Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Where Are You Going?

I'm sure most of you have heard of the common phrase, "you need to understand where he is coming from", or something to that effect. However I say, it is not where you are coming from but where you are going. Forward ever, backwards never! Are you trodding toward Mount Zion, or staying miserable in Babylon? Lot's wife turned to a pillar of salt because she was looking back at Sodom and Gomorrah even though JAH said to keep it moving. The past can become a heavy burden, and also an excuse for certain behaviors. This is especially prevalent in the case of individuals. When ones live in the past they begin to adopt a false sense of reality, and refuse to make any advancement. The past could have been traumatic, or it could even have been glorious... either way it is looking back. Yes, there are stages of movements forward, one cannot be pushed or forced into it, the revelation of Truth is a natural mystic. So some people progress at different rates, every fruit in its due season. The true problem is when one recognizes where they should be going and what it takes to be progressive-minded but instead chooses to foolishly believe that they are unnacountable for themselves or they go and stagnate in self-pity. These attitudes never get people anywhere.

Even those who study the situation and explain and complain never really promote action and instead they become cynical and fill their heads with negative thoughts. What does this do besides possess an otherwise productive mind. One step forward, two steps backward. It is a trick of the devilman I say! Trickery comes in disguise as usual... dependant on human emotions, on angers, on pains, and devoid of any common sense or betterment. You may be able to fool some people, but you cannot fool JAH. Wicked man go tell JAH that you had to keep selling drugs to the youth, keep pimping the women on the street, and keep shooting the next man because that is what you knew from growing up. Do you think that bag of excuse can go pass? JAH seh no. It may give you street cred, but no credit with the Most High. Each man can think for himself, each man is capable of rising above, and given the chance to rise above... like it or not, there is no hiding place.

This is not to say that the past is not important, especially when it comes to collective identity, for who can ever forget the words of the Honorable Marcus Garvey, "A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots." Roots and Culture is what I&I Rastafari people deal with. Why? Because it reminds us of who we are, who we are supposed to be... and also who we are not supposed to be. Rastafari history, African history, Israelite history... histories of righteousness, histories of injustice... these are vital to the Rastaman. I am a history teacher and student, I am fully aware of its importance and the fact that without guidance, history does repeat itself. However there is an important system of checks and balances. Everyman must know their past... but nobody ever said anything about living in it. The past serves the future. Take the wicked man example. How much more rich is his future after putting aside the badman mentality? He can look back and see how far him trod, look at it as a reminder, rather than glorifying it. Also the past should be remembered and never forgotten in order to keep moving forward and avoid repeating the same cyclical sins of racism, sexism, and warfare.

His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I was progressive-minded, and is an excellent example of the balance of moving forward while honoring the past. He made efforts to modernize his country of Ethiopia, advance the African people, and also fought for the cooperation of all nations in the world. Despite any contradictive mythologies or stories, Selassie I eventually forgave the Italians for their invasion of Ethiopia, making efforts toward peace with the post-war Italian government and holding council with the Vatican... although he never forgot the horrific injustices done to his people and let it serve as a reminder to the whole world. H.I.M. did not spend his precious time in bitterness or live his life in past wrongs or injustices... even though His Majesty had every right to do so. He did not promote hate or negative attitudes. In his divine judgment he set an example for JAH people. Selassie I know! While being progressive, at the same time H.I.M. was also a traditionalist and was a strong advocate of his heritage as the descendant of Solomon and Sheba, steward of the Throne of David and Earth's rightful ruler. Biblical and Ethiopian history was the foundation to his reign and no modernization could ever change the ancient Truth of history or make H.I.M. bow before any world power, science or philosophy of man.

