The past few years have been steeped in events that have triggered our awareness of social issues within our society. When COVID came into the picture in late 2019, by early 2020 the world scrambled around trying to figure out how best to contain the spread of this virus. Many were obligated to wear face masks which made people feel they weren't free to do as they choose. Since a good portion of people felt and still feel the virus is either manmade or being used to spark fear in the population, some hesitated to comply with the mask mandates.
Over the years, events that highlight America's longstanding racial issues have been on the rise, showing us that many Black Americans and other people of color are still being heavily affected by the consequences of colonization and white supremacy. The recent attack on the Capitol resulted from the former President of the United States, Donald Trump, inciting violence after expressing his feelings that the recent election that he lost was stolen from him. Trump's avid supporters that raided the Capitol in an attempt to "take their country back" were able to storm the Capitol with minimal repercussions. This event raised eyebrows, as people observed the vast difference between police reactions to Black Lives Matter protestors and those involved in the recent Capitol raid. Since then, many social media platforms including Twitter have banned Trump in an attempt to reduce any further incitement of violence. Other social media outlets have been removed for the possibility of inciting violence as well. Of course, there has been a lot of opposition from some people due to fears of censorship. Beyond this, many other supporters and associates of Trump have back peddled and changed their tune, trying to cut their ties with the former president after what occurred two weeks ago.
The events that have occurred over the past year or so have revealed to us that our society still retains much of the division we assumed had already been cleared out. All of these events have caused people to question their freedom and how free we truly are, regardless of the political party or ethnic group. Are we truly the all inclusive, harmonious country people say we are? Or is this image just a facade?
I have mentioned this before in other blog posts, but the word "unity" is a buzz word that is often used loosely these days. Unity is something that people claim to desire and even something people feel actually exists on a higher level but is something we are being distracted from because the media and government feed on our fears. However, if we look at this more closely, the word "unity" is sometimes used to support a particular narrative. Anytime something jarring occurs that is difficult to talk about, specifically concerning race, many people refer back to our "unity", claiming that everyone is equal and there should be no need for such a discussion. Sometimes, the word is used in an effort to pacify the rage of those who feel overlooked in their desire for justice. They are told to look beyond color and see the underlying unity that exists between all beings.
We can see when it comes to COVID, however, there is a different agenda with some groups. When we are asked to do that which requires us to consider others, people often refer to our individuality, our separateness, our freedom to do what we please. The insurrection that took place at the Capitol was rampant with people who carried confederate flags, displayed white supremacist symbols and felt that they needed to take their country back after a supposedly stolen election. Unfortunately, several people perished as a result of this event and some may be permanently traumatized. These aforementioned situations do not reflect a truly united country. Instead, they reflect back to us a division that is not recent but has always existed within the United States.
Tightening the focus a bit, many modern spiritual circles love using the word "unity." According to these groups, unity is something that we are all working towards with the emergence of the New Earth. I feel that we are indeed working towards a profound shift in the dynamics of our social interactions, but to reach a state of true unity, we must keep in mind that the journey is not straight and narrow. There is a desire for unity and yet a resistance to acknowledging the significant problems within our societal structure. Some people even feel that there are no real problems or perhaps whatever problems that do exist are minimal. Some people also feel that whatever core problems exist are a result of collective trauma and the media is seeking to get a reaction out of people in order to initiate control over them. Within this same narrative, the best solution would be for people to detach themselves from the issues so as not to give the government or media what they so desire. They feel the real problem is not the general population, but the "higher forces", so in their minds, the best way to deal with that problem is to wake up and realize the corruption taking place. Basically, instead of the problem having its root within the people, it resides within the "true leaders" or the "shadow government."
Here is my take. Regardless of whether or not any of these assumptions are true, the ability to become truly unified starts with us. We cannot arrive to a space of unity unless we directly face the division and honor the contradictions as well as the double standards. I believe that leaders can be a powerful force in directing the energy of the people (The Capitol insurrection is a good example.) This is why it's so important for people to be active in their communities and to advocate for certain causes that benefit all people. However, a leader cannot force people to acknowledge what needs to change within their own psyche. Obama becoming president did not heal the racial issues within America and it's unlikely that another black president will. Collective healing requires multiple components and a leader alone will not bring the change that is needed.
