African Traditional Religion : Black/African Understanding of Spiritual Belief Systems

Discussion in 'African Traditional Religion Study Group' started by kemetkind, Sep 15, 2006.

  1. kemetkind

    kemetkind Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    A few proposed the other night in chat that it might be a powerful idea if we, as a group, select texts surrounding a particular belief system, and study them for a month (or three depending on the topic), discuss them here from our own black/african perspectives, with the goal of identifying truths or wisdom contained therein.

    We could rotate through whatever system or text we deem to have any value for the spirituality of black people.

    We could make this a multi-year on-going effort, and should enough momentum gather, we could task some of the great minds here to compile our conclusions into a living document that serves as a framework for spirituality.

    This means we're having the audacity to create something new forged out of the power of our own collaboration and spiritual focus.

    What do you think?
     
  2. jamesfrmphilly

    jamesfrmphilly going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    isn't that what ra un nefer amen did with the metu neter?
     
  3. SAMURAI36

    SAMURAI36 Banned MEMBER

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    While I don't totally agree with what the Brother Elder has stated, I do recognize the sentiment that he is attempting to demonstrate.

    This is an exemplary idea. However:

    This is the aspect that I have a bit of an issue with.

    I could be wrong in the way that I am interpreting your proposal, but it sounds as if you are attempting to re-invent the wheel (as per the Brother Elder's statement).......Is this correct?

    If that is the case, I would highly recommend against it. I've seen the results of such an endeavor, and they are almost always detimental.

    I would wager that you've seen the same as well, throughout history. Many philosophical, religious, and even political systems are the result of such attempts.

    However, if I might, I'd like to offer an alternative:

    I would wager that we do indeed perform the studies that you propose, but for different reasons.

    Instead of seeking to create anything new, we should seek to gain the best understanding of what which is already old. I'm sure that you would agree, that Our People by and large do not have such an understanding.

    When it comes to religion/spirituality, history, philosophy, etc., we as a People are always seeming to be on the business end of these various systems (meaning: staring at them through the barrel, instead of holding the trigger) These systems are often used as tools (weapons even) against us, which is a shame, since they were created by us to begin with.

    I'm a firm adherent to the notion that the key to the future lies in the past.

    Therefore, I would propose that we treat it strictly as many of us did in our Humanities and Comparative Religions class in school: seek to learn the info, simply for the sake of learning it.

    Right now, what our people need most, is intellectual fortification. As a spiritual aspirant myself, I've seen the woes that manifest in spirituality that is devoid of intellect. Such is the difference between a spiritual aspirant, and a religious believer.

    Regarding "Creating someting new".......

    I recall you earlier in our acquaintance, that you are of a scientific discipline. Thus, I'm sure it is rudimentary for you, to know that matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed.

    Spirituality, in essence, is the relation between the 2 primordial properties (all the more reason why I think that spirituality should be properly defined; not only for one's own sake, but also for the success of this possible endeavor that we are in fact discussing). ......

    That which creates was also created. Thus, before we seek to assume a role in creating anything, we should first be striving to have an understanding of our place in creation.

    I am of the mindset that just because people can give birth to children by design and function, doesn't mean that all people should be allowed to do so--at least not without proper wisdom to do such (which, then, is the entire point).

    My spiritual teachings inform me that the Will to create is backed with an emotional attachment to creation. Prior to this act (or the sensation that sparked it), was simply awareness of Self on the part of the Creator.

    If we are seeking to be in the image and likness of God, we then should focus on the knowing aspect (intellect) of the creator/creation relationship, instead of the emotive (values, judgements, etc) aspect.

    If this is done constantly within the confines of a college campus setting, then it most assuredly can be done here, or any other non-controlled environment where Black people congregate.

    Knowledge, for knowledge sake.

    I hope that my perspective was clear; I can elaborate further if needed.

    PEACE
     
  4. kemetkind

    kemetkind Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Yes, somewhat, but with the ultimate goal of inventing something more efficient than a wheel, with respect to black people, since none of the wheels created thus far have worked well enough for us collectively, in this time.

    But why were they detrimental and who were they detrimental to?


    Yes, and many of them have reaped impressive benefits for their proponents. Since we created a good number of these systems in the past, and had them stolen/plagiarized and used against us, what's stopping us from developing a improved/modernized one today?

    Do we not have the same abilities to develop wisdom that our ancestors had?


    Agreed. Understanding is the primary goal. If that understanding is achieved and it turns out to be the only desired goal, we will have still achieved a great deal.

