Thursday, March 15, 2018

Yogi Bear, Smarter than the Average Bodhisattva

I think if you follow this humble blog enough you know that I love cartoons. I grew up in an era where the USA Cartoon Express and Cartoon Network were both rerunning old Hanna-Barbara cartoons, so I happen to love that entire stable of characters. "Laff-O-Lympics", "Wacky Races", and others were some of my favorite cartoons in that time in my life (around when I was like 8 or 9). 

These days, as I've grown more spiritually aware of the world around me, I can't help but feel like I took away something truly and undeniably special from some of those cartoons. In fact I would dare to say that in some respects they were downright enlightening. But in what way?

Then it finally came to me in a vision, or maybe a delusion brought on by eating too many sugary sweets, but I feel that Yogi Bear may have been the embodiment of a spiritual wake-up call for generations of kids, and we were all too dull to have noticed it.

Yogi Bear is of course famous for hailing from Jellystone National Park, where he and his friend Boo-Boo create schemes to steal food from park goers while trying not to get in trouble with Ranger Smith (or the occasional other ranger that might be on duty). Yogi chooses a life where he chooses to be slightly more exceptional than the average bears we know. He doesn't forage for food in nature, but instead he has reached a point of personal omniscience and has decided he should eat and feast as humans would. He takes only the essentials, which is food to sustain his body, and returns to his cave with his friend where they share in the bounty. They never steal for wealth, only what they need to survive.

Even in the fairly recent live-action movie, which isn't very good, Yogi goes through the motions of being some sort of hidden deity amongst a world of normal people who want him to just be normal like they are. It almost works, but Yogi is true to his nature and overcomes it. Even one of his lines in the film is a profound and holy statement; "Boo Boo, you've tried to stop my brilliant ideas with common sense a thousand times. Has it ever worked?", and of course Boo-Boo had to answer with a "No."

That may very well be the lesson Yogi has been trying to teach us all since the very beginning. 

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