Statement from Hameed Ali About Our Current Turbulent Times

We were just about to come out of the coronavirus pandemic when racism and cruelty took us to another dimension of challenges. The cruel and heartless killing of George Floyd is both appalling and the latest of many events like it that are the symptom of a larger issue in our country, the USA. Many are going out protesting not just this heart-wrenching event but the system of justice and police enforcement that have made it possible, and the widespread racism that still remains in the larger culture.

It is good to see that there are so many who are channeling their outrage into courageous yet peaceful protests with a unified voice demanding substantial, real change. This country needs real change, a change that is not just at the level of laws, but a cultural change that can bring equality to all people of color and to all races.

We are all human beings, and we all have the same precious spirit. And we all deserve the same rights, the same freedom, and the same safety.

We are all human beings, and we all have the same precious spirit. And we all deserve the same rights, the same freedom, and the same safety. We all deserve to be able to go anywhere in the country without fear or anxiety that we will be stopped, searched, arrested, or even killed. We know this because we are human, and our teaching embodies the timeless truths of justice, equality, the preciousness of all, and the actual unity of all. The whole world is now aware of the situation in this country, and it resonates in many places, not only because of our humanness, but also because many countries have their own brand of inequality and injustice.

The demonstrations and the marches are the way our democracy gives the people of this nation the freedom to speak, express, and voice their concerns. Looting, destruction of property, and violence is possibly, for some, an expression of the pain and suffering they have endured for too long, but responding to violence with violence is not sanctioned by our spiritual nature. In fact, the violence and looting have eclipsed the true message that is attempting to be heard.

The peaceful demonstrations and the protests are good in themselves and are good as the beginning of the movement towards a fundamental change. We all want real change, and in the United States it is by voting that we can bring about such change. I support all concerned individuals to vote not only nationally but also locally. It is at the local level that the state attorney general and the police commissioner and other bodies can effect real change in how court cases are tried and how the police conduct themselves. I was heartened by seeing that some local leaders are speaking out in support of the peaceful marches for needed change. But what is needed is a much bigger and more national change, and a cultural shift, otherwise the injustice will just continue, and it will fester.

To people of color and victims of injustice who are members of our Ridhwan community all over the world, we want you to know we stand with you and want to hear your voices.

133 thoughts on “Statement from Hameed Ali About Our Current Turbulent Times”

    1. Thank you Hameed, for your kindness, For your dedication to the truth of who we are. For your willingness to put yourself out as a courageous teacher. for your generous sharing of insight and wisdom. I write from South Africa. My grandson Kieron Luke, a bi-racial, strapping young man, has been on a Football scholarship in Minneapolis. Due to an injury, he is back with us in South Africa during these sad and uncertain days. We give deep thanks for this intervention that began looking like a tragedy and has emerged to be a blessing. His entry into my life was not without pain. I grew up white in an Apartheid era. My shock at discovering that my first grandchild would be bi-racial, stirred up a minestrone of conflict I had not realized had embedded itself in the cells of my being. Through the deep diamond work I discovered that I could look deeply into this part of myself without shame and let it heal with understanding and gentle kindness. I am a product of my upbringing no matter how much I might deny this. Perhaps the gift of Apartheid is that it brought racism out of the shadows and into the blatant light where we could engage with it openly. I am not surprised that in this moment when the heart of the world stopped for a moment, that it broke open. The pain and rage and bloody opening of the wounds are all part of the healing crisis and I am deeply thankful for those who have the courage to stand with strength and compassion and the ability to watch the cycles with wise detachment, knowing that we are all on this journey together and it is only through honest self-enquiry that we will navigate our way towards the light.

      1. thank you for sharing your story. I lived in South Africa, as a fair skinned expat, for many years, and have found memories of that coming back to me now. I appreciate your sharing your personal inquiry, which sounds deep and profound — that we all could do the same to free ourselves from painful conditioned beliefs.

      2. I am deeply touched reading your very personal comment. 🙏
        There is racism In our daily life in Germany., too. There is a need to be sensative and alert and to start to investigative my own racism.

        We are all human beings .
        One heart.
        One precious family .

    2. We’re not just about to come out of this pandemic, But thank you for finally using your name. It’s striking to me that even the most enlightened among us is looking for external acceptance. Or maybe you’re about humility in meeting the world where’s it’s at.

    3. Isabelle schuurman

      Hi Doug, yes, my gratitude also. Though I wanted to mention that Hameed adresses all concerned individuals as well.. supporting them to use the freedom of our Nation [by the way: our ‘Nation’, not our ‘nation’… in my view at least] to speak, express, and voice their concerns. Locally in particular, he says… Or -more precise- not just ‘nationally’ but also at the local level.

      I quote Hameed’s words: “I support all concerned individuals to vote not only nationally but also locally. It is at the local level that the state attorney general and the police commissioner and other bodies can effect real change in how court cases are tried and how the police conduct themselves.”

      Meanwhile I am indeed as happy as you are with his recognition of the actual unity of all. We are all ONE! And in our school all -by which we also mean all individuals of course of whatever nationality and so on, people being ‘different’ in whatever way (at least after being accepted as a student of the school) – are welcomed and listened to and also responded to.. Which is very exceptional and precious of course. Without discrimination. At least: no ‘identify politics’ as someone below stated. (Anynomous june 4th, wrote: …”Some people may want to reduce this inquiry to identify politics, I tend to think of it as the soul attempting to know itself through dissembling itself from imprints of societal rejection, hate and shame. Some people want to remain in the illusion of being ‘good whites’ in the face of causing or benefitting from harm, centuries of harm.
      The one that is in my view so frequently under inquired into and under formulated in spiritual and psychological circles is whiteness” etc.)

      As individuals we often are bringing our difficult situations from the past, it’s stored in our cells even, imposed on us in all kinds of ways. All kinds of stories of course, all kinds of reactivity and so on. How are we treated in the past, you know. And all of that needs to be dealt with of course. Digested. As Hameed said once in regards to ‘our’ stuff that needs to be digested, whatever stuff: ‘every little bit of it’ needs to be faced and digested, I liked that one! Can take several decades at least, our Work. Maybe longer? As you might know by experience? We don’t know each other, I do intuit or remember vaguely that you’re one of the senior students? I would be happy to meet you personally.

      Would be too difficult to deal with all of that (all that stuff, the horror of the past and the recent horror on top of that, since it goes on and on) just by ourselves, don’t you think so, without the company of the actual unity of all, without feeling held and supported that way I mean, by each other, by our friends! If I would be all by myself, I would rather – as one of us mentioned below, who was it, I agreed…: as Frank mentioned in his last sentence: he would ‘prefer the twittering of birds and [..] try to keep as far as possible from it. But another part of me also wants to get to know the universe and eat cake.’

      With love. Peace for all.

  1. Thank you Hameed for speaking out. I feel deep sadness about the murder of yet another innocent Black man and what is happening in terms of the violence. I feel hope in seeing police kneeling in front of peaceful protestors.

  2. Kerry Martin Skora

    Thank you, Hameed. Reminds us that contemplation and activism are always interrelated. Also echoes Barack’s message that protest, expression of the soul, must be balanced by voting. There are so many good signs of hope now and we must all carry on Martin Luther King’s dream so that his dream finally becomes reality for all future beings. Thank you, Hameed. Kerry Martin Skora, Pittsburgh 3 June 2020

  3. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
    First Amendment to the Constitution

    Sincerely and by Amendment to Our Constitution,
    Skip Ackler

  4. Miranda E Macpherson

    Thank you Beloved Hameed for writing such a deep, clear, nuanced response to the challenges and opportunities of these difficult times. I am so grateful for the light you embody and inspire us all to rise into.

  5. Dave Rawlence

    Thank you Hameed, it is difficult not to get into “them and us” thinking in times like this, and your guidance is helpful.

    My personal view of all this is that it is also important for people to look beyone what the corporate media is telling us about events and to develop our own independent views and reality-based understandings of the present crisis in the U.S. There is so much we are not being told by the MSM and it is very relevant information. It can hardly be a coincidence that the race card has been played just as the Covid lockdown was starting to loosen up. This is an election year in the U.S. and these events are part of the struggle for control of the White House.

    In our work in the Diamond Approach we are supposed to be guided by our love for the truth. Does this truth include political & historical truth at the level of human affairs? Because if it does, in additon to seeking our own true nature, I believe we require another kind of awakening. An awakening to uncomfortable truths about how our human world really works.

    Far enough along the path we become no longer “of the world” but we do remain in it for the remainder of our lives. Failing or refusing to see the hidden truth behind world events makes us easy targets for manipulation by the narrative controllers on the TV and makes it near impossible for us to create the sort of world we prefer would exist.

    So my thinking is that we should continue to seek the blue pearl but also take the red pill.

    1. Diamond Jihadi

      Greetings, Dave. I would love to hear more. Email me at diamondjihadi @ gmail.com. Total confidentiality guaranteed. ~DJ

    2. Dave and Petra,
      I appreciate your search for objective truth and the questioning of mainstream media. I am also aware that political elements have capitalized on this discussion and are manipulating those who are open-hearted seekers and light workers to join with them in promoting their views and political and ideological aims. I see such forces to be at least as dark, if not darker than those you speak about. I caution all of us or plead with us to seek the light and the truth, yes, but do not denounce one form of manipulation only to ally with another. May I also request and affirm that I prefer a space free of politics. Yes, we are all political to some extent, but I don’t feel this is the space to discuss or promote those views. We are humans and we are souls on a journey seeking Truth, not political gains.

    3. Where We Go One We Go All!

      I am so heartened to see this comment here.

      The George Floyd incident is another in a long line of manufactured events by corrupt institutions.

      There are many sociopolitical and hypermodern technological truths showing that the mainstream endorsed events are misappropriations of the genuine sentiments of compassion and their expression in our tortured social environment.

      And those truths in the social-engineering department are first and foremost what show the root-causes of the social ills.
      They are manufactured!
      And the tax-payers were made to pay for them.

      Hopefully people have realized the warfare erupting is truly a 21st century war for the mind.
      Many are supporting people like George Soros unconsciously.
      The George Floyd incident is something that was manufactured – as was the covid event and all the rest. We’ll get to the bottom of who put it together and why.

      Nonetheless, everything Hameed and the protestors are saying is true.
      The question is what needs to change.
      And other important questions point to who the actors involved are.

      Many otherwise intelligent people continue to sneer at the idea PQ+TUS Donald J. Trump is in the midst of a war with the deep-state – and further, that the US military is engaged in that way, using Trump’s presidency to clean up the past 100+ years of institutional enslaving corruption in the modern era.

      The war on the mind is extreme.
      That’s where the worst suffering is experienced.

      Facing the institutional lies and distortions and abusive tendencies is the major concern of the social-justice movements, and memos like Hameed’s here.
      However, getting into the deeper layers is more shocking than the public has been prepared to swallow as one giant red-pill.

      To me, it appears as though the entire procession of events is under the control of the US military at this point – “Trump’s Presidency”.
      It is my belief that this is “The Social-Engineering Event To End All Unconsciousness About Social-Engineering Events”.
      And I believe it is working splendidly, although unwinding through millennia worth of mind-control abuse programs is painful work.

      Enjoy The Show!

      Peace Is The Prize.

    4. When we see truth we mean all truth. At any level. We usually work with personal truth because our work is. a path of spiritual transformation and liberation.

      At the same time, being real and in touch with our spiritual truth, we cannot close our eyes to what happens in the world. We encounter truth and falsehood, and it is our love that makes us what to know what is the truth. Society and politics deal with peoples lives, people we care for. so the truth of society is one important truth, just as scientific truth is important.

      Our school as an organization does not engage in political actions, for it is beyond our function and beyond our legal status. But as individuals, we each will have to contend with the truths we encounter in our lives, and address them appropriately. From the depth of our spiritual access and wisdom.

      In terms of truth we read about or hear. We need to listen to many sources and points of view, so that we can get a more balanced perspective of what the truth is. For when it comes to politics and social issues there are contradictory truths, for the truths there are not always obvious. But that there should be equality for all humans is not a political position. It is a spiritual attitude.

    5. when in our teaching we say truth we mean all truth. In our practices we mostly focus on our personal truth because ours is a path of inner transformation. But our teaching includes the principle of being in the world but not of it. Not of it means recognizing that our spirit is what we are. In the world means we live normal human lives. And part of this living is expressing our spiritual qualities and wisdom in our lives.

      Our lives intersect with social issues and political situations. it is true that the school as an organization does not engage in social action because it is not part of the function of the school and not part of our legal status. But as individuals we are free to express ourselves in whatever way is right for us. And we need to recognize social and political truths, educate ourselves about them to see what is true. These situations have many facets to them, and since frequently they are not part of our personal experience we need to research and listen to many points of view before we come to our own heart felt understanding of what is happening. This can guide us to take whatever action that will express our love, compassion and clarity of spirit. This can be demonstrating and voting.

      But when comes to health situations like the coronavirus it means responsibility for ourselves and others. The responsibility is part of spiritual integrity, and it needs to be expressed not just about health matters, but also about injustice and doing what we can to better the world.. Hameed

    6. Hi Dave,
      I have been trying to find kindred souls in the school since Trump was elected. I am in CO 4/5, but was a member of CA DH3 and then Euro Grp II when I moved to Norway to be with a woman in Euro Grp I. I was there for seven years (2004-2011). When I came back to the states-Colorado-I wrote a Christmas pamphlet for my sons on the theme of disconnection from self and society. I have a degree in History with a specialty in history of ideas. One of my texts was “Life Against Death: The Psychoanalytical Meaning of History” by Norman O. Brown and his second book referred to by Hameed, “Loves Body”. At the same time-1967-1968, I read in German, Siddhartha by Herman Hesse, which began my journey inward heading toward Ridhwan in 1993. As George Orwell wanted, history is either lost or re-written. The love of the truth in society must have a ground in love of history. Two families started (what has become a global empire of privately) held central banks in the last half of the 18th century: the Mayer Amschel Bauers (later he created and purchased the name red sign or Rothschild) and the Jacob Schiffs. Their first triumph came when Jacob Schiff helped create and finance the Bolsheviks to defeat their arch enemy the Czar of Russia and establish their privately held Russian central bank, which Putin has deconstructed. Their second triumph came on December 23, 1913 when Rothschild agent and foreign national, Paul Warburg financed, wrote, and rammed the Federal Reserve Bill through Congress after midnight with no quorum present when no serious bill was to be processed. The 8 families that hold private stock certificates in the Fed can be found here: “Big Oil and Their Bankers In The Persian Gulf” by Dean Henderson, 2010, Chapter 19. Needless to say the Fed note is not issued from the U.S. Treasury and is unconstitutional. I can go into great detail, but my point is follow the money. JFK was the last independent President. He directly attacked the Federal Reserve Bank by issuing upon executive order the U.S. Dollar backed by 271 grains of silver from the U.S. Treasury in June of 1963. I can remember holding one of the fives! This attack on Rothschild was one of the main reasons he was murdered. Johnson stopped the printing presses the day after the November murder, but the order still stands! Any president who tried to go against the Rothschilds was stopped. Reagan tried and earned their fire. But the Federal Reserve Bank is no longer private! It is now under the U.S. Treasury, which is a huge victory for the large White Hat team behind President Trump. What does this mean? So this is just an introduction to the real history of the United States. I discuss what good money can do here: “Can Medieval History Shed Light on Today’s Political/Economic World?”, in the Diamond Dust, Spring 2019, by James Crawford (jamescra@start.no). So thank you Dave for your wonderfully written comment. I present here a bit of the red pill,

