Rastafari Philosophy
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Rastafari Philosophy

I ‘n’ I

The term I ‘n’ I refers to the Ivinity/Divinity that dwells in all humanity, the voice of the conscience, the one that is many. The aim for Rastafari is to end separation between man and god, to bring to fruition the god/man that they have seen embodied in H.I.M Haile Selassie I. Rastafari are speaking of a god of immanence and bringing god closer to man. It is the unity of I and I and the manifestation of Christ or God consciousness in man that will bring salvation and usher the kingdom of God often referred to as Zion.


Livity

Livity refers to a lived spirituality rather than a professed one. Livity is a practice, a way of living. Rastafari believe that religion is a set of rules, regulations and rituals that have the specific aim of developing individuals to practice spirituality. Livity is a way of life that puts spirituality into practice.


Babylon

Babylon is the system of global capitalism, nationalism, racism and false religion that runs the world. Babylon is a form of false consciousness that separates man from man and man from God. In order to usher in the kingdom of God that is referred to as Zion one must overcome the false consciousness of Babylon. 


Zion

Zion is the kingdom of God on earth. Zion is where I and I becomes unified, humanity begins to practice Livity and humanity overcomes the false consciousness of Babylon.


Jah Rastafari

Jah Rastafari is the title given to H.I.M Haile Selassie I. The concept of Jah Rastafari draws upon the ancient African concept of God/man. The title is given to H.I.M Haile Selassie I to represent his status as the highest man. The one within whom I and I is unified, the one who embodies livity and has overcome the false consciousness of Babylon.


Selassie ‘I’

Selassie ‘I’ is the concept of embodying the character of H.I.M Haile Selassie within oneself. Hence Rastafari do not search for an external transcendent God but seek to unify I and I, embody Livity and overcome the false consciousness of Babylon in the spirit of H.I.M Haile Selassie.


Judgement

Judgement is the practice of talking truth to power. Judgement is to rebuke the false consciousness of Babylon, to speak out for the poor and dispossessed and chastise the rulers of Babylon. Judgement is seen as here on earth, where Divine Justice and Order must be re-established by Rastafari (God man/woman) and not an entity outside of His/herself.


Groundation

Groundation is the combined practice of chanting and drumming that aims to bring one into higher consciousness and at one with life. The practice keeps disciples grounded and down to earth.


Chant

Chant is to make a joyful noise unto creation. A Chant is use to utter acknowledgement to the aspect of man/woman that functions without him/her doing anything (like absorbing the sun light, food, waking up etc.). The words, thoughts and deeds of a chant cause the empowerment of the chanter.


Natty Dread

Though not a term commonly used anymore, Natty Dread was the title given to those who grow locks and practice the Nazarite and Bahitawi vow.

HAILE SELASSIE I;

“... Sectional, tribal and other divisive factors often pose major obstacles to national development. In their expanded sense, as narrowly national and ideological interests, they threaten unity and progress.

 

No one is today so foolish as to believe that any one nation constitutes a perfect monolith of faith and ideology. Nor could anyone wish that there should be such utter vanity of thought and aspiration.

 

The systems of Government which have sought to impose uniformity of belief have survived briefly and then expired, blinded and weakened by obsessive reliance upon their supposed infallibility. The only system of Government which can survive is one which is prepared to tolerate dissent and criticism and Which accepts these as useful and in any case, inevitable

aspects of all social and political relations.

 

The tolerance of dissent and criticism within a Government proceeds from a single essential premise: that the Government exists to serve the people generally. Government servants, whether designated as representatives or not, have a trust to work for the general welfare.


The same trust exists among the member states of international organizations. The members of such organizations must adhere to some tacit or expressed conception of international welfare.