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DEC 5, 2015 – The Souls of White Folk:

I mean no disrespect, however, I do admit I did not like and continue to struggle with this subject title [grouping of words] that implies that the supernatural dimension of human nature; spiritual essence is branded by the color of our skin.  I changed my RSVP status a couple of times firstly, techno limitations but phone remains unlimited; cost and economic times [fixed income, exchange rate, economic downturn, mass migration time, Christmas donations needed for the poor]; however, this introduction is free, so truly all I need to do is take the time to attend… I can do this – it’s important!

I will come with my grandmother ears for I have grandchildren with 4 nation blood and am curious how DPA community address blended bloodline needs…help us move beyond concrete, extreme polarized ends that automatically sets up segregation/division.  I read 3 of the suggested articles and will attend with my listening ears on, specifically paying close attention to the use of language when speaking about soul states, which in my opinion, ought to be colorless, universal language to truly delve into the depths and seek solutions?  These are my thoughts this morning.  Peace + Love Linda

Linda, hi:

I understand your discomfort with the title. It is deliberately provocative, but not meant to be so in any negative way, nor is it meant to imply that “…the supernatural dimension of human nature; spiritual essence is branded by the color of our skin.”  Rather, it is simply a reference to the classic, ground-breaking collection of essays by African American sociologist W.E.B DeBois (1903), “The Souls of Black Folk.” This classic collection, first published in 1903, is must reading for anyone interested in the roots of the African-American struggle against racism, and is cited in my first blog on the topic (Debois also later wrote a less well-known essay entitled “The Souls of White Folk,” which is also important and of interest).

The goal that the world might become colorless is a worthy and important one. However, the brutal fact is that for most people of color, at least for the present, it is not. One most be alive at every moment to the possibility that someone else’s racial hatred might intrude upon life and force us to recognize this reality over and over again. It is my hope that the more people enter into an honest discussion of the topic, with sincerity and good will, the more the world may change, however incrementally.

I look forward to having you join us!

All the best,
James

Du Bois, W. (1903). The Souls of Black Folk. Retrieved from: http://www.wwnorton.com/college/history/give-me-liberty4/docs/WEBDu...

Linda, were you on the call (I hope so)?  I honor your honesty here and think it important that we start and continue the dialogue from a place of honesty and truthfulness....if you were on the call just now, I am curious about what you thought. If not, I know there will be a recording up shortly that you can listen to...Blessings, D

Thank you for calling on to continue our important conversations.  Yes, I was on the phone with my grandmother ears listening intently and this is what struck cords within my soul:

It was great James shared that the essays were written back in 1903; DeBois was a visionary sociologist who wrote before the great world wars.  I loved and could identify affirmatively with both the pacing, tone and a whole bunch of words...inner + outer other, cultural meanings behind recurring themes behind trauma, racism is terrorism,  instincts at our roots + underlying power dynamics that lead to exploitation, economic inequity [the poor], look at the manifestations to resolve [reconcile] ourselves with the past and the "overarching" [cool word] of healing [need to contemplate this one more], the displacement... of all orphaned 'family' trees [our ancestors roots, our operational systems of all of us North American inhabitants typically forced off their land with need to migrate [now it is the Syria people]...the coming home [not a fixed address, resides in our hearts] which takes me to songs...recalling a few words in our national athem "our home man native land"...why are we reenacting mass shooting - it is in our genes...at the trans-generational...at our root level - my family tree too - domestic violence [home and abroad is immersed and intermingled]...the bees are dying in 'colonization collapse'  and the indigenous humans are complaining about Europeans forcing them into colonizing - if bee colonization is good for the bees why is colonizining a problem for people?  

The land needs people and the people need the land...we must know our purpose and be willing to share...Is the beginning of this word - the "colon" part of this word the problem? [fecal material is the manure for new grow in the soil we till...the guts level [butterfly instincts] of the matter is important for peristalsis [movement] need for metabolism and absorption of the nutrients [building blocks necessary to survive]...we all partake in the cultivation of the land and the cultural climate created during our time allotted on planet earth...

I doubt we are more integrated in Canada [we are just not as old as other countries]...yes, people are on the move...always looking for home... I have completed my 4 generation, healing of the family tree work and grieved the death of our good enough family life with extensions...family ties are dying like the bee hives...yes, I love the idea of global integration and thank God for the www and the new and exciting positive possibilities for dynamic virtual relations...DPA is one pod...yes, the high impact of crime, shared responsibility for the complexes coming out of the shadows and restorative, healing rituals, circles...creating, holding, nurturing healing places + spaces...yes, yes, yes, the human race is all about relating with each other...we are social animals and More's Utopia is a 16th century, socio-political story that remains a pipe dream [myth].  

We need to be careful and not contaminate all that is good within creation...the multilevel, multivariate mind-body states and amazing earthly formations...we need to take better care of our national and personal treasures...those natural nature "gifts"... like awakening each new day to the gift of innocence for what this day has in store for us...be open-minded and in the moment...not naive...simply observing all the natural natures...good, bad and ugly forces of nature as we delve into the depths of our own and the others unknown, unconscious shadow materials that shall always manifest....As oxygen is needed for the breath of life ...the relational is needed for the HUMAN race to co-habitate - in PEACE...

OMG Dorene - your comments have me on fire....Peace + Love Linda

Wonderful, Linda--You and I can be fire-keepers together.

