INTEGRITY IN AFRICAN TRADITION
Beginning in an African mathematical setting, the concept of Integrity (“untouched and whole”) eventually expanded to embrace Cosmic and humans’ fixed underlying perfect Order of Natural patterns. Following the genius of Primitive (the first) Africans inventing Bartering—i.e. exchanging one article for another without the medium of money—they devised intricate algebraic X = Y symbolized practices. Each party focused on the top Values of the Things to be exchanged—both parties displaying this by holding up whole numbers, like 1, 2, or 3 fingers—today called Natural Numbers or Positive Integer (a real quantity) Values are what “touch” a mind and/or the heart part of ones Selfhood regarding what the “Thing” is, what it does, and/or how it appears. Second, to make X = Y, required giving something extra for the one inadequately compensated. So, the Values for each Thing given/received were signified to the other by holding up the required number of fingers to indicate how many additions would be offered to equalized the exchange. To elaborate, Values are what one sees in a “Thing” in more ways than just itself—ways termed Worth and Value—each parsed into Mild, Slight, Moderate, or Extreme Classes of significance to ones Selfhood. Things of Worth–measured by estimates–concern the underlying consistent, permanent, stationary, and unchanging Pattern (imparting a significant meaning) and Shape (emitting a certain power). Both can impact ones Private Selfhood by Essence (i.e. “What it is”); by Spiritual Human Nature Needs Nourishment; and/or by carrying a ‘payload’ that Uplifts within the context of ones Human Ideal about something (as in Caring, Belonging)–causing Appreciation of its Beauty. Things of Value pertain to measured material benefits—the degree depending upon how its significance is assessed by ones Public Self in relation to the External World. How later Africans prioritized Values was crystalized by the Ethiopian Aesop who lived in ancient Greece. In his fable: “The Fox and the Mask,” the moral for living was: “Outside show [Value] is a poor substitute for inner Worth.”
Building on these Primitive African practices and meanings, Ancient Africans spotlighted the Private Selfhood—the home of the human’s Soul (i.e. one Divine Consciousness)—as being Necessary for cultivation to Thrive in life. Although a human’s Public Self aspects were of lower priority, they were quite Important to skillfully develop into involvements successful in activities of daily living. African Sages said a human’s Private Self Components, orchestrated by its “First Wisdom” or First Knowledge, is in the birth gift flow of the Spiritual Elements. A human’s First Wisdom is absolute true Intelligence which, upon properly developing its ingredients, is all one needs to handle the very toughest of life’s problems. These Private Self Spiritual Elements are “packaged” into such interlocking forms called: Self-Love, Self-Knowing (Cosmic Organism yoking), Self-Greatness, Self-Faith, Self-Appreciation, Self-Confidence, Self-Trust, Self-Empowerment, Self-Respect, Self-Reliance, and Self-Efficacy. Together, they impart the “5Ss”—safety, security, self-confidence, strength, and stability. Each of these Integrity chain-links is whole, unblemished, flawless, complete, strong, and stable—each link symbolizes the positive set of Integers (i.e. whole numbers)—each ‘stands alone’ in its independent duties. Still, all links are interdependent in contributing to African Tradition Integrity called Ma’at (Spiritual Elements in action) “Right” Living Principles.
Hence, African Sages said a human’s birth gift Integrity–like a Circle’s un-divided entirety—has no breaks in the “packaged” Spiritual Elements links constituting ones Private Selfhood. When one lives in Integrity, one has a stubborn unwillingness to violate ones Real Self Identity. Humans with strong Character Integrity are Incorruptible (not subject to moral decay), Irreproachable (free from blame) in responsibility, and Fair in considering the rights and welfare of others. This chain is also spiritually linked to all God’s creatures and creations. Since a chain is no stronger than its weakest link, the soundness of ones Integrity principles is naturally urged to promote mental, physical, and spiritual wholeness health for all concerned—but only after one is ready, willing, and able to do so. Ones Ma’at life’s Mission Products create, enhance, and maintain Well-Being. Any violated link so weakens ones Private Selfhood Integrity chain as to convert one to a False Self. jabaileymd.com