Why Does It Always Become A Fight?I have been bad about it at times myself.
I've said terrible things about people and them about me.
I STILL don't like many people here.
But I'm trying to improve (for personal reasons, not because I'm a love and lighter).
So I put my mind to work about why we fight.
Several people on this site have pointed out that the human need to be "right" (and make alternative views "wrong") is an important part of the problem.
Others have mentioned the tendency of religions to divide the world into "us and them". Both of these points are important when trying to understand why people fight over beliefs.
However, these answers don't go very deeply into the question. Why do we feel that its so important to be "right"? Why do we divide the world into us-and-them?
The answer to the first question is something like this:
Our minds have the ability to form concepts: little nuggets of "knowledge" which seem to be self-contained things we can hold on to. We like concepts because they are a convenient kind of "package" for knowledge, and we can write them down, exchange them, etc. The trouble is that while they're very convenient, they also aren't very "true" -- they tend to distort reality in ways that are hard to see sometimes.
Nevertheless, we "cling" to concepts because it seems to make life more stable, predictable, and survivable: we've been tuned by millions of years of evolution to survive, and anything that seems to help is deemed important to the mind. One of the most important concepts we encounter is the concept called "myself": we imagine that there is a "me" which is entirely distinct, separate, permanent, and self-defined. Further, we imagine that this "me" is somehow identical with the concepts that it holds ( "I am a Christian", or "I am a Muslim", or even "I am an Atheist").
Once the mind has identified with its conceptual self-definition, the body joins the party and brings along its millions of years of evolutionary survival instincts: fight or flight, adrenaline, protect the herd and fend off threats, etc. Thus it is that those who cling to similar concepts are seen as "part of the herd", while those who have different concepts are seen as "them", or even as potential threats.
So the heart of the matter in fights over religion (or fights over any idea) is our confusion about the nature of the concepts we form, and our tendency to identify with them, thereby unwittingly enlisting the help of the body's survival instincts on behalf of mere philosophical abstractions. It sounds so technical and abstract spoken that way, but the consequences are ferocious and horrific sometimes.
And, contrary to PurityBringers story, we believers are just as guilty as everyone else.
The cure for this kind of thing is awareness: becoming aware of the nature of our own thinking, our own tendency to identify with and defend those thoughts, and the nature of "ego" or self-definition. When an individual reaches a certain level of clarity about these issues, they are much less vulnerable to this tendency to get into idea-wars, because they're aware of the underlying forces and the consequences involved. This is an important part of what it means to "awaken" in life.
Which brings me to a point I think we all, myself included, might want to take a moment to think about.
One of the first stories most people post on this forum is about how they "awakened". But then we immediately pick a side, get down in the mud and start slinging it at one another.
But would we do this if we are truly awakened?
Is this angelic behavior?
It seems, and I again include myself in this, pretty petty and pathetically human.
Do I believe in incarnated angels and Fallen?
Yes, I do.
Am I one of them?
I don't know, but I know I'm not going to claim it anymore until my behavior is a little less down to this earthly realm.
Oh... And don't give me any love and light peaceful praises...
I don't need the hypocrisy..
I just wanted to make you think.
Nox2102 31-35, M 16 Responses 6 Sep 25, 2012