I have been asked to say some words about the issues of racism, immigration, and the reactive rise of conservative political parties around the world. There are important questions about how to deal with the people who have been dislocated by wars and abusive governments. There is also the ongoing story of racism, both in the United States and in Europe. We always wish to begin by having an awareness of the illusion. If there is any part of the illusion that is triggering fear in you – whether it be expressed in anger, judgment, or confusion – take that and work with it, seeing it as a gift. The truth is that there are no victims or victimizers. Everything comes out of the creation of the individual.
When one believes one’s self to be separate from God, whether or not the awareness is conscious, there is fear and projection. The projection may be upon the victim and how in some way they deserve what they got. There could be projection upon the heartlessness of the victimizer. People may be seen as power driven, ignorant of what is going on, or stupid. So, forgiveness is called for on both sides. Keep in mind that all of this is about you. If these events and people did not touch on something deep within you, we would not be having this conversation. As long as you believe that this is all outside of yourself and a part of the world, a part of others, it will continue to trigger fear and helplessness in your life. It is not about the events themselves or about the unfairness, the pain, and the suffering. It is about the fear that is triggered in you by these events, by these stories. One way of dealing with these fears, of course, is to use the five-step process to transform the fear that is generated.
The route to spiritual awareness often passes through territory of intense fear and suffering. If your world appears to be okay, there may not be anything to drive you to go past your self-imposed limitations. If the world is absolutely insufferable, you feel a need to find a way to deal with it. The only way to truly make sense of what is going on in the world is to realize that nothing real is happening. If you take it seriously, you will never find a solution. If these racial/immigration situations can help you to face your fear or to realize that love or fear can be chosen as a response to any situation, a great gift has been realized.
If you are choosing to help others because you see them as victims who cannot help themselves, that is fear based. You cannot see another as a helpless victim unless you hold yourself in the same light. You can choose to project your sense of victimhood on others – and the world will be so generous in providing you an endless list of sufferers – or you can deal with your own fear of vulnerability. I am not picking out any group of people and labeling them as victims. To be human is to believe that you are a martyr. Every human does that. You believe in your separation from God. The history of humanity is the history of victimhood. Your job as a human is to realize that you are Divine. As a human, all you can do is pick your poison. Which side do you wish to view as the victims, those who have been driven from their homes or those whose homeland is being changed? Either way there are good guys and bad guys, winners and losers. Either way there is separation. Either way there is fear. The only way out of the morass is to no longer see yourself as a victim. You begin by forgiving both the victims and the victimizers, however you may have those roles distributed. You can’t have one without the other. Both are your creations and both represent your belief about your identity.
Let’s look at the Swedish immigration situation. The question is one of how to experience things from a position of unconditional love. If you hear someone state that the immigrants are destroying “our” way of life, how can that be looked upon with love? The bottom line is that fear begets, or gives birth to, fear. When you act out of fear, you create the very thing you are afraid of. Reacting out of fear is always self-defeating. It can never bring a solution; it can only make things appear to be worse. The approach to take with those who act from fear is not to throw fuel on the fire by accusing them of racism, hatred, or selfishness. It is of greater service to acknowledge their fear and to help them to do the same, without judgment. Realize that you could not feel fear in them without holding it yourself. The question then becomes one of asking how this fear can be transformed.
The same question is there for those who see all of the immigrants as victims and those who oppose them as victimizers. What is the fear? What are they terrified of? What are you terrified of? Your job is always to see the Divinity of everyone involved. The truth is that everybody just wants to find their way back home and they don’t have a clue how to get there. Back home might look like pre-immigrant Sweden. Perhaps, if we could get back there, there would just be peace, love, and safety. Or getting back home might be possible if everyone just opened their doors to all the world’s victims. Then, everything would be fine. If we all just found a place in our hearts to take care of them, we could live in peace, love, and safety.
In truth, there is no idealistic past to return to, except the Garden and the reality before your imagined separation from God. There was no perfect time in Sweden or in the United States. Every “present” was a time of fear and of longing for an earlier “perfect time”. On the other hand, if you try to be the white knight for all the victims of the world and bring perfection to the now, you will quickly realize that there are more victims than you could ever be able to handle. If you tried to bring all those in need of help to Sweden, the number would be many times greater than the current Swedish population. Are you prepared to invite anywhere from 10 to 100 people into your home? Are you ready to care for all their financial, emotional and psychological problems? On a logical level, this is obviously an insane solution, but far beyond that, it cannot deal with the problem because it does not recognize the true cause.
The solution does not come through changing the outside. It is your inside that creates the outside. If you are placing the blame on the outside and think you can do something about it, you are in denial of your own victimhood and helplessness. How can you save the world if you cannot save yourself? Ultimately there is no difference between feeling sorry for the immigrants and blaming the victimizers than in judging the immigrants and saying that it is their problem and not yours. It is just a different choice of how to deal with your projection. You can blame yourself and believe that you can’t do enough to make the situation right, or you can blame the victim and therefore can’t do enough to eliminate that problem.
The only solution begins with owning and facing your own fear. This requires taking responsibility for creating the world, rather than acting as a victim to your creation. It is not that solutions cannot be found, it is that the answer begins within you. First you find your own Divinity and then see it reflected in every other human. You see all as creators and none as victims. From that place you can invite others in love to look within for solutions. Since you know that every apparent outer problem is a gift from Spirit to help you open to your Divine self, you can support others to do the same. This is not to say that you ignore the outer because it is only illusion. You support each person in the way that you are guided without taking their problems seriously. You know it isn’t real, but sharing that with another who is not ready to hear it may not be the greatest support you can offer. On the other hand, buying into their story only helps to cement it in place.
If this dance is a difficult one for you, you probably have more work to do with yourself. Silently thank your victim “mirrors” and go back to transforming your fears. Be kind to yourself about this. If you are in a body you have fear and you believe in the reality of the illusion. If you have made the intention to release the illusion and to let Spirit guide you, there is still work to do. It may be part of Spirit’s plan for you to be here to support others. You are not here to help them solve their problems (a Sisyphean task if there ever was one) but to help them take responsibility, to take their power, to find their Divinity. Whenever it all feels like too much, remember that it doesn’t really matter. It is truly all illusion. You cannot take a wrong step. Nothing outside needs to change. Within is love and Divinity. Ask Spirit to help you find it.