Does blame act as a First-Second Degree of Illumination counterfeit for Fourth Degree of Illumination accountability?
I have this idea that I can determine cause from perception of effect. I perceive something and, based on this evidence, soon believe I understand what, how, and why I perceived it as I did. For the most part, this line of reasoning works for me. Where this gets “dicey” is when I apply that reasoning to others – blame.
Considering my propensity for belief and trust in my ability to discern cause from effect within the bubble, blame works as an adequate substitute. Once blame is affixed, I feel satisfied that “justice has been done” and “books balanced” – done! No more inquiry necessary! And isn’t that the goal of my First-Second Degree bubble – to remain securely inside the bubble?
Inside the bubble, accountability and blame are basically synonymous. Dykstra sees accountability as, “answerability, blameworthiness, liability, and the expectation of account-giving.” An apt description of the bubble-bound counterfeit, blame.
Beyond the bubble, however, the concept takes on an entirely different flavor. Fourth Degree of Illumination accountability is more like “acceptance of the joy of being you in balance.”
Accounting for Values
A first step in Fourth Degree awareness may be a release of the bubble mentality of blame. The concept of “balancing the books” seems more appropriate when discussing Fourth Degree accountability. To balance the books, it makes some sense to me to consider investigating values.
I place value on everything when competition is the name of the game. This is better than that – because this is worth more than that in terms of value to me. I’ve become adept at measuring subjectives like emotions in terms of value – levels. For example, I can answer the question, “On a scale of 0-10, how angry do you feel?” This acknowledges a placement of an objective value on a subjective experience.
In the realm of blame, I’m keenly aware of a positive vs negative ledger. I view these positives and negatives in terms of values. My belief is that I must resolve all values to the positive side in order to win. “He who dies with the most points, wins!” Of course, this acknowledges the outcome of bubble thinking – win/lose – death!
Gratitude as Accountability
What might happen were I to balance my ledger? In bubble thinking, I would zero-sum out = loss. In Fourth Degree thinking, I would simply balance out of the competition game. Where there is no comparison, there is no competition, and thus no game. There is no win-lose, lose-lose, or even win-win. Because the competition game is over.
How do I end the competition game when it is all I know?
That game may be all I THINK I KNOW – yet it is far from all I know. I have no idea how much I actually know – because I’ve accepted counterfeits as real. In an instant of clarity where the competition over values disappears into oneness, only gratitude remains. It’s a different kind of gratitude than one experiences from within the bubble of competition. This kind of gratitude is exquisite, sublime, pure, and as some have described it, bliss.
Inside the bubble, I value the feeling of gratitude and so I utter to myself, “Oh, I hope I experience that level of joy someday!”
What if outside the bubble time were irrelevant? “I choose to experience gratitude right now!”
- Dykstra, Clarence A. (February 1939). “The Quest for Responsibility”. American Political Science Review. The American Political Science Review, Vol. 33, No. 1. 33 (1): 1–25. doi:10.2307/1949761. JSTOR 1949761.