MORAL POWER, by Dr. Steven Nur Ahmed

How can our earth have such plenitude of life, clean water, and dense forests just 12,000 years ago, but now have become reduced to increasing scarcity of life, unclean water, and diminishing forests along with rising human misery after only a few hundred years? What is the cause or what is to blame? I think that history reveals a clear relation between the choices we make and planetary enhancement or degradation.

We cannot blame technology in and of itself because technologies of whatever kind are merely instruments of human creation and use. Technologies do not have a practical purpose independent of the design given to them by human beings. Technologies are only purposeful when guided by the hand of a human being.

The technologies which are designed, mass produced, and marketed by corporate power elites filter down to billions of people in global markets and into homes worldwide. Then, when used on a mass scale by people who do not understand the harm such technologies do, the harm done to earth grows to immeasurable depths.[1]

The mass use of a single technology like a cellular phone or automobile by billions of human beings on any given day is causing mass irreparable damage to the fabric of our moral lives and to life forms on earth. The fact is that moral depravity and earthly depravity are positively correlated.

The signs of global resource scarcity, environmental imbalance, and rise in human misery point to specific choices which some human beings have been making with cold indifference to other better alternative choices which could have been made by them.  Their choices are ‘moral choices’.  Moral action and its opposite called negligence are the context of all human relations.

Both the Bible and the Holy Quran make the same argument by means of an allegorical story.[2] The first human beings were made guardians of a Garden; imagine that the Garden symbolizes the Earth.  A guardian is a moral overseer. Their prime directive from God was to do no harm and break no promises.  After committing harm and breaking a promise, the first human beings were condemned to physical, emotional, and spiritual degeneration in perpetuity. It is called: the fall from grace. That allegorical story implies the necessity of making moral choices so that we can have healthy social and environemental relations.

In law school, I studied the law of Torts. I studied a branch of Tort called the Tort of Negligence.[3] The central proposition in the law of negligence is simple. It is that ‘every person has a duty of due care so as not to harm another’. When one breaches his or her duty of due care to other persons and harms them, they are defined by law as having been negligent.  They are defined as having breached ‘the social contract.’[4]

Before we act, we should always consider what behavior is the best behavior so that we reduce the chance we will do harm to another including all other animals. Undeniably, the law of Negligence is a moral principle. The law of Negligence is a civil law implicit in all criminal laws; it is a fundamental principle in all human groups. The fact that human groups exist at all makes moral principles self-evident.

When a person is presented with more than one choice of action in a circumstance, the question is: which option is the best choice out of several alternatives? There is always the best choice of action out of several options in every given circumstance.

Some scholars argue that human beings are fundamentally selfish.[5] But the best choice cannot simply be that choice which optimizes what is good or pleasurable for the person making the choice. That would be an act of irrational selfishness.[6] For what is good for one person or even several persons or even a whole nation may be disastrous for billions of other persons in the short and long run.

Evidence exist to support that claim. Look at the last several thousand years of what I call the ‘Empire Game’. The Empire Game has been and is now an unmitigated disaster for all humanity. The Empire Game has even assumed the title of ‘World History’ implying that all other facets of human history are less important than it.

But there is also what are called in law ‘acts of omission’. Sometimes, under some circumstances, even making no choice can be an act of negligence which causes harm to another. Therefore, the argument that ‘some choices are amoral’ meaning morally neutral is a false premise because individuals and groups always make choices they define as good or pleasurable for themselves. And those choices even if it is a choice not to choose any course of action always cause effects. Therefore, there is no such thing as an ‘amoral’ choice because all choices and even decisions not to choose have unintended consequences on other people and the earth.[7]

For that reason, the issue of moral power and its effect on human and other environmental relations is the central problem facing us today. It is a central problem facing descendants of slaves. If that problem is not solved quickly, there will be no hope for mass survival during this age of global dysfunction.[8]

The political, corporate, and religious power elite casts a very long shadow over billions of people on this earth of ours. At the end of the day, their shadows convert to social and spiritual privation for all those living in their shadow. In a sense their shadow blocks rational sunlight from reaching into the lives of many people. It makes us less able to live moral lives because it stresses us to be less cooperative and more irrational and conflictual in relation to our neighbors and earth.

For subordinate people, everywhere, the life of the power elite is the antithesis of the life lived by those in their shadow. The elite, whether they be political, religious, or business elites, live a life of wealth and intellectual supremacy at the biological, economic and social expense of all people subordinate to them. 

