Jesus was crucified because he was imparting elite information to the dregs of society and empowering them. At Ziggurat, the Brahmins hired an assassin to kill him because he started teaching the holy texts to untouchables. A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing. Knowledge without compassion, without spiritual evolution, is dangerous. However we can’t lift people up enough to see how they’ve been oppressed and not expect them to be angry. Too often they bite the hand that feeds them instead of looking at systematic oppression rationally.
Lashing out that way is an unfortunate consequence of knowledge without understanding. It’s part of a catharsis of healing ignorance. To see people forgiven for lashing out at me for the knowledge I taught them and deployed in their favor as a coffee broker made me realize that it’s an exchange of information. The anger and bitterness and violence – either social or physical – are the words we don’t know how to say calmly. The thoughts we haven’t spent enough time on. It also made me realize that I had my own information to return to the violent, genocidal, femicidal, ecocidal system and if I didn’t speak those things, I would actually die or kill myself from the pain of trying to fit into the system in any meaningful way.
But, if it was just my life at stake, I wouldn’t have said anything. What I saw from a young age was that everyone I loved was slowly being tortured to death by subservience to this system, and I had to do something, even if that something was to offend, to be a lightning rod, to say “Yo” to the Devil in his own realm.
Once, when I was a freshman in college, I played hearts with three senior boys. They were all card shark poker players. I got dealt all the hearts starting from the two and the queen of spades. I ate all those cards and every time I took a trick, the boys laughed and groaned and said “what are you doing?”. Until I threw the queen of spades and they knew I had shot the moon. I guess you can ask them why they assumed that I was losing the game the whole time, mocking me. I wouldn’t presume to say I know the answer for sure.
What I do know is, that you don’t have to snub people if you can talk to them rationally about what you disagree on. That’s sometimes a big “if” when you’re dealing with big egos. You might end up chop suey. But if you see that you have the connections and the skills to have a big conversation that could save the planet, and you jump off and take that risk – lucky not to die straight away – then you deserve the rewards. That’s just how I see my job as a writer, researcher, thinker, and spiritual practitioner.