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?

Expressing Love in a World of Need

What do you mean when you say you love someone?” When I’m expressing love, I assume my expressions are understood the same way I do. That’s because I assume everyone understands the expressions of love in the same way – I do. We all know what love looks like – we all know it when we experience it – right?

Defining Love

Could love have multiple meanings depending upon the frame of mind of the one expressing or perceiving it? The word has more synonyms than any other.

The ancient Greeks sought to resolve the confusion by parsing love into many types to fit specific cases:

  • Sexual passion.
  • Platonic friendship.
  • Playful love.
  • Universal respect.
  • Long-term friendship.
  • Love of the self.

Even when broken down into specific types, there can be many more. For example:

  • Manipulative affection.
  • Spiritual acknowledgement.
  • Condescending superiority.
  • Aspirational or worshipful adulation.

Most of the above listed items are based on my wants and needs. That is, “I love” means “I want or need” something outside myself. This even when I say I love myself.

Expressing Love As Defense

Because I believe love separates with specialness, I use love to defend my perception of my universe as I perceive it. Thus making me special and separate from all I perceive as not me. In my bubble of limited awareness, “I love you” defends my belief in you separate from me.

When I ask, “Why?” of an “I love you” statement, I might hear “becauses” that defend the statement. Those defenses illustrate my misunderstandings about myself. Thus, when I say, “I love you,” I’m expressing my needs and feelings about myself. And I may expect reciprocation, “I love you, too.” Because I seek love from outside me, it validates my belief in separation of me and not me.

Instead of knocking myself out trying to find love, I might accept the truth of it – all is love. Not specific to any aspect of all, like a specific person, concept, or situation – ALL. Why? Because it’s all me – I’m the one perceiving my life and experiences. So, love must be an expression of me to me.

What do I mean when I say to you, “I love you?”

Am I saying, “I love you” in order to gain your favor? To appease you? Maybe because I feel guilty? What kind of love is that, then?

Ultimately, I define love in terms of emotions I feel in the moment I express it. My expression exposes my private feelings about ME in that moment. Thus, perhaps love is not so much about what I say, or how I say it. Maybe it’s about WHY I say it.

Imagine what might happen to your expressions of love when you feel gratitude for your world. When you recognize everything and everyone in your perception as your creation. When you accept accountability for your perception. Wow!

How might I express love from my perception of “me” to “not me” when WOW is its foundation?

Imagine something about which you feel “wow” inside. Something that evokes a feeling in you of amazed wonder and awe. Hold that image in your mind – maybe even magnify the feeling of it. Then immediately go to someone you care about, look them in the eye, maybe touch them. Don’t speak – just look and touch for a few seconds – long enough to feel significant.

Then say, “I love you.” Practice in the mirror. Awaken love!

 

Looking at Love Through Need Fulfillment

Why do people once in love end up despising each other? What happens when, “I love you” means “I need something from you?”

Sometimes I view love as a state of being. Other times I view it as something I do. And still other times I view it as a commodity I can buy, sell, or otherwise control. When viewed as a commodity, as in property, I may invest in love’s representations.

Love as Trade

For example, if my lover represents love as a commodity to me, I’ll view them as an asset. Thus, I’ll expect something of value from them to satisfy my investment in them. More to the point, the value they can give me to fill the lack I perceive in myself. I then invest in that commodity that seems at least equal to the value I receive from it.

This has not changed since ancient times. We still believe love is need fulfillment. No matter what morals we place on it, the concept is purely amoral. That is, I feel love when I feel satisfied.

Who expresses a sense of feeling loved when they are in dire straights? Love is conditional! Those who claim unconditional love are probably wanting something from you. Sounds like a harsh worldview? Maybe – and it’s a great description of my bubble of limited awareness in which I perceive competition and defense.

Gestures, symbols, and expressions will remain tools of trade until we understand love has no value.

Love and the Need to Be Special

Why do some people do horrific things in the name of love? Even when they have “everything” – wealth, respect, social acceptance. In some cases, it’s because they need to feel special to someone.

Love as a Weapon

When someone draws a weapon, they use it to their advantage to satisfy their needs. Basically, I use weapons for two reasons: to benefit me and threaten or defeat others in my need fulfillment.

Once I engage a weapon, most options disappear. For example, consider some ways I have used love to get what I needed:

  • Evoke emotion
  • Force cooperation
  • Intimidate others into agreement
  • Obligating others

An interesting aside – when I remove options from others, I also remove them from myself.

Because I NEED love, I’m acknowledging that I’m NOT experiencing it. Further, I may not be able to experience love because I need it. Yet, because I need it, I will do whatever it takes to get love.

Whatever I feel I need controls me. This can get complicated when I realize that I’ve defined love in terms of need. This turns the wonder of love into another master I must serve. Because I perceive love as a fearful master, I must serve love in fear. Thus, I must negotiate with my master to get love.

Symbolic Gestures and My Intention to Be Whole

There are as many symbolic gestures to represent love as there are imaginative ways to express it. Yet, love is not an expression. Rather, love is what we hope those we express it to understand. Love is within the intention we seek to convey.

It all comes back to my initial intention to be whole. All relationships represent this theme of becoming whole. When that intention turns into a need that MUST be fulfilled, I may view love in terms of lack. This can result in a relationship in which each feels they need the other to complete them. Thus, confirming the belief in lack.

To the drowning man, any floating thing will appear as the answer to his problem. From the perspective of desperation, love can only mean need fulfillment. Even though love may appear as the answer, in limited awareness, it can only indicate need.

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?

The Law of Selectivity

The law of selectivity is the concept that for any given set of options there is a best option. It’s a law because, moment-to-moment, I must make a selection. From where my attention goes to what flavor of creamer I put in my coffee, I must choose and defend.

This is the essence of Bubble Awareness in which I select from two or more options and defend one. Any choice based on this law keeps me in the bubble of limited awareness. Thus, the law perpetuates itself.

My fundamental intention to be whole is like a Don Quixote quest for that best option that I know is “out there somewhere.”

How Does The Law of Selectivity Appear?

This law is a perceptual illusion, a characteristic of an intention to validate separation from wholeness with a purpose to achieve it. It is characterized by limited awareness that appears as judgments, choices, definitions, and any perception I defend.

I understand this law in the concept “or” – as in left or right, up or down, this or that, me or you. That is a setup for comparisons like me compared to not me. And defense in the form of reasons, justifications, logic, and evidence. Thus, choices require defense.

What Do I Know?

Because I believe there is a best option, I suppose I can know what is best and, so choose it. That’s quite the logic leap to make from limited awareness!

I use the concepts of need and rightness to make that leap. Due to my need to be right, I suppose that satisfaction of my need is the best option. I assume I’m choosing the best option when it’s based on the need I feel at the time I make the choice.

How True Is That?

What if there was another option? How about the options I didn’t consider? In a realm of infinite possibilities, why select only one option? That limitation to one option is based solely on my belief in and defense of the law. What might happen were I to consider another option – some or all possibilities?

Nevertheless, my belief in and defense of the law gives me the perspective I have – the experience of me. It gifts me with an illusion of me I can trust as real.

The law of selectivity fulfills my intention to be whole in a reality of separation. The law gives meaning to the meaningless, purpose to the purposeless, and reality to the unreal.