    7. Hi Dave,
      I have been trying to find kindred souls in the school since Trump was elected. I am in CO 4/5, but was a member of CA DH3 and then Euro Grp II when I moved to Norway to be with a woman in Euro Grp I. I was there for seven years (2004-2011). When I came back to the states-Colorado-I wrote a Christmas pamphlet for my sons on the theme of disconnection from self and society. I have a degree in History with a specialty in history of ideas. One of my texts was “Life Against Death: The Psychoanalytical Meaning of History” by Norman O. Brown and his second book referred to by Hameed, “Loves Body”. At the same time-1967-1968, I read in German, Siddhartha by Herman Hesse, which began my journey inward heading toward Ridhwan in 1993. As George Orwell wanted, history is either lost or re-written. The love of the truth in society must have a ground in love of history. Two families started (what has become a global empire of privately) held central banks in the last half of the 18th century: the Mayer Amschel Bauers (later he created and purchased the name red sign or Rothschild) and the Jacob Schiffs. Their first triumph came when Jacob Schiff helped create and finance the Bolsheviks to defeat their arch enemy the Czar of Russia and establish their privately held Russian central bank, which Putin has deconstructed. Their second triumph came on December 23, 1913 when Rothschild agent and foreign national, Paul Warburg financed, wrote, and rammed the Federal Reserve Bill through Congress after midnight with no quorum present when no serious bill was to be processed. The 8 families that hold private stock certificates in the Fed can be found here: “Big Oil and Their Bankers In The Persian Gulf” by Dean Henderson, 2010, Chapter 19. Needless to say the Fed note is not issued from the U.S. Treasury and is unconstitutional. I can go into great detail, but my point is follow the money. JFK was the last independent President. He directly attacked the Federal Reserve Bank by issuing upon executive order the U.S. Dollar backed by 271 grains of silver from the U.S. Treasury in June of 1963. I can remember holding one of the fives! This attack on Rothschild was one of the main reasons he was murdered. Johnson stopped the printing presses the day after the November murder, but the order still stands! Any president who tried to go against the Rothschilds was stopped. Reagan tried and earned their fire. But the Federal Reserve Bank is no longer private! It is now under the U.S. Treasury, which is a huge victory for the large White Hat team behind President Trump. What does this mean? So this is just an introduction to the real history of the United States. I discuss what good money can do here: “Can Medieval History Shed Light on Today’s Political/Economic World?”, in the Diamond Dust, Spring 2019, by James Crawford (jamescra@start.no). So thank you Dave for your wonderfully written comment. I present here a bit of the red pill,

  6. Joylynn Duerson

    Wow! Very profoundly said! I stand for equality for all. No matter of color, culture,
    and social economical class.

  7. Helene Beauchemin

    Thank you. As a DA student I am heartened to see and hear that the work we are doing is not solely for self but to benefit all as well as the onvitation to proper action.

    Gacias

  8. Thank you Hameed, for articulating this so clearly and heartfully, on behalf of the school and for all people. Voting is our big responsibility and chance to effect change. We must all do all we can to ensure that all people are allowed to vote, and to help eliminate obstacles to this vital democratic process. Thank you, blessings on us all.

    1. This is an important time in our life and in America where we cannot stand by hoping someone else will do something. We can act true to who we are and take action that is our self- expression of who we are. And Vote!
      I’m proud to be a Diamond Approach student.

  9. Linda Fraimow-Wong

    While I personally do not condone violence of any sort, I am open to the possibility that the violence, looting and destruction, is the true message that is needing to be felt and heard by non-black people.
    Maybe this is the felt sense reality of what it’s like to be living as a black person in our country. I don’t know, but I want to stay open to all without judgement.
    With love and respect,
    Linda

  10. Dear Hameed,
    As a woman of color in our community I feel very touched after reading your message. Thank you for standing for truth in the many ways it comes.
    With love,
    Cynthia

  11. Thank you Hameed. Yes, we all deserve safety. It seems there have been instigators and other forces dropping off bricks and smashing car windows to make sure the news media does what it always does–undermine peace movements by focusing on things that discredit the actions of the millions of peaceful people and families who stand up, or kneel, for peace and justice.

    1. Thank you for acknowledging this aspect of what’s happening. I also want to say that violence also happens out of pain and suffering of being violated. It’s part of the reality and sometimes others only notice when property is destroyed, being that we are a capitalist society where money is more important than human beings.

  12. Deborah Letofsky

    I am aware of a simple and profound reverence for the human spirit when I read what Hameed has written here.
    Sending my full support for all people of color in our Ridhwan community and in the world community who have suffered or are suffering from any form of injustice.
    With much gratitude for the presence of the human spirit that is manifesting now and always.
    Deborah

  13. Fernand Poulin

    Thank you Hameed for your continuous written clarity that you bring to this worldwide happening.
    On a global level, perhaps there is an glimpse at and a spark that is igniting a new foundation for a collective shift to take place.

    I have been sitting with what all this external unsettling events and what they are stimulating within my being. What surfaces from this uncomfortable practice is how some existing mindsets that I carry within my psyche have learned throughout the years to limit what is natural, safe and necessary to live a life of fulfillment and wholeness. Some of the thoughts come across abusive and downright violent to my soul, which is now experienced as a felt internal segregation taking place between my human spirit and what has learned to control any rights my soul has for inner peace and freedom of being.

    All this to say that perhaps it has to start here, within. Choosing to recognize the above and to peacefully protest for the rights of my soul to freely express its uniqueness, I am contributing to the new foundation of the collective shift.

    Thank you,
    Fernand Poulin

  14. Thank you Hameed. I am so proud of you and of our school for having responded to these horrific events so eloquently and poignantly. And yes, we must get out to vote locally and nationally. One piece not mentioned is to also look at our own hearts for any unconsciousness around our own racism, bigotry and privilege. After the shootings at the gay club in Orlando, you said that was our first and primary response, to look into our own hearts and make sure that no trace of these feelings lingered there. They are contrary to the reality of our unity. The more transparent our souls can be, and the more light we can bring to any hidden darkness within us, the more we can affect the world immediately around us. That is the foundation of any real change. Much love to you.

    1. Well said, Jorge,
      We need not only to take actions and express ourselves in them world, but we also need to look into our souls. We need to see if we have traces of prejudice that do not fit with our true spiritual nature. There is no place for prejudice of any kind in the spiritual heart.

    2. Hannah Kenter

      Hi Jorge, I appreciate what you write. I too feel the importance of inquiry into ways we may be complicit in forms of racism and how we unconsciously uphold the structures of institutional racism.

  15. Jacques Schlumberger

    I appreciate your love in pointing to the truth, Hameed, especially when its expression is so painful.

  16. Thina Siwendu

    Dearest Hameed
    Thank you for this statement as well as the invitation to comment on the unfolding events.

    I am a student of the Diamond Approach from South Africa- a year in the teaching. I am struck, horrified and saddened by how the events in US, previously regarded as a defender of freedom in the world resembles my country under Apartheid not so long ago.
    Witnessing the dehumanizing manner and the taking of the life of Mr Floyd – despite his helpless pleas for mercy has been traumatic adding caustic salt to a long festering wound.

    Thankfully, our teacher Sarala gave us a chance to talk a little in our Inquiry Group this evening. I am aware I need to creat space for more support for myself .

    For me, the violent behavior,
    callously represented in Mr Floyd’s case for all of us to witness, as well as the domination of humans by other humans evoked deep sadness and the repetitive sense of this happening over centuries and over lifetimes. It’s is difficult to hold and be fully present with.

    From what I have learnt so far, the teaching says everything is a portal- and an opportunity for Inquiry. I am inquiring and would like to join a circle of people to inquire into :
    1) What showed up in us when we witnessed what we saw?
    2) Is violence, violent expression domination part of our nature ? What part?
    3) what are the ingrained organizing principles in our world that breed and hold this form of behavior in place ?
    4) Do we see a place for deeper awareness and change – where do we find these if at all? How can we creat such spaces and support them. I am open to reframing these into something healing meaningful and shifting.

    That is what came up for me.

    Thank you and everyone reading this. I appreciate the invitation to speak and the Teaching so much.

    1. I appreciate the engagement and the offering of ways to work with the present situation..

      Groups inquiries and discussions are a. good way to do that.

    2. I love these inquiry questions. Yes, inquiry about any thing and every thing that arises. This is what takes me deeper and brings out both pain and understanding and an inner evolution. To me, this is what makes life worth living, in present time.

  17. Bruce Laidlaw

    Thank you for your statement, Hameed.
    Your recognition of the pain and suffering, and the ensuing anger and rage, is very welcome.
    I really appreciate your simple guidance toward the practical thing to do beyond peaceful protest; vote!

  18. I attended a Diamond Approach online meeting; it wasn’t for me. I unsubscribed, but I still get notifications. I’m offended that you’d exploit a tragic event like this to further solicit a nonsubscriber. I’m also offended that so many people here and elsewhere are competing to showcase their literary/narcissistic displays of extreme sensitivity and moral outrage. I favor practical solutions like mandating that police immediately intervene if they ever see another cop behaving improperly. Far too many fired cops are also reinstated after egregious offenses. (See the career of Minneapolis policeman John Balcerzak who, with his partner, ignored concerned citizens’ pleas and returned a naked, drugged 14-year-old-boy to Jeffrey Dahmer, who killed him.)
    As you can tell, I’m not a high-minded elitist and wouldn’t fit in well here. We should work to make the world better. But fanatic devotion to ideas like equality to create a politically imposed social utopia, always end badly. See China’s Great Leap Forward.

    1. I am sorry that you got contacted after you unsubscribed.. It must be a mistake, and hopefully it won’t happen again,. but thanks for letting us know.

      The message was not about soliciting anybody. it is to show understanding of the situation and solidarity with those oppressed. I agree share with you the desire to make the world a better place for all people.
      take care

  19. Thank you Hameed for this expression of truth. I feel the strength of reality and the heart of courage and love. All lives matter!!! I too stand by all cultures, colors and diversity of our community. Human community! I too stand with full support Of people of color in the Shcool and in the world. I share in a big fierce yes to the flame of truth, guiding us the way for right action!
    Solidarity, Satya Gita

    1. jonathan weinstock

      Thanks, Satya! And, I hope you’re doing well (I miss seeing you at dance!).
      I agree that all lives matter, and also feel moved to share this (below vid) with you (and other white folks who may benefit), as I feel it’s really important for us (as white folks) to very clearly understand where Black Lives Matter comes from and how “all lives matter” does not serve the message and intent of BLM. I’d be very happy to discuss this further with you, if/as desired. 🙏🏽💜

    2. jonathan weinstock

      Thanks, Satya! (And, I hope you’re doing well— I miss seeing you at dance!).
      I deeply agree that all lives matter, and also feel moved to share a video— search YouTube for Conan O’Brien and W Kamau Bell— with you (and other white folks who may benefit), as I feel it’s really important for us (as white folks) to very clearly understand where Black Lives Matter comes from and how “all lives matter” relates to this, and can obscure the context, origins, intent, and impact of BLM.
      I’d be very happy to discuss this further with you (and anyone), if/as desired. 🙏🏽💜 ~Jonathan

  20. So that I can understand this more deeply, I have two questions :

    First, what do you mean by ‘racism took us to another dimension of challenges’?

    Second, what do you mean by ‘the system of justice… that have made it possible’?

    Craig Leggat xx

    1. Racism took us to another dimension of challenges: Racism is not new, but this recent expression of racism and the general awakening to it and more people engaged in protesting it took us to new challenges. The challenges are how to bring about real changes. And how to contribute to making such changes happen. It is an opportunity because the whole nation is aware of racism now. So how to use this opportunity to make real and necessary change happen. .this is quite a challenge, to each of us individually and to the whole nation.

      By system of justice I mean that the justice system we have in this country still has discrimination in it. Or at least it does not protect against discrimination and racism. It might be instituted but not acted upon The justice system includes many parts. The police enforcers; the court system, the prosecutors and judges, the justice department, and the local departments. All of those will need to recognize the implicit racism, not just the explicit one, and enact legislation that can make real changes in how the p0lice behaves and how the courts rule.

      1. Thanks Hameed for clarifying that. I found it very helpful

        A couple of things.

        What is the basis for your belief that the events represent “this recent expression of racism”?

        And

        What is the basis for your belief that there is “implicit racism” in the justice system?

        Craig Leggat xx

  21. 🙏 May what Hameed has spoken here to our community ripple to communities everywhere with action, equanimity, peace; and most of all with the power of love. May we all make it so. 🙏

  22. Thank you, Hameed.’

    As the problem is older than the Daughters of Revolution, isn’t on time that all american states forbid street police officers to be white for the next 300 years ?

    Jacob Berner Rue

  23. Cordula Heckhausen

    Dear Hameed,
    thank you for this clear, humane statement.
    Your words are close to my heart.

  24. I agree with you. Voting is important and the a way to affect change. And yet in the US what we’re seeing now is a history of voter suppression and gerrymandering which makes it difficult to have fair and free elections. This is well documented. Furthermore, neither party has done enough to begin to dismantle the systemic racism that priviliges white lives over others. Ultimately it is individuals who are at the root of our communities and society. Most white Americans have for too long turned a blind eye to systemic racism, even as they have benefited from it. It is time for them to truly contemplate their participation in this system, and what they will do about it as a matter of personal responsibility to the whole.

  25. Turid Heiberg

    Thank you Hameed for speaking up on an issue that keeps on harming our unity.. Racism in the US is only one expression of the massive historical impact of exploitation of groups of people and their trust, other expressions we can witness every day at the global level. It is very good that our community become aware of the history and our opportunity to undo injustice by being clear and take all small and big steps to manifest our unity in a new and refreshed way. Unity needs to be felt at every level by everyone.

  26. Kemii Aptezii

    Change in policy, precedent, and procedure have been enacted several times over the centuries-old process of Killing Black Lives. What is sincerely needed is a change in consciousness. The Diamond Approach has the capacity to offer such a change. Yet with so few practitioners of African Heritage, the inquiry regarding the suffering and killing of Black Lives – around the world – does not arise until tragedy takes place. How can more Diamond Approach teachers of African Heritage be presented in the world to address the unique facet of Black Lives?

    1. I think it will be great to have teachers of color in our school. We have some, but not enough. I think black teachers of the Diamond Approach will be able to address these issues more effectively because they have the personal experience. Nothing can take. the place of personal lived experience.

      For us to have teachers of black heritage we first need to have more students of black heritage. And these will have to want to be teachers so that they can be trained in the teaching.

  27. Carine Verveld

    Thank you Hameed for speaking your heart out.
    Lots to inquire and stay present with.
    Grateful for our community, including all human beings.
    Much love to all.

  28. Thanks Hamid I really appreciate your words today.
    I agree as an outsider to the USA but living here in Australia with our own aboriginal history, that a cultural shift is the core of what’s needed. That may have to occur in such a huge way, that as yet we cannot envisage.

