“The Voice Within”

An excerpt from Marginal Eyes, Chapter Fourteen:

I clambered to my feet and walked away from the group to sit alone in an austere bedroom down the hall. There I found a soft sleeping bag on the wood floor, and in the dark emptiness, I felt dark inside. The voice had been real, more real than anything I’d ever heard, but it wasn’t the idea of spiritual revelation I had been expecting. That moment of my greatest clarity in all my years of meditation, practice, and prayer was, in terms of my ambitions toward purity, a major disappointment to me. As profound as the words and experience were, I knew on some deep level they meant I would never gain the purity, peace, and happiness I wanted through my spiritual practices. The message meant there was something or someone I had left in the past, which I’d been suffering without all these years, and I had to return to it—not go forward somewhere to achieve my happiness, peace, and freedom through my ambitious pursuits. I had no idea what that meant or what I’d left behind. I didn’t know where to go from there. I just knew, on some level, that everything I had strived for in life had never been the answer.

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An article on the dissociating effects of racial trauma: