Articles in Category: Commentary

Commentary - Meditation - Health and Well-Being - Modern Spirituality - Contemplations

Commentary on current events and news from a spiritual perspective.

Go Ahead and Lie, Its Profitable

Written by Master Charles Cannon, Will Wilkinson

Lie DetectorYou may have read about pop-science journalist Jonah Lehrer who was fired by The New Yorker and had his book recalled over plagiarism issues. Since then, he's also been exposed for publishing inaccurate quotes, incorrect narrative, and doing nothing to correct errors once they were identified.

So it should come as no surprise that an outfit called The Knight Foundation just paid him $20,000 for his public apology. Message to earth: "Go ahead and lie, it's profitable.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

And The Winner Is...

Written by Master Charles Cannon, Will Wilkinson

OscarAn Oscar highlight (or lowlight, depending on your point of view) was the first lady giving the award for Best Picture. This phenomenon was all the more remarkable since the winner, Argo, is arguable one of the most polished pieces of American political propaganda to emerge in awhile (along with Ms. Bigelow's offerings of Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, of course).

How scared we are of asking why. Why did Mrs. Obama give this award? Why did this film win? Why are we so addicted to superficiality?

Argo is a well made film, no doubt about it. But it doesn't ask why. Why were the hostages taken in the first place (something to do with America and the Shah, right?)? Like most of the other nominated films, there was little reflection on deeper truths and, evidently, this is what we honor with awards.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

The Pope With a Blind Eye

Written by Master Charles Cannon, Will Wilkinson

The-PopeThe announced resignation of Pope Benedict XVI rocked the Catholic world recently. Stories about his fragile health abound, mingled with comments about his legacy as "the Pope with a blind eye." In the face of an epidemic of sexual abuse by priests and bishops, which he personally helped to cover up, while moving known pedophiles to head other churches with new children to abuse, he has failed to ever admit to personal or Vatican failure.

There is none so blind as those who will not see! The now ex Pope proved that when he said, at a conference in 2005, "There is a strange forgetfulness of God... It seems as if everything would be just the same even without Him." It seems unlikely he was referring to himself and his own actions.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

If It Ain’t Broke, Fix it

Written by Master Charles Cannon, Will Wilkinson

If-Its-Not-Broke-Common-Sense-PhraseOfficial spokespersons for the NRA are defending their reversal on supporting background checks for gun purchases because "it's not working."

Let's see, what would this be like in other areas? "Team, it's half time and we're losing; let's quit." Or, "Honey, we seem to be having communication problems; let's stop going to our communication class." Even better yet, "I'm hungry, I better stop eating."

In other words, if something isn't perfect by all means give up! Now, that sounds like a sure fire recipe for success. Actually, it might as easily become the mantra for deluded human beings, especially the way we view our personal growth. We demand perfection of ourselves, all or nothing, as if that has ever been possible.

Common sense says work with what you've got but, as Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry character quipped, "A man's gotta know his limitations." On one hand that is practical. On the other it's inside the box thinking. How about testing those limitations? How about starting with what we've got and expanding?

Thursday, 07 February 2013

Out of Many, One

Written by Master Charles Cannon, Will Wilkinson

Global Team WorkOutgoing Democratic Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich gave his brief but impassioned farewell speech the other day.

He referenced "E pluribus unum" which is Latin for "Out of many, one" and is considered the de facto motto of the United States. Mr. Kucinich spoke about unity, the unity of state, the United States of America, but urged us to think deeper than that, to embrace the unity of all people everywhere.

He then went on to decry the politics of divisiveness that prevails in Washington and called for a new politics that supported our hunger for unity.

His three and a half minute speech reminded us of why they got rid of him. He spoke the truth, unpopular in the chamber of liars. But truth resonates. When he called for "mutual respect" his words were backed up by his presence; even as he offered such "tough love," it was respectful, absent name calling or blame.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Believe in God, or Else!

