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Address by HIM Emperor Haile Selassie I to the United Nations – 6 October 1963

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This speech is still relevant in today’s international politics….Haile Selassie had predicted the downfall of humanity if Morality was not maintained…Look at our world…we worship the $$$ instead of God…we go to war for $$$ … we kill for $$$… we live for $$$ …we dream of $$$ …soon, we will have a WW3 (nuclear war) for $$$ …MY POINT is that Emperor Haile Selassie’s speech is a warning…if we don’t protect universal moral values, and if we only focus on economic interests, we will face the downfall of World Peace/Stability …and he is right! Look at the modern world: Terrorism, Civil conflicts, Food Crisis, Poverty, Global warming ….these are man-made miseries! WE NEED TO CHANGE FOR THE SAKE OF PEACE!!! – Tseday


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Address by HIM Emperor Haile Selassie I to the United Nations – 6 October 1963
Source: http://www.ethiopiancrown.org/

Mr. President, Distinguished Delegates:

        Twenty-seven years ago, as Emperor of Ethiopia, I mounted the rostrum in Geneva, Switzerland, to address the League of Nations and to appeal for relief from the destruction which had been unleashed against my defenseless nation, by the Fascist invader.I spoke then both to and for the conscience of the world. My words went unheeded, but history testifies to the accuracy of the warning that I gave in 1936.

        Today, I stand before the world organization which has succeeded to the mantle discarded by its discredited predecessor.   In this body is enshrined the principle of collective security which I unsuccessfully invoked at Geneva. Here, in this Assembly, reposes the best – perhaps the last – hope for the peaceful survival of mankind.

        In 1936, I declared that it was not the Covenant of the League that was at stake, but international morality. Undertakings, I said then, are of little worth if the will to keep them is lacking. The Charter of the United Nations expresses the noblest aspirations of man: abjuration of force in the settlement of disputes between states; the assurance of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion; the safeguarding of international peace and security.

        But these, too, as were the phrases of the Covenant, are only words; their value depends wholly on our will to observe and honor them and give them content and meaning. The preservation of peace and the guaranteeing of man’s basic freedoms and rights require courage and eternal vigilance: courage to speak and act – and if necessary, to suffer and die – for truth and justice; eternal vigilance, that the least transgression of international morality shall not go undetected and unremedied. These lessons must be learned anew by each succeeding generation, and that generation is fortunate indeed which learns from other than its own bitter experience. This Organization and each of its members bear a crushing and awesome responsibility: to absorb the wisdom of history and to apply it to the problems of the present, in order that future generations may be born, and live, and die, in peace.

        The record of the United Nations during the few short years of its life affords mankind a solid basis for encouragement and hope for the future. The United Nations has dared to act, when the League dared not in Palestine, in Korea, in Suez, in the Congo. There is not one among us today who does not conjecture upon the reaction of this body when motives and actions are called into question. The opinion of this Organization today acts as a powerful influence upon the decisions of its members. The spotlight of world opinion, focused by the United Nations upon the transgressions of the renegades of human society, has thus far proved an effective safeguard against unchecked aggression and unrestricted violation of human rights.

        The United Nations continues to sense as the forum where nations whose interests clash may lay their cases before world opinion. It still provides the essential escape valve without which the slow build-up of pressures would have long since resulted in catastrophic explosion. Its actions and decisions have speeded the achievement of freedom by many peoples on the continents of Africa and Asia. Its efforts have contributed to the advancement of the standard of living of peoples in all corners of the world.

        For this, all men must give thanks. As I stand here today, how faint, how remote are the memories of 1936.How different in 1963 are the attitudes of men. We then existed in an atmosphere of suffocating pessimism. Today, cautious yet buoyant optimism is the prevailing spirit. But each one of us here knows that what has been accomplished is not enough.

        The United Nations judgments have been and continue to be subject to frustration, as individual member-states have ignored its pronouncements and disregarded its recommendations. The Organization’s sinews have been weakened, as member-states have shirked their obligations to it. The authority of the Organization has been mocked, as individual member-states have proceeded, in violation of its commands, to pursue their own aims and ends. The troubles which continue to plague us virtually all arise among member states of the Organization, but the Organization remains impotent to enforce acceptable solutions. As the maker and enforcer of the international law, what the United Nations has achieved still falls regrettably short of our goal of an international community of nations.

        This does not mean that the United Nations has failed. I have lived too long to cherish many illusions about the essential highmindedness of men when brought into stark confrontation with the issue of control over their security, and their property interests. Not even now, when so much is at hazard would many nations willingly entrust their destinies to other hands.

        Yet, this is the ultimatum presented to us: secure the conditions whereby men will entrust their security to a larger entity, or risk annihilation; persuade men that their salvation rests in the subordination of national and local interests to the interests of humanity, or endanger man’s future. These are the objectives, yesterday unobtainable, today essential, which we must labor to achieve.

        Until this is accomplished, mankind’s future remains hazardous and permanent peace a matter for speculation. There is no single magic formula, no one simple step, no words, whether written into the Organization’s Charter or into a treaty between states, which can automatically guarantee to us what we seek. Peace is a day-to-day problem, the product of a multitude of events and judgments. Peace is not an “is”, it is a “becoming.” We cannot escape the dreadful possibility of catastrophe by miscalculation. But we can reach the right decisions on the myriad subordinate problems which each new day poses, and we can thereby make our contribution and perhaps the most that can be reasonably expected of us in 1963 to the preservation of peace. It is here that the United Nations has served us – not perfectly, but well. And in enhancing the possibilities that the Organization may serve us better, we serve and bring closer our most cherished goals.

