I Have a Policy for That!

The first line of defense for choosing separation is to make that choice a belief. Policy manages how beliefs manifest, sustaining a bias-based defense system – my First-Second Degree of awareness bubble.

My Manifestation Process

  1. Perception of Separation
  2. Intention
  3. Philosophy
  4. Choice
    1. Policy
    2. Procedure/Action
  5. Outcome/Feedback

Beliefs are substantiated by philosophies, stories that obscure hidden defenses. A fertile imagination fashions my most cherished and well-used philosophies into stories that defend them. I experience these stories as comparative hierarchies of defense, thus satisfying my need for rightness.

Policies manage my perceived threats and benefits from least to greatest importance to survival. By default, I arrange this hierarchy in order of defense value. Those philosophies that conceptualize the greatest defense value rule over the others.

Every philosophy carries defense values expressed through choices, policies and procedures. When my policies and procedures project a me vs not me choice onto a comparative reality, I must defend it.

It’s Conditional!

My personal policies define my adopted or proposed courses or principles of action. Each operates as a contract with myself. Policies defend my beliefs with procedures, the actions that turn my beliefs into experience.

The result of this process is a life of competition – me working against myself. My experiences are fractals within fractals of defense. Each fractal represents a paradox of perception that defends choices, beliefs, philosophies, policies, and procedures in an outcome.

A policy is a conceptualization of a belief in the form of a conditional statement, “if/when a condition is true, then do the following action…”

  1. If/When I think X condition is true, then I will probably do Y
  2. If/When I’m convinced X condition is true, then I will absolutely do Y

This morphs into a BE-DO logic level reasoning paradox policy:

  1. X condition must BE true because I/you DID Y
  2. I/you DID Y because X condition was true

For example, “You must BE in love with me because I DO nice things for you.” And, “I must BE dumb because I DID poorly on the test!”

I experience a conflict in a relationship when I APPLY a morphed conditional policy to resolve it. That is, BECAUSE I perceive this conflict, I feel I must DO something about it. For example, because I am afraid, I must freeze up!

What can I do to correct my paradox of perception? Well, now that I’ve NOTICED the condition, I might question it and consider making a change – to policies first, then maybe to philosophies – and, perhaps ultimately, to my beliefs!

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The Right to Serve and Be Served

I Have the Right!

I live in bubble awareness where being right confers a sense of having the right to place expectations on others.

Insistence upon exercising my right validates my belief that I’m living as a separate entity. As separate, I place a level of importance on my needs that others should meet. That level of importance takes the value of others with the intention of declaring them as my own. The more service others give me, the greater my perceived value.

I want to believe I have the right to be served without serving. Taking what I value from others – as though it were mine to take – gives me a sense of authority. As I see it, that authority gives me implicit permission to choose and judge the way others should serve me.

In my bubble, authority means “the right to have, do, and be what I want.” This and my sense of separation gives me a feeling of power  over you. That assumed power validates itself. My concept of rights stems from the fear associated with survival – where the strong survive and the powerful prey upon the weak.

When I judge that I have been adequately served, I feel whole. I feel unwhole when I judge that I have been inadequately served. In this way, I experience my internal self-judgement as an externalized projection, in which I see service in terms of competition between opposing states of mind.

I Sustain the Right

In my separateness, I perceive I must exert my will over that of others to survive. To satisfy this constant sustaining of needs and demands of the will, I expect others to serve me. This creates an emptiness I can’t fill on my own and so I assume power over those I need to serve me.

Recognizing I have needs is my reminder of my choice to defend separation. In separation I can compete and win even when I appear to be losing. By making my opponent appear weaker than me.

When I DO something, it’s right and/or justified. When you DO the same thing, it’s questionable or somehow wrong. Check it out –

When I… I’m… When you do the same thing, you’re…
pass a test… smart! lucky or you cheated.
say it… witty. offensive!
slip and fall… embarrassed. a klutz!
spend money… thrifty. excessive.
tell a falsehood… realistic. a liar!
feel hurt… justified. a drama queen!

This way of thinking maintains my superior view of life. Serving my needs is what’s most important.

I Re-serve the Right

As need dictates my reasons and my rights, I  justify the struggle others must face to fulfill those needs. I provide them a service in exchange for their fulfillment of my needs by setting up a belief in the dominance of my demands. This makes one pause and wonder who is really serving who?

