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.
Kofi Adebayo began his search for truth 40 years ago while majoring in philosophy in college. Even as a child, Kofi realized the world subsists on a web of intricate lies promulgated primarily by “intelligent” political, business, and religious leaders. He began with many years of independent study of African history, culture, and religion. Even after decades of discovery, Kofi believes he has only taken a sip from a wellspring of Black thought and achievement.
African culture serves as a means for establishing and maintaining unity.
NOTE: This is Part 3 of a 12-part series that defines the core elements of Black culture.
Black culture reinforces man’s need to actualize your oneness with God. To do so requires adopting the correct mindset about what and why you are. There is a set of false self-images that build our character. This human self-image is how most people view themselves.
For instance, we harbor images in the form of egotism which values the way our bodies look, the clothes we wear, the cars we drive, the houses we live in, the number of academic degrees we’ve obtained, etc. Of course, there’s no harm in wanting the good things life has to offer, but if any of those attributes add value to you, it is taking you away from identifying with God.
You are born with the duty and responsibility to become the vessel of God in the world, so you have a duty to construct an image for God to come into the world. The divine self-image must replace the human self-image because being human is the cause of poverty, hunger, oppression, racism, sexism, destruction of the environment, etc. Humans also believe that it’s natural to give into emotions—fear, anger, annoyance, irritability, worry, lust, cravings, sensual inclinations, etc. Essentially, humans are, by default, imperfect and unnatural constructs.
The fundamental premise of African culture is that you’re made in the likeness of God. What God looks like is a way of life where you’re doing things because it is the truth, not because you like it or don’t like it. It is a spiritual challenge to ignore your likes and dislikes. When you do so, you gain a fantastic amount of control over your life.
God is omnipresent means that, in every moment of your life, God is witnessing the thoughts and emotions that you accept and the actions that you take. Imagine if God was constantly guiding and directing your thoughts and actions. Would your life be improved?
You’re always guided by what’s true. Conscience is where God rests on Its throne within you. Your conscience is the part of you that always reveals the truth to you. God directs you through your conscience which is the judge and monitor of living truth. You must practice being still so you can hear the voice of God within you.
You were made peaceful by nature. Your ability to be at peace isn’t dependent upon anything the human mind values. Nonetheless, we often allow ourselves to let our peace be dependent on something: “Once I get married, I’ll be happy” or “When I go on vacation, that’s when I’ll enjoy myself.”
When you’re not at peace, the mind throws up all kinds of foolish thoughts, especially about how you perceive yourself and others. We define ourselves according to a set of personality characteristics. Yet, if you’re striving to become more God-like, would you limit your expressions and interactions with others to a particular persona, character or temperament?
It is wrong thinking to believe that something or someone is against you because you need challenges in your life to cultivate your divinity. People and events are not against you because if you can remain at peace, then nothing can be against you. There are no enemies, no problems, no insurmountable circumstances, no strife, no tension, no drama, etc.
There is an inner drive felt universally to come together for security, companionship, enjoyment, to achieve goals, etc. All humans are hardwired to gather with others – it’s part of the survival mechanism. However, the coming together of people is a major source of tension. Problems arise when dealing with others where there is a perceived threat to our survival. Over time, we accumulate a distrust of others which leads to selfishness, a major source of disunity.
Lack of unity expresses itself in many ways including emotionalism, hostility, belief in the incorrigibility of people, and belief that people or situations are against you. Disunity is opposition and creates poor health, social problems, personal conflicts, family strife, etc.
Success in life depends on your ability to unify with the events and people in your life. You must replace divisive ideas and emotions that impede the realization of oneness with others because all emotions other than peace are not your nature. Only peace and love are the expressions of your divinity.
Everything you say and do should reflect the natural desire to express happiness which can only come from a state of peace. Peace is the master goal of Black culture. Where there’s peace, there’s prosperity, love, harmony, productivity, etc. Where there’s stress (the opposite of peace), there’s war, aggression, greed, poverty, sexism, racism, etc.
