Intention, Perspective, and Distraction

It seems that I can’t count how many times a distraction has side-tracked me from doing something I felt was important. I’ve encountered plenty of distractions that seemed to sabotage, slow down, or stop my progress. If only I could make them… Oh look, a birdie!

What if that perspective is itself a distraction? What if I’ve got this distraction thing all bass ackwards? Far from being a negative thing to be avoided, what if distractions are intentional and useful?

Intention and Perspective

To validate their perspective, an artist intends to distract and to capture the attention of their audience. When my attention follows distraction my perspective is affected by my need to increase attention to distractions.

Perhaps it’s true that behind every distraction is an opportunity waiting to open a door to different perspectives. It would seem as though distractions invite questioning to resolve defenses. That sounds useful to me.

Could distractions be the way out of my First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble?

Thought holds a vibration, a language that perspective uses to design reality. Perspective expresses design through patterns of thinking and feeling. Any change in pattern will change perspective and vice versa. I make these changes through intention.

When I feel distracted from my intention, I can defend and stay or consider new perspectives. Could this be a choice point? – that sounds useful to me.

My reality has defining boundary lines and distinct meanings. Those meanings that drive my perspective also serve as vital structural rules of my creation. As I affect the meanings of my perceptions,  I change the influence of my distractions. I can use them to change my degree of illumination.

That sounds useful to me!

Fear and Discipline Impact Perspective

Where I focus attention determines what I experience. When I focus my attention on fear, my perspective changes to give me an experience of threat as reality. Discipline changes that formula.

To the undisciplined mind, fear seeks to prove inadequacy as rightness. Rightness is a need that must be defended within the First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble. Certainty about my fear solidifies its image in the mirror, making it real and threatening. My need to deal with threats pops up and takes over my awareness, focusing my attention on solving an illusory problem. Attention I divert from other, perhaps more useful, subjects – like gratitude, enlightenment, connection, and awakening.

About Disciplined Attention

Focusing on fear narrows awareness of options, resulting in suffering in the form of lack of confidence, perception of deprivation, and poverty consciousness. When I’m convinced I’m right, I narrow every perception, every judgment, every opportunity, to fit within the boundaries of that right path. “There’s only one way out!” says the hero. Well, yeah, maybe there is only one way out IF you know of no others or IF you’re so terrified that you can’t think properly. Yeah, then maybe there’s only one way.

To the disciplined mind, fear represents one among many options for attention. I can appreciate and respect the power of the fire without short-circuiting my brain with fear about it. The narrowing effect that fear has on my thinking abilities strongly influences my chances for survival in an emergency. This is the reasoning behind the rigorous training first-responders get. Much of it focused on managing their fear so they can retain that wondrous faculty for effective action we can bring about with a disciplined mind.

Mental discipline provides awareness of options, resulting in a sense of confidence, trust, gratitude, strength, and expanding consciousness. There are many effective methods for managing fears. Within the bubble, mental discipline requires practice – lots of practice. Perhaps a lifetime of practice.

What happens when I’m “late to the game” of mental discipline or don’t have time to devote to all that practice? What then? Am I just SOL?

Awareness and the Bubble

Imagine a soap bubble. Does it take a lot of work to open it? No, a simple pin will do the trick. What about illusory bubbles? What kind of effort, practice, study, physical strength, strategy, or instrumentation does it take to open one of those?

Perhaps awareness is the key to disciplining the mind over fear. Maybe bursting the fear bubble only requires awareness that the bubble is not real. When faced with a fear, sometimes I’ll shout to myself inside to, “stop!” Then I’ll take an inventory of here and now – ground myself in time and space. Sometimes counting items I see or feel helps. Then I’ll revisit the object of my fear – now that my mind has settled down a bit.

Yeah, my method is a sort of “trick” – that demonstrates how quickly, easily, and effortlessly a mind can be disciplined and brought into order. The mind gets sharper the more bubbles it pops.

Think about it.

A Relationship Between Perspective and Intention

Inside my First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble, perspective and intention entwine in a dance I experience as reality. Sometimes that reality doesn’t work out like I think it should. Why don’t things always work like I intend them to?!

