Conflict: the Nature of Reason
The reason is a brilliant servant, but a lousy master: mastering it means taking the best of it. Should it come to the throne, it is very likely you'll go to war with the entire world, and what's worst – with yourself.
The key to this is held by the mechanics of reason: its essential task is dialectics. And it's phenomenal at it – just look how in every moment, for any given thing you can find pros and cons simultaneously, can't you? Observe it – while someone is talking, or you're reading something, you can witness your inner ayes and nays to the particular matter. That's the nature of reason. It simply is like that because its function is to discern – the good from the bad for us at a given moment... That's why it's extremely useful in any matter requiring logical thinking – from the seemingly banal ones like buying at sales to arranging the payment date for your work... A distinction, of course, is very useful in life and makes reason a remarkable servant. But it's wise to harness it in communication and relationships: because, being dialectic as it is, it's prone to conflict. You've seen this before – as soon as someone approaches you with a different opinion, you have an almost natural impulse to produce your entire arsenal, and should you fail at dissuading the other person, then at least you'll support your belief and corroborate it with facts. All of this is fine, even amusing. But, see if it makes sense. It's all right to vent your energy in this manner sometimes, not to say lose it. But, fundamentally – what for? This kind of consumption is mindless because as soon as it initiates an argument, the reason automatically hooks in a personal perception of things. This means that after only a few moments, you no longer see the conversation as an exchange of opinions, but you very subtly engage self-defence and even attack. Have you noticed that? Somehow it always becomes personal, regardless of the note nothing personal. It always boils down to the show of strength – who's better, who's right – the fencing of egos. Bear that in mind the next time, and rise above it – be outside the conflict. Exchange opinions but with the attitude that the other person can enrich you. Besides, remember that you would reason in the same way were you in their shoes (if you lived the way they did if you had their childhood, their circumstances). And do not defend yourself. Ever, for whatever reason. Because there's no need for that. The moment you enter the fight for supremacy and the need for defense, you lose. If you recognize within you the impulse to defend yourself, go and meditate to be shown what lies behind the motivation – perhaps you'll discover a belief like "I'm not good enough" (resulting in the need to compete, or any other complex that's really senseless and was processed long ago) Simply, let it be. Ask yourself – is it necessary, will it be relevant in, say, 30 years. Something along that line, and just smile. Naturally, it is necessary to discuss business matters, agreements, and all the stuff belonging to the logical and mathematical areas. But remember, personal development is an individual matter, and jousting in that field, aiming at changing or enlightening others, is a vain attempt. Because it breeds the worst ego of all – the spiritual ego. Therefore, it would be even wiser to ego-ise because you have a better car or a bigger flat. The most futile thing is to compete subtly with your knowledge and insights: this really flushes out some heavy-duty complexes. For personal development does not have a structure: experiences do not have a hierarchy, although there's an intricate path. Therefore, let it go: observe your reason, which will always have the pros&cons dynamics, regardless of the height and the depth of your spiritual experiences. Be aware that we learn from everybody, even from the person who seemingly "hasn't got the faintest idea" and whose arguments, from our point of view, are "a loony lot." Because abundance is in diversity, and its purpose is not to divide us but enrich us with hues and tones different from the ones we know.