Despite countless ways Westerners have sought to divide us, we haven’t lost our cultural connection. Throughout the African Diaspora, we refer to one another as “brother” and “sister.” We express our kinship through our collective struggle against oppression and White supremacy. Raising our fist in protest represents the power of oneness. Moreover, we seek to establish peace and harmony by forgiving the transgressors.
Black culture reinforces the need to get along with one another. Our culture contains a sense of responsibility and love for others above one’s own needs. “I am because we are” is our sacred anthem. This is precisely the attitude and behavior of divine beings and a central theme of what unifies us. Black people are more than skin tones when we strive to sit on God’s throne.
Black culture recognizes that man must strive to manifest the highest expression of Being and uses God as the archetype of how man should live.
Culture operates primarily on a subconscious level; members of a society are influenced in subliminal ways to think and behave according to prevailing customs. Leaders must know how to guide people in positive ways to produce the desired results. It’s analogous to a farmer who practices agri-culture by providing plants with the proper environment to yield maximum benefits for his family and community. In fact, “culture” is Latin for “tilling the land and preparing the earth for crops.” Thus, culture is a form of growth and development.
The most important aspect of any culture is its ability to establish and maintain peace, harmony and prosperity. The guiding principle of peace is not only fundamental to communities, societies, and nations, it is also a foundational component of man’s being. Let’s examine two existential questions:
- Who are you? You are made in the likeness of God and share in God’s attributes.
- Why are you? You have come to earth to demonstrate who you are.
The biggest problem in life is that you don’t know who you are. Throughout Ancient Egypt inscribed on the temple walls was MAN KNOW THYSELF. Knowing who and why you are gives purpose and meaning to your life.
The western mind professes a “belief” in God but has doubts through the practice of “faith-based” religions. This is substantiated by the separation of church and state, the educational system (science without God), the judicial system (capital punishment), etc. Christians, for example, believe that God punishes the sinner, we’re all born into sin, man needs to be saved, God is in the heavens, and we must pray to God for help and for our salvation.
However, the African concept of God takes the notion that “we are made in the likeness of God” as a framework for religion, spirituality and culture. We don’t “believe” in God, we seek to “know” God. We are endowed with God’s power, not to the same degree, but in the same manner. This overarching perspective of life can be seen in nearly all traditional African cultures. Religion and spirituality were the central focus of all aspects of society.
For Black people, culture can be defined as how a group of people view themselves in relation to the Supreme Being. Throughout all African cultures is the knowledge and practice that man has the attributes of God. In an African context, God serves all humanity without distinction.
If you are the likeness of God, then peace is your nature. There’s a natural urge within you to find peace and happiness. However, achieving success in life cannot come from expressing your humanity because it is flawed and ungodly. The goal of religion and spirituality is to shape your thinking and behavior to reflect that which you are – a divine being. A divine being masters his or her spirit, mind, body and soul. Only God can guarantee success in life, and it’s through your divinity that this success can be achieved.
Only God-men and God-women can create peace and harmony on earth. African spirituality is needed to restore Black people to greatness. In fact, the world needs a moral conscience and Black people hold the keys to the secrets of the mysteries of life. No one can take it away from us. The first order of business is to divorce ourselves from Western culture. Western political, economic, judicial, educational systems are antithetical to the development of Black culture.
As a divine being, the most important thing for you to understand is that it’s your nature to be at peace in all situations. Lack of peace creates inappropriate responses. Our natural response to adversity and challenge should always be peace! Since all negative emotions are unhealthy, they cannot be your part of your nature. Yet we mistakenly identify with the host of personality attributes and emotional responses that we believe defines who you are.
