By Fahim A. Knight-El
I am constantly asked by those who visited my Blog about my abbreviated online Bio, which indicates that I am a Free Thinker, and many have doubled down to asked, what does that actually mean? Webster online dictionary defines Free Thinking: "as a philosophical viewpoint which holds that position regarding truth should be formed on the basis of logic, reason, and empiricism, rather than authority, tradition, revelation, or other dogma." Now, Free Thinking for me was a spiritual calling (or transformation and transition) that can only be obtained by the journey of life, it involved something much deeper than our natural human instincts and intellectual inclinations to achieve and disperse knowledge and challenge ideals. Although, this will forever be a part of the process and to the outside world will perhaps stand as the judgmental variable and parameters of determining whether or not you will be received as a true Free Thinker; this will also be your own proof positive litmus test and will serve as your own personal tangible barometer (not that you should need such verification or affirmation to validate this determination).
The measuring stick will, however, always be rooted in your courage and willingness to weigh all evidence (which will be presented in literary or verbal forms and/or presented in the theoretical and ideological frameworks of organizations and movements) that is presented and not be shy to render a critique and analysis in order to prove that the presented argument was flawed and lacked evidentiary proof or it had met the standards of truth based on the rigorousness of an impartial investigation. I was led to an academic book authored by Mary E. McGann titled, Critical Thinking and Writing in the Disciplines this book became good training ground for me in becoming a critical thinker and what that entailed.
I grew up between the Pentecostal Holy Church and the Baptist Church faith traditions. The Pentecostal experience was always full of spiritual energy, there were shouting, singing, crying, dancing, plenty of testimonies, out loud scripture readings—it was an environment of spiritual electricity (they would congregate what appeared to be seven days a week and the ministers wore the titles of prophets and apostles and each service was like a high powered revival (I am speaking now directly to black folk this was our collective experience)—I would covertly be playing behind my mother's back with my brothers and sisters and with other devious children in the church (you were not allowed to eat candy, talk and definitely not play). These were some long sessions and as a child you tried to make the best of all this preaching; I knew from time-to-time I had to yell out with other members 'thank you Jesus', I would then be safe from momma's wrath (it seemed like she had eyes in the back of her head).
My mother and other Elders would enter a realm of spirit referred to as the Holy Ghost or become touched by the holy spirit and it was liken to an outer-body experience, which is unexplainable outside of the black Christian holiness experiences and traditions. I know white folk think they understand this, but they do not; this spiritual energy goes back to our ancient African ancestors and was the embodiment of invoking traditional African religious-ethos that made its way through the horrific and horrid voyage known as the Transatlantic Slave Trade, a crime against humanity (they could not kill our spirit) and it survived in our DNA and made its way across the Atlantic Ocean. The Black Christian Pentecostal is a living testimony of our continued connectedness to our African heritage even to this very day the drums, tambourines, the organ and piano and at times the beauty of the black human acapela voices was music to the ears (the human voice by far is the greatest instrument ever created).
I did not arrive at this stage, because, it was something that I initially sought, but I do believe that I was predestined to be one of those free spirited souls that could not be confined by the gravitational pull of proselytizing indoctrination of intended doctrines; of course even this would prove to be to shallow to bind me to accept one single thought as my life path. I met this Zinn Master in my life’s journey and he told me that nothing in life was coincidental or accidental (or occurred by happenstance) and wherever, we are in space and time, that is where we are supposed to be and he looked at me and said the universe arranges these things even before our allowed physical carination, and given permission to exist on this plane (in this sphere).
I looked at him as though, he had lost his mind; he must have detected my lack of comprehension and my inability to process these thoughts at that time. He only said that one day, I would understand that All real lessons have a duality in meaning and interpretation, but must first be understood from the spiritual realm (this was a metaphysical discourse). I was offered a small book titled, Tao The Ching by Lao Tzu, this book of ancient Chinese wisdom and philosophy freed my mind of the western dialectic worldview into accepting the eastern ancient Sages and Gurus wisdom and spiritual principles as having a much deeper meaning and the wisdom therein just felt that it was God talking directly to you.
