Questioning Perception to Clarify Choice

How Choice Confirms the Paradox I Intend to Resolve

I rarely think about my intentions when people are agreeable and things are going well. I may still be unaware of my intentions when I act on perceived threats, reverting automatically to defense. This because my focus is on choice as the application of defense of the intention rather than on the intention. Regardless of my intentions, any choice I consider or make within the bubble is in defense of the separation paradox.

Thus, choice defends intention that defends perception.

That seems like a pretty poor strategy for resolving a paradox! How do I intend to resolve a paradox by choosing to confirm it? That sounds a bit confusing to me!

Might confusion be the strategy of choice?

Consider how convinced you feel when reason aligns with perception. When “how” and “why” align with sensory “what” – “I know this is true, because [a logical reason].” As I consider how stubbornly unmovable I get when I feel convinced of my “truth”, a little confusion may indeed be in order.

How does that work?

I use automation, of course! I engage a policy-management, self-regulating process to carry out my choices without question. Think mechanical process – “When this, do that.” Over time and experience, I learn to trust my choices – no questions necessary!

When I choose for, I also choose against. The process defends both sides of the argument. From an energy conservation perspective, it’s brilliant! The same reason I use in defense of one option I favor also defends why I’m right in not choosing another option. In choosing the road to the left, I’ve also chosen not to take the road to the right – for the same reasons.

Although this process manipulates conflicting concepts to maintain a sense of rightness, it adds paradox to paradox.

Let’s Recap!

  1. By perceiving, I set up a fundamental paradox of deficit within wholeness.
  2. I intend to resolve this paradox by setting up a system in which need-fulfillment feels like paradox resolution.
  3. To defend the intention, I create a life story that sets the parameters within which, as the hero, I must satisfy the ultimate need – survival of the paradox!
  4. I sustain the fundamental paradox by masking it behind paradoxical choices.

I can challenge my choices. Why? Because they’re not set in stone! They’re just concepts I’ve accepted as “right” and so, true. By questioning a choice, I open a space for understanding the philosophy and intent behind it. I might even let go of my defense of the current choice. It’s at least an opening.

Questioning

Questioning my choices may be cutting myself short of a realistic answer. My process isn’t designed to question itself because it is the answers. It has the right reasons for my survival and simply applies an appropriate defense. Therefore, questions intended to check the reasons for a system of defense must come from outside the system. Questions from within a system of defense tend to confirm the system.

Perhaps questioning my intention,rather than my perception would open a space for something new. Change the input change the output.

This means I want to design questions that awaken the process and its system of defense to itself. The answers to those questions will bring enlightenment to the process and promote clarity to a paradoxical reality.

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My Music Calls Me Home

Ever listened to a piece of music and felt tears welling up? I hope you have – it’s a marvelous feeling. I’ve wondered if my reaction to such music connects “me” to a familiar timelessness from which we all spring. I wonder if such music is a call to come home – to our hearts.

C’mon Home

When I was a child, my mother would call out my name when it was time for me to come in to lunch or dinner. Her voice represented the mystical mother and son reunion of my ancient origin – home. Even today, I love to hear her voice – music to my heart.

Like many fellow humans, I feel a certain loyalty to family, town, and country. I’ve associated my name with these. Wherever I am in the world, I carry these identity markers with me.

Wherever I find myself in time, I carry a unique pattern of musical markers. These identify my particular song in the timelessness from which my consciousness arises.

My Musical Home

In my bubble of limited awareness, I find it easy to get caught up in the business of comparing, competing, and defending the right. I can sometimes get busy doing – so many projects, so many jobs, so many thoughts to consider.

Sometimes all this work gets tiring and I find myself wanting a break from it – a longing for home. One of my favorite methods for dealing with the loneliness is to indulge myself with music that inspires me to remember who I am.

Sometimes, the music calls me to trust my heart to take me where it will. I may then find myself deep in meditation that fills my gratitude pool to the point where it begins to spill over, cascading welcome-home tears down my face. Even when I’m far away in thought, the music brings me back to my heart.

Gratitude is my home.

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Awareness of the Wholeness Prize

I’ve been living in a bubble of awareness. In that bubble, I create a story based on perceptions and judgements. As the author, I expect the characters to struggle, suffer, learn, grow, and interact as the story progresses towards its completion. A hero’s journey, a tale based on the premise: The hero must succeed – EARNING wholeness through righteous endeavor.

Even though the hero starts out on their quest with limited resources and understanding, they triumph in the end. My story is much the same, I imagine myself starting out from a state of need, dependence, and limitation, that I defined as unwholeness. Since then, I’ve worked hard, as I imagine a hero would, to achieve the well-earned prize of wholeness at the end of life.

Heroes share some fundamental aspects of my story – fighting for a righteous cause, justifying actions, seeking peace through use of necessary defense, resolving conflict at any cost, including loss of self, and dodging an enemy’s offenses. The hero must do whatever it takes to achieve the goal.

Why would I do this to myself?

