Podcast #13- Decolonizing into Oneness
May 27, 2021
For Dr. Aude Chesnais, decolonization is more than restoring political and governmental independence to present and former colonies. We must decolonize across all areas of our lives, and to do this one first must confront the distinctions and differences our present predominantly white, western, patriarchal worldview imposes on ourselves — on how we perceive, think, relate, and act. True decolonization is rooted in a deep respect for both our uniqueness and our interconnectedness. In actuality, its foundation is spiritual. We must fearlessly deconstruct ourselves and how we have been colonized from independent beings with an easy connection to each other, nature and the cosmos into rigid belief systems emphasizing separateness and dominance, forcing allegiance to other than what is natural. This solid spiritual base affects our perceptions and informs our actions, but it confronts systems of power which resist its emergence in so many dimensions: personal, cultural, political, religious, gender, sexuality, racial, and more.
Aude Chesnais, Ph.D. (Aziza Noor) has encountered various spiritual traditions before finding her family on the Sufi path since 2017. She also is a political ecologist and senior researcher for the Native Lands Advocacy Project, and has been working closely with native communities in the USA for the past 10 years on issues of land sovereignty and Traditional Ecological Knowledge, particularly in support of regenerative food-systems transitions. In her work, Aude has had to strongly reflect on her positionality as a white researcher working in indigenous settings. Although her spiritual path has led her on the quest to understand oneness, Aude’s professional path and commitment to social justice constantly reminds her of the real social impacts of human distinctions on their lives. Reconciling these two coexisting realities is her lifetime quest.
Dr. Chesnais received her MA in social and solidarity economics from Université de Haute-Alsace, France and her Ph.D. in sociology from Colorado State University, CO, USA.