Perspective makes a difference. When I view the workers in a beehive as slaves to the queen, I maximize the value the queen plays in the benefit to the colony. When I view the queen as the slave to the colony, I maximize the value of the workers. This based on how I view myself in relation to others.

In any system there are interdependent, complementary “serve” and “be served” characteristics. By changing perspective to one of equal service to one another, the slave concept disappears.

A tiny shift in perspective results in a huge shift in perception.

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Who’s Reading My Story?

Endless Attention

Within my bubble, my attention is held tightly to what validates my personal identity, my precious premise – my truth. My attention gives value to my story, which is based on my premise. That premise is – I must succeed by EARNING wholeness through righteous endeavor. I must HAVE something to DO something to BE something.

I fight for and defend anything that validates the usefulness of my cause in gaining wholeness. The cause inspires me to write on the pages of my memory the nobleness, the purity of purpose, and the rightness of reason of that cause. No story of heroism can surpass the glorious adulation one feels in pursuit of the greatest cause of all – the quest for wholeness. I use this sales pitch to convince myself to keep going.

Because I’ve bought my sales pitch, my choice-supportive bias kicks in to justify my purchase. My confirmation bias confirms and supports my justification.

Whatever threatens and/or validates my sacred cause gets the full attention of my biases. I’m now becoming aware of the demand for constant alertness and defense my story places on my attention and awareness. I’ve developed such strong patterns of judging, analyzing, and proving the rightness of my premise, that I don’t have a life for anything else.

The author has become the story.

Sometimes, when I’m able to sneak in a controversial thought like, “I wonder if I’m right about this!” I feel there might just be another way to see my questionable premise.

Questioning My Premise

I fear, and so defend against, learning I’m wrong. This fear binds me to my belief in unwholeness. Thus, I feel I must forever pursue my premise.

The book is not the story nor its author. The book can only be a book, the story can only be a story, while the author IS all of these and more. I’m not only the bubble I perceive I’m in. I am not only the limitation I perceive controls my experience. As the author of my story, I am all of these and more.

I’m Also The One Reading My Story!

I’ve enjoyed reading many books including those written by J.R.R. Tolkien. I wished I had had him here with me to answer my endless questions that left me wondering what he meant and imagining what I thought he imagined.

Though I can’t ask Tolkien, I can question the author of my story. Funny how seldom I look to the author of my story when I have a question about it. Questioning my questionable premises has lead me to investigate beyond my basal premise.

Who Is Beyond?

Beyond the bubble of limited awareness, my intention is to fully account for my authorship. From this perspective I understand and appreciate all my experiences based on a new premise – I AM whole already. I AM therefore I DO and therefore I HAVE.

This way of thinking opened up my limited awareness bubble and invited my authorship to write my story in a new way.

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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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My Emotional Investment in Defense

What have I noticed that I do?
I express the value I’ve attached to my thoughts in my emotional investment in their defense.

How do I do that?
Within First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble awareness, every investment in thought and action must be accounted for with defense – to accommodate and sustain my sense of rightness.

Why do I do that?
Within the bubble, defense satisfies my need to feel a certain way about my experience – right, justified, proper! When I’m in the bubble groove, I feel convinced that my experience is real, true, and exactly as I perceive it. Because it is not actually as I perceive it, I engage a mechanism to support my perception as the perception in order to sustain ME as the ultimate authority over all – Mr. Right. This, in turn, sustains the presentation of my beliefs in the thoughts I entertain about the presentation. Circular! Self-sustaining! Self-convincing! Right!

Who do I think I am as a result of doing it?
Within the bubble – I feel, therefore, I am. I get to believe I am who I am by witnessing who I am not. I am not any part of my perception – yet it feels like I am. Investment in emotional defense tends to pull me into a belief that, “I am what  I defend” – I am what I think, do, and feel.

Investment Beyond the Bubble

Beyond the bubble, defense is irrelevant. Values once used for emotional investment in defense are released from compulsory military service to explore whatever is beyond.

What if I am much more than my ideal bubble image I defend? How much more? What is beyond measure? What is beyond bubble awareness?

As Jelaluddin Rumi so eloquently put it:

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase each other
doesn’t make any sense.

(Essential Rumi by Coleman Barks)

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