The Problem of Polarization

politicians and cowboys

by Michael Maciel

The problem of polarization is probably THE problem of our age, so it’s really important to understand the underlying causes of why we’re at each other’s throats. And in typical fashion, we all tend to exteriorize our problems, projecting out onto the world and each other the unresolved conflicts within ourselves.
 
We all seem to have a pretty good idea of what’s wrong with other people and so little understanding of what’s wrong with ourselves, preferring to think that we’re basically okay but that those we disagree with are fundamentally flawed in some way. But, when we’re honest with ourselves, the reason people bother us so much is that they stir up the demons inside us, and we don’t know what to do about those, so we project them onto others and then try to deal with them out there.
 
The way out of this dilemma is to get past this idea of otherness and realize that we ARE that other person. They are the embodiment of the things within us that we haven’t figured out yet. And it’s not that those things are evil, necessarily, because we don’t know that. It’s far more likely that they are simply those things that are foreign to us — part of us but foreign — and that can be extremely upsetting.
 
This means that getting to know the other person is supremely important, especially those who bother us profoundly. It’s those profound disturbances within us, the ones that defy our understanding, that are being roused by the person who has either figured them out for themselves or who are farther along in the process of discovery than we are. Instead of a threat, that person is really our lifeline to wholeness, IF we allow them to be that.
 
The old aphorism is true: my enemy is my teacher. In order to fix the world, then, we have to become better students.
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3 Responses to The Problem of Polarization

  1. Erskine Berry says:

    Shalom Partners. Great message brief simple an true. Thanks. E

  2. Lucinda Bassili says:

    Thanks Michael. So true!!!

    • Sandy R. Killgo says:

      just as those that are not spiritually evolved (Every person who is not totally enlightened and self-realised has a dualistic “ego”) will project their ego-ideal onto a guru or other so called expert–they also project their shadow onto their so called (scapegoat)enemy–the leaders of each side playing cunningly on the fears and prejudices of the masses, manipulating them like puppets (And after the “war on terror” or “clash of civilisations” is resolved, then a new enemy will have to be created, and so on, as long as people are not able to resolve the duality within their own being, and go beyond the limitations of their own self-absorbed relative self. Only one who has totally gone beyond the limitation of their finite self, and realised their identity with the Supreme, will no longer project their ego-ideal onto those they identify with, and their shadow onto all those they choose to scapegoat, whether out of prejudice picked up from parents or peers or social condition, or whether these are people who have slighted or insulted the object of ego-identification, or who even if they haven’t are paranoidly misinterpret as wanting to or actually doing so–

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