It’s All in the Comparing

Comparing Is Natural

What are you doing right now? Notice the comparing you are engaged in after reading that question. Comparing is so natural to us that we are mostly unaware of just how much of it we’re doing.

All comparing is based on relationships between you and not you. Whether obvious or invisible to your senses, you’re always comparing.

We can compare because we are capable of separating our own experiences from those of others through judgments. Yet, we are just as capable of imagining the experiences of others, which seems to increase judgment capability.

The Dual Purpose of Comparing

Along with judging differences, which builds walls between right and wrong, there are judgments of sameness that help build connections. Practicing the latter can reveal how difficult it can be to create connections outside judgments of right or wrong.

Some of the ways duality shows up in comparing my reality of me to myself and me to others –

Me compared to myself:

  • Yesterday to today and tomorrow
  • Who I think I am to who I should be
  • My accomplishments to my failures
  • My intentions to my outcomes

Me compared to others:

  • Differences in authorities
  • Skills and talents
  • Education and training levels
  • Wisdom and understandings
  • Changes over time – who we were yesterday, are today and will be tomorrow
  • Who I think I am to how another should be
  • Accomplishments
  • Intentions and outcomes

In my bubble of limited awareness, I naturally compare what I perceive. From my perceptions, I create the need to divide and define every thing to validate that need. I assign a boundary to everything that I perceive can be separate from all other things. Thus, I divide up what I perceive as one whole – making separate through perceptual differences.

Knowing I Resist

Those perceived differences form the boundaries that define the means of resistance between me and everything else. Because I divide up wholeness, I can see more clearly how I associate likenesses and differences between things. Yet, knowing in some ways that they are the parts that make up the whole.

By seeing the contrast, I can experience relationships! Those relationships that define my defenses are my experiences. This allows me to define my reality and therefore my purpose within that reality.

My purpose is tied to my ability to maintain resistance, another word for defense, which includes:

  • Perceiving separateness
  • Dividing wholeness into things
  • Assigning boundaries
  • Perceiving characteristics that validate separation
  • Making sense of separateness as reality
  • Giving separateness a purpose in connection
  • Validating conflict
  • Resolving conflict by creating similarities
  • Supporting and focusing on similarities
  • Connecting similarities to create flow
  • Appreciating creations without judgment
  • Releasing the need to defend
  • Embracing change

Thus, I more clearly see who I believe I am. Because I’m capable of dividing wholeness into separate parts, I’m equally capable of uniting what was never truly separate. The connection of one thing to another begins a new adventure – that of putting back together what I have divided.

Is Reality a Trick of the Mind?

Could my reality be a trick of the mind? Repetitively doing what’s right can build confidence in a shrinking bubble of limited awareness. That sense of confidence in my rightness builds patterns of defense for my beliefs. At some point, confidence becomes its own defense. Could confidence be a trick of the mind?

Who determines rightness? I do! What defends rightness? Confidence does!

Inner conflict results when one’s thoughts can’t come to an agreement. Each side seeks to win the argument by referring to rightness – the most confident wins.

What happens when your expected outcome turns counter to your intention, plan, and purpose? No matter how right or confident you feel? Backfire! When a backfire happens, you’re faced with an aha moment – an opportunity to question your intention, plan, and purpose.

OR – you can continue defending your position with the hope that you’ll recover your investment in your confidence in it. This is the default option! And it’s a trick!

Confidence Defends Confidence

How does my mind use confidence to turn intention into a convincing REALITY? Once accepted, I defend my reality with more confidence. Thus, confidence becomes its own defense.

From the perspective of my bubble of limited awareness, I believe I must protect myself from threats and compete to survive. This belief presents itself as a figurative story that validates my trust in my perception of it as literal reality. It’s a trick of the mind:

For every experience, I have to set it up by imagining and believing that it can happen. Then, I make my experience happen and judge it. I defend that judgment with emotion and reason, which convinces me that my experience is real.

How Reality May Be a Trick of Mind

I use my memories of being convinced in the past to convince me of the reality of my current experience. I do this by comparing the real past to the real present. The trick is in the comparison: perception of the past is imaginary. No matter how real that memory seems, it is a current fantasy.

How can I compare a nonexistent past, present, and future in an imaginary present to defend a belief? It must be a trick of the mind. Confidence holds it all together!

Perhaps all “reality” is a trick of the mind.

Presuppositions in Reclamation of Self

I make some fundamental presuppositions in my intention to reclaim the wholeness I feel I’ve lost. I don’t know how it happened, yet I feel a need to return things to their original condition of wholeness. Thus, the popularity of movements, books, and movies about restoring our former glory.

Fundamental to this intention is change. I must change in order to reclaim some kind of perfection, glory, or innocence I think I’ve lost. For example, politicians spout the concept of a return to better days – and garner lots of votes.

Reclamation Presuppositions

This concept of reclamation is based on a presupposition that we’re not enjoying wholeness now. That we’ve lost it! It also presupposes that there is some kind of shangri-la perfect state of being that I can and must achieve. Thus, I find myself in a state of eternal want in a land of plenty – forever seeking, never achieving. Never satisfied, always at a loss!

Let’s look at my reclamation presuppositions in four questions:

  1. Who? I am separate from wholeness!
  2. Why? So I can seek/reclaim wholeness!
  3. How? With an intention to be whole in limited awareness!
  4. What? Proves I am separate, seeking, limited, and right!

This reclamation concept may contribute to and defend my bubble of limited awareness. Because I have a belief in a perfect state of being and that that state is behind or beyond me, I’ll always experience limited awareness now. By seeking perfection, I defend my belief in my limitation now. Thus, seeking to go beyond limited awareness keeps me in limited awareness now. Sweet paradox!

This is the underlying concept behind self-help – the idea that I can find my wholeness and get back to it. What if that ain’t necessarily so?!

What About a Fix?

When I conclude that something needs to change, I assume a “fix” is necessary and even possible. Further, that the “fix” will result in an end to the change – done! What if that ain’t necessarily so?!

For example, every problem has a solution – that limits the problem to the solution. Even viewing problem-solving as a problem to solve sustains the mind to problem-solution. Any problem solved is no longer a problem. What if that ain’t necessarily so?!

The same goes for need and want and their fulfillment. Once fulfilled, the expectation is that the want or need dissolves away. What if that ain’t necessarily so?!

In my bubble of limited awareness, I believe that things damaged can be restored. All that is needed to accomplish a “fix” should be fairly simple and straightforward. What if that ain’t necessarily so?!

Reclaiming Defense

Could reclamation simply be another form of defense that keeps defense in place? Whatever the need and its fulfillment, they defend my belief in problems and solutions.

Reclamation appears evident – when I defend it. I typically play this out like this – I:

  1. Imagine what I want/need to reclaim.
  2. Recall or create a plan for how to reclaim it.
  3. Perceive evidence of loss and reclamation.
  4. Maintain.

This to solve the problem of separation. However…

What if my current life condition is a solution to the problem of wholeness?

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.