Who Are We And Should It Matter In The 21st Century? by Gary YoungeReading this book on identity, with the backdrop of the beginnings of the 2012 election campaigns, the riots in London, conversations around The Help, ideas on God, Christianity and thoughts about Rob Bells book Love Wins added to the relevance of this book in the context of my everyday life and ideas about identity.
Using part memoir, part political, part sociological, part current events discussion, Youge uses his own complex identity, experience as well as stories from recent history to show how and why identity matters.
“The problem is not that diversity exists, it is what we chose to make of it. In short, do we understand our various identities as being an integral part of our common humanity or as something separate, above and beyond it? “
“In the absences of any true control over their own lives, people cling to identity as to a life raft – desperately, instinctively, driven by the impulse to save self, kith and kin rather than with regard or respect for the whole. Life rafts are useful, particularly in emergencies, but they will never be as good as a functioning boat.”
This idea of clinging to identity as emergency is interesting – in times of crisis, there is not time for reflection as the author points out. People scream, they don’t talk and nobody really listens. But as Younge points out, identity is already in politics, in our daily lives, it is integral part of how we relate to one another and talk about and represent ourselves. The question is are we going to recognize the complexity, the fluidity and have actual conversations and reflections searching for common ground, or are we going to succumb to the “flattening out” of our identities into an “us and them” idea creating more division, moral panic and misunderstanding?
Easy decisions take no courage at all. Most of us grow into our identities as easily as acorns do into oaks - rarely questioning, resister or protesting those events that do not appear go affect us directly. It is the difficult decisions, the ones that have consequences, challenge orthodoxies, bear risk and threaten status, that take real courage.
I would later realize that the notion that identity is a refuge for the poor and dispossessed—a means of guarding the special interests of those who cannot support themselves—is sorely misguided. Those most wedded to preserving their identity—indeed, handcuffed to it—are often powerful. When all is said and done, they have the most to lose. They just don’t refer to it as identity. They call it tradition, heritage or, simply, history.
It is certainly with courage that we recognize our identities, but then challenge them, ready to lose something to gain something so much more.
I have so much more to learn and I want to open up to listen. Anyone care for a cuppa complex tea?
Tibetan Secrets Youth Vitality by Kelder Peter
The 5 Tibetans come from the monasteries in the Himalayas. Kept secret until in the s, they were revealed to the Western world by Peter Kelder. They increase the vital energy and regulate the level on all chakras energy centres of the body. They also help to keep the body strong and flexible. They say this series of exercises practices longevity.
Tibetan Secrets of Youth and Vitality: How to Look and Feel Younger Using Five Ancient Rites for Stimulating your Energy Centres by Peter Kelder ().
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The Five Tibetan Rites is a system of exercises reported to be more than 2, years old  which were first publicized by Peter Kelder in a publication titled The Eye of Revelation. The Rites are said to be a form of Tibetan yoga similar to the yoga series that originated in India. However, the Five Rites and traditional Tibetan yoga both emphasize "a continuous sequence of movement" Sanskrit: vinyasa , whereas Indian forms focus on "static positions". Although the Rites have circulated amongst yogis for decades, skeptics say that Tibetans have never recognized them as being authentic Tibetan practices. Although practically nothing is known about Kelder,  one source reports that he was raised as an adopted child in the mid-western United States and left home while in his teens in search of adventure. In his booklet, Kelder claims that while stationed in India, British army officer Colonel Bradford a pseudonym heard a story about a group of lamas who had apparently discovered a " Fountain of Youth ".