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Driven


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#1    markdohle

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 01:50 PM

Driven


I think the old adage “never argue religion and politics”…..is probably a very wise one, but one that is very seldom followed.  Everything today seems to be based on one group either berating another group or religion, or trying to prove the superiority of “ones” party or religion over others; a lot of wasted energy and time.  From time to time I fall into this trap, and in the end, always regret it, since communication is simply not possible when this kind of seeking to influence others enters the picture; better to let others think and believe what they will, and hopefully others will give that respect back to me.  Even if it isn’t given back, I don’t think it is that important, since it is in the nature of being human to disagree and also to misunderstand one another.

I have also noticed that if someone has issues with his or her past, be it parental, or religious, or political; these issues have a way of getting in the way of true communication, leading to simplistic and black white judgments of those who bring to the surface these inner conflicts.  I suppose problems with authority, are the most common, something that I am still seeking to work thru, though my authority issues seem to be more manageable and less painful as I get older and hopefully wiser..

I have learned that I can’t influence anyone, nor dissuade anyone of anything, nor can anyone influence me, or change my outlook, unless I am ready to put aside my own prejudices and simply listen and perhaps learn; not always an easy thing to do.

I have also experienced first hand how people tend to judge other groups or religions by their lowest common denominator, to make sweeping generalizing of the worst kind, and then sit back and act as if they have stated a great truth!  I have of course done this, why else would I see it in others.  When this happens to me I usually just shut down, why bother (?), better to just conserve my energy for other more constructive endeavors.

I doubt that there is anyway around this, since we are more emotional than rational, and the more rational, people protest that they are, the more black and white they can be in their sizing up others, and their beliefs, not realizing that they in turn are causing others to do the same thing to them; labeling them as representing a particular group, be it theist, atheist or something other.  I suppose those of a more fundamentalist bent tend to do this, since they always have a ready quote from scripture or some philosopher, to back them up.  Such an endeavor is worthless since they can be countered by some other quote from the same scriptures or philosopher, or perhaps scientist if one leans in that direction.  Of course being a fundamentalist is not reserved to just the religious, atheist, and political pundits do the same thing.  

I suppose religion can be the worst, we can do the worst things to each other in the name of God.  I am not only speaking of those who are fundamentalist, but also liberals who can be worse in their disdain for anyone who disagrees with them.  Of course there are many exceptions in both groups, but the squeaky wheel makes the most noise, another adage that is only too true.

So do I give up trying to communicate?  No I don’t, but I am trying to learn that I can’t really influence what others do or think, also to let others make their own mistakes, just as I have made mine, to simply let others be, and allow God to work in their lives just as I have experienced God working in mine.  While it is true that each of us is the center of his or her universe, it is good to learn that in the world of other “inner beings” who also have a rich, and deep inner life; it is best to not believe that, since they are also speaking from their own center.  The only true center is God, and it is the love that flows from that Center that will allow the ability to simply listen to grow and mature, to let others be, and allow God grace to do its work.  Each of us is unique, so let it be.

To treat others as I want to be treated is a difficult practice, since it takes a great deal of being present to the moment, to the person in front of me, to be able to do this.  Emotions are powerful, and sometimes even if not felt are powerful in how they influence my ability to listen and to respect others.


#2    Gearshaag

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 03:02 PM

I think that it is good to debate ideas and concepts (including religion and politics), and to stifle that debate would, in a sense, kill off the flame of progress of the human intellect.
This is a double-edged sword, though, because, like you said, often, if not most of the time, folks tend to resort to flawed black-and-white thinking and ad hominem attacks and **** like that. In many cases, these discussions can indeed cause more damage in the end. Does that mean we should shouldn't discuss religion/politics at all? I say no, because there are some cases (many, actually) in which these discussions prompt good ideas and intellectual productivity. I don't think that just letting people believe whatever and just let it be is necessarily the best thing to do. I think if we constantly question what we believe and why we believe it, and at least somewhat challenge others to do so as well, we can help each other in our constant state of self-recreation and self-development. Had it not been for debates and things such as that then I never would have never escaped my previously fugue state of mental slavery to Christianity (no offense, Mark, not saying that you're a slave or that all Christians are slaves. It's just that often times, your belief system can and has been used as a system of imposed-servitude and mental strong-arming). I'm not saying you should be running around debating everyone, it's just that when the opportunity arises and it is appropriate, you should engage folks and question your supposed 'superiors' and 'authority figures'
Yeah, and I realize that often times, emotions can get flared up and tempers get heated. That's natural. But, if you remove your ego from your beliefs and ideas and revoke your emotional stake in any of that, then it makes debates and discussing ideas a hell of a lot easier. This is easier said than done, but, nevertheless, it can be done...

Edited by Gearshaag, 13 May 2013 - 03:11 PM.

Adversarial Light shine upon me!!

#3    Gearshaag

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 03:06 PM

Also, ultimately, the only real authority I recognize is myself. Any other 'authority' that exists was simply imposed by someone else who is, often times, just as incompetent, if not more, as the folks under them and has no real, objective anchoring. Of course I have standards and rules and a moral code that I follow, but that isn't anything that I was raised with, brainwashed to believe by certain groups or anything like that. I choose my own path in life and so shall I choose what stays in my mind and what goes in one ear and out the other...
Usually when I do act like I recognize authority, it's in a duplicitous manner and it's only because the consequences if l fail to act properly would be undesirable.
I have a very simple code/philosophy when it comes to how should act and conduct themselves: Do whatever you please AS LONG AS it doesn't harm or unnecessarily impede yourself or anyone else

Edited by Gearshaag, 13 May 2013 - 03:14 PM.

Adversarial Light shine upon me!!

#4    markdohle

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 11:33 PM

View PostGearshaag, on 13 May 2013 - 03:06 PM, said:

Also, ultimately, the only real authority I recognize is myself. Any other 'authority' that exists was simply imposed by someone else who is, often times, just as incompetent, if not more, as the folks under them and has no real, objective anchoring. Of course I have standards and rules and a moral code that I follow, but that isn't anything that I was raised with, brainwashed to believe by certain groups or anything like that. I choose my own path in life and so shall I choose what stays in my mind and what goes in one ear and out the other...
Usually when I do act like I recognize authority, it's in a duplicitous manner and it's only because the consequences if l fail to act properly would be undesirable.
I have a very simple code/philosophy when it comes to how should act and conduct themselves: Do whatever you please AS LONG AS it doesn't harm or unnecessarily impede yourself or anyone else

The last sentence is good, it would take a great deal of dicipline and self knowledge to live it my friend.  perhaps that self knowledge is something we all seek....what do I really want?....how do I really want to be treated?

Peace
mark





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