My Significance in My Universe

To me, every thing is a concept, a notion within a system of connected notions forming a complex whole – my universe. Significance is a value I place on concepts to indicate their importance to me in the scheme of my universe. This includes every action of every thing, every feeling I feel, and every cause and effect. All within a universe of thought – my thought.

“The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine.” (Sir James Hopwood Jeans)

The Nature of My Significance

In my bubble of limited awareness, how might I find personal significance in the universe? My experience of life is real to me and not conceptual. There’s a huge gulf between non-corporeal thought and physical sensory experience.

Most of my memories are based on sensual perception of physical experience on which I placed a judgement. Those judgements included what should or shouldn’t have happened and emotions that identified the impact those experiences had on me. I know the difference between a thought about and the physical record of pain my body stores for experience.

Why do my thoughts and emotions feel as real as an associated physical experience? How can a simple concept, a notion, feel as significant as a physical sensation?

Am I experiencing life as sensual perceptions that validate concepts that only appear real? In a sea of concepts within a universe of cause-effect physical relationships, my intentions may seem insignificant when I consider them as thoughts. Among significant concepts I consider are the intentions that concern survival.

Even within my own mind, thoughts compete to survive.

How can one thought have any influence at all in such a vast sea of competing thoughts? After all, the size of my body is insignificant when compared to that of the earth. The earth is insignificant when compared to the number of celestial bodies that make up a galaxy, which is insignificant when compared to the whole universe. You might say my body represents many orders of magnitude of insignificance.

Insignificant – until I realize the irrelevance of the comparison. So, I’ve applied a physical measurement comparison to the non-physical.

The Nature of Perception

I have my own notions of such abstract ideas as justice, freedom, friendship, and love. These interact with concepts of some more concrete perceptions like my body, plants in the garden, and carpentry. Each a concept in an environment of concepts.

One concept that makes all others possible is that of separation from wholeness. This concept of differentiation turns one idea into an appearance of many. It also endows the universe with perspective, the capacity to differentiate me from not me. Because of this differentiating principle of perspective, I have experience. Without a notion of differentiation, there is no perception, and thus, no experience. Perception arises from a concept.

My Significance in a Universe of Concepts

To me, “I” appear to be my body, thoughts, and feelings. And yet, I am actually beliefs about those things. Beliefs are concepts that are thoughts. The perception of “I” represents the central thought in a universe of my own thoughts. Thus, in my universe of limited perceptual awareness, I am the literal and figurative center and creator of everything.

What if significance is a value that I, the dreamer, place on a concept to indicate its importance to the dreamer in the dream? Rather than infinitesimally insignificant, as the dreamer of the dream, might I instead be ultimately significant?

Change a thought and you can change the entire universe. Imagine that!

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Reconsidering the Law of Compensation

What if beyond my limited awareness bubble, the Law of Compensation is not a law? What if it’s an illusion, a perceptual result of defense of separation that I experience as lack?

By applying a mental filter, I can see this law in action in what I observe. That is, when I see someone achieve a goal, I can apply this “law” and assume that person helped enough others achieve their goals. So, applying it to my own life, I get busy helping other people achieve their goals so I can achieve mine.

It’s a simple business transaction: I give value, I get value. Value for value. Fairness. And, as we all know, the universe is nothing if not fair.

It’s always unfair to the one who feels dissatisfied. (anon)

Assuming the law is true, all I have to do is help some people get what they want, then sit back and wait for the universe to “pay up.” Since it’s the law, I should expect payment. When my expectations are not met, I have to wonder why. Maybe I didn’t help enough people or the right people. Or…

Maybe the Law of Compensation is not really a law after all.

What if there is another way to understand this than as a natural law, like gravity, that must be obeyed? What if my expectation of fairness is more a want than a law? What if there was never a hole to fill or loss to compensate for? Might it just be an illusion that confirms my belief in justice?

Compensation For What?

In order for the law of compensation to have any meaning, one must accept the concept of lack as a fundamental truth. That is, one must work to achieve what they lack. One must compensate for a deficit.

What happens when I no longer perceive lack? When I thoroughly and completely accept the concept of wholeness?

According to the Law of Compensation, where there is loss, there must be compensation. From a wholeness perspective, there is no loss. So, in order to preserve the “law” as a law, I must invent a loss or deficit for which I must compensate. To balance loss there must be gain to equal out the exchange. Thankfully, I have a good imagination!

Perhaps I invented the Law of Compensation in order to feel certain things – like a sense of personal:

  • growth – to compensate for diminishing sense of individualism
  • justice – to compensate for a sense of loss of rightness when wronged
  • fairness – to compensate for a sense of disadvantage in a competitive world
  • balance – to compensate for my feelings of imbalance

All these defend my position within First and Second Degrees of Illumination. And defend me against enlightenment beyond that. While I hold out the Law of Compensation as truth, I will remain limited in:

  • awareness of what may lie beyond fairness, justice, and defense.
  • gratitude for what is – as my focus is always on lack that needs compensating for.
  • awakening to the unlimited Self – as I’ve limited Self to perceiving life as a transaction.
  • connection to everything in my external reality.

I wonder how my life might look when my perspective is no longer one of lack needing compensation. Perhaps when I no longer perceive myself as a deficit to the universe, I will no longer have to obey the Law of Compensation.

