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The H3O/Art of Life Blog

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Becoming a Living Sun: Part Two

Updated: Aug 10, 2020

By Heru Kepera Bullard

Presented By Omni-University

Previously, in Part One, I shared the cultural concept of "Ngunza Nganga" which is related to the teachings of becoming a living sun. As one passes through the knowledge processes and spiritual requisites required for knowing all the ways of the “Ngunza Nganga”, the ultimate stage is to move into, become one with,  and  transition with the light into enlightenment: therefore, emerging more powerful than before as an Enlightened Ancestor.  To become “Ngunza Nganga” is not just transitioning from the living world to the living-dying-living world, but to see the world in front and behind as well as operating and existing within and without. To become an Enlightened Ancestor is to become one who not only made their transition from the living world into the sacred world, but also one who made sacred the world in which they lived. An Enlightened Ancestor is one who, through venerated actions and divine speech, gave meaning to their time and space. One whose name, though not spoken, will never be forgotten in the libations and Ases* of our hearts and minds. Enlightened Ancestors are those who stood up and stepped up when others, decidedly, stooped low and sat down. They are  those who fought the good fight for the things they believed in and for which they were willing to sacrifice their lives- but, not their works. Those who, with vision and inspiration , kept their eyes open as others closed theirs in fear; who courageously and willingly spoke truth to power while knowing the personal penalty and professional consequences of their bold actions. Enlightened Ancestors are those who never gave up, never gave in, and never gave away the gains that resulted from our collective struggle; who ,at the darkest hour, helped others to see the light with their life’s actions; who, once their life-work had been completed,  walked without hesitation into the darkness of the unknown and transitioned into the Ntr (Spirit) World. My understanding of  "Ngunza Nganga" makes it clear to me that, within the Afrikan Centered cultural tradition, the ancient “keeper’s of the way” were those who protected the circle of life, embraced the living-dying-living process, and prepared themselves to transform and be reformed. This enables me to truly appreciate the fact that we are our Ancestors and our Ancestors are us--a continuum of the life-light. Therefore, our cultural work is nothing more than the continuation of the work that was waiting to be completed.  To do anything less would be to reject our calling and deviate from our divine purpose in choosing to become human. Should we turn our backs on the fidelity required for keeping the sacred circle unbroken, we  risk what the “Ngunza Nganga” cautions as the cultural regression of becoming “blind” to one’s moment in time and space. The danger associated with this  blindness, as ascribed by the “Ngunza Nganga”, is  being a “Stunted Ancestor”, one who fell asleep in their moment, suffered cultural blindness and missed their obligations to fulfill their life-purpose. Just as the sun rises and sets, it is only in the darkest of the night that the sun, the light, will return. As we proceed,we must  realize that we, too, will be required to pass on this  light to our next generation. Therefore, we say to our Enlightened Ancestors: "We celebrate your lives and lived legacies within the meditations of our minds.Rest in Power and Peace. We will continue the tradition of protecting the circle, of carrying the cultural light, and of completing the unfinished work". Our eyes are open. Using both eye-sight and in-sight, we see the light. We have the light. We are alive We are awake! We are One! Ase!! Ase!! Ase!!!

Suggested Reading: "African Cosmology of the Bantu-Kongo: Tying the Spiritual Knot: Principles of Life and Living" by Kimbwandende Kia Bunseki Fu-Kiau. * Ase( ah shay)-a West African philosophical concept through which the Yoruba of Nigeria conceive the power to make things happen and/or to produce change. 

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