Wisdom should guide members of cultural groups toward their highest level of development.
NOTE: This is Part 4 of a 12-part series that defines the core elements of Black culture.
Wisdom can be derived from studying nature, and the most critical element for all species is survival. As creatures increase in intelligence, there’s a corresponding decrease in their innate survival ability. Some animals are born knowing what is dangerous, so they automatically run or hide when threatened. Other animals possess the survival ability to blend in with their environment. A chameleon doesn’t “think” to change colors. There’s a superior intelligence within chameleons; they don’t have to learn when to camouflage themselves. Mammals, however, must be taught how to survive. Of course, humans are the most ignorant creature of all – it takes many years to learn survival skills.
Survival is predicated on adapting to change. There exists a universal Intelligence that guides creatures to adapt to the environment. This same intelligence works within humans as well, to guide your life, to help you thrive, survive and adapt. The problem is this Intelligence is seemingly disconnected from humans. For example, an animal gets sick and naturally knows what herbs to eat to heal itself. By contrast, humans seek a medical practitioner to find out what to do. Nonetheless, you possess an inner drive to reconnect with this Divine Intelligence. That’s what religion is for.
It’s your nature to know. It’s unnatural to think you know. As part of your evolution, you must learn to stop living by your opinions and beliefs and what you think you know. Knowing is an essential survival skill. When your inner guidance is in full bloom, you can perform at a high level in many areas without formal education. Being a genius is a natural part of you that must be awakened.
People in the Western world learn to survive by relying on their minds and their world is falling apart. What you’re witnessing today on the international stage are desperate attempts to survive using external means, but world leaders have no spiritual system for cultivating Divine Intelligence. For instance, Americans have no clue how to resolve the mass killings that occur every day. They believe changing gun laws is the answer, but the real problem stems from not knowing how to establish a more peaceful society.
Your survival is hampered by reliance on the mind which constantly makes poor decisions. There’s a need to transcend the limitations of the human mind because there are situations you constantly encounter in life that is beyond the scope of your mind. The human mind can’t direct you to become a better husband or wife or parent. To connect to that Divine Intelligence, you must choose, and that’s where the conundrum lies. Your mind is filled with disinformation, deceptions, and delusions. The mind cannot guide you if you’re convinced that you should follow your own mind. You’re deluded if you believe your mind can determine what you need. In fact, your mind doesn’t know what you need.
Often, we want something so strongly that emotions cloud our judgment. In other words, we seek to disassociate ourselves from truth and facts. In psychology, there’s a concept called, “cognitive dissonance.” It’s a fancy term for saying, “I don’t want to know.” Have you ever tried telling someone the truth and they cut you off because they don’t want to hear it? That’s how most of us go through life – we don’t want to know the truth because we prefer to live the lies we tell ourselves and others. We’re constantly deluding ourselves into believing in things that aren’t true.
Wisdom is the ability to arrive at a conclusion or judgment without going through the thinking process, i.e., through direct perception of the reality itself (instead of manipulating the symbols representing the reality). Wisdom can prevent us from a mindless way of living. Only wisdom can give meaning to your life, otherwise, you have belief and faith which is blind.
It doesn’t matter how smart you are — You think because you don’t know. If you know, then there’s no need to think about it. Whenever you find yourself thinking, you ought to acknowledge two things – 1) you don’t know; and 2) if you don’t know, then go to the source that knows. Only God knows!
Wisdom is necessary to resolve problems and conflicts in life. Conflicts are unavoidable. Conflicts arise because everyone has been born with physiological and psychological defects of some kind. These defects are exacerbated by bad diet, toxic acculturation, poor lifestyle choices, etc. If conflicts are unavoidable, then we must resolve them in a win-win manner. If you have a solution that creates another problem, then you haven’t found the right solution. Wisdom enables us to find solutions that do not create new conflicts.
We are wrong when we want to win and our “opponent” has to lose. We often argue and debate so we can prove to others that we’re right. But it’s not enough to be right if it feeds your ego or if it doesn’t restore harmony or resolve the conflict. Not only do you have to be right, but you must be right in the right way and at the right time. Sometimes the right thing to say is nothing.
Resolving conflict is a major requirement for keeping the peace in families, communities, and nations. Many historians, anthropologists and archaeologists view divination as superstition, ‘magic’ or ‘religious beliefs’ as though it is unscientific. To re-establish peace, we should strive to live “scientifically” using facts and truth to supersede a reliance on our minds and emotions. Every science has a nomenclature and a universal classification system. Chemistry has the periodic table. Physics has laws. Math and computer science have algorithms. There are also rules for knowing. The first rule of knowing is that you need guidance. The blind can’t lead the blind. Man cannot lead man. If you want to know something, ask God.
If you study traditional African cultures, you’ll find priests and priestesses, medicine men, astrologers, divine kings and queens, etc., leaders and elders who used a variety of divination systems. These divination systems or oracles are used to communicate with God. God would not bring you into this world without a means of knowing what to do, i.e., without the capacity to survive. You need God to have a good life. You have the freedom, the right, and the responsibility to communicate directly with God. If God isn’t guiding your life, then who is?
When we need personal guidance, most of us cannot take our consciousness into the spirit to communicate directly with God. God intended for you to get guidance, not from reading books or making observations and performing mental calculations. We have been granted the ability to communicate with God indirectly through oracles until such time as we developed the capacity to talk directly to God.
Were it not for the Word of God, we would be doomed to live according to the prisons of our own minds. To communicate with God, you must first cultivate the humbleness that comes with knowing that you can’t solve your problems using your own mind. Your relationship with God and knowing what to do is a source of peace.
Wisdom is the hallmark of Black culture. We possess the means of knowing what to do, but listening and following God’s wisdom requires a substantial cultural re-acclimation. A cadre of competent diviners of Ifa, I Ching, Metu Neter and others are needed who can help Black people find answers to questions regarding who to marry, how to raise a child, what jobs to take, what school to attend, what medical approach is best, etc. Only God can guarantee our success in life. Only God can restore peace and prosperity. Only God can guide us back to our glorious past.