Perfection and the Never Good Enough Perspective

Essential to First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble awareness is the concept of competition and defense. In that awareness, I’m ever seeking that which is “better” – never arriving at perfection, “best,” or even “good enough.” There is always something or someone better.

One might say that bubble awareness embodies the essence of the 7 Deadly Sins. These “sins” point out the comparative nature of the bubble. First, I define “sin” as “short of the mark” or “less than perfect.” (Wikipedia) I have some favorites:

Greed seems to me to illustrate the essence of the “never good enough perspective” – I define greed as:

a selfish and excessive desire for more of something than is needed. (Webster)

From this perspective, more is always better than less. I, you, they can always do better. “Enough” sits out there in a time that can never arrive an achievable goal that can never be achieved. Think Escher’s Penrose Stairs drawing.

I’ve been guilty of stuffing my stomach with far more than “is needed” then felt hungry afterwards. Sounds a lot like gluttony, another of the 7 deadly sins:

the over-indulgence and over-consumption of anything to the point of waste. (Wikipedia)

And yet, even when over-indulged there is a sense that it’s not quite enough. My lust for more and better does not like to hear the words “diet” and “budget.” I think of gluttony as lack on steroids. I wastefully indulge and consume as a defense against a sense of an ever-growing void.

And then there is envy, defined as:

a sad or resentful covetousness towards the traits or possessions of someone else. (Wikipedia)

“I hate her because she’s so beautiful.” My envy makes my life appear to come up short – lacking – compared to an impossible standard that is someone else.  Then I defend my perception of lack by externalizing it with feeling. Envy is a hole that gets deeper the more I work at filling the one next to it.

Sometimes the sense of lack motivates me to take action to correct a perceived shortcoming. In the end, however, because I fundamentally believe in lack, I’ll never attain the level of happiness, joy, wealth, and etc. that I think someone else has. Why? Because that “someone else” is MY imagining of “them” – not them.

What if I Do “Lack Consciousness” on Purpose?

These “sins” illustrate a fundamental and essential element of bubble awareness: competition. The bubble perspective is one of lack – compared to wholeness. I even imagine my mythical “wholeness” as short of whatever is “above,” “beyond,” or “better” than it. “What is beyond the edge of the universe?” From this imagined perspective, every goal has another goal beyond it – forever short of.

I defend this perspective by acknowledging lack as a fact in an unlimited universe. Sound crazy? Yeah, I though so, too. Until I remembered that this “short of perfection” thing is what gives me an experience of separation from ONENESS. In other words – dammit – it’s my desire and intention!

Thus, the usefulness of getting to know and accept myself. As I gain a handle on who I am, I begin to appreciate my intention to experience something less than all. That I like, need, and intend the separation that forms the foundation of comparison. From that lack-within-wholeness perspective, everything falls into place – one cohesive universe of infinite separate parts.

A world of sin. Just as I intend it to be. Egad!

Bridging Dimensions with Imagination

Within my First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble awareness, my imagination creates equations to help me span a broad spectrum of phenomena that appear to be unrelated. Then, I bridge the physical and nonphysical dimensions with these equations to derive meaning. My equations weave forms and their functions into a tapestry of perspective that holds my story together.

Meaningful Equations

Dimensions that have nothing in common can interact with each other through my imagination. Thus, my imagined equations help me cross realities to form one story. They can also separate one story into many realities as I desire. Equations are two-way streets. Nice!

For example, I might break my physical leg, which physical injury may present a metaphor for my psychological world. The literal experience, though separate and apart from my psychological experience of it, combines to form one meaningful story. Thanks to imagination, separate and apart come together as one cohesive story.

One example of such an equation –
An old house is capable of being physically abandoned = I am capable of being emotionally abandoned. I’ve spanned the equation with MEANING.

