How do I Find My Way Out of the Justification Wasteland?

I’ve created a justification wasteland. How? Because I have a problem-solving mind, I continually engage in searching for and finding solutions to problems I perceive. I’m used to it in my bubble of limited awareness! Thus I’ve defended my understanding of problem-solving with justification.

Why would I feel the need to justify my present with my past? Perhaps I know my problem-solving mind is limited to my reliance on insufficient present evidence. It doesn’t like uncertainty.

Fortunately, there’s a solution to the insufficient evidence problem. A biased memory can add confidence to that current evidence and thus boost trust in the present perception. Therefore, confidence makes evidence appear more convincing than it should.

When I isolate one event from others, I avoid biased memories influencing my present perceptions. Biased memory applied to the current situation changes the current situation. As I question only the evidence in the present event, isolating my perceptions to the moment they occur, I can ask relevant questions. Relevant questions and well-thought-out answers result in learning, awareness, and problems resolved.

For example, “Why am I defending this perception?”, “What is my investment?”, and “Who do I think I am at that moment?” A relevant question will lead to an increase in awareness of self. This follows Apollo’s aphorism to “know thyself.”

Does Justification Tax the Mind with Irrelevance?

Justification is a defensive mechanism that seeks to keep certain emotions, thoughts, concepts or impulses from conscious awareness.

What if justification is the result of applying irrelevant answers to irrelevant situations? What does this mean to a problem-solving mind? Justification presents a solution that diverts attention away from the original problem.

As I invest in defense of the distraction, my mind goes to work in solving the wrong problem. This accomplishes nothing toward solving the original problem, which is, “I don’t know myself.”

That wander into irrelevance is a kind of a wasteland away from relevant resources. This keeps my mind busy trying to solve a problem that isn’t the problem.

What Can I Do to Find My Way Out of the Wasteland?

I can tell you how to stay – just use the same strategy to get out that got you in! You can’t justify yourself out of the justification wasteland!

If I continue to see my life as a problem to be solved, I’ll most likely stay in the wasteland. I must think differently! When I find that different way, my mind will recognize it as relief from the justification tax it has been paying.

Is Reality a Trick of the Mind?

Could my reality be a trick of the mind? Repetitively doing what’s right can build confidence in a shrinking bubble of limited awareness. That sense of confidence in my rightness builds patterns of defense for my beliefs. At some point, confidence becomes its own defense. Could confidence be a trick of the mind?

Who determines rightness? I do! What defends rightness? Confidence does!

Inner conflict results when one’s thoughts can’t come to an agreement. Each side seeks to win the argument by referring to rightness – the most confident wins.

What happens when your expected outcome turns counter to your intention, plan, and purpose? No matter how right or confident you feel? Backfire! When a backfire happens, you’re faced with an aha moment – an opportunity to question your intention, plan, and purpose.

OR – you can continue defending your position with the hope that you’ll recover your investment in your confidence in it. This is the default option! And it’s a trick!

Confidence Defends Confidence

How does my mind use confidence to turn intention into a convincing REALITY? Once accepted, I defend my reality with more confidence. Thus, confidence becomes its own defense.

From the perspective of my bubble of limited awareness, I believe I must protect myself from threats and compete to survive. This belief presents itself as a figurative story that validates my trust in my perception of it as literal reality. It’s a trick of the mind:

For every experience, I have to set it up by imagining and believing that it can happen. Then, I make my experience happen and judge it. I defend that judgment with emotion and reason, which convinces me that my experience is real.

How Reality May Be a Trick of Mind

I use my memories of being convinced in the past to convince me of the reality of my current experience. I do this by comparing the real past to the real present. The trick is in the comparison: perception of the past is imaginary. No matter how real that memory seems, it is a current fantasy.

How can I compare a nonexistent past, present, and future in an imaginary present to defend a belief? It must be a trick of the mind. Confidence holds it all together!

Perhaps all “reality” is a trick of the mind.