Since we are all destined to transcend the human stage, we are confronted with challenges that force us to respond, but not with anger, fear, worry, etc., which are all damaging to our well-being. Challenges provide opportunities for us to express divine ways of thinking and feeling. When we experience a loss or obstruction in life, it is the peaceful response that will protect our intelligence, talents and vitality needed to deal properly with the situation.
Our health, spiritual power, and wisdom is based on being at peace. Once we realize that we are under no compulsion to manifest a particular emotion in any given situation, then we discover the possibility that we can be at peace in the face of all difficulties.
Challenges in life cannot be avoided. The challenge is not the wrong that someone does to us or person we are angry with, etc., but overcoming our own negative reaction. For instance, losing your job isn’t the challenge, it’s the fears or worries about your financial situation that you must overcome. It’s a blessing to be given the opportunities to grow spiritually through adversities that help us transcend the human parts of our being. Without challenges, you would not know or have the chance to prove that you’re made in the likeness of God.
You are forged by fire. Many people claim to grow stronger and wiser by going through trials and tribulations. This can only occur by being peaceful. Sometimes when confronted with challenges or adversities, we say to ourselves and others that “Life isn’t fair,” or “I don’t deserve this…”, etc. We tend to blame other people or the situation, and we may even blame God for the problems we encounter. These thoughts and emotions indicate a lack of peace. Mastery of peace eliminates suffering in your life. If you hold on to peace through all adversities, then you will transcend suffering.
The problem is that negative emotions seem “natural” because there was never a need for you to learn them. At the very moment you indulge a negative emotion, you are depriving your brain and other vital organs of blood and energy, IQ drops, performance is degraded, reasoning ability plummets, etc. Nothing that is harmful can be considered natural. Peace protects your health and is the only legitimate response to challenges.
Ultimately, all of us have the same goal in life – to be at peace amidst all challenges. With this in mind, let’s envision a culture that supports and amplifies the concept of establishing peace through the acknowledgement of who you are and why you were born, and uses God as the benchmark for how you must live your life on earth!! This is the essence of Black culture.
The fact that most of us don’t know this is indicative of the overwhelming influence of Western culture that pervades the world. We don’t need to search diligently for proof of our peace. A bit of research into ancient African cultures demonstrates they generally thrived in peace. Ancient Egypt, for instance, lived in relative peace for two thousand years until the northern invaders began plundering the nation. Their greatest accomplishment wasn’t building pyramids and temples, it was their perpetuation of a culture of peace that led to prosperity.
As Black people, we need a roadmap for returning to our glorious past. Fortunately, our ancestors provided us with everything we need, but to reclaim it, we must return to the correct path which is peace. The more we embrace our own culture, the more assistance we will receive from our ancestors who have been patiently waiting for us to come back home.
In subsequent parts of this series, we will discuss the specific approaches that will guide us on our journey to reclaim our true culture. It’s the Blackest thing we can do for ourselves and for the world.
Black people are the progenitors of world civilization and the purveyors of accomplishment in virtually every human endeavor. Evidence of the magnitude of our greatness can be seen in Ancient Egyptian culture. However, not all scholars agree on the racial composition of early Egyptians. According to Cheikh Anta Diop:
The oneness of Egyptian and Black culture could not be stated more clearly. Because of the essential identity of genius, culture, and race, today all Negroes can legitimately trace their culture to ancient Egypt and build a modern culture on that foundation. A dynamic, modern contact with Egyptian Antiquity would enable Blacks to discover increasingly each day the intimate relationship between all Blacks of the continent and the mother Nile Valley. By this dynamic contact, the Negro will be convinced that these temples, these forests of columns, these pyramids, these colossi, these bas-reliefs, mathematics, medicine, and all this science, are indeed the work of his ancestors and that he has a right and duty to claim his heritage.”
One clear and constant theme throughout many “scholarly” writings on ancient Egypt is the overwhelming urge to prove they were not Black. This issue is an important one, for the ethnicity of the Egyptians provides us with greater insight into their culture. If Egyptologists acknowledged the true ethnicity of ancient Egypt, it would destroy the foundation of Western civilization and expose the myth of Greek greatness. This fact would also require a restructuring of Egyptology and advance an even greater role African peoples have played in the development of world history.
