Sandra Bland’s tragic death on July 13, 2015 is another tragic consequence of the unresolved legacy of slavery in our country. No, slavery did not end with either the Emancipation Proclamation that went into effect on January 1, 1863, or General Lee’s surrender at Appomattox on April 9, 1865. It was too deeply ingrained in the subconscious mind of both slave and slave master. Lest one thinks that I am making a special case of this part of our history, I am not. The struggle for dominance is not limited to slave and slave master. Kosovo’s struggle between two civil groups goes back about seven centuries. Rwanda’s Hutu versus Tutsi conflict goes back to the end of the 19th century. Today’s conflict between Sunni and Shia Muslims in the Near East is nearly 1400 years old.
I am not at all interested in pointing the finger of shame, blame, or guilt in this situation. Rather, I want to point out a function of certain areas of consciousness that have an imprint on core nuclei of the brain around the upper end of the spinal cord. Two of them, the hippocampus and the amygdala, store both memory and emotion, both of which are evoked by triggers over which we have all too often too very little control. Together, they evoke damaging responses to perceived threats. Take a moment now to look at these patterns in the behaviors of the two humans caught up in a simple traffic violation in Waller County, Texas. It ended in the death of the one, Sandra Bland.
Please do not try to separate these two human beings, but see these lives bound together by history. Look at the other examples of the death of a dark–skinned human by a white–skinned human that we have seen over the past few months in our country. Bring them together so that we can see the suffering of slavery that exists in the human condition throughout history. Bring them together so that we can seek to relieve ourselves of that suffering.
I am inviting you to enter into what is called non–dual thinking. It is truly all around us; so we can learn to identify it and start to use it to solve our suffering—our struggles. We can go back to the great spiritual leaders of yesteryear: the Buddha, the Christ, the Prophet, etc. All of these great humans could see that we are indeed all ONE with the One Source that gives life to everything. Give yourself permission to sense that there is nothing other than that One Source in which we are all ONE. Follow that spiritual line of non-dual thinking and acting to today. Bring to mind those who emphasize the fact that the whole universe is not so much “non-dual” as it is a remarkable and beautiful WHOLE—the ONE.
What stands out for me in our struggles is that so many keep trying to believe that there are orders of differences between us—duality. Our spiritual leaders of today and yesterday understood the non-dual nature of love, grace, truth, forgiveness, creativity, mercy, reality…. When you set an intention to discover and participate in non–dual, holistic thinking, those resources that make the difference for you will present themselves to you. As they do, you will be able to look at the two parties involved in the circumstances that lead to Sandra Bland’s death with compassion and a sense of gratitude for what they are helping us to sense—REALITY.