Questioning Perception to Clarify Choice

How Choice Confirms the Paradox I Intend to Resolve

I rarely think about my intentions when people are agreeable and things are going well. I may still be unaware of my intentions when I act on perceived threats, reverting automatically to defense. This because my focus is on choice as the application of defense of the intention rather than on the intention. Regardless of my intentions, any choice I consider or make within the bubble is in defense of the separation paradox.

Thus, choice defends intention that defends perception.

That seems like a pretty poor strategy for resolving a paradox! How do I intend to resolve a paradox by choosing to confirm it? That sounds a bit confusing to me!

Might confusion be the strategy of choice?

Consider how convinced you feel when reason aligns with perception. When “how” and “why” align with sensory “what” – “I know this is true, because [a logical reason].” As I consider how stubbornly unmovable I get when I feel convinced of my “truth”, a little confusion may indeed be in order.

How does that work?

I use automation, of course! I engage a policy-management, self-regulating process to carry out my choices without question. Think mechanical process – “When this, do that.” Over time and experience, I learn to trust my choices – no questions necessary!

When I choose for, I also choose against. The process defends both sides of the argument. From an energy conservation perspective, it’s brilliant! The same reason I use in defense of one option I favor also defends why I’m right in not choosing another option. In choosing the road to the left, I’ve also chosen not to take the road to the right – for the same reasons.

Although this process manipulates conflicting concepts to maintain a sense of rightness, it adds paradox to paradox.

Let’s Recap!

  1. By perceiving, I set up a fundamental paradox of deficit within wholeness.
  2. I intend to resolve this paradox by setting up a system in which need-fulfillment feels like paradox resolution.
  3. To defend the intention, I create a life story that sets the parameters within which, as the hero, I must satisfy the ultimate need – survival of the paradox!
  4. I sustain the fundamental paradox by masking it behind paradoxical choices.

I can challenge my choices. Why? Because they’re not set in stone! They’re just concepts I’ve accepted as “right” and so, true. By questioning a choice, I open a space for understanding the philosophy and intent behind it. I might even let go of my defense of the current choice. It’s at least an opening.

Questioning

Questioning my choices may be cutting myself short of a realistic answer. My process isn’t designed to question itself because it is the answers. It has the right reasons for my survival and simply applies an appropriate defense. Therefore, questions intended to check the reasons for a system of defense must come from outside the system. Questions from within a system of defense tend to confirm the system.

Perhaps questioning my intention,rather than my perception would open a space for something new. Change the input change the output.

This means I want to design questions that awaken the process and its system of defense to itself. The answers to those questions will bring enlightenment to the process and promote clarity to a paradoxical reality.

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Risking Awkwardness in Awakening

As in walking and running, our desire to find balance within a limited bubble of awareness must first risk an awkward shift. Our legs move from normal standing balance into an awkward outward movement. This forward thrust achieves measurable distance from where we began. Awkwardness achieves movement that achieves a purpose.

The same is true in forward thinking. A shift in thought is a risk in balancing a new perspective. One might consider new thoughts that challenge present understanding a risk towards change in that perspective.

One might view a change of understanding as a movement, albeit an awkward one at first. As I transition from standing still to walking, then to running, I give little or no thought to the risks involved. Past the awkwardness of the transition, I experience a larger movement forward than when I was still.

Risking Awkwardness

Whether physical or nonphysical, life is a risk. Willingness to brave awkwardness while transitioning from the sleep of defense into the awakening of new understandings is worth those risks.

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Projection and the Dance of Light

I imagine my life as a projection in limited illumination. I perceive a dance between light and dark that makes everything appear real. Contrast provides a sense of definition that I use to compare and judge. These judgements turn light into a story.

Ever notice how poorly other people behave? Maybe your boss is a jerk, some guy on the news robbed a store, and your teenage son… well, you get the idea. Some people! Why do they do bad things?

Perhaps you’ve noticed how amazing some people are. People who can play an instrument, sing well, create artwork, or some other great accomplishment. The world is full of really amazing people doing amazing things. Amazing! Why can they do such amazing things?

The answer to those questions may surprise you! It did me! And still does when I find myself knocking on the doors of Fourth Degree of Illumination awareness.

From a Fourth Degree perspective, within First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble awareness, I develop an external sense of Self by projecting aspects of myself as perceptions of others, creating an apparent relationship (me vs you). By Self, I mean that entity of consciousness that is and interacts with everything it perceives – body, mind, environment, the universe.

Dream Projection?

Ever try to see yourself? Not your body or your image in the mirror – you!

