If African Spirituality Was So Powerful, Why Were They Enslaved and Conquered?

8 02 2020

Hetepu (Peace & Blessings) Family.

If you are new to African spirituality or an old head, you will eventually come face to face with this elephant that not many people would like to discuss and it is. “If African spirituality was so powerful, then why were the Africans enslaved and conquered?”

Moorish enslavers enslaved other Africans based on cultural and religious differences

Another question related to this is “Why was the African continent invaded and numerous countries conquered by less spiritually powerful invaders?”

Congolese men pose with the severed hands of others who failed to produce rubber for their Belgium enslavers

Well, I believe it was because of three reasons and I look forward to hearing your comments on if you agree or disagree. Before I give my reasons I let me say that I have been on this path off and on for a while. For the record, this does not give authority or more credence than others. I am simply putting it out there for those who need to know that I have been around the spiritual block several times.

So, if African spirituality was so powerful, why were they enslaved and conquered? Well, as I mentioned, I have three reasons why.

First, I don’t think that African spirituality was that powerful and for that matter. I don’t think there is one spiritual system that is all-powerful. One of the greatest myths that many people have when they start dabbling and getting into spiritual culture is that they believe. That when they become spiritual they will be all-powerful. They will be able to walk on water. Float above the ground while meditating. Talk to clouds and make it rain for a specific period because “we are gods and goddesses.”

This myth is so powerful that it makes us look at spiritual traditions as if they are storefronts at a mall. So we choose to follow one spiritual tradition because it promises to make us wealthy, or we leave one tradition because they did not fulfill their promise based upon what we believed to make us healthy, powerful, or whatever instant gratification goal we desire.

The facts are that all spiritual systems are essentially the same. If you don’t see this it probably because you are still suffering from the religious dogma that programmed you to believe that only Baptists are going to heaven, or Jehovah witnesses are right, etc. So, let me say it again, all spiritual traditions are essentially the same. The major difference between all spiritual traditions is the culture and language that hosts the tradition.

BINZHOU, CHINA – DECEMBER 23: (CHINA OUT) Pupils cover their noses in Binzhou, China. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)

No spiritual tradition is perfect, which is why historically you can find flaws in every cultural society that hosted them. For instance, with all of the wisdom that has flowed out of China due to Taoism and Kung Fu Tze (Confucius) you would think China would be a spiritually enlightened mecca but China oppresses her citizens, women are very suppressed, the labor laws are horrific and their environment is a cesspool. So much for an enlightened China or not? So, the first reason the Africans were enslaved and conquered despite having a powerful spiritual system is that people have to implement it.

This brings me to the second point but forces me to ask this question before giving my response. The question is with all of this great and powerful wisdom that has come out of China in the past 30 to 50 years, why does China have the problems she has? The answer is because people still have free will to do whatever they want. As a matter of fact, when China was undergoing its cultural revolution and being influenced by Westerners. Most of China’s wisdom and spiritual traditions were seen as superstitious nonsense. In fact, most of the Chinese spiritual practices and traditions that we appreciate in the West such as feng shui, qi gong, I Ching, etc. are considered folk practices in China. Need proof? Watch the Ip Man series on Netflix, which reveals that one of the reasons he became a legend is because he was trying to preserve the Chinese culture amid Western influence (Regardless of how factual the story is it is a familiar theme). Now, does that sound familiar? Understand, that the only reason most of these practices are tolerated is that so many people practice it. By the way, Cuba went through a similar transition but now the African religions that have survived are celebrated as a part of Cuban culture. Again, people who do not understand this will try to create a schism between the two.

Now, I say all of this to say that this is what Africa suffered from when the Arabs and Europeans were welcomed to their lands. It is a classic case of being enamored by another culture to the point that you view your own culture as inferior. When the Portuguese arrived on the shores of the Kongo Kingdom, the Kongo rulers experienced a technology gap where they were so fascinated by the Europeans arsenal and culture that they willingly converted to Christianity.

Let me say it again because there’s this myth that all Africans were forced into slavery. Many of the Kongo people willingly converted to Christianity because it was not the same trick bag that was used over in the States to justify slavery. So, reason number 2 as to why the Africans were enslaved if their spiritual systems are so powerful is that they started seeing other peoples’ spiritual systems as superior and their own as inferior.

Lastly, the final reason they were enslaved and conquered is that they had become too spiritual. When an individual is too spiritual they are no worldly good because they are focused on idealism and they ignore the physical reality or commonsense. This is because you are always looking at the best of an individual. For instance, the Divine exists in everyone and everything including rattlesnakes but would you pick up a rattlesnake without training? Would you let a stranger off the street sleep in your home? If you are too spiritual you would and you are opening yourself up for a great spiritual lesson but, if you got commonsense you better not. This is where people get ideas about Maa wrong and Maat says that if you have the means share. That means if someone asks for $10 and you can share it without missing it, by all means, share it. If it comes back great and it proves that the individual you shared it with is trustworthy but if not you will not miss it, no loss. This whole idea of giving your last dime because God is going to bless you is a warped western religious belief.

