Just Lynn

One woman. One name. One hell of an attitude!

the ‘other’ button

Written By: witchypo - Sep• 15•10

Ok, so mybe I’ve had my head stuffed so far up my arse that I’m only now hearing of Obama’s lagging popularity, but I have caught a few news items lately that concerned me…

There was an announcement by a group of North American church leaders, for example, about the growing belief that ‘spirituality’s’ more important than formal ‘religion’ and their intention to combat that belief. I’ve also herd about the fuss being made over a mosque being built near ‘ground zero’, and there was a story about a pastor who intended to burn copies of the Qur”an.

… And friends wonder why I don’t want to know?!

Of course, these stories caught my attention because they all involved people pushing the public’s ‘other’ button. But what’s an ‘other button’?

Well, we’re all taught to experience life as a duality and to filter our perceptions of it through differences – in physical, mental, and emotional traits, social and financial class, political and religous views, etc. – and to believe we’re separate and distinct individuals. We’re taught to judge ourselves and others based on these differences and to value our ‘self’ above all else. We’re also taught to fear and reject anything that threatens our belief in this duality or our sense of separate ‘self’… to fear and reject ‘others’.

In fact, these beliefs are so common and deeply rooted that we’ve developed mechanisms in our language, social conventions, and laws that help to perpetuate them and make it acceptable to harm anyone that doesn’t agree to believe or act as we do. This dualistic approach to life and the fear we feel when it’s threatenned is the ‘other button’. It’s what makes it possible for people to focus our attention on differences, trigger our fears, and cause us to reject ‘others’ (to ‘push our buttons’ so to speak).

It’s the grease in the wheels of the economy, what keeps governments ruling, wars raging, and allows us to destroy the Earth.

People like those behind these news stories use the ‘other’ button to empower themselves. They focus our attention on differences, convince us that ‘we’ are right and that ‘others’ are wrong and then – wrapping their message in words of brotherly love – they convince us of the ‘rightness’ of acting against them. ‘Do unto others,’ they tell us, ‘before they do  unto you!’

Because we favour anything and one that makes us feel ‘right’ or acceptable and fear anything that makes us question ourselves or is different enough to be deemed ‘other’, it’s easy for these people to convince us to act as we’re directed. It”s worth noting that this is especially true when our actions can be rationalized as ‘right’ or when there’s a high degree of social acceptability which is why, in cases such as this, the media plays an important roll in helping to focus our attention and add the energy and power of the people manipulating us.

Fortunately, disempowering manipulators is as easy as becoming aware of the lies they propagate. When we allow ourselves to see the truth of the ‘unity’ and connectedness that binds everyone and thing… when we acknowledge our interconnectedness and the responsibility it entails… we empower ourselves to make our own choices.

Then, we can acknowledge our own divinity and that of others (and the world around us), and in doing so separate ourselves from the destructive urges they evoke in us. Free to see clearly the seeds of divinity in all things, we can then embody the spirit of love we profess to feel for others and cease to destroy the world we claim to hold so dear.

It’s worth noting that in the time it’s taken me to write this, the pastor mentioned in the news has announced that he will not burn the Qur”an and while it may be that he’s reacting to fear for his life rather than the love of others, it’s at least a comfort to know that his incendary statements and destructive actions will garner less energy and attention than they had been. As for the other groups mentioned, one can only hope they’ll be seen for who they are and that the media will eventually lose it’s power over us if we all just open our eyes to the roll it plays in pushing our ‘other buttons’.

More later…?

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.