UNIVERSE WITHIN by Gwen Randall-Young
It is not the enemy we need to conquer, but rather the polarity.
WHEN A PART of the body becomes stiff due to muscle strain or arthritis, for example, there is a loss of movement and flexibility. It occurred to me that the same could be said of our attitudes and perceptions. When we believe there is an absolute right and wrong, our minds become rigid and fixed. We are not open to other viewpoints and we absorb information selectively from the environment that is in alignment with our beliefs.
The problem with all of this is that there is no such thing as absolute right or wrong. There are only points of view. And it seems that when a point of view is paraded as a fact, it may then be used to justify all sorts of actions and behaviours.
When we watch televised interviews of people on two sides of a conflict, we see that each side only sees and believes its own perspective. The inability to recognize that there is no reality, only individual or group interpretations, results in, if not total blindness, then at the least, serious blind spots.
I am reminded of the scene where a pop machine or automatic teller is not working so the frustrated consumer hits or kicks the machine. We view this as a primitive non-solution.
How different is it when one gets angry at an opposing viewpoint and reacts with criticism, judgment and negation?
Whether we are looking at this issue within relationship or in our community, country or in the global village, it seems solutions never arrive through amplifying the polarities. On the contrary, it is conflict, dissonance and unrest that become amplified. Like the neck stiffened with arthritis, we cannot turn our head away from our own viewpoint enough to see what else might be displayed on another’s perceptual screen.
When it comes to differences, the default program in human thinking seems to be that of focusing on what the other person or side are doing, or have done, that is wrong. From there, it is a short step to good guy/bad guy thinking and before we know it we have created an enemy. Of course, everything the enemy then does is wrong, or at least suspect. The fire of hostility is created and both sides continue to throw logs upon it.
As we have seen, this can continue within and between families, nations or religious groups generation after generation. The young are taught who is good or bad and the hostility is perpetuated. Interestingly, however, even within polarized groups there will be those on both sides who simply want to live in peace and who are not interested in conflict.
What can we do? The first thing we can do is recognize that we do not have to take sides. There are enough people out there adding to the energy of polarity. Instead, we need to add our energy to those who are striving for solutions, balance, broader perspectives and civility.
We can then use our intelligence to generate win-win solutions. We can do this on a small scale within our families or on a global scale. I do believe that small-scale polarities in the home or office energetically contribute to global polarity.
Increasingly, our world seems polluted with the negative energies of war, conflict and fear. We can use our own consciousness as an energy purifier. With global technology, we can influence others throughout the world, but we must first be that which we seek to see in our world.
If we want fairness, balance and understanding, we need to give them to others. In order to do that, we first need to release our hold on the idea that anyone is right and focus instead on what it is we would like to create. We need to understand both sides before we can build a bridge to connect them.
Gwen Randall-Young is a psychotherapist in private practice and author ofGrowing Into Soul: The Next Step in Human Evolution. For more articles, permission to reprint and information about her books and “Deep Powerful Change” personal growth/hypnosis CDs, visit www.gwen.ca