How did the human race get so far off track?
THE GREAT SINISTER EVENT!
A support document for 1John Chapter 5 Verse 19 (NIV)
I readily admit that this dire claim is not a very pleasant way to begin this or any other short work. In truth, I am not looking to please. I just wish to extend this time line theory of mine into the public discourse; as I’ve been inspired to write and speak on it. Speaking of beginning, where shall we begin? The Bible, with its infallible wisdom, points us to a great starting place!
At this point in time, there is no credible argument against the proven fact that Africans were indeed the very first humans on this planet. You can now give a sample of your DNA to geneticists to produce for you a genetic map showing the global tracks of your ancestors, regardless of your race, that their computers trace all the way back 60,000 years to central Africa!! This will be our starting point. This is so far back in history that from my small mind, there is a real logic to speak of an analogy of these very first humans to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden; as it is written in the Book of Genesis.
As for the beginning of our universe, I say let’s not hang our hats on the Big Bang Theory, where those ‘brilliant’ scientists neatly do not mention the source of that super dense super hot matter that started that great explosion which in turn created our universe. I suppose that they just assumed that that matter always existed. GOD IS the real beginning of our universe! In any event, we will start our story with the very first humans in central Africa.
According to Raymond Mosha, “ Indigenous Africans always believed that the universe, humans and everything that is, are the handwork of an Infinite and Eternal Divine Mystery”(7). He goes on further to say that “Indigenous Africans therefore had profound reverence and adoration for this incomprehensible, yet real, Divine Mystery” (8). I believe that his inclusion of the words ‘yet real’ is of paramount importance in explaining what has gone wrong in life today. I boldly, and with absolute certainty, state that GOD IS REAL!!
Without question, history and everyday occurrences tell us that modern thinking is far removed and totally unconcerned with that indigenous African belief of the Divine Mystery. In his book on African philosophy, D.A. Masolo points out that some of the most respected philosophers in modern times have made baseless, scathing and very serious comments regarding indigenous Africans. He tells us that “Kant claimed that the original human species was white, appearing as dark brown. He believed the black race emerged as a result of the humid heat beating on the skin of the original species” (8). Masolo goes on to speak about the well known German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, who did extensive thinking and writing on the philosophy of history; among many other things. According to the Hegel philosophy of history, “the stage of self-consciousness which the spirit has reached manifests itself in world history as the existing national spirit, as a nation which exists in the present…. And that nation’s character consists simply in the form and manner in which it appears in world history and takes up its position and stance within it” (5). Hegel then discusses the geographical basis of world history and compares the contributions of various geographical regions of the world to world history. With this wholly contrived framework in mind, the long history of the geographical region of sub-Saharan Africa showed as very unimportant within his philosophical construct. Hegel went as far as to say that in this region, “history is in fact out of the question” (5). His logic was that African life is not a manifestation of dialectical reason, but of a succession of contingent happenings and surprises where no state exists whose development could be followed. According to him, Africans lived in a state of innocence: “they were unconscious of themselves; as in the natural and primitive state of Adam and Eve in the biblical paradise before the emergence of reason and will” (5). A powerful statement to be sure! The bottom line here of course is that Hegel’s ‘philosophy of history’ is myopic, wholly contrived and arbitrary almost beyond belief.
Nevertheless, believe it or not, I am actually very much in agreement with Hegel’s prideful and bombastic thinking. Not that indigenous Africans were unconscious of themselves, for that is silly thinking, but that their beliefs and knowledge were not built upon recorded events; thus excluding truly original thinking and understanding from the annals of history as we know it. While Hegel would most likely roll over in his grave upon reading this, he actually fully supports my own puny theory that says that somewhere along the time line, where the indigenous African worldview began and prospered for untold thousands of years…………………………
Something sinister happened!
This diagram summarizes my theory that somewhere along the time line, between the creation of those first Africans and modern times, a SINISTER EVENT of unprecedented and unimaginable proportions literally changed our world forever.
What exactly was that event?
THE FALL OF LUCIFER!!!!!
THIS is that GREAT SINISTER EVENT!!
As stated, I actually believe that, from a certain perspective, that Hegel was right. Indigenous, as in ORIGINAL, African knowledge may indeed be considered much like the paradise of Adam and Eve in the Bible and thrived and extended for untold tens of thousands of years, (who knows possibly how much more!), and with small bits of it remaining to this very day. Furthermore, I am of the opinion that the brilliant thinking of Sir Isaac Newton, and his first law of motion, applies to this theory. This law states that absent friction, a body at rest or in uniform motion (in this case indigenous African knowledge passed down from generation to generation via customs and rituals) will remain that way forever unless impacted by an external force of some kind. In our case, we have the great sinister happening that my infinitely small theory purports impacts the time line and changes the course of human history until the next force acts upon it!!! (Hint: Revelations!)
