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Lions Roar : July 2009
SHAMBHALA SUN JULY 2009 70 this deluded sense of collective self, this “wego,” or group ego. It can be defined as one’s own race, class, gender, nation (the primary secular god of the modern world), religion, or some combination thereof. In each case, a collective identity is created by discriminating one’s own group from another. As in the personal ego, the “inside” is opposed to the other “outside,” and this makes conflict inevitable, not just because of competition with other groups, but because the socially constructed nature of group identity means that one’s own group can never feel secure enough. For example, our GNP is not big enough, our nation is not powerful (“secure”) enough, we are not technologically developed enough. And if these are instances of group-lack or group-dukkha, our GNP can never be big enough, our military can never be powerful enough, and we can never have enough technology. This means that trying to solve our economic, political, and ecological problems with more of thesame is adeluded response. — JANUAry, 2006 Is It Baseball Or Is It Zen? By ANdreW SCHellING Baseball—ceremonial and formal in its own way as a tea ceremony, yet year after year unpredictable. With baseball season heading into October as I write this, weighty questions begin to crop up. Is this the year for the Boston red Sox? Will the curse of the Bambino never end? Can Pete rose be given a reprieve and return to baseball? Might a Chicago Cubs player ever savor a World Series ring? Underneath lie more pressing questions. Can baseball rediscover its folkloric precepts and take the fork in its own road? Will it relocate its native simplicity and turn out sages again—living buddhas—the likes of Satchel Paige, Pee Wee reese, or Buck O’Neil? To the Buddhist I’d turn and inquire, is there any American piece of turf that shares a closer kinship with the meditation hall than the baseball park? Is there a mind in which the two diamonds—that of Buddhist enlightenment and that of the ballfield—are identical? One or two hundred years down the road shall we look for an answer? —JANUAry, 2004 ♦ INKdrAWINGByKeITHABBOTT