Half a century after Martin Luther King Jr. made his I Have a Dream speech, have we really made much progress toward realizing his dream?
We’ve come a very long way, yet have so very far to go before we realize our universal human experience of oneness.
In the 50 years since King’s speech we’ve seen many great and surprising changes, including electing a Black president to office—unthinkable in MLK’s time. But we still have wide wage gaps between sex and genders, race, sexual orientation, abled and disabled bodies, and more.
Bias continues to impact thousands of lives a day.
Part of the blame lies in the fact that, although we tell ourselves all people are equally valuable, our differing values, experiences, strengths and limitations divide us. We can’t see our common ground when we are holding the stares of mistrust.
Ilchi Lee’s energy principles offer a pragmatic way to bridge the gap between separateness, competition and fear and connectedness, cooperation and loving kindness.
King’s speech called out the Declaration of Independence, citing “We find these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.” But, although we may give lip service to the idea of equality, today’s society still struggles with integrating the idea into their belief system. Our actions don’t reflect the platitudes we speak.
It’s difficult to believe we are all connected when common interests are so few. Add to that ingrained biases and dominant beliefs, and resistance to change becomes harder to overcome.
We can’t move forward while still unaware of our unconscious belief in separateness. To be a conscious and fully aware human being means taking a fearless look at those moments when, personally and culturally, we’ve resisted change for the comforts of the status quo. Keeping with the familiar at the expense of knowledge and growth is no progress.
Oneness, and also human potential, according to Ilchi Lee, comes from our true nature/true self. He says we should all discover and recognize our true value, and then respect that in others. Our diversity, while important, is superficial. To get to your true self he says you have to "go deeper.”
Our skin color, our culture, our preferences, in comparison to our unchanging nature, are like waves on the surface of the ocean. Below its surface is the quiet truth.
“So far,” he says, “people have been fighting about aspects of ourselves that are on the surface. But through repeated civil rights movements for different groups, we are slowly recognizing our common humanity.”
In order to step out of our comfort zone, or to overcome our ingrained biases, Lee says, experiencing oneness can help us. "Oneness as a mere concept has no power. You can only truly know oneness through experience. It's not something you can learn. Through meditation, you can feel oneness reverberate throughout your entire being. Then it cannot be denied. It will automatically change your thoughts and emotions to resonate with the energy of oneness."
This is the core message of the “Change” film and book. Change is more than a method for relaxation and personal growth. It is an urgent call to action, to make a sea change away from ideas of separateness and inequality.
As Dr. King said, “...in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream.” And so do we! Changing your energy is an equal opportunity endeavor!