Ever Seeking and Never Completely Finding!

I have an intention to be whole. This sets up a sense of lack. I must feed to satisfy that sense, be it for food or other. A need that can never be filled is like an intention that can never be satisfied. Ever seeking and never completely finding! Thus, this one thought – I am separate and need to be whole – sets up a need to feed!

In my bubble of limited awareness, I believe that living beings on earth compete for limited resources. Each seeking satisfaction of its intention to continue towards wholeness – at the expense of others. As a being with limited imagination, I can imagine how that lack and wholeness might appear.

Could Seeking Wholeness Set Up a Problem with Problem Solving?

Because I believe I am separate from wholeness, I see lack as the problem and wholeness as its solution. I believe I must DO something to solve the problem of what I lack in what I already am. Does that present a paradox in which problem solving is, itself, a problem?

What is that “something” I must do? Lacking wholeness, I must add to myself continually, just to continue living. How do I add to myself? With a two-aspect problem-solving process – I must eat and not be eaten. This is based on a belief in separation – me vs not me, yet, me.

I need to feed on something outside myself in order to overcome the lack I feel.

Feeding My Need to Feed

To continue living, I must eat and avoid being eaten. Within me, these two metaphoric aspects fight against each other. The one that wins in any given situation is the one I feed.

When it comes to feeding:

  • What am I feeding?
  • How am I feeding it?
  • Why am I feeding it?
  • Who am I?

On the flip-side:

  • What am I feeding on?
  • How am I feeding on it?
  • Why am I feeding on it?
  • Who am I?

And another:

  • What’s eating me?
  • How is it eating me?
  • Why is it eating me?
  • Who am I?

As the one perceiving my world of lack, I must be the one creating and feeding on it. I am the snake eating its own tail – the Ouroboros. What if this whole concept of feeding is a metaphor representing ME?

  • What aspect of me does this need-to-feed represent?
  • How does that metaphor apply to me right now?
  • Why does it apply?
  • Who am I?

 

Metaphor, a Problem-Solving Paradox

Metaphor takes perception of reality and twists it into a problem-solving paradox. The literal view seeks to defend its perspective as truth – using memory, facts, and logic to resolve paradox. The figurative view seeks to apply meaning to the literal view through metaphor, using imagination and possibility to resolve paradox. Together they seek a resolution to a fundamental problem – life.

Did You Catch the Paradox in the Metaphor?

The choice we suggest as metaphor-thinking operates best as a paradoxical view we experience with others in relationships. Thus, I understand me in a metaphor of my perception of you in relation to me. This is made all the more paradoxical when I act on my belief that you and I are literally separate.

Consider how difficult it is to see one’s own face without looking at its reflection. One would have no idea what their face looks like. With a reflective surface, sufficient light, and a properly working visual sense, and awareness of self, however, I can see a reflection that, although not me, presents a metaphor that I think represents me. Do you see the paradox in your reflection?

Even though I hear your voice doesn’t mean I hear your words. Just because I hear your words doesn’t mean I understand their meaning. Even when I hear your words and understand their meaning doesn’t mean I understand your concept. Sometimes I want an example to help me get to the meaning of a concept. That example is not the concept – it is a metaphor to help me understand the concept in an alternative form. Do you hear the paradox in these words?

What If Metaphor Presents a Problem-Solving Paradox?

Living in a problem-solving mind creates a paradox that connects solutions to problems through justification. Justifying the solution is a problem because it defends one against alternative solutions. The defense focuses attention on only one option rather than to search for alternatives. Once justified, this solution presents a mental scotoma – a problem that mind has difficulty resolving through ever-limiting repetition.

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” (Albert Einstein)

This sets up a self-referential paradox in which problems justify solutions that justify problems. As the paradox expands, it further limits the range of awareness. This limits my realization of me as both me and not me.

Reinterpreting what I defend as a solution can’t be done – due to its defense of problem and solution. Sounds like a catch-22 situation. Oh, no! Not another PROBLEM!!!

This makes metaphor inevitable and necessary.

When I consider, “This is not as it appears,” I open my conscious awareness to metaphoric interpretation. And loosen the grip of my narrow focus on literal interpretation.

Did you catch the metaphor in the paradox?

 

Challenging The Non Sequitur Fallacy

A non sequitur is a fallacious statement of logic. Basically, non sequitur logic follows the format, because this, then that – where this and that are unrelated or disconnected. Yet, appear to me to be related.

Consider that your mind tries to make sense out of everything. When faced with a situation or event, my mind tries to connect data dots into logical conclusions.

When a situation is inexplicable or when faced with insufficient data, my mind does its best. It tries to connect whatever dots it can find – and makes up the rest to suit my appetite for justification. This can result in false equations I defend.

Below are some examples of non sequitur equations. They follow the format, “Just because [ fact/perception ], it doesn’t necessarily follow that [ conclusion ].” These often use “so” or “therefore” to connect one or more questionable facts to one or more questionable conclusions. These may look familiar:

  • I can/am, so I should.
  • You agree with me, so I must be right.
  • I feel afraid because it’s dangerous.
  • I know it, so it must be true.
  • You’re going a different direction than me, so you must be lost.
  • Something didn’t work out as I expected, so I must have failed.
  • We disagree, so you must be wrong.
  • I lost, so I must be a loser.
  • You did something I don’t like, so you must not love me.
  • I can’t find a solution, therefore no one can.
  • I like it, so it must be good/right for me.
  • Because I think I understand/comprehend something, I must [understand/comprehend].
  • It has always been that way, so it must continue that way.
  • Because what you did hurt me, you must have intended to hurt me.

