Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Artificial Intelligence and the Bible: Joshua the High Priest, Part I

Part I, II

Abstract

I get my understanding of intelligence and the brain (see Secrets of the Holy Grail) from certain metaphorical passages in the books of Revelation and Zechariah. In my first article in this series, I offered an interpretation of the message to Sardis (Revelation 3:1-6) and claimed that it was a symbolic description of learning in sequence memory. In this article, I continue along the same line with an interpretation of the Joshua chapter in the book of Zechariah. The big surprise here is that the ancient texts directly contradict modern statistical approaches to perception and learning.

Joshua the High Priest
Zechariah 3:1-10
1 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him.
2 And the Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?”
3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the Angel.
4 Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, “Take away the filthy garments from him.” And to him He said, “See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes.”
5 And I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head, and they put the clothes on him. And the Angel of the Lord stood by.
6 Then the Angel of the Lord admonished Joshua, saying,
7 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘If you will walk in My ways, And if you will keep My command, Then you shall also judge My house, And likewise have charge of My courts; I will give you places to walk among these who stand here.
8 ‘Hear, O Joshua, the high priest, You and your companions who sit before you, For they are a wondrous sign; For behold, I am bringing forth My Servant the BRANCH.
9 For behold, the stone That I have laid before Joshua: Upon the stone are seven eyes. Behold, I will engrave its inscription,’ Says the Lord of hosts, ‘And I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.
10 In that day,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘Everyone will invite his neighbor Under his vine and under his fig tree.’”
Commentary
1 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him.
Zechariah is having a vision in which he is visited by an angel. This is a continuation of the metaphors that we saw previously in the message to Sardis in the book of Revelation: "but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels." As we will see later, Joshua is associated with a pattern sequence in memory. The important things to note here is that Joshua has a name, he is a high priest and he is standing before the angel. But why is Satan standing at his right hand? Satan is the accuser, whose job is to find faults in God's people. So obviously, Joshua must have done some bad things. This will become clearer when I discuss motor learning as revealed in the messages to the churches of Pergamos and Thyatira.
2 And the Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?
We can surmise that Joshua has gone through some tribulation by fire. As I will show in a future article, motor learning is symbolized as a trial by fire. Every sequence in memory is an integral part of the motor output mechanism of the brain.
3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the Angel.
4 Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, “Take away the filthy garments from him.” And to him He said, “See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes.”
5 And I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head, and they put the clothes on him. And the Angel of the Lord stood by.
Verses 3 to 5 use the same filthy garments metaphor that we saw in the message to Sardis. They symbolize the imperfection that comes from the uncertainty of the sensory space. Clean garments signify that the imperfection is taken away, i.e., the sequence is assumed to be perfect even though the sensory signals are not.
Note: This is very important because it directly contradicts modern thinking on how perception and knowledge acquisition work in the brain. As I have said in the past, current AI/brain models assume that events in the world are inherently uncertain and that the job of an intelligent system is to discover the probabilities. But the book of Zechariah says this is not the way the brain does it. The Biblical model assumes that events in the world are perfectly consistent and that the job of an intelligent system is to discover this perfection. The perfection is assumed to be there even though the sensory space is noisy and incomplete.
The clean turban placed on Joshua's head is a sign of authority. That is, Joshua will have the power to walk (send motor commands) and perform other duties, as seen below.
6 Then the Angel of the Lord admonished Joshua, saying,
7 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘If you will walk in My ways, And if you will keep My command, Then you shall also judge My house, And likewise have charge of My courts;
Again, walking has to do with motor output. In a future article about the book of Revelation, I will show that 'My house' is a metaphor that represents volitional motor behavior whereas 'My courts' represents non-volitional (automatic) motor behavior which is normally carried out by the cerebellum, i.e., the church of Laodicea.
I will give you places to walk among these who stand here.
This is interesting for several reasons. Obviously, Joshua is not the only one standing and able to walk (i.e., send motor commands). What is interesting is that the word 'places' is plural. I am not yet entirely sure if this means that a single sequence (Joshua) can send command signals to more than one motor effector at a time. We'll see.

Coming Up

In Part II, I will explain the meaning of verses 8 to 10. This is where it begins to get interesting.

See Also:

Secrets of the Holy Grail
Artificial Intelligence and the Bible: Message to Sardis

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