Song of the Dao

Today's Biggest Threat: the Polarized Mind

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Glad to see mainstream science is finally catching up with the Dao! And this really needs to be discussed here...

 

Today's Biggest Threat: the Polarized Mind
 

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Moreover, we are in complete agreement that the polarized mind is one of the major threats to humanity, not just isolated parts of the world. Our empirically based studies, for example, have indicated that mindlessness—a condition of narrowed perception and reactivity—is a chief and cross-cultural feature of the polarized mind; while (Langerian) mindfulness, an attitude of heightened awareness or presence, is a cardinal feature of the depolarized mind, associated with capacity for discovery, creativity and well-being. It is also associated with a radical transformation of consciousness, but this consciousness cannot flourish until it counterbalances and, to the extent possible, supersedes the polarized mind.

 

What is the basis for the polarized mind? While there are many contributing factors, from family and cultural conditioning to scarcity of resources to availability of weapons to neuropsychological dispositions, the common denominators among all these factors appears to be fear and anxiety. As an array of studies has shown, people tend to become polarized—fixated and extreme—in the face of helplessness, anxiety and fear.


 

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Are we going to stick our heads in the sand and ignore the hurts and insults that have led to our divisiveness, thus perpetuating a persistent cycle of human devitalization? Or are we going to consider the findings of our hard-won psychological, spiritual and philosophical disciplines and face the wounds that beset us?

 

 

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The "me/us against them" mentality has been cultivated extensively in many parts of the world for thousands of years.

It does wonders in social engineering.

The presence of the internet only revealed them.

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15 minutes ago, Zork said:

The presence of the internet only revealed them.

 

The internet magnified it, gave it a boost of AI steroids.

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1 minute ago, rideforever said:

The conclusion that most human apes have that "I understand and know what to do" (even though I fall into the same ditch every day) .... is the problem.
Ignorance of my ignorance.
It's quite a persistent disease.

 

I have found I have less fear the less confident I am in my beliefs. I am no longer afraid to be wrong so I am more willing to speak up.

 

Knowledge of "Ignorance of my ignorance" is most certainly the enlightenment the Buddhist speak of most plainly.

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Well said Song of the Dao.

 

There seems to be a threshold of wisdom that allows me to realize how much ignorance my mind is comprised of and prone to fostering, and this realization softens my approach to life.  As a result, no longer maintaining mindless certainty that any given notion entering my mind is based on absolute truth is a treasure worth pursuing and cultivating and when I speak, it's then from a desire to share and explore connection, instead of alter others' minds or convince them of the one correct way.

 

One of the manifestations of this softening, is in what I call spherical listening.  Hearing not just the words spoken, but with my whole being, in full presence. 

 

In youth, I sometimes listened closely, but not to understand so much as to be able to respond potently to share my position which I considered manifestly accurate.  In surety and certainty, I'd listen to be able to refute what I considered wrong in others, or promote my 'rightness'.

 

Lately, I listen to connect and understand.  I listen to foster fluid presence, not reinforce a rigid position.

And when I speak, it isn't to convince or influence, but to share and connect.

 

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If the article is suggesting that having a stance, or having opinions, is the problem then I can't agree at all. The authors of the article are free to non-polarize their minds by letting go of the opinion that the polarized mind is a threat.

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5 minutes ago, Aetherous said:

If the article is suggesting that having a stance, or having opinions, is the problem then I can't agree at all. The authors of the article are free to non-polarize their minds by letting go of the opinion that the polarized mind is a threat.

 

It is more about holding your opinions loosely.

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3 minutes ago, Song of the Dao said:

It is more about holding your opinions loosely.

 

I appreciate you sharing the article, so don't get me wrong. I'm just discussing it, rather than disagreeing with you.

But I'd rather just focus on being civil, rather than dishonestly self-lobotomize.

 

There are certain types of people in this world, who will always try to make you give up your independence of thought. They create a fictional problem (the world is in chaos), and present a solution (stop thinking and chaos goes away), all of which has an ulterior motive - they're just trying desperately to quell the ideas they dislike, in order to promote their own. They do it under the guise of promoting better communication and civility between people, but it's actually just them attempting to be the most right. For instance, the authors interject the fraudulent political notion that this is a time of rising authoritarianism; they've betrayed their stance.

If you know the truth about something, there's nothing wrong with having that as your ideology. Don't let people tell you to stop thinking, and stop having a stance - they're just trying to weaken you in order to bring you down to their level. They can feel free to take their own advice, and not polarize by having any opinions.

