A Combative Self-Preservation  

In M’TAM initiation, all initiates or pilgrims, at some point, comes to face the wall or curtain that separates them from their ultimate becoming as written in their destiny seven generations before they are born. That moment is the climax of the battle between Heru and Set (Good vs Evil). Considering that we are humans and our inspiration can only come from what has been exposed to us, our search for the truth and evolution can be effective only, if by chance , nature and our personal rites of passage have provided us a mind that is flexible enough to allow us to operate comfortably in an  ocean of new ways, habits and superstitions on the path of our survival.

But the dilemma in our current existence is that the Nassara (Those determined to be hated by the God Ra) have become the masterminds pulling the strings of the modern being of today, by deliberately choosing to confiscate the spiritual, intellectual, material and cultural independence of every community of people they come across.

The story I am about to tell in this article is a story that happened somewhere in the savannah not far from where our people, The Dogon, reside.  At the early contact between our elders and those identified as Nassara, the initiatic priests responsible for the becoming of the youth of the time foresaw the destruction that the foreigners were bringing and decided to institute a structure of self-preservation for the youth by ensuring that the initiation of the camps allowed them to be able to fit both the realities of the world that the Nassara was bringing and the world from which they came: the world founded on the initiatic knowledge.  

They knew very well that some of the youth would adapt to the Nassara’s ways and abandon the initiatic ways but the hope was to still put a structure in place that would allow for the survival of the culture and spiritual values of our people. The preservation of the Dogon values and culture was dependent on that small group of people that were expected to go through the initiation where they were being trained to face the university education as well.  This brought on a very big risk and uncertainty.  

The Maakheru of the schools of Kebtah once told this story about a master and his disciple against the backdrop of that era.  He said one morning a family walked to the home of an elder who happened to be a master in charge of a temple.  He was a good healer and a very humble person who lived and sustained himself from what nature provided.  He was very dedicated to the temple work, the Divine World and the principles of nature.  He was living in a place far from the community, taking care of a Deity in the bush known as the protector of the bush.  He adapted his life and was able to survive away from the community in order to take care of his temple obligations. His forefathers before his father were well known in the community by how serious and honored they were as far as their responsibilities to that specific temple are concerned.  

When the family arrived they introduced him to the child.  “This is our son, we humbly bring him and we beg you to initiate him in your ways so that he may become a great person as what our village needs.”  That incident coincided with the time that the Nassara were discovering that area of the country.  The priest agreed and took the boy on to begin his initiations.  He began teaching him everything, showing him things. It just so happened, this child was his sole initiate at that time.  He gave him knowledge of the natural principles and all kinds of secrets of life. He taught this child moral values and kindness. The young initiate unlike the other youth was expected to grow up to become an important figure for the community due to how disciplined, generous and helpful he showed himself to be during his initiation.  

After his initiation, the boy who, just a few years ago, was seen as a kid was now an adult ready to face his destiny. He received the few last words of blessings from his longtime master before returning to his family leaving the elder to continue doing what he was doing in his simple life.  But, because of the example that the boy provided to the community, most of the people in the community began to bring their children to the elder to be initiated. He received their children and nothing changed in the structure, process and objectives of the initiation camp.  

A few years later, the elder still at work in his routines ruled by the cycles of nature was on his way to the farm to retrieve firewood and food to cook.  To reach his farm by the river, he had to cross through the village where his first initiate was  coming from. He was doing this as his daily routine until one day he saw a big building that he hadn’t seen before.  The building was a modern one against a village backdrop so it led him to believe that it was a product of the Nassara.  Everyday, he would pass by and see the development of the building and his mind would wonder about who is the owner and how it would be used when finished. More importantly why such a huge building in a small village like this one and not in the city?

One day he saw all of the villagers under that building waiting outside at the gate.  He stopped but didn’t get close enough to ask anyone.  He considered it not to be his business and kept walking to his farm.  Every morning he would see people standing there as he walked.  His curiosity was aroused.  One day he saw a man in all white in front of the building who would reach in his pocket or bag  and give the villagers money and food.  The priest realized that people were waking up in the morning, just to leave their lives, activities, temples, business, etc. in order to go to the stranger at the building who would throw money at them and give them food to take home.  The villagers would all come in order to try to get what they could before returning home.

The stranger in white also noticed and recognized the old man who with his walking stick always walked towards the river and returned with a bundle of firewood on his head.  One morning, in the same scene, the wealthy stranger decided he would investigate.  He came downstairs and walked to the elder, greeting him with humility.  He asked, “May I ask you a question elder?”

“Yes”, said the elder.

“Do you recognize me?”


