Black Spirituality Religion : What is ATR?

Discussion in 'Black Spirituality / Religion - General Discussion' started by Music Producer, May 2, 2006.

  1. Music Producer

    Music Producer Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    To anyone interested enough to explore the question.

    What is ATR (African Traditional Religion)?

    What defines it?
     
  2. Khonsu

    Khonsu Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Hotep Hau

    You know I had a few question for the A.T. R also but no one seen to have and answer .

    Question like these .
    What the name of their A.T.R. God he / she ?
    Does their God he / she speak to them ?
    How does the A.T.R. God she / she communicate with them ?
    Does the A.T.R. God he / she answer their prayer ?
    Does the A.T.R. help white people , if not why not ?
    Is the A.T.R. God he / she a races God ?
    Do the A.T.R. speak to the dead , And how is this done ?
    where did these teaching come from , Date / Time etc etc ?
    When did these teaching come into existence Date / Time Please ?
    Are their class held on these teaching being you say it the true history of the nubian people ?
    What the name of your teacher ?
    Are their any website where this information can be found ?
    Are the belief's / culture of the A.T.R. only for the Nubians .
    Can white people join the A.T.R. if not why . ?
    Does the God A.T.R. she / he hate white people if so why ?
    Does the people of A.T.R. belief fear the the God she / he of A.T.R. if so why ?
    Did the God he / she A.T.R. know that the white man going to put Nubians slavery . And why did he allow this to happen to his choses people ?
    Why does the God she / he of A.T.R. allow his chose people be mistreated by the white man ?
    Are we the chosen people of the God she / he A.T.R. and why ?
    What sect / denomination or whatever you call it , Do you belong to . being they're more then one sect / denomination true . ?
    Does your belief / culture by whatever name you call it , Tell you to insult / disrepect others belief / cultures such as Christianity / Islam Etc etc ?
    What type of spiritual teaching are taught in A.T.R. and where did these teaching come from dates / time , And what are the name of these people who teach these spiritual teaching call and where did they get these spiritual teaching from Date / Time , When these teaching came to their teacher .
    Just a few question .
     
  3. Music Producer

    Music Producer Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I don’t know what’s up with them but I think they are finding out that the Old Testament classifies more as an ATR then they could ever find in the Metu Neter especially when they can’t produce the African tribes that exist today in Africa that practices Metu Neter.

    But yet I can produce all types of African tribes that have been practicing a form of Old Testament theology for thousands upon thousands of years, Masai, Ethiopian Jews, the Rasta and Lemba, the list goes on and on. But yet they have yet to name one African tribe in existence today that practices Metu Neter in Africa.

    I’m beginning to think ATR is simply something they hide behind in order to draw in black people. Ain’t no better pray to pray upon then the poor in wealth and spirit.
     
  4. I-khan

    I-khan Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    There are many different indigenous spiritual practices in Afrika,so the term ATR is just a generalization to name them.




    Music Producer


    After doing my research,I have concluded that the Metu Neter is somewhat of a compilation of some different spiritual systems that,individually,have their origin in Afrika but were not all one.Or I could be wrong.Ra Un Nefer Amen does make alot of reference to the Kabalistical pratices,Yoga-like practices,etc.Not to imply that he was "copied" it from
    those systems since research conducted by guys like Runoko Rashidi and the data he presents in his books proves that they were all of our invention

    This "form of Old Testament Theology" you talk of makes me wonder.
    Do they actually read the Old Testament itself and practice,or are their pratices similiar and possibly older than the OT? How do you explain all the cultures of people in the world(ie native american "indians") that have had and still do have similiar stories as the entire Bible with the OT included?
     
  5. Music Producer

    Music Producer Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    No, they keep track through oral tradition and when one examines their oral tradition one begins to see a lot of similarities with Old Testament doctrine. For example the Lemba have an oral tradition that they were exiled and enslaved because their ancestors lusted after and consumed rats, which was unclean meets.

    We cant expect an oral tradition of multiple tribes to be exactly the same as when the Old Testament was actually written down that reflects those actual times. The discrepancies should be as they are because we are talking about a 2000-year or more gaps between the oral tradition and when it was actually written.

