The Importance of African Universal Spiritual Community

Thursday, August 14, 2014 11:38 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

The Importance of African Universal Spiritual Community
by: Dr. Winmilawe

“Never did I judge between two contenders in such a way that it deprived a child of his or her parents’ legacy” The Husia, p. 95

Africans religions have had spiritually accepting philosophies for…well, ever! For instance, ancient Kemet (Egypt) was so spectacular because Africans from all over migrated into the Nile Valley. The West African Yoruba faith has
+1 divinities because there is always room for one more. Universal churches also have come into existence in the last centuries. Even a slice of general America embraces universal spiritual community, as exemplified by the Unity Church.

KRST Universal Temple is good for the 21rst century. It is one of a small number of places in the U.S. that creates a space for AFRICAN oriented universal spiritual community. This temple provides a forum for African descended people of multiple faiths and non-faiths to unite in the name of Africa AND in the name of spirit. It’s communal worship with a selection of spiritual practices. This is important. But, why?

It’s common for African centered people to believe politics alone (whether activism, nationalism, or intellectualism) will save us. But history reminds us that politics has never been enough to save us. Politics is man’s law; and man’s power is too limited to create heaven on earth, a.k.a. ideal societies. That is why Africans for more than 20,000 years have maintained or regained freedom with a spiritual rootundefinedspirituality is god’s law, which is an unlimited power source! Until European colonization, most African societies maintained theocracies (spiritually guided governments). In looking at a few of the freedom winning African Americans, i.e. Nat Turner, Fredrick Douglass, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, they were all devout spiritual leaders as well.

KRST Universal Temple (and organizations like it) serve two critical elements for African American communities. They provide:

  1. A gateway for those who want to embrace African-centered spirituality. People need transitional space to move into religions that DO honor their own ancestors and fulfill them spiritually, not just emotionally.

  2. A community for all African centered people, including those of us who already have a spiritual system. Those of us with religion (I’m of the Yoruba/Orisa faith,) still need to be part of wider African universal spiritual communities because there is strength in numbers.

Let me state, I advocate religion! The majority of human beings need a system that provides deep spiritual substance. Believing that universal spiritual communities are a substitute for religion is a mistake. Baba Derrick, the leader of KRST Universal Temple is progressive because he knows this. He and the elders of the Temple honor the fact that we should rely on the thousands of years of experience, that Africans have had in communing with God and the divine forces and not make up our own way.

To advocate that “religion is bad”, is quite anti-African. Religion, when spiritual, gives us a solid way for relating to the invisible world and sustains people through crises in life. On the other hand, universal spiritual communities allow people the chance to find their spiritual path (religion). Also, universal spiritual communities promote tolerance, understanding and accepting that people have different paths. Most indigenous African religions note that people have different paths to the Gods.

“Never did I judge between two contenders in such a way that it deprived a child of his or her parents’ legacy.” I interpret this Husia quote to mean that while people may look like enemies (contenders), do not judge them if they are on the path that their ancestors gave them (parents’ legacy).

Dr. Iya Winmilawe

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