White Silence, Sacrifice & Doing the Right Thing

I do not remember the year I began saying on social media, in many different ways,  Black Lives Matter. But I do remember what happened when I did. Friends were lost, of course. But it was the loss of family that disappointed me most. 

I spent every summer and thanksgiving with my Italian family in Chicago. We ate. Laughed. Ate again. Shared stories. We especially loved ghost stories. As an only child, those gatherings filled me up with a sense of togetherness and connection that defined family for me.

There were also times I knew racism existed in my family. There were comments about the violence in black neighborhoods as they lived safely in white neighborhoods. There were some inappropriate “jokes” and the n-word used freely to describe a certain nut. There was the narrative about how “blacks took over our neighborhood”- the south side of Chicago. There was, “Is he black?” every time I met a new guy.

When I got pregnant at 19 with a black man I was afraid to tell my Chicago family. Surprisingly, they were more supportive than I feared. I thought, maybe my daughter and I would be accepted. 

Fast forward to the time I started speaking out against police brutality and white privilege. The family list decreased. Heated discussions took place on timelines. More family fell off the list. But those were just the distant cousins. Then the sickness spread to the first cousins. Ignorant memes were shared and one was specifically called out by my husband, my daughter and myself. When that happened, not only was I unfriended and blocked, but so was my daughter and my husband. I called on the entire family to speak up. To stand for my family. To be the family they so proudly admire.

One called and talked over me about how my daughter is also white and how she was not raised to be racist. Another called and didn’t mention it at all. The rest: silent. Today, even after a few more white people have chosen to be awakened by the lie of white supremacy and the reality of white terrorism, they remain SILENT.

The motto of our family, as told by my father, is to do your duty/to do the right thing.

I asked of my family to do their duty, to do the right thing, to live by our motto, to actually stand for famiglia. Instead they choose to be dutiful to the lie of white supremacy. They choose to be complicit. They choose not to sacrifice comfort and being right. They choose to shy away from conflict. They choose silence. Because of this they have willingly sacrificed members of their own family— the ones that obviously weren’t fully accepted. And, of course they would adamantly disagree.

I too have willingly sacrificed these people, and the day I chose to do so was the day I knew exactly where I stood and what I was willing to sacrifice to do so. It was my duty. It was, and continues to be, the right thing to do, and I do it proudly.

A white woman on Twitter asked how she can be an ally without risk. The black woman she asked responded: Good luck. As Allie (above) said, if you aren’t willing to lose friends AND as I’ve experienced— family, then you are not ready for what this journey of dismantling the lie of white supremacy will require of you.

My ask then of we white people is this: do your duty, do the right thing and get yourself ready. And do it knowing there is no amount of sacrifice, not enough apologies, no amount of money or anything that is of value to you that can make up for centuries of white terror and white silence. Our awakening beyond this false construct of whiteness is way past due.

Re Post: White Spaces~ A Mother’s Reckoning

Original post from August, 2019

The parade in our town today clarified what I have done as a white woman with bi-racial children…

To all the times I brought my children to white spaces, moved to white neighborhoods, enrolled them in white schools- I am sorry and deeply ashamed of my ignorance.

I feel it now, more than ever- these words: “white supremacy is not a shark; it is the water. “ Guante

I get a small taste of the terror and discomfort, the trauma of being a brown body in this water. I am angry, which is a privilege of white skin, at the levels of energy it takes to accommodate and appease this white nonsense- to play nice in white work places- and can only imagine their exhaustion.

I feel this whiteness in a way I never have and I’m horrified. As though I’ve fully awakened from a spell that made me live as if this water was made for everyone. It’s not.

This awakening was and is a process that I want ALL white people to be responsible for. To believe in white superiority, to attach to whiteness is one of the biggest lies ever believed. It will crush those who don’t realize this. And so be it because the water is changing.

To my children, I wish I had understood sooner. It was thoughtlessly out of touch of me to be blind to this part of you. I fell in love with a black man. I wanted a family. I believe in the divine within us and most of your upbringing I ignored your experience as also a human being in brown skin, barely swimming in this water, but mostly isolated and struggling not to drown in it.