        I would mention briefly today two particular issues which are of deep concern to all men: disarmament and the establishment of true equality among men. Disarmament has become the urgent imperative of our time. I do not say this because I equate the absence of arms to peace, or because I believe that bringing an end to the nuclear arms race automatically guarantees the peace, or because the elimination of nuclear warheads from the arsenals of the world will bring in its wake that change in attitude requisite to the peaceful settlement of disputes between nations. Disarmament is vital today, quite simply, because of the immense destructive capacity of which men dispose.

        Ethiopia supports the atmospheric nuclear test ban treaty as a step towards this goal, even though only a partial step. Nations can still perfect weapons of mass destruction by underground testing. There is no guarantee against the sudden, unannounced resumption of testing in the atmosphere.

        The real significance of the treaty is that it admits of a tacit stalemate between the nations which negotiated it, a stalemate which recognizes the blunt, unavoidable fact that none would emerge from the total destruction which would be the lot of all in a nuclear war, a stalemate which affords us and the United Nations a breathing space in which to act.

Here is our opportunity and our challenge. If the nuclear powers are prepared to declare a truce, let us seize the moment to strengthen the institutions and procedures which will serve as the means for the pacific settlement of disputes among men. Conflicts between nations will continue to arise. The real issue is whether they are to be resolved by force, or by resort to peaceful methods and procedures, administered by impartial institutions. This very Organization itself is the greatest such institution, and it is in a more powerful United Nations that we seek, and it is here that we shall find, the assurance of a peaceful future.

        Were a real and effective disarmament achieved and the funds now spent in the arms race devoted to the amelioration of man’s state; were we to concentrate only on the peaceful uses of nuclear knowledge, how vastly and in how short a time might we change the conditions of mankind. This should be our goal.

When we talk of the equality of man, we find, also, a challenge and an opportunity; a challenge to breathe new life into the ideals enshrined in the Charter, an opportunity to bring men closer to freedom and true equality. and thus, closer to a love of peace.

        The goal of the equality of man which we seek is the antithesis of the exploitation of one people by another with which the pages of history and in particular those written of the African and Asian continents, speak at such length. Exploitation, thus viewed, has many faces. But whatever guise it assumes, this evil is to be shunned where it does not exist and crushed where it does. It is the sacred duty of this Organization to ensure that the dream of equality is finally realized for all men to whom it is still denied, to guarantee that exploitation is not reincarnated in other forms in places whence it has already been banished.

        As a free Africa has emerged during the past decade, a fresh attack has been launched against exploitation, wherever it still exists. And in that interaction so common to history, this in turn, has stimulated and encouraged the remaining dependent peoples to renewed efforts to throw off the yoke which has oppressed them and its claim as their birthright the twin ideals of liberty and equality. This very struggle is a struggle to establish peace, and until victory is assured, that brotherhood and understanding which nourish and give life to peace can be but partial and incomplete.

        In the United States of America, the administration of President Kennedy is leading a vigorous attack to eradicate the remaining vestige of racial discrimination from this country. We know that this conflict will be won and that right will triumph. In this time of trial, these efforts should be encouraged and assisted, and we should lend our sympathy and support to the American Government today.

        Last May, in Addis Ababa, I convened a meeting of Heads of African States and Governments. In three days, the thirty-two nations represented at that Conference demonstrated to the world that when the will and the determination exist, nations and peoples of diverse backgrounds can and will work together. in unity, to the achievement of common goals and the assurance of that equality and brotherhood which we desire.

        On the question of racial discrimination, the Addis Ababa Conference taught, to those who will learn, this further lesson: That until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned: That until there are no longer first-class and second class citizens of any nation; That until the color of a man’s skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes; That until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race; That until that day, the dream of lasting peace and world citizenship and the rule of international morality will remain but a fleeting illusion, to be pursued but never attained; And until the ignoble and unhappy regimes that hold our brothers in Angola, in Mozambique and in South Africa in subhuman bondage have been toppled and destroyed; Until bigotry and prejudice and malicious and inhuman self-interest have been replaced by understanding and tolerance and good-will; Until all Africans stand and speak as free beings, equal in the eyes of all men, as they are in the eyes of Heaven; Until that day, the African continent will not know peace. We Africans will fight, if necessary, and we know that we shall win, as we are confident in the victory of good over evil.

        The United Nations has done much, both directly and indirectly to speed the disappearance of discrimination and oppression from the earth. Without the opportunity to focus world opinion on Africa and Asia which this Organization provides, the goal, for many, might still lie ahead, and the struggle would have taken far longer. For this, we are truly grateful.

        But more can be done. The basis of racial discrimination and colonialism has been economic, and it is with economic weapons that these evils have been and can be overcome. In pursuance of resolutions adopted at the Addis Ababa Summit Conference, African States have undertaken certain measures in the economic field which, if adopted by all member states of the United Nations, would soon reduce intransigence to reason. I ask, today, for adherence to these measures by every nation represented here which is truly devoted to the principles enunciated in the Charter.

        I do not believe that Portugal and South Africa are prepared to commit economic or physical suicide if honorable and reasonable alternatives exist. I believe that such alternatives can be found. But I also know that unless peaceful solutions are devised, counsels of moderation and temperance will avail for naught; and another blow will have been dealt to this Organization which will hamper and weaken still further its usefulness in the struggle to ensure the victory of peace and liberty over the forces of strife and oppression. Here, then, is the opportunity presented to us. We must act while we can, while the occasion exists to exert those legitimate pressures available to us, lest time run out and resort be had to less happy means.

        Does this Organization today possess the authority and the will to act? And if it does not, are we prepared to clothe it with the power to create and enforce the rule of law? Or is the Charter a mere collection of words, without content and substance, because the essential spirit is lacking? The time in which to ponder these questions is all too short. The pages of history are full of instances in which the unwanted and the shunned nonetheless occurred because men waited to act until too late. We can brook no such delay.

