Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Abandon the twin engine of oppression

I have decided to abandon hatred and greed.

All summer I have been investigating intensely the following, and am becoming convinced that the hatred when I think hateful thoughts, say hateful things, and act from a place of hate is made of the same material as all human hatred. I have become aware of the impact of hatred and greed on myself and on others, and its effect of destruction on the world. I am becoming convinced that hatred and greed in my own heart and mind are the twin engines of oppression. It is Augusto Boal's "cop in the head:" there need be no cop physically restraining me, beating me, or searching my home when my mind does all that work constantly. Indeed, the source of ill-will toward others is a long-time dwelling self-hatred that denies the common humanity and potential for freedom of myself and others.

With this awareness I have begun to cultivate kindness and generosity. I resolve with strong determination to abandon hatred and greed. I will notice every time these old habits repeat and remember that they are not worth my time. With this precious human life I will practice kindness toward myself and others. This is the most important work that I can do to stop oppression and needless suffering here and now.

If oppression doesn't end in this lifetime of work that's fine. My ancestors started this work thousands of years ago and future generations will benefit from my work and continue it. What matters most now is that I pay attention to the manifestation of hatred and greed in my mind, speech, and actions and abandon it again and again, to turn toward any suffering and offer kindness and generosity instead.

In the teaching on goodwill there is a beautiful line "it is said this is living in heaven here and now," that is, maintaining constant awareness and wakefulness (except in deep sleep). May we all see hatred and greed for what they are, and turn in kindness toward long-time suffering in ourselves and others.

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