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What is Today's Polarized World Trying to Teach Us?

Rev. James Trapp quote

As we examine America today, we see the appearance of increased polarization. Whether it’s over the issue of health care, climate change, immigration, or the national anthem and civil rights, an “us vs. them” mentality seems to be rising to a fever pitch. And it is not just limited to what’s going on in the United States; the sense of division is prominent on an international stage as well.

Of course, this polarized energy is not new. The fault lines of separation have been around for as long as human beings have existed. They arise from the unspiritualized ego’s need to create an enemy in order to perpetuate the false belief that we are separate from one another. This tendency is exacerbated by the power of social media, which makes it easy to objectify and attack others from behind the keyboards of computers and smartphones.

All of this has the effect of moving us further away from the realization of our interconnectedness.

But all is not lost. These times can serve as learning opportunities for each of us. When seen from a higher point of view, polarization can serve as a catalyst to awaken us and bring us closer to the realization of the oneness our souls crave.

To get there, we must understand that solutions do not lie outside of us. Neither are the challenges we face caused by the actions of a few politicians. (Oh, how I have fallen into that trap!) They are merely the externalization of the turbulence within our collective awareness. So the work begins within, by clearing out any sense of separation and polarization—no matter how small—we have toward another person, group or political party.

This is not to suggest that we don’t take a stand when someone takes an extreme or dangerous position that threatens the life or well-being of another. Rather, we recognize that short of such a threat, our seeming differences are creations of the unspiritualized ego that has identified who we are with the perspectives we have attached ourselves to.

We are not our perspectives and beliefs. We simply have them. They are not who we really are. Similarly, the people we may have differences with are not their beliefs either. Once we are able to see that people are not their positions, we can begin to listen to others in a different context.

This is not always easy. But if we can hear a perspective we do not agree with and refrain from demonizing the so-called “other,” we will see the polarization we are going through is not something against us. Rather, it’s an opportunity to look within and change our collective consciousness so that we create a world that works for all.

Peace and Blessings,


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