Playing the Contrarian Game (Part Two)

You've entered this level having selected the oppositional cognitive strategy in Part One. You have taken it for a test drive and found this strategy works for you. You can routinely dismiss positive comments and validate negative remarks with ease. You see this cognitive strategy offers many advantages over thinking like those numb skulls who claim to be devoted to positive thinking while reacting negatively to anything negative. You know that getting to the truth of a situation calls for something more than naivete, simple minded explanations and wishful thinking. When you've developed a strong sense that your oppositional strategy is the way to go - you may advance to the next domain which includes seven new levels/challenges.

The previous domain dwelled upon choosing and deciding. This new domain is about seeing. The first challenge in this new "seeing" domain begins with seeing how it appears that you're making progress and doing good when thinking like a curmudgeon. There is always someone to shoot down and something to contradict. There is never a dull moment with no stupidity or clueless ambitions to set straight. With so much to do, it appears you're on the right track. In this level you find out you're blind to what's going on here. When you can see that all your interactions are going nowhere, (really boring, more of the same-old-same-old, chasing your own tail), you may advance to the next level.

In this level you now see that what you say is highly repetitive. But it appears its necessary because there is a continuous supply of over-simplistic thinking to be corrected. It's a job that somebody has to do and it might as well be you. You learn in this level that your reliable use of the oppositional cognitive strategy is making enemies. You appear mean-spirited to others. You're coming across as malicious, wicked and vindictive to people that have to deal with what you see and say. All you need to do to move on to the next level -- is see how you can have that alarming effect on others and make those consistent impressions unintentionally.

You're seeing resources now include seeing how repetitively all curmudgeons act and how your conduct has a side effect of making enemies. It still appears that you are seeing eye to eye when you help others wise up. You assume your on the same level and sharing an interest in the truth. In this next level, you learn you are looking down on people. You appear conceited, arrogant and self righteous with the stances you take. You may advance to the next level when you see how you are lacking in humility, respect, empathy and rapport.

The next challenge is to sort out who's the problem. It appears you are solving the problem by taking initiative, speaking up and addressing the situation better than the others involved. It's obvious the "clueless wonders" are the real problem. In this level you find out you are part of the problem. If it weren't for you, the problem with work itself out or evaporate on its own. When you can see that you are escalating, feeding and enabling the problems you address, you may advance to the next level.

After seeing that you are part of the problem, the next challenge explores how you are feeding the problem. It appears you are objectively identifying what is wrong, mistaken or ignorant. You get feedback in this level that you are pointing you finger, blaming others and shooting the messengers who bring word of what you are not seeing. When you can see that you are failing to take responsibility for your part in this (pointing three fingers back at yourself, reclaiming your own baggage, stopping the projection of your own issues onto others), the next level will accept you.

You are nearing the exit of this domain. Your seeing resources include five new ways to see yourself and situations. The next challenge questions the leadership in these situations. It appears you are taking the lead when you avoid collusion with those simple-minded idiots. You discover in this level that you are failing to provide leadership. You are merely taking an extreme, one-sided, adversarial stance. You are unconsciously asking for trouble, battles or conflicts with those who feel attacked, dismissed and devalued by your outlook. When you can see your lack of an envisioned future, validation of others and earned respect, the gates to the next level will open.

Up until now, it seemed right to be confident in your outlook. You trusted what you saw to be accurate, objective and valuable. Each level of this domain has given you disorienting information. Your basis for trusting your own judgment has been questioned. You now see how to question your perceptions, challenge your conclusions and discern the effects of your conduct. The final challenge of this domain is to see the advantages of letting go (not knowing, returning to innocence, practicing emptiness, hanging out in limbo, suspending your need for certainty, moving forward with no ground under your feet). When the advantages of "not knowing how to proceed" become clear to your own mind, you may proceed to the next domain.

(to be continued and completed in Part Three)

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