Oh Dorene could it be that we can add "ice" and get into that space, place where ice [NDE] meets fire [burning passions] and somehow get more of the numinous folks in your group sharing more [my dream since joining DPA]???

DEC 7, 2015 FIREKEEPERS:

Good afternoon Doreen – every since you commented that we could be “firekeepers,” I know what my 3 experiences, where I have been forged by “fire” are, and not sure what yours are, plus…I must admit I did not know the historic meaning of this newfound word... so, I went into Wikipedia and below is the brief information available:

Not sure if this is the place to post “fire” comments, but the subject title is about the souls of white folks.  I have been fair skinned with white hair most of my life and have my own minority experiences.  I experienced my first ‘cultural’ discomfort when my parents moved us out-of-the-poverty class community and into a middle class status community…bigger house, more of everything, however, the first thing I noticed is my new found peer group were rebellious, had little respect for authority figures and getting into trouble. 

The next time I felt cultural discomfort was at my first undergraduate, university sociology class… watching a film about “impoverished” slums.  I recognized and identified with many of the images and characteristics featured in of this film as representative of my childhood upbringing – the places were similar [a poverty stricken, post-WW2, multicultural, new immigrant community [1948 – 1960].  However, even though I spent my childhood in this poor, social class district; I never saw nor felt my family life or myself in those terms.  For me, my childhood was good…and when I reflect upon it now, I would even say it was great for I was raised in a community where a strong sense of family belonging, ties and values existed and the old country ‘immigrant’ village ways of being and living just happened and flourished with my bloodline on this new Canadian soil. 

I entered nursing instead of completing high school for Grade X Matriculation was all that was needed to get into the helping professions at that time.  My grandparents had no formal education; my parents were launched into the adult world of work upon completion of grade 6 [Great Depression].

I entered the university scene as a mid-life [30’s] professional and do admit I was highly disappointed and shocked that this environment of supposed ‘higher’ learning showed a film containing such ‘shabby’ views [analysis, judgment] regarding the lower, working class [the poor] - my ancestors…my parents, my childhood… our family life and community living portrayed and tainted with much distain, doom and gloom or ‘negative’ light.  Perception is everything...  

My living truth and story remains that my childhood, family life was amazingly rich and I learned so much from my village community lifestyle [priceless not poor] where my ‘white’ folk soul was forged along with all kinds of different ‘skinned’ colored people.   That was my societal upbringing norm.

Now that I bared my souls white skinned and haired humble beginnings, I will go on to read the suggested articles “Black Unlike Me” and  “The View From Black America Psychotherapy” and then I might muster the courage to share my 3rd uncomfortable ‘clinical’ training experiences – my Masters practicum [the disability service world – group home] and my PhD internship [healing centre, native reservation]. 

Getting back to the Firekeeper or flametender” insertions, it is interesting my Dad retired from his firefighting career and was my hero [good family man, worked hard].    According to Wikipedia, firekeeper describes a specific ceremonial role, common in the religious practices of a variety of cultures. A firekeeper or flametender tends the sacred fire in the manner specific to the religious traditions of that culture.

The open flame was a necessary and important part of ancient human civilizations, and often was invested with religious meaning. Similarly, those entrusted with tending this flame often held a sacral role in the culture. This role continues in many traditional cultures into the present day.

A sacred fire is often a place for the offering of prayers, herbs, food, and sacrifices of artwork. An eternal flame or perpetual fire provides hot coals for the smoldering of herbs. A sacred fire is usually kept separate from any cooking fire, and placed in or near a ceremonial enclosure.

In the past world of no matches, and no easy ways of making fire under wet conditions, it was necessary for someone to keep the flames or red coals burning for long periods of time.

Vestal Virgin - Roman flametenders

Peace + Love Linda 

Glad you could be with us, Linda!

Both on the call and here in the forum.

All the best,
James

Awe James - how awesome and humbling today has been…and the synchronicity just keeps flowing...tonight the movie "The Giver" was on [seen once before], however and thanks to today, I watched it – in depth:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJNNugNe0Wo

Many relevant soulful messages involving many of the themes that emerged in today’s conversation jumped out.  Thank you James + panel for gathering and bringing us into this sacred place/space.  Peace + Love Linda

James, my heart is so full with gratitude for your willingness to begin this conversation. Thank you, all who participated today.  I am looking forward to keeping the dialogue and events coming re this important issue...Blessings, D

Donna, hi:

Thanks for all of your help and encouragement and for monitoring the chat today!

It sounds like we may have a lot of people wanting to do another sooner than later...we'll see.

Thanks!
James

Oh, my goodness, I was just at this astonishing discussion, and I am knocked out! The level of compassion and transparency blew me away. My vote is to begin a regular discussion (perhaps every two weeks?), maybe facilitated by different individuals, so the conversation will continue. Throughout the 90 minutes, I was particularly aware of how the words and care of all those on the phone were affecting me in my body. It was an electricity that was so pure. I can't help but think that all the ancestors, black and white, who are committed to eliminating racism were present, cheering us all on. Anthropologist, Angeles Arrien, has said that when we take courageous steps to reverse or break through habitual ways of being that enslave our souls, that the ancestors are lined up behind us saying, "Maybe THIS one will break the bonds that bind us all." Thank you to everyone on the call today who was a compassionate witness and participant. Thank you, James Newell, for making it all possible. I am a better human being for having had the experience.

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