No apology can erase the impact of this. And I’m not here to give false hopes and promises in a nation still deeply young and divided, struggling to know itself. But I do see you and hold the space for all of you and all of your experiences more than I ever have, and it is my deepest desire that this water nourishes, supports and allows for splashing, deep dives and takes you to wherever you want to go.

~Mom

The Soul Reporter

Re Post: White Spaces~ A Mother’s Reckoning

Original post from August, 2019

The parade in our town today clarified what I have done as a white woman with bi-racial children…

To all the times I brought my children to white spaces, moved to white neighborhoods, enrolled them in white schools- I am sorry and deeply ashamed of my ignorance.

I feel it now, more than ever- these words: “white supremacy is not a shark; it is the water. “ Guante

I get a small taste of the terror and discomfort, the trauma of being a brown body in this water. I am angry, which is a privilege of white skin, at the levels of energy it takes to accommodate and appease this white nonsense- to play nice in white work places- and can only imagine their exhaustion.

I feel this whiteness in a way I never have and I’m horrified. As though I’ve fully awakened from a spell that made me live as if this water was made for everyone. It’s not.

This awakening was and is a process that I want ALL white people to be responsible for. To believe in white superiority, to attach to whiteness is one of the biggest lies ever believed. It will crush those who don’t realize this. And so be it because the water is changing.

To my children, I wish I had understood sooner. It was thoughtlessly out of touch of me to be blind to this part of you. I fell in love with a black man. I wanted a family. I believe in the divine within us and most of your upbringing I ignored your experience as also a human being in brown skin, barely swimming in this water, but mostly isolated and struggling not to drown in it.

No apology can erase the impact of this. And I’m not here to give false hopes and promises in a nation still deeply young and divided, struggling to know itself. But I do see you and hold the space for all of you and all of your experiences more than I ever have, and it is my deepest desire that this water nourishes, supports and allows for splashing, deep dives and takes you to wherever you want to go.

~Mom

The Soul Reporter

Guest Post: As below, so below; as above.

By Louis DiVirgilio

The saying comes from Hermes, the Greek name for the Egyptian god Thoth.  The meaning is that our universe is not an anarchy, but is guided, from top downward by universal principles.  The higher reflects itself in the lower, and the lower is an expression of the higher.  All things are essentially linked; nothing is separate from anything else.  If we carefully search with acute awareness within our lives, we would find that our lives are built around the principle of hierarchy.  For example, our families are hierarchical; typically, the order is, father or mother as head, followed by children, grandparents, uncles and aunts, cousins.  Let’s look how schools are organized: board of education, superintendent, principle, vice-principle, counselors, teachers, coaches, students, support staff.  Probably the most familiar hierarchy pattern is the ‘organization chart” of directors, C.E.O.’s, Dept. V.P’s, and so on down the line.


Virtually all manner of systems and organizations are hierarchically structured.  In Nature, we see the same hierarchic principle expressed.  Here on our earth its,  humans, insect kingdom, plant kingdom, mineral kingdom.  If you read the ancient Greek Philosopher, Plato, you will find that he said, paraphrasing, that all things manifest, originate and have their equivalent representation in the realm of the ideal, which he termed, “‘nous.”  In Buddhism, all their principles and doctrines originate and unfold from the idea of “basic goodness.”  In the Christian Church, their hierarchic pattern is as follows: first, God the summit, then the Seraphim, then the Cherubim, then the Thrones, then the Dominations, Virtues, then Powers, the Principalities, the Arch-angles, then angles.  What we see operative within hierarchies is a pattern of movement from top or apex moving sequentially downward, in a descending order, like a latter. 

To continue reading, click here. http://ascendtheascent.blogspot.com/2020/05/as-above-so-below-as-below-so-above.html

Guest Post: we and the cosmos

By Lou DiVirgilio

What would you think, if I ask you to explain the workings of the Cosmos in relationship to us earthlings?  Do you believe there is a connection, and if so, how are we connected? Here is the dictionary definition of the cosmos: the universe considered as a harmonious and orderly system; a nebulous definition at best, no help there.

