Presuppositions in Reclamation of Self

I make some fundamental presuppositions in my intention to reclaim the wholeness I feel I’ve lost. I don’t know how it happened, yet I feel a need to return things to their original condition of wholeness. Thus, the popularity of movements, books, and movies about restoring our former glory.

Fundamental to this intention is change. I must change in order to reclaim some kind of perfection, glory, or innocence I think I’ve lost. For example, politicians spout the concept of a return to better days – and garner lots of votes.

Reclamation Presuppositions

This concept of reclamation is based on a presupposition that we’re not enjoying wholeness now. That we’ve lost it! It also presupposes that there is some kind of shangri-la perfect state of being that I can and must achieve. Thus, I find myself in a state of eternal want in a land of plenty – forever seeking, never achieving. Never satisfied, always at a loss!

Let’s look at my reclamation presuppositions in four questions:

  1. Who? I am separate from wholeness!
  2. Why? So I can seek/reclaim wholeness!
  3. How? With an intention to be whole in limited awareness!
  4. What? Proves I am separate, seeking, limited, and right!

This reclamation concept may contribute to and defend my bubble of limited awareness. Because I have a belief in a perfect state of being and that that state is behind or beyond me, I’ll always experience limited awareness now. By seeking perfection, I defend my belief in my limitation now. Thus, seeking to go beyond limited awareness keeps me in limited awareness now. Sweet paradox!

This is the underlying concept behind self-help – the idea that I can find my wholeness and get back to it. What if that ain’t necessarily so?!

What About a Fix?

When I conclude that something needs to change, I assume a “fix” is necessary and even possible. Further, that the “fix” will result in an end to the change – done! What if that ain’t necessarily so?!

For example, every problem has a solution – that limits the problem to the solution. Even viewing problem-solving as a problem to solve sustains the mind to problem-solution. Any problem solved is no longer a problem. What if that ain’t necessarily so?!

The same goes for need and want and their fulfillment. Once fulfilled, the expectation is that the want or need dissolves away. What if that ain’t necessarily so?!

In my bubble of limited awareness, I believe that things damaged can be restored. All that is needed to accomplish a “fix” should be fairly simple and straightforward. What if that ain’t necessarily so?!

Reclaiming Defense

Could reclamation simply be another form of defense that keeps defense in place? Whatever the need and its fulfillment, they defend my belief in problems and solutions.

Reclamation appears evident – when I defend it. I typically play this out like this – I:

  1. Imagine what I want/need to reclaim.
  2. Recall or create a plan for how to reclaim it.
  3. Perceive evidence of loss and reclamation.
  4. Maintain.

This to solve the problem of separation. However…

What if my current life condition is a solution to the problem of wholeness?

A Turf War Between Thought and Emotion

In my bubble of limited awareness every thought and emotion compete for attention and defend against oblivion. Where attention is the turf, every thought or emotion must struggle to win the turf. It’s a war over my attention. In this world, I can either think or feel – not both.

In such a world, instinct rules over reason in the struggle over attention. Basically, whenever there is a question in a situation, instinct wins. We’ve seen this in history where one side wins over the other when a contest over turf arises. Even today, we see turf wars between apparently competing interests. The belief is that only one should survive.

Results of War

I don’t think anyone would argue that war is destructive. Sure, good things can come out of war, but war itself is purely destructive. Someone may win, yet, even the “winner” sustains injury. Both sides in such a conflict lose something of value.

What if there was another way? That way would have to exist outside the arena of win or lose competition. For example, in an argument, the opposing sides might find a middle ground – a compromise. OR, both sides come to the realization that their interests are better served by cooperation – adding to each other. Such would require thinking beyond that of instinct where only self-interest matters.

Turf War in a Brain Metaphor

Perhaps we see this in metaphor in our own brains. My brain consists of a primitive portion and a new brain that represents an ability to think beyond instinct. That new part is slower to react, capable of considering multiple options, and capable of questioning. It’s that last bit, questioning, that really sets it apart.

