Know the Facts
My work is all about challenging people's beliefs with true experiences that expand their understanding of what’s possible.
So I share a lot of philosophical and spiritual ideas. Ideas like "question what you think," "there is no right and wrong," "believe in everything and nothing," "time is an illusion," etc. I share these ideas because I think they're essential for staying curious about the world we live in. Because I think living life with curiosity and humility is the key to creativity, joy, and love, and because I think there's a hell of a lot more going on in the world than what we often think we know.
I believe in these ideas. I also think they can be manipulated and used in a way that is harmful, and these days, I see that happening a lot, so let me be clear:
There are things we know. There are facts, and when approaching issues with as wide-reaching consequences as policy and governance, it's important to stick to the facts.
For example, here's a fact: I am lying in bed right now and typing this on my laptop.
My curious, skeptical mind wants to challenge that fact and wanders somewhere along the lines of: OR I’m a brain in a vat OR this is the matrix OR something else.
But then I come back down to Earth and know: I am lying in bed right now and typing this on my laptop.
Generally, I love skepticism. It challenges our assumptions and helps keep our minds open. But for all the ways a skeptic's doubting mind is open to the possibility that something is wrong, it’s also often closed to the idea that something is right. If you're doubting everything and not sure if anything is right and real, then it's hard to hold any position, let alone fight for one.
So while I’m generally a big believer that certain knowledge is all but impossible, I also recognize that there’s a time for philosophizing and playing what-if, and there’s a time for planting both feet firmly on Earth - in the facts - and speaking plainly and clearly and leaving no room for doubt.
This is where you have to be in order to fight for anything.
Stay grounded and choose from love.
Fight for Reality
I also talk a lot about co-creating your life and manifesting the reality you want. That does not mean that if you say a lie enough times it becomes true. In fact making your own reality has no place in the world of political discourse, except for here:
We must work together to make the world a world we want to live in. We must fight for our values not because they're inherently right (though maybe they are), but because I don't want to live in a world of violence and destruction and hate. I want peace and love and high livability. And I want truth.
So when it comes to the hard realities we face these days, don't hide from the truth. Call all lies for what they are. And take that beautiful curiosity and paradoxical thinking and explore what it's like to both fight for your values and defend yourself against hate and violence while still seeing those you disagree with as human.
Can you disagree with someone and still love them? Can you want to imprison someone and do whatever's necessary to protect yourself against that person while still loving them? Yes.
There's a lot of talk about evil in the world and about certain people being evil monsters. Maybe you believe in evil, and maybe you're right. But I don't believe in evil.
I believe in ignorance and cowardice and fear, and I believe that ignorance, cowardice, and fear can be wildly dangerous. I don't need the idea of evil to recognize that people hurt other people. I also don't need the idea of better or right to defend the hell out of my values and fight for a world where fear and ignorance and cowardice go by the wayside.
So I'm going to continue to stay curious about those I disagree with. I'm going to keep fighting from a place of loving everyone, of thinking this world is a beautiful place, and in the words of Anne Frank and every Buddhist ever, of believing that people are really good at heart.
"I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain."