My Intention to Resolve an Impossible Paradox

Intention

Within my bubble of limited awareness, underlying every intention is a perception of deficit from wholeness. With awareness beyond the bubble, I realize there is no deficit. It’s a perceptual paradox – a side effect of limited awareness. Meanwhile, back in the bubble, every intention is a search for resolution to this paradox. Yet, in searching do I not affirm and confirm the very paradox I seek to resolve?

From intention comes the need paradox – an acknowledgment of a deficit that, though never lost, requires restoration to wholeness. I then act to defend that truth by convincing myself I was right to perceive the need. This belief in need supports a Self that is dependent as separate from wholeness. Thus, motivating me to seek evidence to defend that truth – proof, such as stories borne of experience.

My memories and logic are based on those stories and so become my philosophy of life. The power of this mythical life turns my experiences into a cohesive reality that satisfies my need for defense.

Choice represents my philosophy by comparing what I experience with what I believe. I compare to compete to serve this paradox of perception. Choice works as a competitive form of reasoning. This unshakeable belief system forms one continuous philosophical story, a hero’s journey. As the hero, I triumph over challenges from the world outside the bubble. Thus, fulfilling needs through the use of defense.

Resolution

I satisfy my perception of deficit with an appearance of things and persons I feel complete this segment of my story… again and again.

In this way, a philosophical format connects intentions together to create a cohesive string of perceptual needs. Stories develop my intentions into an organized framework, making choices seem logical and justifiable.

My Paradox Resolution Process so far:

  1. Perception – a sense of separation creates a paradox
  2. Intention – a sense of need to resolve the paradox affirms and confirms the paradox
  3. Philosophy – the story line that sets the framework for choices that validate the paradox
  4. Choicedetermines the strategy for implementing a defense of my intention according to my philosophy

This is my resolution process from perception of deficit to choice. Thus, I intend for my perception of separateness from wholeness to serve the paradox it creates – whether or not I’m aware of it.

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An Illusion of Permanence

Within First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble awareness, the concept of object permanence is that things exist even though I’m not perceptually aware of them. For example, I know the door to my office is open even when I’m not looking at it to confirm that condition.

According to Piaget, we acquire this sense of object permanence at about 8-9 months of age. Apparently, it is not instinctive – and perhaps learned.

Do objects exist even though I am unaware of them? Does a person live in a jungle somewhere in Brazil when I’m unaware of his/her existence?

These and other questions arise when considering what is real outside my attention to it. Metaphysical Solipsism is the concept that I am alone in the universe and that the universe itself exists because I perceive it. Concerning solipsism –

The idealist philosopher George Berkeley argued that physical objects do not exist independently of the mind that perceives them. An item truly exists only as long as it is observed; otherwise, it is not only meaningless but simply nonexistent. The observer and the observed are one. (Wikipedia)

I cannot refute or test this as a concept – no more than I can test for the presence of a god or gods. How might I test for a reality outside my awareness? Or test Berkeley’s argument when everything I’d use to do the testing is of my own imagining? Yet his argument appears to account for every aspect of my experience with object permanence.

Things tend to exist as I expect them to exist.

Even if Berkeley was/is correct and nothing exists until I perceive it into existence, there DOES APPEAR to be some kind of reality in which I exist, behave, and have experiences. I don’t have to consciously know what it all means in order to experience it. And my interactions with my illusory permanence are compelling and convincing to me.

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.
(A. Einstein)

Let’s say the aspect of me that is my awareness of Berkeley as an entity is correct – what can I do about it? According to Donald Hoffman, nothing – no special behavior or action is required to experience what I experience as I experience it. Basically, all that I experience is a projection of what I believe, i.e., I’m always experiencing ME. The result of this experience of ME is that everything appears as it does exactly as I perceive it. After all, time is part of that perceptual equation.

Because the presentation of ME is as convincing and compelling as it is, I’m drawn to interact with it. I MUST deal with my projection and cannot ignore it without consequence. I so thoroughly believe in cause and effect as I experience it that I must observe it. So compelling is my belief in others as I perceive them that I must interact with them as separate from me. This compels me to deal with the world of my making, however illusory.

The D’oh of Po

To ascend from First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble awareness – through Third Degree of Illumination choice – to acceptance of accountability in Fourth Degree of Illumination and beyond, I must learn to consciously accept that MY perception as the ONLY perception I have. Solipsism in a nutshell.

My experience changes from defense against it (Hoffman) to gratitude and appreciation for it (Berkeley) as I move from the role of victim to that of creator through acceptance of accountability.

In my world of illusion of permanence, I recall the immortal words of Po,

I’m not a big, fat panda. I’m the big, fat panda!
(movie: Kung Fu Panda, 2008)

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Reality Confusion to Dream a New You

Sometimes I confuse my dreams with the remembered events from which my dreams derived their emotional elements. Due to confusion in attribution, I sometimes believe I am remembering real events when those memories are actually my remembrances of dreams instead.

For example, an event of the day results in me feeling overpowered by my boss. That night, I dream I am being chased by a bear. Upon awakening in the morning, I imagine my partner is acting abusively toward me. In this case, the attribution of the emotion of powerlessness travels from boss to dream bear to partner.

Out of Attribution Confusion

Knowing that memories are fallible and subject to errors in attribution, I reconfirm that I can manipulate memories – through dreams molded to help support how I want to feel today. Maybe you can change the details of your memories to support a new you.

