Everyone’s hearts and minds are with the families who lost loved ones in New Zealand last week. The terrible murders of all those worshipers touches a still raw wound in our collective hearts. To murder people who are worshiping takes a special kind of ignorance of SELF and evil, an evil that unfortunately we have become accustomed and desensitized to. Here at The Aware Brand we like to take things that are happening in our lives and look at them through the lens of awareness. Here is a place where spirituality intersects with race, gender, religion, ethnicity and socioeconomic status. We have heard many people over the past few days talk about sending their thoughts and prayers but not enough leaders are addressing the elephant of white supremacy in a way that really challenges us to search ourselves to see what we believe in both as individuals and as a collective.
Where do we start? Lao Tzu said: “The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our AWARENESS”. This labor of love will try to do just that.
Environment affects us in so many ways: mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. When we look at different cultures and civilizations throughout history we consistently see the societies that were living in predictable and harmonious environments highlighted aspects of nature like cycles, harmony, and beauty in their spiritual/religious systems. On the other hand, cultures that were born from harsher circumstances usually have brutal gods and stress concepts like punishment and control because they see nature as cruel and unforgiving. It is no secret that the earliest days of modern Europeans were born in ice: cold, harsh, and unpredictable. Like Game of Thrones unpredictable. Living in these conditions until the ice melted enough for immigration, really shaped the minds and hearts of early white people, so much so that there has always been a preoccupation with survival, accentuated and made popular by Darwin. That idea still persists to this day in cultural legacies of violence and intolerance. Keep all of this in mind as we continue on.
The heinous crime committed (and live-streamed) in New Zealand by Brenton Tarrant is the newest act in a long line of racially driven attacks on people considered “other”. Whether it be Dylan Roof in Charleston, Anders Breivik in Norway, Robert Bowers in Pittsburgh, Michael Page in Wisconsin or Alex Fields Jr., who drove the car into the crowd killing Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, the impulse pushing these men to action is fear. We do not have to guess what this fear is, we are told in chants of “you will not replace us”, and 70-page manifestos; the fear is centered around the thought of not being able to survive the growing tide of multiculturalism. Multiculturalism coupled with the declining birth rates across the globe, is triggering some white people into active resistance, or more accurately, terrorism. If you are aware, you can easily see that the consciousness of inclusion, integration, compassion and acceptance is growing more and more, and with its growth, causing much agitation. Now white supremacists are not the only ones uncomfortable in these times, they are just the most vocal and most dangerous. It is their loudness and boldness that is very disturbing. Especially when many white people who claim to be allies of non white people remain quiet and passive. While there are allies who speak up consistently, there is an overwhelming majority of people that remain silent. This silence is loudest in the spiritual communities all across the world.
What is spiritual to you? Is it feeding the homeless? Is it social justice? Is it about meditation yoga and affirmations? Crystals and sage? Most would agree at least conceptually, that we are all many out of one, emerging from a singular place of origin (God/Universe/Source). We share that place of origin with all of creation. This is the biggest and deepest truth. Most spiritual leaders, whether it be of churches or otherwise, have difficulty teaching their audience how to make that truth a living daily practice. It is such a shame really just how quiet or avoidant most of these leaders are when these types of incidents come up. The people are looking to them for clarity, honesty, and reassurance, and what do they get? Seemingly heartfelt words about God’s love and how one day it will all get better. But nothing challenging. No words to truly challenge the minds and hearts of those who wish to tear humanity apart. Spirituality is not about tricking ourselves into believing everything is okay, it is about being real with ourselves and transforming our lives for the better. We cannot do this without being uncomfortable. We must move beyond the popular abundance-law of attraction teachings and dig deep into ourselves to see how we are contributing to the current state of affairs.
It is also important to note that none of the above mentioned men are what the media loves to call a “lone wolf”. No, they are an expression of a part of us that has committed and given in to fear. Fear leads to doubt, isolation, and toxic exclusivity. These things stand in direct opposition to the incoming and growing consciousness of the future. All of our destinies are linked and for the coming days to truly be better we must all step up to the plate and do the necessary work to grow and change. White supremacy has burrowed deep holes into the consciousness of the planet, and it is our responsibility to undo the damage it has caused, so that tomorrow might be brighter than today. Where do you standing in these times? What does your spirituality look like in real life? How does your religion inspire you to make the world better? What personal work is there left for you to do on yourself? Our hearts truly go out to New Zealand and everywhere in the world where more love is needed. What can we do to make sure this doesn’t happen again?
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