Remember When The Nation Of Islam Was Relevant?

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Soundtrack: Public Enemy “Don’t Believe The Hype”

Let me start by saying why I care about this subject. The Nation of Islam saved my life. When I was in the streets, in the 90’s, it was Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam that gave me a way to turn my life around. I care very much about today’s youth and future generations getting the opportunity to be touched by the Nation of Islam in the same way. The last twenty years have seen a steep drop in the Nation of Islam’s visibility and level of influence in the streets and among the youth. I want us to examine why that is the case.

To properly put the Nation of Islam’s current position in context, we have to go back 40 years, to 1975. In that year the
Nation of Islam was destroyed. The FBI’s attacks on Black Nationalist groups had succeeded in getting rid of the
organization. A January 7, 1969 FBI internal memorandum, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, stated:

“Although the Nation of Islam (NOI) does not presently advocate violence by its members, the group does preach hatred of the white race and racial separatism. The membership of the NOI is organized and poses a real racial threat. The NOI is responsible for the largest black nationalist newspaper, which has been used by other black extremists.

The NOI appears to be the personal fiefdom of Elijah Muhammad. When he dies a power struggle can be expected and the NOI could change direction. We should be prepared for this eventuality. We should plan how to change the philosophy of the NOI to one of the strictly religious and self-improvement orientation, deleting the race hatred and separate nationhood aspects.

In this connection Chicago should consider what counterintelligence action might be needed now or at the time of Elijah Muhammad’s death to bring about such a change in NOI philosophy. Important considerations should include the identity, strengths, and weaknesses, of any contenders for NOI leadership. What are the positions of our [BUREAU DELETION] informants in regard to leadership? How could potential leaders be turned or neutralized?

The alternative to changing the philosophy of the NOI is the destruction of the organization. This might be accomplished through generating factionalism among the contenders for Elijah Muhammad’s leadership or through legal action in probate court on his death. Chicago should consider the question of how to generate the factionalism necessary to destroy the NOI by splitting into several groups. [BUREAU DELETION]”

With Elijah Muhammad no longer running the show, his son Warith Deen Mohammed took over and made the group one that sought the approval of the white world and the Arab world. That is until September 1977 when the man who had been the group’s national spokesman, Louis Farrakhan, decided to rebuild the work of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.

Now we have to look at the psychology of the two opposing groups here. We have the United States government Intelligence and National Security apparatus working to achieve the aims of the 1% (the super rich). They don’t wanna see any shift in wealth distribution or power distribution in this country. That is clearly the Nation of Islam’s aim. They have already succeeded in getting rid of this group. Now they see a man rising up to attempt to undo what they have done. Of course, they don’t want to see him succeed.

On the other side you have Farrakhan who in 1977 is motivated solely by love for Elijah Muhammad and love for his people. He believes that his teacher is dead, which shifts some of his thinking about what had motivated his work pre-1975. It was and is the position of the Nation of Islam that Elijah Muhammad was taught by God Himself and charged with leading the mental resurrection of Black people in America and warning of the destruction of the old world order. 1977 Farrakhan still believes that his people must be resurrected and the program of Elijah Muhammad is the best way to do it, so he commits to rebuilding Elijah Muhammad’s work.

Consider the audacity of this man Farrakhan to even attempt to rebuild this thing. An organization that had all this real estate and bakeries and schools and printing press and trucking system and bringing fish in internationally and so on. Almost everyone has either gone with Warith Deen or walked away from Islam altogether. He and a handful of other people are gonna rebuild this enormous organization. He either really believes in his God or in himself or a combination of the two.

Also at this time the people are becoming aware of exactly how far the government had gone with its Counter Intelligence Program (CoIntelPro). The info has become public so he knows of a surety that the weight of the whole US government can and will be brought against him in attempting to rebuild what they have already torn down.

So now the stage is set. Farrakhan spends 1978 and 1979 doing a large amount of paid speaking engagements, largely at
universities, raising the money to get his organization off the ground. He is talking to some of the old ministers about
joining him to rebuild. He has Muslim stalwarts like Tynnetta and her sons, Jabril, Khallid, Abdul Allah, Akbar. In 1980 he has attracted enough old followers back and got enough new ones to announce the 1981 Saviours’ Day celebration (the Nation of Islam’s annual convention honoring its founder). Jabril has convinced him that Elijah Muhammad is alive (if you don’t know about that, another subject for another time). Now his self concept has changed. He isn’t just a man acting out of love for his teacher. He is the fulfillment of prophecy. It was destined for him to step into the role of Paul to Elijah’s Jesus. It is his job to let the world know that Elijah is alive and that Elijah was the Messiah and to finish Elijah’s work of resurrection.

Now it’s ’83 and ’84. He’s helping Jesse Jackson campaign for the Democratic Party nomination for president. Jesse slips up and makes the hymietown remark. Now the white community is moving against Jesse but especially the Jews. Farrakhan goes into war mode, warning them not to touch Jesse, and speaking on their hypocrisy and their dirty religion. Now the sights are set on him.

Once Jesse turns away from him then he is able to focus his attention completely on Elijah’s program. A black man named Al Wellington out of Philadelphia was promoting this idea to tap into the huge amount of money spent by the Black community on beauty and hygiene products. Farrakhan became the face and the spokesman of this idea. The plan was to use underutilized Black-owned manufacturing plants to produce a line of beauty and hygiene products and establish a home delivery system where Black households order products every month directly from a catalogue. Farrakhan secured a $5 million loan from Colonel Muammar Qaddafi to get the program off the ground in February 1985. The program is called POWER (People Organized and Working for Economic Rebirth) and the product line is called Clean n Fresh. Now things are really heating up. Again the 1%’s main objective is to prevent any change in the economic status quo. You got this man Farrakhan who is speaking to thousands of poor people at a time and is now threatening to turn their attention completely toward economic self-sufficiency. It’s crunch time.

They go to work seeking to assassinate Farrakhan’s character, at the very least. And they are simultaneously working to
destroy the program he is building. Farrakhan and Wellington had negotiated for a Black-owned bank to house the seed money for the program. The Johnson Products company was to serve as the primary manufacturer. The Johnson Publishing Company, owners of Ebony and Jet magazine, were to provide advertising space for the program. And before things could get going, all of that dissolved. Pressure applied from the Jewish community made everyone afraid to stand next to Farrakhan.

The POWER program is now seriously crippled because the Nation isn’t big enough to push this thing all on its own just going door to door. Though they attempt to do just that. And also it becomes a top national security concern to kill Muammar Qaddafi. In the summer of 1985 the Reagan Administration plans his assassination. On February 5, 1986 Farrakhan participated in a press conference, organized by Kwame Ture, with the theme of HANDS OFF LIBYA. Later that night he embarked on a world tour starting in the Caribbean and then moving on to Africa. The Africa portion of the tour was cut short as he realized that a war was being planned against Libya, and he went to Libya to warn Muammar Qaddafi and the Libyan people.

The realization of these war plans came from him reflecting on a vision that he had on September 17, 1985. Again, that’s another subject for another time. Then he spends a few years focused internally on the Nation of Islam. He is teaching like
no one has ever taught before in Black America and his ministers are working to grow the mosques and build new ones. Then around 1988 a new phenomenon starts.

Rappers are causing people to want to join the Nation of Islam. After Elijah was gone, the only people really talking about
Elijah’s teachings were the Five Percenters. They were gaining tremendous amounts of influence over youth culture throughout the Northeast but especially New York and New Jersey. When Hip Hop came out of this area, those youth started speaking the language of the 5%. And Farrakhan was their hero because he was the only national leader who spoke their language. Farrakhan and his young national spokesman named Khallid. The rappers started putting Farrakhan and Khallid in their songs and videos and all of a sudden a whole lot of children born somewhere around 1970 were joining the NOI (Nation of Islam) with youthful exuberance and a love for the teachings (of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad) instilled in them by Hip Hop.

In 1989 Farrakhan gives the announcement that the war in Libya was a sign of a war against him and Black America, especially Black youth. And that war was very real as we discussed in our writing about Hip Hop. Based on his insight from this vision, in 1989 he starts his Stop the Killing Tour (immediately after announcing his expanded understanding of his vision). In December 1993, he starts his Let Us Make Man tour, speaking to audiences of men only. Thousands upon thousands of people filling up arenas all over this country to hear him speak.

Also in 1993 the FBI tries to take advantage of the popularity of Spike Lee’s movie X to fan the flames of hatred for Farrakhan in Malcolm’s children and get Malcolm’s daughter Qubilah to work with a guy to kill Farrakhan. Ultimately, that plan fails.

In 1994, the Let Us Make Man tour turns into plans for a Million Man March. Now let’s look at the two opposing sides.
The 1%’s biggest fear is for the millions of angry black youth to get linked up with a charismatic black nationalist leader
who can turn all that anger and potential for violence against them. From that perspective this possibility of a Million Man
March is especially troublesome. In February 1995, Farrakhan gives a speech called Jesus Saves in which he mentions the
members of the 1% by name and puts the focus of “ENEMY” clearly on them. Then he goes around the country building up
support for the Million Man March.

October comes and the 1% and government are scared as s*@t. They shut down the government that day. President Clinton gave some excuse about why he had to leave town. The military was waiting in the tunnels for a war. And 2 million men showed up in response to Farrakhan’s call. And we were the most peaceful and loving group of Black men that any of us had ever seen. And we were down to do WHATEVER Farrakhan would’ve asked of us.

The 1% has been doing everything they possibly can to get rid of this man. Slander, attempted murder, attempting to neutralize his power base among the youth and hip hop. Nothing has worked. He keeps coming and getting more powerful. Now he has this army standing in front of him on the steps of the US Capitol, as loyal to their General and as motivated as any army in the world.

Farrakhan is scared. He has actually achieved what he has been working toward for almost twenty years. He is standing as
Father over the house which is Black America. The eyes of the whole world, literally, are on him. He knows that the military
wants to wipe us out. He feels his own doom pending. He feels like Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane. He has told his
followers that him going to DC is like Jesus going to Jerusalem. His crucifixion is on the way. He feels it. So many things
to weigh. What does he do?

He gives the most politically correct speech of his career. He tries not to get us all killed. He tries not to give them any
reason to bring those tanks out of the tunnels. He acts more out of fear of the enemy than he does out of faith in his
backing. The end result is that those two million men return home that night and the next day not really knowing what to do.
They have this vague sense of duty to be a good person. They’ve pledged to not fight each other and all that. Good stuff.
But not exactly marching orders for an army. The army energy that had been built up quickly dissipates. There is no
organizational follow-up on the march. Farrakhan goes around the world on a World Friendship Tour and doesn’t do anything to directly connect the Million Man March, those two million men who attended, with these heads of state who he is meeting with.

The 1% breathes a humongous sigh of relief. They’ve been faced with the moment they feared. The most perilous situation they’ve ever faced. And Farrakhan doesn’t pull the trigger. Hip Hop is becoming increasingly inept. It isn’t driving people toward Farrakhan anymore, it is driving people away from Farrakhan.

Farrakhan has separated from Khallid. The man who was his link to the youth. The link is gone. Hip Hop isn’t connecting the masses to Farrakhan. Khallid isn’t connecting the masses to Farrakhan. The masses are upset at Farrakhan for wasting their time.

