For as long as I can remember, I have had an intense interest in my paternal grandfather. You know the drill, who he was, what was he about, how was he raised, etc. Fundamentally, the reason was that he had died in 1938, which was approximately twenty years before I was born, and when his oldest child (my father) was ten years old. Although I was consciously curious about his life by the time I was seventeen, and began to inquire into his biological roots and the origin of his surname, I met with continual frustration in my pursuit until recently.
Now, I am not writing to bore you with my family history. I am certain that this information has little or no importance to anyone save my family members. However, I am writing to share a little of what I found along the way . . . with the hope that it may encourage other people of color to engage in a similar pursuit. This pursuit is nothing more than to shorten the gap between our known and unknown personal histories. I believe not only is this necessary, but required, if we are undue the socialization process that was effected by the phenomenon of slavery.
Often, I wondered about the psychological impact of slavery upon our ancestors, especially how the process altered the African self-perception. It is generally known that a negative self-concept was the result . . . in contrast to the self-perception of the social and economically dominant ethnic group in America. Yet, even when what was the African self-perception was somewhat readjusted with newly found historical evidence regarding the contributions of Africa, it didn't strike me that circumstances for people of color had changed all that much . . . even with an African Americans President! This is where my family history came to my rescue.
Since the fourth grade, I have maintained an interest in philosophy and science. In retrospect, I really didn't known why, since education really took a back seat to survival early on in my family, i.e., survive first, study later was the message. Yet, I was drawn to the subjects mentioned above. I pursued these topics in various colleges, but without any real satisfaction . . . I felt there was something more, something deeper. I didn't really know what it was, but I was hopeful that I would someday understand what was obviously missing, and that I could not quite put my finger on. All of this came to a head when I began researching my family history.
Since each person is the genetic product of four grandparents, and since I could not find any definitive information regarding my grandfather, I decided to research my other three family lines. The first thing I had found out was that I came from a long line of Masons, Eastern Stars, and Odd Fellows. This was even partially known among my immediately family, who decided not to carry on the traditions. Also, all those who were Masons and such, had been long deceased. I even found out that we have a family cemetery in North Carolina that is filled with ancestors who were Masons and Stars.
The reason I found all those Masons interesting is because my interest in philosophy led me to inquire into ancient knowledge, which revealed a Masonic connection, and its roots in Central Africa. In addition, I traced my ancestors in two other family lines genetically back to West/Central African. And, finally, searching for the origin of my paternal grandfather's surname led me through Greek, Sumerian and African (Egyptian & BaMuti) mythology. What all of this has accomplish is that it help me overcome is a place I became perceptually stuck. I wanted to see beyond the Judeo-Christian Worldview, which is essentially the Western world's perception of reality, and I saw a need to go beyond it. The reason was, if I was to understand the psychological transformation that Africans underwent in becoming African slaves, and then onto becoming African Americans, I believed I had to understand how Africans perceived reality before Judaeic, Christian and Islamic influence. Ironically, it was the Masonic family link that help me achieve this.
Once I saw the profusion of Masons in my family history, I immediately wanted to know more specific information about them and their origins. As I have implied, they can be traced to Africa, but I found out that many make the mistake of stopping at ancient Egypt. Although they were not called Masons then, they can be traced deep into the pre-dynastic history of Egypt, and beyond what is called the Great Flood. More importantly, what I am seeing as the key to the knowledge they pursued, were familiar with, and protected . . . is not anything "secret." In fact, it is not knowledge at all, it is more a "being able", or a preparation to personally pursue an "esoteric" happening! It is an experience that cannot be conveyed in words, or written down in other than symbols.
But like I said, it is an experience that one has to prepare for, and the methodology for this experience is coded in the Pyramid Texts and the Book of the Dead. These works are the foundation of most (if not all) religious texts. Further, these works are conveyed in astronomical mythology, and in the Egyptian Eschatological symbology. It is here that I am finding my way beyond the Judeo-Christian worldview, and have recognized that two modes of thinking exist, the "cerebral thinking" that we have been conditioned to use, and what the Egyptians termed the "Intelligence-of-the-Heart."
Now, I am not asking anyone here to run out and join the Masons, Eastern Stars, Odd Fellows, Alchemists, etc., or adhere to anything they may have to say (there are a lot of charlatans out there, and this is very true). The fact of the matter is that you can pursue this knowledge on your own . . . without belonging to any such organization. One need only get their hands on the books mentioned above. In fact, although an interest in them were found by members of my family lines, I have chosen a different path, similar, but different. Yet, I am not sure if I would have found these insights if I had not taken an interest in my family ancestry, although I guess something could be said regarding genetics.
The bottom line is this, although the descendants of African slaves have gone through a major psychological transformation, which has separated us from experiential knowledge of Nature, our ancestors really did leave us a genetic, historical and psychological path back home! KNOW THY SELF! Thus, my message is simple and that it begins with our families . . . regardless of the effects of slavery! FREE YOUR MIND!