In my bubble of limited awareness, I need values. What gives me value? A sense of wholeness. Because I perceive myself in a world of separateness, where I am incomplete, I must make myself complete. I must find a solution to the problem of incompleteness.
The first time I perceived a need, I assigned a value to that which satisfied it. By assigning value to what completes me, my need bridges I to not I. For example, me to my environment.
I perceive myself in relation to my environment in terms of need and the value of its fulfillment. This is based on a sense of fulfillment of incomplete me from my environment – not me.
I validate my needs by knowing how to fulfill them. My sense of need determines the value I place on its fulfillment. For example, my sense of thirst determines the value I place on the quenching of the thirst. Satisfaction of a need validates it. Thus, the value of the quenching validates the value of the thirst.
The satisfaction equation is:
value of need – value of its satisfaction = 0
What happens when I apply subjective judgment to the equation? That is, as I apply values based on my judgments and biases, I might tip the scales of the equation. Thus, I turn an objective equation of satisfaction into a subjective assumption I must defend, “I am right.”
Defense of my rightness applies to the values I assign to my need as well as their satisfaction. I’ll be forever seeking and never finding . Yet connected by purpose that includes validating that which the other depends on to exist. I will never feel satisfied because I can’t satisfy the equation.
Do I have a need for values that validate and defend my basic assumption, “I am right,” rather than satisfy the satisfaction equation? That is, I would rather be right than satisfied. This defense of rightness sets me up for dissatisfaction!
Defense of this need keeps it in force as a law I must defend.
My defense of the value I place on a need affects my need for it. Self-validating defense has never led to an increase in awareness. It has, however, strengthened confirmation bias. An over-blown defense of a need closes down awareness to serve that need clearly.
Defense validates the value and the value validates its defense. Stuck in this loop, I’m continually defending myself against adaptation. Resisting evolution, I may be putting myself on the extinction list.
The question that challenges confirmation bias is, “Could I be wrong about this?” – with its assumed affirmative answer, “Yes! I could be wrong about this!” This opens potential.
When I feel I’m in need, I might ask two simple questions to check my defense of the value I’ve applied to a need:
- What do I actually need right now?
- How much do I actually need it?
The solution to the problem of incompleteness is NOT in its answer – it may be in its question.