This week on the Sufi Heart Podcast, Omid reflects on the teachings of social activist Vincent Harding and examines the way that love sparks the flame of justice within us.
Vincent Harding, a historian, author and activist who wrote one of the most polarizing speeches ever given by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in which Dr. King expressed ardent but compassionate opposition to the Vietnam War. In this episode, we look at Harding’s philosophy around the intersection of social justice and the heart.
Links from this episode: Riverside Church Speech | Remembering Vincent Harding
Under The Umbrella of Love (Opening)
In the Abrahamic traditions, we are constantly reminded that we should not oppress immigrants and refugees because we ourselves were once refugees. Omid examines the teachings from these traditions that remind us of our shared nature as pilgrims and the moral responsibilities that we have towards one another.
“How do we see our mystical yearnings and our political, social or moral desire for justice in this world as part of our spiritual struggle to become one as a human community?” – Omid Safi
Listen to Ram Dass’s conversation with Roshi Joan Halifax about the intersection of social action and contemplative action on Ep. 15 of the BHNN Guest Podcast
More Than a Dream (9:45)
Omid reflects on the modern teachers that inspired him to apply radical love towards the different injustices he was seeing in the world. He looks at the resistance these radical leaders were met with and the lessons their struggle has to teach about speaking up for what we believe is just.
“Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their government’s policy – especially in times of war. Some of us who have begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
Redemption and Transformation for All (21:05)
Omid discusses his relationship with Vincent Harding and describes the qualities of love and compassion that Vincent radiated in their time together. He shares Harding’s view of the struggle for freedom as one in which we all share, along with the final advice that Omid was offered by Harding around justice and the practice of radical love.
“Critique injustice, but always end on the side of hope and love. Hope for a better tomorrow, for all of us all. Remember there is an America that has never been and yet must be.” – Vincent Harding