Perhaps ending classism is not so much a political process but a spiritual one. Humanity is evolving!
We are at a new and extraordinary threshold in human history. We appear to be on a cataclysmic collision course, and more and more people are using their spirituality to engage the world. They are transcending the negative aspects of ego and committing to evolve to their highest potential. As conscious beings, we are becoming more decent, compassionate, kind, loving, and caring to self and others. This is extraordinary.
I’m inspired by this level of spiritual awakening, yet I often wonder about its ability (on its own) to create a different world. Is it possible that this evolutionary process can catalyze the end of classism?
The dynamics of oppression (classism, racism, homophobia, ageism, ableism) are partly a manifestation of the dysfunctional systems of the world. Can we fix those systems without first transforming or evolving ourselves? Certainly transforming the self is a necessary part of the process, but is it sufficient? After all, we can argue, humans have been working on themselves for a very long time. I believe we have to work deeper than before. To evolve beyond where humanity is now requires us to bring our will fully in alignment with the evolutionary process that has been unfolding, but which has been restricted by humanity’s ego-centered patterned behavior.
In deep transformation we align our life with the universal consciousness, consciously letting go of these oppressive dynamics and manifesting a different human being. The following are some defining characteristics:
* We commit to living life for the highest purpose conceivable.
* We fully consent to the divine to guide our perspectives and choices.
* Our individual needs and desires become secondary to those in community, global and planetary.
* We become acutely aware of the impact of our actions on others.
* Our actions are guided by an unimaginable and deep sense of intuition, openness and creativity.
* We feel and experience a deep sense of interrelatedness with everything.
* Limiting behaviors — such as arrogance, self-centeredness, superiority, inferiority, doubt, worry, fear, anxiety — begin to fall away.
Being in tune with this transformative energy, we will be driven to engage the world fully, finding intolerable the systemic forms of oppression that we have heretofore ignored. When we are aligned with the moral axis of the universe, a space is created for our deepest humanity to begin to emerge. This new human will be guided by heart; will feel obligated to question structures of dominator and dominated; and where inequity exists, will not accept the widely held perspective that blames the victims; but will be led instead to right action.
Experiencing our deeper sense of interrelatedness, we will feel the pain of these oppressive and unbalanced social and economic systems (regardless of our privileged or unprivileged position), and, in that way, feel duty-bound to reverse them. We will become conscious of the immediate and long-term impact of each move we make.
Humans are evolving, and the prospect for ending classism could very well lie in our commitment to our personal and collective transformation, if we choose to engage in a deep practice of conscious spiritual awakening.
Rose Sackey-Milligan, Ph.D. is a socio-cultural anthropologist with thirteen years experience in social change philanthropy. She is the former Director of Programs of the Peace Development Fund and director of the Social Justice Program at the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society. As co-director of c-Integral, Inc. Rose shares responsibility for planning and designing programs for social justice workers interested in exploring an integral approach to activist well-being and the integration of spiritual practice with social action. She recently joined the staff of MassHumanities as a Program Officer responsible for grant-making and oversight of the foundation’s Literature and Medicine: Humanities at the Heart of Health Care program.
Michael Paone says
Well said Rose! I think we don’t have to look any further than the tax cuts deal for the wealthy to see the damages that classism does on the cultural level, and also how that works to form political identity. I ask: Why would so many lower-middle and middle-class American’s support (or allow!) their representatives to cut this deal for the wealthy? It seems there is a strong dynamic of class oppression that on the cultural level that says: “Well, I will be rich one day, so I will support this, even though it is contrary to my interest” or, “I was told that these cuts would stimulate the economy.” As you say, these voices are deep and likely painful and uncomfortable to confront, but I look forward to engaging them with a growing sense of grace and sophistication!