HERE IS SOMETHING FOR YOU TO PONDER IN DEALING WITH EAST INDIANS, CHINESE, EUROPPEANS AND AFRICANS
Every group of people have a religion that shapes their world view, their weltanschauung. We need to understand a people’s predominant approach to life if we are to successfully relate well with them.
East Indians, Hindus, have a religion that encourages them to look inwards and in doing so tune out the external world, a world they see as unreal, and as illusory; they are supposed to not focus outside them, and are to take their minds off the objects we normally see in the empirical and phenomenal universe, because those objects are said to be unreal; instead, they are to clean their minds of all external objects, try to attain inner silence and in it, hopefully, become free from the hold of Maya, and experience Moksha, liberation from the hold of the individual ego on people and then experience their real self in Samadhi, which is said to be Brahman (individualized as each individual’s soul, Jivatman, which, itself is illusory for although atman is a manifestation of Brahman, it is one with Brahman) .
The goal of Hinduism is to attain the nondual Self, Brahman, a state that transcends words and speech; in it we know that we are one with Brahman and are in that state eternal, permanent and changeless; in it we experience bliss, Chit Sat Ananda.
THE CHINESE AND EAST ASIANS
Whereas the Indian is escapist, negates the phenomenal world and is preoccupied with what he calls his inner reality and does not pay much attention to the external world, the Chinese seek ways to have a balance in his life; he accepts Hinduism’s focus on the inner world but does not negate the external world. His philosophy is balancing Yin and Yang, balancing two seemingly opposed things, nondualism and dualism, unity and separation and multiplicity, black and white, darkness and light, man and woman, good and bad.
The native Chinese religion is called Taoism (see Tao tin Ching by Lao Tzu) although most Chinese embrace Buddhism that came to them from India 2000 years ago; their behavior and moral code was given to them by Confucius, who lived 2500 years ago.
The Chinese and East Asian (Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Thai, Burmese, Singaporean, Malaysian, Indonesian etc.) seeks balance between the unknown world and the knowable external world.
Thus, the Chinese is practical; he deals with the affairs of this world on their empirical terms while also respecting his religious teachers, Hinduism and Buddhism (Hindus gave China and the rest of Asia Buddhism…Buddhism is really a sect of Hinduism, as Christianity is a sect of Jewish Judaism; you cannot be a real Buddhist unless you understand its root, Hinduism).
Because the Chinese is very practical, pragmatic as well as deeply interested in the unknown world, he is very balanced and not unidimensional man, he is very realistic as well as idealistic, mystical; he is poised to take over the world economically and eventually militarily and politically.
The Western man, that is, Europeans and Americans unlike the Easterner totally focuses his attention on the external world; to Westerners focus on the internal world, the search for a nondual self, is a waste of time; maybe, it is something that a few unproductive mystics and introverted contemplatives may toy with, but the rest of the people are encouraged to look outside them, to see the world of space, time and matter and study them scientifically, that is, understand the way they work, their laws and then devise technologies to take advantage of that understanding. The Westerner does not waste his time and energy on searching for God, to the extent that he thinks that there is God, it is to accept the Jewish notion that God is in the sky and is to be worshipped and prayed to give people what they want (Bhakti Yoga).
Simply stated, the Caucasian is not searching for God; he is affirming his narcissistic ego and wants to dominate the world through knowledge of how it works and produce nuclear weapons that can destroy the world and use it, as Vladmir Putin is now doing, to terrorize the rest of the world, to intimidate people into obeying them.
Unfortunately, the West’s lack of interest in the internal self makes them have that amusing childish state; if truth is said, I tend to see the European, the white man, as a child; despite his science and technology, stuff that I greatly admire, I do not take him seriously; this is because he does not strike me as an adult; the Chinese strikes me as adult because he strives to balance the known and unknown world in his state of being!
What are Africans dominant religion and weltanschauung? I am an Africa, nominally, anyway. I can honestly say that I do not know what the African approach to reality is, and this is despite coming from kindred that, for hundreds, if not thousands of years, produce his group’s high priests. So, what exactly do Africans believe in?
I know that most of them believe that there are imaginary gods in the sky (in Eligwe), that those gods created them and that when they die, they go to the world of ancestors (Alamuo) and from there protect those living in flesh? Africans, to the best of my knowledge, did not articulate how people return to where God is and where they supposedly came from, heaven, Eligwe.
African Americans are trying to discover their world view; they were socialized as Christians but appreciating the evil those so-called white American Christians did to them, enslaved them, discriminate against them, they see Christianity as a means by white folks for dominating them; thereafter, they fled to Islam until folks like me forcefully told them that Islam is an Arab religion, not an African religion, and remind them that Muslims enslaved more Africans than Europeans; as we speak, Muslims really do not see Africans as real human beings, they hunt Africans for sport in Sudan and Mauritania. Simply stated, Islam is not the answer for Africans.
These days, the intellectual type of African Americans look to Egypt and try to resurrect what they call its ancient Kemet religion.
Egypt had gone through many iterations, so that what is Egyptian is not readily known. In the past three thousand years, many non-Africans have ruled Egypt. Persians ruled Egypt 2500 years ago, Greeks ruled Egypt 2300 years ago, Romans ruled Egypt from 2000 years ago and after them the Arabs took over in 643 CE and have ruled Egypt since then. Each of these foreign rulers gave the native Egyptians their religion.
Many people, these days, do not remember that most of the early Christian thinkers were Egyptians and North Africans (Origen, Tertullian, Irenaeus, Clement, Athanasius, Saint Augustine, to name a few).
Simply stated, we do not know what constitutes Egyptian religion and whatever it is, it is not going to help us adapt to the exigencies of our extant world; I personally do not waste my time on so-called Kemet.
I embrace science and call my culture scientific culture and call my religion science-based spirituality, aka Christian Gnosticism.
The point I made in this brief essay is that each group of people have a dominant world view and if you are going to deal with them you had better understand their world view, where they are coming from; you would be making a grievous misstate to think that all people are like you, they are not culturally, philosophically and religiously like you.
Ponder these conundrums.
Years ago, I taught a course on what used to be called Multi-culturalism; in it I explored, in detail, the ideas and more, that I summarized in this brief essay. I have since fled from multi-culturalism because it divides people; I am seeking what unites people; science helps unite people by giving all of us a methodological approach to phenomena that is applicable everywhere on planet earth, so I accept science and since people are also more than their bodies, I seek a science-based spirituality.
You may have noticed that my existence is divided between pursuit of pure science and desire for a workable spirituality; there is a method to my madness; the spiritual aspect of me is because I come from a family that for thousands of years guided their people spiritually; I see my African people as currently confused as to what they believe is real or not real; I am trying very hard to give them and the rest of the world a unifying spirituality.
April 23, 2022