Young, Gifted & Black in the BKWSU ...

for measuring opinion on matters relating to their BKWSU experiences
Forum rules A forum specifically for polls on any topic relating to Brahma Kumaris. Anyone can vote here or discussion the poll. General conversion about the issues is best kept to the Commonroom.

Do you find yourself in this birth as a BK / ex-BK soul in black body?

Yes
4
17%
No
20
83%
 
Total votes : 24

  • Message
  • Author
Offline
User avatar

abrahma kumar

friends or family of a BK

  • Posts: 1133
  • Joined: 23 Jun 2006

Young, Gifted & Black in the BKWSU ...

Post19 May 2007

Elsewhere on the forum one might bump into the following segment:
"abe, this is off topic and the subject of another topic we have somewhere on the forum, are you black bodied, and if so, how black? "

Because of which I started to wonder about the relevance or otherwise of a discussion around
"black experiences within the BKWSU "

The poster, whilst confessing NON-black racial origins, nonetheless defied
"anyone NOT to get the shivers when listening to wholehearted, classic Motown music or soul."

And then 2 further questions were asked:
"What is that and how do we understand it."

I apologise for any redundancy of effort that may come about through starting this one notwithstanding that there may be one elsewhere on the forum but the thought was to initiate something on the basis of those questions addressed to me accompanied by a poll.
Offline
User avatar

abrahma kumar

friends or family of a BK

  • Posts: 1133
  • Joined: 23 Jun 2006

Post19 May 2007

Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the stuff being discussed on this site but mention of colour black with reference to racial origins/calssifications has cought your attention. No doubt you noticed the rather strange language used in the title and in the quoted question i.e. "are you black bodied?"

In explanation I offer that what non-BKs may see as an un-necessarily 'indirect' way of addressing the matter of race is symptomatic of a BKWSU student's understanding that primacy of identity is always given to the soul; one might term it "spiritual-correctness".

Consequently the questioner could have replaced the colour black with the colour white when trying to gain some idea as to the "possible dominant cultural/political influences" that an individual may bring with them upon the spiritual journey that student-life with the BKWSU offers. Capito?

So what of the BKWSU experience had by those souls in black-body? And more inclusively perhaps, what of the Godly experiences had by those souls in black-body? (hope you agree that there could be a difference worth pursuing. Let's see.)

Is the experience any different from that of any other racial group? Or wider still perhaps, does an elevated spiritual consciousness/way of life require the individual to 'rise above race' to the extent that any useful cultural influences and perspectives get rubbed-out? To borrow the posters term "black-bodied souls" can we find out whether they feel somewhat glossed over by being regarded as a part of a homogenous "double-foreign" grouping?

The BKWSU has a presence in many countries of Caribbean and Africa where the population is majority black/brown skinned. Does the organisation operate differently in these regions say from many of the countries in Europe where although individuals of a darker skin may reside they are in the minority?

Should be enought to start something going ...

Om Shanti.
Offline
User avatar

ex-l

ex-BKWSU

  • Posts: 9582
  • Joined: 07 Apr 2006

BBBKs

Post19 May 2007

abrahma Kumar wrote:No doubt you noticed the rather strange language used in the title and in the quoted question i.e. "are you black bodied?" ... The BKWSU has a presence in many countries of Caribbean and Africa where the population is majority black/brown skinned. Does the organisation operate differently in these regions say from many of the countries in Europe where although individuals of a darker skin may reside they are in the minority?

Two things come to mind immediately (apart from Bob Marley for Bhog songs ... and why not!?!);
    the Bharatwasis at Abu have probably gotten used to the novelty factor of a black bodied BK [BBBK] but how does it translate into service or off the beaten track? Skin tone and caste are so wound up together in Indian culture. Are BBBKs used the same way the Aryan League BKs are to do VIP service? Do you feel patronized or used as a token? Does the BK in the West feel "White" rather than universal?

    The other is more spiritualistic. Many other seers have given each race, or even major civilisations, a different soul colour karmically grouping them together. That is, if we agree all soul is the same, something more to do with the spirit perhaps. What is the BK creation myth surrounding a black birth?
Dark skinned or black used to be synonymous with ugly, as in Shyam Sunder Krishna and I understand the Murlis have been 'politically-correctized' a little in this department.
Offline
User avatar

paulkershaw

ex-BK

  • Posts: 863
  • Joined: 11 Dec 2006
  • Location: South Africa

Post21 May 2007

abrahma Kumar wrote:Does the organisation operate differently in these regions say from many of the countries in Europe where although individuals of a darker skin may reside they are in the minority?