More examples in which I bridge physical to non-physical forms and functions with equations of meaning:

  • Physical – Meaning – Non-physical
  • House – Home – Sense of security
  • People – Connection – Relationship
  • School building – Potential – Learning
  • Coin – Value – Money

Identity Fuels my Need for Meaning

My need for meaning fuels my imagination that spans dimensions. This reconciles the apparent impossible merging of disparate realities into a single experience. Thus confirming who I believe I am from who I believe I am not. Logic solved!

I set up imaginary barriers to contain my sense of being out of control. To give me a sense of separation between who I am vs who I am not (me vs not me), I do the same. Through imagination, my equations make sense out of this chaos. A means of satisfying my need to be safe by imagining I am in control of the impossible equation.

Equations allow me to feel for anything in the physical world as though it were literally me – all the while keeping physical identities separate. For example, sometimes I project my humanity onto non-human entities like pets, cars, and houses. I’m not my pet. Yet, I can imagine how my pet feels. Thus I turn different species into same species as me. As for my car… well, just don’t hurt her, okay?

I’m grateful for my ability to span across dimensions of reality simply by imagining it. Wow! What a marvelous tool is imagination! Imagine what you could do with it. I’m wandering through realms of wonder right now…

Intention, Perspective, and Distraction

It seems that I can’t count how many times a distraction has side-tracked me from doing something I felt was important. I’ve encountered plenty of distractions that seemed to sabotage, slow down, or stop my progress. If only I could make them… Oh look, a birdie!

What if that perspective is itself a distraction? What if I’ve got this distraction thing all bass ackwards? Far from being a negative thing to be avoided, what if distractions are intentional and useful?

Intention and Perspective

To validate their perspective, an artist intends to distract and to capture the attention of their audience. When my attention follows distraction my perspective is affected by my need to increase attention to distractions.

Perhaps it’s true that behind every distraction is an opportunity waiting to open a door to different perspectives. It would seem as though distractions invite questioning to resolve defenses. That sounds useful to me.

Could distractions be the way out of my First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble?

Thought holds a vibration, a language that perspective uses to design reality. Perspective expresses design through patterns of thinking and feeling. Any change in pattern will change perspective and vice versa. I make these changes through intention.

When I feel distracted from my intention, I can defend and stay or consider new perspectives. Could this be a choice point? – that sounds useful to me.

My reality has defining boundary lines and distinct meanings. Those meanings that drive my perspective also serve as vital structural rules of my creation. As I affect the meanings of my perceptions,  I change the influence of my distractions. I can use them to change my degree of illumination.

That sounds useful to me!

Fear and Discipline Impact Perspective

Where I focus attention determines what I experience. When I focus my attention on fear, my perspective changes to give me an experience of threat as reality. Discipline changes that formula.

To the undisciplined mind, fear seeks to prove inadequacy as rightness. Rightness is a need that must be defended within the First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble. Certainty about my fear solidifies its image in the mirror, making it real and threatening. My need to deal with threats pops up and takes over my awareness, focusing my attention on solving an illusory problem. Attention I divert from other, perhaps more useful, subjects – like gratitude, enlightenment, connection, and awakening.

About Disciplined Attention

Focusing on fear narrows awareness of options, resulting in suffering in the form of lack of confidence, perception of deprivation, and poverty consciousness. When I’m convinced I’m right, I narrow every perception, every judgment, every opportunity, to fit within the boundaries of that right path. “There’s only one way out!” says the hero. Well, yeah, maybe there is only one way out IF you know of no others or IF you’re so terrified that you can’t think properly. Yeah, then maybe there’s only one way.

To the disciplined mind, fear represents one among many options for attention. I can appreciate and respect the power of the fire without short-circuiting my brain with fear about it. The narrowing effect that fear has on my thinking abilities strongly influences my chances for survival in an emergency. This is the reasoning behind the rigorous training first-responders get. Much of it focused on managing their fear so they can retain that wondrous faculty for effective action we can bring about with a disciplined mind.

Mental discipline provides awareness of options, resulting in a sense of confidence, trust, gratitude, strength, and expanding consciousness. There are many effective methods for managing fears. Within the bubble, mental discipline requires practice – lots of practice. Perhaps a lifetime of practice.

