How Intention, Choice, and Bias Resolve Life’s Ambiguity

In order to initiate a conscious choice, I must perceive two or more options relating to the concept under consideration. My life presents me a menu of options. Bias narrows the options from which I may choose. I compare those options to determine how well they might work to confirm my bias.

In my comparative world of limited awareness, life is ambiguous. It’s not 100% clear whether I’ll live or die in any moment. It’s unclear who I am. I must clarify myself to myself. I work my whole life to disambiguate the paradox of the life I live. Bias is one way I seek to clarify this ambiguous situation.

I’m unambiguous about my intention to live. So, I favor all that confirms that intention and fear alternatives. I make choices based on this intentional and fundamental bias. Thus, I resolve life’s greatest paradox – that I am ambiguous, being one and separate, for and against.

Intention

The intention to survive underlies all intentions. A default program ensures I make a preselected biased choice – both for and against. It’s paradoxical. Biases defend the underlying intention to survive, in which I’m:

  • against what threatens the underlying intention.
  • in favor of what benefits the underlying intention.

In this environment of bias, I’m seeking to disambiguate while defending a paradox. I do this by choosing for and against what affects my intention to survive. Thus, increasing the ambiguity I’m seeking to decrease.

Fear and Bias

My fears are an effort to defend myself for being right and against being wrong. Two sides of the same coin. Fear of being wrong plays an influential role in my ability to make a clear choice.

If my choice results in survival, my commitment to its rightness abates fear. When I realize I’ve survived well, my commitment solidifies into a bias that rules over my life. The paradox is that increased defense of what’s right increases fear of its alternatives.

About Choices

Questioning my bubble of limited awareness challenges my perception of survival. Denial is the default program that defends my biases and resists change.

It seems like I’m choosing all the time. Choosing only concepts that support my biases, is not choice – it’s confirmation bias in action. Once I’ve made a choice, I cannot change it while in defense of it. Bias is how I automate the process.

Conscious living may be more about challenging my reasons for making choices than blindly following them.

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My Roller Coaster of Choice Predictability

Sometimes my life feels like a roller coaster. A paradoxical ride through the ups, downs, twists and turns of conflicting choices. Based on the certitude of my choices and their outcomes, I create a dependency equation. I apply the same equation, choice + defense = predictability, to every outcome.

I believe that predictable defenses mean predictable choices that result in predictable outcomes. Ambiguity develops as my dependence on specific outcomes from specific choices wavers. This challenges my defense and so affects my choices and outcomes.

Certitude and Rigidity

This kind of thinking can lead to a sense of certitude that leads to rigid thinking. This makes manifesting intended outcomes much more difficult and unpredictable. What if ambiguity invites questions about the certitude of my predictability formula?

Because I’d rather be right than accurate, I have an inclination to remember past events as being predictable at the time. In other words I reconcile differences in expected and actual outcomes by justifying results with false memories. This keeps my certitude in place regardless of outcomes.

A difference between expected and actual outcomes occurs because I am not in the same frame of mind when making a choice as when perceiving the outcome of that choice. So, to deal with the paradox, I lie to myself by revising my memory to justify what I perceive and feel now.

Predictability and Fear

This makes future outcomes seem much more predictable and choices more reliable than they actually are. It’s a useful thinking error when applied to confidence building. Not so useful when applied to medical procedures where overconfidence can lead to malpractice, for example.

When I feel conflict in yet-to-be-made choices rising within me, I may feel fear over that unpredictability. To calm my fear, I look to predictability of past choices made that I defend with my support and loyalty today.

Am I tall enough to ride this ride?

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My Perception Paradox Resolution Process

A review of how I work out my paradox of perception…

…being at once whole and incomplete, for and against, me and not me. I start out without paradox as one whole. Suddenly, perception brings an awareness of “not whole” – a deficit of separateness that must be returned to wholeness. Thus starts a paradox I must and yet cannot fix –

  1. Perception of separation (the “Who”) – acknowledgement of deficit from wholeness represents the initial paradox of awareness, that of perceiving wholeness in terms of a “not” condition. Thus, creating two conditions within one reality – me and not me, this OR that – which I compare to create perception.
  2. Intention (the “Why”) – gives purpose to resolving the paradox. Defends perception of separation by accepting it as truth by proposing a solution.
  3. Philosophy – MY life story framework – the laws of rightness that define MY limited awareness bubble in terms of symbols and their meanings. Defends intention by setting standards for comparisons.
  4. Choice (the “How”) – perception of distinct options leads to an intention to resolve the dilemma by selecting the most right (best) way. A choice defends standards in terms of values imposed by a philosophy to provide a base of comparison for each option.
    1. Policy – represents a specific plan for applying philosophical standards of rightness to a choice. Thus, defending the philosophy that governs the choice along with the choice. This by acceptance of outcomes that fit within the parameters of and confirm my life story-line.
    2. Procedure – The specific actions necessary to produce an outcome. Thus, defending a choice by confirming the rightness of the associated policy through action.
  5. Outcome represents feedback in the form of a perceptual “What” that symbolizes the “Who” – Thus, defending the choice, policy, and procedure with evidence that confirms my philosophy and satisfies my purpose in choosing this method of resolving the paradox of separation.

It’s all about appearances!

Although my paradox of perception remains, I feel as though I can resolve it through continuous improvement of my environment and myself. As there was only the appearance of a deficit, there can only be an appearance of a resolution. And that’s all I need in order to feel satisfied in a purposeful and meaningful life.

