A South African bisexual offers wisdom that might benefit English bishops

Zinana Monwabisi Mbulelo is a friend of mine on Facebook, a student at Central Johannesburg College. At 25, he has a remarkable, visionary wisdom, deeply spiritual but most definitely not restricted within a traditional, orthodox Christian pattern. Yesterday he wrote by chance a lengthy comment which reinforced what I was trying to say in my own blog – that we need to teach ourselves to think and dream outside the box. The Church of England needs people who are going to detoxify and decontaminate what has become a very unhealthy environment for everyone, and not only LGBTI people.

Zinana wrote:

The question of homosexuality and how we handle it at the moment is far too boring and not uplifting at all. It’s the 21st century now and we need to bring new dimensions of life. We are not just in a democratic era but in an enlightened era.

I think a lot of the drama we experience in life comes not from the issues we face, but in how we face them. By that, I mean how we approach them, how we hold them, how we process them, the questions we ask about them. With the issue of homosexuality, it seems to me that we aren’t “holding” the issue in a way that leads to much productive conversation on the issue. It seems like our back and forth on the topic boils down to whether homosexuality is “good” or “bad”, with two sides trying to defend why it is either good or bad, something that is natural and acceptable or something that needs to be fixed. Then we spend all our energy trying to explain but mostly defend our position.

Those are some questions to explore, but I think there are other questions that are more compelling. To me, there are mysteries and answers to questions packed and embedded in the issue of homosexuality. Certainly, those who are attracted to their same sex stand to benefit from greater understanding on the topic, but I also believe that everyone stands to benefit. I think there are some answers to be unpacked about how we understand attraction, how we relate to each other, what gender is, and why it is or isn’t important. I know we think we know all about these things, but I don’t think we know what we think we know.

In the quest for enlightenment, is being gay a help or a hindrance, or does it not make any difference?

The realization that you are ‘different’ from others may force you to dis-identify from socially conditioned patterns of thought and behavior. This will automatically raise your level of consciousness above that of the unconscious majority, whose members unquestioningly take on board all inherited patterns. In that respect, being gay can be a help. Being an outsider to some extent, someone who does not ‘fit in’ with others or is rejected by them for whatever reason, makes life difficult, but it also places you at advantage as far as enlightenment is concerned. It takes you out of unconsciousness almost by force.

On the other hand, if you then develop a sense of identify based on your gayness, you have escaped one trap only to fall into another.

And there’s this:

Choice implies consciousness – a high degree of consciousness. Without it, you have no choice. Choice begins the moment you dis-identify from the mind and its conditioned patterns, the moment you become present. Nobody chooses dysfunction, conflict, pain. Nobody chooses insanity. They happen because there is not enough presence in you to dissolve the past, not enough light to dispel the darkness. You are not fully here. You have not quite woken up yet. In the meantime, the conditioned mind is running your life.

BE AT YOUR BEST

Zinana

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