    All I can say is at one point in time the Old Testament and the events found in it, actually occurred at some point in time and some place on this earth as to where all of our beginning forefathers witnessed the events.
     
  6. I-khan

    I-khan Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Music Producer


    So it all ties back,research and practice of various ATRs and the modern Bible as well as research done by Runoko Rashidi and Ra Un Nefer Amen may help us reclaim ourselves.
     
  7. Music Producer

    Music Producer Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Reading and studying any religious or spiritual point of view can always expand ones horizon and perception, I read these books all the time, which is why I personally can conclude how, why and what religions were used to create Metu Neter, I am familiar with Kabala and its functions and I am familiar with Jewish Mysticism and I am familiar with Yuga meditation methods. The author of the Metu Neter makes the claim that all of these came from Africa but yet fails to produce tribes in Africa today practicing Yuga methodology of meditation and he fails to produce tribes in Africa today that meditate and practice a Tree of Life Methodology that is surrounded with Egyptian deities.

    So know one has to realize that the author is actually making the claim as in ancient terms but followers of the Metu Neter try to promote the religion as if it is being practiced today in Africa by African tribes, this is a lie and they only do it because it gives it more significance because everybody already knows ALL people started out as African Tribes exploring the earth which gives the Metu Neter less significance because ALL religions have that same origin, black people.

    What you have to realize while you are studying all of this is Polytheism was not and could not have been the very first concept of GOD.

    Reason being is all humans on earth can be traced back to one origin, one creature, we are simply multiple parts of one being, One GOD.
     
  8. I-khan

    I-khan Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    you kinda contradict yourself here.

    first you say,
    As if the author (and other authors) did not name alternate names for the deities (ex: Egbala in Yoruba).The focus of the book(and others not by him) was ancient and not modern.THe yoruba are the only known people today(in the "mainstream) that have stories that are identical to KMT stories.

    A derived assumption,after reading much of the first book I was surprised at the historical documentation that he had,but I have researched Mdw Ntr LONG BEFORE I bought any of his books.

    That is the point of the books by Ra Un Nefer Amen,John Henrick Clarke,Runoko Rashidi,etc.THAT IS ALSO WHY THE AUTHOR (AND OTHERS) HAVE SO MANY HISTORICAL REFERENCES,THEY TRY TO SHOW HOW EVERYTHING BEGAN WITH US EVEN THOUGH WE MAY NOT DO IT, IN GENERAL, TODAY.

    I accept it as a theory,but not as actul truth,just as I take what you say as a theory and not actual truth.Also,how can you make such an assumption of "polytheism" without describing how it (and its Western origins) have as a definition of the varying cultures in the world?Many times the stories correspond with celestial cycles and the zodiac.

    Have you not learned that the "many gods" are different aspects of one as well as oneself?



    I reccomend this reading:
    Egyptian Yoga

    By Shola Arewa
    I have it on good authority that while book sales are generally dropping; sales relating to yoga are on the rise. So what is yoga'? Contrary to the popular belief, that yoga is a series of extremely difficult exercises designed to leave you tied in a knot; or that it consists of praying to a host of Indian Cods, yoga is the ancient art and science of living. It is a philosophy not a religion and what's more its roots are in Africa.

    Yoga offers many wide-ranging techniques. It is excellent for reducing stress as deep relaxation is an important aspect of yoga, it also removes the build up of chemical wastes in the body that otherwise cause disease. Meditation and gentle exercise are a part of yoga, helping to realign body and mind. But this is not where yoga ends; it need not be a soft option. Yoga can give you a thorough workout that will leave you feeling revitalised. It can stretch and strengthen all your muscles helping your body to maximise its potential. Yoga calms and balances the nervous system. High blood pressure, heart problems, aching bones and stress related ailments can all be improved through the healing art of yoga.

