Being/Becoming the GOD within: Educate or Die!

Posted on September 27, 2015 by

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African Spiritual Sovereignty

Being/Becoming the GOD within: Educate or Die!

by Brother Mxolisi Ozo-Sowande, Senior Minister Emeritus,

Wo’se Community House of Amen Ra — The Sacred African Way, Oakland, CA

Educate or Die! This is an expression of awareness that speaks to the totality of realities that we face in life. It has been with us as a people – African people – from the earliest days of our awesome history. It is profoundly reflected in the admonition that is a common thread of consciousness across the broad spectrum of African traditions which advises the following:

Our children are not complete beings until they have been taught the way(s) of their parents-community-people and are given meaningful opportunities to demonstrate their understanding and commitments relative to those teachings.

The greatest application of this “Educate or Die!” awareness — for the entirety of our people — resides in our answers to the asked and unasked questions about the origins and meaning of existence and life, and the place of the humankind in this ongoing drama. And it is of crucial importance that we rise above the euro-centric responses – anti-African, non-spiritual themes, theories, philosophies/theologies of wretchedness – that are un-worthy of humanity, undergirding attitudes and behaviors of self-doubt, self-hate, self-destruction, and unending conflict and morbidity in humanity.

As we pursue the Self-Knowledge and Self-Determination that would characterize the humanity and Sovereignty of our World African Community, it is important for us to become rooted/re-rooted in the infinitely more positive African philosophies and traditions that educate and inspire us relative to the divine and eternal potentials that are inherently entrusted to the humankind. Embodied within us! Of particular importance and power are the profound insights of our ancestors of ancient Kemet (Egypt), arising from their more than twenty-five centuries (2500 years) of observing the dynamics of the universe, the forces of nature, and the accomplishments and potentialities of the humankind.

The common theme in the major traditions of ancient Kemet communicate to us that Existence/Creation has arisen from a dense and undifferentiated watery abyss (Nwn), as the Vital Force of infinite intelligence, love, reason and creativity that was inherently embodied within that mass came into consciousness of Itself and Its infinite potentials, and chose to bring Itself into Being. Further, it was understood that all beings and things in existence are products of the self-generated, self-directed, self-expansion dynamics of the Vital Force, with the purposeful assignment of certain measures of its own essence to the great varieties of beings within Creation.

When it comes to the humankind, the scholars-scientists-priests of Kemet understood this creation KEMETIC DIVINITY-ROYALTYdynamic to result in the humankind being profoundly endowed to share in the nature of the Vital Force, which was/is broadly known as NTR/Netcher – (God, for much of the present world). And in the written language of Kemet (the Medu Netcher / Hieroglyphics), a particular determinative symbol representing divinity and royalty, that was used in reference to NTR and the variety of “deities” representing various aspects and traditions of NTR, was also used when it came to depicting the humankind (rmt / remetch) and the sacred-divine-infinite potentiality embodied within humanity.                                                                                                                                Divinity /Royalty

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“Originally, the word (Ntr) meant the awakening of higher consciousness within primordial essence, Nwn . . . (with) created beings extend(ing) the Creator’s creation daily, as the sun is ceaselessly born and reborn from its own energy. . . . This is a philosophy that exalts Life, in the name of cosmic Order, Maat.”

–Dr. Theophile Obenga, pg. 541, African Philosophy: The Pharaonic Period – 2780-330 BC

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Our renowned warrior-scholar Dr. Obenga states the following: “In this context, it is not a matter of God creating man in his/her ‘image,’ as in other religions and philosophical traditions. Humans here are divinities. Human beings are part god, constantly re-enacting the creative process in their own right.” (pg. 124) Further, Dr. Obenga shares this with us: “Understood in its profundity, Egyptian (Kemetic) philosophy posits that humanity is divine. The human being as god gets born, suffers, dies, but is god nonetheless, connected to all that exists in the universe . . . Living with the energy of the creative Sun, human beings were expected in turn, every day, to regenerate that sacred, divine temple which was not only inside them, but was their very being.” (pp. 397-398)

Dr. Obenga posits that our ancestors’ diligent and meticulous observations of the orderly and harmonious functions of the cosmos and the forces of nature led to them being convinced that there was/is a higher order, “living and eternal,” perpetuating that balance. Under that influence they developed the consciousness and confidence that the power of their “share in the nature” of the Vital Force/Ntr — intelligence, love, reason and creativity – empowered and obligated them to develop and sustain principles and precepts by which they could know universal order in their individual and collective lives, and grow to live as godly beings, constantly re-enacting the creative process – in their relationship with The Divine, in their human interactions, and in their interactions with all of creation. (As above, so below.)