  29. Thank you for this, and for everything, Hameed!
    I’m from Europe, and I want to share my thoughts on this situation, which I feel is not just an American issue, but applies to the whole world.
    In Europe, we know as a fact that all peaceful protests that put into question the status quo get systematically infiltrated by secret police officers. These officers, disguised as protesters, carry out acts of senseless violence and destruction, in order to justify violent repression by anti-riot police. Politicians and journalists invested in the status quo use these acts of violence to discredit those peaceful protests. This is nowadays standard procedure in all “civilized” countries, as far as I know.
    That said, I don’t doubt that some of the looting and destruction of property is carried out by actual protesters, young men who don’t know any other way to vent their frustration and despair. But even there, I feel it’s necessary to distinguish very clearly between violence against “property” and violence against people. Many people in this society, I believe, think that it’s justified to shoot at people to protect private property. I think this is crazy. Human lives should always be valued over material objects, no matter how “valuable”.
    I personally don’t believe that we can solve this by voting. We need a revolution. A peaceful revolution, yes, but a radical one. The whole system has to change.
    I believe the issue is not racism. I believe the issue is capitalism. Capitalism has to go. Capitalism is destroying the planet, and it’s destroying humanity.
    Capitalism is a form of slavery. I’m convinced that, if humanity survives, our descendants will look back at these times and see capitalism the way we see slavery now.
    The very notion of private property has to go. If we are all one (and we are!), everything I have belongs to you too.
    I could be wrong about this, of course, but I feel drawn to share these ideas here.
    One final point: this may sound like a “conspiracy theory”, but I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the media focus on issues of gender and race started right at the time of Occupy Wall Street and other anti-capitalist movements around the world.
    There are powerful agents in this global capitalist system interested in keeping the political discussion focused on issues that don’t threaten the economic system, But it’s this economic system, capitalism, that creates all the inequalities, the injustice, the wars, the environmental destruction, the unnecessary suffering that we see all around the world.
    I hope it’s okay to rise these issues here… I feel there’s no better place for discussing these things than this beautiful community, grounded in spirituality!
    I believe the world needs change, and I trust that this necessary change will come… But only if it’s driven by love and compassion for all living beings will it be the change we need!
    Love and peace

    1. Bert Williams

      I am feeling a deep bow to you Hameed for bringing the path of open-ended inquiry into my life. It is the greatest gift and treasure I have ever known.
      As I explore my part in the horrors of racism (and all forms of bigotry) it appears to me (at least right now) the largest portion is the perpetuation of implicit bias in me. Although it is discernable as different from explicit individual bigotry it is also inseparable from those explicit forms and the ground out of which they arise.
      The trick as a white person is that I cannot find it in my thoughts and feelings so in a way it is invisible (though a person might point to it in my behavior or language). It is primarily in my body, in my cells, in ancestral imprints, collective trauma, introjection of the larger holding environment from pre-birth…the blood in the ground before my first step. I am grateful that you pointed to the universal issue of “stranger anxiety” – it is the perfect entry point into the awareness of the patterns embedded in my amygdala, vagus nerve, the sensate field, the larger dialectic field, etc…
      Without open-ended inquiry I cant imagine how I would penetrate the realm of systemic prejudice within me. I can sense there are thousands of onion layers and that many are gory and gruesome so that pendulation and titration is necessary. With each layer however I notice immeasurable gifts.
      One is that right action feels natural and effortless (noticing when I take up more space than a woman I am in conversation with, moving my money into a black owned bank…etc…). Another is that this clarification of the “blood in the ground” of my ego leads to profound and unimagined experiences of the the true boundless ground of being.
      I am also very grateful to be within the group pearl where each soul is entering their inquiry from exactly where they are at and as the diamond guidance leads them. I can feel how all the different perspectives and discoveries nurture my own field of inquiry.
      Deep bow,
      Bert

  30. Thank God there are still beautiful hearts and minds among us.
    I live in the UK, and the immediate reaction of our most senior politicians was to state to our nation, “Black lives matter”. Does Donald Trump realize the healing that might be initiated if he stood up and said these 3 little words? And if he cannot bring himself to say them, there is systemic wickedness in his government.
    I am not a silly idealist: I believe, very sadly, that racism is very much alive in both our countries.

  31. Sandie Ritter

    Thank you Hameed. I am British and a couple of years ago was travelling by ferry from Vancouver Island to Seattle to drive to SeaTac airpor, return my rental car and fly to San Francisco. Upon arrival at border control, my passport was confiscated and I was ordered to park my rental car in front of a barbed wire fence. Numerous other cars parked, people’s luggage examined and they left. I was the only passenger remaining and was too afraid to walk out of my car as I did not know the “rules” I fly to the USA several times a year as I have a vacation home in N.Ca.,, my passport would be renewed in a year, and I was held there while they checked the validity of my ID, my address in the USA, and asked various questions. Finally they returned my passport, telling me that I had told them the truth, and I was free to go, explaining that the multiple entries into the USA was a red flag to them. As a single woman travelling alone, I was a terrified staring for almost one hour staring at a barbed wire fence not knowing why I was detained nor what the outcome might be.. I speak as a former social worker when I say that people in positions of social control need to learn ways to communicate that are not intimidating. While not everyone chooses a spiritual path, it is essential that those in power maintain a sense of integrity and morality towards our diverse communities.

  32. Dear Hameed and fellow students and teachers of reality, I am so very happy to see you and us engage publicly in this compassionate and inspiring manner! When I was a teenager in Germany, I learned that even innocent silence becomes complicity. It’s not possible to be fully alive and not fully engage. The split of inner and outer work, spiritual practice and public engagement is one of the most tragic blindspots of our time. Our planet and its humans cry out for full integration of all aspects of human life. Black lives matter a lot! In fact all lives matter absolutely – human, animal and plant. If we hurt one, we hurt all. Let’s stand up for all of life and fully integrate inner and outer practice. With pain, love and trust in our unbreakable potential and with unspeakable gratitude to our teaching and the school, our teachers and fellow practitioners that help me to slowly actualize my potential.

  33. Ernst Schulze Bremer

    Dear Hameed,
    I am very touched from your statement and I support it fully from my heart and in words.

    Scientists of the human gens found out that human beings mixed up with others from other colors and cultures in all times. They came to a conclusion that there are no different human races. We are all one race.

    With love
    Ernst Schulze Bremer

  34. Thank you for speaking explicitly about social inequality and injustice here in the US. I feel more optimism when I hear you and others speaking truthfully of the heartache and tragedy of the many forms of oppression and violence against people of color here in the United States. I am grateful that these topics are discussed here in our community.

  35. Dear Hameed, dear fellow travelers,
    It’s been over 20 years since I read your first book. Your thoughts and also Janel Ensler, my first Ridhwan teacher have awakened my love for this work and my love for this life had inflamed. It continues to advance and today I trust the Ridhwan community. It touches so deeply that I also want to express here my gratitude to the work of all Ridhwan teachers. Right now I feel the flame of the search in these turbulent times, it is like a consuming sun in my innermost heart that wants to burn everything and only want to leave love behind. My ego’s fear of this overwhelming force makes me write these lines.

    I think the US has taken a leadership role in the western world. Not only because of its military superiority, but also the intellectual achievements of Silicon Valley, the inviting cosmopolitanism and the desire for freedom was the breeding ground for a nation and society where she is today. In my view, however, the events must be viewed worldwide. In Germany it is relatively calm, almost ghostly calm. Everyone is following the absurd COVID advice, there are few riots. I also cannot imagine that our society, due to the German past, can be organized against people who are directed differently, be they blue, green or whatever direction. The shame about the madness of our ancestors is still deeply rooted in the German people.

    The United States has had a different experience and what is happening there, all the horrors, anger and fear in the face of the impending tsunami may be the same gift to humanity as the Dalai Lama has formulated for its Tibetan people. I am convinced that the future of the world will be decided in the USA and I fear with you, with all of us.

    Personally, I think that the latest developments on Earth are a natural process. After almost 75 years without war (in the western world), people have developed worldwide who are characterized above all by their lack of conscience, their inhuman thinking and unscrupulous actions. These have become dominant above all in the economy, but also in politics, research, and in society as a whole.
    You might call them “bad” people, but certainly the are egomaniac. These few have so much influence that society threatens to break up.

    A good analogy for me are Komodo dragons that live on some small Indonesian islands. Only animals of the same species can live with these reptiles, all other mammals that cross these animals are simply eaten. For me, this picture represents a good comparison with our economic world, for example.

    If I imagine a Komodo dragon in New York, it would frighten and panic people and then be shot. Some people are much more dangerous than these reptiles and difficult to identify. Perhaps as difficult as my effort to distinguish the essential qualities from my ego qualities, I am a beginner and only joined a group again in 2016.

    The worldwide curfew is helpful so that these “Komodo dragons” show themselves and can be directed to where they belong. However, political and social structures still have to be dissolved so that blackmailable judges, blackmailable doctors, blackmailable professors, doctors and blackmailable computer specialists can be freed from their captivity. They cannot free themself by their own. They are trapped in their psyche and need the love, understanding and support of all those who enjoy a little more freedom in their psychological prison, who understand these conditions and who respond appropriately when they reveal what has made them blackmailable. In the simplest case, it would be the threat to your loved ones, but the range is large. There are few enlightened people, but there are also only a few really dark people on this planet, everything is balanced, everything in balance. For me it is also hopeful that nobody is fully enlightened, just like nobody is only evil or dark.

    I hear lately Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” every now and then and the music triggers many old memories in me. Like I dislike destruction or even war, I also do not like all thís positive currents in society, such as those that arose after the Wall opened or at a soccer World Cup in Germany, for example. Me as a person cannot and do not want to be under the spell and I try to be withdrawn from these social processes. That is I prefer the twittering of birds and I try to keep as far as possible from it. But another part of me also wants to get to know the universe and eat cake.

  36. Your last sentence made me cry…. “To people of color and victims of injustice who are members of our Ridhwan community all over the world, we want you to know we stand with you and want to hear your voices.” YES, PEACE.

    Of course we’ve got our actual differences both at the level of outer appearances and at soul level. I’m pointing to the uniqueless of our particular souls. I appreciate your words, Hameed. How we are all human beings, and how we all have the same precious spirit, the humanness. ……. I quote: “We know this because we are human, and our teaching embodies the timeless truths of justice, equality, the preciousness of all, and the actual unity of all.” Yes, wonderful. Our teaching to start with. And our teaching does embody a lot of rather human aspects indeed in my view. Of course applying them -those qualities, those aspects of our humanness I mean- isn’t easy.

    As a member of the Ridhwan community I felt adressed personally by your last sentence in particular… ‘we stand with you’ (I perceive: solidarity, love, real relating, an eye for preciousness of the unique individual in particular as well as the preciousness of all unique individuals…) And ‘we want to hear your voices’….. Yes… would be courgeous. In general. This is what is happening in the school continuously, which is gorgeous!! I found my path!

    I do indeed perceive -already since I found my path, the Ridhwan path, 13 years ago when I was attending one of your booktalks- how it’s encouraged in our school to speak our truth, how we as unique individual are accepted, encouraged and welcomed to be how we are, outer appearances included ‘of course’.

    If we would -painfully so- feel our own tendencies to reject ‘otherness’ in whatever form, creating othernes that way, we are welcomed to look deeper. I notice how freedom of speech as a quite basic attitude in our school is appreciated and cherished by the Diamond Approach teachers. While our uniqueness ad individuals is fully accepted in our school….

    whether it’s our unique appearance or more common outer features that apparently are a reason for violence and fighting ‘otherness’, so ‘no peace’ in actuality, as one of the demonstraters was pointing out (see image), no understanding yet…… It’s all understood in our school. Thanks to the clarity of our teachings, Hameed.

    Over decades you’ve been pointing out so much about what happens at the level of ego to start with: the approachment drama, projecting away whatever is too painful and too difficult to swallow, seeking scape goats and creating ‘victimhood’ out there, this tendency to think in terms of either me or that ‘other’ over there, since we couldn’t beat our mother-other, the bad naugthy mother I mean, since the good mother is just that, simply just good.

    And you’ve been pointing out how those so called inner mechanisms are -generally speaking- not exactly aligned normally with the plane of Essence (peace, central equanimity, justice, love, realness, interest in our ‘others’, solidarity, understanding, an ability for true relating, the courage to speak our truth and so forth).

    So in our school we’re inquiring into it all ‘inside ourselves’ so to speak.. Focussing in our inquiries on self and our imaginary ‘others’ so to speak, how we ‘relate’ to our others of the past or to our recent others as representatives for our others in the past; while we’re not avoiding what’s too painful to digest all by ourselves. We do hold and support each other, so it does become possible.

    Since you understood how our precious Work is not just ‘inner’ (just our own digestive capacity, or our own particular points of view that normally have to stay hidden behind the appearances, showing ourselves as ‘the same as our others’ for safety reasons and so forth. Most safe to be blondhaired. ‘We’ve all got the same view’ and so on and so forth. Generally speaking.

    And you understood, Hameed, how we do need each other in our precious Work. Injustice is done to all of us, in all kinds of degrees. We are not ‘the same’ in that sense. Sometimes we -as individuals I mean- have to grapple with sexual violence done to us as children for example, or with other kinds of indigestable violence in the past, unbearable as well. Those phenomena, all kinds of intolerable painful experiences, injustice, are indigestable as well. And our fellow beings being killed ‘because of outer appearances’? That’s indigestable injustice indeed.

    It’s not just a matter of more or less pigment in our skin I suppose that makes people want to kill each other?! And yes, of course most of us would rather vote for more humanness…? As individuals we do need to vote indeed, to speak our truth in that sense and to stand up and speak up for ourselves and for our so called others in all kinds of ways as well. ‘Ideally’ I mean. 😉

    We might have to inquire beyond those outer appearances? What’s going on actually? So yes, you’ve offered so many teachings, useful concepts, dear Hameed, that make understanding somewhat easier….to be continued…….

    And Being Real, Being Human, openness to start with, a simple attitude of wanting to understand, facilitating and holding each other, our mutual support is priceless and really necessary of course.

    As a school we do embody a particular wisdom in my view, to welcome all and be open to whatever is brought up instead of the more superficial and the more usual tendency to judge or reject our so called others and worse. We need to turn the whole ship I suppose. Though we can start by being honest and real ourselves. Thank you, Hameed for your precious Work, your precious understanding and your deep love for what’s real!

    Isa

    By the way: I do recommend the newest A.H.Almaas book! This book is a transmission of Love! The way A.H. Almaas is able to describe what Love really is, in a way that it’s becoming felt sense, is excellent really!

    AHA makes clear how we can distinguish the language of Love from the language of Discernment as two perpectives on Love. He writes: “And yet they describe the same thing. Likewise Real Love and Real Understanding are the same.” Wow!

    A.H.Almaas clarifies the distinction between Personal Love and so called ‘object love’. In Personal love one is not just ‘ being full of love’, loving YOU is possible as well. I quote: “the capacity to love YOU; not just ‘I am full of love’. That is one thing; ‘I love YOU’ is another.” Wonderful, Beautiful, Excellent.

    My deep Appreciation for Hameed’s particular ability to Integrate the language of Love and the language of Discernment in a Unique way.

    Recommended!

  37. I appreciate the post whilst I also feel sad and a little broken hearted for that which I feel to be the missing recognitions.

    Relying on the voting system for safety and a cessation of black death is out of touch with the realties of American democracy and voting practices. It is manipulated, expensive to play in and riddled with all kinds of strategies to deny the black/poor a vote – something that has gone on for 100s of years and continues – the vote will not save people. It is designed to save and maintain racialised capitalism. Noam Chomsky and Cornell West become my teachers for this aspect of reality that is occurring. I integrate what they and Toni Morrison and James Baldwin and many others have to say into what I have gathered from the beautiful and radical diamond approach teachings to extend my inquiries into the social structures that shape our internal structures too.

    The American right is working in all sorts of ways to undermine and deny the vote – actually hi-jack it. So I have no faith in the so called democracy of the US to deliver safety to black souls. That is a relentless hope as opposed to a recognition of reality. America has slaughtered black lives for centuries under every administration and Biden is only a slight shift from the derangement of Trump. A shift that might lessen the body count but not really alter the reality we are in. Democracy is a veneer, an obscuration in my view to the structural realties that are so anti human.

