#4986 - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz
The Nonduality Highlights http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights/
Nonduality culture -- recognizing, identifying, and sharing the nondualistic nature of whatever we look at -- takes us everywhere. This is a brief dialogue from the Nonduality Highlights group on Facebook.
Hiphop has a vast audience. Nonduality has a small audience. In the work of Justin Miles, Ascience Gnown, the two merge. He writes, "Hiphop manifests to allow its practitioners to experience their nature. All of existence is a path to enlightenment in this way. Hiphoppers can reach their natures through diligent practice. Becoming a true emcee is possible, not through egocentered exploits such as wittiness, hyperconceptuality, material appeal, cadence, or anything that comes and goes, but through practicing resting their minds in the nature of Hiphop through meditation on the emcee and abandoning all illusions about how I exist." Lots more at the blog:
Hiphop Alive: Institute of Education, Consciousness and Integral Art: Hiphop and Non Duality
Howard Peck responds:
oh well…here goes. A quasi-intellectual explanation about the virtues of hip-hop may seem like such a nice thing to all the hippy, spiritual non-dual, liberal all around nice white people (including me) that keep up with non-dual events, teachers, and teachings, etc. But please don't be fooled. Being from Philadelphia, and now living 90 minutes north, one step beyond the lily white suburbs, I have kept a close interest on race relation and the challenges that the black population face. hip-hop culture and it's close cousins rap and gangsta rap ( is there really a difference?) have clearly not been positive force. Do you think I'm wrong? Do you think a nice white family can take a nice stroll through the neighborhood where hip-hop was born and where it flourishes?...not in Philly! Would all my nice white spiritual friends like to go to hip-hop rap concert with me? Do you think we would be safe? Do you think we would be comfortable? let's go visit some public schools where hip-hop and rap flourish. The high school graduation rates among black kids in Philadelphia is 50% which means that dropout rate is 50%. In city and county jails black young men makes up the majority of the inmate population. Young black men who were brought up in hip-hop rap culture. The culture where hip-hop rap flourishes is experiencing 75% out of wedlock births which has devastating long lasting effects generation after generation. Before we get all intellectual and warm and fuzzy about hip-hop, let's take a look at where it flourishes, and then we can see it for what it is without the hypnotic illusion of political correctness. Non-Duality means dropping the hypnosis and seeing things as they are. Only when we are willing to see things as they are, no matter how painful, can we approach truth and growth. If we stay in our comfortable hypnosis, change will never take place. can we take an honest look at the hip hop culture?
Ascience Gnown replies:
Howard, thank you for your comments. Rap is a behavior done at varying degrees of self, cultural, behavioral and social development. Hiphop is the experience of emceeing, djing, breakdancing and Graffitti from a non dual perspective. What we hear on the radio and see on mainstream tv are mainly egocentric manifestations of Hiphop. Yogananda gave an example of fundamental reality as the ocean and the waves as varying degrees of distance from reality. No matter how far away you appear to be you are never disconnected. The Hiphop you speak of and have access to aren't concerned with their nature but there are many practitioners who practice being close to and creating from that source. As a practitioner and fan of Hiphop for 30 years, i can tell you that it has ego, ethno and worldcentric manifestations and has the ability to wake people up to higher levels of self, other, world and non dual awareness. I understand your concern though. I am a Black male, 37 who lives in one of the worst neighborhoods in Baltimore City. I've also been a therapist for 14 of those years, primarily for Black males and know the pain and suffering they face. I can tell you firsthand about how Hiphop influences the youth in a negative way. However, they didn't receive the teachings of Afrika Bambaataa or KRS-ONE. Hiphop isn't taught in schools or in the streets as a way to find peace, love, unity and understanding in ones life, even though since 1973 the Zulu Nation has been doing so as have other institutions like HEAL, Stop the Violence, The RBG Fit Club and the Temple of Hiphop. My work is about redefining and reintegrating the fragmented views of Hiphop so that those that are involved in it can use it to their benefit as many have done for almost four decades. Hiphop needs to be retaught to the masses, including the non dual community who like many of us probably did with different religions, judge them from the outside instead of directly knowing through practice and study. You don't know what you can't see. And if you don't look at both the enlightened and neurotic aspects of the various levels of internal and external, individual and collective emceeing, djing, breaking and Graffitti then you'll only see what the media gets paid for you to see; young Black males acting foolishly. If non duality means dropping the illusion and seeing things as they are then that means we must also seek to find out what illusions we hold about the things that we think we know but aren't directly experiencing. Counting cows. I encourage you to listen and experience all that Hiphop has to offer. It is one of the most whole, embracing and beautiful ways of experiencing reality that I've encountered.
In a separate posting unrelated to the dialogue above, Ascience Gnown gives this link:
Watch Cord Jefferson Discuss the White Culture of Violence on MSNBC
Gawker's West Coast Editor Cord Jefferson appeared on last night's episode of All In With Chris Hayes to discuss his controversial essay on the damaging lawlessness and savagery of white culture. Cord and host Chris Hayes also spoke about the roots of white violence and Cord's deep ties to the white community.
"You probably haven't heard much of the white riot in Huntington Beach. That's because the story, white criminal culture, is not a story the mainstream will tell you. But once you scratch the surface, the stories are everywhere you look."