Monthly Archives: September 2016

Getting Beyond the 60s

If Hilary Clinton loses this election, it will be because, ideologically, she is stuck in the 1960s.

Back in the 60s, it was clear what “racism” meant: that blacks, and generally anyone other than whites, are inferior to whites. Inferior intellectually, morally, spiritually. So inferior that blacks had to be kept segregated from white communities. It was perfectly clear: if you were for segregation, you were a racist. In the 1960s, those who wanted to preserve “American culture” as fundamentally white affirmed segregation and so actively embraced racism.

But in the last 50 years, those cultural conservatives changed their tactic. They no longer linked their view of American culture as fundamentally white with segregation. Instead, they connected it to the idea that America is fundamentally a white country: a country founded by white people from Europe.

The distinction is important. Crucial.

It is the distinction between saying, “You can’t live in my house because you aren’t good enough as a human being”, and saying “You can’t live in my house because it is my house.” The former is racist. The later is not.

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Spiritual Objectivity

There is an egoless objectivity. It is an awareness of the world beyond the concerns of me and mine: my needs, my wants, my fears, my family, my friends, my communities, my values.

Spirituality is living with egoless objectivity. It is to look and be aware of my own life and that of my family, friends, neighbors with a certain detachment, to be able to see that myself as Bharath is a limited awareness, a partial view which, in illusion, presents itself as the whole reality.

This spirituality objectivity is different from physics objectivity. True, the objectivity of physics is egoless. It makes no reference to egos or people (never mind quantum mechanics – that is spiritually irrelevant). But physics objectivity doesn’t imply spiritual objectivity. A physicist can see the world in terms of atoms and quarks, but then still get angry, jealous, resentful – still be driven by the ego in his interactions with fellow human beings. Even the physicist as a human has to do the spiritual work of attaining egoless objectivity – understanding black holes or the formation of galaxies isn’t a substitute for the spiritual work.

The physics objectivity can be a bouncing board for spiritual objectivity. When I feel resentful, I can be mindful of the limits of my ego by remembering, and holding in my awareness, that both me and the person I am resentful of are but atoms in the void. Knowledge of physics doesn’t provide this wisdom. The spiritual skill is to develop the awareness that we are all atoms in the midst of the emotional and mental turmoil I am going through, so that I don’t identify with that turmoil and act out of my ego concerns.

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