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Thread: The Middle Way in Society

  1. #1

    The Middle Way in Society

    A couple of rather good podcasts I've listened to recently with connections to my practice at least...

    How we might get along:

    http://nigelwarburton.typepad.com/philo ... ppiah.html

    What hasn't worked out too well, and a rather cold splash on the idea of progress:

    http://www.podbean.com/podcast-detail-e ... ian-dreams

    I've noticed a pattern in the philosophical systems I'm attracted to as pragmatic and helpful and those I feel aversion to as being dangerous and destructive. The former always has an element of "simultaneous true perspectives", whether it is "we're both right, and both wrong" or "I'm a citizen of this country but also the world" or "You and I are different and also the same" or "You are the perpetrator but also a victim".... I guess that's why I'm here. Black & white answers give me the creeps!

    Skye

  2. #2
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    Re: The Middle Way in Society

    Skye,
    I like the way you put it. I have not meshed well with belief systems based in absolutes. [quote="Skye"]I guess that's why I'm here. Black & white answers give me the creeps!

    Black and white = binary decisions = dualism! I have never liked binary decisions - I guess I was a Buddhist all the while but it took me a while to figure it out. I was trained as a political scientist and never liked binary decision sets (black and white)!

    Thanks for expressing this in a clear way!

    Gassho,
    Alex

  3. #3
    Senior Member kirkmc's Avatar
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    Re: The Middle Way in Society

    I think you'd want to read William James, then, for an interesting approach to philosophy as a living system...

    Kirk

  4. #4

    Re: The Middle Way in Society

    Hi Skye,

    Yes, I agree. I remember telling my children that, in my opinion, the most dangerous people are those who are convinced they have THE answer. And isn't that answer always black OR white? The idea of black AND white (and any other shade in between) never seems to be a possibility for such people.

    It seems to me that this is what zazen is about; breaking down the false dichotomies we create when we operate on the level of abstract concepts, by dealing with life as it is at this very moment. That's my understanding so far anyway.

    Trouble is some people like to follow leaders who provide absolutes. There don't seem to be many round here though !

    Louise

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