Choice, a Self-Referential Paradox

Could a choice be my initial defense of what I determine as right or wrong? Right may be as subtle as best or better than someone or something else. Wrong can be just as innocuous as not as good as or worse than.

A choice is a symbolic gesture of separateness, which represents defense of that symbol.

At the point of choice, I must first perceive separation between separate things. Through a values system, I then determine what’s more right and less wrong. I attach defenses that support my determination. I then choose a counter balance of defenses that represent why I didn’t choose otherwise. My choices are always based on a need to be right, which is instinctual – survival thinking. A self-referential paradox of separateness.

For example, I made a choice to wear my sneakers today. That seemed reasonable because the hiking trail is rough. Reflecting on that choice now while on the trail, I feel grateful I didn’t choose to wear my sandals. My choice to wear sneakers was based on “it’s better to wear sneakers on the trail” vs “it’s worse to traverse the trail in sandals.” My process has evolved from determination defended by choice to choice defended by choice.

The choices I make are at the foundation of survival of who I think I am. The truths that follow those philosophies are built on paradoxical reasons. The measure of value my truth possesses is based on the effectiveness of its reasons. The more effective my reasons, the more I feel the need to defend them. A self-referential paradox of choice!

My need to compete illustrates the power of choice

Out of my need to be separate came the paradox of thought, I experience competition between thoughts. Let’s look at time for example. I experienced time as normal prior to receiving anesthesia for surgery. When I awoke five hours later, I wondered where that time had disappeared. I felt confused and surreal because I could not account for my time. So, I accounted for that time with imagery that supports my life story.

My defense of a now and a not now seem different, yet, are the same. I plug a memory into my present experience as though they are the same. “Things never change!” As long as my concept of time supports my truths, I will continue to defend it.

Somehow, memories from a past that can’t exist now, do. I’ve sacrificed the present for a past irrelevant to it in content and context. Irrelevant also is a future where memory can’t exist, yet does. “It’s always been this way and it always will be!” A self-referential paradox of time.

The addition of time reckoning to my paradoxical perspective helps justify my separateness into what, how, and why I am. I can believe I am and am not my experiences.  A self-referential paradox of being.

The great defender of paradox

From one choice come many defenses – belief, truth, reason, philosophy, process, policy, and etc. Further defense serves to strengthen the choice that serves to strengthen the defense. A self-referential paradox .

My Life Philosophy as a Story

Overall, one experiences their life philosophy in a series of policies carried out over time. Like a story read one word at a time, I perceive my life as I would the story of a hero’s journey.

In visual perception, I feel I have clarity only on that to which I’m attending right now. The future and past are vague visions of what lay beyond a certain point of clarity I call NOW. I can only make clear that which I focus on now – all else is vague.

I’ve been writing and reading my story to this point. I’ve written and read some of it. I’m writing and reading it now. And, based on what I’ve read so far, I can imagine where the story will go in a vague future, though with a sense of certainty because I’m imagining it in what I read now.

I imagine past words must support the current words by supplying a vague sense of premise, motive, background, and direction. I imagine future words must support the current words by supplying perceptions of danger, anticipation, and anxiety. As the vague past meets the vague future in the clarity of now, I get a paradox in the confluence – like reading through turbulent water.

Back to my story!

There may be plot twists like those I’ve already read that give the future some interest to me and so I read on. How exciting! So interesting I can’t lay the book down! My curiosity drives me onward – to learn what happens to the protagonist (me) as he deals with all the antagonists along his way. Because I care, I want my hero to succeed in his quest. With dangers laying along the path, opportunities for interesting plot twists abound.

Every element of my story must fit within certain parameters. Every element must:

  • Obey the setting of the story. These are the basic laws and conditions under which every element of the story must work.
  • Cause and effect must be observed. I must account for every situation with a reason, logic, or feeling.
  • As the protagonist, I and those I care about must win in the end.

A good storyteller is one that during and after reading, I want to read more. Perhaps this explains depression in which the story begins to lose the interest of the reader. Maybe it’s just then that a surprise plot twist might rekindle that interest.

The reason a plot twist engages the reader is because s/he didn’t see it coming. Surprise! When I feel depressed, I let my mind wonder to, “What might happen next? I hope it’s delicious!”, and, “Something amazing is about to happen!” I can’t wait to read on!!!

My Intention to Resolve an Impossible Paradox

Intention

Within my bubble of limited awareness, underlying every intention is a perception of deficit from wholeness. With awareness beyond the bubble, I realize there is no deficit. It’s a perceptual paradox – a side effect of limited awareness. Meanwhile, back in the bubble, every intention is a search for resolution to this paradox. Yet, in searching do I not affirm and confirm the very paradox I seek to resolve?

From intention comes the need paradox – an acknowledgment of a deficit that, though never lost, requires restoration to wholeness. I then act to defend that truth by convincing myself I was right to perceive the need. This belief in need supports a Self that is dependent as separate from wholeness. Thus, motivating me to seek evidence to defend that truth – proof, such as stories borne of experience.

My memories and logic are based on those stories and so become my philosophy of life. The power of this mythical life turns my experiences into a cohesive reality that satisfies my need for defense.

