YURUGU … An Afrikan-centered Critique of European Cultural Thought and Behavior by Marimba Ani.
YES! I’ve finally obtained the book! And it is an awesome read so far. Not the easiest book to read. Probably only now I’m in a good frame of mind to innerStand most of its concepts and narrative. And I say that because I’ve listened to Dr. Marimba Ani on Youtube many times… read some of Dr. Henrik Clarke’s writings; and listened to him as well on Youtube. But what I’m loving the most about this book is how it feeds me on the path for publishing my first “Self Initiation” (self-help) “Self Journey” guide this winter season. I have the guide written; and it is in editing. But this book will definitely give me new energies to get the work done.
I’m only on page 44; but I’ve gotta stop and blog what I’ve absorbed so far! For those who won’t get a chance to read the book… I pray this blog will help you feel some of what I’m getting…
an Ancient Story and Principle
In the author’s note; Dr. Ani cross-verifies an ancient wisdom of the Dogan people of Mali, West Africa. She tells the story of their deity “Amma”; and a principle world view that wholeness is created from a pair of female and male spirits. Dr. Ani describes how multi-gender energy brings “equilibrium”, “cooperation”, “balance” and “harmony.” But the story tells how a selfish-soul, identified as Yurugu or Ogo, was able to abort himself before birth because he wanted to “create a world better than that which Amma has created.” But in doing so; Yurugu ensured he would forever loose connection with his twin female-soul. She was given away to pair with another male-soul. And thus Yurugu became doomed to perpetually seeking wholeness and completeness. And from Yurugu’s lineage; the story implies Earth is inhabited by single-souled beings… seeking balance and harmony.
Dr. Marimba Ani states in the book; “My chosen field is African-centered cultural science…” Then she goes on to introduce other professional titles very few give focus to when trying to innerStand the culture of the EuroAsian. Titles such as “occidentalist”; and the study of “aryanology” as listed. But she notes how her field of study in modern anthropology purposely “ignore the implications of European exploitation…” And how the many instances of colonization are justified by the study of “objects.” To my surprise, even as Dr. Ani is clearly an intellectual; she makes it clear that the term “Academia” was never meant for African-centered persons.
I’m loving how Dr. Ani helps to define and describe culture as:
- a design for living;
- patterns for interpreting reality;
- behavior values;
And how culture can be used to:
- unify and order;
- organize for consistency;
- group identify;
- build commitment/priority/choice;
- communication through symbolism;
- support collective consciousness;
- build politics for nationalism.
White Supremacy – How They Do It?
Another thing I’m loving about this book is it addresses a subject-matter I’ve keep warm on my “things to address” since 2019… finding how white supremacy works… and how they do it??? In the 1992 book introduction; professor Clarke suggests “they colonized information about the world. As well as colonized god.” I’ve adopted a phase as part of my rationalizing how white-supremacy works:
“They begin by traumatizing the body;
then capture the mind;
and imprison the spirit”
Dr. Ani states the Europeans discovered early in their first interactions with people of color; that formalized history can override ethnic culture. And by replacing culture with their history determines the “rules for thinking.” Colonizing Europeans knew that imposing their euro-culture would in essence traumatize the bodies; capture the minds; and imprison the spirit of those they wanted to make slaves. Such that out-ward acts of violence, on the body, are used as tools for control. But it is really the mental captivity that leads to spiritual attacks.
And for the most part; systemic colonization starts with crowding the minds of people-of-color with thoughts that Europeans are superior beings. The misled thoughts indeed freeze the “spirit-force.” Thus destroying their sacred culture.
In Dr. Ani’s book introduction; she describes the forcefulness of white supremacy as “psychological rape.” And that only with “intellectual decolonization” can the Afro/African reconnect with their culture. Intellectual insight guides persons by their creative vision; and “ability to act with will and intent” for their own interest. But unfortunately; in my time and space, rarely do I meet many AfroAmericans who desire intellectuality over entertainment. I’m feeling these non-thinkers are doomed… forever.
