Bypassers & Those Who Memorialize Their Trauma Are Pieces of the Same Ghost (deathpractice dreams 15.2)
a continuation on collectivism
this episode contains both video and writing
first, the newest livedream (a one person podcast thing i do each month)
Why nondual practicers like me get attacked and WILLFULLY misunderstood so much? Is it because i’m mixed race? Because i’m gender nonbinary and “queer”? (as an aside, queerness is not merely contingent upon what kinds of holes you like to fuck. reducing queerness to an idea about fornication only is part of the cultural patheticness)
Actually I think that these word identifiers i’ve named are not the real issue. I think that these words only symbolize something far more troubling to those who are still addicted to control, dominance and dualism.
aka Most ppl do not want real liberation because it requires the sacrifice of your toddler bullshit that masquerades as justice and 'what you are owed'.
The most recent article i wrote on substack (self to noself-allself) is a good primer on the subject, that will be less inflammatory and more feelgoodish than my direct communication (because i am a real, whole person and not a perfect mommydaddy which doesnt exist so get over it).
What follows are some of my ongoing notes:
To a white person, clearing up your karma sounds a lot like "paying for your sins" or "getting into heaven" and this misinterpretation can go poorly in a number of nasty ways.
Nondual liberation via eastern spiritualities was and is more palatable to the shamed and karmically guilty white kin than the ubuntu collectivist nonduality of black/brown/african/indigenous spiritualities. From wikipedia, Ubuntu is a Nguni Bantu term meaning "humanity". It is sometimes translated as "I am because we are" (also "I am because you are"), or "humanity towards others" (Zulu umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu). In Xhosa, the latter term is used, but is often meant in a more philosophical sense to mean "the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity".
Ubuntu is a way to say, “all are connected and interdependent”. I will be using ubuntu as a phrase to point to an ancient and pre-defined nondual animism that understood interdependence and carried it forth as collectivism.
However, not all collectivism is sane, not all collectivism is wise. This is part of the issue inside the 300,000 year history of humanity.
In fact, the masterwork of “buddhism” put forth by the person we call “the buddha” (remember, the buddha himself was not a buddhist) was in a sense an individual breaking away from the herd of his time and culture, breaking away from the common collective reality and finding a new path through our collective karma.
You see, just because a culture is animistic doesn’t make them sane or kind or non-addicts.
There is a form of animism which I will call Dualistic Animism or War Shamanism, and it is an animism that is pre-occupied with attack and defense, and the people in a culture of dualistic animism believe that all un-preferred occurrences such as illness, death, loss are attacks by external forces, which in some sense is “true” (opportunistic micro-organisms taking advantage of conditions, etc) but not true in the kind of “personalized” way that makes for heightened drama.
This form of toxic collectivism is carried over today in many ways, but one way is in groups of people continually memorializing their trauma and creating victimhood identities out of it that they then “monetize” for status and power.
These “victims” or “victim-heroes” are roles being played that are fictional, but have a lot of cultural and sub-cultural support, so they persist and pollute attempts at collective liberation even as they purport to be fighting for collective liberation.
These victim-heroes are like a cult of lost children, and some of these children grow up and rise through the ranks, becoming leaders inside the same cultural cloud of concepts and feeling-states. Constantly feeling cursed, betrayed and oppressed, these leaders create new toxic double binds that appear to give hope, relief and freedom to the flock, but actually keep everyone inside imprisoned in the same victim-hero narrative structures.
But as any good student of media knows, a victim-hero is only as good as their nemesis! Who are these nefarious evil-doers? They are what I would call The Bypassers. The bypasser is a strange sort of villain, because they don’t ever think they are a villain. No, they think they are a victim-hero, too! And they are, just the other fractured parts of wholeness that crave the power of individualism, the agency that comes with breaking from collectivism, both the toxic aspects and the beautiful, necessary aspects. The bypasser is the person we generally flatten with terms such as narcissism, privilege, etc. But it is helpful to recognize that both the bypasser and the victim-hero often engage in the same kinds of behaviors that just appear different based on social standing and word usage. Both engage in narcissism and toxic individualism, both are addicted to how they have learned to discharge in order to “tolerate what they find intolerable”. Both are kinds of control freaks, whether that appears as “love & light” toxic positivity or nihilistic ideas such as “survival of the fittest” or a dozen other cliche strategies.
Both the bypasser and the victim-hero find solace in the nondual eastern traditions. and this is where it gets quite tricky.
The perfected and never traumatized rigpa clear light space of dzogchen for instance, seems to promise the white/westernized mind a kind of escape route away from dealing directly with the karma they are carrying from their ancestors.
It’s my experience that this type of practitioner is still practicing individualism within the nondual tradition, because in many ways buddha himself veered away from the collective of his time to bring forth a fresh path through karma. So buddha fits the mythic mold of a "very special human hero (individual)" and thus feeds into the white/individualists toddler ghost desire to be able to break free from the collective's shared burdens, go on a “hero’s journey” and become rewarded, i.e. exceptional.
