I think for me, as I’ve aged, nuance gets easier to understand. The brain likes simple shapes: compassion/not-compassion, Fair/unfair etc. But the brain isn’t the master here. It’s an excellent tool, but it is only a tool.
The heart is the master. The heart understands nuance more deeply than the brain. The brain cuts complex, evolving things into simple shapes, which it can fit together as though these ideas were nouns, or fixed, or unchanging. It cuts the nuances off the corners and rounds out all the jagged, confusing edges because it likes the safe feeling of knowing what’s what. The heart doesn’t do this. It’s not a tool – the heart is the centre of ones being, the seat of the soul.
The heart isn’t afraid of having too many feelings all at once, it just sits with what is.
The brain tries to rationalise the complexities away, conform things to the realms of the known; tidy up. This is extremely useful and completely essential for life at this time, but let’s not mistake it for the most important aspect of all creation.
Paradoxically, the heart in all its complexity has one simple shape; to be loving. Whatever form that takes, that’s the heart doing its thing. Problem is, when the brain narrows the field to “be loving to people only if they conform to certain expectations” – and then that’s not allowing the heart to do all of its job, and can also lead to dehumanisation and societally this then turns into scapegoating and totalitarianism.
The way to allow the heart to do its loving thing without our unconscious prejudices/victimhood mentalities messing it all up… is 1) to put a question mark over every single belief we hold dear, and 2) to give everyone… and I mean EVERYONE(!) the benefit of the doubt.
If I’d been brought up as Trump, or Boris Johnson, for example, I’d probably think exactly what they think and do exactly as they have done. I assume that in their world, they are doing the best they can with the choices they have. I assume nobody is actively trying to be evil – though perhaps this is a prime example of my own brain trying to cut chunks of nuance off reality again, who knows!
But wouldn’t you rather live in a world where everyone is trying their best to be loving (within their own parameters, priorities and expectations) than where people can clearly see how objectively awful and inexcusable they have become, and choose to be yet more awful? I know which reality/world I prefer. Maybe it is a mental construct I’ve made for myself to try to process such vast swathes of unprocessable nuance, conflict, and data, but if we CAN choose our realities (and my experience to date has shown me that this is entirely possible, to a certain extent at least) then I choose the reality with the maximum amount of respect, love and gratitude for being alive and sharing this planet with such amazing, caring, nuanced complexity.
I can put up with the blurry edges, because that’s where the magic is.