Perhaps I experience Self like scientists view black holes in space – through evidence of its effects on its environment. I can’t see a black hole. I can see its effects. In other words, I experience Self through the effects Self has on perception.

This is how I experience ME – in a perceptual relationship with NOT ME. This is the essence of bubble awareness – I defend a projection of ME that appears as NOT ME.

I project an image of ME as a defense to protect ME from NOT ME. Since NOT ME is only an apparition, I’m counting on my imagination to make that illusion real – and make me feel safe.

Projecting from a place of fear protects me from waking up. In that dream, fear guides and controls what I experience. When I’m protecting ME from NOT ME, it’s an indication I’m still believing in a dream.

When I recognize that dream as my dream, I recognize ME and NOT ME as ONE in a dance of light.

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Transformation of Resistance into Acceptance

One of the cardinal characteristics of Second Degree of Illumination awareness is psychological resistance. I sometimes refer to it as defensiveness. What is it you resist: A change? Yourself? Someone you don’t like? A concept you find difficult to understand?

According to Newton’s Law of Inertia, opposition to change is a natural physical law. I like to think I obey the law – which gives me little comfort when I’m suffering from a case of inner conflict!

In my world, I know what is right and oppose all challenges to that! Maybe my opposition extends to anything resembling a challenge. That is, I oppose everything I think might appear different from what I think it should appear.

Resisting Acceptance of Self

Resisting keeps me firmly within bubble awareness. This protects my conscious awareness from the imagined “horrors” of Fourth Degree of Illumination acceptance of personal accountability. Within the bubble, I define accountability in terms of blame. I don’t want to be blamed, so I avoid liability or assign it to “others.”

Trouble with blame is that, as the owner of my perceptual world, there is no one outside me to accept it! So, blame goes down as an attribution error – full of pain! I don’t like pain and, yet, here I am – producing it for myself by resisting. And, the more I resist the pain, the more pain I feel. Egad!

How to Transform Resistance into Self Acceptance

Resistance is an essential element of awareness, without which I’d notice nothing. Like you need friction in order to feel something, the reason you notice something is because it represents a concept that resists the oblivion of unawareness.

What might happen were you to take charge of your struggle against acceptance? How would acknowledging your creation affect your experience as a human in a world of your own imagination?

Through my recent practice of meditation, I’m coming to a realization that I am the creator of my perceptions. This awareness transforms psychological resistance into acceptance and gratitude.

When you feel physical pain, emotional distress, or mental struggle, meditate on questions like these:

  • What/who do I resist right now? (alt: What/who do I fear/need?)
  • How do I resist it/them? (alt: How does that fear/need appear?)
  • Why do I resist it/them? (alt: What do I get out of fearing/needing this?)
  • Who am I as a result of resisting this/them? (alt: What/who does my fear/need affect?)

(IMPORTANT – listen for a question! If you hear an answer, it’s probably your ego speaking your expectation – confirming your current belief! Just ask the question and listen to the silence.)

I may then meditate on positive affirmations that support self-acceptance. For example:

  • I accept who I am now.
  • All my perceptions reflect who I think I am.
  • I am the creator of my perceptions.
  • I love everyone when I love myself.

Within First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble awareness, meditation is a form of personal responsibility that serves to awaken a sleeping Self. This affords me opportunities for Third Degree of Illumination choice, which then opens my awareness to Fourth Degree of Illumination acceptance of self-accountability.

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Good and Bad – as a Perceptual Pattern

From the perceptual standpoint of bubble awareness, I process my experiences through a good/bad filter. That filter is my imagination, that makes it possible to attach value to experience. When I attach a positive value, I judge that experience as good. I use the same process for attaching negative value to what I judge as bad experience.

I judge an experience, then attach a perceived value to it. My level of defense for that value is equal to my own perceived value. That value represents the level of defense I need to protect my good or bad judgements. When I judge the value of an experience, rather than learning from it, I miss the learning.

These good and bad values become perceptual patterns. Like stringing beads on lines of bias, I link compatible values – good experiences with other good experiences and bad experiences with other bad experiences. 

All these links of strings of beads create patterns of bias. When sufficient beads (judgements) are amassed as my truth, bias defends that truth. That bias becomes my story – my reality.

Perceptual Misunderstandings

My thoughts and feelings are the ingredients necessary to combine my truth into judgements of good and bad. These play off each other in a dance of perceptual misunderstandings: if this > then that. These patterns of false equations are really about my judgements of my experience, rather than the experiences themselves. 

When I am aware of my perceptual misunderstandings of good and bad, I consciously affect the outcome of my experiences simply by being present in them.

I can use mindfulness to awaken into acceptance of full accountability for everything. Bringing together positive and negative poles into none.

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