I Have a Policy for That!

The first line of defense for choosing separation is to make that choice a belief. Policy manages how beliefs manifest, sustaining a bias-based defense system – my First-Second Degree of awareness bubble.

My Manifestation Process

  1. Perception of Separation
  2. Intention
  3. Philosophy
  4. Choice
    1. Policy
    2. Procedure/Action
  5. Outcome/Feedback

Beliefs are substantiated by philosophies, stories that obscure hidden defenses. A fertile imagination fashions my most cherished and well-used philosophies into stories that defend them. I experience these stories as comparative hierarchies of defense, thus satisfying my need for rightness.

Policies manage my perceived threats and benefits from least to greatest importance to survival. By default, I arrange this hierarchy in order of defense value. Those philosophies that conceptualize the greatest defense value rule over the others.

Every philosophy carries defense values expressed through choices, policies and procedures. When my policies and procedures project a me vs not me choice onto a comparative reality, I must defend it.

It’s Conditional!

My personal policies define my adopted or proposed courses or principles of action. Each operates as a contract with myself. Policies defend my beliefs with procedures, the actions that turn my beliefs into experience.

The result of this process is a life of competition – me working against myself. My experiences are fractals within fractals of defense. Each fractal represents a paradox of perception that defends choices, beliefs, philosophies, policies, and procedures in an outcome.

A policy is a conceptualization of a belief in the form of a conditional statement, “if/when a condition is true, then do the following action…”

  1. If/When I think X condition is true, then I will probably do Y
  2. If/When I’m convinced X condition is true, then I will absolutely do Y

This morphs into a BE-DO logic level reasoning paradox policy:

  1. X condition must BE true because I/you DID Y
  2. I/you DID Y because X condition was true

For example, “You must BE in love with me because I DO nice things for you.” And, “I must BE dumb because I DID poorly on the test!”

I experience a conflict in a relationship when I APPLY a morphed conditional policy to resolve it. That is, BECAUSE I perceive this conflict, I feel I must DO something about it. For example, because I am afraid, I must freeze up!

What can I do to correct my paradox of perception? Well, now that I’ve NOTICED the condition, I might question it and consider making a change – to policies first, then maybe to philosophies – and, perhaps ultimately, to my beliefs!

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How My Belief in Law Affects My Philosophy

My limited awareness bubble is based on laws and my need to follow them. To follow any law, I must first justify it as a law. My justifications create a paradoxical reality where reason considers philosophy as evidence in a cause-and-effect story. This convinces me that laws are real.

Therefore, I believe and obey external laws and their appearances of cause and effect in nature. In a similar way, I obey my internal laws, which manifest cause and effect of my philosophies in thoughts and emotions.

My internal laws seem as inescapable in their power over me as the undeniable power of external laws. My acceptance of fear as an internal law gives it as much power as the external law of gravity.

  1. External laws teach me about relationships within the natural world. This through a physical process. This insures that cause and effect are carried out in compliance with the laws that that process represents. Thus, I perceive interactions between forces of nature, like energy, matter, their functions and forms.
  2. Internal laws teach me about my *paradoxical relationship with self in its own world. This through a nonphysical process that insures that cause and effect are carried out in compliance with the laws that that process represents. Thus, I experience interactions of cause and effect in how I interpret my thoughts and emotions, choices and perceptions.

*A paradox is a statement that, despite apparently sound reasoning from true premises, leads to an apparently self-contradictory or logically unacceptable conclusion. Wikipedia

My Paradoxical Philosophy of Fear

My philosophies and the stories that define them are paradoxical. A philosophy keeps me accountable to laws through obedience. I feel I can’t control laws, yet, I can justify them using a paradoxical philosophy.

The stories I create to represent my philosophies string together the paradoxical effects of my thinking process. One law can have many philosophical cause-and-effect stories that defend it. For example, fear as a law dictates that my day-to-day story-lines should follow a philosophy that supports a fear of: lack, death, suffering, pain, being alone, etc.

