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blackberrydragon

"To see with eyes unclouded by hate."

Even if not all of us practice the Golden Rule (treat others as you would like to be treated yourself), most people have at least heard of that concept or phrase before.  I'd like to see another idea get at least to that same level, because I really think we need it, both online and off.  For those who've seen the anime film 'Princess Mononoke', you probably know this phrase.  For those who haven't, I very much recommend it, not only for its beautiful art and storytelling, but for its philosophy.  Our hero, Ashitaka, finds himself involved in a war between beasts and humans, but refuses to take sides.  When asked what he's ultimately after, he issues the above famous phrase.

"Seeing with eyes unclouded", whether by hate or by any of our passionate emotions, is an ideal that would be of course difficult if not impossible to achieve perfectly, but I believe we should strive to do so to the best of our ability.  Too often we let our actions be fueled by our emotions because we get an endorphin rush by doing so -- it's a cathartic release that makes us feel better, even though it may be the exact wrong course of action to take in order to avoid or resolve a bad situation.  We don't resort to name-calling and one-upsmanship in our arguments because we think it'll help the situation or prove our point.  We do it simply to make ourselves feel good.  Most of the time we don't even know that it's happening -- it's subconscious.  We all do stupid things when we're in love, because, well... we're in love.  We feel justified because our feelings are 'true', and no one can tell us that we aren't entitled to our feelings.

But if we zoom out a bit and look at the bigger picture, we may find that the best course of action is one that goes against our gut reaction.  Since this requires the ability to step out of "ourselves" and supress our own ego, I can understand how difficult it can be for a lot of people because 'ego' is currency in a social world, especially online.  We are who we present ourselves as.  We get the idea that our importance is tied to how witty / funny / talented / popular / confident / righteous we are, and that we are 'nobody' if we aren't any of these things.  No one wants to be low on the totem pole, so we generalize and deride others in order to feel that we're not.  No one wants to lose a fight, so backing off is considered weakness... god forbid you change your mind or admit you were wrong.

Perhaps if we weren't so concerned with our own image, looked at things more objectively than subjectively, and were better at evaluating and keeping our emotions in check, I'm betting we could take a great deal of stress out of our lives.  It'll take work, but I think it's worth it.
Viewed: 123 times
Added: 6 years, 5 months ago
 
phydoux
6 years, 5 months ago
i own this movie, and my philosophy is not too different "if we dont help each other, who will?"
MadDog
6 years, 5 months ago
We can never force someone to utilize it, sadly, and can only exercise it ourselves. When we are able, and best we are able.
blackberrydragon
6 years, 5 months ago
I'm content to simply do the best I can and "lead by example."  You still have to let people make up their own mind about how they solve their own conflicts.
snowcloud7983
6 years, 5 months ago
It is a perspective that has long since been considered unusable in today's society. Some consider it counter-productive, while others think of it just a factor of manipulation used by con artists and the such. For the philosophy to truly be shown its greatest strength, one must look about the actions of a child. The pure innocence and grandeur of they simple yet powerful actions of the pure kindness that a young one can show unprovoked and completely spontaneous is what it should be. I myself live by this principle in hopes that others will take the hint. But unfortunately, as it is with all things, it will take a very long time for something of this nature to become common place in today's society.
axlegear
6 years, 5 months ago
I would like to point out that those innocent children are also capable for some of the cruelest actions as well, with a largely equal predisposition.
blackberrydragon
6 years, 5 months ago
I've gotta agree with you there.  Since children live their lives incredibly passionately, they don't have the ability to separate out their feelings from their actions very much at all.  Some will learn that kindness breeds kindness, and that such unprovoked positive love will make their environment a happier and enjoyable place, but others will learn that throwing a tantrum will get them what they want.
UkyoShadowfox
6 years, 5 months ago
Well said, I couldn't agree more. And funny, I always wanted to see that movie and finally saw it for the first time last week. Great anime and loved the underlying theme.
WhyteYote
6 years, 5 months ago
In a world, and a fandom, where one person's "above the fray" is another person's "weak wrong coward" and yet another's "elite douchebag," there really is no consequence-free action.  

All you can really do is what you think is right, and hope for the least amount of fallout.
blackberrydragon
6 years, 5 months ago
True.  My take on it is that the goal is not necessarily to be consequence-free in terms of how you are viewed, but having the discipline to analyze your actions and make a better decision about what's right in the long run.
WhyteYote
6 years, 5 months ago
In the end, it's kind of selfish:  do what you need to in your own best interest, in your own life.  Frequently that means not participating in things, and "not standing up" for something.  Last time I did that, I lost a week of my life to stress.  That's way too much time.
blackberrydragon
6 years, 5 months ago
I think it's a matter of priorities.  I wouldn't think it selfish to think that taking care of your own self and psyche is of most importance.  If you don't have a hold of yourself, then you can't do much to help anyone else.  But that doesn't mean it's "me me me" all the time.
WhyteYote
6 years, 5 months ago
Yeah, true.  Problem is, I live most of my life offline, and there's this expectation that you're such-and-such plugged in and connected.  If you're not, you're looked at funny.  No, I didn't get your random tweet two weeks ago because I don't have a constant feed.  I have things to do in reality.

You know, even without a job, I have little free time.  Call me old fashioned, but internet just doesn't do it for me most of the time.
blackberrydragon
6 years, 5 months ago
Haha, you're talking to the guy who hasn't had much internet presence for the past two years.
WhyteYote
6 years, 5 months ago
Sometimes I wish I didn't.  It's a juggle.
YouFurryFool
6 years, 4 months ago
Woooooow! Dude, drawing reference from Ashitaka's position in that movie is a great point of view. Its definitely a very rare frame of mind. Personally i try to keep the expression "Common sense is anything but common." in perspective.
blackberrydragon
6 years, 4 months ago
Yeah, it's a pessimistic phrase, but it rings true at times, which is why the film "Idiocracy" scares me so.
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