We’re working our way through a massive mind trip: the minds that manage our incoming information have taken the concepts of love and tolerance and bent them to an extreme. We are asked to tolerate everything that human beings can come up with because we are loving, empathetic and ‘contemporary’ and evolving. ‘One world one love’ has been turned out.
It won’t work – because it’s a mind trip.
And it’s a ‘cryin’ shame’, as my family used to say, that human kindness and acceptance, even the word Love, have been made shallow and poisonous. You either love and tolerate everything you’re told to or you could be: a misogynist, patriarchal, sexist, homophobic, immigrant-hater, racist who is intolerant and ignorant… or prudish, old and outdated.
If you, like me, happen to be someone who doesn’t like their emotions to be manipulated and their mind being ‘bent’, it doesn’t make you outdated. You might just be correctly dated. I’m walking toward the world we will create when we are able to Be what Love is. For this we need truth and our own wholeness.
The polarized thinking that we are all subjected to makes it more challenging for me to write about what I experience with regard to race. It’s a subject tied to the deepest of conditioning and programming. No matter how challenging, I’ll attempt it anyway – maybe I can help, at least that’s the hope. It starts with looking at our footing.
Right now we are in the position our ancestors’ efforts (or struggles) have placed us; their struggles were in response to forces that were dominant, i.e. decisions of kings, politicians, popes, intellectuals, money-lenders and mother nature.
Someone’s mind has been in charge – be it God, government, or a few money’d men. Born into a role, playing a part, formed by the system, doing our best to understand what life really is, we are standing where our birth and life choices have taken us. No two of us are alike. Wherever we are, it’s the right place.
I’m going to approach the subject of race through my experience of poverty in the ‘hood’. There are many situations of poverty that people around the globe are subjected to and I’m sure they all downpress the human spirit in some way. I see how my spirit is affected by environment alone, and I wasn’t born here.
Back to the cryin’ shame: our compassionate and truth-loving spirit within is being overwhelmed by a false narrative. This is why it’s so important to look inside and consider our footing. We must be able to sort things out individually and collectively – to turn and not be led off a cliff. Truth leads to justice and then to harmony, peace and wellness. We must listen for it.
People’s stories are testimonies, in a sense. Some would say, “my truth”. So, let’s get into my truth and pose the question: Where the Hell is God?
Poverty and Lack
Our life journey, our quest for knowing and being, takes us to vistas where we become the one who knows a certain landscape, having lived it not in darkness, but in the quest to know what is. This writing, about poverty and lack, is not the emotional complaint of a victim but rather an observation from a vista.
I was born into a family that would definitely qualify as poor – I remember times when our situation showed up in meals of rice with sugar and milk or maybe crackers and milk. My parents came through the great depression and so did the entire community. Families had survived many hard and fearful times, yet the feeling was not one of lack – it was more of a ‘work hard, get an education, grow up good, love God’ mentality. I was born in 1946.
I’m going to call the situation poverty plus, and the plus is several things. The foundation of land the grandparents had homesteaded: an inheritance. We also inherited a history and a culture.
We had the stories of our European ancestors who were peasants and fishermen. We heard how they left family and sought a better life as landowners – pioneers on the prairie. We know they had a strong will and a belief: “By the grace of God my needs are met.” That connection, and the fact that we also had some ‘lift ups’ from the government, made it possible to build.
So this is where I began. Thirty-eight years down the road, while steadily seeking a way to stand on my own, I did a turn-about and entered into a poverty minus life. This became my spiritual path – something I chose in order to ‘live up’ to myself or my childhood promises to serve God.
The poverty minus I’m describing is a situation of no inheritance, complete disconnection from original history, culture, and ancestors, plus a degraded environment that translates into a systematic boot on your neck.
Some folks like to romanticize poverty – especially that of Indigenous Peoples and Afrodescendants. For example, they might look at Afrodescendants (those who have Trans-Atlantic slavery in their ancestry), like they’re more in touch with soul because of the experience. There are some aspects of truth to our romantic hope.
Within some Black people is a fairness, compassion and the ability to ‘feel’ that we look upon as deeply resonant with the truth, wise and trustworthy, and we love it. Within some we find a great deal of spiritual integrity. There is also damage and deception and anger and unknowns that give rise to fear.
When I go to the corner store I see the damage. Are there people who have lost their sanity? Yes. Poverty minus is a load to carry, and it’s trans-generational. Do poor people steal or do they waste money on the ‘appearance of having money’? Sure. Are there black people who hate themselves, their situation, and others who are black? You bet. Are there young people with guns competing in a drug economy? There are. Are their addicts? Sadly. Are there people who believe: ‘By the grace of God my needs are met’? Yes, plenty.
Poverty minus is the ‘make bricks with no straw’ problem.
We can look at the problem from three vistas: what’s going on in the world – what’s going on within ourselves – collective evolution.