Posted on August 20th, 2023
A portrait of diverse perspectives, ever-evolving beliefs, and shifting societal attitudes. While Christianity maintains its prominence as the predominant faith tradition, the cultural fabric has witnessed a profound transformation towards a more inclusive and pluralistic understanding of spirituality.
Traditional religious institutions, although still influential, now encounter challenges such as declining attendance and the rise of religious disaffiliation. This commotion has led spiritual practices to gain traction and grow as several individuals identify as spiritual but not religious or explore personalized forms of faith.
Additionally, issues related to social justice, inclusivity, and the intersection of faith and politics have become prominent within Christian circles. The landscape reflects a complex and dynamic interplay between tradition and innovation as individuals seek meaningful connections, deeper engagement, and relevance in their spiritual journeys.
Amidst the surfacing complexities of this topic, a few dare to challenge conventional beliefs and embark on their own transformative journey of self-discovery, taking on a path more inclusive and understanding of faith.
Don Jackson, the visionary author behind the thought-provoking book Prodigal, is one such individual. In this enlightening interview, Jackson shares his inspirations, motivations, and the driving force behind his quest to bridge the gap between religion and spirituality, particularly in the Black community. Through his writing, he encourages readers to embrace self-guided exploration, challenge the status quo, and discover their own routes to peace and happiness.
Jackson seeks to provide readers with insights regarding his work, what led him to spearhead such a project, and most importantly, what keeps him on track with his mission.
When asked about the inspiration behind Prodigal and his drive to challenge conventional ideas about spirituality, Jackson reveals that the book was born out of a desire to connect, transform, and transcend. He wanted to explore new truths, question established beliefs, and interact more deeply with the world. By challenging conventional notions, Jackson urges readers to embark on their own journeys of self-discovery and liberation.
In Prodigal, Jackson tackles his own upbringing in New Orleans and his experiences as a member of the largest Black evangelical church in America. After a near-death experience changed his life, he discovered the conflicting messages that he had been receiving about religion. The book illustrates what the author deems “the good, terrible, and ugly of mainstream churches and church leaders,” helping readers to see the pros of self-guided spirituality while keeping in mind that we are all part of one spirit, mind and existence.
Prodigal holds a special significance for the Black community, as it serves as a bridge between religion and spirituality, offering a fresh perspective that resonates with their unique experiences. Jackson recognizes the historical and cultural significance of religious institutions within the Black community while encouraging individuals to delve deeper into their personal spirituality. By embracing self-guided exploration, Black individuals can reclaim their spiritual autonomy and find authentic connections with the divine.
“After reexamining old beliefs, I encourage readers to put aside Dogmas and live life and do what makes them happy,” Jackson said. “Because peace and happiness are your true nature, as talked about in my book under [the chapter] A New Set of Commandments.”
Embracing the Black community's unique spiritual journeys, Don Jackson fearlessly confronts the challenges encountered along the way. Within the pages of Prodigal, he sheds light on the toxic elements that can permeate mainstream churches, emphasizing the need to transcend the limitations imposed by rigid hierarchies and prioritize personal growth.
The open dialogue and introspection environment offers readers a chance to question long-held beliefs and embrace a new paradigm that centers on personal empowerment and an intimate connection with the divine within.
As for the profound impact of Prodigal on its readers, it imparts a crucial lesson—that we are not separate entities but interconnected aspects of a greater whole. The book emphasizes the concept of oneness, highlighting the continuous flow of consciousness that permeates everything seen and unseen.
When asked about the lesson he wants readers to take away after reading his book, Don answered: “The main takeaway would be that we are not separate selves. There is only one thing happening, a movement and rest of consciousness, the ground core subjective of everything seen and unseen.”
By embracing this understanding, readers can transcend the illusion of separation and connect with the ground core regardless of their ideas on existence. Ultimately, Prodigal invites readers to recognize the unity underlying all aspects of life, fostering a sense of interconnectedness, awareness, and spiritual growth.
Don Jackson's upcoming projects include the release of two new music singles in July, available on all major music platforms. The first single, titled "I Can Do All Things Through Christ," by recording artist Monieka, serves as a touching tribute to his late mother, who passed away last year. The second single, "Touchdown Bounce Bishop Who Dat," is a tribute theme song dedicated to the New Orleans Saints, reflecting Jackson's passion for sports and community.
Don Jackson's Prodigal is more than just a book; it is a transformative guide that empowers individuals within the Black community to challenge conventional spirituality, embrace self-guided exploration, and overcome the unique challenges they face on their spiritual journeys.
Don't hesitate to get in touch with me! I would love to hear from you and help you on your spiritual growth journey.