January 3, 2016
Dr. Umar ,made some really good points particularly when it relates to spirituality. Having gone thru Christianity to Islam to African traditional spiritual belief systems. Clearly, they do entail a great deal of the culture from which they are derived or shall I say controlled by. I have a few points to add.
1. The yin/yang principle is within every one of us, having been born from both a male and female conjugal relationship. Each person has a male principal and female principle within them. Therefore, we are a manifestation of the “whole” in and of ourselves. Gender is a construct but not applicable in the spirit realm, that is, a person may be born with the physicality of a male, but have a strong principal within of a female and the same can apply to a female. Here is where my departure comes as it relates to his statement about homosexuality. All too often, the spiritual nature of same sex relationships is packaged in disdain, hatred, and much confusion as to its purpose and nature. If he reads, studies or observes Malidoma Some’s work he will find that there is a deeper, often hidden purpose for this than is commonly acknowledge. Dr. Some is from Dagara people of Upper Volta in West Africa. In Dr. Some’s culture the homosexual is held in high esteem and are called Gatekeepers.
2. Expanding on my above comment I would also include that in traditional African spirituality, particularly among those who have not been influenced by Western taboos, you will find the notion of re-incarnation. It is believed that we re-incarnate as male or female. With that being said, we may present more closely to our most previous gender in our present life time as we navigate through the sexes. The idea is to experience “spirit” through the physical. In order to do so, we come as male or female through our lifetimes and that in and of itself may have us gravitate to a person of the same sex whom we knew and loved in a past life. There is no so-called gender construct in the spirit realm only as it manifests in 3rd dimensional reality. African spirituality is keenly aware of this, that is, how, a person who is part of the Yoruba/Ifa spiritual system can have an opposite or same sex Orisha as their patron. The male may find himself very intrigued by the female principal of a particular Female Orisha and appear to be “effeminate” but the reality is that the female energy is very strong within him. The opposite is true with women.
3. One point of departure for the Ancients particularly in reference to the Khemetian Spiritual Science; like many other religions that we are familiar with today, it was kept from the masses and only the “Royals”, the Priests and Priestesses were initiated into it. They were set apart from the masses and often revered as God incarnated and here we see the objectification of the God source to something outside of the individual. The separation between the haves and the have-nots was profound and the magic, spiritual practices, etc. were delegated to the royal blood lines, and priests. This carried over into the more modern religions of our time. But even if you look at Ancient China, Mesopotamia, India, and other ancient cultures the same is true. Some how the idea of controlling and manipulating the masses became prevalent for political, social and economic reasons and this system was primarily responsible for the civilizations to thrive. That is not to say they wouldn’t have done so without this separation, but in doing so, the element of controlling the masses for gains of the few was much more manageable. So, when we speak of Empire we must be fair in our delineation of exactly what that meant then and what it means now.
4. Finally, I would like to mention that modern constructs of traditional African spirituality has become more institutionalized and thus there is a chasm between the Knowledge of “God” and the actual imbibing with the God within. Because it has become another tool of control through rituals and sacrifice, those in these “systems” become imprisoned as do the others in institutionalized religious practices. that is, African traditional spirituality becomes the same bastion of mind control and manipulation as the other more popular “religions”. It has become an institution and like he mentioned, it has become a business. People have their finances scarfed from them under the guise of pleasing the Gods/Ancestors and are seldom lead to believe that they can achieve this without all the trappings, i.e., shrines, altars, sacrifices, etc.
We are all here to learn, evolve and develop and for the most part Dr. Umar is clearly on point, and even with admitting his own evolution and development, it is very refreshing to hear him mention that, if just for the sake of perspective.
Personally, I applaud Dr. Umar and his work. He is very intelligent and creative in his manner of educating us about the issues we face in this world as African descendant peoples. Continue in your work, Dr. Umar, you are a blessing for those who have ears to hear.
Like he mentioned, there is no ONE AND ONLY WAY to connecting with the Divine within. In fact, the path may have many twists and turns, but if we remain vigilant we will succeed and the awakening will be all pervasive. We Are The Change We Are Looking For! Ase’, Namaste