The growing division between right and left paints a horrifying picture for the future of America. Liberals and conservatives will have to find common ground and work together. Some of them will attend a global peace event in Israel this week to learn how to do it.
Political animosities in America have reached an alarming level. Stanford Professor of Sociology Rob Willer, explains that the political divide has been paralyzing the federal government and preventing it from functioning effectively. Cultural and interpersonal costs have also been very real, he says. Social division in America is now becoming an existential threat with worrying repercussions around the world.
We’re coming to a crossroads: Either we continue down this destructive path of social polarization, or, as Einstein famously suggested, we rise above the pattern that creates our problems, to a whole new level of thinking.
From my perspective, the growing division is a natural, inevitable and necessary phase of our social evolution. The divisive patterns and behaviors will prove futile and threatening, but this will lead us towards new social and political models: ones that can bring together people of different and opposing views, religions, mentalities and values, to create a sustainable reality for all.
One of the reasons I’m certain of this is that the Global Peace Event at World Kabbalah Convention is taking place in Israel this week. Nine thousand people from over sixty countries are coming to experience and practice the authentic method that is all about finding the shared space between people, where complete opposites can come together and complement each other. And yes, among people from North and South America, Asia, Europe and Africa, Liberals and Conservatives will be there as well.
When Opposites Come Together
People with conflicting views who practice this method develop a new mental and emotional capacity. While they are well aware of the conflict between their view and others’, they also see how their differences form a new collective wisdom that’s shared by all and yet belongs to no one in particular. The differences don’t disappear nor are they toned down even one bit. In fact, they even intensify, but this new kind of connection formed between the participants converts greater contrast into greater harmony.
The Book of Zohar describes this concept in the portion Aharei Mot: “These are the friends as they sit together and do not part from one another. At first they seem like people at war, wishing to kill one another. Then they return to being in brotherly love. And you, the friends who are here, as you were in fondness and love before, henceforth you will also not part. And by your merit there will be peace in the world.”
All of nature works that way. Two opposite forces, plus and minus, interact to form the different levels of life. From positive and negative in the smallest atom, to the left and right hemispheres of our brain, the connection between opposites is necessary to create the very infrastructure of nature. Opposites do not need to be erased, but rather complement each other to create their future state, just as a male and female give life to a third entity that is a combination of the two, and yet is also a new being in and of itself.
While this dynamic is instinctive on the inanimate, vegetative and animate levels of nature, on the human level it has to involve our conscious transformation.
The Fate of Society Is Our Common Baby
Establishing the reality of connection above differences is essential now more than ever before. With the future in mind, we have to begin applying such practices to society on a massive scale. Whether it is at schools, universities, work places, or between leaders, it is vital to create new patterns of thinking and behavior that will lead our societies towards greater stability.
Our common future demands that we all become partners. The clash between us should not lead us to concede our views and opinions, but rather see how we can complement each other. When a couple argues about their baby’s education and upbringing, they have to search for common ground in order to see to their baby’s future. We, too, must work together for the future of our society. The conflict between different views will inevitably continue, but it must be constructive rather than destructive.
The World Kabbalah Convention is possibly the biggest peace event worldwide, and a living example for how people of all nationalities, political views, religions and colors, can see beyond their habits, and join together to create a model of humanity that actually works.