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.

A Relationship Between Intention and Purpose

In my bubble of limited awareness, I have only one purpose in life: to fulfill an intention to be whole. This intention sets up a perception of lack forever seeking fulfillment.

Perhaps the first need that intention must satisfy in order to continue is its purpose. Intention sets up a structure in which it asks, “Why do I exist?” Purpose makes sense of the structure of intention with an answer in the format of, “…because…”

Intention and purpose set up a process that presents a lack and identifies what will satisfy it. Intention is like one side of a coin representing a deficit. And the other side, the purpose to complete it. In this way, each side of the coin serves as the complement of the other. Together, the two sides represent one coin.

Any action in service to a purpose is in service to an intention.

Seeing Both Sides of the Coin

In our coin example, only one side can be viewed at a time. For each side of a coin, there is a hidden other side.

Due to a limitation in attention, I can attend to only one thing at a time.  This is why I see one side of a coin and believe that’s all there is to it. This works to lock my awareness onto one side of the coin and lockout the other. Thus, eliminating the ambiguity.

An interaction between intention and purpose creates a process. That process results in a manifestation that gives a limited meaning to that interaction.

What am I NOT aware of in this intention? Why am I NOT aware of it?

For every intention, there is a purpose. For every what, there is a why. The flip side – for every purpose there’s an intention. And for every why there is a what. Due to this one-to-one relationship between intention and purpose, I might assume I can connect the dots.

I might assume I know an intention by looking at its manifestation. This assumes the reason why. Conversely, I might assume I know a purpose by looking at its manifestation – assuming the intention behind it. This is akin to looking at the heads side of a coin and assuming the other side is tails.

As a school kid, I lost a lot of lunch money to the kid who had a two-headed coin… Then, again…

What if there is no coin?

The Law of Selectivity

The law of selectivity is the concept that for any given set of options there is a best option. It’s a law because, moment-to-moment, I must make a selection. From where my attention goes to what flavor of creamer I put in my coffee, I must choose and defend.

This is the essence of Bubble Awareness in which I select from two or more options and defend one. Any choice based on this law keeps me in the bubble of limited awareness. Thus, the law perpetuates itself.

My fundamental intention to be whole is like a Don Quixote quest for that best option that I know is “out there somewhere.”

How Does The Law of Selectivity Appear?

This law is a perceptual illusion, a characteristic of an intention to validate separation from wholeness with a purpose to achieve it. It is characterized by limited awareness that appears as judgments, choices, definitions, and any perception I defend.

I understand this law in the concept “or” – as in left or right, up or down, this or that, me or you. That is a setup for comparisons like me compared to not me. And defense in the form of reasons, justifications, logic, and evidence. Thus, choices require defense.

What Do I Know?

Because I believe there is a best option, I suppose I can know what is best and, so choose it. That’s quite the logic leap to make from limited awareness!

I use the concepts of need and rightness to make that leap. Due to my need to be right, I suppose that satisfaction of my need is the best option. I assume I’m choosing the best option when it’s based on the need I feel at the time I make the choice.

How True Is That?

What if there was another option? How about the options I didn’t consider? In a realm of infinite possibilities, why select only one option? That limitation to one option is based solely on my belief in and defense of the law. What might happen were I to consider another option – some or all possibilities?

Nevertheless, my belief in and defense of the law gives me the perspective I have – the experience of me. It gifts me with an illusion of me I can trust as real.

The law of selectivity fulfills my intention to be whole in a reality of separation. The law gives meaning to the meaningless, purpose to the purposeless, and reality to the unreal.

My Personal War of Hidden Intentions

“My intentions were good!” How many times have I heard or said that? An action based on a good intention can seem to be the right thing to do at the time. Yet, an intention may give itself permission to act outside of conscious awareness. Thus, a hidden intention in a limited awareness bubble.

I’ve heard it said, “It’s easier to get forgiveness than permission.” Some of us take that idea seriously when inserting our own special kind of service to our world. Yet, an unsuspecting do-gooder can face disapproval or worse for their well-intentioned interference.

Sometimes, even when my heart is in the “right place” I end up hurting myself or someone else. Because my heart desires connections, I have to wonder why my intentions result in disconnection. Could I be unconsciously pitting one intention against another?

And So, the War Begins!

Perhaps I have a war raging between intentions. The intention to survive may view the intention to connect as a lower priority than personal safety, for example. Relationships present ambiguous threats to safety! This is a perfect environment for conflict – a war of intentions!

My intentions are always about problem-solving for the better. This is particularly confusing when the problem is my ambiguous intentions.

All too often, I have no idea how a hidden intention invaded my actions that hurt people. I trust that if I say I had good intentions, others will somehow give my hurtful behaviors a pass. I think I can escape accountability for my intended behavior by excusing it with “best intentions.” The real intention, then, was to protect myself from accountability for my unconscious actions.

Here are some questions I can ask myself to help reveal my conflicting intentions in personal relationships:

  • What am I feeling right now? What do I imagine others are feeling right now?
  • How does this difference in feelings present a conflict of intentions?
  • Why do I need to make others feel this way?
  • Who am I? Who would I rather be?

Stopping the War of hidden Intentions!

The default is ambiguity. Ambiguity allows my defensive self some latitude in its plausible deniability. That is, I can always fall back on, “I didn’t intend… blah, blah, blah!” and, “My intentions were good.”

Observing the reactions of others opens a window into my own hidden intentions. It’s not too late to ask a question. It doesn’t have to be painful, and it’s not a waste of time! Asking some useful questions can help clarify ambiguous intentions and maybe stop the war. Communicating clear intentions tends to clarify understandings in relationships.

How an Intention to Be Whole Keeps Me from Wholeness!

Why do I need to do anything? Why do I have needs? What intention for my life would I have to have in order to believe I need something that will fulfill that intention?

Let’s investigate the most fundamental of all my intentions – the intention to be whole and complete. In my bubble of limited awareness, I may sense that intention as a desire to return to wholeness. This sets up a condition of lack and motivation to “move forward” towards wholeness. It’s a deficit situation in which needs play a critical part.

This situation derives from my fundamental intention to be whole. This results in a symbolic value equation that provides an experience of relativity I call life:

I + something = more whole than just I alone.

Intention Rules!

Holding the equation as objective truth, I can NEVER achieve wholeness. I’d be forever seeking and never arriving. There is never enough!

As my lack equation led me to this point, I’m left with motivation to “improve” on my way to the ultimate goal – wholeness. That sounds great until I realize it’s a paradox in which achieving and defending wholeness results in less than wholeness.

One might see need in this paradoxical way, too. Fulfilling a need eliminates it while making it real. Thus, needs are relative rather than absolute or objective.

Values, too, must be relative – rather than objective or absolute.

Because my equation is a paradox, there MUST BE another way to understand. What if I were to consider another equation:

I = Wholeness

From that equation, intention may become irrelevant – I am having the entire experience I’m having – no need to seek it. I’m feeling all the feelings I’m feeling – no need to seek more. I don’t have to seek wholeness because I already am whole.

To see yourself as whole, you would see everything else as whole and a representation of you and yourself as representing everything as whole. From that perspective, values, like intentions and needs, are irrelevant.

To quote from a scene in “The Incredibles,” “When everyone is super, no one is.” One has an entirely different experience when value comparisons are irrelevant.