I have a good friend and a relative who are both super, extra, intensely right leaning conservatives. Recently I've been engaging with both of them a bit about stuff they're passionate about.
I have a lot of lefty, liberal viewpoints (Although I don't consider myself a liberal, or a moderate. I'm just myself. I don't side with any group or ideology. I'm not interested in group-think.)
I tend to avoid political wrangling over social media, because I don't see much merit in it. But lately I've been letting myself talk to an isolated few about things because I'm interested in them as people, and the relationship I have with them.
It's been interesting. I've caught myself treating these exchanges in an almost adversarial way, and then gently reminding myself that that's not necessary. There's a zen story about this very situation that I love, called You Are Right.
A few days back I saw a news story about a confrontation between Ted Cruz and the actress Ellen Page.
She was asking about persecution of trans and LGBT people, and he turned the discussion into one about religious freedom.
I remember watching this and thinking at the time that he just ducked the question, and sort of weaseled out of making a definitive statement about his stance on discrimination of LGBT people.
Yet a few days later, that conservative friend of mine posted something about how masterfully Cruz "won" that argument.
At the time, I sort of scratched my head wondering if we had seen the same talk.
A few days later I stumbled across a cartoon that struck me as relevant.
I think people see things through a lens informed by their perspective, identity, and desire. I include myself in that.
It makes me laugh really. I consider mindfulness to be a practice, a discipline. There is this problem with mindfulness that is inescapable. Every thought I have or impression I experience is ultimately thought or experienced by me.
It's utterly impossible to get around that.
The more I continue my mindful practice the more I see how futile it is to even try to get around it. I see that I have bias, you have bias, we all have bias.
Alan Watts has said that you are a function of the whole universe in much the same way as any wave is a function of the whole ocean.
I agree with that. You might not. It's all good.