Lack and My Growing Need to Overcome It

To paraphrase Stephen King’s “We all float down here!” – what if we all feed down here (on earth)?

In my bubble of limited awareness, I perceive I need to feed to survive based on my intention to end my sense of lack. I perceive I can satisfy that lack by taking from “not me” that which I perceive it has. Then I add that to me to gain a sense of wholeness (fulfillment).

Cause and effect is evidence of my perception of needs and their fulfillment. Every need presents a cause, every fulfillment presents an effect. Each effect then becomes the basis for the next cause and so forth. This suggests that no one thing is independent of other things. All are based on intention. Form and function work to satisfy the intention to exist.

I use the word “feeding” to represent what and how I exist in my reality. By the same token, I perceive and project that same need on all other forms and their functions. That, because I perceive my life in terms of cause and effect.

Figurative Feeds – Solving the Problem of Lack

Today, we are surrounded by symbols that communicate interdimensional concepts – like emotions, psychological states of mind, philosophies, histories, and etc. For example, The USA uses an eagle as its national symbol. Language represents a collective cultural understanding of identity. An eagle is not the USA any more than a language is the culture it represents.

Let’s consider the figurative nature of feeding as interdimensional representations of lack. Feeds represent satisfaction of desire on many levels of lack-consciousness. The result of this belief? I’m not enough, so I have needs and wants. This is validated in the reverse: I have needs and wants, so I must not be enough.

As I insist upon my interpretation of symbols of lack as the only interpretation, I become less flexible. Inflexibility closes off consideration of other interpretations, other dimensions, and, so validates my deficit. I’m also less able to solve the problem of lack.

That Which I Feed Will Grow

Feeding my inflexibility sets up a growing sense of want/need, defense of that sense, and resistance to alternatives. Awareness of that sense grows as I feed it, providing more awareness of it. Thus, feeding awareness of want grows awareness of want.

As I feed my insistence upon my interpretation, I grow more insistent, more resistant to change – increasingly inflexible. I might view that resistance as a problem in a rapidly changing world because evolution tends to favor flexibility.

My intention to solve the problem of inflexibility may result in a presentation of the lack of its fulfillment. Thus, intending to solve the problem of lack, I confirm and validate the problem I seek to solve. So, intending to solve a problem may result in feeding it! Paradox?

What if I, instead, feed figurative thinking? Might this solve the problem of lack without feeding it? Might our perceptions, thoughts, and feelings represent multidimensional realities that are figurative rather than literal problems seeking solutions?

What if there is no problem for me to solve, no intention to feed, no resistance to feed on? Imagine that!

Ever Seeking and Never Completely Finding!

I have an intention to be whole. This sets up a sense of lack. I must feed to satisfy that sense, be it for food or other. A need that can never be filled is like an intention that can never be satisfied. Ever seeking and never completely finding! Thus, this one thought – I am separate and need to be whole – sets up a need to feed!

In my bubble of limited awareness, I believe that living beings on earth compete for limited resources. Each seeking satisfaction of its intention to continue towards wholeness – at the expense of others. As a being with limited imagination, I can imagine how that lack and wholeness might appear.

Could Seeking Wholeness Set Up a Problem with Problem Solving?

Because I believe I am separate from wholeness, I see lack as the problem and wholeness as its solution. I believe I must DO something to solve the problem of what I lack in what I already am. Does that present a paradox in which problem solving is, itself, a problem?

What is that “something” I must do? Lacking wholeness, I must add to myself continually, just to continue living. How do I add to myself? With a two-aspect problem-solving process – I must eat and not be eaten. This is based on a belief in separation – me vs not me, yet, me.

I need to feed on something outside myself in order to overcome the lack I feel.

Feeding My Need to Feed

To continue living, I must eat and avoid being eaten. Within me, these two metaphoric aspects fight against each other. The one that wins in any given situation is the one I feed.

When it comes to feeding:

  • What am I feeding?
  • How am I feeding it?
  • Why am I feeding it?
  • Who am I?

On the flip-side:

  • What am I feeding on?
  • How am I feeding on it?
  • Why am I feeding on it?
  • Who am I?

And another:

  • What’s eating me?
  • How is it eating me?
  • Why is it eating me?
  • Who am I?