Presuppositions in Reclamation of Self

I make some fundamental presuppositions in my intention to reclaim the wholeness I feel I’ve lost. I don’t know how it happened, yet I feel a need to return things to their original condition of wholeness. Thus, the popularity of movements, books, and movies about restoring our former glory.

Fundamental to this intention is change. I must change in order to reclaim some kind of perfection, glory, or innocence I think I’ve lost. For example, politicians spout the concept of a return to better days – and garner lots of votes.

Reclamation Presuppositions

This concept of reclamation is based on a presupposition that we’re not enjoying wholeness now. That we’ve lost it! It also presupposes that there is some kind of shangri-la perfect state of being that I can and must achieve. Thus, I find myself in a state of eternal want in a land of plenty – forever seeking, never achieving. Never satisfied, always at a loss!

Let’s look at my reclamation presuppositions in four questions:

  1. Who? I am separate from wholeness!
  2. Why? So I can seek/reclaim wholeness!
  3. How? With an intention to be whole in limited awareness!
  4. What? Proves I am separate, seeking, limited, and right!

This reclamation concept may contribute to and defend my bubble of limited awareness. Because I have a belief in a perfect state of being and that that state is behind or beyond me, I’ll always experience limited awareness now. By seeking perfection, I defend my belief in my limitation now. Thus, seeking to go beyond limited awareness keeps me in limited awareness now. Sweet paradox!

This is the underlying concept behind self-help – the idea that I can find my wholeness and get back to it. What if that ain’t necessarily so?!

What About a Fix?

When I conclude that something needs to change, I assume a “fix” is necessary and even possible. Further, that the “fix” will result in an end to the change – done! What if that ain’t necessarily so?!

For example, every problem has a solution – that limits the problem to the solution. Even viewing problem-solving as a problem to solve sustains the mind to problem-solution. Any problem solved is no longer a problem. What if that ain’t necessarily so?!

The same goes for need and want and their fulfillment. Once fulfilled, the expectation is that the want or need dissolves away. What if that ain’t necessarily so?!

In my bubble of limited awareness, I believe that things damaged can be restored. All that is needed to accomplish a “fix” should be fairly simple and straightforward. What if that ain’t necessarily so?!

Reclaiming Defense

Could reclamation simply be another form of defense that keeps defense in place? Whatever the need and its fulfillment, they defend my belief in problems and solutions.

Reclamation appears evident – when I defend it. I typically play this out like this – I:

  1. Imagine what I want/need to reclaim.
  2. Recall or create a plan for how to reclaim it.
  3. Perceive evidence of loss and reclamation.
  4. Maintain.

This to solve the problem of separation. However…

What if my current life condition is a solution to the problem of wholeness?

Confusing Wants and Needs in Lack Fulfillment

In my world of limited awareness, I perceive a reality of separateness because I believe I lack wholeness. Wants and needs serve my mind as tools to validate this perception and belief. That is, unless I’m confused. Because my mind knows only wants and needs, it may see everything as a problem of lack to be solved.

“I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.” (Maslow, 1966, Law of the Instrument cognitive bias)

My sense of separateness, along with a desire for wholeness, subjects my problem-solving mind to serve that paradox. The paradox defends my belief in lack fulfillment.

The concept of achieving wholeness out of separateness is “The Impossible Dream.”  It’s an invitation to live in a paradoxical reality of want and need fulfillment.

A Paradoxical Intention

My paradoxical intention applies want and need to my experience to achieve no want or need. Wants and needs can feel confusing, even when I‘m confident I know the difference. Like when I know I’m choosing and when I’m not.

My initial intention is a general sense of lack of wholeness. My mind adjusts the general and undefined sense of lack by defining intention as wants and needs. And by attaching what and how I achieve fulfillment as a means for want and need to express as manifestation. My mind uses want and need as tools to serve intention.

  • Want expresses intention to increase or gain – using more options.
  • Need expresses intention in terms of survival, a defense against loss – using fewer options.

