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“The word ‘Ubuntu’ comes from one of the Bantu dialects of Africa. It is a traditional African philosophy that gives an understanding of us as human beings in relation with the rest of the world. According to Ubuntu, there exists a common link between us all and it is through this tie, through our interaction with our fellow human beings, that we discover our own human qualities. The Zulus would say, “Umuntu Ngumuntu Ngabantu”, which means that a person is a person through other persons. We affirm our humanity when we acknowledge that of others.” Ubuntu philosophy as an African philosophy for peace http://www.africafiles.org/article.asp?ID=20359
Last week we discussed the need to rethink Africa and our relationship to the continent and our ancient forbearers. We desperately need to do this because we have been indoctrinated and programmed to see Africa as backward, uncivilized, bereft of culture other than drumming and dancing and as offering nothing noteworthy to humanity. Last week I suggested these notions propagated by our Arab and European enemies were/are designed to assuage any guilt they felt about their invasions, rape, theft, capture, kidnapping and colonization of African people and as a way to justify their pillage, plunder and rapine of Africa. I say any guilt because they have never repented of their sins of imperialism and plunder over the years. They’ve only shifted their modus operandi to accommodate and use their advanced material weaponry and psychological warfare so their oppression is less obvious because it is so thorough and all pervasive.
We need to realize most of what these foreigners, invaders and aliens said/say about Africa is not true. During their invasions they discovered countless ruins of great civilizations, clear cut evidence of advanced cultures and vast treasures that they suppressed, stole, appropriated to whites or extraterrestrials.
The ruling class who disseminate their “history“, archeology, anthropology and “education” are even at odds with first hand eye witness accounts by Arabs and Europeans who chronicled the magnificence of Africa and its people! Their denial of history and African accomplishments speaks volumes about themselves and their deep seated inadequacies. Western “education” reflects the consciousness and values of the ruling class. In this case the megalomaniacal capitalists who financed the industrial and technological “revolutions” that needed brute labor and dim intellect to keep the machines humming, to develop and maintain the wasteful, pollution causing factories, businesses and armies that fueled the rise and expansion of the Western economy.
Schools and curricula were developed to forge common identities for the emerging European nation states out of diverse ethnic, tribal and racial groups and prepare them to plunder the world, to work in the factories, mills, mines and large farms. The downside of this ongoing pattern is the ecocide, total disrespect and desecration of nature the West demonstrates with each passing minute, day, month, year.
Their fantasies about Europe being the epicenter of all human progress gives whites a false sense of superiority and non-Europeans suffering under their imperialistic hegemony suffer from a debilitating sense of inferiority, emptiness, defeat and purposelessness. Part of their brainwashing technique is to always show us as defeated, subjugated and happily acquiescing to their domination.
But we are not defeated, we’ve only been brainwashed to think we are. We can use Black History Month to jump start and reenergize ourselves to begin a three hundred sixty five day search for our true selves, our rich history, heritage and innate potential. We can use Black History Month to decolonize our minds, to deprogram ourselves and erase the lies and distortions we have been feed and forced to internalize about Africa, Africans and ourselves. We can use Black History Month to discover how our ancestors fought back and defeated their enemies.
As I said last week we are a deep and creative people. The depths of our creativity are not just in the monuments our ancestors left but in the values and consciousness that created and produced them. At the root of those accomplishments was a cosmology, a philosophy and value system which is antithetical to that of the Europeans, what we have been brainwashed and conditioned to internalize. African technology, architecture, building, science and social organization were all based upon deep metaphysical and humanitarian values. These values are found throughout the continent in every indigenous traditional culture and group.
At the core of these values was/is the notion we are a spiritual people linked and connected to a vast spiritual universe most of which is undetectable to the five senses. All Africans believe in an invisible universal energy/intelligence or force that permeates all creation. Europeans called this idea pan-theism god in everything. Europeans don’t believe or comprehend this because they are essentially materialists, they only accept what they can experience via the senses; although their astrophysicists and physicists now say the universe is composed of pure energy that vibrates a differing frequencies from the undetectable ultra-ethereal to the densest levels we call physical matter.