What can we do? Can we hypothetically get a grasp of the gravity of our social and economic problems? Let’s imagine some possibilities and follow them through to a conclusion. Let’s do a thought experiment.

Hypothetically speaking, if every descendant of slaves who is incarcerated in State, Federal, County, and City jails were released tomorrow; and

Hypothetically speaking, if every descendant of slaves who is released vowed to never commit another crime; and,

Hypothetically speaking, if no crimes were committed by descendants of slaves released from prison thereafter; and,

Hypothetically speaking, if all other descendants of slaves vowed that they would never break the law; and,

Hypothetically speaking, if all descendants of slaves in fact did not commit felonies ever again in the United States, then what would happen?

First, there would be an extra million and a half descendants of slaves living mainly in cities but also in small towns throughout the United States.

One million and a half more descendants of slaves would immediately add about 2% to the African American unemployment rate which already stands at about 16% or twice that of White unemployment.  That would make the unemployment rate for African Americans about 18%.   What can we compare an 18% unemployment rate to?  For that, we turn to the 20th century.

During the height of the 20th century’s great depression, the percentage of unemployed Americans was 25%. Thus, if there were a 2% rise in unemployment, descendants of slaves would experience an economic depression equivalent to the great depression wherever they lived in the United States in 2017.

Secondly, if no crimes were committed by descendants of slaves, the criminal justice system would collapse unless it seized upon another ethnic group to criminalize. Let’s assume the criminal justice system did not seize upon another ethnic victim. What would happen?

An unintended consequence of mass lawful behavior would be a second wave of unemployment adding to the 2% rise in black unemployment; but this time among whites. The ripple effect would expand far and wide into the economy. Share value in private for profit prisons stock would literally become worthless. Billions of dollars would be lost over night making wealthy white investors poor.

What would happen is that the “1,719 state prisons, 102 federal prisons, 942 juvenile correctional facilities, 3,283 local jails, and 79 Indian Country jails as well as in military prisons, immigration detention facilities, civil commitment centers, and prisons in the U.S. territories” would get significant Federal, State, County, and city budget cuts. That would include cutbacks in criminal courts with district attorneys, public defenders, police officers, and private criminal lawyers becoming unemployed along with everyone who works in the criminal justice system from administrators, correctional officers, to janitors. It would affect over 500, 000 individual employees and their families. In dollar terms, let’s say a cutback of about $85 billion dollars nationwide.  State, Federal governments would lose money because they would no longer have a justification for increased taxation of citizens to support the criminal justice system. Look at the graph below to get a bird’s eye view of the magnitude of economic dependence governments and corporations have on crime and the incarceration of descendants of slaves.

What would all those descendants of slaves choose to do under such circumstances? The economic characteristics of the United States are changing so fast that even the most educated Americans are continually having to retool their skills to keep up with technological change. How can under-educated ex-felon descendants of slaves be expected to do so?

 

Robots at the “Hannover Messe” trade fair in Hanover, Germany, April 2014[9].

The fact is that there would be no jobs for most of them aside from agricultural employment. The reasons that they would have nothing to do center around 1) their general lack of education. Here are the facts: “About 41% of inmates in the Nation’s State and Federal prisons and local jails in 1997 and 31% of probationers had not completed high school or its equivalent. In comparison, 18% of the general population age 18 or older had not finished the 12th grade.”[10] The educational characteristics of incarcerated descendants of slaves change at a glacial pace. The same educational characteristics hold true in 2017.

A second reason is that negative stigmata would be attached to them for having been incarcerated and simply for being ‘black’ in this white supremacist society.

Descendants of slaves have never been able to even minimally compete with the dominate white culture on any level. Some say ‘well what about sports’? I say to them that ‘No descendent of slaves owns a professional sport team in any league or sport.’ That holds true generally in the entertainment industry as well. Some others will argue, ‘well we can restart Black Wall Street such as the one which existed in Tulsa, Oklahoma in the 1920s.’ I say, “one cannot step twice into the same river.” Times, circumstances, and especially sentiments among Descendants of Slaves completely rule out that possibility. Some others will say: we can join a church or Masjid or Temple. I say that none of those American religious institutions will bite the hand which feeds them. They have become instruments of the banking system debt slavery and therefore of Wall Street.

Furthermore, that kind of change is not likely now because of ethnic integration and the rapidity of technological changes taking place. Add to that the increasing dysfunctional social life of most descendants of slaves particularly those million and a half individuals in our thought experiment now out of prisons and jails.  It leads to one conclusion. The only rational choice, the best choice, for descendants of slaves would be the choice to exercise moral power. Simply obey all laws. 

