File this one as an expansion of “Yesterday’s Transformation is Today’s Ego Trip.” Because while philosophy and ontological concepts and insights can create great openings and oodles of possibility for us and those around us, when our identities and world views are challenged, these critical tools can also be repurposed. Rather than being mindful and doing the work and practice to remove our blind spots and barriers using our transformational knowledge, our calculating selves can instead pull a switcharoo and instead wield them as a weapon against that which challenges our world views and “truths.”
It’s paradoxical, perhaps, but the very same transformational knowledge is used instead to try and annihilate the incoming information, and it does so in the most efficient way possible: by tying into our unrivaled capacity to be dismissive.
We turn our deep philosophical understanding (and groking) into dismissal missiles.
It’s foolproof, really. With our smugness and certainty into our awareness of these concepts, we can brush away any incoming flak as just others falling for those traps. “Yes, yes, it’s not us who has the blind spot; it’s clearly them.” *
As it turns out, no. Anytime we’re engaging dismissiveness we’re not being mindful, present, or engaging with what’s so. We’re not being aware and sage; we’re being resistant. And, in a way, we’re not even there – our authentic self is not in the driver’s seat.
We can learn the feeling of when we’re being smug, we can learn the feeling of when we’re hooked by something, and when we notice that rise we can learn to let it be and to engage our mindfulness. What is it? What’s so right now? What might we need to let in? In those moments we can then engage with our wholeheartedness and self, avoid arming our dismissal missiles, and explore what’s possible.
* The one I see most often is once people begin to understand the concept of Cognitive Dissonance (understand, not necessarily get or grok it). Maybe it’s because CD is widely disseminated and easy to come across, and so by default it is most prevalent, but it otherwise seems especially prominent as a tool to shut down and dismiss someone else. And then be used by that same originator over and over and over and over… (and I’ve never seen someone stop, realize, and say, “Wow, there’s so much CD going on, I wonder where I’m being susceptible to and falling prey to it?”)