Thursday, July 25, 2013

Will the true Anthony Weiner (or anyone else) stand up?


The true face of us all?
This morning a blog article written by Washington Post contributor Carter Eskew fascinated me. He was commenting on the bizarre sexual behavior of Anthony Weiner, currently back in the political arena and running for NYC mayor. Regardless of his unusual sexual inclinations, Weiner remains persuaded of his chances of success in the mayoral race. The part of his article that jumped out and captured my attention was his use of the word doppelgänger

I took the time to look up the definition of this German doppelgänger since I was not familiar with the term. It turns out the definition is a “double goer:” a paranormal double of a living person. According to Wikipedia it also describes “the sensation of having glimpsed oneself in peripheral vision, in a position where there is no chance that it could have been a reflection.”

According to Eskew, “Years ago, Robert Penn Warren wrote about the ‘man of fact’ and the ‘man of idea’ in All the King’s Men. But Warren meant a conflict between idealism and cold political pragmatism.  With Weiner and his ilk, the conflict is more like looking into two mirrors of narcissism: Anthony wants love and respect for being good and he wants the same things for being bad. There is no higher purpose than the self.”

Anyone familiar with the teachings of the Buddha (and this blog) should immediately sense why Eskew’s article captured my attention: this is a classic case of the conflict between a person’s misperception of themselves as an ego and their true nature. Lest anyone think this conflict is esoteric, with little contemporary application to themselves and the current world, this is a clear illustration of delusion at work in today’s political arena. The clear characteristics of an ego are greed, anger and delusion (or ignorance) and it is hard to imagine a case that better illustrates this conflict.

Of course Anthony Weiner stands out because of his choice to live in the fishbowl of national politics, which by no means suggests that he is alone. Until anyone realizes their true nature we are all living as doppelgängers.
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