Friday, March 31, 2006

Can You Bend Spoons? Do You Care?

Apparently, spoon-bending is becoming all the rage again. Impressive, if there's indeed no doctoring going on. But the procedure for "finding a bendable spoon" is a little too John Edwards-ish for my taste.

What's the point of all this? Apparently, it's about unlocking our innate human potential.
Slender and soft-spoken, Houck believes that once a person learns how to use mind over matter to bend spoons, then achieving other goals and doing important things in life become much easier.

"It's not about me being high-powered," he explains. "It's about me teaching people how to do this. The more exciting we make this event, the better it works. When I ask you to shout and jump up and down and scream, I mean it."

Spoon bending as personal improvement? This kind of thing seems to feed into Western egotism, which is the last thing humanity needs.

Why do you need theatrics to show how powerful the mind is? As Ven. Lama Pema Wangdak noted in a recent talk, Westerners have nearly perfected the science of caring for the body - but if someone says the wrong thing to us, it can ruin our day or our week. Some of us still obsess over the way people mistreated us (or even supposedly mistreated us) 10, 20, or 30 years ago. We let our happiness and clarity be torn asunder by the ebb and flow of our minds every waking minute of every day; the haunting even extends into our dreams. We continually fall under the delusion that there is a single, unified thing called the "self", and that the world of conceptualization is the world as it truly exists.

Isn't it more important for people to understand this power of the mind than to waste their time attempting to twist metal?

Maybe spoon bending speaks to peoples need/want to find something magical in the world? Maybe the fascination stems from a deep age old longing for something more than the mundane lack of control of our so-called physical world?
And I disagree. Western science has most certainly NOT "perfected the science of caring for the body..."
Spoon bending is Magic. And if through this magic, people can rediscover the larger magic around them, then maybe that's a good thing?
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