Interracial-Voice
From the Editor

The Political Realignment:
A Jihad against "Race"-consciousness

By Charles Michael Byrd
C. Byrd
(Photo by Lynn Goldsmith)

"I am convinced that when the intellectual history of our times comes to be written, the idea of race, both the popular and the taxonomic, will be viewed for what it is: a confused and dangerous idea which happened to fit the social requirements of a thoroughly exploitative period in the development of Western man."

-- Ashley Montagu

Back in May, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would give Communist China permanent normal trade status. The 237-197 vote was a big victory for the Clinton administration and a blow for organized labor. After a fierce lobbying campaign, 164 Republicans and 73 Democrats backed normal trade ties with Beijing. After the vote, union leaders said Democrats who voted for the bill could pay a price in the fall, and House Democratic Whip David E. Bonior of Michigan stated that the battle's bitterness may lead to a political realignment.

I believe in the principle of unfettered global trade as that along with democratic governance and economic growth will increase the workingman's compensation. Whether this new status and subsequent membership in the World Trade Organization -- with its international rules on trade, tariffs and investments -- compels China, as the prevailing theory holds, not only to improve its dreadful human rights situation, including religious persecution, but to curtail its nuclear weapons proliferation as well is another matter. The Communist Party leadership said it was gratified by the vote, but it labeled as "unacceptable" provisions in the bill setting up a panel to monitor that country's human rights abuses. Hmmm...

International trade and union support for one party over another are not the only arenas where we might entertain the notion of realignment, however. In fact, such an idea is likely to resonate more favorably as it relates to "race" and "race"-consciousness than regarding big-labor bosses abruptly throwing their support to Ralph Nader.

I sense that many Americans are eager to embrace a new no-"race" paradigm, specifically prohibiting government -- which, since the state is but an extension of the individual selves, ostensibly serves the will of the people -- from collecting information on "race" and "ethnicity." In April of this year, 77% of the respondents to a Zogby International poll answered "no" to the question: "Do you feel the government should require you to disclose your race?"

An overwhelming majority of Americans oppose having the government decide what "race" a person is, if the person declines to volunteer that information. Particularly opposed to this were those respondents who described themselves as "multiracial." While the overall rate was 91.2% and cut across all political, "racial" and "ethnic" lines, 93.8% of multiracials told Zogby that they oppose what we now know is the politically-correct version of the one-drop rule. The politically-correct version of the one-drop rule is the government's recently implemented check all that apply policy which one-drops multiple race checkers (along with those who either leave the "race" boxes unmarked or put "American," "human" or some other nonracial response) into a sole minority category for the purpose of "monitoring civil rights violations and discrimination."

Along these lines, Zogby's data also shows that the American public no longer endorses the racist one drop rule for deciding who is "black." When asked what "race" is the child of one "black" parent and one "white" parent, more than 5 in 6 answered multiracial.

The Same Ol' Song

The Zogby figures don't mean that every American who identifies as "mixed" will now agitate in favor of removing the stupid "race" and "ethnic" boxes from all levels of government. As I type this, representatives of the same multiracial/multiethnic organizations that eagerly signed on to check all that apply in 1997 are contemplating yet another round of supplicating the "civil rights" organizations that dictate Census policy to allow the government to recognize folk in 2010 who identify as multiracial as a "protected" group in terms of the enforcement of civil rights and other claims.

Most multiracials aren't interested, however, in being part of a federally recognized group demanding new entitlement programs by claiming permanent victim status, permanently situated on the "black" or "of color" side of the "black"/"white" political color continuum. (One telltale symptom of "Binary Consciousness Syndrome" is the inability or unwillingness to consider an identity, personal or political, for yourself or for someone else, that transcends "white" and "black" or the latter's amplified form: "of color.") Many are tired of a left-of-center political ideology that places more value on the rights of artificially created "racial" and "ethnic" groups than on the rights of individuals.

Many are also tired of having the traditional "civil rights" organizations, by way of their appointed mouthpieces scattered throughout the "mixed" community, preach to them about how, because racism still exists, multiracials should not ignore the impact on civil rights "history" as that would serve to ignore their own roots in all the communities "of color."