The concept of Ancient Egyptians being anything other than Black Africans is certainly not a logical one, since they called themselves “Black.” The term, “Kmt”, means “black” and is the only term they used to designate themselves (see Diop). The “Kamau” also depicted themselves and their major gods with jet-black or reddish-brown hues in their paintings. Additionally, the culture, religion, matriarchal structure, divine kingship, language, and practice of circumcision all reflect an African society.
The Egyptians referred to the southern lands as, “Ta Neter”, or land of God. The Egyptian word for the people of Sudan was “Khentiu” which also meant “first, foremost, beginning and origin”. Some scholars assert that Ethiopia (Kush) was the original home of the Egyptians. In fact, the Ethiopians reported that Egypt was one of their colonies (see Diodorus). Nevertheless, whether the origin of the Egyptians was the Sudan, Uganda, Punt, Kush, or some other location in Africa’s interior, the racial composition of the people who still inhabit these regions is undeniable. Let’s not forget that Egypt is part of the African continent. And, of course, there’s no evidence that non-African people migrated into Egypt, adopted an African culture, and developed the greatest civilization in the history of mankind.
The ethnicity of ancient Egyptians as Black people should be undisputed, but rampant racism and White supremacy often require us to re-state obvious facts and push back on historical inaccuracies, intentional or otherwise. Our goal isn’t to convince European historians to rewrite history but to educate our own people to be cognizant of poor scholarship regarding Africa and its people. We must tell our own story, not for the sake of intellectual gratification or pomposity, but to use this knowledge to re-establish the glory of our past.
A great civilization can only be created by a great people. Whereas Western culture is focused on creating great things (i.e., technology, space exploration, etc.), our ancestors focused on creating great people through a strong culture rooted in establishing man’s divinity. We’ve done it before and since we are our own ancestors, we can do it again. The first step is to eliminate those deeply engrained, Western-influenced thoughts and behaviors that have been passed down to us by society, educational institutions, religious doctrines, etc. Your mind and psyche must be reconditioned which requires participating in a lengthy and expert-run program of spiritual cultivation with other like-minded people.
We start off life as children who harbor wildly creative beliefs because they aren’t yet able to check facts. But at some point, we should grow into the understanding of the need to leverage truth and facts. Nonetheless, some people hold firmly to their beliefs.
You didn’t come into the world with words. Words hide the truth and you’re imitating the words of an ignorant society. Most of what you say are not your words. They are constantly being created by people who don’t know what the purpose of life is. The bar has been set very low – be a good human.
To know a mango, you must eat it. Words keep you from seeing. You cannot know anything from thinking or talking or reading about it – you have to see it! When you understand something, you say, “I see.”
We’ve been raised in a society that exalts thinking, but thinking is not knowing. For instance, many religious movements are based on faith and belief as more people lose interest in religion. But this phenomenon isn’t limited to religion. Your brain translates your ideas and feelings into words just as you train a dog to obey your commands. Just because you’re putting sounds together in your head doesn’t mean you know what you’re talking about.
When you repeat a belief to yourself enough times, it becomes empowered. It doesn’t matter how crazy the idea is. But the same thing applies to truth. You’ve heard the truth, but since you didn’t repeat it enough, it didn’t supplant the incorrect belief.
The irony is that you don’t believe in believing. And there’s good reason – you’ve experienced and learned that if you accept ideas that have not been proven, the day will come when that idea will be proven false.
Where did your ideas about what you want to achieve in life come from? Are they your ideas? Could it be the thought that you decided about how your life was going to be just drift into your mind? Maybe you convinced yourself they are your thoughts. If so, where did those thoughts that you think you thought come from?
