“Those people are the problem!” There. Did you see it? I know you’ve been hearing it, but did you really see it? Our country is drunk right now on our favorite nectar. It’s the sweet, satisfying, ego-expanding, reality-denying elixir, which I call “otherness.” I talk about it all the time. I invite us beyond it nearly every week. It’s the sound of the Pied Piper, the Father of Lies, lulling us into a binary sleep of deception and ultimate destruction.
Racism is not the problem. Racism is a symptom of a much bigger problem, which is spiritually discerned. Equality is not the problem, nor is equity. No matter how much we claim to seek justice, so long as we bear the fever of otherness, we can only want justice for “us.” However, if true JUSTICE were perfectly executed, not a single one of us could withstand it.
There is no right side of this story.
We are all saying that we are so tired of this recurring nightmare. We all say we want change and then we all prove that we know nothing about how to effect it. So long as the burden of change is on anything other than our self, will will never awaken from this horrible dream.
When we pick a team or a side, we forfeit our ability to know and follow the truth. We are so blind, we actually think ideologies represent the total truth. As soon as we side with one viewpoint, as soon as we adopt one ideology as true, the hook is set. We’ve become locked into a binary way and programed to see the world and we become the puppet and slave a cruel master. Solidarity on one-side of the issue is precisely the problem. Fixing “those people,” the rigged system, the systemic evil, the blind privilege, the low-consciousness, from only one side of the argument, is like trying to construct a skyscraper from the top down.
There is no political, legal, military or social fix here. We are appealing to the wrong principalities and powers.
We are seeing the symptom of spiritual bankruptcy, as evidenced by the prison of the binary mindset. This is proven by the countless ways the discussion has been multiplied. Can’t we see this? The killing in Minneapolis is reverberating off the perceptions in all who watched it. The “peaceful” protesters have been opportunistically manipulated, and our media is handing out the shot glasses and team jersey’s. “Whose side are you on?” is a question stemming from the imprisoned mind. The truth is if we pick either side, we pick the losing side, because love is not binary, and I will prove that we actually despise love as we intoxicate ourselves on our hate.
Love requires all of us to change our mind. Love shows us we are all wrong.
The binary is forced on us. “You are either for us or against us.” This stupidity causes us to think one side is more moral, more worthy or more in alignment with the truth. It’s not. The Truth is always wider than our limited perception of it. Yet our hate makes us satisfied with our tiny bit of understanding and we conclude that “We know the Truth.” We don’t. Not even close.
In the case of George Floyd, every one of us is metaphorically both the knee and the neck. We are all oppressed and we are all oppressors when our minds and souls are trapped on one side. So long as we tune in, and give our attention, our time, our dollars and our calories to feeding one part, the more dull, blinded and consumed with hate we become. If we do not do the soul work, what’s left can only be described as a living Hell.
I say all the time that institutional evil is the incarnation of Satan. When we pick a team, a political party, a religion, a race, or a tribe, we forfeit our true self and adopt the fake ID offered by our preferred institution, club, or community which gives us a sense of belonging. Do we like our race? Do we think our political party is the good one? Think the solution to violence is more violence? Think the solution to power is to over-power the power? How hot does our Hell have to be?
Love and truth are not either/or. If people stand on opposite sides of the earth they can argue their respective facts about whether it is day or night. They can call each other names, appeal to the data, and even go to war over their perspective. Until we pull back and gain a transcendent view, we will never learn how both opposing truth claims are precisely true at the same time. Love is the transcendent view. Love reveals the truth. The question is do we want love? Clearly not. If we prefer our hate, if we prefer our tribal group-think, then can we at least recognize who our father ultimately is.
“You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44)
Drink up folks. Relish in the lie while everything dies. Or wake up. Take off your team jersey and let go of your need for power. If the latter feels like suicide, you are starting to understand.
Folks, our tribal elders, our religions, our political leaders, our gurus have all fallen into the binary quagmire, and are not able to guide us out of it. They are the presentable talking heads but they hold no power. But there is still a path that can free us all. LOVE. Love allows us to see ourselves in each other. Love says that while I am not you, and you are not me, we are also not other than each other. If we don’t see ourself as both oppressed and oppressor, we are still asleep in our pride.
Love is not an emotion that makes us feel good about the hell we’ve created or the mess we are in. Love is the power to turn everything around in quick manner by letting go of self-preservation and self-promotion and begin serving others. Love is not equality through uniformity. Love is diversity and unity rather than equality. Love is not the burden of one-side, it is the sacrifice which ends the dividing line of hostility, allowing us to see the bigger evil.
Love is not a pipe dream. Our world is not “too far gone.” It’s only as far away as each one of us is from loving others as ourself. Love requires we sit under the glaring light of reality in honest examination of our attitudes, our assumptions, and our anger and then it requires we surrender. We must open our hand and let it go. Love will not allow us to live carrying all the baggage. Love can and will free us if we would simply wake up. Love means that angry part has to die.
Once again, the Christ story shows us the path. The way up is down. Self emptying and sacrifice is how we trade authority for influence. Serving is how we lead. Giving is how we find true gain. Surrendering power is how we are empowered. The paradox has always been right before us. It’s available to all comers if we will just gain the eyes to see and the heart to receive. Our beloved systems are hopeless and powerless to help us see it.
Love will ask each of us to lay down our offenses. Love will ask us to lay down our defenses. Love asks us to lay down our strategies for control and preservation. No wonder we prefer our Hell to paradise. No wonder we cling to the bars of our three-walled prison, instead of walking freely right out the back.