[1] Include under technology genetically modified organisms.

[2] Genesis Chapter 2, Torah; Holy Quran 2:30

[3] The Tort of Negligence literally means: the harm of negligence

[4] The Social Contract. Jean-Jacques Rousseau

[5] Charles Darwin, Origin of Species, 1849; Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene, 1976

[6] All human beings are intinctual or behaviorally unconsciously driven but we are also conscious and rational when fully developed. Moral decisions arise out of rational deliberation. Out of that kind of deliberation society is made possible. There is initially an imbalance in favor of instinct. But over time conscious rationality more or less increases.

[7] I once heard George Soros say that his decisions are ‘amoral’. Soros is in conscious denial or lying.

[8] William Vogt, Road to Survival; chapter 2, ‘Biotic Limits’, 1944

[9] Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee, and Michael Spence July/August 2014

[10] Education and Correctional Populations, Bureau of Justice Statistics, by Caroline Wolf Harlow, Ph.D., 2003

THE BRIDGE OF MISERY: BETWEEN THE PRESIDENCY AND THE CATHEDRAL IN CAMEROON, by Kifon Emile, M.A.

Cameroon-Presidential-palace2

Two important edifices exist in Cameroon which define, to a great extent, the whole sociological architecture of the country – the cathedral and the presidency. The first is found at the center and like the force of gravity pulls all other things around it as a God and keeper of the nation. While the second, found about three miles away, constitutes the concentration of all the political forces that supposedly hold the nation together. But there are not two centers of gravity. In reality, despite the fact that the two operate in theory as separate entities, they constitute a continuum of harmonized inter-dependency linked together by a slippery tangent called control – or in its popular usage, power.

Head of the Black Church

The cathedral, epicenter of the Catholic Church in Cameroon under the Archbishop on Yaounde, sets the tone for religious policy with regards to its relation to the State as well as the population. The presidency, on the other hand, is the heart of politics, residence of the president where he dictates the political climate. By understanding how both structures function, it is possible to know how the country operates. When Yaounde is breathing, Cameroon is alive remains a popular expression demonstrating the paramount role of the nation’s capital.

However, despite the fact that these are important institutions, it should be mentioned that the most important part is what lies between the presidency and the cathedral – the people. Their fate remains suspended and trapped in a system where rules have been displaced from the traditional settings in favor of dubious practices.   So, by illustrating the constitutive nature of power in these structures 1.) It shall be possible to elaborate on how they enhance the exclusion of the people and 2.) It shall be possible to elaborate on how they thereby produce a strange outcome of exchange of competences to the detriment of the public.

  1. Mutually exclusive poles in a mutually constitutive power anatomy

In the preamble of the Constitution of Cameroon 2008, it is specified that “the State shall be circular. The neutrality of the State in respect to all religions shall be guaranteed.” This proviso has become a characteristic of most modern States since their origin of 16th Century divorce from medieval monolithic religious societies, kingdoms and monarchies. With the exception of a few States which are defined essentially by religion [Vatican, Saudi Arabia and to some extent Israel], most modern States, in order to fulfil this post medieval ideal usually define themselves as secular, even when in practice things may not be as simple.

Islam and Christianity are the main monotheistic religions of Cameroon. Nominally, approximately 70% of Cameroonians are Christians, of which about 38% are Catholics, while about 20% are Muslims. Because the Catholic Church is the main centralized religious body in Cameroon, semantically and technically, it is the main body that appears to have some direct and continuous ties with government authorities, at all levels. It should be added that the president, Paul Barthelemy Biya Bi Mvondo, who has been in power for 33 years, is also a catholic. He had been in the Catholic seminary before being dismissed in the early years, of his studies. His father, Etienne Mvondo Assam, was a catechist by profession for the same institution.

Given that the president is a Catholic, it is easy for him to maintain close ties with the main centralized religious organ in Cameroon which would serve him both politically and religiously

But why talk about the religion of the president? Eric Mathias Owona describes the presidential regime as pontifical and in some cases as a principality. In a presidential republic and pontificate State, where the president rules ad vitam, his personal choices resonates a vertical influence over his government as well as a collegial complicity with leaders of the religion of his choice.

The collegial complicity with leaders of religion enables him to exert institutional control over the people through indirect religious hypnosis thereby consolidating the authoritarian democracy. Or, should this be called an authoritarian dictatorship? In principle, the success of assembling, in a deconstructive way, judicial-legislative resources to conform to executive wishes may give the understanding that it is an authoritarian democracy. In practice, however, by taking into consideration that the president governs by decree and exerts tremendous control over all governmental institutions, the regime is more of an authoritarian dictatorship perhaps of a modern style.