    Yoga is one of the oldest holistic healing systems in use today. Yoga offers multiple health benefits, yet the serious practitioner sees these benefits as the side effects of yoga, because yoga is primarily a spiritual practice. Yoga is a way to connect deeply with the divine forces that flow through and around you. It is a way to realign your spirit with the creator - the individual Ba (Soul) with the universal Ba. Dr Muata Ashby* has resurrected the ancient Egyptian (Kemetic) art and science of yoga and brought it to the attention of Africans world-wide. Since 1994 Dr Ashby, who lives in Florida, has researched and written many books on the theory and practice of Egyptian yoga. Dr Ashby sees yoga as a way of linking back to the original source, a way of reconnecting with our essential nature. Yoga provides a way to apply the philosophy of our ancestors to everyday life. Egyptian yoga as with all things spiritual is definitely on the rise.

    In the past yoga and it's benefits were seen as solely Indian. Dr Ashby's research clearly shows that yoga was practised in ancient Egypt as well as in India. Dr Ashby illustrates that many of the postures found in hatha yoga can be seen amongst the hieroglyphs on Egyptian temple walls. The word hatha means union of the sun and moon and is used to describe the physical postures in yoga. Hatha actually comes from the Egyptian Goddess Hathor, who wears both the sun disk and crescent moon on her head. She lends her name to the physical aspect of yoga. It is evident that many of the philosophical principles found in yoga are common to both Egypt and India. We must remember that our ancestors migrated all over the world. So we need not be surprised to see their influence the world over.

    I have also done extensive research to unearth the relationship between ancient Egypt, India and the Yoruba tradition of West Africa. I found many connections, which I detail in my book, 'Opening to Spirit". What I found most interesting is that each culture has an in-depth understanding of the vital forces in nature. These forces are referred to as the elements - earth, water, fire and air. These elements are also subtle forces that have a profound effect on our health. Earth energy, which is dense affects our bones, water energy affects our blood and immune system. Stress is often created through our fiery emotions and air energy effects: the function of our heart and lungs. This ancient science forms the basis of most complimentary approaches to healing. We can affect all these energies through the chakra system which is an aspect of yoga that uses meditation and psychology as well as physical exercise to heal and maintain health.

    Complimentary approaches to healing arc growing in popularity. as people become dissatisfied with western medicine and its limited worldview. Thanks to the rigorous work of such scholars as Cheik Anta Diop, Ivan Van Sertima, and other great educators, we have developed an African historical and theoretical worldview. I belief we are now searching for practical ways to express ourselves and enhance our health and well-being as Africans. Egyptian yoga holds the Ankh - the key to life.

    Yirser Ra Hotep from Chicago has studied Kemetic yoga for over twenty years. He was introduced to the practice by his teacher Asar Ra Hapi. Asar and Yirser have developed a practical approach to yoga based on the spiritual aesthetics of the ancient Egyptians. While in Chicago recently I was able to attend some classes by Yirser. After being involved in yoga for over twenty years it was a blessing to be at a yoga class that focuses on the yoga of my ancestors.

    "Yoga offers multiple health benefits, yet the serious practitioner sees these benefits as the side effects of yoga, because yoga is primarily a spiritual practice."

    During the class we moved gracefully through a series of postures, each move is co-ordinated with the breath. We were asked to focus our attention on the flow of energy at all times. We gave salutations to Ra. We knelt in the pose of immortality and we relaxed deeply in the pose of the mummy. We stretched, cleansed and strengthened our body temples. We enhanced our shekem, the life-force that flows through us and we gave thanks to our creator, just as our ancestors did before us. Yirser was so enthused that he didn't want to leave. After some members of the class left for work, yes this was taking place in the early morning, the rest of us continued to stretch and flow, watching Yirser as he moved with the grace of a cat.

    In Chicago I also had the opportunity of meeting WL Liddard another long time practitioner and Master of yoga. WL meets with a group of business associates in the early mornings by the lakeside to practise yoga. I was asked to join them at 5.3Oam, which I did. However this was not an ordinary yoga class, this was yoga and business. This relaxing environment was used to network, make deals and look at developing business and economies in our communities. In-between headstands and lotus poses it was business as usual. So much less stressful than sitting around a table in a board room drinking coffee.

