Emancipation from Mental Slavery: Color Line and Empire

The would-be black savant was confronted by the paradox that the knowledge his people needed was a twice-told tale to his white neighbors, while the knowledge which would teach the white world was Greek to his own flesh and blood. The innate love of harmony and beauty that set the ruder souls of his people a-dancing and a-singing raised but confusion and doubt in the soul of the black artist; for the beauty revealed to him was the soul-beauty of a race which his larger audience despised, and he could not articulate the message of another people. This waste of double aims, this seeking to satisfy two unreconciled ideals, has wrought sad havoc with the courage and faith and deeds of ten thousand thousand people,—has sent them often wooing false gods and invoking false means of salvation, and at times has even seemed about to make them ashamed of themselves. (W. E. B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk, 5)

The color line may seem like an odd thing for a gnostic and spiritualist blog to talk about, but the veil that defines the color line is one of the many that separates us from understanding and enlightenment. And, like Du Bois said, it isn’t just any old veil, but one of the defining veils of our era.

(Have I said this before? If not: while the obstacles to (human) gnosis are common to people regardless of place and time, the degree to which this or that obstacle manifests depends on the historical situation of the gnostic. That includes the gnostic’s personal history, their autobiography if you will, and the network of historical situations from which that autobiography is woven.)

Continue reading “Emancipation from Mental Slavery: Color Line and Empire”

[NB] Tradition and the Original Past

The town may be changed,
But the well cannot be changed.
It neither decreases nor increases.
They come and go and draw from the well.
If one gets down almost to the water
And the rope does not go all the way,
Or the jug breaks, it brings misfortune.
(Hexagram 48, I Ching ; Chinese text here)

I know, Wilhelm is far from perfect, but it is ready to hand and sensible enough. I linked to the Chinese just because I could. I can’t read a lick of it, but it was easy to add the link and easy enough for a reader to take a quick look.

Continue reading “[NB] Tradition and the Original Past”

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

I’m still chewing over the idea of ‘tradition’ and ‘traditional’ from yesterday and I am getting closer to the kernel of it. Talking about the difference between traditions as historical entities and traditionalism as an attitude definitely puts me on the right track. The notion that there is an attitude at the heart of my attraction to the term gets me even closer.

I can start to put on a better name on that attitude, too. Respect.

Continue reading “R-E-S-P-E-C-T”