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Empowerment and Responsibility Empowerment is a state of being, not a set of actions or a definable lifestyle.

Empowerment is best described (not defined) as responsible living. Responsibility is the ability to respond adequately or appropriately to a situation. Responsibility, in the real sense of this word, has nothing to do with duty or compulsion towards anythingincluding ones self. Responsibility entails care, compassion, and ownership of ones creations, actions and the consequences there from. Responsibility is the best indicator of empowerment. Are we, as human beings, responsible? Do we

acknowledge and accept the fact that we create our reality and all we experience through our thoughts and beliefs? Or are we stuck in Life blaming others; groping for scapegoats to escape ourselves? As J. Krishnamurti powerfully put it; It is the responsibility of each human being to bring about the transformation of ones being. This transformation is not based on thought or time because thought and time, being the products of the Ego identity, are the very essence of our fragmented conflict-ridden reality. Rather it is a transformation that is born by transcending thought and in that setting aside the separate self/Ego identity; the I that is ever separate

and in competition with you/them. Upon relinquishing the Ego identity, wholeness and Unity of being unfolds within ones self; and is eventually reflected in ones external reality. Wholeness of being occurs through the re-uniting of the fragmented self with the Higher self; re-uniting with All that is. This is the state of Oneness (Tawheed) the Quran indicates. It is not an outer/physical oneness of bodies grouping, identifying, conforming with each other; it is a re-union of the illusory separate self with its Creative Source or Higher self. In this Oneness, perception of Truth is possible and Divine Intelligence flows to and through a human being. In Oneness, the human being becomes an instrument of the Creator; what the scriptures have called being a steward of God on Earth (Khalifa); Quran, al-Anam: 165. Given the fact that the human being, male and female, were created as Khalifa of the Creator/Allah, it is the responsibility of every human being to relinquish (Islam) their Ego/separative identity and return to Oneness with the Creative Source. This oneness or Tawheed is only possible through complete assumption of responsibility of ones life and reality, internal and external. responsibility, one can begin to mend Through the internal

fragmentation (make amends) and return to wholeness. Being whole or (w)holy, one no longer creates divisive distinctions in life. The me and you re-turns to we; this

is the true spiritual meaning of taubah. Taubah is a re-turn or a-mending what was hitherto broken back to wholeness. Taubah is not repentance to some god for wrongs rendered to another for one wrongs or sins only against ones self. Anyone who hurts or harms another under the illusion of separation hurts ones self; thus the Quran says when you do good, you do it for yourself and when you do bad, it is against your self. This is very clearly indicated in the Quran more than once as in alAnam:160; Yunus: 44 and 52. This is a transformation with the from a fragmented to being a

identified

self/Ego

whole/integrated/Indivisible Being; a transformation into an Individual (the true meaning of Individual = indivisible or whole being). An Individual, in the real sense of the word, is an indivisible being that recognizes and embodies Oneness with All that Is. There is no separation except in the psyche. Responsibility does not mean a sense of duty or

compulsion any more than Love does. Responsibility, like Love, is a free outpouring of ones inner being into ones outer reality in deeds and words. It is simply an outer expression of ones inner state of being. Duty implies an imposition or a doing, the absence of which would result in blame. In fact, blame has no

relationship to responsibility. Responsibility necessarily implies care and affection and arises from a state of Love and compassion. Responsibility is a natural state of one abiding in Love and Compassion. Responsibility is total; it cannot be compartmentalized to certain segments or spheres of life but permeates every sphere and segment of Life. It extends to every human being and creature on Earth in the acknowledgement that All is one. Responsibility to ones self is responsibility to All that exists, whatever the form. To the writer, responsibility includes responding to the challenges of Life in every moment as and when they arise in a continued and appropriate unfolding of being. Appropriateness is key. Appropriateness is a quality of wisdom and wisdom arises from Divine Intelligence. Intelligence is not a product of the human intellect; intelligence flows through the human mind only when the separate self/Ego connects with the Higher self. Responsibility entails a tremendous capacity for self direction, being alert in every moment of Life and conducting ones self impeccably whilst always having the welfare of All at heart in recognition that one is an indivisible part of the whole as rivers that flow out of the ocean are one waters though they may flow in and exist in separate forms.

A responsible human being would never engage in blame of anything or any one because one knows, as fact, that the external environment (and all those who participate in it in relationship to that person) is simply a reflection of ones internal state of being. Therefore, a responsible person is always in a state of awareness and learning as one acknowledges his/her inner state being reflected back at them through the experiences of life. Intelligence directs a responsible human being to go within and transform ones inner state so as to effect a transformed external environment. This is indicated clearly in the Quran (al-Anfal:53). In such living, the very act of living is a meditation, every moment of every day, as this involves a heightened state of alertness or observation of what is in every moment. A responsible human being is not attached to a religious identity or teacher or intermediary between them and God as Indicated in the Quran in al-Imran: 79 - 80. A responsible human being has relinquished the separate self/Ego identity and thus is directly connected to the Divine. This is the essence of an empowered human being. This is what every messenger of the Divine embodied, though unique to their cultural context. In such living, all of life is a Joy, euphoric, as one participates in this constant and harmonious dance between observing the outer as ones self and

transforming the inner state to effect the outer. This Joy is not to be mistaken with the concept of pleasure pleasure is a mental pursuit sought as part of the duality and thus always accompanied by its opposite; pain. A responsible and empowered individual abides in true security, both psychological and physical, for one knows that there is no external cause to ones experience; the cause of all external experiences lies in ones internal state. In that, control is no longer an issue for one never has to control externalities. True control stems from attention to ones inner life and allowing the appropriate internal shifts to transform ones outer experiences. Hence, Muhammad upon returning from battle is known to have remarked, and now to the real Jihad; the inner Jihad with ones self. The enemy is not out there, the enemy is within ones self; the separative/egoic self that is internally conflicted. In light of this, the issue of empowerment takes on a new form as one can no longer speak of the empowerment of women or children or the various other separate categories of human beings that exist in isolation from all else; the disempowerment of one disempowers the whole. The move to empower becomes a (w)holistic one that transform society at its core not just at the surface so as to eliminate the root cause of separation, division conflict and discrimination. The question of empowerment

becomes a collective issue that stems from the individual; because each individual comprises the whole and is responsible for the whole. Empowerment begins with healing the conflict within each individual; it comes with self-responsibility.