Accountability and My Emotional Payoff

Let’s put separation, fear, conflict, etc., in terms of cause and effect – natural consequences of thinking a certain way. Awareness that my thinking has consequences in the real world may help me pay attention to my thoughts and maybe mindfully discipline them.

About Separation

I imagine my identity, I/ME, in terms of that which is “I/ME” verses that which is “NOT I/ME.” I look out my eyes and see that which is NOT ME. By simple logic, then, I deduce that I am that which is not NOT ME. I am what is left when everything I sense is removed. You may enjoy the free audio MP3, The Bag, imagery that illustrates this principle of separation.

I attach an intensity value to an “I’m Not” identity I experience as my fear, which represents my sense of unwholeness. Because I am 100% wholly me, that value is an imaginary number – not real. So, how do I go about making it feel real without actually being real?

Might my need to define ME by looking to who and what “I’m NOT” strengthen my belief in never being complete as “I AM?” It seems to me I will stay in this condition of lack until I look within, connect with who I really am, and discipline my heart and mind. Then, perhaps, I’ll comprehend the value of separation in the whole scheme of things.

About Emotional Payoff

Emotion helps me feel alive, providing present experience in the form of imagined relationships. My emotions create a bridge of sensations, a “payoff” of life-affirming feelings to my body/mind and spirit.

Perhaps accountability means no more NOT ME emotional payoffs at the expense of that which is ME. I can use mindful discipline to awaken into acceptance of full accountability. As I bring together the poles of Me vs Not Me, concepts of separation and payoff may simply become irrelevant.

Attention Feeds My Fear

What I give attention to grows! I have a problem-solving mind. And because of this, my mind seems to forever need problems to solve. Sometimes I feel I’m creating the very problems I then must solve.

In my First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble awareness, I focus my attention on that which I fear. I fear what and who I perceive “I’M NOT.” It’s automatic and a problem that must be solved!

That fear adds a perceived value to what and who “I’M NOT”- a value I feel I’m missing. Problem! I may feel I gain a sense of being complete when I add that perceived value to an external substitute – like a loved one, pet or new gadget. Yet, that sense of wholeness is a temporary condition that convinces me that the addition completes my value. Problem solved! Or have I just created another problem?

Each problem I think I’m solving creates a drain on my energy and resources. This drain I call a fear-feed on my attention. Because I feel dependent on external value, I always have this unwhole problem to solve. This distracts my attention from those interests that validate my wholeness. I can take charge of my attention and focus it where my consciousness takes me – beyond measurable value.

A thought has no feed value without attention. The objective of fear is to capture and feed on my attention.

In bubble awareness, I associate fear with survival. In this survival state-of-mind, fear offers me a way to silence my need to survive by convincing me to accept and follow a simple equation:

Me + Not Me = Wholeness

In bubble awareness, fear rules my consciousness. I imagine someone or something holds a value I perceive is missing in me, a value I need in order to feel complete. Once I attain that which I believe completes me, I enjoy a high of feeling OK. Yet, after a while, that artificial high wares off and I’m back to feeling fearful and incomplete. More than anything I want to feel whole and complete, yet fear pulls my attention back to the “I’m Not” problem that I feel needs solving.

Beyond Fear

While I keep my imagination firmly locked within bubble awareness, I continue to allow the fear process to nibble away at my energies until my body and mind can no longer sustain the feed.

One cannot escape bubble awareness using bubble awareness. One cannot use fear to cure fear. I must look elsewhere. I must look within… take charge of my attention… and…

Imagine beyond…

Problem Solving and Accountability

How problem solving helps me resist awakening into accountability,

and what I might do about it!

A problem is defined by Mr. Webster as, “a matter or situation regarded as unwelcome or harmful and needing to be dealt with and overcome.” Problems are need-based, requiring solutions. With a problem there is a sense of obligation to attend to it – often right away. Problems grab my attention – just as threats do.

When threats come up, I go into defense mode. My vision narrows. My muscles tense. I get ready for combat. Perhaps not the best mode to be in for taking accountability or awakening into bliss.

Sometimes problem solving looks like a cat chasing its tail. For example, a gambler may borrow money so he can plunk it down at the table, figuring he’s lost so many times before, this time he must surely be the winner. His solution to each loss (itself a problem to be solved) is to solve the problem of funding the next attempt at the “big win.” It’s the same thing addicts face every time they need a fix.

