Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Jon Stewart Concerted Effort to Restore Sanity

Last weekend, Jon Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity drew millions of participants in cities all over the world while Stewart himself, led the effort in Washington DC with a few hundred thousand in attendance, asking everyone to “take it down a notch for America.”  He did so with the hope for an end to the partisan bickering and oppositional rhetoric that prevents collaboration necessary for the efficacy and success of the nation.

Stewart’s colleague, Steven Colbert, provided the counterpoint with his “Rally to Restore Fear,” providing the comic (if not juvenile) relief.  Stewart’s closing remarks were a plea for prevailing sanity:  “This was not a rally to ridicule people of faith or people of activism or to look down our noses at the heartland or passionate argument or to suggest that times are not difficult and that we have nothing to fear.  They are and we do.  But we live now in hard times, not end times.  And we can have animus and not be enemies. .. If we amplify everything we hear nothing. “

Fear is the core issue behind violence, jealousy, bigotry, anger, depression, greed, hatred, lies, insecurity or obsessive worry, just to name a few. When fear is managed it is a vital, effective life saving response which is critical to self preservation.  It is vitally important to discern what appropriate and inappropriate fear is, as well managed fear can and will protect us, and unmanaged fear can destroy us.

What is our tendency to seek experience that amplifies our emotion, especially fear?  Why do we keep feeding this tendency while knowing that it takes us beyond the parameters of sanity?

Sociologist  Tim Hallett of Indiana University  asks: “How does an inkling of anger develop into a blind rage?  How does a little happiness evolve into bliss?...I argue that interaction serves both as a stimulus to evoke emotional responses, and as a conduit for emotional feedback and amplification. ” Emotional interactions left unmanaged seek the further interaction needed for further arousal and emotional amplification.  What becomes unmanaged emotion blinds us from possibility, and takes us beyond sane mental states.  In the words of Jon Stewart, “Sanity will always be and has always been in the eye of the beholder.  To see you here today and the kind of people that you are has restored mine.  Thank you."

Why do we succumb to self seeking insanity?  How do we resolve the conflicting, amplified emotions within us to restore sanity?

What do YOU think?

42 comments:

Aditya said...

why do we succumb -- because our mind is designed that way, till awareness rises in us consciously, the default position which keeps us insane ( going after toys all our lives )which keeps us enmeshed in this 'samsaar' birth after birth, prevails.

"How do we resolve the conflicting, amplified emotions within us to restore sanity?""

Osho used to say ( as did before him Buddha and all the awakened ones ) that malady is many remedy is one. All the violence, fear, hatred. jealousy etc etc. are originating from the basic malady of unawareness, hence the cure is only one , make this world more and more meditative, that can happen when more and more people in this world "take things a notch down" spend some time to meditate and contemplate. osho recommends at least 1 hour daily.

Satyam said...

Molly, I think the point of the rally was not so much to restore sanity but to remind us it is always there underneath the apparent chaos. I think the most telling segment for me was the vision of thousands of cars moving into one of the tunnels connecting NYC with New Jersey and how there is a self imposed order to the whole process that transcends our differences.

Typically, if we disregard the noise pollution of the 24/7/365 news cycle which, perhaps out of necessity, focuses on the conflictual side of our lives, life is pretty normal. We all manage, most of the time, to relate to each other in a more or less congenial fashion though we may be involved with people of widely differing values and philosophies.

Forums, by the way, are nearly as bad as TV news, some worse. People come to forums to argue. If we all agreed there would be little to talk about. I have heard Osho say never to ask why. It is what it is and the only way for any of us to find any peace in this world of chaos is to go inward through meditation part of which needs to be a tuning out of the outer noise. If I have a choice, the news is never heard and rarely read. As I type these words, for example, a Beethoven sonata is playing on the stereo. A totally irrelevant aside, I suppose, is the fact that the pianist is performing on a 19th century instrument which is smaller and more closely related to the harpsichord which preceded it. It's really quite a unique sound not often heard, more akin to Bach's harpsichord than our modern grand pianos.

Mark said...

Fear is the core issue behind violence, jealousy, bigotry, anger, depression, greed, hatred, lies, insecurity or obsessive worry, just to name a few. When fear is managed it is a vital, effective life saving response which is critical to self preservation. It is vitally important to discern what appropriate and inappropriate fear is, as well managed fear can and will protect us, and unmanaged fear can destroy us.