Paradoxical Fear Equations

My logic equations illustrate how I process a paradoxical philosophy in defense of law. My equations protect and support my understanding and trust in law. This reminds me of an incident when I believed in and obeyed fear as a law while shopping. I backed that law with a philosophy of lack that supported it. At checkout, I realized I lacked the money for my purchases. That’s when a fear of lack kicked-in – “See, you were right to be afraid!” said my inner storyteller. My philosophy hijacked the law of cause and effect to justify my fear.

This fear-based illogical logic equation looks like:
Lack + Fear = Fear of Lack

A fear of lack is a fear of not having so, what I feared at checkout wasn’t about money. It was about not knowing what was going to happen next. That kind of not knowing can feel like an eternity of psychological torture. At any moment, I can find myself wanting to escape from a future I fear might happen. That experience confirmed that I am always subject to my beliefs through my process. I realized then that I was living with paradoxical equations that differ from my present intentions.

This fear-based illogical logic equation looks like:
Not knowing + Fear = Fear of not knowing

Ultimately, my thinking supports a process in which paradoxical philosophies defend paradoxical laws.

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Who’s Reading My Story?

Endless Attention

Within my bubble, my attention is held tightly to what validates my personal identity, my precious premise – my truth. My attention gives value to my story, which is based on my premise. That premise is – I must succeed by EARNING wholeness through righteous endeavor. I must HAVE something to DO something to BE something.

I fight for and defend anything that validates the usefulness of my cause in gaining wholeness. The cause inspires me to write on the pages of my memory the nobleness, the purity of purpose, and the rightness of reason of that cause. No story of heroism can surpass the glorious adulation one feels in pursuit of the greatest cause of all – the quest for wholeness. I use this sales pitch to convince myself to keep going.

Because I’ve bought my sales pitch, my choice-supportive bias kicks in to justify my purchase. My confirmation bias confirms and supports my justification.

Whatever threatens and/or validates my sacred cause gets the full attention of my biases. I’m now becoming aware of the demand for constant alertness and defense my story places on my attention and awareness. I’ve developed such strong patterns of judging, analyzing, and proving the rightness of my premise, that I don’t have a life for anything else.

The author has become the story.

Sometimes, when I’m able to sneak in a controversial thought like, “I wonder if I’m right about this!” I feel there might just be another way to see my questionable premise.

Questioning My Premise

I fear, and so defend against, learning I’m wrong. This fear binds me to my belief in unwholeness. Thus, I feel I must forever pursue my premise.

The book is not the story nor its author. The book can only be a book, the story can only be a story, while the author IS all of these and more. I’m not only the bubble I perceive I’m in. I am not only the limitation I perceive controls my experience. As the author of my story, I am all of these and more.

I’m Also The One Reading My Story!

I’ve enjoyed reading many books including those written by J.R.R. Tolkien. I wished I had had him here with me to answer my endless questions that left me wondering what he meant and imagining what I thought he imagined.

Though I can’t ask Tolkien, I can question the author of my story. Funny how seldom I look to the author of my story when I have a question about it. Questioning my questionable premises has lead me to investigate beyond my basal premise.

Who Is Beyond?

Beyond the bubble of limited awareness, my intention is to fully account for my authorship. From this perspective I understand and appreciate all my experiences based on a new premise – I AM whole already. I AM therefore I DO and therefore I HAVE.

This way of thinking opened up my limited awareness bubble and invited my authorship to write my story in a new way.

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Questioning the Wholeness Prize

Imagine you’re in a limited awareness bubble participating in a win-or-lose game based on simple thinking errors. You may assume that you are unwhole, a premise based on satisfying perceived needs by cooperating with an external reality. When you take in and let go of what is needful to satisfy your requirements in the bubble you then may feel like a winner. You may also assume wholeness is the ultimate game prize.

That assumption is an artifact of life perceived within the bubble of limited awareness – a conclusion based on questionable premises and false equations. From that perspective, even “reasonable” equations result in unreasonable yet apparently logical conclusions – that appear as my life story.

