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« on: September 01, 2003, 11:39:21 PM »

 It was as if I had been struck by a lightning-bolt when I first heard the music of Bob Marley in 1976.  I was overwhelmed by the power of the music and the potency of the words.. Here was music of revolution: a biting political message, a cry for justice and freedom, and a deep conviction of the possibility that there can be reconciliation, even in the face of a monstrous history. But perhaps what struck me most was that from among the poorest of the poor on this planet, I sensed a powerful joy.  I myself was in despair about the world, at the tender age of 19. I was aware that I was one of the privileged ones--:white, American, college student….so how could these people radiate such joy? I wanted that. I wanted to know what gave these people such joy in the face of such suffering, so much greater than my own. And so, I learned all I could about Rastafari. I have been led along through these years from one question for study and meditation to another, reasoning with many Rastas along the way.

What I write here then is the result of those years. I am attempting to define Rastafari for no one, but I feel it is important to give words to the elements of Rastafari which have been so powerful for me.

What can be said about Rastafari that would be true for all Rastas?

Some Rastas interpret the Bible literally.
Some interpret the Bible metaphorically.
Some reject the Bible altogether
Some study various spiritual and religious traditions.
Others think this is blasphemy.
Some Rastas worship Haile Selassie as JAH, as God.
Some worship Jesus Christ, or see these two as having a single identity.
Some worship neither.
Some Rastas embrace Selassie’s Christianity
Others are not so comfortable.
Some Rastas see the roots of Rasta in African spirituality.
Some know nothing about African spirituality.
Some Rastas are Garveyites.
Some are pan-African activists..
Some Rastas are other sorts of political activists.
Some say activism is a waste of time in Babylon.
Some Rastas believe in a Rasta priesthood and Rasta churches.
Some do not.
Some Rastas believe in physical repatriation to Ethiopia, seeing it as Zion as described in the Bible.
Some do not.
Some Rastas view ganja as a sacrament.
Some do not.
Some Rastas wear dreadlocks.
Some do not.
Some Rastas adhere to a strict dress-code.
Some do not.
Some Rastas belong to specific orders, like Bobo Ashanti, Nyabinghi, Twelve Tribes of Israel.
Some do not.
Some Rastas reject the idea of whites claiming Rasta.
Some do not.
Some Rastas believe women are lesser beings and have special rules for their behavior and participation.
Some do not.

I am sure others could add to this list. So the question is, obviously, what is Rastafari and what is a Rasta?

Rastafari as a movement began in one of the poorest, blackest, places in the world, in Jamaica, inspired by Marcus Garvey as a call for Black unity, Black identity, and Black empowerment. It drew on the imagery and worldview of Christianity, which is the prevalent religious orientation in Jamaica, and viewed social and political revolution in terms of the Christian revelation.. Some of the first Rastas saw in Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia the final return of Jesus Christ to usher in a New Heaven and New Earth, to break the chains of racism, injustice, oppression. To "set the captives free."

The Rasta ‘trod’ in life is very often described in terms of the Exodus out of Egypt, the return from Babylon, the return to Zion, the return home. What is envisioned is a restoration of the original intention of creation, just as the Bible describes.

Some interpret this literally as a return to Ethiopia, Selassie’s home, the world’s oldest Christian kingdom. Others see this ‘repatriation’ as an internal process of reconcilement, the breaking of the bonds of ‘mental slavery’ so that one’s true self can be revealed, one’s true vision restored. So in Rastafari you have existing side by side mystics, who see man/woman and God as one, and 'stricter 'ones who seek to adhere to the letter of Hebrew law and read the Bible literally. Now it is quite an achievement that Rastas of such radically different orientations can tolerate one another.

I think that this tolerance exists because the real battle is the battle against the forces of white supremacy and global domination. These are the forces against which the first Rastas asserted Black identity and Black unity.

And here is why so many whites, ironically, are attracted to Rastafari. It is a way of expressing their own resistance to the ‘Babylon system’, even though they were born into it and partake, willing or not, of its privileges. As much as Rasta gives Blacks a way to deal with the historical pain of being born black, it offers Whites a way to deal with the pain of being born white. It offers a vision of unity, in which blacks and whites together can work to dismantle systems of global ‘downpression’. Rastafari also offers whites a way to reconcile with their own heritage, to be Jewish or Christian, to return to a religious ideology many felt had to be rejected because of the way it has been used as an instrument of oppression against nonwhites. Rastas speak of being the ‘real Jews’, the ‘real Christians’ of this time, feeling that they have gotten to the heart of the Bible’s teachings about justice, unity, and love.

