Saying there is one Truth is like saying there is only one kind of food to eat. Experience shows us that there are lots of foods to eat because we practice eating all the time. Unfortunately, we don’t practice spirituality much at all, so our experience is limited. In fact, I would argue that to the vast majority of people, practicing spirituality is an alien concept, which means we pretty much all suck at it. Is it any wonder then that there is so much division along religious lines in the world?
Why do we talk? Debate? Exchange ideas? I would argue that it is because an honest debate begins with the premise that I have an idea and you have an idea and we both might learn something from the exchange, which may ultimately shape our perception of “the truth.” We are both “right” in the sense that we bring something to the exchange we perceive as correct (or functional or valuable or whatever makes a belief “work”). But when we’re done, if our ego is not in control of the exchange, our positions may be forever altered for having had the exchange (vis-a-vis “Hey I didn’t see it like that. Cool.”). If our egos are in control, then you’re still wrong and I’m still right (or from your perspective I’m wrong and you’re right), and we’ve not done anything but try to convert each other to the “Truth.”
I never could get my head wrapped around any particular set of ideas and beliefs as the “Truth.” The whole idea never resonated with me. I mean, who says I’m “right” anyway? Me? What if I got my opinions from a book. Maybe a sacred book. Well, who says it’s sacred? If I believe it’s sacred, then it is. TO ME. But do I have the right to make you believe it, just because I do? See, here’s the absolute genius of belief systems that have this view of right and wrong. Their fundamental tenets (which must be spelled out in the sacred tome) must state that not only is everything written herein the Truth, but the fact that this sacred writing says so is proof enough, and furthermore (here’s the kicker) everybody who believes otherwise is (insert fate of “unbelievers” here). And to top it all off, you are never ever (ever) allowed to change your belief or you are weak. So this system sets itself up to be rigid and self-reinforcing.
What would possess me to think that just because I believe it, it’s the “Truth?” It may be MY Truth, but I have NO RIGHT to force it onto you. I would like to share it with you, but in doing so, your ideas will possibly influence my view and forever alter it.
NOW I’m practicing spirituality. The world is changing. People are beginning to see that it is no longer acceptable to force ideas about something so personal upon others.
Our collective human ego is dying.
I wonder about this. It’s just something I’ve been thinking about. Can we bring our spirituality to our work? I think we can.
As a consultant, I feel ethically bound to tell my customers when they are heading in the wrong direction, and help guide them in the right direction (unfortunately, I don’t get much chance to advise them a priori). I am also ethically bound to fair billing practices.
But I think this is more than that. It has to do with what of ourselves we give to our work, rather than how we do our work. It’s a subtle but important difference. Just something I’ve been thinking about. Maybe I’ll write a book about it someday. And get on Oprah’s Book Club list.
I can’t say I’m surprised. Microsoft’s new search engine, Bing, which is trying to compete with Google search, has results which look remarkably like google search results.
Does Bing use google search under the hood? It sure looks like it.
While Microsoft continues to try dominating, Google succeeds at innovating. I hope Bing doesn’t succeed (which, in Microsoft terms means to completely dominate all other offerings and leave us no choices), if for no other reason than I like having choices. And I choose to use google products. Not because I have no choice, but because they’re cool.
If Microsoft would try innovating instead of dominating, they might be able to survive going forward.
There is just something about an electric car that intrigues me. Probably my inner electronics geek coming out. But in any event, Tesla Motors has been given a huge grant to speed up production of their electric cars. Here’s a link to the InformationWeek article.
At some point, our dependence on fossil fuels is going to taper off. That day will come forcibly, or on our own terms. Things will go much smoother if we will accept the inevitability that we cannot continue to burn fossil fuels at the rate we are, and embrace alternative fuel sources. We’ll see.
I know someone – maybe it’s me – who doesn’t know how to have a relationship. This person thinks it’s okay to expect the other party to initiate all the interaction, all the contact, take all the risks, and yet still consider that being in a relationship. That’s, well, lame. But I can see a certain genius behind it. See, if you never take a risk, never initiate contact, never put yourself out there, you can never get hurt. To someone so afraid of rejection it’s terminally painful to consider opening yourself up to such potential pain this is unacceptable. On the flip side, if the one doing all the work does something you don’t like, you can sit back and point out the mistake.
It’s a great way to avoid ever being wrong (and having to apologize for it), while still fooling yourself to think that you’re in a relationship. Very clever. And a very sad, lonely way to live. If you live this way, you’re probably wondering why your relationships always fail. “I haven’t done anything wrong,” you say. “I was completely honest about everything,” you say. That may be true, but you aren’t capable of true intimacy. And you’ll never be able to truly have a partner. Just a string of relationships that fizzle out. The other person constantly wondering why you don’t meet their needs, and you wondering why every relationship you get into ends with a whimper.
You just don’t get it. Or maybe I’m talking about me. You decide. Oh, wait. That would involve you actually doing something.
The only thing more difficult than apologizing for something I’ve done wrong is to make that apology to a self-righteous jerk. You know, one of those kind of apologies where there is equal blame, but where the SRJ stands across from you – arms folded – and says, “It’s so nice that you can admit when you’re wrong.”
It’s a leveling of pride I’m not fond of, but what a learning experience. I want to thank this person for the opportunity to practice humility. Now I’m free. And they have to be THEM for the rest of their lives. Who’s coming out ahead here? 🙂
Okay, this may sound strange, but the lying, disgusting weasels in our lives are actually good for us. Having said it, I realize it sounds REALLY strange, but it’s true. People like them (and we all have them in our lives) help us to practice being good people.
I don’t know about you, but I get complacent. Things start going well, I get lazy and then, BOOM, I’m a lying, disgusting weasel. Well, maybe it’s been a while since I’ve slid THAT far down, but my point is that it (backsliding) happens. So, when these hideous reprobates get mixed in with our lives, it allows us to practice NOT RESPONDING IN KIND to their disgusting-weaselness.
And I don’t mean we let these useless sacks of s*** step on us. What I mean is that their presence in our lives allows us to practice principles to become better people. For example, if I am trying to become more patient, I’m not suddenly struck patient one day! Rather, I’m given the chance to be patient: in traffic, with my children, or even, you know, in dealing with a disgusting weasel.
So, if all the disgusting weasels in my life suddenly moved to, I dunno, say, Alaska, I’d no longer be able to practice being a good person (and no, being good and kind to other good and kind people doesn’t count…). Then I might revert to being one myself. And you might be writing about me.