28 February 2012
Event 4 Analysis
My event that I attended was Zen Meditation in Hammerman House on February 26th 2013 and in this paper I am comparing equality in humans in Zen meditation, Paul Laurence Dunbar’s “Theology,” Countee Cullen’s “Tableau,” and Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein.” Equality in humans is a common theme among these four topics. Equality in humans is a very important social justice that is not only addressed in these works but in our school and the world we live in today. I think it was very interesting that all these works had this in common with our school’s core values.
At first when I was coming up with ideas for this paper I did not think Zen meditation would correlate to human equality. I then realized that it did have so much to do with it. Zen meditation involves centering the mind and blocking out the outside world. Human equality is involved in this meditation because everyone that is performing the meditation, no matter what race, skin color, religious preference or anything else, is trying to achieve the same goal, mental and spiritual stillness. An example of this is when you are sitting there many minutes into the meditation. After the bells have been sounded you are deep in your thoughts, which are beginning to dull. Everyone else in the room, no matter how different they may be from each other, is equally zoning their thoughts and feelings to complete peacefulness. The importance of realizing the connection between the two is that anyone can come together to become very peaceful and at ease. No matter what ethnicity or race, anyone can come together and be equal, which is a Christian core value that our university embodies.
“Theology” involves equality as well. Specifically, this poem’s stance on human equality involves the after life. An example of this is found in the last two lines. “There is a hell, I’m quite as sure; for pray, if there were not, where would my neighbors go?” The narrator is talking about heaven and hell. He talks about how heaven and hell is open to all people. He also says that his neighbors will go to hell and he will go to heaven. This is an example of human equality. There isn’t equality in who goes to heaven or hell but there is when it comes to a location for an afterlife. The narrator is saying that no matter how good or bad you are in your life there is a place for all kinds of people in the afterlife. This is important to understand because since everyone has a place to go after you die, you then have to make up your mind on what kind of person you want to be during your life. You can choose to be a moral person or be a person who sins and indulges in the world’s sins that make you stray from leading a good life.
“Tableau” also has equality. For this poem, human equality is found between two children, one black and one white. This is found in the first lines of the poem. “Locked arm in arm they cross the way, the black boy and the white.” The narrator talks about a black boy and a white boy together in peace, as equals. Also, another thing that is notable is that the poem was written in 1925, during a time where there was segregation in society amongst races in America. There is equality in these two boys because they are walking together during a segregated time. This is important to realize this especially during a time that segregation was very prevalent because even though so many people were against it, some people still saw the equality in other fellow humans. Seeing the equality in other humans no matter the race of the person is such a good virtue to have and everyone in this world should embody this.
Frankenstein has equality as well. Human equality lies with Victor’s creation. This is found within the beginning of the fifth chapter. “With an anxiety that almost amounted to agony, I collected the instruments of life around me, that I might infuse a spark of being into the lifeless thing that lay at my feet.” Victor wanted to create a human being that was equal to other humans in the world. He studied long and hard and worked countless hours at the expense of his health in order for his creation to come to life. Victor wants so desperately for his creation to come alive. The important thing to take away from this is that everyone is born equal. Victor, however, is trying to recreate what nature already does, create a human being. When the monster comes alive, victor is horrified to see that it is not equal to him or others. Only nature can create equal human beings, not humans.
Overall, these works all include human equality. Human equality is found everywhere outside the world of literature and Zen meditation. It is important for us to realize that no matter the differences between everyone, we are all equal in the end.