The state of relationships in America is bad enough, but in Black America, it’s a train wreak. The Congressional Black Caucus produced statements that alluded to the numbers of African-American divorces being on par with the general population (about 50 per cent divorce rate) … but the alarming co-statistic was that only about 75 per cent of blacks are even getting married in the first place. So, what’s keeping so many black folks single?
While the stressors may be many, “the cure” seems to be all point back to issues of ethics, morality, and spirituality. In his book, “Blessings Of The Flesh, Sins Of The Spirit,” esteemed theologian Matthew Fox correlates the Seven Major Chakras of the East with the Seven Deadly Sins of the West. Old news for spiritual seekers, right? Yes and no.
While there are many “types” or models of marriages, one thing remains true for all of them: lust simply isn’t sufficient to carry an adult, mature relationship very far. Yet, within Black American cultures, the over-emphasis on sex and sexuality continues to be an over-value commodity. People still think sex alone will bring them happiness. While sex is an important piece to the human experience, determining what to do with that most sacred parts of our anatomies is best mapped out by centuries of spiritual exploration. (Notice my continued reference to the word, “Spiritual” rather than the word, “Religious.”)
In their paper, “An Exploration of Factors Related to the Decline in Black Marriages,” W. E. Harris, Jr. and Kelly D. Bradley assert:
“When Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech, married couples headed more than 70% of all black families. In 2002, the number had declined to 48% (Kinnon, 2003). One of the factors influencing the decline in Black marriage rates has been the rising rate of incarceration among Black men at all educational levels over the past 30 years (Kiecolt & Fossett).”
It’s odd, but when most people begin having problems in their relationships with others, they often first seek out the help of a therapist or a psychologist. But all of modern psychology sits on top of old world theology that it doesn’t want to recognize. So why look to a watered-down set of instructions rather than seek out an experience in all it’s fullness, it’s majesty and its “AWE”?
The answers to that question are many. From, it’s easier to take drugs to attempt to simulate a spiritual experience, to the willful decision to not be dissapointed by one of the mainsteam religions all too many have lost faith in. But spirituality involes our personal spirit along with whatever cosmology one finds faith in … from Yoga, to Buddhist Mediation, to Greek Orthodox Meditation, Catholic Comptemplative Prayer, and on to religious metaphysical practices like the Jewish mysticism of the Kabbalah. Spiritual teacher Deepak Chopra enjoys using phrases like:
“We are literally made of start dust. Carbon. The process of photosynthesis nurtures us—is a part of us. We are essentially the eyes of The Universe in co-creation with God.”
This is similar to fingerprints at the tip of each person’s hand. We all have them, but each is different. Religion helps teach us the beginning practices that lead to spiritual experiences. But to be a Spiritual Warrior, one has to be willing to relinquish fear, and to relax in faith, surrendering every pre-conceived idea of what God the Spirit is. That can means work. But the work that we were born for. This fellow Space Travelers, is a of the journey too good to miss. May I leave you with this?
“Anything you put in front of God, will either eat you—or you’ll eventually lose it.”
Meaning? In this alienated, pornographic age, we essentially have to even learn how to physically love our wives and husbands. To make an alter out of the body of another means creating yet one more “false god” in our life. One more demon.
Opening to spirituality means opening to a higher, deeper, richer experience in life than people who cling to crutches like alcohol, drugs, porn, and the delusions of power will ever achieve. We really are “spiritual beings have a human experience.” Life is really amazing.
May you sincerely, be happy.