God and Diversity

Greetings!I’ve been shy to write a second blog entry. Why?

I don’t know. I’m guessing that I’m afraid, but I don’t feel afraid. I could just say that everything else takes precedence. But if I were afraid… I’m afraid because to write publicly about diversity is like writing about God. People may want to string me up!

How is diversity related to God? There is a notion that God got bored with the unmanifest realm, so created a physical universe to start to know herself. This is life popping up in wild, wonderful, and disturbing ways. Life, or God getting to know herself, is one big diversity project. That’s one way to look at.

Of course this connects God to things like relationship problems, falling in love, murder, illness, and potent dreams. This view (which is partly corroborated by quantum physics such as David Bohm’s implicit and explicate orders), suggests that all of life (the explicate) arises out of a primordial ground of manifestation (the implicate). That is, we are all part of some Big Mind, God if you will. This One cooks up for us a dizzying array of phenomena so we can better know ourselves.

Here, people differences of gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, political view and perspective make me think, “God is a genius!” What better way for God to know herself than in the struggles we have with our human differences! Why else would racism, sexism, and homophobia exist, but to provide high contrast situations for this collision: God getting to know herself.

Of course these collisions can be painful, and I myself have sometimes wanted to die for the sheer pain and hopelessness I can feel around exclusion, racism, and marginalization. But if we look deeply at the bright side right now, maybe the excluded and the excluder have the same essential root.

The Process Work of Arnold Mindell, a multi-disciplinary approach to individual and collective change, works with a wide array of life situations. Process Work addresses issues ranging from comatose states to organizational problems, from marital distress to chronic physical symptoms. Process Work posits three basic levels of reality: consensus reality or the reality that most people can agree upon, the dreaming level or the level of psychology, and the essential level of life where things are just beginning to be manifest. Getting to the essence of even disturbing expressions can often be quite clarifying and helpful.

I think there is an essence or divinity even at the heart of things like racism. Though I have felt the severe effect of racism in my life, I imagine at the heart of the racist is the dream of unity, of people being united in sameness. “If ‘we’ could only get rid of those who differ from us, maybe ‘we’ could live in unification and harmony.” Please don’t misunderstand me. I have great objection to racism, and other forms of exclusion. I also wonder about their roots, and how this view may be potentially helpful. And how about “me?” What may be at the heart of the excluded? For me, I have been so “wiped out” by racism that I barely exist at times. This wispy existence lends itself to transcendence and detachment. Here, at the edge of life, and even death, please know that “living” on the earthly plane can feel like death and despair. And that “dying” and ego death can feel like life and the beauty of all things possible.

The racist or excluders may have an essence that says, “Yes, let us all be one and alike. That is best.”

The excluded may say, “Yes, let me disappear at the edge of life, and there know no limitations. That is best.”

A third perspective says, “Yes, you both seek a paradise of sorts, but be aware and sensitive to each other and know that your positions may switch at any time.” Today there is undoubtedly an excluded one and an excluder who will both suffer. Today there may also be an excluded one and an ex-cluder who, rooted to their deepest dreams and experiences, feel sensitive and aware of each other, and live in some form of paradise. I wish for a paradise on earth and sometimes feel it. But on other days, God knows through me and others the wish for death and the new life that ultimate freedom can bring. This shared existence implies that I am you and you are me. You have the power, and I have the power. You are God, and so am I.