I used to go stay over in the SOWETO centre run by a 'black-bodied' Brother whom I still know but who is no longer in Gyan ... Rules and regulations were exactly the same as anywhere else I've been in the world.
Offline
User avatar

ex-l

ex-BKWSU

  • Posts: 9582
  • Joined: 07 Apr 2006

Post21 May 2007

Athough I am tempted to lighten things up and break into song ... or at least propose an alternative Top 10 Bhog song hits (Number 1; "One love" by Bob Marley), I will try and be serious.

In these later days, but I would still only say in a few big cities and not all countries there is cultural mixing (e.g. I do not see so much interracial relationships going on in the US); historically, the time that black and Indian mainly met was when the later were used as slightly higher in ranking servants to the former by the British Empire. Within that context, I am reminded of a Gandhian quote of his time in South Africa that (in approximation), "the Whites looked down at the blacks, the Blacks looked down at the Whites ... and the Indians looked down at both of them". I would say that is still true. I think Indian culture looks down at Black, probably not even seeing that it does have a cultural at all. (Imagine an Indian girl wanting to marry a Black guy, ha!)

In comparison, I would say that BK 'looks' pretty good on the surface. As long as every one is high, its a regular United Nations in action. I am really wondering at large how different cultures and racial feel within the mainly Indian cultural reference points.

Caucasians could, at a push, claim some heritage in their Aryan roots. It is said that white culture goes back to the Indus. Additionally, for the British there are clear historical relationships even if they are not shared with other nationalities. But, from a lokik/genetic point of view, there is a whole 'Mother Africa', cradle of humanity thing going on. Science claims that humanity walked out of Africa ... not India. I suppose from that point of view, we are all Africans. But "Roots" and Black has always meant Africa.

'Black spirituality' appears to have a very different expression. White BKs seem to go through this phase of "being Indian" You have all seen it. Do Black BKs? How does it feel fitting in? How do the Seniors relate to BBBK? How does Roots and "Mother India" feel to you? Has Baba told you there would be islands where the service centers in Africa are where you can feel comfortable? Is BK service in Africa aimed an Indians there? How does the BK to Black cross over happen?

One thing I would throw out is I think there was a connection between Indian and African mysticism in the Caribbean. When you look at what became Rasta and what remains of ganga smoking, dreadlocked Saddhus, one is left asking if there was some interconnection there on the islands.

One Love by Bob Marley, Curtis Mayfield
Marley & Mayfield wrote:Let's get together and feel all right
Hear the children crying (One love)
Hear the children crying (One heart)
Sayin', "Give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right."
Sayin', "Let's get together and feel all right."
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa

Let them all pass all their dirty remarks (One love)
There is one question I'd really love to ask (One heart)
Is there a place for the hopeless sinner
Who has hurt all mankind just to save his own?
Believe me

One love, one heart
Let's get together and feel all right
As it was in the beginning (One love)
So shall it be in the end (One heart)
Alright, "Give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right."
"Let's get together and feel all right."
One more thing

Let's get together to fight this Holy Armageddon (One love)
So when the Man comes there will be no, no doom (One song)
Have pity on those whose chances grow thinner
There ain't no hiding place from the Father of Creation

Sayin', "One love, one heart
Let's get together and feel all right."
I am pleading to mankind (One love)
Oh, Lord (One heart) Whoa.

"Give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right."
Let's get together and feel all right.
Offline
User avatar

ex-l

ex-BKWSU

  • Posts: 9582
  • Joined: 07 Apr 2006

Post21 May 2007

This is way beyond Gyan ... but what made "Black", e.g. split the human genes to create negroid type? And is there anything that could determine a Black birth (as broad as that karma might be!)?
Offline
User avatar

abrahma kumar

friends or family of a BK

  • Posts: 1133
  • Joined: 23 Jun 2006

Young, Gifted & Black in the BKWSU ...

Post22 May 2007

Thanks for sharing. I vote for the late Bob Marley for ANY songs.

ex-l, maybe some BBBK can come forward and explore the question you ask bout ... "how it translates into service or off the beaten track".

However, in the meantime, I have often wondered whether the BKWSU is missing a trick by ignoring the different cultural perspectives the pre-date its' arrival in the foreign lands that it sets up its' service places in. However is not it the system that 'a local contact' in a particular country offers the BKs a 'sanctuary' or 'opens doors' so the that programs can be held; and over time + the growth of a 'regular student population' a base for BKWSU activity is eventually established?