Because I’m unwhole! That premise (I’m unwhole and must earn wholeness) sets the theme of my story. Throughout my life, I’ve become entranced with how other people’s stories – especially those I’ve looked up to – validate my premise.

In my story, I’ve written a lot about why I couldn’t fulfill my righteous cause, why I felt powerless at times, and why hopelessness kept me from marching onward to my goal. Feeling unable to fight non-stop for what’s right, I may have lost sight of the reward – maybe even losing the reward itself. As a result, I might feel like a failure.

The story I apply to my life is the record of who I perceive I am on my way to being who I want to be. My work towards perfection never ends and why should it? My story is based on laws, which validate my premise, which validate laws! Circular!

What’s the payoff for investing so much attention into proving my premise? Isn’t earning one’s way a good thing? After all, a life has to have an acceptable purpose, some justifiable (right) reason for being.

Thus my story!

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Transformation of Resistance into Acceptance

One of the cardinal characteristics of Second Degree of Illumination awareness is psychological resistance. I sometimes refer to it as defensiveness. What is it you resist: A change? Yourself? Someone you don’t like? A concept you find difficult to understand?

According to Newton’s Law of Inertia, opposition to change is a natural physical law. I like to think I obey the law – which gives me little comfort when I’m suffering from a case of inner conflict!

In my world, I know what is right and oppose all challenges to that! Maybe my opposition extends to anything resembling a challenge. That is, I oppose everything I think might appear different from what I think it should appear.

Resisting Acceptance of Self

Resisting keeps me firmly within bubble awareness. This protects my conscious awareness from the imagined “horrors” of Fourth Degree of Illumination acceptance of personal accountability. Within the bubble, I define accountability in terms of blame. I don’t want to be blamed, so I avoid liability or assign it to “others.”

Trouble with blame is that, as the owner of my perceptual world, there is no one outside me to accept it! So, blame goes down as an attribution error – full of pain! I don’t like pain and, yet, here I am – producing it for myself by resisting. And, the more I resist the pain, the more pain I feel. Egad!

How to Transform Resistance into Self Acceptance

Resistance is an essential element of awareness, without which I’d notice nothing. Like you need friction in order to feel something, the reason you notice something is because it represents a concept that resists the oblivion of unawareness.

What might happen were you to take charge of your struggle against acceptance? How would acknowledging your creation affect your experience as a human in a world of your own imagination?

Through my recent practice of meditation, I’m coming to a realization that I am the creator of my perceptions. This awareness transforms psychological resistance into acceptance and gratitude.

When you feel physical pain, emotional distress, or mental struggle, meditate on questions like these:

  • What/who do I resist right now? (alt: What/who do I fear/need?)
  • How do I resist it/them? (alt: How does that fear/need appear?)
  • Why do I resist it/them? (alt: What do I get out of fearing/needing this?)
  • Who am I as a result of resisting this/them? (alt: What/who does my fear/need affect?)

(IMPORTANT – listen for a question! If you hear an answer, it’s probably your ego speaking your expectation – confirming your current belief! Just ask the question and listen to the silence.)

I may then meditate on positive affirmations that support self-acceptance. For example:

  • I accept who I am now.
  • All my perceptions reflect who I think I am.
  • I am the creator of my perceptions.
  • I love everyone when I love myself.

Within First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble awareness, meditation is a form of personal responsibility that serves to awaken a sleeping Self. This affords me opportunities for Third Degree of Illumination choice, which then opens my awareness to Fourth Degree of Illumination acceptance of self-accountability.

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My Emotional Investment in Defense

What have I noticed that I do?
I express the value I’ve attached to my thoughts in my emotional investment in their defense.

How do I do that?
Within First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble awareness, every investment in thought and action must be accounted for with defense – to accommodate and sustain my sense of rightness.

Why do I do that?
Within the bubble, defense satisfies my need to feel a certain way about my experience – right, justified, proper! When I’m in the bubble groove, I feel convinced that my experience is real, true, and exactly as I perceive it. Because it is not actually as I perceive it, I engage a mechanism to support my perception as the perception in order to sustain ME as the ultimate authority over all – Mr. Right. This, in turn, sustains the presentation of my beliefs in the thoughts I entertain about the presentation. Circular! Self-sustaining! Self-convincing! Right!

Who do I think I am as a result of doing it?
Within the bubble – I feel, therefore, I am. I get to believe I am who I am by witnessing who I am not. I am not any part of my perception – yet it feels like I am. Investment in emotional defense tends to pull me into a belief that, “I am what  I defend” – I am what I think, do, and feel.

Investment Beyond the Bubble

Beyond the bubble, defense is irrelevant. Values once used for emotional investment in defense are released from compulsory military service to explore whatever is beyond.

What if I am much more than my ideal bubble image I defend? How much more? What is beyond measure? What is beyond bubble awareness?

As Jelaluddin Rumi so eloquently put it:

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase each other
doesn’t make any sense.

(Essential Rumi by Coleman Barks)

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