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Ingroup of One

I think it’s essential to try to understand contrasting perspectives on anything relevant to being of service to humanity, and to be flexible when it comes to the ideals of certainty, knowing, meaning and wisdom.

It is only too easy to mute or unfollow and curate a personalized feed of ideas, opinions, and information. This empowers us to surround ourselves with only those with whom we can agree, or to groups where we feel as if we belong — legitimately or not. Unfortunately, in an era of rampant polarity and divisiveness, our efforts to avert overwhelm and distraction leave us without an accurate representation of the broader, diverse world. While specialization undoubtedly has its uses, it is inherently dangerous to disregard the forest for the trees; the world today demands of us a wider gamut of perception and understanding to have any chance at regenerating a damaged ecology, recalibrating of industry and the economy, and fostering deeper, wholistic local, regional, and global community.

For me, it’s essential to my emotional and psychological fulfilment — be it through philosophizing or writing — to delve deeply into the whys and what-fors of this Earth-based, human experience. Much of what I’ve observed and experienced grinds with annoying regularity against my sensitivities, flying blatantly in the face of fundamental truths and intuitions I feel as if I’ve “known” for my whole life. I want to know why, and I want to understand the impulse within me (and a great many others who seem to be entangled by some invisible thread of consciousness) that is desperate for everyone to “remember” — or to recognize the simplistic, yet profound reality that all is one.

By definition, to bridge the gaps in collective epistemological failings (thus also to reconcile my own), I cannot wholly ally with any cause, values system, or belief construct. This is, of course, quite a challenge, and it perpetuates an existential struggle within me — because what then do I actually stand for? When I say “let love lead you,” how exactly do I define this universal, yet completely subjective idea of love? Is it a transactional, judgment-based codification, or is it an open-ended, unconditional, transcendent ideological capacitance?

As I get older — and even grow up a little from time to time — when I find myself leaning strongly in any direction, I also tend to feel the elastic pull back toward a less polarized or biased (i.e., neutral) perspective. At least, I try to, eager to understand what lies beneath a strong emotional reaction or impulse. I’ll search instead for the words to introduce, interpret or translate that perspective to those seeking meaning in similar ways.

It can certainly be isolating, but finding a balance in all these things is also an integral part of the walk.

Solvitur ambulando