Take a room you've never entered and have no idea what is inside. Fear will cause you to be precautious. If this is a problem, the solution would not be in managing the fear that is made by not knowing this room or what you can expect to find inside it, the solution would simply be to proceed cautiously and turn the light on rather than not jump in blindly.

I know you will reply, "but this is an appropriate fear", "we are talking about inappropriate fear and unmanaged fear". Well the thing is, when you don't know, you just don't know do you? You can't tell if your fear is appropriate without having sufficient knowledge, understanding, and/or awareness. Whether it's appropriate or not is simply a side conclusion which depends on how much you know about the feared "thing" or "person" or it's context.


I think though fear may be the cause of many problems, there is a cause to fear which, if sorted out, would also sort out the other problems along the line. I'm guessing this cause could be many things, but most often, it is ignorance.

Something that I do not know and am not familiar with is potentially harmful, and I can not relate to something I do not "know", it is alien to me. Since I don't know, I'd rather not take risks and be on the "defensive". This applies to me, to others, rather than be on the defensive, they might be aggressive.

The way I see it, there is no need to fear (and there is usually no fear) of things that you know, provided you know they are not harmful. If you can rationalize your fear, if you can manage it, it is only because you have enough information on the subject to do so. In addition - with respect to people especially- if you can relate to them, they become immediately a lot less fearful.

Mark said...

Fear is in itself a natural occurrence and not something to fight or reject unless of course it is extreme or exaggerated.


It would make a lot more sense, and would probably be a lot more productive to simply spread "knowledge", or rather understanding, awareness (consciousness?), and particularly help people relate to each other rather than focus on managing fear itself.

And where potential harm may come from things or people you do know, then the focus would be again, not to try and manage the fear blindly, but instead try to define precisely the source of this "danger" and take the necessary precautions so as to make sure it doesn't happen. If you are convinced that the "potential danger" is defined and would be taken care of if it were to occur, then fear itself will dissolve on its own.


At the end of the day, fear of the unknown can be explained in a very rational way and usually is very useful in life in general (as you posted), it's what prevents me from jumping into a dark room I've never been in without at least knowing what I can expect to be there. The elements you use to rationalize the fear, and manage the fear, are precisely the ones used to know about, to relate to, and to position yourself to the feared object.

In conclusion, don't fear the fear, take steps to understand, to know, to become aware of, to relate to and to position yourself realistically to the "feared object". This will develop trust and just as the fear naturally arises, it will naturally dissolve as well. Because if you only manage the fear, this would be acting superficially without resolving the true issue, because there is potentially a true issue to be dealt with.

By attempting to manage fear, you're doing the same thing as placing blinders on horses while they pull carts in traffic. This works (the horses no longer feel fear and are able to advance, effectively pulling the cart), but we're not horses, and no one is telling us when to move and turn, we need broad vision or we won't see that speeding car coming on the left.

Yvette said...

Over the years, I've been gathering a large arsenal of tools in my Spiritual Toolbox to help resolve this conflict. From Kabbalah to Affirmations, every lesson learned becomes something I can use in times of need. Some are esoteric, while most are extremely practical. I find that using them consciously and consistently has allowed me to evolve into the person I wish to be, someone that feels all her emotions and knows which ones require a reaction.

Just recently, I used a combination of Sacred Geometry, Color and Numerology on my toes to create a ritual that helped restore balance between my emotions and logic (you can find a video of this at http://www.youtube.com/eternallightenergy). A simple exercise done in sacred ceremony allowed me to release fear and find equilibrium.

Each of us has to build our own Spiritual Toolbox for when the insanity hits. Sitting before it, you rummage through all the lessons and pull out the tools that are going to not only going to get you through the crisis, but are going to encourage you learn what you need so that you don't have to repeat it again. You see, that is what I think enlightenment is... an enlightened person doesn't avoid life's pitfalls, instead they go through them and learn so they don't have to fall into the same trap the next time the situation presents itself.

Molly Brogan said...

I think you are right, Yvette. We are not really taught how to release emotions, rather than amplify them, are we? The best we can do is follow the example of the emotionally intelligent people in our lives, and if we are lucky, it is part of our childhood programing. If not, it is something we have to relearn and some of us don't.

