Oneness Apart from One

I define the concept one as the single source of everything – me, my projection of reality. I also define oneness as the condition of perceiving one as an individual separate from others. One cannot be measured by dividing self against itself, yet, oneness can as perception. Oneness doesn’t create, it only perceives an illusion of divisibility and indivisibility.

In oneness, I define everything in terms of perceived constituent parts (less than one). This compared to a standard, part compared to whole, content compared to context, and etc.

Oneness provides perception of this separation by defining boundaries or limits and assigning meaning. Like a whiteboard presentation, oneness equates to the whole whiteboard while the markings I make on the board appear to be separate yet are part of the whole whiteboard presentation. Content within context by way of definition.

About Definition

Mathematically and logically speaking, more or less than one is NOT one. Just as 2 is more than and therefore not 1, and .9 is less than and therefore not 1 either, I can use one as the reference point for comparisons. That is, one can perceive separation where there is none – by definition.

To make definitions, I measure me against not me. Oneness facilitates comprehension of me as an individual separate from not me.

One cannot be measured by dividing self against itself – one divided by itself is one. Yet, one can perceive more and less than as an illusion of separation.

Through the agency of choice, I can choose to perceive one as divisible, while remaining indivisible.

I measure what I value by attaching its importance and purpose to me. I perceive what serves me by supporting my reality and what threatens it.

My assigned values support me to experience competition for my perceived benefit or threat. That which I judge as winners or losers represent me as such. My judgements are my measure of self.

Everything and Nothing

I measure everything that I perceive affects my reality. The values I create are revealed through my projections. The concept “me” competes with the concept of “not me” to sustain this illusion of separation.

The values I assign between things allows me to perceive competition in myself. By measuring the loss and gain between values allows me to judge myself as a winner or loser. Measuring what limits me allows me to perceive what I am not.

What I am capable of as one with source is unlimited creation and unlimited experience. I already know how to create through competition and limitation.

Knowing I can create my experience in a new way, I give myself permission to explore even further than before.

Motivation and the Difference Between a Want and a Need

How might I use my natural need-fulfillment process as motivation to accomplish goals and achieve what I want from life? How useful is that want-to-need process in awakening me to who I am beyond bubble awareness?

I get that I have needs. I must breathe to live, for example. I get that I have wants. I want a new widget, for example. Generally, needs trump wants. However, because I have the facility to imagine, I can “cross the streams” so to speak and imagine turning wants into needs. By doing so, I can give those wants a little “bump” of attention energy – making it far more likely I’ll get that new widget as a result.

Motivation – Exploiting My Need-Fulfillment Process

For example, perhaps I’d like to buy a car. I look around, maybe do some online window shopping, read some articles to get an idea about what might suit my tastes. Then I settle on a make. Shopping the various models in that make, I settle on a make and model. Then maybe color and features – until I drill down to the exact car I want – MY CAR.

Then my desire kicks into high gear. Of course it does – the car ticks all my value boxes. I can’t help it – I elevate the value of THAT PARTICULAR car to need status. My motivation now looks more like need satisfaction than desire satisfaction because this want now includes both need and desire.

Want-value elevated to the power of need-value = want-value multiplied. The next thing I know, I’m driving off the lot in my new car – need satisfied with associated emotional payoff. Success!

Motivation toward accomplishing a goal is one upside of changing a want into a need. And, like so many other processes in my life, there’s a “dark side” to explore.

When I elevate the value of a want to a need, I set myself up for the frustration and disillusionment of a dissatisfied need – a need feed – when I fail to achieve my goal. Want value elevated to a higher need value that is now unfulfilled results in a significant negative emotional/energetic payoff. It’s a risk I’m apparently willing to take when I elevate a want to need status.


Once I awaken to who I AM, want-value ceases to elevate to need level. Even needs may devalue to want level over time. With practice, I can habituate to gratitude for everything as it is – as I AM – now. I can do a little exercise to assist me:

To everything/everyone I notice, I address it/them with a mantra in my mind, “Thank you for doing as you are doing and being as you are right now.”

Fear and Discipline Impact Perspective

Where I focus attention determines what I experience. When I focus my attention on fear, my perspective changes to give me an experience of threat as reality. Discipline changes that formula.

