Dear Arthur Hawkins,
Thank you for reaching out to say hello that day in Huntington. You were selling African-American products and religious articles, and I, just obviously looking and passing by. (I bought a button that said Teach the Children the Truth). You greeted me anyway, in the caring manner that is evident in all the children of true faith. That faith, and our mutual concern for the things of God, took its own natural course. Our conversation began to consider the nature of the times we live in, as well as the state of the races, and how each is trying to make sense of the times from their own historical perspectives--especially in light of the just-passed Martin Luther King Day observances. We both observed that, in your community in Pennsylvania and in our's here in West Virginia, very few people attended. I overheard one black woman in a carryout store say: "And what, march through town with the police?" I understood what she meant. All the civic participants who come out to be noticed on these occasions--the mayor, police and fire chiefs, schools officials, business and industrial leaders (like American corporations showing up for Earth Day ceremonies), and the police escorts themselves (and some of them may have even come out with a good heart), have had the effect of assimilating these movements, rendering them virtually meaningless. The effects are particularly devastating when viewed in the light of those words which say: Come out from among them my people. (The picture will become clearer now, and brought into perspective, in light of the newly established Office of Homeland Security, the Patriot Act and the TIPS program, and the realization that the underlying Fascist spirit in America--the violent military and police state that it has always been--is finally surfacing. It is revealing itself in reaction to the judgments that God is now bringing upon the American nation).
I had promised myself that if I was ever interviewed by a newspaper or TV journalist, I would simply refuse to talk to them, or respond: "Look, if I say something profound or meaningful you will not report it. If I say something acceptable to the common ear, or even foolish, you will report it. Or you will edit it to make it sound like I said what you wanted it to sound like I said." What I did say to the reporter instead--against my own judgment--in reply to a question about the presence of several grandchildren I had brought to the "march," was that I brought them in an ongoing attempt to increase their level of social and spiritual awareness. Such an awareness of the issues of social justice, or the lack of it, is a necessary step toward the attainment of spiritual awareness. "Without the one," I told the reporter, "the other would prove misguided, hollow, and self-serving." (This particular newspaper appeals to a religiously conservative readership). And then: "That the Civil Rights Movement as we know it is over." It touched as many hearts and minds as it could. Save for the young and still-impressionable (whose interests are not political but those of youth itself), its effects are complete, and that the reality of Darkness has set back in. I told him that the same was true for the antiwar movement, and for the entire spiritual thrust of the fifties, sixties, and seventies in this country. Not, however, because these were meaningless times, or because these events and these movements failed to bring about their intended effects. On the contrary, the effects were achieved, and we are now ready to move on to the next stage of events, and to the next state of understanding. (The ruling conservative mind does not believe that the counter-cultural movement in America was a wholly spiritual one, and cannot imagine how it was the preparatory work of the Spirit of God who cares for, and who dwells among Their people, and who are creating a people in Their very own "radical" image. Real Love is a radical thing; it is a daring thing, it is also a patient thing. God is Love, expansive Love, not reactionary politics or conservative economics. God has no contract with the American political order)...
Be patient therefore brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruits of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and the latter rain.
On the contrary, because a great number of souls were, and are still truly being "born again" in these events. They are coming out of the confusions, the illusions and the obvious failures of the political process, and are following the spirit of these times to a state of deeper, inner reflection instead. They are awakening. Everyone (even our strident socialist brothers and sisters who still somehow imagine that they can change the world without Divine intervention, along with this present generation--Generation X--which hasn't made up its mind about things yet), is waiting for the next event, or events. Everyone, whether they understand it or not, is waiting for the descent once again of God's Holy Spirit, just as it is written: And when the day of Pentecost were FULLY come, (Acts 2:1-21). It is all leading to a real national revival, and we are not referring to the "American" nation. We mean the true Spiritual nation that is presently captive here to the American state of mind. We are talking about "coming out of Egypt again." (See Genesis 15: 13,14 and Exodus 1:8-10). Did the reporter mention any of this? Of course not.
We look into the world, and into what appears to be an insoluble state of social chaos and division (please understand Jeremiah 4:23). Even those who are destined to inherit the age-to-come seem to be divided along all of their various social, religious as well as racial fault-lines. We realize, of course, that nothing short of the next manifestation of Christ could break the impasse between us, or halt the downward spiral into the great Darkness that the rest of the Western world has fallen into. We also realize that the people can not, or will not, be gathered together into any Messianic notion which does not in turn encompass at least something of their own world-view. They will not be gathered to any idea that falls short of the universal implications of the words: Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all, (Ephesians 1:23), and: For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. (Colossians 2:9). Our understanding of the coming of Christ must reconcile those things which are invisible and above, with those things that are visible and below--Heaven and Earth. And they must definetly include the mysteries of the African continent:
Protagonists of religious traditions which lay exclusive claim to divine revelation have tended to regard Africa as a blankly barren land, waiting to be planted and watered with the heavenly seeds of truth which are found in their particular religious traditions. This assumption fuelled the Christian missionary enterprise in the past two centuries and continues, unabated, to this day. And although the agents of the missionary enterprise have changed, the assumption persists, albeit in modified form, in the evangelistic work of the fundamentalist groups, some indigenous African churches, as well as the mission-founded churches. The zeal to evangelize left no room to accommodate local religion-cultural traditions which were deemed to be palpably wrong and had to be done away with. And to drive home the point that truth and error could not coexist, cultic symbols, shrines and sacred groves were destroyed.
The close identification of the Gospel with the self-image of its propagators led to the unquestioning conviction that God had clearly and decisively acted in their history, and that they were under divine obligation to bring others, in whose history God had apparently not acted, into the arena of this salvation history. And the fundamental questions as to whether God acts in other people's histories and what those histories tell us about God, as well as whether history is the only arena of God's self-disclosure, remained unasked and unanswered.
The relationship between the Gospel and local traditions was considered to be that of total discontinuity, which tended to severely and fastidiously limit God's revelatory activity to one event. But to recognize continuity between the Gospel and other traditions is to accept the fact that in no human history has God been absent; and that God could not be dormant in one historical place or period and active in another.
It may be that in their passionate eagerness to emphasize the centrality of Jesus and the newness of Christianity, theologians inadvertently created a dichotomy in God's truth and claimed the right to evaluate God's revelatory acts in the histories of other people.
Such hardened positions led to the strenuous efforts at converting others and ignored the possibility of human error in the appropriation of divine revelation or truth. Human understanding was invested with a degree of absoluteness which is out of step with our finiteness; and it was almost as if the arms of Christianity alone could completely embrace the baobab tree of divine truth, and that God's thoughts had to coincide with human thoughts.
The existence of a plurality of religions is not to be interpreted as a failure on the part of those who have the truth to carry out their divine mission to bring all humankind into the fold. Nor does this point to the hardness of the hearts of other people. On the contrary, it expresses the spirit of God which blows "where it listeth". And to insist on the same response to the experience of God's spirit is to argue for a uniformity which refuses to respect differences.
Above all, claims to truth must be related to the lives of those who claim monopoly over it. For if the truth is to be rescued from the realm of theory and propaganda, then is must be reflected in the lives of those who lay claim to it. For religious traditions should help humankind to attain and maintain the highest human values - values which make us more human and are fundamental to our ultimate good, and which uphold harmony and order among the community of nations in the world and in our societies.
There is need to go beyond the acceptance of religious plurality to a stage where each religious tradition will bear witness to its faith by doing worthy deeds, and express rivalry, not in contentious disputations about who is right and who is wrong, but by striving to undo each other in improving the lot of humankind, in enhancing the quality of human life and in doing what is good. And if we can compare the improvement in the lot of humanity to building a house, then the meaning of the African proverb which says: "Let the elephant fell the trees, let the bushpig dig the holes, let the mason wasp fill in the walls, let the giraffe put up the roof, then we will have a house", will become clear.
If we recognize that the arms of our particular religious traditions cannot fully embrace the baobab tree of truth, it will engender an attitude of respect for others and rescue us from a position of assumed superiority and righteousness which entitles us to declare, in advance, what God will do in the present and at the end of time.
My own researches and reflections over the past three decades in Africa, have led me to an openness which I believe will rid us of the tendency to disrespect others because their beliefs are inferior to ours. And in any case, how can people be saved if they are being despised? Or is this the price to pay for salvation, whatever we mean by it?I have also been forced to rethink our efforts to force God to be what we "know" God to be, without allowing God to manifest God's self in multifarious ways. It has become clear to me that our inability to live with differences or pluralism is a measure of our limited knowledge (arms too short to embrace the totality of the baobab tree of truth), rather than an incomparable divine command to impose uniformity in belief and expression on all humanity. Kofi Asare Opoku is Professor of African Traditional Religions and Cultures at the Lafayette College, Easton, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Others, in turn, will not be gathered into any idea of Christ that fails to comprehend and reconcile the most outer and inner (highest and deepest) concepts of 20th century physics. Others will not be gathered into any idea of Christ that does not fathom the deepest recesses of the human psyche, or explain human behavior in terms of the divine pattern of creation itself. They will not be reconciled to any form of the Mystery of Christ that cannot also locate the subterranean passageways that connect East and West; that is, that cannot reconcile Taoist, Shinto, Hindu, and Buddhist thought in the East to Judaic, Christian, and Islamic, and let us not fail to mention pre-Columbian American thought, in the West. Nor can we be gathered to any notion of Christ that cannot connect, as we have already mentioned, the mysteries of the South to those of the North, showing how the traditions that prevail in every human direction, North, South, East and West, are all mirror reflections of the other, and how together, each form the structure of one greater Divine Reality. There is only ONE God. Look around and see exactly what They look like. (Only the most egotistical minds refuse to slay that part of themselves that deny that reality). Thus neither can we expect the mind coming to perfection in our time to be reconciled to any notion of Christ (Messiah) that does not perfectly reconcile the male and female principles of creation to each other again--and not with all the subtle world-play and manipulation of terms that we are used to from literalists and others in traditional (male) positions of authority, but in reality. (Those in such positions of authority are ignorant of the world-mystery system that gave birth to Christianity, and prove it by having allowed themselves to be placed in such positions, especially in such a time as this, wherein it is God's intention to bring down the institutions of this age and replace them with righteous government and Their own anointed ones--The great world-church for instance: it has never understood the story Adam and Eve, much less the story of Samson, an ancient Herculean figure of the Christ-mystery on the Tree of Life, Who destroyed more in his death than he did in his life).
Those who walk in the Spirit of the One God are already one with each other, no matter where they meet on earth. They are one with the fact that all of the sacred stories and all of the Holy Scriptures of humankind blend into one another in a great historical way, and thus with the realization that they must all be read in the same epic and archetypical sense as the other. None is more exemplary of this than The West African Epic of Son-Jara, which tells in its own revealing way the otherwise hidden story of the Bible. The poetic saga relates the story of the Universal Hebrew Children, how it found its way southward (clearly in this story through the mind of Islam), and across the sub-Saharan plains of Africa, finding a resting place in the cultural traditions of the people of Mali before it took mid-passage centuries later to where it finds its completion at the root of the World Tree here in America.
Each story of this kind has an exoteric or outer dimension that produces one effect upon the mind of the reader, depending upon the locality, historic orientation or spiritual disposition of one's thoughts, and an esoteric or inner dimension that produces another. The outer produces conflict and division, the inner (after it has produced its own form of spiritual division), creates unity. It is the outer, literal aspects of Holy Writ that are bolstering the Western (as well as Jewish and Islamic) religious, political and military structures of our times--and which are also bringing each of them to their own timely conclusions. And this is exactly the intent of the oracular nature of these sacred writings--to separate the Light from the Darkness in the fulness of time. It is the inner meanings that liberate us from these structures, and releases us into the (so far) hidden spiritual order of things. It is these inner aspects of Holy Writ--living narratives having every literary device (similitude's and allegories, metaphors and parables) for a soul, and every heroic and archetypal figure (every god and goddess of the ancient world) for a body--that unite us with the idea of the Presence of God--the ONE who inhabits the sum of all spiritual and material reality. They also cause us to understand how difficult it will be to entice the various religions, denominations and sects (the worldy ones), to come together as one, short of national or economic calamity or finally by the terrors of war itself. People are hardly ever moved by the spoken word, but always by lightning and fire. (Hebrews 12:25-29). Of course, the key to reconciliation still lies in an interpretation of history, and of the Scriptures, that everyone can ultimately agree upon. Such an interpretation, even though it has alluded us up to now, nevertheless exists as it is written: Call unto me and I will answer, I will shew unto thee great and mighty things which ye knew not. (Jeremiah 33:3).
We spoke briefly of a discipline of study called Kabbalah (a Hebrew word referring to the oral, or secret tradition that was received by the children of Israel at the Foot of the mountain in the time of Moses--a tradition that calls back to the time of the long-fabled Adam in the Book of Genesis. This secret tradition has accompanied the literal tradition--the Written Torah--across the times and is, in preparation of the manifestation of Christ and the restoration of the kingdom of God on earth, reviving itself in our time...
"The first question which the non-Kabbalistic reader will probably ask are: What is the Kabbalah? Who were its authors? What are its subdivisions? Its general teachings? And why is a translation (or stu dy of it in general) required at the present time?
