I have no idea if these are true. They at least appear largely believable, although the list is far from “complete,” but that’s irrelevant to the point being made. Even if we could somehow say these were entirely accurate definitions, can you recognise these designations as illusions? This is what the Buddha meant when he said see past the illusion. Let me illustrate.
If you take any of these groups and then find every person within that ethic designation (however you define that), you will still find a very broad spectrum of faces. And let’s say you somehow subdivided that list into smaller sections, like which city you’re from. We do that with sports. Again, the range of people would be extremely wide. We could do those subdivisions forever until we got down to an individual level and your personal name.
The point is that all of these names are merely thought-projections we layer over top of a wide variety of human beings. They aren’t things in the real world. Alien cultures can’t come and find our races. They would just see a huge directionless spectrum of DNA that was all stunningly similar. If anything they would be likely to marvel at how we could all behave so differently when we are all essentially the same.
Words are not things. Names are not meanings. Meet each human being and any other aspect of the world originally. Don’t meet what you call them, meet the person right in front of you at that moment. Because even if you know their name because the person was a jerk to you 10 years ago, that doesn’t mean they’re a jerk today. Keep your mind open. See past all of the illusions and you will be free.
Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organisations locally and around the world.
Following a serious childhood brain injury Scott McPherson unwittingly spent his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and the self. This made him as strange to others as they were to him. Seeing the self-harm people created with their own overthinking, Scott dedicated part of his life to helping others live with greater awareness. He is currently a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB, where he finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.