Claim Your Light
“We cannot live in a world that is interpreted for us by others. An interpreted world is not a hope. Part of the terror is to take back our own listening. To use our own voice. To see our own light.”
Hildegard of Bingen
I have found over the years of writing this blog just how dangerous—and essential—it is to speak in one's own voice. In this part of the world, the deep South of the USA, which has become ever more fundamentalist and right wing, I am more and more out of step with the bulk of society. With the uptick in hate groups, racism on both sides of the black/white divide, homophobia, immigrant and religious intolerance, and with people preaching archaic ideas such as demon possession from the pulpit, speaking out as a voice of progressive spirituality is dicey business.
It goes without saying that there is righteous anger in the world. So many people, who once had jobs, no longer do, and the world's leaders are not listening to their cries. Education has gotten more and more expensive, and therefore out of the reach of most folks (77%), so that improving one's lot is not easy. People feel betrayed, and after much waiting and hoping, they're taking matters into their own hands. I just saw a video that my cousin, Anne, posted on Facebook showing that if we looked at the world's population as 100 people, just one of them would control fully half of the wealth. A large percentage make less than $2.00 a day. We know about the 1%, but the graphic makes it undeniable—this is simply unsustainable.
The anger is palpable, but should we turn it on each other? What is the advantage of turning our rage into “isms” of intolerance, and bludgeoning one another? We seem to be following herd mentality and choosing the lowest common denominator to lead us rather than thinking sanely—or thinking at all, about where we will end up if we continue on this path. It is crucial, in this world of exploding bombs, hatred and bloodshed, that we think for ourselves. That we do not follow the loudest voice, or the angriest one. Life interpreted through the lens of hatred has no hope of reconciliation.
In these dangerous times, one individual voice of hope is vitally important. One voice that speaks of love rather than hate, is essential. We must take back our voices, claim our light, and fearlessly speak our truth.
In the Spirit,