As a result, we end up with just the belief that State and religion are separate as stipulated by the constitution. But in practice, they constitute a simple continuum of influence over the population where triggers can be generated either at political or religious levels to produce the same effect.

Divide and rule is a common strategy of control but in an authoritarian system unifying power structures can  be just as effective. But the worst part is when these structures don’t benefit the population they are constitutionally bound to serve.

The-people-of-the-Cameroon-show-respect-to-Pope-Benedict-boston.com_

  1. Dynamics of concerted exclusion of a frustrated populace

Three miles separate from the cathedral is the presidency in the metropolitan city of Yaounde. The cathedral where the archbishop presides his religious ceremonies is technically open but semantically closed. That is, it has just a few physical barriers to deter wanderers but everyone is welcome to enter and pray. One door of the cathedral is usually open, and in most hours of the morning and evening most of the doors are open for other religious services and those who wish to pray to their God: “let the children come to me, for unto these belong the kingdom of heaven” (Mat 19:14).

With a poverty level of almost 40% (2007), most of those who come to Church are around the poverty line. The Church welcomes them with phrases like “blessed are the poor…” and “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35). In practice, those who go to Church always hope to please God while thinking that their temporal situation will be made better here on earth. And rightfully so, they pray, offer tithes, and pay dues – which in the archdiocese of Yaoundé was recently increased in order to meet charges that were not properly defined.

Regrettably, a considerable amount of monetary contributions that are made to the Church do not serve the purpose for which it has given. In July 2013, amidst the greatest corruption scandal in recent Cameroon Church history, the Archbishop was forced by the Vatican to resign in the hope of restoring the hope of the people in its failing hierarchy.

In such a complex situation where Christians do not feel that the Church is advancing their welfare, most turn to the State for comfort. It should be mentioned that most of those who come to church have already been discouraged by the strong presidential regime and weak government.  Again, with another disappointment from the Church, they turn to the State and one of the closest structures is the presidency of the Republic.

However, access to the presidency is virtually impossible. Despite its closeness, it is heavily guarded by the GP (Guard Presidentielle) including a big fence. In this case, it is technically closed but semantically open. That is, in theory, the public is made to believe that the authorities of the nation are there for the public, to listen to them and to address their difficulties. But this is far from reality. The president is almost absent from all national life, with only sporadic appearances on national Television to read a speech to a public he doesn’t know. There is a real disconnection between the people and its authorities.

As a result, the little distance which separates the presidency and the Cathedral appears, evidently, to be the nature of what separates the Cameroonian populace from the power structures which need to promote their welfare. Consequently, like rebounds of a non-reward psychological mechanism, the people turn back unto themselves, frustrated, without trust in themselves, nor in the church or in the government. This is evident by the life of duplicity in which most people become attuned: going to church without any intention to be a better person or living in a nation without a desire to serve it honestly. Corruption, as an endemic crisis in Cameroon can be deduced from the mechanism of suspended misery: neither in “God” [Church] nor in the government do they find solace [position 136 on 174 countries, with a score of 27 on 100]. This gets even deeper – citizens grow to lose trust in one another thereby threatening social cohesion and growth. All these are visible in the lane separating the cathedral from the presidency. Despite the fact that both poles concentrate wealth and comfort, this lane is full of jobless people who wander along the streets; others standing on the road side with their tools while hoping to get hired by someone to do a temporary job or those illegally subcontracting government services to citizens who duly deserve them. It is also a lane of insecurity, vulnerability and despair – just the symbol of the country as a whole.

The perpetual rule of the centralized government of Cameroon which is the cause of this social disequilibrium has created another system which has not been sufficiently explored. It is the fact that political power governs with religious authority while religious power rules with political power. It is a strange power structure not before seen in many countries and where the citizens end up – as always – in suspended misery.

  • Sociopolitical exchange of roles: the intercourse between religious and political power

At the heart of social despair is an economic problem rooted in misappropriation of roles both in the religious milieu as well as in the political sector. The classical roles generally attributed to the State do not necessarily hold true for the State of Cameroon nor  for the Church. Below is a table which summarizes how the State governs with religious principles while the Church has been ruling using political strategy.

