I want to share the interview with Jacob Needleman at OnBeing.org, NPR this morning. I frequently listen to “Being” which is the creation of Krista Tibbet a wise and talented woman who brings the thinkers and religious leaders of our time to her program.
Jacob Needleman is a philosopher who grew up in Philadelphia. He was not particularly inspired to explore American History due to the very stereotyped history classes he experienced – indeed most of us have experienced. However, through his journey to understand how the wisdom traditions of all religions and philosophies related to the problems or our era, he rediscovered America and the need for America.
For the 4th of July, go here to find a deeper meaning to our democracy that has been lost or at least pushed to the background. It is in this interview that I found perhaps a clue to why I have been feeling depressed and lost; the loss of this country’s great path to explore the truth and to uphold that freedom for all. Needleman wrote The American Soul in which he describes what he has come to understand and how he answered this question: Is America necessary? He contrasts the individual with our current craze of individualism. He writes that obligations go along with freedoms. And, he implores us to think together for a while, not act, not shout…but to stop and consider what being an American truly means.