        If we are to survive, this Organization must survive. To survive, it must be strengthened. Its executive must be vested with great authority. The means for the enforcement of its decisions must be fortified, and, if they do not exist, they must be devised. Procedures must be established to protect the small and the weak when threatened by the strong and the mighty. All nations which fulfill the conditions of membership must be admitted and allowed to sit in this assemblage.

        Equality of representation must be assured in each of its organs. The possibilities which exist in the United Nations to provide the medium whereby the hungry may be fed, the naked clothed, the ignorant instructed, must be seized on and exploited for the flower of peace is not sustained by poverty and want. To achieve this requires courage and confidence. The courage, I believe, we possess. The confidence must be created, and to create confidence we must act courageously.

        The great nations of the world would do well to remember that in the modern age even their own fates are not wholly in their hands. Peace demands the united efforts of us all. Who can foresee what spark might ignite the fuse? It is not only the small and the weak who must scrupulously observe their obligations to the United Nations and to each other. Unless the smaller nations are accorded their proper voice in the settlement of the world’s problems, unless the equality which Africa and Asia have struggled to attain is reflected in expanded membership in the institutions which make up the United Nations, confidence will come just that much harder. Unless the rights of the least of men are as assiduously protected as those of the greatest, the seeds of confidence will fall on barren soil.

        The stake of each one of us is identical – life or death. We all wish to live. We all seek a world in which men are freed of the burdens of ignorance, poverty, hunger and disease. And we shall all be hard-pressed to escape the deadly rain of nuclear fall-out should catastrophe overtake us.

        When I spoke at Geneva in 1936, there was no precedent for a head of state addressing the League of Nations. I am neither the first, nor will I be the last head of state to address the United Nations, but only I have addressed both the League and this Organization in this capacity. The problems which confront us today are, equally, unprecedented. They have no counterparts in human experience. Men search the pages of history for solutions, for precedents, but there are none. This, then, is the ultimate challenge. Where are we to look for our survival, for the answers to the questions which have never before been posed? We must look, first, to Almighty God, Who has raised man above the animals and endowed him with intelligence and reason. We must put our faith in Him, that He will not desert us or permit us to destroy humanity which He created in His image. And we must look into ourselves, into the depth of our souls. We must become something we have never been and for which our education and experience and environment have ill-prepared us. We must become bigger than we have been: more courageous, greater in spirit, larger in outlook. We must become members of a new race, overcoming petty prejudice, owing our ultimate allegiance not to nations but to our fellow men within the human community.”

 

Oct. 6, 1963

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Written by Tseday

September 20, 2008 at 5:57 am

Survival and Modernization: Ethiopia’s Enigmatic Present – A Philosophical Discourse

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I want to read this book!


Survival and Modernization: Ethiopia’s Enigmatic Present – A Philosophical Discourse
by Messay Kebede

“The book is written with vigor, clarity, and decisiveness. It first raises the alternative theories meant to explain Ethiopia, then it works beyond those easy answers to convincing insight. The highlights of these insights include: Survival as the essence of Ethiopia. The Solomonic disposition as allowing multiple claimants to rulership. The asbence of racial, ethnic, and color lines, matters upon which everyone else in the world seems to insist. The special quality of Ethiopian Christianity as an authentic spirituality rather than an imposed system. The self-defense of the empire under the pressures of European colonial expansion. Yet, for all this outstanding history, spirituality, independence, and even geography, Ethiopia is sinking, having failed to modernize in a way that respects its soul. This crisis in confronting modernization is explored with originality in this book whose every page glows with intelligence and passion, the combination that befits a philosophical treatment of the world.”

Written by Tseday

September 20, 2008 at 5:43 am

Posted in Ethiopia

Tagged with ,

‘ODE TO THE HUNGRY STOMACH’ By Ghelawdewos Araia

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True words on the fate of Ethiopia…this poem is on point!

ODE TO THE HUNGRY STOMACH
Ghelawdewos Araia
http://www.africanidea.org/ode.html

That Ethiopian belly once again starving

My people once again dying

The Ethiopian nation altogether crying

That Ethiopian mother for her children mourning

 

Though she herself fails to appease the dust

Struggles in vain to survive that won’t for sure last

She may even wish to make the transition fast

For she would become hopeless, helpless without trust

 

Oh! Mother Ethiopia who gave birth to the hero in agriculture

The repository of complex rich culture

The protagonist in early horticulture

What an irony to die of man-made drought and not of nature

 

The Ethiopian peasant, reservoir of human faculty

He who incorporated divine power of fecundity

Legend in handicraft, pottery-making infinity

Now, your soul is compromised by famine lack of alacrity

 

You master of granary, now starve and go hungry!

Witnessing the demise of your cattle, defying veterinary

What a cruel testimony and a bizarre twist of history

That enrages me, makes me mad and angry

 

You master of the soil, terrace, and landscape

You master of the cattle on all land and cape

Sadly, you are unable to skip death and escape

What an agonizing ordeal that I wish I could fake

 

You master of the honeybees that furnish bactericide

I can’t believe you are let down to genocide

Those who brought you death don’t contemplate suicide

They may want to superimpose on you the culture of homicide

 

But you are indefatigable master of self-sacrifice

You don’t even bring your cattle for sacrifice

I bow in your honor once, twice, and thrice

 

 

 

You master of gallantry, Ethiopia’s pride

You probably don’t know the culprit that hide

All the food that you produce including skin and hide

You are then devastated by the famine tide

 

It is simply unfathomable, unconscionable

To see my Ethiopian hero seek any food edible

This to me is beyond comprehension, incredible

A shattering encounter, an ordeal so terrible

 

You master of the waters, architect of shallow well

Now with a hungry stomach you have faced a dreadful spell

The world is focused on you; people have a story to tell

While you countenance that earthly hell

 

An earthly hell in the Ethiopian pastureland

Now an arid zone degraded soil wasteland

Could there be some mystery too grand?