First, you root out still-lingering racism by deconstructing "race" -- not by intentionally furthering the canard that keeping "race"-based statistics does anything other than perpetuate the same "race"-consciousness that we seek to jettison. (Likewise, two-thirds of the respondents to IV's survey question regarding abolishing racial categories altogether have responded affirmatively.)

I and others have written this before, but it bears constant repetition for the benefit of those whose cognitive abilities inexplicably shut down whenever someone dispassionately discusses "race." A belief in not only the existence of separate "races" -- with all the attendant "differences" -- and a "racial" hierarchy but also in the appropriateness of grouping Homo sapiens into arbitrary "racial" and "ethnic" categories is the primary cause of racism and discrimination. You cannot take seriously anyone who rails against racism yet is perfectly willing to see the belief system, the "race"-consciousness -- which spawns racism, "race"-hatred and "race"-based violence -- remain intact.

Second, it is racist itself to posit that one should only feel love for or meditate upon one's relatives or roots "of color" and ignore what left-wing pc defines as one's invisible relatives. (Well, if they are not "of color," and I've yet to see a human lacking same as even albinos have some, what are they? Bleached?)

Third, we need to give a proper burial to the "to the white man, you'll always be a nigger" mantra that virulent opponents of a mixed-race identity scream to the heavens whenever the opportunity arises. Yes, we understand that neo-Nazi "white" supremacists as well as others who conceal their bigotry behind a cross view multiracials as such (e.g., Matthew Hale whose "World Church of the Creator" is but a demoniac perversion of ancient scriptures and the Ohio "pastor" who refused to marry an interracial couple), but do they represent the majority of "white" Americans who operate outside the realm of religious zealotry? For that matter, nine "white" guys handed down the U.S. Supreme Court's 1967 "Loving vs. Virginia" decision that overturned not only this country's remaining anti-miscegenation laws but Jim Crow-era one-drop stigmata also. Since it is "black" politicos who purposely slight "Loving" as well as the impact of that particular detail of civil rights history -- i.e., this country's burgeoning "mixed" population -- is it really "The White Man" who treats multiracials like "niggers"?

Adding a touch of comic irony to this wretched stupidity was The New York Times article, "Who Gets to Tell a Black Story?" a part of the paper's "How Race Is Lived In America" series. In a nutshell, HBO hired actor Charles Dutton (from the sitcom "Roc" as well as movies like "Alien 3" and "Get on the Bus") to direct "The Corner," a network special about "black" inner-city drug addicts in Baltimore based on a book written by David Simon. One reason HBO executives chose Dutton was that they felt it imperative to have a "black" prominently involved in converting "The Corner: A year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighbourhood" by the "white" author Simon into a television mini-series.

When Dutton first spied his film production crew, however, instead of walking over to them and shaking their hands, he turned his back on them and walked away. Apparently he felt there was not sufficient "minority" representation within the crew that HBO's Nina Noble, the unit production manager, had picked for him. The humorous part is Noble's reflection that the crew she put together did include a number of "blacks" -- though not all were present the day they were to meet Dutton -- and that one of those who were there might have been mistaken for "white"!

The Political Realignment

In a 05-30-00 Wall Street Journal editorial entitled "Race Counts" that referenced the Zogby poll, Abigail Thernstrom of the Manhattan Institute reminded the paper's editors that, even though there is a backlash against government "race" counting, many laws and social programs depend on such information. She added:

"The legislation is not going to go away. The court decisions that have interpreted the Voting Rights Act such that it is permissible to racially gerrymander districts to some extent -- none of this is going away."
State legislators create or draw congressional districts to comply with the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that prohibits districting plans that systematically dilute minority voting strength. A previous Justice Department's interpretation, however, transformed the Voting Rights Act into a tool for racial gerrymandering of districts, a tool for racial segregation. Legislators began gerrymandering districts in such a way that they were using "race" as the sole predominant determinant for where they were drawing district lines; they were using "race" to draw lines of separatism as opposed to integration. When you factor in the near lily-"white" districts that were created next door, the problem for those of mixed-ancestry is simple. Unless you're willing to subordinate your own personal identity for a greater political cause -- which should always be the individual's prerogative -- where do you call home in this neo-segregationist environment, a return to Jim Crowism inspired as much if not more by Pan-African cultural communism (e.g., the socialist ujamma collectives of the late Tanzania strongman Julius Nyerere) as by "white" racism?

