My intellectual stimulation emanates from poetry and philosophy. And alternative spiritual teachings to feed the soul. Today as I celebrate my Become-Earth Day, I figured I might as well celebrate it with my favorite poets and philosophers, and spiritualists. In no particular order:
Saul Williams (Poet)
A poet, MC, actor, Hiphop critic, Saul ‘Black Stacey’ Williams’ work is as intricate and philosophical as expected.
Having stumbled on his work via Def Jam Poetry, his poem “Coded Language” struck a chord in my person. It was way above the conventional predictable spoken word poetry that we have nowadays. Ever since, I have researched on his material both in text and recorded media. His art is unique, eccentric and authentic. I try as much not to ape his flare of writing in my own work.
My favorite performed poem so far by Saul is “Indigo On”:
“STOP lettin’ cities define you, confine you to that which is cement and brick.
We are not a hard peoples,
our domes have been crowned with the likes of steeples.
That which is our being soars with the eagles, and the Jonathon Livingston seagulls – Yes – I got wings, you got wings, we all got to got wings!
So let’s widen the circumference of our nest, and escape this urban incubator –
You see, the wind plays the world like an instrument; blows through trees like flutes but trees don’t grow in cement. And as heartbeats bring percussion, fallen trees bring repercussions; cities play upon our souls like broken drums, we drum the essence of creation from city slums – but city slums mute our drums and our drums become humdrum, ’cause city slums have never been where our drums are from – just the place where our daughters and sons become, off-beat heartbeats, slaves to city streets, where hearts get broken and heart beats stop…”
Amiri Baraka (Poet)
Born Everett LeRoi Jones in 1934 in Newark, New Jersey, he believed poetry to be a process of discovery rather than an exercise in fulfilling traditional expectations.
A Marxist, Baraka’s poetry is laced with bitter anti-white supremacy ideologies, black consciousness, conspiracy and jazz. A former poet laureate for New Jersey, his poem “Somebody Blew up America” stirred so much controversy for its anti-Semitic approach regarding the 911 ‘terror’ attack in the United States. As a result, he was stripped off his poetry laureate title.
Baraka, now deceased, happens to be Saul William’s idol in the poetry field. I have read most of his works, (poems, essays) watched his performances and interviews for the sheer mastery with which he delivers poetry.
My favorite poem so far is “Black Dada Nihilismus”, performed with The New York Art Quartet jazz band:
“Against what light
is false what breath
sucked, for deadness.
Murder, the cleansed
purpose, frail, against
God, if they bring him
bleeding, I would not
forgive, or even call him
black dada nihilismus…”
Mbella Sonne Dipoko (Poet)
Whenever I visit the Eldoret National Library, the first book to grab is Black and White in Love. This anthology chronicles his journey in France, England, Spain and Morocco as a writer, newspaper vendor and a womanizer who fell for a White woman with whom he hitch-hiked across Europe on a bicycle and train.
The poem is quite long but the humour and ease with which he wrote it, is mildly addictive.
A Cameroonian poet, he never shaved his beard, he became mayor after his return to his hometown. He rode on a bicycle to work instead of the official council car at his disposal. He was later stripped off his position as mayor for obvious reasons: refusal to conform to the political status quo.
He used to refer to himself as “a traveling lover, a dreamer searching for God between the women’s thighs.” He was a spiritualist of an Afrocentric faith called “Esimo ya Mboka”, of which he was the Chief Priest.
My favorite poems is of course “Black & White in Love”:
“…And I had to pawn
Those nice Moroccan things
And I pawned even my holy Bible
Just to stay alive
And give thanks to God
For our love.”
Omondi Ochuka (Poet)
His writing has been compared to Saul Williams by another American author. His work is coded in an intricate fashion laden with compound metaphors, imagery and abstract thought.
My personal favorite contemporary Kenyan poet, I admire his stream of consciousness, as he paints pain and love, beauty and self-liberation through a hybrid of English, Swahili, Sheng and Dholuo in his stanzas. Having recorded a couple of rap songs with him, you can tell poetry is his lotus petal in a garden of human thought.
His blog www.omondiochuka.wordpress.com is my forte, my peephole to the ethereal world of abysmal thought.
Tear my Torah, if I don’t find bliss in godly decalogue
Or prime calibres
footed on arabic books, with blood
My albadir goes on ignorant giant forehead like a spiritual slingshot
This body does me wrong
Rejects my soul as its pure deposits
Until that day
When I can marry my own corpse
Put a ring of cancer on its habeas corpus
My poetry is a
Wound on deep-riddled tombs, without remorse…”
-Tomorrow, in Ashes
Friedrich Nietzsche (Philosopher)
For the past two months, I have studied Nietzsche’s work with religious fervor.
A student of Arthur Schopenhauer, the German thinker is considered to be the father of nihilism. Nihilism is the philosophy that rejects all religious and moral principles in the belief that life is meaningless. I’m not a nihilist personally though I buy the notion that life is meaningless and meaning (subjective) is that which we give to it – through our human experiences.
Friedrich was a pessimist who denounced religion while studying theosophy, became a lecturer, battled mental illness and was locked up in an asylum after being declared clinically insane, and later died of brain disease at 44 (BBC Documentary, “Human, All Too Human”). He coined the maxim “The Death of God” in reference to total freedom; that we are not predetermined by outside forces, but from within; that life is yours for the making.
An excerpt from “The Gay Science” (1882, 1887) reads:
“The madman jumped into their midst and pierced them with his eyes. “Whither is God?’ he cried; I will tell you. We have killed him—you and I. All of us are his murderers. But how did we do this? How could we drink up the sea?…Do we hear nothing as yet of the noise of the gravediggers burying God? Do we smell nothing as yet of the divine decomposition? Gods, too, decompose. God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him.”
–The Parable of the Madman, Friedrich Nietzsche (1882)
The Pleiadian Realm (Spiritualists)
My definition of spirituality is “philosophy of the soul”. It has nothing to do with candles, mantras, hums, prayer, lotus sitting positions, Buddha statues, Bibles, Qurans or rituals. It is the connection of human experience to the divine vacuum. Finding balance in the thought-emotion scale.
The Pleiadian Realm is a group of channelers dedicated to raising the frequency of humans through demystifying most human questions and concerns through teachings. They debunk the conventional god idea in a bid to liberate humanity from fear and separation of mankind from the rest of nature and creation.
Some of the propositions are:
-There is no Karma. You’re not on earth to pay back any debts. It’s all a learning experience.
-Life is meaningless. The only meaning is what you attach to it. (Sounds familiar?)
-There is no good or evil (sin). Hitler might as well be in paradise.
-The Law of Attraction has nothing to do with money. It’s about who you are.
-There is no formula to success (abundance). You can only attract what’s in harmony with your highest frequency and belief system.
-Love is the key.
-UFOs/ETs/Aliens exist and are in contact with humans here on earth.
-Your soul does not care about your material being.
-A vast majority of human beings use their creative energy chasing after little things.
-Forget the goals. They are mental. They interfere with your learning process. You will attract everything you need.
-When you do anything that doesn’t feel good to you, you’re distancing yourself from your higher self.
-You have power. You are free.
-Existence is the only quality existence has.
-Jesus was a great teacher, no more a Son of God than you are.
-A human needs a hero: sports heroes, political heroes, science heroes…an icon they can look up to because they don’t go within.
-This life passed many lifetimes ago. You’re merely repeating all you ever did.
-Dying is the easiest thing you will ever do. Never fear death again.
-Go about 40 days all by yourself.
-You are all beautiful beings of Light.
“One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.”
*All photos are internet-sourced. All rights reserved.