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