There is no neutral. The basis of the path is acknowledging that I have a position. That’s what mindfulness is. I have a location. I have karma. I have biases. I am part of an interdependent system. I am making choices, both consciously and unconsciously. Without acknowledging our relative position, the path can’t even start.
Feigning neutrality is an obstacle. Neutrality is a confused view of reality. Equanimity is not neutrality. Compassion is not neutrality. Emptiness is not neutrality. The Middle Path is not neutrality. Those of us with privilege might do well to question why we ever thought neutrality was the goal.
when we can’t turn away, we turn in…..
inquiry for today~ can you come at it from a “not my view” but a “whole view”……
The framers of the Constitution gave us the first system of government I know of that regards conflict not as the enemy of a good social order but as the engine of a better social order—if we hold our conflicts creatively.
I feel HOPE rising among us right now—not in spite of the civil unrest, but BECAUSE of the civil unrest, which can serve as that “engine of a better social order.” Huge crowds that reflect the creative potentials of this country’s diversity have gathered in the streets to demand that we finally live up to the truths we claim to hold, 244 years after we made the claim:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Writing in the NY Times on June 5, Michelle Alexander—author of “The New Jim Crow,” a vital book—wrote these words: “America, this is your chance. If we do not learn the lessons of history and choose a radically different path forward, we may lose our last chance at creating a truly inclusive, egalitarian democracy.”
I feel hopeful that we can choose that “different” path because so many of us are now holding the tension of America’s broken promises in a potentially creative way.
~Parker J. Palmer