From the time of listening to the Tambourines Across the Cornfield through an open window when I was growing up, I’d always wanted to understand why the Spirit Will Move. Across a cornfield or through a radio by the sound, but be as lacking as heat on a polar Ice cap in other religious settings.
I made up the hypothesis that African traditional religions were henotheistic, and that the descendants of Africans were able to look through rather than at things as an explanation for why some churches were so cold and sterile and others warm and conducive to the Spirit Moving while sing the ‘New World’ materialistic Trinitarian Pauline addendum terminology as an overlay of the traditional.
Conflict Model of Dialectic
The methodology I chose was by tracing fault lines, a conflict model of dialectic. Hegel’s dialectic implies an internal argument, or at least an a priori framework for examining a question. Here, I wanted to use histories of conflict to make assertions about what was going on within the people involved. Differences significant enough to cause a split.
Racism or Behavioral
I first questioned whether Methodist church segregation in the North that was initially integrated was due to racism or differences in religious doctrine and practice. Parishioners in the parent Methodist church complained that the increasing number of Negroes were prone to disruptive ‘uncontrolled displays of emotion.’
The congregation leadership tried to reason with them, explaining that their outbursts were an unwanted distraction. For a while they had separate Ring-Shout meetings elsewhere in addition to coming to services with the general congregation. Later, the decision was made to move them to the balcony, and finally out altogether in an amicable parting of the ways that became the A.M.E. Church. I took this as proof that the rift was behavioral — doctrinal incompatibility of practices rather than race.
Successions Within the A.M.E. Church
To further bolster the idea that there were differences of belief rather than race, I set out to trace the series of successions within the A.M.E. Church where the race issue was thereby controlled from consideration.
The most intriguing rift was when the decision was made to bring in a seminary trained preacher. He was a Negro, so race w wasn’t the issue per sé. Earthquake is a more apt description with a major faction splitting off saying that this was bringing the devil in. My hypothesis was that the change from henotheism to addendum dogma of a thing as if was the cause.
I went to Philadelphia where the A.M.E. church graciously allowed me to go over their archives. I couldn’t find anything to explicitly explain what they meant.
The only things I could say for certain is thatwasn’t the cause of the split of Africans from Methodists, and Racism wasn’t the issue with the rift in the A.M.E. church of ‘bringing the devil in’ by hiring a book-educated seminary-trainer preacher. I traced a series of secessions after that, and the trail ended in store-fronts with no more clear articulation of grounds than the Calling of the Spirit.
What they meant by ‘bringing the devil in’ was never explicitly stated. The closest I got was ‘in the spirit’ versus book-educated.
Trying to validate my bastardized roots, looking for an explanation of why I so vehemently objected to the addendum that I had to leave, while still believing that the Spirit Will Move.
conventional wisdom is that African traditional religions were pagan with no relationship to HaShem. The motive of my thesis. The Absolute-Unity and Unity, was to explain African traditional religion as henotheistic with an awareness of HaShem as beyond descriptions and characterizations, even naming.
The ultimate reverence is not attempting to characterize. Or talk about, that made it seem as though unaware, but stringent reverence was the issue. And, by that assert that all religions and philosophies are rooted in either looking to HaShem, or things. Some through things, but to nevertheless. The only African traditional religion that really fit was Akan.
Most of my research was done at the Library of Congress. Admittedly, I read three-hundred books looking for support for arguments that though addendum dogma existed, it was separate from African traditional henotheism and injected itself with this hiring, the Akan paradigm of understanding that He is beyond description characterization and words was being violated to look to a thing rather than through to HaShem.
My exposition of the relationship between various philosophies and religions, a culmination of a lifetime of childish searching for Wisdom, created another fatal fault of my thesis being unintelligible unless the reader knew them all. Then to find that under it all, what I’m saying, my cosmological philosophy, can’t be proved or argued, no more than characterizations descriptions or words for HaShem.
No matter how profound the philosophical and Metaphysical dialectics, words are inadequate to express how I know His Spirit Will Move.
The addendum is certainly ‘bringing the devil into’ my Monotheism but what they meant by ‘bringing the devil in’ was purely speculation. Now, I’m more prone to suspect the shift from the movement of the spirit to words, from the soul to the mind. That perhaps the issue isn’t which words, but Greek Platonic pontific contemplation devoid of the Shekhinah.
I decided that the separate meetings that the Africans were doing were Ring Shouts by the description. And I made it up that my born soul is Hasidic, wanted to believe that Ring Shouts were Niggunim.
Despite all evidence of my life to the contrary, I’m still a Hasid. My thought of Niggunim as getting out of heady reasoning dialectical expositions, got me out of mine to make the way for His gracious and priceless gift of my Shekhinah. That informs all I know.