How Biases Are Choices

Biases limit my ability to select from a wide range of options down to just those I feel I can defend. This fools me into believing I’m making a free choice from all the available options.

However, I’m actually defending as few options as necessary to make me right or, at least, not wrong. Over time and practice, this becomes a pattern of behavior that narrows my perspective, turning choice into confirmation of rightness.

Perhaps it’s impossible to make a “free” choice when my need/fulfillment is to validate my rightness. Because rightness tends to feel like wholeness, I don’t feel limited by bias. I feel justified – whole! That which I validate validates me!

Biases – a Twofold Defense

One side intended for and the other against. This alludes to paradoxical thinking, in which I fight for what’s right by defending against what’s wrong. Bias weights one side over the other.

Could choice actually be a form of defense? When I make a choice, I also create a defense for that option and against others. Perhaps my defense is present before I make the choice. In that case, I’m double-defending my selection with bias.

For example, when I choose vanilla over chocolate ice cream, I have a preconceived reason. Maybe I think the vanilla tastes better than the chocolate ice cream because of a bias.

Bias offers complementary defenses for and against that must validate each other for me to consider each as an option. That is, what I like and don’t like counter and so validate each other. Even weighing one over the other, the end result is validation of separateness, which appears as my choice!

“Why” is at the root of my biases, which I defend as truths. This sets the stage for proving biases as truths. Thus, more than affecting my choices – biases ARE my choices.

How do I Find My Way Out of the Justification Wasteland?

I’ve created a justification wasteland. How? Because I have a problem-solving mind, I continually engage in searching for and finding solutions to problems I perceive. I’m used to it in my bubble of limited awareness! Thus I’ve defended my understanding of problem-solving with justification.

Why would I feel the need to justify my present with my past? Perhaps I know my problem-solving mind is limited to my reliance on insufficient present evidence. It doesn’t like uncertainty.

Fortunately, there’s a solution to the insufficient evidence problem. A biased memory can add confidence to that current evidence and thus boost trust in the present perception. Therefore, confidence makes evidence appear more convincing than it should.

When I isolate one event from others, I avoid biased memories influencing my present perceptions. Biased memory applied to the current situation changes the current situation. As I question only the evidence in the present event, isolating my perceptions to the moment they occur, I can ask relevant questions. Relevant questions and well-thought-out answers result in learning, awareness, and problems resolved.

For example, “Why am I defending this perception?”, “What is my investment?”, and “Who do I think I am at that moment?” A relevant question will lead to an increase in awareness of self. This follows Apollo’s aphorism to “know thyself.”

Does Justification Tax the Mind with Irrelevance?

Justification is a defensive mechanism that seeks to keep certain emotions, thoughts, concepts or impulses from conscious awareness.

What if justification is the result of applying irrelevant answers to irrelevant situations? What does this mean to a problem-solving mind? Justification presents a solution that diverts attention away from the original problem.

As I invest in defense of the distraction, my mind goes to work in solving the wrong problem. This accomplishes nothing toward solving the original problem, which is, “I don’t know myself.”

That wander into irrelevance is a kind of a wasteland away from relevant resources. This keeps my mind busy trying to solve a problem that isn’t the problem.

What Can I Do to Find My Way Out of the Wasteland?

I can tell you how to stay – just use the same strategy to get out that got you in! You can’t justify yourself out of the justification wasteland!

If I continue to see my life as a problem to be solved, I’ll most likely stay in the wasteland. I must think differently! When I find that different way, my mind will recognize it as relief from the justification tax it has been paying.

It’s All in the Comparing

Comparing Is Natural

What are you doing right now? Notice the comparing you are engaged in after reading that question. Comparing is so natural to us that we are mostly unaware of just how much of it we’re doing.

All comparing is based on relationships between you and not you. Whether obvious or invisible to your senses, you’re always comparing.

We can compare because we are capable of separating our own experiences from those of others through judgments. Yet, we are just as capable of imagining the experiences of others, which seems to increase judgment capability.

The Dual Purpose of Comparing

Along with judging differences, which builds walls between right and wrong, there are judgments of sameness that help build connections. Practicing the latter can reveal how difficult it can be to create connections outside judgments of right or wrong.

Some of the ways duality shows up in comparing my reality of me to myself and me to others –

Me compared to myself:

  • Yesterday to today and tomorrow
  • Who I think I am to who I should be
  • My accomplishments to my failures
  • My intentions to my outcomes

Me compared to others:

  • Differences in authorities
  • Skills and talents
  • Education and training levels
  • Wisdom and understandings
  • Changes over time – who we were yesterday, are today and will be tomorrow
  • Who I think I am to how another should be
  • Accomplishments
  • Intentions and outcomes

In my bubble of limited awareness, I naturally compare what I perceive. From my perceptions, I create the need to divide and define every thing to validate that need. I assign a boundary to everything that I perceive can be separate from all other things. Thus, I divide up what I perceive as one whole – making separate through perceptual differences.

Knowing I Resist

Those perceived differences form the boundaries that define the means of resistance between me and everything else. Because I divide up wholeness, I can see more clearly how I associate likenesses and differences between things. Yet, knowing in some ways that they are the parts that make up the whole.

By seeing the contrast, I can experience relationships! Those relationships that define my defenses are my experiences. This allows me to define my reality and therefore my purpose within that reality.

