My recent post on self-love was viewed by hundreds of people. A bunch of folks commented or wrote me personally to tell me they appreciated what I shared.
As I read their engaging, thoughtful and supportive comments, a curious pattern emerged:
They are all white men.
They are straight. They are gay. They are old. They are young. They are European. They are American. They are musicians. They are artists. They are writers. They are academics. They are white. They are male.
Every last one of them.
How–and why–could this be?
This is all the more peculiar as the post mostly delves into beauty and body image. I mean, I’m giving out tips for styling natural hair and *white men* are my number one co-signers?!
I’ve thought of various sociological explanations: the politics of white male privilege, the topics I explore in this space, the fact that my audience is still building (and probably predominately white). In all likelihood, my sample size is too small to draw any conclusions. Perhaps it’s just the luck of the draw. But I doubt it. The white men I’ve interacted with through this blog have consistently engaged in a such a high level of spiritual, intellectual and emotional exchange that it begs the question: Do my musings only resonate with this demographic? And if so, how did I get to this place in my life?
People of color do sometimes reach out to me about the blog–but almost always in private. They call. They write. And while they have expressed appreciation, their enthusiasm never reaches the passionate heights of White Male Appreciation. I suppose there are worse problems a black woman can face than being shown love by white men, but something about the lack of colored voices here troubles me.
19 thoughts on “White Men”
My humble , opinion, there seems to be a whole history of reasons why black voices may appear or Indeed be somewhat latent,or are not as openly celebrated or as privately valued as White counterparts. There has not always been a broad social platform for a genuine exchange of our emotional ethos, or a willingness to step on one. I think it takes some major reconditioning, if not real courage, to speak your truth in public spaces or applaud when other do – particularly for us social skeptics or internet intolerent who quite often lack the intestinal fortitude to take the leap of exposing our real feelings an the oblique world. There’s a vulnerability factor unique to Black culture here that may on some level still inform our individual and collective attitudes toward having something worthy enough to say and respected enough to be heard. To which I say-, that is no fault of your own…keep on with your go long.
I don’t know.. black people and other people of color post and comment a lot on many blogs, just not mine (yet). Do you think it’s the subject matter? If I blogged more about race, for example, would it make a difference?
Oh my God Crystal…”…in such high level of spiritual, intellectual and emotional exchange…”
Yeah, and this is happening everywhere. Just see what’s going on in the so called “Satsang”…
99.99 per cent of the people are: white, from middle class, normally young, without kids & job…
And right now, at least 50 per cent, they come from ex “communist ” country.
Russia, Poland, Rumenia, Ukreina, and so on…Interesting really sociological question…
It is so, Crys. It is so. Or this is it. I have some “opinions” obviously, and it doesn’t matter.
Ben Smythe sent a clip some months ago about that, unfortunately he deleted that.
Last statement was more or less:
“Tribes from New Guinea, Australia, Afrika, they don’t know anything about Advaita,
Awakening, Enlightenment, Advanta Vedanta, Consciousness: Are they missing something?”
We are seven billion guys on this Planet, and the same stuff I can say in my small village,
three thousand people, no one know Mooji, Adyashanti, Crystal Fleming, so funny…
they even do not know me, hahahaha…Are they missing something?
And look at Ben Smythe, His videos have an average of 500 viewers…and we are 7billions.
6.999.999.500 are missing something?
The miracle is here and now, the miracle is you, the miracle is me.
Just from a email from Paul, right now:
It’s a game!
We have come here and to play this game to get different perspectives.
So can you see? – not appropriate to take it seriously!
(Unless you want to.)
“Thou Are That.” And This. Both. And neither.
You have taken this identity, this machine, this robot,
in which to reside, to have experiences.
You came here to play and evolve this game.
Crys, love, it is so. This is it.
And I Love You.
Your opinions do matter and I would like to hear them.. why are Mooji’s audience full of white Westerners??
“Why are Mooji’s audience full of white Westerners?”
Hi…Ok, the main reason is so simple: He is a Someone (and please forget just for a while
all the Adavaita non-sense, I don’t exist, I am a No-one, ecc. ecc.)
Mooji has something to share.
He is a rare, very rare man. He walks in the same way he talks.
People can hear, feel, connect, agree or disagree, love or hate, him…and we know…
The same with you, Crystal. Why am I following you, your blog?
Forget for a moment a so obvious fact: You are a pretty woman, so sexy, young.
It doesn’t matter, really.
You have something to share. This is the reason.
There is a light, an aura, a shimmering, an high level of frequency vibrations
in your sharing.
Impossible don’t see that.
You are a rare woman. Honest, vulnerable, full open heart, grounded in life.
And never safe, sure and predictable. I love your “not knowing.”
Now the topic.
There are three interesting points to work out:
Sociological, Psychological, and Economical. And many more levels.
I like to share my experiences with my former Guru, in the Seventies.
