Haiti and the African Union

Soundtrack: Lauryn Hill “Everything is Everything”

            I’m trying to get back to talking about energy and sex and meditation and such – but I had to take one more detour to address Haiti and the African Union. In June 2013, Haiti will go from Observer status to a full Associate Member state of the African Union at the next African Union summit in Malawi. Haiti will be the first state from Africa’s diaspora to become a fully recognized member of the African Union. Many people are lauding this as a sign that the black race is coming together, Africa is strengthening, and Haiti’s myriad of woes will be solved. I’m not so sure about that.

            As a Pan Africanist, there is nothing that would make me happier than Haiti and other black countries joining a united and dignified Africa for the betterment of all African people on the planet. But history makes me limit my enthusiasm about these moves. The African Union (AU) was founded in 2002. It is and was the successor/replacement for the Organization of African Unity that was founded in 1963 and was comprised of almost every country in Africa. When the AU took shape in 2002 it was supposed to be the beginning of forming the “United States of Africa” wherein all African countries would relinquish their nationhood and become states in the one nation of Africa. In 2013, we are scarcely any closer to that becoming reality than we were when it was adopted as just an idea 11 years ago.

            At that time, the AU convened a series of meetings of economists to chart the economic future of the continent. Some economists from the Americas who were privileged to be in these meetings suggested that Africa needed to establish a central bank backed by gold and filled with the proceeds from taking control of the continent’s vast natural resources which were in the hands of multinational corporations from the United States and Europe as well as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF). There were regional blocs set up to facilitate this process of uniting the continent into one nation. The different countries would first come together as the east, west, south, central, and north regional blocs and those regions would be brought together as one nation.

            Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was one of the strongest voices advocating for the establishment of the African Union at the turn of the millennium. In 2009, he was selected to serve a one year term as head of the organization that he helped to establish and provided much of the financing for. He used his influence within the organization to take up the cause of establishing the African central bank and an African currency backed by gold. This move would have had a tremendous negative impact on those countries and corporations in the west that are accustomed to having access to Africa’s natural resources on terms that are very favorable to them and not so favorable to the people of Africa. With the NATO invasion of Libya and the assassination of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, we see the ultimate result of those plans.

            Haiti is a very, very complex situation and difficult to summarize quickly. In 1492, the first island that Christopher Columbus landed on was Hispaniola, which is made up of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Approximately 300 years later, Haiti became the first nation involved in the African slave trade where the slaves overthrew their enslavers and declared the independence of themselves and their country.

In a bizarre turn of events, France succeeded in forcing Haiti to pay them reparations for overthrowing French rule and declaring independence. This ruined the economy of the brand new nation. In 1806, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, one of Haiti’s two main liberators and the new country’s emperor, was assassinated and Haiti divided into a black-controlled north and a mulatto-ruled south. A decade later the mulattos prevailed and unified Haiti, excluding blacks from power. In 1915, the United States took advantage of Haiti’s infighting and invaded the tiny country, maintaining absolute economic control in Haiti for the next 35 years. In 1956, Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier seized power in a military coup. He declared himself president for life, which was until 1971, and then his son Baby Doc took over as president for life. In 1990, Haiti finally got its first ever democratically elected president in Jean-Bertrand Aristide. He was ousted in a coup a year later by the military. That started an avalanche of political and economic turmoil that lasted for all of the 90s until 2000 when Aristide was able to run for office again and become president for a second time.

In 2004, Aristide was kidnapped by the United States military and forced into exile in South Africa. A seemingly never-ending barrage of tropical storms, flooding, epidemics, food riots, the earthquake, etc., etc. Haiti is in bad shape. But Haiti’s condition is not unlike that of many countries which are already member states of the African Union. So it is illogical to assume that joining the AU is going to be the solution to all of Haiti’s problems. There is intense poverty and suffering going on in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Zimbabwe, Eritrea, Niger, Sierra Leone; the list really goes on and on. In fact, of the 20 poorest nations on Earth, Haiti and Afghanistan are the only two that aren’t in the African Union. How is this possible with Africa being the most minerally rich continent on the planet?

