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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Teaching Proverbs | Animism Definition Rejected
African Spiritual Practices Accepted

What is Animism?

To briefly summarize several dictionary references, “Animism” is the belief all things contain spirit. For a moment this seems accurate and kinda harmless because it contains some truth. However, a closer and overall look is warranted.

The term itself is “animal” + “ism.” This implies a religion based on animals and animal worship. It invokes all sorts of notions that are unfounded, foolish and fearful.

The term Animism was only recently created less than a few hundred years ago by the children of the human race to describe what the parents do. The term Animism is often used by non-indigenous outsiders in an attempt to grasp concepts they still do not understand.

Indigenous people Do Not call their spiritual beliefs by the term, Animism. This term has been imposed by those who are opposed to the people and to their beliefs. Most, if not all indigenous people, do not have names for their overall set of spiritual practices. They just do them in the context of life. Why? Since life comes out of the natural world and is sustained by the natural world, this obviously is the best basis we know for the context of life, existence, meaning and understanding.

The term Animism is at best, a narrow, ungrounded perspective. At worst, the term Animism is derogatory,thus dishonest. The promoters of this terminology purposefully defame African spiritual practices. They attempt to arrogantly name what Africans have not named. Is it not sufficient to call them African spiritual practices? Of course not. That would be too much like right.

For those seeking to understand African spiritual practices, one way is to compare apples to apples:

Conversation Between A Knower & A Non-Believer

John: Why do you worship animals and trees? Isn't that kinda crazy?
Mary: I respect animals and trees. Why do you worship a tree?
John: I don't worship trees.
Mary: Do you show reverence for the cross?
John: Yes.
Mary: Wood is a tree.
John: The cross represents a tree. It's not a tree. It's pieces of wood.

Mary: To help me understand this, will you answer a few questions for me John?
John: Sure! I'm open-minded.
Mary: When a chicken walks around, is it a chicken?
John: Yes.
Mary: When it is in the freezer, is it a chicken?
John: Yes.
Mary: When it is on your plate, is it still chicken?
John: Of course it is.
Mary: Was the whole chicken on your plate?
John: Of course not.
Mary: Was the piece of chicken alive on your plate?
John: No.
Mary: Yet, through all the changes the chicken went through and even in pieces it was still chicken.
John: Yep, sure was.
Mary: So no matter the form, chicken is chicken. The chicken wouldn't change even if we call it by a different name. The substance and essence remains though the form may change. In the same way, part of a tree is still the tree, even if the part is not “alive” and even if it is given a different name. Now tell me. Who is crazier, one who reveres the entire tree when it's alive and existing as The Creator designed it or one who reveres a portion of the tree in a man-made form as two pieces of wood crisscrossed?
John: [hesitates for several moments][He considers within himself the following: (1) If I say, the one who reveres the tree is crazy, then I condemn my own practices. (2) If I say both are crazy, I condemn myself also.] John answers: Neither.


The African-centered consciousness rejects the term, Animism. It also rejects another group's explanation of what we do. On the basis of creating the foundations for all civilizations, Africans remain capable of providing any explanations and definitions we deem necessary.

African-centered consciousness is fully aware, the term Animism and the false ideas it generates, are active-aggressive attempts to scare Africans away from their true spiritual practices. These spiritual practices are the undeniable source of our power to overcome all things by the power in all things.

In the link above, Dr. Barashango goes on to explain how the Kemetians continued to rebuild their cities bigger and better each time Kemet was invaded, plundered and torn down. The invaders finally correctly identified the spiritual practices in Kemet as the secret to the people's ability to continue to rebuild. This is why all things African are under attack today.

See also: Teaching Proverbs: Foolish, Deceitful, Religion, Answering Prayers And So Continues The Meaning Of Life & Existence (Part 8p)

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