The interesting thing about tools is, we can sometimes become attached to the tool, or that feeling of release, which is also like holding on to, or amplifying the emotions. What comes to mind is the new phenomenon of Krumping - the dance of anger that came out of the Los Angeles SouthCentral district. I think it may have originally developed as a way to express and release anger. But in its extreme and sometimes violent from, it becomes a way to hold and amplify anger. The tool for release becomes the amplifier.

And some point, if we are lucky, the tools fall away. But we always have them if needed, because emotion is always coming up for us.

Yvette said...

A great reminder that things taken to an extreme, even if they were healthy at first, can become hurtful to us.

Aurora said...

We have a survival instinct. This is necessary to maintain the food chain. When there is a perceived threat, it triggers that instinct. We call that fear.

There is a way to rise beyond that instinct, but don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen! Words and well-meaning efforts won't even begin to get one there. There is no way for a group or a culture or a species to reach the point beyond the survival instinct;... only an individual. So, that's where the real progress can be made, but even then the odds are stacked against it....

Adyar said...

It was a gathering of white people addressing other whites, depicted as 'insane', wasn't it?
Is it sane or insane to look after your own (group)-interests?
Do white people have interests, as a group?

Nabil said...

I am sad to have to agree with Adyar

It seems that racism has raised its ugly head in America. It was almost like a normal reaction.

Some people could not live with the idea of having a black president. So they managed to rally others, with money and rhetoric, to say No, to anything that Obama said.

It worked. We will now find out the policies of those who are prejudice against the minorities and the poor

Lets us see how they will create jobs for us, by giving the rich more money

Molly Brogan said...

ttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/30/the-funniest-signs-at-the_...

I am looking at the crowd pictures (link above) from this rally and see a mix of races, not all white. Additionally, the platform of this rally was diversity, aimed at bringing all people together and setting aside decisive rhetoric (some found in your comments.) Interesting that you found the notion of "too many white people" at the rally offensive. I am not sure the evidence supports your assumption.

Adyar said...

I looked at the first fifty or so pictures and among hundreds of whites I identified only 3 colored people.
What happened was: whites showing off feelings of ethical superiority toward other whites, calling these other whites 'insane'. Being called 'insane' is offensive to me (yes, I'm such another white person).
So, why do so many white people have this hypocritical self/other whites debunking attitude?
Again:
Is it sane or insane to look after your own (group)-interests?
Do white people have interests, as a group?

Molly Brogan said...

I may be confused with your definition of "white." Here in the states, fair skin may include cultures from Europe, Eastern Europe, South America, Central America, Asia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, India and others. As I look at the faces in the crowd pictures, I see many ethnicity represented. Does skin color need to be very dark for you not to consider a person to be "white?" And my next question would be, why does it matter, if the basis of the rally was unification and transcendence of fear, something all races feel?

Adyar said...

It is very typical for lots of white people to pretend to not knowing what is meant with 'white'.
My definition of "white race" is "those whom I recognize to be very familiar with me". Those people are of course the fair skinned European/Caucasians who speak a European language and with whom i share important cultural values and assets, like countries and continents.
You ask: why does it matter?
Well, I am a heterosexual, white male of Dutch descent (I actually live in the Netherlands)
My group (i.e. male white heterosexuals) is targeted by official government policies. So I protest, because if the group you belong to is targeted, your personal interests are also damaged.
My country is swamped by aliens due to official government policies. So I protest, because if your people are disowned of their country, your personal interests are damaged.
Now, am I 'insane'? Is my 'fear' illogical? Am I OBLIGED to 'share' what belongs to my people?
SHOULD I give 'proof' of my moral superiority by saying: "I am ashamed to be white / male/ heterosexual / protestant?"
Again:
Is it sane or insane to look after your own (group)-interests?
Do white people have interests, as a group?

Molly Brogan said...

"It is very typical for lots of white people to pretent to not knowing what is meant with 'white'." Adyarman

- an interesting personal observation, not so much for its accuracy as for what it tells us of the observer

"My definition of "white race": fair skinned Europid/Caucasians who speak a european language and with whom i share important cultural values and assets"

- as I spotted many in the crowd that looked as if they could be of Mexican, South American, Central American, Austrailian, Northern Indian, Asian, Southeast Asian and Muslim descent, we can probably agree to disagree about the make up of the rally.

