Questioning What I Doubt

In my limited awareness bubble, I live in a world of duality. This or that. Me or not me. Etc. This is illustrated in the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. One says, “Go, go, go!” while the other says, “Whoa, whoa, whoa.”

Going requires enough certainty to overcome inertia. Whoa requires only a question. Somewhere short of going and dead stop lies an area where doubt can play a role.

Doubt Questions Certainty

It asks, “Are you sure about this…?” For example, my GO program might say, “I want that…” Doubt asks, “How certain are you that you want that…?” Doubt may trigger my whoa program to say, “Hmm, maybe we can’t afford that right now…” Then a process of negotiation may take place.

Doubt can alert me with uneasy feelings that can lead me to question my certainty. Paying attention to such uneasiness answers an internal call to investigate what I’m experiencing.

Why don’t I investigate the ill-feelings behind my doubts? Why do I continue to justify them? I’m more likely to question others about their doubts and uneasiness than I am about my own. Why is that?

Challenging My Certainty

A challenge to my certainty of my survival would imply I could be wrong. Doubt suggests I may be wrong. I have to be right to be safe – and survive. I can’t be safe and wrong. Therefore, I can’t doubt.

I need some certainty and uncertainty to live. Too much certainty and I close myself off. Too little and I can’t hold a thought. Doubt is, therefore, useful – within parameters.

I feel stuck in those choices today because of my belief about doubt! I may feel stuck in my belief about that belief. Therefore, I resist exploring my doubts.

My belief about doubt may be self-recurring, self-regenerating, and cumulative until it becomes… wait for it… certitude.

When I introduce even the tiniest doubt into my certitude, I open a crack in the defense of it.

What if I challenge the belief that I can’t doubt? If I doubt my belief about doubt, I’m likely to trigger defense of it. Dang!

Instead, what if I investigate another way to explore my beliefs than to doubt their veracity? What if I can turn a challenge into an exploration?

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Hidden Intentions and Missed Opportunities

Within my bubble of limited awareness, everything relates to me, the central character – “I.” I view intention as an integral part of the process of getting my needs met. When those expectations that follow my intentions aren’t satisfactorily filled, I look to blame someone or something. So, when I can’t successfully find somewhere to place blame, I’ll at least justify my disappointment with general criticisms.

While in my bubble of limited awareness, all intentions are intended to defend what I believe. Righting wrongs, fixing the broken, picking the best, making sure, etc. Building a case that supports my perception as the right/true perception. This quixotic belief is a perfect setup for un-intended outcomes.

I intend only good. When something else happens… “It wasn’t me!”

Unintended consequences are never my fault, they just happen or are someone else’s [wrong] intention. For example, I compliment someone and they take offense – which was not my intention. In my limited awareness bubble, I ask myself, “How could they take offense at my good intention?” “Why did they take offense (what’s their problem)?” and most importantly, “Who or what is to blame for this [offensive] situation?”

These questions, however, are merely my limited self-image persona – ego – imposing its defensive nature upon an opportune moment for unmasking hidden intentions.

What Opportunity?

That which I interpret as unintended outcomes may actually be manifestations of my ego’s hidden agenda. These intentions probably reside within my perceived identity – who/what I believe about myself – who I am.

Generally, when I perceive an unintended outcome, I intend to act upon the environment the way I perceive it acts upon me. Push-for-push, I defend myself as quickly as I feel I can against a hostile force outside myself.

For example, “That’s not what I intended” is a deflection defense that acknowledges the outcome while avoiding accountability for it.

Due to my avoidance, I’ve developed a superficial identity based on my defense against this impermanent environment. Aware of it or not, I have become my defense. My intention has become defense. My identity is defense. I am defense – which I defend!

Protecting the Status Quo

Is it possible to develop a clear understanding of one’s identity… outside of survival?

My survival has always been to do what seemed the most expedient and right according to my immediate understanding. Further, learning to get along with others and adopt their philosophies often overshadowed my own. I did this to preserve the integrity of my identity. This in an environment of competition and defense, acting in accordance with my benefit-vs-threat philosophy.

Usually hidden intentions reside in the realm of subconscious awareness. That is, I’m unaware of my intentions until they “pop up” and reveal themselves. I’m surprised by my own intentions. As a result, this hidden agenda often catches me off guard – in ways that trigger defense.

Defense elicits no inquiry to attain understanding because I’m busy attending to defense of my rightness. Perhaps “unintentional” simply means well-defended (hidden) intention.

No inquiry means no unmasking. No unmasking leads to more defense of who I believe I am as a defensive agent in competition against others. This defensive identity leaves me without an intention to understand who I truly am.

Thus, by hiding intentions, I protect the default self – I am defense – from inquiry.

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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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How My Culture Governs My Experience

Within my bubble of limited awareness, by culture, I mean,  “the social behavior and norms found in human societies.” (Wikipedia) And by governance, I mean, “the way rules, norms and actions are structured, sustained, regulated and held accountable through the laws, norms, power or language of an organized society.” (Wikipedia)

When we agree on something, we add value to our defense of that something. As I parse that something into its constituent parts, I often find that I disagree in principle with some aspects. I find I favor those principle aspects that confirm my current beliefs and my place in the world (confirmation bias).

Where did I get my beliefs about myself and place in the world?

