A lot of the time, discussions on cultural appropriation and dilution of tradition end up locked in the racial discourse. Given structural inequalities that operate across the planet, it is also utterly understandable. Whilst it is absolutely important to respect indigenous practitioners, lineages and tradition along with the social, political, cultural and economic framework of their origin …. there’s also a good energetic reason as to why any facilitator/client would want to do this.
Every tradition originates out of a particular experience of history, culture, (often) struggle and suffering. It evolves in response to particular challenges and establishes certain psychic and spiritual parameters of experience. It evolves practices to invoke gatekeepers, guides and ancestors to keep the practitioner, their family and their clients safe.
In a highly (and increasingly) commercialized spiritual marketplace, teachings on spiritual traditions of minorities and indigenous people are stripped out of context and time to make them publicly accessible. Whilst it make excite a lot of people who feel they have access to ‘ secret’ teachings that they did not before, it also opens them up to ungrounded and unsafe spiritual practices and teachings.
Basically, without the lived, embodied experience of learning and feeling through the nuance of a tradition, you’re flying blind. This is why coming back to a legitimate source is absolutely important. This is why you can’t legitimately claim mastery over something that you have no real connection to.
Reading a few things and answering an online test does not qualify – you’ll see why in the video. It discusses how and why this particular question popped to the forefront of my thoughts recently and why it is so important.
I would also like to acknowledge that spiritual traditions that fail to evolve are just as potentially dangerous. There needs to be a recognition that structures must evolve to acclimatize themselves to changing energetic contexts. Losing them entirely also loses valuable wisdom, protection and the insights of lineage. Taking an extreme on either side of the coin here is ultimately counter-productive.
Blessings and Love
Dr. Bairavee Balasubramaniam PhD
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