To the undisciplined mind, fear seeks to prove inadequacy as rightness. Rightness is a need that must be defended within the First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble. Certainty about my fear solidifies its image in the mirror, making it real and threatening. My need to deal with threats pops up and takes over my awareness, focusing my attention on solving an illusory problem. Attention I divert from other, perhaps more useful, subjects – like gratitude, enlightenment, connection, and awakening.

About Disciplined Attention

Focusing on fear narrows awareness of options, resulting in suffering in the form of lack of confidence, perception of deprivation, and poverty consciousness. When I’m convinced I’m right, I narrow every perception, every judgment, every opportunity, to fit within the boundaries of that right path. “There’s only one way out!” says the hero. Well, yeah, maybe there is only one way out IF you know of no others or IF you’re so terrified that you can’t think properly. Yeah, then maybe there’s only one way.

To the disciplined mind, fear represents one among many options for attention. I can appreciate and respect the power of the fire without short-circuiting my brain with fear about it. The narrowing effect that fear has on my thinking abilities strongly influences my chances for survival in an emergency. This is the reasoning behind the rigorous training first-responders get. Much of it focused on managing their fear so they can retain that wondrous faculty for effective action we can bring about with a disciplined mind.

Mental discipline provides awareness of options, resulting in a sense of confidence, trust, gratitude, strength, and expanding consciousness. There are many effective methods for managing fears. Within the bubble, mental discipline requires practice – lots of practice. Perhaps a lifetime of practice.

What happens when I’m “late to the game” of mental discipline or don’t have time to devote to all that practice? What then? Am I just SOL?

Awareness and the Bubble

Imagine a soap bubble. Does it take a lot of work to open it? No, a simple pin will do the trick. What about illusory bubbles? What kind of effort, practice, study, physical strength, strategy, or instrumentation does it take to open one of those?

Perhaps awareness is the key to disciplining the mind over fear. Maybe bursting the fear bubble only requires awareness that the bubble is not real. When faced with a fear, sometimes I’ll shout to myself inside to, “stop!” Then I’ll take an inventory of here and now – ground myself in time and space. Sometimes counting items I see or feel helps. Then I’ll revisit the object of my fear – now that my mind has settled down a bit.

Yeah, my method is a sort of “trick” – that demonstrates how quickly, easily, and effortlessly a mind can be disciplined and brought into order. The mind gets sharper the more bubbles it pops.

Think about it.

The Transformation Option

I make lots of choices. Most concern defense of what I already believe and know.  Inside my First-Second Degree of Illumination safety bubble, my choices seem real: What will I have for breakfast? Will I drive or walk to the store? What will I wear to the party? These are choices of defense: Which defense feels like it satisfies my needs at this time? Yet, all these apparent choices freeze my conscious awareness well within the bubble. One day, I realize I want to explore what might exist outside my ever-shrinking bubble. I seek transformation. How might I do that?

A Transformation Catalyst

Inside the bubble, my attention is focused on defense in its many guises. When challenged, I’m ready! Defensiveness kept my ancestors alive when they lived on the plains of Africa and their neighbors considered them food. Today I lock my doors and pay for a police force to protect me and mine. Millions of years of no change.

Consider what that fear thought train does to me. It sets me up to live within an ever-shrinking bubble of fear and justified wariness. Since I’m keen to spot danger – and I assume my neighbors live with the same fearfulness – I protect myself and my family from everyone else to the degree that we’ve become dangerous to each other. Fear continues to breed fear, generating rings within rings of ever-solidifying defense. Safety first and always!

To break out of that limitation bubble, I must deal with my defenses. Formidable as they are, there must be some way to get past them. Perhaps a catalyst.

A chicken egg has a hard crust to protect what’s inside from outside influence. Great defense! And yet, as long as the shell remains intact, I get no omelet for breakfast. So, I apply a catalyst that conflicts with the shell. I strike the egg against the fry pan. The defense gives way and the contents become available for me to create a tasty omelet. Breached defense resulted in an omelet for breakfast.

At the point of impact, the egg was faced with a conflict. As long as the egg remained undisturbed, it would remain an egg, its contents forever locked up. In overcoming the egg’s defense, I offered the egg another option – to become something else. Transformation!

I define transformation as a thorough or dramatic change that remains after the action of a catalyst. The change affects all levels of consciousness though usually appears in the physical and psychological levels.

