Problem Solving, Predictions, and the Lack Cycle

Resistance is the basis of perceivable phenomena I believe to be reality. My senses provide feedback in the form of resistance that validates an environment of lack. When I experience resistance, I validate a reality of defense. In that defense, I feel a need to fulfill a lack. To the degree I validate lack, I validate its fulfillment – problem solving gives me a sense of purpose.

When I perceive resistance, I’m working to resolve it as a problem with a solution. Emotion adds motivation to my purpose to solve the problems I perceive.

Because I perceive lack as a problem needing a solution, I work towards a sense of fulfillment. Because I’m always lacking, I can never achieve complete fulfillment no matter how much I want or need it. A sense of fulfillment is as close as I can ever get to completion.

One might say I need to solve the problem of lack in order to continue as a living entity that changes – evolves over time. Perception of change could be thought of as evidence of perception of lack in search of completion. One might think of evolution in terms of lack never completely satisfied!

When I deny that lack exists, I acknowledge it. Consider that the defense I use to prove lack as an illusion proves its reality. Thus, I create a dualistic view of my life as a cycle of need and fulfillment while denying lack’s existence… and yet my denial makes it so.

Problem Solving and the Lack Cycle

Problem solving is a process of identification matched to a program that results in an outcome. That outcome is subject to the process that created it. Thus, lack, as a problem to be solved, connects to a program that results in an outcome. That outcome is, itself, a potential problem with a potential solution. That’s the lack cycle.

There’s a measure of predictability in cycles. In a cycle of need and fulfillment, I defend my predictions with a sense of confidence. So much so, that I’ll apply an inordinate amount of confidence to less probable predictions and feel right about it.

Predictability, when accurate enough, can build confidence in knowing what to do and when to do it. When my confidence is strong enough it won’t matter the outcome, I’ll believe I’m right regardless.

I predict solutions to future lack of confidence before it becomes a present threat. I see that projection of confidence as a useful tool in the present to offset my doubt about the future.

Problem-solving, making predictions, and exercising the lack cycle represent one method of expressing separation from wholeness.

This raises a question – Is there another way to perceive lack? And raises an awareness – Maybe it’s not a problem, it’s a feature!

Presentation is Everything!

Within my bubble of limited awareness, I’ve imagined and developed personas to deal with my environment. I expect others to perceive these presentations according to my intentions. In this way, I present a different “me” depending upon how I perceive my environment.

I have a work persona, a family persona, a casual persona, a formal persona, etc. My imagination can mold a persona to act out just about any presentation in just about any situation. I’m an adaptable actor.

Thanks to personas, I don’t have to BE dangerous to BE frightening – just APPEAR dangerous.

Externalized Personas

To make a persona work, I must imagine how another person witnessing my persona will react to it. That means I must do a bit of mindreading. And some in-performance interpretation of feedback from those others to whom I present my persona.

I must be aware of “externalized” personas. From my perceptions and overall judgments of them, I create a persona for every person with whom I interact. Thereby externalizing one of my personas to fit a bubble of judgments I name “you.” Thus, I’ve encapsulated you into a persona that is MY perception of YOU.

My perception of a relationship between internal and external personas represents and exists within an environment. Whenever aware of that environment, my mind presents a persona to deal with it. Thus, I appear as one person when conversing with my Mom at her home. Another when I’m with her at a store. And yet another when with her and my siblings at a family gathering. A different face for each situation.

It appears I’m reacting to an environment separate from me. Appearances can be deceiving. ALL personas present a defense of relationships, based on perceptions, beliefs, thoughts, and feelings – about MY persona.

For example, I meet a coworker, John, for the first time. He presents me with his work persona. Because it is the only persona of John I’ve met, I perceive his work persona is John. My perception of John is, nonetheless, my perception of John’s work persona – not John. My perception of John’s work persona is within my perception of our relationship within the work environment. That perception also holds an image of the relationship between our work personas. Away from our work environment, those personas and relationships may change radically.

Over a period of time at work, my identity becomes a convolution of relationships in which John’s work persona joins mine. None of those personas are me – they only appear to be me. Instead, personas represent who I am not.

How Personas May Affect Identity

Extrapolating this persona convolution concept to the myriad relationships I’ve had in my lifetime and you begin to comprehend how convoluted my identity has become. At a very young age, I learned to associate my personal with my identity. Thus, I become what I do – act a part – rather than who I am.

What I do is not who I am! Neither do I see who you are! Even when experiencing what you want me to see of you, I’m seeing that through the eyes of a persona.

Due to this flexibility of personas, I’m always seeing what I WANT to see rather than what is. Thus, I’m always seeing me as who I am not, which is whoever I want to be.

Presentation is everything!

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.

Intention and the Priority Game

I have so many intentions competing with one another! I could say the same for defenses, thoughts and actions. In my limited awareness world of duality, I always produce two intentions and attend to one. That is, for every intention I’m aware of, its counter balances duality.

Because I an aware of only one thought at a time, I’m usually aware of no more than one of my intentions. Although focused on one thought, there are myriad others contending for my attention. Just like intentions, my thoughts scream out for my attention, “Look at me! Look at me!” “No! Look at me! Look at me!”

