Gnosis in African Spirituality

INTRODUCTION


In the origins of African divinity batho (abantu) [people] were taught that the destiny of Motho or Umunthu (mankind) was linked to image of MODIMO (uNkunlunkulu)(The Cosmic Christ) - - known in as many names according to His manifestation in different levels of nature.


The name ''MODIMO'' or ''MOLIDO'' [written with the letters ''LI'' but pronounced ''di''] is a far reaching concept of absoluteness than what could be explained in theory or ideology. The anthropological, timeless, and eternal essence that transcend any notion of time and race was simply described in the term: ''Motho ke MODIMO'' (Man is God).


Ancient Africans who deeply understood the mystery of Cosmic Trimurti (Holy Trinity), depicted their hidden level of knowledge in many Artistic hieroglyphs. Art was created in order to develop consciousness, and in ancient times learning was received through initiation. Gnostic Africans related to the Divine Trimurti as ''MO.DI.MO'': a singular unit of Three Cosmic Forces. ''MODIMO'' is neither high or low, big or small, male or female; because ''MODIMO'' cannot not be objectified. ''He'' is not a person, but the most fulfilled mind of non-self, a no self Being, and non-life span energy. Hence the name ''MODIMO'' was widely used to imply the natural functionalism of an unmanifested Christ Consciousness.


The title ''MODIMO'' means ''That which is high'' -- denoting something that cannot be grasped by the mind. Anyone who sees ''MODIMO'' (Abstract Absoluteness) was therefore also known by ''MODIMO'' (Abstract Absoluteness). In African mysticism, the real man ''Motho'' is a creature who reflects the universe in the likeness of God "MODIMO''. But it has to be understood that ''MODIMO'' (Impersonal Abstract Absoluteness) in the African tradition is not the same as the conventional Christian God (Personal manifested ethical values) imposed down the throat of indigenous people during colonization.


The term ''MODIMO'' at the highest level of profound symbolism relates to the Abstract unknowable Absoluteness - - and it is for this reason Ancient Africans worshipped ''Badimo'' (plural god and goddesses [Elohim], and demi gods) instead. And although, the term ''Badimo'' itself could be explained as: ''Those who are known by MODIMO''; it came under critical and incorrect religious scrutiny during colonization and the dispensation of global slavery. The term was thought to only mean ancestors (deceased loved ones). And so, when missionaries landed on African soil, they primarily perceived African spirituality to solely engage itself in ancestral worship.


But Ancient Africans worshipped ''Badimo'' (plural gods or demi gods) because ''MODIMO'' as the Abstract Absolute Emptiness (also called In Buddhism, Sunyata शून्यता ("Emptiness, illusory nature of phenomena, voidness, non-reality") in Its formless state could not be worshipped.


The Illuminating Void that is ''MODIMO'' could not be comprehended by any man or brought into being by any god - - because ''MODIMO'' as that Abstract Absolute Emptiness cannot be contained. ''MODIMO'' can only be perceived in the manifested ''Form'' known in the African tradition as ''Badimo'' (plural Gods and Goddesses , not just ancestors (deceased loved ones).


If one studies the universal cosmology of divinity with a purified spiritual mind, they will understand what is written in scripture of the Bhagavad-Gita 9 verse 25: ''Those who worship the demigods will take birth among the demigods; those who worship the ancestors go to the ancestors; those who worship ghosts and spirits will take birth among such beings; and those who worship Me [Krishna / Christ / Lesedi] will live with Me.''


We all worship the god-being that we wish to become - - this is because God is not a person but an cosmic energy crystalized in existence in many levels of consciousness. We all worship (cultivate) in others words, the god-being (Cosmo Creator) of our own internal universe.


Ancient Africans were not attracted by demonic and atheistic views; as were deemed by missionaries. It is impure to only qualify the meaning of the word ''Badimo'' with ancestral worship of (deceased loved ones). The spiritual culture of Ancient Africans was primarily based on the cosmic order of Nature surrounding them - [God in nature]. Every child grew up strongly connected to the power of nature's order.


This is to say, Form as in the appearance of ''Badimo'' (plural gods and goddesses or demi gods) and the Abstract Emptiness as the Final reality of ''MODIMO'' were never separated according to African Gnostics.


