A Wholeness Measurement Problem

How would one measure wholeness? Before birth, I acted as a separate entity – “I”. That “I” prepared to come into a reality of many separate entities – a perspective within a social structure. Likewise, my body is a collective of separate parts that function as a whole society. These social environments have similar rules, regulations, and boundaries.

Within my bubble of awareness, I could think of my separate self as a fractal within a system made up of fractals. Each fractal element mimicking the demands and understandings of the larger collective fractal. This continues outward to the fractal-like systems beyond earth. Each element with its own yet similar set of rules, regulations, and boundaries.

Before conception, I am parts that when brought together, form one body and mind. Yet, within me, there are competing and complementary systems working to experience what can’t be experienced individually. A society shares the same cooperative and competitive processes that a single human experiences from moment to moment.

The Problem-Solving Paradox in a Separation/Wholeness Paradox

What if the “problem of being me” is in the solution to the problem – me? The problem appears because “I am” appears as a separation problem for wholeness. Perhaps the objective of life is not to solve the problem of separation. Maybe instead, to appreciate that problem in its solution.

On the other hand, what if wholeness is a problem for separateness? From the perspective of separation, wholeness might appear as non-existence. No borders, no definitions, no me, no you, no perceptions – nothing! Separate “me” might see that as death, a problem that avoidance of its awareness might solve!

I wonder, could interpreting what I think of as separate actually be my definition of wholeness? I wonder too if the reverse is the case.

A Wholeness Measurement Problem

With all the ways to experience separateness, my mind is evolving to interpret things in systematic measurements. I have conditioned myself to believe my senses and opinions as accurate forms of measuring my world.

Grouping is a wholeness measurement problem that assigns individual value according to that of a group and visa versa. In this case, my measurement of each individual represents my evaluation of the whole group. I also evaluate the whole group based on an individual in the group. Which I use to compare my value to anyone in the group or to the entire group. “My group” is good and “your group” is not, for example. You must be bad because you belong to a group I don’t like. And, I don’t like anyone in your group because I don’t like you.

This short-circuits any measurement I might make of any individual to that of the group and visa versa. The essence of prejudice – a measurement problem of measuring me.

The Problem with Measuring Me

It’s easy to see how prejudice can spread by grouping things and people together. The measurement problem is one example of how I experience the problem of being me. This makes me question my comparisons of “me” vs “not me.” I can see from this example just how wrong I can be.

Thus, the wholeness measurement problem becomes the problem of measuring me, an immeasurable entity. I have no reference from which to make that measurement except me. One cannot measure something against itself. I cannot measure myself against myself embodied in any perception I have of any person, place, or thing.

How would one measure wholeness? Measurement requires separate points from which to measure. Wholeness would include all points as one point – no separation means no measurement.

Thus, we are immeasurable.

Expressing Love in a World of Need

What do you mean when you say you love someone?” When I’m expressing love, I assume my expressions are understood the same way I do. That’s because I assume everyone understands the expressions of love in the same way – I do. We all know what love looks like – we all know it when we experience it – right?

Defining Love

Could love have multiple meanings depending upon the frame of mind of the one expressing or perceiving it? The word has more synonyms than any other.

The ancient Greeks sought to resolve the confusion by parsing love into many types to fit specific cases:

  • Sexual passion.
  • Platonic friendship.
  • Playful love.
  • Universal respect.
  • Long-term friendship.
  • Love of the self.

Even when broken down into specific types, there can be many more. For example:

  • Manipulative affection.
  • Spiritual acknowledgement.
  • Condescending superiority.
  • Aspirational or worshipful adulation.

Most of the above listed items are based on my wants and needs. That is, “I love” means “I want or need” something outside myself. This even when I say I love myself.

Expressing Love As Defense

Because I believe love separates with specialness, I use love to defend my perception of my universe as I perceive it. Thus making me special and separate from all I perceive as not me. In my bubble of limited awareness, “I love you” defends my belief in you separate from me.

When I ask, “Why?” of an “I love you” statement, I might hear “becauses” that defend the statement. Those defenses illustrate my misunderstandings about myself. Thus, when I say, “I love you,” I’m expressing my needs and feelings about myself. And I may expect reciprocation, “I love you, too.” Because I seek love from outside me, it validates my belief in separation of me and not me.

Instead of knocking myself out trying to find love, I might accept the truth of it – all is love. Not specific to any aspect of all, like a specific person, concept, or situation – ALL. Why? Because it’s all me – I’m the one perceiving my life and experiences. So, love must be an expression of me to me.

What do I mean when I say to you, “I love you?”

Am I saying, “I love you” in order to gain your favor? To appease you? Maybe because I feel guilty? What kind of love is that, then?

