What we see before our very eyes each and every day is people conflicting, people at odds with each other on a very personal level, people (verbally) assaulting people. Why do most take such offense when presented with a different idea? Likely because they have defined their very being by their beliefs, so it is not just another idea it is a different self identity that is being thrust upon an egoic sense of self. What is being talked about is not what we think is being talked about: it is not a discourse of ideas, but rather it is one’s ego’s dis-ease with the other, as well as with ones’ self. In the process we destroy our sense of ‘We’; all we have are a bunch of Me’s taking offense to the other.
If most only realized that perpetrating such action on others is dishonoring to every person, their self included, perhaps they would cease such assaults. But this realization would require a reflective and critically thinking mind, a mind that is as foreign to the ego as those they assault. It would take the realization that people are not definable by the objects they hold even if that object is an idea, a belief. It takes an understanding of our ‘I-We’ nature.
“The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of a doubt, what is laid before him.” (Tolstoy)
The need for a philosophical perspective in all human endeavors, particularly in business, education and government, should be clear. Yet our conversations are not one of dialogue in pursuit of learning by expanding the boundaries of ones mind. Our personal assaults keep minds closed, stopping the flow of energy that could develop understanding, thus causing the probability of progress to be driven to zero. There is no chance of expanding the boundaries of the mind because of an attachment to what is believed. Moreover, defining one’s self by a thought is a foundation of sand; and given the shifting sands of time such attachments always places one against progress.