But to the uncircumcised eye of blind missionaries, this knowledge seemed to be incarnations of demonic rituals. ''Badimo'' seemed to be demonic entities, because their ''eye'' of perception was untrained in the mystery teachings of Devolution and Evolution of energy.


That is why we emphasis that it is impure to only qualify the meaning of the word ''Badimo'' with ancestral worship of (deceased loved ones). ''Badimo'' can also refer to elemental beings in lower stages of spiritual development; because energy evolves and devolves in many areas of life. Earth is just one of them. The cells of our body are part of the planetary evolution of Earth's consciousness. Once we understand this we can begin to awaken consciousness to the highest level - - and since consciousness has no limit, to that awakening of consciousness there is no limit in man. Man (Motho) is therefor a Galactic Man, a Cosmic Man, and an Infinite Man. (Motho ke MODIMO).


''MODIMO'' is not a person, nor could He be perceived by any ''person'' - - ''MODIMO'' is a pervasive solar force inherent in all spheres of Nature (internally and externally). In the secret teachings of alchemy based on African Gnosis, initiates were taught that in order for a person to be incarnated as a Sacred Living Being, alive in the same space with other Sacred Living Beings, meant that person had to not separate invisible forces from visible expressions. And so, Africans strongly connected with the invisible ''MODIMO'' through His visibility found in Nature.


There was a direct relationship between divinity and all the elements of Nature: air, fire, water, earth, plants, animals, the weather etc. This was because African people depended on the raw elements of nature for survival. The elements were incorporated into daily practice and, were must importantly used to develop sacred spirituality.



The Gnostic wisdom which governed internal development of ''Botho'' [Ubuntu'], simply translated as ''Humanity'', was practiced by Ancient Africans as the king of all spiritual education. Anyone who lacked ''botho'' ''ubuntu'' (humanity) was not of God. That level of knowledge was the most secret of all secrets. It taught them ''Motho ke motho ka batho, hobane Motho ke MODIMO''. Gnosis in the African context helped ancient African cultures, like most indigenous cultures, to never separate themselves from the natural world they lived in, and from each other.


It taught them to always keep the sacredness of ''MODIMO'' (Cosmic Christ) alive in them, in their relationship with visible and invisible things, in animals, in plants, space etc. Relationships, people, land, vegetation, animals, rivers, mountains, sun, moon and stars, all these impressions of nature were seen as sacred emanations of ''MODIMO'': the Absolute Abstract Emptiness that could not be comprehended.


To them, nature in its "natural Form'' was perceived to be the omnipresence of ''MODIMO'' meaning (Cosmic Christ, the uncreated Umvelinqangi). Nature was profoundly integrated into all their spiritual ceremonies, the very same way that ''Badimo'' (gods or demi gods) were treated as conduits to Emptiness.


"Transcendent wisdom [MODIMO] is inexpressible and inconceivable. Unborn and unceasing, it has the nature of space [Umvelinqangi]. It is realized through an individual's discernment [uNkulunkulu] and is the object of pristine awareness. It is the mother of all Buddhas throughout the three periods of time." — Buddha Shakyamuni

In order to understand the highest level of ''MODIMO'' (Absoluteness or Emptiness) and ''Badimo'' (many Forms of Divinity), one had to be devoid of any concept of ''my self''; ''Me''; and ''I''. Ancient gnostic understood this abstract concept of ''MODIMO'' as they referred to in their cultural system was not ''Modimo'' meaning a god-being.


The happiness of understanding the difference between ''MODIMO'' and ''Modimo'' and accepting the Emptiness that is ''MODIMO'' (in capital letters) could not be described by using examples. *So, in this regard, I wish to make a clear distinction to the reader, between ''MODIMO'' (That which is Abstract and Incomprehensible), and ''Modimo'' (the Being, or the living Spirit inside each thing).


In order to comprehend the Absolute Abstract of Emptiness, one would have to first become ''Motho'', or one with Modimo. That is why the Ancients never placed emphasis on ''individuality'' - - but instead, they sought to continuously encounter ''MODIMO'', who is a solar cosmic force spread throughout all nature's spheres; and present within humanity as a whole.


When the Ancients practiced Botho, Ubuntu, or the qualities of a Human Being, they understood that ''uNKulunkulu ungumuntu'' (God is the true Human Being). That is why, anyone who failed to exhibit human qualities with their actions, speech and thinking was not considered umuntu. That person lacked UbuNkulunkulu, Godliness within. This type of person was considered ''isilwane'', ''phoofolo'' meaning (an animal); since these animalistic psychology would be displayed externally.


