can love be a political weapon?
July 26, 2019
Literature has not simply served as my means for political information and fictional pleasure — it has long been my access point to life’s more abstract offerings, such as philosophy, spirituality, and love. Once relationships became important to me — and this includes my relationship with the divine and existence — books that centered these ideas served me too.
One of the most transformative books I’ve come across (classified as “one of those” new age tomes) is A Course in Miracles. I was given this book by a close friend when I was in my early 20s, and it immediately transformed my life; but, quickly, the practices recommended in its pages began to require a level of spiritual tenacity and discipline I didn’t have. So, I went on about my life. This was until I met a series of challenging events, and nothing (not a pill, not a friend, not a therapist) was able to relieve me of the uncertainty and misery I was experiencing, so I sluggishly reopened A Course In Miracles.
The book resonated with me differently than I remembered. The questions it asked began to strip me of my own psychic blockages and I saw results in my life. As someone who identified as a mindful agnostic person (at best), it was to my surprise that I found myself enjoying things that felt synchronized with a benevolent energy beyond my control. In a word, miraculous. This led me to make a list of decisions to “course correct” my life in ways that served what I felt was my calling — even if that meant disappointing people around me, including past projections of who I thought I could become.
Without going into a whole personal tangent, what I received politically from this spiritual journey was the notion that Love was real. Not just real, but a serious and powerful force that should be contended with, in earnest, and with the knowledge of how compelling it can be. Love is not a light thing to be seen as less serious or unworthy, when compared to our other undertakings. It’s a thing of light that has to be centered if we are to transcend or transform anything. I read the words of bell hooks and Martin Luther King Jr., where they contend and engage love as a serious political opportunity in America, and I was moved by the ideas offered in ways I hadn’t considered before. I began to take love seriously — and politically.
Before the past year, Marianne Williamson is someone I was vaguely familiar with and became more so because I was studying “A Course in Miracles,” and Williamson is one of the text’s foremost interpreters. I appreciated what she offered via her lectures and eventually through her own blockbuster book, A Return To Love (a book that I knew nothing about).
Imagine my surprise when in a moment of synchronicity — or miracle — that as soon as I dug deeper into this spiritual text, I discovered that this animated white woman with a powerful perspectives on love was making a bid for the presidency. I was unfamiliar with any of the political or government experience that would qualify her for such a role, but I did know when I heard her speak as a political candidate, that she seemed sincere in caring about things that I cared about: reparations, free healthcare, the rights and health of children, and a political structure that centers programs which help people get closer to their freedom and their pursuit of happiness.
I was not convinced of Williamson’s preparedness to be president, but I was sure that I found great confidence and pleasure in Williamson presenting ideas and perspectives too often glazed over by centrist Democrats and being in a position where she could force others to engage these same ideas. Because to me it is obvious that America’s downfall or success is not just dependent on a political change, but a psychic and emotional realignment with Love. Anyone that knows the hatred and evil of white supremacy personally can tell you that the U.S. can’t be transformed simply through an election. The nation needs a similar “course correction” that my own life took in order to ensure that a spiritual survival took place.
It was with great sadness, I saw that instead of grappling with the idea of Love as a serious thing needing to be harnessed in order to defeat the hate that Tr*mp harnessed and empowered, Marianne Williamson was absorbed into the old, sexist trope of being a silly, unreliable woman naive about the world. It made me sad that Tr*mp was able to seduce with fear, but the nation wasn’t willing to see if those same people may be able to be seduced with Love. Even if Williamson should not be president, I am still unclear why her offerings can’t be appropriated by candidates with more experience? Why was love treated as a joke, while Tr*mp’s agenda of fear was taken seriously (and mindlessly covered) by the media, to the point that his fear mongering and conviction had become a white supremacist phenomenon, with the populace wondering if democracy — and America — as a project can officially be deemed a failure?
This presidential election, I am going to do my part in bringing pragmatic relief to the nation by voting. But I am not offering my soul and energy to stop white supremacy like I attempted to do in 2016, because that’s not my role and it’s not for me to stop.
To paraphrase Toni Morrison, racism is white people’s problem and white people need to figure out what they are going to do about it. It has become beyond clear that no amount of moral appeal or protest is going to truly transform the nation, unless white people decide that Love, not the imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy is the appropriate thing rally around. Love should be considered not to just make America a better land for the marginalized, but because the people who are not marginalized will meet their demise quickly if Love is no longer taken seriously. This presidency is the foreshadowing of that. Yet, still, I still pray for a miracle.
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