In the end, I&I must remember that life is not an emphasis on the future either. The future can hold its share of false hopes too. How many times have people been promised something in order to placate the masses? How many times have people been told that there is a diamond in the sky and to wait for heaven's sake? More commonly, how many times do we withhold good things and put them aside for later, things like love, forgiveness, and productiveness. There is nothing wrong with looking forward to promises of the future, it gives us a sense of direction, but standing there gazing at it on a map gets us nowhere. Forget about changing the past and stop worrying about the future... deal with the present moment, deal with now. What are you doing for yourself now? What is he or she doing for theirself now? What is being done now to rectify the wrongs of the past and prepare for a better future? Bredrens and sistrens remember these two things... the time is now, and the movement is forward. Rastafari!

Guidance and Blessed Love Everytime,

Wednesday, June 21, 2006



De wombman mad like yah jus won't believe
Come tell me seh she bellyfull wid a farmerman seed
But I-man was de one wid whom she planned to conceive
And all I have now is a distant memory fe grieve

Lawd, it was supposed to be meh crop deh pon dat plot
Now another man plow up de land an he rankin' top
Why she go enter meh mind just when it all stop?
Haunt me like jumbie, an seh... "forget me not"

Confuse meh mind all de time, since de ole day
Evicted from she property, no longer could stay
Me, dis man who worked she land fe no pay
Left wi no kind word to say, only "doan feel no way"

Wombman, why carry bring thing, are yah never done?
What is your meaning, tell me what's de reason?
Once ago I thought you were my empress, the one
But may JAH bless you, your husband... and, your son

(c) 2006

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Rasta IdentiFakeation

Greetings to one and all. After witnessing certain things lately, I wanted to bring forth a reasoning on the matter of Rasta identification.

If ones claim say they are a Rastafarian, or a Christian, or a Muslim... they had better be serious, because it is a dangerous thing to mix vanity with livity or devotion. Outward appearances and symbols are always noticed first by people, but these looks can be extremely deceiving. As the Scriptures say, "render your hearts and not your garments." Plenty of people are not Rasta but imposter, or rastatutes polluting the teachings of His Majesty. When trodding Rastafari, heart and hands should be clean in JAH sight. How is it that one can give praises to JAH and in the next moment come with some slackness, profanity, indecency and hatred? What is this teaching the youths? It only creates a whole set of mixup. The Bible says that fresh water and salt water cannot come from the same spring, so as Rastafari how is it that ones are behaving in ways contradictive to what they are supposedly following? As a Rasta, one should always try their best to live humble. It is a spiritual trod above all else.

Cultural symbols can be misused, robbed, and commercialized. Images with meaning and purpose often become no more than a fashion statement. Some men and women pose as Rasta for ulterior motives, enticing the flesh and leading people astray. A Rastaman or Rastawoman shall be known by their heartical vibes and their deeds. Nuff dreads out there are robbing and killing in the streets, nuff people wearing the ites, gold and green, but not knowing what it means. Nuff artists in the music business sending mixed messages. Pure ignorance. However, this phenomenon is nothing new, it has existed since ancientcy. What better way to set a trap for JAH children than to come as a wolf in sheeps clothing? The devil comes in disguise, but he is revealed to the wise. The wiseman also sees what the masses usually overlook, true righteousness and simplicity in the soul of a man. A man like the Savior, a man like the Emperor, a man like the Prophet. The martyrs, teachers, and freedom fighters are often misunderstood by their own kinsmen and even their own followers. The people dem see and blind!

Besides the more obvious deceivers, those ones with the wicked intentions, the carnal minded and the hypocrites, people should also be wary of those who out of ignorance claim Rastafari, those who think it is all about smoking the ganja herb, listening to some Bob Marley songs, having a good time and shouting empty expressions of one love. Rastafari is a serious thing and it should be taken seriously. It is a faith and a lifestyle that should be respected. Although Rastafari is about love, peace, and unity, it is likewise founded in equal rights and justice, liberation, black upliftment, and African conciousness. It is about loving His Imperial Majesty, Haile Selassie I. And it is about fighting a spiritual war, there can be no peace without justice, a Rastafari is revolutionary not a sedated conformist. Without these components, there is no true identification with Rastafari taking place. People cannot just rewrite what defines Rasta in order to suit themselves. While certain people may be sympathetic to the Rasta way of life, they never bother to find some understanding or educate and check themselves, and they do a disservice to Rastafari by presenting a watered-down, diluted version.

