Twisted Wisdom Unraveled by Wayne Saalman

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IRREVERENCE IS LIBERATING. We all know it. We all delight in it and we should. Laughing at ourselves and our sometimes overly zealous, all-too-human, forms of political and religious dogmatisms in a compassionate way can relieve stress. In other words, it can trigger a flurry of positive electrochemical neurotransmitters within us which inundate the brain and body, and make us feel good.


The word “liberating” is admittedly related to the “liberal” viewpoint, which supposedly stands in opposition to the “conservative” viewpoint nowadays. To liberate something is to let go of it. To conserve it is to do everything in one’s power to hold a thing in place.


These are dualities existing on a continuum of behavior, and virtually everyone engages in activities that utilize both. Fighting for the preservation of tradition while letting go of one’s past and moving on in life is an obvious example of how this dualism can play out in real terms.


In this day and age, it is obvious from even a cursory awareness of the daily news that humanity has moved much too deeply into a state of divisiveness. This manifests as a form of intolerance for viewpoints that are different from our own.


Most of us, fortunately, are actually far more centrist in our day to day behavior than we are either rightist or leftist. Those who win the news coverage of the day, however, usually proffer an extremist position and take an adversarial stance, which is why they receive the coverage they get.


Politics and religion have always been closely aligned and for good reason. Religion has allowed humanity to define its ethical and moral positions in this world.


Strangely enough, however, the very religions that extol the unity of humanity – how we are all “children” of the same “God” – have proven to be the prime instigators of conflict among peoples.


This is very old news, of course, so why are so many people still unable to see past this clearly contradictory way of looking at life?


“Distorted thinking” is the answer to that question. Or to phrase it slightly differently: “twisted wisdom” is what causes the problem. In political terms, it is known as “spin”.


What is undoubtedly true is that every person on the face of the earth has self-interests. Survival itself begins with self-interest and that which we find ourselves desiring for either comfort or pleasure furthers that impulse. This is just a fact of life and it is one that is easy enough to see and understand. People will spin a viewpoint to their advantage.


The question, therefore, is how true are we to the principles that we profess to believe in and, therefore, proclaim?


Clarity ultimately emerges, not from the intellectualizing capabilities of the brain, but from the heart, for wisdom – the real thing which is not twisted nor distorted – is rooted in the soul. That wisdom should be claimed before proclaiming anything.


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