SHOULD EX SLAVES FORGIVE THEIR EX-SLAVE MASTERS?
There is no doubt whatsoever that the gospel given to the world by Jesus Christ ask folks to forgive those who wronged them. I do not need to scour the bible to cite instances in which the old boy asked his followers to forgive one another. He asked his folks to forgive those who wronged them. He practiced what he taught by forgiving those who murdered him because they did not know what they were doing.
If citing the Bible is what makes you accept that a view is biblical, then look at these: Luke 7: 48; Mathew 18:22; Luke 23: 34; Mark 11: 25-26; Mathew 8: 12. They all showed Jesus insisting on forgiving those who wronged us.
ENSLAVERS WERE AFRICANS, ARABS AND EUROPEANS
Africans captured some of their people and sold them to Arabs and sold others to Europeans. In the North, they marched their captured people across the Sahara Desert and sold them to Arabs; in the south they captured and sold their people to European enslavers who parked their slave ships at the West African Atlantic coast.
African slaves were taken to Arabia and used as servants or to the Americas and used to develop it.
African slave catchers, Arab slave buyers and European slave buyers were in cahoots in the slavery business.
Should the ex-slaves in the Arab world and in the Americas forgive Africans who sold them, forgive Arabs and white folks who enslaved them?
If you read the New Testament Part of the Bible the answer is yes, they must forgive if they are Christians.
A course in miracles is one of my frames of reference on spiritual matters. it said that folks must always forgive those who wronged them. It added a psychological angle to the idea of forgiveness. The book is rooted in Sigmund Freud’s and Carl Jung’s psychoanalysis and B.F. Skinner’s learning theory; it also borrowed from Gnosticism and Hinduism and Buddhism’s non-dualistic monistic, idealistic philosophy.
The book says that the slave seller, the slave buyer and slave are the same person! God has only one son. That one son of God, like God, contains the infinite sons of God.
The one son of God sleeps and dreams that he is separated from his father and brothers. He sees other sons of God as not part of him. Seeing other people as not part of him, he justifies attacking and killing them or, in this instance, enslaving them.
He captures and sells people into slavery or uses them as slaves. This is done in a dream of separation. But both the slave, the capturer and the slave master are the one son of God, now separated into different persons.
One son of God did all the evils of slavery to his oneself, albeit it seemed like he did what he did to other people. But there is only oneself and it is that oneself that played the role of slave, and enslaver.
When at night we sleep we project out a dream world and project into it different people doing all the things done in our dream, but it is us, the dreamer, that did what all the dream figures in his dream did. The slave and the enslaver are oneself.
Therefore, the slave must forgive the enslaver because the enslaver is his self. He is the one who went to sleep and projected his self to those who captured him and sold him and those who enslaved him, and those people are him.
SEPARATION FROM GOD, GUILT AND FEAR OF GOD’S PUNISHMENT AND SELF PUNISHMENT
The slave did this because he believes that he is guilty. He believes that he separated from God and did an awful thing and feels guilty and believes that God would punish him.
God does not punish anyone. Moreover, God knows that his sons did not separate from him and merely dream separation. The sons would not be punished by God.
Without waiting for God to punish them, knowing that he would not do so, the sons of God punish themselves for the wrong they did.
They place their guilt into their unconscious minds and project to other persons the role of punishing them for their guilt.
The slave projects to Africans, Arabs and white folks the roles of capturing and enslaving him for his guilt of separating from God.
The people who enslaved him were merely performing the sleep-dream roles the slave assigned to them.
The enslavers, in turn, who feel that they separated from God and feel guilt and project their guilt to slaves, say that the slaves are responsible for separating from God hence guilty and ought to be punished and without waiting for God to punish them punish them for God.
It seems unfair to the slave but who is the slave? A slave in one lifetime is a slave holder in another lifetime. Therefore, the same person is enslaving and is the slave.
Because oneself is the slave and slave holder what we should do is simply to forgive all of us for the evil we did to us.
Thus, the slave should forgive his slave masters, but insist that from now on no one should enslave anyone else. That is, we must all resolve to stop future slavery.
We must pass laws making slavery and abuse of people illegal and arrest and incarcerate anyone engaged in slavery and abuse of people. This is my view.
Whereas my view wants to punish enslavers, A course in miracles did not say that we should punish any one for his wrongdoing; it insists on forgiveness.