Being too spiritual is a sin like being materialistic. If you have read the Story of Osar, the reason Osar was murdered by his youngest brother is that he was too spiritual. For those interested in Kemetic history, the reason Ankhenaten disappeared is that he was too spiritual and it almost resulted in Kemet being conquered by the Assyrians had the Amun Ra priesthood not stepped in. We must remember that to the Kemetic people righteousness is being Maa, hence balance, orderly, truthful which is symbolized as Hru wearing the double crown.

Osar (Osiris) symbolizes the white crown of KAMTA (Spiritual Realm). Set represents the red crown in TASETT (Physical Realm). Therefore, Hru wearing the white and red crown symbolizes a balance between the spiritual and physical realities.

A fact that a lot of people do not want to accept is that the reason African religions were not able to survive in North America was that they were too spiritual and not aggressive enough. This is the reason the Ifa religion had to evolve and become Lucumi in Cuba, Umbanda in Brazil, and why the Kongo tradition had to become Palo in Cuba and Qibanda in Brazil, and so on. All of which became Conjure and Rootwork in North America.

So, the final reason they were enslaved and conquered is that they had become too spiritual, which convinced them to see their enemies as friends.

Now, these are all very important points that we need to be aware of because there are many among us now trying to convince us that the power, wealth, etc. that we need comes from an herb, stone, crystal, bone, or some other outside source. These individuals have simply change the names and superimposed their western religious beliefs on to African-style names.

The Divine power is within us. It is not in the tradition. It is not in the artifacts or relics, which are all tools used to convince you of your divinity.

Note that it is not about religion.  I have met some very powerful and spiritual Christians and Muslims because they understood that their religion was the path they had to take to join with their godhead. Whereas I have met people who state they are spiritual who have simply superimposed their old religious beliefs onto spiritual practices.

We have to understand that these are all paths.  If a particular path doesn’t work for you, then there is always self-initiation but don’t delude yourself. All the paths are about becoming one with the god/goddess within you. If you remember this you will not be hoodwinked like our ancestors were in the past.

Hetepu.


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4 responses

10 02 2020
Osaniyi

My Cee on it is…. The religion wanted to be dispersed to other locations. The only way to do that is allow the people who would not have gone willingly to go with force

11 02 2020
landofkam

Interesting perspective. Please elaborate.

7 05 2020
Kala Ada Idakari Opusunju

this is the elephant in the room amongst almost all Africans. and is partly the reasons why Africans have embraced Christianity and even to a lesser degree Islam as opposed to their own traditional beliefs.. African spirituality was just that spirituality and not religion, hence it was based on spiritual awareness with little emphasis on codification of such as in the major religions.., one of the major tenents or let me say undirgirding principles of African spiritual tradition was that ur spirituality was not authentic if it could not influence the material world.. this principle is partially the reason why Africans have adopted Pentecostal Christianity to the African frame of thinking and embraced “word of faith prosperity gospel” which is a belief that one’s faith in God should result into a degree of influence over one’s material world and wellbeing/..this is the reason why Moses in the bible engaged Pharaoh’s diviners in a duel of “signs and wonders” what Moses did with Pharaoh’s magicians is normal in African context, it was not uncommon foro diviners to challenge themselves with spiritual duels of whose “charm or magic amulet” was more powerful.. and even till this day one of the major unspoken concepts of church prostelysing in the African Charismatic church is “come to my church, yes i know you are already attend church but still come to mine, because my pastor can exercise more faith in miracles then yours” this is a belief system inherited from their forefathers.
Most Africans particularly of the previous generation grow up with tails of black magic, sorcery, and all stuff that is actually factual.. but then the question is if the ancestor possessed so much influence over nature, why were they not able to defeat the white man. It is then believed that the white man’s belief system was superior hence many Africans abandoned their own beliefs in favour of Christianity and virtually all that was from the white man which even had nothing to do with Christianity..almost like a surrender.
Eureka! that the word “surrender” or let me better put it “submission” the black mans conversion and dropping of his spiritual beliefs in favor of the white man’s beliefs is more like a surrender or a submission; an acknowledgment of a higher more powerful deity able to give victory and perform feats higher than their traiditonal deities.. rather than a conversion based on pious conviction as it is made out to be..
I remember when I was in High School in Nigeria we performed a play and one of the lines was ” Amadioha is a dead god” recounting the circumstances Christian missionaries faced in the Port Harcourt region when trying to convince the locals that the power of their deity was superior to that of the power of Amadioha.

8 05 2020
landofkam

Hetepu (Peace & Blessings) Kala Ada Idakari Opusunju

You addressed this very eloquently and you are so right. There are many variables that a lot of people simply do not want to address out of fear. From my perspective, the whole Africans converting to Christianity and Islam (for that matter) is truly a loss of faith. From my understanding it is a common phenomenon that occurs when two cultures collide and one appears to be more technologically advanced than the other. We see this all throughout history. In the Americas, it initially occurred when the Europeans encountered the Native Americans. When Europeans went to feudal Japan, the same thing, and it occurred in China. The difference between many of these cultures in comparison with many African nations is that once they realized they had been hoodwinked. They shook the Europeans influence and tried to redefine themselves. As far as I see it, many African nations have yet to arrive at this point. Hence, in Nigeria they still wear the wigs in the judicial system, which is clearly a sign of identifying with another’s culture as being superior than their own.

It all boils down lacking faith in yourself and seeing God everywhere and in everything except for within you. Do you agree?
Anyway, thanks for sharing Brother.
Hetepu.

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