It is with a sad and concerned heart that I write to you today. I hope this finds you well.
I have been reading the news and the posts. I have been consulting the texts and loved ones. And I have been praying through the day to make sense of our current state of affairs. I am alarmed but not surprised by the violence – the violence today and all the days that came before it.
But today I will not tell you that love is the answer, even as I believe it.
I follow and honor the great Sages, from belief systems and revolutions across space and time, in this sentiment: We are a human race forever pitted against one another – by governments, by media, by institutions, by “people” in positions of power and most vividly by our own samskaras.
Samskaras are all the webs of cultural, societal, personal, political and ancestral experiences. They join with our constantly assaulted egos and work hard to determine our behaviors and our outcomes. But they are not us. Please. Read that again.
Can you see? These samskaras, they are not who we truly are. And so, neither our behaviors, nor our outcomes, should reflect them.
I am reminded that these are systemic issues we face and that the people who fall victim - including those who commit horrible crimes - are easily blamed, battered and shunned. And so they are continuously broken in cycles of violence. And these too are samskaras.
These cycles of pain that cause us to inflict pain on others. And this so-called justice that follows. Samskaras.
Darren Wilson did not come from the womb with the aim of committing acts of police brutality. Nor did any of the impoverished who have been forced into crime come to their mother’s bosom in hopes of a bleak and fearful future. It is not coincidence that jails are filled with brown men and that famous athletes have abusive tendencies. A baby girl does not say to herself, “I want to be a prostitute.” A little boy does not say “I will commit a mass murder in a school when I grow up.” And those who are complacent, ignorant or unaware, they too became this way as a result of their experience. Samskaras.
Please. I beg you. Stop blaming one another. This only keeps us from meaningful change. This strong desire to find an enemy, it is our cultural samskara. It is the friend of our imbalanced egos and it makes it easier for systems to oppress us, to privilege us and to place us in the ring to fight one another - continuing the cycle of violence – violence today and all the days that came before it. Samskaras.
Today I will tell you that personal responsibility is the answer. Because I believe that we as human-kind have the ability to choose ourselves over our samskaras.
The light in me sees the light in you, and I ask you this: What is the truth of the action you take today? Is it reflecting you? Or is it echoing the samskaras that control you?
Please, stop. Take a quiet moment. Ask yourself.
Me? Or samskara?
All the Love.