Nature of Prejudice
What is prejudice? What
is the opposite or prejudice? Is prejudice a good thing or is
it always something bad? How does prejudice contribute to the
evolution of consciousness? These are the kinds of questions
addressed in this article. There is no more practical understanding
of this characteristic of human nature than a metaphysical analysis
of it. From this perspective we may understand the need
for limiting its expression in our lives.
Prejudice may show itself as a
deeply fixed tendency to preserve the status quo even at the
expense of personal growth. A prejudiced Soul is inclined
to do everything in its power to prevent its world from changing. The
prejudiced Soul is usually unwilling to consider any viewpoint
other than its own. It condemns without study or investigation
anything different from that which it already believes. Prejudice
takes many forms, like religious intolerance or racial discrimination.
"Different," to a prejudiced
Soul, means dangerous or wrong. In extreme cases of prejudice,
the one who is different from the group in power is fair game
for exploiting. It's even okay to imprison, beat, torture or
kill anyone who is too different.
Sometimes prejudice is a
way of disguising fear. Instead of facing fear honestly and openly,
a Soul transmits the fear as prejudice by refusing to examine
its preconceived notions of what's good and what's evil. This
is only natural, for fear is an instinctive response of the animal
consciousness to a perceived threat of physical harm or personal
loss or change. Changing beliefs or concepts may be disturbing
to the personality because it may not know exactly what the effect
is going to be, the loss of a friendship, for example, or a job,
or customers, or a spouse, or a whole family.
To help overcome the negative effect
of bias, one approach I've found useful is to get the person
to overcome the fear behind the prejudice. Often when there's
an impasse in labor-management negotiations, I try to get each
side to tell the other what harm or loss could come to them if
the other side's position were adopted. It usually helps
to resolve the impasse and often to reduce the degree of prejudice
preventing a reasonable settlement of differences.
Narrow, self-interest groups also reward
prejudice. Hitler's Nazi party is a perfect example of
this. Today, the same extreme prejudice exists among peoples
in the mid-east. The effect is violence and military aggression,
acts of terrorism and civil war.
Stereotyping would be a
more subtle type of prejudice. Innocent as this kind of prejudice
may appear, any prejudice, however innocent and unintended, bears
the effect of the law and harms the Soul's progress on the path
to greater spiritual consciousness. With your permission,
I'd like you to try a simple test. Mentally fill in the
blank in the following sentence. "The judge was pleased
when ? heard the jury's verdict." And
then this sentence: "The nurse immediately called
the Doctor when ? saw the patient went into coma."
Most people will think of the judge as a man and the nurse as
a woman, although the judge could be a woman and the nurse could
be a man.
Stereotyping is not to be overlooked
because it is less extreme than racial discrimination or religious
persecution. Of course, each Soul who chooses to give expression
to feelings of prejudice, whether in the form of racial discrimination
or religious persecution, or on the basis of gender, is acting
relative to its evolution in consciousness, and thereby believes
that it is doing what is right.
a positive perspective
The law of relativity and
the law of opposites also apply to prejudice. From this perspective,
we can say that rejudice has its positive aspect. For example,
everyone has preferences. I would hope, however, that our
preferences are reasonable. If you affirm that the Soul
is responsible for choosing and will experience the consequences
of its choices, then you would be wise to educate and discipline
your reasoning powers so that your preferences are those of an
enlightened human consciousness. Only by overcoming the
Devil Part or the Carnal, can a Soul minimize the evil of the
negative emotions and thereby raise its consciousness.
The Soul who wishes to be liberated from
the limiting and enslaving effects of the negative emotion of
prejudice, learns to transmute the energy by seeing some good
in the object of its prejudice, thus feeling inclined to forgive
and overlook the bad points. The Soul perceiving the good
in the object of its prejudice will thus be able to transmute
the evil of prejudice into the positive vibration of forgiveness
by acts of kindness, compassion and charity. Once in control
of the inclination to find fault in others, a Soul can then overcome
the tiresome habit of always blaming and condemning others for
every wrong in the world.
To daily work and live in
greater harmony with the laws governing Spirit and Matter is
to advance surely and steadily on the path of attainment. It
is desirable to know and understand the laws which govern the
Universe and all life. Then, it is up to the Soul to identify
itself with those laws.
Through self-analysis and the study of
the laws that govern the mind and the Soul, the Soul can attain
the greatest of all knowledge, the knowledge of self. It can
know the emotions that are influencing its actions, and by learning
to apply the universal laws to its emotional expression, it can
learn to overcome the negative effects of fear, worry, anger,
selfishness and all the other emotions of the mind. The Soul
can learn to see in them a potential for good.
Through right thinking and right action
the Soul can transmute the negative forces operating within the
personality and free itself from the domination of the negative
emotions. With this new-found inner freedom, the Soul can
now rejoice in the positive feelings and good that come from
a life motivated by an enlightened faith, hope, love, generosity,
No matter how things may seem to be,
the Soul giving up attachment to the negative emotions, attachment
to the carnal nature, to the false self, can now live in harmony
with its spiritual nature, with its real self and can now see
how things really are.
I'd like to close with the following
The eternal spirit dwelling within me
now expresses through me in many fine ways, with patience, understanding
and love. All these and other equally wonderful qualities
blend in perfect balance so that I greet each day and everyone
I meet with a loving attitude. Any seeming obstacle is an opportunity
for me to realize and express the patience, understanding, and
love that is within me.
With patience and understanding, I watch,
learn, and grow as my day unfolds. I have something to learn
from those I meet, and I also have something to offer them. As
I share my patience, love, and understanding, I influence the
attitudes of others and help them realize that like qualities
are within them.
My capacity for caring is a manifestation
of the eternal and universal within me and all things. My
cheerfulness is an expression of my appreciation of the spirit
of good indwelling each and every person. I go forth to greet
each day with a kind heart and a loving attitude.
This is taken from "Mental Transmutation," a
paper read at a Conference sponsored by the Concept-Therapy Institute
of San Antonio Texas, July 4, 1986. For more information about
Concept-Therapy and Conceptology click
here. The article in full may is Emotional
Transmutation: A Process of Self-empowerment