The following is an excerpt from my book, (Grandmother Dreams, Conversations Across the Veil, p.79), that puts oppression and its resolution into an understandable context:
The topic I want to ask about is oppression. I want to learn about its origins and how it is perpetuated, what we can do to limit it. I would like to hear from a Teacher who can address this topic today. I see an older gentleman in a white lab coat. He looks something like Albert Einstein. He is pointing his finger at me, but not really looking at me. He appears flustered, or angry. I will listen.
The Doctor: This is not such an easy thing to talk about. We all think we know who is the oppressor and who is the oppressed. We think that someone else is the oppressor and that we are oppressed. We would all like this to be quite clear. Even though no one wants to be oppressed, and we are quite upset when we realize that we are, no one wants to be the oppressor, either. We so want this to be untrue that we are willing to deny that we are. But we are the oppressor.
You see, for there to be oppression, we all have to have the mental construct in place that oppression exists. We are sure that it exists, and when we see something that fits our definition, we say — see, there it is! When one tree falls on another in the woods, and knocks it over, do we call that oppression? Do we say that the wind is oppressing the trees?
Ah, but you are right to say that humans are not trees in the woods, and there is more involved than the wind pushing us around. But what is the wind — a gathering of energy. Sometimes it is a light breeze and sometimes it is a tornado. The holocaust was a hurricane worse than Katrina. Where does this energy come from? In nature, it is created from the difference in pressure between hot and cold air. In human nature, there are also differences in pressure. Sometimes they are relatively benign. We would like to label these differences “good” and “evil,” because this gives us a handy reference to use. But I do not like these names. They lead us to become judgmental. We are trying to be good, but actually behaving badly when we use judgments.
So I like to think of this in more scientific, neutral terms. Let us think of this in terms of positive and negative energies. Positive and negative relate to directions on a continuum. Something can be moving in a positive or negative direction in relation to something else. Therefore, positive and negative are not fixed qualities, but measured in relation to something else. We can say that the direction something moves has a positive or negative effect on something else.
In this case, the case of oppression, the positive or negative effect occurs not just on one individual, but on a group of individuals. The movement in one direction or the other is based on a fixed variable, such as skin color, or sex, or religious beliefs, or wealth. This should not be confused with suppression, where society places a value on certain traits, such as hard work, and attempts to control out those who do not fit this value. Suppression has evolution in mind, but is not always a positive direction. Evolution has a way of correcting out the mistakes it makes.
But, back to oppression. Check the dictionary.
There are two meanings listed: to dominate harshly, to inflict stress on.
The key word I see is “dominate”.
Yes. Oppression is about domination. People want to be in control of their world; they want everything to be the way they see it. They are uncomfortable shifting their view, so they ask others to shift in order to accommodate them. This is short-sighted, because people cannot change the fact that they are female, gay, black. It is foolish to think that these factors can be eliminated, that the world can be static. Change is happening all of the time. That is life force — constant change and renewal. It cannot be any other way.
We have gone through a long period where a few are dominating the many. You will notice in the definition above that oppression creates stress. Stress has an interesting presence in evolution. It will weed out those who are weak, and it will strengthen those who are strong. Within each variable (sex, color, etc.) there are some who are weak and some who are strong. An entire variable is unlikely to be wiped out. What remains are those within a variable who are strong. As long as they remain an individual variable, they will not have enough power to overthrow the dominating oppressors. Fragmentation strengthens oppression. What the oppressed need to see is their value in the whole, a whole which includes all of the oppressed as well as the oppressors. What the oppressors need to see is that they are a small part of the whole. Refer back to the Teacher who talked about the swarm of bees. When The Shift comes, the oppressors will be overtaken by the swarm. Then there will be chaos. No one will “win.”
What we all need to be aware of is whether we are making a positive or a negative shift. Are we fighting oppression with hate? That is a negative shift. Are we fighting oppression by creating links and raising awareness? That is a positive direction. Anything that moves energy in a negative direction is adding to the energy of the oppressor. It is helping to build up the bigger storm. Anything that moves energy in a positive direction is balancing out the energy of the oppressor.
Hating and blaming the oppressor is convenient — it gives the oppressed a target, a place to lay the blame. But rarely does the blame belong to individuals (except in some rare cases). It belongs to attitudes. Attitudes, meaning placation and accommodation in the face of un-truth, failing to recognize humanity in all beings. They lead to choices which feed the Ego at the expense of Spirit––greed, fear. Each individual has a responsibility to make choices based on Love. When the energy of Love reaches a higher level, then oppression will not have room to exist.
This takes action, too. We need responsible leaders, which requires action. Get your attitude together and get up and move. Make room for peace and harmony. Sounds like a lot of love-child talk. But that is what it will take. Complaining has limited value. Name the wrong but then work to right it. Violence is a tool of the oppressor. Don’t be tempted to put that in your hands. Do unto others . . . . Live by the golden rule. Forgiveness. Compassion.
If you think these things are easy, you are wrong. They are much harder than picking up a weapon and shooting someone. Only the strong will manage to look at their own feelings and work through them. The oppressed have had these opportunities. Use them. Remember Mara’s discussion of the two-sided coin: there is no gift without a loss and no loss without a gift. Strength and awareness can be the gifts in oppression. Hold to the edge of the coin. The world is black and white, yin and yang, dual and non-dual, positive and negative. Hold it all. Build spiritual strength.