My Life Philosophy as a Story

Overall, one experiences their life philosophy in a series of policies carried out over time. Like a story read one word at a time, I perceive my life as I would the story of a hero’s journey.

In visual perception, I feel I have clarity only on that to which I’m attending right now. The future and past are vague visions of what lay beyond a certain point of clarity I call NOW. I can only make clear that which I focus on now – all else is vague.

I’ve been writing and reading my story to this point. I’ve written and read some of it. I’m writing and reading it now. And, based on what I’ve read so far, I can imagine where the story will go in a vague future, though with a sense of certainty because I’m imagining it in what I read now.

I imagine past words must support the current words by supplying a vague sense of premise, motive, background, and direction. I imagine future words must support the current words by supplying perceptions of danger, anticipation, and anxiety. As the vague past meets the vague future in the clarity of now, I get a paradox in the confluence – like reading through turbulent water.

Back to my story!

There may be plot twists like those I’ve already read that give the future some interest to me and so I read on. How exciting! So interesting I can’t lay the book down! My curiosity drives me onward – to learn what happens to the protagonist (me) as he deals with all the antagonists along his way. Because I care, I want my hero to succeed in his quest. With dangers laying along the path, opportunities for interesting plot twists abound.

Every element of my story must fit within certain parameters. Every element must:

  • Obey the setting of the story. These are the basic laws and conditions under which every element of the story must work.
  • Cause and effect must be observed. I must account for every situation with a reason, logic, or feeling.
  • As the protagonist, I and those I care about must win in the end.

A good storyteller is one that during and after reading, I want to read more. Perhaps this explains depression in which the story begins to lose the interest of the reader. Maybe it’s just then that a surprise plot twist might rekindle that interest.

The reason a plot twist engages the reader is because s/he didn’t see it coming. Surprise! When I feel depressed, I let my mind wonder to, “What might happen next? I hope it’s delicious!”, and, “Something amazing is about to happen!” I can’t wait to read on!!!

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My Music Calls Me Home

Ever listened to a piece of music and felt tears welling up? I hope you have – it’s a marvelous feeling. I’ve wondered if my reaction to such music connects “me” to a familiar timelessness from which we all spring. I wonder if such music is a call to come home – to our hearts.

C’mon Home

When I was a child, my mother would call out my name when it was time for me to come in to lunch or dinner. Her voice represented the mystical mother and son reunion of my ancient origin – home. Even today, I love to hear her voice – music to my heart.

Like many fellow humans, I feel a certain loyalty to family, town, and country. I’ve associated my name with these. Wherever I am in the world, I carry these identity markers with me.

Wherever I find myself in time, I carry a unique pattern of musical markers. These identify my particular song in the timelessness from which my consciousness arises.

My Musical Home

In my bubble of limited awareness, I find it easy to get caught up in the business of comparing, competing, and defending the right. I can sometimes get busy doing – so many projects, so many jobs, so many thoughts to consider.

Sometimes all this work gets tiring and I find myself wanting a break from it – a longing for home. One of my favorite methods for dealing with the loneliness is to indulge myself with music that inspires me to remember who I am.

Sometimes, the music calls me to trust my heart to take me where it will. I may then find myself deep in meditation that fills my gratitude pool to the point where it begins to spill over, cascading welcome-home tears down my face. Even when I’m far away in thought, the music brings me back to my heart.

Gratitude is my home.

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Reality Confusion to Dream a New You

Sometimes I confuse my dreams with the remembered events from which my dreams derived their emotional elements. Due to confusion in attribution, I sometimes believe I am remembering real events when those memories are actually my remembrances of dreams instead.

For example, an event of the day results in me feeling overpowered by my boss. That night, I dream I am being chased by a bear. Upon awakening in the morning, I imagine my partner is acting abusively toward me. In this case, the attribution of the emotion of powerlessness travels from boss to dream bear to partner.

Out of Attribution Confusion

Knowing that memories are fallible and subject to errors in attribution, I reconfirm that I can manipulate memories – through dreams molded to help support how I want to feel today. Maybe you can change the details of your memories to support a new you.

What if you chose to restructure your dreams from a perspective of gratitude rather than victim-hood?

“How do I do that?” you might reasonably ask. I can control a dream using lucid dreaming in which I realize I’m dreaming while I’m dreaming. This is a very powerful imagery because it includes full sensory engagement – a real experience. That’s one way to manipulate emotionally charged memories.

Comes a New You

Another method is to perform a simple bedtime exercise. As you find yourself drifting off to sleep…

  1. Recall a negative emotion-charged memory of an experience you had that day. Just let it flash across the stage of your soon-to-be dreaming mind.
  2. Resist the temptation to ruminate over the memory and how you feel about it. This is NOT about fixing a problem – it’s about confusing attribution.
  3. Then, immediately after recalling the negative event, recall a memory of ANY TIME in your life that supports how you’d rather feel. It’s important that the last memory you entertain before slipping off to sleep is one where you feel strong, capable, happy, and grateful.
  4. Then, let the dreams come.

The idea is to set gratitude as the last emotion just before dropping off to sleep. The dream-attribution mechanism  then presents stories from a baseline perspective of gratitude. That may affect your dream stories and memories of the day. It could also change your overall perspective.

You may not recall your dreams the next morning – that’s okay. The confusion just as you fell asleep may be just enough to confound your dream-attribution mechanism. You may view your emotionally-charged memory of the previous day in a new way. Perhaps you’ll solve a problem associated with that memory or suddenly experience a flash of inspiration concerning it. Who knows?

Practicing this simple exercise just before sleep might just create a new you.

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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.

Awakening

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.”

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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.

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