I was witness to a couple of people arguing yesterday, it was apparently about politics. One of the men was turning darker while he was venting and yelling. Nothing was resolved. Just a lot of anger vented and some hurt feelings. I don’t think that getting louder and waving one’s arms around really accomplishes much in the way of persuading someone they need to change their mind. Aggression is not a persuasive tool when it comes to the mind. Aggression seems to harden the mind.
I remember lots of those “heated” moments tied to arguments. I find it interesting that while having the experience I never really stopped to gain awareness of the experience that my body temperature was going up. And I imagine my face was darkening. It was always after the event that I had the chance to realize how heated the exchange had become. But like so many emotional states hindsight has little impact on awareness of the the next incident.
In the Tao and Zen training I have experienced, there is this encouragement to let go of grasping and the idea of being right. I really resisted this at first. It seemed like a good idea. But ego was so insistent on being right it was as though being right was the same as winning the lottery. Perhaps it was in emotional payoff, it felt juicy. Being right felt righteous. Very ego based.
One day I was in the middle of one of those heated arguments and it came to me that it didn’t really matter if anyone was right or not. The subject of the argument had no bearing on either one of the parties arguing. It was one of those “comparing talents” arguments that artists sometime get involved in. We were arguing over other people’s abilities and I suddenly realized how useless it was, there was no comparison. Cheri Huber often points out that if we “win” so what? Did we really win or is it ego feeling good about itself?
Then why argue? Ego, Conditioned personality, the need to feel Dominance linked to the need to feel superior. (That seems really ugly now that I read it.)
How amazingly sad and useless. To be using passion and caring in such an odd and useless way.
So now I prefer being at peace. I prefer that if I have a cause then I make sure that I am acting on said cause. I take action and allow others to argue. I find it amazingly helpful and I seem to get more done. And life is full of juicy moments without arguing.
The grounding comes from doing something about that which I am deeply committed. So far that philosophy seems to beat the hell out of arguing.
Deep Bows to all,