Presuppositions in Reclamation of Self

I make some fundamental presuppositions in my intention to reclaim the wholeness I feel I’ve lost. I don’t know how it happened, yet I feel a need to return things to their original condition of wholeness. Thus, the popularity of movements, books, and movies about restoring our former glory.

Fundamental to this intention is change. I must change in order to reclaim some kind of perfection, glory, or innocence I think I’ve lost. For example, politicians spout the concept of a return to better days – and garner lots of votes.

Reclamation Presuppositions

This concept of reclamation is based on a presupposition that we’re not enjoying wholeness now. That we’ve lost it! It also presupposes that there is some kind of shangri-la perfect state of being that I can and must achieve. Thus, I find myself in a state of eternal want in a land of plenty – forever seeking, never achieving. Never satisfied, always at a loss!

Let’s look at my reclamation presuppositions in four questions:

  1. Who? I am separate from wholeness!
  2. Why? So I can seek/reclaim wholeness!
  3. How? With an intention to be whole in limited awareness!
  4. What? Proves I am separate, seeking, limited, and right!

This reclamation concept may contribute to and defend my bubble of limited awareness. Because I have a belief in a perfect state of being and that that state is behind or beyond me, I’ll always experience limited awareness now. By seeking perfection, I defend my belief in my limitation now. Thus, seeking to go beyond limited awareness keeps me in limited awareness now. Sweet paradox!

This is the underlying concept behind self-help – the idea that I can find my wholeness and get back to it. What if that ain’t necessarily so?!

What About a Fix?

When I conclude that something needs to change, I assume a “fix” is necessary and even possible. Further, that the “fix” will result in an end to the change – done! What if that ain’t necessarily so?!

For example, every problem has a solution – that limits the problem to the solution. Even viewing problem-solving as a problem to solve sustains the mind to problem-solution. Any problem solved is no longer a problem. What if that ain’t necessarily so?!

The same goes for need and want and their fulfillment. Once fulfilled, the expectation is that the want or need dissolves away. What if that ain’t necessarily so?!

In my bubble of limited awareness, I believe that things damaged can be restored. All that is needed to accomplish a “fix” should be fairly simple and straightforward. What if that ain’t necessarily so?!

Reclaiming Defense

Could reclamation simply be another form of defense that keeps defense in place? Whatever the need and its fulfillment, they defend my belief in problems and solutions.

Reclamation appears evident – when I defend it. I typically play this out like this – I:

  1. Imagine what I want/need to reclaim.
  2. Recall or create a plan for how to reclaim it.
  3. Perceive evidence of loss and reclamation.
  4. Maintain.

This to solve the problem of separation. However…

What if my current life condition is a solution to the problem of wholeness?

A Turf War Between Thought and Emotion

In my bubble of limited awareness every thought and emotion compete for attention and defend against oblivion. Where attention is the turf, every thought or emotion must struggle to win the turf. It’s a war over my attention. In this world, I can either think or feel – not both.

In such a world, instinct rules over reason in the struggle over attention. Basically, whenever there is a question in a situation, instinct wins. We’ve seen this in history where one side wins over the other when a contest over turf arises. Even today, we see turf wars between apparently competing interests. The belief is that only one should survive.

Results of War

I don’t think anyone would argue that war is destructive. Sure, good things can come out of war, but war itself is purely destructive. Someone may win, yet, even the “winner” sustains injury. Both sides in such a conflict lose something of value.

What if there was another way? That way would have to exist outside the arena of win or lose competition. For example, in an argument, the opposing sides might find a middle ground – a compromise. OR, both sides come to the realization that their interests are better served by cooperation – adding to each other. Such would require thinking beyond that of instinct where only self-interest matters.

Turf War in a Brain Metaphor

Perhaps we see this in metaphor in our own brains. My brain consists of a primitive portion and a new brain that represents an ability to think beyond instinct. That new part is slower to react, capable of considering multiple options, and capable of questioning. It’s that last bit, questioning, that really sets it apart.

