It’s a Question of How Attention Follows Emotion

What element of my limited awareness most affects my attention? Even needs will only get attention as I feel threatened by my lack of attention to them.

How and how much I feel about an intention, stated or unstated, will affect the outcome I perceive. Knowing, although important to my process of manifestation, does not generate movement towards an outcome. Knowing I have a need, for example, does not predict action on my part towards satisfying that need. Sufficient emotion about that need will. E-motion motivates action.

I attend to that which I feel emotion. My attention follows my emotions. Thoughts can assist me in discovery of those emotions. Thoughts alone, however, are typically merely defenses of my emotions. I do what I do – thought, action – BECAUSE I feel some emotion. The mental aspect of a “because” narrative results in defense of that intention. Emotion always indicates defense.

“Because” is where intention directs attention.

As we’ve discussed above, the intention that gets the attention wins. The intention with the most emotion behind it tends to win the competition for attention.

And yet, even when I put a lot of emotion behind a stated intention, I can sometimes feel disappointed with the outcome. Disappointment is an emotion! I immediately get busy backing my emotion with attention to defending it with excuses, reasons, logic, and denial, etc.

What if the intention was not disappointed – rather, I expressed the emotion of disappointment. Disappointment confirms an underlying intention to feel in order to convince me that I’m alive. Nothing quite like satisfying the intention to live with a sensation of aliveness. Emotion does that!

Perhaps I always get what I feel rather than what I think I want.

Where I’m convinced, I use attention to strengthen and defend the sense of it. I’m also not questioning it. Where emotion is present, I’m far less likely to question my certainty. Yet, this may be the place to ask pertinent questions about it:

  • What do I believe so strongly I can’t question?
  • How does my emotion convince me?
  • Why don’t I question this?
  • Who do I believe I am that appears in this emotional expression?

This brings up a conundrum: I must feel safe enough to inquire. Inquiry makes me feel unsafe. Further, in order for me to feel open enough to respond to questions of my personal feelings, I must trust who is asking. And why. Inside my bubble of limited awareness, my circle of trust is small indeed.

The first thing I may want to do in order to put my mind into a state of inquiry is to interrupt the emotional state I’m in. An inner cry that shakes me, like, “Wait a second…” or “Stop!” can help. In the brief silence afterwards, I move quickly into inquiry mode with:

  • What else can this mean? (other than what I thought it meant)
  • How else can I feel about this? (other than how I felt about it)
  • Why not another intention? (other than the one I had)
  • Who could I be? (other than who did what I did)
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How Intention, Choice, and Bias Resolve Life’s Ambiguity

In order to initiate a conscious choice, I must perceive two or more options relating to the concept under consideration. My life presents me a menu of options. Bias narrows the options from which I may choose. I compare those options to determine how well they might work to confirm my bias.

In my comparative world of limited awareness, life is ambiguous. It’s not 100% clear whether I’ll live or die in any moment. It’s unclear who I am. I must clarify myself to myself. I work my whole life to disambiguate the paradox of the life I live. Bias is one way I seek to clarify this ambiguous situation.

I’m unambiguous about my intention to live. So, I favor all that confirms that intention and fear alternatives. I make choices based on this intentional and fundamental bias. Thus, I resolve life’s greatest paradox – that I am ambiguous, being one and separate, for and against.

Intention

The intention to survive underlies all intentions. A default program ensures I make a preselected biased choice – both for and against. It’s paradoxical. Biases defend the underlying intention to survive, in which I’m:

  • against what threatens the underlying intention.
  • in favor of what benefits the underlying intention.

In this environment of bias, I’m seeking to disambiguate while defending a paradox. I do this by choosing for and against what affects my intention to survive. Thus, increasing the ambiguity I’m seeking to decrease.

Fear and Bias

My fears are an effort to defend myself for being right and against being wrong. Two sides of the same coin. Fear of being wrong plays an influential role in my ability to make a clear choice.

If my choice results in survival, my commitment to its rightness abates fear. When I realize I’ve survived well, my commitment solidifies into a bias that rules over my life. The paradox is that increased defense of what’s right increases fear of its alternatives.

About Choices

Questioning my bubble of limited awareness challenges my perception of survival. Denial is the default program that defends my biases and resists change.

