Africa: Before Slavery

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GuptaRati 6666

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Re: Africa: Before Slavery

Post21 Dec 2016

My current incarnation in a black body has been fun and an interesting spiritual quest, including 40 years of practicing Raj Yoga.

In my past life, I elected to take birth in a black body as part of a spiritual contract to help make the world a much better place. Though American culture and others may consider me black, I am of mixed ethnicity when my DNA is examined and my past lives are analyzed.

I am never uncomfortable with my mixed ethnicity nor my blackness. I do not allow others, including BKs who are non-black, to ever make me a shamed of my black culture or my mixed ethnicity. Many blacks have to practice self-love and forgiveness at the deepest spiritual levels derived from universal spiritual truths. I have come to terms in many positive ways with the universal spiritual truths even on the day, the BKs slammed their gate in my face.

When the BK gate was slammed in my face, many other gates were opened to me and keys were given to me to open many other gates and doors. I will not allow the hatred of other cultures including the BKs for blacks to prevent me from continuing to grow.

The BKs do not have a monopoly on the Universal Parent or Universal Parenthood.
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onthor

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Africa: Before Slavery

Post22 Dec 2016

GuptaRati 6666 did not wrote:My current incarnation in a black body has been fun and an interesting spiritual quest, including 40 years of practicing Raj Yoga.... In my past life, I elected to take birth in a black body as part of a spiritual contract to help make the world a much better place. ...
Hi GuptaRati666, my Apologies for misquoting you as above, however for the last couple of hours on one of my regular journey's (I choose to interpret that) some aspects of my deep contemplations are sort of encapsulated in your post and specifically in the section that I've lifted.


Though incarnation is taken for granted within the BK philosophy very little is mentioned about how it is that one 'happens' to be born into a particular ethic group. Does anyone recall what Gyan has to say on this matter? Given where I currently am on in my ongoing post-BK spiritual & knowledge seeking journey this matter has suddenly become quite an intriguing one. Perhaps it has been bubbling away in the background unbeknownst to my "conscious mind" (for want of a better term) but these past few hours it has taken on a focus that makes me realise that this is quite a mystery - though I hear that the Buddhists have ways of seeking clarity and verification on the matter of 'who it is that has incarnated'.

Maybe I should sit quietly and have a deep heart to heart with the Creator for as long as it takes to get some personally satisfying clues. I wonder if the Creator would think me arrogant to ponder upon how it might be possible for a human to petition for a say in the matter of which ethnic group the soul incarnates into in a future birth?

Can we develop such a pure level of synchronicity and harmony with the Creator/Creation that 'the body-type becomes set forever more for better or worse till there is a 'new dispensation'?
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Pink Panther

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Re: Africa: Before Slavery

Post23 Dec 2016

Onthor wrote: - though I hear that the Buddhists have ways of seeking clarity and verification on the matter of 'who it is that has incarnated'.

That is a misunderstanding of how this is applied. There is a kung-an (Jap: koan) that is on these lines, meaning "who is it that is having this thought?” and similar themes, the idea being that the person asking that - in the present - is meant to be examining how s/he has become a different "self" to the one who asked it previously, every tiem one is conscious of self is an ”incarnation” of a different "self".

Rememberthe three basic tenets of Buddhism, three marks of "existence" are :
In Buddhism, the three marks of existence are three characteristics (Pali: tilakkhaṇa; Sanskrit: trilakṣaṇa) of all existence and beings, namely 1. impermanence (anicca), 2. unsatisfactoriness (dukkha) and 3. non-self (Pali: anattā, Skt: anatman) [i.e. no permanent unchanging immaterial ’self’ or 'atman'

Also note - to incarnate is not the same as to 're-incarnate’.
Though incarnation is taken for granted within the BK philosophy very little is mentioned about how it is that one 'happens' to be born into a particular ethic group. Does anyone recall what Gyan has to say on this matter?

Definitely. It was said that to be born into any group living in a place where such a group was discriminated against was ”karma” - code for ”they deserve it”.

