Lack and My Growing Need to Overcome It

To paraphrase Stephen King’s “We all float down here!” – what if we all feed down here (on earth)?

In my bubble of limited awareness, I perceive I need to feed to survive based on my intention to end my sense of lack. I perceive I can satisfy that lack by taking from “not me” that which I perceive it has. Then I add that to me to gain a sense of wholeness (fulfillment).

Cause and effect is evidence of my perception of needs and their fulfillment. Every need presents a cause, every fulfillment presents an effect. Each effect then becomes the basis for the next cause and so forth. This suggests that no one thing is independent of other things. All are based on intention. Form and function work to satisfy the intention to exist.

I use the word “feeding” to represent what and how I exist in my reality. By the same token, I perceive and project that same need on all other forms and their functions. That, because I perceive my life in terms of cause and effect.

Figurative Feeds – Solving the Problem of Lack

Today, we are surrounded by symbols that communicate interdimensional concepts – like emotions, psychological states of mind, philosophies, histories, and etc. For example, The USA uses an eagle as its national symbol. Language represents a collective cultural understanding of identity. An eagle is not the USA any more than a language is the culture it represents.

Let’s consider the figurative nature of feeding as interdimensional representations of lack. Feeds represent satisfaction of desire on many levels of lack-consciousness. The result of this belief? I’m not enough, so I have needs and wants. This is validated in the reverse: I have needs and wants, so I must not be enough.

As I insist upon my interpretation of symbols of lack as the only interpretation, I become less flexible. Inflexibility closes off consideration of other interpretations, other dimensions, and, so validates my deficit. I’m also less able to solve the problem of lack.

That Which I Feed Will Grow

Feeding my inflexibility sets up a growing sense of want/need, defense of that sense, and resistance to alternatives. Awareness of that sense grows as I feed it, providing more awareness of it. Thus, feeding awareness of want grows awareness of want.

As I feed my insistence upon my interpretation, I grow more insistent, more resistant to change – increasingly inflexible. I might view that resistance as a problem in a rapidly changing world because evolution tends to favor flexibility.

My intention to solve the problem of inflexibility may result in a presentation of the lack of its fulfillment. Thus, intending to solve the problem of lack, I confirm and validate the problem I seek to solve. So, intending to solve a problem may result in feeding it! Paradox?

What if I, instead, feed figurative thinking? Might this solve the problem of lack without feeding it? Might our perceptions, thoughts, and feelings represent multidimensional realities that are figurative rather than literal problems seeking solutions?

What if there is no problem for me to solve, no intention to feed, no resistance to feed on? Imagine that!

Ever Seeking and Never Completely Finding!

I have an intention to be whole. This sets up a sense of lack. I must feed to satisfy that sense, be it for food or other. A need that can never be filled is like an intention that can never be satisfied. Ever seeking and never completely finding! Thus, this one thought – I am separate and need to be whole – sets up a need to feed!

In my bubble of limited awareness, I believe that living beings on earth compete for limited resources. Each seeking satisfaction of its intention to continue towards wholeness – at the expense of others. As a being with limited imagination, I can imagine how that lack and wholeness might appear.

Could Seeking Wholeness Set Up a Problem with Problem Solving?

Because I believe I am separate from wholeness, I see lack as the problem and wholeness as its solution. I believe I must DO something to solve the problem of what I lack in what I already am. Does that present a paradox in which problem solving is, itself, a problem?

What is that “something” I must do? Lacking wholeness, I must add to myself continually, just to continue living. How do I add to myself? With a two-aspect problem-solving process – I must eat and not be eaten. This is based on a belief in separation – me vs not me, yet, me.

I need to feed on something outside myself in order to overcome the lack I feel.

Feeding My Need to Feed

To continue living, I must eat and avoid being eaten. Within me, these two metaphoric aspects fight against each other. The one that wins in any given situation is the one I feed.

When it comes to feeding:

  • What am I feeding?
  • How am I feeding it?
  • Why am I feeding it?
  • Who am I?

On the flip-side:

  • What am I feeding on?
  • How am I feeding on it?
  • Why am I feeding on it?
  • Who am I?

And another:

  • What’s eating me?
  • How is it eating me?
  • Why is it eating me?
  • Who am I?