Written by Master Charles Cannon, Will Wilkinson

book-floating-over-a-blue-16372034A recent report, "Freedom of Thought 2012," has delineated global prejudice against "non-believers." According to the report, "there are laws that deny atheists' right to exist, curtail their freedom of belief and expression, revoke their right to citizenship, restrict their right to marry."

Here in America, we are proud of "free speech," yet seven states prohibit atheists from holding public office.

Elsewhere, there's a range of punishments all the way up to execution. In other words, believe in God, or else!

No wonder young people are fleeing organized religion in droves. Where are they headed? Spirituality. Spirituality, not religion. Religion hinges on beliefs, spirituality on experience. Religion pits one belief against another (or all others) while spirituality embraces all beliefs in the fundamental concept of "oneness."

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Don’t Mess with the Money Train

Written by Master Charles Cannon, Will Wilkinson

Greedy Business PartnersLast week David Stern, Commissioner of the National Basketball Association, fined the San Antonio Spurs team $250,000 because their coach rested 3 top players at the tail end of a grueling road trip, rather than play them against the rival Miami team. Stern apologized to fans and fined the Spurs.


This rips away the façade from what the owner of the Dallas Maverick team, Mark Cuban, called the league's "money train" - lucrative television contracts. Stern's message: money is more important than the health of the players.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Everything Is Going to Be OK

Written by Master Charles Cannon, Will Wilkinson

Breaking Through The Wall"Man's mind stretched to a new idea, never goes back to its original dimensions." -- Oliver Wendell Holmes

Finally, some good news.

Whether we celebrate the outcome of the election or mourn it, there's good news that's hard to ignore. Some comedian suggested that a win for Obama would be a victory for democracy while a win for Romney would be a victory for comedy, but what happened is really a win for spiritual progress over human stubbornness.

How so? Hundreds of millions of dollars invested in selling deception failed. TV attack ads and math-less promises made little difference. Campaign redistricting, voter suppression, threats to employees... a formidable range of intimidation tactics failed to produce. That's spiritual progress, because what prevailed was a greater awareness of truth than illusion.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Do This, Its Bad For You

Written by Master Charles Cannon, Will Wilkinson

Big-BurgerDo you know about The Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas? Today, I do, because of a news report that their unofficial spokesman, John Alleman, just died... of a heart attack.

The Heart Attack Grill, advertised as "Taste Worth Dying For" lets customers who weigh over 350 pounds eat for free. Their quadruple bypass burger holds the Guinness World Record for "most calorific burger." Previously, another Heart Attack Grill customer suffered a heart attack while eating a triple bypass burger and two months later yet another collapsed while eating the double bypass burger.

Meanwhile, the owner calls his burger concept "absolutely honest" and explains that there is a sign right on the door that reads: 'Caution, this establishment is bad for your health."

It's a challenge where to begin on this one so let's just blame John Wayne. Or, rather, the wise guys who created the whole macho thing he epitomized. Clearly, it takes nerve to read that warning sign yet still walk through the door and actually eat one of those burgers. Only a real man would do that, right? Since the restaurant is still in business they must have quite a few real men who do this every day.

Thursday, 07 March 2013

Sideboob - Flirting with Maya

Written by Master Charles Cannon, Will Wilkinson

Seniors Shocked By TVJust in time for the 2013 Grammy Awards, CBS has announced their official policy regarding dress standards and, guess what? Sideboob and buttock crack are out.

"Sideboob" is a new term for a new trend, women wearing dresses that expose the sides of their breasts. Glimpsing this extra few inches of flesh has become popular with men who, one supposes, have daily access to viewing entire breasts.

Why such fascination with a part, if we already know the whole?