But decolonizing will also require new language for the renewed thought processes. Dr. Ani uses Kiswahili and Twi words to describe many spiritual concepts in the book. While studying Kiswahili myself; I learned there are many Eastern African words that can not; and should not be literally translated from/into English. Instead, what is best is to try and innerStand the spirit of the Kiswahili culture when studying the language.
AfRaKans are first very spiritual beings. And I’m going to put it out there… right now… I do not expect every AfroAmuuRaKan abandoned English to begin their decolonization. To weaken our communication efforts would be to move at a snails pace. And… there is a lot of Muslim-religious wording in Kiswahili that is not of AfRaKan culture. So if I may: we, the AfroAmuuRaKan may just need to grasp as much of the relevant vernacular as we can… and keep it spiritual.
But so far; I’m totally embracing these words to better describe their truthful nature:
- Utamaduni – the essence of collaborative civilization;
- Utamawazo – thought determined by culture or world-view;
- Utamaroho – culture centered around spirit-life and collective personality.
But utamawazo can’t be directly translated to a Euro-centric word like “world-view.” Instead, utamawazo encapsulates the significance of AfRaKan metaphysics. How thoughts interrelate to both the micro (the person) and the macro (the environment) must be considered when using the term utamawazo.
Utamaroho reflects emotional response in a person. I relate this term with Tehuti’s Principle of Cause and Effect. Dr. Ani makes it clear that in Euro-centric circles; reason delineates emotions. So that utamaroho is many times taught in modern academic institutions to be a “weak” non-rational thought process.
From the start of the of the book; Dr. Ani impresses how it is our thoughts that must be decolonized; for us to return to our Afro-centric views of the world. In today’s time and space; it is the Pan-African griot story tellers that can keep the myths of AfRaKan principles shared. And what is so wonderfully explained in the book is that “Mythology creates ikons out of collective unconscious experience.” This is really big because from well-centered mythology comes ideology. Dr. Ani describes the term “mythoform” to mean unconsciousness. As Pan-AfRaKans; we don’t need to be consciousness to what is already our genetic ideology. The culture is already within us. And as the griots bring out our AfRaKan world view in story… the myths feed our spirit an awakening. Then we begin to embrace our inner spirit for ourselves. And our Afro-centric world view becomes our own personal ideology.
Dr. Ani introduces early in the book the word “Asili” which I take to mean the essence of the beginning (the root or seed). Again, because the DNA of the Pan-AfRaKan provides the “logic” of her culture; Asili is the basis of the who/what/when/where/how. And even as there is no ending to our evolution; Asili is our starting point that is not meant to be changed.
Other cultures have Asili as well. And there comes the dangerous part. If another’s Asili is based in violence, hate, competition, etc… that is the unchanging essence of that culture. In the book, Dr. Ani uses another writer’s perception of how historical evidence… patterns European culture using the following timelines:
- Greek Philosophy lead to;
- Roman Law that lead to;
- Christian Missionary movements that lead to;
- Rise of Feudalism that lead to;
- The Renaissance movement that lead to;
- The Reformation that spanned Revolution.
The paragraph in the book; on the other writer’s perception explains how the timeline created religion, art, literature, science and economic systems that produced today’s Euro-Asian/American cosmopolitan societies…. Gotham. In the final sentence of that paragraph; the book quotes:
“They make its culture one,
its crimes domestic tragedies,
its wars civil wars.”
Wow, if that doesn’t make you have the creepies??? But as explained in the book… such is the modern day Euro-Asian/American concept of nationalism. An expansion of supremacy controls supported by destroying others culture. Therefore, making Euro-Asian/American culture extremely dangerous to the rest of the world.
Scientific evidence proves Africa is land to the “First World” order. The primary cultures of the world are AfRaKan with perspectives and truths inseparable to meaning and purpose. The book insists the first culture of beings were self-determinist, revolutionaries and scholars that embraced truth-processes. They were persons who rejected theory made of single-minded imagination. Persons on a path lead by commitment and intention… where the validity of theory is found within.
