“How Can We Avoid Creating the Very Thing We Are Fighting Against?”

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Image credit: Santiago Sito

“Inner social action” is necessary in order to make our outer actions productive. — Ram Dass

When I don’t know how to respond I’m not in the right place… Yet.

How can we have an opinion about something without defending it?

“The most pressing issue is the polarization of our fellow humans with whom we vigorously disagree. We may find it nearly impossible to have any constructive dialogue with those whose views we oppose. This creates a kind of divergence within us that gives power to a sense of righteousness.” — Ram Dass

“If I identify with any side of any position, then that attachment to that side makes me see the opposite side in terms of an object, as “them.” Seeing another being as “them” is what the problem is, that’s what it boils down to.”

“I see that the only law or rule of all human relations […] the only rule of the game is to put your own consciousness in a place where you are no longer attached to a polarized position even though you may, by the nature of the game contracts you’re involved in, be forced to play out a polarized role.” — Ram Dass, “Internal vs. External Responsibility

“What happens in the presence of that destabilization, where there is human unconsciousness is that people get frightened, and when they get frightened, they use certain mechanisms; they go into denial, they become more fundamentalist; they try to find values they can hold onto, to ward off evil. They cling and become more ultra-nationalist. There’s more ethnic prejudice, there’s more racial prejudice and anti-semitism. It all increases, because this fear isn’t just in us, this is a worldwide thing.” — Ram Dass, “How do We Respond to Cultural Destabilization?

Study, Reflection, Practice, Silence, and Meditation.

Studying is something I’m great at.

Reflection might be my forte!

Practice is something I’m very good at practicing.

Silence is an essential quality in my life.

Meditation is the thing I find most challenging.

“Then I began to see that staying alone in that room at that moment was confronting me with an internal battle which was much fiercer than any external battle I had ever fought before. And until I had found some way through that internal battle, all I could do was get sucked into the external manifestations of it in such a way as to perpetuate them.” — Ram Dass, “Internal vs. External Responsibility

Meditation shows us — without filter — our state of mind and physiological state.

Most of us spend most of our time feeding the animals.

“They aren’t “the other.” They are part of our tribe and that’s what is frustrating to us. We need to engage with a deeper listening; we need to understand and appreciate the causes and conditions that created this particular landscape. We need to learn what produced the story line in which we have become invested and in which we are intractably bound up.” — Ram Dass

“A big lesson that we have learned is that social action is effective when spiritual quietness, listening, and the Witness are present. With the cultivation of spiritual values like compassion, love and wisdom, all actions have the possibility of a positive outcome. We can’t make a difference when we are enraged.” — Ram Dass

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I help human-hearted creatives cultivate their purpose to experience more freedom, impact, and joy in their lives. DarrenStehle.com.

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