Hence, I’ve worked out the paradox to my satisfaction. Appearance of resolution IS resolution. And yet, there remains a nagging sense of want for “more…” and “better…”

Ah, but thankfully, I have a fix for that!

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It’s a Question of Paradoxical Policies on Automatic

In his entertaining skits, David Alan Grier’s character, Calhoun Tubbs, has a song ready for every occasion. No matter how inappropriate the situation or his application of song he wrote. He thus presents a question of paradoxical policies on automatic.

“Wrote a song about it! Like to hear it? Here it go!”
(David Alan Grier as Calhoun Tubbs, In Living Color)

Most of my personal policies are so automatic and happen so quickly, I fail to notice them in action. That is, until I question one by paying it some attention. For example, I DIDN’T NOTICE that while sitting at my desk typing this, my breathing was shallow. That is, until I NOTICED! Then, suddenly, my breathing changed. BY NOTICING, I turned an unconscious automatic conditional policy into a conscious strategy that resulted in a different outcome.

A Question of Awareness

In every conditional policy, there is an inherent question:
“Is my perception of the situation true?” Or, more succinctly, “Is it true?”

In order to NOTICE, I must QUESTION an assumption – that I perceive the situation correctly. In order to QUESTION its accuracy, I must NOTICE my perception of a situation or condition. Thus, it would seem, awareness and questioning go hand-in-hand.

My conscious awareness tends to focus mostly on outcomes. That is, did my process result as I intended? The answer to that question supplies the trigger for the next policy –

  • Yes, it worked! So, initiate a policy to –
    • Strengthen the policy through favor
    • Use the policy again
    • Increase trust in the policy
  • No, it didn’t work. So, initiate one or more of the following policies –
    • Scapegoat!
    • Blame!
    • Escape detection!
    • Deflection!
    • Confusion!
    • Reevaluate my procedures (how I carried out the policy).

Note the avoidance of a policy to –

  • Question my policy.
  • Reevaluate my philosophy.
  • Question my beliefs.
  • Take accountability.

Four Questions!

Something happened and I reacted. I might ask 4 questions that may lead me to some awareness. I might ask myself as soon as I regain my thinking capacity, “What happened and what did I do?” Then –

  1. WHAT ACTUALLY happened? (Was the situation true as I perceived it? Yes or No? Assumption: No!)
  2. Assuming my incorrect perception, how would I react/behave given what ACTUALLY happened? “Apply a new policy!”
  3. Why would I do something different given what ACTUALLY happened?
  4. Who is perceiving what ACTUALLY happened?

The same set of questions could be used to deescalate a threatening situation –

  1. WHAT is ACTUALLY happening? (What is the current situation?)
  2. HOW does the ACTUAL situation appear to me? (Inventory your sensory feedback – not your emotions!)
    1. What do I see – right now?
    2. What do I hear – right now?
    3. Where do I feel it in my body – right now?
    4. What do I taste – right now?
    5. What do I smell – right now?
  3. WHY would I assign [a negative emotion like fear] to this ACTUAL situation? (new answer: “I wouldn’t!”)
  4. WHO is in charge of my perception of this situation? (the answer to that is – “I’m the one who’s perceiving this.”)
  5. WHO’S the policy maker?” (the answer is – “me.”)
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I Have a Policy for That!

The first line of defense for choosing separation is to make that choice a belief. Policy manages how beliefs manifest, sustaining a bias-based defense system – my First-Second Degree of awareness bubble.

My Manifestation Process

  1. Perception of Separation
  2. Intention
  3. Philosophy
  4. Choice
    1. Policy
    2. Procedure/Action
  5. Outcome/Feedback

Beliefs are substantiated by philosophies, stories that obscure hidden defenses. A fertile imagination fashions my most cherished and well-used philosophies into stories that defend them. I experience these stories as comparative hierarchies of defense, thus satisfying my need for rightness.

Policies manage my perceived threats and benefits from least to greatest importance to survival. By default, I arrange this hierarchy in order of defense value. Those philosophies that conceptualize the greatest defense value rule over the others.

Every philosophy carries defense values expressed through choices, policies and procedures. When my policies and procedures project a me vs not me choice onto a comparative reality, I must defend it.

It’s Conditional!

My personal policies define my adopted or proposed courses or principles of action. Each operates as a contract with myself. Policies defend my beliefs with procedures, the actions that turn my beliefs into experience.

The result of this process is a life of competition – me working against myself. My experiences are fractals within fractals of defense. Each fractal represents a paradox of perception that defends choices, beliefs, philosophies, policies, and procedures in an outcome.

A policy is a conceptualization of a belief in the form of a conditional statement, “if/when a condition is true, then do the following action…”

  1. If/When I think X condition is true, then I will probably do Y
  2. If/When I’m convinced X condition is true, then I will absolutely do Y

This morphs into a BE-DO logic level reasoning paradox policy:

  1. X condition must BE true because I/you DID Y
  2. I/you DID Y because X condition was true

For example, “You must BE in love with me because I DO nice things for you.” And, “I must BE dumb because I DID poorly on the test!”

I experience a conflict in a relationship when I APPLY a morphed conditional policy to resolve it. That is, BECAUSE I perceive this conflict, I feel I must DO something about it. For example, because I am afraid, I must freeze up!

What can I do to correct my paradox of perception? Well, now that I’ve NOTICED the condition, I might question it and consider making a change – to policies first, then maybe to philosophies – and, perhaps ultimately, to my beliefs!

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