Notice your daily doings as soon as you wake, and imagine what must be done in your day. What do those activities lead you towards? What do those activities lead you away from? Whether it be cooking breakfast, taking the kids to school, going to work, mowing the lawn, etc.
Whatever it is, just take a log of what you notice. Both the actions that are driven by a place you eventually want to be, and the actions that are driven by experiences you want to move away from.
Now, let’s explore those actions. Because each of them have pre-determined intended positive outcomes, you can ask yourself questions like: What will doing that do for you?, What good thing comes when you complete that activity?, What good thing comes when you don’t complete those certain activities you never got around to? Some examples:
- Earn a living to provide food and shelter for you and your families’ heads.
- Save for your retirement so you can finally relax and travel the world.
- Gain a professional reputation that will make you feel fulfilled.
- Succeed at growing your business so you can be happy.
Now, I want you to notice the conditions upon which your future states of fulfilment, happiness, and relaxation currently depend. Take a log of what you know must happen, in order for you to experience what you would like.
Whatever they may be, just notice that all of these conditions and operations are beautifully valid. All of them have great intended positive outcomes. All of them provide great hope for having things in life be better.
With all the above in mind, we shall now work to unveil the distortions of reward and punishment. In sessions with clients, my main role as facilitator is to work with the client to form an outcome that is in greater congruence with who they are and would like to be now and into the future, to unveil the main distortions that are unworkable and diminish their life-force, and to offer frames that redirect their attention to more workable operations of value fulfilment and growth.
Put simply, there are two main distortions of reward and punishment that keep clients diminishing their well-being in hope that it can be better for themselves and All which they hold dear.
- Confusing the “what” with how”. Ask anyone what they would like in life, and more often than not they will share with you what they believe must happen before they can get what they want.
- Loving violations of other peoples’ free will. Ask what they believe must happen in order for them to get what they want, and they will reveal to you events and occurrences that are not of their own volition. For example, “someone else must change their life so I can have what I want.”
Ideally, over the course of our interactions, I hope to offer clients and readers a space where they can (if they would like) come into more rapport with this universe’s construct, in the same way this universe is always in rapport with them.
What do I mean? We live in a mirroring universe. Not a rewarding and punishing one. In a mirroring universe, what you want is reflected; what you don’t want is also reflected. What you cast your attention to, communicates your request. And this mirroring universe always responds with precision: “YES!”
Yes to what you want.
Yes to what you don’t.
Yes to what you think of.
Yes to even no.
In a previous post (beyond the epidemic of self-affliction), we discussed the main presupposition that keeps most human beings stuck in a zero-sum game of victim and perpretrator. I called it the epidemic of self-affliction. In this post, we unveil some of the key distortions that extend from that presupposition.
When we presuppose that we aren’t excellent beings with unbound potential, but repenting beings who must prove or earn our worth and freedom, then a few of unavoidable operations occur …
Firstly, we will seek to work hard and diminish our energies in exchange that we may finally get what we want (reward). We presuppose upon life that we must work for reward. So in a mirroring universe, we attract people, events, and occurrences that we must “work through” in hope that we may eventually get what we want. We will also assert this unto others. The way this operation shows up can come in many variations. But ultimately it is structured as follows:
“How can I trade enough of my well-being so that I can finally be well?”
Now, there is nothing wrong with working per say. It is a form of output for which a certain input is mirrored back to us. However, work can be conducive to ever-increasing amounts of well-being, beyond the presuppositions of reward and punishment.
Secondly, we can punish ourselves to the point of severe illness, so that our Suffering will provide some relief from the ways we perceived to have sinned (punishment). So in a mirroring universe, we will attract people, events, and occurrences that “punch us in the face” so to speak, in hope that we may eventually be freed from damnation. We will also assert this unto others. The way this operation shows up can come in many variations. But ultimately, it is structured as:
“How can I diminish my well-being severely enough that my well-being will be redeemed?”
These operations are entropic by design. And as you probably already notice, they are unworkable operations. Although so many of us do it dearly, honestly, and sincerely, they are by design: unworkable. This is the source of all human Suffering.
Lastly, our energy and attention generate GODS of power that govern our lives. We operationalize these gods with the power to decide what the rules are for punishment, reward, freedom, enlightenment, and damnation. All in an unworkable attempt for redemption, or all in a unworkable attempt to be rewarded a state which those symbols were designed to never give. Put simply, we have been seduced by the GODS we created.
The often distorted version of karma and the presupposition that we must “correct” things we did in our past lives is also an extension of this fundamental presupposition about who we are as a race. It is as unworkable as trying to spin in a perfect circle long enough that eventually you can move from the one spot. The empowering question you want to ask yourself and others is:
“Who are we as a race if we have the authority to birth our own GODS?”
Go back to what you notice about your life. And ask yourself: What would I like? Then notice whether your response is any one or more of the following:
- What you think you can have.
- What you think you deserve.
- What you think you must do before you can have what you want.
- What you think you must no longer have in order to have what you want.
- What must change in others and life to enable you having what you want.
Then notice, in what ways are you trying to earn your deserving? In what ways are you wanting to earn your worth? In what ways are you trying to pay your dues? In what ways do you believe others or the world must change, such that your experience of life and the world can change?
Notice these are all extensions of reward and punishment. D0 any of these statements seem familiar to you?
- “I’ll increase my net-worth.”
- “You get the results you deserve.”
- “If I do this well, I will get back in his/her good books.”
- “Success must come with struggle.”
- “Anything worth pursuing comes at a cost.”
Okay, thank you. Now I’d like you to try on a different hat for a moment if you will. You can do away with it anytime you would like anyway. But this is what I want you to try on:
“Life mirrors what I want: perfectly, reliably, always, and All-ways.”
Now, take a stroll about the world and notice what this experience of life is like. Notice where your attention is? Is it on yourself and what you would like? Or is it on others, and what others must do in order for your life to be better? Is it presupposed that life is sending you your desires and requests, or is your attention on other people, places, and things to reward you for your efforts? And what thoughts and behaviors do you find yourself expressing in service to self, others, and life itself?
Most clients, when they arrive at this inquiry, tell me how much more simplified life is, and how much less effort is required to experience and express life. If yours differs, okay. I’d just like you to try it on.
But you might be wondering: “Doesn’t that just make me entitled?” Where you simply believe yourself to be inherently deserving of priveleges or special treatment? On one level, yes. But beneath that, notice whether the expression of entitlement comes from reward and punishment, or not.
For example, does the person communicate: I deserve that because all the previous generations f*cked it up for me. So why should I have to do anything? Notice that this still presupposes a zero-sum game of reward and punishment.
What I am referring to is that the right to want and expectation to receive, can come from a space of:
“Life mirrors to me what I want, I take what is given, I experience what I take fully, and I choose again.”
Notice how different the energy is behind this presupposition. It has nothing to do with whether what they would like is exactly provided as they imagined.
Rather, it is way to experience life free of resistance. Where we willingly take what is mirrored, and choose again. Rather than making others or life wrong, rather than refusing to take what is given as if we ought to have been rewarded better …
We are simply saying okay, thank you. And then asking ourselves again, what we would like. And choosing thereon. We all have experiences (both positive and negative) to completely experience before we move on to the next experience.
But if we resist those experiences by avoiding/enforcing punishment or seeking/bestowing reward, our hands are full pushing away what has been mirrored to us, such that we cannot use our hands to reach for something new.
The sun doesn’t need to earn its right to shine. Neither do we. We are all Excellent beings doing the best we can. No exceptions ever. 🙂
Human by choice,