It’s a Question of How Attention Follows Emotion

What element of my limited awareness most affects my attention? Even needs will only get attention as I feel threatened by my lack of attention to them.

How and how much I feel about an intention, stated or unstated, will affect the outcome I perceive. Knowing, although important to my process of manifestation, does not generate movement towards an outcome. Knowing I have a need, for example, does not predict action on my part towards satisfying that need. Sufficient emotion about that need will. E-motion motivates action.

I attend to that which I feel emotion. My attention follows my emotions. Thoughts can assist me in discovery of those emotions. Thoughts alone, however, are typically merely defenses of my emotions. I do what I do – thought, action – BECAUSE I feel some emotion. The mental aspect of a “because” narrative results in defense of that intention. Emotion always indicates defense.

“Because” is where intention directs attention.

As we’ve discussed above, the intention that gets the attention wins. The intention with the most emotion behind it tends to win the competition for attention.

And yet, even when I put a lot of emotion behind a stated intention, I can sometimes feel disappointed with the outcome. Disappointment is an emotion! I immediately get busy backing my emotion with attention to defending it with excuses, reasons, logic, and denial, etc.

What if the intention was not disappointed – rather, I expressed the emotion of disappointment. Disappointment confirms an underlying intention to feel in order to convince me that I’m alive. Nothing quite like satisfying the intention to live with a sensation of aliveness. Emotion does that!

Perhaps I always get what I feel rather than what I think I want.

Where I’m convinced, I use attention to strengthen and defend the sense of it. I’m also not questioning it. Where emotion is present, I’m far less likely to question my certainty. Yet, this may be the place to ask pertinent questions about it:

  • What do I believe so strongly I can’t question?
  • How does my emotion convince me?
  • Why don’t I question this?
  • Who do I believe I am that appears in this emotional expression?

This brings up a conundrum: I must feel safe enough to inquire. Inquiry makes me feel unsafe. Further, in order for me to feel open enough to respond to questions of my personal feelings, I must trust who is asking. And why. Inside my bubble of limited awareness, my circle of trust is small indeed.

The first thing I may want to do in order to put my mind into a state of inquiry is to interrupt the emotional state I’m in. An inner cry that shakes me, like, “Wait a second…” or “Stop!” can help. In the brief silence afterwards, I move quickly into inquiry mode with:

  • What else can this mean? (other than what I thought it meant)
  • How else can I feel about this? (other than how I felt about it)
  • Why not another intention? (other than the one I had)
  • Who could I be? (other than who did what I did)
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My Matrix of Defense

In my limited state of awareness, I perceive only as much as I have to in order to have an experience of reality. That reality is a figment of my imagination – the result of defending an intention to exist.

My body represents a metaphor that explains this phenomenon. My body is made up of interacting, interdependent systems – like circulatory, nervous, and endocrine. Each operates in the realm of the others and yet is independent insofar as classification. Yet, no system operates independently of all the others. It’s a 3D matrix of interdependence that defends my belief in its reality.

Think of the game, chess, in which a 2D game board adds a third dimension with the game pieces. It then adds a 4th dimension in time – how long it takes to play the game. And then more dimensions when we add gameplay, strategy, and etc. Each dimension interacting with the others to produce an experience I enjoy.

I tend to think of my life’s purpose and the investments I place on it in two dimensions – cause and effect. This duality model limits my thinking – like thinking the chess board is the chess game. Until I realize there is a game to play on the board, my perception of the board as the entire game suits me fine.

What if I consider life in terms of concepts in more dimensions than the 2 in cause and effect? What if I consider causes and effects interacting in an interdependent 3D matrix – like my body?

Let’s consider concepts that transcend 2D thinking. By 2D, I mean like words on a page or a chess board. Let’s think in terms of a medium like water that fills a 3D space.

My experience of life is a 3D matrix of defense that appears to me as reality. Laws like gravity and core belief contain my matrix. I pour the liquid that represents my life into the container.

In my basic 2D chessboard defense matrix, I consider concepts of What, How, Why, and Who to define my perceptions. These make up the checkerboard pattern of a 2D chessboard.

In a 3D matrix, I see What, How, Why, and Who in each of my 2D concepts of the same. That is, for each concept of What, I experience What, How, Why, and Who. The same repeats for my concept of How, Why, and Who. 2D thinking considers each What, How, Why, and Who in sequence and in isolation.

3D and beyond thinking considers all aspects in relation to all other aspects in a multi-dimensional matrix. This multiplies by orders of magnitude the number of possible perceptions for each cause-effect relationship. Thus, even in my limited awareness, I experience a massive array of physical, emotional, mental, and beyond.

Imagination multiplies the effect even further – adding phantom dimensions to the matrix of dimensions. To the degree I’m convinced that an imaginary dimension is a true dimension, I add a dimension to the matrix.

All this to invest in defense of an overall purpose to defend and protect core beliefs that are themselves defenses. In this multi-dimensional matrix, I may never realize the “I” behind it all. Why? Because to expose that “I” will reveal “I” as a defense. Why? Because there is no “I”.

