Intention and the Priority Game

I have so many intentions competing with one another! I could say the same for defenses, thoughts and actions. In my limited awareness world of duality, I always produce two intentions and attend to one. That is, for every intention I’m aware of, its counter balances duality.

Because I an aware of only one thought at a time, I’m usually aware of no more than one of my intentions. Although focused on one thought, there are myriad others contending for my attention. Just like intentions, my thoughts scream out for my attention, “Look at me! Look at me!” “No! Look at me! Look at me!”

Attention is the food of thought and intention. Thoughts or intentions to which I pay attention tend to grow and prosper. That doesn’t mean those I don’t pay attention to die. They just don’t grow as fast – and in some cases die away.

At least that’s how it appears to me. “Focus on your goals!” to achieve them, I’ve been told many times. And yet, sometimes, I find myself in the position of saying something like, “I didn’t intend to hurt your feelings.” In other words, an unconscious hidden intention surfaced and surprised me. Maybe forcing me to acknowledge it with my attention.

The Priority Game

There seems to be two main parts of my being:

  • Physical – the projection
  • Psyche – the projector

The projection is useful because the projector perceives it. I project every thought. Not all of them do I attend to. This because of my limited awareness – that comprehends the tiniest fraction of the myriad of thoughts I project.

To conserve energy and keep my story linear, attention focuses awareness from the myriad of intentions down to one at a time. Prioritizing intentions in this serialization helps me avoid overloading my circuits! It also keeps my story straight, which in turn, gives me a sense of rightness. I at least feel I’m okay when my story is linear. Thus, the value of a “good [serial] memory” that recalls events in their “proper” order. That proper order is the order that matches the singular direction of my linear story.

To that end, I must apply my attention first and foremost to defending my safety and benefit. My initial defense of that attention is my intention to feel safe. This intention to defend becomes the default behind my behaviors. This includes “on guard,” fight, and flight behaviors.

All this to prove to myself that I’m vulnerable to being less than whole – while intending to remain whole. This bias for wholeness in an environment of vulnerability can appear in some strange ways. For example, a person might survive an impossible situation and then feels they are somehow invulnerable to destruction. Maybe they feel they are a divine appointee – like a prophet. Maybe they feel a cause to which they must apply themselves.

Their attention to a life-threatening experience with defensive logic based in a premise of vulnerability tends to connect their biased intention for wholeness with its opposite.

Intention as Initial Defense

What if my intention is my initial defense of one concept over another? A part of the mechanism that turns all-at-once lateral thinking into one-at-a-time linear thinking. Why a defense against what I want – wholeness?

In linear-thinking, I can only define all-at-once wholeness in terms of one-at-a-time un-wholeness. In that way of thinking, there is always this sense that I must seek wholeness – rather than accept that I am wholeness.

To serialize my story, I assign intentions based on how much they confirm my concept of wholeness. This would require that I see myself as whole only in relation to someone or something else – a serialized comparison. In my relationships, therefore, I perceive others that support my limited thinking as whole (good/right). And those that don’t as unwhole (bad/wrong).

I define these intention assignments as accountability. Thus, equating my conscious intentions with subconscious accountability. I expect to get what I intend to get. And because the equation is false in limited awareness, I sometimes don’t get what I consciously intend. “Oops! Sorry! I didn’t intend that you should get hurt…” and etc.

Stewardship Over My Intentions

This takes me to the concept of stewardship – governance. Accountability provides that I have governance over my own physical and psychological being. Important, as these are the two main parts of my being. As the steward with power to govern my thoughts, I have the capacity to learn and change. As I learn how my equations affect my conscious intentions, I can practice governance over them. I can turn intention from initial defense to something else. That “something else” may just be the key to transforming limited to unlimited awareness.

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A Love Relationship Between Rightness and Value

My Perception of Love

In my bubble of limited awareness, I’ve developed a relationship with love through my sense of self-value and rightness. I’ve found that when I’m right in my efforts to survive, I’m rewarded. That reward I define as love – a feeling of gaining value for being right.

