By Rev. Alan L. Pritz
The purpose of this post is to address what is so evidently on many peoples' minds. It is challenging to provide topics relevant to spiritual growth and meditation when there is a psychic tsunami sweeping the country / world, that, in large measure, vacillates between condemning or condoning riots and violence as means to promote societal change. Often sited are the following remarks: "A Riot is the Language of the Unheard"......
“Certain conditions continue to exist in our society, which must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots. But in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it that America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the Negro poor has worsened over the last few years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice, equality and humanity. And so in a real sense our nation’s summers of riots are caused by our nation’s winters of delay. And as long as America postpones justice, we stand in the position of having these recurrences of violence and riots over and over again. Social justice and progress are the absolute guarantors of riot prevention”- Dr. Martin Luther King
Another statement by Dr. King is, "Every time a riot develops, it helps George Wallace.” (For those that don't know, the latter was a prominent racist politician in the US.)
This is not about taking sides or being clever in justifying positions. Rather, it is to convey that spiritual practices are deeper than the shifting circumstances of any group in any period of time. This isn't the first time in history that inequity has existed nor will it be the last. And, yes, individuals / groups have suffered grievously as a result. Nor is it a justification for such. Note the following: "Whenever virtue declines and vice predominates, I incarnate as an Avatar. In visible form I appear to destroy evil and re-establish virtue" (Bhagavad-Gita IV: 7-8).
Clearly the Divine is vested in the world drama. Yet, no World Teacher has counseled anything contrary to the laws of harmony and righteousness. All situations are platforms upon which individual spiritual battles must be fought hence the reason for the Golden Rule, the 10 Commandments, the Yamas and Niyamas. Each addresses the need for Right Behavior regardless of the hypnotic intoxication of world dynamics.
Spiritual principles reflect cosmic laws which don't conform to situational application or human approval. This doesn't minimize seeking to alter social conditions if one feels inwardly directed to do so. But, it changes How one acts because there is a deeper foundation of higher understanding at play. Lasting change involves self-control harnessed to practices that foster harmony, righteousness, and above all else, Self-realization. Without these remaining constant, all spiritual practices are but superficial window dressing that can be discarded if not deemed situationally convenient.
Rev. Alan L. Pritz, Interfaith Minister
~ Meditation and spiritual practice to foster peace, happiness, and wisdom. ~