Black Spirituality Religion : 2 gods are better than 1: an argument for polytheism...

Discussion in 'Black Spirituality / Religion - General Discussion' started by nibs, Feb 10, 2007.

  1. nibs

    nibs Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    background
    any theological system is a mechanism of explaning the unknown; a system of explaining what is not readily apparent. in practice, these systems form the foundation for experiencing and knowing the unknown.

    a deity is a consciousness governing some energy/force. energy can be spiritual, or physical (scientific, e=mc^2)

    initially, the focus shall be on self-created deities. deities, gods...that come into being through their own will/force/consciousness.
    lesser gods/angels/jinns are temporarily excluded from the discussion.

    monotheism
    monotheism is a concept that reflects a superstitious relationship with the creator. it is born out of the fear of somehow offending one's creator. otherwise, what's the harm in having 2 gods? you have 2 [biological] parents, and this isn't a problem...
    additionally, monotheism inherently personifies & mysterizes god. the notion of 1 deity collapses all of existence into 1 guiding consciousness. i guiding conscious being. all aspects of nature must somehow agree consistently within one consciousness; even though most aspects of nature have polar opposites.
    thus, in a monotheistic system, the universe must be the manifestation of an inner struggle within this deity as that is what manifests throughout the universe. the creation is a reflection of the creator.
    why did the monotheistic creator allow evil and disorder?
    where is the monotheistic deity, if it is this guiding consciousness that shapes all?

    conceptually, monotheism traps the mind by forcing it to think within a fixed paradigm.
    monotheism requires belief.

    galactic parallel
    polytheistic systems are based on the idea of building on a source/potential. for example, swirling hot gasses in the universe form galaxies; these galaxies throw off material during their formation that form suns; these suns, while forming, throw off material that form planets.
    thus, the potential is all that existed; from that potential galaxies, stars/suns, and planets form.
    while "something" did provide that source/potential...nothing actually guided the creation of a particular galaxy or star or planet. they simply self-manifested from that potential. thus, they exist with nothing to directly point to as a creator. they are self-created.
    this is the general paradigm.

    man as a microcosm
    humans are creators in their own right. the creative process within humans is essentially along these lines:
    an idea/concept is born
    a plan to realize this idea is developed (words, written instructions, visual diagram)
    action is taken to manifest what initially was merely an idea. (all of the physical reality that humans can manipulate).
    this can be as simple as: hunger -> decision on what to eat -> procure food & eat
    even though these stages are related; they are actually independent and exist in completely different realms. the feeling/idea of hunger is different from the decision of what and when to eat. procuring and eating food are physical actions.
    they exist in completely different realms.

    interpretting the human macrocosm
    traditional cosmologies that express the development often follow this paradigm of independent yet related stages:
    source/potential -> nu, undifferentiated matter
    hidden animating force -> amun
    consciousness/self-awareness (motion) -> atem
    architect/designer/planner -> ptah
    creator -> ra

    the existence of each of these (forces) is self-evident. these are several aspects of existence.
    polytheism breaks with monotheism in that it does not require a single governing consciousness to manifest each of these aspects. these aspects are self-created from their environment, which provides the potential.

    while technically there is a "supreme being", this is only in the fact that "being" is the state of existence. thus "being" is the source of the potential that all things manifest. the "supreme being" does not have a guiding hand in developing these other aspects of existence.

    benefits to polytheism
    a) it explains the mystery god dilemna
    rather than looking for the one guiding consciousness that governs all, one can realize the conscious aspects of existence that continue to manifest throughout all.
    a conflict isn't some mysterious phenomena a deity decided to allow, it is a natural exchange between manifestations of a particular deity.

    b) evil & disorder are explained
    there isn't a need to understand why a deity would destroy or allow it's creation to be destroyed; as ultimately that only reflects poor planning by the deity. instead, evil & disorder simply manifest from the potential that is order & harmony. if there is a potential, something will manifest as the creative forces exist and continue to exist.
    1 is imbalanced. imbalance is potential.
    2 is balanced. balance is neutral.
    anytime there is uniformity, there is an imbalance, thus potential for something to manifest to create balance. 1+1=2
    any balanced pair can be seen as a singular unit. 2 = 1
    "disharmony" is inevitable.