My need to be right conflicts and competes with my relationships. Between my level of rightness and my innate value I look for love’s confirmation of support. All my definitions for love must support this association between rightness and value. When my associations don’t equate to love’s support, I feel I must act.

Each time I do what’s right I’m rewarded with value. Through repetition my value increases. What’s wrong takes from my values, which is why I need to defend against it. Fighting for right and against wrong then becomes my duty. Thus, I introduced an innate conflict into every relationship.

My Conflicted Relationship with Love

Because I may need love in my relationships, I must need conflict too. Instinct drives me to live to love and fight to live. Therefore, I associate my need to live with my need for love – and a need for fighting!

I defend the rightness of that conflict by comparing it with what’s wrong. To me wrong means failure and in nature, failure means death.

Love gives life purpose. Being without purpose is symbolic of failure and death. That purpose makes defense of what’s right necessary. I feel I must fight against wrong constantly. Thus, my definition of love may be killing me!

Love Competes for My Attention

Because I equate love with life, it has an edge in competition with many other influences vying for my attention. Each influence carries values for my attention in terms of gain and loss. With practice and experience, I learn to be alert to that which I pay attention.

In my competitive state of awareness, I boost love’s offerings by paying for its defense in the currency of attention.

When loss means death, it can also mean life

Within this competitive state, I allow to exist only what I choose to defend. When I lose a competition, I feel a distinct loss of love, value, and rightness. That’s why it feels painful and confusing when I hear my winning opponent claim, “Love is on my side.” I know love can’t be on the side of losers because I can’t be a loser! And yet, here I am! Conflicted!

The prospect of losing all I hold important about me feels devastating. For this reason, I feel that my perception of such loss must be challenged in some way. My confusion can bring about a desire for resolution.

Thus, my intention for one outcome can present another. This confusion of outcomes, in which benefits become threats and vice versa, can lead me to question my perceptions about love.

This awareness presents an opportunity – an invitation for movement in a new direction.

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A Fight for Love

In First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble awareness, I believe I have to fight for everything that supports my need to survive. I label whatever I feel works in my favor as love.

I fight against whatever threatens what I believe I’m right about. Nothing’s more worthwhile or noble than that, in my opinion. Thus, love equates to defending for what’s right and against what’s wrong.

What’s the payoff?

What’s the payoff for equating all this conflict and pain is about love? Why all the fighting and competition? Maybe to sustain my storyline?

While in bubble awareness, I cannot view my story from a perspective outside the bubble. Only imagine it – which imaginings would arise from within the bubble! This is how bubble awareness supports and defends itself – and keeps me in it!

Within my bubble awareness, I attend to those things that grab that awareness – especially those that might threaten my bubble, my life, my story. Attention tends to add intensity value to my story with use.

Compelled to Fight

To fight the good fight, I must invest all my attention into creating and maintaining defense. That means developing strategies intended to battle for and win the greatest of causes. One of those strategies is to feel right, proper and justified, a reward for all who intentionally do good.

Another reward for furthering the cause is an increase in sense of superiority. Helping others attain what they need and are unaware of can feel fulfilling. Such feelings allow me to justify my sense of separateness as I stand alone for rightness. When I’m in my element of being right, proper,and justified, I’m a hero! If only others could appreciate that. After all, it’s just common sense to praise all who believe as I do and feel loathing or pity for those who don’t.

Compelled by Love

Love compels me to fight for it. Because I know what’s right and wrong, everyone else should too. I feel frustrated and alone when I must carry out my duty of defending right from wrong – all by myself!

My defensive strategies have become routine. I convince others to join my fight of right-thinking through enticements, and I shame or threaten them with harm. The last type of convincer, the threat of harm, I save for when I’m feeling desperate! It’s my or else card, which I play as a last resort. It can feel a bit embarrassing when I have to shut my mouth, curb my behavior, and leave feeling unloved. I imagine negative thoughts of on-lookers as they stare silently back at me.

