The Messages of My Biases

In my bubble of limited awareness, I defend what I value. I value most what makes me right. My being right equates to survival. Thus, I must invest in confirming my rightness to confirm my ability to survive. Confirmation of rightness gives me a sense of satisfaction.

My need to be right is a bit of an addiction that affirms my sense of having value. With every confirmation of rightness, my sense of personal value increases, bringing me closer to my goal of wholeness.

I feel I must win or at least not lose. Bias lives by this gain/loss formula. I have a sense that I was born with bias because I need to feel success rather than failure. I set up a system for myself to “guarantee” success. This is like the guy who has a “fail-safe system” for beating the odds at the casino. That system is bias, a program that helps me cope with separateness.

My bias regulates my thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. When I have a rebellious thought, bias regulates me back into the safety of compliance with what is right. This is how bias serves a system of defense that favors the status quo. Thus, keeping me safe in my bubble of limited awareness.

A Conflict of Bias

For every argument, there are opposing biases. Because a bias is a bi-directional defense, there is that which it defends and that which it defends against. Therefore, a conflict exists between for and against. Bias illustrates a more fundamental perception in my limited awareness – that of me vs not me. This extends beyond my perception of me – in my social constructs.

For example, I want to support my society by contributing to its general benefit. My investment would include surrendering independence to the service of society and its relative safety. In this I feel a conflict. Why can’t I have independence AND safety?

This raises a question about my value system of loss/gain. Why do I have to give up something to get something? This haunts my relationship as an investor – because I must attend to the conflict of me vs not me.

Questioning Bias to Discover Its Message

I might question myself to discover my self-limiting biases and what messages they may have for me:

  • What society do I serve?
  • How do I serve?
  • Why do I serve?
  • Who do I serve?

Transition to Awareness

What if the Aha Zone is a transition point from one level of awareness to another? For example, one of my ancestors questioned their instinctive behavior and realized an aha moment that started a new trend – the use of fire. By questioning their instinctive fear of fire, they learned to control their fear. This realization that fear could be controlled led to a leap in awareness.

Instinctual Me

Instinctive me defends itself against environmental threats and asks, “What threatens me now?” It’s also concerned with needs. “Are my needs being met?” results in two simple questions:

  1. What need is not being satisfied? (What’s wrong?)
  2. How do I get what I need now? (What must I do?)

Cognizant Me

Cognizance adds relational awareness and asks, “What happened?” This results in an awareness of what, where, when, why my environment appears to relate to me as it does. Recognition of cause and effect.

I have one such relationship with time, for example. In instinct, I serve the demands time imposes upon me – like circadian rhythms. Once I recognized that there was a way to measure time, I could change my behaviors within it. At some point, someone came to an “Aha” moment in which they realized that one could measure time. There is a significant difference between the acknowledgment of time and the cognitive use of it.

This relational awareness offers me much more insight into my world. Because of the power of instinct, I tend to put relationships into service of defense, like blame and war. Cognitive questions tend to connect me with others in a meaningful way. Such questions as, “How do I get what I want?” tend to result in behaviors that take my community into account. Cognizance adds opportunity for more questioning:

  1. Why do I feel as I do? (What does this experience mean?)
  2. Who am I in relation to my environment?

Visionary Me

Visionary me asks questions like:

  1. What’s next?
    1. What am I not perceiving yet?
    2. What could this experience mean beyond what I think it does?
  2. How might we evolve?
    1. How might what I do now affect the future?
    2. What might a future appear like than how I imagine it now?
  3. Why do I matter?
    1. What is my purpose in the grand scheme?
    2. Why does my contribution matter to the whole?
  4. Who am I?
    1. Who am I beyond the context of my world?
    2. What is beyond my perception of my personhood?
    3. Who is the who that I am?
    4. Who else might I/you be than who I think I am/you are?

Beyond Me?

What may lie beyond these limited-awareness aspects of me?

Values, Limitation, and Wholeness

In my bubble of limited awareness, my foremost intention in life is to be whole – or at least not less than… This intention sets up a comparison between me and wholeness. To help in comparing me to wholeness, I assign values that I use in making judgments. This value compared to that value.

By assigning values, I can combine value with value to create a value I perceive as the whole value. For example, me + you = whole or me + a new car = whole. It seems like me plus something or somebody adds up to more than my value towards wholeness. However, because I’m in limited awareness, the equations I create always come up short of my expectations of wholeness: me + anything < whole.

From this deficit perspective of believing I’m less than whole, I need what’s outside me to satisfy my intention. Based on my value system, I seek outward and defend whatever I feel will make me whole. That feels more in line with my intention than viewing my life as subject to pure chance or fate.

