A conversation I often have with students is focused on the ways mission and purpose are inextricably linked with our roles as human beings. Understanding what it means to say that human beings have a specific purpose can feel overwhelming and spiral us into an existential crisis; a hallmark of a “Messina class,” according to one of my students.
Regardless of religious or spiritual beliefs, we must know that we are called to a particular mission within our lives. We are gifted with knowledge and abilities that contribute to a greater whole. And when we are willing to see our own missions through, we become part of a collective effort that honors the humanity of all.
For many of us, we have a mission; an understanding of our purpose and how we can engage our communities to work toward positive social change. But as time passes, we grow, our circumstances shift, and we gain insight; as a result, our missions need to reshape.
For women, and particularly women of color, our ability to understand and engage our missions have been bogged down with oppressive structures that devalue our contributions. Dualism has forced women into roles of passive care takers who always put themselves last. Acknowledging the critique of white feminism, women of color experience such roles in a far more damaging way, expected to not only care for their own families; but also serve those who society has claimed to have a higher status based on race and wealth. Although we too are made in the image of God, our full humanity is often denied, with intersecting identities determining our level of worthiness in this broken world. Continue reading “In Search of Insight by Gina Messina”
The events in this world begin with the individual. The world’s occupations trace back to the individuals who create them and those who ignore or support them. The world’s genocides trace back to the individuals who create them and those who ignore or support them. The world’s offensive wars trace back to those who create them and those who support them through action or inaction. Daring to exclude Divine Decree from this discussion, the events that take place in the world are due to the malice within mankind. This malice can be direct and intentional, or it may be malice by default due to the absence of benevolence. These atrocious events begin with the individual because unjust rulers, dictators, invaders, executioners and occupiers, only have the power to rule, dictate to, invade, execute and occupy because they have subordinates who give their obedience and acquiescence. We are those subordinates as a group and as individuals. The question is: Why do we obey and acquiesce?
The reasons for our obedience, acquiescence is in part due to political ignorance, fear and a sense of powerlessness, but also due to a lack of self-consciousness, soul-consciousness, a finely-tuned conscience, purpose, and intention.
Acquaintance with One’s Soul
The soul or spiritual heart of the individual determines either positive or negative, good or bad thoughts, action and chain reactions. Individual spiritual illness and disease is at the root of what we see occurring on this earth, from the rape of Mother Earth, who has sustained us in her womb with perfect balance since before our collective memory can recall, to the complete disregard for human life and its intrinsic value through legal, illegal and unchallenged annihilations and genocides under the guise of “national security,” “liberations” and “democracy,” and in the form of wars, prisons, miseducation, and unnatural natural disasters. Because the root cause of these events is at the individual level, we are each and all accountable and responsible for correcting it. This correction begins with our intention. Continue reading “Thinking about Global Activism and Social Change, Personal Intentions and Spiritual Consciousness by Jameelah X. Medina”
Rita M Gross is her “Buddhism after Patriarchy” says that Buddhism is Feminism. I think I understand what she means.
The goal of Buddhist practice, Enlightenment, is often called Liberation. Liberation can be seen as the goal of Feminism too. In different schools of Buddhism is interpreted differently, but one of the classic explanation is that it is freedom from or absence of anger, lust and ignorance. Enlightenment is also described as a state of ego-lessness.
Rita M. Gross justifiably clarifies the Buddhist understanding of “ego” and “ego-lessness”, which is different from conventional Western notion of ego as “strength” or “scale” of personality. Rita M Gross points out that sometimes feminists say that women need larger egos, not smaller or no egos.
Continue reading “Identity as an enemy of Feminism by Oxana Poberejnaia”