Therefore, being a middle class black in 2016 in the UK is materially better karma than being being born black and poor in Africa - where maybe the good part of the karma is (as ‘presumed’ in earlier posts) to be "more spiritual", but not as good karma as being a middle class white in the UK! Being born Jewish in Israel today is not as bad individual karma as being Jewish in Ukraine in the 1890s ... but if a Jew stayed true to their "dharma" in Ukraine in 1890, they could very well be reborn in Israel in 1948 ...

Like all who choose to justify their privilege, the BK elite like to see themselves as much ‘victims’ as those less privileged. I remember a class with Dadi Janki and Jayanti where this was discussed. They essentially said Hindu suffered worse at the hands of Muslims than the Jews did in the Nazi genocide but, because they accept karma, they don't go on about it so the world is not as conscious of it. (My genocide is bigger than your genocide?)

The prolix speculation of this kind of rationalising is really self-justification. No wonder it's the lower caste Hindus who converted to Islam, Buddhism etc - otherwise they’d be buying into their own repression. Same goes for blacks in america who become Muslims. Malcolm X had a bit to say on that. Islam is a religion which at its heart has all people as equal - in their inferiority to God! (although even there some are more equal than others :D ).
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ex-l

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Re: Africa: Before Slavery

Post23 Dec 2016

I am guessing Onthor is referring to the Yellow Hats in Tibetan (the Gelugpa ... Dalai Lama's lot) who believe they can tell when one of their leaders re-incarnates and where, and tests the child to see if it can recongise belongings of the old deceased Lama. Tibetan Buddhism is a lot like football. They all wear different coloured teams strips, have their own supporters, and fight regularly.

My position would be that we need to be very specific about it is we are referring and avoid large, sweeping collective generalisations like, "Black" or "Buddhist".

Does rebirth or reincarnation figure in Africa spiritual traditions?

One of the reasons I engage in these discussions is to keep learning new things and having my horizons widened. Not just about life in general but also regarding the experiences of individual's who came to BKism, and their experiences after exiting.

Something interesting I learned from researching this dicussion was that perhaps as many as 15% or more Black slaves taken to the USA was already Muslim, practised Islam in the USA during the slavery era, and how it changed their perception and attitude ... (in short, they were more 'troublesomes' for the slave owners).

Therefore, the movement towards Islam amongst Blacks in the USA was not something new but a return to an erlier form of Imperialism and indoctrination they had experienced in Africa under Islamic imperialists.

Which confuse the issue even further ... as it has to be said, the Muslims was far earlier and far more extensive slavers in Africa than the 'late to the party' Europeans!


I remember how the BK leaders got themselves in politically incorrect hot water in the old days for saying the Holocaust was the Jews' own fault (karma). For them, it was obvious ... if you suffer, you caused it, therefore you cannot complain about it but use it as encouragement to change your karma/sanskars.

I can only imagine what an uproar adding "... and Hindus suffered more" to that equation would cause! There is a highly political and vocal industry exploiting "Jewish suffering" whose USP is how Jewish suffering is somehow exceptional, and superior to everyone else's suffering but it appears that in this case the Kirpalanis are correct about the extent of Hindu suffering, estimates are of anywhere between 20 to 80 million Hindus killed by Muslim/Moghul armies with much social upheaval.

The Jews are way outranked by enslaved African, who are way outranked by Chinese peasants under Mao, who are outranked by the Hindus under the Mughals.

(Current estimates for the number who died in the Holocaust appear to have dropped a lot from the oft claimed 6 million mantra to less than 3 million, although you'll get arrested in Germany if you say that ... even if a Jewish Israeli historian says it!?!).

But I suppose it depends if you argue "whose suffering is worse?" on a simple head count, or a proportion of a population? I think using others suffering for one's own benefit is cheap and dirty politics ... but generally highly effective, as Israel has proven. There tends to be a trend towards exaggeration based on the success of the Israeli/political Zionists' campaign.

I am *really* out of touch on Indian history and political issues ... for me, it always boils down to upper classes exploiting lower classes. From what I can see, the lower classes of one race have pretty much never gone out deliberately to exploit the lower classes of another race ... it was always beyond their means and ability to. It always took an upper merchant/military class to do so ... followed shortly by an upper religious class to pacific them.

Just as the BKs are doing in Indian factories today.
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onthor

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Re: Africa: Before Slavery

Post24 Dec 2016

ex-l wrote:I am guessing Onthor is referring to the Yellow Hats in Tibetan (the Gelugpa ... Dalai Lama's lot)...

