The current uproar over health care reform is fascinating to ponder. Who is right; who is wrong? First, doesn’t that depend on one’s definition of right? If we are referring to Right from a Buddha’s Eight Fold Path (p.604) viewpoint, then those who rant on either side are certainly not Right. The ranting we see are emotions at play — at war actually. When emotion—need and fear—stirs, knowledge of the constant and impartiality becomes impossible (chapter 16).
Emotional fervor, like a wildfire, just has to burn itself out. Certainly, this is discouraging to anyone who feels humanity should rise above this instead of being so animal-like. Alas, attempting to shoehorn reality into one’s ideality of how it “should be” is not only futile; it adds fuel to the emotional fires.
We’re victims of our emotional and cognitive biology. So surely, true impartiality and knowledge of the constant is humanly impossible. Not even God is capable of impartiality. He is on the side of the Good, right?
Still there is a bright side. Thought offers a way to nurture impartiality and discernment by challenging all “should be” stories we entertain. There is hope and help in chapter 56’s replacement story: This is known as mysterious sameness. The beginning of this Taoist story starts with seeing oneself as no different from any other animal. Once the ego adapts and settles into this pool of similarity, it is smooth sailing. Any blow to one’s ego is just the price to pay for greater peace of mind.