What is right about fundamentalism?

 

Sometimes when I encounter fixed views, I find myself speaking up for whatever position, role or viewpoint is left out, or is in minority in the group I am in.

There are many joys in playing devil’s advocate, in letting go of my usual impulse to find the most inclusive view, letting go of appearing a certain way, letting go of making a “good impression”.

For instance, when I am in the US, I notice that what most readily comes up for me is a position in opposition to fundamentalism. And when I am here in Norway, where folks are universally opposed to it – at least the religious version – I find myself more inclined to defend fundamentalism.

So what is right about fundamentalism?

When we are caught up in fundamentalism of any type, it helps focus attention and action. Any story does that, whether we take it as true or not, and when we take it strongly as true, there is also an element of compulsiveness there.

It creates a sense of drama and juiciness. It is part of the human drama. It is part of the drama played out through human lives.

It helps me hone my own views through friction with theirs. It invites me to refine and mature my views.

It invites me to find views that are inclusive of the validity in theirs and mine, and show a way different from both.

When I meet it in others, it helps me see my own beliefs and fixed viewpoints. There is friction between my views and theirs, which helps me become more aware of the stories I hold as true.

When I see it in others, it is a mirror for myself. It is an invitation for me to notice that my views become fundamentalist as soon as I take any story as true, no matter what its content may be. I filter the world as if it is true. I live as if it is true. I act and live in a fundamentalist way.

It is essential feedback of taking a story as true. And as that feedback, it is beautiful. The stress, strife, conflict, divisiveness – all of it is an invitation to notice that something is off and find what is more honest for us. It is uncomfortable, attention goes there, and it is a nudge to notice and inquire into our beliefs – when we are ready, when the fruit is ready to drop.

I find that for me, even without the other stories, the feedback part is sufficient to genuinely appreciate fundamentalism. There is beautiful feedback in the discomfort that comes with fundamentalism. A beautiful pointer. An invitation to notice that we are at odds with reality, and find what is more honest for us.

And it is even more beautiful in that it is so unfailing. It doesn’t matter what the content of the thought is – religious, scientific, political, about money, health, relationships – the dynamics around it is the same. The symptoms of taking a story as true is the same, and then there is the same noticing and finding what is more honest for me.

I wouldn’t want to be without that feedback. And I wouldn’t want to be without the process of going from a rigid and unquesitoned view to finding what is more true for me, until I am.

So there is a great gift in fundamentalism. There are many genuine gifts in fundamentalism.

Each of these is a rich investigation. I can take each one and stay with it for a day or several days, and explore it whenever I notice fundamentalism in myself or others.

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outline….

– helps focus attention + action (as any story, but when taken as true, with a sense of compulsion about it)
– gives a sense of drama, juiciness
– helps us see our own beliefs, friction with theirs
– mirror for ourselves, how our views are fundamentalist as soon as we take a story – any story – as true
– helps us hone our own views through friction with theirs, refine, mature etc.
– helps us find views that hold theirs and ours, a wider embrace
– a symptom of taking a story as true + associated stress, strife, etc. – all of it an invitation to notice and find what is more honest for us (uncomfortable, a nudge to notice + inquire, when we are ready, when the fruit is ready to drop)
– use the development/evolution story, see it as a phase (just a way to find peace with it)

………….

When someone seem a little fixed in their views, it can be interesting to take a different position and see what happens.

When I am in different settings, with a different group of people and a different culture, I notice different impulses come up because different viewpoints are left out or in minority.

There are many joys in playing devil’s advocate, in letting go of my usual impulse to find the most inclusive view, letting go of appearing a certain way, letting go of making a “good impression”.

……

It is  a symptom of taking a story as true. The stress, strife, conflict, divisiveness – all of it is an invitation to notice that something is off and find what is more honest for us. It is uncomfortable, attention goes there, and it is a nudge to notice and inquire into our beliefs – when we are ready, when the fruit is ready to drop.

It is essential feedback of taking a story as true. The stress, strife, conflict and divisiveness that comes with it is uncomfortable. There is a sense of something being off. And that is an invitation to find what is more honest for us.

……..

– tend to speak up for whatever position/role/viewpoint is left out or in minority (and also play devils’ advocate, especially online it seems, not here but when I comment on other blogs)
–  so in the US, tend to take a role opposite to fundamentalism
– but here in Norway, where you hardly find anyone with very fundamentalist views, find myself in a role of defending fundamentalism (not by conscious choice, just happens)
–  so what is right about fundamentalism?

………….

I notice that I tend to speak up for whatever position, role or viewpoint is left out – or in minoriy – in the group I am in. And I also like to play devil’s advocate, especially online it seems, and not so much here but when I comment on other’s blogs. (Don’t know what impression those folks have of me…! Would be fun to know.)

For instance, when I am in the US, what comes up for me is mostly a position in opposition to fundamentalism. And when I am here in Norway, where folks are universally opposed to it – at least the religious version – I find myself in a role of defending fundamentalism.

So what is right about fundamentalism?

……………………..

I notice that when I encounter fixed views, I tend to speak up for whatever position, role or viewpoint is left out, or is in minoriy in the group I am in.

And I also like to play devil’s advocate, especially online it seems, and not so much here but when I comment on other’s blogs.  There are many joys in playing devil’s advocate, in letting go of my usual impulse to find the most inclusive view, letting go of appearing a certain way, letting go of making a “good impression”. (Don’t know what impression those folks have of me…! Would be fun to know.)

For instance, when I am in the US, what comes up for me is mostly a position in opposition to fundamentalism. And when I am here in Norway, where folks are universally opposed to it – at least the religious version – I find myself in a role of defending fundamentalism, at least initially.

So what is right about fundamentalism?

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