Phil Jackson: A Spiritual Basketball Leader

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Phil Jackson is a well-known man in the basketball world, as a championship coach and leader. Not only for his knowledge of basketball was he considered great, it was also for his use of alternative spiritual methods to assist his coaching. Through his Naturalist and Pantheist worldview he left a legacy of a role model. Phil Jackson’s views about the nature of God, career, and family are ultimately shaped by his worldview of Naturalism and Pantheism. Comparing my worldview of Christianity to Phil Jackson’s nature of God, career, and family, we will determine whether the role model status is relevant to how I perceived a role model. Phil Jackson’s idea of the nature of God is contrasting, as he believes in Buddhism, which has Buddha, and Humanism, in which there is no God. Jackson considers himself as a Zen Christian. A Zen Christian is a religion that combines the emptiness mind of Buddhists and the compassion of a Christian, such like Christ. Buddhists believe in the nature of the Buddha and idolizing the enlightenment he brings to life. Buddha is not necessarily the deity, but he is highly respected. He believes in the concept of self-awareness, mindfulness, and acceptance, which corresponds with the Pantheistic, Buddhist view of his life (Fittipaldi, 1982, p. 69-71). As for his naturalist, humanist view of life, there is no nature to a God. The humanist believes that a man is apart of nature and there is nothing else that exists outside of the world that he should experience (Norman, 2004, p. 11). The “Christian” part of Zen Christianity lines up with his humanist view due to the belief in compassion. There is a compassion for humans because of Christ and in humanists due to them wanting to be connected. Jackson’s belief in ... ... middle of paper ... ...about. Jackson’s life is based around the successes of the world and the life of humans, in which I do not find as important. In my belief of Christianity, I deem God worthy of my service, as Jesus as an example. I strive to be selfless, giving, and not focused anything else like Jesus. Such that I believe in another worldview as Phil Jackson, I do not see him as a role model. References Fittipaldi, S. E. (1982). Zen-Mind, Christian- Mid, Empty-Mind. Journal of Ecumenical Studies, 19(1), 69-84. Heim, D. (1996). Phil Jackson, Seeker in Sneakers. Christian Century, 133(20), 654-656. Wertheim, L. (1998). A Curious Career Phil Jackson Has Gone From Cloistered Child to Free- Spirited Player to Championship Coach. Somehow it all Seems to Fit. Sports Illustrated, 36. Unsworth, T. (1997). Chicago Bulls Head Pastor, Phil Jackson. National Catholic Reporter, 33(12), 29.

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