Now, the issue "on the other side" is that many POC will hear nondual liberation teachings and immediately dismiss them as bypassing because of how they are so quickly and easily co-opted by white/rich/etc people to avoid accountability. These POC do sometimes tend to veer into the very collective miasma that buddha himself was trying to deal with, which is the other side of the coin of toxic individualism.... toxic collectivism, dualistic animism, war shamanism.
Neither the falsely/incompletely enlightened white person who cherry picks nondual teachings as a subconscious loophole pattern, nor the collectivist/anarchist/activist POC (can also be white, marxist etc) that is still being ridden around by their personal and collective trauma and perceives everything through that trauma are actually perceiving total reality clearly and playfully.
Both sets of karmically bound behaviors are fractured incomplete pieces of one entire wisdom nature.
There is such a behavior set that encompasses total rigpa and ubuntu without the toxic versions of either individualism or collectivism.
This behavior set is the nascent and undefined nondual animism of our ancient (black) grandmothers (and grandfathers and grandqueers, but let’s just focus the spotlight on the grandmothers because y'all treat black women like shit for the most part.)
Because those beings lived it and did not codify it, we are left to rediscover it latent in our genomic karmic memory (but also we can look to australian aborigines and other indigenous non modernized traditions for variations on the core wisdom).
We can use any more modern codifications (religions, philosophies, practices, theories, views, methods, etc) to rediscover it, but then we have to detach the method from the fruit a bit. Because it was not the codification that produced the result. The fruit was always inside us, subliminally coaxing us to rediscover it via any means necessary and available.
When we mistake this process, we fall back into forms of ignorance and confusion, and this is happening all too often in culture because there is an addiction to control.
In the prior examples, both the karmically addicted white person and the karmically addicted POC/activist are suffering from the ignorances and confusions (ghosts) of our shared ancestry (ghost ubuntu).
Because we cannot ever escape interdependence, we are forced to reckon with the fractured perspectives and pieces of stories we carry on behalf of all beings that we now call "personal and epigenetic trauma".
However it is simpler to just realize that this is collective karma. Karma means consequence, it does not mean sin or punishment, nor does it mean rewards or exceptionalism.
All of this confusion and the behaviors of loopholing, bypassing, cult dynamics and various forms of bias are the system (personal bodies and group bodies and their cultural institutions) trying to avoid the honest, ritual experience of pain, fear and hunger(desire).
In my Death Practice Group sessions, the first 8 months have been dedicated to explaining the core concepts and frameworks of how one goes into pain, fear and hunger as wisdom gates, instead of continually trying to solve, eradicate or defeat these experiences. As one does this, one’s false and incomplete identity, the individualized ego that believes itself to be a victim-hero, undergoes a death process which returns the shen (heartmind or “soul”) back to the body in a way that allows that body to feel interdependence and impermanence without a problem. This process is the cornerstone of any real collective liberation and the beginning of unwinding and transforming the collective karma the person is carrying on behalf of all beings.
Many of the hyper-inflammatory reactions we are seeing in real life and online are due to people not having the capacity to connect to wholeness when someone else disagrees with them. People are very invested in their personal little empires, cults and capitalistic status endeavors. This kind of toxicity will only ever cause oligarchs with more military power and resources to be able to continue the death march over the cliff called global climate catastrophe. I am pessimistically optimistic that small groups of dedicated practitioners will be able to band together to help each other die well, with clarity, grace and power. But this will mean having a keen eye towards the various cult dynamics and false identity formations that are our collective ghosts and karma to transform.
Sometimes transformation looks like an intervention. Sometimes transformation is a strong and insistent NO to behaviors that are not for the collective good. We will not be friends with everyone before we die, we will not all be at the same level of personal practice to be able to agree on what is truly good for collective liberation of all beings.
This world, this samsara, this dream, this bardo… is not a game we can win, but it is a game we can choose to play, and we can choose to play in ways that reduce our addictions and false identities. But first, we have to really detox ourselves. We have to recognize how often we dissociate, (often calling it something else), and get clear with how many ways we loophole and plan our supposed escape from interdependence and collective karma. Liberation comes from choosing all of it, not just some of it, not just “my” ancestors or “your” ancestors but ALL THE ANCESTORS as your mission of liberation. There is no us and them and never has been. And sometimes we will have to fight our addicted ghostly kin, but it’s not and never has been personal. It’s always been collective.
donations happily recieved at www.paypal.me/daresohei
‘Die Well’.... thinking about this and imagining a board game where everyone loses. Where it is possible to make each other lose more or lose less, but not win. This is my crack in the wall into imagining the collectivism/unbuntu that is deficient at this end of a long grapevine that withers in crooked curls of my confused, white-warped state of consciousness. But if I’m wrong, it’s just the view from a very long periscope and I compare life to the game Monopoly too much.
It is taking a long time to wake up and the problem of not wanting to see my people when I’m seeing my people persists, to exclude/excuse myself for an imagined dividend of difference, exception. I thank you for the generous honesty and won’t waste it
this is so fresh and alive and yes. and yes to the Death Practice Group classes- highly recommended.