Conflict and the But Opportunity

Within my First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble, I perceive a world in conflict. I don’t notice my inner dissonance until discomfort prompts me towards awareness and gives me feedback towards resolution.

When I pay attention to my internal dialog – a form of feedback – I may imagine using words such as “but” to shift my focus from one need to another. Ex: “I love cake BUT it makes me fat.” I’ve created an internal battle between my own beliefs. Due to a limitation of mind in which I can entertain only one thought at a time, my imagination must choose one side of the issue at the expense of the other. Hurray! I am at a Third degree of Illumination choice point! What I do with that point of choice ultimately determines the direction my awareness takes. Typically, though, I breeze over the opportunity, choosing the default option – returning to the bubble – without any more thought than that.

What if instead of breezing by it, I seized the opportunity? What then?!! And how might I turn a “but” conflict into a resource? Hmm…

For example, “I want to go to the store, but it’s too rainy outside to go…” is a choice point in which I am already questioning my intention. I want to understand my conflict and so I challenge with a “but.” I want to find answers, solutions – perfect place for inquiry!

Using the word “but” as a flag to alert me that there is a Third Degree of Illumination question at hand, I can make use of the opportunity I present myself by asking questions – like:

  1. What question does this “but” offer me? (Identifies the mental/emotional dispute flagged by the word, “but…”)
  2. How does asking that question resolve the mental/emotional disagreement? (Proposes a method for awakening to my 4th Degree accountability.)
  3. Why is answering that question important to me now? (Identifies the values I’m defending and now may bring to 4th Degree account.)
  4. Who am I asking and who is answering the question? (Identifies the one in charge of the 4th Degree account.)

Nothing quite like scoring some enlightenment out of conflict!

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