What if you chose to restructure your dreams from a perspective of gratitude rather than victim-hood?

“How do I do that?” you might reasonably ask. I can control a dream using lucid dreaming in which I realize I’m dreaming while I’m dreaming. This is a very powerful imagery because it includes full sensory engagement – a real experience. That’s one way to manipulate emotionally charged memories.

Comes a New You

Another method is to perform a simple bedtime exercise. As you find yourself drifting off to sleep…

  1. Recall a negative emotion-charged memory of an experience you had that day. Just let it flash across the stage of your soon-to-be dreaming mind.
  2. Resist the temptation to ruminate over the memory and how you feel about it. This is NOT about fixing a problem – it’s about confusing attribution.
  3. Then, immediately after recalling the negative event, recall a memory of ANY TIME in your life that supports how you’d rather feel. It’s important that the last memory you entertain before slipping off to sleep is one where you feel strong, capable, happy, and grateful.
  4. Then, let the dreams come.

The idea is to set gratitude as the last emotion just before dropping off to sleep. The dream-attribution mechanism  then presents stories from a baseline perspective of gratitude. That may affect your dream stories and memories of the day. It could also change your overall perspective.

You may not recall your dreams the next morning – that’s okay. The confusion just as you fell asleep may be just enough to confound your dream-attribution mechanism. You may view your emotionally-charged memory of the previous day in a new way. Perhaps you’ll solve a problem associated with that memory or suddenly experience a flash of inspiration concerning it. Who knows?

Practicing this simple exercise just before sleep might just create a new you.

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My Standard of Measurement

In my bubble awareness world, I want MY standard to be THE standard for perceiving subjective reality. That works fine until the inevitable crash against objective reality, at which point I want a scapegoat.

To measure anything, I must define the subjective in terms of objective value. That is, it must be compatible with the physical boundaries of sensory and technological capability of the one doing the measuring. For example, an objective measurement requires counting and comparing the distances between fixed points of objects to determine their relative dimensions.

There’s a problem with objective measurements – the standards question. That is, according to what standard of measurement? For the most part, we set “objective” measurements according to an agreement. A meter is a meter ONLY among those who agree to that standard. Even when the unit of measurement is “independent” – as it is with the speed of light – it only becomes a standard when everyone using it agrees. That is NOT entirely objective – it is largely subjective.

Let’s reduce that “not entirely objective, largely subjective” standard to how I experience it. Everything I perceive with my senses appears to be “something” that seems to me to BE what it is – even when I’m not perceiving it. That’s how it SEEMS. And yet, that which SEEMS is not always that which IS.

Subjective as Objective

Simply because I WANT something to be objective – according to a solidly objective standard – doesn’t mean it IS that way. Consider WHO is DOING the perceiving – ME. You, them, even me exist ONLY as I imagine us to be. It APPEARS that I’m sensing you separate from me – standard perception. Yet, when one gets down to it, that perception of separation boils down to subjective imagination. I IMAGINE you as you, them as them, me as me.

From that standpoint, the concept of perception is merely a figment of my imagination – everything is as it is because I imagine it that way. Agreement is simply my way of imposing and defending my standard as the standard.

Values are imaginary “standards” I attach to perception that serve as a means of providing me a SENSE of objective life that can be compared. That is, I perceive I’m alive at some imagined value compared with my imagination of else-wise. And that according to some level of perceptual agreement with myself. My baseline for comparison with all else is the standard I apply to my perceptual sense of self. Subjective – FEELS objective – GOOD ENOUGH for me!

Standards beg some interesting questions:

WHAT standards am I applying to my perception?

HOW much value am I applying to that perception?

WHY that value?

WHO am I?

To succeed in life, I feel I must earn my value by being right all the time – the more right, the more value. What value? According to what standard? It seems most religions and societies have an answer to this question of standards. And yet…

What if I’m wrong about my perception of objective reality? What if there IS NO OBJECTIVE REALITY? Could objective reality be a subjective illusion?

I wonder…

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What about Will?

I need validation for my beliefs and if I can’t get that in the world I live in, I will find the way that is easiest to achieve it… imagination backed by will. My will doesn’t have to be in harmony with laws or principalities, just in harmony with my desires.

I always interpret reality accurately [enough] for me. At least, I know no better. It appears to me that in every instant, I’m perceiving all there is to perceive to understand it.

I have a capacity to imagine far beyond what I can perceive. For example, I might imagine how it would be to live in a dimension in which gravity was twice what it is in this dimension. That leads me to wonder just how “enough” is enough when it comes to understanding my reality.

Perhaps I imagine being Alice through the looking glass – without, literally, being in her universe. I may convince myself those realities are real enough to experience them. It’s down to imagination backed by will.

What About Will?

THIS dimension in which I believe I exist, is actually my imaginings of it. Through will, I experience a symbolically represented world in which I assign meaning I view as purpose. I make choices based on those meanings and disregard any actual sensual data that might conflict with my perspective. I jump when I perceive a dangerous serpent on the path – rather than jumping because there is a snake on the path. I’m dealing with my imagined reality rather than actual reality.

That gives me a lot of latitude for perception, belief, and experience. It also gives me access to “worlds without end” – multiple universes and multiple dimensions.

Imagine that!

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