From a perspective beyond bubble awareness, wholeness takes on an entirely different understanding. To get to that understanding, let’s start with an investigation of our premise that wholeness can and must be won or earned.

How Do I Support Questionable Premises?

Questionable premises are those that invite inquiry and scrutiny – question-able. Let’s look at the structure of some questionable premises and how they create false equations in the thinking process:

  • Premise: I must be right to be whole
    • False equations:
      • Anything less than right = wrong = unwhole
      • Success = right = whole = life
      • Wrong = failure = death
  • Premise: I can earn/achieve wholeness
    • False equations:
      • Success = achievement of wholeness
      • Sufficient education = success
      • Sufficient rightness = success
  • Premise: Wholeness is a prize
    • False equations:
      • Anything less than wholeness = failure = loss/lose
      • I am less than whole = I am a failure = I am a loser
      • Given enough time, energy, work, meditation, etc. => I WILL become whole (a future that never arrives)

Within my bubble awareness, I create a body-mind competition developed around relationships. When I  fashion an internal sense of self that compares my truths to the misunderstandings of others – who, in turn, compare my understanding to their completely unreasonable standards based on their questionable premises.

Example of how my false equations support my questionable premises:

“Because I haven’t yet become whole, I must be unwhole.”
“I am unwhole, so I must be a loser.”
“Because I need to win to live, I must not lose.”
“Because winning equates to wholeness, I must achieve wholeness.”
Therefore:
“Wholeness is the ultimate prize that I must win, yet, can’t win.”

Some reasoning errors that sustain my false or questionable premises:

  • Logic levels errors (also known as the non-sequitur fallacy) – This refers to logic leaps between BEING, DOING, and HAVING. Logic level leaps take the cause-effect form: if one logic level, then another logic level. For example: IF I DO something good then I AM good, I AM what I DO.
    Example: “Because I can’t stop smoking, I must be weak-willed.”
    Just because you can’t DO something, it does not follow that you ARE unwhole.
  • Cherry picking – “A man sees what he wants to see, and disregards the rest.”
    Example: “The boss shot down my idea at the meeting today. I’m such a loser!”
    Never mind the times when your boss accepted your ideas.
  • Circular reasoning – in which the conclusion supports the premises which supports the conclusion.
    Example: “I’m a loser because I know what a winner looks like and that’s not how I look.”
    Note how I’m the authority that proves the authority.

The key to resolving questionable premises is to question them with intent to receive answers and to understand. An unquestioned premise will most likely remain intact and active as it is. Sometimes simply questioning a premise will resolve it – resulting in a new and possibly more useful state of mind.

How to Question a Premise

Get into a meditative, relaxed state. With an intent to understand, let go of your need for understanding and how answers to these questions must appear to you. Once the body is completely comfortable and relaxed, it’s in a baseline condition. Any sensation that pops up can be considered an “answer” to the question. With this awareness, ask, listen to the body, and acknowledge responses from Self.

Elicit the Premise:

  1. Who: (premise)
    • do I believe I am that needs to manifest in this way?
    • do I think I am that needs to feel this way?
      • ex: “I’m a failure!” “I’m unworthy.” “I’m unwhole.” “I’m angry!”
    • else sees me in this way?
  2. Why: (defense)
    • do I need to think, feel, and behave in this way?
    • must I express myself this way?
    • do I care what others think, feel, and express about me?
  3. How: (expression)
    • do I express that belief?
    • does this behavior affect this experience?
    • do others see me?
    • do I want others to see me?
  4. What: (judgement)
    • do I believe about me in this situation?
    • am I trying to express?
    • am I seeking from my expression?
    • do I need from others?
    • does my expression tell others about me?

