Reading excerpts from President Obama’s musings are tedious at best so I am ever grateful when an editorial can do the dirty work for me. Thank you Talking Points Memo for highlighting Mr. Obama’s conversation with Rolling Stone and his thoughts regarding Ayn Rand and her misguided adolescent readers.
Not only does President Obama succeed in insulting those who believe in individual achievement over the collective, he manages to slight young people saying they are just not that grown up or mature enough to handle adult issues like altruism and selflessness. How dare young people focus on themselves.
You can view the link provided here. http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/obama-ayn-rand-is-for-misunderstood-teenagers
To sum up, Mr. Obama sees individualism and self-development as narrow minded, childish and apparently – characteristics of the Republican Party. Sorry Libertarians, you get no credit. And, self-sacrifice is presumably for the adults in the room.
I find it disconcerting that a President of the United States believes in insulting a part of the population that believes man creates society and is responsible for his own consciousness while offending a population of society who is just beginning to invent themselves as exceptionally distinctive individuals seperate from the opinions and dictates of others.
How else does a young person find out what they believe in if they first do not find out what is within them? Would it be fair then to assume our President believes in the opposite and has more of a Marxist outlook and that man should be in the service of society and therefore his consciousness is not his own but the responsibility of government planners?
Futher, that if one removes their attention away from society to concentrate on finding individual happiness, they are considered selfish and should be looked upon as juvenile and self-centered?
My immature philosophy that has yet to come of age encompasses the belief that we as individuals can only relate to others how we feel about ourselves. If we are kind and forgiving on a personal level, would we not be kind and forgiving on a social level?
Is not a man’s character the summation of his thoughts and therefore what he gives attention to is what he reveals to the world – and ultimately what the world is? Makes sense to me. But, if logic eludes you, then maybe a more natural example would be preferable.
Toss a pebble into a body of water and watch what happens. Ripples formed on impact by the stone moves incrementally away from the center. In a spiritual sense, from the center of the Individual outward to Society.
One of my favorite quotes, which I repeat as often as I can, is by Krishnamurti who said,
“What you are the world is and without your transformation there is no transformation of the world.”
You as a self-empowered individual can transform this world by how you relate to yourself on a spriritual level. You change the world by your uniqueness, and nonconformity – the world benefits from YOU, not the other way around. You Are The World. You can make the world a better place simply by bringing your attention back to yourself and in realizing just how important your wellness both physically and mentally is to Society at Large. If your mind, body, spirit is in harmony – so will your environment.
How would this sound?
“What the world is you are and without the world’s transformation there can be no transformation of yourself.”
Rather silly and ridiculous. So is self-sacrifice without self-comprehension.
Let us look at the simple act of breathing. You cannot get more individual than your breath. No one can do it for you. There is no such thing as a Collective Lung. When we are stressed or feeling anxious, we either stop breathing or breathe erratically. This can cause all sorts of problems both mentally and physically. Panic attack comes to mind.
But, when we return our attention to our breath (manna) we are able to once again focus with calmness and repose. Try it for one minute.
Let me guide you.
I will warn you. This type of breathing means taking your attention away from society and your fellow human beings for a short period of time and redirecting it toward yourself. Selfish and Randian, I know.
First, sit up straight, chest open, shoulders back. This unlocks the diaphragm. Take a slow breath in through your nose (if possible) filling your abdomen first then your lower diaphragm for a mental count of 4 seconds.
Hold the breath for 7 seconds.
Release your breath out through your mouth for a count of 8 seconds drawing your navel in toward your spine as the breath is slowly released from the abdomen moving upward.
Pay attention to your breath as it moves in through your nose and out through your mouth. Focus on the flow. The In breath count should be less than the Out breath count at least by half. Repeat 3 times. In 4. Hold 7. Out 8.
Do you feel better and more relaxed? Now give yourself a little love. Then ask yourself how the hell the world does NOT benefit from a more relaxed and loving you?
It is believed by some that the ultimate goal of men and woman, their natural state of being, is to be happy, to experience bliss and to pursue that ultimate connection with the greatest parts of themselves. How is this to be achieved if not through understanding self? The most important thing an individual can do for society is improve themselves which can only be achieved through awareness – personal attention.
I feel President Obama is wrong in talking down to Americans who believe differently and possibly more rightly and organically. Does society benefit more from someone who lacks complete self-comprehension than someone who is empowered by a complete comprehension of themselves?
Should a President be a leader for all and not just a percentage that believes like he does? We must be careful these days. If you do not believe like the President you may be followed by a drone, targeted by the IRS or simply called racist and bullied into believing that Social Determinism is a good thing.
How do we earn the respect and love of others if we do not first respect and love ourselves? We must first be useful and productive in our own lives in order to be useful and productive to others.
Just as man’s breathe is not collective, neither is his brain. I feel men and women in America will soon become more enlightened to the knowledge that authentic power comes from the individual’s own cognizance of power.
Thought is the foundation of one’s character and what destiny is built upon – ‘as a man thinks, so he is.’ What man stood erect and strong with constant thoughts of anger, poverty, disharmony and resentment? What woman could be broken with continuous thoughts of courage, harmony, faith and love?
Self-improvement takes work, attention, great will and determination to fight what has been learned and fixed habits of the mind. If reading Ayn Rand is childish then let me frolick in self-indulgence. And, if believing in the individual’s ability to advance society through self-improvement and attention is considered selfish, immature, and uncaring then I suppose Buddha was the greatest asshole that ever walked the Earth.
From Atlas Shrugged Ayn Rand would like to conclude,
“You have been hated called selfish for the courage of acting on our own judgment and bearing sole responsibility for your own life. You have been called arrogant for your independent mind.”
Now, you have been called a ‘Misunderstood Teenager’ by President Obama for your selfish desire to fully comprehend yourself. But, do not let that discourage you. Seek out the best part of You FIRST. Let nothing stand in your way on your path to personal enlightenment. When you are ready, share your experience and boon with the world. This is your time to come of age, to begin your personal journey toward self-actualization.
If you are successfully happy, I guarntee you, the world will not suffer. This is the only way we improve society. Do not wait for society to improve you or you will be waiting in vain for your collective breath.