Deepak Chopra and Intent

Deepak Chopra and Intent


The State of the Union as Rorschach Test

posted by Admin

It was surprising how President Obama’s State of the Union speech went down. Immediately afterwards, television pundits offered clashing descriptions: prosaic, bread and butter, Clinton-like, an extension of the liberal agenda outlined in the Inaugural Address, uplifting, aggressive, and so on.  More than many Presidents, Obama has become a lighthouse and a lightning rod at the same time. He is the object of projection from all sides.

 

What I heard was something really unusual: inspiring sobriety.  The speech laid out an agenda that was far from leftist.  It was a considered assessment of social needs, postponed priorities, and a difficult future.  In this regard Obama departed from FDR, who was struggling to restructure a collapsed landscape, from JFK, who was launching a new era of power, and from Bill Clinton, whose laundry lists of programs came at a time of rising prosperity.

 

Obama spoke to an anxious nation by sounding upbeat and optimistic. He has little chance of getting much legislation passed.  In the face of bitter partisanship even over pro forma matters like getting his cabinet appointed, he decided not to cloak himself as the happy warrior.  He was more like the ideal citizen, a responsible patriot who wants the best for everyone.

 

It’s amazing that the speech didn’t exude discouragement.  In a different vein, it could have come from Cassandra, the princess of Troy who was doomed to know the future but never to be believed.  Every point that the President made, if enacted, would benefit all of us. He is intelligent, adult, informed, far-seeing, and willing to embrace both sides of the aisle.  He knows better than anyone else how irrational, ill-tempered, and reactionary the opposition is. But he chose his tone of inspiring sobriety for a good reason. America won’t move forward until everyone comes to their senses.

 

The Republican response, delivered by Sen. Marco Rubio, was a classic case of burying your head in the sand. With widespread disgust at Congress, a new generation of voters that wants government to make a difference, a resounding defeat last November, and talk of Republicans rethinking their message– none of that mattered. Rubio smoothly delivered the same message that came from the Republicans a month into Obama’s first administration: We are the party of no.

 

Obama will no doubt surprise us by how much he achieves against this background of opposition, division, and angst. There is talk that the Senate is quietly working out deals on the toughest problems that face us. But the real issue comes down to that now familiar phrase, the tipping point.  The country has probably reached one. The reactionary right is on its way out. But they hold enough power and have indoctrinated enough people that getting off in a new direction will be painfully slow. Obama will have to use all his gifts to push the pedal and convince Americans that there is dawn rising over the next hill.

 

www.deepakchopra.com

Follow Deepak on Twitter



Advertisement
Comments Post the First Comment »
post a comment

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

How Richard Dawkins Lost His Battle with God
When he wrote his 2006 best-seller, The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins expected to accomplish two aims that have proved to be remarkable failures. The first aim was social. He wanted to attract a horde of doubters, fence-sitters, and agnostics to gather their courage and join the atheist ranks. This

posted 11:50:49am Nov. 17, 2014 | read full post »

How to Make God Love You
Although the modern controversy over God centers on the famous headline from Time magazine, "Is God Dead?" this isn’t really the key question. By definition, God can't be dead, because "dead" implies that God was alive, and once alive, an immortal being can't die. Yet defining God as immortal or l

posted 11:05:23am Nov. 10, 2014 | read full post »

Why God Doesn't Care What You Do
In every religion that believes in a personal God, there's a connection between the divine and the human. A personal God created life, and he (or she) cherishes his creation. No love is more intense than divine love. No anger is more intense than divine wrath. As relationships go, the one with God p

posted 11:15:46am Nov. 03, 2014 | read full post »

"I am the master of my fate": A New Take on Free Will
Back when schoolchildren regularly read uplifting poetry, there was a famous Victorian poem that affirmed the human birthright of free will. It was "Invictus," by W. E. Henley and began: Out of the night that covers me, Black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be For

posted 11:27:37am Oct. 27, 2014 | read full post »

Memo to Neuroscience: “We Are Not Brain Puppets”
The notion that human beings walk, talk, think, and do things because our brains control us is a fringe idea, easily refuted with a few moment’s thought and rarely taken seriously. But it got a boost from an Op-ed piece in the New York Times last week under the title, “Are We Really Conscious?

posted 2:29:43pm Oct. 20, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.