    Yoga is a way of living. It is a lifestyle that is part of our spiritual inheritance. Our ancestors have left us powerful tools that are now being recognised. These tools can be applied to many diverse situations. These life skills can enhance our well-being and improve the overall quality of who we are and how we live. Egyptian yoga may not be practised in Egypt today, but it is truly resurrected, alive and growing in the African Diaspora.

    http://www.shola.co.uk
     
  9. SekaniOK

    SekaniOK New Member MEMBER

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    What is ATR (African Traditional Religion)? What defines it?

    ATR is the collective name given to traditional religions (Ifa, vodun, etc) practiced primarily in West Africa where majority of us (Afrikans in America) come from. John Mbiti (great starting point for studying ATR) and other African Traditional Religion scholars give the religions of our ancestors this label to identify the commonalities in the different religious systems. The commonalities would be the:
    Belief in a supreme force/god (and have a specific name for that force ex: Oludumare, Nyame, etc. instead of just god),
    belief in divine agents (not gods but helpers of god called by different names orisha, loa, abosum, etc) this is the point of confuse for many without the proper context. This is where western conceptions misguide the student. This is where most western terms like polytheism misinform the student. It is NOT polytheism because the African Traditional Religions recognize the Supreme Force and ALSO recognize the divine entities that assist. Western scholars only confuse the concepts in reference to our traditions and culture. If ATR are polytheistic than the 3 major western religions are ALSO polytheistic. (example: christanity= trinity concept god, the son, the holy spirit, the long list of saints, the multiple angels throughout the biblical stories, etc.)
    the belief that we are here to serve a divine role and we CHOSE to be here at this time and place and that the conflict in life is about the battle of harmony between righteous and unrighteous.
    The traditions, religions, and cultures are pasted down through the songs, dances, and stories passed down through generations. (Example the IFA system passes down the ancient divination system through word of mouth and the way they remember the different aspects of the divination system is through stories similar to Aesop’s fables. The meaning and message is encoded in the stories and only a thinker and/or knower of sacred knowledge has the key to open certain door or information in the stories.) this also reinforces why the reclamation of our ancient traditions is so vital to our survival here on these shores. Traditions and cultures are the foundations of a people and a “civilization”; these traditions and cultures are carried with the people and when the people were separated and demoralized the traditions and cultures are demoralized.
    The focus of the practitioners is the development of good character, fighting the good fight with the battle over righteous and unrighteous and developing your spirit to higher levels



    What the name of their A.T.R. God he / she?
    There is but one god. One supreme force. Different ethnic groups (or tribes) call that supreme force by different names depending on their native tongue and their relationship with that force. The supreme force is actually given a name instead of a generic title as “god”. The YORUBA (Nigeria) call the supreme force Olodumare or Olorun, the AKAN (Ghana) call it Nana Nyankopon, or Onyame, the ASANTE (Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire) call it Nyame, the AZANDE (Sudan) call it Mbori or Mboli, the BACONGO (Angola) call it Nzambi, the DOGON (Burkina Faso, Mali) call it Amma, the EWE (Benin, Ghana, Togo) and FON (Benin) call it Mawu-Lisa. Would a rose by any other name be as sweet? Because our brothers and sisters in West Africa who still practice our ancient ways do not view the supreme force as being distant or sitting in heaven, they view the supreme force as being close and a part of everything and everyone and they feel connected enough to give the supreme force a name. (helps to understand why there is no sepereation between secular and sacred in African Traditonal Religions...God is everywhere and everything. Nothing is outside of god).
    To answer the second part of your question the supreme force is both masculine/feminine energy/energies It is not “either or”.

    Does their God he / she speak to them?
    God speaks to us all, we just don’t know or forgot how to listen. Everytime you have a funny feeling or something tells not to do something…that is god speaking to you.

    How does the A.T.R. God she / she communicate with them?
    God does speak to us through divination systems where we ask questions and get divine answers from spirits and ancestors. You also have people who are in tune with divine vibrations and have clairvoyance and see hear or see things the average person can’t.

