Quick Thoughts On Atheism And Theism

“The African understanding of God was that it was the only and all-in-one energy force that created and simultaneously was all energy in the universe. This understanding recognized the God force as the source of all, the being responsible for all and the multiplicity of energy configurations in the universe that are not from God and that are not God.” Dr. Francis Cress Welsing, “The Isis Papers: The Key To The Colors” (pg. 171)

 

“Yet my study of the history of religion has revealed that human beings are spiritual animals. Indeed, there is a case for arguing that Homo sapiens is also Homo religiosus.” – Karen Armstrong, Introduction to “History of God”

 

Often where most see duality, I see a singularity that supposes a dynamic flux. I will not ever stop questioning the existence of master designers, but I will probably never stop denying the faith I have in a glorious existence. My thoughts here are not to attack or support any religious organization. Although I do note that organized bodies tend to make for easier bids at political and social capital, even if you saw me at the head of one, my most true beliefs about the nature of a godhead — or its antithesis– would probably still be uniformly divergent than every individual under my influence. However, I do remain viligilant in the furthering of my ability to conceive of various forms of spiritual configurations. As well as staying as equally obsessed with the development of an articulation that can accurately address the questions and dislikes I have with all of the belief schemata presented to me so far.

 

Theism:

 

“It is impossible to prove this one way or the other. There have been many theories about the origin of religion. Yet it seems that creating gods is something that human beings have always done. When one religious idea ceases to work for them, it is simply replaced.” – Karen Armstrong, Introduction to “History of God”

 

One of my major qualms with the ideas expoused in the theistic tradition is this concept of the almighty father. Now, this might be replaced with the almighty mother in some places, but my traditional peeve is that I am being asked to believe in an anthropological reality that intervenes. Even in what might be defined as a pantheon, in greek myth, we look at a character like Zeus, and the immediate problem ensues: how often is Zeus cast as the malefactor and even scornful punisher of humanity. In the writings of the Bible, we are asked to reflect on a godhead that sits upon a throne and his son is called, ‘lord’. Both lead the knowledgeable to consider the feudal systems, and practices of royalty of European origin. Beyond the extremely patriarchal overtones suggested, it is this need to be governed by some order of authority that strikes me as inappropriately conformist and blind to the politics of any greedy manipulator. The arbiter of what may or may not be the words of God weild an absolute authority of the faithful. Further, there is this heirarchy of forces that I would rather not spend my entire existence fighting. I have enough to deal with here on earth concerning powerful hegemony, lest I waste my last breathe in this cause, I’d rather not waste too much of my imagination pondering my strategies against the powerful after my demise.

 

Atheism:

 

Any one familiar with my writings knows I take issue with ideological sycophancy. And hopefully one can percieve right away that I don’t base what I can’t prove on any essentialist notions of fabric weavers or divine pot makers. Nor do I base what I can’t prove on any existentialist notions of hate-filled worlds that must be concurred and objectified.

 

I believe in what we are referring to often as spiritual notions. I just don’t find it in my psychological needs to present my Self a worldview where some “mean ol’ man” is guarding over me, or playing strength games with my internal fortitude. I do not believe with the supposed contrarian of the classroom that my analytical abilities are any more or less sharpened by a renouncing of what the Kimitians called ‘NTRS’ or what the Latins called ‘Numina’. I do not find it in my own experiences within my frame, or within the confines of the Afkan(Afrikan-Amerikkkan) ecology(my personal culture), that speaks to a reality that is not infused with that sort of electro-magnetic psycho-social energy. By whatever nomenclature, I do recognize that something exists beyond my ability to concretely possess it in terms empirical. In essence, regardless of what arguments, for or against, my core intuitive thoughts are that this is just a chic ideological posture for certain academics to pose their pretensious “I-can-be-contrarian-too” cards.

The Essential Nature of Spiritual Secularism

This is a guest post from our Summit brother, Coreman, (@Coreman2200 on Twitter). This is a piece that I asked the brother to write for Asylum…of course, him being Summit, I don’t expect we’ll need any disclaimers…*smiles*.