The concept of "I and I", which is so central to Rastafari, reflects a radical  identification of man in God, God in man, and the unity of all beings: "One Love". From "I and I", it is not far to travel to "I am God". In the same way that Selassie (and Jesus) is both man and God, so may I be, with the proper conduct in my life, the true livity. And this reconciliation of humans and God, of spirit and flesh, takes place here, in history.

History: Biblical history, the history of Africa, and of Black slavery, are central concerns of many Rastas.  As is remembrance-"Do you remember the days of slavery?" (Burning Spear) The reconciliation and redemption that Rastas envision is to take place here, on earth. "We sick and tired of their ism schism game/ die and go to heaven in Jesus name,/ we know when we understand/ almighty God is a living man." Marley and Tosh

As Rasta has developed, and as individuals develop spiritually through Rasta, questions arise for many.  Is the religion forced upon Blacks by the slavemasters really the appropriate road back to their true identities as Africans? This question has led many Rastas to look closely at African spirituality, which always found its expression in the slaves’ interpretation of Christianity anyway. Caribbean Christianity and American Black Christianity contain strong elements of far older African traditions. Voudon (or Santeria or Candomble) is a striking example of the wedding of indigenous black spirituality with Christian imagery. In the Yoruba tradition of West Africa, which so many slaves brought across the ocean with them, the gods, or orishas, are close to humans, and it is possible to ‘call them down’ to inhabit human bodies. This belief in some ways could not be more opposed to the Christian rejection of the flesh, but then, one could say that Jesus the man was ‘ridden’ by YHWH in the same way an orisha ‘rides’ his or her human ‘horse’, called down to physical incarnation by drum and by dance.

The Rasta/African preoccupation with history and ancestors also led many back naturally to the Egyptian and Ethiopian Kushite traditions.  What is being discovered by many, including even white scholars,  threatens to turn some of the original assumptions of Rastafari on their ear. The oldest human statement of the god-man idea, the I and I, is found in the "Book of Coming Forth by Day", The Egyptian Book of the Dead. The importance of human conduct in revealing to a person his/her true identity of oneness with God is at the heart of these Egyptian texts.

As the 20th century proceeded, and much forgotten or distorted history was unearthed, and as archaeologists discovered more, a far different view of the world has emerged than the one which was so prevalent in the 1930’s. when Rastafari as a modern movement first began.  A compelling case has been made by many scholars that the source of Judeo-Christian mythology and theology (not to mention Hindu and Buddhist), and the Greek Civilization, Europe’s mother-culture, is indeed African to a large degree. It is easy to see that the vast achievement of the Egyptian civilization in particular accounts for the dissemination of African values throughout the world. More and more scholars agree that the monolithic cultures of Northern Europe (which are found on the sea-coast of the Atlantic) and South and Central America must be attributed to the influence of sea-going ancient Africans.

And even further, most geneticists and archaeologists now agree that we are all African in origin, every human being, and that every human being lived in Africa as little as 40.000-60.000 years ago. "The whole world is Africa". (Black Uhuru)

These discoveries have shaken the world as we know it, and the full implications have yet to be felt. More and more Rastas are rejecting the Judeo-Christian worldview in favor of their own, indeed of our own, far-older, and in most cases, far more subtle and refined, indigenous African traditions.

Rastas learn that the ‘ras’, the crown of uncombed locks, was seen as a sign of wisdom by that ancient Egyptians.  The Pharoahs even wore wigs of ras to symbolize their recognition of the wisdom gained by those who went into the wilderness seeking wisdom, and came out with matted, long hair. The Hindu ‘saddhus’ retain the tradition to this day.

Some Rastas still remain in the ‘strict interpretation’ camp, adhering to the Bible, while others are exploring the ways in which all spiritual/religious expression on the earth is one, and springs from a single source, which is Africa. I think it is inevitable that more and more Rastas will allow themselves to come around to this worldview, especially since the most fervent Rasta call is for global One Love and unity. In African history we have a striking confirmation of the possibility that all humankind can come together as one in a recognition of our common ‘roots.’

The idea of ‘Roots’ has always been an essential component of Rasta, roots as in original humans living in a natural state of oneness with each other and the earth, roots as in history, roots as in the oneness of all under JAH in creation.
This idea of the rediscovery of one’s roots in terms of Blackness, in terms of history, as a way to break the chains of 400 years of physical and mental slavery, has naturally led Rastas back to Africa with new eyes, and has transformed Rasta itself.