In 2006 Rhonda Byrne published a book titled, The Secret, she pulled together twenty-four highly touted spiritualist who shared various intellectual and spiritual experiences and involvement in the esoteric, occult and Gnostic schools of thoughts in order to make an attempt to package ancient wisdom that had shaped humanity’s spiritual existences based on the universal principles of good that had touched all cultures, races, nationalities and this knowledge had alter humanity’s orientation to life down through the ages of time—these various spiritual intellectuals shared mystical, mythical, healing, and indigenous knowledge that was rooted in the folklore of ancient civilizations and the benefits of the observance of metaphysical outcomes. Some of them spoke outside of the concepts of organized religion. It was a clear indication that western man had failed and his failure has led to an earthly and human imbalance; it has placed him on a collision course with the universal powers.
I think European New Age thinkers such as Eckhart Tolle who authored the book titled, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment and A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose and even Reverend Rick Warren who authored the book titled, The Purpose Driven Life; these Caucasians have come deeply in contact with our indigenous knowledge and are articulating it on a broader scale, but they must not forget that they have borrowed this wisdom from the fathers and mothers of civilization. I was given this little pocket sizes book titled, As Man Thinketh by James Allen that I still carry every place I go, it is full of powerful wisdom and jewels and with little doubt Allen had drank from the fountain of the ancient masters and had adopted their universal principles.
This wisdom affected me differently than the wisdom of Qur'an and the Bible yet, I totally understood that all of this had an interconnectedness with the original divine source although this wisdom contained in the Tao The Ching left know doubt that it had been passed down my many ancient generations and it even predated the Bhagavad Gita ,it sent me on a spiritual journey, it also predated the 'Pslams of David' and from those pages, I was a changed human being—I truly tapped in my Pineal gland. Energy and power source that has baffled Europeans for over 6,000, but indigenous and original people of the earth within their spiritual customs, rites, sacraments, practices and rituals knew how to alter energy polarities and shift energy sources to transcend into Astro-beings this was the highest form of enlightenment. I balanced this off by being exposed to Ra Un Nefer Amen books titled, Metu Neter, Vol. 1: The Great Oracle of Tehuti and the Egyptian System of Spiritual Cultivation and Metu Neter Vol. 2: Anuk Ausar, The Kamitic Initiation System.
Erich Von Daniken in his book titled, The Chariots of the Gods, it would be his white Eurocentric intellectualism that put him in denial of the great Pyramids of Kemet (Egypt) were constructed by the indigenous Nubians who had occupied Kemet for over 20,000 years before European intervention, they were the original Egyptians. These recent wars in Libya, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, etc., have led to the theft, looting and discretion of ancient artifacts of antiquity (these assaults were carried out systematically) but let me be clear these artifacts did not belong to the Semitic Arab imposters nor the Europeans and was not part of the Islamic dynasties.
Black people had established civilizations centuries prior to their arrival on the African continent. Many of these ancient cities like Tripoli, Cairo and Baghdad housed valuable treasures. The Europeans have stolen indigenous peoples cultural artifacts and our linkages with time is in white museums in Paris, London, Berlin, Moscow, Rome, Cyprus, Lisbon, Toronto, etc.. I know the great black archivist and curator Arthur Alfonso Schomburg probably is turning over in his grave at how we have allowed these cultural bandits to steal and house our history and tradition in defiled white institutions.
My next awakened, there was Nation of Islam minister in Durham, North Carolina named Minister Ray Muhammad (Minister Muhammad and I became good friends) he would teach quite often about the importance of submission and surrendering your will to do the will of God; he had a free willing spirit and was a graduate of a HBCU Texas Southern University in Houston, out of the Mid Atlantic Athletic Conference (MEAC) of course I have a common bond with all HBCU graduates and my feelings were no different towards Minister Muhammad. Minister Ray Muhammad would often state where you are right now is where you are supposed to be and no one arrives at these spaces and times of their own volition or by osmosis God brought you there (this was leading me towards my evolution into Free Thinking). He gave me a better understanding of Master Fard Muhammad and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.
The biggest leap into becoming a Free Thinker, is to allow yourself to move beyond the confinement of dogmas, philosophy, theologies, political bias, etc., which taught me not to permit nor allow exclusivity in one school of thought to captivate my ideological imagination because this will erect and create artificial barriers, which could disallow the appreciating of the diversity and the expansiveness of knowledge and truth. Thus, you will also learn through practical experience and through life trials and error the value and ultimate value of principles that are better understood and received by others as positive examples when observed and lived and reflected as transparent ethics for everyone to see our lives as an open book (we should live our lives as living examples of universal good).
