"Operate out of Thought instead of Habit." This statement ended the Chapter on Mathematics in my book: "Mentoring the Minds of Black Boys" because most boys doing habitual Patterned Thinking (PT) are going "nowhere" while simply "waiting to die." The Ancient African Bible says this is not the way to live life and one cannot succeed in earthly life merely by default for this is at variance with the Laws of Nature. Instead, one must use ones mind to be in agreement with natural harmony. Ancestor Identification Enactment can start the cracking of bad PT practices. Phase I, "putting oneself in the Ancestors' shoes" is my modification of what psychologists call Introjection. Temporarily believe oneself to be ones Enslaved Ancestors by adopting their presumed beliefs, attitudes, behavior patterns, and experiences of the evil things done to them by sadistic European Captors. One then realizes they had to think, feel, express, and display certain "masks and masquerades" in order to survive and endure. Realize they may have gone so far as to gain a measure of mental stability by accepting and/or failing to prevent needless hardships to show God they were up for the hellish test they were going through. Appreciate them hating to philosophically assume protective charades to hide their Real Selves. Know that despite their deception working "okay" for them (and many believed their masks were actually their "face"), they would never have wanted to think: "I locked my children and my children's children into the status quo and forced them to desperately "juggle" throughout life.
In imagining myself to be my Enslaved Ancestors I thought as they thought about what they did/did not want for themselves or for me; about what they had to do/not do to survive; and about their wants for me that would make them proud. I know they would have resisted my trying to show them respect by modeling their patterns in the hellish way they lived and out of no fault of their own--patterns that for me would be self-defeating. They struggled hard for us to have a better life.
Phase II embraces the post-slavery period. By knowing Black American history one will realize that so much Terrorizing, Killing, Taking, and Destroying were going on from White people to cause Black People to be in constant fear of their lives. Most had to remain together on the Survival part of the scale of living and having no thoughts about striving for the American Dream. They were burdened by the "Stay in your place" dictates of heavily armed Europeans and this meant not entertaining thoughts of being eager to learn or be curious about mind stimulating things. Banding together led to Black American "Cultural In-breeding" and associated Environmental Depression. This consisted of such material deprivations as pollution (noise, air, water); unusual exposure to disease; inadequate housing, food, and health care; lack of good character role models; deprived career opportunities; and no jobs (Bailey, Anger). Together and even separately they severely shatter Selfhood Wholism and healthy environmental living--both generating disruptions that create biological, philosophical, psychological, spiritual, social, financial, parental, relationship, and physical alterations away from normal. These are made worse by the “teasing torture” of simultaneous exposure to, and exclusion from, the glittering and glamorous abundance of the deceptive "good life" way Whites picture themselves in the movies, on television, in books, in the media, and otherwise. Ancestors want us to avoid this.
In short, Ancestor Identification Enactment is a way to begin to "Know Thyself"--who one is today; why one does what one does (e.g. PT); and what needs correcting. From this experience one can enact the role of ones Highest Self to see what would best answer the question: "How Shall I Live?" No doubt this would be in keeping with what our Enslaved Ancestors wanted for us. Correction starts with reconnecting ones Self and Spirit in order to get grounded in Self-Love. One moves outward from there.
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