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Black Spirituality Religion : UNDERSTANDING AFRICAN SPIRITUALITY

Discussion in 'Black Spirituality / Religion - General Discussion' started by Love_Unknown, May 6, 2007.

  1. Love_Unknown

    Love_Unknown Member MEMBER

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    I am very pleased to see that there is a great respect for our African spiritualities here at Destee, but I have also observed that we as a whole still lack an adequate understanding and genuine appreciation for the spiritual ideologies and practices of our ancestors. One who truly and thoroughly understands exactly what our spirituality is and how to use it would know that it is incalculably more than what can be called “religion,” so we therefore make use of the term “spirituality.” But even this term does not adequately describe the totality of knowledge, the complexity of techniques, and the wealth of practices of our brilliant ancestors.

    There simply is no equivalent word in the English language that would encompass the scientific knowledge, the esoteric understanding, the social paradigms, and the ethical makeup of the African way of life. When speaking in a very limited language such as English, we make use of the term “spirituality,” due to fact that the African understanding of the duality of the universe leads us to recognize the universe as being in two parts: one part spiritual and the other part physical, with the spiritual aspect of the universe being dominant over the physical. Therefore, in an attempt to describe the root and core of the entire African way of life (culture, science, ethics, ritual, society, etc.) we must identify it all in its entirety as “African spirituality.”

    In this thread I will outline the fundamental concepts of African spirituality, and will demonstrate that the practice and mastery of its tenets and ideologies by a significant segment of the African masses will repair in our communities what has been broken, and will again place us firmly in the center of the world’s stage that our ancestors had originally constructed in the first place.

    I have not yet seen a comprehensive and systematic explanation of the fundamentals of our African spirituality here at Destee, so I will make the effort to provide one. I do not flatter myself to be anywhere near an “expert” concerning our African spirituality, but I have been studying and practicing for quite a few years and have managed to gain a fairly solid understanding and a very effective practical use of African spiritual concepts, so I will simply tell you what I know.

    The totality of the knowledge amassed by our ancestor’s is far too vast to be attained in a single lifetime, and I myself am still a novice concerning the spiritual practices of our ancestors, so this thread will be a reflection of my spiritual growth and understanding, and I hope that many of us here can also use this thread as part of their growth and understanding of our African spirituality as well.

    I will be adding to this thread periodically, and I invite any and all of us here who have gained a practical knowledge of our spirituality to do the same. This is not a thread for “theories,” and “beliefs.” If your information cannot be clearly seen and evidence in God’s universe for all here to see, then this thread is not the place for it. It is my intention for this thread to be one that can be used for reference purposes for anyone who seeks to understand the fundamentals of our African spirituality.

    It is my wish to provide clarity and a practical working knowledge concerning our ancestral spiritual practices, so please feel free to ask any questions that you might have, but I must ask that we try not to delve too deeply into any one single concept, or let this thread deteriorate into a platform to showcase our esoteric vocabularies. Let’s focus on the basics, and keep our words and concepts at a level where everyone here can understand. So to the spiritually knowledgeable brothers/sisters here, lead if you can, but make sure to walk at a pace and in a manner that the rest of us can follow. Thank you.
  2. Love_Unknown

    Love_Unknown Member MEMBER

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    The Science of African Spirituality

    African science and African spirituality are one and the same. African science/spirituality covers every facet of life, from the spiritual to the material. Our ancestral priests/scientists were geniuses. Understanding of the duality of the universe, our ancestors realized that science/technology is on one hand a very good thing, but it is also equally a very potentially dangerous thing. They knew that scientifically speaking, it is not only important to know “what” to do, but possibly even more importantly, a person practicing the various arts of science should know “why.“ For this reason our ancestors disseminated scientific information and virtually all higher learning through the various priest crafts of the ancient African diaspora.

    In ancient Kemet, for example, virtually all scientific information and “higher knowledge” in general was learned and disseminated through the priesthood. In other words, to be an engineer, an architect, a scribe, a general, a governor, a prince, or a king, one had to also be trained as a priest. Our ancestors very well understood that scientific knowledge and technology can be both powerfully positive, as well as powerfully negative, as we can so clearly see today.

    Our ancestors well understood the potential dangers of undisciplined persons possessing scientific and highly technical knowledge, and therefore not only did they restrict scientific information to the priesthood, but they also further restricted the dissemination of scientific information in the priesthood itself. In what’s commonly called “the Egyptian Mysteries system” the entire wealth of information was divided into levels of knowledge, with each higher level of priests being allowed to possess more information than the level of priests below it. All information was highly restrictive. To help maintain secrecy, Egyptian priests were required to memorize the most powerful and most essential aspects of Kemetian spiritual/scientific knowledge, a process which took a total of forty years to be fully trained in all of the disciplines.

