Today we’re going to talk about the shadow, and we’ll move toward trusting the journey. To begin, here’s a question that someone wrote in the comments section of an article about the noble effort of Native Americans to protect the Missouri River in North Dakota: “Will the American people ever do anything to stop or rectify the harm being done by ‘their’ government in their name?”
Of course the question presumes that we’re not doing anything to stop the harm and rectify things. In fact, there are millions of us on the side of Life and Balancing and Harmony and Peace. We want change and we want to do something. So we spread the word, a few of us sign petitions and make phone calls, and yet we stand in what feels like an incredibly weak position, not knowing a way to really turn the tide. Why does our position seem so powerless? Are we losing this war to the ‘deciders’ and ‘controllers’? And a big one… if we abhor conflict how do we engage in it?
There are many fearful places the mind can go, many confusing states, many self-doubts and accusations. And we are conditioned to believe that asking for help is disgraceful. There is no disgrace in honesty. Yes, we need help: I need help, and as I look out it seems the entire world needs help. Where does help come from?
Well, maybe to begin we could see ourselves as powerful and not powerless. Embrace yourself and say it aloud, “I’m doing beautifully. Every experience I’ve had (or endured and survived) has brought about growth.” Adore your own heart, knowing that this is God Within, the manifestor, the center of our Being. From this temple we speak to the hearts of all other beings.
Let’s look at conflict of the type that was seen in North Dakota: such conflict occurs hourly and daily across the US. The energy of it feels like a personal attack on my tenuous comfort. The ‘do not disturb’ part of me is strong and valid, and yet… there is another strong and valid part of me that knows we are here to engage, on some level, in battle.
Question: Is there a level of battle that is engaged in alignment with God Within? We know that Love aligns with justice, and that justice comes before harmony, and justice and harmony come from right doing, and the way to right doing becomes evident when there is Truth. This is a world saturated with wrong doing. In my view, some conflict may be necessary for humanity to return to balance and from there to growth. Conflict that leads us to right doing might just be evolution’s ‘fast track’.
Stasis is uncomfortable, especially since we’re nearing the apex and we feel it. We’re evolving, and that’s what our joy and suffering is all about, as ego lets go of the notion that we control this trip. We obviously don’t have control, but in our response to others we do have choices. That may seem small, but it’s not. What if we are the creators of the outcome, and we do it by responding to Truth with Love, i.e. we love hearing the truth, even if it hurts.
Over and over again we hear it said, “We have to have a conversation about race.” But really… that conversation has been taking place for many years with those of us who listen. And yes, we’re wise enough to watch out for opinions and manipulation. We know that media and other forces are really hard at work to manufacture opinions and derail the heart response.
For clarity in the beginning, when I talk about the white world and brown or black world, I’m referring to a people’s collective existence: their physical lineage of ancestors, epigenetic memory, culture, language, spirituality, spoken history and so on. My human family and culture goes back to Europe and beyond, so when I say we, I’m talking about the white Western world and all that makes the individuals in this world similar to each other.
Many of us have made it a practice to resist using language that separates us. “We are one world,” we say. “We’re one human family.” Yes we are one at our core, but one doesn’t mean same. In the diversity of life we are individually unique, so when talking about peoples we walk the line of not generalizing, and yet recognizing that the ‘worlds’ are made up of unique individuals with collective experiences.
My first point, and maybe the most significant, is that the black and brown families are our mothers and fathers: the mothers and fathers of all human life. What an evolutionary journey they have been on, reaching expanded levels of consciousness and then descending and rising up again… who knows how many times. We, as the newest people, sprang from them how long ago? Some say from six to twelve thousand years ago. But when did we turn against them?
It would be truth to say that this global descent into life-destruction included a point in time when we turned against our mothers and fathers and began to steal labor, land and resources, determining that they are weaker and thus ‘fair game’. The powerful rulers of the white world and their minions subjected the ‘less civilized’ to hell and denigrated them as sub-human. That’s a major collective separation and a grotesque ego trip. If we look, we can be comforted by one thing: along the line of time there have been a few of us who object, even over assertions that the ‘sky god’ approves of it.
