Listening to fear

Discuss the application of the Dharma to situations of social, political, environmental and economic suffering and injustice.
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Listening to fear

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

If people think a problem exists,
then a problem exists.
To someone it exists.
It doesn’t matter
which side of the political spectrum claims it.

If people say systematic racism is a problem, then it’s a problem. If people say undocumented immigration is a problem, then it’s a problem. If people say abortion is a problem, the problem exists. If people say that restricting abortion is a problem, then that problem exists. If people say police brutality is a problem, then it’s really a problem. And if people say defunding the police is a problem, then that’s a problem.
It may not be your problem, but for others it’s problem, because they fear what will happen, just as you fear what will happen if the problems you see don’t get resolved.
It’s all really about fear.

Ultimately, people are afraid,
and they act out of fear,
and the vulnerability of that uncertainty counteracts with anger, and fear manifests as hatred.

But the bigger problem that encompasses every other problem is that people do not want to consider why something is a problem for someone else, since it isn’t their problem, or since they can’t see any validity to someone else’s fear. That validity exists only within the context of the other person’s fear. The fear may be real, or it may be unfounded. But that fear is another person’s suffering. Too often, they spread their suffering to others, or take it out on others.

Instead of trying to understand the fears that others suffer from, we automatically write off other people by assigning to them a label that represents an abstract concept. He’s a so-and-so. She’s a so-and-so. Of course, it’s very easy, because we also label ourselves as this or that.

The most difficult and time consuming thing to do is to listen to the ranting fears of others.

We don’t take time to consider that issues might just be more complicated than what the news chooses to report, or even can report. Issues are more complex than the latest meme of Facebook.

And even now, reading this, many will have already made the assumption or jumped to the conclusion that this writer is such and such politically. If you are left, you may assume I’m right-wing. If you are conservative, you may assume I’m left-wing.

Unfortunately for me, I have close family and close friends who have completely opposite political views, which creates a lot of turbulence in my world, which I must forcefully shut out if I am to have even a moment of peace in my own mind. My mind wants to reconcile the anger felt deeply from both sides, and yet is powerless to do so. Everyone is so closed up in their fear and anger boxes. The result is such a depressing sense of helplessness.

It’s very frustrating. But it also proves what the Buddha taught, that who and what we are today is the result of our actions of yesterday. It also clearly demonstrates a Buddhist concept that is otherwise very difficult to experience directly, that the reality we experience is purely a creation of our own minds. This has never been more obvious than now, when people aren’t even in the same universe politically. Left and right have become two separate realities altogether. And each side is growing increasingly more violent, which I can only see as creating horrific misery for many, many people in the near future. I’m no psychic, but I can tell by looking at clouds if it’s going to rain or not. And it looks to me like a hell of hurricane is coming.

And what I find excruciatingly frustrating is knowing that the solutions are there. I know this because every day I hear the same complaints from both sides. And it’s just as HH Dalai Lama says. Everybody really wants the exact same things. But the complaints are tangled up in so much anger and rhetoric and bandwagon mentality, there’s barely any place for sane, normal-voiced discussion aimed at actual solutions. Everybody wants to win, but nobody wants everybody to win. So, finding solutions isn’t even in the table yet. For now, everybody just wants to take sides and plant their heels firmly into the dirt.

Maybe it’s like the Mayan calendar, or the great cycles of becoming and destroying as described in the religions of India,
Or maybe it’s simply the age of deterioration as the Buddha suggests, and that everything has to burn to the ground before you realize how blue the sky is once the smoke clears.
Anyway, all I feel is great sadness for the human realm. Of course, everybody in the world is stressed right now.

I wish for the violence to end.
I wish for people to open their hearts.
I wish for Buddhists of the world to set an example, as listeners, as mediators, offering light rather than fuel for more flames.

Thank you for listening.
An inward outlook develops outward insight.
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Re: Listening to fear

Post by Brahma »

I believe the most important thing for people to do is to see the good in others and nurture that Buddha-Nature, that will create a Loving and positive society. I see this being done in our world today because of Spiritual life, and as you say we should all work together for everyone to win, I believe this can be done Spiritually. Buddhism does not have to be a sectarian religion, and I believe it's true practitioners understand that and are not sectarian, all the while propigating the Dharma (and following said Traditions, etc.) like Thich Nhat Hanh or HH The Dalai Lama, who are understood to be some of the most engaged Buddhists on the planet, yet they respect the Spiritual values of other religions, finding parallels, and similarities and even exactnessess at the very centers which guide humanity forward into Enlightenment and Peace. What you say can be done politically can also be done Spiritually, in fact it is even more important to do it Spiritually so that people of all religions can receive the Dharma, since it is the Jewel that propels this world into ultimate perfection and unity. The same Spiritual questions we ask are being asked by people of other faiths too, and they are being answered ultimately in the same way when the factual conclusion is reached, because there is only one Supreme Absolute Truth, and that is True Love for all beings forever, Buddhahood.
Last edited by Brahma on Fri Sep 04, 2020 11:47 am, edited 2 times in total.
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