My Matrix of Defense

In my limited state of awareness, I perceive only as much as I have to in order to have an experience of reality. That reality is a figment of my imagination – the result of defending an intention to exist.

My body represents a metaphor that explains this phenomenon. My body is made up of interacting, interdependent systems – like circulatory, nervous, and endocrine. Each operates in the realm of the others and yet is independent insofar as classification. Yet, no system operates independently of all the others. It’s a 3D matrix of interdependence that defends my belief in its reality.

Think of the game, chess, in which a 2D game board adds a third dimension with the game pieces. It then adds a 4th dimension in time – how long it takes to play the game. And then more dimensions when we add gameplay, strategy, and etc. Each dimension interacting with the others to produce an experience I enjoy.

I tend to think of my life’s purpose and the investments I place on it in two dimensions – cause and effect. This duality model limits my thinking – like thinking the chess board is the chess game. Until I realize there is a game to play on the board, my perception of the board as the entire game suits me fine.

What if I consider life in terms of concepts in more dimensions than the 2 in cause and effect? What if I consider causes and effects interacting in an interdependent 3D matrix – like my body?

Let’s consider concepts that transcend 2D thinking. By 2D, I mean like words on a page or a chess board. Let’s think in terms of a medium like water that fills a 3D space.

My experience of life is a 3D matrix of defense that appears to me as reality. Laws like gravity and core belief contain my matrix. I pour the liquid that represents my life into the container.

In my basic 2D chessboard defense matrix, I consider concepts of What, How, Why, and Who to define my perceptions. These make up the checkerboard pattern of a 2D chessboard.

In a 3D matrix, I see What, How, Why, and Who in each of my 2D concepts of the same. That is, for each concept of What, I experience What, How, Why, and Who. The same repeats for my concept of How, Why, and Who. 2D thinking considers each What, How, Why, and Who in sequence and in isolation.

3D and beyond thinking considers all aspects in relation to all other aspects in a multi-dimensional matrix. This multiplies by orders of magnitude the number of possible perceptions for each cause-effect relationship. Thus, even in my limited awareness, I experience a massive array of physical, emotional, mental, and beyond.

Imagination multiplies the effect even further – adding phantom dimensions to the matrix of dimensions. To the degree I’m convinced that an imaginary dimension is a true dimension, I add a dimension to the matrix.

All this to invest in defense of an overall purpose to defend and protect core beliefs that are themselves defenses. In this multi-dimensional matrix, I may never realize the “I” behind it all. Why? Because to expose that “I” will reveal “I” as a defense. Why? Because there is no “I”.

Thus, no matter how much I invest in discovery of my life’s purpose, I’ll find only defense.

Investment may be the amount of liquid attention I draw from the pool of purpose in order to experience something – like my life. Thus, purpose acts as my investment in proving my existence.

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Presentation is Everything!

Within my bubble of limited awareness, I’ve imagined and developed personas to deal with my environment. I expect others to perceive these presentations according to my intentions. In this way, I present a different “me” depending upon how I perceive my environment.

I have a work persona, a family persona, a casual persona, a formal persona, etc. My imagination can mold a persona to act out just about any presentation in just about any situation. I’m an adaptable actor.

Thanks to personas, I don’t have to BE dangerous to BE frightening – just APPEAR dangerous.

Externalized Personas

To make a persona work, I must imagine how another person witnessing my persona will react to it. That means I must do a bit of mindreading. And some in-performance interpretation of feedback from those others to whom I present my persona.

I must be aware of “externalized” personas. From my perceptions and overall judgments of them, I create a persona for every person with whom I interact. Thereby externalizing one of my personas to fit a bubble of judgments I name “you.” Thus, I’ve encapsulated you into a persona that is MY perception of YOU.

My perception of a relationship between internal and external personas represents and exists within an environment. Whenever aware of that environment, my mind presents a persona to deal with it. Thus, I appear as one person when conversing with my Mom at her home. Another when I’m with her at a store. And yet another when with her and my siblings at a family gathering. A different face for each situation.

It appears I’m reacting to an environment separate from me. Appearances can be deceiving. ALL personas present a defense of relationships, based on perceptions, beliefs, thoughts, and feelings – about MY persona.

For example, I meet a coworker, John, for the first time. He presents me with his work persona. Because it is the only persona of John I’ve met, I perceive his work persona is John. My perception of John is, nonetheless, my perception of John’s work persona – not John. My perception of John’s work persona is within my perception of our relationship within the work environment. That perception also holds an image of the relationship between our work personas. Away from our work environment, those personas and relationships may change radically.

Over a period of time at work, my identity becomes a convolution of relationships in which John’s work persona joins mine. None of those personas are me – they only appear to be me. Instead, personas represent who I am not.

How Personas May Affect Identity

Extrapolating this persona convolution concept to the myriad relationships I’ve had in my lifetime and you begin to comprehend how convoluted my identity has become. At a very young age, I learned to associate my personal with my identity. Thus, I become what I do – act a part – rather than who I am.

What I do is not who I am! Neither do I see who you are! Even when experiencing what you want me to see of you, I’m seeing that through the eyes of a persona.

Due to this flexibility of personas, I’m always seeing what I WANT to see rather than what is. Thus, I’m always seeing me as who I am not, which is whoever I want to be.

Presentation is everything!

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Turning Defense into Acceptance of Accountability

Recently, I heard myself say, “I didn’t intend to…” From my self-protective, bubble of limited awareness persona point of view, this statement makes sense. This deflection, however, resists acceptance of accountability. I don’t question my defense because that would expose something I’m hiding on purpose. What am I hiding? My fear of culpability!

Why do I fear my accountability?

What Can I Do to Reclaim My Accountability?

