The name of this blog, Rainbow Juice, is intentional.
The rainbow signifies unity from diversity. It is holistic. The arch suggests the idea of looking at the over-arching concepts: the big picture. To create a rainbow requires air, fire (the sun) and water (raindrops) and us to see it from the earth.
Juice suggests an extract; hence rainbow juice is extracting the elements from the rainbow, translating them and making them accessible to us. Juice also refreshes us and here it symbolises our nutritional quest for understanding, compassion and enlightenment.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

We, Us, Our

I thought I should post a comment about the use of we, us or our in these blogs.  I use these pronouns to refer to a collective sense of the terms.  The collective being the western, rich societies because that is my experience.  I had the fortune to be born into a rich western nation (New Zealand) and also the fortune to have parents of European descent.

When I look at the world I see numerous interconnected issues facing these western, rich societies.  I also see the impact rich western societies have on other societies and cultures.  In particular I see:
  • A glaring inequality between rich and poor, which is steadily widening.  Often too, the “middle class” is being stretched in between.
  • The marginalisation of indigenous cultures and experiences.
  • The threat of climate change.
  • Rampant consumerism that threatens to divert us from who we are.
  • Minorities (people with disability, gays, homeless, unemployed) treated with indifference.
  • The concentration of economic and political decision-making into the hands of a small elite.
  • The extinction at an alarming rate of plants and animals.
  • Our sources of information and news being controlled by fewer and fewer transnational corporations.
  • The coming of Peak Oil and all that entails.
Many of these issues have been created by the very societies into which I was born – western, rich nations.

That is why I use the pronouns we, us, our:  Because we are mostly responsible and the solution to many of these issues lies in our hands and minds.  We must stop, we must slow down, we must become generous, we must be mindful of our impact on our fellow human beings and upon the earth.  The point is not that any one of us is responsible but we collectively share a responsibility.

David Loy, the Buddhist scholar and writer, has coined the term wego to describe the collective ego that inhabits western, rich societies.  It is a useful concept.  Loy describes wego as a “deluded sense of the collective self” which sets up an us versus them collective identity.  This wego is never satisfied; not rich enough, not powerful enough, not big enough.  In order to satisfy this longing for more we put ourselves in conflict with others – human and non-human.

It is, says Loy, this feeling of never being satisfied that is at the core of many of the world’s problems.  Thus, to tackle these problems we need to look into our own sense of self – individual and collective.  We must discover our ego and our collective wego.  That, asserts Loy, is a spiritual* journey.

* Note that Loy uses the term spiritual – not the term religious.

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