After watching a movie about Gore Vidal's life I dropped into a youtube discussion with him on God and stuff and then enjoyed making a few comments a few weeks ago. (Proof is in the Pudding)
I just made another on the bickery conflict in the comments there - without - I trust - bickering about it.
It seems that may are very inclined to believe in their 'self' so much so that they take it as de facto obvious and do not recognize that the belief is an effective currency of exchange and not unlike a complex financial 'instrument' is disguised and presented in a lot of nothing that becomes toxic debt when the bubble pops.
Whatever one believes or accepts as one's core self-definition is what one lives out from and experiences through - and note that this template level of consciousness is not the front-end surface that operates the persona with it public and private and denied 'thinking'.
Most seeming debates about any polarized issue simply restate themselves without achieving communication - not least because the personality structure operates offensively as a defence - killing the messenger before hardly a message gets through. What is see in such apparent controversy is identity politics - where a presentational identity has investment as if it is actually or wholly true of the one who wields it.
Conflict is the device by which attention is distracted, held and prevented from embracing the Obvious. This means that a conflicted identity operates a lens of fragmentation and distortion that renders the Obvious unrecognisable, and this pattern of oppositional denial invites and becomes a 'spirit' of anti-Life in the name or guise of protection, power and righteousness.
People see the things they most hate in themselves... in others and that is a kind of protection racket that demand one cannot truly recognize the other in Life without in some way owning or taking back the judgement of invalidation that was seemingly mitigated or escaped by apportioning blame. When one observes the psychological defenses at work in one's OWN mind and not just as if looking down from a superior place - there is a real opportunity for a deeper healing or reintegration of self in Life. It does not matter what FORMS are in play, the deceiver uses them all as serves its purpose - and is as happy to quote Scripture as to denigrate it. This is becoming more obvious in the Corporate management of humanity - though beneath it is of course the moneylender in the Template.
It has been part of the nature and dynamic of our world generally for a very long time, that any spark of truth lived, shared or finding recognition and movement - will be denied by any and every means - including the framing in old winebottle thinking that rationalizes the life out of anything so as to NOT open to a directly felt relationship with anything! 'Truth' then is redefined by power of assertions that use guilt and fear to undermine and invalidate opposition. Indeed truth is the first casualty of war - hence divide and conquer or divide and rule is the assertion OF conflict in REFUSAL of true relation. But it wont seem that way. It will seem to give power or protection from terror or rage that hides terror while secretly operating the very agenda it purports to save us from.
The 'self' will be modelled on the imprint of its conditioning and unless there is an awakening desire or curiosity to question and challenge this 'self', its acceptance in place of a truly felt intimacy robs us of Life in exchange for a prodigal insanity.
I appreciate Gore Vidal challenging others as I do for his willingness to look on the darkness within himself and yet maintain a core human warmth and compassion. I appreciate anyone of any kind whose willingness extends and embraces our humanity. And I let those who project their hidden fears in hatred, uncover facets of myself I might not otherwise wake up to in myself. The sense of self we operate through is not hardwired, fixed or un-transormable for it is something we live through - even if to share an abundance of lack. Belief is not powerful in the head except to isolate the head from the heart (and kill it) - belief is in the acceptance of the heart and mind as one - but until the mind aligns with the heart's knowing, the mind feels righteous in defending against 'negative' feelings in which it fears to 'lose control'. Anyone who embraces their feeling truly, finds that it moves and evolves and opens fresh insight and information. This a transformative shifting of identity to an integrative rather than a segregative foundation. The true is known by its fruits - and by our light of presence are we known. The masquerade of conflicting personae is a shitty and sickening soap opera if one accepts that as one's true self.
Beliefs are created by action proceeding from accepted truth - and changed by action proceeding from a fresh take on a truth that is ever unfolding - not static like some idol or totem god. No amount of thinking effects transformation - but ingenuity can make a lot of nothing into a very complex series of arguments. It simply triggers our conditioned imprint and lets the robotic play unfold.