    Which each level of priests knowing less than the one above it, the only persons in the entire civilization of Egypt that were allowed to know “all” of the knowledge of the Egyptian/Ethiopian mysteries were the priests of the very highest level. The European Freemasons have copied this system to form the most powerful “secret society” of our time. They however practice an occult understanding of our ancestral spiritual/scientific practices, and while our ancestors maintained a near perfect harmony with the universe, the Masonic Freemasons and their “technology” are on a fast track to destroying the entire world and everything in it.

    To our African ancestors, the architects of civilization, higher learning is sacred and should only be practiced with the utmost wisdom, care, and understanding. All over the African diaspora, higher learning and technical information (including reading and writing in many cases) was considered to be powerfully sacred, and was learned and practiced through the various cults headed and organized by highly trained priests.

    Africans understand that any use of technology, while having many potential uses, also runs the risk of upsetting the delicate natural balance of the created universe, ultimately leading to our own destruction, as we can so clearly see today. All over Africa, one can see a great respect and reverence for the potentially constructive, as well as the potentially destructive use of technology. The entire Egyptian Mystery system was designed to keep technical knowledge out of the hands of the undisciplined, and the same can be said for the many other priest crafts such as the Yoruba who for example refer to their priests as the “Balalawo,” meaning “Father of Secrets.”

    It is for this reason that so much of Egypt/Ethiopia/Africa in general is such a mystery. When the various Middle Eastern Semites and Indo-Europeans came in to conquer Egypt and killed many of the high priests, much of the spiritual/scientific knowledge of the ancient Egyptians was lost due to the fact that the priests/scientists were not allowed to write much of their knowledge down.

    Having for so long existed as poor stragglers kept on the periphery of Alkebulan (Africa,) Middle Eastern Semites and Indo-Europeans to this day have only a very poor and peripheral understanding of the African spiritualities that they have built their “religions” on. Lacking the wisdom that comes with many thousands of years of scientific/spiritual practice, and failing to understand the potentially negative affects of scientific/technological practice, such groups turned the science that they originally learned from Africans into a tool for power and material gain. It was this misuse of African science/spirituality that began the 2,000 year old era of warfare, genocide, and environmental destruction that we exist in today.
  3. Love_Unknown

    Love_Unknown Member MEMBER

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    African Understanding of the Almighty God

    We begin to gain an understanding of the Almighty God by understanding our self. The human body is composed of matter, yet this matter possesses spirit, the immaterial essence of the human being, what we often call soul/spirit, the true living essence of the human self. Neither matter nor energy can be created or destroyed (in this universal plane,) so neither the human body nor the living soul is destroyed upon separation from each other (physical death,) but each simply changes form. The human body is absorbed into the larger physical universe and becomes the earth, the tree, the rock, the water, the bird, the beast, and the fish in the sea, while the soul/spirit moves onto another plane of existence.

    So like the human being, all things in the universe are known to exist in the same form of duality: part spirit and part physical, with the spiritual aspect being the truly real and living aspect of all things physical. The very same atoms and molecules that make up the earth, the rock, the water, the wind, and everything else in the universe also make up the human body. Why then would the atoms and molecules of the human body possess spirit, while the exact same atoms and molecules in another form (rock, air, water, etc.) completely lack a spiritual essence? Our ancestors would understand this to be a logical fallacy, and like the physical human body, Africans understand that all things in existence, both physical and conceptual, are imbued with living spiritual energy. The sum total of the entirety of all living energy in existence is Oludumare/Nyame/Ra/the One Supreme Being/the Almighty God.

    Our ancestors understand the Almighty God to be exactly that, “almighty.” In the universal language of mathematics, the Almighty God = the sum total of all things. The totality of this being of course is infinite and cannot be calculated by human beings. Therefore, it is understood and accepted that the Almighty God in its entirety is simply beyond human understanding. It is for this reason that our ancestors do not generally make any images of the Almighty. How does one make an image of “all things?“ And to even think that one could understand the Almighty enough to make a picture, or any form of an image is so utterly disrespectful to the understanding and veneration of the Almighty God that it’s considered blasphemous. Others have copied the African prohibition of images of the Almighty, but completely lack understanding as to the wisdom and the concept behind this taboo.

    The African understands that everything in existence is God. All things in the universe, including human beings, are simply small (very small) portions of the One Supreme Being. Therefore, the African understands God to be all powerful, to know all things, and to be in all places at once, simply because the Almighty God “is” all things. This is yet another understanding of our ancestor’s that has been adopted by others, yet only halfway understood.