What happens when I’m “late to the game” of mental discipline or don’t have time to devote to all that practice? What then? Am I just SOL?

Awareness and the Bubble

Imagine a soap bubble. Does it take a lot of work to open it? No, a simple pin will do the trick. What about illusory bubbles? What kind of effort, practice, study, physical strength, strategy, or instrumentation does it take to open one of those?

Perhaps awareness is the key to disciplining the mind over fear. Maybe bursting the fear bubble only requires awareness that the bubble is not real. When faced with a fear, sometimes I’ll shout to myself inside to, “stop!” Then I’ll take an inventory of here and now – ground myself in time and space. Sometimes counting items I see or feel helps. Then I’ll revisit the object of my fear – now that my mind has settled down a bit.

Yeah, my method is a sort of “trick” – that demonstrates how quickly, easily, and effortlessly a mind can be disciplined and brought into order. The mind gets sharper the more bubbles it pops.

Think about it.

A Relationship Between Perspective and Intention

Inside my First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble, perspective and intention entwine in a dance I experience as reality. Sometimes that reality doesn’t work out like I think it should. Why don’t things always work like I intend them to?!

Ever felt like that? Perhaps you believe you “did the work” and yet felt it came up short of your expectation. You might be becoming aware of the relationship between your perspective and your intention.

Suppose your general outlook on life determines that life is dangerous. Setting an intention to accomplish this or that will fit within that life view. In this case, perspective has a limiting effect on intention. Life partner relationships are often based on this limitation even when the intention of the union is for each partner to live in the boundless joy experienced early in the relationship. Over time, limiting perspective shrinks the power of their conscious intention.

Perspective might be expressed as “the source of perception” or my “come from.” When I come from a place of fear, I’ll see things as threats. When I change that “come from” to one of grateful acceptance, threats tend to turn into opportunities and information.

Intention aligned with a perspective manifests as reality. You might also say that I manifest intention from a (one) perspective. What happens to manifestation within an interpersonal relationship? Within a group? How does a couple or group manifest their intention when each single perspective plays such a critical role in the outcome?

About Agreement

I have several competing perspectives in my mind at any given time. Perhaps I want to go to the store to buy something. One part of me says, “Yeah, you need that item.” Another may suddenly shout out, “Wait a minute! Your bank account says otherwise. Let’s wait a bit.” Yet another may chime in, “You don’t really need that.” And etc. I’m seldom of one voice and one mind. My mind has several perspectives – each of which influence my intentions.

In order to get anything done, I must come to some kind of agreement between all the competing perspectives within me. Then I can present my inner agreement to my life partner. She’ll go through the same process I did to come to some sort of inner agreement – her perspective. Sometimes my or her inner agreement is not actually an agreement at all – the loudest or most certain voice (“Mr. I. M. Right”) simply spoke for all. In that case, counter-behaviors would belie the inner conflict and my “good intentions” would sabotage my efforts.

About Communication

Communicating from a perspective as an interrelation between an object and the subject viewing it, how entwines with why, affecting outcomes. For example, when I take an interest in an object, my perspective of it may apply one or more justification filters (“why” or “why not” intentions) to add value to my interest. This manipulation of value can influence choices that affect future intentions and present perspectives. The more I understand about myself, the clearer my viewpoint and intentions become over time.

Why Oh Why?!!

Infants and very young children have only one intention – to live. At a certain age, just about every child goes through a “Why” stage in which they ask others about their intentions, “Why did you do that, Mommy?” Children are born with conflicting perspectives – some from Mom and some from Dad and maybe some they can call their own. As they grow up, they encounter the perspectives of many others, some more influential than others. By the time I arrived at adulthood, I had encountered many, many perspectives that affected my intentions. Today, “my” perspectives are literally those of all perspectives – in ONE.

As I get to know myself, I wield the power of awareness of my perspective through intention into manifestation. From that perspective everything that happens is as I intend. How much of that I’m aware of is up to me.