Thoughts constantly drift into your sphere of awareness, but you’re not the author of every thought that comes into your mind. We’re incessantly inundated with wrong words, ideas, and images from our environment, namely via social media, books, television, educational system, conversations with friends, etc., and we accept them without applying reasoning to nearly all of them. There is a part of your mind that is idiotic and chaotic. Stop and ask, “who’s in my mind doing the talking?”
There’s a special way of knowing which thoughts are your own. Meditate and focus on one thought until you slow down so you can inspect the thoughts that come into your mind.
You’re made in the image and likeness of God, a divine being, but if you believe you’re a human being, you’ll behave like one. However, if you accept the truth that you’re a divine being, then you’re more likely to behave like one.
You must go forward with knowledge, not belief. Where you have belief or faith, you’re going to have doubts. To believe is to accept an idea without evidence that it is true, but you should trust only what you know.
Thoughts direct your power, but beliefs drive your thoughts. However, the real power is not in the belief, but in the conviction of truth. The answer to all problems in the world is to know truth. Life is about following the truth. There’s no need to figure out what to do with your life. Instead, focus on always doing the right thing. Everything of value will be given to you from God, and not your mind. No matter how smart you think you are, you can’t live your life by relying solely on your intellect. Wrong thinking is your personal prison and the truth will set you free.
As COVID still lingers, the economy is in freefall, and the war in the Ukraine rages on, the world seems to be at a standstill. The political upheavals across the globe are indicative of social disharmony caused by the ignorant occupying positions of control. Whenever there are people in ruling positions who are ignorant of the truth, we will experience a cycle of decline, a reign of confusion and disorder. When there is no wisdom, people tend to act harshly toward one another.
Spiritually uncultivated people blame their leaders for these adverse situations, but also expect them to put an end to the problems. However, we must take advantage of this time of standstill to work more diligently on improving our lives. This is the work that will be needed for success at the cyclic return where peace and harmony can be re-established. It is then that we must avoid doubting that prosperity and harmony will return, as doubting works against our success. It is helpful to associate with others who share your optimism.
Dwelling inwardly is the key that unlocks your reservoir of power and potential. You are in complete control of your imagination. You can see yourself being successful, having a loving family, making more money, etc. That’s because your imagination transcends space and time – it’s always in the ever-present. If you visualize positive experiences in your imagination enough times, when the actual situation presents itself, it will happen automatically because you impressed it upon your spirit. That’s magical!
Because your life reflects the images you project onto your mind, your imagination is the temple of God. The mind which is where your images are housed must be kept sacred. Instead, we’re constantly envisioning ourselves as fearful, angry, grieving, and worrying over the things we believe we’re not worthy to receive.
Enjoyment is power. Whenever you find yourself sad, worrying, afraid, grieving, etc., you’re not empowered. These negative emotions are diagnostic measures to let you know that you need to re-program your spirit with the correct thoughts and images. The correct images must be empowered by your joy. That’s because whenever you enjoy something, you want to keep doing it.
Because every action is guided by a vision, you can use your visionary faculty to improve your life. Countless clinical studies have been done on people visualizing themselves as healing which improved their health. But it’s just not simply your imagination, it’s also the strong belief, the conviction that you will be healed. It’s not enough to say, “I’m healed.” You must be convinced.
Freedom dwells within your imagination. If you want a beach body, for example, you must exercise consistently, so you set time aside to go to the gym, lift weights, walk/run, etc. Likewise, you must set time aside to nurture your mind daily with healthy doses of the proper mental images.
The caveat is that you can’t imagine whatever you want and expect it to materialize. If you visualize something without a proper foundation, then it is a fantasy. The foundation of your imagination must be based on truth and destiny, not merely what you personally want for yourself. You need a spiritual teacher to guide you in establishing the correct thoughts and images.
The enjoyment of a peaceful response to a challenging situation is the highest use of the imagination. The degree to which you have established your divinity is the degree to which you can create your life. God has already blessed you with the ability to create a better life for yourself and others, so let’s work together and use the talents and skills that no man can take from us.