    Does the A.T.R. God he / she answer their prayer?
    Yes, through prayer and effort on their part. You have to put some energy into it to get something out of it. Life is about give and take relationships and so is the relationships with god and the spirits. You don’t have to PUSH (pray until something happens) you pray about it, meditate on it and start moving towards whatever it is you wanted or needed and they assist in a big way.

    Does the A.T.R. help white people, if not why not?
    I don’t know about that. It doesn’t address white people because the traditions and religions are tied to the ethnic groups. From their experiences with white people, white people are destructive to their way of life. You have people whose only contact with white people was during the enslavement period and missionaries. So you tell me what they think and say about white people and if they would tell them anything about their god, spirits, or way of life?

    Is the A.T.R. God he / she a races God?
    There is but one god. There is one supreme force in the universe. We call it by different names but describing the same force. Now, you do have spirits or deities specific to certain groups of people (like the deity Jehovah in the biblical stories. He chose them as his chosen people so they were chosen… of him).

    Do the A.T.R. speak to the dead, And how is this done?
    What do you mean by dead? No one actually dies, we transcend and move to the other side. Energy is neither created nor destroyed and if we are energy and we “die”, then we only have returned to the greater energy source awaiting to return again. But to answer your question there are ways to commune with departed souls through several ways mostly through skilled and seasoned priests who know how to do it and through divinations.

    where did these teaching come from , Date / Time etc etc? When did these teaching come into existence Date / Time Please ?
    Researching specific ethnic groups will let you know when, how, and where each group gets its teachings and systems.


    Are their class held on these teaching being you say it the true history of the nubian people ?
    The best way to learn about ATR is through researching, reading text on the religions, and experiencing the culture.

    Does the people of A.T.R. belief fear the the God she / he of A.T.R. if so why ?
    People who practice African traditional religions don’t fear god, they respect god and all its creation (nature, people, etc). Fear is a western tool of control. If we are speaking of the supreme force of all existence than why would the supreme force feel it had to put the “fear of god” in people if it is secure in its position or importance. Westerners use fear to supplement their internal issues and control their external environment.

    Are their any website where this information can be found?

    http://theafrican.com/Magazine/Cosmo.htm

    http://africawithin.com/religion/intr_to_atr.htm

    http://www.afrikaworld.net/afrel/

    http://www.rootsandrooted.org/

    http://pub47.bravenet.com/faq/show.php?usernum=3951612168&password=&catid=898 &action=showcat

    http://www.orisha.org/

    http://www.crosscurrents.org/african.htm

    http://theafrican.com/Magazine/MagAncWis.htm

    http://africawithin.com/religion/santeria.htm

    http://africawithin.com/religion/cultural_setting.htm
     
  10. Moorfius

    Moorfius Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Initiation is the "Only" way to come close to knowing MAAT and M`TAM*

    Hotep

    Speaking from a less than knowedgable position of actualy knowing what one is saying is not wise. The so-called already corrupt expresion of "ATR" is refering to the same tradition given to all at the time of creation and is the natural order of things. Expresing a understanding with out ever being 'initiated' is insane to say the least. Our egos and personal reputations are not of concern here when it comes to the so-called African Traditional Spirituality..."That is not a Religion" in the first place. We today don't have Spirituality...or there would be "Harmony" in the world. As long as there is what is known as "Religions" there will never truely be any absolute Spirituality. The so-called African Traditional Spirituality is what built the pyrimids and spinx and all of the great hormonious temples of "Pre-history"...meaning...every thing that happen long before there was ever a such thing as western indoeuropean "Religions". What have these Religions built today that will stand the test of time as African Spirituality has, is and will ?? The answer is nothing because anything that is corrupt must be removed and replaced by the Natural Order of Things and so it shall be.

    Ase`

    Note: every so-called western religion is a pleagerised, distorted, copied version of the Origenal Spirituality Traditions of the so-called African that goes back in ancient times of far, far, far beyond 70,000 years...long before there was a such thing as "Europen People".
     

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