Many Afrocentric Rastas find themselves in a different relation with the figure of ‘Selassie I’ than when they first began their Rasta journey. Worshiping Selassie as the One God either becomes impossible for them, or they view this metaphorically, or they engage in vigorous rationalizations and mental acrobatics, for the sake of Rasta unity. It is possible that the symbol of Selassie will fade away altogether from Rasta, viewed as something that made sense for its time, but is no longer helpful. There are many reasons why Rastas may come to the view that the worship of Selassie is outmoded.

He was orthodox Christian, and many Rastas have come to reject Christianity. He was a king, and Rasta for many addresses the upliftment of the poor people of the earth, and thus reverence for him may seem to some contradictory. Some Rastas see the symbol of Selassie as emblematic of the ‘I and I’ idea, which is that man/woman, and God are of one identity, and if this one man can be seen as God, so all can be seen so.

Looking at Rastafari inspires ones to question the ultimate purpose of all religious thought. Some religions teach that the fleshly world is depraved, fallen, and illusory, and that true unity and reconciliation can only come after death, or at the end of history, when God returns to intervene. In many ways, Christianity teaches this, and though it may draw strongly on Judeo-Christian images and conceptions. Rasta has always absolutely rejected this idea. Rastafari looks to reconciliation and unity and the rule of justice right here on earth, and in this time.

Rastas are for the most part not revolutionary in the activist sense, but rather view revolution as a process that first takes place within, a turning over of conceptions that people, particularly Blacks, hold that oppress them, ideas, of their inferiority and lack of personal power to move to transform the outer world according to spiritual principles of love, unity, and right conduct.

It seems that through Rasta, many have been inspired to look beyond religions to the underlying natural principles that govern all human movement from birth to death and beyond. Perhaps in this time of crisis in human history the true purpose of religion is revealed. Maybe the purpose of religion is to take humans beyond religion. to a common recognition of the one Divine Energy, which moves and informs everything and everyone, from which we have life and love and the power to create a world more and more of us are convinced is our birthright.

In the African worldview, the ancestral worldview of all humans, everything is marvelously alive. The entire earth is a sacred place, of one essence, to which all refers and will in time return. This is the One Love and One Inity of the Rasta. It is the same expression.

I think now we can return to question of what is powerful and abiding about Rastafari as a movement. There are things upon which I believe all Rasta can agree.

There are many sects and denominations of Rasta, but most Rasta do not affiliate with any of them. I think I have shown some of the widely-diverse worldviews that exist in what is still able to be called ‘Rasta.’  One thing that is unique and powerful about Rasta is in part this very diversity, and the way Rasta resists attempts to congeal into just another religion, with a single set of doctrines and rules.

I believe that what unites all Rasta is a common concern for justice in this world, and the importance of personal conduct in bringing that justice about.

Rastafari presents a unique vision of global transformation through personal spiritual transformation. Rastas speak of  livity, which is defined as personal lifestyles and personal habits that reflect the sort of world they believe is possible for all.

Most Rastas reject the idea that Rasta is religion. Instead they say it is a way of life, a livity.  This again reflects an African worldview, which is in fact our common indigenous worldview, as we all came from there. There is no division between spirit and flesh, and the whole world is sacred.

Rastas also have a common understanding of the enemy, which they call Babylon.  Babylon is conceived as the global systems of racism and oppression,

"A vampire….sucking the blood of the sufferers…building church and university…deceiving the people continually." Marley

And as Bob Marley sings in "Babylon System", truth is the ultimate weapon. "Tell the children the truth"…the truth of history, the truth of the results of history on bloody display all around us, and the truth of our purpose here on this earth.

I remember feeling so relieved when I first encountered Rasta, because here at last were people unafraid to call wickedness wickedness.

All Rastas embrace the unitarian values of Rasta: One Love, Unity, and moral conduct.. They embrace a vision of a just world, a peaceful world, and freedom for all without regard to race, culture, or economics. They see that the unity of humankind will come as people embrace spiritual values and see that our common purpose here is to live harmoniously, joyfully, and well.