Free Thinkers are only loyal to their quest to discover the truth regardless of how painful the findings maybe, it is this clarion call that allows us to escape our natural attachment to familiar shared ideologies. But will always demonstrate the ability, as well as determination and willingness to look beyond those safe and comfort zones, which to objectively weigh all knowledge and thought on the larger scale of determining proof. With the Free Thinker’s mindset there are no safety nets that will stand in their way to determining the truth at all cost. Free Thinkers are ordinarily met with skepticism and suspiciousness because, we have been taught from early on to unquestionably accept doctrines and a worldviews that validates and support the status quo.
Yet, the Free Thinkers possess the courage to engage and upstage contrary perspectives to the popular version of the truth (you will pay a heavy personal cost, if you ever choose to become a Free Thinker) will cause them to be ridiculed, isolated, it could even cause more sinister acts. Once the Free Thinker has arrived at this lofty position, it will often lead them to revisited previous held beliefs and debunk them for more sound information and by this stage in their development, they would have learned to put all emotions to the a side—this makes the dismantling and reconstruction process much easier.
Moreover, admittedly most human beings who are learned and unlearned will never become a Free Thinker, because this is truly a journey less traveled and human beings find it easy to think inside the box, it makes associations more accommodating and it suffices the normalization of this world’s order in spite of injustice, corruption, inequalities, etc., Free Thinkers are revolutionary in their thought patterns—Buddha, Confucius, Zoroaster, Gandhi, Jesus, Mohammed, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Muhammad Ali. They had transcended (or was born) earthly expectations and had moved deep into the spiritual realm, a place that we all should look to obtain and arrive it is the only true gate to freedom.
This spiritual plateau opens you up to be used by the universal forces of good—honesty, self-denial, forgiveness and leads to the greatest expression of love, which is unconditional love. Free Think is teaching me to understand what love truly means on a much higher level and to forgive is the greatest act of human freedom, to relinquish and free others from our perceptions (in particular those whom we believed have transgressed against us) exonerate them that you might release yourself from an unjust self-affliction of imprisonment and bondage that continues to create cycles of pain and suffering in our conscience and sub-conscience minds. This quest often will immediately become conflictive with a world that was built on deception and "ism".
We must seek to look outside of this world that was constructed on disinformation and propaganda and have the uncanny ability to reconstruct a worldview that challenges the popular version of the truth in order to create a new societal and personal paradigm. The true Free Thinker innately either already has these skills of possessing the ability to reason and analyze and/or on the journey they are acquired and developed by way of the experience of various Paths in which the Creator or Supreme Being or whatever Higher expression that is the source of your spiritual inclinations and guide that factor into our lives. Let me not sound contradictory; spirituality is beyond the concepts of Supreme Beings or religious concepts and often functions as an independent variable outside of organized religious terminology and phraseology.
The inclination (of surrendering yourself) to walk your life in a Free Thinker’s space will be a deep evolutionary process for the human being (and was the biggest step that I ever made in my life), it will be more impactful than even the DNA that we inherited from our mothers and fathers (although this plays a factor into our development). However, this goes beyond the meeting of sperm and ova of human biological science. Truly a magnificent God/human and miraculous phenomenon that from an egg coming together with male sperm during conception (new life is formulated) that allows us to extend past our biological substances that was transferred in chromosomes and our nucleus and atomic make up produced an independent human being referred to as our offspring who has a mind and thoughts of their own.
Yes, their parents shared DNA will always be a part of their human essences. Let me stop here; I was a poor student in science, although I started out as a biology major in college. My Science major peers were serious and disciplined students and I wasn’t at that time in my life. So forgive me for recklessly trying to use a scientific analogy to paint a picture in my life. I was learning about concepts of microbiology and organic chemistry and physics. I woke up during that semester and said what the hell am I doing here and I immediately consulted by academic advisor and changed my major. I often wonder where my life would have been, if I had become a scientist or medical doctor; I know that in life nothing was coincidental and as quickly as that thought entered my brain, my Free Thinking immediately absolved those thoughts. I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing; anything else does not exist in my time and space.
Fahim A. Knight-El Chief Researcher for KEEPING IT REAL THINK TANK located in Durham, NC; our mission is to inform African Americans and all people of goodwill, of the pending dangers that lie ahead; as well as decode the symbolism and reinterpreted the hidden meanings behind those who operate as invisible forces, but covertly rules the world. We are of the belief that an enlightened world will be better prepared to throw off the shackles of ignorance and not be willing participants for the slaughter. Our MOTTO is speaking truth to power. Fahim A. Knight-El can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.