We Are Not Statues or Human Beings

Michael Richardson-Borne: In the opening sequence of the video, we see Boogie climb onto a display mantle in an art gallery and pose as a statue being studied by a handful of white observers. We are all presented with their imposing uncomfortable stares that point to what it feels like to live in a predominantly white culture and under the “caucasian gaze.” For them, what is currently happening in black communities is something to be viewed from a distance as presented by the establishment, something seen as unfamiliar and less than real.

The video is a perfect example of how the tendency in dominant global culture is to try to “make sense” of the world. In order to do this, we must keep our distance and create statues with our concrete words and frozen worldviews that, when applied to people, box them into a place where movement or change in a viewer’s mind is virtually impossible. What people tend to hang on to are their solidified concepts, their preconceived notions, not the authentic movement of life that I call non-separation.

This leaves presences like Boogie feeling like mere spectacles, sub-human, a side-show at best that is ignored, stereotyped, judged and vilified. Everywhere he looks, he is turned into a statue. This usually leads the do-gooders to say that you should look at people as human beings, not as objects– but this is false as well. Human is just another descriptor that leads to creating individual statues called humans that don’t actually exist. It’s just another way of viewing the world that is rooted in separation.

From here, people generally go to describing humans as alive processes, verbs rather than nouns, in an attempt to create more room for diversity and evolution. But with the shift to process thinking, there remains a separate autonomous doer to which the process is happening. Process thinking is separative thinking– a way of living in the world still caught in the web of separation.

So, even though Boogie is making a point here, it’s the wrong point. He is focusing on being seen as an equal human being and not recognizing that we are all movements of non-separation. Equality isn’t something to be achieved– it’s prior to any kind of achievement.

Question: Are we not human beings?

MR-B: What is aware of the question you just asked? Who is concerned with whether you are human or not? Inquire into who you truly are and see if you’re still interested in this line of questioning. The answer to your question lives in your own inquiry– not in anything I’m going to tell you.

You are aware of what it means for you to be human and a human body as it is presented to consciousness and seen by awareness. But what you are is not the single human being you are attached to and that is showing up in awareness. It’s actually pretty simple. How can you be any object that is showing up in awareness? You are what is aware of all objects.

And who is the we you speak of? This kind of talk fractures the world into human pieces. We are unified in essence– not as human beings but of a source that is living all human beings where there is no space between anything.

Q: I don’t disagree with what you’re saying. But, I still think I am my body. That is my experience.

MR-B: And this is the belief that brings racism, sexism, and the host of the world’s challenges to bear on the world. It’s this very assumption and way of thinking that is the foundation of separation. By turning yourself into a statue by believing you are the body, you automatically turn everyone around you into statues as well. You lock them into being a body. It’s a violent way of being that unintentionally breeds violence everywhere it exists.

The experience you speak of, being trapped in body and mind, is what all seekers are attempting to break free from. The goal is to remember non-separation.

Q: So if I’m not the body, am I never going to die?

MR-B: The body and the mind, sure. But this is not who you are. After the body dies, you remain.