Perfection and the Never Good Enough Perspective

Essential to First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble awareness is the concept of competition and defense. In that awareness, I’m ever seeking that which is “better” – never arriving at perfection, “best,” or even “good enough.” There is always something or someone better.

One might say that bubble awareness embodies the essence of the 7 Deadly Sins. These “sins” point out the comparative nature of the bubble. First, I define “sin” as “short of the mark” or “less than perfect.” (Wikipedia) I have some favorites:

Greed seems to me to illustrate the essence of the “never good enough perspective” – I define greed as:

a selfish and excessive desire for more of something than is needed. (Webster)

From this perspective, more is always better than less. I, you, they can always do better. “Enough” sits out there in a time that can never arrive an achievable goal that can never be achieved. Think Escher’s Penrose Stairs drawing.

I’ve been guilty of stuffing my stomach with far more than “is needed” then felt hungry afterwards. Sounds a lot like gluttony, another of the 7 deadly sins:

the over-indulgence and over-consumption of anything to the point of waste. (Wikipedia)

And yet, even when over-indulged there is a sense that it’s not quite enough. My lust for more and better does not like to hear the words “diet” and “budget.” I think of gluttony as lack on steroids. I wastefully indulge and consume as a defense against a sense of an ever-growing void.

And then there is envy, defined as:

a sad or resentful covetousness towards the traits or possessions of someone else. (Wikipedia)

“I hate her because she’s so beautiful.” My envy makes my life appear to come up short – lacking – compared to an impossible standard that is someone else.  Then I defend my perception of lack by externalizing it with feeling. Envy is a hole that gets deeper the more I work at filling the one next to it.

Sometimes the sense of lack motivates me to take action to correct a perceived shortcoming. In the end, however, because I fundamentally believe in lack, I’ll never attain the level of happiness, joy, wealth, and etc. that I think someone else has. Why? Because that “someone else” is MY imagining of “them” – not them.

What if I Do “Lack Consciousness” on Purpose?

These “sins” illustrate a fundamental and essential element of bubble awareness: competition. The bubble perspective is one of lack – compared to wholeness. I even imagine my mythical “wholeness” as short of whatever is “above,” “beyond,” or “better” than it. “What is beyond the edge of the universe?” From this imagined perspective, every goal has another goal beyond it – forever short of.

I defend this perspective by acknowledging lack as a fact in an unlimited universe. Sound crazy? Yeah, I though so, too. Until I remembered that this “short of perfection” thing is what gives me an experience of separation from ONENESS. In other words – dammit – it’s my desire and intention!

Thus, the usefulness of getting to know and accept myself. As I gain a handle on who I am, I begin to appreciate my intention to experience something less than all. That I like, need, and intend the separation that forms the foundation of comparison. From that lack-within-wholeness perspective, everything falls into place – one cohesive universe of infinite separate parts.

A world of sin. Just as I intend it to be. Egad!

How Awareness Resolves the Conflict Between Separation and Wholeness

In bubble awareness, I experience only separation – something compared to something else, me vs not me, and etc. I may not even be capable of an awareness of wholeness, instead ever seeking that which will make me whole. And yet, I have this nagging feeling that I am something greater than I appear.

How do I resolve this apparent conflict between separation and wholeness from such a limited awareness?

Systems of Intention and Purpose

Parts of systems all serve one collective intention. Independent perspective gives each part a sense of separation and individual purpose that affects the collective intention. Cooperation, rapport, and common purpose provide awareness of wholeness from within separation. One for ALL and ALL for One.

For example, trillions and trillions of independent cells make up my body, each with their own perspective. Each seeks connection and fulfillment through service to the whole system. In return, the whole provides for each.

No one of those individuals parts contain my consciousness, although each is conscious. From the perspective of the whole, consciousness may be thought of as that which manifests awareness of collective intention. I experience through awareness – that is subject to choice and conscious direction.

In this way, although seemingly tiny and insignificant in the vastness of the universe, I serve and am served by the whole of it. Awareness of my contribution and its effects are entirely up to me.

4 Aspects, ONE Consciousness

Within my First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble consciousness, I experience the concepts of “Source” and  “Oneness” in terms of separation and competition. This sense of prompts me to view life in terms of ME vs Not ME.

From this perspective, I am not the Source or One. I seek, pray, or connect in some way to Source or Oneness – because I’m conscious it is NOT ME. Even when I think Source is IN me, “it” appears as a separate concept competing with others.

An Illusion of Separation

I manage this “trick” of conscious separation by means of aspects I defend. Each aspect seems separate from others  because each DOES something different from its siblings. Yet, they are actually all functions of ONE consciousness – ONE Source ME.

