This is the rallying cry in the “marvelous” new installation of the Marvel comic series, Black Panther, directed by Ryan Coogler. I don’t want to give away any real spoilers, but there are some concept spoilers below. So, if you don’t want to know anything about the movie, please come back after you’ve seen it.
Wakanda is a fictional land in Africa, kept pure from the theft and rape committed against the rest of Africa through colonialism. The Wakandans maintain their way of life by keeping their gifted land a secret, and by staying out of other nations’ affairs. They fight only when absolutely necessary.
But, as in real life, any time there is something beautiful in the world, there are people out there who want to steal it, ruin it, or profit from it. In Black Panther, the bad guy’s motives are a little more complicated. Ultimately, he is a tragic figure, separated from his real home. He is successful externally, but lives in a world he resents. He is angry, bereft of family, and completely spiritually lost. He lays rightful claim to Wakanda, but has no idea what it truly is.
That’s what got me thinking. Wakanda is within. It is in all of us. Wakanda is who we were when we resided peacefully in our mothers’ wombs – even before that, when we were a beautiful idea in the mind of the Infinite. In that world, all things are possible. We are consumed with love; there is no concept of “fitting in,” no concept of separation at all. In that world, we have never been hurt; we are not lonely; we are thoroughly non-self-conscious. We are completely and totally at peace. And we have nothing to prove.
Then we get thrust into this world. A world of violence, theft, rape, bigotry, loneliness, cruelty, and all things foreign to our inner Wakanda. We develop coping mechanisms to deal with this world. We develop defenses, negative attitudes, rigid opinions, and bad habits. We identify with things outside of ourselves in order to feel more powerful. We inflict cruelty on others in order to feel better. We separate ourselves from others, looking down on them in order to mask our own loneliness, or feelings of inadequacy. Some of us are lucky enough to wake up and realize we belong in Wakanda. We vow to bring that consciousness into our earthly experience.But some continue to wander, lost and sad, unable to recognize the Wakanda within.
This need not be. Those of us who do recognize Wakanda within can reveal it to others. We can’t force anyone to come. But, we can show them that such a land exists. We can hold a space for them there until they are ready to come. Through the hard times, we must remind ourselves that Wakanda is our real home. We must treasure it in our hearts, on earth, until the time comes for us to return Home.
A great deal of love and patience is needed. But no one can destroy Wakanda. Regardless of how evil and treacherous the world looks, Wakanda is untouchable. It belongs to all of us; and we will all recognize it in time. In the meantime, we live peacefully in the world as earthbound citizens. But, inside, we celebrate Wakanda. We live there in consciousness, singing songs of freedom as the Ancestors look on and smile.
Peace & Love,