Rastafari is now a global movement that originated as a call for black unity out of the heart of the African diaspora.  That nonblacks have taken up the call is not surprising, but it is not possible to have a "colourless Rasta movement." Any nonblack person who embraces Rastafari must embrace Africa, which is after all, the Motherland of all human beings, and indeed the Mother of all life. Burning Spear asks,
"Have you ever seen an African woman nipples run dry/ Because she has no food?"

Well, we refuse to see her at our own peril, for the condition of our Mother speaks to the health of the whole world. That is what Rastas know, what they say, what they sing.  If she run dry, then how will we be fed?

So, have I answered the question I began with?  How, out of one of the worst ghettos in the world, does there arise such joy? For myself, yes I have. I see that the joy comes because "we know we’re going and we know where we from."Through the knowledge of history we find that we are in fact, One.

And with that knowledge humans can call upon all the powers of creation to build a world that reflects that One, One Love.




                 


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Tyehimba
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« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2003, 06:50:31 PM »

Quote
As Rasta has developed, and as individuals develop spiritually through Rasta, questions arise for many.  Is the religion forced upon Blacks by the slavemasters really the appropriate road back to their true identities as Africans? This question has led many Rastas to look closely at African spirituality, which always found its expression in the slaves’ interpretation of Christianity anyway. Caribbean Christianity and American Black Christianity contain strong elements of far older African traditions. Voudon (or Santeria or Candomble) is a striking example of the wedding of indigenous black spirituality with Christian imagery. In the Yoruba tradition of West Africa, which so many slaves brought across the ocean with them, the gods, or orishas, are close to humans, and it is possible to ‘call them down’ to inhabit human bodies. This belief in some ways could not be more opposed to the Christian rejection of the flesh, but then, one could say that Jesus the man was ‘ridden’ by YHWH in the same way an orisha ‘rides’ his or her human ‘horse’, called down to physical incarnation by drum and by dance.

The Rasta/African preoccupation with history and ancestors also led many back naturally to the Egyptian and Ethiopian Kushite traditions.  


After investigating a lot of things, the bible, Christianity etc and interacting with a lot of idrens i was forced to redefine my concept of Rastafari. I realized that i could fit into the mainstream concept of Rastafari. Brethrens would say that Orisha is devil worship and i couldn't agree with that. I was forced to search behind the appearance, behind the Ganja, the Rethoric and the reggae music for the essence of Rastafari as has been practised for thousands of years. I think that i have been very fortunate to have been guided along the lines of self, where one realizes that Rastafari  is a constant process/journey of character refinement and of challenging oneself to climb higher and pursue truth to the highest level.

Give thanks for the article Rootsie!!

on a side note from what i remember i think that the line from burning spear is ""Have you ever seen an African woman 'nipples'  run dry/ Because she has no food?"  
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« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2003, 10:06:03 PM »

Give thanks, Ras T!

'nipples'-that makes it an even more meaningful image-for if Mama Africa's nipples run dry, how will we be fed?  I am goin to modify right now.

Rootsie
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« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2003, 05:52:47 PM »

Rootsie....

This was wonderfully written and your insights show your wisdom.

Thanks for taking your time to write and share this with us.

May I ask what you personally struggled with the most in your self discovery?  Or was it the discovery of what the world really is?

..Kingston..
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« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2003, 09:46:54 PM »

Hi Kingston.

I think what I struggled with most and still struggle with too is my Babylon societal conditioning. I really had to get in there and identify  the mistaken ideas I was living by, and the mistaken voices that told me I am less when I am so much more.

A big thing is to be brave to see the truth of your conduct even when it is not a pretty picture, without engaging in self-abuse, beating yourself with your emotions.

Emotions out of balance-once I really begin to experience the oneness of I-self with JAH and with the whole world, I was lifted out of slavery to my emotions.

They're still there, they just don't run me.

Yes, self-disovery (or maybe RE-covery), and seeing the world as it is are one process. If we do not see our selves in the magnitude of who we are, there is much else we never never see.

History. Reading history and history and staying close to my own history. This is the fuel of transformation.

Sorry if this is not quite what you asked! If it's not, ask again.

