In other words, would you argue about it? Would you ask someone else’s opinion of it, or can you directly determine it for yourself?
Beware of those who would argue in animosity. Their animosity may reveal that they are not speaking from their heart, from direct experience, from the spirit of clarity. Perhaps they are repeating something from another source without an understanding of the thing they are repeating. Perhaps they are clinging to a particular interpretation without recognizing it as an interpretation. They may be like someone who argues about the color of a shirt rather than looking at the shirt and seeing what color it is.
They may speak of what color the shirt should be or must be or cannot ever be. They are full of talk and may be avoiding looking at the shirt with all of their talking.
Many people may use the word truth, but do they even know what truth means? Truth is not just the word true (as in accurate), but the word truth… as in the actuality distinct from a label in language for the actuality.
Some may repeat the word truth like a little child mimicking a sound, but it is like copying a foreign language to them, like singing a song of sounds that might as well be nonsense. They may use the word, but listen to how they use it and it is obvious whether they know what it means or not.
Now, why would someone argue? Is that a sign of clarity and confidence or of ignorance and defensiveness? From ignorance, one may seek to communicate with others with an attraction to identifying an expert who knows from direct experience, an expert who neither argues nor validates a particular interpretation or label as having some monopoly on the absolute truth.
A label is not the thing that the label is used to label. An interpretation cannot be the absolute truth. Words are all interpretations. Those who are anxious about words have been hypnotized by words and prefer words about truth over truth itself. They may defend ignorance with argumentativeness and accusations, but does the one who knows what color a shirt is have any distress about the issue, any contempt, any anxiety?
Why would someone prefer words about truth over truth itself? Could they fear that they would be ashamed if they were to confront truth? So, they may argue about words as a way of hiding from their shame, their condemnation,
their judgment that they should not be however they are.
If they fear many labels, then they may cling to a particular label. If they fear the absence of labels, they may cling to some label and then worship it. That is idolatry. It is very common. It is a normal developmental stage in relation to an awareness of the functioning of language, of symbolic labels, and of interpretations.
We may have trained in some ways how we should be as well as in several ways that we should not be. That training is not an inherent truth. It is normal and useful to have such training, but the training is specific to a context in which that pattern of training formed and persisted.
We may have been trained in language about how we should be and how we should not be. Some may argue about the language of what should be or should not be. That is in accord with their training.
Others may actively seek the opinions of others about what should be or should not be. That is the stage of experimenting with new ways of thinking and speaking. Soon, one may actively seek the opinion of others about how one should be or should not be. That is the stage of exploring alternatives to any original training about how one should be or should not be, at which time questioning the authority of those speaking was not part of a child’s or subordinate’s process.
Consider a new employee in an old business. It is normal and functional to ask about what should be and what should not be. It is even normal and functional to ask about how should I be and how should I not be.
However, there is also a stage at which one is very clear that labels in language about “should” are all interpretations, not truth. Truth is not the realm of what should be or what should not be, which is just a matter of training. Truth is the realm of what is.
Recall that there is a very simple answer as to the color of a shirt. Recall that there is a very simple process as to determining it’s color.
Further, notice that there could be a very simply answer as to what I am. There could even be a very simple process as to determining what that answer is.
One who knows the answer may not be so interested in words about it. Arguing about it would not interest them. Other people’s interpretations might be, to that one, just the business of those other people.
What would be the fruits or signs of such a clarity? Playfulness might be one, but it may be enough to say that in the presence of that clarity, there is no shaming.
If one who is arguing is actually seeking to identify one who is beyond shaming and arguing, offering to argue would be one way to test for a response of counter-arguing. If who seeks to identify one beyond shame, offering shame would be one way to test for a response of counter-shaming.
Beware of those who would argue in animosity. Beware of those who worship shame.
Do not try to change the color of someone else’s shirt before you know how to determine the color of your own shirt. Do not try to persuade others about truth until direct experience is present of what you are, not as a label in language, but as truth.
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