Accountability and My Emotional Payoff

Let’s put separation, fear, conflict, etc., in terms of cause and effect – natural consequences of thinking a certain way. Awareness that my thinking has consequences in the real world may help me pay attention to my thoughts and maybe mindfully discipline them.

About Separation

I imagine my identity, I/ME, in terms of that which is “I/ME” verses that which is “NOT I/ME.” I look out my eyes and see that which is NOT ME. By simple logic, then, I deduce that I am that which is not NOT ME. I am what is left when everything I sense is removed. You may enjoy the free audio MP3, The Bag, imagery that illustrates this principle of separation.

I attach an intensity value to an “I’m Not” identity I experience as my fear, which represents my sense of unwholeness. Because I am 100% wholly me, that value is an imaginary number – not real. So, how do I go about making it feel real without actually being real?

Might my need to define ME by looking to who and what “I’m NOT” strengthen my belief in never being complete as “I AM?” It seems to me I will stay in this condition of lack until I look within, connect with who I really am, and discipline my heart and mind. Then, perhaps, I’ll comprehend the value of separation in the whole scheme of things.

About Emotional Payoff

Emotion helps me feel alive, providing present experience in the form of imagined relationships. My emotions create a bridge of sensations, a “payoff” of life-affirming feelings to my body/mind and spirit.

Perhaps accountability means no more NOT ME emotional payoffs at the expense of that which is ME. I can use mindful discipline to awaken into acceptance of full accountability. As I bring together the poles of Me vs Not Me, concepts of separation and payoff may simply become irrelevant.

How I Morph a Want into a Need Feed

And what I can do about it!

“When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful…” (Eric Thomas – AKA ET The Hip Hop Preacher)

This new age saying is nothing new. It expresses the concept that we must fight to accomplish anything of value. That value determines the worth of people, things, thoughts, and behaviors. That success for one means defeat for another. Success and failure are measured in terms of value. To be of value, one must succeed. These concepts live within the First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble awareness.

I have values. I value my own opinion and those of certain others who agree with me. Certain activities carry value for me. I use value to assist me in judging, comparing, balancing, and separating. I even use value to evaluate values. Everything in my world has a value to me – usually experienced in terms of importance.

The value of a perception of threat must rise to a certain level of importance to me before I invest in defense. That threshold allows me to prioritize my thoughts and behaviors, saving precious life force energy. After all, defense is a feed, a draw on life force energy. So, the fewer times I have to call upon defense, the more energy I have available for useful (to me) work.

While appearing to provide value, defense diminishes the resources required to satisfy the need for which it was invoked. Therefore, I tend to have few needs compared to wants. And needs tend to elicit far more value than wants. Unless, that is, I transform a lower-value want into a higher-value need.

When want-fulfillment becomes more important than the lives and properties of those involved, a want transforms into a need and a feed is born! That feed includes the want-turned-need and its satisfaction through forced attainment and contrived justification. A value-elevated want can justify the feed that justifies a need and the actions taken to satisfy it.

Turning a Want into a Need Feed

I’ve expressed personal worth in terms of comparative value – “You’re a better man than I am.” I may define strength of will as a comparable value as well – “You’re so much stronger than I am.” When these values climb to need levels, I hear things like, “You’re the best man for the job!” and, “You’re the strongest person I know!” These are setups for need feeds!

By assigning value, I can morph a non-physical want into a physical quest for survival. The higher the value I assign to a want, the more specific the object of my desire must be. That “must be” is how I turn a want into a need.

In elevating a want into a need, I simplify my choices – by narrowing acceptable outcomes. Needs tend to narrow choices to one – simple. Wants tend to allow more options. For example, “I want a drink” allows many forms of satisfaction, “Yeah, a coke will do.” “I need a drink” means only whiskey will do. Simple non-choice default, the implication of which is, “I can’t live without it” – thus, the need feed!

