It’s a Question of How Attention Follows Emotion

What element of my limited awareness most affects my attention? Even needs will only get attention as I feel threatened by my lack of attention to them.

How and how much I feel about an intention, stated or unstated, will affect the outcome I perceive. Knowing, although important to my process of manifestation, does not generate movement towards an outcome. Knowing I have a need, for example, does not predict action on my part towards satisfying that need. Sufficient emotion about that need will. E-motion motivates action.

I attend to that which I feel emotion. My attention follows my emotions. Thoughts can assist me in discovery of those emotions. Thoughts alone, however, are typically merely defenses of my emotions. I do what I do – thought, action – BECAUSE I feel some emotion. The mental aspect of a “because” narrative results in defense of that intention. Emotion always indicates defense.

“Because” is where intention directs attention.

As we’ve discussed above, the intention that gets the attention wins. The intention with the most emotion behind it tends to win the competition for attention.

And yet, even when I put a lot of emotion behind a stated intention, I can sometimes feel disappointed with the outcome. Disappointment is an emotion! I immediately get busy backing my emotion with attention to defending it with excuses, reasons, logic, and denial, etc.

What if the intention was not disappointed – rather, I expressed the emotion of disappointment. Disappointment confirms an underlying intention to feel in order to convince me that I’m alive. Nothing quite like satisfying the intention to live with a sensation of aliveness. Emotion does that!

Perhaps I always get what I feel rather than what I think I want.

Where I’m convinced, I use attention to strengthen and defend the sense of it. I’m also not questioning it. Where emotion is present, I’m far less likely to question my certainty. Yet, this may be the place to ask pertinent questions about it:

  • What do I believe so strongly I can’t question?
  • How does my emotion convince me?
  • Why don’t I question this?
  • Who do I believe I am that appears in this emotional expression?

This brings up a conundrum: I must feel safe enough to inquire. Inquiry makes me feel unsafe. Further, in order for me to feel open enough to respond to questions of my personal feelings, I must trust who is asking. And why. Inside my bubble of limited awareness, my circle of trust is small indeed.

The first thing I may want to do in order to put my mind into a state of inquiry is to interrupt the emotional state I’m in. An inner cry that shakes me, like, “Wait a second…” or “Stop!” can help. In the brief silence afterwards, I move quickly into inquiry mode with:

  • What else can this mean? (other than what I thought it meant)
  • How else can I feel about this? (other than how I felt about it)
  • Why not another intention? (other than the one I had)
  • Who could I be? (other than who did what I did)
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My Significance in My Universe

To me, every thing is a concept, a notion within a system of connected notions forming a complex whole – my universe. Significance is a value I place on concepts to indicate their importance to me in the scheme of my universe. This includes every action of every thing, every feeling I feel, and every cause and effect. All within a universe of thought – my thought.

“The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine.” (Sir James Hopwood Jeans)

The Nature of My Significance

In my bubble of limited awareness, how might I find personal significance in the universe? My experience of life is real to me and not conceptual. There’s a huge gulf between non-corporeal thought and physical sensory experience.

Most of my memories are based on sensual perception of physical experience on which I placed a judgement. Those judgements included what should or shouldn’t have happened and emotions that identified the impact those experiences had on me. I know the difference between a thought about and the physical record of pain my body stores for experience.

Why do my thoughts and emotions feel as real as an associated physical experience? How can a simple concept, a notion, feel as significant as a physical sensation?

Am I experiencing life as sensual perceptions that validate concepts that only appear real? In a sea of concepts within a universe of cause-effect physical relationships, my intentions may seem insignificant when I consider them as thoughts. Among significant concepts I consider are the intentions that concern survival.

Even within my own mind, thoughts compete to survive.

How can one thought have any influence at all in such a vast sea of competing thoughts? After all, the size of my body is insignificant when compared to that of the earth. The earth is insignificant when compared to the number of celestial bodies that make up a galaxy, which is insignificant when compared to the whole universe. You might say my body represents many orders of magnitude of insignificance.

Insignificant – until I realize the irrelevance of the comparison. So, I’ve applied a physical measurement comparison to the non-physical.

The Nature of Perception

I have my own notions of such abstract ideas as justice, freedom, friendship, and love. These interact with concepts of some more concrete perceptions like my body, plants in the garden, and carpentry. Each a concept in an environment of concepts.

One concept that makes all others possible is that of separation from wholeness. This concept of differentiation turns one idea into an appearance of many. It also endows the universe with perspective, the capacity to differentiate me from not me. Because of this differentiating principle of perspective, I have experience. Without a notion of differentiation, there is no perception, and thus, no experience. Perception arises from a concept.

My Significance in a Universe of Concepts

To me, “I” appear to be my body, thoughts, and feelings. And yet, I am actually beliefs about those things. Beliefs are concepts that are thoughts. The perception of “I” represents the central thought in a universe of my own thoughts. Thus, in my universe of limited perceptual awareness, I am the literal and figurative center and creator of everything.

What if significance is a value that I, the dreamer, place on a concept to indicate its importance to the dreamer in the dream? Rather than infinitesimally insignificant, as the dreamer of the dream, might I instead be ultimately significant?

Change a thought and you can change the entire universe. Imagine that!