There are a whole lot of valid answers to that question, but I think it boils down to this. There are people outside of Africa who have a blood-thirst for Africa’s natural resources and there are influential people and heads of state on the African continent who are more than willing to sell out the best interests of their people to get a few crumbs from the colonizers’ table. In these dirt-poor countries with gold and oil and uranium and diamonds underneath their feet, a handful of families live like kings while the rest of the people starve. If the African people are ever to benefit from their own resources in the way that they should, these foreign powers have to be kicked out (starting with the United States military) and these sellout so-called leaders have to be removed along with their families and all of their close friends. Africa has a cancer of greed and betrayal that has to be cut out in order for the body to live. I’m vastly oversimplifying the continent but I stand by what I have said here. I’ll leave it at that for now. I appreciate the symbolic message of Haiti joining the African Union and I pray for our ancestors to assist us in solving these problems.

P.E.A.C.E.  

Advertisements

I Still Represent The Nation

Image

Soundtrack: A Tribe Called Quest “Lyrics To Go”

I want to take a break from the regularly scheduled program here at COMPLETE CONSTRUCTIVE CHANGE to talk about my influences. Today is February 24, 2013. On February 22nd, we observed the birthday of the man who was born in 1928 as Clarence Smith, later came to be known as Clarence 13X, and was referred to by his students as the Father, Allah. On February 26th is the birth date of the man known as Master Fard Muhammad, who taught the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and charged him with building the Nation of Islam. This weekend, culminating in today, the Nation of Islam celebrated its annual Saviours’ Day convention in honor of Master Fard Muhammad.

These men are the reason that I’m alive and free to walk the streets today. Their message saved me in the mid-90’s, in my mid-teens, from a lifestyle that was sure to end in prison or an early death. And the soundtrack to the whole story was rap music coming out of the culture that we call Hip Hop. In reflecting on what these men and their message have meant to me, I was inspired to give some explanation of why I think the way that I do. Allow me to speak on a bit of history.

In 1963, Clarence 13X departed from the ranks of the Nation of Islam in New York City where he was a member under Minister Malcolm X. He had a mission in his heart to take the lessons of the Nation of Islam, which had been kept secret among initiated members of the group, and to share them freely among the youth of Harlem. The message in those lessons, in a nutshell, was and is that the Black man is God. Clarence 13X came to be known as Allah after he began his mission, with his followers calling him Father Allah. Father Allah met with tremendous success in spreading his message to “the babies”. I won’t go into too much detail about that at this time.

In 1965, Malcolm X was assassinated by members of the Nation of Islam in a plot hatched and orchestrated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The man chosen to be his replacement over the Nation of Islam in New York City was Louis X, now known as Louis Farrakhan. These two men, Father Allah and Louis Farrakhan had very, very significant influence on the thinking of the young men and women of New York at that time. In 1968, Father Allah was shot and killed. His followers did not allow his death to be in vain. They spread his message to their contemporaries with renewed fervor. That year 1968 marked a turning point in black history within these United States of America.

The FBI’s Counterintelligence Program (CoIntelPro) stepped up its efforts to destroy any black leader and any black organization that had the potential to unite our people around the determined idea of achieving freedom. There were many assassinations all across the country and it really marked the beginning of the end for the strong black leadership of that day. Fast forward to the mid 1970’s. Black communities across the country are experiencing a vacuum of leadership, depleted budgets for our schools, parks, arts programs, and community centers and newly developed housing projects that stacked us on top of each other like sardines. The young people of the Bronx developed a new way to party, a new way to dress, a new way to speak, a new culture, and they called it Hip Hop.

Hip Hop was born out of the spirit of desolation and desperation that these communities were feeling. The youth didn’t have training to play musical instruments so they learned how to turn the turntable and their own mouths into instruments and breathed new life into the R&B and disco jams that their parents loved. There was one man who had more of an impact than anyone else on the ideological basis of this new culture. His name is Afrika Bambaataa. He was a former gang leader who was able to steer not just the members of his own gang but rival gangs also into creating a new organization dedicated to peace and fun. That organization is called the Universal Zulu Nation. There are two things about Afrika Bambaataa’s personality that were forever stamped into the fabric of what makes Hip Hop what it is.

First is that Bambaataa was heavily influenced by the ideas of Louis Farrakhan, Father Allah, and another Islamic teacher known at the time as Imaam Isa Abdullah, now more commonly known as Malachi York. The lessons studied by members of the Zulu Nation are formatted much like the lessons studied by the Nation of Islam and Nation of Gods and Earths (the current name of the group founded by Father Allah). Bambaataa really filtered those lessons to a much wider audience in a style more palatable to them than the way the Muslims and Gods presented it. Another legacy from Bambaataa on Hip Hop culture is Bambaataa’s vast musical tastes. He was a DJ, and one of the best of his era. And he was willing to play songs from any genre in the world and find a way to make his young listeners like it. His broad taste influences Hip Hoppers to this day to be willing to experiment with influences from all over the world in the areas of fashion, music, politics, and all other walks of life.