bushgoreThernstrom points out that if the government didn't collect its own data, it would most likely use other, possibly less accurate, private sector sources. She suggests that people who don't like the law and its effects -- such as racial data-gathering -- should work to change the law. The political realignment, therefore, might first manifest itself in this year's presidential election. Some multiracials who have never cast a ballot for a Republican in their lives might vote for Texas Governor George W. Bush. Why? His glaring misstep at Bob Jones University notwithstanding, if the opportunity arises, Bush is likely to appoint moderate-to-conservative U.S. Supreme Court justices inclined to continue the trend of ruling against programs that use "race" as a criteria. Others will vote for Vice President Al Gore -- despite his using a Buddhist temple as a fund-raising front -- as he is likely, if the opportunity arises, to appoint liberal-to-moderate U.S. Supreme Court justices inclined to slow if not reverse the trend of ruling against programs that use "race" as a criteria.

This notion of "minority voting strength" -- borne out of the "racially" polarized '60s -- is problematic at best, though. How do you define, for instance, "black" voting power? Who is to say what political ideology best serves the interest of self-identified "black" people? Is it socialism? If so, where is that etched in stone, and, more importantly, who etched it? God? Why do its self-appointed leaders seemingly regard the "black" community as a closed society, permanently segregated from the rest of America? The attempt to maintain the illusion of a cohesive monolith, an absolute "blackness" is a fraud just as is any "white" supremacist's claim of an absolute, cohesive "whiteness." It was fraudulent back in the '60s, and it is fraudulent today.

Ask any group of tri-racial isolates, such as the Melungeons, whether they feel that identifying as something other than "black" adversely impacts the ability of civil rights groups to identify "black" voters in terms of fair representation. The fact is, the Melungeons and other mixed-race populations have never viewed themselves as anything other than as groups separate from both "whites" as well as "blacks." To say that these people are ignoring their "roots in the communities of color" is absurd, since they have been mixed for generations. Their reality on having monoracial "white" or "black" parents is nil.

"Race" as Weird Science

"Since 'races' are open systems which are intergrading, the number of 'races' will depend on the purpose of the classification. I think we should require people who propose a classification of 'races' to state in the first place why they wish to divide the human species."

-- Noted anthropologist, Sherwood Washburn

Of course, scientists know and are now willing to publicly affirm that genetic variation from one individual to another of the same so-called "race" overwhelms the average differences between "racial" groupings. In short, we now know the suspect idea of "race" to be without any scientific backing. Against that backdrop, it's interesting to observe how racialists of all colors nowadays quickly denigrate the notion that there is no biological foundation for "race," as they fear losing an identity built on the shifting sands of nescience.

In 1775 Johann Blumenbach wrote a book called, "On the Natural Varieties of Mankind." Blumenbach is widely considered the "father" of anthropology, and his book synthesized the earlier attempts of individuals such as Frangois Bernier, Georges Buffon, and Carolus Linneaus who were toying around with the idea of classifying human-kind into various, rather arbitrary, groupings. Blumenbach distinguished five varieties of mankind determined by climate, pigmentation, and skull size: Mongolian, Ethiopian, American, Malay, and Caucasian.

Some historians maintain that Blumenbach was not a racist per se based on his statement regarding mankind that "you see that all do so run into one another, and that one variety of mankind does so sensibly pass into the other, that you cannot mark them out the limits between them." The truth is incontrovertible, though, that Blumenbach did leave a door ajar which others used later to push their racial views.

Europeans engaged in transatlantic enslavement had to find a justification for subjugating their fellow humans while remaining faithful to their "religious" beliefs. The easiest way to do that was to champion the idea of a superior "white" or Aryan "race" that, for the sake of maintaining "white" purity, should never mix with Africans -- whom the slavers designated as sub-human beasts of labor. It therefore followed, at least in the slavers' minds, that if Africans were not human, it would be no affront to "God" to enslave them to make the New World plantations profitable. Nowadays, "black" politicos and academics alike point to this crime against humanity -- in which, by the way, West African tribal chieftains willingly participated -- to justify their advocacy of one of atheistic Marxism's fundamental tenets: redistribution of wealth cloaked in the guise of reparations for slavery.