Then Tupac is killed. Tupac was Farrakhan’s last hope of maintaining relevance. He has made an album called Killuminati and has kept with the tradition of quoting Farrakhan and Khallid. He is personally moving back toward the black nationalist
people who are his closest family. He was in prison on the day of the March. But now he is out and he is the most famous rapper in the world and he is serving to keep the threat alive (black youth + black nationalism). But less than a year after the march, Tupac is dead.

Now Biggie is the biggest rapper left. He would be dead in less than six months, replaced with a slew of copycats who are
all about getting money. Our gang peace treaties around the country are losing their grip. The angry white male has been
unleashed all over the country under the leadership of Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich. Farrakhan gives a one year march anniversary speech about world leaders and avoiding a war of Armageddon that fails to make a splash among Black America. The man who was crowned King of Black America just a year before is now quickly becoming a thing of the past.

There had been a lack of appreciation for the marriage between Farrakhan and the NOI and Hip Hop. Hip Hop music and culture throughout the late 80’s and early 90’s was keeping the topics of freedom, justice, and equality in the front of the minds of Black youth. And Farrakhan was the real life Black Nationalist Hero who could give them something to do with that energy that Hip Hop was producing. With Tupac dead, Ice Cube back in NWA mode with a new group called Westside Connection, Public Enemy had fell off, Tribe Called Quest and the Native Tongues were breaking up and falling off, and Khallid trying to figure out his life after being separated from Farrakhan…there was no longer any glue between the masses and a now 63 year old Farrakhan. The youth were trying to get jiggy, get money, get high. Fighting the power and yelling fuck the police just wasn’t important anymore.

So the energy dissipated. It became less and less common to see the Muslims on the block in Any Ghetto, USA selling bean pies and The Final Call newspaper. The mosques stopped growing as quickly, if their numbers increased at all. And Farrakhan became a man dealing with a crisis of self identity.

Remember this is a man who believes himself to be an extension of the Messiah, chosen by God to lead the resurrection of the mentally dead and to be a driving force behind God’s Judgment and Destruction of the former world order. He worked tirelessly from 1977 until he saw the climax of his work coming in 1995. He was absolutely convinced that with the Million Man March he was walking into his own crucifixion and ultimately being saved from death by God. That didn’t happen. He was told in his September 1985 Vision that he had to do one more thing then he could see his teacher, Elijah Muhammad, face to face. He just knew that the one more thing was the Million Man March. But nothing happened. Now he becomes a man who is frantically searching for the “one more thing” while appearing to calmly guide his followers. He is the leader of the faith for thousands of people while battling to not fall victim to a crisis of his own faith.

Farrakhan becomes desperate and vulnerable. Every year or two he gets an idea or someone comes to him with an idea that sounds like it might be the One More Thing. And every time he tells his followers that this is it. He won’t have much longer to be with them. After a while, he becomes a bit like the Boy Who Cried Wolf. One More Thing has happened at least a dozen times and Farrakhan is still here. Desperate and Vulnerable. Needing something to be the thing that works.

It’s 2015. There was a time when the barbershop and beauty shop conversation was about how there were no Black leaders left except Farrakhan. Now the conversation is about how there are no Black leaders left, period. Farrakhan is almost 82 years old. He has almost died multiple times in the past 10 years from prostate cancer and complications in the treatment of it.

When he first stood up in 1977 it was Farrakhan and Tynnetta and Jabril. Tynnetta died recently. Jabril has been seriously
sick for quite some time now. The Nation has been recently attempting to return to where it all started with a focus on
economic development. Unfortunately, that effort has yet to gain any traction among the masses of the people. The only
movement energy that we have right now centers around protest politics and that has no real connection with Farrakhan or the Nation of Islam. Those who aren’t in the streets protesting are at home watching reality TV. The prospects for a Nation of Islam resurgence are bleak.

It is my belief that Minister Farrakhan is held hostage by his own sense of destiny. His belief in what his life is supposed to produce, combined with his own sense of mortality, hinder him from instilling the best possible habits into the Nation of Islam under his leadership. The Nation could have a very long-term view toward achieving its aims; determined to chip away, a little bit at a time, at a mountainous goal of restoring Black people to our former glory. One fundraiser, one workshop, one new member at a time. But what the Nation has seemed to do for a while now is to swing for the fences; searching for the One More Thing. As time moves on, a slight shift in the group’s ideology/theology could serve to relieve some of this pressure which causes some desperate moves.

There are a couple of reasons for optimism regarding the relationship between the Nation of Islam and the Black youth of 2015. They are named Jay Electronica and Wesley Muhammad. These two men have been friends for over 20 years. Jay Electronica is a Hip Hop artist signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation record label. He was the most buzzed about rapper in 2009 and 2010, working closely with Diddy, Just Blaze, Jay-Z, Erykah Badu, Nas, and others. He has still yet to release a full-length album and his fans are beginning to wonder if he ever will. Yet he still has a tremendous amount of buzz surrounding every move he makes in the public eye. He might be the might famous rapper in the world to have never released an album. Wesley Muhammad is a historian of religion with a PhD in Islamic Studies. He is one of the founders of The Allah Team, a group that straddles the fence between the Nation of Islam and the Five Percenters, of which Jay Electronica is a former and newly reinstated member. He works in Chicago directly for Minister Farrakhan as an in-house scholar.

These two men and the team that surrounds them have the potential and ability to inject a large dose of intellectualism back into the Hip Hop conversation. If Jay Electronica releases an album and does the full gamut of promotional activities that should accompany that. It could be a spectacle of Hip Hop culture the likes of which hasn’t been seen since the heyday of Public Enemy, Ice Cube, and Tupac. We shall see what happens with that.

Kanye West had these words to say about Minister Farrakhan a couple of weeks ago:

“Right now I’m working on a documentary with him, about him, and about his music. He’s a classically trained violinist. In the same way my wife got stamped with a sex tape, the Minister was stamped with [bigotry], and it’s important that while he’s still alive he sees the people appreciate his message. If you ever hear him talk, it’s about humanity, it’s about one race.”

Kanye West is a pretty big deal. If anyone can shine a positive light on Farrakhan where the youth are concerned, it is Kanye. Kanye’s words lead me to my conclusion. Louis Farrakhan is not receiving the level of appreciation that he deserves from the community that he has worked to serve for the past 60 years. No other organization destroyed by CoIntelPro has reached anywhere near its former level of glory, besides the Nation of Islam. He has built an organization that gives our people something to be proud of and a sense of hope for our future. Whatever the weaknesses of the Nation of Islam may be, its level of organization and dedication give it a chance to make monumental moves on behalf of Black America at any given time.

In the 2014 Major League Baseball season, Derek Jeter received what many called a Farewell Tour. It was his last season in the league at the end of a historically great career and everywhere he went in the world of baseball he was praised and celebrated and thanked for his achievements. Farrakhan deserves a similar round of applause at this time in his life. For however much longer he has to be among us, he should see his people celebrating his life and devoting their energy toward helping him achieve his lifelong goals.

THE THREE YEAR ECONOMIC SAVINGS Program was established by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad in 1964. This program called for black people to pool their resources by contributing $10 a month to help fight against poverty, want, unemployment, abominable housing, hunger and nakedness of the 40 million black people in America. Minister Farrakhan re-established this program in October 1991 because we still continue to face these same problems today. The Program’s name might imply that it was to last for only three years. However this will be an ongoing program until the problems of our people are eradicated.

Every Black person in America should be encouraged to give $60 to this program in honor of the past 60 years of Minister Farrakhan’s work on behalf of our people. The billions of dollars raised in such an effort could start a program of long term development that carries us through the rest of the 21st century, taking us from a powerless people to a powerful people. We deserve it, and Minister Farrakhan’s legacy deserves it.

As with all things, this kind of appreciation will only go as far as the youth (and Hip Hop) push it to go. I fast and pray that I see a time in the very near future where a proper conclusion is given to Minister Farrakhan’s career, for the benefit of all of us.

Why Polyamory? (Why Monogamy Is Stupid)

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Soundtrack: Mtume “You, Me, and He”

Cognitive Dissonance: This is the feeling of uncomfortable tension which comes from holding two conflicting thoughts in the mind at the same time.

Dissonance increases with:

  • The importance of the subject to us.
  • How strongly the dissonant thoughts conflict.
  • Our inability to rationalize and explain away the conflict.

Dissonance is often strong when we believe something about ourselves and then do something against that belief. If I believe I am good but do something bad, then the discomfort I feel as a result is cognitive dissonance.

Cognitive dissonance is a very powerful motivator which will often lead us to change one or other of the conflicting belief or action. The discomfort often feels like a tension between the two opposing thoughts. To release the tension we can take one of three actions:

  • Change our behavior.
  • Justify our behavior by changing the conflicting cognition.
  • Justify our behavior by adding new cognitions.

Monogamy is a major source of cognitive dissonance for most people. You are told from birth through various sources that you are supposed to grow up and fall in love and spend the rest of your life with one person, forsaking all others. Society spreads the idea that one man mating for life with one woman is the “natural” way. That our nature is designed to connect with this soul mate and if you can’t live up to this standard then you are less than a real man or woman and you are morally depraved. The vast majority of us either fail a little bit or we fail horribly at this. Is everybody morally bankrupt or is there something wrong with the standard? Maybe we need to grade our monogamous abilities on a curve.

As with all things, this belief has an origin. What is it? Agriculture. Around 12,000 years ago, human beings started practicing agriculture, planting crops and staying in that place long enough to harvest those crops. Prior to that time, all human beings were hunter-gatherers. They constantly moved as nomads, from place to place, foraging for whatever food they could find. Agriculture involves intensive cultivation of large tracts of land, often requiring ploughing, irrigation, fertilization and other soil improvements. As agriculture spread, arable land became more scarce – and more valuable. I’ll return to this in a second.

Scientists conservatively estimate that modern humans evolved around 200,000 years ago. Assuming that that number is true, those humans didn’t just pop up out of thin air at that time. Even those earliest humans inherited some cultural traits from their ancestors. So we can confidently say that human ancestors have been developing some kind of cultural habits for as long as we have used tools which is around 2.5 million years ago. That’s millions of years of hunter-gatherer life followed up by the past 10,000 years of agriculture.

In those early hunter-gatherer days, one of the habits that we developed was the habit of sharing everything. Human beings are not as physically strong as a lot of other animals in nature. If humans live in an environment where they don’t have the technology to bulldoze forests and kick all the animals out of their habitat, then the humans are in a vulnerable position. In that less technological state, it is also advantageous to take advantage of all the food that naturally sprouts up out of the earth. And when the food in your immediate vicinity is gone, you move onto another spot. Also, it is a natural tendency of all living beings to self-preserve, to keep yourself alive and to see to the survival of your offspring. Early humans determined that the best way for them to stay alive was to move in groups and share resources to make sure everyone had what they needed.

The way that our bodies and brains have evolved since the beginning of our history is a direct result of the environments we have had to adapt to. We have perfectly fashioned ourselves to handle the particular conditions that we have found ourselves in. This is how evolution works. It becomes very difficult to get any living being to live in a way that contradicts its millions of years of evolution. It’s possible, but it’s very difficult. It’s difficult to get lions and bears and elephants to perform tricks in the circus. That behavior is not what they have been evolved to do. And even if you successfully circus train a lion, you never know when its nature is going to come out and the circus gets a rude awakening.

Our early human habit of sharing, which I like to call fierce egalitarianism, included sharing sex. Sexual pleasure was a resource to be shared among the people just like food, clothing, and shelter. There weren’t yet any rules about who sex should happen with and for what reason or how often. They were able to use it much like how modern western people use pills. Need to relax? Have sex. Need to perk up? Have sex. Need to mourn? Have sex. Need to celebrate? Have sex.

