When the topic of African Spirituality comes up it very often conjures up very specific, yet limited, images in most people’s minds. Those who do not subscribe to this kind of belief system discard it completely or cast a suspicious glance at it. Those who consider themselves as people who practice or would like to practice this belief system that has come to be called African Spirituality generally tend to focus mainly on those aspects that deal with sangomas, callings, dream interpretations or rituals.
I have called this belief system ‘home’ for many years. Not only that but I have been documenting sangoma related ancestral ceremonies for several years and some of the work is on my @ThokozaDlozi Instagram page. I have been afforded many insights into ubungoma over the years but the more I learned the more questions I had.
I question my beliefs a lot. Like a LOT. Not question as in the sense of doubting them but I want to understand. The concept of ‘blind faith’ is something that I refuse to give into because I think it is part of the root cause of why we inflict so much pain onto others. So, every day I have a ton of questions. Why this, why that, why this situation or that, why this process and not that, what’s the point of this or that? My view is that each question is like a key that opens a door to more knowledge.What I am slowly realizing is that questioning alone is not an ‘achievement’. Getting an answer to a question doesn’t necessarily mean that you have learned anything. We spend a lot of time asking Healers questions only to discard the answers if they don’t fit our preconceived notion of what the answer should be.
Questions limit the information you get to the scope of the question. What I mean is that you can’t ask a question about something if you are not aware that that thing exists in the first place. This is not to say we shouldn’t question things. But, I am learning that some things need to be experienced. Some answers need to be experienced. So questions need to be experienced. Sometimes, in fact, most times, you haven’t experienced the question that you want to ask. Once the question is asked, the answer is not a word or an explanation, it is an experience.
The Journey Kwantu is a project that I have embarked on in order to experience the questions that I seek. It is not about who should become a Healer or not but about trying to understand our place and our identity within the belief that we call home. One of the main reasons I decided to actively invest time in finding or experiencing the answers to some of these questions is because I got tired of fear and desperation that comes with the confusion surrounding African Spirituality.
Fear and desperation are aspects of my spiritual journey that I continually fight against within myself. They are the two things that have led me down paths that I had no business being on. They create a sense of panic that totally clouds your judgment of even the most basic issues. One of the most important mechanisms in dismantling this destructive approach that I’ve come across is ‘learning how to learn’. Learning how to learn involves being comfortable with not knowing. Being comfortable with not understanding. Sitting with uncertainty and trusting. To stand firmly on the small grain of truth that you know.
The reason I am sharing this journey with you is not to showcase my ‘vast knowledge’. I ain’t got the answers, Sway! I want you to come on this journey with me so that we can learn from each other. The funny thing is that if you took some of the same questions that I will be asking and searched for the answers in YOUR life, you will probably find answers different to mine. That will be YOUR truth because your spiritual journey is defined by YOUR life.
I do not know where this particular journey is going to lead. I don’t know what I will find. I don’t know if I will like what I find. But I am trusting that the journey itself IS the answer. Maybe the journey IS home.
I wish you courage.
I wish you all the very best on your journey.