I will answer the last question first. At the present time a powerful wave of occult (spiritual) thought is spreading through society; thinking individuals are beginning to awaken to the fact that 'there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of in their philosophy;' and last but not least, it is now felt that the Bible, which has been probably more misconstrued than any other book ever written, contains numerous obscure and mysterious passages which are utterly unintelligible without some key to unlock their meanings. That key is given in the Kabbalah.
Let every Christian ask themselves this question: 'How can I think to understand the Old Testament if I be ignorant of the construction put upon it by that nation whose sacred book it formed; and if I know not the meaning of the Old Testament, how can I expect to understand the new?'" The Kabbalah Unveiled, by S.L. MacGregor Mathers, (1887).
"The Kabbalah in any case claims to be the light of a Secret Traditional Knowledge preserved among the 'chosen people,' (parentheses mine), and the subjects with which it is concerned...are sacred and divine subjects: they include the most profound mysteries of God and the Emanation of Deity; the celestial economy; the process of creation; the Scheme of Providence in regard to humanity; the communications of God in revelation and to the just in the Church; the offices and ministries of good and evil angels; the nature and preexistence of the soul, its union with matter and its metempsychosis (passage from one generation to another); the mystery of sin and its penalties; the messiah(s), (their) kingdom, and the glory to be revealed...
The Secret Doctrine is...the sense below the sense which is found in the literary word--as if one story was written on the obverse side of the parchment and another on the reverse." The Holy Kabbalah, by A. E. Waite.
We did not get a chance to discuss how the Kabbalah (which is generally considered to be a purely Judaic expression of what is a much wider field of historical and religious studies), is, in its essence, a study of the dimensions of the Tree of Life. We have followed this discipline and found the ways in which the structure of this World Tree is able to direct our thoughts, not only from one end of history to the other but from one end of the earth to the other. The idea of the Sacred Tree is extremely ancient and has filled the world with itself. By studying its history we can also see why we conclude that those who carried this idea (these ideas) from one ancient land to another were also sojourners from the West. These earliest adepts in the Atlantean-Hebrew-European-Assyrian-Chaldean-Druidic-Brahman (as well as Egyptian) mysteries--the Asvins as they were known in the Vedas (or the Maruts, or Essenes, as they took their rise again in the time of Christ)--appeared in the earth in the time of Adam (or Manu). They brought their evolving perceptions of the mystery of God's Presence (of all Reality suspended on the limbs of the Universal Tree), out of the garden of Eden with them:
I sing of Biribiriba. STUMP IN THE DARK OF NIGHT...Almighty God created Adam, Nine Adams. The Tenth one was Ben Adam.
Ah, Bemba! Almighty God created Adam, the forefather, and caused him to stand upon the earth, and said that all creation's beings should submit to him. And all the beings of creation did submit to him, Save Iblis alone. May God deliver us from Satan...
Ah, Bemba! Almighty God, after all of this, my father, took Adam. And he brought him forth from Paradise. He set him down in a land, the name of which is India. The Epic of Son-Jara, A West African Tradition. Text by Fa-Digi Sisoko, Introduction by John William Johnson.
The Rg Veda is a collection of more than a thousand hymns composed in northwest India about 1500 BC, in an archaic form of Sanskrit, and ancient Indo-European language. In addition to this canon numerous myths appear...composed a few centuries later, known as the Brahmanas. These texts were not committed to writing for many centuries, but were preserved as oral traditions. Later Hindu religious literature draws heavily upon their characters and events.
The central myth in the Rg Veda is the myth of creation. This is described in several different ways. Often the universe is said to have come in to being out of chaos (see Genesis 1:2), when a God--Indra, king of the gods...or Vishnu, a solar deity--separated heaven and earth. (See Genesis 10:25). Then the Sun arose and from that spot, the Navel of the Earth, a Great Pillar was erected to prop apart heaven and earth. The Pillar is the axis of the world.
There were now Three worlds: heaven (the East above), earth (the West below), and an intervening world in between...which Vishnu measured out in 3 Great Strides. (See Revelation 10:5-7)...Mythology, edited by Richard Cavendish, pp.15,16).
Have we not known? have we not heard? hath it not been told us from the beginning? have we not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is He that sitteth upon the Circle of the earth...(Isaiah 40:21,22).
"Not only do the different species of mythical trees which we have just met among the Semites occur amongst the Indo-Europeans, and the Hindus in particular, but nowhere can the ties which link the Tree of the Universe to the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge be more clearly perceived than among the traditions of the latter nation. The Vedas make mention of the Tree whose Foot is the earth, and whose summit is in heaven. (see Matthew 5:34,35).
Sometimes it is the Tree of the Starry firmament...at other times it is the Tree of the Cloudy sky whose roots or branches shoot out over the canopy of heaven...Amongst its branches it holds imprisoned the Fire of the lightning (Matthew 24:27). Through its leaves it distills the elixir of life, the celestial 'soma', i.e....the vivifying waters...It also forms the way to the other side of the atmospheric ocean, beyond the river(s) which possesses or procures everlasting youth.
It is finally the Tree of Knowledge. Its sap begets poetic and religious inspiration. In approaching its foliage man remembers his previous existences. From its top resounds in sonorous rolling the celestial voice which reveals the will of the gods, the divine messenger, engendered in the waters of the clouds. (The Hindu gods being personifications of the natural forces and the moral and spiritual concepts of the universe, thus manifestations in the mind of Moses of the One True God, the Great Ein Sof, who rules over all).
This latter aspect of the Sacred Tree is developed among the Buddhists. M. Senart has shown...how the sacred Fig Tree under which Buddha attained perfect illumination, in spite of the exertions of Mara and his demons, is directly connected with the Cosmic Tree of Indo-European mythologies...
Thus, eternal life, productive power, perfect happiness, supreme knowledge, all these divine gifts are in India (as in all other lands), the gifts of the Tree which represents the Universe.
In brief, both Semites and Aryans were acquainted with the Tree of Heaven and the Tree of Life, and the Tree of Knowledge...Do such coincidences suffice to justify the assumption that these traditions have one and the same origin, or even that they represent an old stock of folk-lore bequeathed to the Aryans and Semites by their common ancestors?" The Migration of Symbols, by Count Goblet d'Alviella, (1894).
The point we have been making throughout this work is that the Indo-European and S(h)emitic mysteries were originally one and the same, or rather that the latter emerged within the spiritual context of that culture which was spread in those ancient times from North America, across the Atlantic and across Europe, as far as India in the east, and as far as Egypt and and the present-day Ethiopia in the south. And that the Root of this Universal World Tree--this whole system of thought--is embedded here in the Western ends of the earth where the great Wheel of Genesis completes itself at last. It completes itself in the minds of all who have made the spiritual pilgrimage to the end of things here in the West (and thus to the beginning and the newness of things as well), and who are able to look back into the East and perceive the Divine Presence risen up everywhere in the world, in all of the events and in all of the other peoples of the world. As great Light is born out of great Darkness, and as Order is born of Chaos, all of human history has been a preparation for the great Day of Deliverance. It completes itself in the minds of all who are able to view the American-experience-in-particular in light of the words: Know therefore every Tree by its fruits, and those that say: To those who overcome will I give to eat of the Tree of Life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God. (Rev.2:7). This is the same Tree, and the same events that Paul saw when his mind was caught up to the Third Heaven at 2 Corinthians 12:1-4:
Enoch's (Paul's) Ascent to the Third Heaven
And in the midst of the trees that of Life, in that place where the Lord rests, when He goes up into Paradise; and this Tree is of ineffable (unspeakable) goodness and fragrance, and adorned more than any existing thing; and on all sides it is in form gold-like (as the Seven-branched Candlestick itself...Zechariah 4), and vermilion and fire-like and covers all, and it has produce from fruits (the fruits of the Spirit...Galatians 5).
And its roots are in the garden at the earth's end. And Paradise is between corruptibility and incorruptibility (see 1 Corinthians 15:54-58).
And Two springs come out which send forth honey and milk, and their springs send forth oil and wine, and they separate into Four parts, and go around with quiet course, and go down into Paradise of Eden between corruptibility and incorruptibility...(Enoch's Ascent to the Third Heaven, The Secrets of Enoch 8:3-6).
All of this brings us to the point of this letter. If one were to spend any time at all, say, on the streets of New York City ("The Millennium Capitol of the World"--modern Babylon, modern Jerusalem), trading theological and historical points of view, they would soon encounter that strident view which holds Africa to be the source and the center of this entire epic (and among some, African people alone to be God's chosen people--with a cursory admission to indigenous Americans, certain Asians and other Third-World peoples). In a letter to Kadijah Ali I expressed how most of this view would be perfectly acceptable--if only it were true that is. I am no champion of the Caucasian race, or of the idea of race itself, for what difference does it make in the end if one culture or another was the original bearer of this Wisdom to the rest of the world, if it all leads to the realization of the One God, to the highest levels of Dharma (for union with the Divine is the singular purpose of man's existence on earth), and to the realization of the fact that all of us together are the children of this One Divine Reality? But this particular world-view, held by many in the Afro-centrist movement, also carries with it the belief that the "white" man is not only not among the chosen, but is irrevocably and irredeemably lost--the child of the devil every single one. We are almost tempted to agree with this assertion as well, but we know from our own spiritual struggles, our own social experiences, our own resistance to the religious and political structures of the Western world, and our own conversation with God, that this is not true at all. We also know, because of the great lessons we have learned as a result of the Black experience in America--without which we would, indeed, still be irredeemably lost in the American mindset of the forties and fifties--that we are, all of us together, the children of the One Living God. The length, the breadth, the depth, and the height of it are equal.
We also sense, in the light of present spiritual reality, that those who have had both the fortune and the misfortune of being born into Caucasian bodies in this lifetime have three active courses open to them. (These, of course, reflect the choices that those of every other racial and religious group must make, each in light of their own social circumstances and experiences):
(1) A continued state of spiritual arrogance, rebellion and pride (the continued exercise of political and military and economic control over the earth and its resources--at the ongoing expense of all "lesser" peoples, as well as at the ongoing expense [rape is the word] of the planetary environment in which all of the peoples of the earth must dwell). This is the mainline Western thinking, and most Americans are on it. The consequences of such a course are tragic for those who continue on it. It would be as totally tragic for all the rest of the peoples of the earth as well, and for the sacred environment all of us must share throughout all future times, if it was not God's intention to rise up now in all the powers of the earth, to intervene. These things are in fact happening, just as they were written. It will be evident as God's Spirit continues to overwhelm the events of our time, overthrowing at last the rule of those who are presently and ignorantly in charge of it. (God had to allow these sons of Darkness the time to come to their fullest measure). To follow this course, and to follow those who take it, is to participate in the fullest sense with all the social and religious complexities that attend the idea of the Beast in the Book of Revelation. (But isn't the whole world guilty of beastliness? Quite so, and even moreso at times. But the issue will ultimately be settled in America, because here in America evil is being accomplished in the name of Christ. This nation should not have taken this name, or this spirit to itself if it did not plan on walking in those precepts).
(2) Joining the Reaction...which is the state of mental and spiritual schizophrenia affecting literalists, Arayan nationalists, and other American patriots who have been attempting to define themselves in both Constitutional and biblical terms at the same time (please read Deuteronomy 4:4-34), and who also see the present "new-world-order" as a threat to their sovereign and God-given American way of life. It is the mindset of all who cannot see into the greater spiritual structure of present world events, much less the Scriptures that attend them, and who define themselves as a result in purely nationalistic terms. They believe in the bible AND in the myths of the American nation, and are always trying to preserve and fortify the weak and mostly selfish little theological structures they have built around themselves, and around their ideas, as if each were manning Truth's last outposts...
Ironically enough these espouse the free enterprise ideals of the globalists and internationalists, but for clearly different reasons. For them, IF Christ has set you free, you are free indeed. It is more Ayn Rand than Jimmy Carter. They uphold as a sacred responsibility the "right to bear arms," because it is in the Constitution, and the means by which their Holy Zionist Nation was founded. One man I am acquainted with just purchased 20,000 rounds of ammunition to defend himself, his family (against his wife's will) and his small outpost of land, from the government who he has been convinced is out to turn every true patriot's domain into a flaming Waco. This may seem true in light of the government's own present state of mind (well maybe not the present Bush administration's state of mind), but in the end it is a case of the American government trying to enforce what it perceives to be it's sacred mandate from all the people to uphold the rule of law on behalf of all the people. The patriots are stuck in the past, the government is trying to carry it all into the future, but both are propounders of the same American myth. The government, of course, can not realize how the entire American nation is one large Waco Compound in the eyes of God who is about to judge it according to the words: With what judgment it metes, so shall it be measured unto it. (Matthew 7:1-5). The ones who will ultimately threaten the government, however, and who will ultimately be rounded up in the time of national crisis--in the "tribulation" as some call it--are those who will refuse to bear arms of any sort at all, not in defense of the country, nor even in defense of themselves. These are the ones who have clearly heard the message of Christ which says: Those who seek to save their lives shall lose it, and those who lose their lives shall save it unto life eternal. These are those who will stand bold in the day of judgment, and who, through their own personal sacrifice, will bring about the birth of the true holy nation in the earth.
(3) The third course is Atonement. The entire world drama is leading to another birth (a rebirth) of the Holy Nation, another deliverance from Egypt--the lower state of mind. (Please connect Revelation 15:3 and Exodus 15). The people's sojourn in America (from 1585, the first European landing on the shores of what would become the United States of America--or even from 1606 and the Jamestown settlement in Virginia--until the present), is a direct reflection of Israel's sojourn and captivity in that Egypt in the East, in ancient times, and is the fulfillment of the words:
And He said to Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not their's, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them Four Hundred Years;
And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with a great substance...(Genesis 15:13,14; Galatians 3:16-29).