Maat is the term by which those ancestors identified the multi-dimensional, all-encompassing force that flowed from the heart/mind of Ntr — the force that brought the orderly and harmonious universe into being, with its celestial dimensions, the forces and creatures of nature, and the humankind. They recognized that it was Maat flowing in and through themselves, manifesting itself as the seeing of eyes, the hearing of ears and breathing of nostrils by which to gather intellectual and intuitive information that could be processed through their hearts/minds, that enabled them to perceive what is and envision what ought to be, and the ability to begin birthing those visions into existence through their creative and cooperative usage of the powers of communication – visionary reason and speech, and the purposeful utilization of every member of their bodies.

This transformative and liberating consciousness is reflected in Ayi Kwei Armah’s “Two Thousand Seasons,” as he presents his distillation of many indigenous African spiritual traditions in these words:   “. . . there is a great force in the world, a force spiritual and able to shape the physical universe, but . . . that force is not something cut off, not something separate from ourselves. It is an energy in us, strongest in our working, breathing, thinking together as one people; weakest when we are scattered, confused, broken into individual, unconnected fragments.” (pg. 151)

These words serve to call us — the African world — to the critical, life-or-death importance of diligently doing all we can to re-establish the means by which “Know Thyself” leads us to effectively understand, without an ounce of doubt:

    • that we are divinities, part god – part of that “great force”;
    • that we must always be doing all we can in order to ceaselessly extend the Creator’s infinite intelligence, love, reason and creativity (Heart/Maat), constantly re-enacting the creative process through every thought, word and action of our lives;
    • that our working, breathing, thinking together as one people brings into being the creative powers and energies that are the necessary and effective foundation for our sovereign emergence from the spiritual-cultural-psychological-political-theological “Nwn” that presently incarcerates and decimates the hearts-minds-souls-spirits and bodies of millions upon millions of our people;
    • that we MUST teach the children!

In this light, Dr. Obenga would advise (has advised) that, we must “take bold initiatives if we want modern Africa (Africans), now building itself (ourselves) in a world of implacable cruelty, to avoid getting alienated from its (our) own specific culture . . .” (pg. 607). Another way of stating that is this: We must do all we can, in every way we can, to get ever increasing numbers of our people to work-breathe-think together — to Think Maat, Speak Maat, and Live Maat! To know, without a doubt, that Maat is a concept of central importance.

In his book, “Seeking the Sakhu: Foundational Writings for an African Psychology”, Dr. Wade W. Nobles (aka Nana Kwaku Berko I-Ifagbemi Sangodare) shared with us that Dr. Obenga informed him that “sakhu” most-accurately refers to the reciting of words that are designed to transform the deceased into a “glorious spirit.” Surely this has application to our breaking free and emerging from “the limited human capacity possessed by African people once robbed of our own consciousness” . . . and the dysfunctions that occur “when a people’s soul is stolen” and they are “driven out of their minds.” (Nobles, pgs. xxx-xxxi)

Surely there are words embodied in the teachings of our ancestors regarding Maat, in books written by them and about them, that can serve to deliver multitudes of our people from spiritual-psychological conditions that amount to living death, and lead to their transformations into the glorious spiritual beings that is our inherent and sacred potential. But we must take the initiative to open those books — boldly and diligently – and recite those words again and again, in our hearts and souls, with our teeth, tongues and lips, and let them be the foundations and fuel for every action of our lives, and an undying ethic of sacred respect for one another as Sisters and Brothers in our divine and sacred African family.

Let it ring boldly, diligently, by day and by night that Maat is first and foremost Truth and Justice;

  • that Maat is Righteousness, Harmony, Balance, Divine Right Order & Reciprocity;
  • that Maat is the foundation and fuel for the moral system that is worthy of human beings;
  • that Maat calls on us and empowers us to be the fathers, mothers, families, communities of virtue – beings who are boldly and reverently sharing the nature of our Creator, leaving no stone unturned, in order to continue that heritage through every generation;
  • that Maat is the loving, intelligent, creative power for the transformations for which we yearn!

Rest assured . . . No! . . . Do not rest!

