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I can't help it, i'm a radical.  I've probably been a radical longer than i've consciously been anything else, cultural or even genderal.
I can remember vaguely having angry, tearful political arguments with my father when i was still young enough to cry but probably too young to understand what politics is about.  I don't mind that; i have say i'm kind of proud of it.  My problem is that i am trying to learn compassion and lots of my fellow human beings, especially those who live close, are economically conservative, politically right wing, and socially ethnocentric.  And i am "ethnocentric" also -- mostly toward those who are rich, conservative, male, and ethnocentric.
Yes, i have friends who are rich (though probably none in the one percent -- maybe just one in the top six percent), conservative (most of the people i know, including my wife and children are more conservative than i), male, and at least a little ethnocentric.  But i shy away from profound discussions with them because i have already alienated too many people by just (in my mind) being honest.

I understand "hate the sin but love the sinner."  Well, i sort of understand it anyway.  I also sort of understand detachment and mind emptying.  And i know that everyone (and everything) has a Buddha nature.  None of this helps much.

My guides along the path to compassion give me a certain leeway when it comes to terrorists.  I am permitted not to condone their actions and to oppose their actions and not accept what they do.  My problem is that i don't really fear or hate terrorists (or child abusers or serial killers)  my compassion extends to them, i hope, in spite of their actions.  But i do fear people on the political right (like most of my neighbors and relatives) and i know that fear slips easily over into hatred.  I say i don't hate anybody, but i don't know if that is true.

True compassion makes no exclusions.  Yes, i know that there are stories where arhants, sages, and saints all make mistakes.  But a part of their wisdom is to recognize their mistakes and make immediate changes (like Jesus and the Syro-Phoenecian woman--the moment his failure to be compassionate was called to his attention he changed).

Whenever Mitt Romney (or any other Republican ) speaks, i want to vomit.  That makes attentive and respectful listening very difficult.  I know that this reaction is inappropriate, like my childish arguments with my father.  Nausea has simply replaced my tears.  This is not the proper response to the well intended words of a fellow human being.  And i am supposed to give everyone the benefit of the doubt about their good intentions.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 10th, 2012 01:04 am (UTC)
I have found that "killing" the TV does wonders for my peace of mind. (I.e., I don't have a TV). Nor do I read a newspaper regularly. I do listen to NPR, which a) is relatively left-leaning, like me, and b) goes into depth on stories, and discusses them, instead of just "sound-biting" them.

Philippians 4:8. Let that one verse be your lectio divina for this evening.
Jun. 10th, 2012 02:17 am (UTC)
Yes, yes, yes, and yes. Thank you.

(I am slowly learning to read and say and hear "Christ" with the same ears with which i hear other sacred words. It helps a lot.)
Jun. 10th, 2012 02:36 am (UTC)
I think I've been an unconscious radical for half my life. Just because of valuing analysis over allegiance.

I don't even really approve of loyalty beyond the bond that keeps one from myopically rejecting people, communities, and positions one's cared to attach oneself to. i think it's a terrible excuse for insisting that one knuckle under indefinitely. "When you find your loyalty called on regularly, something's wrong with that relationship" has been one of my mantras for a couple of decades.

I understand disliking or loathing and activity but continuing to care for the person acting. I wish I were better at it.

My challenges are where yours are.

I know that those prosperous enough to build readily-defensible walls around their biases are unfortunate for their ability to make stout walls, but i get so frustrating with them, the more that the defenses are so often so snotty and so demeaning of fellow-persons. i find it difficult to maintain any active compassion. (And I wish i could find a way to charge people for condescending to me.)

I think humans in general are fairly terrifying. But those on the right are so certain and yet brittle enough to cut.

It's just hard. Humans are a pain in the ass.
Jun. 10th, 2012 06:16 am (UTC)
Thank you,

I think the idea that frequent appeals to loyalty are signs of trouble is very Taoist. I have been struggling to transfer (at least the bulk of) my loyalty to god ("as i understand, or rather don't understand. him."
Jun. 10th, 2012 03:30 am (UTC)
It is kind of like an entry I could easily have written myself( a little different perhaps but..)

I am what they might call a bleeding heart. I do see serial killers and terrorists as products of a sick society and I guess Republicans and to a lesser extent(perhaps) Democrats are just sick people in their own way. They have just perhaps lost some of their humanity along the way which is all I can think would cause people to see people who are "different" as a political problem.

Perhaps we should view Republicans(insert name of choice) as victims of some messed up system. Perhaps when you see Mitt talk bollocks you should just remind yourself that the poor man is just mentally challenged and was starved of education and kindness as a child.

I would also support the death of tv. My wife and I watch Netflix or DVD`s. We also have internet of course so you can filter news and get other sources and less drumming in of how you should feel about events.

Going back to my earlier comment about Democrats I just want to say that in many ways I guess I should and would support Democrats simply for not being the other guys. I agree with them on many issues but then I have to face the facts that they go to war and things like that just as much as the Republicans.

It is a messy world. I think people are afraid in many cases. Fear makes people Republican (i think) or perhaps just greed but maybe that comes from fear too. So perhaps pity is a better response.

Jun. 10th, 2012 04:51 am (UTC)
Yeah, thanks for that.

Writing that entry cleared my mind a little bit. Maybe that's why i wrote it. But mainly to get responses like yours.
Jun. 10th, 2012 04:55 am (UTC)
I relate to what you are saying. I keep trying to understand and be compassionate with those who conclude differently than I, but Romney and his ilk are beyond the pale for me, and it is challenging. I don't have answers, only commiseration.
Jun. 10th, 2012 05:00 am (UTC)
Thanks anyway. :)
Jun. 11th, 2012 04:56 am (UTC)
I commend the breadth of your compassion. Would that more humans would practice this approach! Your desire to vomit when Republicans speak has to do with your innate knowledge that his intentions are NOT pure, even though you are supposed to give him the benefit of the doubt. How long must one give the benefit of the doubt to those who would perpetuate misinformation and extend greed and malice to great lengths without ever once taking responsibility? When may one trust the instinct that says THIS is false? I say do not let your practice of compassion blind you. One can be compassionate for Romney, but not as someone with good intentions so much as for a man who has become a pawn of the system of privilege that created him. One can feel nausea and at the same time recognize humanity in all its frailty.
Jun. 11th, 2012 05:54 am (UTC)
Thank you. I like that response.

I don't think that compassion will blind me,
because compassion and clear vision are not exclusive alternatives.

I have too much ego.
And i have invested too much of the ego that i have
in my political identity.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )



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