“We are The People” – Jack Morrison

Jack Morrison

Dr. Channon Miller

African American Studies

12 May 2023

We are The People

We as beings of spirit living the human experience often find labels to be an efficient way of navigating the strange world we live in. It certainly makes sense that creating words to ascribe a potentially very dynamic dimension of our being can make communication with other individuals much easier. In particular, labels may provide us with a sense of safety and security, especially if a label identifies one’s self with a larger group of other individuals. Labels can be fun and can fill us with a sense of pride. Many feel a deep and profound attachment to the words that they feel construct their sense of self, so much so that they may even experience suffering if they feel their identity becomes challenged. In my experience, I have come to understand this phenomenon of attachment to identity as unsustainable behavior.

On February 28, 2023, I received the privilege of attending the “Black and Female Identifying” discussion panel sponsored by the Black Student Resource Center. During this panel, I found myself on multiple occasions mesmerized by the passion that 6 humans felt for their journey of navigating this world in the body of a black female. Observing their discussion, I felt internally a deep reverence for the subtle ways they expressed themselves as individuals cultured as one. From the subtle shifts in intonation in their voices to the electric body language, their shared experience, especially facing adversity navigating a culture on a wider scale providing them an uphill battle in order to maintain empowerment, joyfully reminded me of the resilience of the human spirit, and the way we manage to still have fun preserving it. I felt that during their showcase I understood the meaning of something they collectively referred to as “black girl magic”. One instance strung a dissonant chord in this story’s song, however. Upon being faced with the question of how they all managed to remain strong the consensus between them was that they found sanctity in their collective womanhood, and more specifically their “blackness”. They continued to describe the various ways in which they were “forced” to construct walls within their minds separating themselves from those who did not fit the archetype of their identities whether that be because of “whiteness” or manhood as to shield themselves from the onslaught of those who desire to degrade them because of their identities as black females. Hearing this disappointed me. I understood that if I were to walk by these women on the street whom, thanks to the facilitation of the event, I was able to experience more or less the full reality of, they would treat me differently as a white man. If i were to walk by these women on the street, I would never have experienced this black girl magic.

The quality of this adversity that I face at first may appear to be different in nature than the kind that these women experienced facing racial and sexual discrimination from other humans, however, the only real difference is the level of shared consciousness that is being limited by a resistance to the expression of love. One case requires the foremost attention as in order to experience life at its highest consciousness (a world where everybody is enlightened and practicing whatever form of magic they see as enjoyable) you must refine its qualities that manifest at a lower level (maintaining things like safety and rudimentary standards of living). In other words, it is not reasonable for me to ask that any marginalized ego allow itself to remain that way, and it is also reasonable for me as a human being to dream of a world where not a single drop of white, black, boy, or girl magic is wasted. If one is to consider the ego and separation as material and love and connectedness as divine, I see the upbringing of this world the way Martin Luther King Jr. does when he suggests that we must fight “physical force with soul force” (White 1466 of pdf version).

This lack of consciousness that arises comes from the illusion experienced by the self of separation from the rest of reality. This separation is perpetuated by the attachment to identity as if you internally associate yourself with the concept of any thing, there is a disconnection to whatever proportion of reality is not conceptualized as included in that thing. For example, if one identifies themselves as a black person, they conceptualize themselves as something other than things they don’t consider to coexist with their idea of “black person-ness”. It is for this reason that many individuals withhold their innermost magical selves. If one draws into consciousness that they are existing as a part of the universe and also that they consider that the universe is only made of one thing (the universe) a beautiful understanding unfolds that all is one. As understood by a vast variety of spiritual scholars this reality of one-ness manifests as the center point for most major religions and theologies. This understanding however is not yet fully realized by many individuals and so in this world, we have people who still value their separation. People are always going to do what feels right to them and many are content with remaining in conceptual boxes they construct for themselves. 

An individual who hasn’t fully grasped the concept of one-ness, what ceremonial magic practitioners call the “knowledge of the waters”, or what some are content conceptualizing as simply “OM” is not doing any wrong in the same way that a blue whale exploring the ocean is entirely free to do as they please. The skill of remaining in touch with this one-ness requires much meditation and practice for most people. To those who are unsure whether they believe this practice will be worth their valuable time on this planet, I shall recall the story of Matthieu Ricard. Matthieu lived his life pursuing the expansion of what he understood was knowledge and material success by working diligently and attaining his doctorate in cellular genetics. After realizing that material abundance and expansion of the collective ego did not fulfill him, he abandoned his life at the prestigious Pasteur Institute in France to find peace at a monastery in Darjeeling, India. There he studied with masters of meditation and has since dedicated his life to it. A study performed by the University of Wisconsin aimed to measure the varying levels of happiness in people who live varying lifestyles and Mattheiu was one of them. The strata for measuring happiness consisted of measuring the concentration of neurotransmitters that are associated with happiness and well being such as serotonin and oxytocin, as well as brain waves which are associated with maximizing overall brain function. Matthieu’s scores were “unprecedented” (Dell’Amore). “Sustained electroencephalographic high-amplitude gamma-band oscillations” and “phase-synchrony” were essentially supercharged in his brain while engaging in meditation;  “attention, working memory, learning, or conscious perception” are all impacted “crucially” by these phenomena (Lutz et al.). Resulting from the measurements, the University of Wisconsin dubbed him “the happiest man alive” (Dell’Amore). Matthieu is now a published author and photographer and continues to engage in meditation daily. Ricard’s story is what inspired me personally to enter the path of enlightenment, and I physically could not be more at peace in this present moment.

No matter what, we as the human race will be okay. I have seen more than enough magic from every sing human I have encountered to remain trusting in that belief. And still, I will always ask why we should be okay with being okay when we can be so much more. This world we live in has far too much potential for us to sit idle in our boxes of race, class, sex, religion, or anything else when we could all dance together to this one big beautiful song that is our strange universe. 


We Are the people

By Jack Morrison


Your body and mine see there might be a difference

Your shape your color your face, but be-

tween your loving and mine oh there is no distance

When it comes to people there’s only one


The apes, the silly primates

They call us the dancers or the human race

So if life gets tricky just remember one thing

Monkeys never stress no monkeys only swing


They play, they eat fruit, and they party

Up in the trees see they never ever let anybody

Tell them they’re anything less than magical

If you don’t know what I mean now listen here I’ll spill it all


There’s not a single human out here living knowing what they’re doing

We just go with the flow and live life the way we choose and

Some things work and some things don’t and you see that’s the beauty

At the end of the day it all keeps on moving


So beware the belief of stagnation

Down to the atoms you are made of vibrations

No matter how you see it everything changes

Including the bad times so lets have patience


Graciously accept the energy and stay in

The headspace that your and my meditation

Saves us from suffering and pain and

Together as a nation, we can be elation



Works Cited:

Dell’Amore, Christine. “The World’s Happiest Man is a Tibetan Monk.” Smithsonian Magazine: SmartNews, Smithsonian Institution, 1 Nov. 2012, https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/the-worlds-happiest-man-is-a-tibetan-monk-105980614/.


Lutz, Antoine, et al. “Long-Term Meditators Self-Induce High-Amplitude Gamma Synchrony … – PNAS.” PNAS, 8 Nov. 2004, www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.0407401101


White, Deborah Gray. Freedom on My Mind: A History of African Americans, with Documents. Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2013. 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *