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Old 07-28-2009, 08:42 PM
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River River is offline
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Originally Posted by MonoVCPHG View Post
I don't think any one group has the idea right at this point..because we don't think the way we have to in order to achieve it.
I draw inspiration from Mahayana Buddhist thought as well as from the philosophy of John Rawls and others. []

From Rawls, I got the idea of justice as fairness. And Mahayana Buddhism (which I take mainly psychologically and existentially -- and eschew any superstition from it), is a nice lens to use to discover that all things and beings are profoundly interconnected and interdependent, and that we don't really have a separate self with which to be "free," or which could be free. Though this lens I have come as far as I have in realizing that no being's suffering, or joy!, is unconnected with my own. My dignity depends on the dignity of others; my happiness on the happiness of others; my well-being on the well-being of others....

We can, of course, be more-or-less ignorant of these facts, but they are facts nevertheless, and can be discovered and learned as such.

The whole notion of separate selves is ... well, mainly an illusion created by language and narrowly conceived thought. Such selves, separate selves, simply do not exist -- although we are all quite rightly understood to be distinct individuals. There's no paradox there, really. None of these words are separate from all of the others in this text, either. Nor are the words separate from the sentences, or the sentences separate from the paragraphs. Yet all of these can be rightly understood as having distinction --
since they can be pointed out and named.

It seems to me that the overwhelming majority of injustices can readily be solved as problems, but only by people with their empathetic lights turned on, and with potentially resulting compassionate motivation -- which arises naturally when we see things (and ourselves) as we really are: non-separate.

Non-separation is not a perfect equivalent of, or synonym with, "oneness," as many think it is. The word "oneness" implies no distinction between one's self and another--or a lack or loss of alterity []. Radical empathy, though, perserves alterity while also allowing the realization of essential non-otherness. This experience *is* paradoxical, in concept -- but not in feeling-intuition. Altruism is the natural activity of the truly free.
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