When a strategy fails, my imagination goes to work convincing me… again… why love, as I perceive it, needs defending. I sometime resort  to self-deception, which can feel petty, yet, at least I feel justified for trying!

Those who disagree with my truth are the losers. In this environment, I experience a level of self-vindication that satisfies my need for self-validation. I love the deep affirmation of love I feel each time I do what is right, proper, and justified.

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Beating Fear with Math (pt 2)

When I feel afraid, I tend to narrow my attention onto JUST the object of my fear and the outcomes I fear will happen if I don’t apply appropriate action – maybe very soon. “If I don’t pay this fine, I’ll go to jail! I can’t have that!” I’ve narrowed my all-outcomes set to a tiny selection set of acceptable outcomes – what I “can have.”

Fear narrows the odds of an acceptable outcome – like buying only one lottery ticket. It also significantly increases the odds that I’ll experience an outcome I don’t like – like realizing you’d just bought a losing lottery ticket.

When I expand my selection set of acceptable outcomes, I increase the odds of experiencing an acceptable outcome and decrease the odds of an outcome I can’t live with.

How does one expand their selection set of acceptable outcomes?

By allowing less-than-optimum outcomes into your selection set, you significantly increase your odds of winning a lesser, though still acceptable outcome. Expanding your allowed-into-the-selection-set criteria, you build a larger selection set, which lessens the impact of a less than optimum outcome. By expanding your allowed set to the size of the all-outcomes set increases the odds of winning to 100% – and lessens the odds of losing to zero.

“Well, that would mean accepting any outcome as acceptable!” – Why, yes, I think it would. That is the essence of trust – expanding the selection set to the size of the all-outcomes set. All for one and one for all.

“Wait a minute! If I accept any outcome, won’t I sometimes get outcomes I don’t like?” Probably. At first. Until you realize that you can expand your “what I like” selection set to the size of the all-outcomes set – by allowing your “don’t likes” into your “likes” selection set.

“Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?”
― Abraham Lincoln

A simple imagery exercise can get you started. Relax and clear your mind. Imagine a ball the size of your fist. Fill the ball with light of any color you like. Put the ball in a box. Now put another ball into the box. Then another ball and another. Until the box is full. Let it spill out as you continue to add balls to the box. Soon the box disappears as the entire room fills with light in the shape of colored balls. Fill the house… the neighborhood… the town… the whole earth… the universe. Expand… expand… expand… light everywhere.

Your selection set of one ball has expanded to include all balls everywhere – the all-outcome set.

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Questioning the Wholeness Prize

Imagine you’re in a limited awareness bubble participating in a win-or-lose game based on simple thinking errors. You may assume that you are unwhole, a premise based on satisfying perceived needs by cooperating with an external reality. When you take in and let go of what is needful to satisfy your requirements in the bubble you then may feel like a winner. You may also assume wholeness is the ultimate game prize.

That assumption is an artifact of life perceived within the bubble of limited awareness – a conclusion based on questionable premises and false equations. From that perspective, even “reasonable” equations result in unreasonable yet apparently logical conclusions – that appear as my life story.

From a perspective beyond bubble awareness, wholeness takes on an entirely different understanding. To get to that understanding, let’s start with an investigation of our premise that wholeness can and must be won or earned.

How Do I Support Questionable Premises?

Questionable premises are those that invite inquiry and scrutiny – question-able. Let’s look at the structure of some questionable premises and how they create false equations in the thinking process:

  • Premise: I must be right to be whole
    • False equations:
      • Anything less than right = wrong = unwhole
      • Success = right = whole = life
      • Wrong = failure = death
  • Premise: I can earn/achieve wholeness
    • False equations:
      • Success = achievement of wholeness
      • Sufficient education = success
      • Sufficient rightness = success
  • Premise: Wholeness is a prize
    • False equations:
      • Anything less than wholeness = failure = loss/lose
      • I am less than whole = I am a failure = I am a loser
      • Given enough time, energy, work, meditation, etc. => I WILL become whole (a future that never arrives)

Within my bubble awareness, I create a body-mind competition developed around relationships. When I  fashion an internal sense of self that compares my truths to the misunderstandings of others – who, in turn, compare my understanding to their completely unreasonable standards based on their questionable premises.

