Do you know why it is important to strengthen and develop your ab (spiritual heart)? Many don’t know or understand the concept of free will and the soul because Westerners are afraid of death and see it as being the end. In Afrospiritual traditions, death is not the end. Death is the start of something new, but in order to make this transformation we have to have a strong ab (spiritual heart).
It is the ab that makes the entire Kamitic theology clear, because our ab is tied to the whole Kamitic spiritual hierarchy and the concept of life after death. This is a pretty interesting yet complex concept to understand because it doesn’t correlate to Western thinking exactly. Like I said, Western thinking in linear and sees death as being the end, whereas African (and non-Western) thought is circular and holistic. So, below is how my aakhu (ancestral spirits) explained this concept to me through a shamanic meditation and divination session. This is what seems to make the most sense to me so, I will try to make this as simple as possible for you all.
We are all spiritual beings that have been infused into a physical body. Our spirit is composed of nine parts (incorrectly called souls) and they are : the khab, khabit, ka, sahu, ab, ren, shekhem, khu and ba. These parts of our spirit are more like consciousness and they can be grouped into three divisions called the ba, sahu and ab.
The first division of the spirit that we are given is our ba (divine conscious), which is said to be the divine spark from God. Our ba provides us with khu (divine wisdom), shekhem (divine power) and ren (our divine name, hence destiny). The purpose of the ba is to help us to spiritually survive. The ba was symbolized as a human headed falcon to indicate that it like a trained bird of prey will return back to its original owner or God. So we have it the ba is closely assoicated with our breath. When body expires its last breath, the ba will return back to God. Besides providing our being with life, the ba draws all of its inspiration from the spiritual realm of the universe. When we sleep, it is the ba that provides us with our dreams by flying wherever it needs to go and communicating the message from the spirit world to the other parts of our being. The ba corresponds to the unconscious. All living beings have a ba. The ba does not reincarnate but is new so that every living being has a fresh start or new and unique experience.
When we are born, we are also given a second divisions called a sahu (physical-body conscious) that governs our khab (physical body), khabit (emotions/animal instincts), and ka (personality), because the purpose of the sahu is to help us to physically survive. To accomplish this feat, our sahu, which is also contains our genetic memories, draws all of what we need to know from the external environment. Our sahu corresponds to the subconscious mind. All living beings have a sahu. The sahu (and its associated parts) reincarnates but only biologically by following one’s lineage in order to provide every living being with the genetic memory to survive. This is how animals through evolution acquire a certain distinctive pattern. In human beings this is how we acquire the physical features, behaviors, etc. of our foreparents.
We are also given an ab (spiritual heart or human conscious), which corresponds to our conscious mind but when we are born, our ab is not strong. This is the reason we have to learn right from wrong, how to be courageous and ethical in the face of fear. We have to strengthen it, which occurs over a course of time. For most, we do not come into the understanding of our ab until we are teenagers. It is then that we learn that our ab is responsible for providing us with free will. It is through our ab we are able to make choices and decisions, but our choices and decisions are influenced by the maa (divine law). As a result, our ab grows and becomes stronger based upon the consequences of our actions and behaviors. It is through the maa that we develop a conscience or strong ab. Only man and woman has been given ab and this is what makes us unique amongst all of the other beings and connects us to God. It is this uniqueness that intimately connects our ab to our ba. It is because of the connection between the ab and the ba that we all feel like we have a higher calling. It is our ab that is the eternal part of our being and the surviving conscious that is reborn.
When an individual physically dies, the ba, which was given to us to help us to spiritually survive, returns to the spiritual aspect of the Universe from whence it came from. The sahu, which was given to us to help us to physically survive returns to the physical aspect of the Universe from whence it came from. The ab, which is the eternal part of our being is the division of the spirit that survives the physical death experience.
So after death, the newly deceased remains with their body until they are able to pass into the otherworld or KAMTA with a clear conscience or strong ab. (Please note that this entire experience has been fictionized as the Kamitic Weighing of the Heart). If the living remembers the deceased as being a purely evil individual. It will cause their ab to be so heavy, that their guilt (depicted as the Aummit monster) would totally consume their ab and prevent them from ever returning to the land of the living – TASETT to wreak havoc upon humankind. Although this is rare, this usually is what happens to individuals who in life encouraged a lot of chaos and confusion like Hitler and other beast men and women. Most of the time, Aummit will be sent to fetch these individuals, which is why usually these individuals (like Hitler) commit suicide.