Non sequiturs are sometimes logic level leaps between BE, DO, and HAVE. For example, one might leap from DO to BE, DO to HAVE, or HAVE to BE, and etc. That is, one part of the non sequitur connects one logical level to another. For example, a DO logical level connects to a BE logical level in, “I failed to DO something, therefore, I must BE an idiot! ”

To challenge a non sequitur, one might challenge its premise or conclusion, “Is it true?” and, “What if my fact/conclusion is not true?” I might inquire into presuppositions with questions like, “What would a person have to believe in order to connect those facts with that conclusion?”

Non sequiturs can be useful once exposed. That is, I can play with my associations to bust up false, hurtful, or useless ones.

For example, connecting DO to BE in the equation, “I failed my science test, so I must be a failure,” is a non sequitur. It’s also a false equation. Just because I failed a test doesn’t necessarily equate to I’m a failure. I could just require more study time or a different understanding of the subject.

Because my mind has the false equation, I’ll continue to prove failure even where there is no or refuting evidence. Eventually, I so believe I really am a failure that I seek out or make up “evidence” to prove it. “See! I was right! I AM a failure!” Thus, a non sequitur proves a confirmation bias.

What if I assume that one or both aspects of my non sequitur equation are untrue or incorrect? Assuming my facts are untrue means my conclusions are suspect. Assuming my conclusion is false means my facts could be suspect, too. In either or both cases, I’m challenging my non sequitur. Thereby offering myself new possibilities, new perspectives, and new opportunities.

That can be quite useful, indeed.

Agreement, Problem Solving, and My Life Story

My first engagement into my life – my life story – is to see a problem that needs a solution. Problem solving orders chaos into meaningful equations, like cause->effect, entropy->order, separation->wholeness, etc.

Imagine a perfect world and that you know how that perfection should appear. Now, compare that perfect world to the one you’re experiencing. That is the world of should – a problem  needing a solution, a story of comparisons to an imagined standard of perfection. Why does my world differ from the standard of perfection? Is that difference a problem that can be solved? As long as I view it as a problem, I’m driven to solve it – by living it!

Houston, We Have a Problem-Solving Problem!

To solve the problem of the should world, I link problems I create with solutions I create. This creates a coherent story that seeks to solve the why problem – why am I conscious?

Is my life story an awareness of what my Dad used to call, “one damn problem after another?”

Houston: Agreed! You Have a Problem!

Agreement is one tool I use to solve the problems inherent in my imagined world. Basically, an agreement works for me when it satisfies my need to be right. To fit agreement into my world of perfection, I standardize it!

A standard of agreement determines social understanding that makes judgments acceptable to those that agree. Agreement amplifies my trust in the perfection I’ve imagined. This builds a perception of trustworthiness into a social structure as a sense of predictability. I believe my perceptions are real because I can make and prove predictions.

Who I believe I am is the result of identifying with judgments supported by agreements. This is how I view myself as my job, my community, and my level of agreement. “I am a doctor, an American, the president of my organization” for example.

Agreement seeks to solve a fundamental problem of reality – Who am I?

Problem Solving, Predictions, and the Lack Cycle

Resistance is the basis of perceivable phenomena I believe to be reality. My senses provide feedback in the form of resistance that validates an environment of lack. When I experience resistance, I validate a reality of defense. In that defense, I feel a need to fulfill a lack. To the degree I validate lack, I validate its fulfillment – problem solving gives me a sense of purpose.

When I perceive resistance, I’m working to resolve it as a problem with a solution. Emotion adds motivation to my purpose to solve the problems I perceive.

Because I perceive lack as a problem needing a solution, I work towards a sense of fulfillment. Because I’m always lacking, I can never achieve complete fulfillment no matter how much I want or need it. A sense of fulfillment is as close as I can ever get to completion.

One might say I need to solve the problem of lack in order to continue as a living entity that changes – evolves over time. Perception of change could be thought of as evidence of perception of lack in search of completion. One might think of evolution in terms of lack never completely satisfied!

When I deny that lack exists, I acknowledge it. Consider that the defense I use to prove lack as an illusion proves its reality. Thus, I create a dualistic view of my life as a cycle of need and fulfillment while denying lack’s existence… and yet my denial makes it so.

Problem Solving and the Lack Cycle

Problem solving is a process of identification matched to a program that results in an outcome. That outcome is subject to the process that created it. Thus, lack, as a problem to be solved, connects to a program that results in an outcome. That outcome is, itself, a potential problem with a potential solution. That’s the lack cycle.

There’s a measure of predictability in cycles. In a cycle of need and fulfillment, I defend my predictions with a sense of confidence. So much so, that I’ll apply an inordinate amount of confidence to less probable predictions and feel right about it.

Predictability, when accurate enough, can build confidence in knowing what to do and when to do it. When my confidence is strong enough it won’t matter the outcome, I’ll believe I’m right regardless.

I predict solutions to future lack of confidence before it becomes a present threat. I see that projection of confidence as a useful tool in the present to offset my doubt about the future.

Problem-solving, making predictions, and exercising the lack cycle represent one method of expressing separation from wholeness.

This raises a question – Is there another way to perceive lack? And raises an awareness – Maybe it’s not a problem, it’s a feature!