We Are Not as Polarized as It Seems

Created January 21, 2022

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog post.

Although we in the USA are unquestionably more polarized than we have been since the Civil War.

Yet the phenomenon is at a very superficial surface level. Arguments begin to flare up as soon as tripwire words are used and then people change the subject or get into fights.

It’s that surface tension which prevents us from going deeper where we would find more common ground than we would expect.

The singularity of present times were concocted by a devil’s brew of causes coming together all at once: two political parties drifting farther apart toward extremism, some social media engines fueling whatever gets virality, Acceleritis (information overload increasing daily), the pandemic, fear of the future replacing our signature hope and faith that the future is in our hands and we will lead the world into a form of practical utopia.

This last item is especially concerning because the very spirit of America is now doubting its own core essence. We can’t let that happen, we must turn back the clock on that one.

The mind is a very complex thing. If we let ourselves cave to lack of confidence in ourselves, it will become much harder to fix things, and the effects are cumulative. We’ve already let it go too far. Let’s stop it here and start to walk it back.

First of all, let’s consider my assertion that there are more good people than bad people in the world.

What is a good person? What is a bad person?

These are both temporary conditions not permanent ones, except in the most extreme cases. We know that Hitlers and serial killers have specific causes for their behavior that are probably not totally under their own control, yet it makes sense to hold them responsible anyway, and even if they are insane we need to put them someplace they can’t hurt others. The same applies to all of us.

A good person is someone whose actions consider other people. That is most of us. It includes the times we really don’t care that much about the specific other person involved but we realize that things will be better for us if we treat them as if we care. Under this definition I think most of us would agree that most people fit into that “good” category.

Good and bad are in the mind reductionist abstractions of a far more nuanced and complex distribution of characteristics in the population. Each of us is a complex and ever-evolving skein of at least 265 personal characteristics relevant to this discussion. Each Democrat and each Republican is totally unique in terms of this mix of elements of which Left-Right is only one. The two buckets are nearly meaningless when all of these characteristics are considered. Categorizing ourselves as Left or Right is an immense oversimplification and trivialization of our personal individuality.

Left and Right in themselves certainly are a reality, one of the dimensions of bias we have been conditioned to have. Any form of mental/emotional bias is inherently a very bad idea. We ought as individuals to approach life scientifically therefore without bias, studying the facts and making the best decisions based on the evidence, and always, thinking creatively.

Even before present times it was concerning that our political leaders do not appear to have a great deal of creativity, offering us the same solutions and the same candidates over and over, when they ought to have learned by now from the evidence of their own senses how senseless this is. In every other walk of life our species demonstrates amazingly vast amounts of creativity, why is it so absent from the political realm where it is arguably the most needed?

It does come back to Acceleritis. In accelerating overload stress conditions, the mind seeks closure hastily embracing binary bias as an unconscious tactic which fails miserably yet is tolerated. Black and white no in-between. The world thus distorted can thus never be seen with clarity.

With distorted judgment (bias) being institutionalized in our egos and in our political parties, is it any wonder that one day we would arrive in this state?

Deeper inside than our egos we are in our Deep Selves unbiased observers and experiencers. You have had moments of supreme clarity when you have seen all that I say here for yourselves. You can train yourself to get back into that headspace at will. In that place in yourself you realize you are detached from all this hullaballoo, it doesn’t really touch you, who cares, let me just get on with what I want to do with my life, to express my own creativity and individuality.

Biases rule the world. We don’t have a scientific party. We don’t have a spiritual party. We have a progressive party that wants change and a conservative party that likes things as they are. Both are biases. The mind should be left open to consider each proposed change without having to stop all change.

When on the other hand we sense we are tense and attached to something it is a sign that we are not in our Deep Self at that moment. Attachment is distorted judgment. It is therefore a sign of being in the Ego state.

You can experience these different states of consciousness for yourself. Get away from reading and other people for a little while and practice and you will get the skill of moving yourself back into your own Deep Self.

We can repair our country by conversations that go beneath kneejerks down to find where we do agree, and work out the details of the future from there.

Although the power fight is going on for control of the country, we cannot press a button to make that stop. We have to let it go its way for now while we by means of conversations interpersonally and in the media have people who are in different parties demonstrate how working things out can occur. Survey companies can go deeper and referendums can be mounted.

We will find that the will of the people is to stop the bickering and fix things, and that the parties are writing their own death certificates by the way they are acting. More and more people are becoming independents. Fewer and fewer people are saying to themselves “My Party Right Or Wrong”. They are freeing themselves from biases and acting more maturely. Some are moving into their passion work, regardless of their age. As Stan Satlin writes, “Ageing is God’s way of saying stop wasting time”.

All the best,


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