Separation Within Oneness

ONE (Source) provides an illusion of separation by flowing consciousness through functions of:

  1. Will that provides power for…
  2. Intent that provides beliefs and direction for…
  3. The Interpreter that translates belief thoughts into…
  4. Experience in the form of emotion, sensual awareness, judgments, and etc.

This process returns accounting back through the various functions to Source:

  1. Will accounts to Source by returning an appreciation for separation.
  2. Intent accounts to Will by returning a sense of purpose…
  3. The Interpreter accounts to Intent by returning value and meaning for beliefs and direction…
  4. Experience accounts to The Interpreter by providing validation for interpreted belief thoughts…

All without actually fragmenting ONE Source. Ingenious!

Blame As Counterfeit for Accountability

Does blame act as a First-Second Degree of Illumination counterfeit for Fourth Degree of Illumination accountability?

I have this idea that I can determine cause from perception of effect. I perceive something and, based on this evidence, soon believe I understand what, how, and why I perceived it as I did. For the most part, this line of reasoning works for me. Where this gets “dicey” is when I apply that reasoning to others – blame.

Considering my propensity for belief and trust in my ability to discern cause from effect within the bubble, blame works as an adequate substitute. Once blame is affixed, I feel satisfied that “justice has been done” and “books balanced” – done! No more inquiry necessary! And isn’t that the goal of my First-Second Degree bubble – to remain securely inside the bubble?

Inside the bubble, accountability and blame are basically synonymous. Dykstra sees accountability as, “answerability, blameworthiness, liability, and the expectation of account-giving.” An apt description of the bubble-bound counterfeit, blame.

Beyond the bubble, however, the concept takes on an entirely different flavor. Fourth Degree of Illumination accountability is more like “acceptance of the joy of being you in balance.”

Accounting for Values

A first step in Fourth Degree awareness may be a release of the bubble mentality of blame. The concept of “balancing the books” seems more appropriate when discussing Fourth Degree accountability. To balance the books, it makes some sense to me to consider investigating values.

I place value on everything when competition is the name of the game. This is better than that – because this is worth more than that in terms of value to me. I’ve become adept at measuring subjectives like emotions in terms of value – levels. For example, I can answer the question, “On a scale of 0-10, how angry do you feel?” This acknowledges a placement of an objective value on a subjective experience.

In the realm of blame, I’m keenly aware of a positive vs negative ledger. I view these positives and negatives in terms of values. My belief is that I must resolve all values to the positive side in order to win. “He who dies with the most points, wins!” Of course, this acknowledges the outcome of bubble thinking – win/lose – death!

Gratitude as Accountability

What might happen were I to balance my ledger? In bubble thinking, I would zero-sum out = loss. In Fourth Degree thinking, I would simply balance out of the competition game. Where there is no comparison, there is no competition, and thus no game. There is no win-lose, lose-lose, or even win-win. Because the competition game is over.

How do I end the competition game when it is all I know?

That game may be all I THINK I KNOW – yet it is far from all I know. I have no idea how much I actually know – because I’ve accepted counterfeits as real. In an instant of clarity where the competition over values disappears into oneness, only gratitude remains. It’s a different kind of gratitude than one experiences from within the bubble of competition. This kind of gratitude is exquisite, sublime, pure, and as some have described it, bliss.

Inside the bubble, I value the feeling of gratitude and so I utter to myself, “Oh, I hope I experience that level of joy someday!”

What if outside the bubble time were irrelevant? “I choose to experience gratitude right now!”

Resources:

  •  Dykstra, Clarence A. (February 1939). “The Quest for Responsibility”. American Political Science Review. The American Political Science Review, Vol. 33, No. 1. 33 (1): 1–25. doi:10.2307/1949761. JSTOR 1949761.

 

Community – How Oneness May Be the Natural Order

Everything about us as humans speaks of oneness. Community.

Starting with conception, a successful sperm and ovum (egg) leave their communities for the purpose of continuing as one. We move from oneness to oneness.

Could oneness of purpose be our natural order?

The physical human body, when viewed from the outside, appears as one form. When the body, however, is studied under considerable magnification and with scrutiny towards detail of both inner and outer properties, it becomes clearer just how community-oriented we are – right down to the quantum levels of matter.

Based on common purpose, our interconnections become our vitality. It seems that nurture supports inner-connections to fulfill ONE intention – wholeness. This success of oneness is derived by each member giving and receiving 100%. Giving and receiving are BOTH necessary components of ONEness.

Oneness of purpose is the natural order for successful survival of all species of life on earth. All organisms, from the micro to the macro, reproduce and thus live in community into infinity.

The Myth of Individualism

When I am in pain or feeling alone, or misunderstood, I want someone to comfort and validate me. When I’m celebrating, I want to do it with others. Our social infrastructures on this planet support gatherings. To infinity, this propensity for gathering draws us ever-closer to REALIZATION of ONEness.