Could Belief Be Its Own Defense?

In my First and Second Degree limited awareness world of competition and defense, I’ve divided up oneness with beliefs. A belief is basically a set of connected concepts I’ve separated out from all concepts to form or add to my story. My acceptance of that belief as truth becomes my defense of those concepts and my story as the story.

Belief as Authority

My belief, then, acts as an authority that proves I am a sovereign individual, free to think and act as I please. Not obvious to me is that I’m the servant of that authority, which is my belief.

Perhaps that’s why I rankle so much when someone, even me, challenges my belief. That challenge is to the sovereignty of my identity – who I am. I am my belief.

In a context of true vs false, my perception of separation defends my story from yours based on my truth. This pits my story against yours in a battle for “the right belief,” which connotes there is a wrong belief, yours. When applied to a group of like-minded individuals, a simple belief can grow to fanatical, perhaps dangerous, proportions.

Thus, my beliefs confirm my paradoxical concept of separation as the one and only truth. One might consider belief as the initial and fundamental defense that separates one into a competition between this versus that.

Belief as Defense

Because I perceive my right belief as separate from your wrong belief, I defend mine from yours, me from you. This belief in separation in sovereignty provides me with a sense of differentiation that I can use to compare – and defend. Thus, I confirm my rightness.

Comparisons can lead to competition in which every concept appears to defend itself against all others. This means that every belief is a defense protecting and protected by other beliefs.

When I say, “I believe…,” am I actually saying, “I defend…?”

To answer a question one must question the answer. When there is only one answer to a question, I’m probably dealing with a belief upon which I’ve placed a high degree of certitude. To dissolve the defense that is the belief, I must question my sense of certainty. Concerning my belief:

  • What is this belief protecting?
  • How is it protecting it?
  • Why is it protecting it?
  • Who am I protecting?
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A Paradox of Convoluted Intention

Why doesn’t my life just work the way it’s supposed to? What am I doing wrong?!! How can I make life work for me? I wonder if I’m focusing hard enough or long enough. Maybe my focus is on what I don’t want rather than on what I want. Can my focus affect the outcome I’m hoping for in spite of my stated intentions? What if my stated intention isn’t my true intention? Would being more specific or determined help?

These kinds of questions and statements come from an unclear understanding of self in a bubble of limited awareness.

When my intentions repeatedly fail in disappointing outcomes, could I be unaware of what I’m intending? More importantly, why?

Perhaps there is more than one way to intend something. If so, Much can be explained for my sense of failure.

Paradox of Intentions

Let’s define two types of intention. Each is a projected metaphor of belief about self that appears to satisfy an internal need to reclaim who I think I’ve lost.

  1. Stated – A conscious plan to satisfy an internal need through external means.
  2. Unstated – A need seeking satisfaction.

Stated intentions can be exposed with “becauses…” Ex: stated intention, “I intend to get that job!” Unstated intention, “…because I need to be okay.”

This duality of intentions sets up a paradox of perception. I think I’m intending one thing while the result clearly demonstrates another intention is at work. Due to my lack of conscious self-awareness, many competing intentions convoluted probabilities of outcomes. So convoluted are my intentions that I cannot discern cause from effect – even when I THINK I can!

My Convoluted Intention

By denying my intention when I don’t like the outcome admits a belief in my powerlessness. Because I feel vulnerable, I get defensive. Defensiveness, in turn, affects my perception of outcomes, favoring those that confirm my belief! This confirmation adds to my sense of powerlessness and vulnerability – ramping up my defense as a result. This process results in a positive feedback loop in which any initial positive intention gets lost in ever-deepening denial.

For example, my friend says to me, “You hurt me when you…” Feeling vulnerable, I respond with denial, “That was not my intention to hurt you…” My denial confirms her blame and adds my defense to her hurt. All of which adds to my sense of rightness concerning my need to defend. I’ve increased the probability for a heated argument in which hurts grow while compassion and understanding play a decreasing role.

Taking accountability and admitting I was unaware of my intention, confirms my part in the outcome. It also lessens the sense of need for defense, opening my heart and mind to compassion and understanding. Thus, I retain my power and set up a situation in which I can adjust my stated intention to produce a different outcome.

For example, someone says something like, “You hurt my feelings.” This is feedback for me – when I hear it with my heart rather than with my ego. I check my defenses, take accountability for my creation, and accept my intention that resulted in this feedback. “I was unaware that I intended to hurt you. However, now that I am aware of my intention, what do you need?” This opens an internal dialog in which I may ask myself, “What do I need?”

After release of defensiveness, accountability connects stated and unstated, external and internal. Thus resolving the paradox.

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Reconsidering the Law of Compensation

What if beyond my limited awareness bubble, the Law of Compensation is not a law? What if it’s an illusion, a perceptual result of defense of separation that I experience as lack?

By applying a mental filter, I can see this law in action in what I observe. That is, when I see someone achieve a goal, I can apply this “law” and assume that person helped enough others achieve their goals. So, applying it to my own life, I get busy helping other people achieve their goals so I can achieve mine.

It’s a simple business transaction: I give value, I get value. Value for value. Fairness. And, as we all know, the universe is nothing if not fair.

It’s always unfair to the one who feels dissatisfied. (anon)

Assuming the law is true, all I have to do is help some people get what they want, then sit back and wait for the universe to “pay up.” Since it’s the law, I should expect payment. When my expectations are not met, I have to wonder why. Maybe I didn’t help enough people or the right people. Or…

Maybe the Law of Compensation is not really a law after all.

