I have a very complicated perspective on identity politics. As a queer and transgender person, I am constantly surrounded by intense debates that center on buzzwords like privilege, race, and intersectionality. I came out as trans six years ago into the tumbler of Tumblr style politics, and I picked up the flag of radical identity politics like a good liberal and ran with it. I spent thousands of hours writing outrageous polemic after polemic that snarled at the white, male oppressor because I was, unsurprisingly, very damaged by said oppressor. I grew up being bullied by 99% male peers starting before I really had any idea what gay, queer, trans, or any of those concepts meant. I just knew I was the target. This instilled a deep resentment in me that I’m still to this day (I’m 37) trying to dig out from under and probably will be until I pass.
However, resentment is not all roses and candyland. As Mark Twain once quipped “anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” I became a festering pit of toxic resentment, which was really just a hyper-defensive state of extreme paranoia. I became increasingly suicidal until after years of living on the edge of death, I finally woke up and realized that this line of thinking was doing far more damage to me than to the “enemy.”
It’s not as simple and binary as saying that “now I’m better because I realize that identity politics is terrible!” Our system pits us against each other like terrified Pit Bulls in a dog-fighting pit with screaming Plutocrats on the sidelines urging us to bloody our fellow citizens. By the time you wake up to the fact that the other dog across from you is not the real enemy, you have become hyper sensitized to react to those dogs because they do pose an existential threat. In my estimation, this is how we are controlled from the aristocracy, and it doesn’t have to be a conscious top down phenomenon. The rich know that when people are too busy fighting with people who should be their allies, they are too distracted and damaged to band together to effect real, substantive change.
Honestly, I believe that one of the core reasons for this nascent tribalism is that our intellectuals eschewed grand unifying theories a century or two ago and devolved into Balkanized camps where each group’s minutia was equally important to the others. We lack an intellectual cohesion and vision, or this kind of vision is kept from becoming ascendant. I’m not really sure what the cause is, but yeah, I don’t know a lot of things. I’ve found more grand unifying theories in esoteric writers like Aleister Crowley and Robert Anton Wilson among others than from the official ivory towers wherein I started my search. I studied Economics and Philosophy in university, and then I realized that there was little novel creative thinking going on in those institutions. But I suppose I’m a bit of an esotericist by nature, so I needed something more avant-garde anyway.
I have seen the best queer minds of my generation destroyed by the pursuit of that elusive victim status that is going to take all of their problems away. But life is rough. Everybody has pain, even your so-called enemies of privilege. Even though I have been decimated by injustice, I now know that trying to victimize myself is a trap that I don’t want to go back into. But it’s a balance. It’s not as reductive as we’d like. Middle path, middle pillar, golden mean…
Be well fellow pitbulls.
Hey readers! I’m starting a new YouTube series called The Transgender Survival Guide. This is the first installment where I talk about my own personal trans history.
I must say that to be a thinking person with an honest heart and to be a believing Christian is just about as difficult today as it was in the 1st century when Rome was committed to crush this newborn belief system. But today, it is difficult because the church has lost the message of Christ. If the temple is the worshipers, then the money changers are right back where they were before Christ threw them out. It might not always be money that they are changing; the true sin of those merchants was to equate holiness with material things which is best described by the phrase “spiritual materialism.” The church of today, as evinced by the gross and sinful election of Donald Trump as a “Christian President,” is rotten and in a decay so deep that it is difficult to say if even Christ can resurrect this body spiritual.
But in the spirit of Christ, which is the eternal personification of God, all things are possible. This phrase sounds wholly hollow because of its modern status as a cliche, but it is true. It has just not been fully translated into the modern system of language. But God has revealed this translation to me through vision, synchronicity, joy, and rebirth. I have grown the Christ within my heart, and now it is my salvation. I did not go through the Christian church to reach Christ; I actually went to China and India to find Christ, but he was there, as he was even before his birth in Nazarus.
The Christian Gospels are actually quite spare in many of the details in how to create this alchemical Christ within your spiritual heart. I believe that this knowledge was suppressed when the Roman authorities adopted Christianity as the state religion. As we now know from the discovery of the Gnostic library at Nag Hammadi, there was a purge of minority opinions in the 4th century following the Council at Nicaea and the subsequent decision to establish the church around what would become known as Catholic ideas as codified by Saint Augustus and similar thinkers. This position created the impersonal Christ who could only be reached through the Papacy and its priestly caste. This disseminated the notion that true gnosis, or the direct communication with God, was impossible to the average layperson, and in effect it did become impossible as the tools by which one could communicate with God were lost in the atrophy of this spiritual knowledge.
I went to Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and mystical Judaism to relearn these techniques. They are hidden in those systems as well, and it takes a great amount of perseverance to discover them. But there is a way. One must fully break down the modern way of perceiving the world in order to have the truth revealed. We are all quite sick in our pervasive negativism and nihilism. We worship the negative, and then we are surprised when the negative takes the throne to rule. I was victim to this way of thinking for decades, and I was suicidal because of it. I was hopeless, lost, and constantly wanting for peace.
But five years ago, a miracle occurred in my life. I was possessed and overtaken by the spirit of God in a courthouse in California. My body became but a puppet to this powerful force, and it spoke through me. It was supreme confidence. It only lasted for an hour or so, and I was deeply troubled by it, but the actions that this spirit took effectively dismantled my previous life and set me on a new path. Because of this mystery, my life was forever changed. I committed myself to understand what had happened. And today I am confident that I understand as best I as I can. I don’t have supreme understanding, but I know that I walk in the right direction. Clarity is developing, but I have faith.