A chemical that undermines fertile arable land

 

Chemical fertilizer can cause soil acidity

As opposed to manure dung organic tranquility

And our hero knows it from his daily activity

Although cynics emphasized on his stupidity

 

Our hero knows why he is starving

Despite the disillusioned public but caring

They think that nature impeded him from grain buying

And they wrongly assume that he was destined to dying

 

Early on the Ethiopian land degraded by ecological disaster

Coupled by the introduction of chemical fertilizer

Globalization that makes the Hero a panhandler

Lack of comprehensive development it engender

 

Oh! My Ethiopian hero in agriculture, animal husbandry

I am sorry to see your pasture and farm dry

The whole of Ethiopia grief and cry

I will extend my hand; I won’t let you fry

 

I will, we will come to your aid

Before the time elapses, the Sun fade

We will avenge you before other culprits invade

We will expedite famine relief and development upgrade

 

Hang on my peasant hero, stay alive

With your vision and our commitment, you will survive

With development and appropriate technology, you will revive

And you will harness nature, the time will arrive.

Written by Tseday

September 19, 2008 at 10:26 pm

Is Christianity an Offshoot of the Egyptian Mystery System?

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This research paper is on point! I agree with the author…i wonder why Modern Historians fail to realize (maybe willingly) the connection…THIS changes the status quo on Religion.

Source: http://www.africanidea.org/egyptian_mystery.html
The Institute of Development and Education for Africa (IDEA)
By Ghelawdewos Araia  –  April 7, 2007

Over the last two decades I was engaged in extensive research in African and international studies, which are in effect the domain of my specialization and vocation. My research particularly focused on African cosmology, ontology, and epistemology. In due course of my investigative inquiry, I have encountered fascinating similarities in cultures and belief systems and hence this title for our present discussion.

 

In 1996 in one of my articles entitled What is Wrong with Afrocentrism? I argued the following, “There is no doubt that the mythology of Osiris and Isis is the foundation for the Judeo-Christian tradition: The concept of metempsychosis  [the transmigration of the soul after death], the myth of the jealous brother who kills his twin (Set kills Osiris), the idea of resurrection (Osiris came back to life), the last judgment (Osiris presides over the Last Judgment), the first Madonna (Isis).”1

 

The ancient Egyptians virtually gave us all major attributes of civilization: agriculture (irrigation), architecture (pyramids, obelisks, temples etc), mathematics (numerical and standard measures), medicine (Imhotep’s legacy –he is the first physician, not Hippocrates-, herbal pharmacology, anatomy, mummification etc), art of government (Egypt is the first nation), and collection of wealth. These magnificent Egyptian contributions are manifestations of ancient African philosophy, ontology, and cosmology. In brief, Kemetic (Kemet is ancient Egypt) philosophy was not simply an abstraction of primordial wisdom but a specification of conceptualization, a body of formally represented knowledge, and a systematic account of life experience. The latter, in effect, was systematically woven into the Egyptian cosmology of spatio-temporal relations of the universe, and this ultimately led the Egyptians to their mystery system (theology) in general and the creation theories in particular.

 

With respect to the creation of the universe, there are two important Egyptian documents, namely the On (Ani) or Heliopolis Creation Narrative and the Memphite Declaration of Deities. In both narratives, the Spoken Word was central to the creation of all beings, animate and inanimate. As per the On account, “all things are brought into existence through the spoken word; nothing that exists is without the word being spoken…” Similarly, in the Memphite Declaration, “Ptah taught that aspects of himself are manifested in all nature, in the mouth of all gods, and in every human, and in animals, plants and all other living beings. Thus, whatever Ptah conceived came into being through utterance…and the nine deities of Ptah came forth from the teeth and lips in his mouth which pronounced the name of everything, from which Shu and Tefnut also came forth.”2

 

The spoken word of Egyptian theology, the On and Memphite, were documented during the Sixth Dynasty (2300-2150 B. C. ) and the Tenth Dynasty (2135-2133 B. C. ) respectively. Later on, it was adopted by the Judeo-Christian tradition in Genesis: At the beginning there was word! And it is in Genesis that we encounter the creation of all universe and all living beings including Adam and Eve. And on the Seventh day, God rested. As we shall see later, ‘seven’ (7) for the Egyptians signified ‘completion’.

 

Long before Adam and Eve, however, the first humans were Shu, Tefnut, Osiris and Isis and as noted above, Osiris (Ausar) was killed by his brother Set but he was resurrected to life. This story (or mythology if you will) is replicated by the Abel and Cain story in the Bible. In both instances, we have now witnessed the first murder incident among humans.

