My tradition is the best

 

Why do some think that their tradition or practice is the best?

I can think of a few different reasons:

It’s the typical in-group / out-group dynamic.

This creates a sense of cohesion within the group. We are better than them. We know how things are. We are the chosen ones.

It also makes people feel better about themselves. I am with the right group. I’ll be saved.

It may come from ignorance. People may be misinformed about other traditions, or may not know much about them.

They may have a good point. Each tradition has its strengths and weaknesses, and the strengths may well be stronger than in some other traditions.

It also seems that this attitude may be increasingly more difficult to maintain, for a few different reasons.

We are better informed about other traditions and practices.

We encounter more frequently people from other traditions and practices, and see that they are as smart as us.

It simply looks pretty stupid to think that your tradition is the best (!). Especially considering that most people know that such an assumption is typically (a) used to keep people in the tradition, and (b) is often based in fear and insecurity, and is an attempt to feel better about ourselves.

I have always been eclectic in my approach, and see the value in all the main spiritual traditions and a wide range of practices. They are all medicine for people with different backgrounds, from different cultures, and at different phases in their process. So although I seek out practices that seem the most effective for me, I also realize that they are not inherently or absolutely “better” than other practices out there. And they are definitely not better than what’s possible, and what will most likely be developed in the future.

And yet, I see that somewhere in me is the idea that a more generous and eclectic approach is “better” than a more narrow minded one. So that’s where I do the same. I too have this quite universal belief running at times. It’s good to see.

I am also reminded of what Ken Wilber and others call the first and second tier. This is a more second tier view, and if I could thoroughly appreciate the first tier views, it would be even more so….! And I do of course see that the first tier views are stepping stones, just as the second tier views are.

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draft…..

I have always been eclectic in my approach, and see the value in all the main spiritual traditions and a wide range of practices. They are all medicine for people with different backgrounds, from different cultures, and at different phases in their process. So although I seek out practices that seem the most effective for me, I also realize that they are not inherently or absolutely “better” than other practices out there. And they are definitely not better than what’s possible, and what will most likely be developed in the future.

And yet, I see that somewhere in me is the idea that a more generous and eclectic approach is “better” than a more narrow minded one. So that’s where I do the same. I too have this quite universal belief running at times. It’s good to see.

I am also reminded of what Ken Wilber and others call the first and second tier. This is a more second tier view, and if I could thoroughly appreciate the first tier views, it would be even more so….! And I do of course see that the first tier views are stepping stones, just as the second tier views are.

 

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– they know their own tradition much better than most or all other traditions, so
– it’s inherited within the tradition, as a way to keep people in it
– it makes people feel better about themselves

The assumption that our own tradition is the best is inherited within the tradition, and functions as a way to keep people in it. (Although not really.)

It makes people feel better about themselves.

It’s the typical in-group / out-group dynamic. We are better than them. This creates a sense of cohesion within the group. It also makes people feel better about themselves. I am in the best group.

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