Choice, Belief, and Defense, Oh My!

There seems to be three operating aspects of my mind in a matrix of thought that processes my experience. Together, they give everything I perceive value or purpose:

  1. Choice represents the comparing and choosing between ideas and concepts based on their value/purpose.
  2. Belief is the expression of a structured combining of similarly valued ideas and concepts used to support one another philosophically.
  3. Defense is the manifestation of resistance to change.

I use this process to guide me to right-thinking, to make sense of my experiences and achieve wholeness or rightness. My process offers me a sense of freedom to fashion my particular perspective into reality.

I can assign judgements of value/purpose to my perceptions of my experience and benefit from them as a sense of wholeness/rightness. The value I assign to my experience represents my personal value. The greater the value I perceive of myself, the greater the value I assign to my experience.

Choice

Ironically, my desire for independent thought conflicts with my intention for interdependent experience. So much so that I can’t:

  • imagine anything without choosing from options.
  • make a choice without comparing its values to other choices.
  • believe what I can’t defend for and against other beliefs.
  • re-choose the same choice.
  • defend what I haven’t chosen.
  • alter a choice without altering its fundamental value.
  • be fully aware of my choices.

If Heisenberg was right, there is always an element of uncertainty involved in any choice that no amount of computational effort can compensate. For example, I can’t know with certainty what will or won’t happen if I take or don’t take this or that action. There are too many possible timelines and outcomes for my limited mind to consider.

Yet, I can’t not try to know either. And because of my instinctive program to survive, I must find acceptable answers through choice. The beliefs I form I then defend with a sense of knowing. That knowing is about being right and being right is being whole.

Belief

I begin with a premise, if I am a living system and can validate that I’m right, I must endeavor to do so. I set myself up to defend a goal to achieve that end. My sense of lack challenges my ability to choose, believe, and defend a sense of wholeness. Wholeness, for me, can exist as value. Value is assignable and can be added up to represent wholeness. I get a sense of wholeness when I add up the value I’ve assigned to my experiences, which I then relate as my value. The more agreement I get for my value, the more value I have.

Defense

My process enables defense to express the collective value of my process through action. Three defined forms of expressing experience validate my three expressed forms of existence. My existence is defined by three expressions of intention:

  • Thought – defends for and against itself in its ideas and choices to create beliefs.
  • Emotion – defends beliefs by stabilizing ideas into feelings that motivate purpose.
  • Body – personifies physical responses that defend choice, belief, and defense.

The degree of value I assign to my needs and their fulfillment relates to the importance of their purpose. The value regulates the degree of energy invested in the defense expressed in the validation of my purpose. Resistance is the expression of need seeking fulfillment. Fulfillment cancels out need when the validation required is met.

Choice may seem to be a straightforward, “this or that” proposition. Yet, it involves such things as comparing the values of my choices with those I’ve previously defended. This I must defend as real to convince myself that my values are right, proper, and justified. Agreement adds authority to my value.

Choice funnels creativity by defining options. Defense of a choice further funnels wholeness to fewer and fewer options. Defining aspects as having value, purpose, authority, agreement, and etc. limits the potential of something to specifics. When I:

  • choose, I limit my thoughts.
  • create beliefs, I limit my creativity.
  • defend something, I limit what I defend.

I’m motivated to seek and find wholeness. The same is true for every operation of my process. The motivation behind my reasoning is why I choose to believe I have sufficient value to prove my wholeness. Each defense I create carries the energy of what motivates me to take action to protect and promote that value.

I interpret that which I believe has value. I use that value to add to mine to feel complete. Starting from a perspective of lack, my beliefs revolve around what reduces that lack. Seeking beliefs that validate my value motivates me to defend those values and convinces me of my wholeness. Is this process useful in actually understanding wholeness?

Solving My Problems by Defending My Defenses

I live an equation-based life in limited awareness! It’s pretty simple – I solve problems by associating them in equation-form with what I perceive as their reasonable complementary solutions.

In equations, I balance values I perceive in problems with the values I perceive in their solution. Thus, I defend my equations because they represent my ability to solve problems. Might this be more about defending my abilities than seeking solutions?

I accept that I can turn to my problem-solving mind and ask it what I can do to compensate for the lack of awareness. I may add value to awareness with its defense in comparison. Thus, the more I defend, the more confidence in my defense I feel – and the greater value I place on that confidence. This creates a positive feedback loop that grows confidence in the value of defense of my rightness.

However, this confidence tends to restrict my equations to a narrowing field of possibilities. This is the essence of bias – where confidence inflates values to make my equations work.

Thus, solving a problem by defending its defense is an impossible problem to solve – no matter how much value I add to the equation.

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.