    The Almighty God is all things (sun, moon, stars, planets, water, rock, love, war, fire, etc.,) and her/his being stretches into every corner of the cosmos and beyond. And since one cannot know and conceptualize the entirety of the Almighty, Africans have forever sought to understand the luminous expanse that is God one small aspect at a time. The African deifies, venerates, worships every minute aspect of God, thus giving us the concept of “lesser gods.” These aspects of the Almighty represent smaller and more understandable aspects of the Almighty God. In other words, the African orisha, abosom, neteru are the various aspects and attributes of the one supreme God. These “lesser gods” are yet another, and perhaps the most, misunderstood spiritual/scientific concepts of our ancestor’s.

    All things in the universe are simply small portions of the One Supreme God. The lesser gods/orisha/abosom/neteru/angels are lesser aspects of the Almighty God that represent any and all aspects of the known universe that have an immediate and significant impact on human society. Examples would be the sun, moon, ocean, river, mountain, forest, fire, metal, love, wealth, justice, motherhood, conception, warfare, etc. What the Africans call “orisha,” “abosom,” “neteru,” the Judeo/Christians call “angels.”

    Since the human being cannot thoroughly conceptualize the endless expanse that is the Almighty God, the orisha/angels exist as aspects of the Almighty more intimate with and close to human beings (water, wind, fire, earth, plants, animals, etc.) to provide an effective link between human beings and the Almighty. Every aspect of the Almighty’s magnificent creation contains an inexhaustible amount of information, and provides a link to the awesome power that is the Almighty God. So while the human being cannot conceptualize, interact with, or effectively come to know the far reaches of the vast universe, we can study, live and work with, and come to know the smaller aspects of the One Supreme God that exist all around us: the water, the mountain, the tree, the river, the rock, the sky, etc. Thus we have the concept of orisha, abosom, neteru, angels, lesser gods. These however are not make believe images and personalities, but they are very real portions of the great living energy that is the one supreme Being. To know them, and to know yourself, is to know God.


    To begin to know/understand God in the African fashion, we can use the process of visualization. Start by thinking of God. Understand God to be “all” things. Visualize in your mind the stretches of the sky, then the moon, then go to the sun, and to the planets, then to the stars, and into the cosmos and the deep reaches of space. Stretch out with your mind as far as you can go, in all directions at once. See in your mind the great expanse that is God. Try to conceptualize it all at once (the planets, stars, asteroids, comets, galaxies, etc.) Of course this is impossible, but do your best to try because this is the Almighty God. Visualize it all at once until the utter vastness makes your head ache. Feel the infinite and incredibly awesome power of God/Oludumare.

    Then when your mind begins to tire, start coming back from the cosmos, back to earth, to the things you know, to the clouds, the bird in the sky, the tree, the leaves in the wind, the grass, the water in the pond. Close your eyes and see them all in your mind, one by one, and feel your mind beginning to ease. These are the beautiful Orisha, the aspects of God/Oludumare that we know, that are close to us. Do you see why our ancestors love them so much. Feel them all around you, each one, one by one, and feel the very intimate connection that you already have with these beings, having lived with them and amongst them all of your life. This is how we begin to understand and worship God in our ancestral fashion, through her/his lesser and more understandable aspects that are closest and most intimate with us, the Orisha.

    Visualize and understand that we exist in an endless expanse of living energy that is God, and when we think of each single aspect of God one at a time, we then are able to conceive of the energy that is/are the Orisha. The living energy of these “gods” exist all around us, in all directions inside and outside of us. We walk through the energy that is the Orisha, we breath these gods into our lungs, they support as we walk, we consume their energy into our bodies, their energy forms the earthly vehicle for our souls called the human body, their energy even makes up the energy of the soul. They are everywhere and everything, the individual components of the Almighty God that we can interact with and focus on to connect to the infinite energy of Oludumare.

    I love the Orisha. They are so beautiful. Perhaps you understand now why they are called angels. No they are not "helpers" of God. The Almighty is "almighty," and therefore doesn't need any "help," remember. The angels are the closer and more understandable aspects of God. The word "angel" is the western word for our beautiful Orisha.
  4. Love_Unknown

    Love_Unknown Member MEMBER

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    Understanding African angels (orisha, abosom, neteru, etc.)

    (For some of you, portions of this post may be a repeat of information that I have provided before, but for reference purposes I thought it was necessary to be included in this thread. For any repetition I do apologize.)