Our ancestors articulated this thousands of years ago. Read George G.M. James great work Stolen Legacy to get a glimpse of how a handful of Greek “philosophers” plagiarized African cosmology and philosophy. James points out that to the rank and file Greeks these plagiarized African ideas were totally foreign and incomprehensible.
The metaphysical ideas of Kemet are thousands of years old and were probably originated by Africans who originated outside the NileValley deep in the interior of Africa. We are discovering more about the values that produced the societies in South Africa and we should explore and learn more about them. Discerning and understanding these values and the consciousness of the people gives us deeper insight into their culture their social organization and how they interacted with each other, others and their immediate and distant environments.
In South Africa there is an ancient word Ubuntu that to me is the essence of African, holism, deep thought and philosophy. “The word ‘Ubuntu‘ originates from one of the Bantu dialects of Africa, and is pronounced as uu-Boon-too. It is a traditional African philosophy that offers us an understanding of ourselves in relation with the world. According to Ubuntu, there exists a common bond between us all and it is through this bond, through our interaction with our fellow human beings, that we discover our own human qualities. Or as the Zulus would say, ‘Umuntu Ngumuntu Ngabantu’, which means that a person is a person through other persons. We affirm our humanity when we acknowledge that of others. The South African Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu describes Ubuntu as:
‘It is the essence of being human. It speaks of the fact that my humanity is caught up and is inextricably bound up in yours. I am human because I belong. It speaks about wholeness, it speaks about compassion. A person with Ubuntu is welcoming, hospitable, warm and generous, willing to share. Such people are open and available to others, willing to be vulnerable, affirming of others, do not feel threatened that others are able and good, for they have a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that they belong in a greater whole. They know that they are diminished when others are humiliated, diminished when others are oppressed, diminished when others are treated as if they were less than who they are. The quality of Ubuntu gives people resilience, enabling them to survive and emerge still human despite all efforts to dehumanize them.’” https://motivationinspirationandlife.wordpress.com/2012/06/02/ubuntu-i-am-what-i-am-because-of-who-we-all-are/
Ubuntu is an ancient African concept as is Ma’at (Divine Order, Truth, Balance, Harmony, Justice, Righteousness and Reciprocity). Both were the root and underpinning of African culture, social, ethical and relational values. Both were the philosophical mortar that held the societies together, that allowed them to define themselves within a communal framework and live in a collective, harmonious manner. This philosophy laid the foundation of a genuine attempt to live together in harmony and peace.
Were the societies perfect? Of course not. They were the first to do it so they learned by trial error, intuition and experience. Our African ancestors put into place family, peer and age social controls to reinforce values of Ubuntu and Ma’at. For thousands of years we worked to live together in harmony because our values were collective and humane not exploitative and rapacious.
What if we rediscovered, relearned and revitalized Ubuntu and Ma’at then adapted them to modern living as a way of transcending this hostile environment? What if we looked for an alternative to the crass materialism, decadence and emptiness of the West and embraced our own African values and philosophies? How would the quality of our lives be different if we based our thinking, emotions, actions and relationships on Ubuntu and Ma’at? This is not as far fetched as you might think. We do have agency in this, we can choose the values we live by.
The Western way is unsustainable, it is built on selfishness, greed, theft, war, exploitation and wanton violence. That model cannot last forever, its inhumane values are destroying the planet as we speak! We see the concomitant moral rot and devastation all around us now. Things are not getting better. We have to search for and find an alternative to European madness and psychopathy.
Social reform only goes so far in a morally depraved culture like this. We need a total transformation, a turnaround in values and I am suggesting we look to our African ancestral roots for the solutions to these issues. Ubuntu is such a solution. Africans are a deep and creative people. As Desmond Tutu said, “The quality of Ubuntu gives people resilience, enabling them to survive and emerge still human despite all efforts to dehumanize them.”
We need to seriously rethink Africa, embrace our powerful legacy of deep thought, humane values, live and restructure our relationships in accordance to those values. Failure to do so will result in sure spiritual, psychological and physical death.
Written by Junious Ricardo Stanton