Our present time seems so divided, so divided and with increasing polarisation. We look around and see many countries where elections are resulting in almost a dead heat. Once stable democracies now seem to be so close to conflict, to deep resentments and an army of grievances. We here in the UK are a perfect example as we are totally divided between two sides, with both sides really entrenched in their position and being right about it. Not only that but the sides are moving further and further apart. People who voted to leave the EU with a deal now are stating that they were always happy to leave without a deal so in these situations it seems reason is left behind and being right becomes more important than the consequences of the actions. Being right, at some point, begins to blind us and we become increasingly self-interested to the cost of the people around us and when this becomes a political driver then opportunism and winning become the ethos.
For us to prosper and to build a brighter future we need to transcend the whole right and wrong dichotomy. True, it is a huge and pervasive force that has been drummed into us since day one and operates at every level of our minds; but it is a fracture, it is a product of a split mind. Shakespeare said, “there is neither good nor bad, but thinking makes it so.” This is a statement that many of us might intellectually appraise as possible, but when our emotions get triggered then the truth of it becomes the first casualty.
We seem so tuned to respond with blame and attack. Many of us spend the day going from one situation to another seeing everything in terms of good or bad, right or wrong, and it is not only exhausting but it is separating. Some of us go so far as to believe that if we could get rid of all the bad people we would achieve some utopia, but that is not what happens. Instead it goes something like this: for us to take the position of being the good one we need to have someone be the bad one. If you have a need to be right then you will also have a need for someone to be wrong. This is why utopia is not possible, not even close while we have this duality in our minds. The answer is surely to learn to transcend the duality, to grow our consciousness and heal this split and get to a different place.
During a seminar many years ago a participant had a major breakthrough and got to a place of consciousness that had transcended this duality. On Sunday morning she described her experience of the night before. She had enjoyed a drink with some others then then set out to walk home on the streets of Glasgow. She saw many of the common experiences of a hard-drinking city centre in the UK. All the usual things were happening, but she did not see these experiences in terms of right or wrong. Things just were, or in terms of the present “it just is!” She was in a state of Mastery and remained happy and peaceful in the midst of downtown Glasgow and went home and slept well.
So if there is no right or wrong then what do we do? How can we live our lives and respond to the world around us? Sadhguru says it well; “There is no such thing as right or wrong in life. The question is, are your actions appropriate and inclusive?” I would go a little further and say, are your thoughts and actions appropriate and inclusive? As with all things in this world we do need to start with ourselves, looking to how we have built a world of good and bad, sometimes even in our own families. Can we commit to healing these fractures within ourselves, to be willing to learn to build bridges to all around us and to become as inclusive as we can? The test we are presented with is a huge challenge, and seems to be getting harder to ignore.