Monday, July 10, 2017

Transcending Extreme Views

     We live in a time of partisanship: bias, prejudice, one-sidedness, discrimination, favoritism, partiality, sectarianism, factionalism. Vicious reflex aversion or frenzied blind support for topics ranging from politics, economics, religion, sex, gender, even sports, is based NOT on careful analysis of evidence, BUT solely on identification with certain groups. If "one of us" is criticized, no matter how justly, we immediately react as if it were a life-threatening personal attack. Yet it's just our ego being criticized.
     There is a much more nuanced, wiser & healthier approach:

     “Sympathizing with (extreme ends of a) perspective is easy; walking the knife-edge between them is more difficult. Can we employ each viewpoint to interrogate the other, without accepting either perspective as absolute? Such an approach can be discomforting because it is so destabilizing: what remains of one’s own standpoint? This process invokes the understanding of Buddhist practice … which emphasizes the realization of ‘nondwelling mind”: a mind that does not identify with any particular forms, including thought-forms such as ideologies, whether religious or secular.”
        David R. Loy. “A New Buddhist Path. Enlightenment Evolution and Ethics in the Modern World.” Wisdom Publications, 2015.

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