It seems like I’m choosing all the time. Choosing only concepts that support my biases, is not choice – it’s confirmation bias in action. Once I’ve made a choice, I cannot change it while in defense of it. Bias is how I automate the process.

Conscious living may be more about challenging my reasons for making choices than blindly following them.

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Challenging Certainty of My Prediction

In my limited awareness bubble, I start an experience with an intention that is a prediction. Based on a mixture of complex processes, I use these predictions to perceive and interpret my world. My intention builds certainty as I perceive repetition of confirmation of my predictions.

Some complex processes I use to insure the certainty of my predictions:

  • Imagination
  • Scotoma – lock on/lock out attention
  • Storytelling
  • Justification
  • Creative license
  • Etc.

Strengthening Trust in Predictions

The stronger my certainty, the more likely I am to build expectation out of prediction. Out of the certainty derived from those successes came a sense of trust in my ability to predict my future. That trust leads to productive action, which confirms and thus strengthens my trust.

Prediction is useful as a mental shortcut. Generally, trusting my predictions is faster, more efficient, and more reliable than trying to figure out all possible outcomes as my life evolves. Over time and experience with my predictions, I seldom question them. And yet, as most of us have experienced, this trust can be misplaced. Consider predictive text. I usually look to make sure my text message says what I want it to say. I challenge my phone’s predictions!

How would I know if my prediction is incorrect unless I question it? Why one asks a question affects the level of enlightenment one may derive from their inquiry. Whatever purpose I have for questioning will likely achieve that purpose. For example, if I ask you for agreement, I’ll probably get it regardless of your feedback to me. Thus defending my position and strengthening my certainty.

A questioning mind is an aware mind.

As long as I continue to think as I have, I’ll continue to get what I’ve gotten – until I question my thinking.

To get in a questioning “mood”, I may have to break my current mental state of trust and focus. This may mean using a technique like this brain hemisphere switching technique.

To question my current “reality” and my prediction for my next “reality,” I might ask, for example:

  • Why am I making this prediction?
  • How does expecting this outcome build my trust in my prediction of it?
  • What’s the purpose of this prediction?
  • What other purpose might there be that I’m not considering because I’m sold on the current purpose?
  • What else…?
  • What’s next…?
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Turning Defense into Acceptance of Accountability

Recently, I heard myself say, “I didn’t intend to…” From my self-protective, bubble of limited awareness persona point of view, this statement makes sense. This deflection, however, resists acceptance of accountability. I don’t question my defense because that would expose something I’m hiding on purpose. What am I hiding? My fear of culpability!

Why do I fear my accountability?

What Can I Do to Reclaim My Accountability?

“I didn’t” and “I’m not” (negations) often offer me an easy indicator of defense. Whenever I hear a negation (n’t, not, never, no, etc.) come out of my mouth, I can assume I’m in defense. Whenever I hear you say those words, and feel your defense, I can assume I’m in defense, too. Defense is defense no matter who shows it because it is I who perceives it. Defense is just an indicator, and so…

Rather than shoot the messenger, my mirror, I can pay attention to the message. Once aware, I’m in a position to accept accountability. To soften my defense, I can use my language to remove the negation out of a defensive statement. Then I have something to work with. “I didn’t intend to…” becomes, “If I did [intend that]…” Then, inquiries into hidden intentions can arise.

The following self-inquiry questions can perhaps lead to self-awareness and acceptance of accountability. Referring to our example above, “I didn’t intend to…” Once I calm my protective persona’s defensive posturing, I realize it’s just an indicator, a message to myself about my unconscious intention to survive.

I can then question that intention by inquiring about how I feel concerning the message. Based on that feedback, I might ask myself, “If I did intend to [do that]…,

  • Who did I believe I was to intend the outcome I observed?”
  • Why did I intend that outcome?”
  • How do I feel now about what happened then?”
  • What do I intend now?”

This inquiry starts a process of acceptance of accountability for my creation. Evidence of acceptance:

  • I would hear few or no negations in my communications.
  • I would hear connecting questions like, “How can I help us reconnect]…?” and “What do you need [for the relationship to reconnect]?” and etc.
  • The other person would report feeling cared about.
  • My body and mind would calm down.
  • A sense of profound joy in connection.
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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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