Testaments of GOD contain the sacred stories of the world from different continents. The purpose is to enrich the world and to put an end to stories of exclusivity, chosen people, absolutism and fundamentalism. A secondary but equally important purpose is to increase the number of owners in the sacred text publishing industry. One of the problems of our economy is that only a few people control the means of production. We can change the lives of many people the moment we include more people in the distribution of goods and services.
I have suggested 7 Sacred texts, one from each continent and they include the African Testament of GOD (AFTOG), the Antarctican Testament of GOD (ANTOG), the Asian Testament of GOD (ASTOG), the European Testament of GOD (EUTOG), the Oceanian Testament of GOD (OCETOG), the North American Testament of GOD (NATOG) and the South American Testament of GOD (SATOG). Writers may never use any of these names but they provide a starting point to the testaments of GOD project!
I cannot over emphasize the importance of writing your sacred stories irrespective of your religious beliefs or unbelief. What is at stake is your freedom! The slavery of the mind is the greatest threat to our civilization. We were not created to believe; we were created to know and to shine! We were not created to expect saviors to save us; we were created to experience life in all its forms. We were not created to worship foreign Gods; we were created to enrich the world with our own experiences. We were not created to believe in foreign sacred texts; we were created to share our sacred experiences!
Have you ever thought about who benefits each time you buy a foreign sacred text? Have you considered whose ancestors are elevated each time you read from a foreign sacred text? Have you reflected on who is enriched each time you go on pilgrimage to a foreign land? These are the ideas that have continued to keep you in one place year in year out. They have kept you in one place because you believed in the way things are to be the truth. Nothing could be further from the truth because you live in a changing universe and you can change what people have put in place! This change begins by first writing your sacred story and sharing it with the world.
Give life a push and it will take you to places beyond your dreams! We are all loved without conditions and we are all blessed without requirements. No culture, organization, nation, group of people, Cultural God or religion has an exclusive right on GOD. Humans make it seem so but what humans have done you can also undo. Write your sacred story and upgrade your life; write your sacred story and make your ancestors proud; write your sacred story and enrich your children; write your sacred story and put an end to fundamentalism, exclusivity, and absolutism; write your sacred story and change the world!
When we think about Africa the first images that come to mind are usually those of poverty, suffering children or safari if you live outside the continent; and exploitation and imperialism if you live within the continent. Africa may have contributed a lot to world civilization and prosperity but the continent is better remembered as the land of exploitation. There are three major instruments of exploitation and they include slavery, colonization and organized foreign religions.
Slavery may have existed all over the world but the slavery of the African was the only slavery that was taken to an industrial level. Families were torn apart; people were packed like sardines during the transportation of the slaves from Africa to the New world; those who could not bear the inhumanity during the voyage jumped into the oceans; those who made it to the New World were regarded as properties to their owners and left to suffer every imaginable insult and mistreatment; they were discriminated, starved, overworked, lynched and unloved! It is very important that you remember these historical facts as you move on to dethrone foreign religions and their cultural Gods!
Colonization was the second instrument of exploitation in Africa. Quite unlike Asia virtually the whole of the African continent was colonized by Europeans. The seed for the colonization of Africa was probably sown when European nations started looking for natural resources for their industries. Meanwhile King Leopold II of Belgium claimed a vast tract of land in Central Africa. This excited other European powers to do the same but in the process the Europeans started fighting among themselves. However they learned very fast that fighting among themselves was not in their best interest so German Chancellor Bismarck called the European powers to meet in Berlin in 1884. Essentially among others the meeting established the rules to be followed by the Europeans in the scramble for Africa and by 1900 over 90 percent of the African Continent has been claimed by European nations.
Today all African nations are independent but the psychological and economic impacts of colonization are still felt all over Africa. Psychologically the typical African thinks that the European is better than the African and with good reasons. The first reason is that it was the European who colonized the African, thus making the African inferior to the European. The second reason is that at the time of colonization most European nations have been industrialized with macadamized roads, electricity, and manufactured goods such as tea, coffee, alcohol, matches, cigarettes, etc. The Europeans brought their industries with them and essentially changed the face of Africa. The reaction of the typical African was “these are the servants of the most High God!” Thus wherever the African turned he saw what seemed to him magical and could not help but feel inferior to the European!
Now the question at the back of everyone’s mind is whether the African is really inferior to the European? The answer is “NO!” On the cosmic level no creature is inferior to another creature! We are all loved without conditions and we are all blessed without requirements.
