In a controversy, what are we striving for?

“In a controversy the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth, and have begun striving for ourselves.” Buddha

Boy, that’s a reminder I’ll keep pasted right on my computer screen 24/7.

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Kim Klaver


  • I think the only emotion that's more powerful than anger is love, and both emotions can blind us to the "truth" as it applies to each situation we find ourselves in. When we consciously involve ourselves in any form of "controversy," it's almost always because we personally hold a very strong opinion on the subject of the controversy, and in the atmosphere of argument that typically accompanies controversy, it can be easy to get caught up in the emotions of the controversy so much that we actually lose sight of the facts surrounding the controversial matter.

    (Wow! How many times can you actually use the word "controversy" in a paragraph? LOL)

    If you've ever observed a "flame war" in a forum, or perhaps in a series of wall posts on Facebook, you can actually watch people completely "lose it" and throw reason completely out the window as they become overcome by the emotional state they're experiencing in the midst of the "controversy."

    Nearly all sources of spiritual guidance advise you to be "slow to anger," and to "never let the sun set on your anger." It's never easy to do, and it requires self-discipline, but by removing anger from the equation (and perhaps even replacing it with the positive emotion of love) can go a long way in "de-fusing" controversial situations.

    I actually met my current business partner as a result of our being on opposite sides of an argument. By setting aside our emotions and dealing with the actual substance of our disagreements, we discovered that we weren't actually that far apart from one another philosophically. Jim and I have been working together now for over 3 years, and I consider him to be my closest and most trusted business associates/partner!

  • The only reason we're truly angry is because the person or persons will not do what we want them to do. We likely have a limited, selfish point of view.

    In that case, it's time for a checkup from the neck up.

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