Our education is based on linear logic and the scientific model. Society reinforces debate rather than perception. We learn to think in postures of agreement or disagreement. Acceptance reflects the degree to which we embrace or react to a presentation. Religion has become the domain of dogma, and spirituality is loosely attached to it. This is common reality. In fact, our society rewards us according to the opinions we hold and the beliefs we profess.
People profess opinions, and agree or disagree, or agree to disagree without grasping the core of what is happening, centred as they are on their investment. For many people it is more important to win an argument than to glimpse the truth. At the very worst they suspend judgment and call it “tolerance”. Truth implies feeling and experiencing to reach a single source. The craze is to win at all costs, whether the issue is big or small. This destructive habit of professing a point of view and tenaciously adhering to it distorts understanding. Extremes are favoured rather than neutral, objective reality. Nothing is right or ever enough.
Opinions are cheap; everyone has one. Beliefs are transferred; they become precious treasure bordering on fanaticism, identifying the believer as member of a group mind. Both opinion and belief are the hallmark of the sub-conscious. The former pretends intelligence; the second piety and distinction.
Underneath all this, there are three precious beliefs that hold the edifice of logic in place. The first says that we are the result of our physical brain and chemistry. Consciousness is equated with reason, casting aside the subtle perceptions that do not respond to linear thought for being too intangible to be serious. Of course, expanded perception dangerously trickles into that nebulously unreliable realm of the subjective. The curious thing is that truth, love, and any other principle, can only be known subjectively as direct experience of life.
The second popular belief assumes that reality is subject to our will, in other words to our thoughts and conscious intentionality. In this kind of world it is considered presumptuous to state a truth without it being hashed to death. In the end, truth is placed on the same footing as doubt and uncertainty.
Finally, the crowning belief states that thought is all-powerful; merely saying something is sufficient. Thought and imagination, as in a computer game, takes the place of real experience. “Thought provoking” books are being written by and for women that remain exactly at that level. It is no longer fashionable or sales-worthy to stress the importance of diligent practice without it hinting uncomfortably of effort, discipline, neutrality, that is to say, intelligence.
Upholding the eminence of free-will and individualism, a common excuse given for this kind of mental complacency points to the future. Our technological generation, the young adults and incoming children are deemed equipped with answers and do not need the confusion of emotional sensitivity, so we say. This is something extremely dangerous, more so because it is fast becoming common belief.
Beyond appearance, in the spirit of true inquiry, we would do well to ask what is the value of differences. If we were to truly understand where they spring from and where they go, we would see they lead beyond themselves.
We cannot understand principle if we cling to detail. As we stand today, we cannot see the forest for the trees, yet wisdom lies in the forest. We cannot see or think the forest; we feel and embrace it. Only then do we KNOW it. Because wisdom, as Sophia or Athena, or so many other names that it has worn, is a feminine phenomenon.
The middle ground of neutral perception, like the forest, must be lived. There, dynamics rule as inviolable law giving form to experience resulting in gender differences that arise to be shaped by personal will. Preferences, pink or blue, are a matter of personal choice.
In this kind of reality everybody naturally clings to a point of view. We could not conceive of life without one. It grants us the illusion of security and self-importance. Opinions have become the filters through which we define ourselves and through which we judge everything.
Real perception is something else. Intelligence, requiring effort and sensitivity, is anathema to opinion and belief. It knows when to use reason and logic, and it knows when to put it aside. It knows when to join the group mind and when to leave it and stand alone and whole. People who follow collective thought abdicate intelligence.
To think for oneself requires integrated self-confidence, and this comes with sensitive experience of self and world. To see the forest beyond the trees requires that a person participate in what transpires beyond the individual trees and at the very heart of each of them. Trees only acquire meaning once the forest has been embraced. Such is the nature of principles. They are universal forests of wealth outlining movement and dynamics of creation.
Argumentation has a place. So does direct experience, as sensitive, intelligent inquiry. It is much easier to find fault with the particular than to recognise the pattern, the motivation, the impulse and veracity behind manifestation. Expressions that have similar appearance have different causes, and like causes project entirely different appearances.
Seeing the forest + the trees is a very special condition requiring a very special type of feminine intelligence, the kind that is not exclusive to women.
Peace, like love, or the experiential understanding of the heart, does not consist of a sum of parts; it arises from a unitary source. Messianic purposes have no place in intelligent reasoning. This is why most accords become temporary accommodation. Ordinary diplomacy, or as we would have it humane relating and relationships, have failed because we no longer honour the nature of the universal. Mutual respect, something that goes beyond the haggling of opinion and belief, is not subject to the games of agreement.
May we hope…?