I've recently witnessed first-hand Covid's corrosive effects on peoples' mental health. It's frighteningly easy, even for people we had previously considered to be reasonable, intelligent, educated friends, to suddenly vent an alarming amount & degree of nastiness that we never saw coming. Though this could be partially due to alcohol- & age-related executive-function decline, isolation under more-or-less house-arrest conditions for several years, clearly has driven some of us "shack-wacky!"
Our ego's natural reaction to such violent behavior is to counter-attack, which would just start one more useless, unwinnable, ever-escalating 'pissing contest.' At some point individuals, and finally all human beings MUST realize the utter insanity of ego vs ego battles - no matter how skilled we are at fabricating gradiose rationale for our unacceptable behavior.
"Is there any rule that one should follow all of one's life? Yes! The rule of the gentle goodness: That which we do not wish to be done to us, we do not do to others." T'ai-Shang Kan-Ying P'ien (Taoism) Wisdom traditions throughout the ages have advised similar basic rules of conduct.
“Love is the recognition of shared being.” Rupert Spira
“Maybe, when talking about love, we could say, ‘Let our blind spots fall in love. Let the stranger in me fall in love with the stranger in you. Let the I that I’m becoming fall in love with the you I haven’t yet discovered and can’t even imagine.’ That would be a more realistic way of relating to one another. And, ironically, also more loving.” Vanessa Zuisei Goddard
"… the essentials are inner virtues or capacities that are activated – switched on and embodied. These inner powers open consciousness and thus enable us to contact and understand the world. The world opens & is revealed to us to the extent that we can open & receive it. This is a kind of physics of the unfolding mind."
Tobin Hart “The Four Virtues. Presence, Heart, Wisdom, Creation.” Atria, 2014.
ALL of us operate at (at least) 2 very different levels of consciousness or 'kinds of psychological history':
"One is the history of pain, discouragement, missed opportunities, unfulfilled hopes, & unrealized possibilities in relationships. Such a history of neurosis has a compelling quality that can freeze the therapeutic (& all other) relationships into an endless dissection, searching for the origin of inhibited development. The implicit question becomes, ‘Where did things go wrong?’ Such a story is frequently filled with fear, guilt, blame, & aggression; it resembles the history of nations at war, where one war inexorably triggers another in the ageless recycling of insult & territorial revenge. The story line threads together a variety of memories with an explanation of why one event follows another and how one got to be the way one is.
On the other hand, embedded within the history of neurosis is another kind of history – the history of SANITY. The history of sanity is episodic and often appears fleeting & subtle. This history of wakefulness, dignity, & patience is often lost by people in despair. To perceive the history of sanity, we need curiosity and effort to look beyond immediate appearances."
Edward Podvoll MD, in John Welwood ed. “Awakening the Heart. East / West Approaches to Psychotherapy and the Healing Relationship.” Shambhala, 1983.
When we are able to relate directly to 'the other's' wakefulness (Divine or True nature), and can become curious about their history of sanity, a different kind of relationship can develop: one of mutual appreciation & trust, instead of one based on bad behavior or neuroses.
So if some of our (former?) friends startled us by dumping a bucket of fiery venom on our head, as hard as it is, we should, at least for our own peace of mind, realize that they've probably been traumatized by Covid (& perhaps several other factors) much more than we ourselves have, forgive them, say Namaste - and really mean it.
SEE my previous blogs about Namaste : http://www.johnlovas.com/search?q=namaste