Without division, conflict cannot exist. We point at others as the problem when we should be pointing at ourselves. Nothing is more elevating to Ego than to identify the other as wrong. And defining right and wrong is the fundamental principle behind Tribe.
Think about Tribe in terms of your own life. Where is the dividing line in you?
I just read an article supposedly written by an honest Muslim decrying the faults of his religion. And even without considering whether the article is authentic or not, which when posted on the Internet is probably unlikely, the building blocks of division in the reader are exposed. Yes, in the reader, not the writer. I can hear myself saying, Ah yes, they are at fault, they should change their religion.
Such views ultimately lead to conflict–THEY are the problem and I must fight to change them. Division is our conditioning. My football club versus your football club, my company versus your company, my political ideology versus your political ideology. You get the point, we are constantly at odds with others, and when taken to extremes, we will defend our views to the death.
This week is the annual celebration of division, and we shall make it ever so wholesome with songs, and lights, and presents–My God, My Jesus. And even within My Jesus exists another dividing line, my version of Jesus versus your idiotic version of Jesus. And so it goes, on and on.
Where does it begin?–in the small family. We are taught division from the get go; my family is important, more important (to me) than your family. You probably remember the earliest injunctions against opening the door to strangers. Strangers are not allowed in, unless the male warrior is at home.
Some years ago we attempted to create a commune of 5000 people in the Oregon desert. The basis of Commune is to transcend division. The children could stay with whomever they wanted, implying that they effectively had many parents, and could learn many differing ways to view life. What a perfect scenario; this was an international commune with participants from every nation, every religious background, and every social status–one of my best friends was the Prince of Hannover. Another was the grandson of Himler. Those commune children grew to become world citizens.
But as expected, tribal division killed the experiment. The Oregon government (society’s parents) fought the commune at every turn. A magnificent flowering was destroyed after four years. That commune was the vision of a Buddha; the world lost a precious gift the day it ended.
Take this a step further if you will–my husband, my wife. Fidelity is considered valuable. Why? when every lover can teach us something new, can expand our understanding. Why would you rob yourself of that gift?
Ultimately, digging down to the bottom of the pit, the issue is control of the people. People who live in freedom cannot, will not, go to war. People living in freedom cannot be abused by power hungry psychopaths (read politicians.) Children who grow up learning variety in life, the many different viewpoints, are the ones who will meld apparent opposites together and carry the torch of freedom forward. We should hope for such children.
So no, the Muslims are not at fault any more than the Christians. What is at fault is division based on beliefs. Humanity will go on forever in this same ugly fight unless a day comes when religion as a whole is discarded in favor of understanding.
And so, in these next days of cheer and goodwill (which, by the way, could be every day,) will you shower your blessings on everyone, or only on those who agree with you?