On a mission trip to Haiti I was told that Haitian slaves sold their souls to the Devil in 1791 to overthrow their French masters, and they continue to suffer because of that. Is this true?
Rabbi Rami: When we imagine that the only way black slaves can overthrow white slavers is by aligning themselves with the Devil, we are saying that freedom is satanic. When we say that Haiti suffers because of Satan rather than colonialism, corporate greed, and political corruption, we are saying that justice is satanic. Helping Haiti is good, demonizing Haitians while doing so is devilish.
I’m a long-time meditator, yet I’m no closer to enlightenment now than when I started. What practice will bring me enlightenment?
None. Enlightenment is the realization that each moment is an expression of eternity, and every being is a manifesting of the One Being the way every wave is a manifesting of the singular ocean. When you truly know this, enlightenment is irrelevant, and you will simply do justly, act kindly, and walk humbly (Micah 6:8) because there is nothing else you can do. Practice being enlightened rather than g …
Rabbi Rami Shapiro is an award-winning author, essayist, poet, and teacher. In the print version of our magazine, he has an advice column, “Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler,” addressing reader questions pertaining to religion, spirituality, faith, family, God, social issues, and more. His latest book is Surrendered—The Sacred Art. Rabbi Rami hosts our podcast, “Essential Conversations.”