Could Belief Be Its Own Defense?

In my First and Second Degree limited awareness world of competition and defense, I’ve divided up oneness with beliefs. A belief is basically a set of connected concepts I’ve separated out from all concepts to form or add to my story. My acceptance of that belief as truth becomes my defense of those concepts and my story as the story.

Belief as Authority

My belief, then, acts as an authority that proves I am a sovereign individual, free to think and act as I please. Not obvious to me is that I’m the servant of that authority, which is my belief.

Perhaps that’s why I rankle so much when someone, even me, challenges my belief. That challenge is to the sovereignty of my identity – who I am. I am my belief.

In a context of true vs false, my perception of separation defends my story from yours based on my truth. This pits my story against yours in a battle for “the right belief,” which connotes there is a wrong belief, yours. When applied to a group of like-minded individuals, a simple belief can grow to fanatical, perhaps dangerous, proportions.

Thus, my beliefs confirm my paradoxical concept of separation as the one and only truth. One might consider belief as the initial and fundamental defense that separates one into a competition between this versus that.

Belief as Defense

Because I perceive my right belief as separate from your wrong belief, I defend mine from yours, me from you. This belief in separation in sovereignty provides me with a sense of differentiation that I can use to compare – and defend. Thus, I confirm my rightness.

Comparisons can lead to competition in which every concept appears to defend itself against all others. This means that every belief is a defense protecting and protected by other beliefs.

When I say, “I believe…,” am I actually saying, “I defend…?”

To answer a question one must question the answer. When there is only one answer to a question, I’m probably dealing with a belief upon which I’ve placed a high degree of certitude. To dissolve the defense that is the belief, I must question my sense of certainty. Concerning my belief:

  • What is this belief protecting?
  • How is it protecting it?
  • Why is it protecting it?
  • Who am I protecting?

Convoluted Identity, Convoluted Intention

In my bubble of limited awareness, I believe I know myself. I know what I want and need. I know my intentions. Then, why does life seem so uncertain when, at times, I don’t get what I intend?

My Convoluted Identity

I have my own story line based on my philosophies, which often get mixed with the story lines of others. This convolutes my identity, making it difficult to act with a sense of confidence. Sometimes it feels like I’m pretending to be what I deep down don’t feel is me – a lie. That lie affects all my relationships because it affects my identity, the central character in my story.

Especially when I’ve sabotaged my efforts, I feel there’s more than one me at work in here. That someone inside me is acting as a mimic of someone outside me who doesn’t like me much. Thus, the sabotage.

Sometimes my intention works out – though it often feels like it does in spite of my convoluted identity. This makes it sometimes difficult to have a clear intention.

Confusion on Top of Confusion

Feeling unclear about who I am can make it difficult to know who someone else is. This because I unwittingly externalize my unclear identity onto others. I feel confused and so, through transference, I perceive they feel confused. We’re confused! Within this confusion, I provide myself the perfect patsy upon whom to place the blame: you!

This often appears when my behavior is based on an attempt to be someone or something else – a persona.

Underlying every intention lie philosophies that identify who I believe I am in story form. I mostly learn who I think I am through feedback from others. And even then, I’m perceiving through a persona, an imagined identity, the result of convolution. Thus, I’ve created confusion on top of confusion!

Convoluted Intention

In the manifestation game, I’m always interacting with my beliefs. Sometimes I get what I want. I always get what I believe I need. No matter what, how, or why my intention, I’m going to get something I believe I need. What happens when I don’t know what I need because I’m unclear about who I am?

The “secret” to understanding the relationship between intentions and their effects is that

  • Everything I perceive manifests my intentions
  • Manifestation illustrates intention

I illustrate who I believe I am through my intentions as manifestations that appear in a metaphoric, meaningful story. A story made arcane by the convolution of identity and intention. To cut through the arcaneness of my story, I recognize that my memories and impressions about my experiences affect me today. My memories may be more than a series of historical documentaries. They may be illustrative stories about me. Thus, I might entertain some questions aimed at my memories:

  • What does that memory illustrate about what I believe today?
  • How does that memory illustrate who I believed I was in that experience?
  • Why do I continue to justify that belief today?
  • Who was I then and who am I now?

A Gateway to What Is Beyond Reality?

In order for me to be open enough to respond comfortably to questioning my personal feelings, I must trust who is asking. It’s a safety issue.

First of all, I may be completely unaware that I’m living in a bubble of limited awareness. Before that awareness, I’m not interested in exploring what “ain’t there!” Think The Truman Show, in which Truman stayed within his bubble until he realized his world MIGHT be different than it appeared to him. It was then that he questioned more and more until he literally bumped up against the bubble. Only after his encounter with the limit, did he discover the doorway.

Until my mind entertains the question, “What else is there?” I’ll remain within the safety of my own rightness, my bubble of limited awareness and defense. That question may introduce an element of doubt, causing a cascade, an avalanche of questions. Just as it did for Truman, this cascade can cause me to question my truths. Doubt opens the possibility for awareness beyond.

Questioning Reality

How do I question my reality when doing that feels so unsafe. Remember, trust is related to openness, which is related to safety. Do I trust myself enough to ask those questions?

Why would I ask about what’s beyond my current understanding? Why can’t I just accept that everything is working as I intend it to work?

