Greetings all! I know I'm a bit behind the curve on addressing this topic, which was a bi-weekly question posed by the community @tribesteemup
several days back. However, discovering @flauwy
's answer to that question coincided with something of a reawakening within my spirit of something subtle yet powerful. Synchronicity, when experienced with a keen awareness, is something quite tangible. So, to pay homage to that experience as well to the paradigm-shifting community I only just discovered, I would like to weigh in on this topic.
Although dissension, etymologically, basically just means disagreement, it carries the heavy connotation of a difference of opinion from a majority viewpoint. That is, to differ from the dominant belief structure or conclusions of an authority figure or group. To explore the 'problem' of dissension from this angle leads to some very interesting philosophical and spiritual quandaries, so this definition will serve as the basis of our exploration.
Beliefs are essentially just opinions with the added thrust of being projected upon the external world, including other individuals. However, some of what are referred to as beliefs begin to reach a much greater depth of meaning due to their aspiration towards the ineffable, unutterable Truth. In this way, they function as signposts that can help lead us towards (or away from) the underlying Facts of the universe, from which the human mind is fundamentally divorced due to the dualistic structure of its operations.
The closer a belief comes to reality as it truly is, it simultaneously grows in its ability to enlighten us and, paradoxically, to lead us astray. The former occurs because the mind begins to find semantic loopholes that allow it to begin to transcend itself, and the latter because of the tendency of the mind to "idolize" the newly acquired, more expansive paradigm. That is, subconsciously, the mind begins to equate the belief or tenet with truth, which has a blinding effect on the consciousness because no beliefs can be said to be completely true. If they were, they would have to encompass the entire universe, something impossible for a semantic structure to achieve due to the inherent limitations of language.
Photo — "Spring fever"
Beliefs as an expression
of sacred sovereignty
The above limitations and inherent untruthfulness of any belief, however subtle, beautiful, or sublime, was necessary to expound in order to come to the realization that all human beings carry complementary fragments of the ultimate Truth. We are sovereign, quantum physics anomalies interpenetrated with every other iota of substance within the universe. Meaning, in simple terms, we must disagree on some levels, however minute, because we require the entire rainbow of the variation of belief-essences in order for the universe to exist at all as a stable construct. So we see that not only is disagreement when it comes to fundamental tenets inevitable, it is an expression of the cosmic truth that we are all sovereign beings, "the captains of our fate" and "masters of our soul."
Photo — "Opposition"
Community as a synthesis
and catalyst for growth
Having determined that subtle dissension (however minor) is inevitable between conscious co-creators each with their own unique sense of Truth, we now look at the dynamics of several of these beings agreeing to try to work together for the furtherance of the growth of all parties involved, as well as, in many cases, the world at large, depending on the ambitions of the group. A well-functioning community will be an effective catalyst for the growth of its members. They each agree to put aside minor differences in order to find the largest amount of common ground without sacrificing principles vital to their core beliefs.
Photo — "Among the Rocks"
Dissension and psychic vampirism
Psychic vampirism is a rampant, learned energetic phenomenon in our society (typically first taught by one's parents, subconsciously) in which one literally steals some life energy from another by purposely upsetting them to throw them off balance. In any community, some members will inevitably begin to deviate so far from the "synthetic authority" of the group's combined common ground that they start to siphon off some energy of other members to the detriment of those members' well-being, and by extension, the group's. This is primarily what causes a dissenting member to be able to remain in the community comfortably, because they can extract some etheric "juice" from the conflict. Otherwise, they would leave of their own accord because the discomfort of the variance with the collective's combined belief structure would become too great to bear.
Photo — "Standing Alone"
for the dissolution of dissension
Having explained why the uncomfortable situation of a small number of discordant voices is able to continue (somewhat) comfortably for the dissenting parties at the expense of the overall group, we now look at strategies for rectifying the situation. In fact, the solution is often quite simple, but perhaps difficult for beings raised to be conflict-averse. In a somewhat democratic group, a consensus should be reached that a certain party is reducing the group's capacity to function to its highest potential. The offending member should be notified of the consensus, and allowed to offer a response. This notification, however, should be done with an intention of pure, unconditional love, without any blaming or projection.
Photo — "A Place to Dream"
Once the dissenting party has been made aware of the way the group feels, there are an infinite number of ways they can choose to respond. These run the gamut of human emotions from total shame and dejection to radiant love and gratitude. The response of the offending party will determine their future in the group (or lack thereof.) This is what is meant by the saying that "we are all self-judged." No one is to blame for the situation, not the group and not the dissenting member. As a metaphor, an atom is not "to blame" because it disconnects from a molecule it was previously bonded with. It is the impersonal consequence of spiritual biochemistry. Whatever shift occurs will be for the best of the group, the dissenting individual, and the universe at large.
Photo — "Unrequited Love"
Gratitude and quandaries
Thank you very much for joining me in this musing on beliefs, communities, and dissension. Your attention is a necessary component of this essay, because it would not be written if not for its fate to be read. Since time is not linear as we perceive it to be, it can be said that each person that interfaces with this writing has contributed to its creation. Now, it is time to hear your voices.
What is your experience with dissent within communities? How does it feel when it is occurring? What are some of the results of dissent you have seen? Was the community in question able to move through and dissolve the dissent, or did the dissent dissolve the community? Again, I offer you much gratitude for taking the time to read this essay, and I look forward to hearing your feedback. Have a wonderful day.
If you missed the link to the audio version of this essay and want to listen to it,
click here for a link to recording of it on Soundcloud.
Below photo — "Where You Left Me"