Scientifically speaking, it has now been shown via the latest in genetics, archaeology and computer processing that ALL humans descended from a group of sub- Saharan Africans who began migrating over this planet. Hegel’s philosophy of history, at least how we understand the structure of history, is correct in my opinion. However, it represents a small fraction of very recent human history. When comparing his philosophy of history to indigenous Africans living untold tens of thousands of years ago, his philosophy appears to have started right out of thin air! It is therefore no wonder and no surprise in my humble opinion, that it just so happens to give credence and support to the chaotic, prideful, selfish, mean spirited and impious thinking of modern man.
According to my own small theory, the one single major difference between these two time periods, i.e. before and after that great e sinister happening is that indigenous Africans wisely revered the Divine Mystery, while modern man now, astonishingly, sees himself as the one to be revered! Good Lord, speaking of pure madness…. this is a supremely perfect example of it! But there is more.
Masolo gives a brilliant insight, at least to my puny and weak mind, why history itself is not nearly as valuable a means for understanding human behavior as most think. History, at least as we know it, is for the most part, a direct function of the recording of events, as Hegel clearly points out. The one who does the recording is naturally the one who creates the history we know and study. With this in mind, the questionable nature of the accuracy and morality of ‘history’ is now abundantly clear.
Masolo also discusses the works of John Mbiti and tells us that Mbiti says that “African religion or philosophy is not found neatly formulated in library books, but rather in the very life of the people, in their daily practices and language. It is integrated so much into different areas of life, that in fact most of the African languages do not have a word for religion as such” (104). Unfortunately, it is supremely difficult for us to even imagine a life so thoroughly immersed with the Divine, that a word for religion does not even exist. This clearly tells us many things. First, it explains why modern thinkers like Hegel and Kant, whom society holds in the highest of regards, cannot see any value in the history of indigenous Africans. Their means of understanding is based on reading books and specific discourse with like minded people who look and think like them, and as such, have little or no insight into the Platonic idea of rituals and daily custom as a means of understanding and explaining the incredibly rich and very extensive history of indigenous Africans. It also tells us that once language and customs are interrupted, for whatever reason, like the slave trade for example, historical thinking and understanding is removed, and a vacuum is then created for those impacted into what they should believe, how they should behave and what they should understand about life. The sad tale of the history of African Americans and their current psychological and socio-economic state is the direct result of this.
This is very important: to my fellow Blacks, do not for one split second believe that we hold some kind of higher level of moral and spiritual authority over other races as a result of our being the first humans. This is not true. Such a position could only be based on arrogance and ignorance. A brilliant professor of mine, who happened to be Black, told us one night that if Blacks had the opportunity to enslave whites, we would have treated them just as harshly as whites have treated us. He is absolutely correct.
Further cementing this idea of a vacuum, Wade Nobles, in his book on African Psychology tells us that “African psychology is the recognition and practice of a body of knowledge which is fundamentally different in origin, content and direction than that recognized and practiced by the European-American psychologists. The reascension of African psychology is dependent upon the reclamation of African culture” (103). He extends his thoughts even deeper when he discusses the issues with the translation of contemporary expressions of African ideas, such as divine creation and communality, using commonly accepted modern ideas about human psychology. He tells us that this translation itself causes significant problems in our understanding of African reality. Now get a load of this: incredibly, even the fundamental concept of causality, as it relates to indigenous African psychology and beliefs, brings us many profound problems. He states that “the spatial and temporal coordinates incorporated in western concepts of causality are found to be inadequate in attempting to comprehend the thought patterns of African and other non-European peoples” (104). He uses the thinking of Cedric X, aka Syed Khatib, who studied this epistemological dilemma. Cedric X notes that “time and space dimensions were selected partly because of a cultural disposition which answers the question of what is real, as physical matter, and how do I know, as external”(104).
Please bear with me for a moment as I know of no easy way to explain this, but according to Brad G. Berman of Oregon University, our brains have specific functions located in the cerebral cortex that actually regiments our thinking in time and space. Brad tells us that this area of our brains “acts as a neural temporal diffraction grating. The massively parallel structure of the brain thus simultaneously interacts with, collates, compiles, then decodes the complex faces of the omni-directional time wave flux converging downwards from the entire mass-point background of the universe, as if a wind blowing through billions of wind chimes”(1). This unfortunately very complex definition is telling us that even basic causality, which our minds use to understand what is real and what is not, is a function of our minds, as opposed to an external rock solid truth and thus supports the thinking of Cedric X, who claimed that our current way and method of thinking has a cultural bias to it. I am in agreement with both these men.
