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Freed Fox
19th April 2013, 20:05
Hello friends, fellow Avalonians.

Thom Hartmann is currently one of the best in the business, for my money. His show is aired on Free Speech TV, as well as Sirius/XM and a few other outlets. He typically deals with political and current world events, though the topics often expand to take on broader social, cultural, or even psychological/existential issues. I don't always agree with him, but I find him to be one of the most intelligent, honest, and rational voices in the media.

About a week or two ago, he discussed the idea that is stated in the title of this thread. That is, "you are not your politics". He explained this as being the primary way in which he can have serious (and often heated) debates with people with whom he strongly disagrees, while maintaining respect for him or her as an individual.

He described someone he knew who was unable to make this distinction. This person was so vested in her own political beliefs, that she would attack or distance herself from anyone who disagreed with her. As a result, both her personal and professional relationships suffered greatly.

He took it even further, to state that you are also not your ideas or your opinions. You are something much more. He went on to describe being the observer of your thoughts/emotions (as is discussed here on Avalon, in a few different places) along with the importance and utility of that skill.

It is crucial to understand our triggers, and where our emotional reactions come from. We should not allow ourselves to become too attached, or identify ourselves by any certain belief, opinion, thought, or idea. Even if one or more of these play a significant role in our daily lives, we must recognize that they are not essential to who or what we really are.

We are something much greater than we are often thought to be (or viewed to be by others). I do not claim to know exactly what that is, but consciousness itself seems to be self evidential to that effect.

Nothing that anyone else can say or do will diminish the real you. Let no argument or debate come between you and the realization of this deeper truth.

Peace be with you my friends. All the best.

GloriousPoetry
19th April 2013, 22:29
Everyone wants a piece of your creative power in this world...especially politics and religions....they both want to sway you in their direction of influence.When you profoundly know that you are something much more than what others debate over, you begin to remain silent. Silent because when you share with others this personal insight that in itself also becomes political when they don't agree with you. So now I'm in a space in my life where I am choosing to remain silent about my deepest insights and in this silence I find my gold and my soul's truth in this world.

Silence is Gold....

Freed Fox
19th April 2013, 23:16
I certainly see the merit and solace in silence, gloriouspoetry, and I've noticed that in myself regarding certain more controversial topics. However, I would not necessarily advocate that stance universally. Constructive debate should still take place, especially regarding certain prominent issues. Politics, for instance, may not define us but it does influence our daily lives. We have seen some of the inhumane practices which governments and corporations can get into, and these will only proliferate in the absence of any dissenting voices. Unfortunately we cannot count on the conglomerates to grow a conscience.

Still, to embrace this principle should allow debates to indeed remain constructive instead of becoming divisive. It should, at least in theory, allow those who have erred to correct their stances/practices without 'sticking to their guns' merely out of some sense of pride or denial in response to what they are misconstruing as an attack on their very character.

risveglio
19th April 2013, 23:18
Hello friends, fellow Avalonians.

Thom Hartmann is currently one of the best in the business, for my money. His show is aired on Free Speech TV, as well as Sirius/XM and a few other outlets. He typically deals with political and current world events, though the topics often expand to take on broader social, cultural, or even psychological/existential issues. I don't always agree with him, but I find him to be one of the most intelligent, honest, and rational voices in the media.

About a week or two ago, he discussed the idea that is stated in the title of this thread. That is, "you are not your politics". He explained this as being the primary way in which he can have serious (and often heated) debates with people with whom he strongly disagrees, while maintaining respect for him or her as an individual.

He described someone he knew who was unable to make this distinction. This person was so vested in her own political beliefs, that she would attack or distance herself from anyone who disagreed with her. As a result, both her personal and professional relationships suffered greatly.

He took it even further, to state that you are also not your ideas or your opinions. You are something much more. He went on to describe being the observer of your thoughts/emotions (as is discussed here on Avalon, in a few different places) along with the importance and utility of that skill.

It is crucial to understand our triggers, and where our emotional reactions come from. We should not allow ourselves to become too attached, or identify ourselves by any certain belief, opinion, thought, or idea. Even if one or more of these play a significant role in our daily lives, we must recognize that they are not essential to who or what we really are.

We are something much greater than we are often thought to be (or viewed to be by others). I do not claim to know exactly what that is, but consciousness itself seems to be self evidential to that effect.

Nothing that anyone else can say or do will diminish the real you. Let no argument or debate come between you and the realization of this deeper truth.

Peace be with you my friends. All the best.

Maybe I have the wrong guy but if you are talking about the Thom Hartmann from RT, he does NOT always show respect for the people he interviews that he does not agree with. He often talks over his guest and has been offensive. He may be slightly better than O'Donnell or O'Reilly but only slightly.

Freed Fox
19th April 2013, 23:24
Maybe I have the wrong guy but if you are talking about the Thom Hartmann from RT, he does NOT always show respect for the people he interviews that he does not agree with. He often talks over his guest and has been offensive. He may be slightly better than O'Donnell or O'Reilly but only slightly.

I will concede to that point, definitely to a degree anyway. It doesn't strike me as a regular occurrence, though, but rather a response to a few of his more 'hot-button' issues. There are also times when he talks over his guest because they are either dancing around the issue at hand or stalling, and he has to adhere to a somewhat stringent time format for each segment. Nonetheless, there are indeed times when he falls into that trap and it is unfortunate... He is more than 'slightly' better than O'Reilly however, and is very rarely offensive (whereas the likes of 'Papa Bear' Bill frequently resort to ad-hominem assaults and insults).

It goes to show that the larger point being made in the OP is not an easy lesson to learn. It is more like an on-going effort. One must remain diligent and observant of one's own inner processes and responses. Although I feel I have learned this lesson, it does not mean that I am immune to making the mistake of overreaction or misplaced emotional attachment again in the future.