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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The Relationship Between Ownership, Value, and Service

In First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble awareness, I perceive ownership as authority backed by power to act upon what can be acted upon according to its value for service in fulfilling the owner’s intended need or want.

A perception of need for wholeness arises when we imagine dividing ONE into separate parts – the Humpty Dumpty metaphor. This effect of imagination presents a picture of who we are not – divided and dependent upon other parts to make us whole. A constant perceptual conflict appears between a reality we deny and an illusion we believe is real.

In my bubble awareness, imagined separate “me” needs to continually validate its value to the whole. It does this by comparison to that imagined in things it can control through ownership. This process serves the cause to return to wholeness by feeling more whole.

The Relationship between Need and a Thing’s Value

The measure of a thing’s value is in its ability to satisfy the requirement of the need it serves.

Within the bubble, ownership is measured in terms of value and investment. One invests, for example, a certain amount of what represents their personal value, such as money, in order to gain ownership of some property in the hope of a return on investment (ROI) in their favor.

Values are integral to service. I value my bed, for example, because it serves my daily requirement for sleep by giving me a comfortable place to serve that need. How much I value my bed depends on how much I value my need for a comfortable place to sleep.

The Relationship between Ownership and Service

In bubble awareness, I perceive everything as separate – acting and acted upon according to its value toward service of my needs. I assign value to things based on my level of need for a specific service. Through my sense of ownership, I perceive a validation of my value in an owned thing’s level of service to my needs.

In interpersonal relationships, I use this perception of power and authority in ownership to an advantage over others. “Because I control you, I’m more valuable than you, which validates my level of value.”

The Relationship between Ownership, Service, and Value

Fundamentally, I must survive. Therefore, I have needs. I own, value, serve, and receive service in order to:

  • Satisfy needs
  • Validate my separateness
  • Address fears
  • Seek oneness
  • Defend my investments
  • Feel whole!
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Black and White, Grayscale, and Color Thinking

He uses colorful language. That’s colorful thinking. The world is so gray today. He sees the world in black and white. Such a colorful perspective! In bubble awareness, I visually sense a range of frequencies, amplitudes, and conditions. These match closely to modes of thinking.

Black and White

I’ve experienced the world in black or white binary in which I insist on only this way or that way. Once I was job hunting and went to an interview with the owner of a shop I wanted to work in. The owner told me, “There’s only two ways in this shop: my way or the highway.” I looked elsewhere for a job. Both he and I were viewing our world in the duality of binary thinking. On OR off, zero OR one, this OR that.

Right OR wrong thinking is one dimensional: the world of “only.” To the degree I MUST be right, proper, or justified, I’ll see the world in only black or white. This way of thinking limits my world to the contrast of borders that define my reality.

Monochrome

Monochrome grayscale adds more flexibility to binary thinking. In grayscale, I can experience how much. I can experience some anger, some happiness, some agreement, some of this or some of that. Grayscale thinking adds the shading of intensity to my world.

Color

Color adds emotion to monochrome that may represent the conflicts I experience as I work to defend binary thinking in terms of inclusion – this and that. You see (pardon the pun), color perception includes elements of binary and monochrome – definition and intensity and relationship.

In digital terms:

  • I can express black or white in terms of zero OR one on a scale of 1. ex: 0=black, 1=white on a scale of 0-1
  • Grayscale in terms of zero or one on a scale greater than one. ex: 00=black, 11=dark gray, 22= light gray, 33=white on a scale of 0-3 in each position
  • Color in terms of zeroes and ones on a scale greater than 1. ex: 001=dark blue, 010=dark green, 500=bright red, 550=bright yellow, and etc. on a scale of 0-5 in each position rrr-ggg-bbb

In psychological terms, I ask questions in order after encountering something:

  1. Black and white – Is that which I’ve encountered a threat or benefit to me/us (Yes/No)?
  2. Monochrome – How much of a threat or benefit is it (on an imaginary scale based on values)?
  3. Color – when items 1 and 2 are satisfied, what are nuances of interest, such as emotion and wonder?

Black may be considered the construct upon which all else builds. It’s the zero condition, nothingness, primal. Anything added to black, other than black, builds something.

White is what one gets when they add all colors together – it represents all. To get monochrome or color, one must subtract from white or add to black.

Because I see color, I realize that I see less than all and more than nothingness. I see separation from poles – the middle way.

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Accountability and My Emotional Payoff

Let’s put separation, fear, conflict, etc., in terms of cause and effect – natural consequences of thinking a certain way. Awareness that my thinking has consequences in the real world may help me pay attention to my thoughts and maybe mindfully discipline them.

About Separation

I imagine my identity, I/ME, in terms of that which is “I/ME” verses that which is “NOT I/ME.” I look out my eyes and see that which is NOT ME. By simple logic, then, I deduce that I am that which is not NOT ME. I am what is left when everything I sense is removed. You may enjoy the free audio MP3, The Bag, imagery that illustrates this principle of separation.

I attach an intensity value to an “I’m Not” identity I experience as my fear, which represents my sense of unwholeness. Because I am 100% wholly me, that value is an imaginary number – not real. So, how do I go about making it feel real without actually being real?

Might my need to define ME by looking to who and what “I’m NOT” strengthen my belief in never being complete as “I AM?” It seems to me I will stay in this condition of lack until I look within, connect with who I really am, and discipline my heart and mind. Then, perhaps, I’ll comprehend the value of separation in the whole scheme of things.

About Emotional Payoff

Emotion helps me feel alive, providing present experience in the form of imagined relationships. My emotions create a bridge of sensations, a “payoff” of life-affirming feelings to my body/mind and spirit.

Perhaps accountability means no more NOT ME emotional payoffs at the expense of that which is ME. I can use mindful discipline to awaken into acceptance of full accountability. As I bring together the poles of Me vs Not Me, concepts of separation and payoff may simply become irrelevant.

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