As a student of Vedic scriptures, I prefer what they say -- or, more correctly, what they don't say -- about "race." Vedic literature refers to many "species" of humans. Unlike modern biologists, though, the Vedas do not draw distinctions based upon gross physical appearance or morphological nature alone. The major deciding difference is the level of spiritual consciousness, and of these, there are many.

Thus, we do not regard "mixed-ness" as a buffer in a vertical, top-down racial hierarchy between "white" and "black." Rather, we view a consideration of "multiracialness" as one transcending "black" purity (particularly the excruciatingly tortured "logic" of a pure, mixed or rainbow "race") and "white" purity, enjoying a position above both which, in essence, occupy the same platform. The necessity to change or raise our level of consciousness means more than just viewing "race" as the phony construct it is but also being consciously aware of a higher truth than the mundane abstractions of either "blackness" or "whiteness."

That said, why do so many people, regardless of color or assumed "racial" background, have such a hard time relinquishing their "race"-consciousness?

Consciousness

"The millions are awake enough for physical labor; but only one in a million is awake enough for effective intellectual exertion, only one in a hundred million to a poetic or divine life. To be awake is to be alive. I have never yet met a man who was quite awake. How could I have looked him in the face?"

-- Henry David Thoreau

Ask any quantum physicist worth his salt what solid matter breaks down to and he will tell you -- regardless of his religious belief, or lack of same -- that physical matter is made up of atoms which in turn are composed of electrons and protons and neutrons all in violent motion. In other words, particles of energy moving at incredibly high speeds. Everything we can see, feel, smell, hear or taste is a form of energy vibrating at different rates, and this vibration produces the illusion of solidity. Far beyond atoms and molecules, at the level of the quantum field, there is nothing other than energy, information and intelligence -- pure consciousness, the symptoms of the living entity.

Consciousness is the most fundamental part of human experience; nothing is more intimate or more immediate. Every sense impression -- such as seeing the words on this page -- means something to us because we are conscious. A chair registers no sensory impression; it is not conscious; it has no soul. But I do; I am; I have a soul. Or do I? Do I have a soul or do I have a body? Who am I -- the soul or the body?

Ancient scriptural texts, especially those from India, simplify fundamental ontological questions. For example, in certain classical schools dating back to the Vedantic tradition, there is an elementary exercise that runs something like this: Can I be conscious of my body? Can I be conscious of my hand? My legs? My face? My heart? My mind? Yes, I can be conscious of any part of my body, its pleasures, its pains.

Now, can the body be conscious of itself? The immediate answer is no. My body cannot be conscious of itself; rather I am conscious of my body. This simple reflection on the nature of consciousness makes it clear that there is a separation between the body and the self, the living being within who is conscious of the body.

-- Steven Rosen, "The Reincarnation Controversy: Uncovering the Truth in the World Religions"

How many people are aware of this, though? According to Thoreau -- and doubtless Rosen, too -- precious few, and this is why so many scurry about demanding that others pledge fidelity to the bodily concept of identity in general and to a particular "race" specifically. (This is also why so many weak minds knuckle under to those demands and, indeed, pledge fidelity to one particular "race" or another. They've lost sight of their inherent individuality and the myriad opportunities -- including progressing from "have-not" to "have" status -- this life offers anyone who can be his own adviser, keep his own counsel and select his own decisions.) Theirs is the contaminated state of "race"-consciousness. Interestingly enough, we observe that a great many of the individuals whose consciousness is so polluted proudly refer to themselves as ministers, reverends, pastors, priests, fathers, rabbis, etc. Hmmm...

Fear of Offending the Priesthood

walberg_showOn January 30, 1996 I appeared on the now-defunct Mark Walberg talk-show along with Steve and Ruth White of "A Place For Us" and other guests including Reverend Joseph Lowery, then of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. We debated the Census 2000 multiracial category issue, and, as you might expect, Lowery voiced strong opposition to the idea, declaring that he would fight such a designation with every bone and breath in his body. That's not surprising since Lowery is a longtime member of the "black" political priesthood -- the afrocentric equivalent of Iran's ruling mullahs -- that embraces one-drop ideology as its Eleventh Commandment.

