DEVOTEE: Beloved, my question is about practicing as a black woman in a white community. [Da, I love You so much.]
AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: There are a lot of white ones here. They're not all white ones. But you mean in the larger community?
DEVOTEE: Yes. And, I've been your devotee for thirteen years, Lord, and Your community of devotees serve me in issues that are common to both cultures, yet at times I feel that there are issues specific to me, growing up as a black person in America, that your white devotees can't reflect back to me...
AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm.
DEVOTEE: ...and so it's uninspected and I feel it as an obstacle to my moving on in practice and I don't know what to do.
AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: Well, there are some who aren't white.
DEVOTEE: But Beloved...
AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: And I'm not white [uproarious laughter and clapping]. So in other words, relative to certain matters you're [inaudible] to speak to someone more knowledgeable?
DEVOTEE: Yes, Beloved, I feel that growing up in America as a black person there were things that I was raised and taught to do to be able to fit in so that I could make my way in this world.
And I think I compromised myself in a way and I don't always see it and I think another black person, because we're all doing the same thing to be accepted in the dominant culture, would be able to show that to me where Your community of devotees like me and that's exactly what I was supposed to do to be accepted, so I feel it's an obstruction because I can't surrender it if I can't get it reflected to me.
AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm. So what about it? These are social matters, for one thing. These are social matters, they're not fundamental. Just speaking in terms of skin appearances, I'm a Fijian which makes Me a white boy in a dominant black culture.
AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: And in India as a devotee of Baba Muktananda, Baba Nityananda, I was a white boy in a dominant black culture. And before coming into conjunction with this a hundred years ago I was a black man here in California to getting my ass beat by white men, but stayed strong, told them where it was at.
So there are social gestures one must make under various circumstances. Especially if you move about in the world and don't just stay in one place, you find yourself in a different mode of the hierarchy of things, depending on where you go. You could go some places where just according to your color, you'd be on top, be in a dominant position by virtue of the dominant racial representation there.
In other places you are on the bottom, so to speak, or in a secondary racial position and you must act to some degree in accordance with the situation under each of these kinds of circumstances.
And you can work to beat the system and make changes and so on. You can, in other words, struggle for some social purpose and that is honorable and many have done that in America and elsewhere, given their lives for it, in fact. But there are other purposes to which one can be directed which are also honorable, laudable, and great, that may not have anything to do with social purposes in the sense of victories of that kind.
You can be driven in a mummery of living based on color differences that you want to try and overcome or do something about in terms of injustices or just bad manners, or you could be purposed in a manner that is completely indifferent to all of that and not at all undone by it, not at all driven by it, not at all ruined by it, not even insulted by it.
You can be purposed to that which has nothing to do with these differences and get along in a compassionate and understanding way and survive and so forth.
What is there to do in it anyway? You have to survive and do the daily this and that, make a living and so on, but you can be purposed in the midst of that to the Realization of Absolute Divine Existence and essentially bypass the whole mummery.
You don't even have to be seen sneering at it. You can just be so superior to it and yet so amenable that you're getting along, but so superior to it that you remain totally untouched by it. So there are a number of choices that can be made.
It depends on how significant the social issues are for you and whether you feel it is worth the price it takes in your life to struggle with those things or do you have a greater purpose and you can find a way to get along in the midst of all of that and essentially be indifferent.
It's as in the discussion I was just having. There are different demands coming from different quarters in you and in your life circumstances that would suggest you do one thing or another rather than something else that you're also oriented to doing.
You have to come to a conclusion about it. You have to find the seed. It seems to be the theme of some kind of level of language here this evening - the seed of the drama, the play, this chapter anyway, that YOU want to focus on and make the basis of your performance of life.
It's not that there is just only one seed necessarily, you see, you have a number of ways you could play it in your social situation and in the situation you find yourself in by virtue of your past and the difference the skin color makes in the situation in which you are living.
There's a number of different demands pulling on you inside and elsewhere to be one way or the other about it. Now you have to decide which of those - all things considered - you want to be directed to.
And if various social issues, moral issues of that kind are a dominant purpose of your life, then there are things to be done in those terms, but if there are greater matters of importance, then you can relinquish that and not be touched, not be bothered, be indifferent, be honorable in it, but it doesn't have to be a matter of concern, not by necessity, only by your own choice.
