Relationship Between Compulsion, Want, And Need

In my limited awareness, I experience compulsion as needs. Compulsions increase in number and intensity when I think my environment controls me. As I take control of myself, I experience fewer needs. Need and conscious awakening seem to have an inverse relationship: the more awake I am, the less I experience need. Inversely, the more need I experience, the less awakened I am.

Let’s look at the need-less experience of a lucid dream as an example. In that consciousness, awareness of dream and dreamer while asleep gives me complete awake control. This because I’ve taken awake control of thoughts and emotions that generate the dream. I experience few if any needs in lucid dreams because I have full awake command of my dreaming self.

In awake consciousness, it seems I have many needs. From air to food to shelter, it appears I must depend upon my environment for survival. That dependence on what I feel is outside me may be key to why I have needs.

Unlike wants, needs are more black-and-white. Needs feel 100% compelling while wants feel more desirable than compelling. For example, even though I may want to breathe, at a certain point desire will turn to need and I will be compelled to breathe. I have no choice – I must pay attention to it – I must act.

I’m also compelled to believe the need is compelling enough to justify the compulsion. Thus, needs justify compulsions that justify needs. They are dependent upon and so justify each other.

Need and Compulsion Represent Each Other

Compulsion is an urge – a concept – not a physical thing or a goal. Physical or not, need represents the compulsion concept. Accepting a need as literal compels me to feel dependent upon my environment and so feeds my compulsion.

Feeding a compulsion feeds an awareness of lack that I judge as need. To that end, I may surrender all that I am to satisfy my compulsion in hopes of satisfying a need.

The nature of compulsion leads me to consider using need in situations where I seek to satisfy a want. My thought is that if I were to consider a want as a need, I’ll work harder to achieve it. On the outside, that may seem like a workable solution.

There is a flaw in that logic, however. A focus on awareness of lack tends to build more awareness of lack. Thus, even when feeling compelled to act, the focus on lack will tend to lessen the ability to act. Need may, then, subtract emotional energy from the excitement of want.

Instead, to build energy towards achievement of a goal, want it! And let go of the need for it. The entire process of achievement is within – that’s want – rather than from without – that’s need.

You may then be in a position to consider how want, too, focuses attention on lack. What might happen when you release the need for wants? I wonder…

How About A Consciousness Reset?

Sometimes my digital device starts to run slower. Maybe it has caught a cold (virus) or filled with bits of digital detritus. It is then that I consider a reset – that clears out all the cruft and makes it “like new.”

On my device, I can select a number of reset options. For example, one might preserve my settings, another my data, and yet another reset everything to “new.” Each reset option has advantages and disadvantages. I select the option that best serves my purposes.

Sometimes my consciousness seems to run a little slower, or maybe off just enough to bother me. Maybe I’ve noticed that my old thoughts, judgments, and feelings are starting to disrupt my life. Similarly to my digital device, my consciousness might benefit from a reset.

What Is A Consciousness Reset?

How might it manifest? How would I initiate it? What are my options?

Perhaps we should acknowledge that consciousness is a huge and arcane program. How much do you understand of the operating system on your iPhone or laptop computer? Consciousness as a program may be infinitely more complex and mysterious. Fortunately, one doesn’t have to understand every nuance of a computer program to operate portions of it. The same may apply to consciousness.

Because I operate within the program, consciousness resets manifest for me as experiential awakenings – ahas. That is, heightened awareness and clarity of mind relating to repetitive emotions in experience. These offer an opportunity for long-lasting change to perspective, understanding, and intention.

Such granular control over reset options gives my conscious self some leeway. My mind doesn’t have to overhaul everything it understands in one giant reset. It can do the job in “baby steps.” Think about what happens when you reset your phone’s display from “normal” to “dark” mode. A tiny change results in a huge experiential difference.

Consciousness resets are backed by new intentions that serve to increase the benefits of those intentions. Thus, any change intended towards greater awareness is a consciousness reset. Increased consciousness heightens awareness of our connections to others. That in turn makes for a heightened awareness of the ways in which one can serve to benefit all life.

That level of consciousness increases opportunities for greater awareness of accountability and service. Before reset, I tended to resist opportunities for greater awareness and service. What I resisted in fear tended to persist. With reset perspective, I could address my resistance in a different way than from comparisons to loss. This changed everything for me.

Resetting Intention Changes Everything

I reset my intention towards a person, place, or thing when I answer “no” to the question, “Is this what I really want?” This type of questioning sets up new future responses to those kinds of experiences. Resets encourage future resets.

Resetting intention resets perspective and is represented in a new person. A reset perspective is proactive in that it offers a different interpretation of feedback that leads to seeing the difference between old and new ideas. A change in my perspective affects everything in my perception.

Perspective is based on identity – who I believe I am within an environment. A reset would realign perspective to a new identity. This might appear as a change in attitude about specific relationships and about life in general.

What Would Indicate Or Precipitate A Consciousness Reset?

One might precipitate a consciousness reset with a change of thinking/feeling about one’s:

  • Environment
  • Relationship
  • Education
  • Career
  • Health
  • Location (address)
  • Self-image
  • Financial status
  • Social standing
  • Religion/philosophy
  • Government/Law

I might consider a reset to:

  • Realize my acceptance of accountability.
  • Change mental/emotional/physical capabilities.
  • Recognize my freedom to act.
  • Mitigate my perception of my environmental and/or physical restrictions.
  • Help me adjust to changing moral and social norms.
  • Make significant changes to my beliefs and prejudices.

