I am the oppressor

By Jen Peer Rich

When will we recognize that we are all being oppressed and oppressing all the time?

If any one part of the system is oppressed, so too am I oppressed.

Humans, animals, the earth, it’s all under the heavy weight of oppression. Every being deserves to be championed by the system from which it is born. We are all participating in the fate of every life. We have many communities within our life system that need rehabilitation from the oppressions that come with the belief in separation and the dislocation of the psyche from nature. So long as we keep the competition between oppressions alive, we can’t really help. As long as we are distracted, we are not united in looking squarely into the eye of the real problem: which is thousands of years of our life system submerged in the belief that humans are superior to the planet, dominant to other forms of life and that we are unconnected from each other.

The real problem deserves a good undressing, it has all my attention, and the only way to get it naked is to undress it honestly and inwardly in my own heart.

I refuse to accept the oppression of any spark of life. I stand up for the life all around and I don’t leave any beating heart out of my concerns. I hold this dentist who killed the lion gently not because I condone his actions, but because I see that he is a prisoner of his own beliefs. I have compassion for that because I know what it’s like. I care about his captivity too. He is part of our system, a part that is broken, a part that is experiencing a hallucination of division. If I oppress him in my heart, what have I done except what has been done before for many generations? What comes of that? Rejecting him, judging him, holding resentment, it only keeps us from healing, and from dealing with our shared roots which for too long have been poisoned and ignored by the belief in being separate from each other.

Healing our system means experiencing us all as one living matrix where every expression of life matters, all have intrinsic wisdom and value simply being alive. Healing comes with the radical inquiry of psychic domination, asking within: am I oppressing life right now in my mind? Do I use my ability to reason with my mind to oppress others? Am I oppressing myself with conditioning and unconscious habits? Does my lifestyle oppress other beings? What does it mean to be myself?

There isn’t any one other than ourself to wake up, or to change, or to be at peace with. I need only the inspiration to ask myself hard questions and go into the sense of self, deeper and deeper, until I am giving medicine directly to my roots- which are our shared roots, roots that need all of our medicine so much right now.

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jen peer richJen Peer Rich is a friend in presence. She lives in Atlanta with 5 rescued weenie dogs and is married to her best friend. Presently she’s working towards a graduate degree in Ecopsychology. She has two books about Nonduality available for free download at Friends in Presence or on amazon kindle. You can also find Jen writing and sharing digital art on the Facebook machine, she’s always open to making new friends.

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