Rootsie
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« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2003, 12:35:50 AM »

Rootsie,
I cannot tell you how thankful I am that I discovered your website tonight. For a while now, I have felt alone--being a white woman with what I will for lack of a better term call "rasta beliefs".
I was raised Catholic, but always felt as if I was missing something. As a young woman, through college, etc. I was always searching for truth, for meaning. I never really found it, until I found reggae, and the desire to learn more about the rasta ways.
The more I study and learn, the more I relate. I keep finding myself thinking "hey, thats how I feel! or hey, that makes so much sense!"
However, no matter how much I feel drawn to the rasta way of life, the fact that I am  a white 36 yr old woman always made me feel a little out of place. So I've kept my thoughts and beliefs to myself. It can be very lonely at times.
I am just so thankful that I found this site, and this forum. I know I will learn much here. Thank you!!!!
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« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2003, 06:17:28 AM »

Good!
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Tracey
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« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2003, 03:27:07 PM »

It is interesting that you mention the awakening of Rasta  beliefs through reggae music...Many whites find themselves for lack of a better word "wanting" what their own culture cannot provide....and therefore find themselves yolking or bonding with other cultures that give them a sense of their own connection to nature and to their ancient spiritual root ...something main stream religions offer very little of...and if anything..highlight the contradictions and hypocracies of both human and spiritual misconduct in the guise of a (self) righteous kind of faith..utilizing fear and guilt as a means to keep ignorance alive and well.

Rasta bust down them barriers!

Yes...reggae is a wondrous vehicle to open the mind and eyes to another world beyond our own. The question is though...once inside what is one willing to realize when the message in the music becomes more than a skankin riddum?...more than dreadlocks?...more than a cool concert or new CD??

Here-in lies the power and beauty of the arts that speaks a language capable of entering in to the conscious domain...and deeper yet into the inner reasonings of the mind.

Contrasts and contemplations will arise...and it is good to question the status quo of one's beliefs...through whatever means avails itself...reggae is one of those means.

The quiet inner voice for reason will offer its guidance through all things experienced.. if one is willing to trust the truth within themselves and act on the highest from what they know.. from where they are. Doors will open..and more wisdom and knowledge will avail itself through sincere intentions of the heart.

So ye say you are relating more through the Rasta way of life as it rings true to the innner core of what you know makes sense...smile...indeed..

If I may share some quotes from the "Rasta Speaks" board: (and highly suggest you check it out yourself)

"In essence Rasta in its most ancient meaning is about developing oneself towards self-actualization, which is the only way to attain universal wisdom."

and...

Rasta stands for universal love, a higher spiritual ideal that is not usually emphasized in the mainstream of Western society. To be a Rasta is to be a righteous person, continuously seeking to improve SELF. This process of self discovery is further clarified by the words of a St Lucian Rasta who said "The word Rasta as I understand it means purely, the power that lies within any man which enables him to do anything he wants... To be a Rasta therefore is to be conscious of that divine power, and to be developing one's power potential for achievement... Rasta becomes therefore a philosophy of life fulfillment"

Yes...much of life is encompassed through all of Rasta...and through it you will see the disparity and injustices of a system (Babylon)  that is more supportive of ill gotten gain...particularly for whites...hence:

"And here is why so many whites, ironically, are attracted to Rastafari. It is a way of expressing their own resistance to the 'Babylon system', even though they were born into it and partake, willing or not, of its privileges. As much as Rasta gives Blacks a way to deal with the historical pain of being born black, it offers Whites a way to deal with the pain of being born white. It offers a vision of unity, in which blacks and whites together can work to dismantle systems of global 'downpression'. Rastafari also offers whites a way to reconcile with their own heritage, to be Jewish or Christian, to return to a religious ideology many felt had to be rejected because of the way it has been used as an instrument of oppression against nonwhites. Rastas speak of being the 'real Jews', the 'real Christians' of this time, feeling that they have gotten to the heart of the Bible's teachings about justice, unity, and love."

So yes....there is much to learn about yourself and of the world through which you live...read ...read...read.. and you will learn so much more...

bless


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« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2003, 05:24:49 PM »

"read ...read...read.. and you will learn so much more..."


Yes, that is exactly what I've been doing, along with listening to people such as yourself. It will be nice to have a forum like this in which I can actually discuss my ideas and voice my questions. Many thanks.
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« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2003, 02:10:00 PM »

Yes Rootsie...

That is what I was looking for.  I was interested in your personal experience and you answered that.  Thanks for being open.

Tracey has some good points too.

I have a ton of things to discuss but find myself short on time.  I will get back to further this discussion.

Thanks to all...

