Racists Have An Identity Problem And It Can Be Fixed — A Yogic Perspective
Don’t just hate them back, they are stuck without even noticing it. We should feel sorry for them.
Racism and xenophobia are two brutal ways of creating distinctions between people based on where they are from or what they look like. They often go hand in hand: You are not from here and/or look different to the decent people from here. Therefore, I have a bunch of misconceptions about you and hate you. No matter how messed up I (and probably you as well) think this line of reasoning is, it does not change the fact that many people think like that.
So what do we do about them? The worst idea, I believe, is to hate them right back. That is the equivalent of blaming them for playing a game you are playing yourself. The best would be to help them somehow see things differently. That is where yoga comes in.
The Human Identity In The Yogic Tradition
Yoga means unity. It evolved, to the extent that we know about its origins, as a way to prepare for meditation. Hindu monks would spend days on end in meditation and doing yoga stretches to prepare their bodies for it. Still, why does it mean unity?
Unity refers to all creation being one at the end of the day. When you meditate deeply, the borders between you and the rest of all creation disappear. The rest of all creation refers at first to other human beings but, eventually, includes all creation. You then realise that the I-identity of your being is artificial. Yes, that is how you perceive the world, but the link between you and me and all other beings is one you become very strongly aware of in meditation. What it boils down to is this:
If another creature suffers and you don’t help it, it is like your right hand not helping your left hand when it is hurt. I did not come up with that analogy, it was somebody much wiser than me.
Why Do We Not Realise This Unity?
Not perceiving (or not being able to perceive) this unity is often referred to as the veil of separation. It may seem obvious because, at first sight, you are obviously not me and vice versa. After all, if a…