An essential aspect of life is learning how to make joy happen. When you’re not constantly joyful, you have a health problem.
Joy energizes for success and health. It is a mistake to wait for joy, especially if you are waiting in a state of anger, fear, doubt, apprehension, anxiety, worry, etc. Instead, you must always be joyful to reach the full capacity of your spirit to execute what you will. Being joyful is an act of the will; joy is based on the conviction that you’re a divine being. Joy is the power that carries your intention to conclusion. If you must make a living, then enjoy it. If not, you’re making yourself sick.
Joy promotes physical healing. There’s a craving for joy because it’s healing. The joy that leads to healing is the joy of being at peace. Peace is your nature. You don’t have to look for peace, but you spend a lot of time disturbing your peace. Everlasting joy provides everlasting healing – that’s the fountain of youth.
Children bring their own joy – they’re not waiting on you to bring it to them. As an adult, you love children because they bring you joy. But somewhere in this socialization process, you hijack your joy and abandon it for a ridiculous idea that joy resides in material possessions. You came into the world a bundle of joy, but it eventually turned into heartbreak, disappointment, and pain, but now you’re seeking to find joy externally. These negative experiences get locked into your organ systems and block your life force.
Joy is at the top of the hierarchy of health. Experiencing joy is a holistic source of healing. Joy generates solar energy that flows through and nourishes every cell of your body – it awakens and revitalizes you and rises to the brain. When you’re experiencing joy, the solar energy our Kamitic ancestors referred to as “Ra” (“chi” in the Chinese tradition) is nourishing every cell in your body and especially the brain through the images in your mind.
When you feel joyful, that joy is revving up the cells in your body, increasing your metabolism, and energizing the vital organs. Everything in your body is invigorated when you’re feeling joyful. So you crave it and invent all kinds of ways to renew a sense of joy. You crave food so you can increase the supply of fuel. Joy works in the same way. The problem is that some of us mistake the vehicle for joy for the feeling of joy, so you’re always looking for the next “high.” You pursue joy through something that gives you joy – a date, movie, club, sexual encounter, etc. After that sumptuous meal, after the football game, how long does the feeling of joy last — a couple of hours, maybe? Then you’re off to the next fix.
When your spirit is losing or has lost vitality, its ability to execute what you will or desire is compromised. It lets you know through the unpleasant feeling of anger, fear, worry, grief, sadness, frustration, disgust, criticizing, etc. However, when your spirit is energized to execute what you will, it lets you know through the pleasant feeling of joy.
The very moment that you are joyful, your physical body is in a state of healing and well-being. Joy is the energy state that triggers all your vital functions to work well. At the other end of the spectrum, the very moment that you are angry, afraid, worried, anxious, etc., i.e., in stress mode, your physical body is in a state of illness and depressed vitality. Stress is the energy state that triggers all your vital functions to work incorrectly.
Joy is a sign of life. Joy invigorates, it stimulates, it vitalizes. If you want to succeed at something, you must see yourself having something with a smile or laughter, with thoughts that affirm your understanding of why you should be laughing or smiling. For instance, if you have a health challenge, visualize yourself as though you are healed.
Things are not joyful, you enjoy things — there’s a difference. Unlike drugs or alcohol or marijuana or sex, joy can be renewed from the memory of the joyful experience. That’s the beauty of joy — you can relive the memory, not the event. People have the habit of reliving unpleasant experiences when they should be cultivating the habit of reliving their most joyful experiences. The memories of joyful experiences are your medicine.
You must always be joyful. Never-ending joy is happiness. Happiness is enjoying the good things in the world and enjoying peace during denial and difficulties. Peace must take the place of stress responses. Peace must be cultivated through the establishment of the enjoyment of inner peace in all situations of challenge where you would otherwise manifest a stress response. This is inner peace. Once you have attained happiness – unending joy – your spirit will remain in a continuous state of equilibrium and vitality, enabling you to achieve and maintain well-being and success.
