Thursday, August 28, 2008

Supporting Clinton, Obama and McCain

In watching the Democratic National Convention, all the news channels are in their 24 hour coverage mode so they're doing all they can to spice it up a bit. You've seen those pieces, I'm sure. When they don't have anything new, they talk to anyone they can get to appear before the cameras, whether they are part of the story or not. It used to be a way to take the temperature of the man or woman on the street. Now, there's a producer yelling into an assistants earpiece saying that they need something new so they can feed the voracious news cycle.

I won't name the network I was watching, but they made sure to talk to Hillary Clinton supporters who were saying that if Hillary isn't the democratic nominee, then they don't know who they're going to vote for because they weren't sure they could support Barack Obama, even though they're democrats and he's the democratic nominee. The belief from some of those voters was that the only reason Hillary isn't the nominee is that she's a woman.

Think about that statement. Hillary did something no other woman has done in a presidential primary, gone the farthest that any woman has ever gone seeking a major party presidential nomination, but that's all ignored because she didn't win. As she says, there are 18 million cracks in the glass ceiling because of her. Shouldn't that be celebrated? Hasn't Mrs. Clinton paved the way for the next female candidate, particularly if it's her. She should be commended for what she's accomplished. However, in the egoic and competitive society in which we live, Hillary won the silver medal, not the gold. For some, that's not good enough.

It makes one wonder what those same supporters have against Barack Obama. Mrs. Clinton has thrown her support behind Mr. Obama and, if they think so highly of her, shouldn't they do the same? If they support her policies, and supporting the democratic nominee is her current policy, why wouldn't they support the nominee as well? Is the egoic hold of those voters so strong that they can't let go? If they were in the present moment, free of the ego's rhetoric, would they still vote the same way.

Don't misread this. If a voter thinks John McCain or any other third party nominee is the better candidate, vote that way. But vote on strengths and values, not because you didn't get your way. That's not the way to create our New Earth.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Coolest of the Cool

In last month's Ebony magazine, the cover story was about the "25 Coolest Brothers of All Time." I read over the profiles and found myself agreeing with a few of their 25. At the top of the list was Barack Obama, the current democratic nominee for President of the United States. The quote was "exhibits calm under duress and control under simmering fire." Sounds like the inner peace that spiritual searchers are looking for.

They also mention Jimi Hendrix whose music is the soundtrack for the "Flower Power Anti-Vietnam War Generation." That generation extolled peace and love, which is largely forgotten by those who would rather paint those participants as drug addicted, promiscuous hippies with no direction. By saying one without the other largely misses the point, as those who are stuck in the egoic often do.

The blurb for Sammy Davis, Jr. says "from singing to dancing to acting to drinking to laughing to just being Sammy, Samuel George Davis, Jr. went all out and did it his way." If we are true to ourselves, shouldn't that be the ideal we seek. If we go beyond the egoic identification and get to our deeper selves, we should all be this way.

If you read the rest of the profiles, you see that they don't go into much depth to explain cool for the other gentlemen on the list. They say some are cool because they produce music people like, or they make movies people like. Reading that makes you wish that they had explored the depths of their character. I'm sure there's more under the surface of Prince, Marvin Gaye, Gordon Parks, Adam Clayton Powell and all the others on the list and I'm sure we could have learned more, but we'll have to do our own research.

But that's okay, isn't it? After all, we're still seekers, aren't we?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Name Calling

My daughter and I spent some time at lunch the other day going over her upcoming school schedule, catching her up on the situation with the mother-in-law and discussing religion and spirituality.

She asked me what religion I am and I told her that, even though I grew up Roman Catholic, I consider myself more spiritual and also reaching out and learning more about the life I can lead on a spiritual level. She told me that I earned her respect with that because if I said I was Christian, she would hold it against me. I thought that was an odd thing to say, but further explained that my understanding of the Universe is that there is one God, Great Spirit, Universe and that there have been great teachers that have had insight with which they shared with the world. I follow the teachings of Christ which, by definition, makes me Christian, but does not limit me there.

Her point was that I should consider myself a Deist, a person that believes in a supreme power, but does not intervene in it's normal function. And that's where we both agree and differ. I do believe God can intervene because God is also the Universe and the Universe is God. By utilizing the Law of Attraction, for example, we are calling upon the Universe to intervene on our behalf in big and small ways. But she is also right in that I believe that most holy books are written by people and contain man's flawed view and are not the works of God whispering the text into a writer's ear.

We talked about the Bible and how it is a book of stories to teach us how to behave, not literal interpretations of events. For example, Genesis says the world was created in 6 days. But in the relative time of God, what does that mean? How long is a day to God? Is a day enough time to evolve life on the planet to where it is now? Just because our perception is billions of years, what does that mean to the Supreme Being? And what is time, but a human construct anyway. Evolution and intelligent design can co-exist if you don't look at things so literally.

We've tabled our discussion the subject for now, but earning my daughter's respect on this subject gives me something to increase my feelings of gratitude. And that's a good thing.