Correct
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Pink Panther

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Re: Africa: Before Slavery

Post24 Dec 2016

Still, the word was ”incarnate’ not ”reincarnate” . Also, if you look at the fundaments of Buddhism, and throughout all the teachings, you will see Anatta/Anatman (no immortal soul, no permanent self, is at the core).

It influenced the Advaita (non-dualistic) Vedanta thinkers who were accused of being crypto-Buddhists, especially after Shankaracharya, as they took their philosophical lead from Buddhist Yogachara teachers like Vasubandhu and his Brother Asanga - who themselves had converted from Brahminism and argued in the language of the culture of the time.

As a large "collective" Buddhism has struggled with the fact that those who "follow" are not "awakened" and they carry much cultural baggage, certain Theravadans particularly seem entrenched with Hindu cultural baggage.

My point is - do not look at what any ‘denomination’ is saying, look at the source material. This Dalai Lama does not discuss reincarnation in any detail, he steers any talk to moral behaviour, that whatever belief or religion one has, it is there to teach about behaviour and consequences, not to be debated as to which metaphysical theory is correct (my guess is he’s had his fill of that!). They are very much talking to different audiences at different times - esoteric and exoteric. And in that he is following an instruction from the Buddha, which was to speak to the level and in the language of the listener. Enlightenment (or more literally, ”Awakening") is like overnight success, it comes after years of slog, and can be just as temporary! (although many buddhists think enlightenment is a state once achieved is never lost, while others say it is easy to fall back under the sway of the three ‘adventitious afflictions".

My guess is that the stories of lamas reincarnating was promoted (or at least not discouraged) in past centuries as it speaks in a language the traditional tibetans understood, they were animists and shamans before Buddhism. And it gives the lamas a political authority in the same way caste-borne Brahmins use their explanations to enhance their positions (and BK Brahmins too!).

As to Jewish suffering vs Hindus - as you say, it becomes persecution porn after a while. Or like the Monty Python ”hardship” routine!

Remember though that the Jews have been persecuted since they were enslaved by the Babylonians, and after the Romans expelled them from Judea & Israel 2000 years ago, they experienced regular pogroms, discrimination and banishments in different countries throughout history.

The main thing to grasp here, in all these examples, is how the promotion of ”us versus them” thinking is used and abused by all people in all historical times.
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onthor

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Africa: Before Slavery

Post24 Dec 2016

Pink Panther wrote:Same goes for Blacks in America who become Muslims. Malcolm X had a bit to say on that. Islam is a religion which at its heart has all people as equal - in their inferiority to God! (although even there some are more equal than others :D ).

I think that many 'Black Americans' as you term them would also see 'becoming Moslems' as a matter of returning to a religion that would have been 'theirs' prior to being shipped out of their homeland. This way of 'embracing an identity that pre-dates the slave trade' is a very powerful motivating factor that may not only be a rejection of the idea that one has to reference the self from a point in time where being owned by another was the beginning of one's existence. Which to my mind is not quite akin to BK-ism whereby we are all presented with the idea that we were the long lost but [are] now found spiritual children. In the BK context, I see one difference being that rather than leaving behind a human oppressor we are ditching the illusion of Maya.


"inferiority to God ... ' is an interesting one for me especially when I recall that we ofter hear a Moslem say something like "praise be upon Him" immediately after they intone the name of Allah. This has always struck me as a form of "respectful due reverence" rather than a reminder of one's comparative 'lowliness'. But then again I might be one of them African's (in the broadest sense of the word) that left the BKs but has retained what some might call the 'God delusion'.
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onthor

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Africa: Before Slavery

Post24 Dec 2016

Thank PinkPanther. Don't think that I used the word 'reincarnate' on this topic. In fact when I was a BK I instinctively dropped the 're' (as a sort of prefix) whenever exploring soul/body relationship. Sometimes one doesn't need books or reference to so-called learned folk in order to grasp on what appears to 'fit' one's own perception. I continue to be comfortable with the idea that those two words have their own significant and respective 'place' in the exploration of body/soul relationship. But whether that makes me an us or a them is open to debate ;)
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onthor

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Africa: Before Slavery.

