Inquiry: He should be more respectful

 

He should be more respectful. (Someone from the Zen center in SLC in how he talks about vegetarians.)

  1. True?
    Yes. Feels true. I can find stories telling me it is true. I can find others who agree. 
  2. Sure?
    No. Just an opinion. One viewpoint, born from my own culture and experiences. 
  3. What happens when I believe that thought?
    • I see myself as right and he as wrong. I find stories supporting that view. I am respectful in terms of people’s eating choices, independent of what they may be. He is not. He has a hangup. He is out to prove a point. 
    • I make him wrong in other ways as well. He overgeneralize and makes what is true for him right now into a general rule which he applies to everyone for all time. For instance, he says “vegetarians are repressed meat eaters” when what he is basing it on is his own experience with a two-week retreat where he was served only vegetarian food. 
  4. Who would I be without it?
    • More receptive. I can be respectful of his views, even when he is not (according to my stories) respectful towards others. I can find the grain of truth in what he is saying. 
    • I am more free to point this out to him or not, according to what seems appropriate in the situation. More clarity in chosing if and how to act in the situation. 
  5. Turnarounds. 
    • He shouldn’t be more respectful. 
      • He should be as he is right now, because everything has led up to it. Infinite causes. 
      • It helps me find my own beliefs and hangups and inquire into them. 
      • I have no idea what effects it has. Some may even be ones I approve of! 
    • He should be less respectful. 
      • Yes, it would help me notice notice my beliefs even clearer. 
    • I should be more respectful. 
      • Yes, the advice is for myself. I should be more respectful to him. I don’t really know where he is coming from or what it will lead to. (One of the things it leads to is me doing this inquiry, which is a good thing according to my stories.) 
      • More importantly, I should be more respectful to what is more true for me than this belief. 
Additional turnarounds:
    • He doesn’t have a hangup. 
      • I don’t know. “Hangup” is just my own interpretation. 
    • His views are fluid. 
      • Yes, they may well be. He may be free enough to say things that may appear disrespectful, without being identified with it. It may even be a skillful teaching from his side, for all I know. (It certainly is for me, even if it is unintentional from his side.) 
    • I have a hangup. 
      • Yes, as soon as I believe that initial story, I have a hangup. I am the one having a hangup. (As soon as I believe any story, there is a hangup here.) 
    • He is not out to prove a point.
      • I don’t know what is going on for him.
      • Even if he is, in a conventional sense, he is not because he is acting innocently from taking a story as true. He does what he has to when he believes what he does. 
    • I am out to prove a point. 
      • Yes. Again, as soon as I believe my stories about him I am out to prove a point. I try to prove it to myself, and sometimes also others. 

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