Whew!! What does all this fancy schmancy thinking really mean? African psychology and knowledge can only be understood with the indigenous mental framework of spirituality, which of course is what it is all about. This said, obviously the coordinates for knowing causality must be consistent with this spiritual reality. One could argue, and I for one would not disagree, that such an effort to truly understand indigenous African spirituality, knowledge and wisdom is simply impossible for us today. Why so?
From my own small perspective, these brilliant men are telling us that we are far more removed from our indigenous African ancestors, in terms of how we think and understand things, than we could ever possibly imagine. If my theory of a sinister happening somewhere along the time line is true, and I believe that it is, then it has actually created an entirely new reality for us; that is how powerful it was and still is. This is what makes the solution to modern life’s problems so intractable and why, absent GOD, there is no hope.
We actually now exist in a new reality that points away from GOD, and, astonishingly, to ourselves!!
The cement pillar of all this, and what, in my opinion, authenticates it all is found in 1 John Chapter 5 Verse 19 (NIV) where it states in simple clear terms: ”We know that we are children of GOD, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one”.
By far the most insightful book I’ve read in my life, besides the Bible of course, was the classic work by the brilliant philosopher William James entitled The Variety of Religious Experiences. This book was replete with testimonies of very credible people about their specific spiritual revelations concerning GOD. I was in tears throughout the entire read as my heart was overjoyed to receive these testimonies into my own soul. What an incredible blessing! It lifted me to great new heights!
William James himself sadly admitted at the end that he never had any personal religious experience. I felt so sorry for him. He therefore analyzed all these testimonies through the lens of a scientist and was totally convinced that they warranted serious analysis and recognition; which ironically gave them even more credence.
Here now is the connection to my great sinister happening theory. His final conclusion answered a question I’ve had for many years but could not find the words to express it succinctly. From a young man, I’ve always been absolutely certain that ALL religions are trying to say exactly the same thing. My logic is simple: We are ALL GOD’S children be ye Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu or whatever. James, near the very end of this incredible work, posed this very same question to himself for years and came to the conclusion that; stripped down to the bare bones, ALL religions are saying this: There is a deep feeling inside us all that
SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH US AS WE STAND NATURALLY!
When I read this, I jumped up from my chair as if had just discovered the secret to life. He hit the nail right on the head. He wisely further added that, the various religions depart drastically on what to do about it.
Dear readers, in my own fallible and inadequate way, I am trying to explain just how far we, as the human race, have moved away from GOD. The distance, or where we are in modern times, is now infinite and from a mass perspective, wholly insurmountable. The human race is clearly on the express train heading south……. and picking up speed; ………………………………………………..with Lucifer as the engineer!
My small theory purports to explain that we were not always in this state. I also believe that there is a direct tie in to the Augustinian concept of Original Sin and the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden found in Genesis.
I am fully aware that much of what I’ve said portends a state of absolute hopelessness for us all. Fortunately, VIA GRACE AND GRACE ALONE we, as born again Christians, have the GOOD NEWS OF THE GOSPEL as our escape from this irreversible mess that we’ve ALL helped to create. Following this logic to its natural conclusion, we can now see the rationale for Revelations.
For all my non-Christian readers, do know that I love you all as well as my Christian brethren. So I ask you to please forgive me but I do not have the knowledge of your religion necessary to give you the parallel of what is, in my humble opinion, the ONLY way of escape from this awful mess we’re all in. I am nevertheless certain that it is there.
I’d like to end this short treatise with a famous nursery rhyme that I believe sums up the state of modern man; as in each and every one of us. It is the story of Humpty Dumpty.
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
If you recall, he was a large egg shaped being, obviously very fragile; as we all are.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
We have all suffered some big fall or failure in life; at some point.
All the King’s Horses and All the King’s Men.
Meaning of course, the very best solutions available.
Couldn’t put Humpty Together Again.
There was no way, after that fall, to make him like new again.
Such is our current state, where sin has made us all fall, and where there is nothing we can do on our own to make ourselves as new again.
But, THE GOOD NEWS OF THE GOSPEL tells us to Repent and be Baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, who died for our sins, and we will be as new again; with our sins washed away! For me, I can see no other way to reach Heaven. For only GOD could have put Humpty Dumpty back together again; to make him as new.
Berman, Brad G. “Time and Consciousness Of The Brain.” Oregon State University. Philica. 1 Jun. 2009. <http://philica.com/display_article.php?article_id=157>
Masolo, D. A. African Philosophy: in Search of Identity. London. Edinburgh University Press. (1994).
Mosha, R. Sambuli. The Heartbeat of Indigenous Africa: A Study of the Chagga Educational System. New York- London. Garland Publishing. (2000).
Nobles, Wade W. African Psychology. Oakland. Institute for Advanced Study of Black Family Life and Culture Inc. (1986).