Human beings are evolutionarily accustomed to being polyamorous. Monogamy goes against our nature. Polyamory means “many loves”, it denotes the practice of forming sexual and romantic relationships with multiple people. This is how we have conducted ourselves for most of our existence. The practice of one woman and one man forsaking all others is a very recent development.

It is important to point out that our Ancestors weren’t going around sleeping with a bunch of people they didn’t know or didn’t love. It wasn’t like that at all. They lived in small, close-knit groups of 100-150 people. Their sexual partners couldn’t have possibly been strangers or one night stands. Everyone they came in contact with was someone who they were around all the time.

Our closest relatives in nature are chimpanzees and bonobos, even more close than gorillas, gibbons, and orangutans. The behavior of our cousins provides clues of what comes natural for us. Ovulating female chimps have sex with all males who are willing. Bonobos, our closest relative of all primates, enjoy group sex as a way to appease conflict between members of the clan and promote social bonding.

The human body itself shows us that we are evolved for polyamory and sexual promiscuity. Body-size dimorphism (the difference in body size between males and females) is about 10-20% for humans. That is a very small number when compared with many other members of the animal kingdom. Body-size dimorphism reflects male competition for females, so that if the males are significantly larger than the females, this indicates that the males of that species have evolved to have fierce competition for females. They need to be big in order to compete. The 10-20% body-size dimorphism of humans is the same figure as that of chimps and bonobos, who are promiscuous. Moderate body-size dimorphism is therefore an indicator that our ancestors weren’t fighting for attention. They were sharing

Small testes, which gorillas, orangutans and gibbons have, are a sign of limited sexual activity. Larger testes are associated with more promiscuous behavior, since species that copulate more will need larger testes in order to house more sperm for ejaculations. Chimps and bonobos have the largest testes, which is unsurprising considering how much they get it on, while humans have moderately sized testes, although not anywhere near as small as a gorilla’s. Our sperm volume is still far beyond what is needed for monogamous mating.

Within the adult testicle, there is 700 feet of tubing, termed seminiferous tubules, within which sperm is made. Sperm is made from precursor cells termed germ cells that give rise to approximately 120 million sperm daily in a process termed spermatogenesis that takes approximately 64 days in humans. This is equivalent to making about 1200 sperm per heartbeat. That’s a lot.

Even the shape of the human penis has evolved in response to the fact that females will have multiple sexual partners. The glans of the penis (the head) are shaped as they are to remove any previously deposited sperm. It functions like a scoop. During ejaculation the man’s glans will then shrink to ensure that his own sperm are not removed by the same process. Sperm also contains chemicals that defend against and attack sperm from other males. Semen has built-in spermicide, the same stuff they put on condoms. Also, the large ejaculate that men have (the largest of all the Great Apes) is a sign of sperm competition. When we skeet skeet, we skeet a whole lot. All of this sperm competition evolved as a way for males to do the natural job of trying to keep themselves and their lineage alive. They were evolutionarily trying to increase their chances of paternity certainty (being the father of the child which is eventually born).

Another thing to consider is the fact that women are capable of having multiple orgasms with little to no refractory period (the recovery phase after orgasm before being able to go back at it) whereas men lose interest in sex after ejaculation. There is also the fact that men generally cum quicker than women unless they have some tantric training on how to make it last forever like Keith Sweat. Naturally, women who haven’t developed social taboos about having multiple partners aren’t gonna stay sexually frustrated after their partner rolls over and goes to sleep. She’s gonna kick that first dude out the bed and call another one over. Which leads to my next point.

What also runs counter to the standard narrative of human sexuality is the fact of female copulatory vocalization (FCV), which basically means that females vocalize (make loud noises) during sex. If humans were meant to be monogamous, then why would females draw attention to themselves by making these vocalizations? The answer is that the groans and moans are invitations for other males to come along. This is exactly the same evolutionary phenomenon as what female cats and dogs do when they are in heat. They make all kinds of noise so all the males in the area know that it’s time to come handle business. Our less promiscuous primate relatives don’t have any FCV going on. FCV is therefore associated with promiscuous mating, not monogamy.

It is helpful to observe societies that live today much like how our pre-agriculture ancestors lived. So-called primitive societies are the best example we have of how things used to be. There are societies all over the world who still have value systems based on fierce egalitarianism which includes the sharing of their sexual resources. Among the Siriono of the Amazon, jealousy tends to arise not because one’s spouse has lovers, but because he or she is spending so much time with other lovers that the home becomes neglected. Among the Canela people of Brazil, husbands encourage their wives to participate in rituals that involve having sex with twenty or more men in front of the whole community. Among the Mosuo people of China, children are raised by their mothers’ and the mothers’ family because no one can be sure who the fathers are. Women choose men for the night and those men go back home in the morning. Men take more responsibility for their nieces and nephews than any children they might have sired.

Agriculture changed all of this because it led to the development of the idea of private property. When no one individually owns anything, there is no motivation to develop ways to pass things on after you die. With the advent of people staying in one place, claiming ownership to tracts of land and homes and animals, the question of paternity became very important. Mama’s maybe-Daddy’s maybe is not something that can be tolerated when a man wants his possessions to somehow stay in his possession after he dies. That happens by him passing on his genetics to his offspring.

This interesting turn in the course of human history had a huge impact on our sexuality. A woman has no question about who her children are. A father can always question until and unless he gets a DNA test. It became advantageous for men to use their physical dominance to regulate female sexuality. If a man can ensure that his woman is having sex with no one but him then he can be sure that her children are his and he can confidently allow those children to inherit his cows and his crops. This was the origin of monogamy as well as slut shaming.

Women and men had to be told that women are not supposed to want sex, not supposed to think about sex, definitely not supposed to have sex with anyone other than her husband. The extreme power of female sexuality with her ability to choose any man she wants as a sexual partner and her ability to have sex all day long without stopping had to be shut down by the force of muscle and false teachings.

The language that we speak reflects the deep-seated negative attitudes about sex arising from this need to control female sexuality. Sexual jokes are “dirty” jokes. An older man who is interested in sex is a “dirty” old man. A woman or girl who has sex for the first time has “lost” her virginity, she is “deflowered”. We insult people by calling them a “pussy” or telling them to “fuck off”. Nearly always, where sex is concerned, the language used is the language of loss, dirtiness, pollution, or destruction.

The greatest thing that we can do to restore the equality of the sexes is to let go of our ridiculous demands for sexual fidelity. Women who are set free from the horrors of sexual taboos find themselves developing sexual cravings in ways that many of them never thought possible. It’s amazing what your body will ask for once your mind believes that it’s ok to ask.

Why polyamory? Because monogamy is in violation of our entire history as a species. Because sharing sexual pleasure bonds human beings on a level that not many other things can compare to. Because there are other ways to pass things on from generation to generation besides artificially shutting down female sexuality. Because countless lives and careers are ruined everyday by trying and failing to live up to the monogamous standard. We can choose to just stop it with the cognitive dissonance. We can choose to change the conflicting cognition. The truth is, that monogamy doesn’t work because monogamy doesn’t work. We can choose polyamory because monogamy is stupid.

Why Tantra?

maithuna

Soundtrack: R. Kelly “Sex Me”

As promised, the second episode of SOL System Radio is on the subject, “Why Tantra?” What is Tantra and why is it something that people should be studying and practicing?

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. The primary tool that Tantra uses toward that aim is sexual energy. There have been many cultures all over the world and since the beginning of human existence that have recognized that the power of sexual energy can be used toward the goal of enlightenment or liberation or salvation.

I believe that even though Tantra is an ancient practice, it is more important in today’s world than it has ever been before. Tantra can potentially restore balance to a world that has become increasingly off balance over the past few millennia. Let me explain what I mean from the beginning.

There is something in Mathematics called the Transitive Property of Equality. It states that if A equals B, and B equals C, then A equals C. Some time ago I thought about this in terms of sexuality and it has stuck with me. We are told that we all come from God. Anyone who believes in the concept of God in any form believes that God is the source of all existence. We know for sure that we all come from an act of sex. If we all come from God, and we also all come from sex, then the transitive property tells us that God = Sex. In some way, God is synonymous with sexuality and the actual act of sex.

The major religions of the world don’t want us to believe this at all. That is why I say that the world has become increasingly off balance. Religion would have us believe that God either has nothing to do with sex or that God and sex are diametrically opposed to each other. For many religious people, sex is of the Devil and it should only be tolerated as a way to propagate the species but not promoted at all. The effect of this teaching is that people get further and further away from God and from the Source of their lives.

The process of conceiving new life is an energetic process. The woman’s life force combines with the man’s life force and the two together create a new life force. Our life force is encapsulated-crystallized-manifested-embodied-incarnated (I couldn’t think of the right word) in the sperm/ovaries. The body puts a tremendous amount of effort into producing sperm and ovum (eggs). That’s why the act of releasing sperm or ovum by ejaculation or menstruation takes so much out of you. Outside of the bodily functions involved with homeostasis of your own body (keeping things working the same), the body’s other main concern is with making sure that you are ready to produce more life if given the chance.

It is sexual energy that creates life in the beginning and it is sexual energy that sustains life at all times. That energy stays present and it is what animates us, makes us alive, it is the core of our existence. The name that we give to this particular aspect of our energy is Kundalini.

follow me…There is a network of channels/pathways inside the body that start forming immediately after conception with sperm and ovum. These pathways are called Bonghan Channels or primo vessels (the primo vascular system). These primo vessels are what transport the information used to control the perfect formation of the embryo. The perfect symmetry of the body with matching arms and legs and kidneys and lungs and such requires an inconceivable amount of information being passed around to get all of these moving parts to work perfectly together. In the adult body, these primo vessels are the body’s storehouse of stem cells. Stem cells are capable of developing into any tissue in the body. They can make any part of the body over from scratch.

Kundalini is the spark that activates the primo vascular system, which is the CPU that drives the whole computer of the body. This is true at conception, and it remains true throughout life. To be clear, your kundalini is your sexual energy. The act of sex which creates you is accompanied by energy which drives the process of your creation and holds the potential of your re-creation at any time in your life. Kundalini is the fountain of youth. Kundalini is sexual energy. Sunyata Saraswati said that “God is sexual pleasure, used rightly”. To lose your connection with your kundalini is to lose your connection with the source of your existence.

We have not been taught to view sex properly. We have not been taught to hold sex in the high regard that it deserves. Sex is the ultimate sacred ritual. More than communion or religious pilgrimage or baptism, sex brings us closer to God. To further quote Sunyata Saraswati from his book Jewel In The Lotus:

“The basis of sexual desire and its fleeting fulfillment is the ecstasy of sexual orgasm, the most intense experience anyone can have. In that moment one experiences union with the beloved. There is no separation, no ‘I’ as apart from ‘you.’ In that moment we transcend into the state of Samadhi, blissful union between the individual consciousness and the Cosmic. Wave after wave of love and peace infuse waking consciousness. The anxious, striving, separated individual self becomes merged with the total flow of cosmic energy, bathed in its unchanging quality of intense joy.

“The orgasmic experience is available to all, and for many it is the only mystical experience they will ever have. This momentary glimpse leaves us with a deep yearning to repeat it, not just for the sexual release, but for the truth it reveals. Because in that moment we remember who we really are.