 

sec·u·lar·ism?[sek-yuh-luh-riz-uhm] noun
1. secular spirit or tendency, especially a system of political or social philosophy that rejects all forms of religious faith and worship.
2. the view that public education and other matters of civil policy should be conducted without the introduction of a religious element.

 

spir·it·u·al·i·ty?[spir-i-choo-al-i-tee] noun, plural -ties.
1. the state or quality of being dedicated to God, religion, or spiritual things or values, esp as contrasted with material or temporal ones.
2. incorporeal or immaterial nature.

 

The contrast between these two concepts will be either harmonizing or schismatic. The binding of these two concepts, as “Spiritual Secularism,” could then prove to be quite the hilarious pairing, what with their contrasting and conflicting notions. The suggestion that two such words (just words) with largely opposite interpretations of “the” world view, being brought together into a singular construct is perhaps laughable. I have come to believe, however, that such a harmonizing of contrasts is important…essential. That for either extreme without the light of the other breaks the whole. That if either is deficient in the expression of the other, neither effectively tell the entire Truth.

 

Such is my thinking.

 

All things, from interpretation to realization, reflect all things. That which is of the earth and the ground and the calculated reflect that which is of the unseen and the questionable and that which dwells within One, felt and seldom accurately expressed by that One. The spiritual or religious mind with no connection to the earthly and the man and the physical nature around him is as devastating (and in many a case, proven more so) as the idea that no such connection to the divine and the ethereal and the mystical breeds no notion of a true Love and wholeness/Oneness.

 

To tend to the (worldly) ego/form and ignore the (universal) Self/God is as foolhardy as it is to look to a belief system that denies what happens before our very physical eyes. No God will save us from ourselves, if we (as gods, ourselves) affect no such salvation. There is no hope (ignore the flowery interpretations of that word, and See it in as worldly a sense as you can imagine) for us as a species if there is no connection to something more absolute and abundant than the concrete. If we cannot see a connection between us, we will continue to divide, devolve, and then fall. I consider this a reflection of our Oneness denying an Absolute Truth for the delusion of perceived falsehoods. See, “The System”, or “Nationalism”, or “Racial Division”.

 

For the spiritualist to acknowledge that One’s name and Presence is written in the stars/celestial bodies ~ that one’s “destiny” can be read on a chart that reflects the moment and position of one’s birth ~ and not think, “well, maybe this is so because of the gravitational or otherwise physical influence of such heavy masses upon one’s physical form..” just seems like a huge oversight and disconnect, to me. For a man of intellectual prestige to know the nature of our chemical make up, and our molecular make up, and the atoms therein and in all things/beings, and the sparks of energy that which compose those atoms, and thence, All things, and not realize that there is a Oneness, if only on the the subatomic level of All Creation ~ just seems to me to be a willful division and denial of a fuller Truth he claims to seek.

 

A good friend once explained to me, a long time ago, “the thing about Life is, should the conditions permit, it will happen.” The magic of carbon. But what does the extremely spiritual/religious do? Externalize the brilliance and divinity that is the molecular and evolutionary and otherwise wonderfully worldly/physical process, and praise a God or a Creator or a Source. I suppose the inclination to praise a Source for how the molecules react is not a terrible thing – but if you are denying the very physical and scientifically appreciable aspects to this All, then are we not in some sense missing the full point? The denier of spiritual sensibilities will, too, seek to deny the fullest bounty of that which has become – cheapen it as an event that is simply of formula. And in the same breath, deny the blessing that is Oxygen.

 

These things are synchronous and ever reflective. They are as the same. As are All things ~ it seems to be a fool’s game to separate such Truth per perspectives and interest in what One wants to see, show, and prove.