    The same here in little britain, manipulation and deceit has more currency value than the truth. Deceit and false gods of power and money dominate/kill an ethics of collective care, the recognition in practice of our oneness, the divine love that holds us all even in these gross distortions. I am sad to see so many of us in the grip of such young structured minds in adult bodies shoring up structures of privilege and domination as false forms of holding and value.

    I love the teachings and what they have given us all as humans of being.
    It has been a radical exploration for me, a freedom I didn’t know. There have been and are limitations that I feel limit intimacy with true nature. I find a gap in the school when it comes to addressing some structures of the ego that are also obscurations to presence. The ego is not neutral in my view, it has culture embedded in it, not just our parents who are also part of and influenced by and made in culture. The ego ideal in a white supremacy culture is of course white and male and heterosexual and able bodied and not Jewish and – lots of nots….. (add the rest )… and many of us are in a dialectic with that hierarchy of value that is impressed into our souls and it harms and limits and shames and burns.

    Some people may want to reduce this inquiry to identify politics, I tend to think of it as the soul attempting to know itself through dissembling itself from imprints of societal rejection, hate and shame. Some people want to remain in the illusion of being ‘good whites’ in the face of causing or benefitting from harm, centuries of harm.

    The one that is in my view so frequently under inquired into and under formulated in spiritual and psychological circles is whiteness. I know in the states there are some DA students who are inquiring into race and structures of whiteness, a recognition that we need some teachings about whiteness so that we can inquire into them – otherwise we usually dive into defensive manoeuvres.

    I have done much of that work with myself, inquiring into whiteness, asking excruciating repeat questions into whiteness and wandering around in the narcissistic emptiness of it, the lie of it until I find peace and less of a need to identify with whiteness. It hasn’t stopped as an inquiry. It continues. I have been grateful for what the teachings and practices have offered to make this possible.

    The resting of a layer of activity of the ego that is racialised; my making contact with all the ways whiteness refuses to see itself, the ways it insists its goodness, how it refuses its harm and privilege to shore itself up – working through these identifications has returned more of my soul to my being, more of a capacity to hear those who were constructed as black as an action of objectification to serve material greed, to open my heart to what was done and how it lives now. That is what has come of my inquiries into whiteness as a lethal weapon.

    Answering repeat questions like: how do I benefit from whiteness in a world of anti-blackness? How does whiteness shore up my sense of self? Tell me a lie about being white? – have served to deepen and loosen my attachments to egoic structures, it wasn’t enough to detach from a ‘neutral’ ego because I was aware of the layer of whiteness, whiteness that takes itself to be superior and constructs an inferior other and that layer needed tending to in my view to further the work of being a human of being that can recognise and regard all humanity from the perspective of true nature.

    If you are interested in doing inquiring into whiteness as a psychological structure and identification that is an obscuration to true nature and recognition of humanity, then let me know. I can share some of the readings I have been in the company of and we can figure out inquiry questions.

    Love for the truth, love for all of us, love for deepening the inquiry to lessen suffering for all of us. Love for this work and teaching and Hameed.

    Robert Downes
    London

    1. the shell of ego includes cultural and racial layers. So of course, all of these need to be inquired into. There is no true realization if any layer is identified with. So I am glad you have been inquiring into your whiteness. We have already done some inquires into white privilege in some groups.

      I have been studying some of the studies into white privilege and other kind of privilege. Feel free to offer your sources. I might be interested in some of them. others might be interested too.’

      The teaching is not only about whiteness, but that using one’s race to shore up one’s identity is an obstruction to realization and liberation.. the same about culture, gender, social class and so on. We are all unique because of all of these, but our true nature is still beyond any of these.

      It is difficult to imagine someone who is being their spiritual nature and act in a prejudiced way. So I encourage inquiry into whatever we use to shore up our ordinary identity. This will include race and skin color.

    2. Ross Crookshank

      Thank you Robert.

      As I was reading, I was beginning to feel broken hearted myself and your words brought me back in. In exploring my relationship to whiteness, inspired hugely by attending your teaching days, I am thrown into a terrible hall of mirrors with my own narcissism and it is truly horrific and filled with agonising shame about just how central I constantly try to place myself. However, at the same time I feel my heart awakening, my compassion more authentic. For me it is essential work. To begin to awaken to whiteness is proving for me to be a portal to true nature. I am so grateful for the work that you have put in and so generously share with all of us.

      Ross

  38. What happens when an evangelical preacher tells the flock how to vote? We are aghast. Though no doubt well-intentioned email, Hameed’s email — like almost all discourse on this subject in the popular culture – is rather ill-informed.

    George Floyd’s death was a tragedy, and the officer has rightly been charged. It is appropriate to express regret and sadness during this time. But the criminal justice system is extremely complex. Why are we so sure we have the answers? Do we really know what we are talking about? Sadly, I’ve found very few individual have really looked at this issue, yet lots of folks act like they know everything about it. Much of this is due to the media. As it turns out, good-hearted people on both sides of the aisle have spent entire lives working in this area – with a lot of success, but the media has chosen to ignore it, because this is a wedge issue for voters, particularly Democratic voters. I’ve voted Democrat for thirty years, but I’d like people to wake up to the fact that we are largely being played for political gain. For instance, did you know that since just the year 2000, the death rate for those in police custody has dropped by 75%? That’s a stat you never hear in the popular media, because it doesn’t fit the narrative.

    There’s more: the total number of unarmed suspects shot by police in 2019 was 41. Did you know that 9 of them were black? In contrast, 19 were white, and 9 were Hispanic. The oft-repeated statistics one hears about the greater chance of being shot if one is black are derive from armed suspects, not unarmed suspects who are tragically killed. This brings up the point that no one wants hear or talk about.

    The African American community suffers from far more murders than the rest of the population. Statistically speaking, African Americans are responsible for 50% of homicides, yet the group represents only 13% of the population. We cannot understand calls for reform, if we don’t understand this figure. Deeper tragedy lies within it: 96% of the victims of those perpetrators are themselves black. Please pause and digest that.

    To deal with this issue means realizing that many, many thousand African-Americans die each year from homicides, a number which dwarfs those killed by police. How are we going to protect the lives of innocent people in the black community from criminals who would prey upon them without disproportionate confrontations with police? Living in, and policing, black communities entails much greater risks than the places most of us are fortunate to live. Reforms in policing must be carefully balanced so that people in these black communities are also protected from perpetrators.

    What I would love to see is specific policy proposals for how the police are to protect the African American communities without an over-representation in the amount of deaths by the police in those communities. Because, if you think it’s all based on racism, the stastics, again, go the other way. Black officers are more likely, percentage-wise, to kill black suspects than white officers are. Again, please pause and digest that. Thus: is everything here about racism, or is it that these people are doing dangerous jobs where split-second decisions are required? It may well be both, depending on the individuals involved, yet we are all so fast – or our super-egos are – to assume we’d do a better job of it. We should all look inside at our potential for racism, but we must also recognize that we are often projecting racism – and many other object relations — onto the police. Many protestors are literally casting stones.

    This begs the deeper question: how to make those communities safer for everyone? To really create change in deaths in police custody requires alleviating the socio-economic circumstances. The roots are the problem are deep. We’ve been working on this for a long time – Democrats and Republicans. If any of us thinks one side has all the answers – which apparently Hameed does, from his call for change – why is that our party of choice, in all its previously swings at bat, hasn’t managed to fully connected with the ball. It’s because if there were an easy answer, we would have already found it.

    The Diamond Approach is about the Truth, as one commenter above wrote. Truth requires considering the evidence, considering adverse consequences, considering exactly what we’re asking of other human beings, like police, who put their lives at risk in jobs few of us could stomach. An evidence-based response to inequities is what’s needed — not knee-jerk calls to “vote the bums out.”

    Hameed, I’ve long admired your refusal to take stances based on political correct ideologies. I wish you would have done more research before telling students across the nation they should vote to change their state and local officials. Many of those officials have done more than you might guess to try to make change. Wanting change is fine, but I wish we all had more humility in the face of difficult challenges.

    1. I am sitting and deeply listening fleshing out my own biases and ways in which I have been white privileged and ways in which I have experienced LBGTQ oppression, exploring that duality. Also, the ways that I have hidden who I am in order to divert oppression and biases warranted at times maybe but mostly unwarranted from a fear-based mind vs a heart centered place of strength.
      The particular “facts/statistics” that anonymous of June 4th at 11:11 stated (although there were no references to back them up) don’t create a whole picture. I have seen statements to the contrary. “Facts” can be manipulated based on cherry picking data and data points, what data are considered outliers, datasets and the sources of that data, desired outcomes of the research, using data stripping, scrubbing and cleansing techniques and who is paying for the reporting and analysis. As a former data engineer I can attest to these techniques as fact.
      There is no evidence that neighborhoods of color are better off from extra policing but there are trends that show this is not effective and is indeed a form of racial oppression.
      Also, I did not hear anyone state how to vote. We sometimes “hear” or see based on a particular lens. What I took from Hameed’s vote statement was that I am to inquire into my heart and also inquire into the record of each current legislator on the ballot to determine if I vote to renew that person or opt for someone else. Either way, i vote for changing the makeup, the cloth of the current legislative body in hopes to invoke the changes that i wish to see in the world.
      However, that being said voter suppression is real and biased. I have experienced this first hand even as a white woman on at least three occasions. Any reason to take someone out of the voter rolls at the polls by some so-called watchers is really an additional form of voter intimidation. In addition disinformation campaigns about absentee ballots and reducing polling stations during a time of a pandemic is an additional deterrent and particularly egregious.
      I appreciate all of the points of view that I have read here. I continue to sit in deep listening particularly to voices of POC to bring into my awareness that which I did not fully grasp before now and am committed to seeing and hearing going forward. We don’t know what we don’t know but once we do then we can be part of the real solutions or stay complicit and explicit in the injustices that are continuing to occur.
      Thank you Hameed and to all of the DA students that I have met and was privileged to inquire with.

      1. Here are some sources. Links are not permitted here, so I have included ways to google articles that will quickly take you to data.

        An article published at Quillete, cites studies from the Center for Disease Control and the University of Maryland, among others, which show that the homicide rate for black teenagers is 16 times higher than whites. The article, dated July 27, 2019, is entitled, “Don’t Blame Police for Racism for Americas Violence Epidemic.” It also includes lots of other data supporting my statements above.

        That article also contains information to assess your assertion that that policing does not affect neighborhoods. It cites data, for instance, that shows when police pulled back in Baltimore after the riots there in 2014, homicides shot up there from 211 to 318. The article then quotes Reverend Kinji Scott, “a community activist in the city, who attributed de-policing for the spike in homicides.” Reverend Scott is quoted as saying, “We saw the police department arrest less during a period of high crime. So what happened is you have a community of emboldened criminals.”

        The disparity among incarnations for racial groups has been studied by Harvard University, for instance. When critical factors like prior convictions are included, incarnation rates approach parity among racial groups. Studies have shown this since the 1997, by the way, and the court systems have come up with all kinds of solutions to try to make sentencing as fair as possible. You can find a lengthy discussion of these studies in a Quillette article from May 24, 2018, entitled, The Folly of a Racialized Criminal Justice Reform Debate. The author makes the point that well-intended changes, such as raising the amount of crack required to receive a 5-year mandatory sentence to 28 grams, has created disparities where meth (a drug more often used by whites) receives the same mandatory sentence at just 5 grams. Thus, a “white” drug is now far more heavily penalized that crack. The same article points out that 500,000 white males are also incarcerated today. The US incarcerates whites at rates higher than the citizens of countries with governments like China, Russia, and Iran.

        For a short, easily digestible interview, loaded with statistics, please look on You Tube for an interview entitled, The Moment Larry Elder changed Dave Rubins Mind Forever. Rubin is a gay, liberal journalist. Rubin also interviews Elder again in two part interview entitled Black Lives Matter a Conservative Perspective. What I really love about these interviews is that two people who have different political perspectives have a discussion centered on facts.

        The point here is not that racism and homophobia exit. They undoubtedly do. The point is whether there is SYSTEMIC racism embedded within the fabric of the criminal justice system. Those are two very different things.
        This distinction is important because problems in policing are going to happen, despite whatever forms anyone want to enact. There will always be bad cops, even racist cops, just as there are bad apples in every profession. What happened to George Lloyd was tragic. The cops are being tried, as they should be. The insistence on “no justice, no peace” sets us up for failure, however. There are thousands of encounters between police and suspects every hour of the day. You speak of “cherry picking.” Viewed in context, what happened to George Lloyd can also be viewed as a cherry-picked incident — by the media and social justice advocates — that does not necessarily reflect the enormous strides that have been made in this area in the last decades. Something like this will happen again, if not next year, the year after. In a nation of 328 million people, there will be more incidents. Are we going to go through another round of riots? Again and again? No justice, no peace is a set-up for failure. The rhetoric around this issue ignores the context by which we can try to arrive at real solutions.

        BTW, is there any doubt who Hameed is saying we should vote for? Candidates who want “change.”

        What kind of change can really help the situation? In the information above, perhaps the most significant piece of data discussed is this: A staggering 75% of African American children are now born out of wedlock. That is, roughly 75% of African American kids grow up without the benefit of fathers. For all ethnicities, growing up without a father puts a child at much higher risk for many problems, including crime and incarceration. I’ve never once heard a “change” candidate grapple with, or even acknowledge, that statistic.

        As students of the DA, we know how important parenting can be, and the role of fathers, and mothers, have in shaping the course of our lives. What can be done that will actually help real people, not just more slogans, more shouting, not more bricks, not more rocks? This is the challenge we face. It is much thornier than simply voting for candidates who just call the system racist. It is far, far more complicated than all the rhetoric would lead us to believe. Calling for change is one thing. Actually implementing it is another. Without trying to get to the truth of the situation — without fully understanding it, and the dynamics behind it — we can’t really resolve it.

        1. Your comments provide an important perspective. It is a pity you felt the need to do so anonymously.

          Craig Leggat

        2. I very much appreciate your bringing more complexity and information into this conversation. For me, it points to the truth that we are the system—we are not separate from it. Dividing the world into us and them, good and bad, and then taking action to counter the bad can’t help but reiterate and enact divisiveness and rivalry.

          There is enormous pressure on our leaders, including Hameed, to take a stand on urgent events, to help us find a way to be effective in this suffering complex world that appears to be at an unprecedented crossroads. I appreciate his wading into these worldly waters and giving us his guidance on them. And what it is necessary for each of us to do is a matter of personal conscience. It seems to me that taking a side or position with a view to eradicating the bad and instituting the good is fundamentally reactive, even violent. Our tender hearts naturally feel the pain of others and our instincts tell us to get busy and do something to get rid of it—fight, flee, freeze– and to join with others of like mind for safety and strength in numbers: “Us”.

          Karen taught the second segment of the Spirituality in a Fractured World course—it was entitled “Open Window.” In it, we were invited to inquire into our positions about situations in the world, how we are not open to other points of view and how it is for us to be open to alternative views. These are sobering and salutary inquiries that begin to bring us closer to the reality of our unity and interdependence.

          1. Isabelle Schuurman (Isa))

            Dear Naya, thanks for your interesting contribution!
            According to your truth that ‘we are the system’ while creating an ‘us’ and a ‘them’, ‘good’ and ‘bad’ isn’t the solution indeed, since it would mean ‘reiterating and enact divisiveness and rivalry’ as you were stating…. Yes.