WHERE DOES GNOSIS COME FROM?


In African traditions, Gnosis (Self-Knowledge); ''Zazi'' in Zulu and ''Ho itseba bo wena'' in Sesotho, is a form of spiritual perception related to ''Umuntu'' or ''Motho'' the development of a true Human being within oneself. This means only a Human being ''Motho'' / ''Umuntu'' can experience and practice Gnosis. The aim of African Gnosis is to develop a genuine psychology of ''Motho'' or ''Umuntu'' in the everyday practice of life. African Gnosis can not be accessed or understood by smeone who does not have ''Botho'' (meaning if one was not first a Human being within). If one has not developed the Essence (Consciousness), one will not comprehend Africa Gnostic teachings and their ethnic rituals.


The entire aim and life-span of an African mind was to bring into balance all the psychological elements needed to create ''Motho'' the way ''MODIMO'' perceived him. If a person was still animalistic in their psychology, then the principles of Gnosis as practiced in Africa would not be of any benefit to that person's spiritual path on earth. Gnosis in African was directly related to the Human soul, meaning the quality or path of becoming ''Motho''.


In Judaism (Kabbalah) the aspect of ''Motho'' is called ''Tiphereth'' (Tiphereth is a Hebrew word meaning Beauty and Compassion); in Sanskrit the aspect of ''Motho'' is known as ''Tathagatagrbha'' meaning Buddha-nature;, and it is also called ''Buddhadhatu'' meaning Buddha essence in Tibet. And in Hinduism this human quality can be related to Arjuna (the Warrior) who rides into battle with Krishna in the epic tale of the Bhagavad-Gita.


So, ''Motho'' in other words is not a physical atom, but a psychological space of consciousness where ''MODIMO'' lives inside that particular person. Gnosis could ONLY be practiced by ''Motho'' or ''Umuntu'' (a Human being); because ''Motho ke MODIMO'', ''Umuntu uNguKulunkulu'' (A (true) Human Being is God). This is why it is stated in the book of Genesis 1 verse 26: ''And Elohim (Modimo) said, Let us make man (become a Human being ''Motho'' - an awakened Man) in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creepring thing that creepeth upon the earth.''


When someone develops their Buddha-nature or Buddha-essence ''Buddhadhatu'', that soul is converted into a living soul (Adam: an awakened Man).That soul becomes ''Motho'' or ''Umuntu''. To the Ancient Africans, ''Motho'' in the actual meaning of the word is actually ''a Buddha''! Our African gurus were incarnated Buddhas and Christified souls because they had intense compassion, mercy, kindness, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness - - all of these psychological qualities are inherent within ''Motho'', because Motho is actually a Buddha, ''Motho ke MODIMO'' (Man is God).



''Gnosis (self-knowledge) was always based on the foundation of ''Botho'' (a Humun being). ''Ho ba Motho'' (to become a human being)...''

To African spiritualist, the principle of religion was seen as a path of becoming ''Motho'' or ''Umuntu''. Thus, religion was a type of self-reflection practiced in everything and with everyone. It was customarily understood therefore that ''It takes a village to raise a child.'' That is how Africans practiced ''Ubuntu'' or ''Botho''. It was sinful to behave or to think of a perfect stranger as ''just another person'' - - religion was never practiced outside of nature or outside of seeing a perfect stranger as yourself. It was of no use to build massive ''church monuments'' if qualities of ''Botho'' were not cultivated in them. ''Motho'' (a Human being) is not a physical atom, but a psychological form of energy equal everywhere and in everything. (To paraphrase Elphais Levi): ''Those who do not make their worship manifest in their own humanity (Botho), have no religion to speak off.''


It is of no value to congregate in a building if ''botho'' was not internalized. African spiritualities made offerings to their ancestors because it was a ritual of gratitude to the natural order of existence around them. They related to elemental energies in direct experiences of supernatural aspect of nature; the same way as was also known by sages and common people. (Africans did not build churches, they build ''Motho'' a human being.) This the esoteric goal and aim of every religion given to man.