Instinctive brain: Unquestioned competition => War => Loss or Gain

New brain: Questions competition => Cooperation => Loss and Gain

A turf war between concepts and how I feel about them results in confirmation of my belief in loss. Whenever I think my position is right and must win out, I’m working to validate that belief. This turf war will make loss more real to me, which will tend to promote more war.

Fighting and defending lead to validation of loss at the expense of the participants. Meanwhile, another way leads to connection and cooperation, thus promoting flow for all participants.

What if there is no turf?

Relationship Between Compulsion, Want, And Need

In my limited awareness, I experience compulsion as needs. Compulsions increase in number and intensity when I think my environment controls me. As I take control of myself, I experience fewer needs. Need and conscious awakening seem to have an inverse relationship: the more awake I am, the less I experience need. Inversely, the more need I experience, the less awakened I am.

Let’s look at the need-less experience of a lucid dream as an example. In that consciousness, awareness of dream and dreamer while asleep gives me complete awake control. This because I’ve taken awake control of thoughts and emotions that generate the dream. I experience few if any needs in lucid dreams because I have full awake command of my dreaming self.

In awake consciousness, it seems I have many needs. From air to food to shelter, it appears I must depend upon my environment for survival. That dependence on what I feel is outside me may be key to why I have needs.

Unlike wants, needs are more black-and-white. Needs feel 100% compelling while wants feel more desirable than compelling. For example, even though I may want to breathe, at a certain point desire will turn to need and I will be compelled to breathe. I have no choice – I must pay attention to it – I must act.

I’m also compelled to believe the need is compelling enough to justify the compulsion. Thus, needs justify compulsions that justify needs. They are dependent upon and so justify each other.

Need and Compulsion Represent Each Other

Compulsion is an urge – a concept – not a physical thing or a goal. Physical or not, need represents the compulsion concept. Accepting a need as literal compels me to feel dependent upon my environment and so feeds my compulsion.

Feeding a compulsion feeds an awareness of lack that I judge as need. To that end, I may surrender all that I am to satisfy my compulsion in hopes of satisfying a need.

The nature of compulsion leads me to consider using need in situations where I seek to satisfy a want. My thought is that if I were to consider a want as a need, I’ll work harder to achieve it. On the outside, that may seem like a workable solution.

There is a flaw in that logic, however. A focus on awareness of lack tends to build more awareness of lack. Thus, even when feeling compelled to act, the focus on lack will tend to lessen the ability to act. Need may, then, subtract emotional energy from the excitement of want.

Instead, to build energy towards achievement of a goal, want it! And let go of the need for it. The entire process of achievement is within – that’s want – rather than from without – that’s need.

You may then be in a position to consider how want, too, focuses attention on lack. What might happen when you release the need for wants? I wonder…

Need Authorities and My Need to Abrogate Accountability

In my world of limited awareness, I obey a lot of authorities. Wants and needs appear to me as one type of authority. Wants appear as passive authorities I can question while needs appear as active authorities I cannot question.

Symbols of Authority

I add the word “need” to add emphasis and/or authority to my want. For example, “I want a new phone” states a desire. “I need a new phone” adds demanding authority to my want. Questioning the desire for the new phone can lead to greater understanding of the want or need behind that desire.

What greater authority than that of life/death? I don’t have to BE in danger – just FEEL that I’m in danger – to invoke the authority of need through fear. Thus, need assigns authority to fear to increase need’s influence just as fear assigns authority to the need of it.

This brings us to choice where under the rule of authority, I have no choice – I must obey without question. I don’t question need because I’m obedient to its authority. It’s as simple as that!

The authority of need seeks to avoid a WHY question: “Why must I…?” I assume the need is justified, so I have no need for the question. Thus, I assume rather than ask.