 

Quantum physics has suggested that it may, in fact, be possible to connect with and relate to energies/particles at any distance, at any instance – a Being half way across 25 billion universes may feel the resonance of my being, the shift of my charged particles. We have seen many a politician utilize the power and energy of the people to further their own worldly ambitions. Most have felt their intuition tell them not to do something, did it anyway, and realized the negative ramifications (now the kicker here, gods, is this: did he realize/Create those negative reactions with his decision/Action, or his Mind? Did he intuitively Know or Create his future? Are these things, divided by logic and label, ever really separate?). Who, then, could tell me that my third eye and my outlandish connection to All is impossible? Who could tell me that my influence isn’t infinite? And who could tell me that some day these unfathomable natures won’t be explained to futuristic children in the form of math equations?

 

I think I have wandered. Simply, my point is, that the spiritual (‘religion’ *shudders*, or whatever connection to the divine) must be paired with the pragmatic nature of the secular so that the harmony and balance to build further/Higher can exist. Both aspects of the same Oneness must be explored and furthered for us to fully explore and further ourselves.

 

You Are Divine and You Are Here. Such Is Truth, not to be made separate or distinct.

Are You Secure Within Yourself?

This post is in response to one of the many contributors of the Asylum, AllTayo. Please read the blog post here first: AllTayo’s Blog. She can also be found on twitter at @Alltayo…enjoy!

 

It is interesting that this blog post idea arose. I am working on a book with one of my former instructors, and I had to do a lengthy bit of research on the gay community. I know that many men would possibly be offset with that emotionally, and I’m sure quite a few reading this might be thinking of scrolling down. So, from that vantage point, I’d like to discuss self-security.

 

What does it mean to be secure?

 

Security is being able to be objective with yourself.

 

Security is being able to trust yourself

 

Security is being able to accept the choices of others

 

Security is being able to defend your position without needing to be offensive

 

To understand security better, it might be helpful if we visit its opposite.

 

Insecurity is a feeling of inadequacy. It is a blight on the soul that begs to diminish any action or person that stands a chance of revealing it. When we are insecure we are doubtful of ourselves to the point of malicious behavior. Insecurity needs to be bolstered by tangible signs of adequacy.

 

We see insecurity in the beatings and the murder of gay teenagers. Although I beg for caution in the blanket use of the term, the argument for homophobia is pretty strong. The idea is that there are people who are not secure with their sexuality, and in an effort to prove to themselves that they are “straight”, or “normal”, they may take extreme actions in an effort to prove to themselves and others that they are not gay. It is as if they have to kill the gay person outside of themselves, in order to kill the one inside of themselves.

 

We see this same insecurity in the world of religion. Religious beliefs can be very difficult to defend due to either the lack of knowledge on the part of the practitioner, or the sheer degree of faith based following that is asked of the practitioners. When any of our cherished beliefs are questioned it can create a uneasy feeling that pop psychology refers to as cognitive dissonance. If we aren’t able to defend our beliefs based on knowledge and proper argumentation, then we may have to resort to violence. Religious intolerance from a rank and file perspective, often stems from the need to protect ones beliefs by physically removing those who oppose them.

 

Security can be developed with honest reflection and self-knowledge. Unfortunately, due to our natural inclination to conform, social pressures can create conditions where we simply act in the manner of least resistance. The dichotomy is not so much our beliefs, but our fear of ridicule and social ostracizing. Speaking your opposing beliefs to your family can be a daunting thing. Often, we harbor beliefs that are contrary to what we present in public. There are times when our knowledge conflicts so greatly with publicly held opinions and beliefs as to cause violent reactions.

 

Part of the danger of insecurity is this lack of authenticity. When we are insecure we don’t want others to know that we are insecure, or the depth of the insecurity. As touched upon earlier, the development of a whole self-concept is necessary to augment our feelings of worth. Those with a great degree of self-knowledge are better equipped to handle the confusion of chaotic vicissitudes that occur. They are more able to understand their shortcomings, and are less afraid to admit to their differences when in public circles. The more one is aware of one’s self, the less likely one is susceptible to the ever present pressures to conform to the beliefs and standards of others without good judgment.