My purpose is tied to my ability to maintain resistance, another word for defense, which includes:

  • Perceiving separateness
  • Dividing wholeness into things
  • Assigning boundaries
  • Perceiving characteristics that validate separation
  • Making sense of separateness as reality
  • Giving separateness a purpose in connection
  • Validating conflict
  • Resolving conflict by creating similarities
  • Supporting and focusing on similarities
  • Connecting similarities to create flow
  • Appreciating creations without judgment
  • Releasing the need to defend
  • Embracing change

Thus, I more clearly see who I believe I am. Because I’m capable of dividing wholeness into separate parts, I’m equally capable of uniting what was never truly separate. The connection of one thing to another begins a new adventure – that of putting back together what I have divided.

Is Reality a Trick of the Mind?

Could my reality be a trick of the mind? Repetitively doing what’s right can build confidence in a shrinking bubble of limited awareness. That sense of confidence in my rightness builds patterns of defense for my beliefs. At some point, confidence becomes its own defense. Could confidence be a trick of the mind?

Who determines rightness? I do! What defends rightness? Confidence does!

Inner conflict results when one’s thoughts can’t come to an agreement. Each side seeks to win the argument by referring to rightness – the most confident wins.

What happens when your expected outcome turns counter to your intention, plan, and purpose? No matter how right or confident you feel? Backfire! When a backfire happens, you’re faced with an aha moment – an opportunity to question your intention, plan, and purpose.

OR – you can continue defending your position with the hope that you’ll recover your investment in your confidence in it. This is the default option! And it’s a trick!

Confidence Defends Confidence

How does my mind use confidence to turn intention into a convincing REALITY? Once accepted, I defend my reality with more confidence. Thus, confidence becomes its own defense.

From the perspective of my bubble of limited awareness, I believe I must protect myself from threats and compete to survive. This belief presents itself as a figurative story that validates my trust in my perception of it as literal reality. It’s a trick of the mind:

For every experience, I have to set it up by imagining and believing that it can happen. Then, I make my experience happen and judge it. I defend that judgment with emotion and reason, which convinces me that my experience is real.

How Reality May Be a Trick of Mind

I use my memories of being convinced in the past to convince me of the reality of my current experience. I do this by comparing the real past to the real present. The trick is in the comparison: perception of the past is imaginary. No matter how real that memory seems, it is a current fantasy.

How can I compare a nonexistent past, present, and future in an imaginary present to defend a belief? It must be a trick of the mind. Confidence holds it all together!

Perhaps all “reality” is a trick of the mind.

A Definition of Wholeness in Terms of Separation

What does it mean to be whole? How do I define it? Why do I feel the need to achieve it? Who will I be when whole?

Fundamental to any discussion about wholeness is the belief that wholeness can be defined. Further, I can know the definition of wholeness. How true is that?

A Definition of Wholeness in Terms of Separation

What if a sense of separation from wholeness is intentional? That separation could be a limitation of awareness that results in an awareness of this experience from my perspective. Wholeness might then be defined in terms of that limitation of awareness. Thus, I might define wholeness in terms of a percent of awareness –

% Wholeness = % Awareness

Might wholeness be who I am as I am that creates the metaphoric reality that represents that being? That is, I am complete and whole as I am in order to have the experience I’m having. Thus,

Wholeness = 100% of my limited current awareness

Individuating Wholeness

Who is the “I” or “me” to whom I refer so often? Why do I view my reality from this perspective rather than from yours, others, or all perspectives? From this perspective, I measure and compare from one perspective. I cannot fathom wholeness beyond that perspective. I can only comprehend wholeness through the lens of individuation – from my perspective. Thus,

Wholeness = A Measurable Commodity to ME

Wholeness as a Process of Elimination

If I just eliminate or replace enough wrong behaviors, thoughts, etc, I’ll BE whole and complete. This is based on the religious dogma of the “imperfect soul” who’s conceived in sin and fallen from grace. The fallen one feels the need to dig their way out of the pit into which they’ve fallen.

This is the “I’ll never be enough” principle. Thus,

Wholeness = Not Me

The Need For Borders

My limited awareness demands that definitions have borders I can perceive. My senses must have enough contrast between this and that in order for me to perceive them as comparable. Perhaps I need a border around wholeness in order to perceive it.

A border serves as a line of defense. I can’t defend a concept I can’t define. Thus, my definition of wholeness must defend itself against rivals to continue. Thus,

Wholeness = Defense

Wholeness By Comparison

What if I don’t need to achieve absolute wholeness in order to experience wholeness? What if I could perceive wholeness relative to others? I’d just have to be more whole than I perceive you are. No absolutes or standards of perfection to measure up to. This is the essence of the wholeness measurement problem. Thus,

Wholeness = Me Compared to Not Me

Comparative Measurements (More/Less Whole)

In such a reality of relative wholeness, I might consider myself whole when I compare myself to a variable standard. In this comparative measurement, “wholeness” becomes a judgment call based on intent. Have I achieved less, enough, or more of what I intend?

In this case, I might view wholeness in terms of somewhat, more, and most. Thus,

Wholeness = Enough

Wholeness By Agreement

I feel more whole when others agree with me. This is a defensive definition based on a need to be right, proper, and/or justified.

This is the essence of groups. My group is the IN or right group and all others are outsiders. I feel whole in my group and unwhole outside it. Thus, when agreement satisfies a need for rightness,

Wholeness = Rightness

Undefining Wholeness

How do I define wholeness from within limited awareness?

Perhaps we might conclude that wholeness is indefinable. As soon as I define it, it’s no longer wholeness. Maybe wholeness is NOT a concept – and all concepts. Everywhere and nowhere. All and none.

Meanwhile, I’m having a great time exploring all that I think it is and isn’t!