People also feel that by acknowledging the division that exists, we are ultimately feeding it. This could not be further from the truth. In order for us to become unified like we supposedly want, the division must have a voice. This applies to any type of healing, whether personal or collective. No one and nothing has ever healed by ignoring the hurt and hiding from the fragmentation like it didn't exist. It needs to be aired out. How else will we know what we're dealing with? Such behavior reflects to us the tendency for us to stuff things under the rug that require us to look at ourselves in the mirror and consider that something within us needs to change.
There seems to be a contradiction here. On one side, we desire oneness and yet on the other we want to be separate and only do what serves our own needs. In a sense, we like the word "unity" but don't want to do what needs to be done in order to get there. Mainstream spirituality has created people that feel spirituality translates as surface level detachment, individuality and focusing only on that which the sovereign being can create with their own mind. This isn't necessarily completely false but these beliefs are undertaken without the appropriate context and are devoid of the spiritual ripening that leads to an authentic expression of these concepts. For example, when COVID was initially on the rise, many modern spiritual circles expressed their resistance by saying things like "You can only catch COVID if your vibration isn't high", "Don't impose your fear on me. I create my own reality", and "The virus is manmade so no mask for me!" We can see now that much of what was being said is not true, but those who had a deeper spiritual understanding already knew this. They knew personal vibration is not directly correlated with illness. They also knew that regardless of whether you create your reality or not, people were and are still suffering from the effects of the virus. The same thing applies to the virus being manmade. At the end of the day, none of these assumptions made any difference. What was the most important factor in all of this? It was whether or not we were willing to be there for each other. It was if we were willing to come together in the midst of a crisis, and many were not. Ultimately, many people's individuality was so important to them, that they couldn't do what they needed to do in order to be there for their fellow human being.
Spiritual growth does not result in increased numbness towards the unique experiences of others. As we grow, we honor others and the way they experience life even if we don't fully understand it. In a space of spiritual maturity, detachment comes from a place of trust in the Divine flow, the common thread which connects all beings. Because of this common thread, there is the ability to allow things to unfold without forcing things into being. There is also an acknowledgment that illness can be an important lesson and doesn't necessarily reflect the wholeness of the person. There is the knowing that while one's reality is always being created through the choices they make, it does not justify the negation of other people's realities. Finally there is the understanding that regardless of the origin of any plague, we must care for one another.
We cannot expect to be unified and also retain 100% of our freedom. Before you jump down my throat, know that things do not have to be night vs day. In other words, it doesn't have to be either freedom or slavery. In a truly unified system, there is a sense of community. Sometimes in that community, you have to do what needs to be done in order to support the common good of the entire community, not just yourself. Sometimes you may need to sacrifice a bit of your freedom in order to do what serves the collective. You are not free to kill or hurt a person without consequence; That doesn't mean that you're not free. What do we truly want? Unity doesn't mean we have to all live in the same house together but if we are not willing to at least consider each other's well being, then what are we doing?
One of the reasons there is such a contradiction between the desire for separateness and the desire for separation, is many people are trying to initiate growth from their current state and then attempting to travel upwards from there. Unfortunately, this is not how spiritual growth or any kind of true growth works. In order to truly grow in any way, we must begin from the root. If the roots are not firmly planted, there will be no growth. If the foundation of a house is unstable, the entire structure will not withstand its own weight. All growth works this way. So if there is a desire for unity, we must go all the way into the core paradigms to make sure they are healthy and suitable for creating a harmonious internal and external environment. There must be an acknowledgment of the pain, ignorance and discord that resides within our own being before we can start making a full recovery. But how far people are willing to go depends on the individual. Not everyone is willing to do the work and that is something we will have to accept.
So do we want unity? If we truly want unity, there must be an understanding that our choices must be made for the purpose of serving the collective. Unity must include the oppressed, not only those who are at an advantage. It's easy to say "we are all one" when you have been granted certain privileges since birth. Unity, must apply to ALL people, whether advantaged or disadvantaged, whether gay or straight, whether black, white, indigenous or Asian. It is important to know that we are not truly united unless there is fairness on a mundane level for all beings regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation. Our quest for unity must be all inclusive if we will truly get there.
Let us remember this as we move into a new presidential term. The work that needs to be done will not disappear. It is up to all of us to acknowledge the truth and heal from there.