The economic impact of colonization is that Africa is still struggling. When I visited Nigeria in the later part of 2019 I was brought face to face with the sufferings of the people. During my earlier visits my mother did not want me to go anywhere because she was afraid that I might be kidnapped. This time I went to Nigeria without informing anyone apart from one of my brothers and I stayed in a hotel. Waiting for public transportation and driving on the streets of Port Harcourt enabled me to interact with the people and find out what was really going on. Most of the people I spoke to seemed hopeless in their struggles. They were on the streets trying to earn a living and working very hard but making no progress. You could see it in their eyes. Actually after I returned to the hotel that day I decided to have a conversation with the front desk attendant. She was in her early twenties. She always greeted me with smiles each time I returned but on this day all I did was to stand before her and asked: “How are you?” And “all hell broke loose”; she began to cry and in her sobbing she told me how she has lost hope in life.
I do not know if she was another Nigerian scammer but what I saw on the streets of Port Harcourt coupled with the conversations I had with Nigerians during our layover in Istanbul, Turkey let me to believe her. One of the Nigerians I talked with during my flight was a business woman. On this particular trip she was returning to Nigeria from New York. She told me how things were bad in the country and how she was making an effort to send her children overseas. This did not really prepare me for what I saw on the streets of Port Harcourt but it lends support to the state of things in the country.
One of the things the Front Desk attendant told me was that she doesn’t even have anyone to tell her that it would be all right. This hit home because after I lost my scholarship to study abroad when I was in Nigeria a friend assured me that it would be all right and I know how important hope is in the life of the hopeless. I was able to fulfill my dream of studying in the United States because of this man. He did not only give me hope that all will be well; he went on to encourage me to start making preparations for my trip to the United States. When I asked where I was going to get the money to sponsor my education his response was that it was not important to worry about the resources, what is important is the dream to study in the United States. He went on to say that if that was really my dream it would happen because that is how the Universe works! Thus I told her my story to encourage her to work toward her dreams and aspirations.
If you are in a similar situation I also encourage you to do the same but stop expecting that your life will change miraculously. However if you really want a miracle begin to work on your dreams and aspirations, I mean do the little things you need to do and leave the rest to the Universe. The support from the Universe can only happen when you begin to work on your dreams and aspirations because the support is part of the journey! Joseph Campbell compared our quests to realize our dreams to a mythological adventure and I quote:
“Leaving the bounded world in which you have been brought up, going beyond all that anybody knows into domains of transcendence, and then acquiring what is missing and coming back with the booty----“
In other words any quest to acquire knowledge, improve the condition of mankind, help the poor, heal the sick, save the children, feed the hungry or accomplish a life mission is like an adventure in which one experiences many challenges and setbacks but eventually succeeds. Heroes in mythology are usually given all sorts of help in their quests. The same is true for you and I who set out to pursue our dreams and aspirations. There is an invisible source of support for all of us. Go about your dreams or aspirations; you will experience this source of support when you begin your quest. The support is part of the journey!
African Sacred Texts
Unlike some of the other continents the experiences of Africans are essentially similar. Most if not all African countries experienced slavery, colonization, exploitation and the slavery of the mind! In this respect my recommendation is one Sacred Text for all Africans. This means that all Africans in the continent of Africa and the African Diaspora must work together to produce the African Testament of GOD. There may be some temptation for countries like South Africa to write their own sacred text because of their unique experiences with Apartheid but this is not advisable at this time. I encourage you to work with your brothers and sisters to produce one African Testament of GOD! Further this is a very good approach when you consider the Vision of the African Union for Africans to be united. An African Sacred text will greatly help in fulfilling this vision! Write the African Testament of GOD!
Now I want to appeal directly to my African brothers and sisters who are still not decided on this project. Some of you may have heard about the Bhagavad Gita and some may have also read the book. Those who have read it might be conflicted regarding the supremacy of Lord Krishna. The Lord actually said that he is the highest in the Universe in the following verses:
The visible forms of my nature are eight: earth, water, fire, air, ether; the mind, reason, and the sense of I. But beyond my visible nature is my invisible Spirit. This is the fountain of life whereby this universe has its being. All things have their life in this Life, and I am their beginning and end. In this whole vast universe there is nothing higher than I. All the worlds have their rest in me, as many pearls upon a string. Bhagavad Gita 7:4-7
I am the Father of this universe and even the source of the Father. I am the Mother of this universe, and the Creator of all. I am the Highest to be known, the Path of purification, the holy OM, the Three Vedas. Bhagavad Gita 9:17
How does it make you feel to learn about another God who is celebrated as the highest in the Universe? Does it challenge Allah, Jesus, God? If it does here is our hope: the Bhagavad Gita was written before the New Testament, the Qur’an and the Tanakh
Now I want you to reflect on the requirements of salvation in Islam and Christianity. In both religions it is evident that you only have you two options: believe and be saved or disbelieve and be condemned.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. Bible: John 3:16-18
These are the bounds set by God. Whoever obeys God and His Messenger, He will admit him into Gardens beneath which rivers flow, to abide therein forever. That is the great attainment. But whoever disobeys God and His Messenger, and oversteps His bounds, He will admit him into a Fire, wherein he abides forever, and he will have a shameful punishment. Qur’an 4:13-14.