Ever felt like that? Perhaps you believe you “did the work” and yet felt it came up short of your expectation. You might be becoming aware of the relationship between your perspective and your intention.

Suppose your general outlook on life determines that life is dangerous. Setting an intention to accomplish this or that will fit within that life view. In this case, perspective has a limiting effect on intention. Life partner relationships are often based on this limitation even when the intention of the union is for each partner to live in the boundless joy experienced early in the relationship. Over time, limiting perspective shrinks the power of their conscious intention.

Perspective might be expressed as “the source of perception” or my “come from.” When I come from a place of fear, I’ll see things as threats. When I change that “come from” to one of grateful acceptance, threats tend to turn into opportunities and information.

Intention aligned with a perspective manifests as reality. You might also say that I manifest intention from a (one) perspective. What happens to manifestation within an interpersonal relationship? Within a group? How does a couple or group manifest their intention when each single perspective plays such a critical role in the outcome?

About Agreement

I have several competing perspectives in my mind at any given time. Perhaps I want to go to the store to buy something. One part of me says, “Yeah, you need that item.” Another may suddenly shout out, “Wait a minute! Your bank account says otherwise. Let’s wait a bit.” Yet another may chime in, “You don’t really need that.” And etc. I’m seldom of one voice and one mind. My mind has several perspectives – each of which influence my intentions.

In order to get anything done, I must come to some kind of agreement between all the competing perspectives within me. Then I can present my inner agreement to my life partner. She’ll go through the same process I did to come to some sort of inner agreement – her perspective. Sometimes my or her inner agreement is not actually an agreement at all – the loudest or most certain voice (“Mr. I. M. Right”) simply spoke for all. In that case, counter-behaviors would belie the inner conflict and my “good intentions” would sabotage my efforts.

About Communication

Communicating from a perspective as an interrelation between an object and the subject viewing it, how entwines with why, affecting outcomes. For example, when I take an interest in an object, my perspective of it may apply one or more justification filters (“why” or “why not” intentions) to add value to my interest. This manipulation of value can influence choices that affect future intentions and present perspectives. The more I understand about myself, the clearer my viewpoint and intentions become over time.

Why Oh Why?!!

Infants and very young children have only one intention – to live. At a certain age, just about every child goes through a “Why” stage in which they ask others about their intentions, “Why did you do that, Mommy?” Children are born with conflicting perspectives – some from Mom and some from Dad and maybe some they can call their own. As they grow up, they encounter the perspectives of many others, some more influential than others. By the time I arrived at adulthood, I had encountered many, many perspectives that affected my intentions. Today, “my” perspectives are literally those of all perspectives – in ONE.

As I get to know myself, I wield the power of awareness of my perspective through intention into manifestation. From that perspective everything that happens is as I intend. How much of that I’m aware of is up to me.

The Transformation Option

I make lots of choices. Most concern defense of what I already believe and know.  Inside my First-Second Degree of Illumination safety bubble, my choices seem real: What will I have for breakfast? Will I drive or walk to the store? What will I wear to the party? These are choices of defense: Which defense feels like it satisfies my needs at this time? Yet, all these apparent choices freeze my conscious awareness well within the bubble. One day, I realize I want to explore what might exist outside my ever-shrinking bubble. I seek transformation. How might I do that?

A Transformation Catalyst

Inside the bubble, my attention is focused on defense in its many guises. When challenged, I’m ready! Defensiveness kept my ancestors alive when they lived on the plains of Africa and their neighbors considered them food. Today I lock my doors and pay for a police force to protect me and mine. Millions of years of no change.

Consider what that fear thought train does to me. It sets me up to live within an ever-shrinking bubble of fear and justified wariness. Since I’m keen to spot danger – and I assume my neighbors live with the same fearfulness – I protect myself and my family from everyone else to the degree that we’ve become dangerous to each other. Fear continues to breed fear, generating rings within rings of ever-solidifying defense. Safety first and always!