Ultimately, I define love in terms of emotions I feel in the moment I express it. My expression exposes my private feelings about ME in that moment. Thus, perhaps love is not so much about what I say, or how I say it. Maybe it’s about WHY I say it.

Imagine what might happen to your expressions of love when you feel gratitude for your world. When you recognize everything and everyone in your perception as your creation. When you accept accountability for your perception. Wow!

How might I express love from my perception of “me” to “not me” when WOW is its foundation?

Imagine something about which you feel “wow” inside. Something that evokes a feeling in you of amazed wonder and awe. Hold that image in your mind – maybe even magnify the feeling of it. Then immediately go to someone you care about, look them in the eye, maybe touch them. Don’t speak – just look and touch for a few seconds – long enough to feel significant.

Then say, “I love you.” Practice in the mirror. Awaken love!

 

Looking at Love Through Need Fulfillment

Why do people once in love end up despising each other? What happens when, “I love you” means “I need something from you?”

Sometimes I view love as a state of being. Other times I view it as something I do. And still other times I view it as a commodity I can buy, sell, or otherwise control. When viewed as a commodity, as in property, I may invest in love’s representations.

Love as Trade

For example, if my lover represents love as a commodity to me, I’ll view them as an asset. Thus, I’ll expect something of value from them to satisfy my investment in them. More to the point, the value they can give me to fill the lack I perceive in myself. I then invest in that commodity that seems at least equal to the value I receive from it.

This has not changed since ancient times. We still believe love is need fulfillment. No matter what morals we place on it, the concept is purely amoral. That is, I feel love when I feel satisfied.

Who expresses a sense of feeling loved when they are in dire straights? Love is conditional! Those who claim unconditional love are probably wanting something from you. Sounds like a harsh worldview? Maybe – and it’s a great description of my bubble of limited awareness in which I perceive competition and defense.

Gestures, symbols, and expressions will remain tools of trade until we understand love has no value.

Love and the Need to Be Special

Why do some people do horrific things in the name of love? Even when they have “everything” – wealth, respect, social acceptance. In some cases, it’s because they need to feel special to someone.

Love as a Weapon

When someone draws a weapon, they use it to their advantage to satisfy their needs. Basically, I use weapons for two reasons: to benefit me and threaten or defeat others in my need fulfillment.

Once I engage a weapon, most options disappear. For example, consider some ways I have used love to get what I needed:

  • Evoke emotion
  • Force cooperation
  • Intimidate others into agreement
  • Obligating others

An interesting aside – when I remove options from others, I also remove them from myself.

Because I NEED love, I’m acknowledging that I’m NOT experiencing it. Further, I may not be able to experience love because I need it. Yet, because I need it, I will do whatever it takes to get love.

Whatever I feel I need controls me. This can get complicated when I realize that I’ve defined love in terms of need. This turns the wonder of love into another master I must serve. Because I perceive love as a fearful master, I must serve love in fear. Thus, I must negotiate with my master to get love.

Symbolic Gestures and My Intention to Be Whole

There are as many symbolic gestures to represent love as there are imaginative ways to express it. Yet, love is not an expression. Rather, love is what we hope those we express it to understand. Love is within the intention we seek to convey.

It all comes back to my initial intention to be whole. All relationships represent this theme of becoming whole. When that intention turns into a need that MUST be fulfilled, I may view love in terms of lack. This can result in a relationship in which each feels they need the other to complete them. Thus, confirming the belief in lack.

To the drowning man, any floating thing will appear as the answer to his problem. From the perspective of desperation, love can only mean need fulfillment. Even though love may appear as the answer, in limited awareness, it can only indicate need.

How I Communicate in Symbolic Metaphor

I presuppose that I always communicate. Some of that is overt communication – like auditory speech and body language. Some is covert – like hidden agendas and motives.

Living beings communicate in symbols that represent ideas. Those covert symbolic representations may not be shared or understood between any one or more communicators. Because of that miscommunication, misunderstanding is common.

Every form of life communicates. In its actions and very being, each is itself a symbolic representation – a metaphor. That metaphor communicates validation of existence. Conscious awareness acknowledges existence of one compared to another. For example, I acknowledge my existence in comparison to all that is not me. Thus, this determines benefit or threat to myself.

How We Communicate in Metaphor

Comparing and determining benefit or threat allows me to know how to interact with my environment.

In every metaphor there is an explicit story with an implicit meaning. Metaphor provides opportunity for alternative meanings, comprehension, and value. Like the dollar bill that has virtually no value in and of itself – it’s just a piece of paper! That is, until two or more agree on a value for it in trade. So, that’s a metaphor – the foundation of overt and covert communication.

