Monday, September 05, 2005

Are you counting your blessings?

You know what I really hate? How it takes planes flying into buildings and an entire state to be submerged under water for Americans to remember that we are one big community, that we share so much human nature in common, that we should rise to our best selves and stand up and do the right thing and stop squandering our lives and live meaningfully with integrity and care and right action.

I interviewed a wonderful man, the founder of something called Green Sangha, a Buddhist-based environmental organization which believes in putting their spiritual practice behind a movement--in this case the environment--taking the approach of love rather than the standard dueling activist fighting with rage. Now, you might say, 'oh what chance do they have' or even think it's a little woo-woo, but its founder, Jonathan Gustin, says, "Solving the environmental crisis means solving the duality crisis, a crisis of misperception."

We talked a lot about that "duality crisis," and how we, at least Americans, but there are plenty of other cultures, believe ourselves to be separate from, other than the rest of the world, each other, ourselves even. Though I am not a practicing Buddhist I have always taken truths out of the tradition, and I couldn't help but feel that electric signal inside me of "pay attention to this" as we talked about this emphasis on separation.

We aren't separate from anything. But maybe the idea that you are not separate from the refugees in New Orleans is too esoteric a concept, how does that help anything? Or perhaps the idea that you are not so separate from George W. Bush is too unsavory of an idea, but on some level we are all made of the same stuff. Literally. We all came busting out of the Big Bang together and we all contribute to each other's lives/behavior/values/fuck-ups. You are a tiny bit responsible just by existing. I am simply going to spend some time attempting to not feel separate from everything that is. From that which I think I detest, and that which I love. From those who are suffering and those who have more than they need. I'm going to act out of love and I'm going to remember that even when there is no hurricane or terrorist attack, people are always suffering. In slums, and in mansions, in silence or not. Sooner or later, it will be someone you know. Maybe even you.



At 6:53 PM, Blogger katrina said...

Well said, Jordan. And wise.

At 8:08 AM, Blogger Katie said...

I love this post. Thanks for writing it.

At 4:55 PM, Blogger Jordan E. Rosenfeld said...

Thanks for saying something my friends :)


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