Thursday, May 05, 2005

The Practicality of Virtue

The Practicality of Virtue

“Do not speak falsely to anyone, for it is an abomination to God. Do not separate you r heart from your tongue, and all your plans will be successful. You will have weight in the presence of others and be secure in the hands of God. God hates one who falsifies words. And the great abomination of God is deception and double dealing.” Ancient African teachings from the Book of Amenomope

Africans being the first humans to cultivate higher consciousness and applied ethical relationships, formulated ways to bequeath this wisdom and instruction to future generations. At first it was done orally reiterating the ideas over and over through direct conversation and communication. Subsequently ways were developed to pass these lessons on through fables, proverbs and ditties children could easily grasp and understand based on their culture and environment. As conditions permitted writing was developed and the Africans along the Nile Valley developed various means of conveying ideas through pictographs non-Africans later called hieroglyphics. Contrary to the racist disinformation propagated by our enemies, ancient and modern Africans throughout the continent developed complex ethical standards and wove them into the daily fabric of their societies. Does this mean there were no problems or conflicts? Of course not. Where there are human beings there will be disagreements and conflict. However aboriginal indigenous people (unlike the Johnny come lately Eurasians) recognized the practicality of a social milieu that fostered and promoted harmony, co-operation and mutual respect. African culture is replete with ethical teachings whether it be The Book of Amenomope, The Book of Ptah-Hotep from ancient Kemet, or Odu Ifa to name a few. In all these teachings uprightness and virtue were the goal, it was not merely an abstract ideal to be mouthed, but a very pragmatic way of promoting successful human relationships and interaction. For example in saying IX of the Book of Amenomope we see an admonition against lying and speaking falsely. Speech is considered vital in African cosmology for it was by sppech the worlds were formed and MA’AT established. What if Western society placed such an emphasis on telling the truth? What if George W Bush or William Jefferson Clinton had been socialized in such a culture that held speaking truth as a virtue? What if the Aryans made civility, truth, reverence for life and living virtues? Would we have seen the cultural legacy of invasion, rapine pillage and plunder that mark the Indo European way of life even today in places like Iraq and Afghanistan? What if Europeans were trained from childhood to speak truth to power rather than master deceit and disingenuousness? Would AmeriKKKa even exist as a nation? Remember AmeriKKKa is what it is and where it is because as our indigenous Native American brethren learned the hard way, “the white man speaks with forked tongue.”
Africans believed in the axiom “As above so below.”, to them the majesty and vastness of the Cosmos was reflected in the minutest elements (the atom) , the microcosm was a reflection of the macrocosm and the person was a reflection of his cultural environment. So the virtues of MA’AT, right conduct, truth, propriety, reciprocity and equilibrium were taught, promulgated and applied throughout Africa. This is what Cheikh Anta Diop referred to as the “Cultural Unity of Black Africa” Dr. Kimbwandende Kia Bunseki Fu-Kiau of the Kongo testified thus, “I grew up in a village of at least 1,000 inhabitants (before it knew the rural exodus). There was not a single policeman, the jail was unknown, no secret agent i.e. a people’s watchdog. It did not have a bureau of investigation, no sentry to watch on people’s goods. In daytime the village was practically and in its entirety empty without a single person to take care of unlocked doors. Strangers were always welcome. Everybody felt responsible for everybody else in the community and it neighborhood. When a community member suffered, it was the community as a whole that suffered.” African Cosmology of the Bantu-Kongo page 49-50 What does this have to do with truth? Everything. Being truthful is a virtue, it means one has attained a level of consciousness that values being genuine and real both to one’s self and others. If one is genuine and real, one does not do to others what he himself would not want done to him or herself. If one raised in a higher we/us unified consciousness such as the one Fu-Kiau grew up in as opposed to an alienated predatory individual consciousness communities we would not see the dysfunction we see in AmeriKKKa as it forces its values on the world. I remember going South to visit my uncle and his wife in Southampton County Virginia in the 50's, 60's and 70's, they left the keys to the pickup truck and tractor in the truck and tractor. The doors remained open and unlocked and when we went out a spare key was over the door sill and everyone knew it! Even in my neighborhood in Philadelphia there was an element of trust and safety just not like in the Southern black communities. If we are to resurrect ourselves and thrive as a people, we must return to the higher consciousness and cultural values of our African ancestors. The more we adopt the predatory values and lifestyles of our enemies, the more insane and dysfunctional we become. Our healing is not in assimilation, our healing is in Sankofa.



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