My Matrix of Defense

In my limited state of awareness, I perceive only as much as I have to in order to have an experience of reality. That reality is a figment of my imagination – the result of defending an intention to exist.

My body represents a metaphor that explains this phenomenon. My body is made up of interacting, interdependent systems – like circulatory, nervous, and endocrine. Each operates in the realm of the others and yet is independent insofar as classification. Yet, no system operates independently of all the others. It’s a 3D matrix of interdependence that defends my belief in its reality.

Think of the game, chess, in which a 2D game board adds a third dimension with the game pieces. It then adds a 4th dimension in time – how long it takes to play the game. And then more dimensions when we add gameplay, strategy, and etc. Each dimension interacting with the others to produce an experience I enjoy.

I tend to think of my life’s purpose and the investments I place on it in two dimensions – cause and effect. This duality model limits my thinking – like thinking the chess board is the chess game. Until I realize there is a game to play on the board, my perception of the board as the entire game suits me fine.

What if I consider life in terms of concepts in more dimensions than the 2 in cause and effect? What if I consider causes and effects interacting in an interdependent 3D matrix – like my body?

Let’s consider concepts that transcend 2D thinking. By 2D, I mean like words on a page or a chess board. Let’s think in terms of a medium like water that fills a 3D space.

My experience of life is a 3D matrix of defense that appears to me as reality. Laws like gravity and core belief contain my matrix. I pour the liquid that represents my life into the container.

In my basic 2D chessboard defense matrix, I consider concepts of What, How, Why, and Who to define my perceptions. These make up the checkerboard pattern of a 2D chessboard.

In a 3D matrix, I see What, How, Why, and Who in each of my 2D concepts of the same. That is, for each concept of What, I experience What, How, Why, and Who. The same repeats for my concept of How, Why, and Who. 2D thinking considers each What, How, Why, and Who in sequence and in isolation.

3D and beyond thinking considers all aspects in relation to all other aspects in a multi-dimensional matrix. This multiplies by orders of magnitude the number of possible perceptions for each cause-effect relationship. Thus, even in my limited awareness, I experience a massive array of physical, emotional, mental, and beyond.

Imagination multiplies the effect even further – adding phantom dimensions to the matrix of dimensions. To the degree I’m convinced that an imaginary dimension is a true dimension, I add a dimension to the matrix.

All this to invest in defense of an overall purpose to defend and protect core beliefs that are themselves defenses. In this multi-dimensional matrix, I may never realize the “I” behind it all. Why? Because to expose that “I” will reveal “I” as a defense. Why? Because there is no “I”.

Thus, no matter how much I invest in discovery of my life’s purpose, I’ll find only defense.

Investment may be the amount of liquid attention I draw from the pool of purpose in order to experience something – like my life. Thus, purpose acts as my investment in proving my existence.

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Presentation is Everything!

Within my bubble of limited awareness, I’ve imagined and developed personas to deal with my environment. I expect others to perceive these presentations according to my intentions. In this way, I present a different “me” depending upon how I perceive my environment.

I have a work persona, a family persona, a casual persona, a formal persona, etc. My imagination can mold a persona to act out just about any presentation in just about any situation. I’m an adaptable actor.

Thanks to personas, I don’t have to BE dangerous to BE frightening – just APPEAR dangerous.

Externalized Personas

To make a persona work, I must imagine how another person witnessing my persona will react to it. That means I must do a bit of mindreading. And some in-performance interpretation of feedback from those others to whom I present my persona.

I must be aware of “externalized” personas. From my perceptions and overall judgments of them, I create a persona for every person with whom I interact. Thereby externalizing one of my personas to fit a bubble of judgments I name “you.” Thus, I’ve encapsulated you into a persona that is MY perception of YOU.

My perception of a relationship between internal and external personas represents and exists within an environment. Whenever aware of that environment, my mind presents a persona to deal with it. Thus, I appear as one person when conversing with my Mom at her home. Another when I’m with her at a store. And yet another when with her and my siblings at a family gathering. A different face for each situation.

It appears I’m reacting to an environment separate from me. Appearances can be deceiving. ALL personas present a defense of relationships, based on perceptions, beliefs, thoughts, and feelings – about MY persona.

For example, I meet a coworker, John, for the first time. He presents me with his work persona. Because it is the only persona of John I’ve met, I perceive his work persona is John. My perception of John is, nonetheless, my perception of John’s work persona – not John. My perception of John’s work persona is within my perception of our relationship within the work environment. That perception also holds an image of the relationship between our work personas. Away from our work environment, those personas and relationships may change radically.

Over a period of time at work, my identity becomes a convolution of relationships in which John’s work persona joins mine. None of those personas are me – they only appear to be me. Instead, personas represent who I am not.

How Personas May Affect Identity

Extrapolating this persona convolution concept to the myriad relationships I’ve had in my lifetime and you begin to comprehend how convoluted my identity has become. At a very young age, I learned to associate my personal with my identity. Thus, I become what I do – act a part – rather than who I am.

What I do is not who I am! Neither do I see who you are! Even when experiencing what you want me to see of you, I’m seeing that through the eyes of a persona.

Due to this flexibility of personas, I’m always seeing what I WANT to see rather than what is. Thus, I’m always seeing me as who I am not, which is whoever I want to be.

Presentation is everything!

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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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