    What Christians and Muslims very ignorantly like to call “idols” are the various figures and objects used in religious worship around the world. These figures, more correctly called “images” or “symbols,” are merely representations of deity and are not in themselves objects of worship. They instead symbolize and bring focus to the particular aspect of God that is actually being accessed and venerated. Do you really think that our ancestors would actually carve something out of wood or stone and then begin to worship it as God? That’s ridiculous. These symbols perform the same function as a Christian cross, a Bible, or a Holy Koran. It is not the wood, or the stone, or the piece of medal, or the pages of the book that are being worshipped. All of these things are considered sacred because they symbolize deity and help us to gain a clearer understanding of awesome and very complex supernatural forces.

    From the African perspective the Almighty God is without beginning or end, and is simply beyond human comprehension. That’s why our ancestors generally did not make any kind of image or physical representation of the Almighty God. It’s considered blasphemous to even think that one could ever understand the Almighty enough to form a physical image of him/her. You will not find many if any shrines or temples dedicated to the Almighty because the understanding is, as the Yoruba say, “if you want to talk to the Almighty simply speak to the wind.” The Almighty is everywhere at once. Being that the Almighty God is beyond understanding in his/her entirety, what white people like to call “idols” are actually physical representations of the lesser and more understandable aspects of God (with a capital “G“,) commonly referred to as the “gods” (always with a lower case “g”.) Examples would be the spirit of the sun, moon, mountains, oceans, fire, love, medicine, warfare, motherhood, etc. Each is seen, much like we are, as lesser aspects of the Almighty God and worshipped as such. Images are made of these various aspects (of which there are more than can be counted,) but never of the Almighty. This is the nature of the infamous “polytheism” that white Christians so often refer to, when in actuality there is none.

    Judeo-Christians call the gods “angels.” We read that before Moses introduced Yahweh to the Hebrews their name for God was “El,” and the lesser more understandable aspects of El would naturally be referred to as the “els.“ This explains why so many of the Judeo-Christian angels have “el” as part of their names (Michael, Ariel, Uriel, Gabriel, Raphael, etc.) Their names are supposed to mean “_____ God” (example: Light of God, Messenger of God, etc.) Having no true human form, gods are commonly depicted as looking like the people who are worshipping them, and therefore Black people have Black gods, White people have white gods, Asian people have Asian gods, etc. We can see that when Judaism was imported to the Angle tribes of Briton now called England, originally called and commonly pronounced “Ang-land,” the Anglo Saxon people would naturally depict the Hebrew gods as looking like themselves, who could then be referred to as the “ang-els.” While Judeo-Christians and Muslims recognize the existence of the gods/angels, (with some notable exceptions) they generally make little or no attempt to form a relationship with them, communicate with them, or gain any understanding of them at all. Spiritualities more closely in line with the African understanding do all of these things on a constant and regular basis.

    Africans recognized the world to be in duality, with one part being spiritual and the other part being physical. The spiritual world is understood to be the “real” world, and the physical world is looked upon as simply a mirror reflection of it. Human beings as we know are spiritual beings, and are only connected to a physical body for a short amount of time. When two people are communicating with each other for example, a truly ignorant person might believe that two physical bodies are talking to each other. But anyone beyond spiritual kindergarten would understand that it is actually the interaction of two spirits that they are observing. The bodies only provide the necessary medium and the focal point of interaction, and one day perhaps we will progress beyond the need for physical communication and be able to address each other directly, soul to soul. When I think of my brother for instance I see his face and physical body in my mind, but his physical body is only the crude representation of his true spiritual self. Trying to picture my brother’s true self, his actual spirit, is simply beyond my capabilities at this primitive stage of my human evolution, so I make use of a physical image when attempting to understand and relate to him. The same is done for the lesser aspects of the Almighty God, the gods. And to understand the gods you only need to understand yourself, because human beings represent still lesser (far lesser) aspects of the Almighty God.

    The Almighty God by definition is omnipresent and in all places at once. So where exactly is there room for anything else? Simple, there is none. The African understands this. God is in “all” places. God is therefore in “all” things. God is “all” things. There is no thing that is not God. There is nothing but God. All things in existence are understood to make up tiny portions of the great spirit that is God. Human beings are spiritual beings that are represented by human bodies. We know this because if we cut off any part of our bodies and throw it across the room, we can see that we are not over there, and that when the human being dies his living essence ceases to inhabit the body anymore. This is immediately evident when looking at a spiritless body, especially that of a loved one. I was of course quite sad at my Great Grandmother’s passing, but when I looked at her earthly remains at her funeral I felt nothing, because I could see instantly that my Grandmother was not there. Her essence, her spiritual presence that I had sensed so many times before was not present in that withered body, so I had no reaction to it, and my mother said the exact same thing. Just as it is evident that our physical bodies are endowed with a mortal spirit (goes through cycles of life and death,) the elements of creation that are endowed with immortal spirit (never experiencing death) are referred to as gods.

