Thursday, May 14, 2015

Don't Be Tolerant

For the most part, you should avoid people who consider themselves to be "tolerant," and whatever you do, please don't be "tolerant" yourself.

There's something I find insidious and suspicious about the whole concept of tolerance.  For tolerance to exist, you first have to view others as separate from yourself (the original sin), and then you have to find something lacking in that other that requires tolerance.

But not to worry - the tolerant believe that within themselves is some special gift of virtue, or compassion, or equanimity, or patience, or whatever, that allows them to "overlook" the shortcoming of the other and be "tolerant" of that shortcoming and of that person.

So the tolerant are not only judging others and finding faults, but they are also  placing themselves on a pedestal of higher virtue.  "You're shit," they've determined, "But that's okay because I'm so highly civilized that I don't mind."  They take it for granted that you're very lucky that they're so perfect.

So if anyone says they're tolerant, they're really not - they've already separated themselves from others, found themselves better than the others, and want you to acknowledge their superiority. Avoid that kind of person at all costs.

But when I say "don't be tolerant," I'm not encouraging you to be intolerant - that's even worse.  Be intimate.  Don't consider yourself separate from others (or separate from anything else in the universe, for that matter).  Don't judge ("lest ye be judged"). Don't try to cultivate some internal attribute to accept that which you find difficult to accept.

The universe is a big, big place, but we're all, every last one of us, an integral part of that universal whole.  Embrace the totality of existence, and stop distinguishing between self and other.  

Don't be tolerant, be intimate.

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