The United States Department of Justice (DOJ), also known as the Justice Department, is a federal executive department of the U.S. government, responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice in the United States.
Michael Richardson-Borne: What is justice?
Department of Justice: Let’s start off with what a department is in the culture of separation. A department is an autonomously created compartmentalization of autonomous individuals who abide by autonomously created rules in the name of autonomously performing specific tasks that maintain a continuity in time that is collectively reinforced, self-reinforcing and self-directed towards the autonomous completion of defined goals. This is the world you live in – the way you work and the way the justice department works inside of a culture that believes in separation. But if you remember Non-separation, you immediately see through the push and pull ambition of autonomy and self-direction embedded in the culture that surrounds you. From Non-separation, a department transitions from separate but unified objects to separate but unified objects on the flip side of witnessing to a single existence without separate objects – which includes your experience as a personal body with an individual awareness. Right now, it is important to note that what you truly are is not concerned with autonomy. There is no basis or need for a self-inflicted concern with anything. If concern arises, observe and float with it as a disturbance being lived into the moment while knowing there is nothing to grasp, and certainly no way to personally outmaneuver the emotions of life by completing tasks and accepting accomplishments as your own doing. The impersonalness of your true nature is not fighting for its separative life as its life does not depend on time or an object within time. There is simply nothing to autonomously divvy up no matter how much the culture of separation seduces you with the already divvied.
From separation, departments are thought to encompass a form of autopoiesis – autonomous self-organization, self-maintenance, and self-reproduction by a collection of separate selves. These separative, self-organizing, departments happen through the minds of individuals that haven’t realized the mind does what it does on its own accord as a reflection of the movement of the whole. It has been forgotten that any kind of arranged organization viewed by an individual is the organization of the mind. It has been forgotten that the mind is lived as the totality – it has been forgotten that the mind doesn’t drag around a body to and fro as it figures out life’s challenges and makes personal decisions. It’s been forgotten that consciousness itself is maintaining all views of self-organization by illuminating the mind. Just let the concepts and associated physicality of self-organization continue on while also feeling the “push” of the source of this organization – and notice that this “push” is not controlled by your (or anything’s) separate self.
From the conceptual nature of “a department”, we can easily decipher how justice is built upon the same foundational assumption – the belief in a separate self. We can easily decipher how both words, “department” and “justice,” mean exactly the same thing – separation.
MR-B: Will you explain how?
DOJ: When there is a department for justice, this exposes a conceptual division for a conceptual division. When departments for justice can exist in a society, it follows that people become individually existing departments in their own right, a microcosm of the macrocosm. Just as the department of justice is 100% responsible for its output, people are thought of as individual departments 100% responsible for their actions in the public sphere. These departments aren’t being lived, they’re doing the living using a personal life-force that can be held accountable for its individual actions. It’s this confusion that creates a confused system of justice defined by the blind assumption of separation at its core. From Non-separation, the department of justice becomes a mere arbiter of the lexicon of injustice.
Ask yourself if justice can be divided. Can justice be truthfully isolated in a field of mental objects? Can these objects be separated from the whole and independently operate in a way that isn’t moved by the whole? If your answer is no, then you have landed upon the beginning of your self-inquiry process. If objects cannot independently operate in a way that isn’t moved by the whole, this includes what you think of as your self. If you are the whole, what is this wholeness? How does the separate self exist as a movement of this wholeness?
In the culture of separation, justice takes at least two, and most times three, in order for it to come into existence. In Non-separation, justice takes only one, and when remembered, less than one. True justice is “before one” – once an object enters the picture, separation and comparison begin negating justice. Once two objects enter the picture, there is a need for rules, a need for safety. Once three objects enter the field, there can be a judge for who’s breaking the rules, who’s betraying the protection and safety of the rules – and making the offensive object pay for their betrayal in what is considered equal measure. From Non-separation, this battle for justice is obsolete – it’s just a vague imagining of justice symbolized by a battle of separation that fuzzily intuits Non-separation, being too distracted to reverse the direction of its gaze. From Non-separation, there is a knowing that justice is never served in our society by a “department of justice.”
Take a second and feel the gust of wind that you and everything perceived as outside of yourself lives in and as. Notice that this gust of wind encapsulates all departments, nullifying all departments. Notice that this gust encapsulates all concepts of justice, nullifying all justice. Notice that there is no fraction of wind within the wind that is real – let your mind wrap around what a fraction of this wind is down to the microscopic. Is it still wind, even with these particulars? Or is it something else due to the fragmentation? Can this fragment exist without the wind and vice versa? Is this fragment autonomous? If the totality of the gust is justice, how can the fragment of wind decide what is injustice? Contemplate how I define Non-separation – the impersonal existence of being that includes the personal. Focus on how the impersonal lives the personal – how a neutral gust of wind lives that which is incapable of neutrality. Notice how separative justice is incapable of neutrality – as it always favors the assumption of separation.