Ironically, it's symbolic of our delusional life experience. We may sense the grandness of life, the wholeness of everything, the unity of all people, yet we distract ourselves with obsession over fragments and competition. We flirt with "Maya" all the time, Maya being a term that describes this illusory world.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Winning is All It’s About

Written by Master Charles Cannon, Will Wilkinson

CheatingAs controversy rages about a pivotal non-call during the last minute of Super Bowl 47 that likely would have reversed the outcome, this just in from Europe about soccer: Investigation Finds Global Betting Scam Fixed Hundreds Of Matches. According to a Reuters story, about $3 billion a day is wagered on soccer matches and investigators have unearthed "a network involving couriers ferrying bribes around the world, paying off players and referees in the fixing which involved about 425 corrupt officials, players and serious criminals in 15 countries."

The only surprise in these two stories is that anyone with a modicum of intelligence would be surprised. 3 billion dollars a day in bets, and that's just soccer? How much was won and lost on that one Super Bowl moment? Can anyone seriously believe that big bettors would leave their money in the hands of Lady Luck and skill?

Monday, 11 February 2013

Lance Armstrong: Doped Because He Was Duped

Lying and Cheating Long NoseLance Armstrong's recent Oprah confession that he used drugs to win was greeted with shock, condemnation, and the expected crusade for crucifixion in the news.

As usual, the most important point has been completely missed. Yes, this is about Lance. But it's also about ourselves. As he has so embarrassingly demonstrated, we are programed robots driven by our egos. His goal was to win. He did. The way he won is, apparently, illegal. Why? Because there are laws that say so. While we may obey laws like those, we have become expert at "fudging" wherever possible.

If we refuse to see what Lance did, and what everyone else does who craves the rewards of celebrity adulation, as a reflection of our own misguided longing, then we are the real dopes. In fact, all of us are enculturated liars and cheaters and you know it as well as I do, if you are honest about your life. The only difference between him and us is that he is in the spotlight. In demonizing him, we reveal ourselves as the fools that we are.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Are Fox News Viewers Really Stupider?

Written by Master Charles Cannon, Will Wilkinson

Watching-The-NewsA provocative article first published on Yahoo references a report from The Intelligence Institute that declares: Fox News Viewers Have an IQ 20 Points Below US Average.

Are Fox News viewers really stupider? For instance, are they stupider than the people who believed this article? It's bogus, as is the Institute, which a quick Google confirms, although whistle blowers conceded that the point seems defensible and further speculate that watching Fox News could make you stupider.

While Fox News may win prizes for Unfair and Imbalanced, the whole mudstream media is in the same boat, peddling a mixture of sensationalism and political soap opera for viewers who've apparently lost interest in their own lives.

Wednesday, 02 January 2013

Today is the Day

Written by Master Charles Cannon, Will Wilkinson

Today-is-the-DayWith the third tragic mass shooting in America since July, the debate on gun control vs more guns is heating up. Some blame the removal of God from classrooms; others bemoan easy access to automatic weapons. Calls for "immediate action" resound and, as usual, the most important lessons are being overlooked.

Life is sacred. Until we address how our society systematically denies this truth and find ways to embrace it, we can expect more tragedies.

All life is sacred. Not just white people, Democrats, Muslims, Yankees fans. Not just human beings. Lions, humming birds, maple trees, dirt, oceans, space. All life, in everyone, everything, everywhere. Sacred.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Déjà vu, All Over Again

Written by Master Charles Cannon, Will Wilkinson

Deja-VuDebt. We've got plenty these days, personally and as a country. Did you know that in 1834 America's debt was reduced to only $38,000? True story.

Then President Andrew Jackson accomplished this by sanctioning a real estate frenzy based on the sale of land stolen from Native Americans in the southeast. Around 100,000 of them were forcibly removed and 4,000 died on the Trail of Tears.

It's not Native Americans being ejected these days, it's foreclosed on homeowners, but the song remains the same. As Yogi Berra famously said, "It's déjà vu, all over again." Our 21st Century Trail of Tears leads to rental units, sleeping in cars, and minimum wage jobs during retirement years.

Monday, 03 December 2012