    c) divination is partially explained
    astrology, divination...etc. the same forces that created the universe, the galaxies, the stars, solar systems, planets, earth, you...these forces manifest at all levels of the universe and continue to do so. thus, studying one "level" of the universe, provides insight into others. the same forces follow the same patterns. the only question is in interpretting those patterns.

    in practice, if you can isolate a deity; if you can isolate a particular "force" and connect with the consciousness that guides it...you can control that force. these deities, conscious forces...etc manifest throughout the universe. thus within and without.

    polytheism excels where monotheism falls short; as polytheism explains what monotheism relegates to belief. polytheism is self-evident, and points to a path of experience; whereas monotheism requires faith.
     
  2. nibs

    nibs Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    african polytheism..

    african spirituality in general is based on several base principles:
    foundation
    a) humans are spiritual beings with a material counterpart. in general, all things material have a spiritual counterpart, and a conceptual (idea) counterpart as well.

    b) spirituality is meant to enhance life, by living more fully. living both physically and spiritually.

    c) life isn't a singular journey, but one in a number of successive journeys. you reincarnate within your descendents. thus, you are your own ancestor. a person could literally be their own grandparent & grandchild, if the grandparent transitions before the grandchild is born.

    d) spiritual knowledge provides control of one's destiny after this lifetime.

    spiritual hierarchy
    the spiritual hierarchy is typically organized in this manner:
    the supreme being
    self-created deities
    created deities (including deified ancestors)
    ancestral spirits
    humans

    the supreme being
    the supreme being is often presented "monotheistically", raskhalif mentioned the yoruba, in that tradition olodumare is the supreme being, utterly incomprehensible and unrepresentable. similar to nebertcher in kemet.
    esoterically, the supreme being is often understood "monistically" as the only "true" reality or state of being/existence.

    self-created deities
    self-created deities are essentially "conceptual". they describe conceptualized divine forces. these can be interpretted as manifestations on the collective subconscious, or universal conscious...etc. if you project an idea with enough clarity...it becomes real. conceptually these same divine attributes that the self-created deities represent manifest within you.

    created deities
    created deities are spiritual beings that possess individual identities, and represent or embody various divine forces. as raskhalif has discussed already, in the yoruba tradition these are the orisha. in kemet, the neteru. in akan, the abosom...etc.

    these spiritual beings communicate via possession using humans as vehicles. they can be communicated with via divination mechanisms. they manifest in dreams. there are spiritual techniques involving higher states of trance that can be utilized to communicate with them.

    created gods serve as intermediaries between humans and the supreme being. in a sense they are intermediaries between humans and forces within humans that are not easily tappable or controllable.

    while self-created gods are speculative and conceptual, the created deities are spiritual beings in a similar manner as how humans are spiritual beings.

    communication with these deities is a learned practice.

    ancestral spirits
    ancestral spirits are ancestors that have transitioned from physical existence; in general they persist as long as they are known and remembered. spirits have a finite amount of power over the material world; and thus can intervene positively and negatively. the essence of life and ones identity is spiritual and not material. thus, the entire essence of ones existence persists after death, and this is honored.
    considering how the process of reincarnation works; you essentially are your own ancestor, venerating one's ancestors is to venerate one's previous identities (and closely related identities). thus, you honor your past (ancestors) and build for your future (descendents).

    while there are techniques and concepts to break the cycle of reincarnation and attain an amount of immortality...you will always retain a connection to this world as a part of you will continue on within this world, through your children.
     
  3. Love_Unknown

    Love_Unknown Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Hello Nibs.