I have relearned the techniques of gnosis, and God has revealed in a mysterious manner what is true. These truths have been given in such a way so as to build my faith brick by brick. And now, my temple is strong. And the curious thing is that after my sojourn in the Eastern ways of thought, the Christ of my youth has been revealed to me in a new light. I see his beauty. I understand that to truly see Christ, you must walk as Christ did. His last commandment was to “love each other as I have loved you,” which simply means that one must become the Christ to see the Christ.
It is not simply through going to a church, getting baptized, and yelling “I’m saved!” that you are reborn. This is foolishness and the growth of this materialistic perspective has poisoned the church. One must be baptized from within to be reborn. There are waters within your consciousness that must cleanse your soul, AND you must choose to discard your selfish ego in favor of your spirit of service and piety. This is the only way to be saved. And this is not just a Christian truth, this is a human truth. There are many who have been saved in such a fashion in all faiths. The faith is just a map. You must walk the path within your heart to true salvation.
Only then will you see God. You must become a tempered sword of the good, where love, service, and humility are your strongest weapons. You must become a star whose core is powered by the fusion of your individual and the all; then the light of love will explode around you.
I have seen in prophetic vision that Christ did not die on the cross. He is still there; I have looked out from his eyes. He fully merged with God on that cross, and his kingdom is still glowing from that spot. I am now on that cross with him as millions of others are. I am happily splayed wide open, helpless, dead to the desires of the world. I am not yet fully completed, but I am so changed that there is peace in my heart. I know that I am walking to that kingdom, and because I walk to the kingdom, I am already there.
When you transcend your human life, you move outside of time and into the eternal. The people around you might see that you have died, but your spirit will live. Christ created a new heavenly kingdom, and many have gone to live within that kingdom of love. I will go there someday. In fact, I am already there. I have become a conduit for this love. I can choose to give this up and fall back into the unreal and dead, but I choose to walk into the light, knowing that persecution will follow. But this is fine. I have been prepared.
And I have been told that my choice to live as a transgender person is sanctioned. I know that it is not my gender presentation that is sinful; it is the desires in my heart that separate me from God. You can be whatever presentation or expression you like as long as you are a good and decent person and walk the true path.
Also, drugs are not evil per se. Some drugs like psychedelic chemicals, if used properly, can be great tools for realizing the truth of God. However, addiction to drugs is a terrible menace to your salvation, and you must become free of this and only use drugs voluntarily. I have struggled mightily with this, and I have overcome through grace and choice. I used to be an alcoholic, and today I am free from this bondage. But I still use psychedelic chemicals in my practice of gnosis.
I did not set out to believe in Christ. And I believe that the Christ spirit can be known by many paths, but I have been shown this truth, and I have peace. Choose love, humility, peace, defenselessness, and joy and become as a little child. Then you will be free. Love is waiting for you. Joy is your birthright.
01:19 pm – Thich Nhat Hanh : “God is a lesbian…”
Excerpt from Dharma Talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh on July 20, 1998 in Plum Village, France.
Question : “Dear Thay, I feel very well and safe here in Plum Village, but there were times in my life when I experienced discrimination, so there is one question which really interests me. What does Buddhism say about homosexuality?”
Reply: “Discrimination is something that many of us know, and there were times when we wanted to cry out for justice. You might be tempted by violent means in order for injustice to be removed. There are very many of us who are seeking non-violent means in order to remove injustice and discrimination imposed on us. Sometimes those discriminating against us act in the name of God, of the truth. We may belong to the third world, or we may belong to a particular race, we may be people of color, we may be gay or lesbian, and we have been discriminated against for thousands of years. So how to work on it, how to liberate ourselves from the suffering of being a victim of discrimination and oppression? In Christianity it is said that God created everything, including man, and there is a distinction made between the creator and the creature. The creature is something created by God. When I look at a rose, a tulip, or a chrysanthemum, I know, I see, I think, that this flower is a creation of God. Because I have been practicing as a Buddhist, I know that between the creator and the created there must be some kind of link, otherwise creation would not be possible. So the chrysanthemum can say that God is a flower, and I agree, because there must be the element “flower” in God so that the flower could become a reality. So the flower has the right to say that God is a flower.
“The white person has the right to say that God is white, and the black person also has the right to say that God is black. In fact, if you go to Africa, you’ll see that the Virgin Mary is black. If you don’t make the statue of the Virgin Mary black, it does not inspire people. Because to us the black people, “black is beautiful,” so a black person has the right to say that God is black, and in fact I also believe that God is black, but God is not only black, God is also white, God is also a flower. So when a lesbian thinks of her relationship with God, if she practices deeply, she can find out that God is also a lesbian. Otherwise how could you be there? God is a lesbian, that is what I think, and God is gay also. God is no less. God is a lesbian, but also a gay, a black a white, a chrysanthemum. It is because you don’t understand that, that you discriminate.
“When you discriminate against the black or the white, or the flower, or the lesbian, you discriminate against God, which is the basic goodness in you. You create suffering all around you, and you create suffering within yourself, and it is delusion, ignorance, that is the basis of your action, your attitude of discrimination. If the people who are victims of discrimination practice looking deeply, they will say that I share the same wonderful relationship with God, I have no complex. Those who discriminate against me, do so because of their ignorance. “God, please forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing.” If you reach that kind of insight, you will no longer get angry at that person who discriminates against you, and you might have compassion toward him or her. You will say: “He does not know what he is doing. He is creating a lot of suffering around him and within him. I will try to help him.” So your heart opens like a flower and suffering is no longer there, you have no complex at all, and you turn to be a bodhisattva in helping the people who have been discriminating against you. That is the way I see it, out of my practice of looking deeply, so one day I made the statement that God is a lesbian, and this is my insight.”