    Each of us has a recognizable nature, certain qualities, talents and capabilities that make up our unique individual spiritual identity. The orisha/abosom/neteru/angels/gods are the same. Calm waters, for example, can be seen to have a maternal and nurturing quality like the amniotic fluid that lovingly envelopes, nurtures and protects the baby inside its mother, and a creative life-giving quality as expressed in the Egyptian concept of the “primordial waters“ where all life on earth came from (interesting to note that modern science is now saying the same thing.) To help us gain a workable understanding of this awesomely powerful spiritual force it is personified and given a human identity whose complex metaphysical qualities are explained in simplistic human terms. The spirit of water then in Yoruba is named “Yemonja,” which is described as being female in nature and represents the essence of motherhood, nurturing, and maternal protection.

    The intensely powerful spirit of lightening is referred to as “Shango,” which is said to be male in nature and is personified as the warrior, and the strategist. In Ifa mythology his first wife is “Oya,” the beautiful, bearded female warrior, the spirit of the Niger river, the tornado, the whirlwind, the marketplace, the gatekeeper to the cemetery, the essence of female anger, of change, the difficult to know, the essential to know. (sound like female anger?) Shango is said to have been an actual person in Yoruba history, a former king of Oyo, who personified the spirit of thunder and lightening with his quick temper, verbal rage, and military might to such a degree that when he died the spirit of thunder (said to be originally called “Jakuta”) would from them on be remembered by the people as Sango. Many gods of many countries around the world received their names and personal identities in this manner. The simple minded however fail to realize and often forget that it is not the human personality that is being worshipped, but the powerful aspect of God/force of nature that the person seemed to personify that is actually worthy of worship. Make sense?

    Just as every human being has both positive and negative, constructive and destructive aspects of his/her character, so do the gods. Water is the most essential mineral in the body, the body from which life on earth has sprung, more than three days without it and we’re dead. It is also the powerful ocean, the tidal wave, the mysterious depths of the sea, and as little as one cup of it in our lungs can kill us. This aspect of the spirit of water is recognized as being male in nature and is referred to in Yoruba as “Olukun.” So just as science has recognized that all human beings actually have both male and female aspects with one or the other being dominant, Africans traditionally recognize this same quality in the gods. Africans gods are generally seen as being both male and female in duality, with one identity being more dominant than the other. Therefore the general spirit of water in Yoruba can be expressed as “Yemonja/Olukun.”

    We call on doctors when we are sick. We call on teachers when we are in need of education. We call on warriors in times of war. And most human beings are much more likely to heed our call and help us if we offer them something in return for their kindness (love, friendship, material compensation, etc.) Our relationship with the gods is much the same. Our ancestors understood that “fair exchange” does as well to promote good relationships with the gods as it does with human beings. To build a positive relationship between gods and men, Africans seek to stay in constant communication with the gods (prayer,) and offer things of value (sacrifices) to promote a favorable response to their prayers. These most often take the form of food, drink, money, blood for very serious concerns, etc. Although we as human beings have need of and therefore place value on these physical things, the gods of course do not. What can be seen as desirable to the gods however is our willingness to make sacrifices, especially on their behalf. Could it be that the gods are like us in yet another way in that all they really want is love? Interesting thought.

    But while the Almighty is in possession of all things, and is therefore in need of nothing, we are in need of many things and so are the other lesser aspects of God. Many Africans throughout history have done many things in service to the gods. But just a thought- since the Almighty God has all things, and is therefore in need of nothing, 1) Why would it be necessary to sacrifice to/for the Almighty. From what I have seen, Africans generally do not do this, and only offer sacrifices to the lesser gods. And 2) Since Moses was “learned in all the ways of the Egyptians” why would he instruct the Hebrews to offer sacrifices to Yahweh? Perhaps this is why Moses’ god gets jealous, kills people, talks to people in tents, writes on tablets, and does all kinds of other “lesser aspect” type things. Do these qualities and actions seem to be descriptive of the Almighty? Hmmm.

    The Judeo/Christian and Muslim gods, Jehovah/Yahwey, Allah, and Jesus Christ, do not possess the characteristics of and do not bear a resemblance to the totality of the Almighty God. Although these gods are “said” to be the Almighty, these gods instead have much more in common with the lesser gods of the various pantheons of Africa and related civilizations all over the world.

