A person I know once told me, “I am better than you because I have done better things than you…” And I believed him!
Maybe you’ve encountered this comparison game yourself – comparing who one person IS to another by what they each DO. Usually in a cause-effect formula that appears like this – “I Do better things (cause), so I AM a better person (effect)…” Do you sense the error in this logic?
There’s an aspect of me that likes to play this Comparison Game – a part that defines “me” as separate from you (“not me”) by use of the DO logic level. We know it as “competition” and it runs a bit like this:
- To KNOW I exist, I need to FEEL separate.
- I satisfy that need through the use of imagination – I imagine I can compare BEing at the DOing logic level.
- Over time, I equivocate BEing and DOing to the point of equivalence = I AM what I Am becomes I AM what I DO.
Let me reiterate –
Separation is impossible at the BEing level – all just IS. To satisfy a need to feel alive, I create an illusion of separation by imagining that I exist separately as a result of a COMPARISON between what I do versus what someone else does.
My thinking error is that I assume that in the same way I can measure results of doing, I can measure being. It’s like believing that because I can measure the weight of a bag of sand, I can measure the concept of that bag. How does one go about measuring an idea in pounds or grams? The IDEA of the bag of sand is not the bag of sand.
The map of the territory is not the territory depicted on the map.
Using this false equivalency thinking error, I set up defenses to support the “truth” that I AM separate based on DOing better/worse than others. Over time and with some practice, my defense becomes reality – one that comes at a cost: fear. I fear I am nothing unless separate from “others” who are better/worse than me – which strokes my “need to know I exist” core-value.
As a living organism capable of rational thought, the comparison game seems pretty irrational to me.