Rajineesh (osho) was very famous already in India.
In all the Sixties, thousand and thousand of Indian followed his Satsang.
He talked in Hindi at the time. No Westerners at all.
In 1970 some brave Westerners joined him in Bombay.
The glorious time at Woodland Apartments.
In few years, people from all the World came to meet the Man.
Interesting, at the beginning, 50% of them were Jews, many from The States.
Therapist, Psychoanalist,Group Leaders, and so on.
People involved with Freud, Jung, Assaggioli, Reich.
People involved with Encounteers Group, working with Fritz Pearls, Ericksson, ecc.
People involved with “Arica Moviment”, from Oscar Ichazo and Claudio Naranjo.
This was the target.
The other 50% came from country involved in the Second War World.
From Germany (a lot), Italy (many) and Japan (many).
The looser. It was the first generation after the war.
Sense of guilty in the DNA, specially for the Germans.
And the winner, the lovely English, Aussie, New Zelanders guys.
Few, very few from France. They have had a Zen tradition, they don’t need Osho.
And we were all young. We needed to work with Sex, basically.
We was looking for Ecstasy, looking for Freedom, looking for Sex.
And The Man was an Explosion, really.
And most of the people came from very rich family, white, conservative.
Parents sent money for years at the orange guys, and over all, at that time,
to live in India was very very cheap.
Even in my case, I come from a very poor family, I have started to work
a fifteen years old, it was easy.
In Europe at that time, it was so easy to find a job, and the money was good.
It was possible to work for six months, and with the money then go to India,
and to stay for one year, and maybe more.
I did it for seven years, now I have problem with my Italian Pension System, hahahaha…
Fuck, all my brothers and friends are getting a good pension,
the poor Giorgio needs to work until 66, hahahahaha, it is so, hahahaha…
With the beloved Mooji, more or less is the same.
Just people come from ex-communist country,
for the simple reason that they have missed the seventies.
it was not freedom at the time in the USSR, I guess.
And nothing really change, they come from rich family from
Moscow or Saint Peterburg, white and conservative again.
Parents sending money to them, to go to India, for satsang, and so on.
And India right now, isn’t so cheap, hahahaha…
Here in Europe we have the big economical crisis, you know.
With the money I got in one month, just enough to pay rent, bills, and you know.
And now we have Internet, Youtube, and Skipe, it seems less emergency
to go to India to listen again again and again the same stuff.
One thing, and it feels so good, is changing.
Young people seem more mature, more conscious, more awake than us,
the old sannyasin seekers. And this is great.
So for Mooji is relative easy working with them.
They seem ready to go deeply in the fundamental question:
“Who Am I?”
And even the project in Sahaja Mountain, Portugal seems to be
more grounded, rooted, who knows, maybe it would works…
If I think about the disaster of Rajneeshpuram in Oregon, hahahahaha…
Why black people do not follow you on your blog?
I do not know, babe, I don’t.
And colours are just another immagination, after all.
Never thought about your skin colour, really.
Is Mooji black, really?
Oh my God Crys, never never before I wrote a so long mail ,
in English over all, hahahahaha, and it feels so good!
Ah, Daniela likes you, and thanks you, hahahaha!
Ah, something more…
Daniela, my (ex)girlfriend, German, white, fifty years old, mother of two, headchief in a big corporation (fifty men under her), always always always tells me:
“If I need an high level of spiritual, intellectual, emotional sharing, I will come to you.
If I need high and big sex, I gonna with the first black man I will meet on the street.”
A Zen Bitch Slap?
Definitely a bitch slap.
Huh, that’s really interesting. I have no idea though why that would be the case. Especially with regard to the lack of female readers, I would have thought your blog would really appeal to women interested in non dualism, spirituality, mindfulness ect!
“In most cases, when you say “I,” it is the ego speaking, not you, as we have seen. It consists of thought and emotion, of a bundle of memories you identify with as “me and my story,” of habitual roles you play without knowing it, of collective identifications such as nationality, religion, race, social class, or political allegiance. It also contains personal identifications, not only with possessions, but also with opinions, external appearance, long-standing resentments, or concepts of yourself as better than or not as good as others, as a success or failure.” – Eckhart Tolle
Tao Te Ching: http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/core9/phalsall/texts/taote-v3.html
Beautiful summary of “I AM THAT”: http://www.nonduality.com/asmi.htm
I’ve read that passage many times. Would you like to share your thoughts?
Sure. I don’t see a need to pigeonhole the readers into a “type”. These labels appear to divide rather than unite. Fragmenting the audience, and also creating a division between yourself and them.
Others might deem me “a person of colour”, but I don’t see myself as such. I believe it’s best to move beyond race, while not ignoring the bigotry that remains in the minds of many. One can challenge the illusion and the injustice that often follows with it, without giving the illusion added credence by identifying and others with it.
