4 Aspects of My Value-Defined Defensive Process

In my defensive process, I breathe life into everything I give attention to by assigning values to those things based on bias. My bias sets the baseline value of whatever fear and trust I place on things.

When it comes to value judgements…

Bias = assigned value

In order to identify present threats and benefits, I refer to past biases that give validation to those in my present experience to increase the value to any biases I defend.

4 Aspects of My Value-Defined Defensive Process

There are four aspects to my value-defined defensive process –

  1. What is “it”? I assign a name symbolizing what I observe with my senses. Ex – I see a cat. My cat symbol represents most forms resembling cat. The name for “it” = cat and includes some identifying sub-symbols, such as size, speed, agility, fur, color, patterns, sharp teeth and sharp claws, sounds, diet preference for meat and etc. Objective observation of form.
  2. How is “it”? I assign a nature symbolizing how “it” behaves. Ex – a cat’s nature is to chase, kill, and eat other animals, etc. Objective observation of behavior.
  3. Why is “it”? Through imagination and emotion, I assign a causality, a relationship that identifies threats in my observations. Ex – a cat killed and ate another animal, therefore, it COULD do the same to me. Subjective interpretation.
  4. Who is “it”? I assign an identity – a label that identifies who I am compared to “it” – a perceived causal relationship between observed behavior and personal identity. Ex – I am afraid because a dangerous cat entered the room. Who combines the previous aspects and characteristics, turning objective observation into active subjective projection through labeling, reacting and blame! Externalization!

To protect my precious values, I circle the wagons, so to speak, by assigning “Who” to “What” through blame and projection. By automating the process, I strengthen my biases. Over time, I become the four-aspect, value-defined defense process – “It’s just who I am…”

This circular defense distracts my attention away from who I really am, keeping me in a chronic state of fear that I experience as suffering.

The solution to this stuck state of thinking is to simply change the answer to the last question. Who is “it”? When I get honest with myself, I must answer in first person – “it” is I.

My Magical Thinking Hell

I’m tiny and the universe is immense. I’m weak compared to the power of nature. I can’t survive on my own. I have needs that I cannot fill by myself. Life is tough and I have to fight to survive. I need a way to fix that fight in my favor.

Enter: magical thinking!

Basically, magical thinking is the concept that performing some action, holding some belief, or sacrificing something of value WILL affect an outcome in my favor. For example, I might pray (with genuine earnestness) to some “higher power” to do some improbable thing (like a miracle) for me so that I get MY intended outcome.

There’s a problem with that kind of thinking – causality!

Causality is the immutable relationship between cause and effect. Altering that relationship would change the entire universe by invalidating universal law. Suppose my god or genie did grant me my wish and changed causality to benefit me in the way I asked. Suddenly, the entire universe must adjust to MY causality. No longer would predictable outcomes be predictable – instead, they’d be subject to MY intervention.

The universe doesn’t function according to MY whims – fortunate for you and me! Instead, it functions according to LAW. When I understand the law there is no need for magical thinking.

And yet, I still TRY! I still WANT TO BELIEVE that I can control causality!

My Magical Thinking Hell

So, the universe won’t bow to my wishes nor obey my whims. How then will my prayers to some all-powerful god result in me getting the miracle I expect? Why should I bother doing good deeds for others if I can’t control how they’ll receive them? Why bother sacrificing my time, energies, and fortunes if doing so doesn’t matter (as in: I don’t see a result I want to see)?

Perhaps I might reconsider my place in this hell of my own making.

Reconsidering –

Due to the immutable nature of causality, the universe is geared to give me predictable outcomes. Due to that predictability, I can count on accountability. I don’t need information, things, sacrifices, etc.

In the end, my “hell” exists in my failure to learn from the results of my magical thinking. My hell can be easily escaped through education. In seeking understanding, I open doors to realms of consciousness where magical thinking submits to enlightenment and disappointment surrenders to gratitude.

My Cause and Effect Hell

I have a condition. One that vexes me now and then. One that limits my possibilities. One that sometimes puts a strain on my relationships, particularly my close relationships. It has been the cause of many emotion-filled episodes in my life and even now holds me prisoner.

Let me describe some symptoms of this condition: mind-reading; a sense of rightness; overwhelming defensiveness; judgmental-ism; lack of compassion; a sense of inferiority/superiority; know-it-all-ism.

These symptoms and more are associated with my own version of cause and effect hell – a condition in which I believe I can KNOW the cause of an effect. In other words, when I see some phenomenon, I believe I know why it is as it is – I can explain it or at least believe that it is explainable. I believe that my deduction of causality is true and complete. This gets particularly dicey when I think I know what your intentions are (cause) based on what I see you do (effect) – especially when I’m convinced the cause of my troubles is you!

It’s simple reductionism – a belief in causality MY WAY.

Read more My Cause and Effect Hell