Prejudice continues to be prevalent these days, and it is not always about colour. It is sadly convenient. It is often a result of, cultural and socio-economic divisions, and fear. Whether it is about gender, sexual preference, age, race, education, disability, religion etc., it is basically about separation and seeing differences. Seeing the person in front of you as other. But what if you realised that the person in front of you is a reflection of you. What if the person beating the other woke up from their trance and saw the victim as none other than themselves? The thief robbing himself/herself? What if you realised that all prejudice and discrimination is based on lies and that everyone is an expression of the Divine? What then? The fact is, seeing differences, having judgements and opinions is embedded in the human psyche and it will take time for this to change. We need to be patient and compassionate with prejudice, it will take time to heal.
Until we see the Unity in All Life, that all life matters, we will continue to collapse into ignorance and prejudice.
In our line of work, Eddie and I have come across both perpetrators and victims of abuse, sometimes it is hard to tell them apart. I learnt that if we inquire lovingly with them, to look through, and beyond the pain they carry, they might be able to find kernels of love and truth. When we realise the Truth, we are no longer at the mercy of ignorance. After all, Truth has the power to set us free.
The truth is that we are not separate from each other. We are part of a continuum of loving consciousness and every experience is an opportunity to practice love and compassion. We are so entrenched in the quagmire of false identification that it is hard to break free from the “them and us” cycle of pain. When you identify with the body, with your thoughts, your position, your country, your judgements, your culture, with attached zeal, it separates us from each other.
My father often said to me, “Remember, you are a second-class citizen in this world because of the colour of your skin. Because of this you have to work harder, be better, prove your worth.” Not a very useful or encouraging thing to say to a young girl growing up in the 70s. It was his idea and I was not going to adopt it. I was inwardly furious at this. And being the rebel that I was, I refused to accept this axiom. I chose from very early on to see the ONE in every one and this has served me well. I am not without my prejudice, likes and dislikes, and have experienced bias and discrimination within myself and others over the years, but I have chosen not to feed this. I have chosen to love my so-called oppressors because like St Paul, you never know when the realisation will dawn on them and they will see the Love present in all things.
Every harsh, ugly act on another is an act of pain on oneself. Can you imagine the torment of a mind twisted with fear and prejudice? The enemy is fear, hate, ignorance. Justice is the path of the rational; Love is the path of the Divine. Can you sustain enmity in the face of LOVE? Can you LOVE your enemies? If you can, then you can bring healing into this divided world of ours where all life matters.
If you want to bring healing and peace into this divided world see the person doing the beating and the person being beaten as parts of yourself waiting to wake-up from the ignorance to know Love. Spewing anger is not helpful. It stokes the fires of resentment and hate. Using foul language to show your outrage doesn’t make anything better.
How can we not feel each other’s pain, how can we not be responsible for the suffering in this world, knowing that we are One. I know there is a desire to control this story of prejudice, to want to take away the pain. This comes from impatience and resistance to understanding. I am bound by what I know and so must invite LOVE here. In the face of suffering I ask with all my heart for Truth to illuminate this present moment and dispel the darkness of ignorance, for LOVE to prevail. Would you like to join me?
That’s all for now, Love and Joy, Ranjana