I have been thinking about the times I’ve disagreed with people here on D & D.
And there have been many times of disagreement. (Though many more of agreement.)
Just in a general sense, you know… Not necessarily remembering specifics. And I’ve been noticing how sometimes, people I’ve passionately felt myself to disagree with have written things or posted things that I find myself in harmony with.
There’s always common ground. So useful.
Not useful in pretending there are things we don’t agree with. But useful in making us see that human beings are complex. Common ground helps us ease our passionate feelings around disagreement and debate. The “other” person stops being someone who is only “wrong” or only thinks “that way”. They become human. Beautiful too. Sometimes to be argued with and sometimes to be applauded.
Somehow common ground points to a view that is more truthful and invites in the uncommon ground to exist too. For neither to be the only truth but for both to exist and for other truths and possibilities to exist too.
I just wanted to say, for the times you may have felt me say “NO!” to your views and assertively present mine in opposition to yours…I view you as one of the “good guys”.
One of my dear friends passed away some years back. She was very involved with a few of her local Buddhist communities, even though she was very ill. And you know what it’s like when a bunch of people - no matter how kind or worthwhile their intentions are - get together and try to organise themselves…they argue or disagree and sometimes fall out and misunderstand… My friend had alot of kind support though and one aspect of this came through her son who was a Buddhist monk.
One day when she was complaining about someone, he said to her: “remember these are the ‘good guys’ too”. He was trying to say, there are no real enemies here.
Elsewhere on D&D Bhante Sujato was making the case for a more dialectical approach to the commentaries. And it got me reflecting on all this again.
Why do we assume that passionate disagreement is passionate dislike or even that it must stay that way? Or even if it’s not and it doesn’t stay that way, that we should see no value in communicating this?
We see value in communicating our disagreements so why shouldn’t we say explicitly: I still think you’re okay and pretty cool and I wish you well with all my heart?
Well…personally I think every now and then there’s immense value in this. But I admit to being selfish too… It feels really nice to feel this open hearted - especially as it doesn’t always feel nice this way, what with things being impermanent and all that…
Anyway, I just want to share a moment of open-heartedness with you May we all be well and happy. Especially anyone I’ve ever disagreed with.