Thursday, May 30, 2013

Spirit vs. Flesh...no Religion Required

I recently read Joss Whedon's commencement speach at Wesleyan University this past May and was struck deeply by his words. Not only was it well crafted (I mean, come ON, it's Joss Whedon, one of the greatest dialog writers in the entertainment business!) but it was meaningful in a public sense for so many of our lost youth.

When I say "lost" I mean those hundreds of thousands of children (and some adults) who have no direction and no understanding of why they have no direction. He explained it all in this speach. I have other reasons these people are lost. Religious reasons that back up Joss's philosophy. But Joss framed it in terms sans religion so people could see the point without that politically charged lens.

Basically, we're all at war with our two selves, the spiritual/mental self and the physical self. When we can't reconcile these two selves, we lose direction and focus. We become focused on trying to please one or the other and never finding what pleases us because we can't please both at the same time.

To quote Joss, "You have, which is a rare thing, the ability and the responsibility to listen to the dissent in yourself. To at least give it the floor. Because it is the key, not only to consciousness, but to real growth."

Wow. What a revelation. For years gurus have told us we have to be at peace with ourselves when what we really need to do is to listen to the inner conflict so that we can grow as a person. No wonder our youth are having so many problems! Now how's THAT for a revision of the week?

If you're interested, here's a link to the whole transcript. Read it. It might bring you some insight. But not inner peace.

http://www.tor.com/blogs/2013/05/joss-whedon-commencement-speech-transcript-2013-wesleyan