    Enjoyed dialoguing in chat with you today. I’m glad to see you posting threads. These are the first I’ve seen from you. You’ve been riding shotgun with other spiritual souljahs and doing an outstanding job, and I was wondering when you were going to take the wheel yourself and begin to direct the flow of conversation more. Brother Sekhemu has, in my opinion, been holding down this spirituality forum almost single handedly. You’ve been patrolling this forum like a night watchman and I for one am very impressed with your commitment, your thought process, and level of spirituality. Very impressive, and I’m so very glad to see that you are in the process of putting another stripe on your shoulder and promoting yourself to more of a leadership role around here. You have a practical/common sense approach to spirituality much like mine I believe, so whenever you decide to break out of your contemplative cave like the black Batman, I’ll be more than happy to be the Robin (without the green tights though.) :toast:

    In addition to your comments, I believe that the veneration of a single deity will intrinsically lead to an imbalance. The Christian understanding of “good” and “evil” is wrong, thinking that all good comes from God and all bad comes from somewhere else. There is nothing else. God is all things, positive and negative. There is no single act for example that is all good or all bad. The goal is balance. Prayer for example is of course a wonderfully positive thing, but there is certainly a negative aspect of prayer. The concept of witchcraft for example is simply thought, prayer, or ritual designed to bring about a negative result, using positive energy in the reverse. And we certainly should not spend “all” of our time praying, but should achieve balance. To completely consume your time in prayer and neglect other basic necessities (food, shelter, security, etc.) is inadvisable to say the least, and will quickly lead to imbalance. We cannot spend “all” of our time praying, just as we cannot focus “all” of our spiritual energy and attention on any single aspect of God.

    Positive prayer and worship are effective in any form, but certainly more effective in some forms than others. The Christ energy, the energy of the sun, the energy that Christians do not even realize that they are venerating, is the energy of the ruler of the heavens, the king of kings. I’m convinced that is no accident that sun worship was such a dominant practice among kings/queens and other rulers, while common people tended to focus more on other energies (water, fertility, love, money, mother hood, etc.) Africentric people venerate the energies most necessary and intimate in their daily lives. What need has a common man/woman such as you and I to “constantly” venerate the energy of divine leadership, the king of kings? Obsessed and imbalanced with this energy, no wonder Christians so arrogantly tend to believe that they are “above” other people, that they are the favorites of God, that they alone are fit to rule this world. They are drunk and obsessed with this energy, completely off balance and destroying everything. Give me some of your thoughts brother, and lets see if we can’t jazz up this forum a little bit. (Hope u don’t mind the comic strip analogies, I apologize if you do.)

    Also, could you elaborate more on the concept of self-created deities as opposed to created deities, preferably in the Yoruba tradition which I have the best understand of. In my own personal practice I do not make a distinction between the two. What benefits are you aware of that can be gained by doing so? Thanks brother. Peace.
     
  4. Amnat77

    Amnat77 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Namaste' nibs,

    Great post!

    I concur with love_unknown, about time you took the reins....uhm...get ready for MP's wrath though...lol...lol that was a Joke Sis DESTEE

    The uniformity of Our ancestors spritual foundations is evident; be it AKan, Yoruba, Kemet....etc
     
  5. emanuel goodman

    emanuel goodman Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    what is our role



    Hello nibs, I have been gone for a while trying to be silent and study and most of listen! I have been mediating and daydreaming about our role. As products of the black substance the orgin the source. I have a hard time beliving that the universal life soure and the thought amen-ra put the energy in motion to create and sustain us for our own individual goals while in existence or in a current state of chemical existence. There is much work to do with our relationship to our mother neter(earth). However what is our role. It is my opinion that amimals and the earth are looked upon for direction in light of the fact that there know there role and live to for fill that role and only that role. While us humans whom have a desire choose the desire over our will which is devine essence via our energetic connection with the souce as etherians(ether). I know that this does not exactlly tie into your post between mono thesism and poly thesim and i apologize it is just that i know that one must study throughly to understand that mono theisim ( as is it presented by the dominant religious sources today has nothing to do with the interdependant structures of physical existence water, earth, thought, justice, harmony, all play a role in the sum of the whole. However within each system it comprises several parts that function to help the individual perform his or her role ,just like the human body. Nothing in the system can ever perform different or outside of it's role or the entire system is dysfunctional or out of harmony. Monothesim as it is presented today is dysfuncitonal does not address the neter or the natural thus not sustaing or fulling it role as definded by the source. Thus mother neter is dying and the entire system is functioning just like a car with the warning light on. If we continue the ignore the light the engine will eventually die.! That is what is happening to our mother right now. I am gulity to of deciding that german things are more important every day instead of my role in the system. working, clothing, how i look appear and sound to others stautus etc i can go on and on!!! Dear elder osiris is right we have to begin to reject the physical realities that we are currently slaves to and just deal with the physcial existence of our electronic energy because the electronice energy is who we really are not this current compostion of earth,water,and sun or tamure. Hotep brother once again your knowlegde is existence and scholarship is inspiring!
     