 

We can all use more self-awareness. Our beliefs can all be buttressed by further truth-seeking and asking ourselves better questions to strengthen our arguments. The true test of the secure person is being able to challenge their own beliefs, as well as unsubscribing to beliefs that hold no merit. The insecure person fears being wishy-washy, the secure person accepts the reality that we all have been given our belief systems and is willing to give up myths and illogical fancy for factual objective thinking.

 

As I wrote in the book, “The Better You”, we all need to take time to meditate on our selves. We all need to develop a routine of analyzing our most cherished beliefs. We all need to consider the beliefs we hold about ourselves. Do you have feelings of inadequacy? Why? How do these feelings reveal themselves in the public sphere? Do you get enraged when your beliefs are challenged? Do you feel inadequate when defending them in a well reasoned fashion? Are you able to reason well? Do you believe your beliefs to be above challenge? Do you honestly believe that any thing is above logical challenge? Can you emotional handle being proven wrong?

 

These are only a few question that I leave you with as you begin your journey from insecurity, into a more secure approach to dealing with yourself.

 

Tea Party Terrorist: Just Another Grand Ole Party?

During the Health Care Debate, a virulent set of white terrorists has emerged. The Tea Party campaign is nothing if not persistent, and yet their language and behavior is nothing short of terrorism. Terrorism in that it is political, it has a political agenda, and the group is targeting political representatives with violence in order to enact change. They are also using racially tinged acrimony to further their movement.

We have seen the likes of this right-wing behavior before. We all can remember when the President Barrack Obama was called a terrorist and a muslim during his campaign. We recall the rage that was being fomented by Sarah Palin, who has become one of the more pronounced ring-leaders of this terror unit. The fact that the media has yet to address the illegal behavior in such manner is telling. I have to bring to your attention this country’s dangerous practice of protecting all things white, and demonizing all acts that are non-white.

The conservative white US citizen has been allowed to terrorize town hall meeting after town hall meeting, with no more than a slap on the wrist, and heavy news coverage. While the media attempts to make Vice President Joe Biden’s possible slip of the tongue a major story, they seem to be downplaying the racially demoralizing comments of the Tea Party. It would seem that their(the tea party) attacks on the Health Care Bill is no more than a half cocked excuse to spew hatred for all things non-white. In the mix of this terroristic behavior, democratic elected officials are being targeted for actual violence.

I am troubled this country’s repeated show of double standards toward the white US terrorist. These people are no more than enemy combatants that should be incarcerated indefinitely. Their determined aggression is nothing short of treasonous, and they only soil the already feces and urine stained fabric of US society. What is this country waiting for, civil war? When the media address these savages as the terrorist organization that they are? While the intelligence agencies of this country are busy tapping our phones and studying our social networking practices, faking yet another Bin Laden Sex tape, there is a real clear and present danger being allowed to grow in our back yards.

As the American Blacks of this country have to debate whether we should be counted by an insensitive census bureau, which may offset statistic reporting for the next five years, terrorists are being catered to. Where are the gang units that ravage the American Black community in the communities of those who threaten law makers? Where are the phone tap reports of these terror cells? Why has the right-wing media not been to taken to account for their anti-democratic, anti-US demagoguery? Muslim clerics aren’t allowed to speak, but conservative wing nuts are promoting violence on this soil as though it were their religion. The insidious death threats towards the President and government officials through social networking sites, blogs, and the like are a part of a cohesive ideology designed to instill fear in those whose political ideas and racial make up are different. That is the definition of terrorism.

