The Wrath of Kali

[aras-image:7As.017,,10,,,Figure 7 Kali within an arch of flame.]


We perceive shadows from a given perspective; the angle of vision from which we see an object determines the position and length of its shadow. At high noon with the sun overhead, objects do not cast a shadow, but most of us are unable to achieve such a clear light of consciousness.
The concept of the shadow is useful when facing personal contents which emerge from the unconscious. Projections upon persons and events determining our responses to the daily events which we encounter. Each of us must acknowledge such projections as honestly as possible and work towards their incorporation within the psyche. Implied in this point of view, is that the incorporation of a shadow response depotentiates those shadow elements and thereby decreases their power over our feelings and our behavior.
In the larger cultural and cosmic contexts Kali is a goddess in her own right. She is not the shadow of Shiva. She is his manifest energy of disintegration, dissolution, and destruction in the great cycles of being. These processes, inherent in creation itself, reorganize the structure and the content of all organic processes in their dynamic development. It we are not willing to move in the ongoing dance of Shiva, then we unconsciously invoke the dread power of Kali to inaugurate the changes which we have resisted.
A power of the magnitude of Kali cannot be incorporated within that psychic structure of a finite human being. It is too vast, too far beyond the personal and cultural shadows even though it may manifest through either or both of these dimensions. Gods are propitiated by reverence and offerings. Myths from many cultures retell the fate of mere human beings who were unconscious of the gods or who ignored the sacrifices. To revere again the might or Kali and to sacrifice the suffocating oppression in our culture may quiet her wrath.
Out of the blackness of chaos and the fire of purification may grow a more differentiated consciousness which provides education and economic opportunities to all Americans. Solutions lie in changes of the heart, in a genuine valuing of cultural differences. This does not mean just choosing the exotic for diversion and entertainment, but hearing what it says and paying attention to the message. Rap talk is the current voice of a generation which is different from the voice of the blues. Both are the continuing monologues from a culture continuously excluded from the white power structure whose members are oblivious to the message re-iterated over generations in black spirituals, the blues and rap. Social and educational programs and economic progress are minimal requirements for change. At the same time must come a change of heart. Such a changed heart would no longer even think in terms of minorities but see, rather, a single nation rich in an inter-active cultural diversity. We were warned before and we failed. We are warned again. Are we equal to the task? Can we recognize Kali and sacrifice to her?