A Catalyst Reveals Hidden Treasures

A catalyst is a triggering agent that provokes action and choice. In a reactive universe, every action provokes another action and another choice. Relationships provoke change that is essential to experience. A Third Degree of Illumination question appears as a catalyst that provokes a choice and yet does not affect the question that prompted it.

The Catalyst Opportunity

Relationships carry intentions and resistance to change. The choices we make are the beginning of change. Choosing the same thing is not choice, rather, it is resistance to change, a validation of a previous choice. My relationships offer many opportunities for me to confront my resistance. Those opportunities often appear as conflicting thoughts that elicit questions that act as catalysts for change.

I can challenge resistance thoughts with alternative thoughts. In my inner-most personal relationships, those alternative thoughts are ever-present, an invitation to reconsider and choose again. A catalyst may require only a minute degree of leverage in the form of a question like, “Is that true?” to move the mind past the tipping point.

This type of catalyst is a question that reveals hidden intentions behind resistance. Light shone in the darkness acts as a catalyst that reveals what was in the dark. By questioning my resistance, I shine the light of conscious awareness on it, illuminating that which I’ve concealed from myself. I can shift my awareness from competition and defense to choice and accountability.

Revealing Hidden Treasures

I question my established beliefs by challenging present defenses. The more entrenched my beliefs, the greater the need for defense. The more I invest in defense the less creative energy I have available to me. I can use questions to reassign that investment. At some point, my investment in awakening will pass the tipping point to AHA! That’s when I’ll be faced with the ultimate choice – move ahead to complete personal accounting or fall back into defense. It’s a tipping point, after all.

Mindfulness means questioning my thoughts. Continuing to believe what I used to think vital simply allows my accountability to step aside while a misunderstanding takes charge. I can question that misstep and offer myself the choice again.

Any question can be used as a catalyst, yet certain kinds of questions lead to certain kinds of conscious awareness. Here are some questions I’ve used to provoke a 3rd Degree awareness – choice, in which 4th Degree accountability is an option.

From Conflict to Awareness – Choose!

Get quiet. Pick a recent conflict in which you continue to defend a side. Ask:

  1. What awareness am I resisting? (maybe the other side of the issue?)
  2. How am I resisting it? (my defense)
  3. Why am I resisting it? (my payoff for defense)
  4. Who am I resisting? (the one capable of resolving the issue)

Continue asking these questions until the answer to every question is a variation of “Who I am!” – the ONE dreaming this dream. BTW, I AM the treasure I seek.

How Might Socrates Provide Access to Fourth Degree Accountability?

The Greek philosopher, Socrates, recorded a timeless method for discovery that is useful to this day – the Socratic method. His system of inquiry may provide a gateway to enlightenment and Fourth Degree of Illumination accountability. Inquiry is essential to awareness – you must ask to receive enlightenment.

Socrates’ questioning helped him understand himself, others, and the world. He used them to stimulate critical thinking and to draw out ideas and underlying presumptions. I find these questions relevant today as I explore myself in a First-Second Degree bubble. Seeking to expand my perspective beyond the bubble, I pass through Third Degree choice into Fourth Degree Accountability expressed as gratitude, the Aha Zone.

Socratic Questions

Let’s take a look at Socrates’ questions to get an idea of why I find them so useful. I’ve used these questions to increase my reading speed and improve my reading comprehension. I might also use these questions in a meditation where I investigate some belief I wish to challenge. They may help me understand and sort out my own inner dialogs. I like their underlying usefulness to “question everything!” I might apply the following in a conversation with myself and or somewhat else.

  1. Questions of Clarification
    • Examples:
      • “What do you mean when you say that?”
      • “How does that work?”
      • “Specifically…?”
  2. Questions that Probe Assumptions
    • Examples:
      • “What does the word, ‘that’ refer to when you say, ‘I understand that.’?”
      • “Are you referring to a specific person in a group when you say you understand them?”
  3. Questions that Probe Reasons and Evidence
    • Examples:
      • “How would you verify or disprove your contention that those people are dangerous?”
      • “What are your reasons for believing that?”
      • “What evidence do you have to support that idea?”
  4. Questions about Viewpoints or Perspectives
    • Examples:
      • “Suppose you could view this from another perspective. What would you think then?”
      • “How would you view this from another perspective?””
  5. Questions that Probe Implications and Consequences
    • Examples:
      • “What would happen to the world were I/you to believe this?”
      • “What are you implying when you say that?”
  6. Questions about the Question
    • Examples:
      • “Why am I asking this question?”
      • “How else might I ask this question?”
      • “Does this question address what I want to understand?”
      • “What questions does this question induce?”