Religion [epicenter –  cathedral] Politics [epicenter – the presidency]
1. Theology of the present [joy and happiness are hear] 1. Politics of the future [perpetual wait for change in the future]
2. Power is politically charged, elected 2. Power is religious and mystical: “Power comes from above”
3. Faults, errors are sanctioned 3. Corruptions, crimes are pardoned
4. The divine becomes man incarnate 4. Man becomes the divine [perpetual rule]
5. Power decentralized [independent management of dioceses] 5. Power centralized [authoritarian dictatorship]
6. Uses reason, rationality 6. Applies more and more faith, belief and blind truth
7. Motion of disagreement [encourage the good ones to stay and the bad ones to go] 7. Motion of support [support the perpetual ruler to rule even longer]
8. People play the role of citizens, and practice boycott 8. People play the role of ‘faithful’ and in most cases forbidden to strike
9. People learn to claim their rights 9. Political practice is ruled by rites
10. God more and more absent 10. God more and more present
11. Money more and more present 11. Money more and more absent
12. Policy analysts and strategists consulted 12. Prophets, kings and mystiques involved
13. Defined mandates well respected 13. Perpetual mandate
14. Governs by dogma (just belief) 14. Governs by decree (just listen and apply)
15. Leaders forced to resign 15. Leaders made to stay in power ad vitam [gerontocracy]

 

As illustrated in the above, the population has been made to accept inadmissible political practices where the executive leader is vested with an unlimited mandate for the presidency. Like a pontiff, he rules unilaterally over all other institutions which he has crafted to conform to his personal standards. This happens in a context where the archbishop resigned due to accusations of mismanagement of funds or the case of Pope Benedict XVI who resigned from an office which is supposedly made to be held for life. It is not uncommon to find corrupt leaders who get promoted and get rewarded with better appointments in the Biya regime.

Can this scenario explain the social and economic inertia of the country? Certainly, to a great extent. When political mobility is uncertain and religious credibility overthrown, it follows that the economic fluidity experienced by the public under the State of law would be jeopardized and at worst remain in misery.

Unlocking the infinite potentials of a nation cannot be done in a locked governmental system. A system that knows no variability. Neither can it grow in a religious context that has learned to survive with ruse, using political strategies while relegating religious protocols strictly to altar services. If change is the essence of society, then the government is criminal while the Church is complicit in its practice as they exploit a population that is ignorant of its own misery.

THE CHALLENGE OF AMERICAN THEOLOGY, by Dr. Steven Nur Ahmed

transendent inspiration

Origen Adamantius was an early Christian theologian.  He was born in 185 A.D. at Alexandria, Egypt. He died in 253 A.D. at the city of Tyre.   His magnum opus is entitled ‘First Principles’.  In it, he outlines a theory of human origin which supports my argument that the Christian theological definition of what a human being is has its roots in both Platonic and Aristotelian anthropological assumptions. That definition of the human soul’s origin is contrary to the Egyptian, Hebraic, and Islamic account of the human soul’s origin out of the ‘dust of the earth’.

Origen’s influence on the direction of Christian thought is substantive and we can see his ideas mirror Hesiod and are in turn mirrored in modern political policy. We can see that even more clearly upon our close examination of his fundamental assumptions about humanity’s origin and social justice.

The first assumption is of course that God exist as pure immaterial ‘thought thinking itself eternally.’[1]  For Origen, this is a given, so we need not dwell at length on it.

His second assumption is that ‘minds’ or ‘archetypes’ participated in ‘God thought’ or what Plato termed the ‘Vision of Beauty’.[2]

The third assumption follows from the second.  That assumption is that because of the soul’s lack of perfection due to its possession of an inherent antithesis to their participation in divine unity, degeneration was triggered which moved souls into a lower status of ‘being and not being’ synchronicity.[3]

According to Origen, some of those lower beings are human souls.  Regarding that he says: “God did not begin to create minds…before the ages [time in the past tense][4] minds were all pure…But there remained some souls who had not sinned so greatly as to become daemons, nor, on the other hand, so very lightly as to become angels.  God therefore made the present world and bound the soul to the body as a punishment.”[5]  We can see from the preceding quote that Origen’s theory is set within the Platonic theological paradigm as a sub-theory resting upon the same assumptions but adapted to Christian mythology.