MR-B: It is often asked that, without rules, how do we keep society intact and not become totally unruly? How do we not devolve into chaos because people would know that anything goes? It is thought that, without justice, anybody would be able to get away with anything.
DOJ: Separative laws are put in place by separate selves who project separation creating the need to control the behaviors and activities of the separated. They know the separate self can’t be trusted to be lived as an aligned expression of Non-separation – and, thus, are lived into a response that reveals this belief. Because the self that is believed in is limited, it can only be further limited unless the violent assumption of separation is addressed. Even what appears to be a lessening of limitation on a separate self is the furthering of this same limitation. It is not remembered that the only natural law available in the culture of separation is the law of self-inquiry that locates the illusion of separative justice. This does not mean merely reversing a world of many laws to one absent of law – this is not what I’m pointing to. What I’m pointing to is remembering your true nature so that laws of separation and justice are completely forgotten or seem juvenile when viewed as a reflection of the impersonal.
Devolving into chaos would either force society to inquire into the source of chaos or it would do as it has always done – manifest a suffering society that re-populates around a revised story of separation layered over the original story of a separate self. For instance, look at the two world wars. Separative chaos ensued as a byproduct of the belief in separation, and then upon the final surrender, there was merely a re-ordering of stories between “winners” and “losers.” The reason for the pain that led to these atrocities was never asked at the depth it needed to be to remember Non-separation and the suffering of the separate self. So this reorganization just translated the chaos of a conceptual-murderous combination of war into a re-defined conceptual war. The established new world order after World War II was just a new accepted story of separation – the acceptance of new departments of protection for separate selves that divided the haves and the have nots.
Departments. Laws. Justice. Can you see how the divisions spawn one another and then try to compensate for the conceptual separation found in one another? It’s just like the life of a perpetual liar who must continue to make up new stories in order to cover for the lies already told. It’s all one big facade that has forgotten the source of the facade. Can you see how we’ve swallowed these layers of division to justify our personal behavior and experience? As we’ve moved further and further into a story-world that hides the assumption of a separate self, our belief in justice has become a tighter and tighter dream – one that drives the nail of separation further into our minds and the dead wood that is our culture.
So what is justice? Justice is the invitation to remember Non-separation by all parties involved in the search for, and accepted repercussions of, separative justice. It’s an invitation to both embrace and negate fairness and reciprocity. It’s the revealing that separative living will never bring justice. It’s understanding that the division that leads to justice leaves traces of disgust between an imagined plaintiff, defendant and judge – which is just an unknown disgust for your true self, a personal disgust that leaves justice in the culture of separation inoculated with a residual contempt.
True justice is being lived as the invitation to Non-separation, seeing through the justice of redemption and disgust espoused by the culture of separation. Being lived as this invitation is what I call Applied Awakening.
MR-B: The Vera Institute of Justice reported in 2015 that jails throughout the United States have become warehouses for the poor, the mentally ill and those suffering from addiction as such individuals lack the financial means or mental capacity to post bail. Can you say a little about this claim and what the DOJ is doing to confront the problem?
DOJ: First I would say separation if left unquestioned, moves toward greater separation – and the further you get from your true being, the more blatant or extreme the pointers to Non-separation become. Connect that last statement to your example of American incarceration. The further a culture moves away from its true nature, the further it moves into the violence that is the belief in a separate self. As with the individual, the deeper a group goes down the tunnel of separation, the further the culture moves into harsher forms of accepted violence. This accepted violence is how we are able to lock people in cages and see it as an act of justice. We further separate those who have been separated the most – and see this as a service to humanity. But the question nobody asks is “is this a service to the incarcerated’s birthright of Non-separation?” Nobody asks if it is a service to humanity to keep people who have been broken the most by separation locked up both inside and outside the separate self by a culture whose assumption of separation is its modus operandi.
The wealthy, privileged and powerful don’t see (and don’t care to see) the problem that begins at the foundation of their beingness. As long as there are safety and protection for their personal carnival of separative delusion to continue, they feel entitled to ignore living in denial of their still all too painful dream, a dream with fits and starts of appetite awash in the personal fantasy of separation.
