Good and Bad – as a Perceptual Pattern

From the perceptual standpoint of bubble awareness, I process my experiences through a good/bad filter. That filter is my imagination, that makes it possible to attach value to experience. When I attach a positive value, I judge that experience as good. I use the same process for attaching negative value to what I judge as bad experience.

I judge an experience, then attach a perceived value to it. My level of defense for that value is equal to my own perceived value. That value represents the level of defense I need to protect my good or bad judgements. When I judge the value of an experience, rather than learning from it, I miss the learning.

These good and bad values become perceptual patterns. Like stringing beads on lines of bias, I link compatible values – good experiences with other good experiences and bad experiences with other bad experiences. 

All these links of strings of beads create patterns of bias. When sufficient beads (judgements) are amassed as my truth, bias defends that truth. That bias becomes my story – my reality.

Perceptual Misunderstandings

My thoughts and feelings are the ingredients necessary to combine my truth into judgements of good and bad. These play off each other in a dance of perceptual misunderstandings: if this > then that. These patterns of false equations are really about my judgements of my experience, rather than the experiences themselves. 

When I am aware of my perceptual misunderstandings of good and bad, I consciously affect the outcome of my experiences simply by being present in them.

I can use mindfulness to awaken into acceptance of full accountability for everything. Bringing together positive and negative poles into none.

Playing the Trust Wild Card

What if you were to change your previous cause and effect relationships to experience what happens next in the direction of trust? Interested in exploring this trust wild card?

This level of trust requires a merging of all your need to prove rightness about reality – to consider instead embracing an alternative reality that supports humility, openness, and authenticity. There’s nothing to lose because you never had anything to gain from being right. All you really have is your perceptions to fear – ghosts.

What about Ego?

I acknowledge I have an ego. That’s the aspect of mind that tells me what to do and how to do it. Behind every ego order, there’s an army of defenses armed and ready to give me a sense of authority. The seat of rightness can get pretty demanding when I abdicate my true self-authority.

Many of my life’s intentions have been left to ego, whose job it is to protect me from harm. So far, I think it’s done a pretty good job – at the expense of losing connection with others, not to mention losing touch with my genuine Self.

Considering the infrequency of my Self-awareness that’s capable of challenging ego, I must admit it may well be that I’ve simply believed the propaganda.

To explore beyond ego, one would have to release defenses of any kind. When you don’t have to be right, you won’t set yourself up to be wrong either.

Playing the Trust Wild Card

When you find that fear has left you, your choices increase exponentially and your opportunities for understanding match those choices.

Playing the trust wild card simply comes down to acceptance of Self as authority over ego, which is used to being in charge, a position it’s not keen to relinquish. Self-awareness may take Self-trust in the face of ego-imagined fears. With practice and patience, I can tame the wild beast.

Beyond Gratitude as Judgment

Gratitude is all about noticing and awareness. By asking a question, I can bring about noticing in a way that promotes awareness beyond the First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble. Within the bubble of limited perception, I experience gratitude as an emotionally-charged competition or comparison – a value-judgment backed by a defense that often takes the form of an expression in the syntax of emotion-comparison-justification:

“I feel grateful for [something I value-judge as positive]… because… [some reason this judgment confirms my values]”

Example: “I feel grateful for sunrises because they make me feel hopeful…”

Structurally, my statement includes an emotion, “I feel”; a comparison judgment, “grateful for…”; and a defense, “because…” – the basic structure of the bubble, in which I compare, compete, and defend. “Grateful,” in this case, means “compared to what I value” – a validation of my opinions/notions as truth.

Is there another way?

To experience gratitude beyond the bubble, it must take on a different sensibility altogether. In the realm of accountability for creation, awareness would appear as a sort of universal acceptance of ALL that IS. As a confirmed bubble resident, I can tell you that my experience of this kind of gratitude is exquisite, sublime, and ultimately life-affirming.

To turn bubble comparison into life-affirming accountability, I might question how I express thanks – and maybe reconsider in the light of acceptance.

Let’s start by reviewing how I express gratitude within bubble awareness:

  1. I notice an experience that I…
  2. relate to other similar experiences and then…
  3. make a judgment (better or worse) that I…
  4. justify with a defense that validates my values and beliefs.

Now, let’s look at it from an acceptance-of-accountability perspective:

  1. I notice that everything is as I perceive it.

From my limited bubble perspective, Fourth Degree of Illumination acceptance of accountability may appear to me as surreal – and maybe the truth behind the illusion.

