The willful ignorance of injustice rampant in a spiritual community that prides itself on personal enlightenment really bums me out.
Racism, sexism, and homophobia are not vibrations you can choose or not choose to align yourself with – they are realities that disenfranchised groups of people face every day whether they like it or not, and no matter how much you tune them out on the road to your bliss, you can’t erase them merely by saying that you don’t believe in labels.
HOW IS IT THAT I HAVE TO SAY THIS. HOW IS THIS NOT OBVIOUS WHEN YOU WALK OUT OF YOUR HOUSE OR LOG ONTO THE INTERNET. HOW CAN YOU PREACH PEACE IN THE NAME OF PERSONAL HAPPINESS WHILE YOU IGNORE THE PEOPLE WHO ARE LITERALLY DYING FOR NO REASON OTHER THAN THEY WERE BORN DIFFERENT FROM YOU.
I’ve been pretty dumb and ignorant in the past. I’ve been selfish, self-motivated, filled with unconscious toxicity and internalized misogyny that I unwittingly adopted in self-preservation, as a means of fitting in and surviving, and I’d be foolish to think I have in any way entirely eradicated all those traces from my being, despite my trying each day to be a good person. What I don’t understand is how you can follow a path to personal consciousness and like, skip the chapter on holding compassion for entire groups of people who don’t have it as good as you do. Like, bruh. How did you miss that bit.
“Humanism” became a dirty word when it took on the tarnish of opposing words like feminism. “All lives matter” sounds great in theory but the phrase takes on new meaning when it’s used over and over to suppress the outcry over the deaths of black people. “Politically correct” meant something else in the 90s before the alt-right adopted it to silence the calling out of hate speech. You want to drop all the labels and just “be humans”? Great, so do the people who are dying! So did Sandra Bland and Eric Garner and all the folks in the club in Orlando! So the first thing you need to do is acknowledge that these labels exist and that there are violent people out there who will kill over them. Then and only then can you start to fight them.
I’m really disappointed, and I’m angry, and I hate that these beliefs are coming up over and over again in a community that is supposed to be about peace and enlightenment. I suppose you can stop at your own peace – I suppose you can get just enough spirituality to achieve your inner harmony and then call it a day. But that’s not gnosis, homies. That’s willful ignorance.
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: Enlightenment is a misnomer. Enlightenment is heavy as fuck. As Adyashanti writes, “Enlightenment is a destructive process. It has nothing to do with becoming better or being happier. Enlightenment is the crumbling away of untruth. It’s seeing through the facade of pretence.”
So go for it, pretend the world isn’t treating women, LGBT, and POC like crap, hope that praying for world peace in theory alone absolves your human responsibility for activism, and use your third eye to scry your next vacation home or whatever. I can’t stop you, and there’s a shit-ton of Elephant Journal readers who will camp out right alongside you.
But I want none of your enlightenment if it doesn’t expand beyond the scope of your personal happiness, because sorry, I’ve seen too much to turn a blind eye – and if we’re being absolutely honest, I still have way too much ego to let myself look that dumb in public.