What is strange to me is why somebody would half-heartedly livicate themself to Rastafari. Most people come to Rastafari through revelation, through a natural mystic. It is way of life, not a national religion with ones indoctrinated in it since birth. Even if youths grow up knowing Rasta life from their parents or family, it is ultimately something they must personally seek and know for themselves. A way of life... if you do not live that way, then how you fe say Rastafari is your way of life? Of course, like any movement on earth there is disagreement as to who is Rasta and who is not. Dreadlocks or baldhead? Vegetarian or some meat? Black or brown and white too? These things are a personal matter really... between someone and JAH or someone and the next man. People will not always agree. Sometimes people avoid conflict and keep to themselves, but other times petty war and divisions come about. Yet some things are spiritual matters and can't be argued, indisputable universal messages like the Ten Commandments. No matter religion or creed, nobody has ever been able to argue with these laws written on the heart. And according to Yeshua Christ the two greatest commandments are to love JAH with all of your heart, mind and soul, and to love your neighbor... neighbor being any man or woman you may come across during the day. So why are there some Rasta imposters coming as dreadlocks and garbed in the liberation colors but breaking 9 out of 10 commandments and sitting on Babylon throne?

I am aware that because I do not look like a stereotypical Rasta bredren and because certain things of the culture were foreign to me during my upbringing, that certain ones could perceive me as a "false Rasta" or unauthentic as well. Perhaps some may even question my addressing this very issue. Some ones may ask I-man, "what makes you think you're a Rasta?", and similar things. But I say, "just ask my Father". I have nothing to fall back on, no images or symbols other than what I can wear, so if I am dealing with Rastafari, I am dealing with it straight from the heart. Yes bredrens and sistrens, live clean and let your works be seen. Stand firm and JAH will let you wear His crown, for no weakheart can enter Mount Zion. Selassie I!


Friday, June 9, 2006

World Cup Soccer Fever

Well it is finally here after four long years... the World Cup. I remember back in 2002 (back in 2002?! that just does not sound right), when I was still living in NJ at my soon-to-become-ex's house, and when I was working on my senior seminar at Seton Hall and working at a wine store. I would stay up late at night and watch the games broadcasting live from South Korea/Japan on Univision at 2 or 3 in the morning. Yes, that was crazy. Now four years later I am up here in CT living with my family, busy finishing my Master's and wondering where all the time went and where I'll be in another four years. Many of my favorite and famous players are not on the teams this year. Some new teams made it for the first time. Trinidad & Tobago are in the World Cup this year, ironically I was supposed to go there during the summer of 2002 with my ex to visit her family. Anyway, thankfully the games are broadcasting at decent times of the day since they are being played in Germany this year, so I won't lose any sleep. On the otherhand they will be playing while I am at work. Hey, what can you do.

Yes, I love soccer... well, football as the rest of the world calls it, and calcio as the Italians say. My favorite team is Italia of course... gli Azzurri! It is a good time for me to take pride in my heritage. I am also rooting for Trinidad & Tobago, Argentina, Poland and Germany (my other ethnicities), Ghana, and Ivory Coast... oh yeah U.S.A., they actually have a chance this year. Brazil is always fun to watch too, but they are the rivals of all my teams. I won't predict a winner, I am just enjoying the ride.

The World Cup is such an amazing thing, teams and players from all over the world coming together to play one game. I love watching all of the different color flags and uniforms, different color people and languages, all playing by the same rules. The excitement, the athletic skill, the pride and celebration. Imagine if the governments and nations could follow the example of the "beautiful game".