Intention and the Priority Game

I have so many intentions competing with one another! I could say the same for defenses, thoughts and actions. In my limited awareness world of duality, I always produce two intentions and attend to one. That is, for every intention I’m aware of, its counter balances duality.

Because I an aware of only one thought at a time, I’m usually aware of no more than one of my intentions. Although focused on one thought, there are myriad others contending for my attention. Just like intentions, my thoughts scream out for my attention, “Look at me! Look at me!” “No! Look at me! Look at me!”

Attention is the food of thought and intention. Thoughts or intentions to which I pay attention tend to grow and prosper. That doesn’t mean those I don’t pay attention to die. They just don’t grow as fast – and in some cases die away.

At least that’s how it appears to me. “Focus on your goals!” to achieve them, I’ve been told many times. And yet, sometimes, I find myself in the position of saying something like, “I didn’t intend to hurt your feelings.” In other words, an unconscious hidden intention surfaced and surprised me. Maybe forcing me to acknowledge it with my attention.

The Priority Game

There seems to be two main parts of my being:

  • Physical – the projection
  • Psyche – the projector

The projection is useful because the projector perceives it. I project every thought. Not all of them do I attend to. This because of my limited awareness – that comprehends the tiniest fraction of the myriad of thoughts I project.

To conserve energy and keep my story linear, attention focuses awareness from the myriad of intentions down to one at a time. Prioritizing intentions in this serialization helps me avoid overloading my circuits! It also keeps my story straight, which in turn, gives me a sense of rightness. I at least feel I’m okay when my story is linear. Thus, the value of a “good [serial] memory” that recalls events in their “proper” order. That proper order is the order that matches the singular direction of my linear story.

To that end, I must apply my attention first and foremost to defending my safety and benefit. My initial defense of that attention is my intention to feel safe. This intention to defend becomes the default behind my behaviors. This includes “on guard,” fight, and flight behaviors.

All this to prove to myself that I’m vulnerable to being less than whole – while intending to remain whole. This bias for wholeness in an environment of vulnerability can appear in some strange ways. For example, a person might survive an impossible situation and then feels they are somehow invulnerable to destruction. Maybe they feel they are a divine appointee – like a prophet. Maybe they feel a cause to which they must apply themselves.

Their attention to a life-threatening experience with defensive logic based in a premise of vulnerability tends to connect their biased intention for wholeness with its opposite.

Intention as Initial Defense

What if my intention is my initial defense of one concept over another? A part of the mechanism that turns all-at-once lateral thinking into one-at-a-time linear thinking. Why a defense against what I want – wholeness?

In linear-thinking, I can only define all-at-once wholeness in terms of one-at-a-time un-wholeness. In that way of thinking, there is always this sense that I must seek wholeness – rather than accept that I am wholeness.

To serialize my story, I assign intentions based on how much they confirm my concept of wholeness. This would require that I see myself as whole only in relation to someone or something else – a serialized comparison. In my relationships, therefore, I perceive others that support my limited thinking as whole (good/right). And those that don’t as unwhole (bad/wrong).

I define these intention assignments as accountability. Thus, equating my conscious intentions with subconscious accountability. I expect to get what I intend to get. And because the equation is false in limited awareness, I sometimes don’t get what I consciously intend. “Oops! Sorry! I didn’t intend that you should get hurt…” and etc.

Stewardship Over My Intentions

This takes me to the concept of stewardship – governance. Accountability provides that I have governance over my own physical and psychological being. Important, as these are the two main parts of my being. As the steward with power to govern my thoughts, I have the capacity to learn and change. As I learn how my equations affect my conscious intentions, I can practice governance over them. I can turn intention from initial defense to something else. That “something else” may just be the key to transforming limited to unlimited awareness.

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The Appearance of Love in Countering Wholeness

Why would countering wholeness appear as love? How would countering wholeness appear as love? What the hell am I talking about?!!

Within my bubble of limited awareness, I must limit my understanding of wholeness to, “The state of forming a complete and harmonious whole.” Sounds to me a lot like separateness in which I compare this wholeness to that wholeness. Maybe I can’t help perceiving wholeness in terms of separation.

Beyond limited awareness, wholeness may be incomprehensible. Even to define wholeness, I must limit its infinite nature to a “something” that is finite enough that I can contain it in a definition. Thus, confirming I was right to limit perception of wholeness to my limited awareness of it.

An Unbridgeable Gap?

In limited awareness, I can only perceive infinite love and infinite wholeness in terms of limited – finite! – awareness. To perceive infinity, I must extend my limited awareness into unlimited awareness – an impossibility in limited – finite – awareness. Even to consider something as infinite, I must first define that infinite “something” in finite terms so I can compare it against “something” else I consider infinite. Thus, I limit wholeness and reinforce my finite perception of infinity! This conundrum may represent an unbridgeable awareness gap.

