Change and My Need for Permanence

I like to think that if something is true it never changes – it’s permanent. I try to make my beliefs permanent by defending them against change, thereby making them true.

I intend for my truths to be so well defended that they are beyond question, even from me. Questioning my beliefs would be equivalent to attacking what’s right and good, permanent and therefore true.

Certainty of my truths defends the intention to put them beyond question. That certainty is like a dam that I build for my rightness against the flow of change. Thus, certainty makes my intention appear permanent – just like truth!

What About Resistance?

I define the non-disturbed state of no movement as permanence. And the disturbed state of movement as change. Each state serves the other through the contrast inherent in their complementary differences. I experience existence in the relationship between the two states.

Perhaps the resistance in those interactions serve as proof of permanence and change. Thus, change serves permanence and visa versa resulting in a reckoning of time. The tic-toc of permanence and change, cause and effect, disturbed and non-disturbed states evidences this relationship.

What about Psychological Permanence and Change?

Who am I in relation to my psychological environment?

That which I resist tends to exist. Change involves breaking down resistance, which my need for permanence rejects. I attend to what I resist in order to conform it to fit my beliefs. Once I do, I let go of my attention to it. That frees my attention to move on to other problems I need to solve.

Here then is choice – to embrace change and permanence through their defense. When I choose one, I also choose its complement – thus, the “and” bit. I defend one option with active attention, I defend its complement with passive attention in denial.

I give equal value to their defense as benefit or threat. Arguments for and against compete for my attention. Thus, choice validates the conceptual separation between permanence and change. Of course, what I believe is choice may instead be a defense of value. Value defends my belief in competition in the context of my own survival competence.

In limited awareness, I’m never in possession of all the facts. Every choice, therefore, includes some element of assumption not based in fact. For example I choose this because it appears to be more permanent than that. I must see competitors as competitors in order to make a choice. I compete for and against truth as I perceive it competes with me. We’re both competitors!

Perhaps truth is relative to the value I assign to my concept of self: How valuable am I?

Permanence and My Need for Security

From ancient monuments to the golden record on the Voyager probe, mankind has sought to create a permanent record of itself. In my limited awareness bubble, I feel a need for permanence for those things I like (me, my immediate family, my dear friends, etc.). I’m maybe not as hot about permanence for things I don’t like.

Perpetual motion machines, age regression creams, life extension products, immortality – all attempts at providing evidence of a magical elixir called permanence. And yet, we know permanence is impossible. Nothing can remain unchanged indefinitely.

Change vs Permanence

I feel I can’t change that which I believe is unchangeable. That sense of endless invariability can make me feel as insecure as that which changes in an inconsistent way. Maybe I need some change and some permanence.

Perhaps my sense of rightness arises from my need to feel secure. When I make a prediction, I may feel right about my understanding when a result occurs that I feel defends the prediction. This builds a sense of dependence upon my understandings. What I depend on, I defend as truth. Thus, and in many other ways, I seek to make my truth the truth – a permanent feature of the universe. As a result, I feel more secure.

For example, I depend upon the sun. I feel secure knowing the sun will rise in the morning. It’s also proof that I survived the night. That sense of rightness about the sun’s cycle may give me a sense of permanence to something I depend on. Since I feel a need to survive, my predictions about the cycles of the sun can give me a sense of security.

Thus, I derive a sense of:
Predictability <=> Rightness <=> Security <=> Permanence

Defense of my sense of rightness may be based on my need for security. In search of something I can count on, rightness seems to fill the bill. At some level of rightness, certainty satisfies my need for security. Certainty can feel like without being permanence, which may explain why I tend to prefer it over doubt. And yet, doubt may be the doorway to real understanding.

Certainty as A Mental Shortcut in Limited Awareness

Because of certainty, I feel I can predict my experiences. The more certain I feel about who I am, the more confident I feel in predicting who I will be. Certainty is a sense of knowing so strong, I won’t question it. That makes certainty a top-flight mental defense against change – and an energy saving shortcut.

Mental Shortcuts

In my perceptual bubble of limited awareness, some aspect of me believes I am limited. Because I believe in limitation, I have needs. I perceive those needs as problems requiring my attention to solve. Movement of attention from problem-solution-problem-solution results in experiences of defending my life. Need fulfillment appears as living life. Life must be defended to be lived.

This belief in limitation causes me to seek out ways to best use the finite resources I believe I have to survive and thrive. This results in the use of shortcuts to conserve life-force energy.

Mental shortcuts are rule-of-thumb strategies that help me use less mental effort to solve problems. This is especially important in need fulfillment – where I need every ounce of limited energy in order to live. Instinct is an example of a mental shortcut because we expend so little mental energy before initiating an instinctive behavior. This helps us use the least energy to survive.

That because, in certainty, I assume I already have sufficient information about how to accomplish need fulfillment. This assumption is perceived as quicker and more efficient because it bypasses the questions, research, or more attention that involves more time and effort.

This shortcut appears in unquestionable knowings like assumptions and biases. For the most part, I’m unaware of these. Like instinct, I act on my previously programmed thought process!

I become dependent upon mental concepts I feel certain of. I invest trust in them and, so may become more defensive of them. In my certainty, I may even assume I’ve not made the presumption of truth. Instead, I’m defending what I know is right! Done!

Up and Downsides

The downside to shortcuts is the manifestation of artifacts that appear as thinking and perceptual errors. Built-in mistake maker – and defender!

I use a forced perspective to interpret feedback to fit my assumptions, which I then defend as truths. Thus, I am able to achieve a kind of self-convinced ability to accurately predict my experiences. And block out anything else.