Question the Premise:

  1. What must I assume in order for me to judge myself and others as I have? (Questioning the judgment of my premise)
  2. How would my life appear without that assumption? (Questioning the expression of my premise)
  3. Why do I assume this? Why do I need to feel this way? (Questioning my defense of my premise)
  4. Who would I be without this premise? (Questioning the validity of my premise)

Again – LISTEN with openness. Pay attention to your body – which may “speak” your answers to you in the language of sensation and movement. You might notice a sensation or movement and note its intensity:

  • What sensation do I feel? (hot, cold, tense, itchy, etc.)
  • Where do I feel it? (as precise as you can without pointing or touching it – just describe it in you mind)
  • How intensely do I feel it? (maybe on a scale of 0 to 10 with 10 being completely unbearable)

Note: sensations are not questions – they are responses/answers to questions. Resist the temptation to ask a sensation for its meaning. In this case, meaning is another mind game that can result in circular reasoning – “I feel tight in the jaw because I’m angry, which makes my jaw tight…”. Just “listen” and “acknowledge” – maybe express gratitude – then accept the information.

At some point, such questioning may result in an AHA moment that leads to a Third Degree of Illumination choice.

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Resistance and Acceptance

Once upon a time, I bought an item online and then changed my mind about the purchase and canceled my order after it had shipped. The seller charged my credit card and when I called, said I’d have to pay return shipping plus a restocking fee. That’s when the battle began.

Both of us resisted the position of the other. We both felt we had sufficient evidence to support our positions – it had moved from transaction to principle. We were both right.

It appeared we were headed to court. I lined up my documents and so did they. Each time I’d call, the tone of our conversations devolved. It was an unpleasant encounter each time.

Finally, the product arrived. I’d invested quite a bit in it, paid what felt to me to be quite a bit for shipping, and now I was faced with shipping it back at my expense. I was faced with taking a loss on this and I don’t like to lose! Not happy about it at all!

A Miracle – Choice!

Then, a miracle occurred. Over breakfast, Carol sweetly reminded me that my resistance to this whole thing was at the root of it all. She asked me, “What would happen if you stopped fighting and started accepting?”

That had not once occurred to me. Funny how you can write about love and light and neglect it so obviously. What would happen, I wondered, too?

We discussed it through the day. I meditated about it. Then, I slept on it. During the night, I dreamed about it – just who is in charge of living my life?

The next day, I boxed up the item and shipped it back at my expense. I smiled at and thanked the FEDEX employee who handled it. I accepted the credit card charge. As gratitude returned to my heart, I could feel my blood warming as I accepted what I’d created.

I didn’t “give up” or “surrender” or “accept my fate” – rather, I’d felt the love of Self my resistance had pushed away from my awareness. I had accepted accountability for my creation.

At this point, some might expect me to write that the merchant relented – that my “revelation” had changed the situation for them as well. Yet, that would spoil my story with a Disney-esque outcome based on a false equation – that magic controls the universe.

As it turned out, I paid shipping in both directions, the merchant received their product, and refunded the purchase price minus a stocking fee – exactly as they’d repeatedly told me they were going to do. They had kept their word. Resistance or acceptance on my part did not figure into that formula.

What did figure in was my attitude. For a week, I was unconsciously “pissy” and “moody.” I’d allowed my “bad” transaction with the merchant to cloud my sense of gratitude for the world around me. Looking back, I realize how the transaction portrayed and exposed my judgment of diminished personal Self-worth. When I placed the original order with the merchant, I was pissed at myself and hadn’t yet acknowledged and accepted it. I’d transferred my attitude into the transaction that reflected it.

Remember, soon after I placed the order, I was invested and faced with taking a loss – I don’t like to lose. That is SO First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble awareness thinking! Thankfully, Carol reminded me of a Third Degree of Illumination choice I’d forgotten.

Onward to Acceptance and Gratitude

When the conscious acceptance came, so did the warm sunshine of gratitude return. Nothing had changed about the transaction – except my acceptance of me – and that made all the difference. I now honor the merchant for keeping their word. I’ll likely buy from them again as they were prompt and honorable. Why? Because that’s who I am.

Resistance transformed into acceptance. I had felt the transition from Second Degree of Illumination resistance to change – defensiveness – to a Third Degree of Illumination choice – to Fourth Degree of Illumination acceptance.

Gratitude.

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