Engage in a daily practice of visualizing your person acting in a manner that shows that you are at peace and enjoying being at peace! Enough repetitions in a meditative state of seeing your person acting in a manner that shows you’re at peace in a challenging situation will enable you to manifest peace and its enjoyment in future situations of challenge. You can also recall joyful moments at any time.
Ultimately, joy is living as a divine being, not the enjoyment of things in the world. Those things are ephemeral and transient. God put joy in our spirit and it isn’t contingent on anything else.
“The family is the embryo of society and civilization. It is the place where we find man in his/her most formative and moldable state of being. There is no other place—not even church, or school—that can equal or better the opportunity and conditions for shaping the behavior of the individual into a harmonious member of society, and civilization. It is safe to conclude, that if the family institution of a nation is in trouble, that nation is doomed for failure.”
“An Afrocentric Guide to a Spiritual Union” by Ra Un Nefer Amen (1992)
Marriage forms the basis of all other culture shaping institutions in society. As children, we learn first and foremost from our parents. If our initial lessons in life are incongruent with reality, we will stumble in our efforts to secure a successful life.
Nearly all the major challenges Black people face are a result of following a decadent culture. Westerners do not possess the morality and spirituality to cultivate harmonious relationships. If there is no understanding of how to get along with another in the household, then the institutions of marriage and family in the Western world are doomed to fail. Black people, by parroting a Western approach to relationships, will likewise fail to establish and maintain harmony in our marriages.
African Americans ages 35 and older were more likely to be married than White Americans from 1890 until the 1960s. However, over the last few decades, marriage has been declining among all Americans, and this decline is even more evident in the Black community. African Americans are the least married of any major racial/ethnic group in America. According to the 2020 US Census, only 30% of African Americans were married compared to 48% of all Americans. Half of African Americans have never been married compared to 34% of all Americans. In 2020, 48% of Black women had never been married which was up from 42.7% in 2005. (https://blackdemographics.com)
The most common reasons people give for their divorce are lack of commitment, too much arguing, infidelity, marrying too young, unrealistic expectations, lack of equality in the relationship, lack of preparation for marriage, and abuse. However, the main reason that marriages fail is much more fundamental – neither party knew the purpose of marriage. Typically, couples “fall in love” and seek to live the rest of their lives together. Eventually, what they thought was love has deteriorated into feelings of disappointment, despair, anger, and/or resentment. At this point, the emotional needs of one or both parties are no longer being met which leads to the demise of the relationship.
Since most marriages are based on an erroneous concept of love, there’s a good chance that it won’t succeed. Ironically, one of the purposes of marriage is to learn to love. In other words, we come into this world to live in harmony with one another, to be just, caring, forgiving, respectful, etc. – all of which are aspects that can be cultivated by striving to live a divine life. To be divine is to be a loving person. Marriage offers an opportunity to develop this capacity and share it with others.
Culture is chiefly responsible for shaping behavior. Our history, experiences, values, knowledge systems, traditions, and practices have been influenced by educational, governmental, media, social, and religious institutions program our minds, impact our decisions, and dictate our behaviors. They also inform our feelings, sensations, emotions, thoughts, images, and beliefs about ourselves and each other. Collectively, these influences represent our culture. If these influencers are not rooted in truth and righteousness, then our families and nations will be spiritually impoverished, physically unhealthy, and socially unsustainable.
The solution to improving Black male/female relationships is to adopt a traditional African perspective on marriage and family. The hallmark of a successful relationship is when both persons love one another unconditionally. To do so requires a spiritual perspective for living a good life. The highest act of love is the love for God. In fact, it is a duty and responsibility for all to establish and maintain this love for God. One of the main ways of expressing our love for God is through sharing with others and expecting nothing in return.