What if there is another way to understand this than as a natural law, like gravity, that must be obeyed? What if my expectation of fairness is more a want than a law? What if there was never a hole to fill or loss to compensate for? Might it just be an illusion that confirms my belief in justice?

Compensation For What?

In order for the law of compensation to have any meaning, one must accept the concept of lack as a fundamental truth. That is, one must work to achieve what they lack. One must compensate for a deficit.

What happens when I no longer perceive lack? When I thoroughly and completely accept the concept of wholeness?

According to the Law of Compensation, where there is loss, there must be compensation. From a wholeness perspective, there is no loss. So, in order to preserve the “law” as a law, I must invent a loss or deficit for which I must compensate. To balance loss there must be gain to equal out the exchange. Thankfully, I have a good imagination!

Perhaps I invented the Law of Compensation in order to feel certain things – like a sense of personal:

  • growth – to compensate for diminishing sense of individualism
  • justice – to compensate for a sense of loss of rightness when wronged
  • fairness – to compensate for a sense of disadvantage in a competitive world
  • balance – to compensate for my feelings of imbalance

All these defend my position within First and Second Degrees of Illumination. And defend me against enlightenment beyond that. While I hold out the Law of Compensation as truth, I will remain limited in:

  • awareness of what may lie beyond fairness, justice, and defense.
  • gratitude for what is – as my focus is always on lack that needs compensating for.
  • awakening to the unlimited Self – as I’ve limited Self to perceiving life as a transaction.
  • connection to everything in my external reality.

I wonder how my life might look when my perspective is no longer one of lack needing compensation. Perhaps when I no longer perceive myself as a deficit to the universe, I will no longer have to obey the Law of Compensation.

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The Law of Compensation

In my bubble of limited awareness, compensation means to make up for (a loss or lack) by exerting an opposite force or effect. Every action compensates for some lack. This “law” confirms my belief in separation and justifies my sense of justice. Yeah, it’s probably another one of those self-referential paradoxes.

Sir Isaac Newton codified this law into his third law of motion. “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

Basically, this law says that you get what you give. The more you contribute in life, the more you receive from the Universe. Of course the opposite is also true.
(Hurley, The Law of Compensation)

Using the Law of Compensation

Some say they have amassed fortunes as a result of mastering this law. My payment to them in the currency of money, attention, behaviors, and perceptions illustrate how I use their belief in the law to compensate for my sense of lack. Thus, enriching their bank accounts at the expense of mine. See, it works for them, so must work for me, too! That’s what makes it a law.

You can get anything you want in life if you help other people get more of what they want. (Granados)

As noble and useful as this appears, it makes one significant assumption. It assumes lack as a condition that must be compensated for with right, justified, and/or proper action. Further, it supposes that one can invest some energy and as a result reap a guaranteed reward of their choosing. An enticing idea. Particularly in the West, where wealth is seen as success in life, those sensing lack for any reason may find application of this law irresistible.

Compensation in Terms of Value

I attach value to everything in order to make comparison judgments based on my personal value. Things have no value until I invest my life-force energy in defense of a judgment – “rightness.” When I judge a loss in rightness value, I work to compensate for it.

Thus, judgment requires perception of value. Investment requires value judgments. I invest in value judgments with value judgments in order to make value judgments.  I guess that settles the self-referential paradox question. It’s a paradox!

Could the “law of compensation” be a conceptual misinterpretation of the natural law of accountability in which the universe accounts to me by presenting my beliefs to me? Perhaps compensation is a law in my universe because I believe in and defend the perception of lack.

Does the earth realize a loss regained when it compensates for evaporation by returning huge rivers of water to the ocean?

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Limitation by Design

Do I limit my experience – on purpose?

In my bubble of limited awareness, although I believe I live with trillions of other beings, I alone live within my thoughts. Everything and everyone I experience in this dimension of limitation are literally and figuratively phantasms of my imagination. To me “they” are simply concepts in competition with other concepts. My perception of a walrus, for example, is a concept that competes with my concepts of everything else. I’ve limited my perception of this because it is not everything else.

Everywhere and whenever I notice, I’m faced with solid evidence of limited experience in the form of paradox. That is, nothing is as it appears – ever! Everything appears as a paradox of  unreasonable reasons, illogical logic, timeless timeliness, and perceptions of lack in wholeness.

Adaptation = Limitation!

One explanation for this paradox comes from the theory of evolution. I perceive as I do as a result of millions of generations of adaptation to changing environment. Thanks to Mr. Newton, I now know that evolution follows the law of conservation of energy. Thus, it has keenly honed my senses to perceive me in relation to a limited number of needs-related aspects of my present environment. Rather than to compare me to ALL that is not me, I compare me with only that part of not me that I consider matters to me.

I don’t perceive EVERYTHING – even within the limited space of my own body. Just what I NEED to perceive in order to survive long enough to pass my genes along to the next generation. Those senses, skills, and education I don’t need or don’t use often enough fade away. That’s evolution through adaptation.

Attention = Limitation!

In this way, my mind considers every thing, person, or place as a concept.  To manage the perpetual competition among these concepts, and to avoid overwhelm, I limit the number I’ll attend to at any one time. That’s intentional limitation!

Evolution, then, is the result of a paradox in which one must limit their sensual and conceptual life experience in order to fully live.

Purpose = Limitation!

Perhaps the purpose of my life is not the achievement of wholeness – a paradox in that one cannot achieve what one already is. Rather, maybe my life’s purpose is to notice the enjoyment I get from the paradox of limitation by design.

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