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?

Stuck in Certitude

In my bubble of awareness, nature appears to push life toward certitude and in the process, a sense of blind obedience arises. My sense of knowing how to survive comes from a confidence that runs a strictly automated cause/effect program.

From that perspective, certitude as an instinctive program governing all thought and behavior is associated with success. Yet, with all that certitude being applied towards success, why does death, suffering, and failure top the list of outcomes?

When I challenge a wild animal in its certitude, I could be inviting my own uncertainty. What if that wild animal is my unquestionable state of knowingness? Just how far will that certitude go to prove its rightness?

Getting Stuck in Certitude

Defense plays a part in stuckness. While defending what I’m attending, I’m blocking what I’m unaware of. Thus, my reactions are due to my extractions, unaware of my unawareness!

One is certain AFTER they are uncertain, aware after they are unaware, unstuck after they are stuck – not before. Becoming aware of my unawareness may be the first step in resolving the paradox.

Am I addicted to certitude?

Becoming aware of a stuck state of mind is useful in that it sets my mind into problem solving mode. However, my addiction to certainty might take me into using a known process to solve the problem of stuckness. That’s unlikely to work because it was probably that process that got me stuck in the first place!

In certitude, I’ll resist change. Why? Because I’m right! That can add to “the problem” of stuckness in unawareness.

What can I do to resolve the awareness paradox?

I might think I can resolve the paradox of defending unawareness with a process I’ve used before. That will probably be unsuccessful because previous defense is the default behavior – resulting in the current condition.

Instead, I may want to investigate a resolution process that feels risky to me. I risk my awareness by blocking an area of consideration I’ve actively defended against to protect myself. Fear may represent that risk and thus, act as a great indicator for which process to pursue.

For example, if I fear what I might find under hypnosis, then it might be useful in resolving my awareness paradox.

All or Nothing Thinking => Stuck!

Believing that change is impossible will tend to make it so. All or nothing thinking resists change because it sees change in terms of too large or not enough. Overwhelming or insignificant. Black or white. That is the very definition of stuck!

One strategy I might use is that of chunking, in which I take something apparently large and break it up into smaller pieces. Like eating the pie one bite at a time rather than trying to smash the whole thing into my mouth at once. Breathing is done one breath at a time.

In certitude, one might introduce a little doubt and consider new ways to think and behave…

Apathy, Correctness, and Conscious Choice

Can a belief be questioned? If so, can it be challenged? Could my belief in my unquestionable repetitive thoughts and actions become law which result in apathy? Could sure knowledge and ultimate confidence in a belief lead to so much defense of correctness I experience apathy? Thus, in my bubble of limited awareness, might apathy represent maximum resistance to awareness of change?

How can I become aware that I’m in apathy when apathy resists awareness? Is my belief in correctness worthy of examination?

“The unexamined life isn’t worth living.” (Sacrates)

The Socratic method is “a form of cooperative argumentative dialogue between individuals, based on asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking and to draw out ideas and underlying presumptions.” Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socratic_method

From an individual perspective, how often do I question my thoughts and motives? From a social perspective, how often do others question my behaviors and views?

What if the reason few questions arise is due to apathy? Apathy is “a lack of feeling, emotion, interest, or concern about something. Apathy is a state of indifference, or the suppression of emotions such as concern, excitement, motivation, or passion. An apathetic individual has an absence of interest in or concern about emotional, social, spiritual, philosophical, or physical life and the world.” Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motivation

What if any emotion, feeling, interest, or concern is an indicator that I have sufficient energy to ask a question? Maybe that’s enough motivation to challenge the defense of my situation.  Thus, emotion may offer a way out!

How About A Catalyst

Things tend to stay as they are until acted upon by a catalyst (Newton’s first law of motion https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newton%27s_laws_of_motion). How might that catalyst appear?

The individual, society, etc. becomes preoccupied with its own correctness. That correctness then leads to its defense, which leads to a stronger stand against change. Resistance to change attracts more resistance. Thus, apathy would represent the highest level of defense – lowest level of awareness.

When resistance reaches a tipping point of awareness, a catalyst tips the cause towards change. In an atmosphere of apathy, any change in the apathetic condition would indicate the presence of a catalyst.

Change comes from outside the state of apathy to challenge the status quo. Catalyst!

The initial catalyst is questioning – the change appears in the answer, which then becomes the next cause. That cause may be to question why my emotions are giving me the feedback I experience about my choices.

This direction of questioning may be backwards from my present questioning. It may be that my emotions are telling me to question my choices. This approach to understanding my choices and the role of my emotions seems more proactive. Thus, leading me away from unnecessary emotional drama.

To arise out of the limited awareness of apathy, I may ask questions that might lead to change and a new causality – like:

  • What is my place in the universe?
  • How do I defend it?
  • Why must I defend it?
  • Who am I?

An Alien Addicted to Entertainment

What possible purpose might an extraterrestrial race find in interfering with human evolution, human politics, day-to-day human activities? I like the idea of entertainment as the purpose for alien visitation and intervention.

If an alien species were watching us, they might find us entertaining. Who knows what they might think of us – I’ll wager not the same as what we think of ourselves, though.

Suppose an alien race found a wild planet-bound species intelligent enough to invent and use technology. Though, not wise enough to use their technology or their intelligence to their mutual benefit. And, useful to aliens, not smart enough to escape the confines of the planet to which they are bound.

Further, suppose that this alien race is BORED and likes to be entertained. Maybe they’ve been watching the same TV programming for a million years. After many millennia of the same old stuff, wouldn’t you think you’d like something “different” to watch? Maybe they would, too. Thus, my concept of alien addiction to entertainment.

What About Morals?

Suppose these aliens don’t give a flying feces about our morals, our “10 commandments,” or any other “code of [human] conduct.” They’re aliens! Perhaps all they really care about is TV ratings on their planet! Consider how little we care about subjecting ourselves and other species to all kinds of immoral practices for entertainment’s sake.

An alien race might feel no compunction whatsoever in intervening into whichever human group they wish. Thus, accelerating some groups while watching what happens to others when they do. They’d be completely amoral about it – not caring at all who gets hurt (it’s not gonna be them!). They only care about the entertainment value to them. Thus, their addiction may appear as ratings to them and “bad alien” to us.

Suppose their “network” got to work on entertainment projects like these –

  • “Tonight on ABC News (Alien Broadcast Company) – crew crash lands on an alien planet. Surrounded by wild beasts, they may not make it out alive! Details at 11…”
  • “Today on ‘Days of our Human Lives’ – Harry gives Doug the go-ahead to deliver the device that wipes out everything for kilometers! You don’t want to miss this exciting episode!”

What if the alien to which I refer is me?!