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"Heart" In African Tradition

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In African Tradition's Star/Halo Concept a human's Soul is to a sky Star as the "Heart" is to that Star's Halo. Also, in their Sun/Rainbow Concept the "Heart" is like the Rainbow appearing opposite to the sun. The Rainbow, not a thing of substance, is due to the bending and reflection of the sun's rays when those rays are shining on raindrops in the air. The white light of the sun is composed of all colors, each with different wave lengths, mixed together. But when this white light passes through a drop of rain the rays composing it are bent to different degrees and thereby forced apart. When they reach deep into each raindrop, these primary colors of the spectrum (the visible range of light) are separated rays--violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange, red--reflecting back to ones eye. To look at a distant hill and see a blue tinge results from viewing it through a thick layer of air. However, the actual color one sees depends upon many other things as, for example, the color of the hill itself and the time of day (a decider of the angle at which the sunlight falls upon the hills). In African Tradition the "Star/Halo" Concept has the "Cosmic Star" symbolizing the Amenta (God's Cosmic home), while the Cosmos itself is its "Cosmic Halo." Together they are metaphorically the African Macrocosm (Greek, 'world order') known as the Cosmic Circle of Wholism. In artwork of the Ancient African Bible, the sun god Ra (Re), a reflection of the Cosmic "Light," is shown as a circle of light--a Halo signifying Glory, the radiant beauty of splendor and magnificence. Regardless of the location of a "Star"--i.e. any God-made entity--present in the Cosmos, it shares its Nature with the Divine. An example of such a microcosm ('little universe') is a human's Soul (equated to a drop of the "Cosmic Star") and its "Heart" (that Star's "Cosmic Halo" equated to ones remaining Selfhood).

In the Sun/Rainbow Concept note that Rain is a third and significant component. Let us assume the Sun is Spiritual while the rain and rainbow, representing the "Heart," are Secular. Thus, in a figurative sense, the "Heart" is composed of Spirit and Matter which enables it to symbolize the “deepest recesses of the human psyche constituting ones Selfhood Center." Ancient Africans said the "Heart" is where the issues of ones life are determined--the center of thought, feelings, memory, and emotions--the place of ones moral and Spiritual nature and Secular fetters (e.g. envy, hate). By constituting a mixture of the Spiritual and the Secular inside each human's Circle of Selfhood Wholism implies that the "Heart" could be influenced by factors other than its Star or Sun as, for example: (1) orchestrated naturally by ones Soul--ones Real Self (Spiritual); (2) controlled by ones 'head' contents (e.g. from ones philosophy of life) and the Free Will choice of being operated by ones Ego or False Self (Secular); and (3) by the Ether making up the stars and planets and its astrological signs (hence the importance of finding ones "Lucky Star"). This makes a portion of the "Heart" accessible to heredity and also accessible to experience--both “carving” identifying good/bad marks in it. For this reason, these metaphysical "carvings" were seen as the molders of ones "Character." Today's "Heart-Love" Symbolism (i.e. African Unconditional Love) is explained by Love being the experience of a force urging the lover towards her/his Real Self's Psychic Center. Upon reaching that point, ones Selfhood is illuminated by God's Love and that brings happiness.

The Earth world duty of every human, said Ancient African Sages, is to rise from ones Lower (animalistic) Self to a higher plane of existence. Here, one naturally possesses intuitive (above thought) understanding and wisdom (discerning the Real from the unreal) about the nature of ones own existence. Only through a Purified heart—i.e. a 'clean' conscious and unconscious mind--is it possible to realize Heart Fulfillment. This state of Selfhood Completeness serves as a tow-rope to hang on to during "hard times" and turmoil. To achieve it requires going through the process of Transfiguration, also called Transformation. To keep aware of how to do this and of the simplicity of its concept, African people were taught that the “Ankh Cross,” with its loop at the top (female) and the cross at the bottom (male), are only tied together. This enables one to loosen the bonds (knots) that tie the spirit to the body and thus make it possible for the Soul/Heart to attain Enlightenment. The process simulates a caterpillar's cocoon change-over into a beautiful butterfly.

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