Hear the other side

You have a really pleasant personality and you are clever in so many ways and I like you a lot…

…but you are super ignorant. Really, you are.

But, it’s ok. We all are.

One big thing to know is we don’t get anywhere by gathering facts. All that gets us is the mirage that we know things. We get more clever but don’t really come closer to a full view of earth and mankind and the cosmos.

We need a refreshed approach for that. I think it would have to be based in: 

  • open-mindedness 
  • equanimity 
  • positivity 
  • meditation 
  • healthy movement

These make up the foci of Rudolf Steiner’s advice for the main exercises for people interested in freedom from inner tyranny and a healthy approach to being in your life. It’s with this in mind that I want to use this bulletin to make a brief public service announcement, and here it is:

Audi alteram partem

It’s been relevant for millennia. 

It’s been relevant for so long that it outlived Latin, but the idea lives on and is certainly more relevant today than ever.

It means:

Hear the other side

And you might want to know that St Augustine who lived in the 4th century was the one who said it. It has become somewhat of a legal maxim, which is fitting because the legal sphere of society really represents our lively balance point. It’s where we pursue truth and harmony, in the ideal. We have two opposing lawyers in our courts who are allowed to develop the two sides of the story. And a judge gives both sides a fair shake at developing their angle.

And speaking of legalities, this theme lives in a Biblical proverb.

The first to plead his case seems right, Until another comes and examines him.

What am I getting at exactly? I’m looking at the gift of open-mindedness. I’m saying we are in a time when we have lost the attempt at balanced reporting, and we have to be more careful than ever to allow ourselves to “hear the other side.” For a long time media has controlled what topics we think about. Now that the programming allows itself to sit on one side of the aisle is it not threatening to control the content of the topics we think about as well?

And if you think, “…but my side is sane and they are criminal,” don’t you find it a little bit odd that the other side thinks the exact same thing? I’m talking to both sides now.

Loud and clear I am saying that if you read the NY Times you should read some Fox News articles, every day. And if you watch Fox News all the time you should read some of what CNN and MSNBC are saying, every day. And if you’re disgusted at the idea, I prove my point. We can’t understand each other any more. Imbalanced reporting bears some serious blame. And if we don’t even want to try to bridge to each other, we lose. We have to take an active step with this.

It’s a similar story with the world religions. Buddhists studying Judaism or Christians studying Hindu or Islam is helpful. And vice versa. There are different viewpoints and worldviews and you can only be born into one. The truth is too big to fit onto one page. Your brain is too small to envelope it all, so you might as well try to understand your fellow human. Give them the benefit of the doubt. Summon your interest for your neighbor. You can pretend at first, if you have to. Tell yourself you are just keeping an eye on how awful it is over there then sneak in a little interest and care for the other half of the country with time. You have to see their slant, spin, bias and maybe then you can see yours. It won’t hurt you. It should soften you. And you are too hard.

Hear the other side

What’s another therapeutic exercise? Let’s take social media, which elevates this problem to another level. You’re not even working with a polarity. You’re just lost in a total morass of the algorithm giving you what you like to see. Talk about distortion, being surrounded by yes people. That never ends well. 1 billion people log into Tik Tok every month. That’s a lot of thoughts being formed and perception being given based on what corner of Tik Tok you fit into.

The exercise for people getting their news from Tik Tok is different. Their therapeutic exercise is to actually go to the website of an independent journalist, like James Corbett, and watch some recent pieces of his, like his recent series on the history of media in 3 parts (123) (only 20 minutes or so each).

Drastic times call for drastic measures. Why did Augustine say to hear the other side of the story? Why are there two lawyers in the system? Why does a lawyer stay in the courtroom for the other lawyer’s arguments and questioning? What is the whole point of the court? To move the closest to truth as we can. 

Happy Eavesdropping on the other side. And remember they are not your mortal enemy. They’ll help you find a step towards the truth. You don’t need a villain in your life. They are understandable. Trust that.

And if you’re balancing systems are active, you’re in healthy activity.

Covid Comment

Cases have drifted down slightly. There were just over 90,000 cases per day nationally on average and less than 30 cases per day in the county.