Editor’s note: wholeness INCLUDES all separate “somethings” just as infinity INCLUDES all finite “somethings.” Although wholeness is infinite, I experience it as finite. So, I’ve created a method to bridge the unbridgeable gap. Conditional love!

Since separateness supports me as an individual, I experience wholeness in the form of relationships – me vs you. The more like me you appear, the more I believe we are whole together. Wholeness, then, becomes a matter of agreement.

Love as agreement appears as confirmation of wholeness in which individuality counters wholeness. That’s why I perceive everything in terms of relationships with me as the central point of reference.

I want experience! Therefore, I must believe that my counter to wholeness supports that. Why? Because I defend my actions and beliefs as my acknowledgment of love. I feel love when I defend a divided reality – “I (an individual) love YOU (the appearance of someone ELSE who agrees with me).” Love becomes a symbol of proof of wholeness when it actually proves need. I need agreement (that love confirms).

Because I define everything in terms of this vs that, I cannot begin to comprehend infinite. Therefore, perhaps I’m incapable of comprehending infinite love. So, I assign “love” as a symbol that represents, and so defends, my finite reality. Countering wholeness!

Love Countering Wholeness

Because I perceive love as “outside me,” those counters that support love as less-than-whole support me as less-than-whole – and appear as NOT ME. You plus me appears to add up to love and wholeness. Yet, because of my firm defense of separation, all my concepts of love instead counter any concept of such wholeness. Faulty equation!

That means I must constantly test for wholeness in my relationships – testing that always comes up short. Thus, defending my concept of wholeness as an unachievable goal.

Suppose I wanted to expand my awareness beyond the limitation that perceives love as a reward for countering wholeness. How might I get to that awareness?

I could ask myself questions that counter my intentions. Since intention can be associated with need and need fulfillment, start with some basic needs you can’t live without. For example, “If I don’t get this need satisfied, I’ll die.”

The Challenge!

Let’s explore some awareness-expanding questions that might challenge limited awareness.

What Questions: What…

  • happened?
  • is my intention in this experience?
  • other intention might I have than the one I’m aware of?
  • is the need I’m trying to fulfill in my intention(s)?
  • other need(s) might this intention suggest?
  • must one believe in order to need that?
  • else might one believe in order to need that?
  • is love in relation to this/that intention?

How Questions: How…

  • did this intention cause this result?
  • else might this intention cause this result?
  • might I think differently about this intention?
  • else might I consider a different intention?
  • does this result demonstrate an intention of which I’m unaware (an unintended consequence due to unaware intention)?
  • does this experience demonstrate my concept of love?

Why Questions: Why…

  • this intention rather than another?
  • do I need this need or this intention?
  • is this so important to me?
  • do I trust my perception of this?
  • must I be right about this?
  • did love appear like it did in this experience?
  • am I defending this perception of less-than-wholeness as love?
  • Extra points for answering the above WHY questions without using the word “because.”

Who Questions: Who am I…

  • beyond my countered wholeness?
  • who projected and responded to this concept of being in this experience?
  • now that I’m enlightened by these questions?
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A Love Relationship Between Rightness and Value

My Perception of Love

In my bubble of limited awareness, I’ve developed a relationship with love through my sense of self-value and rightness. I’ve found that when I’m right in my efforts to survive, I’m rewarded. That reward I define as love – a feeling of gaining value for being right.

My need to be right conflicts and competes with my relationships. Between my level of rightness and my innate value I look for love’s confirmation of support. All my definitions for love must support this association between rightness and value. When my associations don’t equate to love’s support, I feel I must act.

Each time I do what’s right I’m rewarded with value. Through repetition my value increases. What’s wrong takes from my values, which is why I need to defend against it. Fighting for right and against wrong then becomes my duty. Thus, I introduced an innate conflict into every relationship.

My Conflicted Relationship with Love

Because I may need love in my relationships, I must need conflict too. Instinct drives me to live to love and fight to live. Therefore, I associate my need to live with my need for love – and a need for fighting!

I defend the rightness of that conflict by comparing it with what’s wrong. To me wrong means failure and in nature, failure means death.

Love gives life purpose. Being without purpose is symbolic of failure and death. That purpose makes defense of what’s right necessary. I feel I must fight against wrong constantly. Thus, my definition of love may be killing me!

Love Competes for My Attention

Because I equate love with life, it has an edge in competition with many other influences vying for my attention. Each influence carries values for my attention in terms of gain and loss. With practice and experience, I learn to be alert to that which I pay attention.

In my competitive state of awareness, I boost love’s offerings by paying for its defense in the currency of attention.