Assumption limits awareness within contexts. “I need a drink” could mean something different depending upon the context. For example, a fellow crawling in from the desert vs a guy sitting at a bar. In both cases, however, the word “need” connotes a lack of awareness of options. It also invokes an appeal to authority rather than reason to answer a why question.

Have you ever been around a “needy” person? Maybe you felt drained afterwards. Both you and the person you judged as “needy” accepted the authority of need. UNTIL one or both of you questioned it.

Do I Need Authorities of Need?

I recognize authority in that or who I believe has power over me. I can ratchet up the value of anything or anybody by adding authority to them. By needing authority, I add authority to authority. I increase my desire and, so assume my obedience to authorities over me when I feel the need to!

Authority of need acts as a justifier and question killer. Need justifies defense without question – ruling by assumption. Add need to any of the following to avoid questioning them – giving them a boost with the authority of need. Thus, I remove choice from the equation. For example:

  • Wants/desires – I want a new phone vs I need a new phone.
  • Fears – I must be afraid of a real threat. I feel afraid, so the threat must be real.
  • Assumptions – “I expect (need) this behavior from you…” and “You’re a [negative judgment that seeks to satisfy my sense of need]…”
  • Obedience – I must (rather than want to) go to the store (to satisfy my need to eat)…
  • Patterns and Predictions – That must happen because this happened… because I need it to…
  • Responses – You did something I don’t like so I must over/under-react…
  • Traditions – I’ve always done it this way… so, I need to continue in order to preserve the tradition.
  • Symbols – This pattern must mean this, so I can assume this meaning… In a world of ambiguity, adding need to symbols adds security while seriously reducing the field of possibilities I’ll consider.
  • And a whole lot more!

Using need as authority is another example of how I seek to use creativity to abrogate my responsibility for my creation.

Metaphor, a Problem-Solving Paradox

Metaphor takes perception of reality and twists it into a problem-solving paradox. The literal view seeks to defend its perspective as truth – using memory, facts, and logic to resolve paradox. The figurative view seeks to apply meaning to the literal view through metaphor, using imagination and possibility to resolve paradox. Together they seek a resolution to a fundamental problem – life.

Did You Catch the Paradox in the Metaphor?

The choice we suggest as metaphor-thinking operates best as a paradoxical view we experience with others in relationships. Thus, I understand me in a metaphor of my perception of you in relation to me. This is made all the more paradoxical when I act on my belief that you and I are literally separate.

Consider how difficult it is to see one’s own face without looking at its reflection. One would have no idea what their face looks like. With a reflective surface, sufficient light, and a properly working visual sense, and awareness of self, however, I can see a reflection that, although not me, presents a metaphor that I think represents me. Do you see the paradox in your reflection?

Even though I hear your voice doesn’t mean I hear your words. Just because I hear your words doesn’t mean I understand their meaning. Even when I hear your words and understand their meaning doesn’t mean I understand your concept. Sometimes I want an example to help me get to the meaning of a concept. That example is not the concept – it is a metaphor to help me understand the concept in an alternative form. Do you hear the paradox in these words?

What If Metaphor Presents a Problem-Solving Paradox?

Living in a problem-solving mind creates a paradox that connects solutions to problems through justification. Justifying the solution is a problem because it defends one against alternative solutions. The defense focuses attention on only one option rather than to search for alternatives. Once justified, this solution presents a mental scotoma – a problem that mind has difficulty resolving through ever-limiting repetition.

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” (Albert Einstein)

This sets up a self-referential paradox in which problems justify solutions that justify problems. As the paradox expands, it further limits the range of awareness. This limits my realization of me as both me and not me.

Reinterpreting what I defend as a solution can’t be done – due to its defense of problem and solution. Sounds like a catch-22 situation. Oh, no! Not another PROBLEM!!!

This makes metaphor inevitable and necessary.

When I consider, “This is not as it appears,” I open my conscious awareness to metaphoric interpretation. And loosen the grip of my narrow focus on literal interpretation.

Did you catch the metaphor in the paradox?