The word du jour is coexistence. But no matter how much we toss it around, and regardless of how many souls on the planet are embracing diversity, it still seems to elude us collectively. Our hope is in revolution, when it is only evolution that can assist us. Protests, though noble, have only caused more agony., further polarization. We cannot begin from a place of anger, which is why even the most worthy of protests may, at times, turn violent. There is nothing happening out there. This is not mystical mumbo-jumbo. This is about taking control of our lives. We have been led to believe that if I change, and you change, and he changes, and she changes, the world changes. But if we wait to change ourselves, all we are going to see is more war, more chaos, more racism in the meantime. Healing does not begin with resistance; it begins with acknowledgment of our own demons, of our own conditioning. It is not about changing our thoughts, but accepting they are there. If shadow work can help us face and embrace our demons, then our spiritual work lies, consequently, in realizing that we are not our prejudices, we are not our racism. And even if our egos still insist we are racist, it is about tuning in to who we were before we were taught to hate. Only then can we finally eradicate racism and embrace coexistence.
Beliefs are hard to change, but easy to ignore. If we were raised in a homophobic household, in a religion that dooms homosexuals to hell, it would be very difficult to remove the thoughts. We may feel afraid of being eternally punished for supporting homosexuality, even if we want our hearts to embrace everyone. Instead of judgment, we must, instead have compassion for ourselves and for others. We are victims of belief systems that waltz in our brains. But love does something else to us. Love does not speak; it is silent. So when we are ready to evolve, a shift occurs; we acknowledge that we have homophobic thoughts, but we begin to embrace homosexuality as yet another dance of the divine; we begin to act from a place of love even with the conditioning still in tact. And this applies to racist thoughts, classist thoughts and all thoughts that are divisive by nature. It is not hypocritical to have prejudiced thoughts. It is, however, criminal, to go against our nature of love and obey these thoughts. Coexistence means we choose love over fear. We listen to the silence within us instead of the loud voice that tells us to hate and discriminate. We embrace the space beneath the words and the dogma. Coexistence is our pathless path. It is our nature. The universe is filled with color and creativity. And so are we.
Coexistence means so much more than we realize. It means that even though we were taught to convert others, to close down their temples, we instead choose to accept and defend others’ right to worship. It means that though we have residual fear from institutionalized thinking, we choose to go against it in the name of love. It means that we acknowledge that our respective societies see some people as the other, but we embrace everyone as a sister, a brother. And, finally, it means that even when our egos call us hypocrites or tell us that we are betraying or hiding our beliefs, we realize that any prejudices that lurk within us were taught to us; and we do not need to be slaves to our thoughts.