THE OPTIMISM OF AFRICAN FAITH
The Imenti ancestors, trace the history of their origin in the land of captivity [“Freedom from the shackles of slavery.”InfoBarrel, April 21, 2011.] The subsequent exodus took the captors by surprise and left them in confounded bewilderment. The wisdom of the captives was greater than that of the captors. Triumphantly they came to the land of liberty and freedom. Since then the ancestors have lived in the universe that remains the same to the present generation. The present generation has inherited a universe of meaning from the ancestors. One universe one world both for the living and the dead
In the physical universe are existents that man places in hierarchical older of importance as well as meaning attributed to them. The following diagram illustrates this hierarchical older from the lowest to the highest.
Ancestors and wicked spirits
Man and woman
The blue sky (firmament) is the kingdom of the sun, moon and stars. The celestial firely ball gives light, a natural force that makes things visible, makes reality and meaning to appear or “to be.”
In the sky, rain is formed in thick bank of clouds. It waters the land, making it creative and productive with flora that is vital for the survival of man and fauna. Rain water is life. It is personified as providence. The creative providence of life.
“The good” and “the evil” that men and women do “here and now” has a self-imposed judgment or verdict that determines their happiness or doom in the hereafter. Hereafter is not another spiritual world apart from this physical world. The dead only change the state of being physical beings to the state of being spiritual beings. The spiritual domain of the dead is lived in this earthly sphere of man, fauna flora and inanimate objects. The spiritual world of the dead is the replica of the physical world of the living.
Man and woman exist as a couple with the creative potentiality to populate the earth with offsprings. The only natural predicaments are sterility and impotence. They are Quasi-divine beings.
Animals exist as a decoration (beauty) of nature. Domestic animals, cattle, sheep and goats support the survival of man by providing him with food in the form of meat, blood and milk. These animals are uniquely sacred. The sheep is the most sacred victim offered as sacrifice to God and the ancestors.
Like the animals, plants are the decoration of nature. Besides being the cover of the earth, plants provide herbal medicine with preventive as well as a curative power of diseases. Inanimate objects exist as raw material for craftsmanship. Clay (3layers) is used to make pots. Iron ore is used for making tools and ornaments.
The universe is an immense wonder and mystery. Man establishes a personal relationship with the universe through psychic power of faith. Reality both visible and unvisible exists in one universe. The former is perceived by sense impressions while the latter is perceived by psychic faith. Faith is the acceptance with personal conviction [firm truth] of reality that gives meaning to existence.
The reality of faith is an invisible power [driving force] that controls the universe. This power is given the attributes of omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence. All the existents in the physical universe share in this power. The nature of this power is to attract “the good” and repel “the evil.” Man too possesses this power. The power of attraction and repellence.
Man attributes the existence of this power to a personified creative power. The Imenti have historically accepted one [monopower] creative power in the universe. It is one power the attraction of “the good” and the repellence of “the evil.”