Post24 Dec 2016

Am sure that opinions are mixed as to whether topics such as this do serve the stated purpose of this website; and while a view counter is not 'scientific' it could (amongst other things) indicate that it may be of curiosity value to some of the folk (from the BK world) that visit this forum. The administrators of http://www.brahmakumaris.info necessarily have to run a tight ship insofar as 'staying on the mission' is concerned so I will try to do the same while being mindful that what I are aspects of my post-BK walk toward a renewed personal interest in spiritual matters. Admittedly I am in my early days of this phase so one might say might liken it to a 'honeymoon' period.

Thinking back, the first book (a historical novel) I ever read about Africa was The Covenant by American author James A. Michener, published in 1980; I think read it in the early nineties. Through it I became familiar with some of the details related to 'episodes' of religious persecution that some Europeans suffered in Europe which led to some choosing to leave the continent in search of a better life. Through it I also became aware of the Boer war fought in what we today call South Africa. Before then the periods of History that we studied in High school were all about the various Empires, European Powers, Slavery and some about the USA as a colony of Great Britain.
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onthor

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Africa: Before Slavery

Post24 Dec 2016

A few years ago whilst walking down my street my eyes were drawn to a book that someone had left lying around with a note 'please take'. The book is titled Civilisation in the Western World (Ancient Times to 1715). It lay around the place, mostly unread except for scanning various chapters with a casual interest, till one rainy day I though let me take a closer look. As I read I started to wonder just how many versions of History are there, because there was some stuff in the book that indicated that comparatively speaking Western 'civilisation' was not that ancient at all.

So why does it (Western Civilisation) loom so large in human-kind's collective consciousness I wondered.

You may well ask what by then had become of the BK 5000 year cycle in my mind. Well am gonna have to confess that The Cycle was just one of those things that I accepted. Yes it flew in the face of science; but science and religion are always at odds aren't they (so i reasoned whilst a BK). But to read a view of History that did not paint the Western Civilisation as the greatest thing that ever happened to mankind was a bit of an eye opener. Yes I had read about other non-European cultures but somehow these seemed such a long time ago that they appeared somewhat fantastical and almost other worldly.

In other words, not only was my world view staring to change but perhaps one might say that I was beginning to acquire information from which I could start to formulate a view of the world I lived in.
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onthor

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Africa: Before Slavery

Post24 Dec 2016

To cut a long story short it was then that I started to question almost everything in the fields of history and science that I previously took without question. You could say that I had begun to develop a healthy mistrust for the establishment, especially the majority of Historians, Scientists and Politicians. I started to wonder at the role of vested interests down the ages.

And I started to find that other people had also at one stage in their own lives had the same experience and I can assure you that it is not a reassuring place to be in. If you think that being a BK is a bit 'off the wall' then try finding a way to decipher fact from fiction in this world we live in.

To get back on topic, there is a video on youtube entitled "White Man tells the Ignored Truths of Black History" - I would not have chosen that title. In my opinion the video is of a human being sharing with the rest of his human family aspects of History that are not really spoken about as though facts matter to us all. For me this video is like a wake up call to the fact that I sadly have had a very shallow understanding of history.

Some might argue that it is no-one's business but my own if I stay ignorant of 'broader perspectives' of past events on the planet. But how can we as humans really effectively operate in a world where ignorance of fact is so rife with the majority of folk. is not such ignorance a gateway through which hate-on-hate and ill-will is bred? We live in a world where the great religious and political institutions march on merrily knowing full well that the entire edifice of their 'systems' is riddled with lies and based on exploitation. Maybe I am and have always been a foolish idealist, but as Dionne Warwick famously sang, "You'll Never Get To Heaven If You Break Mt Heart".

This is why I don't have any real time nowadays for organised belief systems - I have lost faith in the lot of them! Give me books to read, time to think, learn, reason for myself and be inspired so that I can tune in to whatever it is that I am meant to learn for my own sake if for none others. ... Come to think if It maybe me and the Creator are in the soul business of un-breaking my heart.

Keep smiling ... you know it makes sense.
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ex-l

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Re: Africa: Before Slavery

Post24 Dec 2016

There's a huge and seemingly reasonable well of sources and information, here: arabslavetrade.com.