"Am I OBLIGED to 'share' what belongs to my people?" - as a professed Theosophist, you must know that this thought is limited. Do you suppose there will not be enough for "your people" if you share? As an American, I understand the rationale behind managed immigration. As a person who understands the mystical Christian traditions of how we create our experience with our thoughts and feelings, I know that spirit leads all that I experience and feel no opposition to it.

Like Jon Stewart, I would propose that we look out for everyone that has a vested interest, collectively, while recognizing that each of us chooses our own perceptions of the collective. Taking the Love Train does seem to be the best ticket. Does it matter who else is buying the tickets? With love in our heart, spirit leads us to the seat that will reflect to us who we are in the moment, and the possibility of more. The Lord provides. To all colors.

Adyar said...

You ask:
Do you suppose there will not be enough for "your people" if you share?
I answer:
That is irrelevant. What's ours is mine too, not theirs, period. They got plenty of land of their own, in the Dutch case Morocco, Turkey. In the case of the USA, the Mexicans have Mexico. Their share of the Earth's landmass is more than sufficient, so 'sharing' doesn't solve anything, does it?

I also ask:
Your 'sharing' attitude damages the interests of your own people, children and family. How do you believe such behavior to be morally justified? How do you account for it to your own people, children and family?
Again:
Is it sane or insane to look after your own (group)-interests?
Do white people have interests, as a group?

Molly Brogan said...

"How do you believe such behaviour to be morally justified? How do you account for it to your own people, children and family?"

I would direct you to the famous poem by Emma Lazarus that can be found on the tablet of the Statue of Liberty that greets US immigrants:

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand

Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she

With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Morality is, indeed, relative. I suggest that the moral thing to do is "share." At some point, I understood that what I share with one I share with all and the love I give in spirit is inexhaustible. The more I give, the more I have because if I am willing to give everything, I AM Abraham at the top of the mountain of the Lord Has Seen (or the Lord Provides) giving up my only Son, and all is returned to me accompanied with the grace and mercy of the Lord.

Adyar said...

Molly, you don't account for the consequences of what you do to those, your next of kin, whose interests you damage with your 'sharing'. Why don't you 'love' them first, as in Gods divine order you're obliged to. You do better, morally speaking, if you take proper care for your next of kin instead of aliens, because you owe everything you are to them and not to aliens.

Abraham did what God told him to do. You don't, God did not tel you to share the collective assets of your people with aliens.
God also told the Israelites not to share their land with anyone. (deut 7:16).

Molly Brogan said...

Well, at any rate, Adyarman, we have provided a pretty good example of irreconcilable viewpoints, and the human need to step up the rhetoric when compromise or consensus is not possible. For me, loving my family in no way precludes loving my country, the world or my life in entirety. For you, I can see, it is different as we are different.

Can we agree to disagree and respect these differences, or is there an urge to amplify the emotion and ramp up the rhetoric to justify viewpoint? What is this urge and where does it come from? Can we resolve it?

Adyar said...

Molly, let us agree to disagree.

There is indeed quite obviously "an urge to amplify the emotion and ramp up the rhetoric to justify viewpoint?" when we observe Jon Steven and al. organise this rally in which people like me are called 'insane',

You ask:
What is this urge and where does it come from? Can we resolve it?
I guess some group has an interest to convince white people to forget about self preservation and the future of their offspring. Perhaps Jon Stevens belongs to this group.

I don't know how resolve this urge, I do resist the likes of Stevens by challenging them, because I love my own and I feel obliged to look after the interests of my own people.

Don said...

I think you've focussed a bit too much on the subject of 'white-people' (8 times), and their particular interests - given the context of this discussion.

Insanity is relative isn't it? To me, certain people in this country act irrational, and not reasonable. The frustration out there seems understandable, but the reaction of many seems way out. Calling them all insane is a big stretch - and so I may agree with you that. So perhaps Stewart and Colbert wrongly used that word. They meant simply 'let's tone it down'. Agreed.

In Theosophy, it is hoped that we are working towards brotherhood, not division, and I think that this last rally with Stewart was intended as such.

Don said...

Adyar,

As I read your posts I must ask - do you consider yourself an theosophist? If so, then can you explain your concept of 'me and mine' and the contrasting concept of 'the other, them, aliens'? I'm not familiar with this side of theosophy.