Attention is the food of thought and intention. Thoughts or intentions to which I pay attention tend to grow and prosper. That doesn’t mean those I don’t pay attention to die. They just don’t grow as fast – and in some cases die away.

At least that’s how it appears to me. “Focus on your goals!” to achieve them, I’ve been told many times. And yet, sometimes, I find myself in the position of saying something like, “I didn’t intend to hurt your feelings.” In other words, an unconscious hidden intention surfaced and surprised me. Maybe forcing me to acknowledge it with my attention.

The Priority Game

There seems to be two main parts of my being:

  • Physical – the projection
  • Psyche – the projector

The projection is useful because the projector perceives it. I project every thought. Not all of them do I attend to. This because of my limited awareness – that comprehends the tiniest fraction of the myriad of thoughts I project.

To conserve energy and keep my story linear, attention focuses awareness from the myriad of intentions down to one at a time. Prioritizing intentions in this serialization helps me avoid overloading my circuits! It also keeps my story straight, which in turn, gives me a sense of rightness. I at least feel I’m okay when my story is linear. Thus, the value of a “good [serial] memory” that recalls events in their “proper” order. That proper order is the order that matches the singular direction of my linear story.

To that end, I must apply my attention first and foremost to defending my safety and benefit. My initial defense of that attention is my intention to feel safe. This intention to defend becomes the default behind my behaviors. This includes “on guard,” fight, and flight behaviors.

All this to prove to myself that I’m vulnerable to being less than whole – while intending to remain whole. This bias for wholeness in an environment of vulnerability can appear in some strange ways. For example, a person might survive an impossible situation and then feels they are somehow invulnerable to destruction. Maybe they feel they are a divine appointee – like a prophet. Maybe they feel a cause to which they must apply themselves.

Their attention to a life-threatening experience with defensive logic based in a premise of vulnerability tends to connect their biased intention for wholeness with its opposite.

Intention as Initial Defense

What if my intention is my initial defense of one concept over another? A part of the mechanism that turns all-at-once lateral thinking into one-at-a-time linear thinking. Why a defense against what I want – wholeness?

In linear-thinking, I can only define all-at-once wholeness in terms of one-at-a-time un-wholeness. In that way of thinking, there is always this sense that I must seek wholeness – rather than accept that I am wholeness.

To serialize my story, I assign intentions based on how much they confirm my concept of wholeness. This would require that I see myself as whole only in relation to someone or something else – a serialized comparison. In my relationships, therefore, I perceive others that support my limited thinking as whole (good/right). And those that don’t as unwhole (bad/wrong).

I define these intention assignments as accountability. Thus, equating my conscious intentions with subconscious accountability. I expect to get what I intend to get. And because the equation is false in limited awareness, I sometimes don’t get what I consciously intend. “Oops! Sorry! I didn’t intend that you should get hurt…” and etc.

Stewardship Over My Intentions

This takes me to the concept of stewardship – governance. Accountability provides that I have governance over my own physical and psychological being. Important, as these are the two main parts of my being. As the steward with power to govern my thoughts, I have the capacity to learn and change. As I learn how my equations affect my conscious intentions, I can practice governance over them. I can turn intention from initial defense to something else. That “something else” may just be the key to transforming limited to unlimited awareness.

Projection and the Dance of Light

I imagine my life as a projection in limited illumination. I perceive a dance between light and dark that makes everything appear real. Contrast provides a sense of definition that I use to compare and judge. These judgements turn light into a story.

Ever notice how poorly other people behave? Maybe your boss is a jerk, some guy on the news robbed a store, and your teenage son… well, you get the idea. Some people! Why do they do bad things?

Perhaps you’ve noticed how amazing some people are. People who can play an instrument, sing well, create artwork, or some other great accomplishment. The world is full of really amazing people doing amazing things. Amazing! Why can they do such amazing things?

The answer to those questions may surprise you! It did me! And still does when I find myself knocking on the doors of Fourth Degree of Illumination awareness.

From a Fourth Degree perspective, within First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble awareness, I develop an external sense of Self by projecting aspects of myself as perceptions of others, creating an apparent relationship (me vs you). By Self, I mean that entity of consciousness that is and interacts with everything it perceives – body, mind, environment, the universe.

Dream Projection?

Ever try to see yourself? Not your body or your image in the mirror – you!

Perhaps I experience Self like scientists view black holes in space – through evidence of its effects on its environment. I can’t see a black hole. I can see its effects. In other words, I experience Self through the effects Self has on perception.

This is how I experience ME – in a perceptual relationship with NOT ME. This is the essence of bubble awareness – I defend a projection of ME that appears as NOT ME.

I project an image of ME as a defense to protect ME from NOT ME. Since NOT ME is only an apparition, I’m counting on my imagination to make that illusion real – and make me feel safe.

Projecting from a place of fear protects me from waking up. In that dream, fear guides and controls what I experience. When I’m protecting ME from NOT ME, it’s an indication I’m still believing in a dream.

When I recognize that dream as my dream, I recognize ME and NOT ME as ONE in a dance of light.