The Transformation Option

Sometimes in my life, things seem to be going my way. Important people agree with me, my food agrees with me, I agree with me – I feel like I’m on track. No challenges. All quiet on the western front, so to speak. Egg shell intact, safe. I don’t realize it yet, that while I’m busy attending to my sense of well-being, a transformation is forming. Why?

When we were a younger couple, we cared for our little children. They tended to make noise, which helped us know where they were and to some degree what they were up to. When things got quiet, we’d ask each other, “Where are the children?” Meaning – “What are they up to?” Quiet was usually an indicator that we should go check on them!

Peace – meaning the absence of conflict – may be an indicator that I’m solidly within my safety zone, the bubble, primed and ready for a challenge to my defenses. Perfect time to “check on the children” – to seek out and find the transformation option. Scary? Yes, when viewed from behind “the wall” of my fears. No, when viewed beyond fear, as one would in the realm of awakened consciousness in which one realizes the illusion of fear.

Getting past my fear barrier may mean cracking my protective egg shell. That may mean facing such fears as embarrassment, ridicule, wrongness, and defeat. Or, it may simply mean getting over my need to be right all the time. I have many relationships that offer a plethora of opportunities for conflict. Each conflict offers me options, one of which is the transformation option. Will I recognize it when I see it? Will I choose it when I recognize it? I wonder…

  • What’s on the other side of my shell?
  • How will I get past my fear that keeps me inside my shell?
  • Why do I fear transformation?
  • Who will enjoy that delicious omelet on the other side of my fears?

How Might Socrates Provide Access to Fourth Degree Accountability?

The Greek philosopher, Socrates, recorded a timeless method for discovery that is useful to this day – the Socratic method. His system of inquiry may provide a gateway to enlightenment and Fourth Degree of Illumination accountability. Inquiry is essential to awareness – you must ask to receive enlightenment.

Socrates’ questioning helped him understand himself, others, and the world. He used them to stimulate critical thinking and to draw out ideas and underlying presumptions. I find these questions relevant today as I explore myself in a First-Second Degree bubble. Seeking to expand my perspective beyond the bubble, I pass through Third Degree choice into Fourth Degree Accountability expressed as gratitude, the Aha Zone.

Socratic Questions

Let’s take a look at Socrates’ questions to get an idea of why I find them so useful. I’ve used these questions to increase my reading speed and improve my reading comprehension. I might also use these questions in a meditation where I investigate some belief I wish to challenge. They may help me understand and sort out my own inner dialogs. I like their underlying usefulness to “question everything!” I might apply the following in a conversation with myself and or somewhat else.

  1. Questions of Clarification
    • Examples:
      • “What do you mean when you say that?”
      • “How does that work?”
      • “Specifically…?”
  2. Questions that Probe Assumptions
    • Examples:
      • “What does the word, ‘that’ refer to when you say, ‘I understand that.’?”
      • “Are you referring to a specific person in a group when you say you understand them?”
  3. Questions that Probe Reasons and Evidence
    • Examples:
      • “How would you verify or disprove your contention that those people are dangerous?”
      • “What are your reasons for believing that?”
      • “What evidence do you have to support that idea?”
  4. Questions about Viewpoints or Perspectives
    • Examples:
      • “Suppose you could view this from another perspective. What would you think then?”
      • “How would you view this from another perspective?””
  5. Questions that Probe Implications and Consequences
    • Examples:
      • “What would happen to the world were I/you to believe this?”
      • “What are you implying when you say that?”
  6. Questions about the Question
    • Examples:
      • “Why am I asking this question?”
      • “How else might I ask this question?”
      • “Does this question address what I want to understand?”
      • “What questions does this question induce?”

When I apply the above type questions to my own inner dialog, I find clarity and sometimes inspiration. Inspiration is the essential characteristic of Third Degree of Illumination choice – the “flash of inspiration” one gets when the mind is clear of bubble cruft.

Simplified Socrates?

We propose a simplified method of questioning that includes those that start with,

  • “What… is that, is my judgement, and etc.?”
  • “How… do I feel, did that work, will I respond, and etc.?”
  • “Why… is that so, do I believe that, and etc.?”
  • “Who… am I to believe that, am I as a result, and etc.?”

After asking the above questions, I might explore:

  • “What else…?”
  • “How else…?”
  • “Why else…?”
  • “Who else…?”