If this is still the pattern, will it not be up to the 'locals' themselves to work with the BKWSU appointed center-in-charge to explore the viability of 'slanting' the less doctrinal BK discourses in a direction that incorporates 'local' and commonly appreciated 'icons' and 'folklore'? So, if the local's do not see connections between their own 'homespun' wisdom/popular culture and BKWSU teachings, then the Organisation will always proceed to encourage us to clad ourselves in white kurta pyjamas so that for all intents and purposes we become exotically flavoured bharatwasis; and this 'bharatwasification' will apply wherever the BKWSU turns up. Therefore is not it up to the student population to do something about changing this if there is a feeling that any one group (in the BROADEST sense of the word) is being overlooked or mis-represented in or by the Yagya? Or is this a politically correct stance that has nothing to do with Spirituality.

Anyway this is pure conjecture on my part so we await a BBBK to come forward and put us in the know. Has there not been a big BKWSU "Serve Africa" initiative afoot since these past 2 years or so? Besides this I hear that there is a BKWSU 'Kindness in Communities' outreach initiative in London, England geared towards newly arrived immigrant populations, especially refugees and other socially deprived groups. I am sure that souls in black-body feature prominently amongst that broad target audience. I wonder whether there are any statistics on the number of these people who have become BKs? Maybe one of them is reading this post and would like to share something about the BBBK experience?

OS
Offline
User avatar

abrahma kumar

friends or family of a BK

  • Posts: 1133
  • Joined: 23 Jun 2006

Re: BBBKs

Post22 May 2007

ex-l wrote:Skin tone and caste are so wound up together in Indian culture.

Neither are we to overlook the premium that is placed (misplaced?) on lighter shades of blackness and un-kinking of the hair that can be evidenced within the Black diaspora itself. I mention this with reference to historical fact and contemporary trends. Why I remember back-in-the-day when some of my firend's mothers would go to the hairdressers and get their hair 'pressed' with a heated iron comb and then set in curlers ;) so that it could be styled in the manner of those ladies in the magazines.
ex-l wrote:Are BBBKs used the same way the Aryan League BKs are to do VIP service? Do you feel patronized or used as a token? Does the BK in the West feel "White" rather than universal?

Come on BBBK's share with us whether you feel that the BKWSU system utilises you on the basis of appearance in this way? And as for whether BK feels "White"? My guess would be that the BKWSU does not feel white to a BBBK resident in the West. But for sure there aint much that is 'rootsy' about the BKWSU, except for that which a particular student gleans in her/his own churning of Baba's knowledge. I used to listen on in amazement to hear some students comment about the dearth of BBBK in the and around the centres that i went to. I would chuckle to myself remembering Baba's often stated remark to us in the Murli "blah, blah, blah is not like going to your aunty's home'. Imagine a great influx of souls in black body to the BKWSU whereupon they find that they are being tutored to become soul conscious rather than soulfully conscious!

Talking of which I observed a Brother one year in Madhuban resplendent in his dreadlocks; next time i saw him there he did not even have an afro! "Wah Baba", I said to myself, "Raja Yoga mek de Brother fire the locks dem! Or was it a Dadi who made that?" OOooppppsss!

Anyway, ites to all the Dread and One love all the time because you know seh dat dread is in the heart and not upon the head, Jah Rastafari! Ever-living, Ever-faithful, Ever-Sure.

I do not think that the BK's do 'tokens' very well. Remember that this very much depends on the intellect of the individual selected to co-ordinate a particular activity. So if they have a limited vision towards anything chances are that the 'product' will also reflect that.

I might be talking absolute rubbish here but i think that that the BKWSU systems typically encourage souls that show an ability to communicate across 'classes/gender' rather than "inter-racially". With the absence of any real training in the BKWSU it is therefore very much down to a particular soul's God given talents. The more aptitude a soul seems to have as a communicator/speaker - allied of course with dept of understanding Baba's knowledge - the more opportunities and invitations will come that soul's way (which reminds me that you can catch AbeK on a BKWSU platform in ... oh well sorry i cant blow my cover.)
ex-l wrote:The other is more spiritualistic. Many other seers have given each race, or even major civilisations, a different soul colour karmically grouping them together. That is, if we agree all soul is the same, something more to do with the spirit perhaps. What is the BK creation myth surrounding a black birth?