“I used to be your initiate and I used to accompany you on this same exercise everyday.  Go to the river, get the firewood and whatever other crops we needed and go home and eat.  I was your first initiate.”

“No, this is not you.”

“Yes, this is me. But i cannot believe you still kept the same routine after all these years.”

“ Right, maybe that’s my destiny. What about you? Are you happy with yours?”

“I think I am. And I am forever grateful to you. I learnt humility, sharing and life from you. You taught me to help people and take care of the community.  I think I am doing that. Time has changed and I just don’t help people from a small temple, I have half the village coming to me in my place to help them. I think that I help them and I hope the Gods and nature will be happy with me for that.”

“Well, I feel I am  happy with what I am doing in the small hut, remember I took care of you in that small hut. And for your information, understand that time has remained time and you are the only thing that changed.”  

“Yes, exactly, everyone comes to benefit from that change and  I’m just coming to ask you why you never come and stop by to get help and avoid this daily hardship.  Even if you want, you could even come live with me.”

“I hope you can remember that I didn’t teach you that.  I didn’t teach you that being comfortable is the goal of life nor did I teach you to be dependent on another human’s ephemeral life and materials. Did I teach you to depend on me your master? I taught you to depend on your Ancestral values, the Divine World and Nature. I gave you everything so you can stand for your people and not to alienate them.” The elder continued saying he was happy where he is.

“Yes master, I can understand that. But I want to pay you back by assisting you.  You prepared me and this is what I have become.  So, please tell me something I can do that will make you feel happy in order to show gratitude to you.”

“Really? Are you sure?”

“Absolutely sure!”

“Ok, since you are insisting, I’m going to ask you to give me something every morning.  Every morning I will stop by and I want you to get the dirt from under my feet and put it in my hand. That is what I want from you.”

“Master, is that it?” the stranger said surprised.

“Yes That’s it”

“OK, no problem. It sounds ridiculous but I will do that.”

Every morning for the next week the elder will stop at the building at 6am.  Walk through the crowd who is waiting to get their money for the day.  The initiate  will go to his  elder, kneel down, retrieve the dirt and put it in his  hand.

But before even the end of the week the initiate’s anger grew for his new morning ritual.  He started yelling from the top of his house.  He would be going through the crowd expressing his frustration.  

The elder was listening.  One morning, the initiate admitted, I’m tired, I’m frustrated. Why are you making me give you dirt?  I’m trying to understand what this is. He thought his new ritual was a symbol of death and his master was forecasting his death. He then calmed down and from a state of humility and intelligence asked his master if this was a way of telling him that he was going to die soon.  
The elder then after a moment of deep breath said: “Well, maybe this is the last part of the initiation. You have not come back to your temple since the last time you left.  I saw you when your parents brought you to me and I knew that your ambitions would take you to emulating the Nassara.  I watched you growing in my hut and now I see how dependent you have become on what the Nassara has given you instead of what you have learned in the temple. “

“So this dirt ritual is not a message about my future death?” The initiate asked.

“Absolutely not. If you can get tired of giving something that does not finish and that is not your property, why will you get almost half of the village to depend on what is ephemeral? Your life is ephemeral and so is your wealth.”

The initiate in a kind of relief humbly asked, “so this is some kind of initiation?”

“After the life of initiation, starts the initiation into life” the elder replied. “This is the last step of your initiation, I couldn’t teach you this because you were so ambitious and impatient to fight for your people. And you just have to realize that you are fighting the wrong battle. Corruption goes downhill, son!”

In a sign of agreement, the initiate nodded his heads.

“The dirt, do you own the dirt?” Asked the elder.

“Not at all”

“Your wealth?”
“I work for it”.

“The only work you have to do in order to put the dirt in my hand is bend down, retrieve it and put it in my hand.  And you still get frustrated, tired for that.

Even though you think you are doing it for someone who helped you get to where you are.”

This strategy of dependence is what the Nassara is using to expand their agenda to  make other people feel like there is no hope without their yes or no.

<<We know very well that the human can succeed in expressing the genius only if some conditions are established. We also know that the quality of a civilisation cannot depend or be based on isolated acts but must be based on the work of the whole society struggling in its experimentations with the best ways to preserve our species through moral, cultural and spiritual structures that are valued as a springboard towards a perpetual existence...We also know that the initiatic society sees in every birth the spirit that will one day change the image of the society for the best. >>

This is the reason why temples throughout Kemet decided not long ago to send missions like the Earth Center into the Nassara’s land to stimulate that original strategy of our Ancestors. While the Nassara are looting and eradicating the Kemetic temples, the new generations of initiates will be growing big in Nassaraland and establishing those temples and principles in the backyard of the Nassara...  

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