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Author Topic: Rasta, Rastafari, Ras Tafari?  (Read 14279 times)
Bantu_Kelani
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« on: September 16, 2003, 07:38:10 AM »

In this Community here we use the term Rasta to describe one with wisdom or seeker of wisdom derived from knowledge of one's self, rooted in all humanity and that is linked to the cosmos.

Rastafari, Rastafarians, Ras Tafari persons, synonymously those whose theology is rooted in Judeo-Christian scriptures, describe a category of individuals who claim exclusive possession of god. Some see the connectedness to Africa with Emperor Haile Selaisse I as deity.

Aside from these simple explanations, intuitive Rastas are unable to take seriously the idea of an anthropological God embodied in an apocalyptic Messiah. By intuitive Rastas I mean individuals with ANALYTICAL thinking embodied in the Laws of the Universe. As Rastas, our reverential, caring and celebratory approach to JAH focuses on Nature rather than on the apocalyptic God.

For us Rastas, JAH is Nature, Nature is sacred, JAH is the essence in the cosmos!


Bantu-Kelani.


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We should first show solidarity with each other. We are Africans. We are black. Our first priority is ourselves.
iyah360
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« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2003, 01:17:20 PM »

Peace.

I sight up Haile Selassie as a symbol of the ancient principle of God in man, not as an idol to be worshipped, but rather as a reminder of I and I. The name means Power of the Trinity or might of the 3. If ones have studied the meanings of numbers and geometry, the name Haile Selassie is indeed an accurate expression of one of the fundamental observable laws of creation, being the unity following the division. 1 = fundamental, 2 = division, 3 = the union once again after division.

Emporor Haile Selassie and Empress Menen are also viewed as the feminine and masculine principles in creation, co-creators.

Humans have always expressed in symbols, finite to express the infinite.

I do indeed see many caught up in wastes of energy debating theories and speculation pertaining to the bible and the divinity of Haile Selassie and also as an excuse for continued ignorance.

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Bantu_Kelani
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« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2003, 02:53:58 PM »

Quote
I do indeed see many caught up in wastes of energy debating theories and speculation pertaining to the bible and the divinity of Haile Selassie and also as an excuse for continued ignorance.


If you want to remain in your limited beliefs and paradigms self awereness, sure enough but intuitive Rastas won't! The Universe is DYNAMIC, always in constant flux...yet we humans wish to not go along with the rest of the Universe! Self examination can only be a benefit. Indeed, all social problems are direct result of people not knowing the content of their OWN minds  Dozey..

Bantu-Kelani.
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We should first show solidarity with each other. We are Africans. We are black. Our first priority is ourselves.
Rootsie
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« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2003, 08:30:12 PM »

Well Iyah though ones might be surprised I agree with you completely. I don't think your perspective is limited. You are being creative and metaphorical in your interpretations. The last thing I would ever have wanted is to promote yet another theological discussion of how ones choose to perceive and experience divinity. The point I was trying to make, which either I did not make well or was misinterpreted is just that Rastas have a huge range of beliefs about the man/god nature of Selassie, and that what Rastas can agree on are much more basic things, like justice and human freedom and human dignity framed in an African context, and that there are indeed values which unite all Rastas.
    Unfortunately as a sistren of ours put it, "Those One Big God people always show poor conduct."  That literalistic fundamentalistic streak in people that says "It's my way or the highway", or in this case, fire and brimstone for those who disagree, is a world problem, and by no means unique to Rasta. Every word of the Bible is literal fact.  One human being is literally JAH in the flesh. And the ones who claim this and put on a mantle of 'righteousness' are the same ones who shed basic principles of decency and morality when ones come with a different interpretation.

