In her work "Soul Talk," Hull explores the role of spirituality regarding racism and injustices orchestrated toward African American women. She observes that many black women have opted to embrace the new age practices of Christianity that include meditation, Tarot reading and use of modalities as natural alters. The new spirituality embraces the traditions of the African American communities and is considered to contain very much of the black women's customs. When Hull is conducting her research, she includes detailed interviews where she gathers facts from black women on how racism has shaped their spirituality and how their faith can be used to overcome the racial divisions in the society. According to Hull "spirituality should be a tool for compacting racism and injustice" (81). In this regard, we can view the black women spirituality as one which is anchored in esoteric, and universal, but at the same time deeply rooted in the body and the material world. From the reading, it can be understood that most African American women tend to reject the notion of the supernatural beings and a world that cannot be seen as a mean to confront their challenges. Instead, these women look at the physical world and attribute most of the happenings to the politics, social and cultural injustices.
The injustices in the physical world contribute significantly to how black American women view religion and spirituality. Masani Alexis DeVeaux indicates that in the world as it is, the unfair treatment of the black people can only be undone by introducing changes to the current political, social and economic system of governance. She blames the educational system for her daughter's inability to understand the black people's history and shifts the blame to the teachers who are employed by the government. She claims that the teachers allocate much time to the already bright students and neglect the struggling students. Such injustices can create anger and resentment towards other people, and unless something is done to remedy the problems, the attainment of spiritual fulfillment cannot be achieved. The definition of spirituality among the black people who have been oppressed should entail a broader view of the events that happen in our lives. Any other view that only seeks to indicate spirituality as a world that is supernatural should be rejected as false and narrow. It is only after we rectify the injustices done in the real world can we achieve spiritual completeness.
The other vital observation that can be noted in the course of the readings is the interconnectedness of the material world with the spiritual world. According to Hull, "we are all connected to everyone and everything" (99). The spiritual consciousness acts as the epicenter where all the meaningful human connections take place. These connections join our physical world to the material world and the love that we share tickles from the spiritual completeness. The idea is based on the fact that despite all the physical differences and appearances there is a larger, stronger and invisible bond that holds everything together. This bond makes all the human race the same, and it provides a space for both science and religion towards a path of divinity. This path is the defining reality towards the achievement of complete spirituality and for anyone to achieve the total completeness they need to look beyond the physical body and deep into their souls.
To make sure that humans achieve a state whereby the external factors cease to be the primary factor for consideration when seeking spirituality, I would urge people to maintain an all-embracing oneness. The main hindrance in the modern world that prevents people from being interconnected is the tendency to look at each other on the spectrum of race, age, and gender. However, humans need to understand that when our physical bodies die, our spiritual being reunite with each other and the material status is all gone. Based on this reasoning, it defeats logic to segregate people based on material consideration. The hatred that we feel towards each other acts as a shield that inhibits our souls from connecting to one another and thus prevents humans from achieving peace, love, and harmony. Hull observes that sometimes, regardless of the fact that humans should forgive one another, they are unable to do so because of some historical injustices orchestrated towards other people. She gives an example of Geraldine who expresses her hate towards the white people because when she was growing up as a black woman, she was exposed to the cruel treatment of segregation and spurious discrimination (Hull, 100). But she indicates that regardless of all that, she is still able to witness an all-inclusive love and nonexclusive unity. This desire to love other people regardless of the inhumane treatment is not a sign of being naive or stupid, but it's a perfect example of what God's love is all about and proves spiritual completeness.
In conclusion, it can be determined that we are all equal before the eyes of God. Looking at each other through the spectrum of age, the color of the skin, gender or places of origin does not only betray the religious teachings and human values, but it stops us from achieving spiritual completeness. The hate that humans direct towards people who are seen to be different takes away the chance of creating deep human connections.
Hull, Akasha G. Soul Talk: The New Spirituality of African American Women. Inner Traditions, 2001.
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