Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Breaking the Impasse: Basics

I think human race has reached an impasse that will grow more evident in the twenty first century (if it survives it) and that is related to the dominance of the conscious mind and words on all important aspects of our lives, or rather, the lack of balance between the conscious mind and other parts of the mind and body. The imbalance/dominance is so pervasive that we do not even realize it anymore. It has made, first and foremost, many aspects of our lives, and specially our words, empty.

There are two partial remedies that have developed through hundreds, if not thousands, of years: competition and security. I will try to explain the two here, but my explanations are subject to the same caveat that I have outlined in the first paragraph, more or less, because the nature of this impasse has eroded all our explicit communications of true meaning and essence!

Competition: It is painful to listen to both liberals and conservatives. Each group suffers from its own fears and prejudices. However, the competition between the two groups, or rather their opposition and constant challenging each other, creates a balance and sometimes astonishing results. In order to take action, we need to leave the state of balance and go in one direction. The good news is that there are always people on the other side of the argument and they counter our efforts. What is important to keep in mind is a sense of humility about our own positions. We do not have a monopoly on truth. In fact, truth is not even a well-defined objective entity. The truth is the outcome of challenge and competition, hopefully but not necessarily.

Security: In order to survive life's challenges, we need to have our own safe zones, relatively free of competition and challenges. As children, our parents and home is the basic element of the security that we can develop and carry through our life. The most important thing we can do in our life is to share this secure zone with others, typically those who are close to us. I am specifically thinking that, for example, we all have some activities that make us calm and centered. This activities are -not- challenge free, but we have grown expert in them to the extent that we can keep our balance while facing tough challenges. Like a good cook that can deal with making a few complicated dishes at the same time. What is most rewarding is to let others be present with us during our (centering) activity with its challenges and grow in that presence. We can share that sense of security/serenity without words and through mere presence. This is best exemplified in the stories of mystic/Zen masters.

The idea has been brewing for a while but was forced into labor by this video:

Jonathan Haidt on Coddling U. vs. Strengthening U.
https://youtu.be/Dj5QmZPzvlQ


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