"People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do." -- Isaac Asimov
Everybody thinks they’re right.
And pretty much everybody hangs out only with others who agree that they’re right.
I mean, there will probably never be a whole lot of Fox News watchers sitting around laughing with AOC and buying her a brewsky. There will probably never be a whole lot of political far-righters with much love in their hearts or even just tolerance for liberals. And vice versa, thank you very much.
There will probably never be a whole lot of spiritual fundamentalists- y’know, those, “You gotta work at it all your life to attain enlightenment” types- inviting the “This is it, no effort is needed,” folks to tea.
No, we humans prefer to gather only people who are our version of right around us. Teams are chosen. Sides are drawn.
So when the waters mix and we somehow end up smack up against someone who is wrong, well…
Outrage runs high. Things get heated. Wrong-Siders get blocked, denied access, cut out of lives. Names get called.
Which is where things get kind of odd. Because, especially in politics but also in spirituality….
The names we call the other side are the exact same names the other side calls us.
“You’re a Nazi!” “No you are!” “No you are!” “You’re uncaring, stupid, cold-hearted, and ignorant! You’re a know-it-all who knows nothing!” “Oh yeah? I know you are, but what am I?”
Yeah. It isn’t pretty.
We choose a side, we know who we are, we know where we belong. And then someone comes along and loudly challenges that carefully-constructed reality.
And we are not amused.
Luckily for our points of view, agitation binds us together. Being on a side, any side, enables certainty that we know who, what and where we are. We know where we stand.
Which of course implies there’s a Me standing somewhere.
And that's the point.
Good enough, that’ll do.
Because opinion and rightness and fury at wrongness and gathering the like-minded around us maintains the sense of self- the only thing these personalities actually really care about anyway.
“I am a liberal, I am a conservative, I am an evangelist, a neo-advaitist, a Workie, a Sedona-Method-er.”
“I am one of them, not one of them.”
Definition. Labels. Certainty. Confirmation, agreement, and the appearance of something real.
Opinion confirms the self.
Though sadly this corroborated, supposedly-real thing is wispy and therefore easily threatened. Which is why it needs protection, defense, anger and pounding fists.
So yes the level of anger is high. Because the level of fear is high.
Open minds are threatening to the self. Disagreement is threatening to the self. Either can reveal how gauzy this self-thing actually is.
So we will permit only input that confirms our bias, our point of view, our Selves. We will reject everything and everyone who doesn’t serve that mission. We’ll roll our eyes, change the channel, throw out the book, and hit the block button on all disagree-ers.
We will protect that tender little self-story and make it feel safe, dammit.
Even though it’s just a concept and doesn’t actually need protection.
So... will all this rage and divisiveness ever stop?
Will the personality suddenly decide, “Oh, that right-wing Nazi-sympathizer in the white hood over there looks like such a lovely person; I’ll just set aside my urge for like-mindedness and Self protection and go over and shake his gentlemanly hand?”
There will not be peace, love and flower-sharing throughout the divided lands.
The Self is far too tenuous to risk being that porous and open to difference.
So for now we’ll just have to expect more anger, more hostility, more Self protection. And like mankind has done for thousands upon thousands of years, we’ll find a way to live with the war and separation that comes with.
That’s the game here.
It will be played.
At least for now, anyway.
Am I right?
Who’s with me?
"There is no right and wrong, no better or worse. Truth isn’t good and delusion isn’t evil.
No one is ahead or behind. All is vanity. All." --Jed McKenna
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