Wednesday, October 6, 2010

So who is surprised?

Telemundo's Despierta America just launched a new program called Mira Quien Baila. It's kind of a take-off of Dancing with the Stars. One of the judges is known to have a rather caustic tongue, which has upset some of the dancers, and consequently, lent pathos to the program and gained viewers. It happened again, but this time the dancer got even.

The dancer is Cuban singer, dancer and erotic model Niuka Marcos, even while riding on the shoulder of her partner, shot the finger at the judge with both hands. Afterwards, as she left, she flipped up her skirt in the back at him. When questioned about it she said, "Those are natural human reactions."

She's right, they are, just like punching someone in the nose for stepping on my toe, and cutting someone off in traffic because they cut me off, or shooting someone at a red light because they flipped me off. Just because we have the reactions doesn't mean we act on them. The reactions promise a lot of things: a sense of satisfaction, supremacy over another, justice served, but too often they move us away from those goals instead of toward them. Human society serves many functions, and one of them is helping us to determine the proper behavior in light of a given inner reaction, one that is helpful rather than hurtful in the longest run.

I hear people say, "Follow your inner inclinations, for they always tell you the wisest path." "Your instincts will never let you down." "Your heart understands what your head does not." Joseph Campbell is famous for his phrase, "Follow your bliss." All of these statements are true on the deepest level to which you can take them. The reactions described above are rather superficial, and we get into trouble when our superficial reactions masquerade as deeper inclinations of the heart.

One of the functions of religious disciplines is to get us in touch with the deepest parts of ourselves so that we can learn to tell the difference. Maybe Ms. Marcos needs more church.

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