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Our Closed Mind is Killing Us

Published on 25/07/12
by randy

Life is a great mystery.  Our spiritual traditions are all grounded in this surrender to that which is far beyond our understanding.  They all speak to the renewed spirit, to opening in humility to the unknown, in gratitude for our opportunity to participate in this great experience called life.  Our pain and suffering increase to the degree in which we ‘think’ we have the ‘right’ answer.  I recall seeing a billboard advertising a local radio station where the arrow on the dial was pointed to “Always right”.  In nature, we’re continually brought to awareness of the difficulties brought on through rigidity and frozen forms.  It’s why we build some flexibility into our skyscrapers.  It’s why aging people who stay active generally suffer less than those who seize up from inactivity.  Really, flexibility and openness is what our country was founded on and it’s why I love America.  The glue of our Declaration of Independence is found in the last line, advising us to forever surrender and rely in openness to “divine Providence”.  Flexibility of the body/mind is a key component to stewarding health of body, mind, and our country.

The open mind humbly submits to something greater than one’s small ego.  Our greed and desire to ‘be right’ is set down in curiosity to see what comes up when we honor, respect and listen to one another.  This is contrary to our current political focus on debate and persuasion.  Today, political gridlock is costing us our spiritual heritage, not to mention billions of dollars of waste due to the influence of big money’s role in preventing an open dialogue.  Our two party system has become much like a football game when we fight one another, failing to realize we’re all in the same boat.  Rather than mindful stewardship to what’s best for all, our energies are consumed in argument, brinksmanship, and the never ending pursuit of our small mind’s cleverness.

I recently heard a radio broadcast of a workshop attended by major experts in today’s national political arena.  Some were criticizing the Republican party for their closed minds.  Others were criticizing Pres. Obama for not working harder to cultivate more of an open mind in those who are against him.  In the mean time, as a nation, it seems impossible for us to have serious dialogue about the real issues facing the future of our country and planet.  My personal experience and forty years of experience in studying interpersonal communications currently holds the notion that it ‘takes two to tango’.  There’s not much you can do when one party refuses to openly communicate, to listen openly in ‘reliance to divine Providence’.  Blockage from a closed mind can only end in carnage.  Yet, a humble respect for that which is bigger than us, a willingness to drop our agendas in a sincere desire to hear one another, opens us to discover common sense.  This courage invites something in that’s bigger than us, something beyond our personal, self interest agendas.  Rather than focus on ‘what’s in it for me’ the discussion turns to ‘how can we help’ and ‘who gets hurt’.  In ancient Hawaii, the basic law was ‘Best for all with harm to none’.

So what can we do now?  We can call out the ‘closed minds’ for the tremendous damage caused from their rigidity.  We can turn up the pressure for Obama to repeatedly invite those closed minds to dialog.  The agreement to this dialogue would be to 1. Listen and speak from the heart, 2. Hold a curious open mind, 3. Hold all attempts to persuade, 4. Hold comments to a rule of brevity rather than going on and on, 5. Agree to surrender to the mystery of ‘divine Providence’, in full reliance to seeing a better solution come up from this open minded process.

Those who refuse to submit to the basic law of this land, surrendering to the mystery of that which is bigger than us, could be called out.  Big money aimed at personal interest rather stewardship would be called out.  As a nation, we could once again return to the open mind, from our damaging pride to mindful humility and gratitude for our freedom to be in this great land on this precious planet.  The real dialogue of ‘how does this harm’ vs. ‘how does this help’ could once again be pursued.

So President Obama, keep inviting them to your table.  Commit your open mind to them and present the agreements necessary for honest, open dialogue.  Do this everyday, even to your strongest opponents.  We’re all so tired of the infantile bantering that comes from the closed mind.  It’s time to push for something better.  This nation is far better than what we’ve come to in the political arena.  And when/if they refuse to sit at the table, as a people we should turn them out as traitors to the commands of the Declaration of Independence.  There’s nothing more dangerous than a closed mind, nothing more troublesome than the phrase, “I know that”, nothing more courageous than the open mind in search of ‘common sense’ in reliance to divine Providence.  I have a friend who wrote a book based on the notion of God running for President.  The operative phrase was always, “What would love (God) do?”  Until we’re willing to sit with one another in respect and openness to our divinity, we’ll simply not be able to hear the bigger answer.

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