and Inequity Resolving
There are six items one can consider in evaluating
troubles. They are Problem, Solution, Inequity, Equity, Focus and Direction. These six
kinds of measurements are different ways of determining the best way to eliminate an
irritation that our conscious minds have become aware of. Let's describe each item.
When one appreciates an irritation as a problem,
one defines the nature of the irritation specifically. For example, a problem might be a
leaky faucet. A Solution describes what might specifically be done to eliminate the
irritation; in this case, put a new washer in. Rather than describing a specific
irritation, an Inequity describes a category of irritation. In our example this might be
that one has trouble sleeping at night. Equity, describes a category of changes that would
diminish the irritation. In our scenario that might be making the bedroom more quiet.
Focus describes the area in which the irritation is most apparent. In our scene this might
be sounds made by non-organic things in the apartment. Direction describes the apparent
efforts that can be made toward a remedy. In this case, perhaps adjusting the various
items so they stop making noise.
The six items are connected as pairs - Problem with
Solution, Inequity with Equity and Focus with Direction. Any two pairs can be selected as
the group or "quad" to be used in evaluating a particular irritation. Only four
should be used on the same irritation at the same time. Otherwise, the nature of the
irritation becomes obscured and therefore the elimination of the irritation becomes less
likely. The dynamics of the quad are such that when three of the items are measured, the
value of the fourth suggests itself.
Inequity: Has trouble sleeping Focus: Things making
sounds Direction: Adjust those things Equity: A quiet room.
Note that the Equity is not the solution to the
inequity but rather a new state that improves the Inequity. In this case, there might be a
train rumbling on outside or neighbors having an argument or indigestion that still remain
and still hinder sleep. However, the purpose of achieving Equity is to salve enough of the
irritation that the inequity is relieved (not necessarily resolved). In this case, making
the room quiet aids in making it easier to sleep, but it still might not make it easy. If
the Focus and Direction are properly chosen, the resulting equity will counter any further
motivation to deal with the irritation. In effect, the irritation has been diminished
below the level requiring response.
Let's look at another Quad,
Problem: A dripping faucet Inequity: trouble
sleeping Equity: a quiet room Solution: A new washer
Here it is the dripping faucet or Problem that
first rivets the attention. Only then does our tired individual realize they are having
trouble sleeping. They clearly see that a quiet room would make things a lot better. So
they get up and hunt for a new washer.
Any quad will work objectively. But we are not
objective. Therefore the personal emphasis we place on each of these six items will
determine which four should be employed together. If all six are used, we can go round in
circles, never affecting the irritation level as illustrated in this example:
Problem: a dripping faucet Inequity: trouble
sleeping Focus: things making sounds Direction: adjust those things Equity: a quiet room
Solution: a new washer
What is a new washer doing after we have achieved a
quiet room? Let's move it up one so that it fits better.
Problem: a dripping faucet Inequity: trouble
sleeping Focus: things making sounds Direction: adjust those things Solution: a new washer
Equity: a quiet room
But wait a minute.... now the only action we take
to get rid of all the things that are making noise is to put a new washer in the faucet?
Its all a matter of emphasis. The difficulty is
that if all six items are considered, the irritation becomes completely objectified and no
emphasis can be placed. The emphasis is created (in a sense) by selecting which pair of
items are a given, and therefore need not be considered. That puts a bias on the whole
irritation and sets a foundation from which efforts can be launched.
The dynamics of all this lead to two different
kinds of justification that can get us into trouble. The moment we select a pair as the
givens, we will no longer look to them as the source of the irritation or means of
diminishing it. We commit ourselves to one appreciation of our troubles, never thinking
that it may be our own stubborn adherence to givens that is causing the irritation in the
The other kind of justification occurs when we
don't want to establish givens and try to be objective by using all six measurements. When
we do this there is no way to prioritize one measurement as more important than another.
As a result we go 'round in circles reconsidering the same issues over and over and
So, in a sense, we are damned if we do and damned
if we don't. Fortunately, there is a way out. We cannot tell when we begin if the problem
is due to our givens or due to our lack of them. We must first explore. We can pick either
model of justification and follow it through one and only one cycle. Either we use all
three pairs or we select any combination of four . When we have finished, we can evaluate
if we are satisfied with the impact we have made on the irritation. If so, we may retire
from the effort. If not, we can go through the three pairs in a different order or select
a different group of four. There are six orders we can go through the pairs and six
possible groups of four. Once we have exhausted all of one method, if the irritation
remains, we must jump to the other method. So, if all order of three pairs don't work, we
then try the groups of four. If all groups of four don't work, we then try the three
If we have gone through all combinations of both
methods the irritation must be improved unless the situation has changed while we were
working through it. When this happens, there is nothing left to do but start over and try
it all again. However, even though it is by no means sure, if one goes through both
methods two times and still cannot improve the irritation, there are even odds that
leaving the situation unresolved by either accepting the irritation or removing oneself
from the situation is the best return on the effort.
Still, one must beware of leaving it at that. It is
important to make a note that tomorrow or next week, month or year, one will return to
evaluate the irritation anew and determine if things have changed so that it no longer
exists or that one can confidently expect that further effort will finally eliminate it.