Instinctive brain: Unquestioned competition => War => Loss or Gain

New brain: Questions competition => Cooperation => Loss and Gain

A turf war between concepts and how I feel about them results in confirmation of my belief in loss. Whenever I think my position is right and must win out, I’m working to validate that belief. This turf war will make loss more real to me, which will tend to promote more war.

Fighting and defending lead to validation of loss at the expense of the participants. Meanwhile, another way leads to connection and cooperation, thus promoting flow for all participants.

What if there is no turf?

Apathy, Correctness, and Conscious Choice

Can a belief be questioned? If so, can it be challenged? Could my belief in my unquestionable repetitive thoughts and actions become law which result in apathy? Could sure knowledge and ultimate confidence in a belief lead to so much defense of correctness I experience apathy? Thus, in my bubble of limited awareness, might apathy represent maximum resistance to awareness of change?

How can I become aware that I’m in apathy when apathy resists awareness? Is my belief in correctness worthy of examination?

“The unexamined life isn’t worth living.” (Sacrates)

The Socratic method is “a form of cooperative argumentative dialogue between individuals, based on asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking and to draw out ideas and underlying presumptions.” Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socratic_method

From an individual perspective, how often do I question my thoughts and motives? From a social perspective, how often do others question my behaviors and views?

What if the reason few questions arise is due to apathy? Apathy is “a lack of feeling, emotion, interest, or concern about something. Apathy is a state of indifference, or the suppression of emotions such as concern, excitement, motivation, or passion. An apathetic individual has an absence of interest in or concern about emotional, social, spiritual, philosophical, or physical life and the world.” Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motivation

What if any emotion, feeling, interest, or concern is an indicator that I have sufficient energy to ask a question? Maybe that’s enough motivation to challenge the defense of my situation.  Thus, emotion may offer a way out!

How About A Catalyst

Things tend to stay as they are until acted upon by a catalyst (Newton’s first law of motion https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newton%27s_laws_of_motion). How might that catalyst appear?

The individual, society, etc. becomes preoccupied with its own correctness. That correctness then leads to its defense, which leads to a stronger stand against change. Resistance to change attracts more resistance. Thus, apathy would represent the highest level of defense – lowest level of awareness.

When resistance reaches a tipping point of awareness, a catalyst tips the cause towards change. In an atmosphere of apathy, any change in the apathetic condition would indicate the presence of a catalyst.

Change comes from outside the state of apathy to challenge the status quo. Catalyst!

The initial catalyst is questioning – the change appears in the answer, which then becomes the next cause. That cause may be to question why my emotions are giving me the feedback I experience about my choices.

This direction of questioning may be backwards from my present questioning. It may be that my emotions are telling me to question my choices. This approach to understanding my choices and the role of my emotions seems more proactive. Thus, leading me away from unnecessary emotional drama.

To arise out of the limited awareness of apathy, I may ask questions that might lead to change and a new causality – like:

  • What is my place in the universe?
  • How do I defend it?
  • Why must I defend it?
  • Who am I?

Confusing Wants and Needs in Lack Fulfillment

In my world of limited awareness, I perceive a reality of separateness because I believe I lack wholeness. Wants and needs serve my mind as tools to validate this perception and belief. That is, unless I’m confused. Because my mind knows only wants and needs, it may see everything as a problem of lack to be solved.

“I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.” (Maslow, 1966, Law of the Instrument cognitive bias)

My sense of separateness, along with a desire for wholeness, subjects my problem-solving mind to serve that paradox. The paradox defends my belief in lack fulfillment.

The concept of achieving wholeness out of separateness is “The Impossible Dream.”  It’s an invitation to live in a paradoxical reality of want and need fulfillment.

A Paradoxical Intention

My paradoxical intention applies want and need to my experience to achieve no want or need. Wants and needs can feel confusing, even when I‘m confident I know the difference. Like when I know I’m choosing and when I’m not.

My initial intention is a general sense of lack of wholeness. My mind adjusts the general and undefined sense of lack by defining intention as wants and needs. And by attaching what and how I achieve fulfillment as a means for want and need to express as manifestation. My mind uses want and need as tools to serve intention.