Many believers celebrate John 3:16 of the New Testament because of the promise of eternal life but in most cases they do not know about the verse on condemnation. However if you read the verses containing the promise and the one about condemnation you might feel that someone is pointing a gun at your head and threatening you to believe otherwise you would be shot. Even on a human level we do not threaten our children if they disobeyed us. Do you really think the GOD of the Universe is so insecure that GOD wants humans to believe in GOD? Surely the verses are human designs to recruit, control and to exploit and they have nothing to do with the GOD of the Universe!
The verses in the Qur’an are also human designs to recruit, control and to exploit. The Qur’an even went further to describe what paradise looks like in order to tempt you and I. But if you’ve lived on this earth and witnessed just a few of the atrocities humans have committed for profit, power and glory you would not even listen to any of them when they talk about GOD. For them GOD is another instrument to continue to exploit, enslave, colonize, deceive and humiliate you.
The truth is that nobody has the right to talk to you about GOD because GOD is everywhere and no one in his or her right mind looks for GOD in a book. The life you are living right now is a testament of GOD and you do not need anyone and least of all a foreign sacred text to tell you about GOD. Actually if all you did is believe in one statement in a foreign text then it would be better that you were not born because it is like disowning your own experiences.
I do not need to tell you all these truths because you already know them. But the problem is that many of us still believe that someone will descend from the heavens and change everything for us. The truth is that this has never happened in recorded history and considering what we know now about living on this plane it will never happen! Organized religion deceived you into believing that you will go to heaven if you believe and you will go to hell if you don’t believe but all these are false because the people are selling what they do not know or have.
They used the same tactics during slavery, apartheid and colonization. They had their holy books in one hand and a gun in the other hand. But we cannot fall for this scam anymore because we now know that the slave master never planned anything good for us. Everything he did at our own expenses was to enrich and to elevate him. Instead of waiting for a savior to descend from the clouds and change your life you can now turn things around by writing your sacred story! This time you will share a text with a LIGHT instead of a text with a GUN!
It is also very important for you to know that when the slave master was committing the atrocities his God was there with him. In other words the slave master took control of Africa, India, South America and many other lands with the permission of his God. If this was the case what type of life do you expect from such a God? This was the same God that never cared about you in your moments of oppression, colonization, slavery, apartheid, lynching, mutilation and all kinds of discrimination; what makes you think that he would care about you now?
I know some of these thoughts are very difficult to digest because you have been brought up with the teaching that a foreign God loves you. The truth is that cultural Gods only love their people. Further cultures may present their Gods as Gods of the Universe but cultural Gods are culture bound. What we call GOD is not a cultural God. Cultural Gods only love their people and you are not one of them. What is going for all of us is what is embedded within the Universe: the Chinese call IT the Tao and the Indians call IT Brahman, I call IT the ESSENCE or SPIRIT. IT is unknowable and it has no sacred texts but this ESSENCE pervades the whole Universe.
Humans have committed all sorts of atrocities and deceived their fellow human beings for wealth and glory but none of them has been able to reach the HIGHEST. According to Joseph Campbell “No tongue has touched IT” Since they were not able to reach the HIGHEST some cultures substituted their cultural Gods for the position and you believed. But how could a cultural God with a chosen people; a cultural God that takes sides in human conflicts and a cultural God that divides us be the GOD of the Universe?
Now that you know the obvious thing to do is to begin to look into your culture for people who have provided compassionate leadership and elevate them in your sacred stories. These are your people who cared for you and some of them cared so much that they also lost their lives so that you might be free. Write your sacred story and send a clear message to the world that you may have been conquered, demonized, dehumanized, exploited, deceived, raped, tortured, humiliated, enslaved, colonized, lynched, mutilated and murdered but you are not bitter; instead you have evolved!
One important thing I also want you to rethink is about the times the Pope, or an Evangelist or a Caliph comes to visit your people. When this happens what I see is your people including your leaders running around like slaves trying to provide the services you think he deserves. I am not saying that it is wrong to provide the best hospitality for your guest. What I am saying is who runs around for you when you visit a foreign country? As far as they are concerned you do not exists and you do not exist simply because they are in control. However things could be different if you have your sacred text and your religion. When you do that like them you would not care when they come to visit your land because they are now insignificant. But as long as you use their sacred texts and pray to their Gods you will always be a slave!
Lastly I want to draw your attention to the thoughts of Chinua Achebe in “Things Fall Apart”: “The white man is very clever. He came quietly and peacefully with his religion. We were amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay. Now he has won our brothers, and our clan can no longer act like one. He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart”.
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