And the Lord shall bring thee into Egypt again with ships, by the way whereof I spake unto thee, thou shalt see it no more again: and there ye shall be sold unto your enemies for bondwomen and bondmen, and no man shall buy (redeem) you...(Deuteronomy 28:68).
The Egypt of the Bible is not limited to a place in the Middle East, but is a description of the entire lower world, a world that spans the earth from that Egypt in the East to this Egypt in the West. Where also our lord was crucified. (Revelation 11:8). Please see the chapter entitled The Heavenly Nile.
There is a path that led out of the ancient East, northward, across Europe to America. There is another, hidden path, a reflection-below of the northern path above, which found its way out of the East and across the African continent. Both of them come together in America. The oral traditions of Africa reflect the entire saga of human history, from the time of Christ to our own
Following that aspect of the Universal Law of Correspondences which also holds that things East and West, as well as North and South, are in their historical essence mirror reflections of each other, we understand something of the course History took on its flight to the West, across the continent and the nations of Europe to America. We see that it is a mirror reflection of the path the Spirit also took southwards, out of the East, via the mysteries of Egypt and Ethiopia, and across the African continent till She came to Mid-Passage with Her other children, and to the same fulfillment of the words of the Prophets here in America. We see in the greater picture, however, that as Africans came across literally chained, and literally sold into physical bondage, Europeans in turn were literally turned over by God to their own natural instincts, and bound in the chains of their own lower, darkened states of mind. "Only slaves rise to power," wrote Ronald Ryback. The entire Dark side of the American historical experience is The Mystery of Iniquity fulfilled. (2 Thessalonians 2:7-12). In the great Plantation called America, everyone is in bondage--save those that are free that is...
The great leaders of iniquity and injustice, slaves are they, and sons of slaves...(The Testament of Moses, chapter 5).
Make a chain, for the land is full of bloody crimes...(Ezekiel 7:23).
And he answered me and said, They (these chains) are prepared for the kings and potentates of the earth in order that they may be destroyed thereby...(1 Enoch 53).
God cast them down to hell (Westward) and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be preserved unto judgment...(2 Peter 2:1-4).
"Dost thou speak of statues (images), Thrice Majestic?
Yes, of the statues, Asclepios...Of what else shall I speak but of statues, so full of life, of feeling...the prophetic statues which predict the future by bestowing dreams and by all manner of other ways...Are you not aware O Asclepios, that Egypt is the image of heaven, or rather that it is the projection below of the order of things above? If the truth must be told, this land is indeed the Temple of the world.
Nevertheless, since sages ought to foresee all things, there is one thing you must know; a time will come when it will seem that the Egyptians have adored the gods so piously in vain, and that all their holy invocations have been barren and unheeded. Divinity will quit the earth and return to heaven, forsaking Egypt, its ancient abode...In those days religious men will be thought mad; impious men will be hailed as sages; savage men will be deemed valiant, and evil-hearted men will be applauded as the best of men...
And thus God is above the summit of heaven, yet everywhere present and beholding all things. For beyond the heaven is a sphere without stars, transcending all corporate things...And to those whom it shall be given to dominate the earth shall be sent forth and established at the extremity of Egypt, IN A CITY BUILT TOWARD THE WEST, whither by sea and by land, shall flow all the race of mortals." The Hermetic Works, The Virgin of the World, translated by Dr. Anna Kingsford, pp.71-75.
BACK TO EDEN...(Ezekiel 27and 28).
The Sun also ariseth, and the Sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose. The Wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the Wind returneth again according to his circuits. (See John 3:5-8). All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; UNTO THE PLACE FROM WHENCE THE RIVERS COME, THITHER THEY RETURN AGAIN...(Ecclesiastes 1:5-7).
In a work entitled The African Origin of Civilization, Myth or Reality, by Chiekh Anta Diop, another entitled Ethiopia and the Missing Link in African History, by the Rev. Sterling M. Means, and in another late 19th century work entitled Book of Beginning, by Gerald Massey, a convincing case is made for the theory, and for others the firm belief, that the African continent is the source of the entire Western mythos, thus the base upon which the entire philosophical and technological development of the Western world stands. Do we, or rather, did we shrink from the possibility? Does it, or rather did it create a racial (or cultural) reaction in us as we studied these things, even ever so slight? Yes, the same as those who hold to the African Theory will feel when they are confronted with this Circle of History and American Genesis idea. But it is only our natural selves reacting, not our spiritual selves. In the world above there are no racial differences, and neither is there any separate pigmentations in the heart. Nevertheless, while the divisions of race are an illusion to be overcome here on earth, historical truth is essential to the further development of the whole Human Race.
Actually we would rush to the African-Eden Theory along with so many others, if it was not for the almost completely obscure, rather fundamentalist, but nonetheless compelling work of E.E. Callaway. In a book entitled In The Beginning, he was almost certainly the first in our times to set forth the idea that this work advances, concerning the whereabouts of Eden (locating it, as he did, in the southeastern corner of the United States). (Please see Chapter 2 and the subchapter in the Addendum entitled The Lower Garden and the Tree of Life). By direct implication this places the whereabouts of the original land of Ethiopia in America as well. (See Genesis 2:8-15). The very timeliness, as well as the many other implications of the discovery itself, immediately satisfied a great number of other historical and theological questions (Biblical questions), and allowed to fall in place many pieces of the cosmic puzzle, opening the way for other revelations. Thus, we would accept Diop's contention if we were not subsequently led to the structure of the Universal World Tree, the countenance of the Great Dragon, Leviathan, and the whole realm of worlds above--which so obviously included levels of consciousness that are also germain to the Indo-European state of mind. We are also aware that many hold to the African-Genesis theory (not to be confused with the theory of the origins of human life itself), for other than spiritual or scholarly reasons. Historical Revisionism is a term used by some Europeans to define what they perceive to be a wide range of attempts by certain Afro-centrist scholars to exact a kind of intellectual vengeance on the white, Western world--no matter what the cost. Diop says: "It is the fruit of unwarranted supposition by specialists convinced that everything valuable in life can come only from their race and that, if we look carefully, we are sure to be able to prove it. From then on it matters little whether the demonstration is supported by facts." (pp.64,65). We agree. He then goes on to say:
"The history of Black Africa will remain suspended in mid-air and cannot be written correctly until African historians dare to connect it with the history of Egypt. (And, of course we agree).
The ancient Egyptians were Negroes...Instead of presenting itself to history as an insolvent debtor, the Black world is the very initiator of 'western' civilization flaunted before our very eyes today. Pythagorean mathematics, the theory of the Four elements of Thales...Platonic idealism, Judaism, Islam, and modern science are rooted in Egyptian cosmogony and science. One needs only to meditate on Osiris, the redeemer god, who sacrifices himself, dies, and is resurrected to save mankind, a figure essentially identifiable with Christ. (p.xiv).
Unable to detect any contradiction in the formal statements of the ancients after an objective confrontation with the total Egyptian reality, and consequently unable to disprove them...They express regrets that people as normal as the ancient Egyptians could have made so grievous an error and thus create so many difficulties and delicate problems for modern specialists. Next they try in vain to find a White origin for Egyptian civilization. They finally become mired down in their own contradictions, sliding over the difficulties of the problem after performing intellectual acrobatics as (un)learned as they are unwarranted. Then they repeat the initial dogma, judging that they have demonstrated to all honorable folk the White origin of Egyptian civilization. (p.45).
The man found in Canaan (and by this Diop refers to the land of Palestine) in prehistoric times, the Natufian, was a Negroid. The Caspian tool industry, which doubtless came from North Africa to that region, was also of Negroid origin. In the Bible, when the first white races reached the place, they found a black race there, the Canaanites, descendants of Canaan, brother of Mesraim, the Egyptian, and Kush, the Ethiopian, sons of Ham.
The Lord said to Abraham: Leave your country, your kinsfolk and your father's house, for the land that I will show you...Abram went away as the Lord commanded him, and Lot went with him...Abram took Sarai his wife...and they departed for the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan...near the plain of More. At that time the Canaanites were in the land...(Genesis 12:1-6).
After many ups and downs, the Canaanites and the white tribes, symbolized by Abraham and his descendants (a theory, of course, which runs wholly counter to the other Afro-centrist theory which makes Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, black, and the descendants of Esau white), blended in time to become the Jewish people of today:
So Hemor and his son Sichem went to the gate of the city and spoke to their fellow citizens. These men, they said, are friendly; let them dwell in the land since there is ample room for them. Let us marry their daughters, and give them our daughters to marry...(Genesis 34:8-22).
Those few lines...reveal the economic imperatives which at that time were to govern relations between white invaders and black Canaanites. Phoenician history is therefore incomprehensible only if we ignore the Biblical data according to which the Phoenicians, in other words, the Canaanites, were originally Negroes, already civilized, with whom nomadic, uncultured white tribes later mixed. (pp.107-108).
Here we have reached the historical background of the curse upon Ham. It is not by chance that this curse on the father of Mesraim, Phut, Kush, and Canaan, fell only on Canaan, who dwelt in a land that the Jews have coveted throughout their history.
Whence came this name Ham (Cham, Kam)? Where could Moses have found it? Right in Egypt where Moses was born, grew up, and lived until the Exodus. In fact we know that the Egyptians called their country Kemit, which means 'black' in their language. The interpretation according to which Kemit designates the black soil of Egypt, rather than the black man and, by extension, the black race of the country of the Blacks, stems from a gratuitous distortion by minds aware of what the exact interpretation of the word would imply. Thus it is natural to find Kam in Hebrew meaning heat, black, burned. The inhabitants of Egypt, symbolized by their black color, Kemit or Ham of the Bible, would be accursed in the literature of the people they had oppressed...
It is impossible to link the notion of Hamite, as we labor to understand it in official textbooks, with the slightest historical, geographical, linguistic, or ethnic reality. No specialist is able to pinpoint the birthplace of the Hamites...the language they spoke, the migratory routes they traveled, the countries they settled, or the form of civilization they may have left...All the experts agree that this term has no serious content, and yet not one of them fails to use it as a kind of master-key to explain the slightest evidence of civilization in Black Africa." (pp.7-9).
Do we think that Diop is wrong when he says that those who dwelt in ancient (that is, pre-dynastic) Egypt were Negroes? Or even that there were not at various times pure Africans, or Blacks among the Pharaohs and ruling classes of Egypt? Not at all. Or that there was not a Natufian people living in the regions of Palestine in that distant time? Not at all. But if one has been following the chapters of this work to this point they know how stretched and tortured we believe Diop's narration to be, for reasons we will rehearse again here. Diop allows a European presence in Egypt as early as the 11th dynasty, much later then the reign of Menes and the founders of the first Dynasties and the builders of the great pyramids and sphinxs. He says:
"But the whole history of Egypt, as we shall see, shows that the mixture of the early population with the white nomadic elements, conquerors or merchants, became increasingly important as the end of Egyptian history approached." (pp.4,5).
We, however--and not for racial reasons as some might reason--have placed this contact as far back in Egyptian history as we place these same Indo-European influences upon the indigenous culture of Persia and India. (Please see the commentary on the Vedic Connection). We say it occurred roughly about the same time--even before the more barbaric, white, conquering tribes of nomadic Canaanites appeared out of Europe in the lands of the East. (Genesis 10:18). (We have also placed the center of the biblical, purely literary, land of Canaan in Europe as well, because this is where the stories of the purely literary and archetypal figures of Japheth, Shem and Ham originated. And as such we shall see how the name of these "cursed" Canaanites, as well as the name "Ham" itself, the forebear of Nimrod, the son of Cush--literary names devised by the Hebrew adepts and scribes to describe the overall nature of the Western inhabitants of the Indo-European world--were carried into the East by these same adepts for very certain historical and prophetic reasons. Because it was there in Egypt, and in the person of the Egyptian Pharaohs, that the prophets began to lay the historic foundations for the Mystery of Iniquity. Nimrod, the primary archetype of the political strongman in the earth (the antichrist of the New Testament), would appear over time in the Seven successive figures of (1) Pharaoh; (2) The Assyrian; (3) the king of Babylon; (4) Haman the Persian; (5) Alexander; (6) Caesar ; (7) Napolean who strode so majestically across the Holy Roman Empire of his time; and then finally in the Eighth: the office of the Presidents of the United States. The office of the American presidency is all of these Seven in one. (Please understand Revelation 17:9-11, and Matthew 12:43-45).
Reverend Means, and it is very easy to see how he and others have become confused in all of these historic and prophetic matters, says:
"The word Amon or 'Amen' originally were the Egyptian and Ethiopian words for God. The doctrine of Divine duality was based upon the Egyptian Pharaoh as the Father and the heir apparent as the Son--the ever coming King in the person of the Prince who was always born to be King. The Father was the King of Egypt and the Son was the prince of Ethiopia (Please understand Genesis 3:13-15) which was the birth-place for the young Prince for all time.
Messu was the Root of the Messiah by nature and by name. The Prince of Ethiopia is the Messu...The Lord's anointed is called the Messiah in Hebrew, Kristu in Greek; Chrestus in Latin and is Messu in Egyptian, Messu signifies the son or heir apparent, the Prince of Ethiopia. (Gerald Massey, Ancient Egypt in the Light of the World, p.521).