Is Problem Solving an Addiction?

Problems tend to beget more problems. The solution to each problem seems to create more little problems of its own. After while, I’m caught up in wildfire fighting – solving problem after problem. Until I can no longer hold the fire hose, I’m so damned tired! Yet, I’m still looking for that next big win over my problems.

Problems need solving, which tends to capture my attention and imagination – and my energy – until I realize problem solved or realize futility and give up or realize some other outcome. No matter how I solve the problem, I make the problem real – I realize it. Once real, the problem and the attention I give to solving it own my energy.

And there’s the thing, then. Anything I make real, I tend to defend. Judgment, justifications, distracted attention – all play defense when I’m “working the problem.”

How might I go about effectively solving problems without getting into defense – without making the problem the problem, defending it as real, important enough to focus attention on it, and making it much more difficult to solve as a result?

How About Wording?

Let’s look at words for a moment. I like to think of words as little soap bubbles that encapsulate sound vibration, symbolism, meanings, defense, emotions, and a bunch more stuff. Put meaning-full words together into sentences and paragraphs and you have rich imagery that does something deep within the non-corporeal me that affects my corporeal world. My image of the world IS my world. That’s why words are so important.

Fortunately, symbolism, meanings, and emotions can change in relation to words. I don’t have to settle for common definitions that I may incorrectly house in my vocabulary. I can play with definitions. Unless, of course, I’m with others. Over time, I tend to surround myself with people who help me fortify and defend my previous definitions, symbols, and meanings for words. The moment I change my definitions, and speak those words out loud, others will tend to question my sanity, my motives, my connection with them. I may feel threatened enough to abandon my new definitions. Or, I may instead courage-up and perhaps find that I can lead my circle of friends and family into a new era.

The Power of Vocabulary

My vocabulary can change, too. I’m not stuck with words I’ve used in the past. I can consciously choose to replace need-based words with words that up-lift or help me awaken into accountability – that will affect my underlying belief system.

For example, my underlying belief is that a problem must be solved – else it wouldn’t be a problem. The word, problem, has certain connotations that I strongly hold onto and defend. Whenever I hear that word, my mind goes instantly and instinctively into problem solving mode – distracting my attention. The pull to problem solve is so strong in me that I accept that redefining the word will not change how I feel about it.

Instead, I chose to replace the word, problem, with the word, opportunity. To me, problems feel more immediate and need-based. Opportunities offer an invitation to excel – like a game I can win. Opportunity still grabs my attention and so are not the ultimate answer for me – this word exchange is a sort of step-stone measure. Perhaps my next shot will be exchanging the word, opportunity, for the word, catalyst – a neutral word that invokes a sense of change already in progress, a ball rolling downhill.

Beyond Words

Viewing the world as a problem to be solved sets and keeps me firmly within the First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble – fighting, competing, and needing! The words I hear myself speak can help me remain face-down in the mud of my problems or help me rise above them where I can see the field for what it is – an illusion.

Words can offer a beginning to change from defensiveness to openness and then to accountability. I move from problem solving into taking on my life with a sense of boundless gratitude and broadening awareness.

I can use words to change my perspective from problem solving to opportunity acceptance. Then onward into full gratitude and perhaps awakening into full accountability.

Fear and Discipline Impact Perspective

Where I focus attention determines what I experience. When I focus my attention on fear, my perspective changes to give me an experience of threat as reality. Discipline changes that formula.

To the undisciplined mind, fear seeks to prove inadequacy as rightness. Rightness is a need that must be defended within the First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble. Certainty about my fear solidifies its image in the mirror, making it real and threatening. My need to deal with threats pops up and takes over my awareness, focusing my attention on solving an illusory problem. Attention I divert from other, perhaps more useful, subjects – like gratitude, enlightenment, connection, and awakening.

About Disciplined Attention

Focusing on fear narrows awareness of options, resulting in suffering in the form of lack of confidence, perception of deprivation, and poverty consciousness. When I’m convinced I’m right, I narrow every perception, every judgment, every opportunity, to fit within the boundaries of that right path. “There’s only one way out!” says the hero. Well, yeah, maybe there is only one way out IF you know of no others or IF you’re so terrified that you can’t think properly. Yeah, then maybe there’s only one way.