When loss means death, it can also mean life

Within this competitive state, I allow to exist only what I choose to defend. When I lose a competition, I feel a distinct loss of love, value, and rightness. That’s why it feels painful and confusing when I hear my winning opponent claim, “Love is on my side.” I know love can’t be on the side of losers because I can’t be a loser! And yet, here I am! Conflicted!

The prospect of losing all I hold important about me feels devastating. For this reason, I feel that my perception of such loss must be challenged in some way. My confusion can bring about a desire for resolution.

Thus, my intention for one outcome can present another. This confusion of outcomes, in which benefits become threats and vice versa, can lead me to question my perceptions about love.

This awareness presents an opportunity – an invitation for movement in a new direction.

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Beating Fear with Math (pt 2)

When I feel afraid, I tend to narrow my attention onto JUST the object of my fear and the outcomes I fear will happen if I don’t apply appropriate action – maybe very soon. “If I don’t pay this fine, I’ll go to jail! I can’t have that!” I’ve narrowed my all-outcomes set to a tiny selection set of acceptable outcomes – what I “can have.”

Fear narrows the odds of an acceptable outcome – like buying only one lottery ticket. It also significantly increases the odds that I’ll experience an outcome I don’t like – like realizing you’d just bought a losing lottery ticket.

When I expand my selection set of acceptable outcomes, I increase the odds of experiencing an acceptable outcome and decrease the odds of an outcome I can’t live with.

How does one expand their selection set of acceptable outcomes?

By allowing less-than-optimum outcomes into your selection set, you significantly increase your odds of winning a lesser, though still acceptable outcome. Expanding your allowed-into-the-selection-set criteria, you build a larger selection set, which lessens the impact of a less than optimum outcome. By expanding your allowed set to the size of the all-outcomes set increases the odds of winning to 100% – and lessens the odds of losing to zero.

“Well, that would mean accepting any outcome as acceptable!” – Why, yes, I think it would. That is the essence of trust – expanding the selection set to the size of the all-outcomes set. All for one and one for all.

“Wait a minute! If I accept any outcome, won’t I sometimes get outcomes I don’t like?” Probably. At first. Until you realize that you can expand your “what I like” selection set to the size of the all-outcomes set – by allowing your “don’t likes” into your “likes” selection set.

“Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?”
― Abraham Lincoln

A simple imagery exercise can get you started. Relax and clear your mind. Imagine a ball the size of your fist. Fill the ball with light of any color you like. Put the ball in a box. Now put another ball into the box. Then another ball and another. Until the box is full. Let it spill out as you continue to add balls to the box. Soon the box disappears as the entire room fills with light in the shape of colored balls. Fill the house… the neighborhood… the town… the whole earth… the universe. Expand… expand… expand… light everywhere.

Your selection set of one ball has expanded to include all balls everywhere – the all-outcome set.

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Beating Fear with Math (pt 1)

Something is about to happen. I feel afraid of what might happen. My fear narrows my attention to ONLY a tiny subset of all outcomes – only those I can live with – maybe only one. My fear has decreased the odds of an acceptable outcome and increased the odds of an unacceptable outcome. Why? Is my fear that powerful that it can change outcomes? Maybe. Or maybe it’s just a simple bit of sets math.

Mathematics of Fear

Before something happens, all that can possibly happen make up the “all-outcomes” set. Once something happens, all possible happenings collapse into one happening – the “selection” set of happenings. Within all outcomes is THE outcome – that is, the selection set is part of the all-outcomes set. Once I select something, the section set becomes the all-outcomes set. Once something happens, it is all that could happen.

Think of it like the lottery in which only one series of numbers will result in a cash payout to ONE lucky winner. At the start of the lottery game all tickets have equal odds of winning – the winning ticket is in the all-outcomes set. The winning ticket is also in the selection set – the set of tickets that makes up those that will get selected as the winner.

The instant the winning ticket is announced, the all-outcomes set collapses into the selection set and millions of “unlucky losers” realize they didn’t win the big prize while one lucky winner realizes a fortune.

Winners and Losers

In a lottery, the odds hugely favor losing. That’s because of the outcome-narrowing effect imposed on the all-outcomes set by a small selection set. The smaller the selection set, the greater the prize for winning – at incredible odds – and the greater the motivation to play regardless of the odds. The larger the selection set, the greater the odds of winning – though a smaller prize – and less motivation to play. Like the difference between playing the lottery and investing in a savings bond.

A few years ago, a group of people figured out a way to “game the system.” They bought ALL but a tiny fraction of the tickets in a State lottery. They realized a significant return on their investment when one of those tickets won the jackpot. They shared the pot with all investors in the scheme. They’d flipped the odds into their favor by grossly expanding the selection set to nearly the size of the all-outcomes set. They’d turned a gamble into an investment in which many people realized a smaller win while fewer people realized a smaller loss.

How might I apply this concept to beating my fears? That’s the subject of our next article.

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