“In Tantra you can extend the climax to many minutes. Tantra provides a system of techniques for prolonging orgasm in order to experience Unity Consciousness. The state of enlightenment has been described as perpetual orgasm. Once you learn to attain this state in meditation, sex is no longer such a driving need.”

“In orgasm you are at one with yourself, with your lover, with all creation, with God. There is no time, no past or future, only total presence in the eternal now. The breath stops and the mind is empty. And from this void comes profound love, divine joy and illuminating bliss.”

Monks and nuns and other deeply committed religious people spend whole lifetimes seeking the experience of feeling oneness with God. With having tantric sex from the proper awareness, you can have this experience in a single week of dedicated practice. Tantra has the potential to be a shortcut to enlightenment and salvation. Sexual energy is the most powerful energy that we have access to and it is in our best interests to learn how to use it properly.

There is more to Tantra than just the act of having sex. However, it is all about the goal of cultivating the sexual energy and using it to expand one’s consciousness. The different parts of Tantra vary depending on which school or system you’re in and who your teacher is. Some Tantric techniques include yogic postures to purify the physical body, breathing techniques to stimulate consciousness, meditation to attune yourself to the flow of the Divine, chanting mantras to affect the vibration of the body, looking at visual representations of the mantra frequencies, contracting or locking certain parts of the body to direct energy flow, as well as sexual union.

Most of a regular Tantra practice can be done without a partner. You don’t have to wait on anyone to join you in practicing Tantra. There is plenty that you can do every day to cultivate your Kundalini on your own. And there is much that you can do with a partner or partners that is far outside of the realm of what we see on tv or in porn.

The purpose of this particular writing isn’t to get into specifics of Tantra practice. I just want to help us look at the fact that 99% of us are doing sex and sexuality completely wrong. Our experience is equivalent to having every single cable tv channel in existence and only watching one channel everyday. We are seriously missing out. Why Tantra? Because it is the most effective and most fun way possible to become the highest and best version of yourself. Because it is a shame to have these amazing tools sitting at our disposal and to not take advantage of them. Because awakening kundalini is the primary purpose of human life. Let’s do better.

Why Black Power?

February 9th marks the inaugural episode of SOL System Radio on the Living Aligned network at http://www.blogtalkradio.com. We are starting something new with the blog in that (hopefully) every weekly episode of the radio show will be preceded by a related blog post. Readers will get a chance to hear some of our thoughts on the upcoming show topic and have questions and comments ready to go when the show airs Monday nights at 8pm EST.

Our first three episodes of SOL System Radio will be on the topics: “Why Black Power?”, “Why Tantra?”, and “Why Polyamory?”…In this blog post we’re dealing with the first topic of Black Power. Many people look at this term and the idea behind it as some old outdated wanna be Black Panther ass foolishness. Why are we still talking about this in 2015? Don’t you know we got a Black president?

Yeah, I know. (sigh) The election of Barack Obama was supposed to mark the beginning of a post-racial era in which everyone can truly be judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. But, apparently not everyone got the memo on that. The news has repeatedly shown us that Black people, especially young Black males, are viewed as dangers to society. At first glance. Across the board. Whether it’s a slender 17 year old in Florida or a big 18 year old in Missouri or a little 12 year old in Ohio, Black skin in Obama’s America means you are a threat to be neutralized. Fuck your character.

And the Black community is powerless to do anything about this. That’s what I wanna talk about in this writing. Why are Black people not able to make this unfair treatment stop? What tools give a group of people that kind of ability to control their reality? Why don’t Black people have those tools? How do Black people get those tools?

We define “power” as the ability to determine one’s own reality, and/or the reality of others. An alternative definition of “power” that we like is “Organized People + Organized Money”. Cash Rules Everything Around Me. When we look at how much money Black people are able to organize relative to their peers from other communities, it quickly becomes clear why the Black community is not commanding the highest level of respect.

White people have a whole lot more money than Black people do. There are questions about what exactly the numbers are depending on who is gathering the statistics, but it is clear that the wealth of White households was between 13 and 18 times the median wealth of Black households in 2013. According to one source, the median wealth of White households in 2013 was $141,900 compared to $11,000 for Blacks. That figure for Blacks is quite generous compared to some other estimates.

And, to add insult to injury, this wealth gap is growing under the first Black president. According to the Pew Research Center’s tabulations, White wealth was 8 times that of Blacks in 2010, shortly after Obama got in office, and 13 times that of Blacks in 2013. However, these numbers have little to do with Obama’s performance in office and more to do with the situation he inherited.

The Great Recession between 2007 and 2010 hit Black people especially hard. This is mainly true because housing constituted such a large percentage of our wealth, leaving us deeply exposed when the market crashed. Higher unemployment rates and lower incomes among Blacks left us less able to keep paying our mortgages and more likely to lose our homes. Before the recession, housing wealth accounted for 49% of Black household assets, compared with 28% for the average White household. But the average home value was far lower for Black households: $75,040 versus $217,150.

Discriminatory lending practices were also a factor. “We know that communities of color, their rate of subprime or predatory loans was twice what it is in the overall population,” said Tom Shapiro, the director of the Institute on Assets and Social Policy at Brandeis University.

Black families also suffered bigger hits to our retirement savings, the Urban Institute found. On aggregate, the value of Black families’ retirement accounts shrank 35 percent between 2007 and 2010, while White families’ accounts actually gained 9 percent over the same period. With lower earnings and higher unemployment rates leaving us with a thinner safety net to begin with, Black families were more likely to take funds out of the market when it was depressed, leaving us out in the cold as the market recovered.

“That reservoir of what you can dig into for emergencies and contingencies is a lot shallower in communities of color,” Professor Shapiro said. “That pushes black families to sling off assets, like I.R.A.’s or stocks, that you might have had another goal in mind for.”

Something similar may be happening as the housing recovery takes hold. “Some people talk about it in terms of a land grab,” said Professor Hamilton of the New School, as mainly white investors are buying foreclosed homes from disproportionately minority owners. “As the housing market starts to appreciate, some of those minority buyers might not be back.”

Let me pause here and reiterate that money makes the world go round. Black people make up about 12% of the U.S. population. In 1860, at the climax of slavery, all the free Black people in this country collectively owned about ½ of 1% of the country’s wealth. As of 2014 that percentage increased to 1.75%. Black people control about $1.4 trillion of the total $80 trillion of U.S. household net worth. 12% of the population, with 1.75% of the wealth, is a perfect formula for powerlessness. Just that stat alone tells the whole story of why Black people are disrespected in this country. Why should anyone respect us? We haven’t demonstrated the ability to make anyone pay for not showing us respect. With over a trillion dollars in annual income and in collective wealth, the most we can do when we are violated is do a march or some other “nonviolent direct action”.

I could spend a lot of time detailing the history of how we got in this position. I could bring up some historical facts that I’m sure most people aren’t aware of. But I think that most people have some basic understanding of the fact that our history in this country has produced our present. That we were held as slaves from the moment the first White people stepped foot on this land in the 1500’s until slavery was finally abolished in 1865, except for when it isn’t…that after slavery the vital period of reconstruction was stopped prematurely and replaced with the Jim Crow system of disenfranchisement and the introduction of the Ku Klux Klan…and the story goes on and on.

I want to bring light to what I consider to be the three divisions of the Black community in the 21st century. There are three separate socioeconomic groupings within the Black community with each having a very different experience from what the other two are having. There are 14 million Black households in the U.S. The median household net worth is between $6,500 and $11,000, depending on who you ask. If we take the average of those and put it at $8,750 then that means there are 7 million households with less than $8,750 and 7 million households with more than $8,750. We can fairly accurately divide these 14 million households up into thirds.

The bottom 1/3 or 33% have Negative or No Net Worth. They have absolutely nothing that they control, no savings, no safety net; if they lose a job or have a sudden illness then they’re scrambling to find some help to avoid becoming homeless. The middle 1/3 are those who have just a little bit of wealth; slightly more assets than liabilities. Some of them own a house that they’re barely affording, some don’t own. They are middle class people who are one bad break away from being lower class. The upper 1/3 are people who are doing fairly well for themselves. They are the ones responsible for the average Black household wealth of around $100,000 as opposed to the median which is $8,750.

Blacks saw our overall median net worth decrease by $3,746 (or 37.2%) between 2000 and 2011. However these decreases were concentrated among the bottom two thirds. That group saw its median net worth decline by about 50% while the top one third saw its median net worth increase by about 50% over the same period (2000-2011). For Blacks in the highest 20% of their community, relative increases in median net worth exceeded those of Whites and Hispanics in the same socioeconomic group over this period. This top one third group is a silver lining in an otherwise bleak picture of where the Black community currently stands economically.

So what can we take away from all these numbers and percentages? Two thirds of the Black community either doesn’t have shit, or is a lay-off away from not having shit. What can be done about this? Let’s consider these words from Dr. Claud Anderson.

We have to learn that economics and politics are like offense and defense in a sport, you have to do both well in order to win, and this is a team sport. Our primary issue is that we have never developed the cultural habits that would allow us to work well as a collective, for our collective benefit. We vote as individuals, we save money as individuals, we open businesses as individuals. If we want to win in life, we have to learn how to operate as a team.

Jewish people make up 2.2% of the U.S. population. The median net worth for Jewish households is $150,890. Only 1 percent of Jewish Americans live in poverty. 24% of billionaires in the U.S. are Jewish. 35% of the 400 richest Americans are Jewish. 18% of Jewish households in the U.S. have a net worth of $1 million or more. For a group that was openly discriminated against in recent history, they’re doing pretty good. There is a lot that the Black community can learn from them. One thing that I want to bring up in this context is that there is one group that speaks for the entire Jewish community in dealing with the President and Executive branch of the government (Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations); and there is one group that speaks for the entire Jewish community in dealing with the legislative branch (American Israel Public Affairs Committee). Because of this wealth, unity, and grassroots organizing, their community is able to get pretty much anything they want from the U.S. government.

There is a fundamental shift that would have to occur in order for the Black community to begin operating in that way. The community must first have a desire to control its own economics, politics, education, emergency services, and so on. When you don’t have a desire for such control then it is no wonder that you don’t have control. When you don’t control the basics in your own community then someone else will control them for you. Controlling these basic aspects of community life is the only way to truly get members of your own community and people outside of your community to believe that #BlackLivesMatter.

Seeking this control is synonymous with seeking power. If and when the Black community decides to collectively seek control over its own community then another word for that is power, Black Power. Black Power is not an anti-anybody philosophy. It is simply for people who have lacked control in the past gaining control over their own lives, not control over anyone else. Black Power doesn’t seek to deny rights or liberties to any other people. Black Power is simply about freedom, justice, and equality for Black people.

Integration into the larger society will not and cannot lead to Black people gaining greater control over their own communities. Voting for the Democratic Party in greater numbers will not and cannot lead to Black people gaining greater control over their own communities. Pursuing higher education at the expense of forming a solid economic base first will not and cannot lead to Black people gaining greater control over their own communities. As Dr. Claud Anderson stated in the above video, business and economics is the foundation of any meaningful advancement for Black people.

Black Power is not a thing of the past. It is the only possible way forward for Black people if we desire to see an end to Mike Browns and Eric Garners and poverty and the various things that we know we don’t like. Reactionary protests are not in our best interests. We must turn with laser beam focus on making long term investments in our collective future. A group of 40 million who earns a trillion dollars every year and owns a trillion dollars in wealth can easily come together with $1 billion to start an economic development fund. We could pool $1 billion overnight. We just have to develop a sense of dignity that makes us believe we deserve to control our own destiny. I close with these words from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

P.E.A.C.E.