Thus, no matter how much I invest in discovery of my life’s purpose, I’ll find only defense.

Investment may be the amount of liquid attention I draw from the pool of purpose in order to experience something – like my life. Thus, purpose acts as my investment in proving my existence.

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Limitation by Design

Do I limit my experience – on purpose?

In my bubble of limited awareness, although I believe I live with trillions of other beings, I alone live within my thoughts. Everything and everyone I experience in this dimension of limitation are literally and figuratively phantasms of my imagination. To me “they” are simply concepts in competition with other concepts. My perception of a walrus, for example, is a concept that competes with my concepts of everything else. I’ve limited my perception of this because it is not everything else.

Everywhere and whenever I notice, I’m faced with solid evidence of limited experience in the form of paradox. That is, nothing is as it appears – ever! Everything appears as a paradox of  unreasonable reasons, illogical logic, timeless timeliness, and perceptions of lack in wholeness.

Adaptation = Limitation!

One explanation for this paradox comes from the theory of evolution. I perceive as I do as a result of millions of generations of adaptation to changing environment. Thanks to Mr. Newton, I now know that evolution follows the law of conservation of energy. Thus, it has keenly honed my senses to perceive me in relation to a limited number of needs-related aspects of my present environment. Rather than to compare me to ALL that is not me, I compare me with only that part of not me that I consider matters to me.

I don’t perceive EVERYTHING – even within the limited space of my own body. Just what I NEED to perceive in order to survive long enough to pass my genes along to the next generation. Those senses, skills, and education I don’t need or don’t use often enough fade away. That’s evolution through adaptation.

Attention = Limitation!

In this way, my mind considers every thing, person, or place as a concept.  To manage the perpetual competition among these concepts, and to avoid overwhelm, I limit the number I’ll attend to at any one time. That’s intentional limitation!

Evolution, then, is the result of a paradox in which one must limit their sensual and conceptual life experience in order to fully live.

Purpose = Limitation!

Perhaps the purpose of my life is not the achievement of wholeness – a paradox in that one cannot achieve what one already is. Rather, maybe my life’s purpose is to notice the enjoyment I get from the paradox of limitation by design.

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My Perception Paradox Resolution Process

A review of how I work out my paradox of perception…

…being at once whole and incomplete, for and against, me and not me. I start out without paradox as one whole. Suddenly, perception brings an awareness of “not whole” – a deficit of separateness that must be returned to wholeness. Thus starts a paradox I must and yet cannot fix –

  1. Perception of separation (the “Who”) – acknowledgement of deficit from wholeness represents the initial paradox of awareness, that of perceiving wholeness in terms of a “not” condition. Thus, creating two conditions within one reality – me and not me, this OR that – which I compare to create perception.
  2. Intention (the “Why”) – gives purpose to resolving the paradox. Defends perception of separation by accepting it as truth by proposing a solution.
  3. Philosophy – MY life story framework – the laws of rightness that define MY limited awareness bubble in terms of symbols and their meanings. Defends intention by setting standards for comparisons.
  4. Choice (the “How”) – perception of distinct options leads to an intention to resolve the dilemma by selecting the most right (best) way. A choice defends standards in terms of values imposed by a philosophy to provide a base of comparison for each option.
    1. Policy – represents a specific plan for applying philosophical standards of rightness to a choice. Thus, defending the philosophy that governs the choice along with the choice. This by acceptance of outcomes that fit within the parameters of and confirm my life story-line.
    2. Procedure – The specific actions necessary to produce an outcome. Thus, defending a choice by confirming the rightness of the associated policy through action.
  5. Outcome represents feedback in the form of a perceptual “What” that symbolizes the “Who” – Thus, defending the choice, policy, and procedure with evidence that confirms my philosophy and satisfies my purpose in choosing this method of resolving the paradox of separation.

It’s all about appearances!

Although my paradox of perception remains, I feel as though I can resolve it through continuous improvement of my environment and myself. As there was only the appearance of a deficit, there can only be an appearance of a resolution. And that’s all I need in order to feel satisfied in a purposeful and meaningful life.

Hence, I’ve worked out the paradox to my satisfaction. Appearance of resolution IS resolution. And yet, there remains a nagging sense of want for “more…” and “better…”

Ah, but thankfully, I have a fix for that!

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Risking Awkwardness in Awakening

As in walking and running, our desire to find balance within a limited bubble of awareness must first risk an awkward shift. Our legs move from normal standing balance into an awkward outward movement. This forward thrust achieves measurable distance from where we began. Awkwardness achieves movement that achieves a purpose.

The same is true in forward thinking. A shift in thought is a risk in balancing a new perspective. One might consider new thoughts that challenge present understanding a risk towards change in that perspective.

One might view a change of understanding as a movement, albeit an awkward one at first. As I transition from standing still to walking, then to running, I give little or no thought to the risks involved. Past the awkwardness of the transition, I experience a larger movement forward than when I was still.

Risking Awkwardness

Whether physical or nonphysical, life is a risk. Willingness to brave awkwardness while transitioning from the sleep of defense into the awakening of new understandings is worth those risks.

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