Formal Midterm Paper
“You can own the earth and still all you’ll own is earth until you can paint with all of the colors of the winds”. While this lyric from the widely acclaimed and recognized Disney movie Pocahontas, to many is just a nostalgic memory from the past, to a reader of wisdom literature it is saturated with Zen symbolism. When Pocahontas sings the phrase, "Can you paint with all the colors of the wind?," she is alluding to the interdependence and oneness of all life. In the movie, John Smith's arrogant ego initially prevents him from the experiencing this world of oneness. But in the particular scene where this song is sung, we see Pocahontas take John Smith by the hand for a wonderful, eye-opening tour of the forest, trying to teach him, to awaken in him his true connection to all the life around him. This idea of self and the nature of humans is one dynamic of many explored in wisdom literature such as the Bhagavad Gita, Tao Te Ching, Budi Dharma, and the Gospel of Thomas. These time tested pieces of literature are the foundations for belief systems worldwide such as Buddhism, Zen, and Hinduism. This paper will be a reflection of the similarities in themes in the writings; Bhagavad Gita, Tao Te Ching, Budi Dharma, and the Gospel of Thomas.
A universal theme in all of this literature is the aspect of enlightenment and how to achieve it. Only by achieving enlightenment and a higher understanding of the universe and the individual can a person break free of his bonds to the material world, and transcend the ego. In life, the goal of the individual is to free his mind from the ephemeral world and his selfish desires and to concentrate on God and serving him. This goal can be attained through various paths, the main ones being devotion to God, selfless action, meditation, and gaining knowledge of the truth. Selfless action is completing your duties in life because you know it is right, not because you want...