You're Right!


"I have one major rule: Everybody is right. More specifically, everybody - including me - has some important pieces of truth, and all of those pieces need to be honored, cherished, and included in a more gracious, spacious, and compassionate embrace." --Ken Wilber, Philosopher, Author, Founder of Integral Institute


When I first read this quote, I bristled a little. How can everyone be right? If atheists are right how can religious believers be right too? Why would Ken Wilber say this? There must be some other authority on rightness. Sure enough, a google search revealed people who challenge Wilber and pronounce him to be absolutely wrong.


I think the point Wilber is trying to make is that people are right from their perspective. Each of us can only view life from the particular place we are. Since I cannot have direct experience from someone else's life, I can't know their truth. It's like the story of the blind men touching different parts of an elephant and all righteously declaring what it is, each perspective is a part but not the whole picture of an elephant.


"Right perspective is no perspective or all perspectives." --Buddha


From a health perspective, challenging the opinions of others and defending your own can be a recipe for illness. The body activates hormones and the sympathetic nervous system triggers the adrenal glands which release adrenaline. The body gets stressed.


So how can we speak our truth and be calm in the face of a challenge?


With practice it is possible to sense when we are getting hooked into a right and wrong position and hold our opinion alongside the possibility of learning something new. If we don't (or can't), the body will contract. This tightening triggers the unconscious fall into reactivity. We begin thinking about how right we are and how wrong they are which fuels the fire of dissonance and separation. The body becomes even more stressed.


TGI faculty member for the Integrative Health and Healing program, Bruce Lipton, PhD, is the author of The Biology of Belief (and many other mind/body healing books). His groundbreaking research at Stanford University School of Medicine examined the principles of quantum physics and cell information processing systems. This research revealed that the environment of a cell controlled the behavior and physiology of that cell, turning genes on and off. Basically, the way we live and thoughts we think influences the activation of disease.


He writes, "The moment you change your perception is the moment you rewrite the chemistry of your body."


So, if we take Wilber's perspective that everyone is right (including us) we can relax with our opinions and hold them lightly. We can practice listening to the opinions of others with an open heart/mind and try to understand where they are coming from. We can drop the need to change people who are not ready or able to change. Instead of a battlefield of egoic wills, life can be lighter and more heart centered. (From my perspective.)


Recognizing that the perspective of others is their truth and that there is no need to prove our own, is ultimately an act of self care.


"It's all about perspective. The sinking of the Titanic was a miracle to the lobsters in the ship's kitchen." --Wynne McLaughlin


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