In African culture, the fundamental unit of society is the family, which includes the living and the deceased. Yes — ancestors are members of your family! The best way to honor your ancestors is live in the manner that the exalted ones established for us. Don’t throw your life away. Use this time on earth to develop a love for God, your family, and your community so your offspring can benefit from the foundation you helped to establish for them.
“Effective teachers must be cognizant of the child’s culture and learning styles before a curriculum is designed. African American children have a high verve, are relational in their thought processes, and are more oral in cognition. Our ultimate quest is to develop positive self-images and discipline in Black children; this cannot be achieved if we do not include the capital of the child in curriculum design.”
“Developing Positive Self-Images & Discipline in Black Children” by Jawanza Kunjufu (2000)
Black students in the US fall behind their White peers in academic achievement. Many factors contribute to this achievement gap, including systemic racism and a variety of socio-economic factors. Research shows that Black students are more likely to be suspended or expelled, less likely to be placed in gifted programs, and subject to lower expectations from their teachers. Structural racism and poverty exert tremendous pressure on a Black child’s ability to excel, and new approaches to teaching must confront these issues and prepare Black children to navigate these harsh realities.
The current K-12 educational system disregards the tradition of Black teaching excellence to Black children. There is ample evidence that Black teachers can add unique value to Black students’ academic and socio-emotional outcomes, but systemic racism in the US has separated Black cultural and community knowledge from educational practice. Too often Black educators don’t receive the necessary support to cultivate the inherent genius of Black students.
Black teachers are overwhelmingly placed in high-poverty, racially isolated schools where their impact is most needed and has the greatest potential. Nonetheless, there is a lack of training, support, and retention of Black teachers to maximize their impact on Black students. This lack of support contributes to higher attrition rates among Black teachers.
In addition, limited attention is given to the development and support necessary to reap the potential for increased impact on the academic and socio-emotional development of Black students when taught by Black teachers.
Black educators must ensure that Black children achieve high levels academically while simultaneously preparing them with the intellectual, social, emotional, and cultural capital to participate in the advancement of their communities. Likewise, Black communities should ensure Black teachers provide learning environments in which Black children can thrive. For Black students to build a positive racial identity, it will take Black teachers employing innovative, African-centered pedagogical practices.
Through professional development, if Black teachers employ more effective instructional strategies for teaching Black students, they will be better positioned to apply instructional practices that lead to improved Black student outcomes. This can occur through a new paradigm for Black teaching excellence rooted in African-centered pedagogy. For starters, Black teachers can increase their understanding of Black history and African culture so they can infuse the Black experience into the curriculum.
For instance, when a Black high school math teacher introduces geometry or trigonometry to his or her Black students, it’s an opportunity to raise their students’ awareness of the fact that ancient Egyptians were Black and they were the first to use geometry as evidenced in building the Great Pyramids of Giza.
We must acknowledge the genius, power, and beauty of Black children. We also recognize that Black teachers at Black schools are tremendous assets who, with additional capacity building and support, can provide a more culturally enriching learning experience for Black students.
Of course, Black teachers play a crucial role in the development of Black children, although a broader educational ecosystem of parents and community have essential roles, as well. By working together, we can ensure Black children are properly prepared to advance the communities in which they live, work, and prosper. Educators must be devoted to the transformational change for Black children energized by their belief in Black children and their desire to see them tap the fullness of their intellectual capacity. They can guide young Black people to this belief in themselves and encourage them to commit to building the skills, knowledge, and capacity to contribute to the collective struggle for Black liberation.
Kofi Adebayo began his search for truth 40 years ago while majoring in philosophy in college. Even as a child, Kofi realized the world subsists on a web of intricate lies promulgated primarily by "intelligent" political, business, and religious leaders. He began with many years of independent study of African history, culture, and religion. Even after decades of discovery, Kofi believes he has only taken a sip from a wellspring of Black thought and achievement.