Deep down my enemy is good: Thinking about the true self reduces intergroup bias

I found this interesting article:

Unfortunately only the abstract is for free. But this picture probably tells you all you need to know. :heart_eyes:

image

If you understand German you can read a bit more here:

2 Likes

During the Buddha’s time clothes were scarce and ascetics would tear off the unsmeared pieces of cloth from shrouds of corpses to add it to their own robes. In a similar manner the Buddha asked his disciples to find the good aspects of every person and appreciate it. It really helps to see the humanity in another person’s eyes. This is not to be blind to their faults or not protect ourselves from their negative actions, but choosing not to dwell on the negativity. It is often easy to project political, racial, or other discriminatory outlook on people and suppress their humanity and turn them into ‘objects’ of our aversion.

This way we can stop turning people into ‘evil’ caricatures and see them for who they usually are- a mixture of good and bad attributes, arising now and then, depending on the circumstances, usually beyond their control. As are we… to others.

This not only helps with dealing with so called negative people but also helps us not to idolize ‘wonderful’ people as well. Both those extremes are projections of our cravings and aversions on to people, who we really cannot know much about. It take time to get to know a person. it also takes proximity- someone would have had to live with them over a long period of time, and undergone many different circumstances to truly get to know them. Also as the Buddha said it help if the observer is intelligent and frankly, psychologically minded (at least used to dealing with one’s own mental defilements).

In one poem the Buddha calls Arahanth ‘faithless’ (asadhaka). This is because they do not idolize but sees the reality of people for what it really is. Some people are very good at something, but perhaps not other things.

No need to get overly attached to one attribute and get unnecessarily excited!

with metta

8 Likes