            Yes, I agree that ‘the either good or bad’ stuff would be too simplistic indeed, would be too black and white actually, instead of a more nuanced and multicoloured view so to speak. And of course discriminating awareness -this Essential quality- is needed to prevent that we -as individuals- would ‘just’ be part of the system, not ‘being’ just ‘that’ I mean.

            And as Walter Link from Germany stated so beautifully: “.. even innocent silence becomes complicity. It’s not possible to be fully alive and not fully engage. The split of inner and outer work, spiritual practice and public engagement is one of the most tragic blindspots of our time. Our planet and its humans cry out for full integration of all aspects of human life …” Wow…I’m impressed.

            By the way: I’m from the Netherlands, second or third generation ‘victim’. My mother was born during the war. The mother of my grandmother (she wasn’t ‘jewish’, nor did she have ‘jewish appearance’, something with resistance) was killed by the Nazis during that war. May her soul be blessed. My tears. I’ve felt the consequences of the system he’s born into as well. I won’t blame him personally. Would be injustice, right? Nor do I want to blame ‘Germany’ or however. Would be nationalistic in my view. Meanwhile it -this particular painful history, to say the least- has made me as well as him more conscious as individuals apparently. About what it means to ourselves and each other, the injustice involved. What were the driving forces? Instinctual forces? How has this history affected me personally and so on. Apparently not just my own approachment drama involved here, …

            You know… The ‘I, me, myself’, the ‘me and my mother/father’-stuff enlarged at the level of ‘us all’…. A lot of boundless love is needed in this sense for sure. (one of Hameed’s next books about love as I understood.) Or rather, a lot of boundless love would be needed to cure the lack of love, to heal the injustice that we observe so frequently in the news and around us. Probably best to start with our own experience and felt sense and our own consciousness indeed if we have to start somewhere. Our own development towards becoming more conscious individuals I mean. Nevertheless, personally we do have to deal with situations sometimes of course, though I tend to shrugg my shoulders normally when I’m confronted with prejudices or mental images projected onto me by my others with their particular history and so on and so forth. And yes, standing up for our others is sometimes a beautiful option as well I would think.

            I was wondering what you meant exactly when you wrote: ‘personal conscience is needed’. My understanding of what you mean is: us being conscious as individuals in our personal way, right? I suppose you mean consciousness when you’re using the word ‘conscience’? English isn’t my first language. So I suppose -my association with the word conscience- that you don’t mean superego assumptions or commands. (Which would then rather be the conscience of our respective mothers or fathers adopted by us as our personal conscience, I assume). Yes, I agree, our personal consciousness our mind quality in that sense is as indispensable as our hearts.

            Your position is that taking a side or position with a view -as an attempt to eradicate the bad, while instituting the good- would be fundamentally reactive, even violent, right? I agree… would indeed make us fundamentalists. I sometimes long for a world with people that are just good. My naive idealistic side. And I’m sometimes struggling with unbearable agression or unjustice while being confronted with ‘the news’ or however. I don’t wanna be part of that!

            Meanwhile, as Hameed wrote: People are rejecting the attitude of prejudice, that is, they were demonstrating ‘their no to the no’ which can be seen as positive? As a yes? While standing up for their so called ‘other’… seen as ‘one of us’ this time. Another precious human being. Do you agree with my interpretation?

            I appreciated what you said, I quote: “Our tender hearts naturally feel the pain of others and our instincts tell us to get busy and do something to get rid of it—fight, flee, freeze– and to join with others of like mind for safety and strength in numbers: “Us”. Yeah… a safety in numbers….

            And, yes, you are making an important distinction in my view, between instinct and our soul being, our tender hearts. I liked those words: we’ are not just our blind instinct forces indeed, as Ridhwan students and as individuals in general we are also tender hearted beings, I agree fully! Has to be discriminated indeed in our precious Work of inquiry! What we are doing all along in the Ridhwan school in my view. Distilling what’s precious and worthwhile, facing and transforming the difficult emotions due to our pasts and so on and so forth. Which is really really wonderful Work in my view. Spiritual Work and quite positive actually in my eyes. Even though those difficult emotions and struggles need to be faced and worked through. Or ideally. You were pointing to the usual strategies to avoid.. You probable do wanna take sides with me in this regard. 😉

            Hameed was responding to you that ‘We are a teaching based on inquiry and exploration, where we use dialogues and discussions’. And I would like to add that even though ‘we’ aren’t ‘a teaching’ as individuals maybe, not an example in the sense that we might not walk the talk yet, or we might not walk the talk in a perfect or perfect enough way yet, but we are doing our Work at least, the work of inquiry in our own experience, while applying our openness, our willingness to be open for whatever truth might show up, even if we struggle and so on, inquiring into our reactivity, not judging ourselves or our others ideally and so on and so forth. A long way to go for us all of course. While holding and supporting each other makes the Work even enjoyable, right?!

            You might probably agree about what I said about taking sides and being open for views by occasion, since you were referring to the teaching of Karen Johnson in the online course ‘Spirituality in a fractured world’ with appreciation. You might agree with me that even when we would never be willing to take a side or position with a particular view in general… or to take someone elses view into consideration… since you did actually show another possibility when you were raising our consciousness by pointing to Karen’s precious teaching and her invitation to inquire into our positions and to consider how we -as individuals I assume, since how else- are not open to other points of view and how it is for us to be open to alternative views. Wow, yes I agree with you, salutary inquiries indeed. Thanks. Take care 😉 With love, Isabelle Schuurman

        3. Where did the complexity come from? What are the root causes?

          Are you saying that black people inherently have problems?

          That will be a racial attitude, regardless of what statistics you bring..

        4. Anon – I didn’t assume we wouldn’t meet racism here in the comments, but here it is attempting disguise. Even suggesting we go to data as though a neutral investigation where upon the data you suggest we consider is ideologically weighted in the direction of white supremacy. And you gather up a black conservative for the cause of your ‘facts’.

          Where to begin with this post. 1: it’s riddled with racist polemic disguised as reason. Even gathering up a gay white man to be encouraged into facts by a black conservative – chosen to support your position rather than inquire into this way more complex situation that you have reduced to poor parenting. This is disingenuous and I wonder what it shores up for you? Because your use of the term facts is problematic because you are not referring to the ideology that is using those facts to shore up a particular position, one of white racial superiority and black diminishment.

          1.5: racism and systemic racism isn’t a series of bad apples – another white device to protect white hegemony, white racial privilege and to diminish blackness. We have seen an orchard do its violence recently if we go with your point and that is systemically allowed and invited by Trump – who is doing what on Juneteenth? Inciting violence against black bodies.

          2: “An article published at Quillete” cited as a credible factually based resource when Quillete is a platform that disseminates hatred of feminists, anti racists, muslims, you get the drift – disguised as academic papers. Plus the racist eugenicists.

          3: Another racist trope: “A staggering 75% of African American children are now born out of wedlock”. And how many white children are born into a culture that teaches them white supremacy. And what about racial capitalism? And racialised embodied trauma that goes untreated.

          “As students of the DA, we know how important parenting can be, and the role of fathers, and mothers, have in shaping the course of our lives”. Another distraction device of white, patriarchal heteronormative supremacy. Blame the oppressed and shore up individualistic white meritocracy myths.

          I could go on – racism is a distraction.

          1. ROBERT DOWNES

            Dear moderator/s – my above post was intended to be a response to ANONYMOUS JUNE 5, 2020 AT 6:21 PM and not in response to Hameed’s comment above.

          2. Robert, your characterization of Quillette is untrue from what I’ve seen. I’d like to see an example of where it “disseminates hatred of feminists, anti racists, muslims.”

            They’ve had two articles citing Ken Wilber, whose work Hameed called “most satisfactory for a general theoretical ground.”

            Regarding feminism, they do tend challenge certain postmodern sacred cows such as denialism of the influence of sex hormones on average differences in interests and proclivities between the sexes. This would be congruent with what Hameed wrote in The Point of Existence:

            “The absence of true models of sexuality has been extending to the home environment, where the differences between men and women, masculinity and femininity, are becoming increasingly blurred in our contemporary Western culture. The attempt at finding economical and social equality between the sexes, even though necessary and important, is frequently carried to excess in areas where the differences are necessary. It becomes difficult sometimes for the child to know what are the unique characteristics of being a man or a woman, when more and more things are becoming unisex. It seems that our culture is still quite a distance from achieving true equality and parity between the sexes that can retain the unique and valuable differences that make a man a man and a woman a woman. We are passing through a period of confusion regarding maleness and femaleness, which might be necessary before a new and higher but true social organization is achieved. We do not see how this can happen if we do not consider the essential qualities and their impact on the sense of femininity and masculinity.

            Some elements in the women’s movement are attempting to redefine the meaning of femaleness, but we do not notice much success. This is understandable because redefinition requires a rediscovery, and this is possible only by going very deep into the sense of self. Redefinition cannot happen through a political or a social movement; it must be the outcome of a deep transformation, of the realization of the erotic gender-determined self. This is basically a spiritual discovery. Hormones and genes are fundamental in this regard, but it is our essential presence and its qualities that give us the possibility of subjectively and personally knowing what is real and authentic in our own experience and feelings of identity. Only when we can experience the qualities of our true nature throughout our body, including our genital and erotic regions, can we truly recognize what is masculine and what is feminine, and what it is like to be a man or a woman.”

      2. I appreciate your deep listening and responding to other individuals posts. The way I understand blog and what I like to happen, is not simply people responding to me and talking with me. I want to start a conversation where everybody is talking with everybody.. people responding to each other, and not just to me.

        We are a teaching based on inquiry and exploration, where we use dialogues and discussions. So I appreciate this happening and hopefully more of it will happen.

    2. I am glad you are bringing up the complexity of the situation. This complexity can only be found by watching good historians and reporters and educating oneself. You write the following:
      “The African American community suffers from far more murders than the rest of the population. Statistically speaking, African Americans are responsible for 50% of homicides, yet the group represents only 13% of the population. We cannot understand calls for reform, if we don’t understand this figure. Deeper tragedy lies within it: 96% of the victims of those perpetrators are themselves black. Please pause and digest that.”

      this goes to the heart of the issue. I agree with you about the statistics here, which are actually discussed by the main media every once in while. The question I have for you is why is it this way? I agree that the problem is quite deep.
      You discuss .
      Why are the numbers this way? Why are there more murders in many black neighborhoods? And frequently black killing other blacks. Why?

      It is obvious that there is a great deal of accumulated anger in many of the black youth? Why, and is this the main reason for such numbers?

      To study the complexity we have to see that the African American situation cannot be separated from its history. We cannot separate the present condition of many black communities from the fact that black people were slaves in the US for years. And the Emancipation after the Civil War did not end the attitude that slavery was acceptable.. The South lost the war but that does not mean the human beings who wanted slaves and fought for this right all changed their heart about slavery. So this attitude is what I call Racism. It has decreased in time, of course, but did this mean it is gone. Obviously the last 10 years or so had shown us it is well and alive. Most of the time not loudly and not explicitly. Much of the time this attitude survived in an unconscious, even though ameliorated way.

      it pervades the American culture, and both slavery and racism are bound to be the main reasons why African Americans find themselves mostly as underprivileged. This is the deeper dynamic why we find Black neighborhoods to be the way they are. The attitude of prejudice, not just about black people but people of color, is a large reason why such communities live the way they do. This attitude of prejudice must exist in some members of the police. Obviously not all, maybe not the majority. But some still have it, explicitly or implicitly.

      People are not only protesting the killing of George Floyd. They are protesting to bring awareness to this prejudice and to do something about it. I don’t think voting will end it, but in this country change usually happens mostly through voting.. The system is so complex that I don’t see what legislation or voting can fix it. The racial attitudes and the prejudice are so mixed with the socio economic situation of the country that it is difficult to see how things will get better for everybody.. The mix is historical, and even though getting better it is still alive.

      Prejudice is not only an American phenomena. It is a human phenomena. It exists in most countries of the world.. In our country it is most obvious in the situation of African Americans. Mostly because they were enslaved, and the attitudes behind slavery, and the reactions of black Americans to them, will take a long time for them to change towards a national healing.

      I am not taking a political stance. What I am saying is a fact, not a political position. And the protests are trying to drive this point home.. It is true I do not take political positions publicly, and I am not here. If this truth is taken as a political position it will not stop me from pointing to the truth. We find similar truths in many countries.

      To respond to the passage I quoted from you will take a long discourse. But it is historians and social scientists who study this phenomena, and I am sure there are many studies. I am just outlining in general strokes how to explain it, and the conclusion of most of these studies.

      So I agree with you that it is a complex situation, and requires education and more profound changes than simply voting. But your example simply ignores the real issue, that of prejudice and how it has colored American history and society. I can give many other examples in the world of the effects of prejudice, but these days what is active in the country is the protest against injustice related to racism.

      1. I appreciate your response, Hameed. I must say I’m a bit dismayed at your suggestion that I was blaming the violence within African American communities on that community. I do not believe that is an accurate description of what I wrote. I said racism was a factor, and I said it’s a good thing to look at racism within ourselves. My broader point was that the political rhetoric within which this issue has been cast in is potentially harmful and self-defeating. I pointed out the potential unintended consequences that may leave innocent black people at the mercy of those who would hurt them within their own community. As I write this, there are now calls around the nation, and in my city, to “defund the police.” Someone painted “Kill Cops” on street signs all over my neighborhood, including within 20 feet of my door. I am at a loss to see how pointing out the problems in the way this issue has been framed amount to blaming the black community for the situation.

        So, you asked me a question: why is there so much violence within some African American neighborhoods? You asserted I was ignoring the real issue, which you say is prejudice. There is no doubt that someone whose ancestors were subjected to Jim Crow will likely start off life at a disadvantage. I am educating myself on black history, and will do more. Yet I feel I have engaged this issue in a far more nuanced way than you’ve given me credit for, and what I’m intending to do here is elevate the dialogue over a simplistic racist/not-racist binary. So I have a question for you in turn:

        I pointed out that 75% of African American children are raised without fathers. I also pointed out that I’ve never heard a progressive acknowledge this statistic, despite its severe impact on children, and you did the same thing, which was to simply ignore it. I’m challenging you now to grapple — really grapple –with that statistic. I don’t care whether your even write a response here, what I’d like you to do it actually wrestle with it, and see how it affects your viewpoint.

        To do that, you’d want to know that births to unwed black mothers was only 25% in 1964, which is the year when the Voting Rights Act was passed. Is racism responsible for the dramatic rise? Why? If it’s the primary cause, you’d have to explain how that the figure has skyrocketed after the 1960s, after the end of Jim Crow, and long after slavery was abolished. During the same time, the figure among whites rose from 5% to 25%, so the rise has been throughout the culture as a whole.

        You’ve indicated that racism is THE reason for violence in black neighborhoods. That’s undoubtedly partially true, but you’ve blown off considering all that’s been done to try to help. What if the unintended consequences of things like the Great Society Legislation ended up tearing up black families instead? That’s the conservative viewpoint. It may or may not be true, but in the current unrest, isn’t it worth stopping to consider the potential for well-intended policies to result in unintended consequences? You’ve made a dramatic assertion: the U.S. system (apparently everywhere in the nation, despite four decades of affirmative action, despite six decades of social programs aimed at minorities, despite a black president (elected twice), despite all kinds of reforms in the criminal justice system) is hopelessly racist. What if that narrative is, at best, oversimplified?

      2. I am SHOCKED reading this. Why did you not post white on white crime statistics and ask similar questions? “Black on black” crime statistics and argumentation are used by white racists to justify racism, either blaming Black communities directly or in a veiled manner exactly as you have here!