Choice represents my philosophy by comparing what I experience with what I believe. I compare to compete to serve this paradox of perception. Choice works as a competitive form of reasoning. This unshakeable belief system forms one continuous philosophical story, a hero’s journey. As the hero, I triumph over challenges from the world outside the bubble. Thus, fulfilling needs through the use of defense.

Resolution

I satisfy my perception of deficit with an appearance of things and persons I feel complete this segment of my story… again and again.

In this way, a philosophical format connects intentions together to create a cohesive string of perceptual needs. Stories develop my intentions into an organized framework, making choices seem logical and justifiable.

My Paradox Resolution Process so far:

  1. Perception – a sense of separation creates a paradox
  2. Intention – a sense of need to resolve the paradox affirms and confirms the paradox
  3. Philosophy – the story line that sets the framework for choices that validate the paradox
  4. Choicedetermines the strategy for implementing a defense of my intention according to my philosophy

This is my resolution process from perception of deficit to choice. Thus, I intend for my perception of separateness from wholeness to serve the paradox it creates – whether or not I’m aware of it.

How My Belief in Law Affects My Philosophy

My limited awareness bubble is based on laws and my need to follow them. To follow any law, I must first justify it as a law. My justifications create a paradoxical reality where reason considers philosophy as evidence in a cause-and-effect story. This convinces me that laws are real.

Therefore, I believe and obey external laws and their appearances of cause and effect in nature. In a similar way, I obey my internal laws, which manifest cause and effect of my philosophies in thoughts and emotions.

My internal laws seem as inescapable in their power over me as the undeniable power of external laws. My acceptance of fear as an internal law gives it as much power as the external law of gravity.

  1. External laws teach me about relationships within the natural world. This through a physical process. This insures that cause and effect are carried out in compliance with the laws that that process represents. Thus, I perceive interactions between forces of nature, like energy, matter, their functions and forms.
  2. Internal laws teach me about my *paradoxical relationship with self in its own world. This through a nonphysical process that insures that cause and effect are carried out in compliance with the laws that that process represents. Thus, I experience interactions of cause and effect in how I interpret my thoughts and emotions, choices and perceptions.

*A paradox is a statement that, despite apparently sound reasoning from true premises, leads to an apparently self-contradictory or logically unacceptable conclusion. Wikipedia

My Paradoxical Philosophy of Fear

My philosophies and the stories that define them are paradoxical. A philosophy keeps me accountable to laws through obedience. I feel I can’t control laws, yet, I can justify them using a paradoxical philosophy.

The stories I create to represent my philosophies string together the paradoxical effects of my thinking process. One law can have many philosophical cause-and-effect stories that defend it. For example, fear as a law dictates that my day-to-day story-lines should follow a philosophy that supports a fear of: lack, death, suffering, pain, being alone, etc.

Paradoxical Fear Equations

My logic equations illustrate how I process a paradoxical philosophy in defense of law. My equations protect and support my understanding and trust in law. This reminds me of an incident when I believed in and obeyed fear as a law while shopping. I backed that law with a philosophy of lack that supported it. At checkout, I realized I lacked the money for my purchases. That’s when a fear of lack kicked-in – “See, you were right to be afraid!” said my inner storyteller. My philosophy hijacked the law of cause and effect to justify my fear.

This fear-based illogical logic equation looks like:
Lack + Fear = Fear of Lack

A fear of lack is a fear of not having so, what I feared at checkout wasn’t about money. It was about not knowing what was going to happen next. That kind of not knowing can feel like an eternity of psychological torture. At any moment, I can find myself wanting to escape from a future I fear might happen. That experience confirmed that I am always subject to my beliefs through my process. I realized then that I was living with paradoxical equations that differ from my present intentions.

This fear-based illogical logic equation looks like:
Not knowing + Fear = Fear of not knowing

Ultimately, my thinking supports a process in which paradoxical philosophies defend paradoxical laws.

My Music Calls Me Home

Ever listened to a piece of music and felt tears welling up? I hope you have – it’s a marvelous feeling. I’ve wondered if my reaction to such music connects “me” to a familiar timelessness from which we all spring. I wonder if such music is a call to come home – to our hearts.

C’mon Home

When I was a child, my mother would call out my name when it was time for me to come in to lunch or dinner. Her voice represented the mystical mother and son reunion of my ancient origin – home. Even today, I love to hear her voice – music to my heart.

Like many fellow humans, I feel a certain loyalty to family, town, and country. I’ve associated my name with these. Wherever I am in the world, I carry these identity markers with me.

Wherever I find myself in time, I carry a unique pattern of musical markers. These identify my particular song in the timelessness from which my consciousness arises.

My Musical Home

In my bubble of limited awareness, I find it easy to get caught up in the business of comparing, competing, and defending the right. I can sometimes get busy doing – so many projects, so many jobs, so many thoughts to consider.

Sometimes all this work gets tiring and I find myself wanting a break from it – a longing for home. One of my favorite methods for dealing with the loneliness is to indulge myself with music that inspires me to remember who I am.

Sometimes, the music calls me to trust my heart to take me where it will. I may then find myself deep in meditation that fills my gratitude pool to the point where it begins to spill over, cascading welcome-home tears down my face. Even when I’m far away in thought, the music brings me back to my heart.

Gratitude is my home.