Happy 4th of July! Today we celebrate gaining our independence from England 237 years ago. The day is filled with fireworks, hotdog eating contests and red, white and blue as far as the eye can see. We sing songs about this great nation and bath in nationalistic nostalgia.
It is fantastic. We are a great nation and who doesn’t love a celebration? Right?
At Open Deep and True we talk a lot about an expanded masculinity. We work with men to widen their available tools, skills and awareness: while sharpening their existing strengths as men. Think of a man with great focus and directed-ness expanding to include deep, active listening skills and full access to his emotions.
OK. So what does this have to do with 4th of July?
The last few years I have had the following experience on 4th of July: When the band is playing the Marine Corps hymn I get choked up. I served in the Corps. and am proud to have done so. I love the stories of the great battles and all the great humanitarian and innovative advances this country has produced. It is a great country. But something doesn’t sit right about our stance toward the rest of the world. We still seem to be celebrating the outdated, narrow AMERICA from when we had to fight off England and stop the Nazi’s. I feel this especially during the fireworks. I can’t shake the idea that in most of the world, loud sporadic explosions are NOT GOOD.
I think it is time for the good old US of A to EXPAND our nationality. To evolve the concept of American Exceptionalism into more of an inclusive approach. Where we actively cultivate a unity consciousness. The Global village is here. Multi-national corporations know that, pro sports leagues know that, and everyone who has surfed the internet knows that. We are all in this together. So let’s work on the American myth to reflect this. Change the American dream to include the well being of all people in the world. And all the animals. And the earth itself.
In an interview with Bill Moyers, Joseph Campbell put it beautifully:
Moyers: Don’t you think modern Americans have rejected the ancient idea of nature as a divinity because it would have kept us from achieving dominance over nature?
How can you cut down trees and uproot the land and turn the rivers into real estate without killing God? … Scientists are beginning to talk quite openly about the Gaia principle.
Campbell: There you are, the whole planet as an organism.
M: Mother Earth. Will new myths come from this image?
C: Well, something might. … And the only myth that is going to be worth thinking about in the immediate future is one that is talking about the planet, not the city, not these people, but the planet, and everybody on it. That’s my main thought for what the future myth is going to be. …
M: So you suggest that from this begins the new myth of our time?
C: Yes, this is the ground of what the myth is to be. It’s already here: the eye of reason, not of my nationality; the eye of reason, not of my religious community; the eye of reason, not of my linguistic community. Do you see? And this would be the philosophy for the planet, not for this group, that group, or the other group. When you see the earth from the moon, you don’t see any divisions there of nations or states. This might be the symbol, really, for the new mythology to come. That is the country that we are going to be celebrating. And those are the people that we are one with.