Integral Friendship and Discernment

Many of my clients, and also friends ask me about misunderstandings they have in their friendships or life in general with others. Some of us, it seems, have experienced misrepresentation, marginalisation and outright mobbing! If it relates to a racial, sexual or sexual orientation issue, we would see the obvious sociological problems not least of which are the legalities of defamation, slander, and such acts of aggression. But when it concerns more subtle areas of life, we are as a global organism, still getting used to the fact that we all contribute our personal integrity and beliefs to the whole social field and are real value or social standing is that integrity, not what others may suggest.

I generally suggest these questions to my friends:

#1 Are those who judge more perfect than you? ”  The people judging you need to have some legitimate authority to do so. Fancying themselves or being egotistically insecure or angry are not legitimate grounds for most rational, well balanced people. If you analyse the credibility, authenticity and integrity of those who judge you for no other reason than malice, then you can quickly see if there are real grounds to contemplate any legitimate motivation those people may have had and also whether you might have caused them to arrive at their course of criticism. If yes, it is down to your strength of character if you choose to grow through the experience of reconciliation, sharing and forgiveness. It does also depend on the other parties integrity to and, if they demonstrate a lack in this area and choose to continue living in anger and resentment then there is not much you can do but bless them and go your way in peace. A famous teacher who was severely judged gave and lived by this advice and despite its simple relevance with the cosmic law of love, it is misunderstood by very many people.

#2Have they walked in your shoes? ”  The people judging you need to have some experience of your path in order to have the authority to judge you. They also need to understand exactly why you do what you do. Take someone who has made a serious effort to achieve something, anything and perhaps due to the negative fashions of others and general memetic repeat patterning of malice and enmity many people sport, it hasn’t quite succeeded in the desired way. Perhaps its been misrepresented and perhaps, as in the first example, people who are less than perfect themselves have teamed up to do what they can to stop it. That’s tough and unfortunately there are so many stories today of imperfect, angry, armchair expert cabals who have far to much free time and resources through which to pester real people. Even though this sort of thing can happen, one should ask themselves whether these judges have or have not walked in your shoes? Again, long ago in place of confusion and enmity a teacher drew a line in the sand and ask all who were perfect to pick up stones and assail their accused as they intended to. None, however could even reach for those stones and crept off like foxes and wolves, grumbling and muttering under their breaths like shop keepers who resent a customer noticing their short change.

#3Are they just a collective unconscious meme of the self policing pop culture? ”  Despite the fact that our planet endures a protracted crisis across all fields, so many people are more than happy to aggregate into clans of cool and fight, in-fight, compete and police the broader sociology with their theories of self expression. So long as one is in that club, whichever one of many socially acceptable organisms and acts with perfect repartee and concordance with the given etiquette for their current standing, then O.K. But if one is not in the club and dares to express ideas which are not understood, new, different, then this can be seen as a threat and a problem and often these people are marginalised and heralded as arrogant beyond forgiveness.

To take a more modern example perhaps, the famous musician ’50 cent’ admits that many people think he’s to arrogant, in fact too arrogant in the extreme. 50 cent explains to us that ‘if they knew what I’d had to go through to be here today they would not mistake my strength and determination for arrogance’. But people do not look through clear space but rather through their filters and hence misperceptions arise. Are those who judge you insecure? Are they afraid of your confidence, strength and determination? Are they just the collective rhetoric of pop culture expressing their fear that you could leave the clan and become a real individual rather than a fashionable meme of their armature? Perhaps. Strong words, arrogant. You decide.

#4Do they have any legitimate ground or are they just haters dressed up in incongruent reasoning and falsified propositions? ”  In today’s world what constitutes good perception is as subjective as you like. Each person or group makes their own rules and tries to shout the other down, even as they’ve seen their political leaders do for so long. Many have given over to the ethos that, today there are no rules because who obeys rules today? The fact that our integrity is the most valuable assert we can possess is of little real value though to those who deal in slander, rumours, defamation and the hegemony of vying power structures. This group of people, one can only pity, like children who confuse themselves into believing all manner of disturbing hallucinations and cause only themselves pain. They live in confusion, believe lies and create bigger lies and bad karma only for themselves.

The question would be simply, are the slandering parties expressing a clear perception or is what they suggest no more than the rhetoric of hate and their own confused version of reality? If so, we can choose to have compassion on their suffering. Buddha once said, those who would attack you are just temporarily insane. Have a sense of compassion for their suffering in that condition of madness, after all they too were once your very own mother and cared for you as their child, even if only as the aggregate of their present elements. Perhaps a more obvious understanding would be that of Napoleon Hill. Hill suggests that people who hate others and slander or defame them, are simply scared of their power. Scared that a potential power may perhaps over power them (to understand this power equation and its causal resolution more fully see the School of Love~Awareness conflict resolution program).

In slandering others we seek to steal some of their power, Hill suggests, in that they may not use it against us. This is tantamount to stealing their reputation and lively hood and is as real a theft as that of any material thing. Hence in our modern world, slander, liable, defamation, etc are indeed ilegalities of warranted foundation which exist in civil society to protect each and every one of us equally, even as we would want to be protected. Many people who perform acts of defamation, etc, are simply confused and unbalanced. There assertions can only be taken as seriously as the quality of their perception and basis of claim.

The sad thing about haters is the damage they end up doing to themselves. Most often, those they try to hate simply get stronger whilst the hater weakens their own integrity at the cost of hate and insodoing lowers themselves even though they seek to lower another. Integrity is a great gift we are all bestowed by life itself. Even a child can understand that the universe around us exists in certain fixed patterns and processes which interrelate and cooperative, etc. That there are innate structures or rules, this is called integrity. We also have the choice, due to our free will, to have integrity by simple things like honesty, keeping our word, doing what we say, adopting certain standards in our work, etc, etc. The choice is ours, but ultimately it is by our own integrity which we win or lose. We can have no effect on others greater than the effect our actions have on our selves. This is the beginning of the path. Pray for your enemies for they suffer more than you, if you have integrity.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: