By Prof. Godini G. Darah
Introduction: Origin of the Cosmos Planet Earth and Life
All religious ideas and philosophies derive from human notions of the universe or cosmos and their relationship with it and the environment. To fully understand the system of philosophy and religions, it is necessary to inquire into the origin the universe or cosmos, Planet Earth, and various manifestations of life and living things. Cosmos is a Greek word for “the order or balance of the universe”. Most people relate to the cosmos without being conscious of it. For example, in fashion circles, the word “cosmos” gave birth to the idea of cosmetics, referring to bodily order, perfection, beauty, and harmony.
In his book, Cosmos: The Story of Cosmic evolution, Science, and Civilization, the Jewish-American physicist, Carl Sagan, explains that the blue planet known as Earth “condensed out of interstellar gas and dust some 4.6 billion years ago. We know from fossil record that the origin of life happened soon after, perhaps around 4.0 billion years ago in the ponds and oceans of the primitive Earth” (p. 44). The processes summed up in this brief description were triggered by what is referred to in science as the Big Bang, an automatic, primordial explosion that brought planets, stars and steroids into being.
We are concerned with Planet Earth which is the habitat of human beings and other animate and inanimate materials. The planets, stars and other bodies in space were first studied and mapped by Black African astronomers and scientists in ancient Egypt and the Nile Valley Civilizations from about 15,000 years ago. In geography books, there used to be nine planets, with Mars being the nearest to our Earth. Others are Venus, Pluto, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. The Sun, which is a star, is at the centre of the solar system. All the planets mentioned rotate around the Sun at regular and determined speed. In the Tropical regions, Planet Earth circles the Sun every 24 hours at the speed of 1,600 km per hour. In the North and South Poles, the speed of rotation is about 900 km per hour. In recent times, space science has shown that there are now 23 planets; more may be discovered with advancement in instruments of vision and measurement.
The distance from Earth to the Sun is 1.5 million km. Light from the Sun reaches the Earth within seven seconds. Energy from the Sun makes life possible on Earth. It is this energy that accounts for food for animals, humans, plants, and other animate objects. The atmosphere around the Earth contains many gases, including oxygen that animal and plant life breath to survive. Far into space, say 20 km up, there is no oxygen, and so there is no life there as we know or understand it. To survive at the height, supply of oxygen is required. That is why astronauts and other visitors to space take along canisters of oxygen. This is one of the requirements for mechanics and engineers who travel to the International Space Station (ISS) jointly owned by European nations, Russia, and the United States of America. The ISS is a mechanic workshop where space scientists in satellites stay to probe and record events around Planet Earth such as storms, earthquakes, floods, aerospace crafts, and movements of the oceans and waterways.
In space the Moon is the closest and most friendly neighbour of Planet Earth. It is 385,000 km from Earth and can be reached by space craft in a few days.Unlike sunlight, light from the Moon is neither harmful to human sight nor the body. Moon light was the first, free public “electricity” available to humans and other nocturnal beings. The Moon is the twin celestial body to the Earth; it is the Moon’s magnetic energy that keeps our Earth steady and balanced without spinning off on its axis as it circles the Sun. The significance of the Moon to humans is reflected in hundreds of rituals and beliefs associated with it. The Moon is humans’ first major calendar for marking the passage of the seasons and the years. Mating seasons and fertility cycles (menstruation) are measured by the Moon; so is the growth of pregnancy and development of the human foetus. A person suffering from mental disorder is called a lunatic, from the Latin word luna (moon). Similarly, the word solar comes from the Latin root of sol (sun). Energy from the Moon is responsible for the ebb and flow of the Oceans and all rivers and waterways linked to them.
Along the River Niger and inland waterways connected to it, the ebb and flow system occurs every six hours daily. The Moon is a common symbol of religions and national ideologies. The crescent Moon is the symbol of Islam; it features in the national flags of about 30 countries.
The first humans to land on the moon were the American Neil Armstrong and his colleague who walked on it on July 20, 1969. The race to the Moon had been instigated by the Russians when the astronaut, Yurin Gagarin flew the first manned spacecraft to space on April 12, 1961. This was during the Cold War rivalry between the Soviet Union and the United States of America. The Russian space feat challenged the United States of America and President John F. Kennedy increased funding for research and directed their agencies to land a human being on the Moon within ten years; the goal was achieved in nine years.
Galaxy of Stars:
Stars dominate the luminous dome of the heavens. There are trillions and trillions of them up there. The size of an average star is hundreds of times larger than Planet Earth. Astronomers speculate that there are numerous galaxies of stars in the cosmos. The Milky Way, for instance, contains several trillions of them. Stars are so distant that the light from some takes hundreds of years to reach the Earth; these are called light years. On a bright night, the human naked eye can see about 2,000 stars, equipment-aided eyes can visualise more than 6,000 at a time. Like biological creatures, stars get born and die with age; a dead star falls off its orbit, leaving a black hole in space. The magnificence and grandeur of stars explains why those who excel in various performances are referred to as stars. No equipment or vessel invented by humans has been able to reach a single star.
Origin of Life:
Three billion years ago, some one-celled plants had joined together to produce the first multicellular organisms. Every human being is made up of 100 trillion cells. They outlive the human carrier and when a human dies, the cells migrate and float away, some as far as the stars. Over time, some of the cells can come down to inhabit or produce other animals or plants; this cycle goes on and on without break. In animal and plant reproduction, the structure of cells makes them duplicable repeatedly; that is what explains the resemblance of the anatomy of people within the same family, ethnic or racial groups.
Sex differentiation in plant and animal life occurred two billion years ago, and plants that produced molecular oxygen developed one billion years ago. We are here dealing with the evolution of biological life. In the opinion of Carl Sagan “99 per cent of the Earth’s atmosphere is of biological origin” (p. 47). According to him less than 10 million years ago, “the first creatures who closely resembled human beings evolved, accompanied by a spectacular increase in brain size. And then, only a few million years ago, the first true humans emerged” (p. 48). This analysis shows that there are creatures that are far older than humans in the evolutionary calendar. Reptiles, crocodiles, shrimps, crabs, for example, are about 400 million years old. The giant animal species known as dinosaurs were wiped out 65 million years ago due to traumatic climate change on Planet Earth.
Evolutionists estimate the age of humans to be 4.5 million years. Research based on available fossil evidence has confirmed that the first site where this miraculous change occurred was the OLDUVAI GORGE in Northern Tanzania, near the Great Lakes region in East Africa. A picture of this fantastic site is at page 42 of the Cultural Atlas of Africa by Joycelyn Murray. Africa’s foremost Egyptologist, Professor Chiekh Anta Diop of Senegal, has done detailed studies of the African origin of the human race. He published two theory-breaking books on the subject, namely, The African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality (1974) and Civilization or Barbarism: An Authentic Anthropology (1991). In the Civilization of Barbarism book, Professor Diop sets out the facts in the opening paragraphs of Chapter 1 with the title, “Race and History: Origin of Humanity and Racial Differentiation”. Here are his words:
The research conducted in humanistic paleontology, particularly by Dr. Louis Leakey, has helped to place the birthplace of humanity in East Africa’s great Lakes region, around the Omo Valley.
Two ramifications that have not been sufficiently emphasized until now have come to light as a result of this research.
1. Humankind born around the Great Lakes region, almost on the Equator, is necessarily pigmented and Black; the Gloger Law calls for warm-blooded animals to be pigmented in hot and humid climate.
2. All the other races derive from the Black race by a more or less direct filiation, and the other continents were populated from Africa at the Homo erectus and Homo sapiens stages, 150,000 years ago. The old theories that used to state that Blacks came from somewhere else are now invalid (p. 11).
Professor Diop explains further as follows:
“The first Black who went out to populate the rest of the world exited Africa through the Strait of Gibraltar, the Isthmus of Suez, and maybe through Sicily and Southern Italy. The existence of a cave and parietal African art of the Upper Paleolithic period has confirmed this point of view” (p. 11).Diop adds that “the first inhabitant of Europe was a migrating Black: the Grimaldi Man…” (p. 13). “If one bases one’s judgement on morphology, the first White appeared only around 20,000 years ago: the Cro-Magnon Man. He is probably the result of a mutation from the Grimaldi Negroid due to an existence of 20,000 years in the excessively cold climate of Europe at the end of last glaciation…Thus, humanity was born in Africa and differentiated itself into several races in Europe, where the climate was sufficiently cold at the end of the Wurmian glaciation”.
“If the human being had been born in Europe, it would have been first white and then it would have negrified (darkened) under the Equator, with the appearance of the formation of melanin at the level of the epidemis, protecting the organism against ultraviolet rays.
“Therefore, this is not a value judgement: there is no [articular glory about the cradle of humanity being in Africa, because it is just an accident. If the physical conditions of the planet had been otherwise, the origin of humanity would have been different” (pp. 15 – 16).
Egypt and the Nile Valley Civilizations:
“The Plaleolithic industry has been attested to in the Nile Valley. It therefore appears that this valley was necessarily populated solely by Blacks from the origin of humanity up to the appearance of the other races (20,000 to 15,000 years ago).Prior to some infiltrations at the end of the fourth millennium, Whites were absent from Egypt, and it practically remained that way until 1,300 B.C., the period of the great invasions from the peoples of the sea under the XIX Dynasty, not taking into account the Hyksos’s invasions” (p. 17).
What of Jews and Arabs?
We attempt to answer the question by quoting Professor Diop at page 65 of Civilization or Barbarism:
“All Semites (Arabs and Jews) as well as the quasi-totality of Latin Americans, are mixed breeds of Blacks and Whites. All prejudice aside, this interbreeding can still be detected in the eyes, lips, nails, and hair of most Jews”.
“The Yellows, the Japanese in particular, are also crossbreeds, and their own specialists today are acknowledging this important fact”.
The digest of the evolutionary history of Planet Earth and humanity given in the foregoing sections raise important questions about our won knowledge and perception of African peoples. Most humans, particularly Africans in the former European colonies, are blissfully unaware of some the affinities of human beings described above. Most times, out of ignorance, we assert that each race or ethnic group is a special creation of God; Africans deduce from this guesswork that God favoured the light-skinned races and cursed Africans on the basis of our darker colours. This silly idea has generated lucrative industries in cosmetics and bleaching creams with which we abuse our skins in order to appear like Whites and hopefully be acceptable to God whom we imagine to be White in skin colour too, assuming that God has a skin!
The evolutionary details taken from Carl Sagan’s book, Cosmos, are generally accepted by scientists of all races and skin colours. Space science has established the potential lifespan of the Sun, the source of all life, to be 5 billion years. According to Sagan, about four billion years of the Sun’s energy have been used up or burnt out. This means that there is potentially only one billion years of solar energy left to sustain life on Earth. When that volume of solar energy is burnt out, life, as we know it, will come to an end. Is that the end of the world prophesied in the Christian Bible? Perhaps not, as there are trillions of stars in the heavens that can produce light. But the energy from the stars does not generate photosynthesis as food for plants; nor is there likely to an atmosphere that can reproduce and store oxygen for living things.
What Beginning, Whose Garden of Eden?
In contrast to evolutionary theory, creation stories abound in all human societies. Every language or ethnic group possesses its creation story or stories. In anthropology and cultural science, these narratives are known as myths. These are accounts of events which seek to explain the origin of cosmos or universe and humans’ relationship with celestial or supernatural entities/occurrences. Just as one language or culture is not superior to another, so is the myth or creation story of one group not superior to that of another people. It is the realm of world and dominating religions or ideology that superior-inferior dichotomies are made. But they are unscientific as our analysis shall show shortly.
One inescapable conclusion to draw from the evidence of the evolution of humanity is that Africa is the cradle of it all. This fact renders the various stories of creation that denigrates Africans as no better than fantastic folktales. For Christians and Muslims, the Hebrew-Jewish creation story is a notorious example of fantasy. The Biblical version in the book of Genesis is the simplest, the most memorable and delectable.
The King James Version first issued in 1610 begins matter-of-factly thus:
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light, and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. The narrative goes on to report the creative work of several days until we get to Verse 26 where we are told that “God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth”.
Rendered in this charming and poetic language, the story captivates and thrills. And the Jewish creation story has enchanted humanity for over 2,000 years. But as a guide to the complex and long evolutionary processes brought light, plants, animals, and humans into existence, the story cannot scrutiny. It therefore survives on religious faith, call it superstition. Consider, for instance, the boring repetitions and tautological statements. Whereas much of the story focuses on God as the sole engineer and the only witness to his wondrous deeds, we soon hear God saying “let us make man in our image”. Are there other gods or divine witnesses to the creative event? When we follow the story to section 4 we meet Cain and Abel, the two children of Adam and Eve. Cain is a farmer while Abel is herdsman. A sibling rivalry between them leads to Cain murdering Abel. For this fratricide, God curses Cain but shows compassion by “setting a mark” upon him “lest any finding him should kill him”
In section 4, verse 17, we hear that “Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he built a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch”. Let us pause and reflect a little. If the couple Adam and Eve had two children, there must be only four persons in the Garden of Eden; when Abel dies, the number is reduced to three. Where does Cain find a wife to marry? Cain also builds a city, a community of a multitude; where do the other inhabitants of the city of Enoch come from? Who are their parents and where do they dwell outside of the Garden of Eden? I am afraid that asking questions such as these confirms one guilty of blasphemy!
There are thousands of variants of this creation story in all the 7,000 languages spoken in the world. The Bini one also locates the site of the creator in the celestial realm; the primordial rulers (Ogiso), we are told, were heavenly beings who descended to earth to establish dominion. They probably met humans already settled over whom the Bini monarchical system was imposed. The Yoruba version involves a divine progenitor (Oduduwa) and his chief architect/engineer, Orunmila. The latter is sent down to a flooded earth at Ile-Ife (the Yoruba equivalent of the Garden of Eden) where a lonely palm tree is half-submerged in deluge. Orunmila arrives carrying oa chicken (adie) as assistant or pupil engineer.
The team comes down with portions of earth (was earth already existing in the heavenly void?) Arrived, Orunmila instructs the chicken to spread the earth over the watery maze by way of reclamation. This civil engineering effort results in dry areas of Planet Earth. There are, of course, echoes of the Deluge story; the biblical account features a major rescuer by name Noah who constructed an Ark to float victims until the flood dries up.
Myth or reality?; such questions do not bother those who believe in the doctrine of a creative rather than an evolutionary story of the universe. Yet we know, or ought to know, that the primal city of Ile-Ife, probably not older than a thousand years, could not have been in existence during the world-wide floods caused by glacial warming of many millennia ago. Just as the image of Noah is memorialised in biblical accounts, so is that of Orunmila perpetuated through the rituals of Ifa divination in which he is a god of wisdom and knowledge.
The Egyptian Originals of the Hebrew Creation Story:
It has long come to light that the Hebrew creation story which all Christians venerate and cherish is a poorly plagiarised adaptation of an ancient African creation story in Egypt. Scholars of the Nile Valley civilizations and Asia Minor or the Middle East have established the free traffic of stories across the Suez canal and the Mediterranean Sea. Professor Diop provides evidence about the Egyptian sources of many Hebrew myths and legends. The Nigerian Egyptologist, NaiwuOsahon, has some handy examples in his book, The Cradle: The Ultimate Cosmology – Healing the Mind, Body and Soul (Lagos: Heritage Books, 1998). In the chapter, “Where Is God In All These?” Osahon says that:
“Between 10 – 15,000 years ago, all these ideas and observations began to crystalize into a systematic body of knowledge about the universe and creation.
The first such recognition was that the world was in a state of chaos in the beginning. It had no form and was void. The breath of God moved upon the waters to separate it from dry land and earth from the sky. Step-by-step, living things came out of the waters until finally, through the breath of life, man came into existence”(p. 107). It is further related that the “Fire God Atom, the Demiurge, while unmoved and sitting upon the Primeval Hill, projected the planets from various parts of his body. That the Atom God performs the function of demiurge in creation. That God is al forces and powers of te universe, eternal, omnipotent and omniscient. That God cannot be portrayed or imaged with a shrine and so is beyond worship. As a result, no African religion gas a shrine to God…The general notion that Africans have more than one God with a capital “G” is totally wrong. This God which the Bini call Osalobua, the Yoruba Olodumare and the Igbo, Chukwu is approached only through intermediaries” (pp. 107 – 108).
The point of interest here is that the Egyptian version of the creation story is about 5,000 years older than the Hebrew one. During their 400-year stay in Egypt, Hebrew migrants might have heard the Egyptian myth and recreated and domesticated when they returned to Israel about 1000 years B.C. Similarly, The Jewish migrants developed a solid concept of monotheism from their experience in Egypt. There were there in about 1,350 B.C. when Pharaoh Akhenaton (Akhnaton) introduced the theocracy as part of his radical reforms in administration and morality. The returnee Jewish elite incorporated this system into their Judaism about 700 years as attested to by the story in the Old Testament section of the Bible. Christianity which grew from Judaism elaborated on the matter.
The notion of post-mortem resurrection is also of Egyptian origin. We can cite the testimony from Anta Diop’s Civilization or Barbarism. In Diop’s words, Osiris is the god who three thousand years before Christ dies and rises from the dead to save men. He is humanity’s god of redemption; He ascends to heaven to sit at the right hand of his father, the great god Ra. He is the son of God. In The Book of the Dead, it is said fifteen hundred years before Christ: “This is the flesh of Osiris” Dionysus, Osiris’s replica in the northern Mediterranean will say five hundred years before Christ: “Drink, this is my blood, eat this is my flesh” (p. 312).
Egyptian cosmogony also states: “I was one, I became three” This phase is echoed in Christian liturgy thousands of years after.
The influence of Black African philosophy on Judaism and Christianity is attested to by Diop. According to him:
The religion of Osiris is the first, in the history of humanity, to invent the notions of paradise and hell. Two thousand years before Moses and three thousand years before Christ, Osiris, the personification of the Good, was already presiding over the judgegment of the dead in the world beyond the grave, wearing on his head the Atew or Atef. If the dead person during his terrestrial life satisfied the sufficient moral criteria that are too many to enumerate here, he gained theAaru or Aar, a garden protected with an iron wall with several gates and a river running through it. (p. 331)
There is irrefutable evidence that Jesus on whose work Christianity is founded benefited from these philosophical ideas during the preparation for his three-year mission. Professor George G. M. James of British Guyana has adumbrated the matter in his 1954 book, Stolen Legacy:
All the great religious leaders from Moses to Christ were Initiates of The Egyptian Mysteries.
This is an inference from the nature of the Egyptian Mysteries and prevailing custom.
(a) The Egyptian Mystery System was the One Holy Catholic Religionof the remotest antiquity.
(b) It was one and only Masonic Order of Antiquity, and as such,
(c) It built the Grand Lodge of Luxor in Egypt and encompassed theancient world with its branch lodges.
(d) It was the first University of history and it made knowledge a secret, so that all who desired to become Priests and Teachers had to obtain their training from the Mystery System, either locally at the branch lodge or by traveling to Egypt.
We know that Moses became an Egyptian Priest, a Hierogrammat, and that Christ after attending the lodge at Mount Camel (Palestine) went to Egypt for Final Initiation, which took place in the Great Pyramid of Choops (Khuffu). Other religious leaders obtained their preparation from lodges most convenient to them (p. 178). NaiwuOsahon has an even more radical interpretation of the Egyptian roots of the Jewish religious leaders. He thinks that Moses was son of Pharaoh Seti born out of wedlock, arguing that “Pharaoh Seti and his daughter contrived the abandoned baby in a basket scenario to have the opportunity to look after Moses in the palace without moral stigma” (p. 63). Osahon adds more details thus:
Moses went into the Lodge (the Mystery System) at age 7 and could not have come out until aged 47 because it required 40 years to train as a priest in all the disciplines. Moses then spent a few years in Ethiopia. He did not conquer Ethiopia as some Jewish film maker would want the world to believe. In Ethiopia, Moses married a daughter of his teacher Jethro, the renown(ed) Ethiopian magician and father of witchcraft which spawned the Jewish Kabalah. His wife, and African like himself, bore him two sons. All three of them returned with Moses to Egypt only to be lost to history. No king of Ethiopia, of course, accompanied Moses to Egypt…An emissary of the king may have accompanied Moses from the land of his ancestors back to Egypt, judging by traditions of the era, especially since Moses was a prince. Ethiopia was the leading military power in the world at the time (p. 640). Osahon has more to say on the saga of Moses. He continues thus: Moses became the spokesman for the Hebrews and introduced them to a monotheistic type of religion which he had learned as an Egyptian priest from the teachings of Akhnaton. Moses appears to have first preached his religious adaptation to the Egyptians who considered him a fake and largely ignored him. He then turned to the Hebrews who were more receptive. Moses skilfully modified Akhnaton’s monotheism to fit his Hebrew followers. Moses pledged the Hebrews to one God…Moses was running away from the Pharaoh for committing murder and his brother Aaron was charged for stealing from the Pharaoh’s Treasury. Moses met Deborah while he was on the run and it seems Deborah said confidently pointing to Moses: “That Egyptian”. There was nothing in Moses’s make up to suggest he was an Hebrew. He was not wearing any special clothes nor did he have a beard. He looked like any other soul brother or African Deborah was obviously familiar with (pp. 64 – 65).
Moses indebtedness to Egyptian intellectual traditions of rigour and multidisciplinary perspective has been well acknowledged. For example, the editors of Modern World History: Patterns of Interaction (Boston: McDougal Little Inc. 2001) offer useful hints:
Moses is considered by many to be the greatest figure in Jewish history.
He was a diplomat, a law maker, a political organiser, and a military leader, as well as a judge and religious leader. The Hebrew Scriptures record thatMoses led the Hebrews out of slavery in Egypt, perhaps between 1300 and 1200 B.C. Let us take a second look at the diverse fields of learning: diplomacy, law politics, and military. Add to these the advanced skills of writing. The social jeremiad of the Ten Commandments reflects Moses’s grasp of morality and legal studies. Egypt was the only place in the world at the time where all these special branches of learning were available.The egalitarian and communalistic ideals in the Jewish Ten Commands derived from African roots. They are to be found in the theocracy initiated by Pharaoh Akhenaton at about 1,350 B.C. when the Jewish exiles, not captives, were resident in Egypt. But the philosophical foundation of these ethical commands goes back to about a millennium earlier as personified by the career of the multi-genius Imhotep, the father of medicine. As the architect to Pharaoh Zoser of the Third Dynasty about 2,980 B.C., Imhotep is credited as the designer of some of the wondrous, skyscraper pyramids whose mathematical complexity and engineering excellence continue to awe the world 4,000 years after they were erected. The radical African American historian, Professor John HenrikClarke has done an enduring portrait of this greatest man of antiquity. Clarke says Imhotep was one of the Africans who at “the dawn of history gave the world those ideas of enlightenment and wisdom that made what we now call civilization possible”.
Professor J. A. Rogers, another African American scholar describes Imhotep as the “God of Medicine, Prince of Peace, and first Christ”. Rogers adds that “No individual of the ancient world has left a deeper impression on history than Imhotep…he established such a reputation as a healer that he was worshipped as a god for about 3,000 years, not only in Egypt but also in Greece and Rome. Even early Christians worshipped him as the Prince of Peace…In addition to being the chief physician to the King, he was sage and scribe, chief healer priest, architect, astronomer, and magician. At that time magic and science were allied, as in native Africa and the East today” (p. 38).
Imhotep was also a poet and philosopher. He preached cheerfulness and urged content. His proverbs, embodying a philosophy of life, caught popular fancy and were handed down from generation to generation. One of his best known sayings is: ‘Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we shall all die’” (p. 38). Imhotep diagnosed and treated more than 200 diseases, among them 15 diseases of the abdomen, 11 of bladder, 10 of the rectum, 29 of of the eyes, and 18 of the skin. In the words of Rogers, the physicians associated with Imhotep “knew how to detect disease by the shape, color, or condition of the visible parts of the body, as the skin, hair, nails, tongue. They treated spinal tuberculosis, gall stones, appendicitis, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, mastoid diseases, and dental caries. They practiced surgery…and extracted medicine from plants…Imhotep, it is said, knew of the circulation of the blood, which is 4,000 years before it was known in Europe…”
About 2,000 years after the death of Imhotep, a Greek pupil by name Hypocrites, came for medical training in Egypt. He received some of his education in Imhotep’s Temple or Medical School. When Hypocrites completed his education and was certified by Egyptian Professors to be fit “in learning and character” to practice medicine, he returned to Greece as a doctor. The quality of what he learned in Black Egypt made him a successful doctor. Nearly 1,500 years later Greece became the supreme imperial power in Europe and the Mediterranean world. Years later Greece declined and the Roman Empire gained ascendancy in Europe, Africa, and Asia. The Romans borrowed and improved on the intellectual heritage of the Greeks. The hybrid tradition was known as Graeco-Roman. The Roman Empire conquered lands vaster than those of Greece. The combined heritages of Greece and Rome were spread through conquest, governance, and literature. England, then a barbarian island nation, was subdued by the Romans during the era of General Julius Caesar. Roman culture and law were assimilated by the conquered Anglo-Saxons of England.
The Roman Empire, in turn, aged, declined and expired; but its symbols of power and ideological control particularly law, survived in the former colonies. By the end of the 19th century, Britain colonised Nigeria and transferred the rudiments of Roman culture to us. Graeco-Roman images and icons of learning were adopted by us through the Church and formal schools. One of them was Pythagoras, a Greek student who spent 22 years as an undergraduate in Egyptian Universities. He returned to his Greek homeland to set up a mathematics school. When we met Pythagoras in secondary Math in the 20th century he bore the honorific title of “Pythagoras Theorem” which many of us dreaded. We did not know that this mathematic formula was the brainwork of Black African geniuses stolen by a Greek and repackaged by the Romans and British and delivered to us. Thus today, we adore Pythagoras, not the Black inventors of mathematical science in ancient Egypt!
The same false halo glows around the personality of Hypocrites. As already explained he was tutored in medical science in Egypt. He took the knowledge to Greece and the Western world, employing the ideological weapon of mass deception, defied Hypocrites as the “Father” of orthodox medicine. Therefore when African doctors swear to the “Hypocritic Oath” let them know that they are worshipping a false professional ancestor!
From the digest on Imhotep’s ingenious accomplishments and unfading, posthumous reputation for about 2,000 years, it is clear why Jesus had to be initiated at youth into the Egyptian Mysteries. Jesus received some of his pre-clinical training for healing science in the Temple of Imhotep now at the Karnak Pyramid in Egypt. As the career of Moses showed 1,000 years earlier, no one in the ancient world could practice medicine, healing and preaching without being trained and certificated in Egyptian institutions and universities. That was why Jesus was enrolled in the Mount Camel external campus of an Egyptian university in Palestine. His Final Initiation (convocation), as Professor George G.M. James has reported, was at the Pyramid of Khuffu at the age of 30. Those who are still perplexed about how the young graduate was able to turn water into wine at the marriage event in Canaan now have additional facts to support their adoration of Jesus.
The point being emphasised is that all the major world religions had their roots in or were influenced by Black African Egypt. As the religions travelled to distant lands, their priesthood and liturgy took on local hue; they were domesticated culturally for relevance and effect. Nigeria’s NaiwuOsahon describes the process thus: “Christianity followed the Caucasian tradition; Buddhism and Hinduism, Asian; Islam, Arabic; Taoism, Japanese; Confucianism, Chinese. Each of them sprouting a peculiar philosophical and scientific outlook. A scientist could be a mystic or Christian, etc. and his faith would tend to cloud his professional expertise, education, and results. Africans who started it all ended up having nothing, or if anything, it is primitive witchcraft” (p. 110).
This sense of disappointment is evident, too, in Osahon’s lament about the distortion of Jesus’s Africa lineage and anatomical image by European Christian chroniclers. Africa was disinherited of the parentage of Jesus by the 1219 Bishops appointed by Emperor Constantine to attend the Nicene Conference in 325 A.D. “The Conference” says Osahon, “dug up Mary as the mother of Jesus. Jesus who was born in a cave in Ethiopia became born in Bethlehem and acquired higher rank than the contrived mother. ‘Holy’ and ‘Virgin Birth’ were transferred to Jesus and Mary from Auset and Heru” (mother and son in ancient Egyptian mythology). See page 68 of his book already cited.
Osahon has more revelations to make:
“The principal message became: Jesus of Nazareth. There was nowhere on earth known as Nazareth at the time.The Messiah of Christ and ‘Son of God’. He was supposed to have atoned for the sins of his followers through his crucifixion, resurrection and ascension to heaven. Ausar (Osiris) the Egyptian redeemer-god, sacrificed himself, died, nailed in a chest and resurrected to save humankind, thousands of years before the story of Jesus was concocted. Ausar rose to heaven to sit on the right had side of God in judgement over the dead. Ausar’s resurrectionled to the ‘Judgement Day’ saga and is the source of the second coming of Jesus” (pp. 68- 69).
Artistic Distortion of the Image of Jesus by Michelangelo:
In the beginning of the Christian era, Jesus had no image or symbol of representation. This was so for about 1,600 years after his birth. In Osahon’s opinion, it “was the European artist, Michelangelo who sued family and friends to paint his image of Jesus in the Gisen Temple in 1,609 A.D. He was commissioned to do the painting by Pope Julius II and he became famous with his blue-eyed, blond man, flowing hair and beaded image of Jesus Christ. This image was replicated by European Christian organizations all over the world. The box office musical hit, Jesus Christ Superstar, continued the Europeanization of Christian images by featuring not only White Jesus but tendentiously a Black Judas Iscariot, the supposed betrayer of Jesus” (p. 69).
Osahon’s argument had been made more succinctly by Professor J. H. Breasted in his History of Egypt published in 1911, nearly 90 years before Oshaon’s book. Breasted’s portrait of black Mary and Jesus is at page 113 of his book and is quoted by J. A. Rogers in his Great Men of Colour (1996):
The child-Christ remained starrily bejewelled blackamoor as the typical healer in Rome. Jesus, the divine healer, does not retain the black complexion of Iu-emhotep (Imhotep) in the cannonical gospels but he does in the Church of Rome when represented as a little black bambino. A jewelled image of the child-Christ as a blackamoor is sacredly preserved at the headquarters of the Franciscan order, and true to its typical character as a symbolical likeness of Iusa, the healer, the little black figure is taken out in state with its replica on to visit the sick and demonstrate the supposed healing power of this Egyptian Esculapius, thus Christianized. The virgin mother, who was also black, survived in Italy as in Egypt. At Oropa, near Bietta the Madona and her child-Christ are not white but black as they so often were in Italy of old and not as the child is yet conditioned in the little black Jesus of theEternal City (pp. 40 – 41; the emphasis is mine).
Note that the Michelangelo painting now used in Christendom was produced 1,576 years after the death of Jesus. There was no technology of photography at the time of Jesus Christ; photography was developed about 120 years ago. Some pertinent questions to ask are: When Jesus comes again will he recognise his portrait as done by Michelangelo? When we his followers kneel in genuflection before the painting or wear totemic objects with the painting engraved, how are we sure that we are worshipping the same founder of Christianity and not his fake, distorted, and manipulated image by European powers who needed his divine endorsement for their crimes of colonial plunder and exploitation? I have no doubt that Jesus will reserve a place of torture in hell for all these imperialists and hypocrites who have use in name in vain! Surely, Michelangelo, the Italian artist, is a prime victim of hell fire!
