The Nature of Prejudice
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Dr. Claude Brodeur, PhD

 

The Nature of Prejudice

The Question 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.

Prejudice as disguised fear
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 as prejudice
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. 

Prejudice from 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.   

Advancing in Conscisouness
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, and forgiveness. 

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 affirmation:

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.

_________

Footnote
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


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Copyright © 1999, Dr. Claude Brodeur, PhD
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Page last modified:
October 30, 2000