Transcendence: The Soul within the Clay

I’m sure you’ve noticed as much as I have, that it is proving to be  difficult to know who you can talk to about what topics these days. Polarization of topical opinion seems to be at an all-time high – at least within my life experience.

Maybe you read the posts of friends and find them to be inline with your thinking, and/or you’re surprised when they are not. You fingers hover over the keyboard, and you wonder if you should wade in and express your opinion. This time you choose to remain silent, because you’re still trying to process the abuse you received from the last round. No, it wasn’t from your friend directly; you’re relationship is still (mostly) okay, but the thread opened up to many you’ve never even met, and they didn’t hold back their wrath, offence and indignation.

I Ain’t Ready for a Fight

“Well I tried to start a conversation but I ain’t ready for a fight
Well I tried to start a conversation – but I ain’t ready for a fight
Goin’ polar is getting older – with all this left and right”

I find myself not wanting to wade in. After all, to what end? It’s not as if many opinions are swayed in a facebook thread (I can feel myself waiting for someone to correct me). Yet, if we all go silent, there is no conversation – is that the way we want our society to go? Can’;t we be more than “either you think like I do and “like” my post, or I cut you out of my life?”

I have decided to keep wading in, but with fewer strong opinions. I determined to just ask questions. I tried to do this in a “small room” fashion – closely held conversation – but it’s hard to do this on social media. It’s better, but not ideal yet.

“Well I tried to find a small room – to meet you on line
Yeah, I tried to find a small room –  to meet you on line
But people started joining in – and jammin’ up my mind”

The only way I have been able to maintain a sense of peace in the midst of the crazy is to choose transcendence. Pick a spot in the future, when all the dust settles after the wide variety of intense skirmishes, and decide that you want to be at peace with people then. Even more importantly, model a way of being so that others can be okay too! The perspective of transcendence will lead to a stability; a peace-full state, and it starts with a decision of the mind; a choice to be content.

I was riding my motorcycle to a meeting today with a friend. Pulled up to a stop sign and a thought emerged in my mind, strong enough that I had to pull to the roadside and write it down: “Peace and contentment is a state of mind, not a circumstance”. As I pondered the statement while I rode, a Viktor Frankl quote emerged: “When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves”, and maybe the bast way to begin this process is awareness of what we would rather be, and a choice for transcendence.

“Well I’d like to get to know you -the soul within the clay
Well I’d like to get to know you – the soul within the clay
But this chatter’s just not workin’ – got to find another way”

When we can see people as a “soul within the clay” we can know that there is no black, brown or white. A soul displays no colour, nor does it have a distinct nationality. It is not limited to a family of origin, prosperity level, academic or athletic prowess. It is the essence of the being.

What difference would it make to see people this way?