I am disheartened these days watching the world steam ahead toward hate. And though we may acknowledge the character traits of reflection, honesty, care, and discernment, which come from purity and clarity, there seems to be ever-increasing inertia—heedless indifference—along with the painful traits of agitation, violence, fear, and turning further away from the Heart.
In the face of this upheaval, too many people seek refuge in a dangerous idea of “goodness”. Unconsciously confusing Absolute and relative reality, they convince themselves that if they clearly discern and acknowledge the disorder and destructiveness within the world, then they are not “good” in the way everyone else is. For them, seeing clearly and honestly is being negative. We are supposed to be blind to anything that doesn’t affirm human goodness.
The mistaken belief is that we are all innately good; the truth is that we are innately Love. But in identifying Love with an abstract ideal of goodness, we twist Love. This sentimental notion of innate goodness is then seen as so sacrosanct that we refuse to deny it even when the facts are staring right at us.
|Saintly / seen as good||Demonic / corrupt|
|Doormat / sucker / used||Savvy / handles the world|
We are confronted with a failing logic when we bring into our scheme of innate human goodness names like Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, and Pinochet. People committed to seeing humanity as innately good will mitigate crimes and abuses in order to justify that belief. So “good” people project their idea of a unifying goodness everywhere they look. In a single moment of apparent goodness, these people will deny the real suffering in the world, deny a large portion of the world’s experience.
Yes, from the standpoint of Absolute Reality there is no suffering in the world. We all know that. In the non-dual systems, there is no real suffering. But until we live in that Love and come from Love without distortion or obstruction, there will be suffering in the world we inhabit. There will be cruelty and terror and pain. Have you ever noticed how often the very people who insist on universal goodness and tell others in pain to “let it go” demand attention and sympathy when they happen to be the ones suffering?
In truth there is just us, but we have to live that truth not just when it is convenient, not merely when we have the time and the inclination. Others’ suffering is our suffering. Others’ joy is our joy. When we are willing to acknowledge our part in the world, we then share in the play. We do not deny the suffering, but develop compassion. We develop dispassion. We develop Love. We share in community.
|Shared human community||Isolation|
|No voice / lost personhood||Independence / voice|
When we share in community we do not lose our voices. We each have a voice, and we share. When we are isolated, we may think we are independent, but in truth we have no voice.
When we insist on what we call innate human goodness and refuse to face human destructiveness and suffering, we are hiding from Love. When we hide from Love by cloaking ourselves in “goodness,” we will avoid anything that might give us true human community. And in our pridefulness, we blame others for not affirming our gauzy view, when they in fact shouldn’t. Remember, if we swim in this kind of “good” life, we will not feel the hate that surrounds us. We will instead resonate with hate and feel connected with others who share that vibration. This is the most destructive form of false community. Love requires surrender, but we instead defy Love in the name of our righteousness.
|Placate / appease||Steadfastness|
If we want to stop hiding from Love, we must give up our pride in our own “goodness”. We must surrender over and over again, day in and day out. Love is off the grid. There is no opposite to Love.
Share this Post