I am appalled by the continual stream of anti-Muslim sentiment passing along through the internet. I receive forwards on a regular basis (from the conservative sect of family) engaged in full bore propaganda breeding an environment of distrust and hate. It seems to be intensifying. Yes, I have send out an email saying to stop sending forwards to me, yet I realize in the receiving I have also become aware of the nature of hate and prejudice which is circling. The most recent one which has prompted this post states, “…Therefore after much study and deliberation….perhaps we should be very suspicious of ALL MUSLIMS in this country. They obviously cannot be “good” Muslims and good Americans.”
I just don’t understand. Has paranoia always sat on the back stoop of America? Have we not learned? Our world is rife with lessons of the harm and injustice done under the hands of fear and prejudice. Where does all this come from, the all or nothing belief which seems to blanket the hearts and minds of brothers and sisters around the world?
I grew up in the midst of a cultural revolution; Black Panthers, Brown Berets, Chicago 7, Civil Rights, Women’s Liberation Movement, Vietnam War, Hippies. As a young girl these were the images and sounds I heard everyday growing up in Watsonville/Santa Cruz California, but they were heard and seen everywhere, splashed across the screen and booming from the radio in gory detail; Dogs, fire hoses, guns, tear gas, batons, screams, helicopters, riots, blood, death, names; the names which were hurled at each other, the vicious distorted faces of rage and hate…and the fear. The face of hate wrapped in the skin of fear is to me the most horrific sight. This time is seared inside my mind, branded upon my psyche and heart. It is deeply apart of whom I am today and I do not forget. I also do not forget that this is one story in one nation during one period of time and it has seen itself around the globe in various stages of dress forever.
It is not that I do not understand fear and paranoia, or that I have never experienced my own rage and hatred. It is not that I am a stranger to prejudice. It is just I cannot abide the rabid insanity of it all; the expression left unchecked is the most profound ugliness and lowest form of the human existence. It is pure unadulterated primal first chakra.
It breaks my heart. I know or have known all kinds of people from all kinds of backgrounds, practicing all kinds of religions, living all kinds of belief. They are all an expression of me at one time or another. If Christians and Muslims are embattled, would it not be helpful to look at what the combat is about? I believe there are far more similarities than differences. This is not America vs. the Muslim World. This is a power struggle cloaking itself in partisanship and godliness. Both sides point to each other and scream Infidel!! And why is it that extremist from both camps are running the board? What is being acted out here from the collective psyche of the world? What I do know is we would not be here if it was not within the collective to be so. We are all involved no matter what our political, personal, moral or religious beliefs may be. We are all engaged. I am engaged. So what is my power struggle? What am I embattled in? What am I cloaking? What does this world battle play out which finds its seed within? Where do I point at myself and scream infidel?
I may be a pacifist at heart, yet I am on a warrior path. I will not engage in violence, yet if it is between them and me, I will not go down quietly. I am a dualistic being and duality is no saint. It is the marker of shadow and light; it heralds the living and registers the dead. It chooses life and death and survival of the fittest. Duality is elitist, tribal, amoral, self-righteous and grandiose. Duality is pure, uncompromisable, radiant, expansive and divine. It can only spawn itself and therein we find heaven and hell. Within the seed of duality exists the potential to be fully human and fully spirit, merged within the human experience. It is our greatest conflict and greatest promise.
It is not strange that as we move closer to the end of the Piscean Age and the beginning of the Aquarian we find ourselves engaged in this precise battle of holy wars; duality mirroring itself with fear and loathing, engaged in terrorism, coming up from behind nailing our collective asses. If I do not trust myself how can I trust anyone else? If I do not believe in myself how can I believe in anyone else? Tolerance, trust, awareness, compassion, none of these exists outside of me if there is no internal expression. If I cannot see my duality, it will stay hidden and split, sabotaging internally and externally, creating cyclical conflict which by its nature acts itself out. I will not be able to be a “good spirit and good human” at the same time.
I am Muslim, Christian, Jew, Sikh, Hindu, Buddhist. I am black, red, and brown, white, yellow. I am gay, straight, tolerance and intolerance. I am kindness, compassion, love and generosity. I am cruelty, bitterness, revenge and hatred. I am war, death, brutality. I am peace, life and forgiveness. I am Mother Mary and Kali. I am all things, we all are. What happens when we live fully with this awareness, when we do not have to subjugate one at the expense of another? What do I become when I can integrate the fullness of my being, fully human, fully spirit and live accordingly, in awareness, in mastery? Destiny; the Holy Grail.
“…one who understands himself finds the Mansion of the Lord’s presence within his own home…” SGGS pg. 56
Something wonderful has happened – the breath has become the cup. SGGS pg. 92