Today I shared a phenomenal poem I read on Facebook written by Ally Lopez. It spoke of the anguish indigenous peoples and other minorities feel when New Age motto-s are used to justify cultural appropriation. And the irony that the descendants of those who enslaved them and took their land are seeking to take their culture (still).
(Link with comments: https://www.facebook.com/bairavee.balasubramaniam/posts/2054455474658437 )
I contextualized it as a powerful catalyst for discourse, etc. and shared it – and we had some insightful commentary from all sides. Some beautiful practitioners came forth to share their world. These were women who were doing their best to acknowledge their own privilege as descendants of those who colonized and lived off the land of others. I fully recommend reading the thread.
But there was hate, vitriol and a lot of defensive white anger that did come through (one more so in my personal inbox – she threw every spiritual buzzword / accusation she could at me, except the kitchen sink).
Let´s just say I didn´t feel a need to sugar-coat my responses – One does not require foul language to make it very clear where another has stepped over a line.
Some people are angry that I´m highlighting these issues. It was easier for them to see me as a good astrologer, as long as I kept silent on real-world issues. And every time I tried in the past –
I was told how this was lowering my vibration.
(Good, I came back to do work here, not float off into outer space)
I was told how this was divisive
(Not in the least. What´s divisive is how some people´s experiences of feeling hurt and their culture misrepresented is seen as less important than those who benefit from commodifying it)
I was told how this was ´distracting´ me from my true purpose (to be this elevated Guru type figure)
(Bullshit. I decide what my purpose is.)
I was told how it´s because we are all One.
(Does that include One bank account? Does that include One homestead? Are the people profiting from cultural appropriation doing anything to help those communities and indigenous cultures they are taking from?)
How there is no black and white.
(Please tell me that when no one has to be afraid of being pulled over by the cops for driving a car, trying to enter their own home, trying to study at a library, trying to go to Starbucks, etc. just because they are racially profiled to be dangerous?)
How we had to ´stop playing the victim´ when speaking about the pain of seeing indigenous cultures diluted and sold, or when speaking about colonialism, slavery and institutional privileges that still result.
(And yes … how just is the world when the privileged get to decide when a person should and should not be a victim of historical injustices? And since when was being a victim of oppression something a person ´played´ at?)
How there was no privilege and we had to transcend it all with Love
(Please improve the lives of those marginalized and oppressed in your own neighbourhood in some significant way before speaking of transcending privilege. Act on what you´re saying, don´t just say it. Also, Love doesn´t tolerate abuse and Love does not stay quiet when a Beloved is in Pain)
They would rather I shut up about what´s happening on Earth and tell them what the skies are saying.
They would rather I speak in generalizations that did not hit home and did not make them question their own complicity in perpetuating hierarchy (albeit in the guise of the spiritual).
To the people trying to shut down those who dare to open a space for brave, honest dialogue and communication, I ask you this:
When did spirituality become yet another reason to bury one´s head in the sand?
When did One-ness come to mean that the voice of pluralism, of the Many, ceased to exist?
It´s called Unity IN Diversity, not without it.
There´s a lot of unpacking we need to do with at the words that are now the mainstreamed vocabulary of the New Age movement. So many of these words have their origins in the civilising mission of Empire – and they´re still being used the same way when someone questions that usage.
So really – is it not reproducing some (if not all) of the old power-plays of church and state that it claims to have transcended ?
So what then is the politics that cuts across the movement as a Whole?
Are we really that surprised to see the prevalence of spiritual bypassing, narcissism and fakery in context of that?
Wasn´t that the EXACT problem that was seen in older, patriarchal systems of control through state and religion?
Think about it …
Now this is not to say that people exploring their spirituality are all idiots or sheep or steeped in privilege. There are some wonderful people who do this work with great sincerity and humility. Across the colour spectrum.
And I can tell you they´re never the ones trying to tell me (and others) to ´transcend it all´. They´re the ones who do the most work in understanding, connecting and giving back.
Now in the greatest context of my work, of course I know these discussions will alienate some people.
Truthfully, I am okay with that.
I am okay with my work standing for something that was just, balanced and connected – rather than trying to filter it through the language of acceptability and centrism that just ends up getting tolerated because people want to get what they can out of it.
I can tell you that none of the people who feel uncomfortable with my work have ever materially supported me in the past, or a likely to have done so in the future. Because that kind of entitlement is equally what their rhetoric justifies them getting away with.
I´m not really losing anything of value here, but am consolidating the space that I hold and who holds it together with me.
(Plus – I have a program that gives a person even more astrological depth and insight that I did before – and people can join that if they want to)
But to wrap this up …
One of the comments I get (which I find hilarious) is when my ability to see these patterns and articulate them is seen as being ´a know-it-all´, or ´elitist´…
The same perception and intellect that was able to delivery insightful astrological posts was once desired … and now ridiculed because it points out an inconvenient truth?
Check your privilege …
Check the politics embedded in your idea of what spirituality should be …
Is what I would say …
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Whilst the work I channel, intuit and figure out ultimately comes from Spirit, it still comes through me-as-co-creative a-divine-spark. For legal purposes I share these terms – and I hope you can understand the energetic basis of doing so. We all have to be honored for what we do, and what we bring. That way we keep things sustainable and in integrity.
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Post & Text © Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2019. All rights reserved