Let’s open the books, and open our hearts and minds, and open our souls to the power of Maat embodied within the words of the 10 Virtues of Our Sacred Way — words that we need to read and recite day and night, until they become one with the breaths that we breathe, enabling us to master our passions and make room within for the unlimited power of Maat; and allow that power to be our strength and guide as we teach our children these lessons of Our Sacred Way:

I must control my thoughts * I must control my actions * I must show devotion to purpose * I must have faith in the ability of The Master to teach me the Truth * I must have faith in my ability to assimilate the Truth * I must have faith in my ability to wield the Truth * I must be free from resentment under the experience of persecution * I must be free from resentment under the experience of wrong * I must cultivate the ability to distinguish right from wrong (that which is loved from that which is hated) * I must cultivate the ability to distinguish the real from the unreal (have a sense of sacred values (know when it’s Maat and know when it is not – in me!). These we must know, do, be, teach, celebrate and pass on — here and now and for all perpetuity.

And as it was with our Kemetic ancestors (and others), let it be with us — that our growth in living, loving and becoming visionaries of our glorious potentials, informed and inspired by the power of Maat embodied within the 10 Virtues, leads us to the development of principles and precepts that serve our greatest good in every individual and collective endeavor of our lives. Without a doubt, we can start with those principles and precepts developed by our ancestors, the Declarations of Innocence (42 Precepts of Maat), with modifications and additions as our working-thinking-breathing together in the spirit and power of Maat inspires. Surely, the following Declarations/Precepts are eternally relevant – words worthy of our soul-searching recital and reverent embrace:

I have not done evil against people; mistreated my family and associates; told lies in the court of law, the seat of Truth;

I have not associated with evil or worthless persons; done evil things; begun a day by demanding more than I was due;

I have not brought forth my name for praise; cursed God; defrauded the poor of their property; done what is hateful to God;

I have not slandered a servant to his superior; inflicted pain; made anyone weep;

I have not caused anyone to be hungry; taken milk from the mouths of children;

I have not turned back God at His or Her appearances. I am pure.

Along those lines and in that light, we have been in the process of cultivating and nurturing principles and precepts for our greatest good for at least the last fifty years, with the rise of our Kwanzaa/Nguzo Saba tradition as well as the embrace of other African spiritual traditions by growing numbers of our people. We must work, study, pray and meditate, work-think-breathe together to ensure that these developments increase and perpetuate the greatest good for our people throughout the World African Community.

Words from Dr. Nobles shed relevant light on our calling: Each must aim to “bring out of ourselves that which contributes to the harmony of our community” — the ‘Asar’ dimensions of our existence. Additionally, he cites our need to understand and embrace the African tradition that “the ultimate relationship is that between humans and God . . . that the God we speak of is in other humans. So the relationship is between me and the God force in another.” (Nobles, pgs. 295, 278)

Finally, Brother Nobles drives this point home (hopefully): The single product that we must produce “should be a competent, confident, conscious Black child. If we can’t do that . . . all of this becomes a form of masturbation.” (Nobles, pg. 243)

Let’s close with these Medu Neter words, worthy of our recital for the mission at hand:

Iui hena-k hru neb, Amn Ra, er maa neferu-k. Amn Ra, inyi Xer ek.

(Ee-u-ee heyna-ek heru neb, Amen Ra, er maa neferu-ek. Amen Ra, eenyee ker ek.)

It translates: Let me be one with Thee every day, Amen Ra, to see your (sacred) beauties.

Amen Ra, I come/have come to Thee. (Drawn from the Papyrus of Ani, Chapter XV, Plate XX)

By extension, “to see your beauties” carries the desire & challenge of growing to know the ways we can be/become those sacred beauties, and truly know that we are called, empowered, and entrusted by the indwelling essence of The Most High – the spirit and power of Maat — to do just that!

This we must know, do, be, teach, celebrate and pass on — here and now and for all perpetuity!

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Enlightenment, Inspiration and Guidance for the foregoing have come from worthy words of power in the following:

African Philosophy: The Pharaonic Period – 2780-330 BC, by Dr. Theophile Obenga 

Maat: The Moral Ideal in Ancient Egypt, by Dr. Maulana Karenga

Especially Chapter 1 — The Maatian Ideal, and Chapter 5 – Maatian Ontology 

Black Gods – Orisha Studies in the New World, by Gary Edwards and John Mason

Especially their Forward and Introduction 

Seeking the Sakhu: Foundational Writings for an African Psychology,

by Dr. Wade W. Nobles (Nana Kwaku Berko I-Ifagbemi Sangodare)

Especially pages xxx-xxxi and Sketch 16 and Sketch 17, pages 243 through 298 

Cultivating the Potential of the Afrikan Soul: Our Virtues & Our Sacred Afrikan Way,

by Ausar Ra Amenseph Hetep (Brother Amenseph)

Ankh, Udja, Seneb ! ! !

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