Peter Sellars on Clouds, Clothing, and Reincarnation Table of Contents
Peter Sellars on Clouds, Clothing, and Reincarnation is a series consisting of 3 parts.
- Peter Sellars on Clouds, Clothing, and Reincarnation, Part 1
- Peter Sellars on Clouds, Clothing, and Reincarnation, Part 2
- Peter Sellars on Clouds, Clothing, and Reincarnation, Part 3
Peter Sellars, distinguished theater director and UCLA professor, is a character whose hair alone speaks volumes. A passionate speaker with the wondrous eyes of a four-year-old, this artist sees the world as an infinitely interconnected piece of work.
I was fortunate enough to attend one of his lectures in October of 2009, at which he revealed much about his spiritual beliefs and moral motivations. Following is one of three epiphanies he shared with us that you can use to better your understanding of yourself and your place in the world.
The Clothing Example
To begin understanding humans’ interconnectedness, become conscious of the very clothes on your body. Begin to remember from where this piece came, whether that be from a retailer, second hand store, or gift box. Once you have done so, think of the work that went into getting that garment on to your body at this very moment. Maybe a salesperson stayed up late one night making your piece’s display shelf presentable. Maybe you’re wearing someone’s staple from a life that person chose to move past. Maybe a loving someone spent a pretty penny to please you.
Then take a look at the tag and take note of the country of origin. Let your mind imagine what went into the mere manufacturing of the piece, and consider the lives you impacted in China, Sri Lanka, Spain, or other parts of America. Ask yourself about the kind of person that would make that garment and what kind karma is embedded within. Was someone delicately and passionately handcrafting that piece, or was a factory employer underpaid and overworked? Imagine if that person was a brave entrepreneur or a desperate citizen forced into a foreign economy. Then try recounting every individual that contributed to your chosen article. From manufacturers and CEOs to artistic heads and salespeople, account for all the lives you have impacted simply by pulling that garment out of your closet.
Humans are Connected to All Humans
This brief meditation on your clothing’s karma is not intended to invoke feelings of guilt nor pride. Rather, it encourages you to bear in mind the knowledge that you do not act in separation from all others’ actions. Everything you do in the world impacts or has impacted someone else in some way, adding significance to the choices you make daily.
Thus, whether you support a local farmers’ market, buy a handmade leather good, or decide to keep up with the latest styles via discount retail shopping, know your decisions are not isolated and that your presence in the world is an important one.
This is the second of three articles that present and make applicable to healthy living the teachings of Peter Sellars.
Written by Yasmine Elli.