Fat and Fibroids

belly fat fibroids

Soundtrack: Olivia Newton-John “Physical”

Kanye West “The New Workout Plan”

An expanding waistline is sometimes considered the price of getting older. For women, this can be especially true after menopause, when body fat tends to shift to the abdomen. Yet belly fat is about much more than just how you fit into your clothes. Research shows that belly fat also carries serious health risks. In my work with women across the United States I have seen the causes and the effects of belly fat. I am compelled to address this topic head-on.

The trouble with belly fat is that it’s not limited to the extra layer of padding located just below the skin (subcutaneous fat). It also includes visceral fat — which lies deep inside your abdomen, surrounding your internal organs. Although subcutaneous fat poses cosmetic concerns, visceral fat is linked with far more dangerous health problems, including:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Colorectal cancer

Research also has associated belly fat with an increased risk of premature death — regardless of overall weight. In fact, some studies have found that even when women were considered a normal weight based on standard body mass index (BMI) measurements, a large waistline increased the risk of dying of cardiovascular disease.

Belly fat doesn’t just lay idle at your beltline. Researchers describe it as an active “organ” in your body — one that churns out hormones and inflammatory substances.

“Abdominal fat is thought to break down easily into fatty acids, which flow directly into the liver and into muscle,” says Lewis Kuller, MD, DPH, professor and past chair of epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health.

When these excess fatty acids drain into the liver, they trigger a chain reaction of changes — increasing the production of LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol and triglycerides. During this time insulin can also become less effective in controlling blood sugar, so insulin resistance sets in, he explains.

Blood sugars start to get out of balance. Fats and clots get into the bloodstream, and that sets the stage for diabetes, heart disease, and more.

And research shows that abdominal fat triggers a change in angiotensin, a hormone that controls blood vessel constriction — increasing the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attack, Kuller explains.

Indeed, belly fat is a key indicator of “metabolic syndrome,” a cluster of abnormalities that include high levels of blood sugar, blood pressure, and triglycerides, as well as low levels of “good” HDL cholesterol. This combination of risks has an impact on mortality from heart disease. In addition to all of this, there is another very common effect of belly fat that uniquely impacts women.

———————————-

Uterine Fibroids are benign tumors of muscle and connective tissue that grow in and/or around the wall of a woman’s uterus. There is one major cause for the development and growth of fibroids and that is estrogen dominance, the state of having too much estrogen in one’s system relative to progesterone.

From the onset of puberty to menopause, a woman’s body is designed to have estrogen and progesterone work together to fuel and regulate her monthly cycle.

The bulk of estrogen is released into a woman’s blood circulation during the first half of her monthly cycle. Estrogen works to build the lining of a woman’s uterus to prepare it for implantation of a fertilized egg should fertilization occur.

The bulk of progesterone is released into a woman’s blood stream during the second half of a healthy monthly cycle. During this time, progesterone acts to maintain the rich lining of the uterus that estrogen helped to build up during the first two weeks of her cycle.

If a fertilized egg successfully implants into the uterine wall i.e. if a woman becomes pregnant, her body must continue to produce a large amount of progesterone on a continuous basis to maintain a thick and well vascularized uterine wall throughout the course of pregnancy. This job of continuous progesterone production is handled nicely by a healthy placenta.

If there is no implantation/pregnancy, a woman’s body stops producing large amounts of progesterone, which results in sloughing off and elimination of the thickened uterine lining, also known as a woman’s monthly flow.

This cycle repeats itself about once every month until a woman experiences menopause, with estrogen dominating the first half of each cycle, and progesterone dominating the second half.

Sadly, many women and even teenage girls in industrialized countries have too much estrogen and/or too little progesterone in their systems.

There are many reasons why estrogen dominance is a problem, but the relevant answer for this post is that having estrogen dominance causes a woman’s uterine lining to thicken far more than is healthy during her monthly cycles. This repeated, excessive thickening can result in localized growths in the muscle and connective tissue that line the uterus. We call these growths uterine fibroids.

All of these physiological facts have convinced me that addressing estrogen dominance is essential to shrinking and preventing uterine fibroids.

What causes estrogen dominance?

Exposure to Xenoestrogens is one significant factor in estrogen dominance. Xenoestrogens are estrogens that are produced outside of the body. Here is a list of significant sources of xenoestrogens:

  • birth control pills
  • hormone replacement drugs
  • condom spermicides
  • conventional personal care products, particularly cosmetics
  • Plastic cookware
  • Growth hormones found in factory-farmed animal products
  • Pesticides and herbicides
  • Foaming agents in soaps and detergents

Estrogen is produced in three different areas of the body: ovaries (testicles in men), adrenal glands, and fat cells. That’s right. Estrogen is produced by fat cells. The more fat cells a woman has, the greater chance she has of experiencing estrogen dominance.

It is estimated that three in every four American women have fibroids, with one in four women seeking medical care for the condition. African American women are three to nine times more likely to develop fibroids. Uterine fibroids can be hard to combat given the fact that women are diagnosed with the disease at various stages and when they are in various physical conditions. While the fibroids may develop slowly in some women, others may develop more aggressively. Right now, hysterectomy is the most common treatment for uterine fibroids, accounting for 200,000, or 30 percent, of all hysterectomies in the United States.

I believe that a woman having her uterus is a good thing. Fibroids and the hysterectomies that are resulting from them are a silent epidemic in this country, especially among Black women. When we look at the three areas of the body where estrogen is produced, there is something that jumps out. Fat cells and overly active adrenal glands can both be addressed with the same prescription: EXERCISE.

Adrenal glands are activated by stress. When we feel unsafe in any way then the body’s “fight or flight” response kicks in and the adrenal glands produce adrenaline to make it easier to fight or flee. When we exercise, in addition to improving the way our body looks, we also get some direct sress-relieving benefits:

  • It pumps up your endorphins. Physical activity helps to bump up the production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins. Although this function is often referred to as a runner’s high, a rousing game of tennis or a nature hike also can contribute to this same feeling.
  • It’s meditation in motion. After a fast-paced game of racquetball or several laps in the pool, you’ll often find that you’ve forgotten the day’s irritations and concentrated only on your body’s movements. As you begin to regularly shed your daily tensions through movement and physical activity, you may find that this focus on a single task, and the resulting energy and optimism, can help you remain calm and clear in everything that you do.
  • It improves your mood. Regular exercise can increase self-confidence and lower the symptoms associated with mild depression and anxiety. Exercise also can improve your sleep, which is often disrupted by stress, depression and anxiety. All this can ease your stress levels and give you a sense of command over your body and your life.

If you’re experiencing extreme symptoms from fibroids then there is a very good chance that you’re also experiencing a high level of stress as well as carrying too much belly fat, in addition to exposure to Xenoestrogens. Everyone can immediately address a large part of what is causing their fibroids by exercising. And I don’t mean just walking around the block, even though every little bit helps. I mean exercise like your life depends on it, because it does. Swim, run, do yoga, lift weights, dance, whatever works for you. Just get moving.

Belly fat is the enemy.

Time To Build The Ark – With Knowledge, Love and Will Power…And Through Suffering

noahs-ark-replica-slideshow-2

Soundtrack: Willie Hutch “The Glow”

A Writing from Cedric Muhammad from February, 11, 2008. This message is more timely than ever.

 

” There is a critically important difference between information and knowledge. And it has a bearing on the ability of all of us to move effectively, and improve our condition on the basis of what we learn. Generally speaking we learn through four means, conversation, observation, reading, and experience. The last of these always involves suffering, and that is one of the reasons I always stress to my Christian Brothers and Sisters, who are undergoing life’s challenges, trials and tribulations, the principle of elevation described in Hebrews 5:8, ”

 

 

Some of my friends listen and some don’t (smile).

 

But I always note how many of us say they believe the scriptures, but when they undergo certain difficult circumstances, they throw the book that they believe away, or at least place it back on the shelf, to collect some more dust.

 

Similarly, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad reminded Muslims of the oath they have taken, ‘My prayers, life, sacrifice and death are all for Allah.’ To those of us Muslims who say they believe and then, in the excruciating hour of pain begin to put their faith (and the Word that it is based upon) behind their backs, if I am able, I direct our attention to Surah 9: 111 which says (emphasis mine):, “Surely Allah has bought from the believers their person and their property – theirs (in return) is the garden. They fight in Allah’s way, so they slay and are slain. It is a promise which is binding on Him in the Torah and the Gospel and the Qur’an. And who is more faithful to his promise than Allah? Rejoice therefore in your bargain which you have made. And that is the mighty achievement.”

 

All of us, whether religious or not have made a bargain, or some form of agreement or covenant with life or death.

 

Read Isaiah 28 from as many different translations as possible.

 

Get as many commentaries on verse 18 as possible.

 

Then learn what the Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught about the meaning of that verse.

 

Start with his book, Message To The Black Man.

 

****

 

Whether one refers to it as the The Garden, Kingdom Of God, Heaven, Total Liberation, Full Freedom, Self Improvement, Community Development, the Promised Land, The End Of The State, The Hereafter, Nirvana, The Common Good, or The Pursuit Of Happiness, all of us, who come to this website, in one way or another, are part of a process – from one stage of growth or state to another – that will bring us closer to an ideal or concept, or thoroughly disappoint our expectations. Take a moment to think over why so many people are said to have become ‘disillusioned,’ in or by life itself. Study people who believe they have been betrayed by leaders, movements, organizations or institutions, and try to learn the root of their anger or bitterness, and how it relates to the ambitions, ideals and concepts they had, before they ‘joined’ a movement, organization, or institution or before they came in contact with a certain leader. The way we handle disappointment and dissatisfaction truly manifests who we are, or are not.

 

Now, what is an ideal? How does it differ from an idea? Is it true that there is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come? Is an ideal only an idea in the best possible or most appropriate time and circumstance?

 

Imagine what it is like to live your life in pursuit of a state of existence that does not currently exist in the reality that most experience. Reflect over those who carry an idea that exists more in their heads and hearts than it does in the world that they currently find themselves. We can see this phenomenon at work among both men and women.

 

Aren’t the ‘greatest’ stories those that involve some human being overcoming obstacles and difficulty to bring forth an idea, vision, creation, product, service, or institution that no one else thought possible?

 

Why are human beings seemingly drawn to such stories?

 

Does this not point to something in human nature, and suggest something of our emotional, mental and spiritual (not religious) power, and our connection to something coded into the nature of the universe itself pertaining to destiny, and our ability to co-create – in harmony with its laws – new ‘realities’?

 

Big subject.

 

In some respect, almost all of us, consciously or subconsciously, are looking forward to, and striving for that which ‘no eye has seen, nor ear has heard…’

 

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad wrote of this, and stated for decades that the Muslims were headed into a condition of life, and a physical world (which existed in space and time), that only existed, at that time, in the Mind of the Supreme Being, and was written of only in a Book that the Supreme Being had not revealed to the public, or anyone else for that matter. He described that this Book was promised to one man in particular, and then through that man, the rest of the world could experience the Unlimited Progress that this Book represents and would make possible.