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Memory as a Messenger of the Unknown

What if, within my limited awareness bubble, memory works in time and space? A conscious agent uses memory as a vehicle to perceive a relationship between time and space. If so, I must defend time and space in order to live. The “I” that lives in time must store the data necessary to balance the unknown with the known – memory.

Now seems to be the only condition of time that allows me to be served by memory. Memory’s linear design is a means of holding time accountable to space and for me to be accountable to a future I haven’t yet realized. Time supports space that supports time. Memory supports the concept of linear time and space as imagined sequences of causes and effects.

What I can perceive I can believe is real. Therefore, my memories are real because I perceive them to be. I’ve perceived fear as real and I have referred to it for present experiential support. Fear as the main criteria of my memory now seems to dominate the experiences of the present. Once I believe fear is real, it will remain so until I question and change it.

Because the unknown represents my greatest fear, I create memories to fill-in what I don’t know. With memory, I can relate the unknowable to an imagined known, a reality I call my life. This known reality brings a counter-balance and a sense of direction to mitigate the fear of the unknown.

What Is the Message of Memory, then?

Memories are my link to linear reality, which includes time and space and who I am in them. In my limited matrix of associations, I can apply a memory to justify any current situation that exists in terms of time and space.

When it comes to fearful situations, applying a known in the form of a memory can provide a sense of reality. Thus, an imagined or recalled known can substitute a sense of peace to the unknown. It’s a paradox! And while the unknown remains unknown, at least I can feel better about it!

What if memory is a messenger of the unknown telling me about me through the known? Perhaps memory is loaded with data. I can mine that information about who I perceive I am beyond what I know. What is my memory telling the known me about the unknown me?

Rather than defend against the unknown with fear-based memory, what if I instead asked some questions?

  • What is true and untrue in this memory?
  • How is it true and untrue?
  • Why is it true and untrue?
  • Who am I as a result of believing this?
  • Who would I be if I didn’t believe this?
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Questioning Perception to Clarify Choice

How Choice Confirms the Paradox I Intend to Resolve

I rarely think about my intentions when people are agreeable and things are going well. I may still be unaware of my intentions when I act on perceived threats, reverting automatically to defense. This because my focus is on choice as the application of defense of the intention rather than on the intention. Regardless of my intentions, any choice I consider or make within the bubble is in defense of the separation paradox.

Thus, choice defends intention that defends perception.

That seems like a pretty poor strategy for resolving a paradox! How do I intend to resolve a paradox by choosing to confirm it? That sounds a bit confusing to me!

Might confusion be the strategy of choice?

Consider how convinced you feel when reason aligns with perception. When “how” and “why” align with sensory “what” – “I know this is true, because [a logical reason].” As I consider how stubbornly unmovable I get when I feel convinced of my “truth”, a little confusion may indeed be in order.

How does that work?

I use automation, of course! I engage a policy-management, self-regulating process to carry out my choices without question. Think mechanical process – “When this, do that.” Over time and experience, I learn to trust my choices – no questions necessary!

When I choose for, I also choose against. The process defends both sides of the argument. From an energy conservation perspective, it’s brilliant! The same reason I use in defense of one option I favor also defends why I’m right in not choosing another option. In choosing the road to the left, I’ve also chosen not to take the road to the right – for the same reasons.

Although this process manipulates conflicting concepts to maintain a sense of rightness, it adds paradox to paradox.

Let’s Recap!

  1. By perceiving, I set up a fundamental paradox of deficit within wholeness.
  2. I intend to resolve this paradox by setting up a system in which need-fulfillment feels like paradox resolution.
  3. To defend the intention, I create a life story that sets the parameters within which, as the hero, I must satisfy the ultimate need – survival of the paradox!
  4. I sustain the fundamental paradox by masking it behind paradoxical choices.

I can challenge my choices. Why? Because they’re not set in stone! They’re just concepts I’ve accepted as “right” and so, true. By questioning a choice, I open a space for understanding the philosophy and intent behind it. I might even let go of my defense of the current choice. It’s at least an opening.

Questioning

Questioning my choices may be cutting myself short of a realistic answer. My process isn’t designed to question itself because it is the answers. It has the right reasons for my survival and simply applies an appropriate defense. Therefore, questions intended to check the reasons for a system of defense must come from outside the system. Questions from within a system of defense tend to confirm the system.

Perhaps questioning my intention,rather than my perception would open a space for something new. Change the input change the output.

This means I want to design questions that awaken the process and its system of defense to itself. The answers to those questions will bring enlightenment to the process and promote clarity to a paradoxical reality.

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Risking Awkwardness in Awakening

As in walking and running, our desire to find balance within a limited bubble of awareness must first risk an awkward shift. Our legs move from normal standing balance into an awkward outward movement. This forward thrust achieves measurable distance from where we began. Awkwardness achieves movement that achieves a purpose.

The same is true in forward thinking. A shift in thought is a risk in balancing a new perspective. One might consider new thoughts that challenge present understanding a risk towards change in that perspective.

One might view a change of understanding as a movement, albeit an awkward one at first. As I transition from standing still to walking, then to running, I give little or no thought to the risks involved. Past the awkwardness of the transition, I experience a larger movement forward than when I was still.

Risking Awkwardness

Whether physical or nonphysical, life is a risk. Willingness to brave awkwardness while transitioning from the sleep of defense into the awakening of new understandings is worth those risks.

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