Op-Ed
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Op-Ed

Navigating the Strange Land

I live in the in-between.

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In the scientific community, I am a borderline crazy and in the spiritual community I am right-wing adjacent. Unlike Stealer’s Wheel in the line “Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right” I feel no one is stuck in the middle with me. It’s quite lonesome to be able to hold two truths in the mind at once; to be able to see things from many perspectives when people want to define me as one thing. They need me to fit into a box that makes it easy to understand whether or not they should waste time of befriending me. In a world full of sloganeering and platitudes, it feels like there are very few people to connect with deeply.

9 out of 10 doctors would agree: I am insane. I interact with beings that do not present themselves in the physical realm, and therefore cannot be trusted. I am manic enough to believe I can consult cards and other objects to help me make informed decisions. I talk to myself, I hug trees, and I feel energy like a crazy person. I am a deluded into thinking that I can read stars like braille and predict future events from them. I dance in circles around a fire and howl at the moon because I am a hippy. I’ve sat in the woods with no food, no water, and no shelter for 48 hours because I am an idiot.

The Guru says: I am repressed. My conformity to modern human life is restrictive and the result of the patriarchy and white supremecy. Any desire that I would have to follow social norms (like being heterosexual or a monogamist) are indoctrinated. Toxic masculinity produced my insecurities and is the reason for my uneasiness with being compelled to use certain words over others. The color of skin determines how disadvantaged someone might be, and the path to empowerment is lined by those who have white privilege taking a knee.

The truth is: I’m being gaslit on all sides. The scientific community attacks me for believing in nonsense, while the spiritual community attacks me for ideas they believe I believe.

To those in the scientific community: I know it can be off-putting when spiritual leaders use enchanting tactics to lure in people to ‘awakening’. I know sometimes it can actually be detrimental to the healing of those people. I am aware that dancing and talking about feelings in groups can be really uncomfortable. I also know that changing my name and requesting people make different mouth noises to address me is absurd. But it can all be healing in this very human way.

If you’ve ever lost someone, you know that the relationship continues to develop even if they are not around. We build their responses with our minds, or perhaps the thoughts come to us from somewhere else. When someone dies, there is a difference in the energy of the space that contains their body. You can only notice this if you are not too preoccupied with how you look or running into someone you don’t want to see at the funeral. When those meaningless thoughts are cleared from our mind, we can notice things we might not have otherwise. This is what it feels like to recognize and tap into our intuition.

To those in the spiritual community: I know how repressive it is to feel the need to conform to social norms. I know sometimes it can be incredibly painful to do the work with no one by your side. I know that people are disadvantaged in the current structure of our society. I am aware that there is more to life than what science can explain. I also know that innocent people were massacred and buildings were erected on their graves. But there is no need to cast blame.

My desire to reconnect with Spirit does not mean I am appropriating culture. I behave like an animal because I am one. While I do operate in a way that is informed by my culture, my soul has evolved into a modern human. Deep within, there are layers of wisdom from ancient ancestors stored in my DNA. Despite Google’s best effort, we don’t have all the answers. We have measured what we can, and yet, there are things left unmeasurable. Our best assessment is that there are just things we can’t know. The truth is, we haven’t figured out the proper measuring device for such things.

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