"Only ''Motho'' (Umnthu) could in fact engender within himself the direct experience of ''MODIMO'' (uNkulunkulu), because ''Motho ke MODIMO'' / Umuntu uNguKulunkulu (Man is God). Gnostic education is really a superlative cultivation of Motho (the Essence).''

Gnostic legacies of our great African heritage within the field of natural Science, Philosophy, Religion, and the Art of nature, were culturally demonized at the altar of missionaries for hundreds of years. The epitome of African spirituality and African gnostic education were relegated to the underclass of ''primitives,'' because the world from which Western missionaries came from did not consider African people as ''full humans''. Most of the alchemical secrets practiced by our African predecessors, whose divinity was strongly connected to the power of the natural world, were systematically disavowed in order for the psychological landscape of Africans to can be colonized through indoctrination.


It is lamentable to see that Esoteric knowledge is commonly misunderstood and erroneously compared to information; but the two are completely different. Although African Gnostic teachings existed for centuries through oral transmission, Western scholars however only thought of them as mythical aberrations of a primitive people -- thus, through stringent and systematic religious indoctrination, many of their (African Gnostics) spiritual traditions were suppressed.


The natural aroma of Gnosis (self-knowledge: ''Ho itseba bo wena''), embedded in the fabric of African spirituality secretly disappeared --and a completely ''new'' God was presented to the African psyche that resembled very little of his indigenous wisdom that connected him to Tlatlamacholo (the Perfect Being) - - whom they refereed to as [MOLIMO], among other esoteric names. The concept of [MOLIMO - pronounced: Mod.i.mo], as expressed by Basotho people, was always seen as a pervasive consciousness found within all of Nature’s realms. African spiritualists understood [MOLIMO] more as an all encompassing Source of life and a cosmic spiritual light (Leseli); as apposed to the emphasis on personal moral attributes placed by the colonial Christian God.


For example, there are fifteen (15) sacred manifestations that describe the Epiphany of Christ in Sesotho:


1.)*Tlatlamacholo (the Perfect Being);

2.)*Molimo (the Omniscient);

3.)*Tsitoe (the Omnipotent);

4.)*Tlake (the Originator);

5.)*Mohokong (the Attractive Force);

6.)*Raseapara-Lome (the One who-is-clothed-in Perfection);

7.)*Mohalali or Mohalaletsi (the Sanctifier);

8.)*Tlotsi (the Anointer);

9.)*Lome (the Perfection);

10.)*Rammoloki (the Maintainer);

11)*Sekhele (the Protector);

12.)*Poko Ralefaloe (the Praise-Worthy);

13.)*mpshoe-Motlehali (the Excellent Beauty);

14.)*Koetla (the Improver);

15.)*′Mopi Moholo-Motlou (the Great Creator).


All these names (spiritual titles) are actually cosmic vibrations steeped in diverse African practices. ''MODIMO'' was not only one thing in one name; but also many things in many names! ''MODIMO'' is in everything -- He takes on a ''Form'' needed by us at that particular time, then He dissolves that ''Form'' immediately because of His transcendental nature. Every name of MODIMO is an Epiphany of Christ: Wherever there is MODIMO there will always be Motho. Our understanding of each other and ourselves will truly liberated when we fulfill this statement - - its a glimpse into seeing our true human nature ''ubuntu''. If we speak about God ''MODIMO'' without understanding the human soul ''Motho'' (Umuntu) then we'll only describe illusions. Wherever there is MODIMO (Absolute Emptiness) there will always be Motho (Form); because ''Motho ke MODIMO''; this is the African Epiphany of Christ! Lesedi!


MOTHO (UMUNTU) AND THE INSTINCTIVE EARTH


In today's society many people do not realize what this planet Earth really is: A living human entity, with a spiritual consciousness and cosmic development. The Earth to which we belong as we have been told is part of the macrocosmos, and we are the microcosmic planet (a small, infinitesmal cosmos), but due to the externalized senses our consciousness is trapped in the ego artificial mediocre interests.


Master Samael beautifully stated in one of his lectures that non of us today can assure that we live on planet Earth! We may live in our particular microcosmos, but not on the planet Earth. Ancient African Gnostics just like many indigenous cultures on Earth greatly understood that there was no separation between themselves and planet Earth (Mother Nature).


Earth is our most important spiritual organ. The unfortunate and prevalent misconception about our connection to biosphere is that ''If humanity would Die than planet Earth would survive.''