What was surprising was Ruth's admonishment that, as a reverend, Lowery had no business touting "race" to begin with. My friends, the preacher uttered not a mumbling word in response. I know. I sat next to him.

walberg_showRuth's reprimand was astonishing in light of the unwritten rule within the "black" community that one dare not criticize "black" leaders in general -- airing the "community's dirty laundry for the "white" man to see, don't you know -- and the "black" clergy particularly. Couple that with the considerable role that "blacks" of the cloth continue to play in the political arena -- not to mention their viselike grip on the minds of "black" Americans far exceeding that of any other "community's" priestery, and you can see how Ruth, an ordained minister herself along with husband Steve, was courting condemnation (one of myriad forms of psychologically stealing another's energy to keep that person in line) from this religious elite with her insolentness.

Two questions come to mind, however: a-) If it's appropriate to criticize the Christian Fundamentalist Right (Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, et al.) for sticking its nose into and attempting to manipulate political affairs, why is it not also proper to pan the Christian Fundamentalist Left (Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Joseph Lowery, et al.) for doing the same?, and b-) If we define religion as love for and devotional service to God, or if we say that religion is about all of humanity finding relationship to one higher source, what business, then, does any religionist have engaging in the sordidness of "racial" identity politics?

Jesus Christ did not preach the gospel of "race"-consciousness.

Even those who do not bear designations such as reverend, minister and pastor before their names regularly invoke scripture and raise the specter of epic battles in order to support their agenda. While speaking before the National Baptist Sunday School and Baptist Training Congress in Fort Lauderdale on June 15, NAACP Chairman Julian Bond warned that moves to end "race"-based affirmative action signal a "full-scale attack" on the civil rights advances won over the past 30 years. Bond called affirmative action "the spoils of a righteous war" and decried movements in several states, including Florida, to dismantle "racial" preference programs.

The "righteous war" that was the civil rights movement of the '50s and '60s, however, failed to engage the final battle. (Verily, today's so-called leaders seem afraid or even unwilling to move beyond the prison of their past conditioning, afraid to reach for, grasp, and point the way to higher consciousness.) Since "race" was now the building block not merely for social programs and legal redress but for "black" self-esteem and "black" political power (i.e., the "Black Power!" movement which reached its zenith five years ago with Nation of Islam Minister and anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan's "Million Man March"), few people saw "race"-consciousness -- along with the omnipresent human vs. non-human background noise -- as the evil it was and still is. Indeed, they reveled in it and continue to do so.

In my opinion, "black" ministers believe they have carte blanche to push the "race" drug, because their "white" counterparts were complicit not only in the evils of slavery but Jim Crow racism as well. The Southern Baptist Convention, for example, offered an apology to "blacks" in 1995 for many members' support of slavery and racial segregation. Mainstream religions, however, still refuse to take the next step and denounce "race" as the bogus construct it is, opting instead to continue marching in unconscious lockstep to the American "racialist" party line that proclaims the existence of separate and distinct "racial" groupings on Earth.

Individuals of all colors who are supposed to be teaching love of God, love of humanity and liberation from the material concept of life continue preaching the gospel of "race"-consciousness, and woe be unto anyone who braves mentioning that publicly!

Conquering the Fear of Offending, and the Battlefield of Kuruksetra

If someone insults you, more than likely you would choose to be offended -- particularly if you are immersed in the bodily concept of identity. If someone compliments you, more than likely you would choose to be pleased or flattered -- again, especially if you identify with the body. Either way, though, it's a choice. Now, I don't advocate the indiscriminate insulting of others simply to prove the truth of this or for perverse sport, but if, for instance, Joseph Lowery felt in any way insulted or offended by Ruth White's remarks, that was a choice he consciously made. No one forced him to be offended, and Ruth had every right to say what she did. This is still America isn't it?

gates_broyardSimilarly, consider the case of the late mixed-race New York Times book critic Anatole Broyard who chose not to identify as "black." While Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. now defends himself by saying he was merely "exploring complexity," conventional wisdom -- particularly within the multiracial community -- holds that he "outed" Broyard in the June 17, 1996 edition of The New Yorker magazine by accusing him of passing for "white." What Gates, Lowery and other self-identified "blacks" are ever-so-slowly beginning to realize is that their choices of identity, philosophy, political affiliation and religious belief are not necessarily other people's choices. With respect to Broyard, they need to understand that they are not reacting to his decision to not identify as "black" but to their own feelings about that decision. The Anatole Broyards of the world are not responsible for the feelings of indignation and jealousy that individual "blacks" experience. When they recognize and understand this completely, they will be ready to take individual responsibility for how they feel and to change it.