Perhaps I inherited most of my fundamental beliefs about me and the world from my ancestors through DNA and the influence of their culture. In which case, I didn’t just suddenly upon birth “invent” my beliefs. No! I came complete with a HUGE belief repertoire already. All supported, reinforced, and refined through education by the culture into which I was born.

Chief among these beliefs concerns limitations – what I can and can’t do, what I can and can’t have, who I can and can’t be. Self-regulation through cultural limitations on perception of reality.

How does my culture regulate my experience?

My culture instills in me my default point of view – what is right, justified, and proper. This defines the “I” that seems independent of while being part of – and out of which springs all my judgments, comparisons, and behaviors. Once installed, these beliefs become self-evident, self-defended, and self-limiting.

Infinite Self, therefore, perceives itself as finite self – defended by a culture of limitation – without external support, prompting, or force. Self-regulation!

It’s a systemic model of being in which each part regulates itself in support of the whole. Thus, my geopolitical cultural system limits, defends, and supports its particular version of reality through agreement among its constituents. Each member buying into the cultural self-limits by regulating themselves to its perspectives. Thus, “we” becomes “I”.

Within a culture, disagreement tends to exclude, while agreement tends to include self into that larger narrative. Thus, each “I” perceives itself in terms of “we”.

Why do I support self-limitation?

“Can’t we all just get along?” (President Dale, Mars Attacks, 1996)

I don’t mind a little limitation because it adds to my sense of safety. Over time, though, that sense of safety tends to narrow the parameters of what I will and won’t allow as acceptable experience. In the absence of culture, I tend to regulate self according to those parameters. Waddya know, self-regulation through my own culture of fear!

I tend to surround myself with “agreeable” people that confirm my cultural views. I start with my parents’ culture that I defend as my default perspective. With time and experience, I live my life in defense of it.

My personal philosophy confirms and sustains my culture that confirms and sustains my personal philosophy. It’s a self-referential paradox! This paradox, in turn, forms the basis of my judgments, justifications, and propriety. I’m always in agreement with and regulate myself to the cultural limits I experience as this story. MY culture’s story becomes MY story. MY culture’s philosophies become MY philosophies. And visa versa!

Who am I as a result?

I perceive myself and my world in terms of the culture to which I subscribe. This cultural bias defends itself in my perception of “what is” and “what is not” – reality. I tend to ignore or not perceive outside that bubble of limited awareness. True self-regulation!

Therefore, I am the cultural limitation I impose upon myself in order to agree with and sustain and be sustained by that culture of limitation. Even my disagreements are framed to regulate myself to that standard. It’s a paradox of self-reference, self-regulation, and self-defense. It’s life within “the bubble” – the ultimate paradox.

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How My Belief in Law Affects My Philosophy

My limited awareness bubble is based on laws and my need to follow them. To follow any law, I must first justify it as a law. My justifications create a paradoxical reality where reason considers philosophy as evidence in a cause-and-effect story. This convinces me that laws are real.

Therefore, I believe and obey external laws and their appearances of cause and effect in nature. In a similar way, I obey my internal laws, which manifest cause and effect of my philosophies in thoughts and emotions.

My internal laws seem as inescapable in their power over me as the undeniable power of external laws. My acceptance of fear as an internal law gives it as much power as the external law of gravity.

  1. External laws teach me about relationships within the natural world. This through a physical process. This insures that cause and effect are carried out in compliance with the laws that that process represents. Thus, I perceive interactions between forces of nature, like energy, matter, their functions and forms.
  2. Internal laws teach me about my *paradoxical relationship with self in its own world. This through a nonphysical process that insures that cause and effect are carried out in compliance with the laws that that process represents. Thus, I experience interactions of cause and effect in how I interpret my thoughts and emotions, choices and perceptions.

*A paradox is a statement that, despite apparently sound reasoning from true premises, leads to an apparently self-contradictory or logically unacceptable conclusion. Wikipedia

My Paradoxical Philosophy of Fear

My philosophies and the stories that define them are paradoxical. A philosophy keeps me accountable to laws through obedience. I feel I can’t control laws, yet, I can justify them using a paradoxical philosophy.

The stories I create to represent my philosophies string together the paradoxical effects of my thinking process. One law can have many philosophical cause-and-effect stories that defend it. For example, fear as a law dictates that my day-to-day story-lines should follow a philosophy that supports a fear of: lack, death, suffering, pain, being alone, etc.

Paradoxical Fear Equations

My logic equations illustrate how I process a paradoxical philosophy in defense of law. My equations protect and support my understanding and trust in law. This reminds me of an incident when I believed in and obeyed fear as a law while shopping. I backed that law with a philosophy of lack that supported it. At checkout, I realized I lacked the money for my purchases. That’s when a fear of lack kicked-in – “See, you were right to be afraid!” said my inner storyteller. My philosophy hijacked the law of cause and effect to justify my fear.

This fear-based illogical logic equation looks like:
Lack + Fear = Fear of Lack

A fear of lack is a fear of not having so, what I feared at checkout wasn’t about money. It was about not knowing what was going to happen next. That kind of not knowing can feel like an eternity of psychological torture. At any moment, I can find myself wanting to escape from a future I fear might happen. That experience confirmed that I am always subject to my beliefs through my process. I realized then that I was living with paradoxical equations that differ from my present intentions.

This fear-based illogical logic equation looks like:
Not knowing + Fear = Fear of not knowing

Ultimately, my thinking supports a process in which paradoxical philosophies defend paradoxical laws.

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