 

The creation of Adam also finds antecedence in many African creation theories, most notably the Yoruba mythology in which Olorun (the Sky God) fashioned Odudwa (the founding father of Oyo) out of dirt, breath unto him and gave him life. However, unlike Odudwa and Adam, who were essentially human and down-to-earth, Osiris was elevated to the stature of the gods. Thus, according to Ani the Scribe, hymn to Osiris goes as follows: “Praise be unto Osiris Un-Nefer, the great god who dwelleth in Abtu, king of eternity, lord of everlastingness, who passes through millions of years in his existence. He is the firstborn son.”3

 

As we shall see below in some detail, Osiris, the son-of-god (and in a different context god himself) is very much like Jesus Christ. “There is nothing in the texts which justifies the assumption that Osiris knew,” says Wallis Budge, “that he would rise from the dead and that he would become the king and judge of the dead, or that the Egyptians believed that Osiris died on their behalf and rose again in order that they also might rise from the dead. But from first to last the resurrection of Osiris is the great and distinguishing feature of the Egyptian religion, for Osiris was the first fruits of the dead, and every worshipper of Osiris based his own hope of resurrection and immortality upon the fundamental fact of the resurrection of Osiris.” 4          

 

For Ethiopians of Orthodox Christian faith, Easter or Fasika, more than Christmas, is ‘the great and distinguishing feature of their religion.’ Fasika for Ethiopians is a celebration of Christ’s resurrection and a grand holiday after the long lent. However, pre-Christian Ethiopians may have also celebrated Osiris’ triumph, for the ancient Egyptians believed that Osiris traveled to Ethiopia and took his son Horus (Apollo in Greek), Anubis, Macedo, Pan and other talented individuals. During his stay in Ethiopia, he taught the Ethiopians the art of farming and husbandry, art of government, and the construction of canals to control the flow of the Nile.

 

Osiris was also the first to make and drink wine and he taught the Egyptians how to mange a vineyard as well as process and preserve wine. It is common knowledge to all people of Christian faith that Christ not only enjoyed drinking wine but he also blessed it as his attribute to his own blood.

 

In the Book of the Dead Osiris declares, “I am the Great One, son of the Great One… I am Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow…I am the Soul, which is god. I am the Souls of everlastingness, and my body is eternity. My form is everlastingness.” This is incredibly similar to what Jesus Christ preached to the Jews and Gentiles or believers and non-believers alike.

 

Isis like her brother and husband Osiris is invoked in Christian theology as Eve or as Mary. In fact the first Christian hermits in Egypt were compelled to associate St. Mary with Isis and Jesus with Horus (the son of Osiris) and their rationale is justified because Isis claims that she is the divine among women and she ‘burdened women with the newborn babe in the tenth month’, ‘ordained that parents should be beloved by their children’ and she would ‘inflict retribution on those that feel no love for their parents’. Above all, Isis claims that she is ‘the eldest daughter of Keb (Earth-god), and for this apparent reason, now historians (especially Afrocentrists) depict Isis as the first Madonna.

 

What I personally found an interesting commonality between Isis and the Ethiopian Christian tradition is the fact that Isis is credited for establishing lent and instructing the ancient Egyptians to fast from meat and fish and to observe celibacy during the entire period of lent. Isis may have not traveled to Ethiopia as her husband did, but it looks that she had a profound clout on the Ethiopian Christian doctrine in whatever form the latter is incorporated into the dogma of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

 

Beyond Egypt, Osiris and Isis were worshipped in the Aegean, Crete, Greece, Italy, and other neighboring countries such as Nubia, Ethiopia, and Libya. In point of fact, around 80 B. C. the Italians founded an institute by the name College of the Servants of Isis in Rome and by 44 B. C. the Italians had affixed festival dates for Isis and Osiris in their official calendar.

 

There is no doubt that Isis may have existed conceptually among Ethiopians although there is no credible evidence documented in Ethiopian historiography (at least for now), but some Ethiopian names are similar to Isis’ (Aset or Eset in Egyptian). Moreover, even if we cannot prove the existence of Isis in pre-Christian Ethiopia, the similarities between St. Mary and Isis indeed makes the latter the first Madonna as stated earlier, and this is why: “Egyptian inscriptions do not mention any tomb of Isis. Whether the Egyptians believed that she passed from this world to the Other World unchanged in respect to her body cannot be said, but there is little doubt that, at least in the latest days of her cult in Egypt, it was her immunity from death which most impressed the Egyptians and the nations around and made them to exalt her powers over those of Osiris.”5     The ascension of Mary (and Elijah before her) clearly corroborates the Egyptian mythology of the powers to negate death.  

 

Going back to Osiris again, we find the most fascinating similarities between himself and Christ in the second coming and the Day of Judgment. In Judgment Day the dead will face the presiding judge Osiris and make confessions as follows:

 

            I never took away anything by force from any man

            I never did an act of oppression to any man

I was beloved by my father, praised by my mother, well disposed toward my brother, sweet-tempered with my sister

I never spake evil of any kind

I gave bread to the hungry man and clothes to the naked

I never gave a verdict in a case between two brothers

 

The confession and the judgment takes place in the Hall of the Two Maat (Truth and Justice) whereby Goddesses are seated by the doors and holding the scepter of ‘serenity’ in the right hand and ‘ankh’ (life) in the left. Also in the Hall is present the symbolic scale of Maat and two-and-forty gods (42 gods) or spirits to whom the confessor declares his innocence. Incidentally, the 42 gods could find parallel to 44 spirit saints in the Ethiopian context. Gonder, for instance, is famous for its forty-four Adbarat (abode of the spirits).

