Saturday, February 21, 2009

Pursuit of Happiness; Pursuit of the Real

I am on my way to Philadelphia to assist at a book fair. Sr Kim and I will presenting Media Mindfulness workshops to the students. After I packed I turned on Bill Moyer's journal. He was interviewing Parker Palmer. I stayed to listen after I heard him talk about " the pursuit of happiness as the pursuit of the real" and how media many times doesn't present us with reality. As a nation, in fact, we have been living in this unreality. With the econonomic downturn what was denied can no longer be denied. We have to live in what Parker Palmer calls "the tragic gap" between the ideal and the real. Holding these in tension can set us on a true pursuit of happiness.

PARKER PALMER: Well, I think the pursuit of happiness is the pursuit of reality because illusion never leaves us ultimately happy. And I think the opportunity now is for us to get real. And I think that's going to make us, in the long run, more happy. The tragic gap, and I call it tragic not because it's sad. It is. But more fundamentally because it's an inevitable part of the human condition. Tragic in the sense that the Greeks talked about it. Tragic in the sense that Shakespeare talked about it. The tragic gap is the gap between what's really going on around us, the hard conditions in which our lives are currently immersed, and what we know to be possible from our own experience. We don't see it every day. We may not see it very often. But we know it's a possibility among real people and real space and time.

You can find the transcript for this interview at Bill Moyer's Journal, February 20, 2009. After Palmer came Inside the Meltdown on Frontline. You can watch this online.

Together let us "pray this news" and live in the reality of God's love.

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