Allow me to suggest some light reading, however, for whenever you fear offending someone with your honest opinion. Consider Arjuna's predicament on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra as delineated in the Bhagavad-Gita. The Bhagavad-gita is the essence of India's Vedic wisdom and one of the great spiritual and philosophical classics of the world. It comes to us in the form of a battlefield dialogue between The Divine Sri Krsna and Arjuna, His intimate friend and devotee, whom He instructs in the science of self-realization.

krsnaAs the opposing armies stand poised for battle, Arjuna, the mighty warrior, sees his intimate relatives, teachers and friends in both armies ready to fight and sacrifice their lives. Overcome by grief and pity, Arjuna fails in strength, his mind becomes bewildered, and he gives up his determination to fight. Arjuna submits to Lord Krsna as His disciple, and Krsna begins His teachings to Arjuna by explaining the fundamental distinction between the temporary material body and the eternal spiritual soul. The Lord explains the process of transmigration, the nature of selfless service to the Supreme and the characteristics of a self-realized person.

Arjuna eventually realizes that everyone must engage in some sort of activity in this material world, but actions can either bind one to this world or liberate one from it. By acting for the pleasure of the Supreme, without selfish motives, one can be liberated from the law of karma (action and reaction) and attain transcendental knowledge of the self and the Supreme. He eventually realizes that it is his duty as a ksatriya -- a warrior or administrator in the Vedic social system, literally one who protects others from harm -- to fight for the sake of fighting because God desires the battle versus those who have sinned against Him.

Now, here at IV, we don't seek to recreate the conditions on a battlefield in India 5,000 years ago with the Godhead (Krsna, who periodically descends specifically to reestablish the real purpose of life when man forgets it) assisting in a heroic battle against miscreants. If Arjuna, however, was able to understand that a wise man does not lament even in the face of death, because he knows that the soul within the body never dies, surely, in the year 2000, we can conquer the fear of offending others while expressing our honest beliefs and personal preferences.

A Jihad against "Race"-consciousness

As is the case with Ruth and Steve White, though, not all religionists, ministers, reverends, pastors, priests, fathers, rabbis, imams, gurus, etc., peddle "race"-consciousness. Along with those who don't are members of "New Age" groups and even the old Secret Societies -- no longer secret, mind you, with the advent of the Internet. Might these folk constitute the frontline forces in the jihad against "race"-consciousness?

gnosisA number of years ago a friend mailed me a copy of the Winter 1988 issue of Gnosis: A Journal of the Western Inner Traditions. As is at times the case, I laid it aside and didn't give it a serious look until just recently. (Often we put a book or magazine on the shelf until we're ready to read it, or, more accurately, until we're ready and able to receive or have the information inside.) The publication's Forum section includes an intriguing mini-essay by William Allen entitled, "Mystics must enter the public arena to change it." Let's consider the particulars of Allen's piece as we simultaneously contemplate prosecuting a jihad against "race"-consciousness.

"Mystics must enter the public arena to change it"

Among New Age groups there seems to be a division between those who believe that political action can be a spiritual activity, and those who believe that politics (as well as economics, science, technology, social systems, etc.) is so unspiritual or profane a realm that they will have nothing to do with it, preferring instead to focus exclusively on their interior practice, whether it be study, meditation, chanting, channeling, etc. This division reflects differences of definition. Is spirituality purely an interior process "of or relating to sacred matters" and incorporeal worlds, or is it a combination of interior process and exterior action?

One definition of a mystic is someone who, through various inner experiences, intuits that the ground of his being is something called a soul or spark of God. In this deep formless spirit, he connects all his work and activities directly to the Godhead who is manifesting all the universes at every moment. Devotees of Falun Gong leader Li Hongzhi go so far as to claim he has the ability to fly and perform other miracles. Let's stick with the initial meaning for the purpose of this paper, though.