 

The Declaration of Innocence, as documented in the Papyrus of Ani or the Book of the Dead (18th Dynasty, 1550-1305 B. C.) is an elaborate version of the confessions enumerated above and sequentially runs as follows:

 

  1. I have not done iniquity

  2. I have not robbed with violence

  3. I have not stolen

  4. I have done no murder

  5. I have not defrauded offerings

  6. I have not diminished oblations

  7. I have not plundered the gods

  8. I have spoken no lies

  9. I have not snatched away food

  10. I have not caused pain

  11. I have not committed fornication

  12. I have not caused shedding of tears

  13. I have not dealt deceitfully

  14. I have not transgressed

  15. I have not acted guilefully

  16. I have not laid waste the ploughed land

  17. I have not been an eavesdropper

  18. I have not set my lips in motion against any man

  19. I have not been angry and wrathful except for a just cause

  20. I have not defiled the wife of any man

  21. I have not defiled the wife of any man*

  22. I have not polluted myself

  23. I have not caused terror

  24. I have not transgressed**

  25. I have not burned with rage

  26. I have not stopped my ears against the words of Right and Truth

  27. I have not worked grief

  28. I have not acted with insolence

  29. I have not stirred up strife

  30. I have not judged hastily

  31. I have not been eavesdropper***

  32. I have not multiplied words exceedingly

  33. I have done neither harm nor ill

  34. I have never cursed the king

  35. I have not worked treason

  36. I have never befouled the water

  37. I have not spoken scornfully

  38. I have not cursed God

  39. I have not acted with arrogance

  40. I have not been overweeningly proud

  41. I have never magnified my condition beyond what was fitting

  42. I have never slighted the god in my town.6

 

 

 

Any intelligent person who reads the Bible in general and the Ten Commandments in particular could be perplexed by the input of Egyptian theology in Christian dogma although believers generally tend to deny any plausible logical deduction that may unseat the foundation of their respective religions. The fact, however, remains steadfast. After all Moses was Egyptian and the disciple of Amenhotep (Akhenaten) who popularized (not invented) monotheism in Egypt. Although the Egyptian mystery system was predominantly polytheistic, early on during the course of the Egyptian civilization monotheism was pretty much established with a low profile. Thus, the Jews, Christians and Moslems borrowed the idea of one god from the Egyptians.

 

On top of the many similarities and shared dogmas between Egyptian theology and Christianity, the two belief systems are allegorically connected. For instance, Egyptian magical numbers such as 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, and 12 do not only represent simple computation but they also symbolically reflect philosophy, ontology and cosmology as related to human nature and truth. For example 3 represents the manifestation of Osiris-Harmachis-Temu, a triad (3) representing the morning sun, the evening sun, and the night sun. The triad manifestations in Christianity, of course, are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost that constitute the Trinity. Christians believe that Christ rose from the dead three days after he was dead and buried. In many traditional African societies, the accused or the sickly invokes the name of God three times in order to absolve him or herself from his/her crime or be cured from ill health. Among the Yoruba a nursing mother and child pass three times through [sacred] dripping water poured on top of the thatched roof of their house. In Ethiopia, especially in the areas of Tigrigna and Amharic speakers, if a female baby is born the women gathered to celebrate and welcome the newly born ululate three times.

 

Four (4) represents the four sons of Horus or the grandsons of Osiris, and in turn, the four cardinal points of East, West, North, and South. Depicted like the pharaohs, Osiris holds in his hands four symbols of stability, life, serenity, and power (dominion). “Moreover, in Egyptian astrology, we encounter the four gods of Amset (man), Hapi (ape), Tuamutef (jackal) and Gebhsennuf (hawk) which became the Four Beasts of lion, calf, man, and eagle in Christianity (Book of Revelation).” 7 Egyptian mythologies further symbolize plethora of ideas such as the Four Rejoicing Ones, Four Nemset Vases, Four Faces, Four gods etc. In many traditional African societies the Four Elements that characterize human nature are the body, the soul, the double, and the shadow.

 

The number 5 was associated with sacrifice. According to Plutarch and other classical historians Osiris was born on the first of the five epagomenal days of the Egyptian year and as per Biblical prophesy Christ was to be born five and half days (interpreted as 5,500 years) after Adam and was to be sacrificed in order to cleanse humanity from its sins, very much like the role of Osiris. The five times of incense in Christian orthodoxy refer to 1) Abel, Genesis 4:24; 2) Noah, Genesis 8:20; 3) Melkhizedek, Genesis 14:18; 4) Aaron in Leviticus, 9, and 5) Zacharia in Luke 1:8, and these Biblical personas are men who offered accepted sacrifices by the Lord. In praise of these altruistic men, the priest and the deacon burn incense and go around the altar three (3) times. The five pillars and five prayers per day of Islam most likely correspond to the incense ritual of Christianity.

 

As has already been stated seven (7) represents completion for the Egyptians. After a child was born, it was in the Egyptian tradition to wash the baby with water or oil and the latter signifies the Seven Holy Oils used in the Opening of the Mouth Ceremony. Likewise after a male child is born in Ethiopia (especially in the central and northern regions) the women ululate seven times. The nursing Yoruba woman that we encountered earlier would perform the three times walk seven days after her child is born. In the Book of Gates of the Egyptians, there are the symbolic seven stands for seven gods. Moreover, in Egyptian theology we come across the Seven Hathors, the Seven Arits, the Seven Cows, the Seven Uraei, the Seven Spirits, and the Seven-headed Serpent. In almost similar fashion, seven is prefixed with either animals or spirits in the Book of Revelation. Nowadays, humanity in general is stuck in the number 7 even if the subject does not logically represent seven: the seven wonders of the world, the seven seas, the Group of Seven etc or in more practical terms the seven days of the week or the seven sounds (vowels) of each Ethiopian character of the alphabet. The pious Muslims during pilgrimage walk seven times around the Kaaba and the Luminaries, by the same token, believe in the Seven Chakras (Sanskrit) or energy points of the human body and they assemble in Egypt and walk around the pyramid seven times.  

 

Nine (9) also represents completeness and finality in Egyptian philosophy. The company of the Gods contained nine members and during judgment day, thus, Osiris was accompanied by nine gods who stand on the nine steps that lead to the pedestal where Osiris is seated on a chair.  Moreover, we have Nine Mourners, Nine Watchers, Nine Task-masters, and Nine Holders of the Rope for measuring land. In most African societies nine symbolizes sacredness and to be sure there are the most revered Nine Saints in Ethiopia.

