Saturday, April 17, 2010
The Illusion of Separateness
I just got an e-mail from a close relative entitled "Divorce Agreement". It proposes dividing the country up according to ideology and beliefs because, "this relationship has run its course" (i.e. America). On one level, it is interesting how the language of racism evolves, but always keeps the same motivation, i.e. to define the "other", and to maintain a sense of separation from that "other".
In this context the letter states "you are welcome to Islam, Scientology, Humanism and Shirley Maclaine...we'll keep our Judeo-Christian values...we'll keep the capitalism, greedy corporations, pharmaceutical companies, Wal-Mart...". It then descends into a thinly veiled screed against "homeless, homeboys, hippies, and illegal aliens".
At least two things stand out here in sharp contrast. The first being that few of us fall sharply into any one camp of belief or lifestyle. There are gay Christians, Darwinian Hummer drivers, and tree hugging NRA members, scattered like leaven throughout this country. So, to enact such a decree would literally mean severing ourselves into pieces, using the wisdom of Solomon.
The second consideration being that ignorance and divisiveness are tools that propagandists use to weaken and divide a potential threat. Who is it, you may ask, that would want to keep a populace divided against itself? Simply ask yourself who stands to benefit by continuing to undermine the concept this country was founded on, i.e. "We the People".
You can find the answer for yourself. And a hint that no, it's not a Republican or Democratic conspiracy to hold the other side down. To think that is to perpetuate the illusion of separateness. What if the world is not so black and white?
Truthfully, my world becomes more gray each day. I find elements of truth in just about any system, as well as faults and corruption. Within my own context of life experiences I am a descendent of Arkansas hillbilly, Oklahoma dugout born native, taught to think for myself, while influenced by Christian, Hindu, Buddhist spirituality, and dancing to soul, funk, deep south field music with tablas and a Krishna beat.
There is no way to separate out all of that cultural mishmash. Not even Solomon, in all of his wisdom could, or would even want to. So next time I'm out and about, I'll see you at the Chaat stand, standing on a crowded D.F. Metro, sitting at the Zen center, listening to AM radio on a country dirt road, or drinking horchata with my homeboys.