If you're not a theosophist, what kind of religious or philosophical view do you have, and are you here to simply argue those viewpoints against the theosophical view?

Adyar said...

I'm not a theosophist now, but I was a theosophist until 2008, when I realized that I'm not a god in development. Then a turned to Christianity and now I am a Christian.
Both Christianity and Theosophy have had times in which a national life was regarded as in compliance with the will of God (Christianity) / Ishvara according to Annie Besant, who regarded a nation as a living organism.
In these modern days striving for a national life is made suspect in both Christianity and Theosophy. This development however has nothing to do with the core teachings of either.
Life as such is characterized by limits and borders. Indeed me, mine, others and them. This is not in opposition with the concept op universal brotherhood, nor is it in opposition with the concept of universal love.
Particular brotherhood is an expression of universal brotherhood.
The same goes with particualar love, which is an expression of universal love.
We represent the universal principle in its application in - in this case - national life. This also goes when we protect our own interests by denying aliens access to our assets. Although paradoxical, the particular love for our own is still an expression of universal love.

I think proper ethics does not require that we don't care for our own interests, or those who belong to our people. Such ethics would be 'slave ethics'.

Nabil said...

Adyarman, you ARE insane if you think Stewart and Colbert were trying to impress white people like yourself.
They are definitely not interested in those ideas that you have. In fact, they are totally against them.

You are stuck in your ways, and you can't help that. You are not going to change, no matter what anyone says. Am I right?

Stewart and Colbert are a lot more sophisticated and informed. They also have a large number of writers, and artists to help them get their message across

Their message was clear from the beginning, when they decided to call for a rally. It was an answer to the rally that Glenn Beck had. They wanted to say that not all white people think the same as those white Tea Party people do.

They are trying to show the true America, not an ignorant and prejudice America that some are projecting to the whole planet.

It was described as a call to restore sanity for a reason. Colbert's play on the words, by saying that it was a call to keep fear alive, is easily understood to be making fun of those conservatives that are making Obama to be the devil, and the anti-Christ. And those who are playing with the emotions of the people.

Molly Brogan said...

This was just sent to me and I thought it might apply:

“In the gap between subject and object lies the entire misery of humankind.” - J. Krishnamurti

Fear leaves us wallowing in separation.

Molly Brogan said...

I think that Adyarman provides us a beautiful example of the fear that drives extremism, whether it is in the Tea Party, or the fundamentalism of Christians, Muslims, Jews or any other fundamental expression of religion that bends scripture to justify violence (if only in language) against other. What is lost is the principle that violence against other IS violence against self and God. What is lost is the principle of love. Perhaps Stewart and Colbert's simple example was enough - we allow fear to amplify within us when we continue to seek it. All aboard the love train!

Adyar said...

I think it is perfectly OK for white, straight males to care for threir own (group)-interests. An analysis describing this POV as 'insane' and dismissed as 'fear', is now updated with: 'extremism', 'fundamentalism' and 'violence'. These are all mud slinging EMOTIONAL arguments.
In fact my POV is simply logical, peace fostering and ethically sound.

This answers the previous question: "is there an urge to amplify the emotion and ramp up the rhetoric to justify viewpoint? What is this urge and where does it come from? Can we resolve it?"
Through self reflection you might find out where your urge comes from. You might reflect on what I've read somewhere, explaining this urge as a class issue: If lower class whites need solidarity from higher class whites, these higher class whites reason: "Ah these 'white trash' people can't help themselves, they cannot affort a house in a better school disctrict, they lose their jobs to immigrants or outsourcing. let's humiliate them some more with moralising stories about tolerance, this makes me feel so superior as a high class white"

That's why we see whites rallying against other whites.

The following questions still remain unanswered, of course:
Is it sane or insane to look after your own (group)-interests?
Do white people have interests, as a group?

Molly Brogan said...

Rather than hijacking this thread for your own self interest, I respectfully request that you start a discussion of your own where your questions can be answered. I do not see your apparent agenda as a positive contribution to this discussion.

Adyar said...

Yes, times have changed. More and more white people won't back down if you accuse them of bigotry. The 'love train' failed in the multicultural, minority first disaster, which has struck both our continents.
Rest assured that this is my last contribution to this discussion.

Molly Brogan said...

