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?

Stuck in Certitude

In my bubble of awareness, nature appears to push life toward certitude and in the process, a sense of blind obedience arises. My sense of knowing how to survive comes from a confidence that runs a strictly automated cause/effect program.

From that perspective, certitude as an instinctive program governing all thought and behavior is associated with success. Yet, with all that certitude being applied towards success, why does death, suffering, and failure top the list of outcomes?

When I challenge a wild animal in its certitude, I could be inviting my own uncertainty. What if that wild animal is my unquestionable state of knowingness? Just how far will that certitude go to prove its rightness?

Getting Stuck in Certitude

Defense plays a part in stuckness. While defending what I’m attending, I’m blocking what I’m unaware of. Thus, my reactions are due to my extractions, unaware of my unawareness!

One is certain AFTER they are uncertain, aware after they are unaware, unstuck after they are stuck – not before. Becoming aware of my unawareness may be the first step in resolving the paradox.

Am I addicted to certitude?

Becoming aware of a stuck state of mind is useful in that it sets my mind into problem solving mode. However, my addiction to certainty might take me into using a known process to solve the problem of stuckness. That’s unlikely to work because it was probably that process that got me stuck in the first place!

In certitude, I’ll resist change. Why? Because I’m right! That can add to “the problem” of stuckness in unawareness.

What can I do to resolve the awareness paradox?

I might think I can resolve the paradox of defending unawareness with a process I’ve used before. That will probably be unsuccessful because previous defense is the default behavior – resulting in the current condition.

Instead, I may want to investigate a resolution process that feels risky to me. I risk my awareness by blocking an area of consideration I’ve actively defended against to protect myself. Fear may represent that risk and thus, act as a great indicator for which process to pursue.

For example, if I fear what I might find under hypnosis, then it might be useful in resolving my awareness paradox.

All or Nothing Thinking => Stuck!

Believing that change is impossible will tend to make it so. All or nothing thinking resists change because it sees change in terms of too large or not enough. Overwhelming or insignificant. Black or white. That is the very definition of stuck!

One strategy I might use is that of chunking, in which I take something apparently large and break it up into smaller pieces. Like eating the pie one bite at a time rather than trying to smash the whole thing into my mouth at once. Breathing is done one breath at a time.

In certitude, one might introduce a little doubt and consider new ways to think and behave…

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?

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?