The Doctrine of the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ as the Son of God, did not originate with the Jews in Palestine but with the Ancient Ethiopians who came down from the last Atlantean culture. The Pharaohs of Egypt were more or less selected from the Priests and many of them were very religious. Some of them would baptize their soldiers before going into battle. The most of these Pharaohs took their wives from Ethiopia because Ethiopia was to them the Holy Land where once dwelt the happy pair Adam and Eve. An Egyptian Pharaoh who married an Ethiopian wife looked forward to the time when a crown Prince would be born who would become the second Adam and would restore the lost paradise and universal brotherhood among the nations of the earth." Ethiopia and the Missing Link in African History, pp.31,32.
These Hebrew adepts, coming out of the Atlantean culture, and out of the wars of Atlantis (the Flood..see Revelation 17:15 and Daniel 9:26), knew that the throne of the Pharaohs would constitute the base upon which the entire cult of Nimrod would be built in the world, and that these mysteries would be carried in time back to the Western ends of the earth from which they sprang...see Ezekiel 31 and 32). And, thus, these earliest adepts in the higher mysteries brought with them into Egypt the same structural ideas of the universe as they brought into India--ideas that were later built into the structure of the great pyramids themselves. We are referring to those adepts in higher mysteries who ranged over the entire ancient world of that time in the spirit of Manu/Adam/Man, but particularly in the spirit of Abel. They came out of the great emerging struggles of those times, born in the conflict between the forces of Light and the forces of Darkness. They were not only the first (creative) monotheists but also the first pacifists. (One cannot be one without being the other). They came out of the West; and following the course of the Rivers of Eden they found their way to the headwaters of the Nile--to a land they named "Ethiopia" as a further reflection of the extremities of the Western mysteries that they carried with them:
"Now the garden was watered by One River which ran round about the whole earth, and parted into Four parts, and Phison, which denotes a multitude, running into India, makes its exit into the sea, and is by the Greeks called GANGES.
Euphrates also, as well as Tigris, goes down into the Red Sea...Now the name Eurphrates, or Prath, denotes either a dispersion, or a Flower: By Tigris, or Diglath, is signified what is swift with narrowness, (as that narrow opening in the Tree of Life between West and East)...
And Geon runs through Egypt, and denotes what arises from the East, which the Greeks call NILE." Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews I.I.3.
"The science of Geography, which I propose to investigate, is, I think, quite as much as any other science, a concern of the philosopher…Wide learning, which alone makes it possible to undertake a work on geography, is possessed solely by those who have investigated things both human and divine--knowledge of which, they say, constitutes philosophy. And so too the utility of geography--and its utility is manifold, not only regards the activities of statesmen and commanders but as also regards knowledge both of the heavens and of things on land and sea…
I say we are right in regarding Homer as the founder of the science of geography…for otherwise he would not have gone to the uttermost bounds of the inhabited world, encompassing the whole of it in his description.
In the first place, Homer declares that the inhabited world is washed on all sides by Oceanus, and this is true; and then he mentioned some of the countries by name, while he leaves us to infer other countries by hints…By Erembians he probably means Arabian Troglodytes-whereas he only indicates in general terms the people who live in the far East and West by saying that their countries are washed by Oceanus, for he makes the Sun to rise out of Oceanus and set in Oceanus…As for the people of the West…he declares: 'But the deathless gods will convey thee to the Elysian Plain and the ends of the earth…' And too, the Islands of the Blessed lie to the West.
Furthermore Homer makes it plain that the Ethiopians live at the ends of the earth, when he speaks of the 'Ethiopians that are sundered in twain, the farthermost of men.' About the next verse there is a difference of opinion, Aristarchus writing: 'abiding some where Hyperion (the Sun) sets, and some where he rises,' but Crates: 'abiding both where Hyperion sets and where he rises.' FOR THIS TOO, MEANS THAT THE ETHIOPIANS (Genesis 2:13) LIVE ON BOTH SIDES OF OCEANUS, BOTH TOWARD THE EAST AND TOWARD THE WEST." The Geography of Strabo, Book I.
Diop then goes on to say: "This legend which must belong to an ancient tradition, seems to me to merit attention. It agrees completely with what Greek historians tell us, namely, that Egypt was a colony of Ethiopia. Thus the Egyptians, at least those who became the Pharonic Egyptians probably followed the course of the Great River." (p.92). He is correct, except that he has the influence flowing in the wrong direction.
Do we think that Africans, or Blacks, were part of this ancient Fellowship of the Mystery? Absolutely. There is evidence of an African presence in the ancient Americas, just as there was a certain Ni'ger present among the prophets and teachers at Antioch. (Acts 13:1). But the idea that the Mystery itself is rooted in a purely African state of mind is simply not grounded in historical fact. It came down upon Egypt from the higher Egypt, from the West and from the North. Diop says that the Hebrew scribes attributed the name of Ham, and the curse upon Canaan, to the Black race because of their animosities toward those peoples, and that present-day Palestine was the land of Canaan toward which the white, uncivilized Hebrew people came in the time of Abraham. We suggest, first of all, that the reason the history of this so named Ham cannot be discovered anywhere in Africa, outside of strenuous attempts to reconstruct and place it there, is because Ham was not a real individual person to begin with. He was, rather, one part of a trinity of archetypal figures--Ham, Shem, and Japheth--created by these same adepts in the Hebrew mysteries to delineate not only the geo-metaphorical dimensions of the World Tree (the West, the Center, and the East), but also the structure of the entire human life-force, composed as all of us are of Body, Soul, and Spirit. And if the name of Ham got associated with Egypt, and somehow with the Ethiopian peoples in the East, it is because the lower extremities of Egypt--the lower, Western ends of the earth--were meant. Look into the Oracles, and see how the Western ends of the earth lie everywhere below the Navel of this great mystery. This is the lower realm, the realm of the Flesh if you will, where all of the metaphysical and spiritual effects of Adam's lower nature are being worked out to cosmic perfection. Thus it is the Western end of the earth, and the white race that rules over it, not the Black race, that bears the ultimate "curse," for these ancient adepts knew how wickedness would be completed here, and how the final judgments of God would fall on this place at the end of the age:
And moreover I saw under the Sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there...(Ecclesiastes 3:16).
"The will and counsel of God has for many reasons been concealed from men; first indeed, through bad instruction. Wicked associations, and other such evils have filled the whole house of this world like some enormous smoke, preventing those who dwell in it from seeing its founder aright...What then, is fitting for those who are within, excepting a cry brought forth from the innermost hearts to invoke His aid...that He would approach and open the door of His house, so that the smoke might be dissipated which is within, and the Light of the Sun which shines without may be admitted." Peter to Clement, The Recognitions of Peter, chapter xv.
And then this same text says:
"Shem obtained his lot of a dwelling place in the Middle region of the world, in which is the country of Judea (see Isaiah 27 to 29, Matthew 24:15-22), Japheth the Eastern, and Ham the Western." (Chapter xxxi).
And Noah awoke...and said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be to his brethren. And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem (the Lord God of Shem had many names in those times, among them Indra and Ra), and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem, and Canaan shall be his servant...(Genesis 9:24-27).
This means that the Flesh (the lower nature...the physical body), shall bear the burdens of the Mind and Spirit, of the Soul, but also that the West shall bear the burdens of history, and of the whole historical process. And then the Book of Clement says:
"In the eighteenth generation walled cities were built, armies were organized and armed, judges and laws were sanctioned, temples were built, and the princes of the nations were adored as gods.
In the nineteenth generation the descendants of him who had been cursed after the flood, going beyond their proper bounds which they had obtained in the Western regions, drove into the Eastern lands those who had obtained the Middle portion of the world, and pursued them as far as Persia, (open the pages of the Rig Veda), while themselves violently took the country from which they expelled them (in the center of the world mystery)." (Ch.xxxi).
And afterward were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad...(Genesis 10:18).
These Canaanites are indeed the "uncivilized," barbaric whites who pushed themselves out of Europe into the East in ancient times (whom we will later also associate with the conglomeration of Celto-European tribes that remained in Europe, and who still inhabited the center of this mystery between the time of king David and the time of Christ, among whom the mind of Israel was almost inextricably mixed, confusing as a result the entire theology and history of the Eastern world). As for the word "Ham" as it relates to the idea of "blackness," it also carries with it the idea of "hiddenness," as "before the Dawn." Egypt means "black," says Reverend Means. Thus the words: I am black but comely O ye daughters of Jerusalem, (Song of Solomon 1:5). God is indeed revealed (and is suffering for the sins of the world) in the black race, but in every other race as well. All the colors together make up the color black, and it is in every race together that the mystery of Christ is coming to perfection.
As for Abraham, who is also not a literal historical character but a literary one--a Divine archetype, and a symbol of the Brahmin mysteries returning to the West in the children of Israel; he (or rather they--the adepts in these mysteries) was not called to go into the land of Palestine, but back up into the center of the Oracle, to the center of Europe, the original land of Canaan, and then onward, "southward" toward Eden, as it was also written: Then on the Third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. (Genesis 22:4). Of course the adepts also had to go down to that land of Egypt in the East in order to complete the initiations, to that land-below where these mysteries were also committed in earlier times. They had to go down to it and come back out of it as all adepts must:
The Book Am-Tuat And The Book of Gates
"'Am-Tuat,'...i.e., 'The Book of what is in the Tuat,' is the name given by the Egyptians to the large funeral book in which the priests of Amen describe the Other World according to the views of their order, and the passage of their god Amen-Ra through the mysterious country which he traversed during the hours of the night...
The history of the Book Am-Tuat shows that the Egyptians treated it as they treated their older Books of the Dead; they first copied it on the walls of tombs, then on the sides of stone sarcophagi and wooden coffins, and next on rolls of papyrus. We have seen how the kings of the XVIIIth (during the time of Moses) and XIXth Dynasties had it copied on the walls of their tombs...
Similar in many details, but widely different from the Book Am-Tuat in point of fundamental doctrine, (or so it seems), is the great funeral work to which the names 'Book of the Lower Hemisphere,' 'Book of Hades,' have been given. A glance at the pictures which accompany the texts of this Book is sufficient to show that it deals with the passage of the Sun-god through the Other World during the hours of Night, but as M. Maspero pointed out long ago, it is wrong to call the region through which the god passes by the name of 'Lower Hemisphere,' for it suggests (he seems to think) that it is below the surface of the earth, which is not the case. There is much to be said against the titles 'Book of Hades,' and 'Book of Hell,' and among the prominent characteristics that distinguish it from the Book Am-Tuat is a series of gates...It will be convenient and more correct to call it the 'Book of Gates...As the Book Am-Tuat was composed with the view of asserting the absolute supremacy of Amen-Ra in the Other World, so the Book of Gates was compiled to prove that, despite the pretensions of the priests of Amen-Ra, Osiris, the ancient god of the dead (and resurrection) was still the overlord of the Underworld, and that his kingdom was everlasting..."
"This region was called by the Egyptians 'Tat,' or 'Tuat,' or 'Tuaut;' the oldest form of the name, and that which is met with in the earliest of the Pyramid Texts is 'Tat.' The chief god of the 'Tuat' was called 'Tuat'...and the beings who lived there were called 'Tuatiu.' The meaning of the name Tat, or Tuat, is unknown, and it is useless to speculate upon it or invent etymologies for it; it was applied to the home of the beatified spirits and the damned, no doubt in prehistoric times, and the exact meaning which it conveyed to the minds of those who first used it has been lost...
To find a word which shall at once describe the situation and character of the Tuat is impossible (says the author), for the reason that the Egyptian conception of the place of the departed spirits is unique (says the author)...On the whole, the word Tuat may be best rendered by 'The Other World,' or 'Underworld,' always provided that it be clearly understood that the Egyptians never believed it to be under the earth.
In inventing a situation for the Tuat, the Egyptians appear to have believed that the whole of the habitable world, that is to say, Egypt, was surrounded by a chain of mountains lofty and impassable...Outside of this chain of mountains...was the region of the Tuat; it ran parallel with the mountains, and was on the plane either of the land of Egypt or of the sky above it...The Tuat had the shape of a valley; and from the fact that it began near the place where the Sun set, and ended near the place where he arose, it is permissible to say that the Tuat was nearly circular in form. That this is the view taken by the Egyptians themselves is proved by the scene which produced in the Book of Gates. Here we have the body of Osiris bent round a circle, and the hieroglyphics enclosed within it declare that it is the Tuat." The Egyptian Heaven and Hell, by E.A. Wallis Budge, pp.80-89.
"By far the most interesting of the peoples that formally inhabited Ireland were the Tuaths, or Tuatha de Danaans, or Danaans. There is much mystery about them in Irish traditions. These were men, gods, or fairies. They came, of course, from the East, calling in at Greece on the way, so as to increase their stock of magic and wisdom. Some trace them to the tribes of Dan, and note Dedan in Ezek.25:13. Mrs. Wilkins identifies them with the Dedanim of Isaiah 21:13...Isaiah calls them 'traveling companies of Dedanim.'...
Tradition assigns to the Tuatha generally an immortal life in the midst of the hills, and beneath the seas. Thence they issue to mingle freely with the mortal sons of men, practicing those individual arts in which they were great of yore, when they won Erin from the Firbolgs by 'science,' and when the Milesians won Erin from them by valor. That there really was a people whom the legends of the Tuatha shadow forth is probable, but it is almost certain that all the tales about them, (such as their descent and disappearance into the Underworld), are poetic myths..." Irish Druids and Old Irish Religions. by James Bonwick, pp.101-115.
