using Questelligence framework.
7. High performance individuals based on domain-based thinking.
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