  6. nibs

    nibs Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    (Love_Unknown) - Enjoyed dialoguing in chat with you today. I’m glad to see you posting threads. These are the first I’ve seen from you. You’ve been riding shotgun with other spiritual souljahs and doing an outstanding job, and I was wondering when you were going to take the wheel yourself and begin to direct the flow of conversation more.

    thanks for the kind words, the depth and breadth of knowledge and wisdom in these forums is overwhelming; so i am simply looking for the areas where i can best contribute.

    (Love_Unknown) - The Christian understanding of “good” and “evil” is wrong, thinking that all good comes from God and all bad comes from somewhere else. There is nothing else. God is all things, positive and negative. There is no single act for example that is all good or all bad. The goal is balance.

    i agree with this 100%. you spoke directly of your experience with eshu; christians attempted to associate eshu with "satan"; but eshu is the opener of ways. eshu is the messenger of the gods; and it's understood that eshu translates prayers to the language of the gods on behalf of humans. while eshu is uncontrollable; eshu represents a very positive, necessary aspect of existence.
    a similar situation exists in kemet with set, who is the archetype for the christian satan. the problem is set really represents uncontrollable passion, lust, energy...etc. not really evil per sé. this is why set protects the boat of ra. when creation is viewed as a necessary development for the omnipotency of "god" to experience; it is that very force of set, that animalistic desire for passion; that drives the desire for creation and expression.
    thus, set is a necessary force, in many ways a beautiful force; but one that must be controlled and expressed in moderation. thus the battle of heru over set, the sphinx represent mind over the animalistic nature...etc.

    balance is important.
    also interesting is that set protects ra, but challenges heru. when you look at the hierarchy, set is not opposition to the creator; set himself relies on the creator to function. set is an opposition to balance, harmony & order; which is why set (within us) must be maintained.

    (Love_Unknown) - The Christ energy, the energy of the sun, the energy that Christians do not even realize that they are venerating, is the energy of the ruler of the heavens, the king of kings. I’m convinced that is no accident that sun worship was such a dominant practice among kings/queens and other rulers, while common people tended to focus more on other energies (water, fertility, love, money, mother hood, etc.) Africentric people venerate the energies most necessary and intimate in their daily lives. What need has a common man/woman such as you and I to “constantly” venerate the energy of divine leadership, the king of kings? Obsessed and imbalanced with this energy, no wonder Christians so arrogantly tend to believe that they are “above” other people, that they are the favorites of God, that they alone are fit to rule this world. They are drunk and obsessed with this energy, completely off balance and destroying everything.

    that is a brilliantly perceptive point. the origin of that imbalanced obsession with solar-worship is typically traced to the king akhenaten. while all the kings regarded themselves as children of ra (solar creative force), the living embodiment of heru (regulator of solar force)...etc. it was akhenaten that decided to enforce a statewide religion and abolish worship of all other gods not associated with the solar force.
    that is very insightful, monotheism is essentially an imbalanced obsession with the solar life-force; to the detriment of all others.
    it's not just christianity; muslims align themselves with the sun rising when they pray. the old testament is a corruption of akhenaten's doctrine, and begins with solar symbolism representing the creator.

    (Love_Unknown) - Also, could you elaborate more on the concept of self-created deities as opposed to created deities, preferably in the Yoruba tradition which I have the best understand of. In my own personal practice I do not make a distinction between the two.

    created deities depend on their creator; and must serve their purpose. self-created deities are limitless.

    all of the divine forces exist within the human microcosm; so if we begin there: part of the issue with self-created deities is in explaining "births", "creations" and seemingly unrelated changes and developments; all of which happen all the time.
    self-created deities manifest from within the potential that gives birth to them. for example, for a desire or a feeling to become a tangible idea, you interpret a feeling of hunger; and this feeling somehow produces an idea of food. "ideas" and "thoughts" are born out of the potential that "feelings" and "desires" have created.
    "ideas" give birth to "plans" which gives birth to "action". "desires", "ideas", "words" and "actions" all exist within their own realms; but one gives birth to the other.