Hip Hop’s “golden era” is generally considered to span from 1988 until 1994. That era in the music’s history was marked by a transition from songs primarily about partying and lighthearted boasting into a more serious time heavily influenced by the ideas of the Nation of Islam and the Nation of Gods and Earths. It was as if the seeds planted by Islam in the New York of the late 60s sprouted and bore fruit among the New York raised rappers twenty years later in the late 80s. Acts like Public Enemy, Boogie Down Productions, X-Clan, Poor Righteous Teachers, Ice Cube, Big Daddy Kane, and many many others brought the revolutionary spirit of the 60s into a new era with driving bass lines and catchy melodies and exported that spirit to the whole world. This is the era that produced me.

When economics, politics, and good ole fashioned government conspiracy came together to change the direction of Hip Hop music in the mid-90s, I began to come into my own as a revolutionary Islamic thinker and rap artist. And today I still feel it’s my duty to carry on that golden era legacy. I carry the spirit of Hip Hop culture into everything that I do. In the immortal words of the BlastMaster KRS-ONE, “I am Hip Hop”. Everything that I do is Hip Hop. I write Hip Hop ballads. I write Hip Hop blogs. I eat a Hip Hop diet. I have Hip Hop sex. I raise Hip Hop children. There is no aspect of my life that isn’t affected by the culture I grew up in and the music I grew up listening to. That culture is permeated through and through by Islamic influences but it is also able to pull from any place on the planet and any walk of life and seamlessly tie it into the fabric of what we do. In that spirit, my personal spiritual practice and my ideological foundation is heavily Islamic but it also includes elements of Taoism, Hinduism, Jewish Kabbalah, Kemetic philosophy, the traditions of Native America, Ethiopia, and the Khmer Empire. I think I’ve said enough about this for now. I could write a book on this subject. In fact, I was writing a book on this subject at one time. But I scrapped it because KRS-ONE wrote and released a book saying basically the exact same message that I wanted to convey. No sense in reinventing the wheel. And because I’m Hip Hop, I didn’t want to be accused of biting KRS-ONE’s style by releasing a book almost identical to his after he already had his out. So Happy Saviours’ Day and Peace to man, woman, and child. I’m out. Until next time

 

They Don’t Really Care About Us

Image

Soundtrack: Jay-Z “D’evils”

Tantrikas are threatening to those who would wield power. One who has realized his true nature cannot be subjugated to the will of a religious or political power structure.” – Sunyata Saraswati

There are three things that the slavemaster would never teach to the slave, because if they did then we could no longer be made slaves: the science of business, the science of warfare, and the science of mating.”

Elijah Muhammad

The men of greatest achievement are men with highly developed sex natures, men who have learned the art of sex transmutation; the men who have accumulated great fortunes and achieved outstanding recognition in literature, art, industry, architecture, and the professions, were motivated by the influence of a woman.”

Napoleon Hill

            For as long as history has been recorded, there have been some people who wanted to have power over other people. In fact, in the western educational system, history is completely a retelling of the stories of how certain groups gained power and kept power over other groups. In the news today, some of the most virulent political debates are about regulating sexuality e.g. abortion, gay marriage, etc. The elites have always been hyper-concerned with the bedroom activity of the masses. In the hundreds of laws found in the Old Testament, many of the ones with the most severe punishments were about sexual acts, forbidding adultery and fornication and such. In those days, religious power and political power were synonymous. The leaders of the religion were also the leaders of the state. But as we have seen, even in these days of separation of church and state, the powers that be seek to determine who should be having sex and how and when. Why?

            Those who have power in society have always understood the enormous power of sexual desire and sexual activity. They trade the knowledge among themselves of how to use sexual energy to manifest their desires into reality. It only makes sense that they would desire to prevent the masses of the people from having this same knowledge. This knowledge is their leg up on the rest of the people. This leg up is maintained by their making the masses of the people believe that sex is dirty, sinful, and something to be feared.