In many of my readings on ancient AfRaKan spiritualty; the energies behind “thought” are very clear and strong. In this book, Chapter 1 Utamawazo, it is emphasized that the African world view embraces a unique theme for cultural relationships with the universe. Then Dr. Ani begins examining contrasting philosophy of Plato. There is no doubt that Plato philosophy provides a major influence on EuroAsian “speculative thought.” Thought that denies cosmic intuitional connections. Instead, platonic-culture seems more focused on both self-control; and control of others.
With much described analysis; the pages of the book that examine what self-control is includes a forced separation of the physical-being from the cosmic-being. However, such a separation would also include an illusion for isolation from ones natural environment. The platonic-cultural thought process introduces the concept “independence.” Even though in reality; “self is dependent of its experiences.”
And then the author goes on to describe EuroAsian thoughts preferring critical thinking as the chosen means of reasoning… thoughts independent of feeling what it wants to know. Where the objective of being detached and uninvolved improves the opportunity to ensure self-control… as well as control of the subject. Such independence from knowledge and truth demands “denial of spirit.”
On page 33 of the book, Dr. Ani provides a quote by an author that describes EuroAsian culture as duality; and a misconception of harmony. Some of my very first gnowledge of ancient AfRaKan spirituality and yoga includes how peace and harmony comes from the balancing of complementary polar opposites. The AfRaKan concept of balance comes about when polar opposites are brought together for harmonious collaboration. But within EuroAsian culture, opposites are expressed as competing forces… bi-polarism. And there is no way the tension created by the bi-polar opposites can ever result in harmony in the same sense as that for peace or balance. Instead, the concept of “cooperation” is demanded; so that one pole can control the other. This ideology perfectly explains how men have been able to advance beyond women in EuroAsian culture… how white skin became superior to people-of-color.
Maybe even worst than forced EuroAsian control mechanisms; as with colonization; is how European-centered science has been forced on the world. And how with duality “the nature of the scientist’s mind” is manipulated by her/his view of nature and the universe. In EuroAsian culture, science provides facts that become the basis for reasoning. Such that those who control the concept of reason; will measure diverse means of reasoning as less intelligent; or having low IQ. And thus the bio-polar competitive reasoning provides hierarchy constructs.
On page 37, the book quotes an author defining a platonic view as the separation of self with non-self. This other author describes the non-self as the “phenomenal world”… a view supported by ego. So that, it seems Dr. Ani is making a major point to explain that within EuroAsian culture; “control” is the key to “reasoning.” And reasoning is superior to emotion because emotions naturally control us.
Preferred EuroAsian reasoning can leads us to treat everything “objectively” or like an object. Where objectivity provides a false sense of independence from time, place and circumstance. And thus EuroAsian control-culture diminishes the value of emotions in its world-view. There is a statement made in the book that…
“Better people are more reasonable; less emotional.”
I do see one really good reason why “Platonic Thinking” benefits modern EuroAsian society. A point is made in the book that at one time, intellectuals of Europe were looking for a philosophical way to “escape from the cave.” And the best option brought about for leaving their “dark ages” period was to create a culture of white-superiority.
In many ways, advanced industrialization is made to look like EuroAsian technological advancement. And for this mis-undertanding; many cultures have accepted EuroAsian civilization as superior to their own. But with acceptance of the foreign superiority aspects that come with it; African culture is replaced with EuroAsian symbolic modes of simple-one-dimensional realities.
Ancient AfRaKans didn’t give focus to “mental-thinking” as their only world-view. Instead, perceptions made up much of their reality; when all meta-physical parts are linked together, (spirit, mind, body). And as suggested in the book; AfRaKan ideas are formed from diverse thinking.
In the book, Dr. Ani also suggests “Europeans are not trained to use their senses nor to be perceptive.” Instead, cultural mentalism; called logos; provides the “objectivity” in viewing the world as themselves superior… to everything else. Such that animals and people they consider less than intellectual can only be civilized if they are “mastered” by the “benevolently superior” EuroAsian.
By nature, AfRaKans are very sensitive persons. It is what makes us human. I’m so looking forward to the next pages of the book titled “Theory of Humanness.” Where I’m sure I’ll get more perspective on the EuroAsian world view.