With focused practice and disciplined choices, my mind can build enough trust to predict my life with absolute certainty. That fulfills my need to be right – successful at survival.

And SO…

Unlimited consciousness in limited awareness sets up a bubble of defense in order to experience a sense of separation it cannot be. More defense further limits awareness. Thus, increasing the sense of separation. Certainty, therefore, serves unlimited consciousness by limiting awareness to provide a sense of separation.

Surprise! We’re competing and defending on purpose! I’m certain of it!

Resources:

Kendra Cherry, MS. Heuristics and Cognitive Biases. Verywellmind.com. Updated Nov 13, 2018.

Get Serious!

All that I’m certain is right? All the judgments I’ve defended with my life? Total bullshit! Why? Because I now recognize and appreciate the ambiguity of life. A lifetime of adherence to my belief in one absolute truth and no others is absurd! Now that’s funny!

Sometimes war rages within me between “I need to defend my beliefs against any challengers” and, “I choose to question a belief.” Bridging the gulf might ease or stop that war within.

In my limited state of awareness, I judge differences in perception in terms of clarity and confusion of thought. It’s a war of interpretation. If the judgement is about right and wrong, I must interpret my beliefs through limited understanding of both. That because my limited awareness causes me to view everything as a competition of this/vs/ that. Then I defend one side against the other. That’s war!

Ambiguity and Too Many Alternatives

Of course there are times when too many alternatives can give too much flexibility and insufficient structure to my thoughts in a selection process. Yet, the extremes of my selections can reveal the nature of my biases.

I define ambiguity as being open to more than one interpretation – more than one way can be suitable. Of course, if I feel that openness leaves me vulnerable to being judged as frivolous, I might consider openness a threat. Perhaps my defense of seriousness is more about agreement than rightness, unless they are the same. This can be said of my defense of ambiguity as well.

My sense of certainty about what’s right and what’s wrong limits my scope of experience. With intention of focus and purpose, I’ll narrow my choices and experiences into one perfect misunderstanding of everything without ever knowing its alternative.

Where certainty is rightness, ambiguity must be wrongness. How certain am I about that? In limited awareness, some uncertainty is always present. In a vast universe mostly unknown to me, how arrogant of me, in my bubble of limited awareness, to think I know enough to be certain about anything? It’s absurd!

Love that Certitude!

Although in certitude I feel right, justified, and/or proper, the limitations it imposes invites a challenge to the absurdity.

Perhaps I could use the humor in absurdity to question the necessity for defense while lessening the probability of initiating one.

When I begin to recognize the ambiguity inherent in my life, some part of me may put on the doubt breaks – “Wait a second… something just ain’t right here…” As I question my certitude, the absurdity of my truths surface. I may then realize I’ve played a joke on myself.

Imagine the absurdity of all the effort I’ve put into forcing truth onto an illusion. All the while, struggling to survive based on my dogged adherence to a paradoxical belief. The joke lands when I realize the absurdity of the situation and laugh about it.

Getting Serious!

Maybe it’s time for me to get serious about embodying ambiguity – and the freedom doubt offers. Gratitude!

A paradox, sitting at the bar. One turns to the other… and smiles.

Choice, a Self-Referential Paradox

Could a choice be my initial defense of what I determine as right or wrong? Right may be as subtle as best or better than someone or something else. Wrong can be just as innocuous as not as good as or worse than.

A choice is a symbolic gesture of separateness, which represents defense of that symbol.

At the point of choice, I must first perceive separation between separate things. Through a values system, I then determine what’s more right and less wrong. I attach defenses that support my determination. I then choose a counter balance of defenses that represent why I didn’t choose otherwise. My choices are always based on a need to be right, which is instinctual – survival thinking. A self-referential paradox of separateness.

For example, I made a choice to wear my sneakers today. That seemed reasonable because the hiking trail is rough. Reflecting on that choice now while on the trail, I feel grateful I didn’t choose to wear my sandals. My choice to wear sneakers was based on “it’s better to wear sneakers on the trail” vs “it’s worse to traverse the trail in sandals.” My process has evolved from determination defended by choice to choice defended by choice.

The choices I make are at the foundation of survival of who I think I am. The truths that follow those philosophies are built on paradoxical reasons. The measure of value my truth possesses is based on the effectiveness of its reasons. The more effective my reasons, the more I feel the need to defend them. A self-referential paradox of choice!

My need to compete illustrates the power of choice

Out of my need to be separate came the paradox of thought, I experience competition between thoughts. Let’s look at time for example. I experienced time as normal prior to receiving anesthesia for surgery. When I awoke five hours later, I wondered where that time had disappeared. I felt confused and surreal because I could not account for my time. So, I accounted for that time with imagery that supports my life story.

My defense of a now and a not now seem different, yet, are the same. I plug a memory into my present experience as though they are the same. “Things never change!” As long as my concept of time supports my truths, I will continue to defend it.

Somehow, memories from a past that can’t exist now, do. I’ve sacrificed the present for a past irrelevant to it in content and context. Irrelevant also is a future where memory can’t exist, yet does. “It’s always been this way and it always will be!” A self-referential paradox of time.

The addition of time reckoning to my paradoxical perspective helps justify my separateness into what, how, and why I am. I can believe I am and am not my experiences.  A self-referential paradox of being.

The great defender of paradox

From one choice come many defenses – belief, truth, reason, philosophy, process, policy, and etc. Further defense serves to strengthen the choice that serves to strengthen the defense. A self-referential paradox .