All societies are created out of the minds and ideas of human beings.  That there should not exit a direct causative relationship between the thoughts, conduct, and ideas of human beings, and our society, would be absurd.  Add to the above reason that human beings are, in composition, microcosmic representations of the macrocosm, and that relationship should begin to crystallize with  in you the kind of relationship that exists between you and the Cosmos. The knowledge of the processes and phases that function within human beings can be applied by direct analogy to the processes and phases on a larger scale, namely our human societies, and the Cosmos.

We humans, are primarily operating on a lower, animal level of our capacities, even though, in truth our total composition is capable of operating at an extremely high level. The animals have a certain ingrained instinct for letting other animals be, but because we humans place extraordinary attention on our minds and it’s thoughts, we intital our thoughts to move freely with no control, and thus strangle our higher capacities.  We become satisfied and entrenched within our lower perceptions.  These lower perceptions amalgamate into a certain stable, cliche truth, which in turn brings us a certain amount of reliable stability. We take our reality from our senses: sight, smell, hearing, taste, touch.  Our senses are a part of our material faculties, therefore they are objective, and present a physical reality.  However, our senses receive input on a multi-dimensional field, but consciously interpret only a fractional part.  For example, physics tells us that the total known range of light waves is from far infrared at .3 nanometers. Yet the average range of light waves, visible to our vision, is from 400 to 700 nanometers.  We therefor, see only the smallest fraction of what is going on.  Since our perceptions focus on a very small fraction of the comprehensive whole, our understanding is consequently greatly limited.  Therefore, we should not give our senses much credence.

To Continue reading, click on Lou’s blog.

COVID-19: An Intervention

Guest Post by Louis DiVirgilio

An intervention is an action becoming intentionally involved in a difficult situation, in order to improve it or preventing it from getting worse.  The Universe is moving to set the ground rules for a face to face reconing, with the assistance of the corona-19 virus, for us humans to take a deep look into the manner in which we have been living our lives. The virus is squeezing and tightening our boundaries, condensing our movements and freedom to the point of straggling our ability to move with freedom and ease within our own neighborhoods, while, trauma, fear, anxiety, and stress has unleashed its destabilizing affects upon our mental health.

This virus has opened and exposed the fact we humans are largely inwardly empty; we are relatively empty vessels.  There is no inner fullness from which to give to others, no inner richness of understanding through which we may receive and solve the problems confronting humanity, and thus helping ourselves and others.  Instead of unity and understanding there is opposition, strife, quarreling, and inevitable wretchedness, combined with rampant poverty, and unrelenting pain.

Continue reading here.

A Glimpse Ahead in the Days of COVID-19

In every home I’ve lived I have found a trail.

In my current home, it is a wooded trail— the Mississippi backwaters on one side and a junk yard on another. I’ve worked to ignore the latter. Although I appreciate the trees and the river, this trail is my least favorite of all the ones I’ve walked. And so I found another one that goes mostly through my neighborhood to a dirt road circling an abandoned lot edged with pine trees. In the last couple of weeks, I’ve taken to sitting under one of the pines, the one that now has a sign that reads: No Trespassing. Also ignored.

But today I needed the backwater trail. It is a short trail, made a bit longer if I take the narrow, tree root, moss filled one along the rivers edge. I took this route. On my way back to the neighborhood I noticed another trail with fresh black dirt and took steps. To my surprise it extended beyond the trail I have known and further, extended not only my walk but my time with the trees. As it ended in a familiar place, I felt grateful for the creation of a path I had wanted since I moved here.

During COVID-19, other than moving from panic to calm, panic to calm, I’ve observed people in my life and the ones I see on my essential runs, and notice how they are responding to this pandemic. My father, for instance, finds hope in the blades of green grass sprouting in a newly dug out hole in the ground. Another laughs loudly with the gas station attendant saying, “Well you know we are all going to get it.” My mother texts daily from her assisted living facility, “Is everyone at home now?” Or today, “Prince Charles has the virus.” Sadly, others have become more self-centered, ego-centric, individualistic and shut down.

As for me—today, on my walk I found a new path that shows me the life road I am currently on. The soil is fresh. It has not been traveled yet. It comes as a surprise, and yet offers what I have been seeking for a very long time. It tells me if I venture to take a new path, even while things are falling apart and feel unstable, I will arrive in a familiar place, feeling grateful and changed.

I wish for all us to be guided and changed for the better, while knowing there is loss and unimaginable grief, known and unknown to us.

