Light in the Dark/Luz en lo Oscuro: Rewriting Identity, Spirituality, Reality
Now Let Us Shift …Conocimiento…Inner Work, Public Acts
This chapter represents the culmination of Anzaldúa’s intellectual-ontological-political journey; illustrates her theory of autohistoria-teoría and her aesthetics; and extends her previous work in feminist theory. Building on her earlier theories of “el mundo zurdo” (1970s), “the new mestiza” (1980s), “nepantla” (1990s), and “nepantleras” (2000s), Anzaldúa synergistically expands them into her relational onto-epistemology, or what she names “conocimiento.” An intensely personal, fully embodied process that gathers information from context, conocimiento also incorporates imaginal, spiritual-activist, and ontological dimensions. Drawing on her own experiences (episodes of deep depression, diabetes diagnosis, declining health, literary desires, and engagements with feminist and other progressive social movements), Anzaldúa presents a nonlinear healing journey, or what she calls “the seven stages of conocimiento.” This theory of conocimiento queers conventional ways of knowing and offers readers a holistic, activist-inflected onto-epistemology designed to effect change on multiple interlocking levels. This chapter also explores nepantleras, identity politics, animism, the Coatlicue state.