With this kind of confusion surrounding who we are as reflections of consciousness, it inevitably leads to a confusion around rehabilitation of those who are seen to violate the laws of the culture of separation. This goes back to the misunderstanding of the non-autonomous nature of behavior, the false sense of self-authorship. Rehabilitation programs are known to be more cost effective than incarceration. Yet the DOJ, in collaboration with other relevant departments in the United States government, continues to rely heavily on incarceration. As long as the majority view is embedded in, and therefore intent on punishing, separate selves and their autonomous actions in a pre-given external world, incarceration will continue to be the gold standard of correctional philosophy.
To confront this problem, all we can do is make an invitation to Non-separation – the rest is not up to us. Nothing is individually up to us. Trying to change the system within the culture of separation just leads to another expression of separation. The best we can do in today’s world is more humane conditions inside of our prisons. And, possibly, better “re-education” programs to get so-called criminals on the acceptable conveyor belt of the culture of separation and its definition of a quality life. How do we find our way out of this mess? Well, from the assumption of a separate self, we don’t. When those not incarcerated need the exact same rehabilitation as those already in our prison system, there is only one solution – an invitation to remember the pre-existing unity of who and what we truly are.
MR-B: If all prisoners are counted (including juvenile, territorial, ICE, Indian country, and military), then the US has around 24.7% of the world’s 9.8 million prisoners (while having only 4.4% of the global population.) In The New Yorker article titled The Caging of America, it is claimed that: “Overall, there are now more people under ‘correctional supervision’ in America—more than six million—than were in the Gulag Archipelago under Stalin at its height.” In total, 6,899,000 adults are under correctional supervision (probation, parole, jail, or prison) – about 2.8% of adults (1 in 35) in the U.S. resident population. These are a few statistics about what many people call “the prison industrial complex.” How does the United States have so many people who are considered criminal?
DOJ: It has been lost on humanity that the separate self can never be criminal. It is lived as it will be lived through the lens of its mental programming aligned or misaligned with its true being. If humanity could remember what lives life as we know it, the story of criminality would be seen for what it is – an absurdity. On the other hand, the separate self in a separate world is always criminal, always enacting the only sin of humanity – separation. As you’ve pointed out in your question, calling America “the land of the free and the home of the brave,” when we have the highest percentage of unfreedom in the world, is just another example of the truth of Non-separation screaming at us with absurdities. Our entire culture and the resulting system is all based on an absurdity – we’re just a collection of criminals chained to a violent mentor who encourages us to readily live the fiction of autonomous behavior. And by doing so, we create criminals rather than taking the time to discover these criminals are aspects of the self that can be further invited into alignment with Non-separation. This invitation is the foundation for becoming the home of the brave. Being brave is questioning the self, being strong enough to dismantle the illusion we are living under – something America, to this point, is not brave enough to do.
Understanding what I am telling you fundamentally changes the feelings behind imprisonment. Imprisonment for autonomous action, again, is an absurdity. Notice how the punishment never matches the crime because the real crime is unseen. The belief behind what the action is (and the reaction to this action) are both steeped in ignorance. The American version of the Gulag Archipelago has happened for the exact same reason as the Russian version – an ignorance of the separate self. We struggle with these kinds of perfect tragedies – one’s that can only be healed by seeing the perfection that is living the tragedy.
MR-B: How would enforcing the law change if all correction officers were being lived as invitations to Non-separation?
DOJ: This is where we get into Applied Awakening. Once the impersonal is remembered, one is lived as a natural invitation to Non-separation. So the nature of law enforcement would move from one that protects separation to one that invites every life that it touches into a realization of one’s true being. Enforcement officers would become our teachers – they would teach the court of public opinion to accept the self as part of a more fundamental movement. They would practice a form of total acceptance that would put communities at greater ease – giving them a broader space to play out their journeys. They would teach us how we are all prisoners and how the key to our cells is lost without self-inquiry. It’s the kind of justice we are all waiting for.
MR-B: One of the responsibilities of the DOJ is to review the conduct of local law enforcement officers. Why do you think there are so many civilian shootings by police officers, especially in predominantly black communities?
DOJ: I’ll keep beating the same drum – it’s separation. On both sides of the coin. It is the lack of realization that nothing is ever happening outside of you. When a black child is shot, we are all shot as a single movement. We have all taken aim and shot a child as a single pre-existing unity. This is not me just trying to sound politically correct. It’s not just a poetic expression, a cliche. It’s common sense. A common sense that is asking us: “How long will we go about attempting to solve separation with separation? How long will be lived in this world without true justice?”
No department of justice can ever decide this. It is up to us, and a lot of grace, as an entire culture to profoundly open to new questions, to prepare the landscape for a new solution to arrive – which, we will find, is a solution that has been with us all along.
*This is a fictional interview written by Michael Richardson-Borne as a teaching of Non-separation.