Dollar bill: Overt – a piece of paper. Covert – its agreed upon value in trade. Thus, application of meaning turns explicit into implicit – through symbolism.

Let’s look at the instinct to live. Avoidance of ending life produces an emotion, fear, that motivates certain behaviors. Thus, an overt behavior connects to a covert emotion. One might look at the overt behavior and comprehend the connection – only IF they presuppose the metaphor.

In many cases, the connection between overt and covert uses the word, “because…” For example, “I raised my voice because… I felt threatened.” The raised voice is a metaphor for how I felt. You heard the raised voice in my overt communication. You might connect that overt communication with a covert emotion and thus, understand the symbolism.

My Expression Tool Kit

I have a tool kit for expressing myself. By observing my behavior, you can learn a lot about who I think I am. And how I see my world. Thus, my overt behavior expresses my inner covert beliefs.

From my senses to my good sense, those tools are symbolic expressions of my identity. That tool kit expresses overt behaviors based on a covert ability to:

  • Survive on instinct:
    • Breathe
    • Wake/Sleep
    • Seek, consume, and process nourishment, and eliminate waste
    • Seek shelter or safety, and avoid threats
    • Respond to stimuli
    • Communicate
    • Desire to defend my and others’ lives
    • Reproduce
    • Heal, grow, and adapt
    • Innate drive to seek pleasure and avoid pain
  • Experience through my senses, my thoughts, my feelings and my body .
  • Sense fairness, equality, inequality
  • Judge the difference between: right and wrong, justice and mercy, cruelty, kindness, and indifference.
  • Learn to live by rules, principles and laws – cooperate with others.
  • Think for myself, doubt, question, answer, and interact with my environment.
  • Apply beliefs, biases, prejudices, forgiveness, non-judgement.
  • Mimic and counter my environment.
  • Communicate through various mediums like, voice, body language, and etc.
  • Understand, teach, learn, inspire, confuse, deny, acknowledge, agree and disagree.
  • Interpret, assume, presuppose, take advantage, use, waste, exploit.
  • Compare, compete, cooperate.
  • Feel pain, pleasure, fear and other emotions.
  • Harm others and myself.
  • Practice the 7 deadly sins:
    • Lust
    • Gluttony
    • Greed
    • Sloth
    • Wrath
    • Envy
    • Pride
  • Pretend, role-play, fantasize, entertain and be entertained.
  • Connect with other kinds of communication which I can then share.
  • Trust my environment to sustain my body and mind.
  • Choose, defend, take apart, put together, build, destroy.
  • Resist, accept, innovate, support myself and my  environment.
  • Move, be still, explore, change, and create.
  • Dream and imagine.
  • Comprehend symbols, apply meaning, and assess values.

I can’t NOT do any of the above!

Conclusion

Thus – I cannot express in only overt OR covert. I communicate who I am using both. Communication requires an overt expression with a covert meaning. As I come to understand my own expressions, I can learn to understand those of others as metaphors of ME.

Therefore, what I perceive must be a metaphor for who I am.

How an Intention to Be Whole Keeps Me from Wholeness!

Why do I need to do anything? Why do I have needs? What intention for my life would I have to have in order to believe I need something that will fulfill that intention?

Let’s investigate the most fundamental of all my intentions – the intention to be whole and complete. In my bubble of limited awareness, I may sense that intention as a desire to return to wholeness. This sets up a condition of lack and motivation to “move forward” towards wholeness. It’s a deficit situation in which needs play a critical part.

This situation derives from my fundamental intention to be whole. This results in a symbolic value equation that provides an experience of relativity I call life:

I + something = more whole than just I alone.

Intention Rules!

Holding the equation as objective truth, I can NEVER achieve wholeness. I’d be forever seeking and never arriving. There is never enough!

As my lack equation led me to this point, I’m left with motivation to “improve” on my way to the ultimate goal – wholeness. That sounds great until I realize it’s a paradox in which achieving and defending wholeness results in less than wholeness.

One might see need in this paradoxical way, too. Fulfilling a need eliminates it while making it real. Thus, needs are relative rather than absolute or objective.

Values, too, must be relative – rather than objective or absolute.

Because my equation is a paradox, there MUST BE another way to understand. What if I were to consider another equation:

I = Wholeness

From that equation, intention may become irrelevant – I am having the entire experience I’m having – no need to seek it. I’m feeling all the feelings I’m feeling – no need to seek more. I don’t have to seek wholeness because I already am whole.

To see yourself as whole, you would see everything else as whole and a representation of you and yourself as representing everything as whole. From that perspective, values, like intentions and needs, are irrelevant.

To quote from a scene in “The Incredibles,” “When everyone is super, no one is.” One has an entirely different experience when value comparisons are irrelevant.