 

To a lesser degree, ‘The Messenger’ described how each of us could experience the ‘Hereafter’ on this side of things, but that such an experience would be fleeting until those most responsible for breaking peace were removed. He also spoke about how we would have to develop our ‘inner self,’ in order to be qualified to make it through a great final war that would precede and usher in the new world. His National Representative, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, has taken us deeper into what His Teacher referred to, than anyone I know of, through his Study Guides: “Self Improvement, The Basis of Community Development.”

 

If you have never seen or read these Study Guides, please don’t waste time in getting acquainted with them at:

 

http://store.finalcall.com/hmlf_cat/hmlf_books.htm

 

Recently, I had the privilege of spending some time with Minister Farrakhan. At a certain point, he said to me, “Brother Cedric, I do not know what you have suffered, but I do know you have suffered.” Later, in conversation, I told the Minister that when I look at what he has suffered (and continues to), as well as that of a couple other individuals whom I personally know, that Labor with him, I am very aware that whatever I have gone through, it simply does not compare. I then said to him, “and I know that all of it (the suffering) has been preparatory.”

 

The Minister gave me that beautiful smile of his, and nodded saying, ‘that’s right.’

 

To me, what the Minister and I were acknowledging that day is perhaps the secret that so many acknowledge in a variety of ways, but seem so unwilling to accept as part of life’s pattern. Napoleon Hill discovered and summed it up essentially as, every adversity contains within it a seed of an equal or greater success. Some Christians I know sum it up as one cannot obtain the crown without first accepting the cross. The best athletes and performers, in training, know it as ‘no pain, no gain.’ Farmers understand it in certain principles of cultivation, and who really knows it any better than the Woman, who through pleasure conceives a child, then through pain and travail delivers that child, and through pleasure, again, enjoys the beauty of nurturing a new life.

 

Perhaps, the Holy Qur’an states it best in Surah 90 verses 4 and 11 which read, “We have created man to face difficulties…But he attempts not the uphill road.

 

The principle of being able to face difficulty and endure pain and discomfort in the service and pursuit of a greater good is ever-present to those with spiritual eyes to see.

 

The more we realize it, the more successful we will be individually and as a people.

 

There is untapped power in grasping the power of what we have suffered as a people.

 

Could it be that the saying that many of us apply at times only to art and entertainment – that ‘suffering is the mother of creativity’ – is universal, and suggests something about the power ready to be unleashed by Black people – who have suffered and endured the most, in all of recorded history?

 

At some point, before the year is out I hope to finally begin reading a book entitled, “Suffering For Science: Reason and Sacrifice In Modern America,” by Rebecca M Herzig.

 

When and if you have time, read the powerful introduction to “The Adversity Advantage” by Paul G. Stoltz and Erik Weihenmayer.

 

Our suffering has created an atmosphere and fertile ground for the greatest ideal and idea to take root and be born.

 

As well as that critical mass or foremost group of human beings who best embody it.

 

We are almost at the time of delivery.

 

As with all births there will be blood, but eventually only joy over a new quality of life will remain.

 

 

*****

 

At BlackElectorate.com for over 7 years we have chronicled the life (and death) experience of Black people, all over the earth. We have not done this without a purpose. Although the individual visiting the website has benefited from this free display of information, in a variety of ways, that we are pleased to learn of, this website was never established for a casual, or strictly individual or professional benefit. We hope we have served each and every viewer in a way that is suitable and meaningful to their individual experience but our greatest desire and intention in doing what we have, is to serve a community of individuals, not only through information, but through learning and the application of what they understand, in service of the very people they are reading about.

 

In this area an important distinction has to be made between data, information, knowledge, understanding and wisdom.

 

First consider this from a book that was the final report of a group of senior Canadian government officials, private-sector executives, and researchers between 1990 and 1997. The primary focus of this group – the Roundtable on Governing in an Information Society – was to explore and develop more effective ways of governing in this rapidly changing world. In Renewing Governance: Governing by Learning in the Information Age by Steven A. Rosell we read:

 

We are exploring a territory for which there is no reliable map. The inadequacy of our conceptual apparatus to make sense of proliferating and unfamiliar information is usually described and experienced as ‘information overload’. But it may be more accurate (and useful) to see the real problem as the insufficient capacity of our existing frameworks and methods of interpretation – our existing mental maps – to translate that data and information into meaningful knowledge. This formulation is based in part on a distinction suggested by Harlan Cleveland:

 

– data are unrefined ore, undifferentiated facts without contexts;

 

– information is refined ore, organized data, but data that we have not yet internalized (the newspapers we have not yet read, the course we have not yet taken);

 

– knowledge is information that we have internalized (integrated with our own internal frameworks.)

 

These distinctions became important parts of the vocabulary of the project, helping us to see that the process of translating data and information into knowledge (the process by which data and information are interpreted, given meaning, and so made useful as a basis for action) is central to effective governance.

 

Although not perfectly how I would describe knowledge, the above is helpful in making a point about a difference between information and knowledge, particularly in this age of talk radio, Internet news, the 24-hour cable news and opinion cycle. Information is more of an external or superficial phenomenon, while knowledge involves the internalization of information with an awareness of its factual nature. Understanding revolves around the meaning of knowledge, and wisdom is the application of what you understand.

 

Again, this generally constitutes learning which revolves around conversation, observation, reading, and experience (which always involves suffering). To place greater emphasis on spiritual and unseen processes of learning, one could add revelation and intuition, but that could be a qualification of the previous four methods as much as it would be a fifth category of learning.

 

One of the factors that all of us – particularly those who have been oppressed though improper or miseducation – must be careful of, is the degree to which we increasingly rely upon exposure to information sources as our primary means of learning. There are too many of us that are not making the distinction between data, information, knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.

 

In a critically and increasingly dangerous time for human beings of all colors – in the streets or in the suites – to be misinformed can be fatal.

 

*****

 

When people ask me about the essence of the Internet and why people utilize it, I always boil it down to two factors – convenience and anonymity. Essentially that is what makes the Internet so attractive. It is a wonderful vehicle, for so many different things, and it has been a blessing to so many of us.

 

Having said that, I believe that improper use and disproportionate reliance on the Internet has aggravated an aspect of the so-called crisis of the Black Intellectual, and compounded some of the problems inherent in our miseducation. Especially over the past few years, I have noticed how the use of e-mail blasts, the circulation of stories and articles, and the ability to make rapid financial transactions has enabled some wonderful activity, as well as some harmful or anemic advocacy, passing as revolutionary, productive and progressive activism. I have referred to some of this in terms of the phenomenon of ‘talking and typing.’ And I have tested it by inviting and challenging the most vocal and articulate to take ‘small’ action steps in support of their arguments, points of agreement, and passionate expressions.

 

It has been a fascinating experience to see the loudest do the least, and those with the least volume in their words, demonstrate a volume of work.

 

Could it be that the most brilliant sounding and intelligent among us lack a form of intelligence, capacity, or ability to truly activate on the basis of information? Is it perhaps most alarmingly true in the Black Community that our intellectual community (and those of us while exercising the greatest intellectual ability) has – to borrow the understanding of Nathan Hare – become more of a disconnected elite, than a vanguard connected to the masses (and the rest of our ‘normal’ or ‘down to earth’ personality)? Or could it be that the work of the intellectual is inherently a different kind of work than that of the grassroot activist, community organizer, or institution builder?

 

I don’t believe that ‘yes’ is the answer to the last question but I do think there is something to the so-called right and left brain thesis. Many of you know I certainly make distinctions between critical thinking and creative thinking, and am always impressed by the very few that I have seen who have been able to do both – creatively and critically construct ideals and ideas into models and then, creatively and critically give birth to and then establish them in reality .

 

One interesting and rare example of an intellectual able to execute and apply his insights successfully in the competitive world of business is Gary Loveman who left Harvard Business School to head Harrah’s in Las Vegas. Read these articles about his path at your leisure:

 

http://www.forbes.com/asap/2002/1007/048.html

 

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2004/03/08/363688/index.htm

 

http://www.forbes.com/2003/07/14/0714mckinsey.html

 

I’ve discussed this factor with Reuven Brenner for years, as it relates to economists who only know from theory as opposed to those who have that ability, as well as deep experience in business and as entrepreneurs.

 

There is something important and ‘real’ that I see missing in so many who have the strongest and dare I say ‘most informed’ opinions on Black politics, culture, and economics.

 

It is not that they are purely intellectual in a professional sense. Many of these folks are laypersons, everyday people. But when they think into our problems there is a disconnect between their knowledge and its practical relevancy to their circumstances on the ground.

 

Part of it is the lack of a forum to work together with other thinkers, to refine that thinking while faced with a real challenge to solve the problems that face our people, while being held accountable to produce a working result. If you can’t give folks an opportunity to do more than talk and type about these important areas, they will do just that. .

 

…From a speech made by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, “The Will of God” Part I we read:

 

Will is Power but Power must be guided. Guided by what? The Power of Will must be guided by Knowledge. But there is an emotional force that gives direction to Will. And the emotional force – which is the creative force upon which the entire Universe is constructed – is Love. And it is out of this awesome power of Love that the Will springs up; it springs up out of this emotion and it is directed and guided by that emotion. When you couple Will and Knowledge and Love, then you have a balanced individual, whose Will is being used in a creative, constructive way; not in the way of destruction.

 

…Read Isaiah Chapter 59.

 

Truth, although always powerful, has fallen in the street.

 

It must be lifted up, not only in word, but in deed.

 

****

 

I recently came across a very important article in The Muhammad Speaks newspaper which I intend to get to every member of our “Business and Building” Community. In the February 21, 1969 edition, an article was published entitled, ” Reeducation of Intellectual New Cry In World Movement.”

 

As it relates to what was happening in Cuba at the time, the article states, ” ‘Education from books is necessary for all of the masses,'” any Cuban will tell you. But, they will add that ‘such education is not enough. The practical realities of life are also of prime educational importance.’ ”

 

On what was taking place in China, at the time, the article states, “Mao Tse Tung of China has recently called on the educated peoples of China to get in touch with the working people of that land. Presently, a great exodus to the countryside is going on in China with millions of young Chinese returning to the land for an education in rural life. Mao’s purpose is as much to remind the educated Chinese young of the reasons for the revolution as it is to acquaint them with the hardships of rural life.”

 

There is so much in these words for us to study and with which to perform introspection. As it relates to rural life, something powerful has been dawning on me of late as it concerns Black people’s general disrespect or ignorance (greater among those residing in the North or Urban areas) of farming and true land ownership (not just real estate investing in houses and properties). My thoughts have been deepened on this point since participating in a review of the Nation of Islam’s farmland, led by Minister Farrakhan, in Georgia last month, and my recent interaction with several brilliant Black Farmers, Businesspersons and Politicians, based in the South.

 

In the February 28, 1969 edition of Muhammad Speaks the Honorable Elijah Muhammad places an important article called, “Build Black Economy.’ In it he points out how Black intellectuals, professionals, and businesspersons fulfill some aspects of negative prophecies described in the 56th Chapter of Isaiah and the 23rd Chapter of Matthew.

 

One of the things the Honorable Elijah Muhammad brilliantly pointed out about the Black educated class of our people, which the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has repeated, spoken into, and worked out of, for decades, is the reality that it will only be working among our own, outside of the current system of things, that any Black intellectual or professional will truly be able to practice their skill on behalf of their people. We all know the frustration, dissatisfaction, and disappointment in the hearts and minds of Black social scientists, academician, professionals, and government employees who studied what they did to be qualified for what they do, only to be unfulfilled once they realize that their best efforts benefit those outside of their community more than those within it, or, are generally ineffective in solving the problems that their training was advertised as enabling them to address and overcome.