We can find even more evidence of conformity to Platonic as well as Aristotelian anthropology in the work of Origen. He employs the metaphorical tool derived from Hesiod’s ‘Works and Days’ as used by Plato in the Republic, i.e., the ‘myth of the metals’ to justify not only natural variation among human beings but also to justify on grounds of divine ordination the differing values of human worth based upon ‘sins’ earned in the spirit world: “God, however, who then felt it just to arrange his creation according to merit, gathered the diversities of minds into the harmony of a single world, so as to furnish, as it were, out of these diverse vessels or souls or minds, one house, in which there must be not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and of earth, and some unto honor and some unto dishonor.”[6]

It follows then, that the definition of what a human being is for Origen is predicated upon human nature as a ‘soul’ and that the body is a consequence of spiritual failing: “…each has obtained his degree of dignity in proportion to his own merits…”[7] For Origen a human being is defined from the ‘in-side out’, but under natural conditions Origen finds a graded hierarchy determined by phenotypical differences marking off one person or group from another person or group as more or less approximating the Divinity of God.

 

 

 

 

 



[1] Aristotle, Metaphysics [After Physics]

[2] Plato, Symposium, translated by Benjamin Jowett, William Benton Publisher, 1952, [212]

[3] George Hegel’s theory of Being is similar to this because it too suggests an ‘antithesis’ to Being.

[4] Italics mine

[5] Origen, Origen on First Principles, being Kaetschau’s Text of the De Principiis Translated into English, together with an Introduction and Notes by G.W. Butterworth, LITT.D., Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, Northumberland Avenue,  London, 1936  pp 67

[6] Ibid, pp. 134

[7] Ibid, pp. 71

THE OLD TESTAMENT IS TO THE MIND WHAT JUNK FOOD IS TO THE BODY, by Dr. Steven Nur Ahmed

scroll

Nothing in the Torah (Old Testament) makes futuristic reference to the United States or any other modern nation.

Nor does the Torah (Old Testament) predict any event that has occurred or is occurring today in the United States or anywhere in the world from the past times at which its 24 books were written.

Nor does the Torah predict the birth of any specific person who has ever existed in the past and up to the modern world.  Can you imagine all the microscopic spermatozoa and ovum which would have to be sorted out over millions of years by someone to make such a prediction! Can you imagine the magnitude of the mathematical analysis which would be needed in such an effort!

Nor does the Torah tell the history of most African people. The Torah has nothing to do with West and Southern Africa. It has nothing to do with African history in the United States.  It did not and does not predict the past and present predicament of African people in the United States.

Nor does the Torah tell an authentic history of Hebrew people who were an East African ethnic population who also lived on the African peninsula called today Arabia but which at least 1,600 years ago was included in Abyssinia and Mesopotamia and which at least 500 BCE was part of Kemet (Egypt).

The Torah is a mythological compilation of books written and redacted in 458 B.C. by Ben Ezra Abraham and a group of scribes after their captivity in Persia. It is relevant to only one group. They are called Jews.  It is a book of their traditions not yours.  It is a book which defines for them their cultural identity and language not yours. There is nothing you can do to change that because only children born of Jewish women are classified as ‘Jewish’. Yes, you can convert to Judaism, but orthodox Jews identify Jews by blood line.

Nor does the Torah convey to you how the universe and you came into being.  It is a montage of creation myths from Mesopotamia and Kemet (Egypt).

Does that make you afraid?  It should not make you afraid because the existence of God does not depend upon the existence of Jewish people or the Torah.  The existence of God is not dependent upon Jewish consciousness or anyone else’s consciousness because God is independent.

Negro urban ghetto churches and Mosques are full of those who interpret biblical passages in that way.  It has become a part of a Negro ghetto religious scam enterprise.  The scam artists do it to you because they know you are not skilled in the study of historiography and critical thinking. They also know that your ignorance and fears make you vulnerable to their lies.  Consequently, they make good money living off of you and your families. They sell to you false prophesies. Think for a moment. If the future could be predicted why can’t catastrophic events be avoided? Or why can’t African Americans avoid being poor and undereducated?

Such people claim that passages in the Torah are prophesies pointing from a past era identified in the Torah to what would happen in our modern world. That is a lie, too.  If you would study history then you would note that the same predictions were made one hundred years ago about the times and conditions prevailing then. Those predictions were false, too. Believing in such predictions will make you into a fatalist.

For example, if you are a descendent of slaves in the United States and your preacher or minister tells you that the enslavement of the Hebrews in the Torah is actually pointing to the enslavement of African people in the United States then think logically for a moment. What happens if you believe that?  Must African people also accept as their fate that they will suffer as did the Jews in Nazi Germany? Should African Americans resign themselves to the horrors of extermination camps?