Guest Post: Natives of Eternity

By Lou DiVirgilio

“Born of the moon, children of the sun, off spring of the stars, and inheritors of the cosmic spaces… we and the Boundless are in essence not twain but one.”  This is a quote by Gottfried de Purucker, a Theosophist.  This statement is not de Purucker’s mere waxing poetic, but an attempt to reach out to all human beings to help inspire them to see and acknowledge the full depth and breath of what it means, and what it is to be a living human being.  A quote from the New Testament, will help to clarify and extend de Purucker’s  statement, “Know ye not that ye are gods, and that the spirit of the eternal liveth within you.”

What ailment, what disease lives in our world today that keeps us from looking up to our inner spiritual richness, that denies our inner ability to unify with all life?  Shakespeare, gives us a clue, “The man that hath, no music in himself nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for only treason, stratagems, and spoils.”  We see evidence, every day, of human’s attempts at self-justifications, folly and ignorance.  We have voluntarily abandoned and disobeyed the laws of nature, and the laws of spiritual health.  The consequences are dire.  Wordsworth, admonish us; …”The world is too much with us; getting and spending we lay waste our power: little we see in nature that is ours:” …  We have unensouled ourselves.  Look at the empty faces we see each day. They seek to feed that void from outside instead of from the perennial springs of inspiration within their hearts. As individuals we are relatively empty vessels: there is no inner fullness from which to give to others, no inner richness of understanding by which we may receive and solve problems confronting humanity.

When humans begin to realize that he or she is one with all that is, inward and outward, high and low, not merely as individuals of an army are one, not merely as a community are one, like atoms of the molecules, like electrons of the atoms-not mere union but spiritual unity-then he or she sees truth and from that vision has a living bases for morality, and knows that this world is a world of law and order.  “Know ye not that ye are gods, and that the spirit of the eternal liveth within you.”  

                                   One truth many paths.   Be good, do good.

                                                        Louis DiVirgilio

To read more from Lou go to: http://ascendtheascent.blogspot.com

We Know

We know ourselves. This has come to me recently in a conscious way.

We all know when something isn’t right within us and amongst us. What we do with this is where we need to place our attention. What do I mean by this? For many of us, when we know something isn’t right— what do we do about this? Do we try to understand what it is? Or do we push it away and put our energy to functioning as if all is well?

We also know when something is right with us. Most of us would like if others noticed this. Again, what we do with this is where we need to focus our attention.

Is it enough that we know this? Is it enough that we truly do know ourselves? Or do we believe we need the other? Do we not trust ourselves to know who we are?

If we did, imagine what that might mean?

Perhaps we do not know because from right out of the womb, even before, when our parents paint our rooms blue or pink, we are told who we are, what we will like. In school we are taught what “they” think we don’t know and need to know, and on and on it goes.

But we know. We know ourselves more than anyone else can know. And this is the key to our unfolding, our conscious knowing of who we truly are and also, who we are not.

Guest Post: withdrawal

By Louis DiVirgilio

I am leaving behind the rest of my kind, and removing myself from the race.  I am washing clean society’s scene, and rinsing my mouth of bad taste.

I am withdrawing from muzzled mouths, machine-gunning blank words with each round; from the printed accounts of gruesome, terrible crime; from the noise and the dirt and the slum and the grime.  I am leaving this ocean of bullshit, far, far behind.

As the earth spins in orbital glide, the sun shades its back and lights its front side.  Untold lives end with the night.  Untold lives begin with the light.  Life seems to float on a pool of extremes; floating from best to worst or worst to best, with occasional leveling.

I’ll not be swayed.  I am determined to leave, and once I am gone there’ll be no weeping on my shirt sleeve.  Withdrawing from an economic mutation; free enterprise, capitalism, and press-chasing power; from increase the imports, tariff the davenports, duty-free whisky quarts; from inflate the dollar, deflate its value; tax all the income, who is the victim?  From grow with the country, consume a T.V.; use a lawyer regularly to gain a 3% increase in G.N.P.; from inflation, taxation and money orientation.  I am taking leave of it all, and I’ll burn my credit card as a symbol of withdrawal.

To continue reading click to Lou’s blog here