The Other: How Seeing Ourselves As Separate From Our Problems Avoids The Efficient Resolution Of A Dispute
Seeing ourselves as separate and apart from our problems is the cause of most of our suffering. It is this separateness that fuels divorce litigation and causes such severe emotional and financial damage to members in our community.
There is an old adage in Buddhism that goes like this: If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him!
In Christianity it is said that “there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it”. 1 Corinthians 12:25-27
Science has taught us that there is no such thing as race. Our size, complexion, and hair color are simply a result of our heritage. All people are genetically identical.
But our brains give us an different experience. We see ourselves as separate and apart from our physical environment and the people who share it with us. We see our reality Me versus The Other. When we see ourselves as separate from our environment, we point to other causes for our suffering.
People going through divorce are encouraged by their lawyers to be fearful and fight The Other for their “rights”. These “rights” almost always involve a few extra dollars in the financial settlement or a few extra overnight visitations. After the divorce, most people feel that the cost of fighting for their “rights” was not worth the benefit achieved. Fighting The Other will only benefit the divorce lawyer, while often causing serious, debilitating trauma to the family.
Maturity means that we understand that we are responsible for everything we do and everything that happens to us. If we are truly living in the Buddha mind, we won’t see the Buddha on the road. If we do “see” the Buddha, we need to “kill” him; we kill the mind’s tendency to establish The Other and see things dualistically.
When we realize that the brains tendency to see thing dualistically is not reality, we become aware that “If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together”. Everything is interconnected. Everything affects everything else. Everything that is, is because other things are.
When a person going through divorce takes responsibility for their problem, they are free. They are not a victim, they are not left to the mercy of a greedy and unethical divorce lawyer; they are free to think clearly and calmly and make rational decisions based upon objective facts. Regardless of the existence of good or bad facts, a decision must be made. The ethical practice of family law recognizes this reality and the professionals involved strive to bring peace and wholeness into the room.