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The Limits of Language and How It’s Contributed to Outdated, Dysfunctional Religion and Politics

Published on 17/05/16
by randy


Our thoughts are linguistically based. Every thought we have is verbal. This chatter goes on inside our minds incessantly and the thoughts we attach to are called ‘beliefs’. We’re built to try to figure things out, to draw conclusions, and act in the way we believe to be right. In our polarized society we end up with heavy emphasis upon persuasion. Religions push to grow their membership based on what they ‘think’ is right and political parties push to grow their membership by doing the same. Our minds are built to come to conclusion. At one level we feel better when we ‘think we know’. Yet, the true spiritual journey is beyond language. There’s a universal appeal to fall to our knees in humility to all that we don’t know. Every spiritual tradition, at its core, advises that we ‘touch silence’, free from our thoughts of knowing. There’s a surrender that’s needed, and with that surrender comes our reuniting with the rhythm and harmony of the universe. Linguistically, when we do this we break the subject/object divide. It’s no longer me against you, I know and you don’t. Even when the problems seem big, in this stillness, we become bigger than the problem. Our real faith comes when we have the courage to touch one another’s humanity in openness, freed from our limiting belief systems. So how can this work practically in our 2.0 Upgrade to government? I think we can all agree that our polarized traditional way has frozen to the point that very little is happening in a time where we need to be accelerating our response to a rapidly changing world. It’s my contention that if we could come to a few basic agreements in our meeting rituals we’d break the ice and once again align in stewardship to our communities, states, nations and planet.

Most indigenous cultures had some form of this upgrade in their traditional background. When we set about facing big problems, I’d suggest that our belief oriented invocation be expanded to the following agreements:

We agree that we don’t have all the answers.
We agree that there is a spiritual element to our ‘gift of being’ and that we have a humble responsibility to be of stewardship to all people, places and things. We acknowledge the limits of language, the limits of our sense of righteousness, and respect the separation of church and state without abandoning our reliance upon what the Bill of Rights called ‘divine Providence’.
We agree at the outset of this meeting to suspend those thoughts we’ve attached so strongly to as we sit in silence with one another. As we let go our need to push another to our limited way of seeing the world we open ourselves for bigger solutions. As our brothers and sisters feel our desire to understand growing over our contempt and desire to persuade we agree that we more effectively loosen the holds of rigid belief in faith to that which is bigger than us.
We agree that our differences of thought arise from our differences of experience. We agree that our first responsibility is to better understand those who we’ve concluded to be wrong. We pledge to let go defensive listening and hard line persuasion in respect to the tremendous power of active listening. We mutually pledge to actively listen to one another with equal opportunity of time, free from the ineffectiveness of persuasion and violence, sincerely aiming to understand one another’s position.
We agree to first and foremost examine ‘who gets hurt’ with any decision we come to. The ultimate aim in all of our policies and actions is to ‘seek what is best for all with harm to none’.
We agree to sit in stillness, without language and thought, connecting with one another’s humanity. To simply sit, breathing the same air, free from the incessant chatter in our minds that feeds our restlessness. Sitting for fifteen minutes in silence, tuned in and tuned up to better face our responsibilities to all peoples, places and things.

This harmonizing exercise has proven effective over the ages and it’s dangerous to continue with our antiquated, closed minded approaches to problems that imminently threaten our planet. The stagnation has to stop as global diversity and change continue to accelerate. During this political campaign the media has gone to new lengths in pushing conflict and polarization. That’s just what the media does. It’s drawn to what’s wrong and desires to feed the fire for increased viewership. Unfortunately, as a nation, we’ve grown our anger and become more rigid in our beliefs. The above approach rises above debate, right vs. wrong, violence, and I believe goes a long way to healing our nation and planet, to once again finding our ‘wholeness’, our interconnection with all peoples, places and things. It brings us to that place where we all fall to our knees in gratitude and reliance upon ‘divine Providence’, with true desire for peace, joy and love to all.


https://archive.org/details/20160516071335  Click this link for an audio presentation on the above topic.

When in silence to the internal chatter, we’re “letting go the clinging to human thought, and this means letting go, or throwing out, human arrogance.  With that we become, as the Bible says, ‘as God wills,’ and then ‘the works of God will be manifest. (John 9:3)  We are constantly discriminating and dividing everything into this and that, based on our thinking.  To throw out sequential thinking, not tying one phenomenon to another, is to be prior to thought.  It is to be before the separation of things into ‘this’ and ‘that’.   …it’s to exist before separating this moment from eternity, or subject from object.     ….it enables one to experience directly.”   from Opening the Hand of Thought  by Kosho Uchiyama  p.  112.


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