 

Twelve was essentially the 12 points of the Zodiac in Egyptian astronomy but later the Egyptians calculated the revolution of our planet earth after studying the lunar movements. Hence 12×30= 360 plus 5 days for harvest would be 365 days, the calendar that all of us use to this day. In fact, like the Egyptian or Coptic calendar, the Ethiopian Calendar has 12×30 days plus five or epagomenal days. By the same token, the Jewish calendar known as sod ha-ibbur is a derivation of the Egyptian system of intercalating the solar and lunar cycles.  In the Book Am-Tuat the Egyptians have illustrations of 12 serpents. Christians then took the Egyptian 12 to mean the twelve Apostles as astronomers did for 12 months. In most African societies the kings council or judges were 12 in number.

 

There is no doubt that Judaism evolved out of Egyptian polytheism, and Christianity and Islam followed suit. Where else could their origin be?

 

Notes

 

  1. Ghelawdewos Araia, “What is Wrong With Afrocentrism?” African Link, Vol. 5, No. 5, 1996

  2. Molefi Kete Asante and Abu S. Abarry (editors), African Intellectual Heritage, Temple University Press, 1996, pp. 12-16

  3. E. A. Wallis Budge, OSIRIS & The Egyptian Resurrection, Vol. II, Dover Publications Inc., New York, 1973, p. 66

  4. Wallis Budge, Vol. I, pp. 312-313

  5. Wallis Budge, Vol. II, p. 280

  6. Asante and Abarry, pp. ibid, 73-74

  7. Ghelawdewos Araia, ibid

 

  1.  
    • #21 is repeated because it is addressed specifically to the two-headed serpent

    • #24 is repeated because it is addressed to the ‘Destroyer’

    • #31 is repeated because it is addressed to Sekherui   

 

Copyright © IDEA, Inc.  April 7, 2007.  Dr. Ghelawdewos Araia can be contacted for educational and constructive feedback at ga51@columbia.edu

The Progress of Literature: Ethiopian contribution

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Source: http://www.libraries.wvu.edu/delany/authors.htm

Lucian makes the Ethiopians to have excelled all other nations in wisdom and literature.” And, continues Cummings Antiquities: Heliodorus says, that the Ethiopians had two sorts of letters, the one called regal, the other vulgar; and that the regal resembled the sacerdotal characters of the Egyptians.”

We have already treated upon that first branch of their literature, hieroglyphics, under the head of Builders of the Pyramids, and we add here, that according to Lucian, “they invented astronomy and astrology, and communicated those sciences, as well as other branches of learning, to the Egyptians. As their country was very fit for making celestial observations, such a notion seems not entirely groundless, though scarce any particulars of their knowledge had reached us.”

We present here, copied from Cummings taken from the great History of Ethiopia by that learned Israelite in Ethiopian literature, Job Ludolphus, the regal letters or Royal Ethiopians Alphabet, which none but the kings, priests, royal family and nobility were expected to learn.

The hieroglyphics were the vulgar or common letters, because representing objects or things to the eye, known and understood at sight by the common people, the compositions or combination of which into sentences, could easily be learned by them. Hence, a hawk, for swiftness, meant dispatch or hasty news; a crocodile, for its meanness, meant malice; a serpent, danger; the open right hand, plenty; the closed left hand, safety or security: a jackal, watchfulness or vigilance; an oxen, patience; a sheep, innocence or harmlessness; a dove, love and innocence; a pigeon, news sent abroad; a swallow, news received; a rat or rabbit, caution, to be aware from their ruining habits; a water jug, thirst; the eye, Divine watchfulness, all seeing; water, to run as a stream; land or territory, a country, representing hills and dales, an owl, always ominous and portentious; a dog, friendship, fidelity, faithfulness and trustworthiness; and a cat, companionship, meekness and constancy; a cock, boast or banter; a horse and chariot, preparation for war; all of which readily address themselves to the senses and comprehension of the common people.

The hieroglyphics are letters forming a literature founded upon the philosophy of nature without alphabet; but that which we shall now present is of much higher order, being artificial characters based on metaphysical philosophy of language.

With our limited knowledge in archaeology, we have always believed that the philosophy and root of alphabetical literature had its origin in Africa, or with the Hamite family. We have gone a step aside from this, and claimed that the first sixteen letters of the Greek alphabet, from alpha A to pi II, originated in Africa, as a part of the sacerdotal alphabet, the Greeks adding eight more from ro to omega .

We call attention to the Ethiopian alphabet presented above, the oldest, we believe, on record, if we discard the extraordinary assertion of Confucius, the Chinese historian, who claims for his race, a civilization and literature fifteen thousands years older than the theological period of creation. But happily for our claim, we believe they have no alphabetical arrangement.

The Old Original Ethiopian Alphabet

The second Ethiopian Bet gives the twentieth Greek upsilon small, a little modified, inverted;
the fifth Haut gives the twenty first Greek psi modified;
seventh Zai gives eta the seventh Greek;
the eighth Ethiopian Hbam gives the fourteenth Greek xi modified;
the tenth Lawi gives lambda, the eleventh Greek, modified;
the fifteenth Saat gives pi , the sixteenth Greek modified;
the sixteenth Ain gives delta the fourth Greek, inverted;
the nineteenth Kof gives phi the twenty first Greek;
the twentieth Rees, gives zeta , the sixth Greek;
the twenty first Saut gives small omega the fifteenth Greek;
the twenty fourth Tawi gives tau the nineteenth Greek, modified.

There is a slight modification in several of the letters, but the essential structure of the character is the same in both.