Why must I add value to me to experience the bliss of wholeness? What if I valued myself as already whole? No addition necessary?

Gratitude.

Challenging Certainty of My Prediction

In my limited awareness bubble, I start an experience with an intention that is a prediction. Based on a mixture of complex processes, I use these predictions to perceive and interpret my world. My intention builds certainty as I perceive repetition of confirmation of my predictions.

Some complex processes I use to insure the certainty of my predictions:

  • Imagination
  • Scotoma – lock on/lock out attention
  • Storytelling
  • Justification
  • Creative license
  • Etc.

Strengthening Trust in Predictions

The stronger my certainty, the more likely I am to build expectation out of prediction. Out of the certainty derived from those successes came a sense of trust in my ability to predict my future. That trust leads to productive action, which confirms and thus strengthens my trust.

Prediction is useful as a mental shortcut. Generally, trusting my predictions is faster, more efficient, and more reliable than trying to figure out all possible outcomes as my life evolves. Over time and experience with my predictions, I seldom question them. And yet, as most of us have experienced, this trust can be misplaced. Consider predictive text. I usually look to make sure my text message says what I want it to say. I challenge my phone’s predictions!

How would I know if my prediction is incorrect unless I question it? Why one asks a question affects the level of enlightenment one may derive from their inquiry. Whatever purpose I have for questioning will likely achieve that purpose. For example, if I ask you for agreement, I’ll probably get it regardless of your feedback to me. Thus defending my position and strengthening my certainty.

A questioning mind is an aware mind.

As long as I continue to think as I have, I’ll continue to get what I’ve gotten – until I question my thinking.

To get in a questioning “mood”, I may have to break my current mental state of trust and focus. This may mean using a technique like this brain hemisphere switching technique.

To question my current “reality” and my prediction for my next “reality,” I might ask, for example:

  • Why am I making this prediction?
  • How does expecting this outcome build my trust in my prediction of it?
  • What’s the purpose of this prediction?
  • What other purpose might there be that I’m not considering because I’m sold on the current purpose?
  • What else…?
  • What’s next…?

Presentation is Everything!

Within my bubble of limited awareness, I’ve imagined and developed personas to deal with my environment. I expect others to perceive these presentations according to my intentions. In this way, I present a different “me” depending upon how I perceive my environment.

I have a work persona, a family persona, a casual persona, a formal persona, etc. My imagination can mold a persona to act out just about any presentation in just about any situation. I’m an adaptable actor.

Thanks to personas, I don’t have to BE dangerous to BE frightening – just APPEAR dangerous.

Externalized Personas

To make a persona work, I must imagine how another person witnessing my persona will react to it. That means I must do a bit of mindreading. And some in-performance interpretation of feedback from those others to whom I present my persona.

I must be aware of “externalized” personas. From my perceptions and overall judgments of them, I create a persona for every person with whom I interact. Thereby externalizing one of my personas to fit a bubble of judgments I name “you.” Thus, I’ve encapsulated you into a persona that is MY perception of YOU.

My perception of a relationship between internal and external personas represents and exists within an environment. Whenever aware of that environment, my mind presents a persona to deal with it. Thus, I appear as one person when conversing with my Mom at her home. Another when I’m with her at a store. And yet another when with her and my siblings at a family gathering. A different face for each situation.

It appears I’m reacting to an environment separate from me. Appearances can be deceiving. ALL personas present a defense of relationships, based on perceptions, beliefs, thoughts, and feelings – about MY persona.

For example, I meet a coworker, John, for the first time. He presents me with his work persona. Because it is the only persona of John I’ve met, I perceive his work persona is John. My perception of John is, nonetheless, my perception of John’s work persona – not John. My perception of John’s work persona is within my perception of our relationship within the work environment. That perception also holds an image of the relationship between our work personas. Away from our work environment, those personas and relationships may change radically.

Over a period of time at work, my identity becomes a convolution of relationships in which John’s work persona joins mine. None of those personas are me – they only appear to be me. Instead, personas represent who I am not.

How Personas May Affect Identity

Extrapolating this persona convolution concept to the myriad relationships I’ve had in my lifetime and you begin to comprehend how convoluted my identity has become. At a very young age, I learned to associate my personal with my identity. Thus, I become what I do – act a part – rather than who I am.

What I do is not who I am! Neither do I see who you are! Even when experiencing what you want me to see of you, I’m seeing that through the eyes of a persona.

Due to this flexibility of personas, I’m always seeing what I WANT to see rather than what is. Thus, I’m always seeing me as who I am not, which is whoever I want to be.

Presentation is everything!