 Why do we yell at small children because we see them touching their own genitalia? What makes it so horrible to touch yourself? For that matter, what makes it so horrible to touch other people? When are we going to examine the hypocrisy surrounding our sexual views? In 2013 it is still unlawful to teach high school students about sex. Sexual education is mandated to include telling the students to abstain from sex. How many of the people giving this message abstained from sex until marriage, whether it be in the home or the school or the church? Why do our bodies produce this flood of sexual hormones in our early teens when we begin puberty if we’re not supposed to have sex or even think about sex until we’re 20-something? What is the logic in that? How many national and world leaders have to be humiliated into hiding because it was found out that they had an extramarital affair before we ask the question that maybe these people are doing what comes naturally? Maybe these people are so compelled by this sexual desire and are willing to risk reputation and livelihood because human beings are made to have sex…

            As part of demonizing sex, femininity and womanhood had to be demonized as well; because women are naturally sexually superior to men. Women naturally have more sexual desire, stamina, and enjoyment than men do. Women had to be made to think that it was not ok for them to be the way that they naturally are. So women were covered up. The natural adornment of a woman’s body, her lady lumps (shout to will.i.am), got covered up with excessive amounts of clothing so the power of her beauty wouldn’t show and arouse a desire in men to have sex. One half of what human beings have to offer has been devalued and hidden away. And the world is suffering as a result.

The feminine qualities of transparency, receptivity, tenderness, and harmony are shunned in favor of competition, rugged individualism, machismo, and brute strength. So we dump toxic waste into the ground and into the air with no regard for the impact it will have on the ecosystem. We cut down the rainforests which are really the lungs of the planet and we expect to still have clean air to breathe. We steal the natural resources from beneath the feet of those in developing countries and then we act surprised when they resort to violence as a way of making their voices heard. The world needs a feminine touch. 

            It seems that every day, somewhere in the world, there is a conference or meeting about how to get the powers that be to respond to the needs of those who have no power. I am suggesting that a primary part of the answer to that question is that people need to have more, and better, sex. Sex is the most powerful mental stimulant that we have available to us. Sex brings people closer together in a world that is desperately in need of intimacy and basic human compassion. Sex can be used to alleviate poverty. Sex can be used to bring people to spiritual heights that prayer and fasting have never attained. Sexual energy can turn ordinary men and women into geniuses. We can no longer afford to deny ourselves this most wonderful of gifts. We must teach our children to embrace their sexuality rather than to run from it. But as part of this embracing we also must improve the quality of our knowledge of sexuality. We must have conscious sex. We must learn HOW to use this wonderful energy in these wonderful ways. Because what we’ve been doing is simply not working. 

Let’s Talk About Sex

Image

Soundtrack: Salt n Pepa

            I stressed before that Tantra isn’t all about sex. So that begs the question of why is Tantra associated so often with sex? Why do people who teach, or claim to teach, Tantra mention sex and sexuality so much?

            We’ve established that Tantra is an energy management system. We use our energy to improve the quality of our lives physically, emotionally, spiritually, and materially. Sexual energy is the most powerful form of energy that we are able to access at any given time. It is always available to us and it is very highly charged. It is our greatest spiritual gift.

            Just as new physical life comes from the act of sex and the exchange of sexual energy; all new things come from sexual energy. That energy is the raw material, the building blocks of all manifestation. In the classic book Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill says the following:

“Sex desire is the most powerful of human desires. When driven by this desire, men develop keenness of imagination, courage, will-power, persistence, and creative ability unknown to them at other times. So strong and impelling is the desire for sexual contact that men freely run the risk of life and reputation to indulge it. When harnessed, and redirected along other lines, this motivating force maintains all of its attributes of keenness of imagination, courage, etc., which may be used as powerful creative forces in literature, art, or in any other profession or calling, including, of course, the accumulation of riches.”

            Enlightenment and achievement produce the same chemical processes within the brain as a physical orgasm, the release of hormones like oxytocin and endorphins. The physical process of arousal, followed by a buildup of tension, followed by an ultimate release and climax, is the same as the process of achievement. We become aroused with a new idea, a vision of something that we want to achieve. We experience the tension of struggling against resistance to bring our vision into fruition. And when our goal is finally achieved then we have an emotional climax and we feel the tension released and there is nothing but bliss. Taking something from an idea into a physical reality that can be observed is the ultimate orgasm.