You can conclude one thing for certain about any person who makes such a claim. He or she is a person who does not have divine knowledge.  Imagine yourself floating in space outside of any known galaxy without the possibility of death.  Just out there by yourself in total dark matter absent all light.  Now ask yourself: ‘what time is it?’ There is no answer to that question because there would be no present or future. There would be no time frame at all.  It is as impossible for Old Testament text to predict what will happen in modern time and space as it would be for you to predict in absolute dark matter what will happen to you there.

Historiography demands that you analyze what has happened in the past if you can get at the evidence and authenticate it.  But the best that you can do even if you have such evidence is draw more or less cogent inferences about patterns of change that have occurred which suggests similar probable outcomes.  That will require you to do hard intellectual work.  That would be like cooking a good nutritious non- GMO meal from scratch at home. It will take some work but it is better for you and will cost you less money.

FROM THE BOOK: THE SYLLABUS OF MALCOLM X, by Dr. Steven Nur Ahmed

malcolm2

Visions in the Darkness of the Hole

At Concord State Prison, Malcolm had what is called an epiphany. An epiphany is a moment of deep insight.  While at Concord State Prison he suddenly realized that he lacked basic academic skills in arts, letters, and science.  While looking at a letter he had written to one of his brothers he decided to compare it to an earlier one he had written and concluded that the latest letter was even more poorly written than the first letter. Malcolm had a sudden realization of truth; he needed to start the learning process. He had accepted the advice from ‘Bimbi’ (Friend), but only Malcolm could go within himself and begin the hard work of self discovery.

The kind of self-criticism which Malcolm experienced is an indicator of personal growth.  He wasn’t fearful of accepting his defects whatever they were and they were many.  It was as though Malcolm stood outside himself and looked at what he saw objectively.  With no denial response, he recognized where he needed to begin work on himself to improve himself.  That is where real lasting change begins. It begins within yourself.

Maybe for a moment Malcolm felt sad. Maybe he even felt depressed because of what he saw. What he saw in himself was a socially disabled person who was unable to live a meaningful life.  What he saw was Malcolm Little, a convict, a loser; dependent upon the state as a criminal for his food, clothing, and shelter. If you’re in prison, then right now you are a loser, too, and if you don’t change you’ll remain a loser; you’ll be dependent for the rest of your life. But despite your present conditions you can become a winner. You can become socially able to be a meaningful contributor to your family and your neighborhood.

If you’ve ever lost any contest be it a track race; a competition for a job; a competition for another person’s love; a contest with yourself to learn a skill; then you know what losing feels like. Nobody feels good after having lost a contest. Loosing is painful; in the extreme it could even result in death. But at the moment you’re feeling the pain of loss you’ve got to also feel something else; you’ve got to feel the urge to live. That urge must be greater than the impulsive fear to quit. Either you’ll never try again by wandering into a crowd never to be heard from again or you’ll find the start line and get on the mark so that you can contest again.

What is it that makes some people seemingly oblivious to the pain of loss and who despite their losses and the pains associated with loss they try and try and try again and again?  Whereas others peel over due to the pain of loss then wander into a crowd and disappear?  The answer is that the one who gets back to the start line has both love and mental calm. That one perceives correctly that one loss does not equal a lost life. Conversely, the quitter is overwhelmed by the anxieties caused by past pains he or she has experienced and looses the enthusiasm and motivation to try and try again.  They perceive their loss as total and conclusive; they run away from the field of contest in fear.

Enthusiasm, motivation, and fearlessness are the forces which drive one’s sentiment for self dignity and the will to succeed. That self dignity makes him or her act in ways which serve their best interests. One who fears will never dare to fight and one who lacks enthusiasm and motivation will lack passion for the fight.  Malcolm had enthusiasm, motivation, and fearlessness but they had been misdirected through his role as ‘Detroit Red’.  As though in a stage play, he was neither the writer of his script nor the director of his actions, but he thought he was. He thought wrong. He was making decisions but he wasn’t making good decisions.  As a consequence of thinking poorly and making poor decisions, Malcolm deteriorated both psychologically and physically. He put himself in the gutters of inner city drama and quagmires. Once there, he could not get himself out.  Malcolm was human waste.  Eventually, he was flushed out of the gutter and into the prison system.

Now, in prison, the moniker of ‘Detroit Red’ was snatched from him. With no direction, the bare naked truth stared back at him off of his cell wall. What he saw was ‘nothing’ reflected back.  He was now to play the role of convict. Instead of being known by a street moniker he would be just another number.  But his inherent fearlessness and passion spewed upward to reinvigorate his sentiment for self dignity. This time, however, he would write his own script and he would direct his actions in ways to serve his best interests. That new role for Malcolm was the role of student and his script would now be written by his own hand.