How the Church Started in Africa:
It should be clear from the facts deposed above that Jesus Christ was a freeborn African genius. In the light of this corrected version of his nativity, his anatomical features should be tropicalized like those of the average Black African, with broad lips and kinkey hair, not blond, flowing hair. We can now appreciate why Black Africa was also the cradle of Christianity. This history can be verified by authentic historians of Christendom., North Africa. Although Peter the son of Jonah of Bethseada, Galilee, had declared himself Pope in 42 A.D. and set up the papacy in Rome, the Roman emperors violently persecuted early Christian converts. The worst years were 200-300 A.D. until Emperor Constantine proclaimed the Edict of Religious Tolerance when he became a convert himself. He did so in order to use the instrumentality of the Christina religion to expand safeguard and expand his endangered empire. During the decades of persecution, Christians had to flee to North Africa for safety and refuge. The first Christian Church was in Carthage, now Tunis, in Tunisia. At the time Arabs had not invaded and conquered North Africa as it the case presently. The infancy of the Church in is described by Professor John Henrik Clarke in the following excerpt:
“…among the first to hear and embrace the Christian religion were those living in North Africa. Jesus had spent some of his early years in Egypt to escape the murderous design of Herod, the Roman governor. This event was well remembered and later helped to gain acceptance for the church in Africa”
The hospitality Africa offered the church is one factor that made it possible for three Black African Popes to emerge within the first 500 years of the church. The Black Popes are Pope Victor I (189 – 199), Pope Miltiades (311 – 314), and Pope Gelasius (492 – 496). In this context, we should pay due homage to the first African intellectual genius of the Catholic Church, Aurelius Augustinus, better known as St. Augustine. Born in Tagaste, Tunisia in 354 A.D. St. Augustine became a Professor at 27 in the University of Milan, Italy. He was ordained Bishop of Hippo, North Africa, in 395 A.D. The foundational philosophy of the Catholic Church derived from his books such as The City of God and Confessions. St. Augustine died in 430 A.D.
The Roman Empire was the principal vehicle the Church used to spread in the world. In 312, Emperor Constantine proclaimed Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire world-wide. All other religious orders were declared pagan and unworthy of the attention of subjects of the empire. Thenceforth, the church became the Roman Catholic Church (RCM). In 321 the same emperor declared Sunday the day of worship. The appeal of the church, as Professor Blainey explains in his A Very Short History of the World (2004), was due to its pragmatic policy of “treating all peoples as equal” making Christianity “well suited to the empire which consisted of Greeks, Jews, Persians, Slavs, Germans, Italians, Romans, Egyptian and many others” (p. 42). Constantine died in 337 A.D.” (p. 44).
This all-embracing doctrine embodied the teachings of Jesus Christ. In the first 100 years of Jesus’s death believers began to teach his new religion based on his message. Apostle Paul spread this gospel in his wide-ranging evangelic travels in the Eastern Mediterranean stressing that Jesus was the son of God and that he had died for people’s sins. The editors of Modern World History (2001) “Paul declared that Christianity was a universal religion. It should welcome all converts, Jews, non-Jews” adding that there “…is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (p. 14). The Roman Empire also helped Christianity to grow when two Roman emperors – Theodosus and Justinian – issued imperial edicts to impose the Church on all citizens and subjects of the empire. The imperial edicts also proscribed the existence and worship of the Egyptian Mystery System which had prevailed worldwide for over 5,000 years. All Egyptian Temples and centres of learning and universities were shut down. Their priests and scholars were hounded and they migrated into exile and extinction. The triumph of the church was complete.
In the interval of the first century of the death of Jesus, the Jewish race suffered catastrophic experience. In 70 A.D., the Jews, frustrated for waiting endlessly for the promised Messiah, revolted against their Roman colonizers. The rebellion was crushed by the Romans and the Jews were exiled from their homeland. The Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces recalls that a “second revolt, against emperor Hadrian (A.D. 131 – 134) ended in tragic consequences as the Jews were finally exterminated or removed from Palestine…Henceforth, they were the people of the Diaspora, the ‘scattering’; religious communities in the great cities of the ancient world who maintained local cohesion and universal religious solidarity but who were stateless, as they were to be all through the centuries until the creation, in the mid-twentieth century, of the state of Israel” (p. 5). The Jews were homeless in exile for 1,884 years (134 – 1948). Ironically, the Jewish odyssey helped to transmit the ideas of Judaism to other parts of the world. The narratives of the Old Testament, particularly the fabricated experience in “Egyptian captivity” influenced other nations to empathise with the Jews and their “crucified son, Jesus”. Christianity reaped the harvest of this distorted history.
Black Geniuses in Islam:
Black African geniuses helped Islam to gain international spread and power. The British historian, Professor Geoffrey Blainey reports that Mohammed was “highly intelligent” and “a skilled general” who specialised in providing highway security to Arab camel-caravan merchants. His devoted service to “his rich employer, a widow” earned Mohammed, 25, the privilege of marrying the 40-year-old woman. But I have no proof that Mohammed was educated. The intellectual work of early Islam was spearheaded by a black African genius, Bilal IbnRahab, described by Rogers as “a tall, gaunt, bushy-haired Ethiopian slave” who was the high priest, poet laureate, and first Muezzin (Treasurer or Minister of Finance) of the world-wide Islamic empire. Bilal composed the Islamic call to morning prayers which is listened to everyday by about one billion worshippers. The Islamic image of paradise which is more alluring and tantalising than the Christian one was created by Bilal. That paradise does not only flow with milk and honey; it has says Rogers, “sumptuous palaces of pure gold, with great banquet tables to which thousands of attendants bore the choicest food on golden plates. Each (dead convert) had 300 dishes put before him at once, and he could eat of all of them without becoming sated or being subject to the usual demands of nature”. This was an image of abundance that hungry youths could not resist, especially when they were mobilised by the power of prayer, also composed and rendered enchantingly by Black Bilal. As Rogers says, whenever Bilal “prayed, the crowds sobbed aloud. After listening to him the soldiers of Mohammed, whipped to frenzy, were ready to hurl themselves against any foe” (p. 144).