Diop refers to a labyrinth that Herodotus visited, which represent in every place in which they are found the tortuous path the soul must take in finding its way back to the center of spiritual reality. S.A. Hooke, the author of another work entitled The Labyrinth, Further Studies in the Relation between Myth and Ritual in the Ancient World, says:
"The first cosmological pattern of the religious imagination...is as follows. The universe is imagined in the way any child might imagine it: two main divisions--heaven and earth. The interest of the cosmologist is at the center, his own locality; and the natural center of his world is the principle temple of the locality, the center of the life of the community, and the spot where its gets in touch with the powers of the universe. (continued)...
Was the middle point of the land imagined as the navel, according to the analogy of the omphali (navels) of the lands of the Mediterranean?...There were no doubt myths to justify the claims of the various holy cities to cosmic centrality. It is likely that most of them were derived from the traditions of either Nippur or Eridu...According to certain documents creation would have begun with the foundation of Eridu on the primeval fresh-water in the midst of the sea. There may well be real history and geography behind the myth, (see Psalm 74:12-14 and Isaiah 27:1)...In the mythic picture...land created in the midst of the primeval water would suggest the cosmic centrality of the spot. At a certain date Babylon took over the myth of Eridu...(becoming) the new Eridu.
Whether there would be a connection between a doctrine of the Navel of the Earth at Nippur and the doctrine of creation I do not venture to say. It may be supposed, however, that the idea of 'the Bond of Heaven and Earth'...were characteristically Nippurian, for Nippur was the geographical and old religious centre of the Land, and its temple was House of the Mountain of the Land...
And then Hooke, not realizing the cosmological dimensions of the Holy City, Jerusalem, the hidden pattern of all other holy cities, says:
But, if so, the point of the narrative is not that Ur or Harran or Babylon is the Gate of Heaven but that the Gate of Heaven is found in the land of Israel...As in the case of the Babylonian temples, we consider the relations of Jerusalem with heaven, with the underworld and with the earth.
In the hierocentric pattern of Jerusalem the temple is, firstly, the summit of the earth. Already in the canonical prophecies begins the idealization of the temple-mountain which is designed to be exalted above all other mountains...We will not delay on the well-known passages in Isaiah, Micah, Ezekiel, Zechariah. In the Johannine apocalypse the New Jerusalem out of heaven is a mountain 1500 miles in height as well as in the other dimensions--either a cube...or of pyramidal form like that of a ziggurrat...In these documents, and the rabbinic tradition which develop the same eschatological theme, the exaltation of Jerusalem is in the mysterious future...
So far the relation of Jerusalem to heaven and the underworld. There remains the theme of terrestrial centrality. Citations already given contain some indications of this. It is possible that Ps.74:12--'working salvation in the midst of the earth'--which Christian tradition has taken in a cosmographical sense, had a cosmographical meaning also in the mind of the Hebrew poet; for the context refers to God's cosmogonic conflict with the primeval DRAGON IN THE WATERS...However, these general considerations do not explain the peculiar form taken by the doctrine of heavenly cities or temples. Whatever tendency there may have been to think of the temple as imitation of a heavenly archetype was sooner or later reinforced and made specific by the increasingly astral interest of Babylonian religion. The archetype was seen in the constellations..." S.A. Hooke, pp.45-60.
Joseph A. Seiss, in his The Great Pyramid, A Miracle in Stone, says:
"Canvassing the whole problem in light of history, religion, and science, he (John Taylor) came to some very surprising conclusions involving an altogether new departure in Pyramid investigations, and enunciating a number of facts with regard to the mathematical features of the Great Pyramid, which once were ridiculed, but are now generally admitted as true. In 1859 he published a volume, in which he proposed to recover 'a lost leaf in the world's history,' and gave his processes and the results. Without having seen the Great Pyramid, but on the basis of facts recorded by others, he gave it as his theory and conviction that the real architects of this edifice were not Egyptians, but those of quite another faith and branch of the human family, who, by an impulse and commission from heaven, and by the special aid of the Most High, induced and superintended the erection of the mighty structure, as a memorial for times long after, to serve as a witness of inspiration, and of the truth, and purposes of God, over against the falsities and corruptions of a degenerate and ever degenerating world. In other words he claimed to find, in the shape, arrangements, measures, and various indications of the Great Pyramid, an intellectuality and numerical knowledge of grand cosmological phenomena of earth and heaven, which neither Egypt nor any of the nations possessed, or could even understand, from a thousand years ago, back to the origins of the nations. (p.33)...
Herodotus says that this (the Great Pyramid) and others like it, were built by forced labor. (Perhaps he was alluding to the story of the Exodus). So we wonder if those who superintended the building of them were the original adepts in these sciences, or a later amalgam of architects, masons, and other well-educated and influential members of the National Lodge, who only possessed some residual knowledge of these things, as do the members of the modern Masonic Temple in our time. We wonder if it was just their minds that were connected to the "esoteric" work at hand (for higher reasons that they no longer fully understood), while their hearts were connected to that of Pharaoh's, and all the grandiose ideas and the political intrigues of their times. Nevertheless...
From this also (the Pyramid) would seem to have its name. Though different authors have sought to derive this word from the Greek, Arabic, and other sources, the evidence is rather that it came directly from the builders of the edifice, and was meant to describe it in the common language then used in the country. The nearest to that language is Coptic. And in Coptic 'pyr' means 'division,' the same as 'peres' in Daniel's interpretation of the handwriting on the wall; and 'met' means 'Ten.' Chevalier Bunsen without thought of combining them for the derivation of the word Pyramid, gives these words separately...And putting them together--Pyr-Met--we have the name given to this structure. And that name in the language of the ancient Egyptians means The Division of Ten. (The Division of the Great Mandala of the Tree of Life--East and West). (p.46)
Accordingly a system of FIVENESS runs through the Great Pyramid. The intense Fiveness could not have been accidental, and likewise corresponds with the Nature of God, both in nature and revelation. Note the Fiveness of termination to each limb on the Human Body, the Five senses, and the Five books of Moses...And at High Noon the Sun shines on all Five of its corners. (pp. 47-49).
There is still a more distinct reference to the Great Pyramid in the Book of Job, 'Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up thy loins like a man, for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. Where wast thou when I layed the Foundations of the earth? Declare if thou knowest? Or who hath laid the measures, or who hath stretched a line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations fastened...or who hath layed the cornerstone thereof, when the Morning Stars sang together?'" (Job 38:1-7). (pp.114,15).
THE PYRAMID, JERUSALEM, AND THE DRAGON.
"If this Pyramid is what it would seem to be, it would be natural to infer that it ought to have some connections with or reference to Jerusalem. All the institutions and revelations of God had their chief center there for more than a thousand years. God made it His own sacred metropolis, the only one He ever had localized on earth. There His only Temple stood. There His holy laws were deposited. Thither His people were required to come for the celebration of their most distinguished services. There was the royal seat of His chosen kings. There was the sacred capitol of His consecrated priests, of His inspired prophets, of His holy scribes. There the glorious Messiah presented himself to the elect nation. There he died for the sins of the world...And if the Great Pyramid belongs at all to the great system of God's redemptive interpositions, it could hardly be wanting in some reference to that 'City of the Lord, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel.' (pp.166,67)...
While Seiss was establishing some geometric connections between the Great Pyramid and that city of Jerusalem in the East (that city which Moses built of stone below, as a replica of the greater mystery Above), he unknowingly adds:
From the earliest known times different portions of the heavens have been designated, and known by certain figures supposed to be outlined by the stars which they embrace. There are about eighty of these constellations. The stars of which they are composed the Bible declares to be for 'signs'`as well as for seasons, days, and years. The probability is that the earlier and more remarkable designations were made by God Himself even before the Flood. Josephus attributes the invention of the constellations to the family of Seth, the son of Adam...Origen affirms that it was asserted in the Book of Enoch that in the time of the patriarchs the constellations were already divided and named. Volney informs us that everywhere in antiquity there was a cherished tradition of an expected conqueror of the Serpent, and asserts that this tradition is reflected in the constellations as well as in all the heathen mythologies...It is impossible to doubt that astronomy was invented from the beginning of the world; history, profane as well as sacred, testifies to this truth...They suppose the originators to have lived in about the Fortieth degree of North latitude (or just above the site of the ancient garden)...
The Constellation Draco, The Dragon, situated at the center of the heavens.
One of the oldest and most universal of these constellations is The Dragon, of Great Serpent. The chief star in that group (Draconis) is situated in the monster's tail. AND TO THAT STAR THE ENTRANCE PASSAGE OF THE GREAT PYRAMID WAS LEVELED. Draconis, then, looked right down that inclined tube to the bottomless pit. Mankind marching down that passage would therefore be moving under the sign and the dominion of the Dragon, Hence the words of Ezekiel:
They are delivered unto death, to the nether parts of the earth, in the midst of the children of men, with them that go down to the pit...This is Pharaoh and all his multitude, saith the Lord God...(Ezekiel 31:14-18).
The tokens that are now judgments are laid to the line, and righteousness to the plummet, that every cover might be lifted, and every refuge of lies be swept away...At the same time Draconis will again be on the meridian beneath the pole, but then just Seven times lower than at the time of the pyramid's building. This final downwardness of Seven times is strikingly suggestive of the Dragon's complete dethronement. And what is still more remarkable, while Draconis is on the meridian at this low point, Aries, the Ram, appears on the meridian above, with the line passing exactly through his horns. A more vivid astronomical sign of the overthrow of Satan under the dominion of the Prince of the flock of God it is not possible to conceive. It is as if the very heavens were proclaiming that then the everliving Lamb takes to him his Great Power, and enters upon his glorious reign." (pp.140-153).
It is in the light of all these things that we have approached the following studies in African history and religion: Ritual Cosmos, The Sanctification of Life in African Religions, by Evan M. Zuesse; The Lost Cities of Africa, by Basil Davidson; African Religion and Philosophy, by John S. Mbiti; Children of the Sun God, A Journey with the White Lions into the Heart of Human Evolution, by Linda Tucker; and a work entitled The Sign and the Seal, by Graham Hancock. which traces the Ark of the Covenant from the place it held in the Holy of Holies in the temple in Jerusalem to its present, (and hidden) resting place in the city of Axum in Ethiopia...
As for that place, it shall be unknown until the time that God gather his people together again, and receive them unto mercy.
Then shall the Lord shew them these things, and the glory of the Lord shall appear, and the Cloud also, as it was shewn under Moses, and as when Solomon desired that the place might be honourably sanctified.
It was also declared that he being wise offered the sacrifice of dedication, and of the finishing of the temple...(2 Maccabees 2:1-12).
Hancock traces the route of the fabled Ark of the Covenant from where he, and religious scholarship in general, believe Solomon's temple was situated--at the site of present-day Jerusalem--up the Nile Valley to the Blue River's headwaters beyond Sudan in Ethiopia. (There is an entire school of thought emerging again in these times that is questioning, not only the historical and archeological evidence of the Biblical accounts of the reigns of David and Solomon--or rather the total lack of it--but whether the Bible is a literal record of literal historical events at all, which it is not--not in the same sense as we understand and interpret history. It is a record of extra-historical events, spiritual and archetypal events that are still unfolding and coming to pass). There, Hancock believes, as do almost all Jewish and Christian Ethiopians as well, the Ark was brought in the time of the Hebrew kings (specifically as the result of a liaison between Solomon and the just-as-fabled Queen of Sheba), and laid to rest. The Ark, however, is never seen by any others than the select order of priest-keepers who have charge of it. But images of it, or parts of it that strangely, or rather fittingly enough, resemble not the Ark, but ship, or boat-boards, are brought out and displayed at certain festive times in the year. These images, called Tabotat, are paraded through the worshipful community in a grand, rousing ritual that Hancock says resembles David's bringing the Ark up to Jerusalem...
As we begin to comprehend the dimensions of this mystery, however--of the epic whereabouts of the Holy Temple City Above, how they conform to those of the Cosmic World Tree, and how the roots of this Tree reach downwards into the land of the original Ethiopia here in the West--one cannot fail to detect and appreciate the further work of those master masons of the Hebrew Mystery, whoever they were. That is, one cannot fail to see another example of the principles of historic symmetry that they were working with--South reflecting North, East reflecting West--thus not only the historical manner in which these adepts built upon the foundation of this great Temple structure, and how they recorded their design in the pages of what has become for us the Sacred Scriptures, but also how they etched this design upon the sacred beliefs, the myths and legends, of all the peoples throughout the earth. They have drawn all of us together at last in the same mystery and to the same common center. Everything in the Sacred Scriptures, as well as in the individual beliefs of all other peoples, must be interpreted in this same light. Nor can we fail in this light to understand the connections that exist between the Ark of the Covenant and the mythological Ark of Noah, which also conforms to the cosmic and historic dimensions of the World Tree (please see chapter 4); and between these and the ark that carried the infant Moses to the house of Pharaoh, or of the Solar bark of Pharaoh itself that carries the mysteries of Egypt and the soul of man (please see Ezekiel 31 and 32), from one side of the Mystery to the other--back to the place, and to the Day of Resurrection here in the West:
From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughters of my dispersed, shall bring mine offerings.