Who do I think I am that can doubt the reality of the universe? Who do I think I am to question my perceptions? I know what I know!

What if I’m unaware that I’m already asking the universe a question and it is responding? Perhaps I’m unaware that I even CAN question reality. And yet, here I am asking… 😉

Beyond Reality?

To get beyond my bubble of limited awareness, I may have to inquire into that realm of “beyond.” Like Truman, I may have to acknowledge by faith that there MAY BE something beyond my limited perception. I may have to allow doubt into my life. Then, I can let go of my tenacious hold on how life should be – how it should behave, how I must perceive it.

Self Inquiry and Doubt

In my bubble of limited awareness – my first intention is to survive. One lives by being right and dies by being wrong. So, my first intention is to be right and survive.

Right = life
Wrong = death

This is not just for the survival of my body, it’s also for the survival of my thoughts and emotions. I use “I’m right” thinking all the time as preemptive defense against any possible threat to body, mind, or emotions. Because mind doesn’t do feelings, it must attempt to “translate” them in order to effect a complete self-convincing defense.

Where right = life and wrong = death, thought + emotion = convincing reality

Without questioning feelings with an intention to learn who I truly am, mind assumes it’s on target with its defense to keep me believing who I think I am. Thus, adding to a spiral of “wrong” feelings that mind tries to respond to with defense.

What happens when heart and mind lose trust in each other because of this continuing conflict over survival?

Questioning and Doubt

I can’t doubt myself because that feels like being wrong. The only kind of inquiry of a personal nature I practice is to divert questions about me to perceived issues with/in others. “Why is that guy such a jerk?!” “What’s her problem?!” and etc.

In nature, creatures protect themselves from being vulnerable to predation. Humans apply this principle to their psychology. This appears as defensive mental and emotional states, behaviors, and perceptions. To protect myself from psychological threats, I present an unquestionable and persistent “self-image.” This persona defends all intentions from even the possibility of threatening questions.

I especially avoid provocative questions like:

“Who do I think I am?”
“Why do I keep messing up?”
“What’s wrong with me?”

These questions are driven by an intentionally combative persona bent on provoking defense. Inquiry based on defending my negative self-image can provoke further defense to validate my ever-growing need for a feeling of safety.

I must feel safe enough before I respond to an introspective question without defense. Especially when that question comes from the outside – like when you ask me about me. To allow you to question me is to introduce an element of doubt, which implies vulnerability. I have defenses at the ready for even the slightest perception of vulnerability!

With my ever-growing need for safety, and belief that questioning exposes me to threat , what are the chances I’ll allow a truly introspective question?

Hidden Intentions and Missed Opportunities

Within my bubble of limited awareness, everything relates to me, the central character – “I.” I view intention as an integral part of the process of getting my needs met. When those expectations that follow my intentions aren’t satisfactorily filled, I look to blame someone or something. So, when I can’t successfully find somewhere to place blame, I’ll at least justify my disappointment with general criticisms.

While in my bubble of limited awareness, all intentions are intended to defend what I believe. Righting wrongs, fixing the broken, picking the best, making sure, etc. Building a case that supports my perception as the right/true perception. This quixotic belief is a perfect setup for un-intended outcomes.

I intend only good. When something else happens… “It wasn’t me!”

Unintended consequences are never my fault, they just happen or are someone else’s [wrong] intention. For example, I compliment someone and they take offense – which was not my intention. In my limited awareness bubble, I ask myself, “How could they take offense at my good intention?” “Why did they take offense (what’s their problem)?” and most importantly, “Who or what is to blame for this [offensive] situation?”

These questions, however, are merely my limited self-image persona – ego – imposing its defensive nature upon an opportune moment for unmasking hidden intentions.

What Opportunity?

That which I interpret as unintended outcomes may actually be manifestations of my ego’s hidden agenda. These intentions probably reside within my perceived identity – who/what I believe about myself – who I am.

Generally, when I perceive an unintended outcome, I intend to act upon the environment the way I perceive it acts upon me. Push-for-push, I defend myself as quickly as I feel I can against a hostile force outside myself.

For example, “That’s not what I intended” is a deflection defense that acknowledges the outcome while avoiding accountability for it.

Due to my avoidance, I’ve developed a superficial identity based on my defense against this impermanent environment. Aware of it or not, I have become my defense. My intention has become defense. My identity is defense. I am defense – which I defend!

Protecting the Status Quo

Is it possible to develop a clear understanding of one’s identity… outside of survival?

My survival has always been to do what seemed the most expedient and right according to my immediate understanding. Further, learning to get along with others and adopt their philosophies often overshadowed my own. I did this to preserve the integrity of my identity. This in an environment of competition and defense, acting in accordance with my benefit-vs-threat philosophy.

Usually hidden intentions reside in the realm of subconscious awareness. That is, I’m unaware of my intentions until they “pop up” and reveal themselves. I’m surprised by my own intentions. As a result, this hidden agenda often catches me off guard – in ways that trigger defense.

Defense elicits no inquiry to attain understanding because I’m busy attending to defense of my rightness. Perhaps “unintentional” simply means well-defended (hidden) intention.

No inquiry means no unmasking. No unmasking leads to more defense of who I believe I am as a defensive agent in competition against others. This defensive identity leaves me without an intention to understand who I truly am.

Thus, by hiding intentions, I protect the default self – I am defense – from inquiry.