Joseph A. Bailey, II M.D., F.A.C.S.
Perhaps the story of African principles began with the Circle, the first known religious symbol. Its essence was that all real parts within the circle had to be accounted for because every part was significant and worked together (Asante, Egyptian Philosophy p1,4). Ancient Africans believed nothing real could exist outside the cosmic circle. The Egyptian Hermes Trismegistus-- who Seleem (Egyptian Book of Life p10) believes existed in 50,509 BC-said that: "God is a circle whose circumference is nowhere and whose center is everywhere". This is the world's first known "seed" principle. Its "root" is Consubstantiation -- the idea of God's spirit (i.e. Substance) being intimately woven into all God's creations. This is the primary principle underlying universal laws of nature and all of its offspring principles. Substance thereby accounts for "Being" and characterizes nature, truth, and reality. By focusing on essences, Africans believed that whatever arose out of love-- the foundational base of African Tradition--constituted ontological (theories on the reality of "Being") principles of consubstantiation (Nobles, African Psychology p 53). Each component of a Ma'at oriented person's philosophy of life contains a principle; each principle contains Substance; each principle evolved out of love; and, in short, each principle is a piece of string in the fishnet of the truth.
The way African or Eurocentric principles work in the fundamentals of daily living is as follows. First, to think or not to think is a free-will choice. Second, to choose to think is the basic tool humans use to survive. Third, to choose to think in principles is the way to thrive because it gives more information-and in smaller packages-and at a faster rate-- than any other method. Finally, to choose to think using the principles formulated by Ancient Africans is the only way people in general and Black people in particular can regain the centeredness, the order, the stability, the permanence, the insights, and the intuition needed to return to the mental and spiritual brilliance of our Ancient African ancestors. This mindset of returning to the source of the "We"/ "I" orientation of African Tradition is symbolized by the mythical Sankofa bird of Ghana. Its head, tucked under its wing, looks to African Tradition for guidance along "the Way".
(Reprinted from Bailey Common Sense Inside African Tradition)
Joseph A. Bailey, II, M.D.
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