As the one perceiving my world of lack, I must be the one creating and feeding on it. I am the snake eating its own tail – the Ouroboros. What if this whole concept of feeding is a metaphor representing ME?

  • What aspect of me does this need-to-feed represent?
  • How does that metaphor apply to me right now?
  • Why does it apply?
  • Who am I?

 

How I Communicate in Symbolic Metaphor

I presuppose that I always communicate. Some of that is overt communication – like auditory speech and body language. Some is covert – like hidden agendas and motives.

Living beings communicate in symbols that represent ideas. Those covert symbolic representations may not be shared or understood between any one or more communicators. Because of that miscommunication, misunderstanding is common.

Every form of life communicates. In its actions and very being, each is itself a symbolic representation – a metaphor. That metaphor communicates validation of existence. Conscious awareness acknowledges existence of one compared to another. For example, I acknowledge my existence in comparison to all that is not me. Thus, this determines benefit or threat to myself.

How We Communicate in Metaphor

Comparing and determining benefit or threat allows me to know how to interact with my environment.

In every metaphor there is an explicit story with an implicit meaning. Metaphor provides opportunity for alternative meanings, comprehension, and value. Like the dollar bill that has virtually no value in and of itself – it’s just a piece of paper! That is, until two or more agree on a value for it in trade. So, that’s a metaphor – the foundation of overt and covert communication.

Dollar bill: Overt – a piece of paper. Covert – its agreed upon value in trade. Thus, application of meaning turns explicit into implicit – through symbolism.

Let’s look at the instinct to live. Avoidance of ending life produces an emotion, fear, that motivates certain behaviors. Thus, an overt behavior connects to a covert emotion. One might look at the overt behavior and comprehend the connection – only IF they presuppose the metaphor.

In many cases, the connection between overt and covert uses the word, “because…” For example, “I raised my voice because… I felt threatened.” The raised voice is a metaphor for how I felt. You heard the raised voice in my overt communication. You might connect that overt communication with a covert emotion and thus, understand the symbolism.

My Expression Tool Kit

I have a tool kit for expressing myself. By observing my behavior, you can learn a lot about who I think I am. And how I see my world. Thus, my overt behavior expresses my inner covert beliefs.

From my senses to my good sense, those tools are symbolic expressions of my identity. That tool kit expresses overt behaviors based on a covert ability to:

  • Survive on instinct:
    • Breathe
    • Wake/Sleep
    • Seek, consume, and process nourishment, and eliminate waste
    • Seek shelter or safety, and avoid threats
    • Respond to stimuli
    • Communicate
    • Desire to defend my and others’ lives
    • Reproduce
    • Heal, grow, and adapt
    • Innate drive to seek pleasure and avoid pain
  • Experience through my senses, my thoughts, my feelings and my body .
  • Sense fairness, equality, inequality
  • Judge the difference between: right and wrong, justice and mercy, cruelty, kindness, and indifference.
  • Learn to live by rules, principles and laws – cooperate with others.
  • Think for myself, doubt, question, answer, and interact with my environment.
  • Apply beliefs, biases, prejudices, forgiveness, non-judgement.
  • Mimic and counter my environment.
  • Communicate through various mediums like, voice, body language, and etc.
  • Understand, teach, learn, inspire, confuse, deny, acknowledge, agree and disagree.
  • Interpret, assume, presuppose, take advantage, use, waste, exploit.
  • Compare, compete, cooperate.
  • Feel pain, pleasure, fear and other emotions.
  • Harm others and myself.
  • Practice the 7 deadly sins:
    • Lust
    • Gluttony
    • Greed
    • Sloth
    • Wrath
    • Envy
    • Pride
  • Pretend, role-play, fantasize, entertain and be entertained.
  • Connect with other kinds of communication which I can then share.
  • Trust my environment to sustain my body and mind.
  • Choose, defend, take apart, put together, build, destroy.
  • Resist, accept, innovate, support myself and my  environment.
  • Move, be still, explore, change, and create.
  • Dream and imagine.
  • Comprehend symbols, apply meaning, and assess values.

I can’t NOT do any of the above!

Conclusion

Thus – I cannot express in only overt OR covert. I communicate who I am using both. Communication requires an overt expression with a covert meaning. As I come to understand my own expressions, I can learn to understand those of others as metaphors of ME.

Therefore, what I perceive must be a metaphor for who I am.

