Friday, February 19, 2016

Skiing with my Russian Beauty: A Portrait of the American Mind

We are what we think about. We are what we talk about. And an epidemic of SPAM e-mails on my school’s system reveals a rather depressing portrait. (Not to mention the Republican debates.)

The Hindu chakra system has always been a useful guide as to what makes us tick. On the lower end of the spine (and in the brain stem) is our animal instinct and lust for food, sex and power. It’s at the 4th level, the heart chakra, that human evolution begins and we move from reptilean survival and coldness to mammalian warmth and nurturing. Up it continues to articulate speech and thought, on to spiritual insight and finally, some apex of identification with the whole mystery and miracle of creation. It’s no secret that food, sex and power (which includes money) is at the heart of the magazines we mostly read, the TV shows and movies we watch, the advertisements that constantly assault us to look better, score more, earn more. But the job of good child-raising, good citizenship, good culture is to encourage us to ascend the ladder, to open the loving heart, cultivate the thinking brain, nourish the compassionate spirit and feel ourselves intimately tied to all of creation. All of this works against gravity and requires effort and encouragement. That’s the job of leaders in all fields—teachers, authors, filmmakers, politicians, spiritual leaders and more.

It is discouraging beyond words to see the likes of Trump, Cruz and Mario play to our lowest impulses, sow fear and promise military power and divisive hate and to keep attracting crowds with the TV cameras on full blast. I can’t remember a time when the national discourse has stooped so low.

But it’s no wonder when I see 45 SPAM e-mails invade the sacred discussion ground of a school seeking to nurture children’s highest promise. The titles are not:

• Increase Your Compassion!
• Learning to Love the Way You’re Put Together!
• Nurture the Fragile Butterfly Spirit in Your Students!

Instead, here’s today’s list.

·      Car Accident Attorneys
·      Burial and Cremation
·      Arthritis Relief
·      Get a Doctoral Degree Online
·      Lung Cancer prevention
·      Neuropathy Support Formula
·      Age Reversal Doctor
·      Slim Stomach Tip
·      23 Second Abs
·      Russian Beauty
·      Affordable Bathroom Remodels
·      Touchfire: iPad Keyboard
·      Roth IRA
·      Ski Vacation packages
·      Dr. Wonder
·      Annuity
·      Fix Your Blood sugar
·      Inpatient Drug Rehab
·      How to Lift Saggy Skin

Well, maybe if I found a Russian beauty on my touchfire iPad keyboard and we went skiing while my bathroom was being remodeled, my abs might improve and I’d feel young enough to cancel my burial and cremation appointment and be inspired to finally get my doctorate online. I thought all this would make me happy, but I skidded off the road when my Russian beauty told me my skin was too saggy and my stomach not slim enough and confessed she had escaped from a drug rehab program and then, I had to contact my car accident attorney and pay big money from my Roth IRA. So my SPAM e-mails seemed promising, but in the end, I’m still the same unhappy creature I was when I first opened them. But now I got blood sugar problems and arthritis. Time for Dr. Wonder.

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