    First of all, the Almighty God does not “want” or “need” anything, this includes prayers, rituals, sacrifices, praise, devotion, or anything else. Being “almighty” and therefore in possession of all things, what can we or anything else in the universe give or offer to the Almighty God anything that she/he is not already in possession of? The One Supreme Being is complete, and therefore in “need” of nothing. All other things, including both lesser gods and human beings, are simply pieces of a whole and not complete in themselves. This is why the lesser gods “need” worship, and veneration, and “require” devotion, service, and sacrifice. Human beings also of course need honor and praise, and also require some form of loyalty, service, and sacrifice (time, energy, love, attention, etc.) from their fellow human beings. Such ritual acts and offerings are necessary and appropriate for lesser gods, but entirely unnecessary for the Almighty.

    To say that God’s kingdom” is somehow “threatened” by another being, God’s evil opposite (The Devil) is absolutely ridiculous and insulting to the veneration of the One Supreme Being. First and foremost, there is only one supreme being, not two. The Almighty has no “evil” opposite god that threatens her/his kingdom. The Almighty God is all things (positive and negative,) and there exists no being anywhere near powerful enough to “rival” the One Supreme Being in any way.

    Africans are monotheistic and recognize the existence of only one supreme being, and are not “bi-theistic” as Judeo/Christians are who acknowledge the existence of two gods, one supposedly good and benevolent (Jehovah/Yahwey,) and his evil and malicious opposite (Satan/the devil.) The Almighty God has not opposites, no rivals, and while the universe is balanced by “constructive” and “destructive” forces, there essentially exists no such thing as evil. It is all God.

    This leads us to the concept of “hell.” Growing up as a Christian it was explained to me that hell is a place without God, where the presence of God doesn’t exist, and where God is therefore inaccessible. This is ludicrous. Africans understand that the Almighty God is omnipresent. This means that the Almighty is in “ALL” places, not some places, and not in some places or some people more than others. If the Almighty God is in all places (which she/he is,) and the Almighty God is not in hell, then WHERE IS HELL? Of course we understand that there is no such place.

    Of course karmic law dictates that the energy that we put out in the universe will come back to us, but there exists no place of “eternal damnation” for all the people that God wants to forget about. The concept of hell is in direct contradiction to the understanding of the Almighty, and exists as a scare tactic of the Abrahamic faiths to put the “fear of God” into people and keep their churches, synagogues, and mosques filled with frightened and easily controlled people. Our ancestors tell us that we should have no fear. God is love. Why would we fear that?

    And it is most peculiar and even laughable indeed to believe or fear that one might be praying to the “wrong god.“ Such thinking is simply ridiculous and denotes a terrible lack of understanding of the Almighty. The Almighty God is all things, positive and negative, constructive and destructive. All things are the Almighty. So what in existence is “not“ God? Where in all of existence can one not find God? Understanding God to be in all places at once, where could a prayer possibly go but to God? One can however choose to worship, honor, and venerate very powerful and beneficial aspects of God such as the love, safety, wisdom, intelligence for example, or you can choose to worship and obsess over the destructive aspects of nature and the universe, such as pain, suffering, hatred, jealousy, greed, etc. The choice is yours, but whichever or whatever the case may be, it’s all God.

    God is of course all things. And when we pray we of course do not and cannot ask for “all things,“ so we therefore ask for different aspects of God as we come to be in need of them (peace, happiness, love, success, wealth, victory, etc.) These “aspects” of God are what our ancestor’s call Orisha/Abosom/Neteru. Africans understand that the Creator has already provided us with all that we need, and that we are actually already in possession of all things. We must simply know how to access these magnificent gifts of God. Africans do this through worship and understanding.

    As stated earlier, African spirituality is a full and complete science. Our spirituality is our understanding of the Almighty God, which we know is the understanding of all things. We know that the physical world is simply a mirror reflection of the “real” world, the spiritual world, and it is all God. Therefore each physical thing in the universe exists to relate to us and help us understand a certain quality and aspect of the Creator. All things that can be experienced in this physical universe reflect a larger and deeper spiritual understanding of the Almighty God that can be gained from careful study, meditation, and introspection. This is how the Orisha/Abosom/Neteru came into being.

    The Orisha are not human beings. They are depicted as men or women to help us clearly understand the characteristics and qualities of a certain aspect of God/nature. This personification of nature fits perfectly well because like us the aspect of nature is essentially a living energy and can be well understood by being expressed in humanistic terms. The physical qualities of the aspect of nature, it’s relationship with other aspects of nature, and it’s potential uses are turned into descriptions, images, characteristics of, and stories about the personified Orisha. For example:

    Ogun is the Orisha of “iron,” and/or “metal.” Our ancestors have been working with iron for a very long time, and over thousands of years had developed a very close relationship with this aspect of Oludumare that led to its development into an Orisha.

