“BELONGING” IN AFRICAN TRADITION
“Belonging” is an Umbrella term because it looks like an octopus whose 8 tentacles go into all realms of Cosmic Realities and all Supernatural Unrealities. In African Tradition, the Cosmic “head” of Belonging is derived from the Cosmic Mind of the Spiritual Realm’s Cosmic Organism. Thus, each entity possesses Feminine/Masculine primeval Substance—i.e. God’s Androgynic Plast. From this shared “Seed” of origin, all of God’s spiritually connected creatures/creations ‘Belong’ as indivisible entities. The Cosmic Mind’s orchestration Plan is for each human’s ‘Purpose of Being’ (nkrabea) when carried out, to ‘Belong” to all. Although individualistic in nature, ones Earthly ‘Purpose of Being’ does not exist in isolation–but in relation with kin-folks—each working independently under the guidance of ones “Living-Dead” African Ancestors to interdependently fashion products for the benefit of all. To these ends and within this context Ancient Africans established a sense of belonging in each infant by child-care being a communal effort–everyone lending a hand. Starting with 3 month old infants, mothers would carry them on their backs wherever they went. This combination of demonstrated affection while physically and spiritually bonding imparted Belonging attributes, like sensing warmth, assurance, safety, security, and stability. Besides, from such an elevated vantage point, the little child had a sense close to feeling superior in relation to other children ‘below.’ The community’s duty was to prepare and equip each child during the educational stage. That enabled children to embark on a Ma’at (Spiritual Elements in action) existence so as to conform to the matrix (womb) of their ‘Purpose of Being’. All Ancient African children had accountability in order not to break the connections of Belonging. They learned that even though all acts have consequences, it is mostly the freely chosen acts that entail responsibility. Thus, they were subordinate to a shared Ma’at code and the judgment of superiors—making them accountable to the elders who, in turn, are accountable to the Ancestors and God.
African Tradition views Nature as a community to which all God’s creatures belong. Hence, instead of abusing it as a commodity belonging to them, they use Nature with love and respect. An interesting observation from my 50 year study of various aspects of life is that Europeans tend not write/speak about the Bad or “Ugly” they do while those of African Tradition do not write/speak about the Good they live. One silent practice example is how some African villagers deal with wrong doers—i.e. by immediately taking them to the center of the village. Once there, villagers surround him/her and for 2 days say all the good he/she has done. This is because they believe every human is good but sometimes people will make mistakes—which, in reality, is a cry for help. So, they all unite to reconnect him/her with her/his good nature. This is about the “Higher (divinity) Self Earthly realm of Belonging because it is about Compassion at a primeval Substance level.
At daily breakfast “Family Talks” with my children, its theme, taken from the Cosmic Organism, was: “All for one, one for all,”—an expression of ‘The Three Musketeers’ by the Black Frenchman Alexandre Dumas. Each child expressed opinions about the four topics we had at each Talk—a “Did You Know”; a “Thought For Today”; a “Word for the day”; and a “Joke for the Day.” On their birthdays, each decided what all the rest would do to be supportive. One of my purposes was for them to make ‘second nature’ a constant awareness of their Real Self’s core consisting of the Spark of God which forms and gives infinite power to their Self-Identity. It is to that core that they ought always look to for answers concerning the highest levels of Belonging. This is opposed to having them get caught up in the current of thinking that the ultimate is to ‘belong’ to people or to use images to cling to lost belongings. Apart from “Things” being dispensible and relatively insignificant, people are important but not so significant as to overrule ones “ME/WE” belonging to the ages—with the “WE” referring to the Cosmic Organism. To be with people does not mean belonging to them. Rather, Selfishness, as the first law of Nature, takes precedence in order to maintain ones Selfhood Greatness. Still, it is essential for Black People to be with people because it soothes their Human Social Nature. [Ref: Donkor, African Spirituality] jabaileymd.com