      3. I am SHOCKED reading this coming from you. “Black on black” crime statistics and argumentation are used to justify racism against Black people all the time, either blaming Blacks directly or indirectly as you have done here. Why didn’t you look at “white on white” crime statiscs and ask similar questions? This is appalling!

  39. Aloha Hameed,
    I’m very touched to read what you wrote above.
    I feel blessed to live in Maui where all the protests have been peaceful to my knowledge. I was quite touched to hear that George Floyd was honored on Maui by a paddle out of 100’s of surfers and traditional Hawaiian canoes to honor him in the same way a distinquished Hawaiian resident would be honored as their ashes were released into the ocean.
    In closing, thank you for all your shared with me in the decade I spent studying with you and all the Ridhwan teachers in Berkeley. The trajectory of my life was forever changed by the Ridhwan Work..
    With warmest aloha,
    Richard Marks, MA

  40. Kirsten Dumford

    Thank you for your strong and clear statement Hameed. I love how you referenced our humanity, unity and the preciousness of every soul. The acknowledgement of our current turbulent times felt integrating, pointing to the wholeness of our conscious experience as spiritual practitioners not split off from the society and world we are a part of. I have been deeply affected by the resent events in this country; moved to tears a few days about George Floyd’s killing and humbled by the wise words and brave actions of some of my fellow US citizens. I appreciate that you didn’t advocate for any specific actions in your statement, like who to vote for. You used one important lens of evidence-based truth, that of structural racism, to help understand these events. And I love how all the commenters from our community are filling in the picture from their knowledge and understanding of the different systems that come into play, like our economic system, integrity of elections, and different data points to consider. No one person can know all the truth of what’s happening in a society, nor what’s causing it. What’s exciting to me is that we can use the cultural information/education we have, as well as use the perspectives of others, to highlight the preconceived ideas and conditioned beliefs that constitute our own cultural shell. With self-awareness, curiosity and discrimination, this can be the cultural sand that helps form our Pearl. We then have the potential to be in relationship with all diverse human beings, and function in society, more and more from our essence. I feel this is the fundamental change you speak of. We don’t know what form it’ll take; it will look different for each of us, and who knows what the dynamism of Being will come up with collectively! But we know that if it’s coming from deeper levels of our Truth and realization, our hearts and actions will naturally be aligned us with our humanity and with justice. Blessed be.

    1. Kirsten, regarding “evidence-based truth” of structural racism, it seems more likely that the presumption of structural racism has obscured the truth of police shootings. At least 4 studies (two from Harvard) found no evidence of anti-black bias in police shootings. The most rigorous, from Harvard’s Roland Fryer, as reported in NY Times:

      “In shootings in these 10 cities involving officers, officers were more likely to fire their weapons without having first been attacked when the suspects were white. Black and white civilians involved in police shootings were equally likely to have been carrying a weapon. Both results undercut the idea of racial bias in police use of lethal force….in various models controlling for different factors and using different definitions of tense situations, Mr. Fryer found that blacks were either less likely to be shot or there was no difference between blacks and whites.”

      If this is surprising, consider inquiring into the media ecology and its distortions.
      Political scientist Wilfred Reilly’s book Taboo is dedicated to the logos and open inquiry, as I hope our school will remain. He writes:

      “Although 76 percent of the individuals killed by police are whites or Hispanics, these cases receive less than 10 percent of national media coverage.”

      See John McWhorter for numerous examples of unarmed whites also being unjustifiably killed by police, which most never hear about.

  41. Very hard on old eyes like mine and I assume younger ones as well to have a website design with this color scheme. Web designers should know what works best as best practices.

    Nonetheless, I deeply appreciate your words even though the light background is straining to the eyes.

  42. Karin Swann-Rubenstein

    I feel such gratitude in my heart seeing this discussion on the Diamond Heart website. Based on personal experience, when exploring my triggers around current events over the last four years, allowing presence to support these explorations deeply to their roots, it has taken me into the very work, I’ve come to believe, that needs to unfold in our world today. I have moved from abject hatred, disgust and scorn, through childhood traumas, towards an invincible, unifying love. It is not easy work, it continues daily, but I have come through much of it believing there is no accident in the wildness of our times – I experience them as a bold invitation to those of us willing, (or tortured enough!), to be open to our human evolution, to lean into the places where we are frightened or enraged or saddened until we get to the core of courage, strength and compassion that the world so greatly needs. I know Karen has been teaching this in her on-line class, which IS the rich offering of our teaching for these times. Yes! It does require, though, that we engage the material to its depths, and not act it out.

    That said, in terms of the discussion here, as several have mentioned, the situation with racism is complex. Part of that complexity, not mentioned here I believe, is that it includes, IMO, a relationship with patriarchy. So many of my experiences inquiring into triggers around our current political situation have left me experiencing the mystical dimensions of our teaching as deeply feminine, Sensing this has revealed how in my personal life and in society, patriarchal conditioning and values (reason, control, domination, negation of vulnerability, supremacy of self-reliance) have diminished these very dimensions of our Being, devaluing them in our culture, in women and ALSO in men. That same patriarchal orientation that upholds the superiority of certain ‘masculine’ attributes, has forced many men to negate, to avoid shame and humiliation, the more ‘feminine’ aspects of their nature. I believe racism partly has its root here, in the defensive need from patriarchal masculinity to project weaknesses, failure and vulnerability elsewhere with derision (onto people of color and women), propping up a false sense of power. I do not say this to blame men. Rather, like racism, patriarchal values as they exist in our world have a prejudice for one thing over another – with great cost to us all (and to our planet). It is no accident, in my mind, then, that the wounds of racism and the wounds around gender are both surfacing in our times. They are intertwined, calling on us to lean in and reach towards a deeper truth that heals and reconnects.

    While the issues around racism are complex, and they are joined by issues related to sexism, class and our planet’s health, one part of the solution might be said to apply to them all. Real, material change IS needed, but we also deeply need a change of heart: A recognition of our interconnection, a deeper reverence for the feminine, for our planetary mother, and a respect for human (and non-human) vulnerability. These are all qualities that our current, patriarchal culture diminishes, with its higher value on reason, self-reliance, head-centered linearity and control, in ways not dissimilar to the way whiteness implicitly diminishing and disregards people of color. So…maybe that resonates for some and not for others, but this is the wisdom that my work with this teaching has helped to surface.

    Written with much gratitude to you, Hameed, for opening this dialogue in our school and for inviting us to share here. Also to fellow members of our community who engage with care around these issues.

  43. Dear Hameed,

    Thank you for indicating to the School body and to the world where the School stands with respect to police violence in the US—it is very hard to assert a voice of true equanimity in response to systemic violence and injustice that so plainly is driven by the opposite of equanimity: supremacy, power exerted and held over others, lives limited and destroyed by ideologies of hate.

    But I feel that the statement should also acknowledge the School’s struggles in the area of diversity, and mention the work of the School’s Diversity and Inclusivity Committee. I think it’s important to speak directly about why the Committee was formed, what the Committee has done, what the School has learned from the Committee’s inquiries, and how we are moving forward in taking action based on new understanding. I would also like to hear if you think the School has changed since 2015, when I believe the Committee was formed. Police violence toward Black Americans has clearly not changed since then—a lot of people are asking why.

    I feel strongly that one of the most powerful ways to lay the foundation for ‘real change’ in this area is to acknowledge how we may be participating in the systems of inequality that the statement mentions. I don’t think we can easily separate this fact from the facts of police violence: they both emerge from that system. However contingent we may think it is, however little we think we can do about it, however uncomfortable it makes us feel—and however we choose to frame our spiritual approach to Being and Beings—such an acknowledgement, and mentioning how the School is addressing its own issues, demonstrates our commitment to actively turning back these systems of inequality. To me, it’s us ‘doing the work.’

    And that’s what we’re all about, why I have been a Diamond Approach student for 10 years: the work is difficult, painful, challenging; it has helped me not only to see, but to stand in the painful experience of and to confront aspects of my life that had remained hidden and had caused so much limitation in my experience, and, of course, pain to me and others. Because of my willingness to do that work, I have grown and deepened as a person, father, husband, artist, friend and, most importantly, in Being. Things have really changed for me, opened up in ways I could not have imagined: the ‘actual unity of all’ is less an abstraction and gets more real and tangible as I continue to do the work. I think the School—and US society—can change in this way, if we’re willing to do the work.

    If the School has done or is continuing to do that work, what is being revealed? Where is the inquiry taking us? How are we understanding our place and role and responsibility in the broader systems of injustice we live in? What has changed?

    Thank you.

    With much love,

    Jeff, Boston 3

    1. I think you did it yourself, mentioning all the things you write. I made a simple short statement. I was not writing a paper. So I am glad you are filling in some of the details. Hopefully, others will do similar things.

      The position of the school is clear. It is a spiritual school dedicated to the development, integration and expression of our essential spiritual nature. Whatever comes out of that is always in a state of development. The school is not an activist school, but its members can choose activism of one kind or another. They can express their realization in the way it is right for them.

      The school is busy in developing as many humans to be truly humans. It does not have the time and resources to engage in social actions on its own. Its members can and many do. If this is what you want, then great. Go for it.

  44. Great discussion! Many rich views that are helping me expand my own. I remember how uncomfortable I felt when Ridhwan students who had experienced discrimination in the School took a strong stand about actively inquiring into specific kinds of cultural conditioning as they shaped our identities and belief systems…so we could see more clearly the truth of our prejudices (conscious and un-). I didn’t want to think I was racist or to be identified with a discriminatory organization. I felt we must do something to fix it. These same students however, just implored us to look unwaveringly at our individual biases and blind spots in order to relax these unnecessary barriers within ourselves and consequently in the field of the School. I’m glad of that guidance, which has given me surprising insights and which continues to work me, even as I read the entries here. I remember the relief I felt when Hameed said that our spiritual maturation would help support our right action in an ever changing world…..so we did not have to withdraw from our engagement in the world of form even as our spiritual development progressively revealed the illusion of separation. I am heartened by the School’s willingness to demonstrate this kind of engagement now. The task of holding space for the true unity of all manifestation is challenging to me, at my level of development, when our survival instincts and defenses against our own deficiencies mount such seductive barriers, but I am heartened by the discussion here, and in the world, to stay open, learn more and to engage as cleanly as I can from my maturation to date..

  45. Monica Barbour

    Hello Hameed! Thank you for your Statement. I was very moved by your words. And you used one word that caught my attention: “justice.” I will repost the sentence for everyone to have context, but can you elaborate on what justice means to you? I’ve not noticed that particular word used before in our literature or teachings.
    In bold, you wrote: “We know this because we are human, and our teaching embodies the timeless truths of justice, equality, and the preciousness of all, and the actual unity of all.”
    Love,
    Monica

    1. There is no specific essential aspect for justice, as far as I know. However, all of true nature with all of its qualities dimensions, and forms of realization, don’t differentiate between human beings on any grounds. All humans have the same spiritual potential. All humans are equal, for they all are expressions of our spiritual nature, so they all deserve the same rights and treatments.

      This easily translates to justice for all. Justice does not mean punishment. Justice means equality, equal opportunity. It means recognizing when one is wronged and addressing it with understanding, compassion and love.

      Love, which expresses the goodness of the human spirit, wants to make others happy. You can’t do that if you are not just, if you treat them with malice, prejudice or dehumanization.

  46. Actually, I do have a second question for you, Hameed. If you’re going to play the game of systematic racism with the police and culture institutions, then we’d better take a look at our favorite institution. We’d better apply the same criteria, in the same manner you’ve just done, to the School, right?

    Why then are there so incredibly few students of color in the School? Why is the the School so overwhelmingly white? The Center, after all, sits in the Bay, one of the most diverse regions in the world. In fact, it’s only a few miles from black communities. The School’s groups are less diverse — indeed, considerably so — than an average class at, say, the University of Berkley just down the road. Is the School systematically racist? Under the criteria you put forth, how could it not be?

    What about the teachers? How many black teachers have you ordained, exactly? Why is the teacher body even less diverse than the students? You can’t say it’s just the society at large, because the School is so less diverse than practically any organization you can name. Why is that?

    Even more telling, take a look at the staff. There are no persons of color, it seems. The staff is lily white. The executive directors are white males. And the Synod president? Whoops! Another white male. What exactly has the School done to expand its applicant pool for hiring and promotion? Before you brush this off, the School’s been around for four decades now. Four decades. That’s a long time for an organization to go with so little diversity.

    When it came to policing, you didn’t want to hear a thing about the statistics that put the matter in context. You said it was all historical racism. Yet, when it comes to the School (which is far whiter than any modern police force), I’ve heard you say things like, “We don’t have the resources. We’re not the Catholic church.” Why is it, exactly, that you get to bring context to bear when responding to charges of racial disparities, but other institutions don’t?

    What has the School done to rectify this? Where have the Scholarships for minority students been? What having you been doing in terms of outreach to bring students of color into the fold? I’ve not heard of any efforts on the part of the School there. Instead, you say, “we don’t proselytize.” Well, what’s with all the marketing of digital courses, then? Couldn’t efforts like that have been made to reach minority groups right down the road?

    Maybe we should vote for change candidates at Ridhwan. Oh, wait, the rank and file don’t get to vote! You run the organization. You appoint half the Synod and hand-pick the board. Voting for change is seemingly a great idea for other institutions (which have far less racial disparities than the School), but not for the School.

    And what about the Teaching itself? You’ve said people don’t find the Teaching; it’s the Teaching that finds the people. Great, but in that case, does the Teaching have a racial preference? Apparently, the Teaching is fond of older white people. Is the Teaching systematically racist?

    I’ve also heard you say at Asilomar that the Teaching groks with whomever it groks with. You’ve said something like, “It might be exactly what the Chinese want, but not some other nationality.” Applying the lens you’ve applied to cultural institutions, don’t we then have to say that there’s something deeply racist within the fabric of the Teaching itself, because it appeals to some ethnic groups — apparently whites and Europeans — much more than others?

    I don’t personally believe these things, but . . . this is the logical extension of your stance — that racism and prejudice are the causes of every racial disparity, period, and that’s a “fact,” and any other explanation is just “simply ignoring the real issue.” Do you have the confidence of your convictions? If so, then the School must be the most rampantly racist place on earth.

    Certainly when it comes to the hiring practices, the School may wish to clean up it’s act before castigating others — before taking institutions such as the police to task, especially when those institutions have already done far more in terms of actual, specific policies to address remaining ethnic disparities than the School has tried to enact.
    After all, if you get to play the finger-pointing game, it’s only fair to look at the hand that’s pointing the finger.

  47. I am not playing a game. You seem to be moving to cynicism because I keep saying there is systemic racism, and it is an important reason why black communities tend to be under privileged. I don’t understand why you are having a problem with this. The whole nation is awakening to this, even politicians and corporations who don’t usually go to this phenomena.

    I am not saying anything about you. I am just saying a truth of observation. That it will be difficult to understand the plight of most black people in America without considering slavery and racism.

    You are right, African Americans are under represented in our school. It is unfortunate and I want us to do whatever we can to address this. We are already doing a lot. But again this is mostly due history, but not only history.. It just so happened that the first small group of students I worked with, before I even knew there was a teaching, were by large white. They brought their friends, for the work was spreading through word of mouth. their friends were mostly white, as the work started in Boulder, CO, mostly a white city.