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The Law of Compensation

In my bubble of limited awareness, compensation means to make up for (a loss or lack) by exerting an opposite force or effect. Every action compensates for some lack. This “law” confirms my belief in separation and justifies my sense of justice. Yeah, it’s probably another one of those self-referential paradoxes.

Sir Isaac Newton codified this law into his third law of motion. “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

Basically, this law says that you get what you give. The more you contribute in life, the more you receive from the Universe. Of course the opposite is also true.
(Hurley, The Law of Compensation)

Using the Law of Compensation

Some say they have amassed fortunes as a result of mastering this law. My payment to them in the currency of money, attention, behaviors, and perceptions illustrate how I use their belief in the law to compensate for my sense of lack. Thus, enriching their bank accounts at the expense of mine. See, it works for them, so must work for me, too! That’s what makes it a law.

You can get anything you want in life if you help other people get more of what they want. (Granados)

As noble and useful as this appears, it makes one significant assumption. It assumes lack as a condition that must be compensated for with right, justified, and/or proper action. Further, it supposes that one can invest some energy and as a result reap a guaranteed reward of their choosing. An enticing idea. Particularly in the West, where wealth is seen as success in life, those sensing lack for any reason may find application of this law irresistible.

Compensation in Terms of Value

I attach value to everything in order to make comparison judgments based on my personal value. Things have no value until I invest my life-force energy in defense of a judgment – “rightness.” When I judge a loss in rightness value, I work to compensate for it.

Thus, judgment requires perception of value. Investment requires value judgments. I invest in value judgments with value judgments in order to make value judgments.  I guess that settles the self-referential paradox question. It’s a paradox!

Could the “law of compensation” be a conceptual misinterpretation of the natural law of accountability in which the universe accounts to me by presenting my beliefs to me? Perhaps compensation is a law in my universe because I believe in and defend the perception of lack.

Does the earth realize a loss regained when it compensates for evaporation by returning huge rivers of water to the ocean?

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The Something Out of Nothing Paradox

In my bubble of limited awareness, the First Law of Thermodynamics states that you can’t create something out of nothing. Yet, it would seem that that is exactly what is happening at the non-physical level of thought. Perception can do what appears to be impossible at the physical level. How?

Perhaps one way for a conscious agent to coexist between realities – e.g., thought and physicality – is through imagination. Does fear, as an absence of rational thought, exist outside of imagination? No! Imagination is the only place fear can exist as an influence by and to a conscious agent. This influence can disrupt an agent’s attention on the familiar and lock it onto the unfamiliar. When this happens, the agent can feel out of their comfort zone. The time they spend feeling afraid is the time it takes to regain rational self-directed focus.

Imagination can translate perception into fact and vice versa by means of paradoxical thought. Imagination uses this paradox in order to create a sense of balance. Balance is achieved when the paradox feels satisfied, e. g., when perception of physical reality satisfies non-physical thought. In this way, mutual satisfaction between realities appears to resolve the paradox. Thereby making something out of nothing.

Comparing Imaginary Values

Wholeness represents completeness, no needs to fill. In order to achieve wholeness, my goal, I must compensate for my lack of it. Through imagination I can assign internal values to external things. In this way, I believe I can compensate for the value I feel I lack. Thus, something out of nothing.

This is the essence of perspective. An imaginary point of reference from which I measure my beliefs in terms of imaginary values. This is how I relate external values to internal worth. The measure of an objective thing’s value is in my investment in its ability to represent my subjective perspective. Again, something out of nothing.

Because I believe I can achieve my goal of wholeness in this way, I’m committed to defending all my investments in this reality. My level of defense is based on my subjective sense of loss and gain in terms of objective value. Since loss and gain are constructs of imagination, values translate measurements into labels – good, bad, right, wrong, and better, worse. A paradox of nothing into something.

An ability to imagine loss or gain may well have the ability to live in two realities simultaneously. Turning nothing into something and something into nothing may be why thought can seemingly compensate and survive psychologically. In this way, my mind perceives a need filled – nothing perceived as something. Thus, the paradox.

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My Emotional Investment in Defense

What have I noticed that I do?
I express the value I’ve attached to my thoughts in my emotional investment in their defense.

How do I do that?
Within First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble awareness, every investment in thought and action must be accounted for with defense – to accommodate and sustain my sense of rightness.

Why do I do that?
Within the bubble, defense satisfies my need to feel a certain way about my experience – right, justified, proper! When I’m in the bubble groove, I feel convinced that my experience is real, true, and exactly as I perceive it. Because it is not actually as I perceive it, I engage a mechanism to support my perception as the perception in order to sustain ME as the ultimate authority over all – Mr. Right. This, in turn, sustains the presentation of my beliefs in the thoughts I entertain about the presentation. Circular! Self-sustaining! Self-convincing! Right!

Who do I think I am as a result of doing it?
Within the bubble – I feel, therefore, I am. I get to believe I am who I am by witnessing who I am not. I am not any part of my perception – yet it feels like I am. Investment in emotional defense tends to pull me into a belief that, “I am what  I defend” – I am what I think, do, and feel.

Investment Beyond the Bubble

Beyond the bubble, defense is irrelevant. Values once used for emotional investment in defense are released from compulsory military service to explore whatever is beyond.

What if I am much more than my ideal bubble image I defend? How much more? What is beyond measure? What is beyond bubble awareness?

As Jelaluddin Rumi so eloquently put it:

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase each other
doesn’t make any sense.

(Essential Rumi by Coleman Barks)

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