“In the Kemetic Tree of Life, each sphere and its divinity represent a particular human and / or a transcendental philosophical issue (lower 5 spheres) and cosmic issues (upper 5 spheres) that must be experienced and mastered in order to progress. Once the aspirant progresses to mastery of the 10 spheres (branches of the tree), they can transcend all and enter into the realm of cosmic-consciousness, in other words the mystical awakening, oneness with the Absolute ...” – Sabau Muata Ashby, cht n ank
It has been about 13 years since I began studying the deeper knowledge of one of Afrika’s most enigmatic civilizations. I specifically begin to count from the year 2009, since that was about the time, I had undergone a kind of existential recalibration, a crisis of religious and philosophical proportions.
I had been a fervent Rastafarian / Christian since 2001, but there was a strong pull towards the more Afrocentric way of living, as my soul searching had constantly created friction between my zealously Christian family and friends, it began to dawn on me that one could not continue to be ‘lukewarm’ or serve two masters as the Christian bible had warned.
Even though I had always viewed the Rastafari way of living as the best middle path between Ancient Afrika and modern messianic expressions, I had struggled to reconcile some of the glaring contradictions between a colonial or borrowed religion and the social realities pertaining t Afrikan people in particular.
Even earlier in my Christian life, I would question my parents and my fellow church members about the dichotomous relationship between what the Word of God is supposed to represent and the harsh realities of being Black in a world that was so aggressively anti-Black.
There is a lot that I can write that is positive about the journey through Rastafari, the many community, and social projects that my brothers and sisters and I began or envisioned but never quite brought into fulfilment; there are many positive personal habits that I learned through adherence to what we call Ital-livity or a Natural and vitally righteous lifestyle. There are also many stories of negative or heartbreaking events where humans were just being our fallible selves in-spite of external or verbal posturing.
The reality is that any alternative lifestyle that questions and attempts to upend the status quo is bound to face all kinds of resistance, depending on the levels of discipline and organization that the practitioners display. This is the Tree of Life and it has as many branches as there are humans and other sentient beings.
It was in the midst of personal and social upheavals that I kept on finding the wisdom of Ancient Afrika, the East Afrikan region and Nile Valley civilizations more intriguing than the shouting and dubious testimonies of Christians and Muslims and all other adherents of Abrahamic religions. Rastafari, despite the many redeeming aspects, began to seem like all other Bible based ways of being in this world. It is still part of my Life, but there is a dynamism and wealth of civilizational experience that comes with the Kemetic-or Nile Valley sciences.
The often petty and self-righteous behavior of the believers in either Jesus Christ or in Emperor Haile Selassie I, all displayed a similar intolerance for new knowledge, even when that knowledge was clearly part of the Ancient Afrikan variety. Until this day, I have been trying to find a Rasta who is interested in the Oromo or Waaqeffaanaa religion of the most populous and most historically afflicted people of Ethiopia.
While many Rastafari do dabble into the Kemetic yoga, meditation and symbolic space, there appears to still be a reluctance to become fully submerged in the Tree of Life as a holistic and complete way of being. It is mostly the Rasta’s who have totally turned away from biblical interpretation of life who have begun to embrace the Nile Valley renaissance as something that is truly ours. There are a few who still romanticize and are still stuck in the Pharaonic phases, but there are also some earnest seekers who manifesting in the truest sense of Kemetic magical/cosmic reality.