My Personal War of Hidden Intentions

“My intentions were good!” How many times have I heard or said that? An action based on a good intention can seem to be the right thing to do at the time. Yet, an intention may give itself permission to act outside of conscious awareness. Thus, a hidden intention in a limited awareness bubble.

I’ve heard it said, “It’s easier to get forgiveness than permission.” Some of us take that idea seriously when inserting our own special kind of service to our world. Yet, an unsuspecting do-gooder can face disapproval or worse for their well-intentioned interference.

Sometimes, even when my heart is in the “right place” I end up hurting myself or someone else. Because my heart desires connections, I have to wonder why my intentions result in disconnection. Could I be unconsciously pitting one intention against another?

And So, the War Begins!

Perhaps I have a war raging between intentions. The intention to survive may view the intention to connect as a lower priority than personal safety, for example. Relationships present ambiguous threats to safety! This is a perfect environment for conflict – a war of intentions!

My intentions are always about problem-solving for the better. This is particularly confusing when the problem is my ambiguous intentions.

All too often, I have no idea how a hidden intention invaded my actions that hurt people. I trust that if I say I had good intentions, others will somehow give my hurtful behaviors a pass. I think I can escape accountability for my intended behavior by excusing it with “best intentions.” The real intention, then, was to protect myself from accountability for my unconscious actions.

Here are some questions I can ask myself to help reveal my conflicting intentions in personal relationships:

  • What am I feeling right now? What do I imagine others are feeling right now?
  • How does this difference in feelings present a conflict of intentions?
  • Why do I need to make others feel this way?
  • Who am I? Who would I rather be?

Stopping the War of hidden Intentions!

The default is ambiguity. Ambiguity allows my defensive self some latitude in its plausible deniability. That is, I can always fall back on, “I didn’t intend… blah, blah, blah!” and, “My intentions were good.”

Observing the reactions of others opens a window into my own hidden intentions. It’s not too late to ask a question. It doesn’t have to be painful, and it’s not a waste of time! Asking some useful questions can help clarify ambiguous intentions and maybe stop the war. Communicating clear intentions tends to clarify understandings in relationships.

Metaphor, a Problem-Solving Paradox

Metaphor takes perception of reality and twists it into a problem-solving paradox. The literal view seeks to defend its perspective as truth – using memory, facts, and logic to resolve paradox. The figurative view seeks to apply meaning to the literal view through metaphor, using imagination and possibility to resolve paradox. Together they seek a resolution to a fundamental problem – life.

Did You Catch the Paradox in the Metaphor?

The choice we suggest as metaphor-thinking operates best as a paradoxical view we experience with others in relationships. Thus, I understand me in a metaphor of my perception of you in relation to me. This is made all the more paradoxical when I act on my belief that you and I are literally separate.

Consider how difficult it is to see one’s own face without looking at its reflection. One would have no idea what their face looks like. With a reflective surface, sufficient light, and a properly working visual sense, and awareness of self, however, I can see a reflection that, although not me, presents a metaphor that I think represents me. Do you see the paradox in your reflection?

Even though I hear your voice doesn’t mean I hear your words. Just because I hear your words doesn’t mean I understand their meaning. Even when I hear your words and understand their meaning doesn’t mean I understand your concept. Sometimes I want an example to help me get to the meaning of a concept. That example is not the concept – it is a metaphor to help me understand the concept in an alternative form. Do you hear the paradox in these words?

What If Metaphor Presents a Problem-Solving Paradox?

Living in a problem-solving mind creates a paradox that connects solutions to problems through justification. Justifying the solution is a problem because it defends one against alternative solutions. The defense focuses attention on only one option rather than to search for alternatives. Once justified, this solution presents a mental scotoma – a problem that mind has difficulty resolving through ever-limiting repetition.

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” (Albert Einstein)

This sets up a self-referential paradox in which problems justify solutions that justify problems. As the paradox expands, it further limits the range of awareness. This limits my realization of me as both me and not me.

Reinterpreting what I defend as a solution can’t be done – due to its defense of problem and solution. Sounds like a catch-22 situation. Oh, no! Not another PROBLEM!!!

This makes metaphor inevitable and necessary.

When I consider, “This is not as it appears,” I open my conscious awareness to metaphoric interpretation. And loosen the grip of my narrow focus on literal interpretation.

Did you catch the metaphor in the paradox?