You must have already noticed, politics brings out the best and worst in people. Emotions quickly rise to the surface during political discussions. Reasoned arguments, looking at both sides of a discussion is quickly abandoned. But who is right? Who wrong? Who experiences ultimate reality, who illusion?
How is it possible that two equally intelligent, compassionate and worthy individuals can have totally divergent and contradictory political view points regarding the same politician or event?
Notice how the actions of one political leader can be viewed with suspicion and derision by political opponents, while supporters of their views will consider the very same actions to be defensible or at least understandable.
So who is ‘correct’ and who ‘incorrect’? Who speaks the truth, and who lies?
This is a key and complex metaphysical question. Can we actually decide what is real and what not?.
Quite simply but profoundly–our reality is determined by our perspective on what occurs. All events are filtered through our individual minds with its own set of experiences and prejudices. Our feelings become our thoughts. How we interpret events becomes our reality.
What we are talking about is choice. How we choose to view events defines the nature of that event or that action. But often that choice is subliminal and not conscious. We tend to justify the actions of those we agree with, or love or defend. We understand the positive aspects of their actions, or diminish their negative consequences. The same behavior demonstrated by someone whose beliefs we disagree with, or whose personality offends us in some way, is seen as ridiculous and indefensible.
Events and actions can be identified and acknowledged by one and all. But there is strong emotional component to how we interpret them.
This should alert us to the dangers inherent in how anyone interprets the actions of others. Although we would like to regard the world as ‘black & white’ or ‘good & evil’ there are factors which blur these distinctions and lead to confusion and chaos.
To a large extent, however, reality is in the eyes of the beholder and it is the rare individual who ventures to put themselves in the shoes of their opponents, to consider the opposition’s perspective–there is no better example of this than politics.
In truth, much of human behavior falls into a zone of interpretation–but we need to be careful not to too easily justify the hurtful, deceitful, harmful and hateful actions of those who we otherwise identify with. Reality is how we see it, so be careful to take all sides into account, all viewpoints before determining what is true.