Deepak Chopra made a name for himself in the ’80’s as a sort of wise man Buddhist who opened Americans to the deep importance of the mind-body connection. He became an alternative, new-age priest of mysticism, penning forty books on the topic in the last two decades ( a number which would make even Steven King jealous). His works appealed to me very briefly when I was a freshmen in college having just read Siddhartha, but was just as quickly dropped as many of Buddhism’s ideas are eventual side-barred by most young Americans exposed to them.
Buddhism, after all, is deeply antithetical to the American psyche; a psyche which at it roots is puritanical, (a word which since the 60’s we’ve been trained to abhor). That is, if a country can have a psyche at all, which makes me uncomfortable even suggesting we have one, at our core is a can-do, individualistic belief system which insists on confronting evil, not co-existing with it. Thus, I guess, it makes sense that almost every point Deepak makes in his article on Sarah Palin I completely disagree with and find profoundly unwise. Actually, I find his whole take smug and condescending, which from one who is suppose to be One, is a bit odd
Palin’s pluck has been admired, and her forthrightness, but her real appeal goes deeper.
She is the reverse of Barack Obama, in essence his shadow, deriding his idealism and exhorting people to obey their worst impulses.:
Oh really Deepak, please enlighten me more oh enlightened One
In psychological terms the shadow is that part of the psyche that hides out of sight, countering our aspirations, virtue, and vision with qualities we are ashamed to face: anger, fear, revenge, violence, selfishness, and suspicion of “the other.”
Wow dude…deep. So its kind of like how we enjoy watching Darth Vader garrote his hapless toadies.
For millions of Americans, Obama triggers those feelings, but they don’t want to express them. He is calling for us to reach for our higher selves, and frankly, that stirs up hidden reactions of an unsavory kind.
Obi-One, I fear you are right. I can not resist the Dark-Side. Strong, Palinmania is.
In her acceptance speech Gov. Palin sent a rousing call to those who want to celebrate their resistance to change and a higher vision.
Look at what she stands for:
–Small town values — a denial of America’s global role, a return to petty, small-minded parochialism. [Ha. OMG, this so ridiculous]
–Ignorance of world affairs — a repudiation of the need to repair America’s image abroad.
–Family values — a code for walling out anybody who makes a claim for social justice. Such strangers, being outside the family, don’t need to be heeded. [LOL. This is such a cartoonish view of what conservative values are. Its just hilarious]
–Rigid stands on guns and abortion — a scornful repudiation that these issues can be negotiated with those who disagree. [Well, how does one negotiate over the life of fetus oh deep-one?]
–Patriotism — the usual fallback in a failed war. [Except, in fact, even the NY Times has asserted we have won]
–“Reform” — an italicized term, since in addition to cleaning out corruption and excessive spending, one also throws out anyone who doesn’t fit your ideology.
Master, I am lost. I am patriotic American who believes in small-town, family values,…. I hate to reveal this Master, yes I too have rigid stands on guns and abortion. Oh dread. The Dark Lord has me Master. Lost, I am.
Obama’s call for higher ideals in politics can’t be seen in a vacuum. The shadow is real; it was bound to respond. Not just conservatives possess a shadow — we all do. So what comes next is a contest between the two forces of progress and inertia. Will the shadow win again, or has its furtive appeal become exhausted? No one can predict.
Master, I feel there is some smidgeon of goodness still in me. Oh One, I will find the Force again. Study Jimmy Carter’s speeches and books, I will. The Michael Moore video collection, watch will I. The Deepak Chopra library, digest I shall. Thank you Master for showing me the light.