How Values Affect My Need for Them

In my bubble of limited awareness, I need values. What gives me value? A sense of wholeness. Because I perceive myself in a world of separateness, where I am incomplete, I must make myself complete. I must find a solution to the problem of incompleteness.

The first time I perceived a need, I assigned a value to that which satisfied it. By assigning value to what completes me, my need bridges I to not I. For example, me to my environment.

I perceive myself in relation to my environment in terms of need and the value of its fulfillment. This is based on a sense of fulfillment of incomplete me from my environment – not me.

I validate my needs by knowing how to fulfill them. My sense of need determines the value I place on its fulfillment. For example, my sense of thirst determines the value I place on the quenching of the thirst. Satisfaction of a need validates it. Thus, the value of the quenching validates the value of the thirst.

The satisfaction equation is:

value of need – value of its satisfaction = 0

What happens when I apply subjective judgment to the equation? That is, as I apply values based on my judgments and biases, I might tip the scales of the equation. Thus, I turn an objective equation of satisfaction into a subjective assumption I must defend, “I am right.”

Defense of my rightness applies to the values I assign to my need as well as their satisfaction. I’ll be forever seeking and never finding . Yet connected by purpose that includes validating that which the other depends on to exist. I will never feel satisfied because I can’t satisfy the equation.

Do I have a need for values that validate and defend my basic assumption, “I am right,” rather than satisfy the satisfaction equation? That is, I would rather be right than satisfied. This defense of rightness sets me up for dissatisfaction!

Defense of this need keeps it in force as a law I must defend.

Beyond Values

My defense of the value I place on a need affects my need for it. Self-validating defense has never led to an increase in awareness. It has, however, strengthened confirmation bias. An over-blown defense of a need closes down awareness to serve that need clearly.

Defense validates the value and the value validates its defense. Stuck in this loop, I’m continually defending myself against adaptation. Resisting evolution, I may be putting myself on the extinction list.

The question that challenges confirmation bias is, “Could I be wrong about this?” – with its assumed affirmative answer, “Yes! I could be wrong about this!” This opens potential.

When I feel I’m in need, I might ask two simple questions to check my defense of the value I’ve applied to a need:

  1. What do I actually need right now?
  2. How much do I actually need it?

The solution to the problem of incompleteness is NOT in its answer – it may be in its question.

Solving My Problems by Defending My Defenses

I live an equation-based life in limited awareness! It’s pretty simple – I solve problems by associating them in equation-form with what I perceive as their reasonable complementary solutions.

In equations, I balance values I perceive in problems with the values I perceive in their solution. Thus, I defend my equations because they represent my ability to solve problems. Might this be more about defending my abilities than seeking solutions?

I accept that I can turn to my problem-solving mind and ask it what I can do to compensate for the lack of awareness. I may add value to awareness with its defense in comparison. Thus, the more I defend, the more confidence in my defense I feel – and the greater value I place on that confidence. This creates a positive feedback loop that grows confidence in the value of defense of my rightness.

However, this confidence tends to restrict my equations to a narrowing field of possibilities. This is the essence of bias – where confidence inflates values to make my equations work.

Thus, solving a problem by defending its defense is an impossible problem to solve – no matter how much value I add to the equation.

Expectations, Assumptions, and Illusions of Choice

In my bubble of limited awareness, I assume I’m living my life by making choices. Because of my well-developed senses, I can learn and know what’s best for me. I can know what to embrace or avoid. I interpret these perceptions in terms of the choices I’ve made to validate separation.

For example, “I am me and not others” appears to be an assumption based in choice. I don’t need to choose what is true… it just is what is! In this case, perception is not choice – rather, assumptions based on choice.

When I defend a no-choice position, I discard any options that could be relevant to a choice. A choice can cover many solutions that validate one specific intention. Yet, choices aren’t choices when they are intended to be used repetitively and on the same issues.

Punishment and Reward in Limited Awareness

In classical (Pavlovian) and operant (Skinner) conditioning, a subject learns to behave in a certain way through a system of punishments and rewards. In nature, an individual interacts with their environment in this way and learns how to adapt.

I must assume I can create wholeness within limitations. That’s to believe that if I do, have, and/or be enough limitation, I’ll achieve wholeness. That’s a world of hope. And a paradox!

I feel motivated to seek for and to validate more separateness. In the mastery of separateness I might then be initiated into the experience of wholeness. My service to my intention meant I could get a sense of wholeness as a reward.


My only options in this dimension of separateness are how to defend it. Yet, I must seek separation to find wholeness by comparing them. Since I cannot attain the unattainable – I’ll settle for a substitute – an illusion of wholeness.

What if all that – environment, systems, and conditioning – is within me. As the perceiver of my universe, I might act/react as conditioner of my own behaviors. I may be more in charge of my world of limited awareness than I once thought!

I wonder if I develop much of my definition of wholeness by trial and error. Another way to learn is by observation, which allows for choice by association.

Trial and error development sounds a lot like conditioning. Freud observed that we tend to seek pleasure and avoid or escape pain. That’s a perfect setup for conditioning by punishment and reward in a system of learning by trial and error.

When I behave in compliance with my conditioning, I feel good – I get a dopamine blast as a reward, I feel whole. Conversely, I suffer a punishment for misbehaviors and feel separate.

Who applies that punishment or reward? Nature? My society? What if it is my own intention?

How do I Find My Way Out of the Justification Wasteland?

I’ve created a justification wasteland. How? Because I have a problem-solving mind, I continually engage in searching for and finding solutions to problems I perceive. I’m used to it in my bubble of limited awareness! Thus I’ve defended my understanding of problem-solving with justification.

Why would I feel the need to justify my present with my past? Perhaps I know my problem-solving mind is limited to my reliance on insufficient present evidence. It doesn’t like uncertainty.

Fortunately, there’s a solution to the insufficient evidence problem. A biased memory can add confidence to that current evidence and thus boost trust in the present perception. Therefore, confidence makes evidence appear more convincing than it should.

When I isolate one event from others, I avoid biased memories influencing my present perceptions. Biased memory applied to the current situation changes the current situation. As I question only the evidence in the present event, isolating my perceptions to the moment they occur, I can ask relevant questions. Relevant questions and well-thought-out answers result in learning, awareness, and problems resolved.

For example, “Why am I defending this perception?”, “What is my investment?”, and “Who do I think I am at that moment?” A relevant question will lead to an increase in awareness of self. This follows Apollo’s aphorism to “know thyself.”

Does Justification Tax the Mind with Irrelevance?

Justification is a defensive mechanism that seeks to keep certain emotions, thoughts, concepts or impulses from conscious awareness.

What if justification is the result of applying irrelevant answers to irrelevant situations? What does this mean to a problem-solving mind? Justification presents a solution that diverts attention away from the original problem.

As I invest in defense of the distraction, my mind goes to work in solving the wrong problem. This accomplishes nothing toward solving the original problem, which is, “I don’t know myself.”

That wander into irrelevance is a kind of a wasteland away from relevant resources. This keeps my mind busy trying to solve a problem that isn’t the problem.

What Can I Do to Find My Way Out of the Wasteland?

I can tell you how to stay – just use the same strategy to get out that got you in! You can’t justify yourself out of the justification wasteland!

If I continue to see my life as a problem to be solved, I’ll most likely stay in the wasteland. I must think differently! When I find that different way, my mind will recognize it as relief from the justification tax it has been paying.