    each self-created deity represents a particular concept, and this is why they were at times viewed separately; to understand the interrelated processes that give birth to each other.

    in yoruba tradition specifically, there is the understanding that olodumare does not get involved in the affairs of humans, and that the orisha fill that role. in the kemetic tradition you can see aspects of olodumare deconstructed and isolated.

    that idea of self-creation from a potential explains that concept of a disconnect between physical existence and the original divine source. that divine source provides the potential from which things develop; but does not actively "micro-manage" what develops.

    many created deities typically are understood to have incarnated on earth or "lived" in some form; in that sense they are viewed as having a greater understanding for human existence; and also embodying more "personality-like" qualities and attributes. thus many yoruba deities will embody numerous diverse aspects and forces; and exhibit their own personalities.

    also, many created gods are deified ancestors that attained godhood and embodied some particular characteristic; and were deified by their communities.

    (Love_Unknown) - What benefits are you aware of that can be gained by doing so?

    i think the primary benefit is in breaking down and understanding the human microcosm; ultimately we externalize what we are unable to do for ourselves internally.
     
  7. nibs

    nibs Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    (emanuel goodman) - I have been mediating and daydreaming about our role. As products of the black substance the orgin the source. I have a hard time beliving that the universal life soure and the thought amen-ra put the energy in motion to create and sustain us for our own individual goals while in existence or in a current state of chemical existence. There is much work to do with our relationship to our mother neter(earth). However what is our role.

    i agree with what you allude to, that our role is in understanding and harmonizing with mother neter. our current role should be to restablish order and end the defilement of earth and the needless debasement and slaughter of animals.

    (emanuel goodman) - I know that this does not exactlly tie into your post between mono thesism and poly thesim

    i think it ties in perfectly; as love_unknown has pointed out; monotheism is the self-destructive exhaultation of one force over all others to the detriment of all others. balance must be restored.

    (emanuel goodman) - one must study throughly to understand that mono theisim ( as is it presented by the dominant religious sources today has nothing to do with the interdependant structures of physical existence water, earth, thought, justice, harmony, all play a role in the sum of the whole.

    i agree 100%. in many ways monotheism is a "black box" approach that does not attempt to peer inside and understand the inner workings of nature or one's self.

    (emanuel goodman) - I am gulity to of deciding that german things are more important every day instead of my role in the system. working, clothing, how i look appear and sound to others stautus etc i can go on and on!!! Dear elder osiris is right we have to begin to reject the physical realities that we are currently slaves to

    i think the key is in embracing the complete reality of one's existence and not merely the physical aspect. to embrace and identify with ones higher spiritual aspect is to subjugate the physical to it's rightful role as a vehicle for maintaining balance, harmony, order and experiencing pleasures & joy & pain as well.
     
  8. nibs

    nibs Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    the law of attraction

    oldsoul's brilliant talk on the law of attraction shines light on another aspect of polytheism.

    http://law-of-attraction-info.com/
    The Universal Law of Attraction states: We attract whatever we choose to give our attention to--whether wanted or unwanted.


    african religions have always intrinsically embodied the law of attraction. the law of attraction is a subset of african spiritual knowledge.

    we'll follow two paths, to see how the principles are incorporated...

    multiple deities
    the law of attraction is embodied into the deities themselves. the deities represent and embody divine forces that have been isolated; given a unique name & image; and given specific symbolism/imagery and coloration.
    the history of deities; the stories about them; and their personalities; expand on the nature of how they operate; this governs how they are conceptualized and identified with.
    the concept here is that focusing on a particular deity will incorporate that energy into one's life.

    for a general goal, focusing on a deity that represents that particular goal, whether it be wealth, prosperity, fertility, health, is the key to incorporating that energy/force into one's life. this includes:
    making offerings to that deity
    incorporating the symbols, images and colors associated with that deity/force in one's life/home/clothing...etc. these actions of devotion will attract that energy. the specific colors, symbols and images that are associated with a particular deity creates a fully immersive experience that would constantly speak to the subconscious mind. the higher purpose and symbolism of that deity is always kept in mind.