Rest in Revolt, Bro. Malcolm…And Let The Dead Bury Their Own…

Sometimes I have to laugh at people to keep the last pieces of my sanity from completely sending me into the abyss. I think deeply about what I read, and what I hear. I attempt to reflect the best part of that back into the world, through what I say and what I write. I consider the Brother Malcolm X to be a guide post in my life more reasons than one. I think about all the articles I read based on Oprah’s theory of the down low brother and “homo-thug”. I listen to the banter about Atlanta, and I laugh when someone begins to question a man’s sexual preference based on if he likes receiving oral stimulation from a woman more than vaginal penetration. I wonder if any of these people would have asked Malcolm those questions, or had those thoughts running in the back of their heads as he mentions he spent seven years incarcerated.

So today, as I read my twitter stream, I begin to giggle at this one young sister that I follow. The sister is one of those high strung women that thinks because she looks a certain way, (that being light-skinned), that she is entitled a certain respect in all things American black. I read a comment she made today about the release of Mr. Thomas Haggin, the one of the suspects arrested at the Audubon Ballroom after the assassination of Brother Malcolm. Mr. Thomas would become the only one of three men sent to prison for the assassination to admit his guilt. The sister typed shock that the brother was being released in rhetorical question.

What I responded to the sister might have been slightly rude. What I typed possibly might have even gotten my account blocked from following her. I mentioned that the brother had done his time, as Malcolm had done his once, and asked her if she was going to “put in work” for Malcolm. Knowing that she would rather post and update her twitter stream than plan to kill the person responsible for the assassination of a brother she looks up to in death, but possibly would have repulsed in person, I continued my conversation with others there, not expecting a response. Not saying that I am doing more, of course, my life being what it is, I would suppose my efforts should be considered with high regard. Those who have seen the ugly face of war should be relieved of any obligations to return.

That being said, in the same vein that I regarded the actions of Maulana Karenga and the US organizations involvement with the murder of Bunchy Carter, I read and learn of the history, respect the elders that survived, and learn from their flawed victories. There were wars and disputes that existed before I did. The black struggle for self-determination and nationhood has had people from different sides of the aisle with extreme passion and dedication take shots and fight one another. Just as I have fought with people, and have done things that others might either be afraid to do, or ashamed to do. We all have a past. We all have to thank God for the opportunities given to us to live among the hurt, as those that hurt live among us. It is not my duty or my job to the memory of Malcolm x to attack Aziz Muhammad(who subsequently was made the regional captain of the East Coast and head of the very Mosque that Malcolm built upon his release by Minister Louis Farrakhan), Kahlil Islam, or Thomas Hagan.

If you feel it is your duty, let me remind you that when you attack that man, you attack a brother that was in the climate that “allowed him [Brother Malcolm] to be assassinated” that Louis Farrakhan has taken accountability for creating. You attack a man who not once said that the other brothers who were set free some twenty odd years ago had anything to do with the assassination. You attack a man that while serving forty years has received a master’s degree, and has been working to take care of his wife and children. But, he is in Sunset Park in Brooklyn if you need answers. I’m sure he is more than just the man who killed another man you probably wouldn’t have understood either…

Religion and Maiming in Nigeria

So, where does religion begin to fall in place with politics? I was initially shocked when i read Chancellor Williams state that even the Kimitians(the ancient Egyptians) used religion as a tool for control. Over my many years, I have been baptized and taken the kalima shahada, fasted for three days, and have experienced a few initiations into religious systems. Fortunately, I’ve never had to bear having either of my limbs hacked off for a belief.
While most of us are simply challenged because of our beliefs, in Nigeria there is a violent outbreak of religious intolerance. According to a local human rights activist Gregory Yenlong, “Fulani herdsmen…They attacked those villages and killed well over 300 people..” Witnesses mention that one victim was less than 3 months old. It weakens my soul to read these words, and realize that a cities of black people are going to war with each other over beliefs that were established by other ethnic nationals to buttress their political cohesiveness.
The acting president Goodluck Jonathan has sent in the military to attempt to stave off the violent turmoil, but his authority is still in question in that land. It is not certain whether the violence will be quelled but my spirit is with those unable to believe as they choose without bearing upon themselves horrid examples of a people blind with religious fervor and no hope for humanity.