In this time of narrative gone awry, language used as a weapon to divide and diminish, is there any account we can all objectively agree upon? Does any reality lie outside the realm of story and spin?
No-self help is about paring away extraneous notions of personal identity to come into contact with our universal and essential nature. The same process can be applied to help distill public discourse, looking for consensus in certain common denominator values.
For example, we all share the basic need for an ecosystem to be healthy enough to support our lives and sustain those of our offspring. If you ask individuals (not corporations) whether they should take steps to ensure clean air for their children to breathe, Democrats would not differ from Republicans in their response.
To acknowledge the record-setting heat waves, hurricanes and fires of 2020 is not to take a liberal or conservative side. Yes, we can easily splinter debating about what has caused these calamities and what they portend for the future, but the fact of their existence and their devastating impact is incontrovertible. Whether you define your role as that of steward, servant or master of the environment, we can agree that we must be in relationship with our planet.
When we love something, we are naturally inclined to want to take care of it. This includes family members, pets, even a garden. If a loved one is ill, we are inherently motivated to help them heal. We may spin various accounts in assigning blame for the cause of the illness, but the need to address it is a shared reality.
Love is not a partisan issue. Nor is survival.