I get confused when I think my want is a need and vice versa. Both wants and needs support my intention to be whole. They define reasons that motivate me to advance towards my image of wholeness.

Thus, mind solves the paradox of intention by creating an image of wholeness my intention senses has been served.

Unconfusing Wants and Needs in Lack Fulfillment

My intention to be whole results in a general perception of lack. My mind sees lack as a problem and gets to work solving it. To find and apply a solution, my mind categorizes intention into definable expressions of wants and needs.

Needs define intention as a survival problem with few options. By narrowing the field of options, need applies a specific direction for fulfillment toward survival fulfillment. Want tends to broaden awareness to expand options for fulfillment.

To clear the confusion and become aware of my hidden intentions, I might question my wants and needs. Those concerns that don’t qualify as needs must be wants. For example:

  • What do I need? (What action/thing do I feel will satisfy my intention to live?)
  • How necessary is it? (For example, “How likely is it that I will actually die if I don’t fulfill the need?”)
  • Why do I need it? (What are my justifications? What lack do I feel this fills?)
  • Who am I with and without fulfillment of this need?

Need Authorities and My Need to Abrogate Accountability

In my world of limited awareness, I obey a lot of authorities. Wants and needs appear to me as one type of authority. Wants appear as passive authorities I can question while needs appear as active authorities I cannot question.

Symbols of Authority

I add the word “need” to add emphasis and/or authority to my want. For example, “I want a new phone” states a desire. “I need a new phone” adds demanding authority to my want. Questioning the desire for the new phone can lead to greater understanding of the want or need behind that desire.

What greater authority than that of life/death? I don’t have to BE in danger – just FEEL that I’m in danger – to invoke the authority of need through fear. Thus, need assigns authority to fear to increase need’s influence just as fear assigns authority to the need of it.

This brings us to choice where under the rule of authority, I have no choice – I must obey without question. I don’t question need because I’m obedient to its authority. It’s as simple as that!

The authority of need seeks to avoid a WHY question: “Why must I…?” I assume the need is justified, so I have no need for the question. Thus, I assume rather than ask.

Assumption limits awareness within contexts. “I need a drink” could mean something different depending upon the context. For example, a fellow crawling in from the desert vs a guy sitting at a bar. In both cases, however, the word “need” connotes a lack of awareness of options. It also invokes an appeal to authority rather than reason to answer a why question.

Have you ever been around a “needy” person? Maybe you felt drained afterwards. Both you and the person you judged as “needy” accepted the authority of need. UNTIL one or both of you questioned it.

Do I Need Authorities of Need?

I recognize authority in that or who I believe has power over me. I can ratchet up the value of anything or anybody by adding authority to them. By needing authority, I add authority to authority. I increase my desire and, so assume my obedience to authorities over me when I feel the need to!

Authority of need acts as a justifier and question killer. Need justifies defense without question – ruling by assumption. Add need to any of the following to avoid questioning them – giving them a boost with the authority of need. Thus, I remove choice from the equation. For example:

  • Wants/desires – I want a new phone vs I need a new phone.
  • Fears – I must be afraid of a real threat. I feel afraid, so the threat must be real.
  • Assumptions – “I expect (need) this behavior from you…” and “You’re a [negative judgment that seeks to satisfy my sense of need]…”
  • Obedience – I must (rather than want to) go to the store (to satisfy my need to eat)…
  • Patterns and Predictions – That must happen because this happened… because I need it to…
  • Responses – You did something I don’t like so I must over/under-react…
  • Traditions – I’ve always done it this way… so, I need to continue in order to preserve the tradition.
  • Symbols – This pattern must mean this, so I can assume this meaning… In a world of ambiguity, adding need to symbols adds security while seriously reducing the field of possibilities I’ll consider.
  • And a whole lot more!

Using need as authority is another example of how I seek to use creativity to abrogate my responsibility for my creation.