Although elevating a want to need status can energize my mind and heart into working together to provide the value I seek in satisfaction, my mind and heart will feel the result of a need feed.

When turning a want into a need, I might ask myself how important are the specifics of each answer:

What do I want? (the objective)
How do I get it? (the strategy)
Why do I need it? (the want-need switch)
Who am I that needs this? (my self-image in this case)

How might I recover the energy of a want-turned-need?

I like to listen for the words, “need”, “must”, “can’t”, “have to”, “only”, and “should” to help me identify my need feeds. When I hear one, I think to myself, “What do I actually need in this situation?” and notice how this changes the energy of my situation.

Apollo’s Admonition, Watson’s Seeing, and Holmes’ Observation (pt 1)

Sherlock Holmes and James Watson captured the imagination of generations of mystery story readers – including me. I love mysteries. And love solving them. Mystery stories speak to the part of us that wants to know, “What’s going on?” To that question, my life represents the ultimate mystery to be solved. So, I turn to those I view as smarter than me – Holmes and Watson – to help me solve the mystery of my life.

“The game is afoot.”

A great mystery story begins simple – Holmes encounters a potential client who hires him to investigate something. In the process of investigation, Holmes and Watson uncover clues, evaluate evidence, interpret data, make hypotheses, and test theories. In the end, it’s usually Watson who triggers Holmes into making the “aha” that solves the case. Can I use their example to solve the mystery of me?

Let’s Start With Apollo

Inscribed in the forecourt of Apollo’s Temple at Delphi, the ancient Greek aphorism, “Gnothi Seauton” (know thyself), applies to me today. How can I ever expect to know truth until I know myself?!!

Within the sanctuary of Apollo’s Temple, the Oracle would pronounce, foresee, and challenge seekers from all walks of life. Apollo’s admonition was not new to anyone then or now – it is the basic credo of all philosophy and the essence of the Aha Zone.

“When you understand yourself, you’ll understand the laws you’ve subjected yourself to.” (Carol, Perspectrum)

Conversely, when you understand the laws you’ve subjected yourself to, you’ll understand yourself.

About Law

Life is how order emerges from entropy. According to the Second Law of thermodynamics, entropy is always working against order. Wherever order exists, laws define and govern its form and function – structure. Let’s consider four types of law governing each of us within the First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble of awareness.

  1. Universal – the structure of order regulates forces that define Cause and Effect. Universal Law defines WHAT CAN BE as a scope of perceptual limitation within wholeness. WHAT IS represents its current condition as I perceive it. Baseline of self-knowing.
  2. Societal – a system of man-made rules that regulate the actions of its members based on reward and punishment. Laws are about rules concerning mutual interests, agreements and interpretations. Regulation by social acceptance.
  3. Interpersonal – a system of rules for personal relationships – agreement based on emotional connection, mutual interests and approval. Regulation by emotional reward and punishment.
  4. Personal – a system of rules based on personal boundaries, where needs dictate a person’s actions, attitudes and values in relation to and separate from those of others. In this case, law is about personal protection and need satisfaction – regulation by wish and manipulation.

I suffer to the degree I misunderstand, work to impose my personal law on, or disregard other types of law.

How might I use law to fulfill Apollo’s admonition?

When I notice I’m suffering, I can investigate the mystery Holmes-style by recognizing that some aspect of me has misunderstood, imposed its will on, or disregarded law. Another part has come to the Oracle within me to ask for assistance in solving the mystery of me. The game of resistance is afoot.

To “get to the bottom of this,” I first set an intention to know my SELF. I then get quiet and focus inward to ask three questions:

  1. What’s happening in my life right now? (What is afoot?)
  2. How do I feel about that?
  3. Why do I feel that way?

…which help me develop the fourth question that I present when I imagine approaching my inner sanctuary where the Oracle, my law-interpreter, resides:

4. Who am I?

This last question is THE essential question Apollo required of his Delphi temple visitors. All of these questions are about my relationship to my perception of natural and man-made laws. By answering the questions above in their order, I might get a glimpse of the elusive “Self” I’ve heard so much about.

