Excerpts from books, lectures, and videos by Jagad Guru Chris Butler (Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa)
Racism is the identification of a person/self according to the race of the body that self is in. This is like identifying people with their shirts. If you walk along the street, you will see many different-colored shirts. If one of those shirts is purple, you don’t see the person wearing that shirt as a purple person; you see him as someone who merely is wearing a purple shirt. Racism is based on the inability to see that different-colored bodies are just like different-colored shirts.
The foundation of racism and racial conflict is the false identification of the body (“clothing”) with the person.
The false identification of the body as the self leads to more than just racial conflicts. International conflicts, religious conflicts, sexual conflicts, and many other conflicts are rooted in this false identification.
Each body has a multitude of different labels and characteristics. This in itself isn’t bad, just like it isn’t bad for people to wear different-colored clothes. What is bad is that due to identifying the body as the self, we wrongly consider the person to be the labels that are on his body.
Being unable to see past the labels to the person himself, we end up in a world of barriers and conflict.
If you are wise, you can see the person or atma within the body, and relate to the person, not to his body.
If you are wise, you are free of prejudice, racism, sexism, class consciousness, and so on.
Your behavior toward another person should not be based upon his external skin color or whatever, but on his behavior.
You should not judge a person by his race, weight, height, sex, genes, and so forth.
There’s nothing wrong with differences in external appearance, labels, and external function. In fact, such differences are necessary and valuable. The problem arises when we falsely identify with our bodies and all the bodily labels and functions.
A society of people who see eternal living beings, and not blacks, whites, Asians, Americans, Hindus, Jews, and so forth, will be peaceful and cooperative. A society based on recognition of our common identity as spirit soul will be a society characterized by unity, harmony, and brotherly love. It will be a society totally devoid of what is known as racism and prejudice.