I have a very good friend who is as spiritually inclined as I am, but in many ways we are total opposites. I am quick to anger while she rarely gets angry. She tends to get sad, while I almost never do. Even the way we look is kind of opposite. She has glowing silver hair (when she's not shaving it off or dying it pink) and I have jet black hair (OK, I used to have jet black hair. I now color it.) And yet we can totally disagree on many topics and have fun doing it, without the disagreement affecting our relationship. I'd like to say that this is because I'm so evolved, but the truth is that she has the capacity to stay loving no matter what.
Yesterday was a case in point. We met for lunch and she showed me her notes for a workshop she was giving. I agreed with her views up until the point where she said that her thoughts and feelings made up her authentic self. Well, I totally disagreed with that! My thoughts and feelings are not who I am. Neither is my body. My friend values her body as equal to her spirit. I do not. After all, my body will be gone in 60 years tops. Who I am is eternal.
We also disagree on what spirituality is. For me, the goal of spirituality is enlightenment, waking up from the dream that this world is. For her it is being loving and improving life on Earth. She takes issue with the fact that I consider this world to be a dream. I take issue with the fact that she doesn't think there is anything beyond this world.
Of course we do manage to keep an open mind and hear what the other person is trying to say. I understand that her point is to not minimize the body and make it wrong. I don't do that. I like to take care of my body, and God knows I like to have nice things. Hell, while I'm still in the dream I want it to be a good dream, not a nightmare. I think she understands what I'm saying, though we will never convince each other to shift perspectives. But what I like about our discussions is that she gets excited about the differences in our view of the world and God, and wants to tape them. Rather than need to be right, she has a curiosity for my views. This makes for an alive conversation.
Later last night she held a small workshop in my living room. Since this was her workshop, I made a concerted effort to not intrude. But when she told one of the attendees to do a positive affirmation around a feeling she had of incompetence, I had to chime in. My advice was not to do a positive affirmation. It was to dive in and feel the pain of this belief that she is carrying, so that she could heal it. A disagreement followed which to my surprise the attendees of the workshop enjoyed. They felt that we were both making good points and they found the different opinions energizing and providing more food for thought.
Rather than being angry, my friend was glad that I chimed in with my different opinion.
We are now thinking that we could create a good radio talk show, offering our divergent opinions and advice. Who knows? Regardless, agreeing to disagree is making life much more interesting.