Next time, we’ll look into how Holmes’ observation of Watson may help me fulfill Apollo’s admonition to “know thyself.”

Blame As Counterfeit for Accountability

Does blame act as a First-Second Degree of Illumination counterfeit for Fourth Degree of Illumination accountability?

I have this idea that I can determine cause from perception of effect. I perceive something and, based on this evidence, soon believe I understand what, how, and why I perceived it as I did. For the most part, this line of reasoning works for me. Where this gets “dicey” is when I apply that reasoning to others – blame.

Considering my propensity for belief and trust in my ability to discern cause from effect within the bubble, blame works as an adequate substitute. Once blame is affixed, I feel satisfied that “justice has been done” and “books balanced” – done! No more inquiry necessary! And isn’t that the goal of my First-Second Degree bubble – to remain securely inside the bubble?

Inside the bubble, accountability and blame are basically synonymous. Dykstra sees accountability as, “answerability, blameworthiness, liability, and the expectation of account-giving.” An apt description of the bubble-bound counterfeit, blame.

Beyond the bubble, however, the concept takes on an entirely different flavor. Fourth Degree of Illumination accountability is more like “acceptance of the joy of being you in balance.”

Accounting for Values

A first step in Fourth Degree awareness may be a release of the bubble mentality of blame. The concept of “balancing the books” seems more appropriate when discussing Fourth Degree accountability. To balance the books, it makes some sense to me to consider investigating values.

I place value on everything when competition is the name of the game. This is better than that – because this is worth more than that in terms of value to me. I’ve become adept at measuring subjectives like emotions in terms of value – levels. For example, I can answer the question, “On a scale of 0-10, how angry do you feel?” This acknowledges a placement of an objective value on a subjective experience.

In the realm of blame, I’m keenly aware of a positive vs negative ledger. I view these positives and negatives in terms of values. My belief is that I must resolve all values to the positive side in order to win. “He who dies with the most points, wins!” Of course, this acknowledges the outcome of bubble thinking – win/lose – death!

Gratitude as Accountability

What might happen were I to balance my ledger? In bubble thinking, I would zero-sum out = loss. In Fourth Degree thinking, I would simply balance out of the competition game. Where there is no comparison, there is no competition, and thus no game. There is no win-lose, lose-lose, or even win-win. Because the competition game is over.

How do I end the competition game when it is all I know?

That game may be all I THINK I KNOW – yet it is far from all I know. I have no idea how much I actually know – because I’ve accepted counterfeits as real. In an instant of clarity where the competition over values disappears into oneness, only gratitude remains. It’s a different kind of gratitude than one experiences from within the bubble of competition. This kind of gratitude is exquisite, sublime, pure, and as some have described it, bliss.

Inside the bubble, I value the feeling of gratitude and so I utter to myself, “Oh, I hope I experience that level of joy someday!”

What if outside the bubble time were irrelevant? “I choose to experience gratitude right now!”

Resources:

  •  Dykstra, Clarence A. (February 1939). “The Quest for Responsibility”. American Political Science Review. The American Political Science Review, Vol. 33, No. 1. 33 (1): 1–25. doi:10.2307/1949761. JSTOR 1949761.

 

Personality Type by Third Degree Question

Might I be able to identify a personality type by dominant usage of Third Degree of Illumination question type? Referring to our 4-question model of inquiry:

  • A What type might focus more on things, ideas, etc.;
  • A How type might focus more on ways and means, goals, and methodologies – engineering;
  • A Why type might focus more on emotions, empathy, and certainty;
  • A Who type might focus more on interpersonal relationships, authoritarianism, etc. –

Might a long list of personality characteristics be made from these? I wonder.

Read more Personality Type by Third Degree Question