Blog Posts Where Race is an Aspect of the Themes
The question has been asked of me “Do you have a moral compass that leads you to your position on Wealth Transformation?” When I was 17 (I am 72 today) and obtained my driver’s license I found a car and with a friend in 1968 drove to Gethsemani Abbey in Kentucky to meet Thomas Merton. I made a retreat. Met Father Louis and he was kind enough to memorialize what was to him a very small event in his journal. To me it was of course very significant. I went for many reasons, but the main reason was the impact his book “Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander” had on me. Click here to read a past blog post about meeting Thomas Merton. At 17 I was a guilty bystander to the war, poverty and racism and I still am today. Yes, we as white people are all guilty bystanders. After going to Catholic Schools 1 through 12th grade I went on to a Jesuit University and studied psychology, philosophy, and theology. On graduation I met “The Inklings.” I delved into most of them, but it was Lewis and Barfield in their “Great War” that stood out. Academics who delved deeply into the two could not help but admire Lewis, but also uniformly concluded Barfield was the deeper thinker. I read some of Lewis and all of Barfield and then went to England and spent a day with Barfield in his English countryside cottage. Click here to read a past blog post about meeting Owen Barfield.
During the two and a half years after college, I lived and worked in an intentional Spiritual Community in Spring Valley, NY. This time allowed for deep study of Barfield’s work and many related authors. It also gave me an opportunity to work in one of the first hospices in the Country. It was an enormous gift to be present for and assist on this side as Spiritual Births occurred.
Then came law school and a career in the law. During that career I followed the best preachers available in the Twin Cities in Unitarian, Congregational, Methodist and Catholic Churches. During the past many years, I have and continue to read many Black authors: Morrison, Douglass, Dubois, King, Malcolm X, Robinson, Angelou, Dyson, Kendi, Stevenson, Whitehead, Bond, West, Coates, Wilkerson, Darity and Mullen, Archbishop Tutu, Glaude, Baldwin, and Mandela. All speak of reparations. But it was and is Mandela who most deeply influenced me. Hence, I speak about his bio and his inner life on a national basis as my linked bio evidences. He became my mentor on reading “The Long Walk to Freedom” when it came out in 1994. Click here to read a past blog post on Mandela as a spiritual mentor. He provided the inspiration to deepen my inner life and attempt to live out of it in the practice of law. I also had the blessed fortune to meet President Mandela. Click here to read a past blog post about meeting President Mandela. He was here in Minneapolis and spoke to a small gathering of 200. Many white people were in the room. He had one consistent and thorough message — “you all must learn to share – you have too much.” Mandela was a card-carrying Methodist until the day he died. He was freed in 1990 and free elections occurred in 1994 due to him out of his inner life calling on DeKlerk and the head of the Inkatha party to make a decision out of Christian values. This was quite well known at the time and reported in the world press and then secular society tends to leave all that behind.
This is our Mandela moment. This is the time that any committed organization can put action first and lead a deep and long overdue sharing. It is an enormous opportunity for some organization to step forward and lead taking and refining my 3 page statement on a vision for repair and transformation and putting it into action. If it is started in a committed manner, others will follow. We together can begin to repair, then reconcile and then ask for forgiveness — not expect it.
Let us approach all of life attempting to live in each moment out of an active, practiced, disciplined, flexible, individualized inner life that at times may Grace us. This is my prayer.