In the circumstances of the gathering of Adidam, you see, skin coloring doesn't have anything to do with anything, nor does the nation of birth or the religion that you were adapted to in your earlier life, and where you went to school and what ideas you have carried around with you.
It all just gets put on the line. There is the great purpose and all have it in common and what everyone serves everyone else to be doing is that, you see, and it really skips by or doesn't even notice, in some sense, some of the differences that any individual in the gathering might otherwise carry around with them.
Like for you, as you indicated, being a black woman in a dominantly white society and in the circumstances in which you have been that, there are certain issues for you and so on which don't get addressed necessarily or even noticed by most of those who are in this gathering, but it's not merely a matter of insensitivity, it really doesn't make any difference. It doesn't have anything to do with it, you see?
You expect it to be addressed because there are issues for you and well, that would be yours to communicate, of course, but it's not the point. Dahlia sitting behind you, well she has a lot of issues that have to do with being Israeli and Jewish and so forth in her life experience, including the political and social dimensions of all of that. She's always talking about it, she has never spoken to Me when she didn't bring it up, you see.
Well, if it's important to be involved in the various social issues and so forth associated with those matters, then you must direct yourself accordingly and then you activate yourself in those terms, but is that really the point for Dahlia? She has to answer that, you see. You have to answer.
Is this is the point for you, to be involved in what might be called black issues, the social issues of you being a black woman in a world of people, a lot of whom are of another color and so on. Is that really the point that you ought to address with the energy and attention of your life? If so, there's something to be done, obviously, in specific terms, actively, about that.
But if it isn't the point, you see, itself the point worth all of that, then you can be as indifferent to it as any white person sitting here, in these terms, at any rate, in the terms of the orientation of life and practice moment to moment, you are not anything identified as any kind of a looking woman. You're not even a woman, in THAT sense, I mean you are obviously associated with being a woman and a black one.
Those are just factualities of life, but you need not be, in your attention, combined with issues of that nature. So you can be essentially indifferent to those as anybody else who is not combined with those characteristics can be indifferent to them and instead have the faculties and all of energy and attention be otherwise directed.
You can choose that. You don't have to be part of the mummery, you see, except in the mere factual sense of you live in the world, but you don't have to be a mummery player. I don't mean Mummery Guild, I mean the mummery of life, which is part of what the seed of that book is, you see? The Mummery Book is life, you see. Life is a mummery as played by human beings - it is an ego-based drama of nonsense, and it need not be.
You need not be a false religionist. You actually can be My devotee, not just a member of the Adidam Club. As a practitioner of this Way you can really practice this Way. You can really be My devotee authentically and in every sense I have communicated and not just somebody playing it ritually or as a form of identity or as a kind of program, you see.
And in being thus concentrated, you break out of the mummery pattern of ordinary life, the ego pattern of ordinary life, and you're living a unique kind of life, a life of Divine Realization that transcends all of these mummery characteristics, all the garb, garments, ways of seeming, characters to play, names by which to be named, forms through which to be known by every color imaginable, you see?
You don't have to be any of those roles. You can be completely indifferent to them, completely indifferent, or you can play a role somehow and do so compassionately and disinterestedly in that sense and make some changes that you otherwise think are important and then there are particular kinds of action that would follow from that if that were a choice, at least a partial choice, a dimension of your life if you had the capacity to do the sadhana and also do some kind of this or that that related to some issue of a social kind or whatever it might be.
Maybe that too, but the range of possibilities is all there for you to consider. You must make one-pointed sense of it, and then you need not be confused anymore by this association by birth with the mummery role that you feel is imposed on you by the color of this [Beloved Adi Da indicates the skin on the back of His hand] and so on.
Like Raymond going up into the attic and finding that script there that maps out his whole life, you see? Pre-written by Dad. You can write another book. You can play another part. You can drop the egg. You can be My devotee. You do not have to be a mummer.
Whatever you seem to be to others, you don't have to BE it. Then you can flow like water through the world and make use of life as the opportunity of Divine Realization, rather than your bit part in this absurd drama of universal mummery. Hm?
DEVOTEE: Thank You, Beloved.
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