How Biases Are Choices

Biases limit my ability to select from a wide range of options down to just those I feel I can defend. This fools me into believing I’m making a free choice from all the available options.

However, I’m actually defending as few options as necessary to make me right or, at least, not wrong. Over time and practice, this becomes a pattern of behavior that narrows my perspective, turning choice into confirmation of rightness.

Perhaps it’s impossible to make a “free” choice when my need/fulfillment is to validate my rightness. Because rightness tends to feel like wholeness, I don’t feel limited by bias. I feel justified – whole! That which I validate validates me!

Biases – a Twofold Defense

One side intended for and the other against. This alludes to paradoxical thinking, in which I fight for what’s right by defending against what’s wrong. Bias weights one side over the other.

Could choice actually be a form of defense? When I make a choice, I also create a defense for that option and against others. Perhaps my defense is present before I make the choice. In that case, I’m double-defending my selection with bias.

For example, when I choose vanilla over chocolate ice cream, I have a preconceived reason. Maybe I think the vanilla tastes better than the chocolate ice cream because of a bias.

Bias offers complementary defenses for and against that must validate each other for me to consider each as an option. That is, what I like and don’t like counter and so validate each other. Even weighing one over the other, the end result is validation of separateness, which appears as my choice!

“Why” is at the root of my biases, which I defend as truths. This sets the stage for proving biases as truths. Thus, more than affecting my choices – biases ARE my choices.

Expectations, Assumptions, and Illusions of Choice

In my bubble of limited awareness, I assume I’m living my life by making choices. Because of my well-developed senses, I can learn and know what’s best for me. I can know what to embrace or avoid. I interpret these perceptions in terms of the choices I’ve made to validate separation.

For example, “I am me and not others” appears to be an assumption based in choice. I don’t need to choose what is true… it just is what is! In this case, perception is not choice – rather, assumptions based on choice.

When I defend a no-choice position, I discard any options that could be relevant to a choice. A choice can cover many solutions that validate one specific intention. Yet, choices aren’t choices when they are intended to be used repetitively and on the same issues.

Punishment and Reward in Limited Awareness

In classical (Pavlovian) and operant (Skinner) conditioning, a subject learns to behave in a certain way through a system of punishments and rewards. In nature, an individual interacts with their environment in this way and learns how to adapt.

I must assume I can create wholeness within limitations. That’s to believe that if I do, have, and/or be enough limitation, I’ll achieve wholeness. That’s a world of hope. And a paradox!

I feel motivated to seek for and to validate more separateness. In the mastery of separateness I might then be initiated into the experience of wholeness. My service to my intention meant I could get a sense of wholeness as a reward.

Options

My only options in this dimension of separateness are how to defend it. Yet, I must seek separation to find wholeness by comparing them. Since I cannot attain the unattainable – I’ll settle for a substitute – an illusion of wholeness.

What if all that – environment, systems, and conditioning – is within me. As the perceiver of my universe, I might act/react as conditioner of my own behaviors. I may be more in charge of my world of limited awareness than I once thought!

I wonder if I develop much of my definition of wholeness by trial and error. Another way to learn is by observation, which allows for choice by association.

Trial and error development sounds a lot like conditioning. Freud observed that we tend to seek pleasure and avoid or escape pain. That’s a perfect setup for conditioning by punishment and reward in a system of learning by trial and error.

When I behave in compliance with my conditioning, I feel good – I get a dopamine blast as a reward, I feel whole. Conversely, I suffer a punishment for misbehaviors and feel separate.

Who applies that punishment or reward? Nature? My society? What if it is my own intention?

Expressing Love in a World of Need

What do you mean when you say you love someone?” When I’m expressing love, I assume my expressions are understood the same way I do. That’s because I assume everyone understands the expressions of love in the same way – I do. We all know what love looks like – we all know it when we experience it – right?

Defining Love

Could love have multiple meanings depending upon the frame of mind of the one expressing or perceiving it? The word has more synonyms than any other.

The ancient Greeks sought to resolve the confusion by parsing love into many types to fit specific cases:

  • Sexual passion.
  • Platonic friendship.
  • Playful love.
  • Universal respect.
  • Long-term friendship.
  • Love of the self.

Even when broken down into specific types, there can be many more. For example:

  • Manipulative affection.
  • Spiritual acknowledgement.
  • Condescending superiority.
  • Aspirational or worshipful adulation.

Most of the above listed items are based on my wants and needs. That is, “I love” means “I want or need” something outside myself. This even when I say I love myself.