To the disciplined mind, fear represents one among many options for attention. I can appreciate and respect the power of the fire without short-circuiting my brain with fear about it. The narrowing effect that fear has on my thinking abilities strongly influences my chances for survival in an emergency. This is the reasoning behind the rigorous training first-responders get. Much of it focused on managing their fear so they can retain that wondrous faculty for effective action we can bring about with a disciplined mind.

Mental discipline provides awareness of options, resulting in a sense of confidence, trust, gratitude, strength, and expanding consciousness. There are many effective methods for managing fears. Within the bubble, mental discipline requires practice – lots of practice. Perhaps a lifetime of practice.

What happens when I’m “late to the game” of mental discipline or don’t have time to devote to all that practice? What then? Am I just SOL?

Awareness and the Bubble

Imagine a soap bubble. Does it take a lot of work to open it? No, a simple pin will do the trick. What about illusory bubbles? What kind of effort, practice, study, physical strength, strategy, or instrumentation does it take to open one of those?

Perhaps awareness is the key to disciplining the mind over fear. Maybe bursting the fear bubble only requires awareness that the bubble is not real. When faced with a fear, sometimes I’ll shout to myself inside to, “stop!” Then I’ll take an inventory of here and now – ground myself in time and space. Sometimes counting items I see or feel helps. Then I’ll revisit the object of my fear – now that my mind has settled down a bit.

Yeah, my method is a sort of “trick” – that demonstrates how quickly, easily, and effortlessly a mind can be disciplined and brought into order. The mind gets sharper the more bubbles it pops.

Think about it.

A Relationship Between Perspective and Intention

Inside my First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble, perspective and intention entwine in a dance I experience as reality. Sometimes that reality doesn’t work out like I think it should. Why don’t things always work like I intend them to?!

Ever felt like that? Perhaps you believe you “did the work” and yet felt it came up short of your expectation. You might be becoming aware of the relationship between your perspective and your intention.

Suppose your general outlook on life determines that life is dangerous. Setting an intention to accomplish this or that will fit within that life view. In this case, perspective has a limiting effect on intention. Life partner relationships are often based on this limitation even when the intention of the union is for each partner to live in the boundless joy experienced early in the relationship. Over time, limiting perspective shrinks the power of their conscious intention.

Perspective might be expressed as “the source of perception” or my “come from.” When I come from a place of fear, I’ll see things as threats. When I change that “come from” to one of grateful acceptance, threats tend to turn into opportunities and information.

Intention aligned with a perspective manifests as reality. You might also say that I manifest intention from a (one) perspective. What happens to manifestation within an interpersonal relationship? Within a group? How does a couple or group manifest their intention when each single perspective plays such a critical role in the outcome?

About Agreement

I have several competing perspectives in my mind at any given time. Perhaps I want to go to the store to buy something. One part of me says, “Yeah, you need that item.” Another may suddenly shout out, “Wait a minute! Your bank account says otherwise. Let’s wait a bit.” Yet another may chime in, “You don’t really need that.” And etc. I’m seldom of one voice and one mind. My mind has several perspectives – each of which influence my intentions.

In order to get anything done, I must come to some kind of agreement between all the competing perspectives within me. Then I can present my inner agreement to my life partner. She’ll go through the same process I did to come to some sort of inner agreement – her perspective. Sometimes my or her inner agreement is not actually an agreement at all – the loudest or most certain voice (“Mr. I. M. Right”) simply spoke for all. In that case, counter-behaviors would belie the inner conflict and my “good intentions” would sabotage my efforts.

About Communication

Communicating from a perspective as an interrelation between an object and the subject viewing it, how entwines with why, affecting outcomes. For example, when I take an interest in an object, my perspective of it may apply one or more justification filters (“why” or “why not” intentions) to add value to my interest. This manipulation of value can influence choices that affect future intentions and present perspectives. The more I understand about myself, the clearer my viewpoint and intentions become over time.

Why Oh Why?!!

Infants and very young children have only one intention – to live. At a certain age, just about every child goes through a “Why” stage in which they ask others about their intentions, “Why did you do that, Mommy?” Children are born with conflicting perspectives – some from Mom and some from Dad and maybe some they can call their own. As they grow up, they encounter the perspectives of many others, some more influential than others. By the time I arrived at adulthood, I had encountered many, many perspectives that affected my intentions. Today, “my” perspectives are literally those of all perspectives – in ONE.

As I get to know myself, I wield the power of awareness of my perspective through intention into manifestation. From that perspective everything that happens is as I intend. How much of that I’m aware of is up to me.