Seminars: no substitute for the communal pot.
The call of the ancestors has awakened African people across the globe, but for many of us, the only or most accessible means of quenching our thirst for knowledge-of-our-way is books, workshops and websites. I don’t mean to dismiss the teachers who use those methods of healing and transmitting knowledge, but we must be willing to recognise and humble enough to admit: those tools and methods are no substitute for the African way.
They are often a crutch and a block to learning directly from the God source within; they represent temporary and commercial relationships; and they create a separation between elders and the young.
The Pan-African community is building a lucrative industry that trades in African cultural thought, but are we birthing a united African nation; are we helping one another to truly grasp the essence of our living culture; are we establishing meaningful relationships with our brothers and sisters; are we building a community of elders, mothers, fathers, sons, sisters, and keepers of tradition, who live the indigenous African experience and play their respective roles? I am not so sure.
There is no denying, the African community, including the self-described conscious amongst us, is susceptible to the corrupting influence of capitalist philosophy, like everyone who is trapped in the grips of Western imperialism.
Many of us are on the journey of igniting the collective African consciousness, honouring the ancestors, restoring our traditions and healing ourselves and the Great Earth Mother. But in many cases, that journey is so connected with commercial enterprise, it is increasingly difficult to differentiate those driven by the anti-community capitalist philosophy and those truly interested in reuniting the community and restoring the African nation.
As African people, we must look deep within to see how these external and foreign forces are influencing our internal sense of purpose. We must be aware of the material seduction that would have us advance as individuals at the expense of the family.
We must ask ourselves the question: as we participate in this booming information economy are we answering the call of our ancestors to reunite the family? Are we growing in consciousness of how we are connected to each African person on this planet and to the earth that runs red on the African continent? Do we experience the magnitude of our people’s grandeur and feel the burden of their suffering?
I constantly challenge myself to create ways to bind the African community closer together outside of the virtual or commercial space. It is a personal frustration of mine that our communities are thriving in the virtual world of Facebook, but outside of that space our relationships are largely transactional and dysfunctional.
There are many great things going on in that space, but for the most part, the virtual world is vexingly superficial. I have struggled with maintaining an active and sustained presence, because it constantly reinforces the fact that our connections through the world wide web are masks for our disconnectedness in real life.
So I share these thoughts not to say we should throw out the baby with the bath water; that would be highly hypocritical, considering I am a writer and this message is being posted on Facebook. But I do mean to encourage us all to interrogate the bigger picture, even as we utilise the tools and methods currently at our disposal.
Let us see if we can enhance our individual well being and participate in this information economy, while making sure we are restoring the African way and giving birth to a united African family in mind, body and spirit.