Example of how my false equations support my questionable premises:

“Because I haven’t yet become whole, I must be unwhole.”
“I am unwhole, so I must be a loser.”
“Because I need to win to live, I must not lose.”
“Because winning equates to wholeness, I must achieve wholeness.”
Therefore:
“Wholeness is the ultimate prize that I must win, yet, can’t win.”

Some reasoning errors that sustain my false or questionable premises:

  • Logic levels errors (also known as the non-sequitur fallacy) – This refers to logic leaps between BEING, DOING, and HAVING. Logic level leaps take the cause-effect form: if one logic level, then another logic level. For example: IF I DO something good then I AM good, I AM what I DO.
    Example: “Because I can’t stop smoking, I must be weak-willed.”
    Just because you can’t DO something, it does not follow that you ARE unwhole.
  • Cherry picking – “A man sees what he wants to see, and disregards the rest.”
    Example: “The boss shot down my idea at the meeting today. I’m such a loser!”
    Never mind the times when your boss accepted your ideas.
  • Circular reasoning – in which the conclusion supports the premises which supports the conclusion.
    Example: “I’m a loser because I know what a winner looks like and that’s not how I look.”
    Note how I’m the authority that proves the authority.

The key to resolving questionable premises is to question them with intent to receive answers and to understand. An unquestioned premise will most likely remain intact and active as it is. Sometimes simply questioning a premise will resolve it – resulting in a new and possibly more useful state of mind.

How to Question a Premise

Get into a meditative, relaxed state. With an intent to understand, let go of your need for understanding and how answers to these questions must appear to you. Once the body is completely comfortable and relaxed, it’s in a baseline condition. Any sensation that pops up can be considered an “answer” to the question. With this awareness, ask, listen to the body, and acknowledge responses from Self.

Elicit the Premise:

  1. Who: (premise)
    • do I believe I am that needs to manifest in this way?
    • do I think I am that needs to feel this way?
      • ex: “I’m a failure!” “I’m unworthy.” “I’m unwhole.” “I’m angry!”
    • else sees me in this way?
  2. Why: (defense)
    • do I need to think, feel, and behave in this way?
    • must I express myself this way?
    • do I care what others think, feel, and express about me?
  3. How: (expression)
    • do I express that belief?
    • does this behavior affect this experience?
    • do others see me?
    • do I want others to see me?
  4. What: (judgement)
    • do I believe about me in this situation?
    • am I trying to express?
    • am I seeking from my expression?
    • do I need from others?
    • does my expression tell others about me?

Question the Premise:

  1. What must I assume in order for me to judge myself and others as I have? (Questioning the judgment of my premise)
  2. How would my life appear without that assumption? (Questioning the expression of my premise)
  3. Why do I assume this? Why do I need to feel this way? (Questioning my defense of my premise)
  4. Who would I be without this premise? (Questioning the validity of my premise)

Again – LISTEN with openness. Pay attention to your body – which may “speak” your answers to you in the language of sensation and movement. You might notice a sensation or movement and note its intensity:

  • What sensation do I feel? (hot, cold, tense, itchy, etc.)
  • Where do I feel it? (as precise as you can without pointing or touching it – just describe it in you mind)
  • How intensely do I feel it? (maybe on a scale of 0 to 10 with 10 being completely unbearable)

Note: sensations are not questions – they are responses/answers to questions. Resist the temptation to ask a sensation for its meaning. In this case, meaning is another mind game that can result in circular reasoning – “I feel tight in the jaw because I’m angry, which makes my jaw tight…”. Just “listen” and “acknowledge” – maybe express gratitude – then accept the information.

At some point, such questioning may result in an AHA moment that leads to a Third Degree of Illumination choice.

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