IN THAT DAY shalt thou not be ashamed for all thy doings, wherein thou hast transgressed against me: for then I will take away out of the midst of thee them that rejoice in thy pride, and thou shalt no more be haughty because of my Holy Mountain...(Zephaniah 3:10,11).
Are you not (all of you together) as children of the Ethiopians unto me, O children of Israel, saith the Lord...(Amos 9:7).
We also begin to sense the meaning of the words: The land shadowing with wings, which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia. (Isaiah 18: 1). The rivers of Ethiopia, like the Rivers of Eden and as the Jordan itself, are spiritual. They flow from one end of the heaven to the other, and lead to those states of mind that in turn, and at last, lead to the Promised State of Mind itself--that which was promised to all the seed of Abraham and Sarah. It is that Pure Land that is sought by Buddhists, and promised by Brahma and Sarasvati to all of those who have walked in their ways. (He, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, and She, the Mother of the Four Vedas, thus of the Gospels as well. She is the Goddess of all flowing rivers, [even of Time], and the scriptural embodiment of Divine Wisdom herself, as Abrahm said of her, and as it is written in the Proverbs: Call Wisdom thy sister. [Proverbs 7:4]. She is a Tree of Life to them that lay hold of Her; and happy is everyone that retaineth Her...Proverbs 3:18). Those who venture beyond these rivers find themselves in a strange, spiritual land indeed...
Thus Hancock does well when he equates the Ark with Divine Wisdom (which is exactly what was taken to Ethiopia in the figure of Menilek the son of Solomon and Sheba), and when he equates it with others' search for the Holy Grail (for the two are one), but goes astray when he thinks of it as a literal "death-dispensing, tower-raising, meteoric energy machine from Atlantis." (Which, of course, in a certain metaphysical sense it is (The Raiders of the Lost Ark notwithstanding). But Hancock has literally gone from what he has called "new-age nonsense" to "science-fiction nonsense"). The fellowship of Bet HaShem Midrash, who are involved in the beginnings of a restoration of the allegorical principles of the Torah, more fittingly equate the Ark with "the mind coming to spiritual perfection":
"The ark...a box; depository of Torah scrolls; literally, concepts of the mind, which is the womb of potentiality. The ark is depicted in the Torah with specific measurements to house the words of the Spirit. The Length is the mind of patience, forbearance, endurance; the Width is the mind of generosity, comfort, expansion; the Height is the mind of restoration, establishment, glorification, and elevation.
The Length also expresses continuing renewal when mind is positioned as a child of Elohim; the Breadth expresses the foundations of spiritual operations and performances; and the Height conveys the freedom that comes in serving Elohim. As our minds accept the design of the Spirit, they acquire the capacity to hold the words of the Spirit."
In his search for the Ark, Hancock encounters a sect of Ethiopians named the Qement, and then leaves them without realizing that this group has provided a key to the whole puzzle. It was stored away in their own recollections, in their oral and ritual traditions:
"The Wambar (the elder) as I had expected, was an elderly man...
'Our religion,' he said, 'has become a thing of the past. Almost nobody practices it today. The Qement are Christians.'
But you yourself are not a Christian...?
'No, I am the Wambar. I still follow the old ways.'
And are there others like you?
'A few remain...Even those who say they are Christians have not entirely abandoned their former beliefs. The sacred groves are still tended...The sacrifices are still made.'
You said, 'Sacred Groves,' what do you mean by that?
'Our worship, if it is conducted as it should be, takes place in the open air. And we prefer to make our devotions amongst trees. For this purpose we have set aside special groves called "degegna." Some--the "degegna"--were used for annual ceremonies. They had been planted in the distant past when the founder of the Qement religion was shown the correct location in his dreams...In addition there were many other similar sites, called "qole"Which often consisted of only a single tree where a particularly powerful spirit was believed to reside. The "qole" were normally situated in high places.
The founder of the Qement religion was called Anayer. He came to Ethiopia so long ago. He came after seven years of famine, from his own country, which was far away...It was the land of Canaan who was the son of Ham, who was the son of Noah.'" The Sign and the Seal, pp.243-45.
The implication is that these Qement are not the remnant of any Hebrew sect from Palestine, but rather--because of their ritual association with "groves" and "trees," and assembling in open spaces--of a Hebrew-Druidical order that accompanied the mysteries of the Tree of Life out of Europe in earlier times. Davidson says...
"There has long been present in Africa another human type, lumped together mainly on a linguistic basis but originally possessing characteristics that were neither boskopoid or Negro. These are called Hamites.
These Hamites have a 'white' morphology. They go back it seems to the 'Caucasian' stocks which produced most Europeans, although so long ago that any reading of modern 'white' and 'black' into ancient Hamite and Negro would be singularly meaningless." The Lost Cities of Africa, p.9.
but also goes on to say:
"There was certainly no automatic or mechanical transfer of ideas. This drift of peoples and their ideas about human origin, earthly and divine, may have wandered up and down the continent, or may have come steadily from the north and northeastward: it is in any case no more true that Egyptian or Kushite, or Carthiginian, or Libyan civilization was installed in pale reflection among the peoples of the south than it is true that the dominant ideas of the eastern Mediterranean, pushing northward into savage or barbarian Europe at about the same time or somewhat earlier, were reproduced in the same form or with the same consequences on the margins of the North Sea...
There is equally no case, one may emphasize for supposing a one-way traffic in the diffusion of ideas and ideologies from the valley of the Nile into southern and central Africa. Dynastic Egypt was not born into a void, it emerged from a neolithic womb, and this womb was African." p.63.
Our contention in these matters (as was Diop's), is that the Hebrew religion originated in the main from an Indo-European span of thought (which Diop labeled wholly barbaric, and indeed it almost seems to be), and that Semiticism itself is that branch of Indo-European thought that found its way in ancient times into the East, and into the South, and into the languages and thought-forms of all the peoples to whom it came. We do not contend that the adepts of these Hebrew mysteries were not instructed in many archetypal and complimentary ways by those among whom they came, or that these adepts were all of the Caucasian type. We know the Judaeo-Christian-Islamic tradition to be syncretistic through and through. We assume a Fellowship of the Mystery then, composed of every race, as will become evident again in our own times. Thus we will let the dynamics of these ideas speak for themselves, and simply reason that these archetypal beliefs--(the religion of Egypt for instance), even if they originally entered the Hebrew, and thus the European state of mind from Africa as Davidson seems to contend--were totally applicable to the structure of the Northern mysteries to which they came (or returned), and are finding their fulfillment in no other place on earth than here in the West--in the Egypt of America. Our contention is also, that while it may be true (for the sake of personal and cultural feelings) that Egyptian civilization was not installed in the South as a "pale reflection" of the Northern world-view, the great spiritual events that are unfolding in the North, and in the West, are, nevertheless, directly mirrored in the rituals and beliefs of the peoples of both the East (the great pilgrimage to Mecca for instance), and the South. They are reflected in the myths and legends of the Baobab Tree whose branches are buried upside down in the African soil, and whose roots are pointed upwards into the sky above. Davidson in fact traces the elements of this mirror image, of the northern Solar route to America, in a section on the Great African Migration Legend:
"Meroe (a city lost in time) fell to the Ethiopian power of Axum in the fourth century A.D., and vanished from the scene. Within four hundred years of its eclipse the written records of West Africa begin...They begin with Walib ibn Munabbeh, who wrote in 738. To begin with they are mainly records of migration, footnotes in Arabic to the ceaseless peopling of an African interior whose presence was still obscured by myth and legend. Here was the earliest statement of West Africa's great 'migration legend' that would echo and re-echo for long centuries thereafter...
Two hundred years later the greatest of the medieval Arab geographers, El Mus'udi, would give fresh life to this migration legend. 'When the descendants of Noah spread across the earth...the sons of Kush, the sons of Canaan traveled toward the West and crossed the Nile. There they separated. Some of them, the Nubians and the Beja and the Zani, turned rightward between the East and the West; but others, very numerous marched toward the setting sun...'
Somewhere behind this legend of migration from the valley of the Nile there may lay a large core of historic truth. Coming from the eastward and northwestward, migratory peoples or groups of peoples...racially mixed, partially civilized, would enter the Western Sudan in a long procession of invasion and settlement whose ordering and limits practically escape all knowledge. One may guess at the pressures that made them move.
Whom did these incoming migrants--these 'Judeo-Syrian' groups, for example, to whom tradition awards the foundation of Ghana in about AD 300--find in the Western Sudan, whither they obscurely went?...It is at least clear that by the time of Ibn Munabbeh, at the beginning of the eighth century, incoming migrants had mixed and mingled with Negro peoples whom they found until one more or less had completely absorbed the other.' (pp.53,54).
We are now at the point where the lines of inward-coming migration start to merge. The arrival of these peoples from the northeast and east whose ceaseless movement would offer the material of legendary history for Ibn Munabbeh...With El Mas'udi's restatement of the legend those sons of Kush 'very numerous, who marched toward the setting sun,' have acquired an historically attested direction: They 'marched in the direction of Zaghawa, Kanem, Marka, Kawkaw, and Ghana, and other countries of the blacks...
The point is that they 'marched' most precisely from the middle-Nile to the middle-Niger: along a trans-African route, that is, which migrating peoples had undoubtedly used from times that are exceedingly remote...There is practically no well-known peoples of West Africa without its legend of an eastern of northern origin in the remote past." The Lost Cities of Africa, (pp.59,60).
It should be noted in passing that Davidson mentions several rock engravings found along this same sub-Sahara route, of Nile boats, and horse-drawn chariots. He attributes them to local artists, who, may we add, must have had a sense of the Merkabah, or Solar Chariot mysteries that were germain to this migration legend, and which were understood in one sense or another by that universal Fellowship of Hebrew adepts wherever they were found throughout the earth.
That individuals and even whole groups were initiated into these mysteries, from olden times, is evidenced by Evan Zuesse. In his Ritual Cosmos he tells of the Bambara, a Mande people of Mali:
"The Mande have had one of the most glorious traditions of all the peoples of the Western Sudan, and at one time the Bambara controlled an empire extending thousands of square miles...Nevertheless, the Bambara appeared to French authorities of the colonial period as a 'typical African peasantry.'...It remained for a later investigator...to discover that these 'peasants' had a philosophy of the universe equal in complexity and profundity to the systems of Pythagorus or Plotinus, Aquinas, Spinoza, of Bergson. The Bambara, it now appears, have precisely the same assumptions as the Mbuti...but have worked out the details into a profound philosophy embracing all parts of a far more complex universe. The philosophy is communicated to the initiate as he rises through the ranked mask societies.
The Bambara have an almost gnostic view of initiation. As did the Gnostics, they believe that the essence of transformation is the communication of saving knowledge. The doctrines that constitute this knowledge is taught in six stages...Those who have passed through all the stages are 'new beings' 'fully male,' spiritually enlightened and endowed with the 'word,' that is, possessing an immortal soul that bears the form of the universe and God himself.
Yet despite this heavy stress on knowledge, when we look closely at the actual process of initiation itself we find the same psychological and spiritual transformations operating that we found in the Ndembu initiation of girls. Clearly, it is not knowledge that is the true core of initiatic transformation but the displacement of the Self, by breaking down the body image, into a new transcendental universe in which the center is located outside the self. (And even beyond the local collective self, beyond the local region).
We can show this by discussing briefly the sixth and last phase of induction into the sacred mysteries...The boys are led from the village hooded and clothed in white anonymous gowns, and brought single-file to a sacred grove deep in the bush...Within they are whipped with thorn branches and beaten with burning torches. This supposedly symbolizes the struggle needed to acquire truth...The novice must witness his own complete vulnerability, and control returns to him slowly only to the degree that he conforms his body and feelings to the central dictate of others. Like embryonic beings, the candidates must cluster head down around a tree in the center of the grove; they must lie still for a long period of time under a blanket...The tree, according to Bambara teachings, is the World Tree joining earth to sky; it is the source of regeneration, like the mythic tree in the beginning of time. From it the novices are born anew. It is their new center." (pp.152,53).
This mirrored connection between the hidden (Biblical) traditions of Europe and African spiritual culture is further reflected in the rituals of the Ila tribe. Here the people share ritually in the same struggles that have been waged between the children of Light and the children of Darkness throughout the centuries (particularly since the time of Christ), and seem to look prophetically into the last days here in the West, wherein the spirit of antichrist itself holds sway over the mind and the activities of the community:
"The most significant of Ila festivals is the new year's festival in the spring. Its symbolisms sum up the theme of the other annual celebrations...It appears that the entire festival is a reenactment of myths of founding and of the beginning of time and culture. The ceremonies begin with an invocation to Shimunenga, who as ancestral first settler and hero showed the way to overcome formlessness and to initiate human culture, and who as present demi-god still guides his descendants through the same drama. The ceremonies center...on fertility themes and conclude with an enactment of political conquest of the land by the young men (who thus embody and reexperience the culture hero)...They charge out of the cattle pens in war regalia, penetrating the primal wilderness around the villages and taking possession of it, while the women gather and sing praises to their virility. Giving war cries, shaking their spears, the warriors pair off into opposing armies and 'attack' each other again and again in the days that follow. This is also the time when in battle dress the men ceremoniously lead the cattle to new pasturage near the river (for the waters have long since receded and local pastures dried up).
