Would you trust Dwight Schrute with your soul?
That’s not even a fair question, really. Because obviously, no, you should not trust a fictional character with your soul (if you believe in a soul at all which is a debate for another article).
Rainn Wilson, (the man who has been bringing Dwight to life for the last eight years on NBC’s The Office) on the other hand, is another story all together. Wilson, along with several collaborators, brought Soulpancake.com in to being several years ago and it has been something of a pet project ever since. I stumbled upon soulpancake at the perfect moment–just as it seemed my life was falling apart–and while it may have fallen out of my daily routine since then, I still think about it often and visit it every now and then.
You may at this point have clicked on the link to visit soulpancake, and then wondered “what the hell does this have to do with being geeky?”
The answer to that question is going to be different for everyone, and for some of you, it may be as simple as “soulpancake has absolutely nothing to do with my geeky life.” That’s fine. For others, the answer may be more complex and long-winded. You might find that Soulpancake connects to you in a profound way. You may find it pretentious and annoying.
This is all fine. Personally, I find soulpancake to be an awesome place to go for a dose of modern spirituality, sort of like a non-denominational internet church where the doors are never locked and someone is always on the other side of the confessional wall or whatever. It’s nice because it’s so community oriented–visiting the site feels somewhat like going to group therapy but without the annoying scheduled time to meet and also without actually having to get out of bed.
The site has three basic sections: Videos, Conversations and Activities. They also happen to be pretty self-explanatory. In videos, the SP team makes motivational or inspirational videos and shares them with the community. The Conversations tab is almost entirely community driven discussion about spirituality, morality, mortality, creativity, and many other big-picture ideas. Activities are more like challenges posed by the SP moderators and answered by the community. The activities are always my favorite part to peruse and see how others have met the challenges posed to them, things like “take a photo of yourself jamming out in your ultimate moment of bliss” or “Quick Write your personal credo and purpose”Please enter the url to a YouTube video.
I feel like I’m not doing the site any justice, because it’s so much more than just a spiritual hub on the web. First of all, it doesn’t insist upon itself–it is light-hearted from the word “go” (I mean, come on. The site’s name is soul PANCAKE.) It’s intriguing to me because it’s so complex, and hard to explain. It’s interesting too because it’s so modern. In fact, one of the Activities captures this complexity for me. The Activitity is to “list the rules of your faith that you don’t always follow” which I think hits upon the most integral element of Soulpancake, but also about a major part of human life that we often forget: free will, or choice. We can choose to visit Soul Pancake every day. We can choose never to visit it ever in our lives. We can choose to be passive observers or active participants.
We can also choose to be geeks, or choose not to be. We can choose to write geeky articles once a week, or to comment on said articles, or to ignore other geeks all together. We can choose to turn off our computers, or make them a more important part of our lives.
And now my head hurts and my eyes are begging me to choose to sleep, instead of continuing to ponder Lifes Big Pancakes.