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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Get Serious!

All that I’m certain is right? All the judgments I’ve defended with my life? Total bullshit! Why? Because I now recognize and appreciate the ambiguity of life. A lifetime of adherence to my belief in one absolute truth and no others is absurd! Now that’s funny!

Sometimes war rages within me between “I need to defend my beliefs against any challengers” and, “I choose to question a belief.” Bridging the gulf might ease or stop that war within.

In my limited state of awareness, I judge differences in perception in terms of clarity and confusion of thought. It’s a war of interpretation. If the judgement is about right and wrong, I must interpret my beliefs through limited understanding of both. That because my limited awareness causes me to view everything as a competition of this/vs/ that. Then I defend one side against the other. That’s war!

Ambiguity and Too Many Alternatives

Of course there are times when too many alternatives can give too much flexibility and insufficient structure to my thoughts in a selection process. Yet, the extremes of my selections can reveal the nature of my biases.

I define ambiguity as being open to more than one interpretation – more than one way can be suitable. Of course, if I feel that openness leaves me vulnerable to being judged as frivolous, I might consider openness a threat. Perhaps my defense of seriousness is more about agreement than rightness, unless they are the same. This can be said of my defense of ambiguity as well.

My sense of certainty about what’s right and what’s wrong limits my scope of experience. With intention of focus and purpose, I’ll narrow my choices and experiences into one perfect misunderstanding of everything without ever knowing its alternative.

Where certainty is rightness, ambiguity must be wrongness. How certain am I about that? In limited awareness, some uncertainty is always present. In a vast universe mostly unknown to me, how arrogant of me, in my bubble of limited awareness, to think I know enough to be certain about anything? It’s absurd!

Love that Certitude!

Although in certitude I feel right, justified, and/or proper, the limitations it imposes invites a challenge to the absurdity.

Perhaps I could use the humor in absurdity to question the necessity for defense while lessening the probability of initiating one.

When I begin to recognize the ambiguity inherent in my life, some part of me may put on the doubt breaks – “Wait a second… something just ain’t right here…” As I question my certitude, the absurdity of my truths surface. I may then realize I’ve played a joke on myself.

Imagine the absurdity of all the effort I’ve put into forcing truth onto an illusion. All the while, struggling to survive based on my dogged adherence to a paradoxical belief. The joke lands when I realize the absurdity of the situation and laugh about it.

Getting Serious!

Maybe it’s time for me to get serious about embodying ambiguity – and the freedom doubt offers. Gratitude!

A paradox, sitting at the bar. One turns to the other… and smiles.

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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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Awareness of Gratitude for the Absurd

In a bubble of limited awareness, I perceive in duality. This offers me only two options for comparison: something and everything that is not that something. This appears as a sort of battle between something and its environment – like me vs not me.

For example, I define order in a comparison to disorder. This relationship appears on a continuum from minimum to maximum. A paradox arises at the point where maximum is indistinguishable from minimum.

Full disorder is so unlimited as to be nothingness and order is so limited as to be nothingness. 0 = 1. This ambiguity presents a paradox in which any and none appear synonymous. When zero equals one, duality collapses. That’s absurd!

Limited Awareness

Perception relies upon a range of conscious awareness of adequate contrast between this and that to distinguish one from the other. Too little or too much contrast destroys the awareness of differentiation and, thus, perception.

Limited awareness changes the equation, 0=1, to a comparison, 0<1. Thus, limited awareness resolves the paradox – and makes perceptual experience possible.

From a Fifth Degree of Illumination awareness, I can appreciate how limited awareness resolves the paradox of oneness. While inside the bubble of limited awareness, however, I can’t see the paradox, much less resolve it. I’m too busy living it!

Limited awareness offers me experience that illustrates what I want to believe moment-to-moment. It does this by connecting some unknown with the known, some uncertainty with certainty, some yin with the yang. So, limitation – YAY!

The Gift of Defense

I use defense to define the borders of my limited awareness. As I introduce some flexibility into my border defense, I strengthen it. The stronger the defense, the more convinced I am that the experience is as it appears. Thus, defense resolves the paradox of reality – where nothing is as it appears AND everything is as it appears.

Defense complements limited awareness. Comparison and competition are merely concepts. My response is the defense that turns concept into experience. Defense exists in an environment of limited awareness. Limited awareness exists in an environment of defense. Together, I get experience. Experience offers opportunity for enlightenment through questioning.

Recognition and Gratitude

Recognition of the absurdity inherent in this level of limited awareness invites inquiry into the paradoxes. For example, when considering the paradox of certainty, I may ask myself what, how, why, and who is so certain that I can’t doubt. This inquiry may reveal the absurdity and add some illumination into the darkness that limits my vision.

The addition of illumination might feel like gratitude – the “aha” moment when the darkness gives up its secret. That secret is that I was never limited – just having an experience of it.

When the windows of perception clear, I see myself as I am.

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Freeing Power of Humor

Who doesn’t enjoy a good laugh? Laughter can have positive physical effects on the body and can play a huge role in the relief of mental-emotional stress. As a healing agent, laughter can stir up and cause the release of hidden defenses like bias, prejudice, and other thinking errors.

Rigid adherence to programs limits my experience by blinding me to alternatives. This certitude affects how I experience humor. When in certitude, one feels they must follow the program – from which they can’t “let go” and they can’t “move on.” In this fixed state of mind, I accept the wrongness of humor and thus reinforce the rightness of certitude.

Between the absolute rigidity of certitude and extreme flexibility of the undefined lay ambiguity. Ambiguity offers variety in interpretation of expression, a recognition of a paradox, and the essence of humor.

Healing Power of Humor

Perhaps humor exposes the paradox in and absurdity of my extreme rigidity or flexibility. Once I’ve exposed my secret defenses, I have an opportunity to deal with them. Sometimes recognition of a paradox in my belief, behavior, or thought process brings me a chuckle that grows in the sharing.

Laughter, then, may be the manifestation of release of defense. Perhaps the compliment my laughter gives to a comedian is a “thank you” for helping me see the ambiguity in my defense.

When the feeling of freedom to choose returns because of the recognition of ambiguity, I may express that feeling as bliss, exhilaration, love. Those are the same feelings I express when connected to my gratitude.

When I get triggered, it’s because one or more of my beliefs has been challenged. Humor can offer us a gift for consciously questioning our triggers. When a joke strikes a nerve, it’s probably presenting me an opportunity to question a hidden belief.

When I don’t find humor in a type of comedy, it may be because I’ve invested in a hidden defense I’m not yet ready to let go of. I may be so invested in a drama related to the comedy that I can’t see the humor in it – yet. This is so especially when I feel offended by the comic presentation.

Psychological Benefit

Once aware of the hidden defense, I might inquire into it and derive psychological benefit from the experience. Even acknowledgement of my defense can open the door to philosophical inquiry.

Like humor, this type of questioning requires an environment of ambiguity in which I make myself open to alternative interpretations. This openness presents options for choices.

Commitment to one option collapses ambiguity into the certitude of a choice. Defense follows to support the choice, reinforcing certainty and resisting ambiguity.

In a balanced environment of certainty and ambiguity, philosophical inquiry can raise awareness and open doors to creativity. And maybe a good laugh!

Remember – both certainty and vagueness are necessary aspects of experience. How rigidly I apply either determines the level of paradox I experience in my life. A paradox subject to exposure that can come in the form of humor.

When life seems so serious it can’t be funny, maybe I’ve overlooked an opportunity. Then may be the time to seek and find a good laugh.

Perhaps the best laugh is the one I have on myself, the ultimate paradox of absurdity and reason. When faced with a paradox, question them!

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