Interesting that this was just sent to my by Francis Lucille (as his response to a question from a student about changing the mind of people "full of hate for anyone that is not the same color or religion as them":

"mind your own business. The truth cannot be imposed upon those who are not open to it. Don't answer questions that are not put to you. You don't have to save the world. The true seeing is Robert Adam's seeing: all is well and unfolding as it should. Their desire to stick to their narrow view originates from their freedom which is also our freedom. We have to respect it, although we may silently and respectfully disagree with their view. Your silence and your deeds will be more intriguing and challenging to them than your words. They can close their ears to your words, but they cannot close their eyes to your actions or their hearts to your benevolent presence. At some point they will come to you. What you do then, or don't do, or say that comes from your Presence will have the power to open their eyes, a little bit at least."

That same freedom seems to send information as needed. The integration of the one and the many, reflected in unity efforts and separatist views, is also reflected to as from the same freedom that Francis Lucille references. What a wonderful journey! I can't imagine the feedback that Colbert and Stewart are getting...

Don said...

Very nice comments Molly.
I like Francis Lucille, he live close to where I do and often sits and talks with others. He seems very clear-headed.
Yes, maybe best to be quiet, peaceful and loving when a person reflects confusion and is in their own world. Maybe their waters will settle a bit.

Molly Brogan said...

...or the waters will stir! (Pool of Bethesda) I would love to hear Francis Lucille, and occasionally get to your neck of the woods. I tell myself that next time, I will look him up. I hope that time will come. As you say, his message is clear headed. What an exciting time to be alive.

michael said...

Glen Beck, I believe is one of America’s greatest patriots and inspirations. He hosted a rally on the “Mall” that set the all time record for attendance, attracting people of all races, religions and political affiliations to come and join in a celebration to God, Country, Liberty and Freedom. It was a resounding success. The Colbert, Stewart counterpoint, if you could call it one, was thee typical act of social/liberal, a.k.a. “democratic” buffoonery, teeming with racists, bigots and hate mongering hypocrites demanding “not what they can do for their country but what their country can do for them”. All this and more (I’ll spare you the details) was topped off by a rousing rendition by “Cat Stevens” singing his “peace train”. I don’t recall the Muslim name he now goes under, this self admitted jihadest and wanna be headhunter, who’s still looking for Salmon Rushdie. The irony is enough to make one roar with laughter if it weren’t so pathetic. Thank goodness the American people voted to install a “firewall” to prevent this small minority of social misfit, elitists that temporarily rule the Nation, from achieving the task they seem to be obsessed with, trying to burn down our great nation.

Nabil said...

There are people like Adyarman, who thinks that the minorities have had it too easy. He feels that it is time for the white people to take care of their own. And from all indications, he seems to really believe that.
There are also people like michaelcarlo, who believes that the worst part about the Stewart/Colbert rally, was that Cat Stevens performed for the people. You see, Cat Stevens became a Muslim many years ago. Mohammad Ali became a Muslim earlier than that. michaelcarlo seems to think that being a Muslim, or listening to a Muslim artist, is anti-American.

To be fair, there are a lot of people who think that way. The Taliban, for example, are just as bad, declaring that any western music or culture is wrong. Usama Bin Laden feels the same way.

Our country has been hijacked by rich and powerful people, who know how to play on the emotions of the simple folk.
Most of the voters are unaware of the machinations of politics. They are like sheep to be herded.

I am worried about the latest shepherds, like Glen, Palin, and Murdoch. Some of them are idiots, others are just trying to make money, and they do not give a damn about the average American.

The sadist thing of all, is that there are people who think so selfishly, yet still claim to be students if theosophy.

Molly Brogan said...

Racism is a global problem. And internet trolling is also. Yet I did ask the question: what drives us from mild anger to rage. And here we have been given clear examples.

It is easy now to sit back and look over history and wonder why the worlds worst despots were followed. The herd mentality does seem easy prey for those rage-a-holics that need their continual dosage of anger. But this kind of thinking and feeling requires also a constant state of separation from others and the One. How else could we be angry at or hate "them?" Spirituality is lost.

