Rainn Wilson's Soul Pancake: An Insightful Lecture Essay

Submitted By bruceaboos
Words: 799
Pages: 4

On Thursday, September 19th I had the privilege of listening to a lecture given by Rainn Wilson as part of University of North Texas’s Distinguished Lecture Series. Rainn Wilson is best known for his role as Dwight Schrute on the hit television show, “The Office.” Being a fan of the show for many years, I was instantly intrigued to listen to Mr. Wilson speak, and I made sure to get there extra early to get a good seat in anticipation of a very funny night.
As expected Rainn Wilson started out going into character as funny man Dwight Schrute to begin the show and get the fans excited. Then he started talking about the real reason for the lecture. Until this lecture, I had never heard of “Soul Pancake,” which is the New York Times’ best-selling book written by Mr. Wilson as well as YouTube videos created by Mr. Wilson and his team.
To understand what “Soul Pancake” is really about, we have to first discuss where Mr. Wilson came from to get to where he is now. He was raised as part of the Baha’i faith. According to him, they believe that there is only one God who is watching over all of us, but he is more of an energy source than a being. He has sent down many prophets to teach us right from wrong and how to act such as Jesus, Muhammad, Abraham, Moses, Buddha, and especially Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the spiritual movement.
After Mr. Wilson moved from Seattle to Chicago, he began acting in school plays and was doing very well. Still as a shy, young boy he one day sheepishly asked his acting instructor if she thought it would be possible for him to ever become a professional actor, to which she very animatedly said that he would someday be a great actor. This gave him confidence and a dream. Next he went to New York University to study theatre. He did very well there, but began to lose his roots. He drank, used drugs and felt really inspired by acting and theatre. He felt it was his calling and what would make him happy and even believed that he could change and influence the audience through acting. As he became better and more popular, he began to realize that he still was not happy. His thought process was that if he became a successful actor, then he would be happy. He believed this theory so much that acting had become his religion.
The point Mr. Wilson made about his journey towards an acting career was a very good one. There is no “if, then” plan to get to happiness. Once he realized this, he turned back again to his faith for answers to how to be happy, but all he found was more questions. Mr. Wilson explained that this is the number one concept of the Baha’i Faith. It is an “individual investigation of truth.” It is not important to find the answers to such questions as, “What is true happiness?,” “What is love?,” or “What is the meaning of life?” What is