Rootsie
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kristine
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« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2003, 09:25:17 PM »

As posted on the general board:

I will state at this time what I site from the livity of RASTAFARI as I have come to overstand.First it is important to clarify that I have never stated myself RASTA as this to myself would be inappropriate and and offence at this time as the movement has not fully manifested to the ones who rightfully can claim the title...The Black African wo/man...and until this is achieved I do not feel it fully or know it...I refuse to imitate that which I cannot authenticate...My introduction to RASTAFARI was extended through the front door by the divine union of marriage to the natural RASTAMAN from creation...We have been married for going up to 10 years...So by no means do I consider myself someone who has been around nearly as long as ones who choose to impart knowledge upon this forum..I have spent most of the last 10 years dividing our time between a white country and a Black country so I live somewhat double sided as I experience similar situations from different perspectives...
My experience with the term RASTA has always been as a greeting hailing other idren or a shortening of the term RASTAFARI...I have also seen ones from many mansions who also have been hailed RAS or RASTA still significant of RASTAFARI...MOST exposure I have had has been in the Caribbean where many of the books and documents other than the Bible are very rare including the Kebra,the Piby and the Book of the Dead...but this has not stopped the RASTA from rooting through the symbolism to find the ancient meanings hidden within...as many scholars will agree there is Ancient Knowledge within the text..RASTA has been given the wise mind to discern the truth from within..One has referred to nature as JAH and this I can agree with...what I cannot grasp though is what would lead one to think RAS TAFARI is not at one with nature as nothing could be further from the truth...not only in diet,bathing and hygenic rituals,respect for life and knowledge of the highest heights through visions and revelations..this is not something I have been told it is something I have witnessed...As far as the divinity of H.I.M. I will quote Dr Dennis Forsyhe from Healing of the Nations..."All universal truths must indeed manifest themselves in particular places and through particular individuals.They have to come down so to speak and take on flesh."...I have no problem with this and do not feel that in anyway it limits ones capacity to still explore the cosmos and attain higher heights...It is the level one chooses to reach..In closing I will part with the thought that has constantly been on my mind these days...If not for H.I.M. would any of the ones here and throughout the world been given the voice to express these many reasonings in the name and for the sake of RASTAFARI...or would the voice for equal rights and justice be nearly as loud and clear...These are the questions I will let ones decide for themselves as I know what I feel...kristine
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Ayinde
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« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2003, 10:22:52 PM »

My involvement in Rastafari was at the request of several persons one of whom was Ras Forever. He sighted I as a Rasta and knew the reason that I refused to grow a dreadlocks. I made it absolutely clear to him many years ago that I do not accept the absolute divinity of Haile Selassie although I sight him as one of our esteemed ancestors.

I always knew I was Rasta and that was also long before I paid any attention to what many claim to be Rastafari (Hailing Selassie I as absolute divinity).

I never accepted his absolute divinity for several reasons.

a) I did not agree with many decisions he made and still feel strongly that he made too many errors in regards to his attempt to unite Eithopia, which disfranchised many Ethiopian groups.

b) In my opinion, if one understands absolute divinity then one imparts a definitive process that allows people to attain that cosmic reunion. Nowhere in his writings have I seen any of the definitive processes that I know (have experienced) and have demonstrated many times even to people I never met physically.

c) I read much of his writings and have gotten nothing that I did not already know. So from my perspective he imparted nothing new to advance me. However, I do agree that many can learn from his writings, especially those who are unfamiliar with many other sources for such information.

On this basis I cannot and do not consider him anything other than one of our ancestors who played his part and is held in high regards similarly to many other esteemed historians and elders.

Rastafari as a movement is about addressing the same issues as most other Black Movements. Rasta by the definition I gave is what I am about. And there would be no Rastafari without the concept of Rasta.

I know many Rastas (including dreadlock Rastas) who do not accept Haile Selassie as anything more than another esteemed leader. The term Rasta was around before the 1930s, long before people started Hailing Selassie as their leader.  

My involvement in Rastafari is that of a Rasta, an African, as someone who assists many Black Movements and also having been involved in schools and other grassroots work that also cater to underprivileged youths many of whom are 'Rastafarians'.  

It does not matter much to me whom others wish to follow, or claim is their saviour as long as in their doing so they do not infringe on my rights.

Part of my work is to help those who wish to become Rastas, but only if they ask, are able to engage the process and if I feel comfortable working with them. I do know several other people whose personal essence interacts with (some are connected to) the Universal essence and they too are quite in order to claim Rasta. I have been working over the years to get more Rastas on the Internet to assist in sharing from deeper personal experiences with those who are interested.
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iyah360
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« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2003, 07:16:03 AM »

Peace.