If the living remembers the deceased as being a troublemaker that attracted trouble in life usually due to ignorance, misguidance, wrong choices and decisions, etc., which resulted in the deceased dying a violent death or through suicide. It will cause the deceased to have a heavy ab, thus preventing them from passing into other world because now they have grave concerns that are on their mind. Since the choices these individuals made in life caused them to be shunned. In death they are shunned (not spoken of), which makes them visit the places they frequented in life. It is at these places (their homes, bars, clubs, alleyways, etc.) they influence the living with their negative and destructive ways. These deceased are called aapepu (snakes or worms) because they were parasites when they were alive and the maa causes them to be parasites in death. We encounter these negative spirits or ghost whenever we are walking and all of sudden for no apparent reason get an eerie chill up our spine, or for no reason at all have sudden thoughts of anxiety, depression, etc. Other times we know that we may have encountered an aapepu whenever we have an eerie hot and cold sensation, which is proof that these spirits are stuck in TASETT since the desert can become both extremely hot and cold temperature-wise.
If the living remembers the deceased as being an ethical and honorable individual in life. Then the deceased is able to pass into KAMTA with a light ab (clear conscience) where they will become an aakhu (ancestral spirit and spirit guide). God allows the aakhu to be honored and venerated like the Christian martyrs and saints because in life these individuals chose to live a righteous life even in the face of death. It is through their courageous acts of bravery that these individals were tranformed and became emissaries for the Divine. This explains how biological, cultural, historical and mythical individuals even after dying tragically became aakhu like the Preto Velhos (Old Slaves in Brazil), known as Uncle Joe and Auntie (or Papa Joe and Big Momma in the US), El Negro Jose and La Madama in Afro-Cuban spiritual traditions. It is because their ab has been made strong and pure. Since, the aakhu can only address issues that they were familiar with in life. Many aakhu choose to return to the land of the living where they are born through their descendants to master more skills. Others choose to return to the land of the living to assist their descendants by acting as spirit guides and speaking to us through our visions and dreams.
If the deceased after returning to the land of the living and dying with a light heart, numerous times, passes to KAMTA multiple times. The aakhu amongst the aakhu becomes a netcharu (netjaru, neteru, guardian spirit or principle of nature) because they have transformed beyond the organic birth-life-death-rebirth cycle. The netcharu are the masters of all technology and the guardians of God’s mysteries. They are the ones an individual must appeal to in order to master a particular skill and talent from God. The netcharu speak to us through quick flashes of insight. When they make themselves known, it renders us speechless temporarily because it is hard to literally explain what had just occurred. When we encounter the netcharu it is because our awareness had slipped into KAMTA – the underworld – and upon realizing what had occurred returned to the land of the living.
The netcharu exist as a clan of unique spirits and I believe the first and older netcharu are the original founders and leaders of people. It is this connection that ties the netcharu to everyone regardless if one believes in them or not. The older the netcharu the more it was associated with a particular aspect of nature and the more permanent it has become. Fortunately, new netcharu are being created everyday and these younger netcharu are more easy accessible and act as representatives of their clans. For instance, the original Osar is associated with agriculture, morality and stability, which caused him to be connected to the ground and pillars, hence foundation. Osar manifests himself in the mountains, but his representatives or spiritual children can be found in white stones like limestone. The legendary Mother of all mothers, Oset (Aset, Auset, Isis) is associated with the life giving waters and is identified with the sea. She as the ocean is permanent, but her representatives or spiritual child (essence) can be found in certain seashells.
Because death is not the final resting place and the maa mirrors the spiritual and physical world. Lower spirits can advance to the next level, just like human beings. They just have to work hard to do it because this is part of the maa. It is because of the maa, spirits can be offered prayers, light, water, money, the recitation of the psalms, rituals like the novena, and so on, which can elevate the ab of the spirit.
This is why it is best to work on developing and strengthening your ab now, so that upon death. You will have a light ab and be well received by the ancestors that have preceded you.
Excerpts for this post are from Kamta: A Practical Kamitic Path for Obtaining Power by Derric “Rau Khu” Moore, 2011.
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