  • Want expresses intention to increase or gain – using more options.
  • Need expresses intention in terms of survival, a defense against loss – using fewer options.

I get confused when I think my want is a need and vice versa. Both wants and needs support my intention to be whole. They define reasons that motivate me to advance towards my image of wholeness.

Thus, mind solves the paradox of intention by creating an image of wholeness my intention senses has been served.

Unconfusing Wants and Needs in Lack Fulfillment

My intention to be whole results in a general perception of lack. My mind sees lack as a problem and gets to work solving it. To find and apply a solution, my mind categorizes intention into definable expressions of wants and needs.

Needs define intention as a survival problem with few options. By narrowing the field of options, need applies a specific direction for fulfillment toward survival fulfillment. Want tends to broaden awareness to expand options for fulfillment.

To clear the confusion and become aware of my hidden intentions, I might question my wants and needs. Those concerns that don’t qualify as needs must be wants. For example:

  • What do I need? (What action/thing do I feel will satisfy my intention to live?)
  • How necessary is it? (For example, “How likely is it that I will actually die if I don’t fulfill the need?”)
  • Why do I need it? (What are my justifications? What lack do I feel this fills?)
  • Who am I with and without fulfillment of this need?

Need Authorities and My Need to Abrogate Accountability

In my world of limited awareness, I obey a lot of authorities. Wants and needs appear to me as one type of authority. Wants appear as passive authorities I can question while needs appear as active authorities I cannot question.

Symbols of Authority

I add the word “need” to add emphasis and/or authority to my want. For example, “I want a new phone” states a desire. “I need a new phone” adds demanding authority to my want. Questioning the desire for the new phone can lead to greater understanding of the want or need behind that desire.

What greater authority than that of life/death? I don’t have to BE in danger – just FEEL that I’m in danger – to invoke the authority of need through fear. Thus, need assigns authority to fear to increase need’s influence just as fear assigns authority to the need of it.

This brings us to choice where under the rule of authority, I have no choice – I must obey without question. I don’t question need because I’m obedient to its authority. It’s as simple as that!

The authority of need seeks to avoid a WHY question: “Why must I…?” I assume the need is justified, so I have no need for the question. Thus, I assume rather than ask.

Assumption limits awareness within contexts. “I need a drink” could mean something different depending upon the context. For example, a fellow crawling in from the desert vs a guy sitting at a bar. In both cases, however, the word “need” connotes a lack of awareness of options. It also invokes an appeal to authority rather than reason to answer a why question.

Have you ever been around a “needy” person? Maybe you felt drained afterwards. Both you and the person you judged as “needy” accepted the authority of need. UNTIL one or both of you questioned it.

Do I Need Authorities of Need?

I recognize authority in that or who I believe has power over me. I can ratchet up the value of anything or anybody by adding authority to them. By needing authority, I add authority to authority. I increase my desire and, so assume my obedience to authorities over me when I feel the need to!

Authority of need acts as a justifier and question killer. Need justifies defense without question – ruling by assumption. Add need to any of the following to avoid questioning them – giving them a boost with the authority of need. Thus, I remove choice from the equation. For example:

  • Wants/desires – I want a new phone vs I need a new phone.
  • Fears – I must be afraid of a real threat. I feel afraid, so the threat must be real.
  • Assumptions – “I expect (need) this behavior from you…” and “You’re a [negative judgment that seeks to satisfy my sense of need]…”
  • Obedience – I must (rather than want to) go to the store (to satisfy my need to eat)…
  • Patterns and Predictions – That must happen because this happened… because I need it to…
  • Responses – You did something I don’t like so I must over/under-react…
  • Traditions – I’ve always done it this way… so, I need to continue in order to preserve the tradition.
  • Symbols – This pattern must mean this, so I can assume this meaning… In a world of ambiguity, adding need to symbols adds security while seriously reducing the field of possibilities I’ll consider.
  • And a whole lot more!

Using need as authority is another example of how I seek to use creativity to abrogate my responsibility for my creation.