Having opinions, or holding them strongly, isn't the cause of incivility. Everyone has the freedom to choose whether to treat others well, or not...that's independent of what they believe or the fact that they have/don't have beliefs.

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16 minutes ago, Aetherous said:

 

I appreciate you sharing the article, so don't get me wrong. I'm just discussing it, rather than disagreeing with you.

But I'd rather just focus on being civil, rather than dishonestly self-lobotomize.

 

There are certain types of people in this world, who will always try to make you give up your independence of thought. They create a fictional problem (the world is in chaos), and present a solution (stop thinking and chaos goes away), all of which has an ulterior motive - they're just trying desperately to quell the ideas they dislike, in order to promote their own. They do it under the guise of promoting better communication and civility between people, but it's actually just them attempting to be the most right. For instance, the authors interject the fraudulent political notion that this is a time of rising authoritarianism; they've betrayed their stance.

If you know the truth about something, there's nothing wrong with having that as your ideology. Don't let people tell you to stop thinking, and stop having a stance - they're just trying to weaken you in order to bring you down to their level. They can feel free to take their own advice, and not polarize by having any opinions.

Having opinions, or holding them strongly, isn't the cause of incivility. Everyone has the freedom to choose whether to treat others well, or not...that's independent of what they believe or the fact that they have/don't have beliefs.

 

That is what the groups are attempting, teaching people how to treat others well who hold different opinions. They in no way want people to have no thought or hold back their opinions.

I guess I will ask, being that we have the freedom to choose others well or not, why do so many choose not treating the other well. I say it is not an opinion, but how they attach their identity to their opinion. So if I call their opinion stupid, they think I am calling them stupid.
 

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I agree polarization is a great threat ... probably one of the greatest threats we have to face. The problem is not that we have differing views but that we fail to realize that any view has a little bit of truth ... a basis that has some value that is worth considering ... regardless of the subject.

 

To move forward ... make progress on any subject ... we have to be willing to leave our position and see the truth in other positions. Only then can a balance be found that permits us find a way forward that all can find value in. But this skill is not taught anywhere.

 

Social media often exacerbates the polarized positions because people do not really interact very effectively on social media sites. Its like the wild west where anything goes. People are able say anything without consequence ... and often do. There are no rules for engagement and civility. So it's a pretty ugly environment.

 

 

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50 minutes ago, OldDog said:

The problem is not that we have differing views but that we fail to realize that any view has a little bit of truth

 

This sounds nice, and is accepted without question by those of us indoctrinated by postmodernism...but it isn't accurate. In reality, some ideas are more true than others, while others are simply false. It's not a truism that every viewpoint has some truth to it.

There is such a thing as being too open minded, where under the guise of fairness we constantly doubt the obvious truth, but are overly accepting of lies. Not a good way to be.

Folks, there is nothing wrong with knowing what you know, and standing your ground regarding it.

 

3 hours ago, Song of the Dao said:

That is what the groups are attempting, teaching people how to treat others well who hold different opinions. They in no way want people to have no thought or hold back their opinions.

 

But they're saying "polarization", which means taking a stand one way or another/having an opinion, is the great threat.

 

Just not when it's their opinions; those are fine.

 

3 hours ago, Song of the Dao said:

I guess I will ask, being that we have the freedom to choose others well or not, why do so many choose not treating the other well. I say it is not an opinion, but how they attach their identity to their opinion. So if I call their opinion stupid, they think I am calling them stupid.

 

Yes, this definitely seems to be part of the issue of incivility.

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2 minutes ago, Aetherous said:

But they're saying "polarization", which means taking a stand one way or another/having an opinion, is the great threat.

 

Just not when it's their opinions; those are fine.

 

They are not speaking of it that simply.

 

Some people stopped talking to me because I do not vote at all and blame me for Trump winning. It is that kind of polarizing, not just having different opinions. Everything is life or death, all  fear. So my act of not voting was like killing their babies. People cannot even talk about politics, or any "controversial things". Its a weird combination of anger and over sensitivity.

The point they are trying to make is it is more about self than other. It is one thing to take a stand, and believe me I do, but it hard to learn how to not be a dick. It takes practice and some humility. These groups might help foster that.

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34 minutes ago, rideforever said:

Fck those people !!!
Your own truth is far more important than other idiots.

 

And off we march on the path to authoritarianism...

 

It is not about adjusting reality, it is about seeing the deepest reality.

