September 16, 2010

The Power of an Open Question - Our Inner Fundamentalist

Sometimes, when we struggle with understanding the religious and ideological extremism we hear about in the news, we wonder, "How do people get that way? Why don't they listen to each other?" But if we really want to understand it, all we have to do is look at ourselves. We all struggle with ambiguity, and we all have tendencies toward fundamentalism. How often do we objectify people and situations by putting them into a box: "He is like this; she is like that"? We have fundamentalist attitudes toward others when we simply refuse to let them be bigger than our subjective, objectified view of them.

- Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyel, The Power of an Open Question

Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyel’s Tricycle Retreat is happening now on! Join the Tricycle Community to enjoy the retreat and get her book, The Power of an Open Question, at 30% off.

[Image: Gregory.Skibinski]

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are you with us, or against us?'s picture

Seems like there is a massive difference between discernment and fundamentalism - although that would require discernment in the first place, so that any given "subjective, objectified views" arent automatically dismissed as "fundamentalism" - which itself seems quite fundamentalist.

But, hey - why stop now? Lets destroy the infidels!

universal law's picture

re: "“How do people get that way? Why don’t they listen to each other?”
According to Buddhism, it's due to the three poisons inherent in human life: greed, belligerence, and ignorance.