SPIRIT, STRUGGLE, ACTIVISM
SPIRIT, STRUGGLE, ACTIVISM
Preface: This piece was inspired by Comrade Gabriel’s inner conflict over feeling like he “failed as an activist” by not protesting Carlos Granados’ execution because of the horrific nature of his crime. This is dedicated to all those like Gabriel who struggle inside and out to make a change.
Spirit and Revolution are synonymous. For the Spirit revolutionizes whatever and whomever it comes in contact with. When one becomes ONE with Spirit, one transcends into the realm of a revolutionary. Spirit Being/Spiritual Warrior are terms that closest describes this transcendental existence. This existence, I believe, is the ultimate goal of our lives—BEcoming ONE with Spirit, finding SELF, GOD. For this reason, the Spirit is LOVE, which means the essence of our being is Love since Love reconciles us unto ourselves. BEing in Love or loving creates a spiritual connection we all share. Love, essentially, has the power to heal and purify when one submits Self to her. And when one becomes consumed by her they begin to ascend into that transcendental existence, spiritual existence; they are revolutionized. Therefore, Revolution is Love.
They say Life is struggle; and it must be if Life is about finding Self, ONEness, GOD. For one must struggle in order to change. Life is a seed that struggles to grow, change, blossom into its full potential; lest it be choked by thorns or destroyed by some man-made reality. So if Life is about change, then one can see the relevance in Mahatma Gandhi’s statement, BE the change you wish to see in the World. For change starts with self. Further, Life is as we see it—a projection of our subjective state.
I’m a MAN,
At least now.
Though in my eyes,
I have yet to reach its height.
I’m a MAN nonetheless,
Because I aggressively attack
Like an urban-guerilla
In camouflage fatigues,
Hanging upside down from a tree,
Waiting on it to make its way
Around my corner.
I lie in wait in the bushes
For the ambush.
“The change I seek
starts with self.”
So, I’m engaged in a revolution
--Excerpt from my poem, “A MAN”
When I read that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr said, “When you lose hope, you die” it left an impression on me. I believe hope is also the essence of Spirit, guiding us our ONE. Otherwise, if we didn’t have hope that could live imperfect, striving for perfection, there would be nothing to live for. There would be nothing guiding us forward. This is why I say stagnation is death. However, I leave room for a transitional phase, which is entirely different from stagnation.
This transitional phase I speak of is the crossroads we find ourselves at during conflicts, dilemmas, challenges, and obstacles. While we decide which road to take we are still active; lest we take a lifetime to make our decision, which only means we’ve deluded ourselves, stagnating into death. Nevertheless, this transitional phase, this crossroads is extremely important. It’s our test. It’s the way humanity, life, GOD, brings us a step closer to the reconciliation necessary for our WHOLENESS.
Conflict, therefore, is not something to shriek against. It’s the beautiful manner through which we evolve. A caterpillar goes inside itself for its transitional phase, ‘til it struggles to liberate itself from the confines of its past. “Goes inside itself” – this is introspection, self-analysis.
Only the diligent and brave are willing to look at self, are willing to withstand what they find in self. This is one who’s willing to admit that they are not perfect, but inadvertently strive for perfection when they go within to seek the changes they need to make. This is one who’s willing to challenge self by not only remaining vigilant to recognize the challenges placed before him, but as the spiritual soldier, an embodiment of hope, the revolutionary, the sincere activist. This person judged himself (1 Corinthians 11:31) by being one with the universe because they sinned against, judged by the universe because they sinned against, or separated themselves from it. One willing to admit their faults and correct them has not fallen short through their “fault,” but has shortened the fall of humanity. They were redeemed, thus made new, transcending yet another obstacle by not giving up…. Hope. This is the true Activist.
Introspection is, therefore, the first step to activism; it’s a revolutionary step. When we introspect we live in hope; we participate in the evolution of civilization, or rather, the realization of civilization. For the conflicts in our society are direct manifestations of the questions we’ve yet to ask and answer ourselves. The conflicts in our society are the reason why the Death Penalty persists in the forms of the brother murdering another brother in the streets, and the State murdering the murderer in the repeat.
Because we live in a reactionary society, we are being taught, for the most part, to live from our lower selves; a lower self that’s run by emotions stemming from a myopic perspective of Life. Martin Luther King Jr., said that if we can’t think critically, we’re not educated. This explains the complacency (stagnation) in our society. For the most part, society takes what’s fed to them (by the media, government) without analyzing it, which further explains why many people don’t introspect—how they can analyze self if they don’t analyze anything else. Furthermore, thinking critically involves question asking, a fundamental aspect of introspection.
When we are faced with a dilemma because of our emotions, which are based on past habitual ways of thinking, as activist recognizing the need for change, we have to stay vigilant of our tendency to give place for those very parts of ourselves that allowed the very conditions we abhor to persist. This is the path of the revolutionary who seeks to destroy ALL chains connecting him to past modes of thoughts and behavior that permitted society to deteriorate.
When one is challenged with taking an active stance, whether if it’s against self or social conditions, one must remember the challenged knocked at your door because it needs you to answer; because its searching for reconciliation. Otherwise there would be no need for challenges, questions, and answers – struggle.
For the progression of our community, humanity, Life.
Love and solidarity
From the trenches
Reginald “Omari Huduma” Blanton