What does it mean to be able to have an open communication that avoids the I'm right, you're worng mentality that pervades almost all of our conflicts from the personal to the political. How may we find a new way to solve human problems without conflict. I believe we are entering a new period in human history where putting aside differrences and focusing only on the common ground will be the format for solving human problems. Many will say this only a pipe dream, but I AM an optimist. It avails nothing to be otherwise.
My message is : PUT ASIDE ALL DIFFERENCES AND FOCUS ONLY ON THE COMMON GROUND. I believe if we focus only on the things we have in common, this will allow new and unanticipated answers to appear. New and wonderful solutions will simply manifest themselves when we let go and are truly open. Holding on to rigid opinions is the path to the downfall of humankind. In fact continuing on our present path is certain destruction. How can we get out of the trap of I'm right and you're wrong, of my way or the highway, found in all current human endeavors?
Let's look at some ancient wisdom for our current condition. From the Tao of Silence, '"Learn not to argue with anyone even though you may disagree with him. When he speaks the truth say "yes;" when he lies say, "Surely you know what you are saying!" But never argue about something already said. Thus, only, will your soul listen and hear the Tao of Silence."'
From Sengstau 3rd Zen Patriarch, "The great way is not difficult for those who have no preferences. When love and hate are both absent, everything becomes clear and undisguised. Make the smallest distinction however, and heaven and earth are infinitely set apart. If you wish to see the truth then hold no opinions for or against anything. To set up what you like against what you dislike is the disease of the mind."
So the hard part is putting aside all differences. But it is THE KEY. There is vastly more we have in common than divides us. We can and must learn to live in that common space. The next few months this website will explore how this can become the reality of a new paradigm on the earth. I begin with the belief that change will be more about what goes on in each human heart than about activities going on in the world.
I mentioned above A Hidden Wholeness by Parker J. Palmer in which he has explored ideas for establishing a space for common ground, honest discussions. He cites the poem Tell All the Truth by Emily Dickinson (see the current Poem of the Week page). He asks - how do we create a space that is both focused and inviting? "In western culture we often seek truth through confrontation . . . but soul truth is so powerful that we must allow ourselves to approach it, and it to approach us, indirectly. We must invite, not command, the soul to speak. We must allow, not force ourselves to listen."
There is a path forward. The current path is a dead end. Let is be silent together and allow the soul to speak. There we will find, as Emily Dickinson said, "Truth's supurb suprise. "
BLESSINGS AND JOY
Gene Ford Runnels