Caste – The Origin of Our Discontent: Week One
Today we are starting our Fall book study with the first of four video podcast episodes where Rev. Neusom and Rev. Ana will be discussing the book “Caste” by Isabel Wilkerson.
To get you started, download your book study guide, and tune in to today’s dialogue in video format (shown above) or audio format (below at the end of this post).
Download your Study Guide Here
The death of George Floyd, and the many others before and after him, has uncovered for a lot of us what we knew existed, but didn’t understand the scope or depth of. There is a segment of our population that for over four hundred years has gone through, and continues to go through, unfair and unprovoked deprivation of their rights.
People are treated differently than others in America because of the caste system in our country. This caste system, first by law and now by social custom, places people of African descent among the lowest caste, not much different from the caste system in India where the Dalits are of the lowest caste.
In the movie The Matrix, artificial intelligence takes over humanity with a program called the matrix and people didn’t even realize they were trapped. One character started to wake up to the idea that his reality wasn’t actually reality. He was courageous enough to take the red pill in order to wake up to the truth of life, as unpleasant as it may be. This is somewhat like Unity’s idea of waking up to a reality other than what we may have been taught or experienced. And not so different than us choosing to wake up and acknowledge the complexity of the program American has been running on for centuries.
The word “racism” has a lot of shame associated with it which can sometimes lead us to not want to have a conversation about it, much less concede to its current prevalence. The book Caste explains America’s system in terms of a hierarchy rather than race which allows a bit of room for examination. It educates us without invoking shame and embarrassment by showing us that this system has groomed us to believe in the caste structure. It’s almost understandable that we would each take our place within it without question.
But with our eyes open to seeing this system’s cruel and discriminatory nature, we can choose to change our thoughts and behaviors to help raise up all people to be treated with the worth and dignity they deserve. We can ask ourselves “What beliefs do I hold that I have not seen before and are ready to be dissolved?”. We hope to gain a deeper understanding of what others experience, have compassion for them, and to be willing to step up and be their companion and ally.
For members of the highest caste, the ego takes hold and wants to keep the caste system in place because it affords power, money, status, and privileges. Unity’s second principle says that as humans, we have the divine essence of God within us. Giving in to our ego rather than honoring this divinity within others leads us away from Truth.
We are all divine beings, one with the Presence and with each other, and we have the ability to progress in our consciousness, raise our vibration, and create a better and more equitable world for us all.
Join us next Friday as we delve deeper into Caste – The Origins of Our Discontents.