Expressing Love As Defense

Because I believe love separates with specialness, I use love to defend my perception of my universe as I perceive it. Thus making me special and separate from all I perceive as not me. In my bubble of limited awareness, “I love you” defends my belief in you separate from me.

When I ask, “Why?” of an “I love you” statement, I might hear “becauses” that defend the statement. Those defenses illustrate my misunderstandings about myself. Thus, when I say, “I love you,” I’m expressing my needs and feelings about myself. And I may expect reciprocation, “I love you, too.” Because I seek love from outside me, it validates my belief in separation of me and not me.

Instead of knocking myself out trying to find love, I might accept the truth of it – all is love. Not specific to any aspect of all, like a specific person, concept, or situation – ALL. Why? Because it’s all me – I’m the one perceiving my life and experiences. So, love must be an expression of me to me.

What do I mean when I say to you, “I love you?”

Am I saying, “I love you” in order to gain your favor? To appease you? Maybe because I feel guilty? What kind of love is that, then?

Ultimately, I define love in terms of emotions I feel in the moment I express it. My expression exposes my private feelings about ME in that moment. Thus, perhaps love is not so much about what I say, or how I say it. Maybe it’s about WHY I say it.

Imagine what might happen to your expressions of love when you feel gratitude for your world. When you recognize everything and everyone in your perception as your creation. When you accept accountability for your perception. Wow!

How might I express love from my perception of “me” to “not me” when WOW is its foundation?

Imagine something about which you feel “wow” inside. Something that evokes a feeling in you of amazed wonder and awe. Hold that image in your mind – maybe even magnify the feeling of it. Then immediately go to someone you care about, look them in the eye, maybe touch them. Don’t speak – just look and touch for a few seconds – long enough to feel significant.

Then say, “I love you.” Practice in the mirror. Awaken love!

 

Looking at Love Through Need Fulfillment

Why do people once in love end up despising each other? What happens when, “I love you” means “I need something from you?”

Sometimes I view love as a state of being. Other times I view it as something I do. And still other times I view it as a commodity I can buy, sell, or otherwise control. When viewed as a commodity, as in property, I may invest in love’s representations.

Love as Trade

For example, if my lover represents love as a commodity to me, I’ll view them as an asset. Thus, I’ll expect something of value from them to satisfy my investment in them. More to the point, the value they can give me to fill the lack I perceive in myself. I then invest in that commodity that seems at least equal to the value I receive from it.

This has not changed since ancient times. We still believe love is need fulfillment. No matter what morals we place on it, the concept is purely amoral. That is, I feel love when I feel satisfied.

Who expresses a sense of feeling loved when they are in dire straights? Love is conditional! Those who claim unconditional love are probably wanting something from you. Sounds like a harsh worldview? Maybe – and it’s a great description of my bubble of limited awareness in which I perceive competition and defense.

Gestures, symbols, and expressions will remain tools of trade until we understand love has no value.

Love and the Need to Be Special

Why do some people do horrific things in the name of love? Even when they have “everything” – wealth, respect, social acceptance. In some cases, it’s because they need to feel special to someone.

Love as a Weapon

When someone draws a weapon, they use it to their advantage to satisfy their needs. Basically, I use weapons for two reasons: to benefit me and threaten or defeat others in my need fulfillment.

Once I engage a weapon, most options disappear. For example, consider some ways I have used love to get what I needed:

  • Evoke emotion
  • Force cooperation
  • Intimidate others into agreement
  • Obligating others

An interesting aside – when I remove options from others, I also remove them from myself.

Because I NEED love, I’m acknowledging that I’m NOT experiencing it. Further, I may not be able to experience love because I need it. Yet, because I need it, I will do whatever it takes to get love.

Whatever I feel I need controls me. This can get complicated when I realize that I’ve defined love in terms of need. This turns the wonder of love into another master I must serve. Because I perceive love as a fearful master, I must serve love in fear. Thus, I must negotiate with my master to get love.

Symbolic Gestures and My Intention to Be Whole

There are as many symbolic gestures to represent love as there are imaginative ways to express it. Yet, love is not an expression. Rather, love is what we hope those we express it to understand. Love is within the intention we seek to convey.

It all comes back to my initial intention to be whole. All relationships represent this theme of becoming whole. When that intention turns into a need that MUST be fulfilled, I may view love in terms of lack. This can result in a relationship in which each feels they need the other to complete them. Thus, confirming the belief in lack.

To the drowning man, any floating thing will appear as the answer to his problem. From the perspective of desperation, love can only mean need fulfillment. Even though love may appear as the answer, in limited awareness, it can only indicate need.