Bantu-Kelani, I agree with the I completely. You stated:

"If you want to remain in your limited beliefs and paradigms self awereness, sure enough but intuitive Rastas won't! . . . "

and Rootsie stated:

" Well Iyah though ones might be surprised I agree with you completely. I don't think your perspective is limited. "

Just so I am not misunderstood, I think debating biblical validity for something in the heart and apparent in nature and the cycles of the heavens is absolutely silly and a waste of energy. I know Rasta is not Haile Selassie, Haile Selassie is a symbol of Rasta. Ethiopia is the place of the birth of mankind, Selassie is a symbol of Ethiopia(which I know is not the only area once considered greater Ethiopia). Ethiopia and the areas to the south where the Nile flowed from are the homelands of the culture which flourished and evolved in Khemet. Jesus Christ is a version of Horus, the Virgin Mary a symbol of Isis impregnated by God/Osiris to bring forth the Son. Nothing new under the SUN. The Pharoah represented the God-King, the same way I see Haile Selassie as a SYMBOL. I know Rasta is spoken of as a place in the Book of Coming Forth by Day. Rasta is a place known tens of thousands of years ago.

Indeed, as Bantu-Kelani states:

"The Universe is DYNAMIC, always in constant flux...yet we humans wish to not go along with the rest of the Universe! Self examination can only be a benefit. Indeed, all social problems are direct result of people not knowing the content of their OWN minds  "

Well said!!!!

Bless.

"those who get lost in symbols and do not pierce the veil to get the meaning of the symbol have not pierced ignorance and are still living in ignorance and have really deluded themselves"
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Bantu_Kelani
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« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2003, 08:49:41 AM »

Posted by: iyah360
--Just so I am not misunderstood, I think debating biblical validity for something in the heart and apparent in nature and the cycles of the heavens is absolutely silly and a waste of energy.


On the contrary, questioning and rejecting an erroneous, fallible HUMAN document, fallacies, bigot, with failure of logic and superstition shows more than brilliance!  Knowledge gained by being told, without even questioning it or conforming it for oneself is utmost naiveté. Analytical  historians cannot be oppressed...

---who get lost in symbols and do not pierce the veil to get the meaning of the symbol have not pierced ignorance and are still living in ignorance and have really deluded themselves"

More so than the' Ignorance' of a bunch of illiterate bible literalists who have taken on the traits of the oppressors. The development of consciousness IS always inherently related to rationalized self-awareness. It is MY belief, that the GOD of Nature cannot fuse on faith that pertains to inconsistency with science and reason!

B.K
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We should first show solidarity with each other. We are Africans. We are black. Our first priority is ourselves.
iyah360
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« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2003, 09:53:41 AM »

Peace.

Again, fully agree with B.K. When I say "a waste of energy," I am referring of course to devoting energy to  the various mental acrobatics required to legitimize faith with literal translation of the bible.

Critical analysis is of course what brings I and I closer at almost all times to overstanding.

I give thanks that there are some who can reason on this level, I have felt for so long that when one tries to overstand the Most High through literalizing the bible, that ones are actually putting God in a BOX and coffin, trivializing that which pulses in all life into a concept ripe with the least desirable human characteristics.

Bless.
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Tian
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« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2003, 08:37:58 AM »

Greetings,

From my experience, I agree with what Ayinde said. I have met many Rastas who do not believe in the divinity of Haile Selassie. Instead, many of them believe in Jesus Christ.

On the other hand, Haile Selassie was a powerful African king, leading the only free African nation and beating the Italian fascist invaders in the 1930s. For that reason, I think, he is a powerful symbol of black liberation, but so are many other African leaders like Jomo Kenyatta, Julius Nyerere and Nelson Mandela.

I have often been in discussions where people use Haile Selassie's decisions in the 1970s to discredit the Rastafari movement. But history shows many good freedom fighters have later become corrupted by power, like Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe. I think it is important to realize that most people have both good and bad sides.

Tian
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