ARE YOU SUBDUED?
A woman meditates. The instructor says, “Breathe. Be centered. Relax. Be calm. Release all negative emotions. Forgive everyone. Find repose in your contentment. Accept what is. Just be!”
She thinks, “I’m all for meditation, prayer, love, and forgiveness. But, what if this is designed to get me to not be angry about inequality? What if they don’t want me to protest injustice? What if they want abusers excused so that their world can continue unchallenged? What if they want me to submit to authority and live a subdued life that doesn’t upset their comfortable lifestyles?”
Recently, I listened to a BBC Daily Service, “Sow Generously”, 19/10/2020, lead by a philosophical theologian I appreciate, Dr. Marika Rose, from the University of Winchester. At one point, she said:
“One of the things I’ve been yelling at my colleagues about lately are the emails we’ve been getting which offer us meditation workshops to help us deal with stress. It’s not that I have a problem with meditation, exactly. What I object to is the idea that it’s my responsibility to invest in new skills for myself, to store up reserves of calm to help me weather the storm. When we see ourselves as investment projects, it’s hard not to stop and see the people around us in the same way.”
Many of us have witnessed and experienced this in the church as well as the world where people who do horrible things walk while we are the ones who must put in the work of forgiving them and restoring the so-called balance they desire, demand, and thrive in. While it is the weak, the abused, the suffering, the poor, the victims, who pay.