Watering the Weeds of Distraction

In my First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble, I work at awakening into full enlightenment. Sometimes I experience distraction from that goal. You know, the illusive finger of fate that points your attention and intention away from your present goal? Even when I accept that such distraction is of my own making, I still on occasion find myself “off track.”

Perhaps such derailments are the result of confusion over the relationship between attention and intention. Intention directs while attention connects. To accomplish a task, one must give attention to what fulfills the intention of that task.

For example – A firefighter controls the direction and flow of water shooting out the fire hose. His intention directs while his attention connects the water with the fire. When the fighter is distracted from his intention or attention, he ceases to be an effective firefighter in that instant.

Attention without intention ensures a future of distraction

Some distractions grab my attention for days – disrupting my intention from the enlightenment I seek. As I focus more attention on the distractions, I seem to get even more distracted as my world seems to darken. Now I begin to notice how people aren’t getting along with me and each other. I have to honk, shout and do hand gestures at all those insensitive and unconscious drivers on the road. I might catch a cold or feel “down” for a while – validating the truth of my sense of darkening.

Parasol Thinking

My need to attend to this one distracting thought overarches all other thoughts – like unfurling a gigantic parasol over the entire universe, turning day into night, blocking out the sunshine that once ruled. My attention to distractions has clouded my vision and I lose sight of my intention.

While I focus on what I don’t like – the distraction – the rest that I do like starves for my attention. “Energy flows where attention goes.” (Huna principle 3 – Makia)

And, Oh, the Weeds, the Weeds!

Could my distracted attention be “watering the weeds”? Perhaps.

Or –

Maybe there’s something useful in the negative, distracting thought. What if I’m doing distraction “on purpose?” Could what I don’t like – that which is holding my attention hostage – be the result of a hidden intention that can lead me to an awakening? What then, eh?

What then, indeed!

Perhaps when I’m faced with a compelling distraction, I might ask some [maybe useful] questions about my intention:

  • What am I avoiding with this distraction?
  • How am I avoiding it? (looking at behaviors and captive thoughts)
  • Why am I avoiding it? (looking at emotional payoffs)
  • Who am I as I take accountability for my thoughts?

A Catalyst Reveals Hidden Treasures

A catalyst is a triggering agent that provokes action and choice. In a reactive universe, every action provokes another action and another choice. Relationships provoke change that is essential to experience. A Third Degree of Illumination question appears as a catalyst that provokes a choice and yet does not affect the question that prompted it.

The Catalyst Opportunity

Relationships carry intentions and resistance to change. The choices we make are the beginning of change. Choosing the same thing is not choice, rather, it is resistance to change, a validation of a previous choice. My relationships offer many opportunities for me to confront my resistance. Those opportunities often appear as conflicting thoughts that elicit questions that act as catalysts for change.

I can challenge resistance thoughts with alternative thoughts. In my inner-most personal relationships, those alternative thoughts are ever-present, an invitation to reconsider and choose again. A catalyst may require only a minute degree of leverage in the form of a question like, “Is that true?” to move the mind past the tipping point.

This type of catalyst is a question that reveals hidden intentions behind resistance. Light shone in the darkness acts as a catalyst that reveals what was in the dark. By questioning my resistance, I shine the light of conscious awareness on it, illuminating that which I’ve concealed from myself. I can shift my awareness from competition and defense to choice and accountability.

Revealing Hidden Treasures

I question my established beliefs by challenging present defenses. The more entrenched my beliefs, the greater the need for defense. The more I invest in defense the less creative energy I have available to me. I can use questions to reassign that investment. At some point, my investment in awakening will pass the tipping point to AHA! That’s when I’ll be faced with the ultimate choice – move ahead to complete personal accounting or fall back into defense. It’s a tipping point, after all.

Mindfulness means questioning my thoughts. Continuing to believe what I used to think vital simply allows my accountability to step aside while a misunderstanding takes charge. I can question that misstep and offer myself the choice again.

Any question can be used as a catalyst, yet certain kinds of questions lead to certain kinds of conscious awareness. Here are some questions I’ve used to provoke a 3rd Degree awareness – choice, in which 4th Degree acceptance of accountability is an option.

From Conflict to Awareness – Choose!

Get quiet. Pick a recent conflict in which you continue to defend a side. Ask:

  1. What awareness am I resisting? (maybe the other side of the issue?)
  2. How am I resisting it? (my defense)
  3. Why am I resisting it? (my payoff for defense)
  4. Who am I resisting? (the one capable of resolving the issue)

Continue asking these questions until the answer to every question is a variation of “I am!” – the ONE dreaming this dream. BTW, I am the treasure I seek.