I have come to the understanding that almost any conceivable opinion that the human mind can come up with has been thought up already. What’s more, especially in our information-rich digital era, there are experts who will give and spread “evidence” and support for any and all of these opinions.
Aliens have visited the earth
The universe is made up of just matter and energy, nothing more
The universe consists of aspects and dimensions far more than “mere” matter and energy
Science can/cannot account for or explain the world
There is free will
Free will is an illusion
Causality rules the universe
Chance rules the universe
Humanity will or will not reach the stars
Global warming is a myth / is the only problem worth thinking about as it might destroy us all
Nuclear energy will take care of our energy needs/ will throw up unforseen genetic dangers
Capitalism/ socialism: the best forms of arranging society and the economy
I could go on, indefinitely. It is interesting that each of these perceptions comes with seemingly solid lines of evidence (well, almost all of them!), finely argued. Even the grey areas between these ideas are finely argued and contested.
I used to spend a lot of time and energy trying to find the “right” set of opinions and convincing other people of their intrinsic value.
I don’t do this now. Instead, I realise that we are all attached to our opinions and back them up with vast reserves of emotion. Challenging opinions and trying to prove myself “right” merely brings up anger, divisiveness and an atmosphere of violence.
Rather, I now try to explore the attachment I have to opinions and the emotions they bring about. The same movement of attachment and emotion is manifesting in the person I am arguing with. This is the common ground of our humanity that we must touch in order to understand each other, rather than proving ourselves “right.”
This is not to say that all opinions are equal. They are not. Some perceptions are stronger, more logical and more creative than others. However, the mind that creates opinions and tries to defend them is essentially the same in all humans. Through meditation, we must understand this commonality very deeply, for in this understanding lies true compassion.