My Significance in My Universe

To me, every thing is a concept, a notion within a system of connected notions forming a complex whole – my universe. Significance is a value I place on concepts to indicate their importance to me in the scheme of my universe. This includes every action of every thing, every feeling I feel, and every cause and effect. All within a universe of thought – my thought.

“The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine.” (Sir James Hopwood Jeans)

The Nature of My Significance

In my bubble of limited awareness, how might I find personal significance in the universe? My experience of life is real to me and not conceptual. There’s a huge gulf between non-corporeal thought and physical sensory experience.

Most of my memories are based on sensual perception of physical experience on which I placed a judgement. Those judgements included what should or shouldn’t have happened and emotions that identified the impact those experiences had on me. I know the difference between a thought about and the physical record of pain my body stores for experience.

Why do my thoughts and emotions feel as real as an associated physical experience? How can a simple concept, a notion, feel as significant as a physical sensation?

Am I experiencing life as sensual perceptions that validate concepts that only appear real? In a sea of concepts within a universe of cause-effect physical relationships, my intentions may seem insignificant when I consider them as thoughts. Among significant concepts I consider are the intentions that concern survival.

Even within my own mind, thoughts compete to survive.

How can one thought have any influence at all in such a vast sea of competing thoughts? After all, the size of my body is insignificant when compared to that of the earth. The earth is insignificant when compared to the number of celestial bodies that make up a galaxy, which is insignificant when compared to the whole universe. You might say my body represents many orders of magnitude of insignificance.

Insignificant – until I realize the irrelevance of the comparison. So, I’ve applied a physical measurement comparison to the non-physical.

The Nature of Perception

I have my own notions of such abstract ideas as justice, freedom, friendship, and love. These interact with concepts of some more concrete perceptions like my body, plants in the garden, and carpentry. Each a concept in an environment of concepts.

One concept that makes all others possible is that of separation from wholeness. This concept of differentiation turns one idea into an appearance of many. It also endows the universe with perspective, the capacity to differentiate me from not me. Because of this differentiating principle of perspective, I have experience. Without a notion of differentiation, there is no perception, and thus, no experience. Perception arises from a concept.

My Significance in a Universe of Concepts

To me, “I” appear to be my body, thoughts, and feelings. And yet, I am actually beliefs about those things. Beliefs are concepts that are thoughts. The perception of “I” represents the central thought in a universe of my own thoughts. Thus, in my universe of limited perceptual awareness, I am the literal and figurative center and creator of everything.

What if significance is a value that I, the dreamer, place on a concept to indicate its importance to the dreamer in the dream? Rather than infinitesimally insignificant, as the dreamer of the dream, might I instead be ultimately significant?

Change a thought and you can change the entire universe. Imagine that!

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Is Separation from Wholeness Intentional?

Isn’t wholeness best? Shouldn’t I strive for wholeness? Are we not better together than apart? Don’t I experience the universe as it really is?

From my bubble of limited awareness perspective, yes, I do and no, I don’t. It depends on how I consider the universe – as literal or figurative. What if my literal “universe” of sensual perception is my imagination of concepts that appear as “hard” reality?

Because my imagination figures so prominently in deriving meaning from perception, my “reality” may be at once literal and figurative. Duality!

What is duality?

Perhaps the initial separation from wholeness is a realization of duality. That happens in the digital world when one recognizes two conceptual states: 1 and 0, “is” and “is not.” In this duality, I can contrast one concept to the other. This because, in a binary system in which only two states exist, I can define one state in terms of its complement. 1 = not 0, 0 = not 1.

This fundamental difference between 1 and 0 is the essence of the concept of duality, which I define as the contrast between two concepts. The contrast between something (1) and nothing (0) represents the fundamental concept of limitation. That because, in duality, neither 1 nor 0 is everything; each defines the other.

How do I apply duality?

The essence of physical perception is differentiation, the ability to recognize a difference. I compare some perceptual “thing” against its environment. That requires sufficient contrast for my senses and brain to recognize a difference. To the degree I recognize the difference between a thing and not that thing, me and not me, I have experience.