ARE YOU IN THE HOLE?

Your lives are analogous to the life of Malcolm.  Many of you reading this book have a street moniker or a nick name. It is supposed to characterize your strengths and that your game in ‘the life’ is tight. It is supposed to get respect for you.  But in reality the moniker you have is an oxymoron.  An oxymoron is a self contradictory word. Think about it.  Your moniker doesn’t characterize your true self because you don’t know your true self.  You haven’t begun to develop that which is your true self.  How can a ‘street’ name characterize your strengths as a man or woman? How can it typify your potentials as a human being?  The fact is that it can’t.

You have been acting on a very narrow stage designed by powerful institutions and people who have corralled you into limited psychological, social, and economic spaces.  All that has been made available to you are contrary and contradictory roles which ‘misfit’ you into those limited social and economic spaces.  Those conditions are meant to stunt your inner and outer growth and cause you to feel pain and maybe escape that pain through the use of narcotics, cocaine, or alcohol.

On the famous temple of Luxor in Ipet Resyt, in the country of Kemet, on the continent of Africa (Thebes, presently called Egypt) 1400 years before the birth of Jesus and a thousand years before the rise of Greek philosophy there is written in hieroglyphics: ‘Man Know thyself.’ In order for you to know yourself you must have a master teacher who turns you within and then triggers the process of learning.  True knowledge begins with an inner vision of one’s self. No human being can trigger the inner awakening to such kind of Supernatural knowledge.  Only the master teacher who is a Supernatural being can do it. That entity does it by syncing the student’s mind with the Supernatural Mind.  Was Malcolm’s mind put in synchronicity with the Supernatural Mind?

Malcolm states that he had a vision in prison. He states that when he was in ‘the hole’( solitary confinement) he would picture himself talking to large crowds. He called them pre-visions.  The Master Teacher begins the learning process of the student with inner visions.   It was a vision of the mind’s eye which Malcolm had.  Malcolm’s mind’s eye was opened by the master teacher to his true supernatural nature and thus to the truth. Malcolm thus began his long life process of unfolding his predetermined destiny into space and time by hard intellectual and physical work.  From that point onward, every word he spoke and his every act in relation to others would be a pouring forth of what was designed in the Supernatural to be acted out in a natural context.

THE MASTER TEACHER

Different cultures have had different names for the master teacher.  In Kemet, the master teacher was called Ptah. It was Ptah who opened the mind’s eye of Im-ho-Tep (2650-2600 B.C.) to mathematics, engineering and medicine. In ancient Greece, the same master teacher was called Daemon; that one was the informer of the philosopher, Socrates.  Also, the Greek noun ‘Paraclete’ is the Informing Mind, the ‘mind’ that was in the mind of Jesus of Nazareth as it was said: “Let this mind be in you that was also in Christ, Jesus.” For the Prophet Muhammad Ibn Abdullah that one is called Jabril who ordered him to ‘Read’.

But the name of the Master Teacher in whatever language spoken is not important beyond what is needed to communicate the ideas to others.  Rather what is important is that the very same Informing Mind is active today in the unified human mindscape to inform you, too. For, as the natural worlds of space and time in uncountable dimensions are held in sync by the laws of physics and chemistry, so it is that The One Mindscape is held in sync with all minds by the Laws of Thought.  This is reducible to two simple premises: 1) That Mind is Truth and 2) Participation in Truth is Mindfulness.

The process of learning the truth is both exciting and frustrating. Learning the truth is frustrating because one must work against the gravity of one’s own ignorance multiplied by the ignorance of all those around you who reject the truth. That is like a heavy weight pressing against one’s body, mind, and soul. It was frustrating for Malcolm.  He says that he could not express himself clearly even though on the ‘streets’ he was articulate in slang.  But now, in prison, he realized he was inarticulate and dysfunctional when it came to communicating his ideas in a formal manner.  He was surrounded by those who spoke illogically and in slang.

But learning is also exciting. Despite all the many adversities he faced, Malcolm began to structure his thinking, writing, and speaking skills. He began with the letter ‘A’ and by the time he had finished his study of the dictionary at the last word ‘zygote’ of the letter ‘Z’ he had achieved a milestone in his quest to learn the skills necessary to become a social contributor and icon for his community.  You can do it, too. Wherever you are get a dictionary. Start copying it by hand on tablet paper.  You’ve got to start now!  Open your mind to the Master Teacher.