It doesn’t take a genius to look at the world today and to see just how divided people are. Relative to almost every subject, there are concrete sides. This creates a dramatic polarization. That polarization fuels division and war. Especially because so many of these polarizations that exist today are about fears, insecurities and therefore deeply held values. So, what do we do if we want unity in the world?
The first thing we have to do is to see clearly what is going on. Each one of us has different life experiences. We simply may share these experiences with others whom we then relate more to than other people. And life experience implies contrast. It implies experiencing both wanted and unwanted. It implies both pleasure and pain. A simpler way of saying this is that all people experience different traumas over the course of their life as well as different joys. These traumas and joys lead to certain preferences. They lead to certain fears. They lead to certain needs and desires. And those needs and desires lead to very specific values. To understand more about how needs lead to values, watch my video titled: The Value Realization (A Realization That Can Completely Change Your Self Worth). Nothing polarizes people more than when they hold different or even opposing values. And nothing polarizes people more than when they hold opposing values relative to a situation where they perceive danger.
When our own life experience propels us in a direction where we develop different fears, preferences, information, needs, desires and therefore values, we often end up in different realities from one another. We may be experiencing the exact same situation, but we are perceiving that situation totally differently, even to the point of perceiving the exact opposite from one another. When this happens, it means that we begin to live in a parallel perceptual reality. And it is the most dangerous kind of parallel reality. If you want to understand about this dynamic in depth, you can watch my video titled: The Most Dangerous Parallel Reality. Essentially, we will begin to react in direct response to the reality that we, alone perceive. If other people agree with our perception, it further fuels our reaction to that perception.
In order to see this picture clearly, I’ll give you an example:
Person A grew up in a dysfunctional home with an adversarial and controlling parent. This person learned based off of their own life experience that they cannot trust authorities. They became hyper attuned to power dynamics and to the dangers of government control. They developed the deep need for sovereignty and therefore one of their top values is freedom. Therefore, when the government decides to impose rules and regulations, this immediately threatens their values and they become super aware of the danger of government takeover and they begin to live in the reality that the government is corrupt and is out to strip them of their sovereignty.
- Person B experienced pain in their life as a result of people doing whatever they wanted, no matter the impact that had on others. They feel deeply unsafe when there is no authority around to impose rules and regulations to ensure everyone’s wellbeing. Because of this, they value social order and they value standards relative to human behavior. To person B, there is a clear thing that is right and there is a clear thing that is good and they believe that rules should exist so as to guarantee that all people behave in that way that is right and good. Therefore, when the government decides to impose rules and regulations, they say “it’s about time”. They clearly see the danger inherent in everyone narcissistically doing whatever they want, no matter the cost to others. So, they celebrate and begin to live in the reality that the government is acting in the people’s best interests.
Because of person A and person B’s different life experiences and therefore different fears and needs and therefore different values, they now live in two different parallel perceptual realities. Their realities in this case are polarized and the opposite. Because of this, each sees the other as incompetent, stupid, blind, and a liability… therefore, a threat! It is this polarization that can easily lead to war. Any polarization regarding values that involve a sense of personal safety can easily lead to war.
So, if we want unity instead, how do we back out of this mess? First, we step into a place of AND consciousness. If you want an in-depth understanding of AND consciousness, you can watch my video titled: And Consciousness (The Modern-Day Replacement For The Middle Way). We realize that any time we are completely polarized, there is something we are not seeing, not feeling, not hearing, not understanding and potentially suppressing. We must consider that we may be holding one side of the view of truth and the opposite party may be holding the other side of the view of truth. In other words, objective truth may just arise out of the amalgamation of both currently polarized perspectives.
Then, we must stop invalidating each other. Opposing views are usually invalidating to each other by nature. But when we are in a specific perceptual reality, we see nothing but proof for that perception, so this invalidation doesn’t change our minds. It causes us to feel crazy and like others have lost their minds and like we are caught in a collective gaslight. Also, when we fight and take action from these two different realities, we only inevitably end up reinforcing and therefore strengthening the current beliefs and values of the other. We cause further polarization. We have to stop invalidating each other or even trying to get each other to change our perception. Instead, we must shift our focus to the other party’s estimation of unsafety…The vulnerability underneath that ‘war’ they are waging.
The reality is that when there is a polarization based on the perception of unsafety, both sides often clearly see the danger inherent in the other. An analogy is that two people are facing each other walking backwards. And each has a sheer drop off behind them. Person A can see person B’s drop off, but cannot clearly see his own. Person B can see person A’s drop off, but cannot clearly see his own. So, each is holding a truth about the danger of the other person’s perspective, but not his own. This awareness causes us to stop walking backwards… towards our own drop off.
From there, we need to choose love. This does not mean decide to feel positive about them. When I say choose love, what I mean is to choose to include the other as a part of yourself. To understand deeper what love is, watch my video titled: What Is Love? When you choose to love, the best interests of the other become a part of your own best interests. Their safety becomes a part of your own safety. And you can put your attention on caretaking their unsafety. Really understanding their personal life experience, their vulnerabilities and fears is the only way to do this. It’s also the only way for us to lay our swords down and really open up to things we might not be seeing ourselves from our perceptual reality. We have all lived different lives, so that other person might just have first person knowledge of something we have never thought of, heard of, seen or experienced before. This means, any one could hold a piece of truth that we have not included in our awareness yet.
It is intimacy and attunement to vulnerability that will bridge the gap between these different parallel realities that make us so utterly alone and so polarized. This is what allows you to accommodate the other person’s unsafety as opposed to playing a zero-sum game as far as your and their safety is concerned. Play the game “If they were right about their estimation of the unsafety that exists, how do I mitigate that danger for them?” Now think about a world in which both ‘sides’ did this with one another. They would not rest until they arrived at a win-win scenario.
Using our previous example, Person A would focus on how to mitigate the risk of people doing whatever they want, regardless of the impact on others and take action to show person B that they actually are considering and caretaking their wellbeing. Person B would focus on how to mitigate the risk of government over reach and take action to show person A that they are actually interested in preserving their freedom. Believe it or not, this is not as utopian as it sounds because it is quite easy to find a win-win scenario when both people actually feel like the other is actively caretaking his or her best interests.
Humanity must learn to end the zero-sum game. To be completely honest with you, it is no longer a luxury to do so, it is a necessity. And the zero-sum game will only be ended when people choose to accommodate the reality of those who are standing on the opposite side of the fight. Hopefully the understanding I have given you today, will help you to make that choice and to become a powerful force for unification rather than polarization.
I’m going to leave you with a question to ask yourself: How is my personal life experience (especially regarding pain and unsafety) controlling my perception of reality? How might it be limiting my perception to only one side of the truth. How might it be controlling by values and therefore what subsequent actions I will take?