 

What is at the root of this?

 

On one level it is the impossible scenario of someone being content and satisfied performing any endeavor without knowing who they are. Having the knowledge and expertise of a trade, skill or craft while being ignorant of one’s true self, and your contextual and historic relationship to your people, while sensing you are being improperly utilized, is a recipe for deep depression, and in the case of some, suicide.

 

We all can find in recorded history the accounts of our best and brightest who had emotional breakdowns and bouts with serious depression due to their inability to reconcile where they are in life, with the ideal they hold for the upliftment of their people.

 

We all can find this same dynamic at work much closer to home, and the workplace.

 

This pain grows out the yearning, longing, and deep hope in the heart of most all of us for change for the better for the masses of our people, while realizing that we are not in the best position to effect it. In the case of some, it is the realization that our talent, skill, labor, wealth and brainpower is being used against this legitimate aspiration. Related to this is that September 17, 1960 article by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, “What Must Be Done With The Negro?” In it, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad says that Blacks were a people who give their brainpower, skills, talent, labor and wealth to another civilization and until we stopped doing this – as well as increasing land ownership – we would not move beyond freed slave and dependent status toward independence and self sufficiency. On the point of self-sufficiency, in his 1969 writing, “Build Black Economy,” the Honorable Elijah Muhammad stated of the members of the Black business professional class, “If you make the Laborer wealthy, he is still in your orbit and you share in it. He will love and honor you if you enable him to become self-sufficient.”

 

The question can be posed today as it was decades ago – how much of these five factors: wealth, brainpower, skills, talent and labor of Black people, is being deployed on behalf of Black communities and how much for communities and individuals other than themselves? How much of what the Black political, and economic intellectual, or the Black professional and businessperson knows, is actually being applied to “make the Black Laborer wealthy”?

 

This goes way beyond what is popularly referred to as ‘prosperity preaching.’

 

 

****

 

 

One of the questions that anyone providing information, knowledge and education to people should be concerned with is – what is the most appropriate of all information, knowledge, and education that can be shared?

 

Just consider all that could be learned.

 

The Holy Qur’an states in Surah 31 verse 27, ” And if all the trees in the earth were pens, and the sea with seven more seas added to it (were ink), the words of Allah would not be exhausted. Surely Allah is Mighty, Wise.”

 

The Bible illuminates this same principle in John 21:25 with the following: ” Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would have been written.”

 

Every day we are bombarded with information – how do we know what is most appropriate and timely for us to know?

 

At BlackElectorate.com we have tried to help make that determination for you for over 1,500 days since the year 2000.

 

And now, it is my intense desire to work with a critical mass of you – who have not only fed from the table we have set, but who have much to offer to expand the menu of learning – to deepen our mutual understanding of that which we have been informed about and know, and ultimately, to apply it to contribute to the solution of specific and carefully selected problems.

 

****

 

…I came across some insight in reading Minister Farrakhan’s Study Guide # 5 Building The Will Part I. A particular focus of the material deals with Section 3 and 4 of Surah 11 of the Holy Qur’an, which centers around Noah’s interaction with his people. I encourage you to read these sections carefully.

 

They are loaded.

 

In summary, Noah’s people debated and disputed with him over the message he was delivering to them. Eventually, his people asked him to bring on the ‘painful day’ of which he was warning them. Soon after their challenge, it was revealed to Noah that he had reached the numerical limit of those who would ever accept and believe his message, and that it was time for him to ‘make the ark.’

 

Immediately when I read this, I thought over the nature of some of the recent coverage we have been featuring at BlackElectorate.com, and the kinds of articles people have been forwarding to us regarding the decay and decline of this world’s systems.

 

I often wonder about the thinking of many of us who point out the obvious signs of the fall of America – politically, culturally, and economically – but who seem unwilling to prepare for its eventual reality by doing for self.

 

Just think about it, as the evidence mounts that the house is falling apart, shouldn’t those most closely observing the decay be foremost in preparing for its effects or consequences?

 

An example of this are the numerous and increasing conversations I have with some very intelligent folks regarding the fall of the dollar which do not include any mention of what Blacks as a people need to be doing to prepare for the decline and eventual hyper-inflation of the world’s most powerful currency.

 

As I write this I glance at today’s Wall St. Journal lead story entitled, “Recession Fears Weigh Heavily On The Markets.”

 

If I sent this article around to many, I am sure I would get an interesting debate and dialogue going on the nuances of this story, but very little in the way of lying those insights with a recognition of the time and what must be done.

 

This is what I mean by excessive intellectualism.

 

Perhaps I should send this November 26, 2007 Wall St. Journal article as an e-mail blast along with the February 28, 1969 Muhammad Speaks article, “Build Black Economy” by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Final Call‘s report on the May 13, 2007th speech by Minister Farrakhan entitled, “One Nation Under God: Part 5 – The Fall of The Dollar” (http://www.finalcall.com/artman/publish/article_3518.shtml).

 

How long must we debate, read, and observe the signs before we are compelled to engage in that dialogue and cooperation that results in united action?

 

…along with those who understand the time and what needs to be done, we would like to contribute to building the ark that can survive the difficult days that are surely on the horizon.

 

The Self Guided Ones

fard

Soundtrack: Talib Kweli “Self Savior”

In July I spent four days in Detroit as one of the stops on my Tantra Tour 2014. I was there during the time that Muslims from all over the world observe the Ramadan fast in remembrance of the revelation of the Qur’an to Prophet Muhammad. Detroit is a city of major significance for Islam in the United States.

When I was fifteen years old I was introduced to Islam as taught by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and I decided to discipline my life to that body of knowledge. Several years later I switched my college major to Religion and Philosophy and my overall outlook on religion and spirituality changed. My knowledge of how and why human beings do religion was deepened and broadened. I was influenced to change the direction of my spiritual focus from the Nation of Islam, established by Elijah Muhammad and led by Louis Farrakhan, to the 5% Nation of Islam, innovated by Father Allah (Clarence 13X) using the foundation laid down by Elijah Muhammad.

Over time my Islam has become more and more of a personal matter for me. It is not something that I wear on my sleeve. Though this may be a crass analogy, Islam for me is like undergarments — I keep it very close to me but I cover it up with the appearance that I choose to show to the world. Being in Detroit during Ramadan was the first time in a while that I was made keenly aware of my own Islamic identity and heritage.

I stayed in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn. Dearborn has the largest Arab population of any town in the United States, 42% of the population is of Arab ancestry. The inner city of Detroit is where the Nation of Islam was founded by an Arab man named Wallace Fard (W.F.) Muhammad, who is pictured above. I went sightseeing to the location of the first Nation of Islam headquarters and other historic Islamic sites in the city. All of this caused me to think about the philosophy of Islam from the perspective of where I stand now as a Tantra practitioner.

W.F. Muhammad is regarded by the members of the Nation of Islam as the “Mahdi”. The word Mahdi means guided one, divinely guided one, or self guided one, depending on who is doing the translating. It is a prophesied figure in Islamic tradition who is expected to appear in the last days along with the Messiah, bring justice to the world, and remove all tyrants. I’ll come back to Mahdi in a bit.

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught that “God is a man, and Man is God”. He taught that human beings are direct descendants of the Originator of the heavens and the earth. He said that Knowledge of God and Knowledge of Self are one in the same. In his talks about the Originator, he constantly emphasized that that First God was self-created, He brought Himself into existence. What practical benefit can we get from accepting that concept as truth? (I’m skipping over a lot of what I could say to provide context to these things in the interest of brevity. I hope I’m not losing anyone)

If it is true that we are created in the image and likeness of God, that we are all gods and children of the Most High God, that we are direct descendants of the Originator, then it makes sense that we share in God’s attribute of being self created. It is important that we understand that the First God was self created because that is the most crucial thing for us to understand about ourselves. We bring ourselves into existence.

It’s important that I mention that I’m only speaking for myself when I say these things. Pretty much all of the different divisions of Islam would disagree with my position here for one reason or another. This is not mainstream Muslim thought by any stretch of the imagination. This is revolutionary MJ’s perspective on what I have read and practiced of Islam for nearly twenty years.

It is my belief that there is one Consciousness at the root of the universe. There is one Ultimate Reality which is aware of itself as having existence. That Infinite Intelligence is the ultimate root of every single living being. As human beings, with our unique level of self awareness, we have a unique relationship with and connection to the Ultimate Reality. God experiences his/her/itself through us as human beings. We are God’s eyes and ears and hands. We are individuated pieces of the Ultimate Reality. We are eternal beings. We were all THERE/HERE in the beginning when the Ultimate Reality became aware of his/her/itself and decided to split into separate parts so that he/she/it could perceive what he/she/it was made of.

Before we come into physical existence as embryos in the womb of our mothers, we make a conscious decision from the Ancestral realm of what kind of body and life we want to be born into. Based on that resolute decision we attract that situation (parents, family, body) to ourselves and take on a new physical life. Even though we forget about the decision we made once we start adjusting to living in this realm of relativity and perceiving the world through our physical senses, at our core we are still deciding what life we choose to live and we attract life to us based on our thinking. We are self created.

W.F. Muhammad, the self-guided Mahdi, represents a frequency that we can all tune into. He’s like a tuning fork and we’re all musical instruments. He sets the tone and we can all tune up according to him. He represents a body of knowledge that allows us to fully remember that we are gods and then function according to that knowledge. The modern world is making it very difficult for the major western religions to maintain their grip on the minds of the people. The theology and mythology of these religions was developed at a time when people were ignorant to many scientific truths. The people needed some sort of explanation about natural phenomena in order to put their minds at rest. Now, technology and the information age are quickly making these ancient inventions obsolete. The people are yearning for something that matches their modern minds.

Elijah Muhammad said:

“Master Fard Muhammad aims to raise the Lost-Found (so-called Negro) into the knowledge and wisdom—the very ideas—of the Gods of the past.

“He also aims presently, to raise His people into His own ideas, in Himself, that the scriptures may be fulfilled: that those to whom He reveals Himself become the sons (and the daughters) of God—sons and daughters in the wisdom of God.

“He aims not only to reveal His ideas for the present creation of the universe, but also to give to man the nature and the creative wisdom to produce creative ideas as The Father of Civilization.

“This is what was prophesied: that God would make man like Himself. He aims to make The Nation of Righteousness, who will rule in the Hereafter, with the potential knowledge of producing and bringing into action, or existence, that which He has been able to produce. We call this ‘ideas.’ He aims to make each one into a God.”

The people of the future will no longer rely on books of scripture, priests and reverends, or divination systems to access the mind of the Divine. We are moving toward a time when humanity will be reunited with our true identity as extensions of the Ultimate Reality. We will remember how to consult our heart and our feelings as the Messenger of God. We will learn to trust our intuition. We will become the self-guided ones.

Let’s Talk About Squirting

Before you read this blog, you are required to watch the short introductory video here.

Soundtrack: Lil Jon & The Eastside Boyz: “Get Low”

Image

Let’s talk about squirting.

A lot of my work revolves around female orgasm or orgasmicness (don’t know if that’s a word but it is now). I’ve been getting a lot of questions about female ejaculation lately ranging from the people who are freaked out and think it’s urine to those who are begging and wishing to skeet skeet skeet. I’ve found that very few people actually know what female ejaculate is, where it comes from in the body, how it is produced, and why it happens. Which isn’t surprising because most people know very little about human anatomy in general. So I’ve been inspired to shed a little light on this subject and clear up some misconceptions and give hope to those who think they’ll never be able to squirt.