As the one perceiving my world of lack, I must be the one creating and feeding on it. I am the snake eating its own tail – the Ouroboros. What if this whole concept of feeding is a metaphor representing ME?

  • What aspect of me does this need-to-feed represent?
  • How does that metaphor apply to me right now?
  • Why does it apply?
  • Who am I?

 

Threat and the Overkill Response

Consider what we think of as reactions to threat – fight, flight, or freeze.  Now consider a word I think conveys a fourth option – “Overkill.” In bubble awareness, each of these implies an intention to remove a threat with an action. That action provides me a sense of control to mitigate the fear:

  1. Fight – intention to confront a threat.
  2. Flight – intention to escape a threat.
  3. Freeze – intention to avoid a threat.
  4. Overkill – intention to destroy a threat.

Each of the above appears totally justifiable by the one perceiving the threat in that moment. Not necessarily when viewed from outside that perception.

Let’s look at some examples of logic overkill. This represents an over- compensation response to threat. It appears reasonable from the perspective of the one applying the logic. Excessive from outside that perspective. From the overkill perspective, actions taken may not be or ever be enough, yet are totally justifiable. Remember, these are responses to fear:

  • Striking someone to get a point across.
  • If one piece of cake is good, two even better, then more…
  • If I go on a diet, I’ll have to starve.
  • I know I can’t make the rent this month, but I gotta buy this…
  • I’m not good enough, so this behavior tries to compensate for it.
  • Temper tantrums, bullying, showing off, bragging.
  • Winning an argument at any expense.
  • Gossip, spreading rumors, fault-finding, fear-mongering.
  • Flaunting wealth, education level, physical strength, social position, authority.
  • Hoarding.
  • Drug, child, animal abuse.
  • Murder, genocide, prejudice and bias.
  • Self-importance, self-deprivation.
  • Wishful and magical thinking.
  • Poverty consciousness.
  • Revenge, back-stabbing, and other passive aggressive behaviors.

When is enough enough? Timing plays a huge role in knowing when to stop.

How Fear Turns Appropriate Into Inappropriate Action.

My body has two action channels: sympathetic (GO!) and parasympathetic (WHOA!). I use a combination of the two in every perception and action I take. The balance I justify between GO and WHOA determines my judgment of the appropriateness of my actions. This is completely independent of facts, objective measurement, or rational thought.

What might happen when fear causes my GO-WHOA equation to jump into overdrive? At some point, enough GO or WHOA results in overkill. Where is that point? Personally, I’d not like to test that boundary. Instead, I’d rather stay far closer to the neutral balance point. Angry not to the point of enraged. Desirous not to the point of neediness or theft. Etc.

Social Overkill Algorithms

Agreement about a threat can foster swarm or mob mentality that can lead to overkill like genocide. Basically, add sufficient fear to the mix and just about any relationship can devolve into overkill behaviors.

Some computer hackers use social engineering to entice someone to do something they wouldn’t ordinarily do – like click a dangerous link. Such social algorithms cause people to do hurtful things they would not ordinarily do. Add societal prejudices to the mix and the chemistry of mass fear will inevitably drive an excessive response.

Prejudice is an example of fear on automatic.

Sometimes that can lead to overkill – when societal fear rises to sufficient levels. One sees examples in the near-extermination of Native Americans in the 17th-19th Century and the Japanese-American internment program during WWII. Many examples exist that reveal the danger and damage of societal overkill.

On a personal level, this societal phenomena shows itself in my rage against opposing political personalities, parties and policies. At some point, I could be persuaded to take extreme action against them or their supporters – overkill.

That is, unless I use my language and/or emotional energy as a cue to question my beliefs. For example, I might think or say, “They always do that!” (referring to something I don’t like). I might question, “They?” and “Always?” That is, can I identify specific individuals or actions I don’t like? And, can I think of an exception to the “always” claim?

Questioning generalizations can sometimes stem the tide before it gets started. A simple question may be all it takes to avoid potential overkill. When enough isn’t enough, I might ask a useful question:

  1. What do I want?
  2. How can I get what I want?
  3. Why this in particular?
  4. Who am I?

Challenging The Non Sequitur Fallacy

A non sequitur is a fallacious statement of logic. Basically, non sequitur logic follows the format, because this, then that – where this and that are unrelated or disconnected. Yet, appear to me to be related.