Beautiful black damsels in the Islamic paradise were another irresistible attraction for the converts. In the Rogers’s words, “But above all were the houris, or black-eyed daughters of paradise. They had beautiful, well-rounded bodies, fresh with eternal youth and ever-renewed virginity. Seventy-two of these beautiful creatures were given to every believer, who himself possessed eternal youth and vigor…If a believer died in battle he went straight into the midst of all this. If he did not die there was the prospect of the spoils of battle. No matter what happened, the believer felt that he could not lose” (p. 144). As it is common in many societies, it is the youth and bachelors who get recruited into armies. The sensuous image of “ever-renewed virginity” of damsels was not something that a bachelor youth would easily ignore!
The Spread of Islam in Africa:
We have shown how the imperial wars and domineering policies of the Roman Empire facilitated the rapid growth of Christianity in Africa. A similar trajectory pushed the fortunes of Islam in Africa. Bilal IbnRahab was so resourceful in the defence and propagation of the new religion that Mohammed decided to hand over the vast empire to him at his death. Being a Black African Ethiopian, Bilal politely turned down the offer and yielded place to Mohammed’s brother Abu Bakr. Warfare was the vehicle that ferried Islamic belief to most parts of the world. By 632 A.D. when Mohammed died at 62, many lands had been conquered and converted. In 20 years hence, the religion had reached lands 5,000 km in size. Professor Blainey suggests that “after the death of Mohammed, his religion and his sword ruled from the fringes of Afghanistan in the east to Tripoli in the west”. Armies of mixed African-Arab soldiers took Islam across the Mediterranean to western Europe; Islam set up intellectual and cultural centres in Spanish cities such as Serville. These Islamic armies were known as the Moors. When the Christian war of the Crusades forced down into Africa, they raided every nation and civilization along the way. The casualties included Universities of Sankore and Timbuktu along the River Niger. Ahmed Baba, a Chancellor of one of the Universities was captured and exiled; his library of 1,600 books was destroyed. This was about 700 years ago. By the 11th century Islamic scholarship had appeared in the Kanem-Bornu/Lake Chad area of what is now North-eastern Nigeria. A section of the rampaging Islamic armies reached the Fouta Djallon Mountains in Guinea and began east-ward spread culminating in the Fulani Jihad of 1804.
But like early Christianity, Islam emphasized the equality of all people. Mohammed himself, from his humble beginnings, promoted the dignity of all human beings and trans-class brotherhood. The authors of the Modern World History already cited explain that “belief in the bond of community and the unity of all people led to a tolerance of different groups within the community. Muslims were required by their religion to offer charity and help to those in need. Under Muslim law, rulers had to obey the same laws as those they ruled” (p. 14).
Europe, Not Africa, Was the Dark Continent:
In the 5,000 years and more when Black African civilizations of the Nile Valley reached the peak of acclaim in diverse fields such as mathematics, architecture, astrology, astronomy, medicine, writing, philosophy, and religious theology, all of what is now Europe was culturally asleep and backward. For over 100 years, hungry populations of Europe were fed by grains produced through mechanised agriculture in the Nile Valley. To Europeans Africans, particularly of Egypt were divinely gifted. Professor Clarke has a concise description of how the glories of Africa dazzled and awed Europe to no end:
Europeans have always been in contact with Africa, that is, Northern Africa. The names of Esop, Memnon of Terence and Cleopatra are the names of Africans who have featured in the legend and literature, the arts and history of Greece and Rome. Indeed, the land of Africa was a land of wonders for ancient Greeks and Romans; and this is to such an extent that among them it was a proverb that out of Africa is always something new. The concept of “darkest Africa” refers to the comparative ignorance of Europeans over the last four centuries..(“Introduction” to J.A. Rogers, Great Men of Color, New York and London: Simon & Schuster, 1996, p. x).
European awakening started at the end of the 15th century with the cultural movement known as Renaissance. Their historians refer to the era as the age of “Discovery” and “Enlightenment”. Scientific and philosophical theories invented, formulated, codified, tested, and practised in Black African civilizations of the Nile Valley 5,000 years earlier were plagiarised and revived by Europeans. This act of intellectual piracy and robbery had been perfected by the Greeks 2,000 years before as the cases of Pythagoras and Hypocrites illustrate. In the fields of philosophy, political science, and aesthetics, the most notorious Greek fraudster was Aristotle. He is credited with the authorship of over 1,000 books in a lifetime of 62 years! Professor George G.M James has exposed the fraud in his 1954 book: Christianity and the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Holocaust.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Gabriel Godini Darah, is Professor of English at Delta State University and former Chairman of the Editorial Board of The Guardian. He is also a pioneer scholar of Udje performance poetry of the Niger Delta, founding president of the Nigeria Oral Literature Association (NOLA), and former Chief of Staff at Delta State Government House, Professor Darah’s eclectic career over the past four decades deserves closer critical attention at this point.
Darah is an alumnus of the University of Ibadan, where he also began his teaching career. He later taught at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, as well as Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye. He now teaches at Delta State University, Abraka, where he has played a key role in in the internationalization efforts of the Department of English and Literary Studies, his home Department.
Darah’s most beguiling attribute is his versatile and profound insights into a wide range of academic endeavours. This is complemented by his utter commitment to the development of scholarship and culture. His scholarly and journalistic interventions are as penetrating as they can be controversial. Apart from the field of Folklore and Literature, Darah’s abiding multidisciplinary engagements straddle the domains of Culture, Politics, History, Law, Sociology, Media and Communication, Philosophy, and more. But it is in Oral Literature that his specialization has become most notable with, amongst others, the publication of his ground-breaking study of Urhobo poetry, Battles of Songs: Udje Tradition of the Urhobo (2005) (cf www.urhobotoday.com/?p=17467.com. Assessed 22.05.2017)