The view of A course in miracles is that one should forgive those who harmed one for they did what one asked them to do to one for ones alleged sin of separating from one’s real self, the son of God and his father, God.
Moreover, the son of God did what he did in dreams not in reality; the physical universe of space, time and matter, and our world is a dream and is not real.
The real universe created by God remains as he created it, a unified spirit state, a wave of spiritual light in which each of his sons is a particle of that light; wave and particles of light are one light, one shared self.
I tend to believe that we are all complicit in our social errors and must forgive each other our mistakes. I personally forgive Africans, Arabs and white people for enslaving my people and forgive my people for selling their people.
Seeking scapegoats to blame for the wrongs of the past is not going to solve any problems in the present.
For example, African scholars like to blame Europeans for slavery and exploitation of Africa’s resources, but in the meantime African leaders are their people’s worst enemies; they enslave them and have no regard for them and certainly do not do any meaningful thing to improve their lives and or develop Africa.
Most African leaders are unbelievably corrupt. If Africans concentrated on governing themselves well and stopped looking for other people to blame for their dreadful backwardness, they could improve Africa.
GUILT AND FEAR PLAYS ROLES IN SUBSERVIENCE TO RULERS
I tend to believe that our sense of guilt and fear is what make us kowtow to slavery. If a person wanted to enslave you and you did not want him to do so, what would he do? He would kill you, right? If he killed, you then he has no slave. So, it is the slave’s decision to live as a slave and the slave masters evil desire to have slaves that made slavery possible!
Both the slave and slave master were complicit in slavery; both can be blamed but that is not going to solve the problem of evil in our world.
What would solve the problem is to forgive the past and, in the present, teach people to love each other.
Given my fierce warrior spirit, my acceptance of death at any moment, and will to independence, can you imagine any human being enslaving me? If you tried it, I would kill you and you would kill me, and I would not be a slave.
Those who were slaves were afraid of death and desired to live at all costs and that made it possible for African, Arab and European sociopaths, psychopaths and anti-social personalities called enslavers to do their thing on the slaves.
Both slave and enslaver played roles in their situation, so let us stop harping on who was the victim and victimizer and simply correct society’s past errors and make sure that no one is ever tempted to enslave other people.
We must raise children in such a manner that they prefer death of their bodies to allowing other people to enslave them (Spartans did this).
Fear of death disposes people to tolerate abuse and oppression.
Consider white Americans, what do you see? You see fearful people who are afraid of death and, therefore, allow their criminal leaders to have a criminal political economy where a few have most of the money in society. The wealthy use their money to buy the allegiance of politicians, police, courts, judges and prisons; they use threat of killing people to keep the people obedient to their oppressive political system.
If the people were not afraid of harm and death they would rise and demand a rational political economy which would be something like what they have in Scandinavia, where society pays for all kids’ education through college and provides all people with publicly paid health care.
It is fear that makes people slaves. Where did that fear come from? Fear of death of ego and body? Seeing that we must all eventually die why are folks afraid of death?
This is where it makes sense to say that the people are afraid of dying because they think that they did something wrong, separated from God, and that God would send them to hell if they went back to God.
People did not separate from God; they are merely dreaming that they are separated from God; therefore, they are not guilty and should not fear God’s punishment.
As far as this world is concerned, people should love each other and stop their fear of death. This is my view.
The view of the bible and A course in miracles is that people should forgive those who wronged them, those who abused them.
I understand both the Bible and A course in miracles rationale for calling for forgiving wrong doers but, in my view, we must correct our wrongs. It is not enough for me to forgive you the wrong you did to me yesterday; I do not want you to do another wrong to me today.
I insist on correction of our tendency to do dreadful things to each other. It is not relevant to me whether we asked each other to do those wrong things to us because of our existential guilt of separating from God and fear of God’s punishment.
In the here and now world, I know what is right. I like it when you love me; therefore, I should love you.
I have no business abusing you and you have no business abusing me. So, let us love and care for one another and stopped using psychobabble and or religion to explain away our evil behaviors.
I end by answering the question that I asked at the onset of this essay, should ex-slaves forgive their ex-slave masters, in the affirmative. Ex-slaves should forgive their ex-slave masters, but in the present insist that slavery should no longer be allowed.
Humankind has evolved beyond the primitive state of using other people to procure pleasure for themselves.
People ought to be at the evolutional level where they served their mutual social interests instead of exploiting people because of their fears of harm and death.
Ozodi Osuji January 15, 2022