This article on the mentality of NATO brinkmanship brought various comments.
A comment within the above linked page that spoke of Exceptionalism, religious self righteousness, racial superiority, and xenophobia, etc - prompted my further joining:
Well said - I add that self-specialness and a presumption of a superior judgement is not ONLY found in the attitudes and behaviours of others. I don't bring this in to undermine honest addressing of such error when met in our world, nor to blame us for having such a pattern of behaviour - but to illuminate an arena of choice - as the freedom to re-cognize and re-align more honestly with a sense of shared worth and integrity or honesty from which to extend a different quality of communication and relationship (indeed an actual receptivity to the other) - rather than some form of one-up-man-ship seeking agreement, justification or validation.
The wish or attempt to better than or superior to is inextricably one with its other face - of being less than inferior and subject to. Readers here might say "yes - but you'll never get everyone (else) to change - and indeed as long as everyone is looking at what is lacking or wrong or unworthy and inadequate in others - this thinking is guaranteed to be a self-reinforcing truism.
The key is I am not trying to 'get anyone to change' and therefore can bring at least some receptive willingness to listen and therefore of relationship in which the action reaction of hate - for that is what is actually being traded in when we define, feel, think and act from a loveless sense of self, even if we believe our own mind-spin of being caring, kind, easy going and helpful. Our 'love' is extremely conditional - and turns to hate in a moment. This suggests that much that is called love is not love but a substitute by which to hide what is felt necessary to keep hidden. The substitution of a real relationship with a false narrative is the name or nature of the game that operates like a mind-trap. Self-specialness is very deeply imprinted or embedded and associated with survival and therefore calls on resources and abilities that 'work' - including very complex layers of deceit that operate as if out of sight and out of mind of other aspects of the same You.
So be alert to self-righteousness in our own thought and deed for if we give it our trigger finger it goes forth to multiply and reinforce hate. Identifying the underlying issues rather than focusing in the personal - because personae are masks of displacement - unless we recognize that we don't need or truly want to operate in that way - and allow our personality to be aligned with our true presence. Each and every one is a unique expression of individuality and when we are in a safety of genuine trust - this stands forth as a signature of Life (under any or no name).
Extending trust will not come from fear and blame believed - but it can come from a willingness to open negotiation in which steps can be found that open perspectives that are not available if no real negotiation is allowed because 'the enemy' is our first and last judgement on each other and our world (and of course firstly and secretly on our self).
I feel that being human is a curriculum or journey of uncovering - but that such curriculum is determined or set up by the nature and configuration of that which 'covers' over or usurps a true receptivity and expression of the Life that (regardless of appearances) we are. Or to put it the other way around the Life that is actually here right where we are asserting and operating a narrative spin that may or may not be aligned - but cannot actually substitute for the intimacy of being.
Though it may seem philosophical, the substitution of self concept or self image for a directly felt quality of wholeness - is the basis of the 'lording it' over ones experience syndrome. But having opened Pandora's box or fragmented Humpty Dumpty - All the kings resources are failing to put together again - indeed our seeming solutions spawn more complex problems. So why not abdicate a false sense of personal capacity and acknowledge that a balanced sense of what is - and where and how we fit and flow and find our way - is not control OVER life or others - but an uncovering of balance and control within the Living that is natural to being aligned with a true sense of worth.
Not a manufactured or asserted justification - but for example; doing something well because you enjoy it. Then there is no call to guilt or coerce yourself to do what you don't want - nor playing the game of setting conditions for joy that the world will never give you. The sacrifice of our joy is in the belief that the world has denied or rejected it - and so of course a sense of 'self' arises that seeks to 'get back' what it feels deprived or denied, and 'get even' with a world that gave it such pain - and needs to feel it too - so that the denied and rejected can be known in a true acceptance.
To feel known in an unconditional acceptance is release - both from a conflicted sense of self and for a sharing in life from a sense of wholeness. But I add this noticing... you all press my buttons. the world is a persistent trigger of conditioned reactions - and an opportunity and privilege in which to share Life - both. Self-responsibility cannot be thrust on another - but it can witness to and extend invitation.
Collectivism operates a false substitute for community and true individuality is a bringing of wholeness into one's relationship and not a power apart from and over relationships - as if to use and exploit them for some fantasy evaporation. No blame in recognizing a mistake and accepting a corrected alignment - though it seems humiliating at face value. But in truth a burden falls away. The world or the other may persist in blaming even if you withdraw your investment and allegiance - but you cannot make another's choices for them, though you can join in their power and capacity to choose. Here is the opportunity to uncover a shared willingness if indeed that is your willingness extended.
As long as we look to get one up, or play one down so as to ruse another to overextend and trip themselves - we are not in a willingness to embrace and share Life on Earth - and so there need be no surprise that a different purpose operates our world - through us while we hate everyone else or special others for failing our wishes, expectations or demands.