On the surface, the upcoming Sheldan Nidle (www.paoweb.com) workshop in Montgomery Alabama (July 18-19) would appear to be a study in contrasts. With a theme of “Making Galactic Sense Out of Chaos,” he comes to a place that has, for more than a generation, been attempting to create a community of cultural co-existence out of what had historically been a racial battleground.
Great social strides have been made in Alabama and the Deep South. And not a moment too soon, since we appear to be on the verge of even more dramatic changes, which appear to already be happening even now. If Nidle’s vision of tomorrow comes to pass, the subject of “diversity” will take on far different meaning than it does today, with cultural interactions and exchanges that involve individuals from cultures and societies that are literally light years away. Talk about Foreign Exchange students!
Before there can be ‘First Contact’ in any appreciable form, a whole lot of healing needs to happen in the human family. Embracing the concept of equality and making it one’s own is an important part of healing. People who once thought themselves to be superior are not lowered by seeing life and fellow human beings through equal eyes. In fact, they are exalted. Superiority was a delusion in the first place, and all that was created from that mind set was an abomination.
Inferiority is the passive corollary to superiority, and equally destructive. Whether we see others as inferior or ourselves, by whatever faulty logic, a fundamental wound to the spirit is revealed that, once touched by love, portends great change to all dimensions and aspects of our lives.
While some may once have been loathe to admit it, equality as a social practice benefits everyone. It’s not something that can be enforced by legislation, but it can be embraced and demonstrated through our day-to-day interactions. The more we see ourselves as walking among equals, the easier our First Contact transition will be, for we will be among equals at that time too.
The following is another piece of my conversation with Sheldan Nidle.