Squirting, or female ejaculation, refers to a stream of clear fluid coming from the vagina during sexual arousal. This fluid comes from what are called the Skene’s glands, or the female prostate. The Skene’s glands are located on the upper wall of the vagina, around the lower end of the urethra. They drain into the urethra just as the urinary bladder drains into the urethra. These glands are surrounded with tissue, which includes the part of the clitoris that reaches up inside the vagina and swells with blood during sexual arousal, usually known as the G-Spot.

The Skene’s glands are homologous with the prostate gland in males, which means that they are basically the same thing. When an embryo is forming, that part of the body either becomes a prostate gland if the baby turns out to be a boy or it becomes a Skene’s gland if the baby turns out to be a girl. In men, the prostate secretes the fluid that, combined with sperm from the testicles and fluid from the seminal vesicle, becomes semen. The fluid from the Skene’s gland is identical to the fluid from the prostate.

To be clear, that means that this fluid is not urine. Urine comes from the bladder. Ejaculate/Amrita comes from the Skene’s gland. They both drain out of the same hole at the opening of the urethra, but they are not the same thing.

There are a few common questions about squirting that I want to address. Let’s get into those.

Q: There is too much fluid when women squirt for it to not be urine, right?

A: Well, about that…glands produce fluid. That’s what they do. Sweat glands produce sweat. Adrenal glands produce adrenaline. Skene’s glands produce amrita. We all know what it’s like to pee. We all know what it’s like to be required to pee (drug test) and you just don’t have anything to give. The bladder is not a neverending supply of liquid. Either you have urine in you or you don’t. Glands, however, are always ready to go if they receive the right messages.

Q: What exactly is the G-Spot?

A: As stated earlier, the Skene’s glands are located on the upper wall of the vagina. The tissue surrounding the glands is connected to the inner body of the clitoris. When a woman is sexually aroused, the clitoris fills with blood and becomes engorged and erect. This slightly changes the structure of the vagina and makes it possible for the Skene’s gland to be directly stimulated. What is called the G-Spot is actually the spot where the Skene’s gland meets the internal body of the clitoris. This causes two things to happen. First, it feels really good obviously because the clitoris has an abundance of nerve endings for the purpose of pleasurable sensation. And also the gland starts to produce fluid which then drains into the urethra. There are two things happening simultaneously from directly stimulating the same small area. Sometimes stimulation of this spot leads to orgasm, a different kind of clitoral orgasm, a G-Spot orgasm. What can also happen is that the fluid in the urethra builds up pressure that needs to be released which is what we know as squirting. The most magical moments happen when the G-spot orgasm and the squirting happen simultaneously so that it becomes identical to the male version of orgasm which includes orgasm and ejaculation at the same time. The release of the pressure in the urethra is a pleasurable sensation in itself which adds to the clitoral orgasm.

Q: What is this internal clitoris stuff all about? 

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A: There is more to the clitoris than what you can see from outside of the body. As this diagram shows, the clitoris goes behind the clitoral hood and extends up and then down on either side of the vagina. The whole dark pink area is the clitoris. This entire area fills with blood upon sexual arousal. And any part of it that gets stimulated produces deep pleasurable sensations. I’ll let the diagram speak for itself.

Q: What exactly is the nature of this fluid that comes from the Skene’s gland?

A: Female ejaculate, which I like to call amrita, is equivalent to prostate fluid as we said before.  It contains a mixture of blood plasma, proteins, and enzymes. It is generally clear in color and has a scent unlike anything else that the body secretes. Again, when this fluid is combined with sperm in the male body then it becomes thicker and is known as semen. The fluid minus the sperm is amrita, the goddess nectar. By the way, there are many physical and spiritual health benefits for a man who drinks the amrita. 

Many women are uncomfortable with allowing squirting to happen because it produces a sensation like the need to urinate. Of course no one wants to pee on their partner during sex. Well, maybe some people do, but that’s taking the discussion in a very different direction. I suggest for women who are trying to experience squirting for the first time to urinate before they have sex so they can trust that the bladder doesn’t need to be emptied. Then trust the process. Understand that high levels of sexual arousal leads to the urethra filling with amrita, it’s a natural process, and if you let go then the magic is going to happen. When you feel that pressure building up, just relax and let it flow. Don’t tense up and try to hold it in. In part 2 of this blog post we’ll go a lot deeper into the need to relax during sex for optimum pleasure and the negative effects of stress on sexual arousal.

For now, take solace in knowing that amrita is not urine. You’re not going to pee when you feel that sensation. Every woman is able to squirt. It is a very healthy and fun part of a quality sex life. Awww skeet skeet skeet skeet skeet skeet!!!

(Update 05/18/15)

I received the following question on Facebook regarding this blog post: “So what are your thoughts on this latest study that’s saying it’s really pee because the bladder went from full to empty with the participants?”
That question is referencing this article first published in the Journal Of Sexual Medicine on December 24, 2014. The study was conducted by a French team led by Samuel Salama from Hopital Privé de Parly II. I responded to the question by saying this:

“I think the researchers in that study are idiots.

Two points. First is that the biochemical analysis showed that urine samples before sexual stimulation contained no PSA (prostate-specific antigen), and the squirting as well as the after-squirting urine both contained PSA. So just with that alone, it is clear that these substances are not the same thing. If you know what urine is made of and then you find that squirting contains significant amounts of something that is not in urine, then squirting is not urine. That’s simple.

Second point is that the skene’s glands empty into the urethra. The urethra extends out from the urinary bladder. If a fluid rushes into the urethra and doesn’t immediately get emptied then it is going to flow back into the urinary bladder. There is nowhere else for it to go. The urinary bladder becomes a repository for the fluid that the skene’s glands have emptied into the urethra. Once the woman allows the fluid to come out then the bladder is empty again, as the ultrasounds in the study shows.

Of course if there are trace amounts of urine in the bladder then that will get mixed in with the squirt fluid and that explains why trace amounts of urea show up in the biochemical analysis of squirting. That means that it’s a really good idea to empty your bladder before you have sex so you can minimize or eliminate the amount of urine that gets mixed in.

But the bottom line is that sexual arousal leads to the release of fluid from the skene’s glands and that fluid can be squirted out of the urethra. That fluid and pee are two different things.”

Love Without a Limit

Soundtrack: Mary J. Blige “Love No Limit”

The Isley Brothers “It’s Your Thing”

I am in love with three women. Saying that now takes me back to 2009 when I first broke the news to my closest friends that my wife and I had decided to have an open marriage.

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People told me that it’s impossible to truly love more than one person at the same time. People told me that my wife couldn’t possibly be ok with this; she must just be repressing her true feelings so she won’t lose me. People told me that one day, one of us would explode in a jealous rage and they didn’t wanna be around to witness it.

None of those objections have turned out to be very valid in the five years since then. A couple of years ago I began a long distance relationship that remains very loving and serious to this day.

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And the impossible happened. That woman and my wife (along with a couple of other wonderful polyamorous women) became best friends. The two of them probably talk to each other more than either of them talk to me. They have a rare and beautiful sisterhood bond.

A year ago, my relationship with my wife became a long distance one as I moved to Atlanta from Houston. We will be reunited in Atlanta very soon but the past year has been an emotional challenge and a proof of our love and commitment. She and I have both developed very serious relationships with local lovers during the year that we have been apart. I can’t imagine how we would’ve survived this year emotionally if we hadn’t had love to sustain us from other sources.

About three and a half months ago I met a woman in Atlanta who changed my life.

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During our first in-depth, face-to-face conversation, while eating seafood, I felt that Source had brought her into my life for us to work together as a team. I knew that my life had changed that day. I hadn’t felt an instant bond with someone like that since my first date with my wife. Over the course of that day I went from thinking that she and I would be excellent business partners to business partners/friends to business partners/friends/lovers to Life Partners who share in every way possible. That day turned into like three days before we separated from each other. But we’ve been together ever since.

My relationship with my newest lover and my life as a full time entrepreneur started around the same time. She has helped me with every aspect of laying the foundation for The SOL System as a brand and a business.

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And now all three of my lovers are fully involved in the business with me as a team. And it just so happens that we make a really good team. Between the four of us we have pretty much every skill that we need in this business from the healing practice to marketing to accounting to product development and more. I am completely overwhelmed with how blessed I am and how obvious it is that I couldn’t have assembled a situation this perfect if I tried.

I was inspired to write about this because I’ve felt bombarded with messages about how difficult/impossible polyamory is, from those who shun it and from those who practice it. My life is a testimony that open relationships can be healthy and loving and functional. When love is multiplied, it only gets better. It gives me joy to share random laughs and conversations with my lover’s husband. It gives me joy to have a Skype conversation with my lover while she sits in the bed with her ex-boyfriend. It gives me joy to know that even though I’m hundreds of miles away, my lover is able to share her bliss with another man who cares for her deeply.

There are two philosophical points that I want to make on this subject.

First, your life is a product of what you believe about yourself. I won’t go too deep into trying to prove that point. I’ve done that in other posts on this blog. But the Law of Attraction is just as real and omnipresent in our lives as gravity and electromagnetism. You attract to yourself whatever you think about most often. If you believe that jealousy is a basic part of life; if you believe that people who share the same lover cannot peacefully co-exist; if you believe that monogamy is the natural way of relationships and polyamory is an “alternative lifestyle”, then that is what you are going to get. However, if you believe that love can truly mean freedom and joy and honesty and abundance, then that is what life will give you.

The vast majority of people who practice open relating meet with all kinds of challenges because they are not clear about their beliefs. They only sort-of buy in to the idea that open relationships are ok. They have a lot of residual monogamy in their subconscious minds so they manifest confusion. Polyamory, or any new way of life, can only be successful to the extent that you fully remove the beliefs that you used to operate under. Becoming healthy can only work to the extent that you remove the beliefs that used to reinforce an unhealthy lifestyle. Becoming peaceful can only work to the extent that you remove the beliefs that used to reinforce a life of violence. My life in open relating has blossomed as I have successfully brought all of my beliefs about love and relationships into alignment with this new paradigm. I truly believe in this, and it is working for me.

Now moving on to my second point. As I said earlier, two of my relationships are long distance. I’ve been separated from my local lover for the past 8 days as she is taking our #TantraTour2014 to the west coast. None of us could make it if we were relying on someone else to be the source of our happiness. And now, a message from Osho:

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We are able to operate from a place of Abundance because we find our happiness from within Self. If your partner’s love is the source of your happiness then it can be very scary for your partner to share their love with someone else because it feels like now you have less of the source of your happiness. But you have a neverending source of joy/peace/love/bliss within your own soul. You are a piece of the Ultimate Reality. You are one with the Universe. Any limitation that you think you have only comes from losing sight of the fact of who you really are. When you know that you are one with The All, then you have nothing to worry about. It is impossible to lose a lover because there is nowhere to go. We are connected to everything else in existence.

Because we have our happiness from within Self, we can only add to each other’s happiness, not take it away. This is why interacting with all three of my lovers feels so damn good. Happy on top of happy on top of happy. This is heaven. This is bliss. This is what life is all about. I really want everyone in the world to feel what I am feeling. That’s why I can’t be quiet about this any longer. I have to share my joy with the world. Come get some of this.

hearttat (This tattoo with the infinity sign going through the heart is generally considered to be the symbol of polyamory. I’m serious about this)