To be sure, interior practices are an essential component of spiritual growth. The self, the Soul, the Vision, etc. must be found within. But is this activity the only one spiritual? And assuming one has contacted the Self or grasped the Vision, is the work necessarily done?
Vedic teachings hold that Divine Love is the strongest spiritual force on Earth and can establish a close relation of love and unity of hearts amongst all humans, thereby establishing real peace in the world. In fact, all animated beings are interconnected and are parts of the potency of One Organic System -- The All-Pervading Soul. The knowledge of our common relation to that Absolute Soul fosters in us love and affinity for each other.

meditationIt is said that the cause of our suffering on this planet is that we are averse to God, that the root of our afflictions is forgetfulness of our eternal relation with The Supreme. Individual conscious units or spirits are atomic spiritual sparks that have thinking, feeling and willing. Misuse of that relative independence or volition is the cause of our averseness to God.

Consciousness is originally pure, like water, but if we mix water with a certain color, it changes. Consciousness is pure for the spirit soul is pure, but consciousness -- specifically the informational component -- changes according to association with material nature, according to the falsehoods one hears and believes over time. Recognizing and eliminating the false data contaminating one's consciousness allows one to rehabilitate his innate intelligence and remember his eternal position. Taking birth in the human form is so important because this is the best opportunity for the individual soul to do just that, to remember its eternal position relative to The Supreme and to stop the cycle of birth and death by returning to The Divine Source.

As William Allen asks, however, is grasping this vision all we need do?

In a recent published interview, an actress-turned-spiritual mentor was asked what to do about the present chaotic, dangerous state of world affairs. Her reply was to the effect that there is nothing one can do personally about the ugliness and gross injustices in the world. What one can do, however, is change one's perception and experience of the situation, by finding peace within, etc. This is not uncommon. There is today no shortage of teachers, embodied or disembodied, who proclaim that all we need do is look inside, see and experience ourselves as God, or the Goddess, and know that "everything is beautiful and perfect just the way it is." This is paralleled by the widespread belief that when a mathematical proportion of individuals have, through inner processes, raised their consciousnesses to a heightened level of awareness, world affairs will automatically begin to transform.
The question is, do we simply twiddle our thumbs waiting for this "critical mass" or mathematical proportion of humans to become magically "enlightened," or do we nudge the process along? A higher level of consciousness will unquestionably trigger positive change on this planet, but can we trust elected officials and many in the pulpit to be catalysts for this change? Not the way things stand today. What if we just wait 50 years or so for all the present-day bigots, regardless of color, to be dead in the hope that we will then have totally divested ourselves of "race"-consciousness. Hmmm...

Allen is correct to state that many consider politics, economics, science, technology and social systems so mundane and unspiritual that they will have nothing to do with them. Conversely, there is a school of thought that holds that the human intellect is expressly developed for advancement in art, science, philosophy, physics, chemistry, psychology, economics, politics and other fields.

Through the culture of knowledge, humanity can attain the perfection of life, culminating in the realization of the higher source, God. When we apply this knowledge in service to God, the process of advancement becomes absolute. This second school of thought, then, recommends that art, science, philosophy, physics, chemistry, psychology and other branches of knowledge be applied in the service of raising consciousness, in the service of glorifying The Supreme.

There are elements of truth in these concepts. But, the glamorous manner in which these ideas are currently being presented and applied is, in too many instances, Old Age behavior under a New Age guise -- Old Age in that it is a perpetuation of one of the greatest errors of our civilization: the fragmentation of life into sacred and profane, the separation of spirituality from all modes and institutions of human expression except those deemed "religious" or "mystical," and its relegation to the interior life. So while millions through the decades have paid much attention to the mystical inner life, humanity's outer expressions -- its political, economic, social, scientific, cultural systems and conditions have been allowed to become the irrational, corrupt, unjust, cruel institutions that they are today. At the same time, some of the most ill-suited persons have been allowed to lead.
When Allen refers to the fragmentation of life into sacred and profane, the separation of spirituality from all modes and institutions of human expression except those deemed "religious" or "mystical" he is referring to the notion that the source of the physical universe is unknown and that we simply need to work on raising our individual levels of consciousness.

The great sages, however, explain that all phenomena in the universe emanate from the Divine because He, through His inconceivable energies, has set in motion the actions and reactions of the creation. Everything has come into being out of His energy; everything rests on His energy, and after annihilation, everything merges into Him. Therefore nothing is different from the Lord, although the Lord is always different from His creation.

