In 2003, I happen to watch a news documentary, screened by SBS-Insight, on Aboriginal men, mainly in the Eastern States of Australia, who were converting to Islam, and speaking-out against the “thieves” who have oppressed Aboriginal persons here as much as the Americans and the British have and still do throughout the world.
Words such as pillaged, ravaged and injustice were effectively used throughout their interviews. The young men spoke succinctly, passionately and intelligently, and up-to a point, I feel empathy for their views expressed, beyond that point I, as an Australian Aboriginal, feel disturbed and disheartened by their act of espousing another religion that does not and cannot reinforce Aboriginal spirituality — a state of being (living + experiencing) that is unique and intangible as is the act of attempting to describe the essence and origins of the air that we breathe.
From my point of view, it is regrettable that men such as these, who have in the main, been given no respect and recognition for their unique heritage as descendants of the oldest spiritually-centred race/culture still existing into the 21st Century, are being driven further towards ‘some-thing’ that cannot replace that which they have been deprived of and left untutored in — their Aboriginality.
Though it may also seem reasonable and understandable that these men believe they have, or feel that they have, no reason to be grateful to Anglo-Christian Australians, it is still regrettable that they are encouraged or compelled to move further from the essence of their genetic-spiritual origins, towards another religio-political institution such as Islam, a religion that has within its own historical record perpetuated similar atrocities to that of so-called Christians in the name of their “God’?
As I understand, the word Islam derives from the Arabic meaning, “to have surrendered to God”, from aslama, “he surrended” and salaam meaning “peace”. Given these meanings, and what I have seen and heard from these interviews, I can only but wonder whether these men and the likes of these are “‘surrended” and at “peace”?
For me the Judaic-Christian-Islamic “unholy trinity”, when lived and enacted as dogma and religion, have all ‘used’ God as their “motive”, benefactor, and/or excuse to steal, invade, conquer, dominate, maim, kill and manipulate “others” that apparently did not have “God”. To persecute those who did not need a “God-rhetoric” that created a “them-us” paradigm. the unHoly Trinity beholding to their better than thou-others teachings to justify their injustices and transgressions that rationalised and actualised abhorrent behaviours and crimes against others, including mass-murders (war) that in factuality are against The Law of Life and Principle within each other.
In my understanding, gained from much research, introspection and contemplative analysis, “God” as such has no favourites nor bias for one against another as for ‘God’ is universal — “turned into one” — thus “It” cannot be for “just-us” and not them, or said another way, the Sun does not discriminate, nor does the air, nor rain — these are indiscriminate, as is “God”.
Only modern-Man rationalises their ability to kill, maim, torture and abuse its own kind — only Man can discriminate — and neither religion nor “God” has ever prevented Man from doing so.
Fear and paranoia and unacknowledged guilt towards “others” is the same for all those who are conditioned and trained to live a reality that they are all-ways being “threatened” by “others” — no matter what disguise or religious justifications fear may hide behind — they can never be attuned to the Law of Life (i.e. aboriginality) which essentially can mean: Thou shalt not kill needlessly, heedlessly, carelessly nor wantonly.
In response to such “brothers” or any other who are enjoining any-thing other than their Aboriginality, I say, “Be care-full and go further than what any-one, or any religion is offering as an alternative to “being aboriginal”. There are all-ways “strings, conditions and provisos attached” whenever choosing to “join” another club, or cult, or group — whenever you claim or declare a label, a position, a fixation — you separate.” In my understanding, Aboriginal is not a label or religion as such; it is an expression of a way of life and being that existed before any of the world’s current hotchpotch of religious offerings.
Aboriginality re-in-forces and presents “the Law”,
not the laws of Man as such,
but “the Principle” (or Law) of life, living, and death.
We can all cite examples of the laws of government and religion — and thus of Man — and see how they have all-ways favoured the lawmakers, politicians, and religious enforcers, and thus one group against another. However, no matter how well intentioned, such laws discriminate, and in their application they usually empower the power-hungry at the further detriment and expense of the disempowered. Lawmakers, politicians and the pious as “power-brokers” make up a “triad of evil” that can be understood as all-ways saying, “these laws are for just-us” yet never ensuring nor enshrining justice. Also, such laws and teachings all-ways relate to the principles of humanism, which of their very nature cannot be inclusive of all life.
Aboriginal literally translates to the “absolute original” — the first known — below and beyond all other forms, and in the context of this country (Australia) and its original peoples (“the Aborigines”), it is not just a race or class of people, it can also refer to a state of being, a state of knowing, a Way of Living-Being — an adherence to knowing and living in a manner that maintains “ones” connection to all life — not just humans or “just-us”. Aboriginal, in its essential implication, is not about separateness from some and acceptance to others.
The “ab origine” means “from the beginning” and trans-relates to the absolute-original-gene within the Aborigines of these lands, and in-term effectively recognises the “absolute original genesis” that is within all — the oneness, or source of beginnings of life that “links” all — “the original-gene-in-all” (genesis).
Aboriginal is the knowing of “the Origins and the Law of Life that is implicit in all of life and not “just-us”.
So, even though one of the men being interviewed in the aforementioned news presentation acknowledged how the teachings of Islam, and its rituals and life-style have enhanced and empowered his life — removing alcohol, drugs and shame and replacing these with renewed strength, a sense of empowerment and obviously a healthier life, in actuality he still remains “lost” and separated (from his “aboriginality”) whilst insisting on using the label of Islam.
Religion can be and usually is a means towards an end, but cannot be the end of his-story, for well-meaning men such as these have still not touched upon nor experienced the “original” which has no label or appropriate descriptive except perhaps something like — I am as It is, an absolute original, unique and connected to all-are (Allah).
Aboriginal really cannot be interpreted logically, nor rationalised or intellectualised, no matter our need or reason to do so; It is an experience and a “knowing”, as It is original, and therefore beyond the limitations and confines of words themselves.
for example, even though I had a “Christian” father; a Muslim Grandfather (maternal); an Anglo-Germanic Australian Grandfather (paternal); an Aboriginal-Irish Grandmother, and a similar life experiences as of these men shown in the documentary I mentioned, I remain uncomfortable and “disturbed” whenever I am being imposed upon to describe who am I. I could say I am all of these and yet none of these. I could also say without confusion that I am one-of-all; an absolute original Aboriginal that is all.
In effect, in our contemporary language, “origin” means just that — the point of beginning — to which in a 3 dimensional world/reality such as ours, the coordinates or point of origin is mathematically written as 0,0,0. At that point and beyond no-thing can make sense, and being “ab-origine” cannot “make sense” either.
So, may I suggest that none of us stop at any particular religion; continue the search for your origin, your aboriginality reality — go past any religion that you may embrace to the source, to the seed, beyond the separateness, the split, the alien-nation, and the limitations of humanism — go to the Law, the Principle, not the war of Saddam-Islam or Adam-Christian or Abraham-Judean or any-“other” that binds and limits Aboriginality in this country or within one’s Self.
Go “deeper” into, not further a-way from The Law, the “Dreaming”, the Tjukurritja Tjukurrpa; The “Dreamtime Story”.
This is my expression and understanding… for now.
Salaam in One
(27 Feb 2003)