''If humanity were to be wiped out then the Earth would suffer greatly. We sometimes think that if humanity dies then the Earth would be better off. This is not quite true. It is really the destructive actions towards the Earth that are harming the Earth and should for the benefit of the Earth really stop. However, if human beings died out then the Earth would not be able to receive special energies that only human beings give to it.''

Humanity and planet Earth are inseparable - - it is comparable to how important the liver and lungs are to the human body. If there were no Human beings "Motho'' living on this planet, then Earth would not be able to benefit from the transformation of energy every human being caries out on behalf of Mother Nature (Planet Earth).


Our spiritual work or the lack there off affects the planet Earth in a very profound way. People behave as if they not live on planet Earth, because we are stuck in desires, selfish compulsions, basic instincts, in the ego of ''Me'', ''Myself'', ''I'', and ''Personality''. We are stuck in a psychological planet where the ego of ''Myself'' is always portrayed to be bigger and better than cosmic order.


This is very easy to verify. In Western and Eastern man is typically epitomized on top of nature (ie. greater than nature), while to the ancients, man resembles the art of nature in motion.


''Ancients never conquered nature,

they wore nature to symbolize the overcoming of inhumane

elements within themselves.''


To the ancients, nature was a sacred source of life, and thus it was revered and always protected; hence our African gnostic Forefathers' wisdom was hid in diverse ceremonies and spiritual rituals (Runes of nature), in order to not to be seen again by uncircumcised eyes. With the avenue of an awake consciousness, the human being ''Motho'' was assisted by nature to transform energies from a cosmic catastrophe that reach planet Earth. Master Samael says if these energies are not transformed, they cause human beings to go to war with each other. ''Motho'' was an important psychological organ of Earth consciousness, because what affects the Earth also affected the psychology of human consciousness - - thus the manner in which we (Batho) transform energy directly affects the cosmic development of this planets Earth.


We are part of Earth and its nature is a part of us. Our spiritual destiny is linked to the psychological evolution of this planet Earth. (This is the sole reason why we are born on this planet, and not any other.)


The cosmic development of Earth's Consciousness is connected to the psychological development of each Human being ''Motho'' born on this planet. As long as we live unconsciously, we will continue to be linked to the unconsciousness of this Earth forever, throughout eternity. Thus, the only way to become unlinked is if we develop the seed of ''Motho'' (Consciousness: Buddha-nature) in us.


Our awakening affects Earth, because the cells we use to meditate, to pray, to think originate from this Earth. Each awakened cell in us, vastly contributes to the brilliance of the whole. But this form of knowledge is hidden. When someone does not understand their connection to Earth, it is obvious that he will struggle to see the resonance of planet Earth in them.


Earth's instinct to awaken consciousness lives intimately inside every person. While we are still live on Earth our Evolution and Devolution will be eternally linked to this Earth.


It is for this reason that planet Earth provides all of us with life - - so that we can evolve the life of Earth in us. When we evolve our psychology, Earth's consciousness also awakens and evolves. However, it is unfortunate that we do not know what is LIFE! Frankly, we are trapped in selfish interests, passion, desire for money and vain comforts. So truthfully, we do not live on planet Earth! No one can boast to know the seven dimensions of Earth on which they live.


We are cells of an organ, and that organism is Earth. If one studies the intricate function of each organ within their own body, they will clearly see that without those different organs their body would not function: similarly without human beings '''Batho'' Earth will not be able to evolve (psychologically and spiritually).


So ''Motho'' (a Human being) that we speak of is a psychological condition, not mechanism of physical phenomenon. The economy of nature draws balance based upon the conditions of the human being's consciousness. When we die we cease to be part of Earth physically; we enter the spiritual realms of Earth. We will therefore, either experience those realms with an awake consciousness (as Motho / Umuntu), or with an unawake consciousness (phoofolo / islwane) meaning animal mind. Earth holds us corporeally or incorporeally according to every record of energy we bring into balance or out of balance.


Motho ke MODIMO = Humanity is the most important organ of Earth because it is through the Human being ''Motho'' that the primary forces of nature are absorbed and transmitted to Earth, nourishing it in a way that other living organism (minerals, plants, animals) cannot.


May Christ Consciousness increase in you always.

(SoG:SA)

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