“I didn’t” and “I’m not” (negations) often offer me an easy indicator of defense. Whenever I hear a negation (n’t, not, never, no, etc.) come out of my mouth, I can assume I’m in defense. Whenever I hear you say those words, and feel your defense, I can assume I’m in defense, too. Defense is defense no matter who shows it because it is I who perceives it. Defense is just an indicator, and so…

Rather than shoot the messenger, my mirror, I can pay attention to the message. Once aware, I’m in a position to accept accountability. To soften my defense, I can use my language to remove the negation out of a defensive statement. Then I have something to work with. “I didn’t intend to…” becomes, “If I did [intend that]…” Then, inquiries into hidden intentions can arise.

The following self-inquiry questions can perhaps lead to self-awareness and acceptance of accountability. Referring to our example above, “I didn’t intend to…” Once I calm my protective persona’s defensive posturing, I realize it’s just an indicator, a message to myself about my unconscious intention to survive.

I can then question that intention by inquiring about how I feel concerning the message. Based on that feedback, I might ask myself, “If I did intend to [do that]…,

  • Who did I believe I was to intend the outcome I observed?”
  • Why did I intend that outcome?”
  • How do I feel now about what happened then?”
  • What do I intend now?”

This inquiry starts a process of acceptance of accountability for my creation. Evidence of acceptance:

  • I would hear few or no negations in my communications.
  • I would hear connecting questions like, “How can I help us reconnect]…?” and “What do you need [for the relationship to reconnect]?” and etc.
  • The other person would report feeling cared about.
  • My body and mind would calm down.
  • A sense of profound joy in connection.
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Investigating How I Manifest My Life Story

In my limited awareness, I can interpret what I want to believe is true about me. Some of those beliefs I may not want to admit to – so I hide them in my secret vault of unawareness. However, that doesn’t stop them from manifesting!

It’s clear to me that even in manifestations of which I’m totally unaware lie useful feedback. Thus, manifestations offer a key to my understanding of me. In facing the secrets behind those manifestations, I create an opportunity for awakening.

Associating Cause and Effect

I associate my sense of knowing my life story as the cause of how something affects me. To me, it appears to be a simple cause-effect relationship. As I reach for further understanding and allow myself to be open, I may experience revelation into that which I’ve held secret.

It seems the more revelations I allow the less I fear revealing more – build my confidence with each revealing. The more I know about myself, the more I want to know – and the more confident I feel about asking. A sense of knowing begins to clarify who I am and what I truly want to experience.

Might that sense of knowing who I am affect my manifestations? And might those manifestations illustrate that sense of knowing? Might the association of Cause and Effect work as an indicator of what I believe about myself? That is, might my manifestations illustrate who I believe I am in the context of my life story?

Accountability and My Life Story

Life feels unsure until I feel sure about myself. Why? Because my relationships are an exchange of intentions in which I set myself up for an interaction that confirms my life story. I tend to manifest that which confirms my relationship with characters in my story. Even when unaware of my participation, I’ll still tend to experience results that conform to my intentions for the relationships in that story.

What if I self-regulate according to my life story. That is, I maintain my story in a bubble of limited awareness and I maintain limited awareness in order to experience my story as I’ve told it to myself. And I resist any and all detours from that story. Thus, I am accountable to the story, and the story is accountable to me. I wonder:

  • What’s so important about my story as I’ve expressed it?
  • How does this manifestation illustrate who I believe I am in this story?
  • Why so much investment in this story?
  • Who am I if not my story?
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Convoluted Identity, Convoluted Intention

In my bubble of limited awareness, I believe I know myself. I know what I want and need. I know my intentions. Then, why does life seem so uncertain when, at times, I don’t get what I intend?

My Convoluted Identity

I have my own story line based on my philosophies, which often get mixed with the story lines of others. This convolutes my identity, making it difficult to act with a sense of confidence. Sometimes it feels like I’m pretending to be what I deep down don’t feel is me – a lie. That lie affects all my relationships because it affects my identity, the central character in my story.

Especially when I’ve sabotaged my efforts, I feel there’s more than one me at work in here. That someone inside me is acting as a mimic of someone outside me who doesn’t like me much. Thus, the sabotage.

Sometimes my intention works out – though it often feels like it does in spite of my convoluted identity. This makes it sometimes difficult to have a clear intention.

Confusion on Top of Confusion

Feeling unclear about who I am can make it difficult to know who someone else is. This because I unwittingly externalize my unclear identity onto others. I feel confused and so, through transference, I perceive they feel confused. We’re confused! Within this confusion, I provide myself the perfect patsy upon whom to place the blame: you!

This often appears when my behavior is based on an attempt to be someone or something else – a persona.

Underlying every intention lie philosophies that identify who I believe I am in story form. I mostly learn who I think I am through feedback from others. And even then, I’m perceiving through a persona, an imagined identity, the result of convolution. Thus, I’ve created confusion on top of confusion!

Convoluted Intention

In the manifestation game, I’m always interacting with my beliefs. Sometimes I get what I want. I always get what I believe I need. No matter what, how, or why my intention, I’m going to get something I believe I need. What happens when I don’t know what I need because I’m unclear about who I am?

The “secret” to understanding the relationship between intentions and their effects is that

  • Everything I perceive manifests my intentions
  • Manifestation illustrates intention

I illustrate who I believe I am through my intentions as manifestations that appear in a metaphoric, meaningful story. A story made arcane by the convolution of identity and intention. To cut through the arcaneness of my story, I recognize that my memories and impressions about my experiences affect me today. My memories may be more than a series of historical documentaries. They may be illustrative stories about me. Thus, I might entertain some questions aimed at my memories:

  • What does that memory illustrate about what I believe today?
  • How does that memory illustrate who I believed I was in that experience?
  • Why do I continue to justify that belief today?
  • Who was I then and who am I now?
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