I was surprised myself to see Cat Stevens (have always been a fan) participating with enjoyment. Stewart could not have found a better example of where we need to focus our peace efforts (Muslims) in America. My grandparents immigrated from Ireland at a time when the Irish were the latest hated group in the US. Truth is, all groups at one time or another starting with the English during the American revolution have faced prejudice until their culture was integrated and assimilated. In other words, here in the US, we are all minorities. Only our need to separate ourselves from other requires us to identify with any oppositional group. And this, indeed, may be driven (and fed) by fear and fear mongers. The inability to identify with larger groups (global or universal) is developmental. I find my compassion in statements such as Francis Lucille's, who reminds us that it is all simply expressions of individual freedom. Finding our respect for others while expressing defines us in greater ways than our group identification, but not everyone can see that.

The peace/crazy/love train might bring us to completion if we travel from beginning to end.

michael said...

Let me try to figure out how this works. Your ancestors experienced a potato famine and somehow you feel qualified to empathize upon suppositional, acquiescent propaganda concerning Muslim persecution?, This, in the face of openly, brazen threats and acts of violence directed against non-Muslim civilians by Muslims for exercising their right of freedom of speech? Hello, are you awake yet, we still live in a world of cause and effect, actions have consequences, sweeping everything under the rug will never transform one into the spiritual elitist they imagine they are.

Molly Brogan said...

I think you will need to use more clarified logic to figure things out. Let me ask, how do you reconcile your "them against us" or "us against them" viewpoint with your professed identification with Theosophy?

Nabil said...

Molly, you are wasting your time trying to reason, with those who do not accept reason

Logic is just an obstacle, that they must overcome.

They are lost within their own words.

Most will be liberated, but some will insist on carrying on a form of illogical ideas that have helped people before. They fight on, holding firmly to ideas.
They call the holding on to ideas, faith.

People are limited to their ability to experience and interpret things

Some people think that the experience is what matters.
Being rich is a good thing, they declare.

Jesus says, that being rich is never a path to heaven

We now have people who want to avoid hell, while staying rich

Or people who believe in Jesus, yet join the military

Sanity can be restored when people start taking showers, and look at themselves in the mirror.

Molly Brogan said...

Discovering the (internal) mirror is the sure answer, I agree. But like Narcissus, many of us can't stop looking at our own projection (reflection in the water) so can't see the subtle perspective of the language of spirit all around and within us. This is beyond logic, but includes it, and if we are stuck in the narcissistic mental exercise of argument and logical fallacy, addicted to the thrill of the emotional loop it gives us, we cannot pass the threshold into spirit. Clear logic and compassion allow us the quiet mind and unified understanding necessary to live in spirit. I would still be interested to hear how one can be immersed in an us against them viewpoint, and still consider themselves to be spiritual. I have only seen extremist fundamentalists attempt to explain this - and the Tea Party does seem to champion them. Much seems to be done in the name of spirit or God, that has nothing to do with it really.

Nabil said...

What I want to know, is how can we overcome such divisions, that people seem to have.

How can we connect the left with the right, the liberal with the conservative?

I know that there are answers.
It is people's emotions that get in the way.

And there are plenty of opportunists, who do what they do best, which is take advantage.

I have answers. And just like the opportunists, I will try to get your attention.

We have to start with unity, anything else is a lost cause

Don said...

Theosophy can place this kind of thinking and behaving in context with a number of subjects; evolution (lack thereof), ignorance, and the lower mind to name only a few...

As well, we can see how someone can read theosophical subjects, understand them in some respects, but miss entirely the meaning or heart of the subjects explained.

That said, I can also relate to ignorance myself. I can understand the fear, the anger because that is me also. I'm white, middle-aged, and can get the fear and anger that's expressed by similar men. I'm not proud of that, nor do I give these fears or thoughts further energy or expression. I'm also someone who can rise above that kind of thinking and put it in it's proper place. For that reason, I'm ashamed of these men for not thinking further about these matters, for not being more responsible beyond their personal interests, and for not protecting others as we're sometimes sworn to do as theosophists. It is ignoble of them.

Molly Brogan said...

I think that Nabil hit the nail on the head. All great rights movements in the US have been based in Unity. I follow the career of American Historian Howard Zinn, who actively taught and participated in all important civil rights movements in the US in the past 40 years. All of his writing, lectures, material, are based on the concept of the unity of all people on the basis of human rights. http://www.howardzinn.org/default/index.php

All great movements have room for everyone and unite people toward change.