How do I Find My Way Out of the Justification Wasteland?

I’ve created a justification wasteland. How? Because I have a problem-solving mind, I continually engage in searching for and finding solutions to problems I perceive. I’m used to it in my bubble of limited awareness! Thus I’ve defended my understanding of problem-solving with justification.

Why would I feel the need to justify my present with my past? Perhaps I know my problem-solving mind is limited to my reliance on insufficient present evidence. It doesn’t like uncertainty.

Fortunately, there’s a solution to the insufficient evidence problem. A biased memory can add confidence to that current evidence and thus boost trust in the present perception. Therefore, confidence makes evidence appear more convincing than it should.

When I isolate one event from others, I avoid biased memories influencing my present perceptions. Biased memory applied to the current situation changes the current situation. As I question only the evidence in the present event, isolating my perceptions to the moment they occur, I can ask relevant questions. Relevant questions and well-thought-out answers result in learning, awareness, and problems resolved.

For example, “Why am I defending this perception?”, “What is my investment?”, and “Who do I think I am at that moment?” A relevant question will lead to an increase in awareness of self. This follows Apollo’s aphorism to “know thyself.”

Does Justification Tax the Mind with Irrelevance?

Justification is a defensive mechanism that seeks to keep certain emotions, thoughts, concepts or impulses from conscious awareness.

What if justification is the result of applying irrelevant answers to irrelevant situations? What does this mean to a problem-solving mind? Justification presents a solution that diverts attention away from the original problem.

As I invest in defense of the distraction, my mind goes to work in solving the wrong problem. This accomplishes nothing toward solving the original problem, which is, “I don’t know myself.”

That wander into irrelevance is a kind of a wasteland away from relevant resources. This keeps my mind busy trying to solve a problem that isn’t the problem.

What Can I Do to Find My Way Out of the Wasteland?

I can tell you how to stay – just use the same strategy to get out that got you in! You can’t justify yourself out of the justification wasteland!

If I continue to see my life as a problem to be solved, I’ll most likely stay in the wasteland. I must think differently! When I find that different way, my mind will recognize it as relief from the justification tax it has been paying.

A Relationship Between Intention and Purpose

In my bubble of limited awareness, I have only one purpose in life: to fulfill an intention to be whole. This intention sets up a perception of lack forever seeking fulfillment.

Perhaps the first need that intention must satisfy in order to continue is its purpose. Intention sets up a structure in which it asks, “Why do I exist?” Purpose makes sense of the structure of intention with an answer in the format of, “…because…”

Intention and purpose set up a process that presents a lack and identifies what will satisfy it. Intention is like one side of a coin representing a deficit. And the other side, the purpose to complete it. In this way, each side of the coin serves as the complement of the other. Together, the two sides represent one coin.

Any action in service to a purpose is in service to an intention.

Seeing Both Sides of the Coin

In our coin example, only one side can be viewed at a time. For each side of a coin, there is a hidden other side.

Due to a limitation in attention, I can attend to only one thing at a time.  This is why I see one side of a coin and believe that’s all there is to it. This works to lock my awareness onto one side of the coin and lockout the other. Thus, eliminating the ambiguity.

An interaction between intention and purpose creates a process. That process results in a manifestation that gives a limited meaning to that interaction.

What am I NOT aware of in this intention? Why am I NOT aware of it?

For every intention, there is a purpose. For every what, there is a why. The flip side – for every purpose there’s an intention. And for every why there is a what. Due to this one-to-one relationship between intention and purpose, I might assume I can connect the dots.

I might assume I know an intention by looking at its manifestation. This assumes the reason why. Conversely, I might assume I know a purpose by looking at its manifestation – assuming the intention behind it. This is akin to looking at the heads side of a coin and assuming the other side is tails.

As a school kid, I lost a lot of lunch money to the kid who had a two-headed coin… Then, again…

What if there is no coin?

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?