            Life coaches and experts on creating wealth often speak of the benefits of “self-suggestion” or “autosuggestion”. These words basically mean making a statement to yourself that the subconscious mind accepts as truth. The two emotional states best suited for suggestion are — deep relaxation and emotional intensity. Sex can easily get us into both of those emotional states. The reason these emotional states make it easy for us to “program” ourselves is because of the way the brain works. I don’t have space here to fully explain the science of that but I will state that if the brain is slowed down then it becomes easily suggestible and if the brain is made highly active then that’s the best time to form new neural pathways that make it easier for us to perform certain functions.

            I’m saying all of this just to make the point that this energy is very powerful. And the following might be why it’s so powerful. In mathematics, if A = B, and B = C, then A = C. Every time…if all things come from God, and if all people and 99% of animals come from a sex act, then God = Sex. Math doesn’t lie. Sexuality and spirituality/divinity are intimately connected and it is the separation of sexuality from spirituality that makes most spiritual practices ineffective.

            The Tantra master Shantam Nityama says:

“…the relationship between spirituality and sex is like the relationship between a butterfly and a caterpillar. If the caterpillar is not in good health and not strong, then you’re not going to have a butterfly, or you are going to get a very weak and scrawny butterfly…in order for people to open up spiritually, they had to come back and totally embrace their sexual energy and be clear about it in order for them to take that same energy and transform themselves.”

            Tantra teaches us how to fully embrace our sexual energy and begin to consciously use it to transform our lives. 

Let’s Get It Started

Image

Soundtrack: 2Pac – “Changes”

When most people in America hear the word “Tantra” they think of Kama Sutra, sexual positions and toys, and general freakiness. It’s like the sensual side of pornography in the popular imagination. I am a Tantra practitioner. However, that doesn’t mean that I am a sex therapist or sex surrogate or anything of the sort.

Tantra is a Sanskrit (Indian) word that literally means “system or doctrine” and comes from the root words tanoti “stretch, extend, expand” and trayati “liberation”. The originators of the Indian system of Tantra saw it as a systematic way of expanding the consciousness toward liberation. However, Tantra was not solely developed by the people of India. Every people on earth since the beginning of humanity have had a system of Tantra, under different names, and sometimes not bothering to give it a name at all.

Tantra is based on a recognition that everything is energy, including and especially human beings. By coming up with intentional ways of manipulating/managing the energy within ourselves, we increase our ability to manage the energy around us and thus create a reality for our lives in the way that we choose. Most of tantric practice is about doing things like yoga, chanting mantras, doing breathing exercises, and eating a healthy diet. The sexual things that are associated with Tantra will not yield results for you if you aren’t doing these other things that appear to not be sexual at all. In truth, Tantra is more something that you “become” than it is something that you “do”. Once you “become” Tantra then everything you do becomes orgasmic, especially your sex. As my Tantra teacher, Master Yao Nyamekye Morris says, “Tantra is about becoming the highest and best version of yourself.”

My intention in creating this blog is to give commentary about my experiences doing Tantra energy work and the implications of this work for the world that we live in. In the Grand Trine Tantra system created by Master Yao, we use tantric energy projection as a healing modality, similar to massage or acupuncture. This energy projection works with the client laying on a massage table or bed. The practitioner sends their energy into the energy body of the client, allowing the client’s energy to flow more freely than normal, pushing through blockages in their energy channels.

That last paragraph presented multiple concepts that many people have never heard of before. What exactly is this “energy”? How do you send it to another person? What is an energy body? What are energy channels and how do they get blockages? All of these concepts will be explained fully in subsequent blog entries. For now, can I just say trust me? LOL…The main point that I want to make at this time is that when we experience pain in life, whether emotional or physical, it often gets stored in our bodies, causing these blockages. And the body/spirit seeks to find ways to not experience that pain anymore. This is the root of what psychologists call “defense mechanisms” and it causes our personalities to change. The vast majority of us are not living the way we were born to live because we are attempting to adjust to this cruel world that we live in.

Tantra seeks to help us live according to the blueprint for our lives contained in our DNA. The process of healing these past pains and returning to our natural selves calls attention to the sources of our pains. It forces us to look at the things in society that cause us to develop these defense mechanisms. It indicts all of the institutions that are supposed to serve our best interests and in fact do just the opposite. And by all I mean all. Our families, schools, religions, and governments have all contributed to our not living the highest and best versions of our lives. But as we see the causes of our pains we also gain insight into solutions for those problems. This is what we’re going to be talking about, ways that we can change ourselves and change society so that we move from lives based on fear and scarcity to lives based on love and abundance. Complete constructive change.

Ride with me…