I'll be honest with you, not being Black, it's not an area which I have much interest. It's not an issue I feel any cultural guilt for, as my ancestors were not involved in it, and it's not one with any relevance to BKism.

In psychology, they talk about "false memory syndrome". is not that what BKism inserts into us? We're given a false identity based on a false history both in the short term (Om Mandli to date) and in the long term (5,000 Years Cycle).

The question I'd be asking is how does this effect children or young people being grown up inside BKism (Black or not), in comparison to a more complete education of their culture heritage?

From an African diaspora point of view, is the core of your being damaged and undermined by association to all the various negative representations of Africa. Would you be attempting to build a positive representations of Africa/Africans as a way of re-building your own core ... regaining your true spirit?

Would part of the attraction to BKism have been the ability to ditch all the negative baggage and take on the BK identity ... "hero actor's" history with a fairy tale perfect past and perfect future?
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sukshmbindu

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Re: Africa: Before Slavery

Post25 Dec 2016

some inspirational positivity https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtshW4ECKrQ
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ex-l

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Re: Africa: Before Slavery

Post25 Dec 2016

Thanks suks, but it's 'off topic' for this discussion.

We are talking about raising Black consciousness and the place of Black people in the world.

On topic, and linking to one of the other threads on this area, here's a 1970s quote from the late Sir Arthur Lewis of St. Lucia.
In an address to UWI graduates, he said that Africans were having as big an identity crisis as West Indians, and it was no good trying to base a new West Indian identity on old African roots. “We must make something different ... our achievement must be unique.”

"Lewis reflected that men like himself were derogatorily called “Afro-Saxons”, black men who held on to the styles and values of a colonial culture, but he saw the name as a compliment. For him, it meant a black man holding his ground in competition with white people on their ground.

I paraphrase from the article ...
Lewis also criticised the West Indian personality, which he attributed to insecure family life in which most children were reared. He warned: “Our aggressive personality makes us inferior. We are spendthrift and not very reliable in keeping our commitments punctually, and if we continue to be unbusinesslike, our society will have no long-term future, since it will not survive in this Darwinian world.”

He opposed the back-to-Africa movement fashionable in the 1970s, and ... the American Black Power movement too. In a 1969 issue of the Princeton Quarterly, he suggested that the only way for America’s black minority to win the game was to “know whites so thoroughly that we can outpace them.”

... Our essential strategy is to use all the normal channels of advancement (in particular higher education) to climb The Ladder.” The idea that black America would be saved by the emergence of black agitation, he said, was a hoax.
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Pink Panther

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Re: Africa: Before Slavery

Post26 Dec 2016

Onthor, when you talk about history and the pitfalls of deciphering what is true and what is distortion, the way you talk of it seems to me as if the baby has been dissolved into the bathwater, and both have been thrown out.

The baby is ’the facts’ - what we know for certain. The bathwater is the interpretation or implication we draw (just as we draw water for a bath!). What we must never do if we love truth for its own sake is say that facts are no different to opinion or interpretation (sadly exactly that has become the case these days, as exemplified by the Oxford Dictionary’s declaration that their word of 2016 is ”post-truth”).

I have had an interest in history since a very young age. I am very aware of the issues you raise, these are front and centre in debates among historians and historiographers, going back to the pioneers like Thucydides - who eschewed anything but the evidence as much as possible, and Herodotus - who felt it important to include any hearsay, anecdotes, fables, folk stories and mythologies surrounding events - the cultural context, if you like.

This latter method may seem ‘unscientific’ but it is no less valid, especially where oral history, culture and cultural artefacts are the main source of information. Australia is going through this debate and revision as it takes on board the oral history of the Aboriginal people who have kept alive the stories of massacres and other crimes which went mostly unreported in official histories, or were ”white”-washed where they were mentioned.

What is ”truth”? We all understand truth is subjective and contextual, but the truest truth IMO is that which is most objective, that which is undeniable, that which does not disappear in the face of subjectivity, opinion or belief. If we refine our touchstone often, if we keep re-calibrating it, we are able to navigate the conflicting claims and beliefs with a healthy cynicism and sense of humour.
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