Vedic scriptures advise the learned, those not ensnared by visnu-maya (sense enjoyment, materialism), to aspire to spiritual life. For example, philosophers should apply their work in the service of enlightenment, aiming to establish the Supreme Truth as sentient and all-powerful. (Religion without philosophy is sentimental and therefore fanatical; philosophy without religion is mental speculation.) All other branches of knowledge should similarly be engaged in this manner.

Fortunately, a growing number of individuals and groups are beginning to understand that the inner divinity cannot be expressed or manifested adequately in a corrupt world, and that we must work to transform our political, economic, and social structures to allow that divinity to flourish. Understanding, cooperation, goodwill, and the principle of sharing must be "institutionalized" in the place of competition, greed, rabid nationalism, and hatred. The new world will not be built by channeling, creating rituals, focusing crystals or studying ancient texts in monastic seclusion. It will come when the mystics and the people of vision awaken to the true needs of the time and enter the difficult arena of public life and work.
I would revise Allen's second sentence above to read: Understanding, cooperation, goodwill, and the principle of sharing knowledge and information must be "institutionalized" in the place of the socialist welfare state that spawns greedy competition for government largesse between "racial" and "ethnic" groups, exploitative, sweatshop capitalism, rabid nationalism, hatred and "race" and "ethnic" pride -- the latter two being merely modern-day forms of tribalism.

If the esoteric and New Age groups do not have a political agenda -- political in the broad sense of the complex of social and structural relations between members of a society -- then they will be among the most ineffective of groups in the movement for world transformation.
The second school of thought holds that whenever we see some extraordinary power, we should understand that it is derived from God's power. We could argue, therefore, that America's predominance in the world is due to God's favor. Notwithstanding the increasing number of interracial marriages and their offspring, however, America, seemingly at the behest of the government's executive branch, various "civil rights" groups and their media sympathizers who purposely and consistently present a stark "black"/"white" dichotomy to the public, appears hellbent on dichotomizing into several smaller autonomous "states" that may eventually commence fighting each other like cats and dogs. This is due to a depraved devotion to "race"-consciousness. Thus the need to wage the jihad.

Assessing the Progress of the Jihad

In September 2001, we will convene a weekend conference in New York City to assess the jihad's progress. Speakers from around the country will report on what they have done within their own personal spheres of influence to educate others to the false nature of "race." (Not being terrified of Communist objections and pressure, we'll welcome the Dalai Lama with open arms!) They will report on what they have done -- and what preachers of all colors should have been doing for a long, long time -- to assist others in recognizing and relinquishing their "race"-consciousness. They will report on what they have done to revitalize the true spirit of the civil rights movement -- the innate spirituality of the global community -- as opposed to that which hijacked and derailed the movement -- fervent materialistic nationalism. Individuals of all faiths and denominations will brainstorm ways to continue the process, to make these conferences annual events including global participants.

Individuals interested in speaking should contact IV, and we will update this page regularly as we receive confirmations. The conference will be open to the public (with specific dates and location posted later this month), and those interested in disseminating information about the jihad should forward this editorial and its web address (http://www.webcom.com/intvoice/jihad.html) far and wide. You can do that by sending copies to friends and relatives, posting messages to websites, newsgroups, listservers, sending letters to your local print publications, mailing copies to your local houses of worship, etc.

Lastly, Taking off our Blinders

In his 07-13-00 New York Daily News Op-Ed entitled, "Time to Take Blinders Off About Africa," Stanley Crouch wrote:

crouch"In order to achieve some sort of integrity, we have to face the fact that the idea of universal human rights cannot function as a conception only when we are talking about the Western world as the villain. We have to move free of any kind of allegiance to color or nation or class or religion or anything else if it gets in the way of recognizing injustice."
Likewise, we as a nation have to move free from our current allegiance to "race"-consciousness -- no matter who that stirring may offend, including contemporary leaders of a civil rights movement that lost its credibility when it forfeited its spiritual vision -- if we are to truly develop our potential as a country that leads the world by both moral and spiritual example. China can claim a civilization that has endured over 6,000 years, and that is one reason why the West will never be able to dictate terms to her. Its current rulers, though, make a mockery of the concept of universal human rights, yet those wearing blinders count on free trade changing the consciousness of Communist bosses in Beijing. I say our jihad against "race"-consciousness here in America has a far better chance of success!

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