You Don’t Know For Sure Who Is Right

This is a hard one to stomach, but it’s true. How can we possibly know? We can hold long-cherished ideals, but the truth is, since we are not omniscient, some of what we believe may be very, very wrong.

Review your own political history and ask yourself whether your beliefs have changed over the years.

Many of my currently pacifist Buddhist friends were once part of militant revolutionary organizations using violent means for social change. According to basic Buddhism, one of the greatest forms of suffering is attachment to views. No matter what the view, if we are attached, we will suffer.

The dharma invites us to rest in not-knowing, to tolerate the discomfort of a mind with no firm ground.

It asks us for a more flexible and wider mind that might be open to other views. From this place, can we soften our critique of the thing we dislike or hate? Sometimes when I’m really mad I say to myself, “…maybe in some form or fashion they’re right. You just can’t know for sure.”

And it’s true, we don’t know for sure. Think of the literally thousands of times throughout this life you just knew you were right.

This does not mean you or myself can’t develop discriminating wisdom that allows us, each, to keep seeing clearly, and acting on our insights. It is just in our best and karmic interest to try not to hold on to our views so tightly, especially the views that make us see others as enemies.

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