Challenging Certainty of My Prediction

In my limited awareness bubble, I start an experience with an intention that is a prediction. Based on a mixture of complex processes, I use these predictions to perceive and interpret my world. My intention builds certainty as I perceive repetition of confirmation of my predictions.

Some complex processes I use to insure the certainty of my predictions:

  • Imagination
  • Scotoma – lock on/lock out attention
  • Storytelling
  • Justification
  • Creative license
  • Etc.

Strengthening Trust in Predictions

The stronger my certainty, the more likely I am to build expectation out of prediction. Out of the certainty derived from those successes came a sense of trust in my ability to predict my future. That trust leads to productive action, which confirms and thus strengthens my trust.

Prediction is useful as a mental shortcut. Generally, trusting my predictions is faster, more efficient, and more reliable than trying to figure out all possible outcomes as my life evolves. Over time and experience with my predictions, I seldom question them. And yet, as most of us have experienced, this trust can be misplaced. Consider predictive text. I usually look to make sure my text message says what I want it to say. I challenge my phone’s predictions!

How would I know if my prediction is incorrect unless I question it? Why one asks a question affects the level of enlightenment one may derive from their inquiry. Whatever purpose I have for questioning will likely achieve that purpose. For example, if I ask you for agreement, I’ll probably get it regardless of your feedback to me. Thus defending my position and strengthening my certainty.

A questioning mind is an aware mind.

As long as I continue to think as I have, I’ll continue to get what I’ve gotten – until I question my thinking.

To get in a questioning “mood”, I may have to break my current mental state of trust and focus. This may mean using a technique like this brain hemisphere switching technique.

To question my current “reality” and my prediction for my next “reality,” I might ask, for example:

  • Why am I making this prediction?
  • How does expecting this outcome build my trust in my prediction of it?
  • What’s the purpose of this prediction?
  • What other purpose might there be that I’m not considering because I’m sold on the current purpose?
  • What else…?
  • What’s next…?
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My Roller Coaster of Choice Predictability

Sometimes my life feels like a roller coaster. A paradoxical ride through the ups, downs, twists and turns of conflicting choices. Based on the certitude of my choices and their outcomes, I create a dependency equation. I apply the same equation, choice + defense = predictability, to every outcome.

I believe that predictable defenses mean predictable choices that result in predictable outcomes. Ambiguity develops as my dependence on specific outcomes from specific choices wavers. This challenges my defense and so affects my choices and outcomes.

Certitude and Rigidity

This kind of thinking can lead to a sense of certitude that leads to rigid thinking. This makes manifesting intended outcomes much more difficult and unpredictable. What if ambiguity invites questions about the certitude of my predictability formula?

Because I’d rather be right than accurate, I have an inclination to remember past events as being predictable at the time. In other words I reconcile differences in expected and actual outcomes by justifying results with false memories. This keeps my certitude in place regardless of outcomes.

A difference between expected and actual outcomes occurs because I am not in the same frame of mind when making a choice as when perceiving the outcome of that choice. So, to deal with the paradox, I lie to myself by revising my memory to justify what I perceive and feel now.

Predictability and Fear

This makes future outcomes seem much more predictable and choices more reliable than they actually are. It’s a useful thinking error when applied to confidence building. Not so useful when applied to medical procedures where overconfidence can lead to malpractice, for example.

When I feel conflict in yet-to-be-made choices rising within me, I may feel fear over that unpredictability. To calm my fear, I look to predictability of past choices made that I defend with my support and loyalty today.

Am I tall enough to ride this ride?

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My Matrix of Defense

In my limited state of awareness, I perceive only as much as I have to in order to have an experience of reality. That reality is a figment of my imagination – the result of defending an intention to exist.

My body represents a metaphor that explains this phenomenon. My body is made up of interacting, interdependent systems – like circulatory, nervous, and endocrine. Each operates in the realm of the others and yet is independent insofar as classification. Yet, no system operates independently of all the others. It’s a 3D matrix of interdependence that defends my belief in its reality.

Think of the game, chess, in which a 2D game board adds a third dimension with the game pieces. It then adds a 4th dimension in time – how long it takes to play the game. And then more dimensions when we add gameplay, strategy, and etc. Each dimension interacting with the others to produce an experience I enjoy.

I tend to think of my life’s purpose and the investments I place on it in two dimensions – cause and effect. This duality model limits my thinking – like thinking the chess board is the chess game. Until I realize there is a game to play on the board, my perception of the board as the entire game suits me fine.

What if I consider life in terms of concepts in more dimensions than the 2 in cause and effect? What if I consider causes and effects interacting in an interdependent 3D matrix – like my body?

Let’s consider concepts that transcend 2D thinking. By 2D, I mean like words on a page or a chess board. Let’s think in terms of a medium like water that fills a 3D space.

My experience of life is a 3D matrix of defense that appears to me as reality. Laws like gravity and core belief contain my matrix. I pour the liquid that represents my life into the container.

In my basic 2D chessboard defense matrix, I consider concepts of What, How, Why, and Who to define my perceptions. These make up the checkerboard pattern of a 2D chessboard.

In a 3D matrix, I see What, How, Why, and Who in each of my 2D concepts of the same. That is, for each concept of What, I experience What, How, Why, and Who. The same repeats for my concept of How, Why, and Who. 2D thinking considers each What, How, Why, and Who in sequence and in isolation.

3D and beyond thinking considers all aspects in relation to all other aspects in a multi-dimensional matrix. This multiplies by orders of magnitude the number of possible perceptions for each cause-effect relationship. Thus, even in my limited awareness, I experience a massive array of physical, emotional, mental, and beyond.

Imagination multiplies the effect even further – adding phantom dimensions to the matrix of dimensions. To the degree I’m convinced that an imaginary dimension is a true dimension, I add a dimension to the matrix.

All this to invest in defense of an overall purpose to defend and protect core beliefs that are themselves defenses. In this multi-dimensional matrix, I may never realize the “I” behind it all. Why? Because to expose that “I” will reveal “I” as a defense. Why? Because there is no “I”.

Thus, no matter how much I invest in discovery of my life’s purpose, I’ll find only defense.

Investment may be the amount of liquid attention I draw from the pool of purpose in order to experience something – like my life. Thus, purpose acts as my investment in proving my existence.

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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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