    But if through our increased and broadened understanding comes new insight, why shirk from it?

    Can't our efforts be inspired by the creator?

    If we truly believe we are the original man of the earth, aren't we as capable of greatness today, as they were then?

    After we gain thorough understanding of other systems, and consider our situation today, we may conclude that there hasn't been a system yet that was perfect for all time.

    The one key? Or one of the key(s).

    I don't know that our ancestors had everything right, not for all time, else we'd not be where we are today.

    I'd propose the keys in the past have to be combined with keys in the present to form a bridge to the future.

    If we repeat exactly what was done in the past can we expect a different result in the future?

    This makes sense to me especially as a start and for the foreseeable future.

    I see where you're coming from but I don't completely agree. I think a spiritual aspirant who follows a particular way of life with a particular set of rituals may express their spirituality through a religion.

    I don't see that intellect and religion cannot be found in the same place, but i'm sure the distinction will be found in the definitions.


    Could not agree more.


    Could not agree more.

    Yes. That is all we could hope to achieve as an initial goal.

    However eventually that knowledge will manifest itself in practical application, otherwise it has served us no purpose in acquiring it.

    If that application only impacts how each person individually strengthens their spiritual base, then that is fine, we should all be better off individually because of it.

    But if somehow the focused energy, brilliance, and determination of the many great minds here (current and future) results in a practical application that itself is the framework for a bonafide belief system, then why not document it, since that's what our ancestors have done?

    Regardless, if the consensus is that we should only seek to acquire knowledge, that's a lofty enough challenge by itself.

    (moves to change title of thread now)
     
  5. river

    river Watch Her Flow MEMBER

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    I don't see any disagreement here. I see two blades of the same pair of scissors.

    Yes, we must build on the wisdom our ancestors possessed. We must also build on that addendum that our own wisdom has given us. He who stands on the shoulders of another reaches higher than the one on whose shoulders he is standing.

    One thing our ancestors were totally unprepared for the unslaught of white supremacy because their systems were developed at a time when such a thing was unheard of.

    When I trained with my white cane my teacher taught me that if I ever become confused about where I am and which way to go I should go back to where I was when I kknew whare I was and from there start going in the right direction. It does no good to back to where you were and then follow the exact same path that got you lost in the first place.

    Today, we live in a world unknown to our ancestors--a world with white people in it. In this world we have learned that there is nothing we can keep if we cannot protect it. We have learnedthat it is better to live on a land with poor resources and be in control of a land with rich resources than to live on a land with rich resources that is controlled by someone else. Our task is to forge a system that takes these unpleasant realities into consideration while at the same time holding onto the honor, justice, truth and love our ancestors taught. That is an h.e. double tooth pick of a task.

    Some time ago brotha Sek quoted Albert Einstein "knowledge is experience. Everything else is mere information."
     
  6. kemetkind

    kemetkind Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I agree with all of this sister River!

    One approach organize a start on this is to list out the all the systems we will study, order them, agree on the texts for the first one, and setup a schedule.

    Before we do any of that we may want to create ground rules for how we engage and post them prominently in each thread.

    Nothing should be beyond discussion or critique but we must do it with all the appreciation for our fellow brothers and sisters that we can muster.

    Maybe we should come up with some title that identifies these threads as a series and ask that all who post do so only after first initiating meditating/prayer or whatever they need to do to align their spirit with the purpose.
     
  7. emanuel goodman

    emanuel goodman Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    cool with me

    In order to be holistic in our approach it is important to have an open mind to all diciplines and give them there day in the sun .I have allways overstood the importance of that. I would love to share my thoughts and greatly benefit from the thoughts of my brothers and sisters on this forum(which i already have).
     
  8. river

    river Watch Her Flow MEMBER

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    Da River is flowing with you, brotha Kem.

    I like the notion of bringing many ideas together for an idea is most dangerous when it is the only one you have.
     
  9. Destee

    Destee destee.com STAFF

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    Brother Kemetkind ... you know i'm with you, let's do this!

    As the effort grows, we may need to gather all of the threads together in their own forum.

    I think it is very important that we do this in the best of manners, respecting every member beliefs, as you've already stated.

    What's the first step, creating the lists of different religions / way of life that we'll study?

    :heart:

    Destee
     
  10. Music Producer

    Music Producer Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Lets do it……………who wants to suggest the first random text……?

    It should be text or a book that we all have on our bookshelf or have access to.
     
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