For example, I hear your words because I can separate and contrast them from the background of other sounds. Then, I make sense of your words by translating vibration into concepts I compare with other concepts. Without duality, there can be no perception because there would be no points of comparison.

Why Duality?

In my world of duality, I’m continually comparing everything I experience between what I believe is “right” and “not right.” I compare my concepts of “me” to “not me.” Every thought is a comparison to other thoughts.

In this limited universe, I can only conceptualize infinity in terms of the finite. I comprehend something (1) and not something (0) because I can contrast them to each other.

All that “is not” complements that which “is.” For example, the rose I perceive on my desk is complemented by all that is not the rose.

This leads me to wonder –
What if separation from wholeness is intentional?

Who is this “I” then?

Because the concept, “I,” can distinguish itself from the concept of totality – oneness – it can experience the universe from a perspective. Considering how tenaciously the concept of “I” holds onto this perspective, one might venture a hypothesis that the concept “I” intends to experience life by setting itself apart from ALL. It’s intentional!

Perhaps that intention will continue until this consciousness that differentiates as “me” from “not me” stops. Perhaps then, a perspective will return to the pool of all perspectives from which it came.

Is there more than duality? What’s beyond the rose?

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A Fight for Love

In First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble awareness, I believe I have to fight for everything that supports my need to survive. I label whatever I feel works in my favor as love.

I fight against whatever threatens what I believe I’m right about. Nothing’s more worthwhile or noble than that, in my opinion. Thus, love equates to defending for what’s right and against what’s wrong.

What’s the payoff?

What’s the payoff for equating all this conflict and pain is about love? Why all the fighting and competition? Maybe to sustain my storyline?

While in bubble awareness, I cannot view my story from a perspective outside the bubble. Only imagine it – which imaginings would arise from within the bubble! This is how bubble awareness supports and defends itself – and keeps me in it!

Within my bubble awareness, I attend to those things that grab that awareness – especially those that might threaten my bubble, my life, my story. Attention tends to add intensity value to my story with use.

Compelled to Fight

To fight the good fight, I must invest all my attention into creating and maintaining defense. That means developing strategies intended to battle for and win the greatest of causes. One of those strategies is to feel right, proper and justified, a reward for all who intentionally do good.

Another reward for furthering the cause is an increase in sense of superiority. Helping others attain what they need and are unaware of can feel fulfilling. Such feelings allow me to justify my sense of separateness as I stand alone for rightness. When I’m in my element of being right, proper,and justified, I’m a hero! If only others could appreciate that. After all, it’s just common sense to praise all who believe as I do and feel loathing or pity for those who don’t.

Compelled by Love

Love compels me to fight for it. Because I know what’s right and wrong, everyone else should too. I feel frustrated and alone when I must carry out my duty of defending right from wrong – all by myself!

My defensive strategies have become routine. I convince others to join my fight of right-thinking through enticements, and I shame or threaten them with harm. The last type of convincer, the threat of harm, I save for when I’m feeling desperate! It’s my or else card, which I play as a last resort. It can feel a bit embarrassing when I have to shut my mouth, curb my behavior, and leave feeling unloved. I imagine negative thoughts of on-lookers as they stare silently back at me.

When a strategy fails, my imagination goes to work convincing me… again… why love, as I perceive it, needs defending. I sometime resort  to self-deception, which can feel petty, yet, at least I feel justified for trying!

Those who disagree with my truth are the losers. In this environment, I experience a level of self-vindication that satisfies my need for self-validation. I love the deep affirmation of love I feel each time I do what is right, proper, and justified.

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In Defense of the Secret

When something is secret, it’s hidden. How do I defend for or against what I’m unaware of?

In my bubble of limited awareness, I work at keeping a secret from myself, limiting my awareness. To remain in this trance, I hide a secret – substituting real with imagined data I choose to defend. Protected within my comfort zone fortress, I experience what I want rather than what is – even when I don’t like it. I didn’t say I was good at this!