If there is a BK creation myth it has not been uncovered in my earshot ... yet! Shall we create one?! Why not share some more of your thoughts/knowledge on this score? I wwill think some too.
ex-l wrote:Dark skinned or black used to be synonymous with ugly, as in Shyam Sunder Krishna and I understand the Murlis have been 'politically-correctized' a little in this department.

Maybe I start here next time ...

Thanks for your input ex-l and Paul I enjoyed brainstorming those ideas.
Offline
User avatar

ex-l

ex-BKWSU

  • Posts: 9582
  • Joined: 07 Apr 2006

Re: BBBKs

Post22 May 2007

abrahma Kumar wrote:Talking of which I observed a Brother one year in Madhuban resplendent in his dreadlocks; next time I saw him there he did not even have an afro!

So what? He got his ear pulled that dreadlocks where "not serviceable" or "too body-conscious" ... would not surprise me. The SS kind of like everyone to look and act like Indian civil servants.
Offline
User avatar

john

reforming BK

  • Posts: 1563
  • Joined: 03 May 2006
  • Location: UK

Re: BBBKs

Post23 May 2007

ex-l wrote:[ The SS kind of like everyone to look and act like Indian civil servants.

I never really understood why they were fanatical about the short haired male 'kali yug' look, whilst displayng images of long haired Dieties.
Offline
User avatar

ex-l

ex-BKWSU

  • Posts: 9582
  • Joined: 07 Apr 2006

Re: BBBKs

Post23 May 2007

john wrote:fanatical about the short haired male 'kali yug' look, whilst displayng images of long haired Dieties.

Especially given that in most cultures, especially in the West from Rome until the beginning of the 20th Century, short-hair was the indicator for criminals, soliders, mercinaries and other undesirables and underclasses. Indeed, it was only the Crimea War, then WWI that brought short back and sides into fashion and then because of flea and lice.

For most cultures from the Greek, to Sikh, to Viking, to Native American, long hair was a symbol of a man's strength and position within society. Perhaps that is it, shorn of locks is shorn of identity, and "ego" as the BKs call it. Less faffing about come cold water bucket baths, mind you ...
Offline

di

friends or family of a BK

  • Posts: 137
  • Joined: 20 Feb 2007
  • Location: Australia

Post23 May 2007

Give me a Sampson man, but I wont be Delilah. :D

Shear off the locks, you shear off a man's strength, so the story goes.
Offline
User avatar

abrahma kumar

friends or family of a BK

  • Posts: 1133
  • Joined: 23 Jun 2006

Re: BBBKs

Post23 May 2007

ex-l wrote:So what? He got his ear pulled that dreadlocks where "not serviceable" or "too body-conscious" ... would not surprise me. The SS kind of like everyone to look and act like Indian civil servants.

Hi ex-l, the "So what?" question at the start of your post threw me a little. I referenced the dreadlocks story here in an attempt to illustrate the potential dangers when one calls out, simplistically, for programs "targeting certain groups" (to increase numbers in-house aka 'tokenism') without ensuring that those group members will be entering a truly inclusive atmosphere. Of course, each one of us ought to be the master of our own destiny and for all I know that Brother may have been relieved to get rid of the dreads. In which case more power to him.

If it was your way of expressing surprise at my surprise over the incident then it may be a sign that I am still a little naive about some of the BKWSU ways. Much appreciated the feedback anyway; and apologies if the 'dreadlocks' story somehow clouded the 'purpose' of this topic.
Offline
User avatar

ex-l

ex-BKWSU

  • Posts: 9582
  • Joined: 07 Apr 2006

Re: BBBKs

Post23 May 2007

abrahma Kumar wrote:Hi ex-l, the "So what?" question at the start of your post threw me a little.

Bad grammar on my behalf. I meant, "So what happened, did he have his ears pulled?". Not, "So what!", as in "It is of no importance". Hope that clarifies.
Offline
User avatar

abrahma kumar

friends or family of a BK

  • Posts: 1133
  • Joined: 23 Jun 2006

Re: BBBKs

Post23 May 2007

ex-l wrote:Bad grammar on my behalf. I meant, "So what happened, did he have his ears pulled?". Not, "So what!", as in "It is of no importance". Hope that clarifies.

Thanks for the feedback and it sure does clarify things ex-l. I too mentioned it in the spirit of clarity and respect for both yourself and the forum. Regards
Next

Return to Polls

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest