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Buddhadharma : Spring 2019
76 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER'S QUARTERLY Something got stolen from them. Something got stolen from all of us. So you have to have compassion for the voice of the heart that has been lost or obscured, whether in others or in yourself. People need spaces of their own in which they can find those stories, reclaim them. No one escaped—no one. So if you think you don’t have a story because you’re privileged, that just means you’re completely in the dark. It is only when you find your story—when you realize the way you think and how you are has been utterly conditioned—that you will understand that even if on the surface you get to do all kinds of things, in truth, you have absolutely no choices at all. You have no choice at all other than to abide in this location and uphold it and be complicit in it for fear that to disrupt it will destroy who you are. You have a right to reclaim yourself, but you have to do the work of finding out how it is that who you truly are has been obscured. Learn the stories. Learn your own. We can’t know our own per- sonal minds without understanding the conditioning and the fabrica- tion of that mind. Our social conditions are what make our mind. You don’t get your own mind—you only have a collective mind. You have only ever had a collective mind. It’s ridiculous to say, “That’s not the path of the Buddha. Buddha never talked about social jus- tice.” The path of the Buddha was explicitly rooted in de-casting and de-classing—it was so much what he did that he didn’t even have to say anything about it. It was all that he did. First and foremost, liberation is about choosing to be 100 percent accountable for who and how you are. And if that sounds like a really big job that you are going to be working at for the rest of your life, it is.