Then...in the most important dances the women gather to sing ribald, 'phallic' songs at the groves. The 'obscenity' of the songs and dances is very important, precisely because the Ila are ordinarily so puritanical in their language. This is especially true of the women. To refer to a person's genitals is deeply humiliating, and to make mention of the sexual act or one's own sexual prowess is even more scandalous. All of these things reduce one to a mere bodily function, and depersonalize one. The body image is assaulted and the ego's control distorted...
Certainly when the Ila sing 'phallic' songs they feel the INVERSION of things. Other rituals of the new year confirm this feeling. The men roam about the village in roudy groups, seeking out prominent men of the community (to insult them). For example, such groups came before the village headman Chidyboloto, and sang out the following affront: 'Boloto sat as an owl; throw a firestick at him and make him fly away!' The meaning can only be that Boloto is a witch...Despite the deadly insult of the choristers' song, sufficient at any other time to invoke fierce resentment and the imposition of fines, if not worse, the headman had to accept their remarks humbly, and even to give them beer in turn. Insults on this day could and did fly in all directions and were aimed at anyone in power by the roaming bands...
Yet the tone of the annual festival is exultant. Following the day devoted to Nachilomwe, in which all these events take place, worship shifts to Shimunenga the culture-hero. Just as in the beginning of time the primordial world of Nachilomwe had no rule or form until the culture-hero brought order and separated out the primary classifications...the men parade their cattle before the great ancestor and demonstrate to what degree they have absorbed his virility with mock battles (again) of glorious athletics and pageantry." Ritual Cosmos, by Evan Zuesse.
And then Zuesse says: "We can feel the power of the Ila festival, but what in fact is the logic behind all this? Why is it necessary every year to have SUCH STRANGE UPSIDE DOWN BEHAVIOR? What is the connection of this with the other festivals of the Ila with their life-cycle rites and ordinary day-to-day life? And how is it that such peculiar behavior is thought to regenerate the fields, insure the fertility of women, multiply the cattle,cause the rains to come, and appease the spirits and God himself?"...
The Field is the whole world. (Matthew 13:38). All fertile women represent the Great Mother herself, who is laboring everywhere throughout the earth bringing forth the Coming Age. (See chapter 5). The cattle are symbolic of the people themselves. (Malachi 4:2). And the rain represents the Spirit of God that shall descend upon the people, bringing forth the Word again at the end of the age. (See Matthew 13:3; Malachi 3:10-12; James 5:8). And the men in power represent the present rulers of the Western world--and particularly the spirit of the American Antichrist that rules among them.
Nor should we fail to detect in this "upside down" or mirrored behavior, (in the realization that the ancient spirit of Pharaoh has its own "double" [or Ka] in the person of the American Antichrist), the very essence of the Voodoo religion. It found a place in the otherwise part-Christian (Catholic) beliefs of the Afro-Haitian peoples because its roots are embedded in the Darkness to begin with--here in the West, in the "familiar spirits" of Cain and Nimrod who have risen up mighty in the earth again.
The King, the Land, and the People
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the City of our God, in the Mountain of His holiness.
Beautiful for Situation, the joy of the whole earth, is Mount Zion, on the sides of the North, the City of the Great King...(Psalm 48:1,2).
We know that the City of the Great King is that City (the Higher Jerusalem) situated at the center of the Tree of Life, and that the center of this Universal Oracle is located in the center of Europe where the Great Dragon, the Leviathan, has also layed hidden all these millennia (please see Isaiah 27 to 29). We know that the Great King's is that visage of Divine Reality that overshadows the whole and the sum of all natural and human events--in whose image every human soul on earth is created. We know of a European presence in Africa. In turn, Diop believes that Africans penetrated to the middle of Europe in remote times, and therefore must have brought their ideas of the universe with them. If so, then we will not argue over who borrowed the notion of the Divine King from whom, or even if it was borrowed at all. We do know that two paths proceeded out of Egypt as a result of the Divine Word's experience in that land. One proceeded up into Europe, back to the center of the Oracle, in the time of Joshua. The other followed a course southwards, and in time across the African continent, until they both converged upon these American shores in the sixteenth century. Thus, we know if we stand on the line between them, at one time looking North, we can see directly into the meaning of Paul Devereux's words in Shamanism, The Mystery Lines, and their relationship to the meaning of the Hebrew Scriptures; and then at another time looking South, and into Evan Zuesse's same insights in Ritual Cosmos, we have another reflected image of both African and European world views:
"The original form of human spiritual expression was animism, in which nature was seen as sacred itself. This took various forms. There was a sense of the sacred in the land as a whole: the earth was alive. Topography could be anthropomorphised--here were hills that looked like breasts of Mother Earth, there a rocky cragg that looked like the face of a god. The landscape became the place for legendary events and beings, the creatures of mythic time. In a slightly more focused form of animism, selected places such as hilltops, rocks, trees, waterfalls, and so on were seen as being inhabited by spirits--hence the idea of 'spirit of place,' ('genius loci' or 'locus sanctus').
Out of the universal magico-spiritual background of animism and totemism emerged the catalytic religious phenomenon of Shamanism. (Please discover those studies that trace the Hebrew order of prophets and priests from an earlier order of Shamanism)...The shaman was an intermediary between the spirit world of nature and the tribe. Through what Mircea Eliade called 'archaic techniques of ecstasy'...the shaman would enter trance or altered states of consciousness, and travel to the spirit world in order to seek information required by the tribe. (As did Paul, as well as Muhammad, and as the author of Job did in order to visualize the presence of Behemoth and Leviathan). The shaman could see back in time and was the repository of tribal history. He or she could even see ahead in time and predict coming events...An important element in Shamanism, as we shall discover, was the ability to travel in mind through (or above) the environment and observe distant events.
The basic shamanic cosmology consisted of Three worlds, the Middle Earth of human reality, the Upper world of spiritual beings, and the hellish Underworld. Access to these otherworlds was by means of a conceptual Axis that linked them: a World-Tree, a Cosmic Mountain...By symbolically traveling along this axis, in whatever form, the shaman could ascend to heaven or enter deeply into the body of the Earth, the Underworld.
In some cases where shamanism was performed by a single individual (or where two individuals were called together as was Adam), the role of the priest was born. The shaman was characterized by trance while the priest conducted routine propitiatory acts of adoration, prayer, and offerings...with a gradual shift from hut to temple...In societies which became more structured and hierarchal, theocracies appeared: Religious rule, in which priesthood and government were combined. In certain instances this evolved into the idea of the chief being divine, and celestial lineage was claimed: the Divine King. (continued)...
(One must rightly divide the word here. The true Hebrew order of shamans, priests, and prophets, never aligned itself with any earth-born governments, or with any worldly attempts to create a mere image of the spiritual-order-above in the temporal-order-below, as the nations always have and as we are told the children of Israel did in ancient times, as Christianity has done in this age and as the Zionists are attempting to do again in the Middle east. The true prophets and true priests have always been adversaries of such systems, and the religious and political leaders of these worldly systems have always killed them as a result. For as that which is above is Holy, so that which is below must be just as holy).
What I shall be developing in the second part of this book is the suggestion that the motif of the ceremonial, Straight landscape-line originated in one of the central elements of shamanic experience, and the range of surviving linear features in ancient sacred landscapes itself reflects this kind of evolution...
An Indo-European clue...Without doubt shamanic elements were found in Indo-European mythological texts...Eliade noted that vestiges of shamanic tradition in Indo-European religious life were principally grouped about the mythical figure of the terrifying Sovereign. (See 2 Corinthians 5:11; Hebrews 10:31)...According to G. Dumezil's findings, the priestly class embraced the function of sovereignty, combining both legal order and magico-religious roles...This functional ambiguity of sovereignty relates to the kingship-shamanism complex, and brings us to a crucial word that existed in the proto-Indo-European language: 'Reg--,' (King). This ancient linguistic treasure brings the concept of Straight Lines into that complex, and brings us to the central core of our inquiry...
(It also brings us to the words of John the Baptist, saying: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT. Every mountain [nation] shall be brought low, every valley shall be filled, and the crooked shall be made straight...And all flesh shall see the salvation of God...Luke 3:3-6; Isaiah 40:3-5. This is the mystery that the first-century Church entered into in the time of Christ).
The apex of proto-Indo-European society...was ruled by a king whose title has usually been secured by the textbook series: Sanskrit RAI; Latin REX; Gaulis RIX, Old Irish RI; and possibly Thracian RHEOS. This proto-Indo-European REG also provides such meanings as Stretch, draw out in STRAIGHT LINES, and Straighten. (See Luke 12:50). Our English word "Right' is a reflex of this root, and the same opposition which we employ between what is 'straight' or 'right' and what is bent or crooked, dishonest or wrong, is encountered throughout the Indo-European languages...
Jan Gonda and Emile Benveniste sought in the basic etymology of the word a hint of the original function of the word REG-. Gonda suggested that the word meant 'ONE WHO STRETCHES OR REACHES OUT,' a metaphor for the formal activities of a king...Benveniste proposed that there might have been more overtly priestly functions associated with the proto-Indo-European king in that the root meaning of 'stretching out' or 'straigtening' might be associated with duties such as laying out limits, be they demarcations of sacred territory within a settlement...or the borders of national territories.
Jim Kimmis was the first to bring ley hunters' attention to Reg-. He pointed out in 'The Ley Hunter' that the physical, spatial, linear associations of the word were extended in an abstract sense to become an analogue of honesty, justice, government, and social order. (See Isaiah 9:6,7)...Between the physical and abstract senses of this complex word stands a small group of cognates which signify RULER or KING." Shamanism, The Mystery Lines, by Paul Devereux.
Zuesse: "The inadequacy of (Western) attempts to understand the depths of African religious life can best be shown through an example, the institution of 'bwami,' an initiatic cult of the Lega, a Bantu farming culture of eastern Zaire. The Lega are a numerous people, scattered over a vast area of the Congo forest in small villages...Since they lack centralized kingship, the villagers would be utterly isolated from each other were it not for 'bwami'. It is their 'king' (bwami means 'king'). People gather for its celebrations from entire regions. Bwami is entirely apart from general village society; its elders exemplars of calm poise, abstain from fierce local village politics. Village chiefs and even the regional priests of the earth (Nenekisi) do not necessarily attain high initiatic rank in the society; it stands for a more universal truth...
But what is the nature of the transcendental reality Bwami serves? Clearly it is not wholly Other. Bwami does not insist on personal salvation...it requires no sacrificial rites nor even prayers. It does not even center on a personal deity, although it is important to add the Lega believe bwami aids Kingunga (God)...against Kaginga (evil, chaos).
Bwami is a sterling example of a fundamental type of spirituality very widespread in African religions, the religion of structure...Religions of salvation have a low estimation of all that is relative, due to their longing for what is absolute and immutable...real. Religions of structure find fulfillment in the norms and eternal relationships which structure all processes and change in this world. The first revels in...anomalous and extreme states because they betoken the exceptional breakthrough into unworldly eternity; the second rejoices in the sanctification of every day life, and finds eternity in the midst of change...
How can we discover the specific form of religious intentionality, the actual structure 'per se' that a given religious maze contains? Biebuyck tells us that bwami (employs a system of seemingly unrelated proverbs, as well as rituals, to convey bwami truths and values, as well as social, spacial, and cosmic relationships)...Many of the proverbs affirm the centrality of Bwami itself in the world. It is the focus of the universe, the central fact. 'The middle pole sustains the forest hut; when the pole is removed, the hut collapses.' The implication would seem to be that without bwami, all culture as such would disintegrate, and the wilderness would invade the village which exists in the center of things. Another proverb also stresses the mystical centrality of bwami by comparing it to a Cosmic Tree. 'Bwami: the lukundu tree has made its butresses and arial roots reach far.' Yet another makes a provocative comparison with the heavenly moon, serenly ruling over every thing, equidistant and transcendent over all social groups as well: 'Bwami, the crescent of the moon, every clan is seen from it.' In the important summary offered by another proverb, 'The words of the land are things that tie together, things that transform, like the clouds, things that are high, like the sky.'" (pp.5-9).
"The Ila lack genuine kingship. It is clear from these accounts however, that the ultimate logic of their ceremonies goes back to the rule of kingship...When we turn to the ceremonies of kingship still practiced or recently practiced by other Lunda peoples, we find that the ideas of priestly leadership, or 'divine kingship' as it has sometimes been called, provide a complete code that deciphers Ila conceptions of chieftanship and its relation to the earth. Fundamentally the earth is a feminine space, and the institution of ancestral kingship (and male authority) is likened to a marriage--a marriage instigated by heaven, which begins real time. That is, 'male' heaven, kingship, culture, and the ancestors (and therefore time) are brought together with the feminine earth, nature, and sacred space. Here again cosmological ideas are used to guide as closely as possible the community's social behavior...
The king is the unity of the people and the land. He is truly semi-divine, a priestly figure as well as a political one...'When the king dies, the nation falls into a coma.' Lozi say, fires are put out (at least in theory) until his successor with the help of the priest of Mbuyamwambina (wife of God), lights new fires with frictionsticks. This fire is distributed to all the villages to rekindle their fires. Then the people cook and warm themselves by 'the fire of the king so-and-so.'