We regard the comparison of much importance in such a work as this, upon a most interesting subject to the whole human family.

And we must here beg to be borne with when we record our conviction tht the literature of the Israelites, both in the science of letters, and government, also religion, was derived from the Africans, as they must have carried with them the civilization of those peoples and that country, in their memorable exodus, as the highest encomium upon Moses in the Scripture is, that he “was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians.” Or that their religion and laws, we shall treat to another place.

They “invented Astronomy and Astrology,” says Lucian.

And this important fact, however much it may be doubted by those who have given little or no thought to the subject, is borne out by the arrangement of this department of science, as the constellations beautifully illustrate. We shall designate the principal constellations having a direct bearing upon the subject, according to the legend of astronomical history: Cepheus and Cassiopea, Andromeda and Perseus, Pegassus and Cetus: the horse which carried them (the son in law and daughter) to heaven, and the monster of the sea which approached the shore of Ethiopia to destroy the Princess while taking a surf bath, when she was saved by Perseus, who was watching her, and slew the monster, and escaped to heaven on the winged horse. Orion and Auriga, beautiful constellations, are none other than Nimrod and Rameses II and Sirius is none other than Osiris.

And all these important facts seem to have been lost sight of, or passed unnoticed, by those who dispute so high a civilization as this given to the Ethiopians at so early a day, as being the authors of astronomical science. And do not these facts of those people comport with the living reality of their knowledge of the science of geometry, by the existence of those monuments of mathematical accuracy, the “everlasting Pyramids”?

What power brought to the plains of Egypt, through sand and bog, from no one knows where, shaped, lifted and placed those great cubic rocks of many thousand tons weight, one above the other in regular and symmaterical layers to a given height, decreasing from the first surface layer, finishing by a capstone, large enough for from twenty to forty persons to stand upon, but a knowledge of mathematics? None other whatever.

And doubtless, it was dwelling among and studying, in after ages, the structure of these great monuments, that induced Euclid to pursue his mathematical studies to the discovery of the forty seventh problem, which seems to be the ne plus ultraof termination of problems in that science, as none beyond it has since been discovered.

Written by Tseday

September 19, 2008 at 6:18 pm

10th century BC palace of the Queen of Sheba in Axum

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German archaeologists have claimed to have found one of the fabled resting places of the Ark of the Covenant, the chest holding the Ten Commandments which gave the ancient Israelites their power.

Source: Telegraph Media Group  – 13 May 2008
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/ethiopia/1951679/Lost-ark-found-in-Ethiopia,-archaeologists-claim.html

The University of Hamburg say its researchers have found the remains of the 10th century BC palace of the Queen of Sheba in Axum, Ethiopia, and an altar which at one time reputedly held the precious treasure.

Archaeologist Helmut Ziegert, who is leading the dig said: “From the dating, its position and the details that we have found, I am sure that this is the palace.”

Ethiopian legends holds that the Ark was taken to the palace of the Queen of Sheba by King Solomon, the king of the Jews, after they fell in love.

After the Queen’s death her son, Menelek, rebuilt the palace and dedicated it to the cult of Sirius, but kept the Ark in its resting place there.

The team said evidence at the site included Sirius symbols, the debris of sacrifices and the alignment of sacred buildings to the rising-point of Sirius, the brightest star in the sky.

“The results we have suggest that a Cult of Sothis developed in Ethiopia with the arrival of Judaism and the Ark of the Covenant and continued until 600 AD,” the university said. Sothis is the ancient Greek name for Sirius.

The German research, which began in 1999, is aimed at documenting the origins of the Ethiopian state and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

The hunt for the Ark, which featured in the Indiana Jones film Raiders of the Lost Ark, has become almost as legendary as the artefact itself.

The 1981 film has the artefact recovered by the Nazis from a resting place in the “Well of Souls” in Tanis, Egypt – not to be confused with the Well of Souls on Temple Mount, Jerusalem.

The Nazi treasure hunters are later killed when the Ark is opened.

The Old Testament recounts that Moses, on leading the Israelites from Egypt, received the Ten Commandments from God on Mount Sinai.

These Commandments, written on stone tablets, were later placed in a chest made from acacia wood, plated with gold and topped with two golden angels. This was the Ark of the Covenant.

The Ark was then kept in the Temple of Solomon Jerusalem for centuries, according to the Old Testament.

After Jerusalem was conquered by the Babylonians in the 6th century BC, the Bible and it entered the realm of legend.

Ethiopian tradition claims that the Ark was moved to Axum from Jerusalem in 10th century BC.

A sect in Ethiopia maintains that the Ark is kept at the church of St Mary of Zion, but the site is defended by monks and only one guardian is allowed to see it, making the claim impossible to verify.

Written by Tseday

September 19, 2008 at 5:34 pm

Digging for the Truth: Hunt for the Lost Ark

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For centuries, adventurers, and archeologists–the devout and determined, and even Indiana Jones–have all searched for the Bible’s most sacred lost treasure: the Ark of the Covenant. Yet, despite all its fame, it mysteriously disappeared from the pages of history tens of centuries ago. How could something so powerful and holy simply vanish? That’s what host and adventurer Josh Bernstein is determined to find out when he follows a trail that starts where the Ark’s story begins–on Mount Sinai. Next, he explores a secret maze beneath Jerusalem’s streets, and visits Deir es Sultan, an Ethiopian monastery located on the roof of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. In Ethiopia, he climbs up a sheer cliff to reach Debre Damo, one of the country’s most ancient monasteries, and travels across Lake Tana to the place where some say the Ark is kept today. But how close can he get to this mighty and mysterious treasure?

Written by Tseday

September 19, 2008 at 6:17 am