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"Soul" in African Tradition

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Foundational to understanding the "Soul" is that African Tradition considers the core of a human's Selfhood to consist of Spirit and Matter--i.e. Life and Form. Both, said African Sages, by arising from God's Spirit + their own “life force,” imparted in them the “Aliveness” needed to communicate with Higher Powers to thereby acquire a pure eternal "Soul" essence. "Soul" is derived from the Canaanite (originally an African people) "Sefiroth"--i.e. the wholistic spheres of the Tree of Life. Since the most profound signifiers of physical, physiological, philosophical, psychological, and spiritual Wealth (abundance of the Spiritual Elements) were assumed to derive from the Cosmic Soul, all of this was symbolized by the Ankh. The intent was for its Spirit/Matter of indivisible differences to indicate principles that function simultaneously on all planes of existence. Some say "Ankh" is an Akan language word for "Life." Others say it is an Ancient Egyptian root meaning "transfigured Spirit" which animates existence--incidentally it was borrowed with this sense into 12th century Anglo-Saxon for Soul (a fleeting "Spirit"). Ancient Africans said "Ankh" refers to ones inner Spiritual Illumination--like the "sun"--thought to convey the spirit of God or “life force” present in all real things. Therefore the “Life force's” essence in humans formed the Highest or Divine Self--the image of God--“a kind of individualized fragment of the Supreme Being”--the “Soul.”

Initially imaging the "Soul" was the universal symbol of the most primordial times of Africa, the “Cross.” It indicates the mortal "Spirit" (Energy and transient Matter form) attached to a "Circle" (representing the immortal and eternal Divine Consciousness). Now known as the Ankh Symbol, its loop, called the Shen (the symbol of eternity), is equated to the top part and is associated with the Cartouche--a rope of sunlight or 'Life Force' harnessed into the form of a Circle (meaning that which is encircled by the sun will always be eternal--an encircling with the same force as the Halo around a Star). By c20,000 BC these concepts, as Cause and/or Effects, spurred Subjective Science studies of the sky by Very Ancient African "Hour-Priests." Using Observation, Reflection, “Pure” Feelings, Productive Imagination, Contemplation, Inductive and Deductive Inferences, and Common Sense as part of astro-mathematics, they acquired an abundance of "Sky Knowledge." From this they concluded Nature is the home of the Wisdom of the Cosmos; Nature's simplicity is in its consistent patterns underlying all natural events; Nature's "Genetics" are the Spiritual Elements--Unconditional Love, Truth, Reality, and the Natural--which spring from the Cosmic Mind; and all God-made things have Correspondence (comparable Spiritual Elements) throughout the Cosmos. In this sense the C16 word "Correspondence" (harmony, agreement) is applied here to mean all God-made things on any plane have an interchangeable sameness (i.e. matches, parallels, and equals) at its Base/Foundation. Also, it has the same "Genetics" as that of the Base/Foundation's customized aspects of all that is throughout a given organism's structure. The Life Force of ones Soul engenders the impetus in the DNA to function by God's plan (Asbhy, African p422). In short, similar to how identical twins possess the same "genetics" in their make-up and yet have significant differences in what they do and how they appear, so is this duality of "sameness" and "uniqueness" part of every Cosmic Entity.

Therefore, Ancient African Sages inferred that underlying and inside stars in the sky was the Substance of God; that each star contained Cosmic Divine Will messages; and that the same features were present in a human's Soul because of the Law of Correspondence. This implies that every human contains an Eternal Soul composed of a drop of God and all of God is in that drop. And that is ones Real Self! By each human choosing to promote the union of his/her Soul with God’s Soul, out of that union spring “Seed” concepts as, for example, of Unconditional Love applicable to Ma'at (Spiritual Elements in action) related to ones activities of daily living. Thus, all Soul decisions are within the context of making happen Peace, Harmony, Balance, Fellowship, Justice, Righteousness, and Straightness. Their contents are present at birth; are called forth by intuiting them from ones Soul; and kept alive by following ones natural inclinations. By so doing, starting in the "here and now," one puts ones entire life in order and follows an orderly path.


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