A few days ago when listening to videos, I heard Matt Khan talk about ‘cheat to win’: ‘getting’ by being fraudulent. He used the term in a conversation about ego, which had been referred to as the ‘inner dictator’. Dictator is a good term, but he offered an alternate depiction of ego as ‘inner scoundrel’: the part of us that contemplates cheating to win. There are many levels of course, with some in the role of ‘feeling superior’ (cheating) and some in the role of ‘feeling inferior’ (being cheated). If we truthfully look within we can find one or the other inclination, cheater or victim, or maybe some of both, hidden in most modern day people of whatever race. Integrity is uncommon nowadays.
Historically, when the Western world began to gain power, cheating to win was used ferociously and ambitiously, leaving millions in the black and brown worlds stunned. Beginning with Native Americans, there is a Cree term that refers to a diabolically wicked person or spirit who terrorizes others. They call it a psychic infection: ‘Wetiko’. Browsing through information about the term, I see it referred to as the greatest epidemic sickness known to humanity – a malignant egophrenia. Who would the Cree call Wetiko? Surely it must have described the white people who overran their world by taking violence and cheating to new levels.
As this occurred, people were encouraged to come from Europe in order to settle the land. The government wanted it homesteaded. Perhaps they believed that it was manifest destiny, i.e. land legitimately gained because it’s God will. I have always wondered about the feelings of my ancestors who settled on the plains, built homes, and began to plant farms or raise livestock. What was in their hearts with regard to the people and the life that they were displacing? Were they afraid, or empathetic, or did they thank the government and God, and not give it further thought?
Moving on to the black world, we tend to cringe big time when we hear black people refer to white people in derogatory terms. It feels as if we are personally being assaulted and the reaction comes up… I didn’t do it… I’m on their side! Those on the front lines understand that it’s not personal. It’s frustration. No matter the attempts to change things, the injustices morph and change form. At the moment it’s far from clear what to do, as imbalance was built into the system long ago. So maybe it’s time to engage on another level.
Afrodescendants in the U.S. have mountains of trauma to overcome. We can look at photos of a crowd of 10,000 cheering a lynching and claiming body parts of a man who has been burned to a crisp and then also hanged. Multiply that over centuries and imagine the epigenetic memory in all of our bodies – theirs and ours. Frankly, it’s no wonder we might react fearfully or feel uncomfortable. If I didn’t know, from 30 years of loving and living with black people, just how merciful they are by nature, and how savvy, I’d feel that way too.
Wetiko, malignant egophrenia, diabolical, devil, psychic infection, cheat to win. None of us enjoys hearing this, but facing it can grant really beneficial clarity. What’s in my epigenetic memory? It could be the part of me that fears I’ve done something wrong… one of my shadow aspects. I embrace the little me who was given a strong dose of ‘sinner’. She has come a long way on the healing journey, no longer a sinner, now more of a servant of love.
Shadow aspects: since the spiritual journey has been focused on our own inner world, we may not realize that Peoples have shadows too. White people have been, for a good long time, playing the shadow role to black and brown people. There are some pretty wise ones who know this: that the ‘cheat to win’ aspect seems to have been personified in the white Western world, for all worlds to see, experience, join in, or oppose.
We can look at the end result looming over the globe right now.
For what reason would this happen or be done? The answer I offer is the one you would expect from me: evolution of consciousness and the realization that Divinity, the Force, the Source, God, is not ‘out there’, and God is not ‘just visiting’ when we say Within. The Force is us: the conscious human being, and this includes the physical form. In my view, descending into this incredible time of domination by deception has been necessary in order for us to discard old beliefs and evolve: it’s the high-pressure evolution fast track.
Let’s go further inside and look at how we do the work of recognizing and bringing our own personal shadow into alignment. We don’t strive to destroy the shadow side of ourselves. Instead we bring those aspects in to the light, recognizing the experiences and conditioning that brought them into being. Through honesty and loving kindness toward less appreciated aspects of ourselves we gradually discover their value. Shadow can be brought in to work with us, as this is the process of becoming whole.
Have the black and brown worlds been honest with us? Have they been attempting to teach us and show us the way out of this? I’d say they’ve not only been teaching, they’ve been incredibly patient, honest, and extremely reluctant to turn on us… not just out of fear, but out of hope that we’ll come around.
