Divine Attraction ॐ

A blog on the frequency of love.

Tim_Cook_2009_cropped.jpg"I'm proud to be gay," says Tim Cook, CEO of Apple who succeeded the late Steve Jobs. He made headlines when he wrote a definitive coming out essay on October 30th in Bloomberg Businessweek. In this blog post I will analyze 4 benefits for society and the LGBT movement regarding Tim Cook's proactive step toward sexual equality.

1. Impact on Future Generations: Just like Barack Obama becoming president gave black children an example of professional, political, and social achievement, Tim Cook is a great example for gay youth advancing their careers and goals. Young gay people are still bullied and marginalized in schools, their communities, religious groups, and families. Knowing Apple's CEO is gay, will help these young people fully actualize themselves, considering how gay people are made to feel like their sexuality is a sickness or character flaw. The message for the youth is, "I can be whatever I want to be, even CEO of a Fortune 500 company and my sexual orientation should not be a threat or point of objection." The emphasis on role models cannot be understated. Plenty of psychological evidence suggests how children learn behavior and character traits from parents and likewise learn to develop their goals and dreams from public figures that have come before them. 

2. Hiring Practices and Gay People in Positions of Power: Tim Cook was promoted to be the CEO of Apple after being senior vice president since 1998. These decisions were made by share holders and top executives, who knew him closely and knew he was gay. Though he admits he kept his private life to himself, as most of us do, his sexuality was not a red flag when making him CEO. His work ethic and character superseded any stereotypes or homophobia from people who might question his ability to run the company. Too often gay people and other groups outside of the dominant culture are defined by what makes them different and are homogenized with others of their social group.

Society has a tendency to glorify individuals. Therefore, it is important to note that Tim Cook's leadership would not exist if it weren't for the team around him also responsible for his achievement. Now Apple sets a precedent for employers and companies to hire people who are openly gay and promote them to positions of power without questioning their sexual orientation. People may not realize the urgency to promote openness in the workforce, but a recent 2014 Human Rights Campaign survey showed that 53% of gay Americans are still closeted in the work space. Tim Cook was concerned with this issue and in his essay alluded to the fact that in many states gay people are still fired for their sexual orientation.  

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Do you ever sit for meditation but can’t concentrate? Does it take you 10, sometimes 20 minutes to quiet your mind? Don’t feel discouraged. It’s not that you are bad at meditation. Even people that have practiced meditation for years have to take time to calm their thoughts. This article will help you understand the parts of the mind that cause you to struggle and the part that makes meditation easy.

Citta: According to mystic philosopher, PR Sarkar, there are three evolutionary aspects to the mind, in sanskrit, which human beings have inherited from the time of creation. Let’s start with the citta. The citta is the aspect of the mind that is associated with the mundane world and preoccupied with crude thoughts. For example, the mind of animals is primarily made of citta stuff. Think of a monkey swinging from branch to branch, preoccupied only with its next meal and how to avoid predators or a dog barking into a mirror, unaware that the reflection is its own self. In order for the dog to recognize its reflection, it has to develop an ego and be aware of itself subjectively. If it did, then it might spend hours in the mirror practicing looking good. As in the case with the dog, the citta is associated with the objective world, it is the aspect of the mind devoid of artistic, mental, personal, or spiritual awareness. How does the citta manifest in the human mind? First let’s talk about the second aspect of the mind, the aham.

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Aham: From the citta evolved the aham. The aham is the feeling, “I do.” A loose translation for it is, ego. On an evolutionary level, we can see how our primate ancestors were very different from us, preoccupied only with survival and not with modern day things like fashion, business ventures, or intellectual pursuits. Somewhere along the evolutionary track, human beings developed an ego or the aham and that is the central state of the human mind. However, the aham can be heavily influenced by the citta. When the aham is influenced by the citta, human beings are absorbed by their identity, property, physical features, race, gender, desires, social status, beliefs, education level, or relationships. In fact most people are balancing a combination of the aham and citta, at the same time and most of the time. During your meditation, if your aham is influenced by the citta, you might be thinking, "This is too hard. Am I sitting straight enough? How can they do it but not me? I have to go to the bank later and make that withdrawal. I have to write that email to my boss." Nonetheless, the progression from citta to aham is positive and it should be understood that when aham is dominant over citta, intellect arises. Fortunately, the aham can also be influenced by another aspect of the mind, called the mahat.

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