Irreconcilable Conflict?I've been reading Krishnamurti again. It's been awhile. He's a great teacher and in his written lectures, he repeatedly challenges the 'audience', the reader, to follow the logic with him; don't just listen but process the question for oneself. One of his suppositions that he queries a lot is that inherent in the nature of identity is conflict. Because if I'm Sikh and you are Christian, or I am Palestinian and you are an Israeli, or I'm white and you're black then there is inherently conflict. And the evidence of this supposition is everywhere. It seems obvious. And yet, my gut rejected the inherent truth of this supposition.
The first principle of Buddhism is that 'there is suffering.' And the acceptance and ultimately transcendence of suffering is the point of the path. Yogi Bhajan says, point blank, that this isn't true. Suffering is not fundamental. So, in looking at this question of conflict, I had a precedent before me that said, Maybe it isn't true? In our tradition, polarity is described as that thing which cannot exist without the other. So, what many people perceive as conflict is actually a polarity that hasn't learned how to co-exist in harmony--that hasn't learned how to relate authentically to each other's identity within the spectrum that is the polarity.
Now, granted, you don't necessarily need an Israeli in order to be able to define a Palestinian, so the definition doesn't fit perfectly. But it's safe to say that what is perceived as a conflict of interest is really just a failure in perceiving the dynamic: One cannot exist without the another in the geo-political world that we've generated in the Middle East. In fact, what would happen if the 'conflict' ceased to exist? Where would people place their energy, their talent, and their memories? Lack of imagination, misinformation, rigid application of tribe, law, and family, as well as simply resistance to the nature of the relationship is at the root of the stubborn idea that peace is not possible. If indeed it is a polarity or paradox, how do we elevate the conversation so that what is perceived as conflict begins to find the common ground--the continuum in which we can all co-exist together--right to liberty, life, and the pursuit of happiness comes to mind, from our own foundation document.
I've seen the birth of conflict, from simple differences, in my own life. In my pursuit of all things spiritual, I eventually came to the feet of the guru, the sound current of truth and bliss. But what I saw as my own path, my mother saw as a rejection of hers. I will admit, that for years, my seeking was simply a rejection of my youth. So the roots of her feelings do lie in my own actions. But once I found what I was looking for, it no longer felt like rejection. In fact, I saw the truth in both. It's hard to describe, but I felt more Christian than I had in years AFTER I became Sikh. But even though my perspective had shifted, it didn't necessarily follow that my mother's had. So, even though the dialogue continues, I often have to remember that although I don't perceive it, from her perspective, the difference is a conflict.
How do we get beyond these irreconcilable conflicts? Is the understanding of polarity the key? If we begin to understand things as a relationship--a dialogue, not an argument--then would conflict cease to be? Imagine.