    The situation is not because of my choice, but because where I was invited and who responded to our publicity. But the situation is much more complex. Why do most spiritual schools don’t have the right percentage of black representations? Not just our schools. look around, almost everywhere. It is an interesting and disheartening phenomena. I imagine it has many and complex causes. And we are in a continual process of exploring. and asking.
    .
    So I have been myself one of the few persons of color in our school for some years. Have you noticed that?
    We have more now, which I am happy about. Hopefully more will come.

    You also must recognize that we don’t have much resources in the school. It is a new teaching, with only few thousand students.

    Maybe you can help us with this endeavor. You seem to care about this situation, and we are looking for people who really care.

    And we do have teachers of color, some black. We need more, for equal representation.

  48. I am not in the Ridhwan school but since I am in your email network, I feel I must say the following in response to Hameed’s statement. It is disingenuous, and it reflects a clear position of privilege, to denounce the violence of the George Floyd riots without fully contextualizing it, and especially without denouncing the systemic, entrenched, brutal, pervasive, and constant violence that inherently racist structures and institutions, and the individuals that enable them, deploy on a daily basis and have deployed for centuries to benefit people that self identify as white — from control of housing, education, and employment; to disproportionate incarceration of minorities; to dismissal of the knowledge and cultures of people of color; to police brutality; to sexual violence against women of color; to genocide, slavery, segregation, discrimination, colonization, and wars of conquest (and the list goes on).

    Hameed’s statement that “the violence and looting have eclipsed the true message that is attempting to be heard” is his opinion, made entirely from his position, and not necessarily a fact — it could also be said these reactions have galvanized the world, largely in solidarity; nor does it reflect an accurate development in history, for many oppressed populations have had no other recourse than to resort to violence in self-defense and to put an end to their condition, and their fights have been deeply spiritual and helped to liberate the human spirit enormously. A case in point is the struggle of Black people in South Africa against the apartheid regime.

    [I should add that from what I know the term “looting” was first used by British colonialists to denounce East Indian soldiers who rebelled in mutiny against the East Indian Company. The mutinists were labeled “looters” and “rapists” when in fact they were figthting to free India from the yolk of British imperialist/racist rule.]

    I am glad that your school is beginning to address social matters it has ignored for decades (at least in writing, judging from Hameed’s work; and for 23 years I have read and seriously studied all of his books with the exception of the one just released and listened to many of his talks and most of his recorded sessions). Curiously so, and in that regard it’s as if a choice was made, consciously or unconsciously, to delve deeply into an analysis of ego-driven (instinctual) self-preservation and intimacy but never social subtype dynamics! This presents a learning curve, no doubt a very long one, but it’s never too late to start, as they say. Undeniably studying social issues in depth and addressing their impact on the human psyche and their relationship to spiritual work would be of great help for your teachers and students, so they don’t blindly justify the power of the elite groups in charge that are wreaking havoc in the world.

    1. I think you bring up many good points. I was not trying to give all the details in my original statement, but a general support for the movement that has engulfed the nation and the world.

      Thanks for bringing in more details that fill in the gaps. I think added more details about systemic racism, and its history. Others have added more details in this blog, which I wanted to be an interactive blogs between all, not just with me. I just started the conversation with a basic simple statement.

      You are right: I have not addressed social issues in my books. My books are not the place for them. My books have the purpose of putting out a new teaching, a new path towards self realization and liberation.

      Most teachings don’t in their essence address social issues, with the exception of religious teachings like Christianity and Islam. But the Diamond Approach is not a religion or a social movement. It is a mystical path, for individuals to find their inner freedom. It is left to the individuals how to express this freedom and realization.

      I have recently addressed some issues in the culture because many in our schools are impacted by them, and because our work has to do with being in the world but not of it. So it is a guidance of how to be in the world in these difficult situations.

      My function is to put out the Diamond Approach path, and that is what I will continue to do. If I occasionally address some social issues it is only by understanding how the teaching is reflected in them and how one can express the teaching in them.

      I am not known enough in the larger society to comment on social issues. I can’t make much difference this way. But I do it for our students, who know me and respect my views. Here, I can make a difference.

      You are not in the Ridhwan School, so you don’t know our situation well. So I don’t fault you for expecting something from me that I don’t usually give.

      If you want a teaching for how to be liberated yourself, then you come to the right place. If you want social engagement or views, then I am not really the right person for you. It is not my area of focus, and not my mission in this life.

      1. I understand your position. You’ve made it clear along the way, also in some of your comments in talks you’ve given, etc. A path of self liberation is fundamental and in that regard I have wholeheartedly welcomed your teachings and practice (the latter as it was taught to me by someone who was in your school several years). Through my teacher’s loving, compassionate, and wide guidance, also over the course of several years in private sessions and other formats, I contacted many essential qualities and dimensions of my being, meaning I discovered them directly, and as I was very open, this became a deep personal and magical journey of self realization, aided by your writings, which I always found transformational, not only informational. I kept journals all along and have since, as it is a practice I’ve continued for 23 years as I mentioned above. It is not only a practice influenced by your work but also by the work of other teachers, whose original works I have also studied in depth, and whose philosophies I’ve similarly incorporated as I have slowly developed and consolidated my own.

        Having said all this, the times I did attend sessions/workshops specifically in your school, I found there was a definite issue with the school’s demographic and organizational structure from what I could perceive, and this quickly turned me off to it because as a mixed-race gay latino immigrant who comes from a background of abuse and trauma and who has dealt with poverty most of my life 1) the school was unaffordable overall; and 2) it failed to speak to my reality, and in fact I felt it implicitly discounted my reality by virtue of the fact that it did not address it directly. And that is what I feel is the real problem with this and other spiritual schools whose membership is mostly composed of privileged white-identified individuals: they offer a path of liberation entirely devoid of any social analysis (and any real support to aid in transforming greatly impactful and damaging circumstances in the world) at a high financial cost — in other words, furthering certain sets of privileges by design. Frankly I do not think this is accidental, but rather another case of convenient ignorance, that is, an offshot of the ego paradigm. So to me it is glaringly obvious why these kinds of concerns and difficulties are arising now in your school. It was obvious from the beginning.

        I did set out to test on my own if deep personal psychospiritual growth work informed by your and other teachings would work with undeprivileged communities when I facilitated a grassroots community program with individuals from very similar backgrounds than my own. This was in the heart of the Mission District in San Francisco back in the early 2000s, when the neighborhood had not been gentrified yet. I incorporated Freirian pedagogy group techniques of consciousness raising and collective social transformation, as well as others. Very importantly, the program was 100% free to participants. And what I discovered the two years I did this was that not only did it work, but the intervention became truly empowering, in fact life-changing, for all participants. All to say when there is a will there is a way, and in that regard I would say it may be time for your school leadership to overcome whatever justifications you have held for not actively creating a welcoming environment for people from oppressed and underserved populations — in ways that are generous, sensitive, and do not burden them with imposed fees when many of them can barely make ends meet, and provide avenues for exploration to transform social dynamics. Perhaps the teachers of color you mention you have in your school could play a leadership role guiding such a process, and perhaps as a person of color you yourself, together with them, could open a window to begin looking into the kinds of factors that guarantee that the realities of some populations are purposely ignored and maligned, obviously to the detriment of all humanity. You say it is not your mission to delve into this, but you also have often said in your writings and talks that there is a moment to moment unfoldment guiding each one of us individually and all of us collectively, as part of the universe, and surely there must be some flexibility in that design at least to a degree.

        In closing, I will say I personally believe personal spiritual transformation without social transformation is incomplete, and while not irrelevant, it can be dangerous under certain circumstances, especially when individual action is required in collective matters. It is no different than a path of spiritual transformation that does not address ego structures; or a process of psychological healing that ignores spirituality. In some ways I look at this from the perspective of the instincts: self-preservation ultimately having to do with our relationship to Spirit at our center; intimacy ultimately having to do with our intimate/interpersonal relations; and social ultimately having to do with our connection to humanity as a whole and the natural world. All three are fundamental in our process of transformation. The closest wisdom teachings I have come to with such a holistic view of life are those of Native indigenous communities. They are beautiful, and I am grateful for them. This dynamic interrelation is so important to me I am writing a book about it.

        Peace to you.

  49. I’ve been reading all the comments and thought I’d make a couple of my own. I did notice in the stream a mention of the expression: All Lives Matter. Of course this is true but misses the point of the Black Lives Matter consciousness. movement. For example, that white lives do matter is a given. This is not true of Black Lives. I was reading Richard Rohr’s daily meditation today and I found it a beautifully concise contemplation or racism . I have cut and paste this below. A lot of students have been appreciating Hameed’s words and leadership.in this area of concern. I view these appreciations as an encouragement to Hameed and the school to continue the expanded view of race relations. I am going to make an assumption here and say that one of the reasons there are limited students of colour and therefore also limited teachers of colour in the school is the underlying cultural economics of racism. Perhaps the school and students of colour could start to discuss how to support and accommodate the equitable participation of people of colour to be included in our school.

    I live in British Columbia and want to let you know that racism is alive and well in Canada. And by the way – colour is the correct way to spell colour.
    Lucas Foss
    DAS 1 (2000)

    Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation
    From the Center for Action and Contemplation
    Week Twenty-three

    Contemplation and Racism

    The Unspoken Privilege of Being White
    Monday,  June 8, 2020

    For a long time, I naively hoped that racism was a thing of the past. Those of us who are white have a very hard time seeing that we constantly receive special treatment [because of social systems built to prioritize people with white skin]. This systemic “white privilege” makes it harder for us to recognize the experiences of people of color as valid and real when they speak of racial profiling, police brutality, discrimination in the workplace, continued segregation in schools, lack of access to housing, and on and on. This is not the experience of most white people, so how can it be true? Now, we are being shown how limited our vision is.
    Because we have never been on the other side, we largely do not recognize the structural access we enjoy, the trust we think we deserve, the assumption that we always belong and do not have to earn our belonging. All this we take for granted as normal. Only the outsider can spot these attitudes in us. [And we are quick to dismiss what is apparent to our neighbors who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color [BIPOC] from their lived experience.]
    Of course, we all belong. There is no issue of more or less in the eyes of an Infinite God. Yet the ego believes the lie that there isn’t enough to go around and that for me to succeed or win, someone else must lose. And so we’ve greedily supported systems and governments that work to our own advantage at the expense of others, most often people of color or any highly visible difference. The advancement of the white person was too often at the cost of other people not advancing at all. A minor history course should make that rather clear.
    I would have never seen my own white privilege if I had not been forced outside of my dominant white culture by travel, by working in the jail, by hearing stories from counselees and, frankly, by making a complete fool of myself in so many social settings—most of which I had the freedom to avoid!
    Power [and privilege] never surrenders without a fight. If your entire life has been to live unquestioned in your position of power—a power that was culturally given to you, but you think you earned—there is almost no way you will give it up without major failure, suffering, humiliation, or defeat. As long as we really want to be on top and would take advantage of any privilege or short cut to get us there, we will never experience true “liberty, equality, fraternity” (revolutionary ideals that endure as mottos for France and Haiti).
    If God operates as me, God operates as “thee” too, and the playing field is utterly leveled forever. Like Jesus, Francis, Clare, and many other humble mystics, we then rush down instead of up. In the act of letting go and choosing to become servants, community can at last be possible. The illusory state of privilege just gets in the way of neighboring and basic human friendship.

    Gateway to Action & Contemplation:
    What word or phrase resonates with or challenges me? What sensations do I notice in my body? What is mine to do?
    Prayer for Our Community:
    O Great Love, thank you for living and loving in us and through us. May all that we do flow from our deep connection with you and all beings. Help us become a community that vulnerably shares each other’s burdens and the weight of glory. Listen to our hearts’ longings for the healing of our world. [Please add your own intentions.] . . . Knowing you are hearing us better than we are speaking, we offer these prayers in all the holy names of God, amen.
    amen

  50. Thanks for the piece from Richard Rohr,
    I could not have said it better. For sure, those who have privilege and power won’t give it up without much challenge. It is the story of humanity, from the beginning of time.

    Having privilege and/or power does not mean enlightenment or true conscience. So of course, what else to be expected, but the dominance of the survival instinct and its aggression and fear.

    For those of us who have some illumination, we need to see the limitations of our understanding, and to work to serve the truth we are discovering, in whatever area or way that is appropriate and right for us. To have some illumination we usually have heart, and from this heart emerges the impulses of compassion, love, justice, equality and so on.

  51. Truth Unveiled

    I appreciate your sentiments about George Floyd’s murder, Hameed. It was truly disturbing and disappointing, particularly since we have seen so many events like this before.

    But are you sure the problem of fatal police interventions should be racialized?

    Many academics, including several black academics, have questioned that the data supports this type of racialization, and many believe that racializing these issues, or at least racializing them to the degree many have, will be counter-productive.

    For example, John McWhorter has argued that there is a rough racial symmetry in victims of unjustified police killings once we consider all the variables, including in his latest piece at Quillette titled “Racist Police Violence Reconsidered.”

    On the Glenn Show with economist Glenn Loury – an expert on these subjects if anyone is — McWhorter has argued that the empirically unsound racialization of this issue undermines bi-partisan support for meaningful reform.

    Other black academics who question the postmodern narrative on this and other issues include Wilfred Reilly, Shelby Steele, Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, Coleman Hughes, Adolf Reed, and Jason Riley.

    I am heartened that you call for open inquiry on these issues — this is what I would expect from you, as you have written so much about the importance of truth and inquiry — but I don’t see that the inquiry has gone well on this thread.

    A poster named “Anonymous” — anonymous, I imagine, because he or she understands that disagreeing with postmodern activists is risky business — offered a number of perspectives that I find compelling, but both you and Robert characterized those views as racist.

    Could you please tell me what is racist about those views because I don’t see it.

    I don’t see any mention of genetics or claims of inherent superiority/inferiority, and this is what I would regard as racist.

    I understand that the definition of “racism” has been expanding rapidly — now it is so wide that anything except the views of postmodern activists is considered racist.

    Isn’t this wide definition of “racism,” which conveniently excludes classical liberal views as well as conservative views, antithetical to inquiry?

    Anonymous didn’t say anything in his posts that many black academics and commentators haven’t said, so how can it be racist?

    What I see from the postmodern activists at Ridhwan is what I would call absolutistic postmodernism — it pretends to be about pluralism and worldcentrism on the surface, but below the surface it is absolutistic and ethnocentric.

    Robert Kegan remarked about this in his book In Over Our Heads:

    “But the most interesting and easily misunderstood relationship to postmodern discourse is this: some of us who are laboring along in our transformation from the third to the fourth order of consciousness — especially those of us who may not be white or male or heterosexual or Christian or middle-class or able-bodied, those of us who are likely to make the perfectly natural or dignifiable move of using our marginalized status as the axis around which we will organize our personal authority — we may very well make use of the materials, rhythms, and critiques of postmodernism not to transcend a fourth order but to construct one!

    “Genuinely postmodern, fifth-order analyses should be as disruptive to left-leaning feminist, Afrocentric, or any other liberation theology as they are to status quo ideologies of the right. But something confusing happens when the rhetoric of postmodernism is used to establish an ideological beachhead on the shores of the status quo. Now traditional theories or social arrangements are called ‘privileging,’ ‘valorizing,’ ‘hierarchizing,’ ‘advantaging,’ ‘normatizing,’ or ‘generalizing’ not to indicate their identification with ideology in and of itself but to indicate that they are the captives of a particular, repudiated ideology. Now a language that was created originally to proclaim the withering of the authority of absolutism is being used to advance contending brands of absolutism.” (pp. 337-8)

    Do you agree with Kegan’s statement?

    Might a genuine inquiry into these issues be as threatening to the views of postmodern activists as it is to those of conservative and classical liberal activists?