..Kingston..
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« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2003, 08:55:43 PM »

hi everyone,it is a great pleasure to know of this forum.actually i found out about  this forum due to my friend friend.i am not a rasta or anything or not a REALLY CONCIOUS youth but i always admired TRUE RASTAS.they always seem to have this really deep inner peace.i dont know so many "true rastas",not that iam in position to define"true rasta" but since i know myeslf i always enjoyed a good song from bob marley,gregory issac,burning spear,and even sizzla.i always wanted to be part  of that kind of environment.i am far from being anything like that or you may say i enjoy "the worldly things".i think i am far from my inner desire but hopefully with this forum i might become closer or should i say close to it.
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« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2003, 10:41:20 AM »

...so by your username "convictions"...does something from Rastafari and these boards stir something inside?

What catches the inner eye? It seems as if you are aware of something deep inside yourself and that there is something here that might help you to see what it is..
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« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2003, 05:02:41 PM »

there is something inside of me that has a deep appreciation for peace,isolation from the world,humbleness, conservation and a broader understand ing and acceptance of life. rastafaris seem to have all these qualities and as a result i always admired them.but as i said i am far from it, and i will not attempt now as i dont think i am ready for that as yet.however the desire is there.with help from youll probably ill reach there some day. thanks for asking tracey.
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« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2003, 12:12:04 PM »

I think Rastafari symbolizes many ancient things that we, as white ones have been far removed from. There is an ancient.. and yes, familiar recognition reflected in our African brothers and sisters. Many times there is a yearning to connect back to this rich cultural spiritual root that taps somewhere deep in our inner conscious and core.

Often times when we hear certain music and observe certain lifestyles it begins to stir up some very deep feelings that looks to find a way to respond. Here is where the journey opens wider to learn about your history and the history of the world.

We as white ones, as you may have already observed, cannot piggy-back onto the cultures or heritages of others.. as these things are born out of the experience of the peoples that make the culture and any movements what it is. It is from the people that have lived through and been born into any particular circumstance that brings to it the necessary wisdom, knowledge and skill gleaned in order to survive whatever that experience provides them. This is where different cultures lend different experiences to different peoples.. and what applies to one may not apply to another experientally speaking.

However..it is these experiences that make there contributions to the whole of mankind...and why it is vital to know your own history and work to your best understanding from where you are. For it is here, where you can come in truth and wisdom gleaned from your own experiences and contribute what you know, see, and have learned. To Know thy Self is no accident but an intentional and deliberate search to work from the best of where one can Be.

It is my observation and experience that has revealed to me the importance of understanding the dynamics of how race and its complex relationship correlates to who we are as spiritual connected human beings. These forums provide extensive research, knowledge, and information to provide a firm foundation in understanding the world around us and how we as responsible human beings might better inform ourselves to make better choices.
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« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2003, 12:41:43 AM »

Greetins in the Name of The Peace before the Word,
nice article Rootsie, and inI only want to add two comments...what is Rasta? One Love. very simple. One Love is that which we will all recognize we already are; It is what 'the Iniverse' IS (including the universe)...all we need to do is work with love in I and I hearts; as to the pain of being born white (or whatever your exact words were), the I must come to overstand that you are not your body, period. You do not even exist inherently, only exist as a refraction of All, One Love, at work in perfect syncretion in every moment (even time is a construct of I-mind...a mere illusion); we only exist in a continuum of Oneness in Infinite dimensions. So one must feel challenged to use every gift and manifestation of past merit of this and countless former lifetimes in samsara and other realms and worlds to only exercise Love in every thought and deed. If one is burdened by guilt this can be put to rest by confessing all wrong deeds of every conceivable sort, and asking for Mind (already in the I) to be at Peace and taking vows to not do any harm again, and thereafter doing what the I sees needing doing that the I is capable of doing. Such talk of guilt is meaningless; what we need to give thanx for is all the good things we have at our disposal, regardless of color and circumstances.....even someone waiting to go into the gas chambers in Nazi Germany, could find happiness if they so wish; lets also remember there are persons suffering of every color....all over the world....just look at the Chetz situation, or how Tibetans and many, many others everywhere have suffered.....even those who are white and have the best of circumstances suffer.....in many ways,,,,,,they are never happy for more than a few hours at a time before lapsing into mental suffering or worry about whatever....that is suffering too; or someone living in Afrika with AIDS can even still be happy in the Heart as they lay dying.....it is good however, to take on the suffering of others but the I must be very skilled in doing that, converting the pain metaphyscially and sending it back out as love and healing....this is called 'taking and giving' , a practice given to the world by the Buddha, who was a Black mon by the way. Peace and Love, ......and live without guilt please!
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