To name a few.

In Conclusion…

You might ask, “I like the idea of a consciousness reset. Can I do it right away?” The answer is YES, YOU CAN RESET RIGHT NOW. Why? Because you can “simply” change your mind – in an instant.

Yet, because we believe in time, it may take some to see the results of your changes. And in that time, your native defenses will resist – because it’s their job to resist. Be patient with yourself. I can’t tell you how many “ahas” it will take before you realize noticeable changes in your life situation.

I leave that up to you.

Embrace Distraction to Awaken Inspiration

What if distraction is a useful characteristic of mind? I have the ability to be distracted – comes to me via evolution. Evolution favors that which is useful over that which is not. Just because I think it’s not useful doesn’t make it so. I ask again, “What if distraction is a useful characteristic of mind?”

What would make me believe that I’m actually creating a distraction? If I were to realize my creation, might I then put it to use? What would happen when I change my perspective about the way I think about distractions? Might I be able to utilize my ability to be distracted by asking, “What did I create this distraction for?” (seeks purpose). How might I utilize the distraction?

Perhaps I can use distraction to:

  • Sharpen my mind
  • Redirect attention
  • Help me identify hidden needs
  • Find new information
  • Get inspired

Where is inspiration and innovation?

Usually in the distraction zone. A distraction often involves a break in attention from a hypnotic state. Sometimes that seems like a break from something important to something less important – “Oh, look, a birdie!” How do I know what’s most important in this instant?

“Pay attention!” Perhaps a distraction is an attempt of mind to understand from another perspective. My limited awareness state of mind works in associations – this related to that. Because of that characteristic of mind, I wonder how all distractions are related. What is a distraction telling me? That everything is related, even those, like the birdie, that seem completely unrelated. I can use that to help me understand who I am.

Could a distraction be an opportunity? Inspiration rarely resides in strong narrow focus. One might say inspiration resides in the blink rather than the stare. The blink offers a distraction from the stare – an opportunity for new vision.

So, embrace the distraction! Maybe in it, you’ll find a new focus.

Agreement, Problem Solving, and My Life Story

My first engagement into my life – my life story – is to see a problem that needs a solution. Problem solving orders chaos into meaningful equations, like cause->effect, entropy->order, separation->wholeness, etc.

Imagine a perfect world and that you know how that perfection should appear. Now, compare that perfect world to the one you’re experiencing. That is the world of should – a problem  needing a solution, a story of comparisons to an imagined standard of perfection. Why does my world differ from the standard of perfection? Is that difference a problem that can be solved? As long as I view it as a problem, I’m driven to solve it – by living it!

Houston, We Have a Problem-Solving Problem!

To solve the problem of the should world, I link problems I create with solutions I create. This creates a coherent story that seeks to solve the why problem – why am I conscious?

Is my life story an awareness of what my Dad used to call, “one damn problem after another?”

Houston: Agreed! You Have a Problem!

Agreement is one tool I use to solve the problems inherent in my imagined world. Basically, an agreement works for me when it satisfies my need to be right. To fit agreement into my world of perfection, I standardize it!

A standard of agreement determines social understanding that makes judgments acceptable to those that agree. Agreement amplifies my trust in the perfection I’ve imagined. This builds a perception of trustworthiness into a social structure as a sense of predictability. I believe my perceptions are real because I can make and prove predictions.

Who I believe I am is the result of identifying with judgments supported by agreements. This is how I view myself as my job, my community, and my level of agreement. “I am a doctor, an American, the president of my organization” for example.

Agreement seeks to solve a fundamental problem of reality – Who am I?

Does My Life Journey Answer the Question, “Who Am I?”

In achievement of goals, the process one undertakes is important as it contains the action that results in the achievement. The voyage contains essential information about and for the one who takes it. Perhaps the journey defines the traveler as much as the traveler defines the journey. What if my bubble of limited awareness is a symbolic story of identity?

In the Hero’s Journey story format the hero doesn’t go from zero to hero in an instant. S/he becomes a hero in a process that progresses from resisting to embracing.

The hero starts out unaware of their hero status. Through the journey of awakening, the hero becomes aware of that which was always there – their “hidden” identity. The quest culminates in their embrace of that identity. The supposition is that they will continue on as a hero.

Life As A Journey

Perhaps life is about living the journey rather than arriving at the destination. I might consider my life as a story that started in conception, through birth, to a destination that must be death. That makes my hero’s passage from birth to death a series of mini-journeys of beginnings and destinations. A story that culminates in embracing an awareness of a new me awakening, while laying to rest old misunderstanding. Self in a return to wholeness.

Maybe my resistance to the journey provides me with the experience of it. In that case, I wonder if death simply represents my letting go of the need for an identity – played out in my story.

My journey of life seems to remind me regularly to focus on my purpose as well as my process of living it. This invokes a “why” question: Why am I who I am? The answer may help me recover hidden motives and understand my original intention for the journey.

I follow a process I’ve been building as my truth from before birth. That process is inspired by a purpose, one that sustains my enthusiasm for the journey and my process. In this regard, my life is self-sustaining.

Maybe it’s not about changing the “wrong way” I’ve been doing life to the “right way.” Maybe it’s about becoming aware of why I’ve been doing what I’ve been doing and who I’ve been doing it for, rather than how I’ve been doing it. With gratitude and attention, there’s no need to fix the journey, just flow with it.

Right now, I’m doing what I do to experience gratefully what I’m experiencing. Living is the expression of that gratitude. That’s a gift!