Already in this account we see dual sexual oppositions suggested in which the king is symbolically complimentary to the land and needs the services of 'the wife of God' to light the generative fire and renew life. The symbols are made clearer by Lozi political geography. The kingdom is divided into two parts, north and south, without any external geographical necessity for this division. Each province has a ruler: the northern king (called 'the Great One of the Earth') is politically primary, while the southern ruler (Earth of the South, or Princess Chief) is dominant in a priestly way. Despite the title...the southern ruler did not need to be female until recently, but we are told that the founder of the southern part was female. And the two halves of the kingdom are symbolically wed to each other...and in another symbolism the south is the Mother to the living king and the north.
In effect, then, the Lozi have a structure of a semi-divine king symbolically wed to the priest(ess) of the earth, which is so common in African religions. It is interesting to observe that the wedding of these two...can be represented through ritual intercourse, or symbolisms of war and conquest, possession and/or death. These associations are hinted at, for example, in the Lozi installation ceremonies, when the priest of the wife of God escorts the king to Makono, the home and ancestral grave of the divine queen mother, 'to fetch kingship.' Is the king the symbolical husband, or the son, of this original ancestress of the royal family? Perhaps both.
We further read, The king spends the night in vigil by a small lake out of which comes a monster to hold communion with him...In some cultures, the earth-spirit is said to transform itself into a Great Serpent...and go down into a lake or river, or a shrine, where kings must still contact it through mediums or even human sacrifice...The Korekore say that Nyanehwe, the ancestral culture-hero, defeated Dzivaguru, the Earth Serpent, in the beginning of time. (pp.92-94).
The Ila base the year directly on God, just as they say He is responsible for creation of the universe. Leza is the ultimate ancestor. The year is called quite simply 'the day of God.'...Leza is the source of each person's destiny, which is directly controlled by God without any intermediate spirits intervening...Within the eon of the year, endlessly circling through its seasons, each segment is distinguished by the specific activities occurring in it...In the largest sense, the seasons are the activities of Leza...the storms are his visible presence. When it thunders people say, 'Leza is thundering;' when lightning strikes, Ila murmur, 'Leza is fierce.' All things struck by lightning, including humans, have been punished or chosen by Leza...
The three major seasons are marked off by ritual celebrations, so we find rituals of time defining the divine order at its joints just as the rituals of space do."
THE KING WHO MUST DIE, A SACRIFICIAL VICTIM
"The meanings of funary rituals are more applicable to our topic than one might at first suspect, even in details. For the model (or exaggerated form) of the ritual abasement of Ila chiefs...can be located in the rituals that typically surround the death (often the murder) of a divine king, and the installation of his successor. Just as the Ila chief is insulted at 'the end of time' for failing to live up to chiefly ideals, the king is often killed or dies an unnatural death when he fails to live up to the ideals of divine kingship established at the beginning of time. This failure and death brings time to an end in cultures with kingship structures, and there follows an interregnum with precisely the symbolic features of the Ila new year: adultery, confusion, mockery of leaders, general chaos. That is, what happens every year to bring the cosmic cycle to a close is repeated in divine kingship at the end of a reign, as if a reign were symbolically like a year.
The similarities go further: just as the king is the embodiment of the culture-hero and repeats the history of the culture-hero (even of creation)...so the Shilluk king of the lower Nile is probably the most discussed kingship of this type. Some have even called it an archaic survivor of the primal cultures behind ancient Egyptian religion.
The Shilluk form of divine kingship has in any case sparked the greatest controversy. The basic traits are clear enough, however, Shilluk kings never die. Each king is really the re-embodiment of the first king, Nyikang. Like Shimunenga, he came long ago to the land of the Shilluk, crossing the Nile (miraculously), conquered the monstrous beings that lived there, and created out of them humanity. He gave laws of culture and finally disappeared in the wind before his people's eyes. Within the wind he still roams the land as vice-regent of God, and he also takes on human form as a living king, possessing the king at his installation.
The candidate earned the kingly stool by being (ritually) 'killed.' When messengers burst in upon him to announce to him that the priests and provincial priests had chosen him, they shouted: 'You are our Dinka slave; we want to kill you!' The candidate received the glad news with an obligatory struggle and flight. He fled to the south, where he gathered an army to resist the honor. Then from the north, an eerie host of warriors descended against him, led by Nyikang himself, and his priests. At every town the spirit army did battle, capturing the inhabitants, taking their cattle, and enlisting their soldiers for further struggle. Finally the two armies met, at the MID POINT OF THE KINGDOM, and the royal candidate was captured and taken 'dead' into the capital...henceforth to be the embodiment of Nyikang. There would follow further rites, including a ritual marriage with a 'wife' from the Ororo clan and a speech before the people in which 'new laws' would be issued.
There can be no doubt that, when all the details of this extraordinary drama are reviewed, we must conclude that the divine king is symbolically a sacrificial victim. It may even be suggested that the former king and the new king are versions of each other, the former king being killed actually (the deed being denied symbolically) and the new king being killed symbolically (but not actually). These inversions give redoubled emphasis to the symbolic nature of the entire proceedings.
Only when we understand that the new and the former king are the same person, moreover, can we comprehend the meaning of the other symbolisms. The failings of the former king are given their clearest meaning in the treatment according his replacement; all of these failures are a kind of rebellion from Nyikang. The new king enacts the rebellion explicitly...He (resists) the transcendental imperative of Nyikang; he therefore 'disappears,' (taking on the form at one time of the sacrificial ox, at another of the 'Dinka slave' that is in fact killed at the accession of the new king as a scapegoat offering), finally appearing again as the corpselike being that leads the southern army against Nyikang. But he is again captured by Nyikang, placed on the stool and penetrated anew with the culture-hero's spirit. The king is resurrected from his temporary death. 'The king is dead, long live the king.'" Ritual Cosmos, by Evan Zuesse, (pp.117-119).
CHILDREN OF THE SUN GOD
A Journey With the White Lions Into the Heart of Human Evolution
In 1960 Vasamazulu Credo Mutwa broke the "Oath of Silence" that had bound him and other high shamans to a secret oral tradition. Mutwa understands that we live in prophetic times, when it is imperitive to transmit knowledge to humanity at large. In speaking of secrets intended only for the highest shamanic initiates, it is believed that he has brought a curse upon himself, his children and his children's children...Personally I have...come to regard Mutwa's delivery of this oral tradition as an act of unparalleled courage--worthy of the highest-ranking lion shaman I know him to be...
There could be no clearer indication that this is not localised knowledge but that it signals a system of enlightenment which crosses continents and centuries: what Mutwa himself calls "the Great Knowledge." This African shaman's understanding of the lost language of the ancients (Ogham) corresponds with the inscriptions deciphered on Easter Island; his African stories of "white Gods" have bearing on the "white God" of the Meso-Americans; his knowledge of the stars in the African skies takes us right back to the Ancient Egyptians. While Mutwa has dedicated his life to handing over secrets from the Great African Tradition, it remains for us to make the astonishing intercontinental connections.
Mutwa has lived under condemnation ever since he broke the secret code, and delivered hidden knowledge to the common man. Is his drive to reveal the truth so difficult to understand? The Bible talks of "knowledge" in the same breath as "forbidden fruits." Why are we afraid of knowing the truth? Why has it been imprinted upon our collective consciousness that knowledge is sinful, and why do we fear the consequences of knowing? The first lesson of Lion shamanism is to conquer fear. Fear is conquered through the principles of love, truth and enlightenment. Himself a living embodiment of these founding principles of Lion shamanism, Mutwa has been prepared to endure the great personal cost of his courageous action. If it is true that we are living at a crucial evolutionary watershed for humankind, it is imperitive that we open the routes to knowledge which may have a critical part to play in our evolutionary development. (pp.14,15)...
In was Maria, the lion-shaman woman of Timbavati, who directed the author to Credo Mutwa. It was she who first opened the author's mind to the Lion-king mysteries of the African plains:
At my expression, Maria's expression lightened with humor, and she remarked that Timbavati means "the river that never runs dry." This seemed a curious name for a region made up entirely of empty watercourses and arid sodic deposits. She says it means "river of stars," the interpreter continued.
It seemed (to me) she was referring to the Milky Way which, come to think of it, never did run dry in the manner of the Timbavati watercourses. "She says it is the same river where the White Lions come from." Now she had lost me. The fire was shining in Maria's cloudy eye. She was looking straight at me. so that I felt the force of her communication but could not identify it. "Ask Maria to explain further," I instructed the interpreter...
After listening to my translated words, Maria made a curt, sweeping gesture to the sky above us..."Maria says that her ancestors have told her that a long time ago, when the river was in the sky (above) many people died. When the river is in this position again, the same will befall human beings." This was not very intelligible (the author said to herself at the time), although it had an ominous end-of-the-world ring about it....
Above us, the clarity of the night was spangled with what looked like a watercourse of droplets: the Milky Way, eternal "river" arching above Timbavati's dry plains, which gave rise to the mysterious legends of White Lions. (Please consider Genesis 49:8-10). Out here, under the brilliance of the night sky, I began to put humanity's trivial pursuits in cosmological perspective. pp.33.34...
The White Lions of Timbavati, Credo. I need to know about them. Maria tells me you are the one person alive who knows the story of their origins. "That is not true, ma'am. There are many in our ranks who know the story, but are sworn to secrecy. It is only I who have been bold enough to speak of such things...
Maria had also revealed that Mutwa was the custodian of some of the holiest artifacts of the African continent. Over the course of future encounters, Mutwa would show me over fifty items in his possession--great pieces of copper, bronze, verdite and crystal, some once belonging to the mightiest of kings, some inscribed with cryptic symbols, many dating from a time when, Credo Mutwa says, an ancient seafaring civilisation, neither of African birth nor of African race, came to African shores...
"It was my grandfather, ma'am, who was the only person capable of curing me when I was struck down by an incurable sickness which had kept me bedridden and unconscious for three years right here in Soweto. It was during this time that I had many terrifying visions, ma'am, some of which we sangomas call the "sacred dreams" that occur before you become a sangoma. I had the vision of the earth stretched out like a lion-skin pegged at all four corners--north, south, east and west--with the four lion brothers tearing at in four directions. WE call this dream :the Sacred Dream of End Time"...Nedelo Ntulo." In our tradition we believe...that the universe is sustained by Four great forces and in the center is the Fifth power, Nxaka-Nxaka, meaning "confusion" or "chaos." From this power comes order and from order again comes chaos--and so on for all eternity...
"There is a Stone ornament made out of a round stone with Four holes and one hole in the Center, which resembles a big button...which our sanusis use in their sacred rituals during the time of the equinoxes to simulate the workings of the universe...
"At first I could not understand how the spirit of the Star Gods lives in every thing," Mutwa continued. "I was very stupid in those days. When I first asked my grandfather how it was that everyone and everything has God within them...He took me outside...and showed me his favorite Tree, a tall, fruit-bearing fig tree which he had planted when he was a young man. He demanded what I thought this Tree was. I told him, 'A tree, Grandfather.'...He told me that in the days when he himself was a child in old Africa, and in the centuries before--in the time of our Zulu ancestors--trees were not called 'trees' but 'growing people.'" Children of the Sun God, by Linda Tucker, pp.49-53.
In the realm of spiritual reality all is reflection, all is ritual. "As above, so below." As in heaven, so on earth. As in the Mind of God so in the activities of nature and the course of human history. Looking into the oracles we see that these precepts are also reflected in the words: As in the East so in the West, and, as in the North so in the South. Ritual is Heaven's way of including the whole human family in the unfolding cosmic drama of human redemption, even though everyone is not near center stage and seem not to be otherwise partaking of it themselves. The great Pilgrimage to Mecca, as we have already noted, has been God's way of keeping the Islamic peoples of the East connected to those things that have actually been coming to pass in the world above--in the North and West. The Holy Qur'an must be read in this singular light. Passover (in the East) and the High Holy Days (in the West) have kept the Jewish peoples of the earth directly connected to the Christian mysteries which they so otherwise ignore, and Christians to their own mysteries which they are so otherwise ignorant of. Or the Catholic Mass itself, which also reflects the mysteries that are unfolding in the lives of real people--in the lives of all those in the world who have ever been called to make an offering of themselves for righteousness' sake since the time of Christ. (The Evening Sacrifice is still to be offered)...
Likewise, we must see in the rituals, and in the history of African peoples, a mirrored reflection of those same things that have been coming to pass along the Northern Solar route. They connect us all--even those who have not made Mid-Passage themselves. Those who have, and who have overcome the lower, natural tendencies of the self, of the group, of the nation, and of the world itself--in ways that others in the earth have not (because of this peculiar encounter with Darkness here in the West)--have come to the Day of Redemption. They have come to the realization that every living Soul is a reflection of the Divine Presence, and that every single Individual on earth is connected to the Center, and is an essential player in the whole drama of Life. The curtain will fall on the events of this age--a momentous climax, a clash of angels and men, the death of a remnant (indeed, the final death-throes of a Divine Mystery), and the resurrection of the people--and will open again upon the stage of the age-to-come. And though many will not directly partake in the final scene (except through the modern wonder of electronics), all who are alive and remain will partake in the Resurrection that follows. God will raise up to the world a king named D.V.D., a Male and Female in perfect balance (a reflection of all that is divine in all others), and the Law shall go forth from Zion. So shall the Love of God go forth, as knowledge and justice is carried forth by God's children into all the corners of the earth, and as the Throne of David itself passes through marriage and selection to every single race of people on earth. There is only one True Race, the Human Race, and only one True Religion, the Religion of Love.