I can’t help but see the yin/yang mandala when I see Obama standing like a bridge between the black and white racial identities we are so conditioned by. When the pundits say this election is about race and we find ourselves wanting to avoid that tag, we shouldn’t. If race is our nation’s original sin—the sin that was there before our constitution was formed and was not addressed by our constitution and put off until a later day (like the Civil War)—then now is the moment when we must look at the root of this weed that has been choking our garden since the day it was planted.
Whether Obama will make good policies as president is not really the question. Any good candidate can make good policies, but only an Obama can bring our yin and yang together. You can see this mandala in his person and in his story. Out of his black yin comes his white yang; out of his white yang springs his back yin. Our culture is a black negative yin dancing with a white positive yang, and our sin is that we see them as conflicting opposites instead of a whole. Our cultural definition of being white and being black has become dependent upon the other for its existence. Blackness becomes not white, and whiteness becomes not black. Each opposite creates its mate for its own definition But wholeness has no opposite. Wholeness has no sin. Wholeness has no guilt. Wholeness has no definition, and with no definition there is no other.
So if Obama stands there with one foot on the shore of blackness and the other on the shore of whiteness and lets the two colors blend in his soul, then he stands for healing—whether he intends that or not. Hopefully, though, he doesn’t define himself as a healer, because then he would lose his wholeness and power by creating and needing someone to heal so he could be a healer. Wholeness is only whole when everyone is whole.
So let this mandala rise like the moon and the sun at dawn when both are present on the horizon; and let the positive and the negative fit together in one dance—like Fred and Ginger, one wearing white and the other black, so that each finds their wholeness in the other and not separate from the other.
This post was written by ed on June 24, 2008