Here is a scholarly reference to watch as a compliment to the article:
Last night I got a piece of pizza in South East Portland and, in the midst of conversation, I lightheartedly said to the worker, “It seems like no one in Portland is from Portland…” It turns out he was from Portland and told me bluntly that he resented when people from other states say this. After around twenty seconds he was still frowning and I realized he was serious. Talk about awkward!
As I was eating my delicious piece of pizza on the restaurant porch, observing the mysterious flow of the evening, listening to lonely drone of passing cars, and watching the first few stars twinkle their faint intimations of other worlds, I thought about what he said. The conversation made me reflect on the illusion of inordinate pride derived from being born in a particular place or of belonging to any particular group of people as opposed to another. So many people derive a sense of identity from being American, for instance, forgetting that “America” is simply a social construction created by people who forcibly colonized a piece of land that already belonged to others. I am happy to be in America, yet it always seems silly to me when people take pride in the fact that they were randomly born on a plot of land and forget that all these names and places have been simply made up by people in the past.
If you look at the Earth from space you can’t see America, or Oregon, or Portland, or any nation, state, or city at all. All you see is a single planet that belongs to the Divine. And from a human perspective, all you see is a single species irrationally dividing into competing teams when, in reality, we are all on the same team. Team human. Team One Reality. Team Buddha Mind in many forms. Team Krishna manifesting as many beautiful ethnicities and races. Team One Love revealed in many faces. Team Christ in all and all in Christ. Team This with no that and One with no two.
Its funny how in the modern age cosmic musings often get mingled with shallow pop culture references that emerge from the subconscious like disturbingly old fast food french fries you find when cleaning out your car for the first time in a year. So, I thought, all the races and nations should become like the Power Rangers, combining their unique swag into a single swag machine that is a greater than the sum of its parts. The Power Rangers was a show from the 1990s (which, according to the consensus of historians, was perhaps the pinnacle of human cultural development [see Boy Meets World, Sugar Ray, and Micheal Jordan]) in which all the rangers each wore bright spandex of a different color and each had unique talents. But when they faced a big enemy they united their individual animal vehicles into a single vehicle that was immensely powerful (see above video at 0:51). Could all our diverse nations and ethnicities, with all their unique talents and nuanced perspectives, similarly unite into a single unstoppable humanity to fight our common enemies of poverty, ignorance, bigotry, and hate? Could this indeed be the answer? Was Power Rangers actually philosophically profound, or is my unhealthy nostalgia for the 1990s once again clouding my rational judgement?
When will we renounce our made up factions and become like the Power Rangers, merging into a single bad ass multicolored peace mongering unity machine? When will we wake up from the childish illusion that we are all competing with each other? When will we realize that the Divine is pretending to be everyone and loves everyone equally? When will the politicians change their mantra from God Bless America to God Bless the galaxy? When will we realize that the good of the one is found in the good of the all? And when will I simply enjoy my pizza without trying to save the world? Oy vey….
Thanks for reading,
- Mechizzawhaaaaaa? Melchizedek and the Source of Spiritual Authority
- Hello Again!
- Becoming a Master of Technology: Developing a Skillful Relationship with Technology from the Perspective of Spiritual Practice
- Many Paths, One Goal
- Jungian Christianity – Thoughts on how Jungian psycology influenced my views on religion.
- Working from the State of Rest
- Life at a Zen Monastery