Let's say that one person loves the president, Bush or Obama, and another hates him. Then, anything that one would write positively about the president would be hated and disbelieved by the other, regardless of whether it was true or not. A strong bias would blind the president hater to any rational conclusion regarding the truth of the matter, and the negativity would be justified by remembering all the wrong things that the president has done, even if this one thing was good.

This, then, is a function of fear; fear that the hater might be proved wrong and the president lover proved right. The implication would be that the hater was wrong in all of his or her assumptions, and this would be too devastating for the ego to handle. This would mean that the hater would lose control and be subjugated to a lesser position.

This is especially prevalent in religious arguments, where if proven wrong we might actually go insane after building an entire lifetime around an ideal. Therefore, all religious arguments are a waste of time because strong bias, which can be created under the most incredulous and absurd reasoning, will prevent truth from surfacing even though it may be indisputable. If God came down from heaven and said hello, would atheists all of a sudden believe? Don't bet the farm on it. If Buddha came down and performed one miracle after another, would Christians convert? Never. That would mean losing control.

The fact is; it is more important to feel in control and superior than it is to ferret out the facts and come to logical conclusions. Why? Because our idea of self or ego, although false, must be constantly blown up like a balloon with a small hole in it. Otherwise, if our ego was permitted to diminish, which would mean that we became peaceful and loving, then we would see the reality of our vulnerability and weakness as a human being, which would far too devastating for anyone caught in the web of delusion that we call life.

Even though we suffer tremendously by having to constantly defend our ideals, we don't see it as suffering. We see it as some kind of challenge, at least until the pent up anger affects our health as we get older. The hypertension, the diseases are many times caused by our appetite for stress and disagreement. We don't see the strain involved by trying to win every argument, which more times than not is merely academic - how many angels can dance on the head of a pin? Who really cares? How many children will go to bed hungry tonight? Do we care about that? And why not? Why don't we argue about that instead of out taxes going up?

Liberals eventually become conservative and conservatives liberal. Look at history and you will see this is true. And regardless of who is in office or what party rules, the problems remain the same. There is no political solution, no answer, other than a change in each of us individually because the corruption in government is a reflection of all of us. Government is us. Big business is us. We feed big business by our voracious appetites for consumer goods that are basically unneeded, except psychologically to keep our balloons from deflating.

Until we acquire a taste for compassion and loving kindness instead of hatred and selfishness, a taste for cooperation and pathos instead of dissension and aloofness, these problems will not cease and desist. They will only worsen.

As the world wises up and America declines, as it must since our credit card with the world is being withdrawn, we will have to learn to live within our means - a relatively sparse existence from what we have been used to for many decades. We can either be at each others throats about this with the haves protecting what's left and the have-nots hating them, which will eventually lead to real violence, or we can work this thing out together. The answer lies in each of us, and if we can become truly spiritual beings, which goes far beyond religious arguments.

Author's Bio: 

     
Anagarika eddie is a meditation teacher at the Dhammabucha Rocksprings Meditation Retreat Sanctuary www.dhammarocksprings.org and author of “A Year to Enlightenment.” His 30 years of meditation experience has taken him across four continents including two stopovers in Thailand where he practiced in the remote northeast forests as an ordained Thervada Buddhist monk.

He lived at Wat Pah Nanachat under Ajahn Chah, at Wat Pah Baan Taad under Ajahn Maha Boowa, and at Wat Pah Daan Wi Weg under Ajahn Tui. He had been a postulant at Shasta Abbey, a Zen Buddhist monastery in northern California under Roshi Kennett; and a Theravada Buddhist anagarika at both Amaravati Monastery in the UK and Bodhinyanarama Monastery in New Zealand, both under Ajahn Sumedho. The author has meditated with the Korean Master Sueng Sahn Sunim; with Bhante Gunaratana at the Bhavana Society in West Virginia; and with the Tibetan Master Trungpa Rinpoche in Boulder, Colorado. He has also practiced at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, and the Zen Center in San Francisco.