    Iron is the chief metal/substance used by our ancestors to fashion the tools that they used to build their cities and assist them in their various technical trades, so therefore Ogun is known as the “builder of civilization“ in the Yoruba pantheon.

    It’s incredible density and durability, and its ability to be sharpened into the deadliest swords and blades also makes it a substance that was heavily used by our ancestors to fashion their weapons of war. Perhaps the strongest of all the moldable metals used by the early civilizations, iron simply cuts and smashes through flesh, bone, wood, stone, softer metals, and most any other substance in its path. Ogun is therefore regarded as an incredibly fierce warrior with terrible brute strength.

    Iron is an unforgiving metallic substance, and must be handled with the utmost care because even a mild blow from a sharp and/or heavy iron tool or weapon can easily hurt, maim, and even kill most any living creature. Think of how many times that we have accidentally cut ourselves using one of Ogun’s blades. His/her temper then is said to run white hot, and many stories are told about him/her killing people for even the slightest offense, often times under mistaken circumstances.

    Especially in the context of war, you can bet that iron was used by our ancestors to write many wrongs, and therefore Ogun is closely associated with ethics and justice. We can only imagine how many times one of our big NFL linebacker looking ancestors had to pick up one their iron tools or weapons to go regulate a disturbance, correct some misdealings, or open up a can of “act right juice” on somebody who didn’t know how to act right.

    Our ancestors also fashioned out of iron their hunting implements that they would carry on their long solitary trips through the woods in pursuit of wild game. Therefore Ogun is known to a bit of a loner who in one of this aspects is a hunter whose energy can best be felt and accessed in the woods.

    Ogun is recognized and depicted in three major aspects: warrior, hunter, and farmer (the three classes of people in our ancestral societies most closely associated with and dependent on tools of iron. Knives, spears, arrows, and hoes are still to this day some of the implements that are used to represent the energy/Orisha known as Ogun.

    As with any other thing in existence, iron is simply another aspect of the One Supreme God, and a study of it’s physical qualities, its multiplicity of uses, and its relationship with human beings provides us with a great deal of detailed information about the Creator, and gives us access to a tremendous amount of power, both physically and spiritually, that can be derived from a detailed understanding and close relationship with iron and metal. The same can be said and done to any and all other aspects of Oludumare (sun, moon, water, vegetation, animals, conception, sex, peace, creativity, rivers, lakes, etc.) These are the Orisha/Abosom/Neteru that our ancestors lived with, studied, worshipped and venerated every day of their lives.
  5. Love_Unknown

    Love_Unknown Member MEMBER

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    The African science of connecting with God

    A work in progress
  6. hiphopolx

    hiphopolx Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I'm diggin this thread L U but you know someone has to disagree with something here to give this intelligent thread that 'UMPH!!' or in other words a balance, as someone here said B 4 too much good is actually not good (as interperted by me) So I'll state my disagreement.

    Love_Unknown
    'Our ancestors understand the Almighty God to be exactly that, “almighty.” In the universal language of mathematics, the Almighty God = the sum total of all things. The totality of this being of course is infinite and cannot be calculated by human beings. Therefore, it is understood and accepted that the Almighty God in its entirety is simply beyond human understanding. It is for this reason that our ancestors do not generally make any images of the Almighty. How does one make an image of “all things?“ And to even think that one could understand the Almighty enough to make a picture, or any form of an image is so utterly disrespectful to the understanding and veneration of the Almighty God that it’s considered blasphemous. Others have copied the African prohibition of images of the Almighty, but completely lack understanding as to the wisdom and the concept behind this taboo. '


    I've come to understand that our only boundries in this realm is space and time. So I feel understanding God/me/you/nature....... is possible. The concept of infinty is generally not hard to understand. I like the comparision to our illusion of seperation to that of an infinite realm of water with all sorts of ice, frost, crystal in all shapes and sizes. These infinite things in this water is us believing were separate. But from this side of the fence we can easily see everything as water in it's infinite of forms.
    If we can't die then it's just a matter of time till we gain this full understanding of God

    peace
  7. Love_Unknown

    Love_Unknown Member MEMBER

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    Alafia Hiphopolx,

    Glad to see you're still out there brother. I started this thread because I want to encourage MUCH more discussion about out own African spiritualities, and Sister Destee alluded to me that the reason that there was often more discussion on foreign religious ideologies was because many of us don't have a very detailed understanding of our own. This thread is my attempt to help rectify this situation but I'm not sure how good of a job I'm doing, but I'll keep trying. It almost sickens me to see post after post and response after response on the KJV and the color of the cross and the great wealth of thought being pulled away from our own "brilliant" spiritual understandings, so I won't stop trying to correct this time wasting error of ours. But as always, your comments are most welcome and I'm happy to respond.

