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11 February 2018

US Figure Skater Adam Rippon's Dilemma & The Spiritual Teaching Implicit in Trump's Rise

The Olympics always makes for strange bedfellows while also offering rare opportunities for meetings between people who would otherwise never be in the same space together. 

Champion US figure skater Adam Rippon had some choice words for US Vice-President Mike Pence regarding Pence's long political history of supporting anti-gay themes and initiatives; Pence is in Korea for the games and presumably expected to meet and greet the US athletes.

While I wouldn't disagree in any substantive way with his Rippon's assessment of Pence's politics and its harmful impact, I also think our only salvation (as a nation or perhaps even as a species) is to sit down and talk with each other, especially those with whom we disagree. To be fair, Rippon, who spoke of his skating as having a "greater purpose," has hinted he might meet with Pence after the games are over, though perhaps their opportunity for convergence existed only in Pyeonchang. 

What I've learned simply from my own experiences during the very strange and very troubling political season of 2016 and its aftermath is we must not shy away from those with whom we disagree. If we can't acknowledge that we all need each other, it's hard to move forward. 

This for me is the single most important spiritual teaching or lessen of Trump's political ascendancy: There is no other. We can play the games of separation and fear-mongering for political gain or just to assert power or moral superiority over another person, but there is no other.

The notion of separation being an illusion serves us well when we're at a spiritual retreat meditating twelve hours a day; however, when we bring it into everyday practice, quite another beast emerges.

Even if we who would side with humanism and progressive pursuits believe the others somehow disqualify themselves from the human family by their beliefs and actions, which let's be blunt can be extremely damaging and dangerous and we rightfully must speak this truth, we must also find a way to come together because we need each other to heal and to move into a space of wholeness. 

If we cannot get together, face to face, in real time and communicate WITH each other, we'll need to start building new KZ camps, and one side or the other will require imprisonment torture and reeducation. I've never seen this level of meanness, separation and violence, mostly verbal, psychological and psychic from one opposing side toward the other. What good does it serve to be "right" when nothing good gets done?

Do I think Pence hates gay people? How can I even attempt to answer that question. Is it possible that some people are so afraid of paradigms, if you will, which exist outside their comfort zones, they're willing to resort to meanness to keep their own demons within on a tight leash?  Any human who says they can never relate to that experience is not being terribly honest. We've all been there, OK? While the always charismatic Rippon says, via Twitter, he has nothing to say to Pence, quite the opposite is true.  

Here's the latest video with Rippon discussing the platform gained with Olympic Competition. 

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