Glen Beck and Neurophysiology

Glenn Beck is one of the arch villains for we American liberals, a daily font of conservative blather of the darkest vein. But two days ago on his tv show he tearfully acknowledged that he has been battling for years a serious neurological illness that will shut him down in only a few years.

I guess in the deepest recesses of the fatally ill “literallew” there was a want to go “tee-hee” and I fear there will be a lot of that brutal, heartless immaturity from other of my liberal brothers and cisterns….I mean sisters. But I’m deeply sorry for this brother of ours….for we are all brothers and sisters regardless of our different perspectives on life—we are all made from the same “stuff,” we are all the “quintessence of dust” as Shakespeare understood so well.

However, I do think that the vitriolic blather of Glen Beck and others does have a neurological sub-strata. But, alas and alack, I also feel strongly that this “enlightened” perspective you are now reading has a “neurological sub-strata” and coming to understand this years ago has helped me to take myself less seriously than I have done for most of my life. Modern neurological science has taught us so much about ourselves that if we would humble ourselves and pay attention we eventually find ourselves overwhelmed with the simple but profound mystery of life, including the mystery of our very being.

In the past three years plus some of your have witnessed my “tippy-toeing” into this mystery as my awareness of it began to blossom. Awareness of this mystery…cognitively and emotionally…always evokes a feeling of finitude and frailty and at times is overwhelming. It is an humbling experience. It always brings to my mind the image that Shakespeare offered with King Lear, out on the heath of the kingdom he had forfeited, “pelted by a pitiless storm,” bereft of all the accouterments of his power, “naked as a jay-bird”, noting of an animal nearby, “we are all but poor, bare forked creatures as thou art.”

This “nakedness” that Shakespeare so eloquently grasped in his plays is what Glenn Beck is now feeling. It is what I am now feeling. And according to the teachings of Jesus…and countless other spiritual teachers over the eons…this nakedness is something we can experience any time in our life and can therein find redemption. This nakedness is “death” and out of it can come “life.” This nakedness is death of the ego, a relaxing of its tenacious grip on our consciousness allowing us to see that our life and the whole of life is much more than we can comprehend, an incomprehensible mystery before which we can only “glory, bow, and tremble.” (Poet, Edgar Simmons)

 

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