Consider that your mind tries to make sense out of everything. When faced with a situation or event, my mind tries to connect data dots into logical conclusions.

When a situation is inexplicable or when faced with insufficient data, my mind does its best. It tries to connect whatever dots it can find – and makes up the rest to suit my appetite for justification. This can result in false equations I defend.

Below are some examples of non sequitur equations. They follow the format, “Just because [ fact/perception ], it doesn’t necessarily follow that [ conclusion ].” These often use “so” or “therefore” to connect one or more questionable facts to one or more questionable conclusions. These may look familiar:

  • I can/am, so I should.
  • You agree with me, so I must be right.
  • I feel afraid because it’s dangerous.
  • I know it, so it must be true.
  • You’re going a different direction than me, so you must be lost.
  • Something didn’t work out as I expected, so I must have failed.
  • We disagree, so you must be wrong.
  • I lost, so I must be a loser.
  • You did something I don’t like, so you must not love me.
  • I can’t find a solution, therefore no one can.
  • I like it, so it must be good/right for me.
  • Because I think I understand/comprehend something, I must [understand/comprehend].
  • It has always been that way, so it must continue that way.
  • Because what you did hurt me, you must have intended to hurt me.

Non sequiturs are sometimes logic level leaps between BE, DO, and HAVE. For example, one might leap from DO to BE, DO to HAVE, or HAVE to BE, and etc. That is, one part of the non sequitur connects one logical level to another. For example, a DO logical level connects to a BE logical level in, “I failed to DO something, therefore, I must BE an idiot! ”

To challenge a non sequitur, one might challenge its premise or conclusion, “Is it true?” and, “What if my fact/conclusion is not true?” I might inquire into presuppositions with questions like, “What would a person have to believe in order to connect those facts with that conclusion?”

Non sequiturs can be useful once exposed. That is, I can play with my associations to bust up false, hurtful, or useless ones.

For example, connecting DO to BE in the equation, “I failed my science test, so I must be a failure,” is a non sequitur. It’s also a false equation. Just because I failed a test doesn’t necessarily equate to I’m a failure. I could just require more study time or a different understanding of the subject.

Because my mind has the false equation, I’ll continue to prove failure even where there is no or refuting evidence. Eventually, I so believe I really am a failure that I seek out or make up “evidence” to prove it. “See! I was right! I AM a failure!” Thus, a non sequitur proves a confirmation bias.

What if I assume that one or both aspects of my non sequitur equation are untrue or incorrect? Assuming my facts are untrue means my conclusions are suspect. Assuming my conclusion is false means my facts could be suspect, too. In either or both cases, I’m challenging my non sequitur. Thereby offering myself new possibilities, new perspectives, and new opportunities.

That can be quite useful, indeed.

Agreement, Problem Solving, and My Life Story

My first engagement into my life – my life story – is to see a problem that needs a solution. Problem solving orders chaos into meaningful equations, like cause->effect, entropy->order, separation->wholeness, etc.

Imagine a perfect world and that you know how that perfection should appear. Now, compare that perfect world to the one you’re experiencing. That is the world of should – a problem  needing a solution, a story of comparisons to an imagined standard of perfection. Why does my world differ from the standard of perfection? Is that difference a problem that can be solved? As long as I view it as a problem, I’m driven to solve it – by living it!

Houston, We Have a Problem-Solving Problem!

To solve the problem of the should world, I link problems I create with solutions I create. This creates a coherent story that seeks to solve the why problem – why am I conscious?

Is my life story an awareness of what my Dad used to call, “one damn problem after another?”

Houston: Agreed! You Have a Problem!

Agreement is one tool I use to solve the problems inherent in my imagined world. Basically, an agreement works for me when it satisfies my need to be right. To fit agreement into my world of perfection, I standardize it!

A standard of agreement determines social understanding that makes judgments acceptable to those that agree. Agreement amplifies my trust in the perfection I’ve imagined. This builds a perception of trustworthiness into a social structure as a sense of predictability. I believe my perceptions are real because I can make and prove predictions.

Who I believe I am is the result of identifying with judgments supported by agreements. This is how I view myself as my job, my community, and my level of agreement. “I am a doctor, an American, the president of my organization” for example.

Agreement seeks to solve a fundamental problem of reality – Who am I?