    It seems you have come to the conclusion that the postmodern activists are right about these issues.

    At one point you say, “I am not taking a political stance. What I am saying is a fact, not a political position.”

    But I have been following the academic debate about this for many years, and many academics, including the aforementioned black academics, dispute these validity claims at least to some degree.

    Several studies have shown a pattern of obscurantism among postmodern academics. This goes beyond subtle bias — often facts that subvert a far-left narrative are distorted or withheld from publication.

    For example, see Chris Martin’s “How Ideology Has Hindered Sociological Insight” and Alice Eagly’s “When Passionate Advocates Meet Research on Diversity, Does the Honest Broker Stand a Chance?”

    These falsehoods get repeated in the media, where they are taken as truth. Then people who have followed the academic debate closely are met with incredulity when they question this received wisdom.

    It seems to me that you have fallen under the influence of these one-sided activists, and this one-sided information has hardened your position before a holistic inquiry has begun.

    I would add that inquiry will be impossible for most people as long as those who disagree are labelled with stigmatizing terms; such is a tactic that dates back to twentieth-century fascists, and I believe it has no place in open inquiry where truth is the first matter of concern.

    It seems to me that first we have to approximate the truth whether it is uncomfortable or offensive to some people, and only then can we discuss sound public policy.

    Do you agree?

    1. I like that you bring your views and those of others. This is part of the purpose of. the blog.

      I don’t know if I agree or not. This is not my point. The view I wrote in my original statement is how spiritual illumination will view the situation in our country.

      My statement is to show solidarity with the main thrust of the protest. It was not about police reforming, for this is at best a very small part of the issue. It is about racism and racial inequality. This is not an intellectual or philosophical thing. My observation is that there is still racism in America, and in many parts of the world. I don’t take the view that a particular policeman is racist. It is more that the culture as a whole has racism still in it. And hence it pervades all dimensions of the culture.. The present movement is simply waking up a large part of the nation about this fact.

      You question what I wrote, using the philosophical views of postmodernism and others. I am not concerned about those and not involved with them. But you are not really getting what I am saying.

      I am saying several things on several levels. First, there is racism in the American culture, both explicit and implicit. I don’t need to read any author or look at statistics. I know human beings and their consciousness. The fact that there was slavery, and the slave masters were racist, directly tells me there is still racism in the culture. People don’t change easily. Cultures even much slower. So it is a safe assumption that there is still racism in America. I also hear it directly from people I know of color. I don’t have to listen to the news to know it. Are you not believing this fact? Then read further.

      I am also saying that racism and prejudice is universal. It is not just in the US. It is in all countries of the world. The fact that there are things like nationalism, tribalism, ethnic identification and so on, implies that it frequently gets expressed in prejudice about the other who is different. This is one reason why we see the protest spreading to other countries. It is not just to show solidarity with the black people of the US. They are protesting the prejudice and racial inequality in their own countries.

      The other thing I am saying is something from the teaching, and more general.. This is that human beings tend to be prejudiced. We are born this way; we do not just learn it even though some learn to identify with it and even be proud of it. It is part of the survival mechanism of evolution. Human groups all throughout history did not trust other groups that were different. They were either feared or hated for their difference. They are seen as strangers, and not to be trusted. They are considered dangerous by the mere fact of their difference. This can easily develop into comparisons, prejudice, power issues and so on. And it usually did.

      So the attitude. of prejudice exists in humans in general and that is one reason why there have been many movements towards reform to give the other, the different, more fights. This is for women, LGBT community, the dibbled, people of color or different ethnicity or nationality.

      It has been the case throughout human history, with very few and short lived exceptions. Humans haven’t changed that much in the last few thousands years. Not in their hearts and souls, even though much has developed in their minds.

      It takes a human being a great deal of soul searching, and a great deal of spiritual transformation to be free of prejudice. Philosophical understanding does not do it, for it can change the mind, but usually not the hearts and instincts. On the other hand, spiritual nature has nothing in it that supports prejudice. But our ancient animal heritage does. I am not saying that animals are prejudiced, but that the animal soul dimension in human beings. This is the part that wants to survive at all costs, and is self centered and deeply insecure. If it is this difficult for one human being, imagine how difficult it is for a whole nation or culture. It is not impossible but quite difficult and changes only under duress. Illumination and freedom from all prejudice does not occur to large groups. And if it does it is usually superficial and short lived.

      That is why even though I think some good changes will happen due to the protest, just as has happened many times. before in this country, it is not going to be fundamental or universal. Racism, I am afraid, will live for a very long time. So what can we all do to improve the human predicament! What can we do to decrease prejudice of all kinds, so that human beings treat others as a whole as human?

  52. My partner Rachel, a fellow Ridhwan student, posted on Twitter recently—she came out as a black person who has had her cousins, Brady and Jonathan, killed by the police. Being with Rachel, I sit with her the best I can amidst the outrage and upheaval of these past weeks—her anxieties about the safety of her younger brother and young nephew, her reliving the killings of her cousins by police, her indignation that the coroner found no unnatural cause of death despite the visible bruises on her cousin Brady’s body, and her outrage and grief that so few people noticed when they protested his death. I’m learning how to be with these experiences, despite a lifetime of having been unknowingly deaf to the stories of black people. I’m surprised to encounter again and again the lifelong habits—inherited from where I’m not exactly sure—of not hearing the stories of people not like me.

    In my inquiries on race in the Soul & Society group, I’ve been surprised by my encounter with deep cultural layers of the soul—layers I hadn’t encountered in 10 years of inquiry in the Diamond Approach. I have seen the clear, transparent flesh of my own soul, and I have seen how sharply wounded it is when intruded upon by the truth of the painful lived experiences of queer women or black men in this American culture. I have seen the violent rage that arises to defend this ‘innocent’ part of my soul, even if often disguised as entreaties for reasonableness, fact-based counterarguments, or appeals to the uniqueness of each individual’s experience. My ‘white male’ identity—untouched by the sleights or violence others’ experience—has become narcissistically fixated within my own innocent soul flesh. While the direct experience of these layers of the soul transcends any particular theory or vocabulary about their meaning, in retrospect, I find that the words like ‘white fragility’ and ‘white privilege’ can be helpful names for those direct perceptions.

    I recently read an article about the killing of Ahmaud Arbery on the website, The Bitter Southerner—I recommend it highly. The article was powerful because it located him deeply within the American experience—“Nobody belonged to the salt marshes of coastal Georgia more than Ahmaud Arbery. His family’s roots there run more than 200 years deep.”—his people have been “fishing, hunting, clamming, crabbing, oystering, and farming” the Golden Isles since the 1700’s. When Ahmaud Arbery was killed jogging through a residential neighborhood, he was killed doing something he loved in a place where he belonged. Revealed so beautifully, I suddenly could find my own grief of his death—I could feel my own loss of him.

    Yet a part of me that feels like I’m not allowed to grieve the loss of Ahmaud Arbery, the loss of George Floyd, or the loss of Rachel’s cousins, Brady and Jonathan. I can be outraged—or I can be inured or defensive—but somehow it’s not appropriate for me—a white man—to grieve the loss of these black men.

    I worry that until we can all grieve together, until white people are comfortable grieving the loss of George Floyd as one of our own, our outrage or our ignorance will amount to the same thing. Only when we can grieve the loss of everything that we have wrought—everything that has happened within this continuing American story—can we belong to one another. Only when we all can hear the stories of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Rachel’s cousins, and countless others and let them penetrate our souls, only when we can grieve them as our own brothers and cousins, only then can we belong to one another, and only then can we return to the unity of what we are.

    For us in the Ridhwan School, this means deepening and broadening our inquiry into these cultural layers that haven’t been methodically explored within our teaching. While I’ve found the defenses of these layers are deep and the metabolization of these layers is at times harrowing, there are profound aspects of Presence that emerge to support this particular unfolding. Until the school as a collective body has clarified our own layers of cultural defenses and obscurations, we’ll remain limited both in the freedom of our own souls and in our capacity to welcome all souls into this work.

    Rachel ended her post about her cousins this way: “Understand that you know a Black person whose life and family have been irrevocably harmed by police brutality. You know someone who relives personal trauma every time the police snuff out another beautiful Black life. Let it change you.”

  53. By the way, I don’t think it is all about race. There is also power, privilege, ignorance, selfishness, fear, aggression and so on. All these are at play in what has been happening. Not just in the present instance, but for a very long time.

  54. Hameed, the existence of racism does not necessarily manifest in the case of police being more likely to shoot based on race, in a given situation.

    As Coleman Hughes describes,
    “you must do what all good social scientists do: control for confounding variables to isolate the effect that one variable has upon another (in this case, the effect of a suspect’s race on a cop’s decision to pull the trigger). At least four careful studies have done this—one by Harvard economist Roland Fryer, one by a group of public-health researchers, one by economist Sendhil Mullainathan, and one by David Johnson, et al. None of these studies has found a racial bias in deadly shootings.”
    (Though they do find racial bias in non-lethal behaviors.)

    Hughes also notes, “for every black person killed by the police, there is at least one white person (usually many) killed in a similar way…
    Even George Floyd, whose death was particularly brutal, has a white counterpart: Tony Timpa.”

    Hughes, John McWhorter, Glenn Loury,
    Wilfred Reilly, Roland Fryer, Jason Riley, and others have discussed how vastly disproportionate media coverage of these events has created misperception based on the availability heuristic cognitive bias.

    McWhorter concludes,
    “if a new generation of black people could grow up without the sense that the cops are their enemy, America would turn a corner on race and finally break its holding pattern.”

    Why reinforce a misperception that may be holding back more progress?

  55. Frank Telwest

    I am very touched by most of the posts on this blog. Especially from the contributions that emphasize the root of human behavior rather than moving on the surface, like I did the question of the last entry by D.R. feel. Where I want to ask Hameed or anyone in this community for clarification is Hameed’s statement from the day before yesterday:

    “[] .. This is that people tend to have prejudices. We are born this way. We don’t just learn it, although some learn to identify with it and even be proud of it. .. []”

    I just became a grandfather and my grandchild has a lot to do with his essential physical needs. But if it then perceives its surroundings in moments of calm, I say that it perceives them without prejudice. It’s just interested in what’s there. Where should these prejudices come from? It may be that it later misinterprets the causes of pain and discomfort from a misunderstanding, but I would initially describe “my baby” as innocent and without judgment. Why don’t we just learn the bias towards prejudice? For me, prejudices are more a sign of incomplete human development or perhaps a simplification that the human thinking apparatus makes to understand the world. But then it’s something learned that hasn’t been fully understood

    1. there is a very informative article in the current New York Times magazine:

      America’s Enduring Caste System, Our founding ideals promise liberty and equality for all. Our reality is an enduring racial hierarchy that has persisted for centuries.
      By Isabel Wilkerson, July 1, 2020

      It explains how we absorb the caste system of the culture, and even reinforce it, without perhaps any prejudice towards a particular member of a “subordinate caste.”

      and thank you Hameed for your posts and for supporting this exchange.

  56. Hameed, I agree with you that all humans are equal based on their spiritual nature. How do you explain the equality of all people to others who seem to focus on differences in races, and do not believe in spirit or spiritual potential?

    Thank you for your thoughts.

    1. Isabelle schuurman

      Hi Jay,
      I have to admit I don’t agree with Hameed’s statement partly; according to our spiritual nature. How all have the same precious spirit. Of course we are all human beings, all different and unique at the surface, in the way we appear to be. We all differ in how we manifest at the most superficial level I mean. Our unique appearances (skin colour and hair colour included) as well as our ‘ego manifestation’ so to speak: how we appear at the functional level in a rather conventional way. All different and unique, though recognizable for each other (more or less) and still unique..

      And most of us desire to be the same and all one I suppose? Besides this painful tendency (to say the least) of looking for scape goats, projecting the violence, in an attempt to get rid of the stuff of unwanted issues that are still carried around? Maybe most of us still desire for some kind of symbiosis? Just with the good mother of course! Or a symbiosis with a representative of our good mother? She must be somewhere? Maybe the ‘we are all one’ – assumption serves a function in this sense? So we feel safe?

      And then we all have also our precious soul being, which makes us the precious human beings that we all are, all different as well, in my view?! All Beautiful or potentially Essential and so on. Different in the sense of having developed in our unique way thanks to our ego structure, that was defensive to start with and then served a function, turning us into more or less mature adults, with all kinds of (different) skills and Essential manifestations. So what I observe is that some of us manifest a lot of openness, others a lot of patience, some are loving in the first place and helpful but not that thoughtful yet and so forth.

      Not even about hierarchy by the way! Just differences in all kinds of ways in my view. Which makes life worth living? If I tend to be thoughtful but not loving or helpful in the first place, I might befriend a very loving one, this or that pearly one, full of light and happiness, maybe hoping to become more like that myself as well, while the other one might be inspired by my particular soul being? Wanting to become more contemplative or however? (As Hameed wrote in DH 2: “In most relationships, the other person is someone to make you feel good.”)

      And I agree with us all having spiritual potential. I wouldn’t say though it’s the same precious spirit for every individual? We’re talking at the level of what’s in our Work called ‘the point’ then, right, if we say spirit? (which is not some kind of ‘underlying ground out there’ in my view, but rather our own nature within? So embodied in that sense, by all of us as an individual?) So our True Nature as our deepest Core Being or our deepest potential for Being? While normally our narcissism at the ego plane is still in the way to become realised at the level of spirit, our Real Self Being the Point?

      It would take quite some work I suppose to transform our narcissistic issues, purifying our deepest spiritual potential, becoming clear and clean at the level of spirit? While normally a lot of stuff is suppressed by each of us in different ways? Which then is manifesting in all kinds of unpleasant ways often? To say the least. Which then needs to be dealt with without blame and without projecting it all away – ideally? If we would apply… our precious Diamond Approach teachings?

      Isn’t the Truth as we all might recognize it, that a lot of struggle is normally the case? All of us desiring this and that, desiring Love (whether the Love comes from or should come from outside, or whether we desire being in touch with our own loving nature within ourselves). And people are longing for themselves is what I see. Wanting to be who they really are? What’s the point of it all otherwise?

      Isn’t this equality at the level of our spiritual nature rather a fairy tale? My sincere question.

        1. Isabelle schuurman

          Hi Frank, makes me think of another perspective, a recent quote from Hameed on facebook, appreciated by me and accompanied by a couple of nice flowers:

          Love is the consciousness of everyone
          and that consciousness,
          which is love,
          has nothing to do with boundaries.

  57. In the effort to be just and good, it is very important to seek the inner, but also the outer, truth. Here’s some truth that is easily checked and verified. Black Lives Matter is a Marxist revolutionary organization. Patrice Cullors, one of the founders, says “we are trained marxists.” One of their goals is to “disrupt the western-prescribed nuclear family structure.” Do you know history? The two great Marxist revolutions of the twentieth century both resulted in incomprehensible death and suffering. Under Stalin, somewhere around 10 – 20 million murdered. Under Mao, close to 50 million. How many deaths do we want to see this time around? 100 million? If you wish to be on the side of real justice, you must reject this horrible movement, which only uses your concern to manipulate you. Not to mention that statistics show that far more whites are killed by police than black people. It’s all based on lies. If an organization truly cares about black lives, why would they fail to ever mention the huge numbers of black lives cut down every year by – no, not racist white police, but by black civilians. America is far from perfect, of course, but there have been incredible strides. Siding with this false and destructive narrative of “systemic racism” everywhere is not only wrong, but it is destructive to the very goal of a better world. We must have WISDOM compassion, not IDIOT compassion.

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