My heart is hopeful too, as I see that we are expanding our awareness in large numbers – it’s beautiful as I watch it. We might be afraid of being hurt, but we are listening, taking it in and helping when we see a way to help. Through our heart-centered awareness we realize that the black and brown worlds have gone through the most intense evolutionary trial of the soul and spirit imaginable, and they have survived.
Reincarnation: many of us are open to the possibility that before we join the physical realm we choose our body and family. That means we choose not just the cultural conditioning, but everything that comes with the DNA. Many of us also believe that we came here to do something, and that our life has a purpose. If this is so, do we proceed with guilt, or hurt feelings, or in self-defense? Or do we say, “In choosing this body and lineage I gave myself a perfect foundation to not only expand consciousness, but to Serve in a remarkable way as life returns to balance.”
It is true that we didn’t do the evil of our rulers. Some of us have stood up against oppression most of our lives. So no… I don’t take personal responsibility for what the rulers did and still do. I do take responsibility for myself and my lineage. My ancestors, and yours too, must have prayed for a world in which they could enjoy harmony, a world in which people do right by one another. I say that because it’s made evident by us, their descendants, as we join on to the whole and work to create a better world.
When I was browsing through facebook I saw a post from a friend and long-time activist that seems to fit in this writing. He would tell you he’s not at all into the ‘spiritual’ side of things, but just listen:
“Somewhere along the way, because of certain experiences not typical for white status USAns, I got into my brain and my heart that each one of those people in the street was real, felt pain, contained immense mysteries. Sometimes I forget, but I know it.
“Yes, I know that I will never understand what it is to be Black — but I can know the facts that are hidden from me about them. I can know what it is to talk to them, including the discomfort — and the way the discomfort works. I live in a deeply African culture, and in the land where slave-raising was a normal business. I live in a patriarchy that is being questioned. I don’t want to be ignorant of where I am or who I am with.
“But I think maybe my deepest motivation to struggle is that I don’t want to be the person who falls for the oppressor’s con game. Especially I don’t want to be the person I was intended by this society to be — with lots of formal education, lots of prestige, lots of arrogant benevolence — and not an effing clue of what’s actually happening with the next human being.
“I know we are always more ignorant than we imagine we are. But as long as I am headed in the right direction….”
And that is where his message stopped. What a down-to-earth heart response.
The question of how to help can be a hard one, as the problems are so deep. When the Native tribes took a stand in North Dakota, the obvious right thing was and is to stand with them in spirit, financially or in person. To win it will mean so much more than one location and one pipeline. As we support their stand in spirit, we can envision Native Peoples the world over in a state of harmony… home, healed, respected, and enjoying abundance.
How do we respond to the issues facing Afrodescendants? As with Native Peoples, solutions will become more apparent as we respond to what is clearly economic lack, racial prejudice, cultural differences and identity fears. Activism opens eyes, especially in dealing with the heinous drug war, the judicial and policing systems and the prison industry. The efforts we are making to oppose and stop wrong doing are having a positive effect although we know it will take a sea change to reach balance and harmony.
At this moment what I yearn for is a million personal efforts to help individuals. I say this because for years I have seen the effect of helping individuals. There will be someone who can’t afford to see a dentist, another who hasn’t been to a doctor in years, another needs help filling out a form, someone else needs a ride, another is in prison and would sure like to receive a few books to read. All that is required is to see the need and respond as best we can.
Toward that end I’ve been working with a young man for several months; together we’re creating the blueprint for a grant-making organization. This organization will be one that fully assists young Afrodescendants in funding, building and sustaining a business for the benefit of the community. The organization is now in the hands of dedicated young people, and in the early stages of becoming a reality. When it’s ready to launch I’ll introduce you to it.
This writing has been a bit longer and more in depth than usual. I guess that’s because I’m close to it, and there is so much to convey. ‘Do right’ will be simple one day… when there is no more fear of change, fear of what others might say or do, self-doubt, self-judgment and fear of others. What if the only path to human and earth survival is, “Love one another?” Well, we can fight for that!
As a PS, there is a request I would like to make… for myself. I am in the position of needing help with something. Very soon I will have to move from my current home because the make-up of the household is changing. Rent at my current house will be unaffordable, so I’m looking at other places now. If what I’m writing pleases you and helps you, would you consider donating? It will help me a lot.