    in the yoruba tradition, eshu is [almost] always the first deity that is fed when offerings are made. eshu is the opener of doors, governs crossroads...eshu is the deity that creates oportunities. thus, before any requests are made to any other gods, the opportunity for those requests to be realized is created first, by feeding eshu. in kemet, inipu /wepwauet serves a similar role, as opener of ways.

    devotion to a particular deity is one the original mechanisms to incorporate a particular energy into one's live, and to attune one's self to that energy.

    divination (ifa)
    divination techniques are utilized to solve more specific problems with greater immediacy.
    with divination the diviner identifies a problem; the diviner uses questioning...etc to hone in on the specifics.
    each odu (symbol representation) has a series of stories associated with it, that illustrate a particular problem. the person would identify the story that best represents their situation, that story embodies both a specific representation of the problem as well as the necessary solution.
    at this point the person can accept the reading and then follow the prescribed solution. the solution may entail making a sacrifice, a particular lifestyle change, and specific instructions with actions to perform.

    here is a sample (ose yeku) reading:
    ajisegiri anikansekosunwon divined ifa for ose who was asked to sacrifice in order to become popular and not poor. he was asked to sacrifice:
    a calabash of palm oil, a calabash of shea butter, thirty-two hundred cowries, and ifa medicine (pound the bark of the root from the iroyin tree with the inside of aridan (type of fruit); mix the compound with black soap; place a bit of palm oil and shea butter at the bottom of the soap in a calabash). the medicine should be used for bathing.
    he heard and performed the sacrifice.
    (the sacred ifa oracle)


    within the ifa system we see the concept of sacrifice for gain; while that life energy is dedicated to the deities; psychologically the purpose of teh sacrifice is associated with the outcome of the reading; which was prosperity. additionally the bathing with the herbal soap mixture will psychologically always be associated with the higher purpose of the reading; in addition to any spiritual significance.

    among the yoruba orisha there are:
    eshu - opener of ways, creator opportunities. associated with unbridled, uncontrollable passion & also mischief. eshu is messenger of the gods who translates prayers to the language of the gods. (in kemet, medu is considered the language of the gods).

    oya - is associated with cemetaries, spirits of the deceased and sudden changes

    ogun - is a hunter & warrior, untamed...etc.

    obatala - represents purity & morality. obatala always wears white, his color is white, so white beads, white clothing, white jars...and cleanliness as well.

    orunmila - associate with fertility, birth & child rearing; orunmila is also a herbalist and associated with healing and medicine.

    yemoje (yemaya) - yemoje is associated with the seas, maternity & pregnancy

    in terms of the law of attraction, you want to be able to separate out aspects like pregnancy and fertility; from aspects like death, war and possibly mischief. with a monotheistic system, one deity encompasses all aspects of existence. by seperating out divine aspects polytheistic systems have always been able to apply the law of attraction, for thousands of years.
     
  9. nibs

    nibs Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    (Love_Unknown) - The Christ energy, the energy of the sun, the energy that Christians do not even realize that they are venerating, is the energy of the ruler of the heavens, the king of kings. I’m convinced that is no accident that sun worship was such a dominant practice among kings/queens and other rulers, while common people tended to focus more on other energies (water, fertility, love, money, mother hood, etc.) Africentric people venerate the energies most necessary and intimate in their daily lives. What need has a common man/woman such as you and I to “constantly” venerate the energy of divine leadership, the king of kings?

    cheik anta diop had a theory that the volcanic eruption that destroyed the kheftui/minoans/crete; this caused the sky to be blackened/darkened for several days. that this event occurred during the 18th dynasty and led to the rise of atenism during amenhotep iii's reign; & the singular focus of akhenaten on the solar force during his subsequent rule. thus, atenism was possibly a response to the temporary disappearance of the sun during this catastrophic event.
     
  10. OmowaleX

    OmowaleX Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Mono-THEISM or Poly-THEISM, what since does it make for Black people to identify with any form of THEISM.

    More ISM-schism.
     
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