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.

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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.

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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.

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Beating Fear with Math (pt 2)

When I feel afraid, I tend to narrow my attention onto JUST the object of my fear and the outcomes I fear will happen if I don’t apply appropriate action – maybe very soon. “If I don’t pay this fine, I’ll go to jail! I can’t have that!” I’ve narrowed my all-outcomes set to a tiny selection set of acceptable outcomes – what I “can have.”

Fear narrows the odds of an acceptable outcome – like buying only one lottery ticket. It also significantly increases the odds that I’ll experience an outcome I don’t like – like realizing you’d just bought a losing lottery ticket.

When I expand my selection set of acceptable outcomes, I increase the odds of experiencing an acceptable outcome and decrease the odds of an outcome I can’t live with.

How does one expand their selection set of acceptable outcomes?

By allowing less-than-optimum outcomes into your selection set, you significantly increase your odds of winning a lesser, though still acceptable outcome. Expanding your allowed-into-the-selection-set criteria, you build a larger selection set, which lessens the impact of a less than optimum outcome. By expanding your allowed set to the size of the all-outcomes set increases the odds of winning to 100% – and lessens the odds of losing to zero.

“Well, that would mean accepting any outcome as acceptable!” – Why, yes, I think it would. That is the essence of trust – expanding the selection set to the size of the all-outcomes set. All for one and one for all.

“Wait a minute! If I accept any outcome, won’t I sometimes get outcomes I don’t like?” Probably. At first. Until you realize that you can expand your “what I like” selection set to the size of the all-outcomes set – by allowing your “don’t likes” into your “likes” selection set.

“Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?”
― Abraham Lincoln

A simple imagery exercise can get you started. Relax and clear your mind. Imagine a ball the size of your fist. Fill the ball with light of any color you like. Put the ball in a box. Now put another ball into the box. Then another ball and another. Until the box is full. Let it spill out as you continue to add balls to the box. Soon the box disappears as the entire room fills with light in the shape of colored balls. Fill the house… the neighborhood… the town… the whole earth… the universe. Expand… expand… expand… light everywhere.

Your selection set of one ball has expanded to include all balls everywhere – the all-outcome set.

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Awareness of the Wholeness Prize

I’ve been living in a bubble of awareness. In that bubble, I create a story based on perceptions and judgements. As the author, I expect the characters to struggle, suffer, learn, grow, and interact as the story progresses towards its completion. A hero’s journey, a tale based on the premise: The hero must succeed – EARNING wholeness through righteous endeavor.

Even though the hero starts out on their quest with limited resources and understanding, they triumph in the end. My story is much the same, I imagine myself starting out from a state of need, dependence, and limitation, that I defined as unwholeness. Since then, I’ve worked hard, as I imagine a hero would, to achieve the well-earned prize of wholeness at the end of life.

Heroes share some fundamental aspects of my story – fighting for a righteous cause, justifying actions, seeking peace through use of necessary defense, resolving conflict at any cost, including loss of self, and dodging an enemy’s offenses. The hero must do whatever it takes to achieve the goal.

Why would I do this to myself?

Because I’m unwhole! That premise (I’m unwhole and must earn wholeness) sets the theme of my story. Throughout my life, I’ve become entranced with how other people’s stories – especially those I’ve looked up to – validate my premise.

In my story, I’ve written a lot about why I couldn’t fulfill my righteous cause, why I felt powerless at times, and why hopelessness kept me from marching onward to my goal. Feeling unable to fight non-stop for what’s right, I may have lost sight of the reward – maybe even losing the reward itself. As a result, I might feel like a failure.

The story I apply to my life is the record of who I perceive I am on my way to being who I want to be. My work towards perfection never ends and why should it? My story is based on laws, which validate my premise, which validate laws! Circular!

What’s the payoff for investing so much attention into proving my premise? Isn’t earning one’s way a good thing? After all, a life has to have an acceptable purpose, some justifiable (right) reason for being.

Thus my story!

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