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It's hard to say whether you guys are of the same opinion, or the exact opposite.

Like, is the enlightenment of Buddha, being considered to be ,not knowing just how wrong you really are? Or is it that you think you're right when you aren't.?

 

Or is the duality being said, to need embracing , the monism of Tao ,or is it the dualistic thinking which allowed science to flourish. ?

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16 minutes ago, Stosh said:

It's hard to say whether you guys are of the same opinion, or the exact opposite.

 

Exactly!

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Perhaps it was too much to hope for that we could have an unpolarized discussion on polarization. ;)

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25 minutes ago, OldDog said:

Perhaps it was too much to hope for that we could have an unpolarized discussion on polarization. ;)

 

Who says we didn't?

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Polarization and deeply held opinions are greatly limiting.  If one is geared for enlightenment at all, one realizes the fact that none of us can possibly see things in the same way due to different conditionings.  The enlightened one accepts all that happens.  Krishnamurti once said the secret to his enlightenment was that 'he didn't mind anything that happened'.  This extends to people of all varieties as well.  We are all One, or in essence all 'god' - the play continues on whether we like it or not.  Why have a firm opinion?  It does nothing but blind you to other possibilities.

 

And into the mix is the idea that linear time is an illusion - it's always Now.  Yesterday is Now.  Tomorrow is Now.  Things appear to be unravelling in a linear fashion, but in reality it's 'already happened' because it's always happening in the Now.  So we can't possibly see the whole picture anyway.

 

There are those rare moments when the lucky ones absolutely experience the Oneness with all life - animate and inanimate.  I had an incredible moment like that yesterday while walking the dogs.  I was a part of Everything, and a feeling of love for everything on this earth made my heart swell.  The realization that the true answers lie with transcending the appearance of things sort of sets things into a beautiful order, where opinions and judgments are rendered moot.

 

I take it this comment is a bit lofty for some, lol.

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3 minutes ago, manitou said:

Polarization and deeply held opinions are greatly limiting.  If one is geared for enlightenment at all, one realizes the fact that none of us can possibly see things in the same way due to different conditionings.  The enlightened one accepts all that happens.  Krishnamurti once said the secret to his enlightenment was that 'he didn't mind anything that happened'.  This extends to people of all varieties as well.  We are all One, or in essence all 'god' - the play continues on whether we like it or not.  Why have a firm opinion?  It does nothing but blind you to other possibilities.

 

And into the mix is the idea that linear time is an illusion - it's always Now.  Yesterday is Now.  Tomorrow is Now.  Things appear to be unravelling in a linear fashion, but in reality it's 'already happened' because it's always happening in the Now.  So we can't possibly see the whole picture anyway.

 

There are those rare moments when the lucky ones absolutely experience the Oneness with all life - animate and inanimate.  I had an incredible moment like that yesterday while walking the dogs.  I was a part of Everything, and a feeling of love for everything on this earth made my heart swell.  The realization that the true answers lie with transcending the appearance of things sort of sets things into a beautiful order, where opinions and judgments are rendered moot.

 

I take it this comment is a bit lofty for some, lol.

:wub:

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1 hour ago, manitou said:

Polarization and deeply held opinions are greatly limiting.

 

That opinion sounds greatly limiting. I wonder why you're holding onto it, if you truly believe it.

 

1 hour ago, manitou said:

The enlightened one accepts all that happens.

 

According to whom? This doesn't seem accurate, considering the actions enlightened beings throughout history took. Considering what they taught.

 

1 hour ago, manitou said:

Why have a firm opinion?  It does nothing but blind you to other possibilities.

 

That opinion sounds rather firm! What about the possibility of there being nothing wrong with having opinions? It's good to not be blind to that one.

 

1 hour ago, manitou said:

I take it this comment is a bit lofty for some, lol.

 

It's not wise to think so highly of yourself, and underestimate your "opponents". Because what appears lofty to you:

300px-GoldenMedows.jpg

Might appear far below the perspective of others:

5afd808f1ae66234008b466b-750-563.jpg

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2 hours ago, manitou said:

There are those rare moments when the lucky ones absolutely experience the Oneness with all life - animate and inanimate.  I had an incredible moment like that yesterday while walking the dogs.  I was a part of Everything, and a feeling of love for everything on this earth made my heart swell.  The realization that the true answers lie with transcending the appearance of things sort of sets things into a beautiful order, where opinions and judgments are rendered moot.

 

Maybe it was mini stroke? ;)

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