Agreed again! I am a big fan of both forgiveness and loving-kindness practices. And of course, our loving-kindness needs to be delivered with discernment and skillful means, which is where the intellect comes in. But putting an awakened heart and an illuminated mind together? That’s the secret sauce right there.
And clearly there is a demand building in our culture for more wholesome engagement, as evidenced by the popularity of programs like Ted Lasso. I see this as a very natural counter-response to the deep cynicism we’ve been immersed in for so long.
We at Integral Life even created a platform for our members to practice this loving-kindness in an ongoing way, called Mirror. You can check it out here:
All that said, one important component of “integral loving-kindness” is the capacity to extend our most authentic heart to each other, and within that space, having the discernment to let each other know how we are being partial in our views, actions, beliefs, etc. And to recognize that, even within a space of unconditional love, we can still address our conditional concerns. We can love and fight at the same time. Anyone in a long-term committed relationship knows that already
And again, all of this is sage advice when it comes to our personal interactions with each other, and managing our own sphere of relationships. But if you are walking down the street and see someone kicking puppies, the appropriate response in that moment is not to say “I love you”, but to immediately stop that person from kicking any more puppies.
It reminds me of this passage from Ken Wilber:
“The one thing that worries me is that when green slips into its more, shall we say, platitudinous side, the hyper-sensitive, over-the-top caring side, a response that is already circulating Martin Luther King’s statement: ‘The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. In fact, violence merely increases hate. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.’
But, you see, that statement is wrong on almost every count… in this case, I believe his heart was clouding his head. Real violence is almost always ended by stronger violence in saner hands. When you meet a Hitler in this world, the correct, noble, ethical, spiritual response is: get a gun and blow his brains out. We ended Auschwitz, not with love, caring dialogue, sensitivity training, and sweet thoughts, but with superior fire power, period. So it is with real violence in the real world—much of it stems from red, and red can only be forcefully contained until it develops its own internal amber constraints. Civilization, for the most part, does not produce barbarism, but curbs it.*
*Green’s basic problem is that the injunction to not have violence in your heart is confused with not using violence in the real world—at which point green begins to contribute to the problem, not the solution. This is yet another variation on the sad fact that green— and without doubt the MGM and boomeritis—have been complicit in the rise of insurrectionist violence around the world. Of course we should not harbor hate in our hearts; and of course, when you meet Nazis—you should kill them real hard.”