What About the Secret?

What if I’m not seeking truth? Maybe it’s far too frightening, mind-boggling, and/or pointless for me to entertain. Instead, I want to experience a reality of my own making. Might that imagined “reality” require me to keep a bit of mystery, an unknown element, a secret? After all, if the secret were revealed, my fanciful reality might not be able to handle it.

Would secreting certain information out of my conscious reach allow me to hold onto beliefs that support my uncertain reality? With beliefs like lack, for example, I can entertain fantasies of competition. Through competition, I feel I can win back and compensate for what I’ve lost. When I become aware that any lack I experience is but a chosen perspective, I resolve the paradox, and the secret begins to reveal itself.

How Do I Defend the Secret?

In order to know the secret, I must trade all that I understand for it. To do this, I must question with full intent what I hide from myself. In this way, I willingly offer up my defense of overt rightness for covert understanding.

In order to do that, my will to understand must exceed my need to defend what I presently believe. I must get around my confirmation bias. To know the truth of something requires conscious thought. Knowing my propensity for blocking awareness of truth, I would want to challenge any concept I believe is true.

Thus, a single, well-defended secret prevents my limited mind from waking out of a hypnotic trance of my own making. I am good at this!

Why Do I Defend the Secret?

I like to think I have control of this world, able to make accurate predictions. This keeps me busy working to satisfy survival needs that distract me from knowing the secret. If revealed, the secret might end my fantasy, which might appear as death to me. This because the world I’ve worked so hard to build might be in jeopardy of oblivion. I’m not down for even the thought of that, so I defend myself from the secret – to the death!

I think I fear knowing in most situations more than I fear not knowing. Perhaps I defend the secret because my intention is to be unaware.

Who Defends the Secret?

With secrets, I create and sustain a persona of unawareness in which I experience a sense of me rather than me. I am who I imagine myself to be.

Even when experiences are hard to bear, I’d rather defend a known reality than to seek an unknown alternative. Thus, my limited awareness further limits my awareness.

Perhaps when the fundamental secret is revealed, I’ll discover that it is my intention to limit my awareness by defending the secret.

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Limitation by Design

Do I limit my experience – on purpose?

In my bubble of limited awareness, although I believe I live with trillions of other beings, I alone live within my thoughts. Everything and everyone I experience in this dimension of limitation are literally and figuratively phantasms of my imagination. To me “they” are simply concepts in competition with other concepts. My perception of a walrus, for example, is a concept that competes with my concepts of everything else. I’ve limited my perception of this because it is not everything else.

Everywhere and whenever I notice, I’m faced with solid evidence of limited experience in the form of paradox. That is, nothing is as it appears – ever! Everything appears as a paradox of  unreasonable reasons, illogical logic, timeless timeliness, and perceptions of lack in wholeness.

Adaptation = Limitation!

One explanation for this paradox comes from the theory of evolution. I perceive as I do as a result of millions of generations of adaptation to changing environment. Thanks to Mr. Newton, I now know that evolution follows the law of conservation of energy. Thus, it has keenly honed my senses to perceive me in relation to a limited number of needs-related aspects of my present environment. Rather than to compare me to ALL that is not me, I compare me with only that part of not me that I consider matters to me.

I don’t perceive EVERYTHING – even within the limited space of my own body. Just what I NEED to perceive in order to survive long enough to pass my genes along to the next generation. Those senses, skills, and education I don’t need or don’t use often enough fade away. That’s evolution through adaptation.

Attention = Limitation!

In this way, my mind considers every thing, person, or place as a concept.  To manage the perpetual competition among these concepts, and to avoid overwhelm, I limit the number I’ll attend to at any one time. That’s intentional limitation!

Evolution, then, is the result of a paradox in which one must limit their sensual and conceptual life experience in order to fully live.

Purpose = Limitation!

Perhaps the purpose of my life is not the achievement of wholeness – a paradox in that one cannot achieve what one already is. Rather, maybe my life’s purpose is to notice the enjoyment I get from the paradox of limitation by design.

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