When I apply the above type questions to my own inner dialog, I find clarity and sometimes inspiration. Inspiration is the essential characteristic of Third Degree of Illumination choice – the “flash of inspiration” one gets when the mind is clear of bubble cruft.

Simplified Socrates?

We propose a simplified method of questioning that includes those that start with,

  • “What… is that, is my judgement, and etc.?”
  • “How… do I feel, did that work, will I respond, and etc.?”
  • “Why… is that so, do I believe that, and etc.?”
  • “Who… am I to believe that, am I as a result, and etc.?”

After asking the above questions, I might explore:

  • “What else…?”
  • “How else…?”
  • “Why else…?”
  • “Who else…?”

Resources:

Understanding My Interpreter Through My Intention

Within the First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble, I have an interpreter that defines my reality based on my intentions. Intention may be the aspect of mind that divides right from wrong – duality. My interpreter may be that aspect of mind that seeks to validate my intention. Providing meaning – by comparison – and making sense of – by defending – my resulting experience.

How can ONE experience division without fragmenting Humpty Dumpty-style? What if, by interpreting itself in terms of separation, ONE could experience fragmentation without being fragmented? No pieces to put back together again – and no need for all the king’s horses and all the king’s men.

Perhaps my inner interpreter – that applies meaning to intention – provides me with this appearance of separateness without separating me from all that is – ONE.

An illusion, I grant you – though a useful one that I experience as sensual feedback, attention, awareness, and purpose. Much more than this, I suspect it may also involve imagination and intention.

Thus, my interpreter presents my ONE consciousness with meaning that appears as individuated consciousness, from which sense of separation causes conflict, the desired effect.

In this duality, an interpreter offers me a means to choose what, how, and why I experience, deepening my belief in who I am through my intention.

This conflict may not be within my interpreter, rather, with my intention.

Does my interpreter define everything based on my intention?

In the order of my creation – What, How, Why, and Who – it is the Why of my creation that tends to hold the intention of judgment, the basis for interpretation of Who I am.

For example:
What = a person. How = feedback about that person from my senses. Why = my intention to judge them to validate… Who = I believe I am based on my intentions.

Creation may flow according to cause and effect: Cause is in the intention, Process is in the interpretation, and Effect is in the experience. Through continual feedback, the flow becomes self-sustaining.

When I want to understand my interpretations, I must question my intentions, the source of those interpretations. By following my creation backwards from effect to cause – Why, How, and What, I inevitably come to my intention.

Example questions to back-check my defenses of past truth from effect to cause:

  • Why am I defending this particular interpretation?
  • How am I defending this particular interpretation?
  • What intention am I really defending in this particular case?
  • Who am I that needs to defend these things?

How I Use Pseudoscience to Convince Me of My Truth

Due to a comprehensive field of fear, I defend myself from awareness of anything outside my First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble. I don’t have to perceive accurately to survive – just be correct enough. To that end, I apply the scientific method – with a twist.

That twist is pseudoscience that I employ to hold my truths firm against a world that constantly challenges them. To continue defending my truths, I occasionally accept falsity as truth and assume evidence that may appear to support my truths – without question. When MY interpretation is THE interpretation, I get rightness and certitude.

Always better to assume rightness than question it!

Read more How I Use Pseudoscience to Convince Me of My Truth

How My Life Story Controls My Life

Due to my perception of ever-present danger inside the First and Second Degree Illumination bubble, I do whatever I can to control my life. I’m building what I believe is a safe representation of who I am in story form. My “documentary,” is a collection of memories, a string of emotional interpretations. Fear of not being right about my memories leads me to trust them when maybe I shouldn’t.

My story is actually a history of defense. I trust my memories to keep me feeling secure in the bubble.

What if I challenge my trust in my story? Would that challenge or invalidate my story? Would my story invalidate my life? How do I survive without a story I can justify? Do I need my memories to appear in chronological order to validate my belief in time?

Who’s in Charge Here?

Read more How My Life Story Controls My Life