To break out of that limitation bubble, I must deal with my defenses. Formidable as they are, there must be some way to get past them. Perhaps a catalyst.

A chicken egg has a hard crust to protect what’s inside from outside influence. Great defense! And yet, as long as the shell remains intact, I get no omelet for breakfast. So, I apply a catalyst that conflicts with the shell. I strike the egg against the fry pan. The defense gives way and the contents become available for me to create a tasty omelet. Breached defense resulted in an omelet for breakfast.

At the point of impact, the egg was faced with a conflict. As long as the egg remained undisturbed, it would remain an egg, its contents forever locked up. In overcoming the egg’s defense, I offered the egg another option – to become something else. Transformation!

I define transformation as a thorough or dramatic change that remains after the action of a catalyst. The change affects all levels of consciousness though usually appears in the physical and psychological levels.

The Transformation Option

Sometimes in my life, things seem to be going my way. Important people agree with me, my food agrees with me, I agree with me – I feel like I’m on track. No challenges. All quiet on the western front, so to speak. Egg shell intact, safe. I don’t realize it yet, that while I’m busy attending to my sense of well-being, a transformation is forming. Why?

When we were a younger couple, we cared for our little children. They tended to make noise, which helped us know where they were and to some degree what they were up to. When things got quiet, we’d ask each other, “Where are the children?” Meaning – “What are they up to?” Quiet was usually an indicator that we should go check on them!

Peace – meaning the absence of conflict – may be an indicator that I’m solidly within my safety zone, the bubble, primed and ready for a challenge to my defenses. Perfect time to “check on the children” – to seek out and find the transformation option. Scary? Yes, when viewed from behind “the wall” of my fears. No, when viewed beyond fear, as one would in the realm of awakened consciousness in which one realizes the illusion of fear.

Getting past my fear barrier may mean cracking my protective egg shell. That may mean facing such fears as embarrassment, ridicule, wrongness, and defeat. Or, it may simply mean getting over my need to be right all the time. I have many relationships that offer a plethora of opportunities for conflict. Each conflict offers me options, one of which is the transformation option. Will I recognize it when I see it? Will I choose it when I recognize it? I wonder…

  • What’s on the other side of my shell?
  • How will I get past my fear that keeps me inside my shell?
  • Why do I fear transformation?
  • Who will enjoy that delicious omelet on the other side of my fears?

Beyond Gratitude as Judgment

Gratitude is all about noticing and awareness. By asking a question, I can bring about noticing in a way that promotes awareness beyond the First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble. Within the bubble of limited perception, I experience gratitude as an emotionally-charged competition or comparison – a value-judgment backed by a defense that often takes the form of an expression in the syntax of emotion-comparison-justification:

“I feel grateful for [something I value-judge as positive]… because… [some reason this judgment confirms my values]”

Example: “I feel grateful for sunrises because they make me feel hopeful…”

Structurally, my statement includes an emotion, “I feel”; a comparison judgment, “grateful for…”; and a defense, “because…” – the basic structure of the bubble, in which I compare, compete, and defend. “Grateful,” in this case, means “compared to what I value” – a validation of my opinions/notions as truth.

Is there another way?

To experience gratitude beyond the bubble, it must take on a different sensibility altogether. In the realm of accountability for creation, awareness would appear as a sort of universal acceptance of ALL that IS. As a confirmed bubble resident, I can tell you that my experience of this kind of gratitude is exquisite, sublime, and ultimately life-affirming.

To turn bubble comparison into life-affirming accountability, I might question how I express thanks – and maybe reconsider in the light of acceptance.

Let’s start by reviewing how I express gratitude within bubble awareness:

  1. I notice an experience that I…
  2. relate to other similar experiences and then…
  3. make a judgment (better or worse) that I…
  4. justify with a defense that validates my values and beliefs.

Now, let’s look at it from an acceptance-of-accountability perspective:

  1. I notice that everything is as I perceive it.

From my limited bubble perspective, Fourth Degree of Illumination acceptance of accountability may appear to me as surreal – and maybe the truth behind the illusion.