I like your blog, just my two cents.
Before I reply in greater detail, do you also feel the need to move beyond gender – or do you just feel that way about race? If this post had just said that men were more active commenters on my blog than women, would your ego have felt as triggered?
Yes, I feel that gender can shackle one into roles and incline one to project expectations upon others. That one is a tough one to move beyond since it is based on a polar biological reality rather than the melanin level of one’s skin.
“Do my musings only resonate with this demographic? And if so, how did I get to this place in my life? ”
Can you elaborate what you mean by demographic? I guess this is what triggered my comment. The possibility that any feedback is not simply a authentic expression of resonance from one person to another, but a representation of a larger “group”. Also why it appears to make you uneasy. Do you question the authenticity of the responses? Do you feel those commenters have another agenda and attempting to impress you? How much weight do you place on race as identity towards yourself and others.? Can we move beyond race while still identifying as part of some race? Can we move beyond it without denying history and existing bigotry? I believe so in the last question, although it can be tricky.
On a lighter note, imagine somebody said, “You know I really get along with those TAACCCGAAC people… it’s those CAACTTAAGT are the ones you gotta keep an eye on!! ” 😉
Peace and Happy Holidays!
Hello again! My apologies for taking so long to respond. I wanted to wait until I no longer felt “triggered” by your post. I was annoyed to have to explain something that I take for granted.. and I also think my ego is so easily triggered around your questions because the topic of collective identification, ethnoracial categories and nondual spirituality is quite close to my heart and has been the subject of my own ruminations, readings, conversations and meditations for the past year. I’m also a scholar who works on race and ethnicity, so it is something I’ve given a great deal of thought to, and I would not want to just respond to your queries with a knee-jerk reaction.
Let me respond to some of your points below:
>Yes, I feel that gender can shackle one into roles and incline one to project expectations upon others. That one is a tough one to move beyond since it is based on a polar biological reality rather than the melanin level of one’s skin.<
I don't feel that gender is any more or less difficult to "move beyond" than any other kind of ostensible difference. From a nondual spiritual perspective, all egoic identification is illusory and all boundaries are imagined constructions. The essential insight (and experience) of oneness (for me) is such that I understand, intuitively and on a level that is beyond concepts – that perceived separation is not real. This spiritual perspective is the baseline and context for anything else I do or say – and while my use of group categories might seem to be in opposition to the fact of oneness, in actuality, there is no contradiction.
References to group categories and individual distinctions in this world are important for practical purposes as well as for understanding, describing and navigating social life. For me, the crucial thing is that I do not take these categories and distinctions *seriously* – in the strongest sense of the term. That is – I think they are useful and important in some contexts and relevant for understanding various aspects of the social world – especially power relations – and our subjective experiences – but they do not *define* my understanding of who I am or who we are as beings in this world.
Even when I use references to identities and categories in an egoic way, it is done in a self-consciously egoic way. That is: when I speak "as" a black person, a bisexual person, a woman, an American, a person with a certain aesthetic, family history, ethnic tradition, cultural practices, spiritual perspectives, and any combination of these perspectives – I am doing so with the full knowledge that who I "really" am – and who you really are – is not defined by any of these particularities.
This is why – I suspect – when I talk about "white men" on this blog, the nondualists who have closely followed this blog and happen to also be white men don't find offense in this.. because they know where I'm coming from and what I mean (and don't mean) by such terms. I think it's arbitrary to be triggered by the use of ethnoracial terms but not triggered by collective references to gender, nationality, sexuality or — frankly — individual names.
And yes, it would bother "me" (my ego) if for some reason, women and people of color did not also find something useful and interesting in this blog. In principle, I would hope that my musings resonate with a broad range of folk. But at the end of the day, I also know and accept that I have no control over who digs what I write and I trust that whoever is supposed to be reading, responding and engaging with me *is* doing so.
I hope this makes sense to you. Warm wishes & happy new year 🙂
Thanks for the thoughtful response, and hope you had wonderful holidays. 🙂
And I’m glad you like the blog.. you are most welcome here 🙂
Hi Chrystal ! I’m a writer-poet in Indiana and I enjoy your blog. I guess you can add me to your growing list of white male followers ! 🙂 I like your sense of spirituality and the way you incorporate different religions and philosophies into your outlook on things. I tend to get morose and have a low self-image, so your ideas about improving ones body and spirit appeal to me. If you have time someday, please visit my poetry blog. I hope you are half as inspired as I am by your writing. Have a Merry Christmas ! :)……… Jeff Littrell
Hi Jeff! Many thanks for your post and warmest wishes to you. Glad you found the blog – I look forward to interacting with you here. So glad that you found the musings on self-image helpful.. body image is something we all struggle with. Can you post the link to your poetry blog?
Here is the link… http://digthroughlife.wordpress.com/ Thanks for responding ! You are really talented. Have a great weekend ! 🙂