Black culture transforms people into advancing or achieving their divinity.
NOTE: This is Part 11 of a 12-part series that defines the core elements of Black culture.
We have the power to change!
Every one of us can overcome our fears, worries, anxieties, anger, greed, addictions, etc. These human imperfections can be counteracted through spiritual cultivation. Life constantly reminds us to overcome negative emotions and inappropriate responses to problems and setbacks. The wrong responses are often triggered by the challenges in your life, but the challenges aren’t the problem. That’s how you learn. If God doesn’t give you problems to solve, then you don’t grow.
Your main challenge is to become a divine being by replacing all your emotional challenges with peace. Change, evolution, and adaptation are a natural part of life, and a major source of stress is the inability to change in the correct manner. The most effective means of change is meditation. Meditation allows you to replace the stress response with peace.
Meditation is natural. It is an intermediary between you and the behavior you’re trying to get rid of. The primary function of meditation is to transform behavior, but this transformation is powered by devotion. You must meditate repeatedly and consistently to change your behavior. What’s going to make you do that is devotion. Devotion reveals what you truly worship.
The ultimate survival mechanism is developing one’s divinity. The objective of everything that you do has to further your love for God. All your meditations should be dedicated to nourishing your love for God. Loving God is just not a feeling, it’s doing everything to elevate yourself so you can express your love through helping others. Since the capacity to love people is already hardwired in your psyche, you can transform your human love to generate the love for God.
For most of us, we don’t go through our lives every day thinking about our love for God. What you take into trance and what you are devoted to is manifesting your divinity because that’s how you demonstrate your love for God and for others. Your meditations must always include images of you being at peace during a specific challenge or personality deficiency you seek to overcome. You nourish your divinity by repeatedly seeing yourself being an example of God on earth and expressing appreciation for what God has given you.
Consistent appreciation generates the love for God. This means we must always look for things that we should be thankful for. We should deliberately incorporate an attitude of gratitude. And when that occurs, what flows out of your spirit is an energy to bless others which are acts of love.
Growing spiritually requires identifying with the divine part of you, not the human aspect of your being which is ego-driven. At the beginning of this life, you came into the world with an infant persona. To grow involves change and challenge. The challenge is to transcend the animal and human parts of your spirit which includes rejecting the ego.
African culture celebrates and embraces change. For instance, our social systems were designed to reward spiritual growth with positions of influence and authority. Our ancestors were largely revered due to their high moral character. Children aspired to be priests, not pop artists or athletes. In many traditional African cultures, the king also served as the chief priest because they understood that leadership should be bestowed based on spiritual cultivation. Becoming a better being — a divine being — has always been the hallmark of Black culture and represents the goal that all of us should aspire to change into.