I was debating whether to share certain personal information, but judging from my family on facebook, Nipsey got neighborhoods mourning. I remember my elementary-high school days, where my older cousin would take the male cousins cruisin in his convertible 1964 Cadillac, up and down Crenshaw. Individuals like Nipsey kept that memory alive, kept that legacy alive, and kept those neighborhoods alive. Neighborhoods that every hip-hop head knew in the 90s, now threatened today by colonial-capitalist gentrification. Now family members are rockin "Crenshaw" shirts, and those that live on the block are poetically pouring out their compassion for the future of the district.
Many who find my blog, as well as many that I follow, carry the banner of "light-worker". It's quite annoying when these folks tell you not to engage "lower frequency" media, and then purport to not throw judgment on it. Try growing up in these neighborhoods, and then you may understand the wisdom that is to be gained from "lower frequency". How is an adept to fully "be" and "connect" with "All That Is", when one doesn't realize the boogey man is still part of the infinite complexities. As a born empath, I truly understand the emotional absorption of being able to feel deeply the same emotions as another, and probably much more. But running away is not what these neighborhoods taught me.
Although I grew up a book-worm nerdy kid, I mimicked my older cousins of not shopping at the regular mall, but buying Dickies at the local swap meet. Simple work pants, where I took pride in my ability to iron creases that impressed my high school friends. I was born and raised somewhere between where Rodney King got beat, and where the culprits who beat were mostly from. I will give you a hint, it's where Ronald Reagan is buried. My relatives are all too familiar with the colorful issues that would present themselves, as some have lived near the Rodney King incident. Another personal incident, when I was around 12 with my cousin 14, we were robbed while eating outside a fast-food joint. One got out the car and talked with my cousin, while I watched the homie in the car looking like he was reaching for something in between throwing me gang signs. Honestly, we just got out the ISKCON temple across the street.
A light worker may complain about guns and death, but I've learned more about respect, trust, loyalty, and actually compassion from the neighborhood, then I have in the business world or even both a Protestant/Catholic education. My employers have robbed me so much more than the boys in the hood have, literally, where my first legal employer still owes me money. As for the neighborhood, let's just say some of us grew up with a rabbit hanging around the relatives, for the love of music of course, as relatives are in the industry. Rabbit's entourage was quite a bundle, where some were so nuts, the older cousins would tell all the younger and female relatives to leave, for everyone's preventative care.
Rabbit, on the other hand, would spend the day around my cousins rocking a Hawaiian t-shit and cargo shorts. He was family. I remember my eldest cousin looking Rabbit in the eye, and continually telling him, "I think you were an Asian warrior-prince in your past lifetime", with me catching hardcore Rabbit trying to hide his face, while he slightly smiled showing no arrogance. In the evening, Rabbit's crew and my cousins would party, but by day, there would be Indian Saints and Elders (both dot and feather), Indigenous Shamans, and other healers all mingling with the neighborhood. I'm reminded of Rasputin, who allegedly spent his evening with women and opium, but was in Church in front of the Divine Mother deep in prayer by Sunrise. There's also Dr. Oldoinyo Laetoil LeBaaba (Kali Baaba), who had a house in the middle of the hood, where as a child my older cousins put a paint brush in my hand and stated, "paint it black". He, sometimes, would be in the mix with these hoodlums.
Another personal note, I remember my High School years, being at one of the evening party's. One of my older cousins' friend's, that I had not seen since my elementary years, walked in the room and sat next to me. Man was huge, 6ft+, and looked like he played football. As we sat next to each other, looking each other up and down as I had my feet crossed up on the couch, he says to me "damn, I think your socks smell". Overhearing, Rabbit's cousin perks up and barks, "leave the little brother alone". I'm sitting there thinking to myself, "oh shit ... I'm stuck between these two big ass fools". Again, one is huge and the other, well, Rabbit's entourage. Whereas, my cousins' friend barked louder, "I've known this kid since he was in diapers, he's my little brother, it's my job to tell him". That was a moment for me, looking at these big ass fools who had my back, some of which society would consider scum. Some of my cousins' friends had even told me they would die for me, and I was just a nerdy kid nerding up their lives trying to be cool. Some may even ride, maybe not for me personally, but for my family. Again, the neighborhood taught me respect, trust, loyalty, and compassion.
So light worker, if you choose to run away from your triggers, know that you're running away from the truth of your own self. My triggers let me know that the shadow work must go on, especially in the blessed City of Angels. Am I triggered by the homie whose got a "pistol grip pump on his lap at all times"? Nope, I get it! The police officer who pulled me and my relatives over for a speeding ticket, who constantly reached for his gun in addressing us, while in a luxury car dressed to visit relatives in Northern California, that I also get. Do understand these neighborhoods, the one's the C.I.A. dropped drugs upon and probably still are given that they got caught by the border patrol (2016), are significantly minority. Do understand that Richard Nixon classified marijuana as a schedule 1 drug to keep Blacks and hippies in prison, despite the Shafer Commission. You may see these neighborhoods as "issues", you may "disengage" from the information they present to you, but I see them as warriors fighting external and internal systematic oppression. As Ice-T expressed, "there can never be justice, on stolen land". Sure better times may come, but not if we choose to ignore what lurks in the shadows. I can't be a "light" worker out here, which thinks the "dark" is to be opposed. I need to be a damn "alchemist" as my gratitude pours over the lessons the neighborhoods have taught me.
For those on the spiritual path who are complaining of the "state of the world", I'm reminded of the story of Swami Vivekananda reproaching the Goddess during his last days, for not protecting devotees from Muslim invaders near the altar of Goddess Khir Bhavani (Kali who is fed rice-pudding prasadam). She rebuked him, reminding him that it's just a Divine Play. As energy dances before light to produce mass, so Shakti has her way with Shiva. Who else to bring wisdom to the light, then the Dark Mother.
Overly educated and continuously exploring and revealing more behind the veil.
"It cannot be too highly emphasized that the mystic swims in the same waters in which the psychotic drowns."
-James Wasserman, The Mystery Traditions