    What I'm relating to you here brother is our ancestral understanding, not simply my own. The understanding that "God" cannot thoroughly be perceived by human beings is theirs, not just mine. Our understanding of God, is that God (Oludumare/Nyame/Mawu) is "all" things. This is a basic fact, and not much else can be understood without this fundamental knowledge. How close you are to knowing all things is about as close as you are to knowing God.

    The physical world is a mirror reflection of the spiritual world. In other words, seeing, touching, tasting, smelling, knowing, understanding, the physical world is knowing and understanding God. Of course we can only know so intimately very small pieces of God (the wind, rain, trees, grass, mountain, etc,) which is why these things are called "lesser gods." They are "parts" of the entire universe that is God, but "lesser" parts. So yes, we know that the universe is endless, but that's all we know. Our "understanding" is limited to that. No matter how far we go, there is always farther. We can never reach the end. We can never "fully" know God. So yes, we understand what infinity is, but we cannot calculate its amount. So basically, we know of its existence, and we see little pieces of it, but that's it. If you believe you can, then try to calculate the complete number of pi (3.14......) Just a warning, those that have tried to do such a foolish thing have lost their minds. The same is true for anybody foolish enough to try to understand the entire being of "God." What do you think brother?
  8. hiphopolx

    hiphopolx Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Hotep bro

    I wouldn't call trying to fully understand God foolish at all. As intelligent as you are you are placing limits of your own understanding. You should be learning all you can and passing it down to the next generation. Each 1 teach 1, then they will do the same. Before long (a few generations) we should have a nice grasp of God and all the aspects that came with this journey. Our ancesters have done an incredible job and incredible is a understatement there isn't an english word to describe what they've done. But sadly it obviously wasn't enough because the culture that birthed the science and school of thought they manifested is over. Culturally the world is digressing, If they(our ancesters) were truly finish on the spiritual,scientific journey they started we (our brother and sisters) would not be in the predicament we are in. Most ppl I know are caught up in the popular schools of thought, western culture and the 3 major religions. Or at least trying to get away of religion altogether. It's very clear to me If religion were treated with the same standards of science these ppl wouldn't be turning away, because if there was something you didn't understand or thought was wrong you can actually prove through scientific study/experiments why the present or popular belief is wrong and if you can't and realize your error in judgement then at least you've come to a better understanding than before. Now let's compare that to trying to prove that some verse in the various books of any particular faith is true or not. I don't hear too many ppl going crazy trying to figure out the complete number of 'PI' but I can come up with plenty of stories of ppl losing it and doing countless actions that would harm themselves or others or both in the name of religion. I'm starting to learn that dealing with things or believing in things that can be proving wrong can really damage your mind. Ppl I know of who are chronic liars truly have a hard time grasping simple things in their lives that most of their peers can grasp. If I was told in science class that God was a white man who created the heavens and earth in 7 days I'm pretty sure most ppl could disprove this in less than 1 day in class. Now look how long it's taken to disprove this in the name of faith. (and that's just 1 sample) Any how getting back on track, I still believe the full understanding of God/you/me/nature is possible

    peace
  9. Goddess Auset333

    Goddess Auset333 Banned MEMBER

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    Beloved Mighty warrior LOVE_UNKNOWN:

    Please do not stop caring and sharing.

    May Truth and reality continue to be deeply rooted in you and like minds, even the forces behind Nature can not uproot the Truth and reality in those who are the Truth and reality BEARERS.

    HILY/A
  10. Moorfius

    Moorfius Member MEMBER

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    Rise up O Divine Ancestors and Live in Us your Children!

    Hotep

    In the name of all things great and powerful...and in the name of the divine Ancestors*
    May the Spirits of the divine KEMET (African) Ancestors Live in "Us" and continue to Bless us with the Light of (overstanding) Understanding*

    O Ancestors! Blacker than a thousand midnights...KMT (African) Ancestors! It is to YOU that "We"...your Children...give Respect and Honor.

    Rise up!...O African (KMT) Ancestors and Live in Us and let our enemies be scattered! Give us the wisdom and the boldness to deal with our oppressors and those who would hinder the "Liberation and Empowerment of our People".

    AMUN

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