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AvatarEdwardStephenson
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In reflecting on African Religion Vol. 4, Shems Heryt Merri Net Comments: “T put it simply Neterianism is a study of the secret Divine which leads to transcending ordinary consciousness. Therein lies the fundamental difference between Neterianism and faith based Orthodox Judeo-Christian religions, devoid of the initiation process that leads to transcending ordinary consciousness. This transcendence is essential to experiencing the divine self-Enlightenment”.

What I find interesting about this comment is that it reminds that the essential goal of all religions is that of spiritual transcendence. As was pointed out by Seba Maa, the purity of most African religions have been compromised due to the process of colonization the major consequence being the loss of their most essential component, mysticism. Because the Neterian tradition was able to preserve the purity of its form through iconographical and architectural records, the mystical component remains intact. What is interesting is that the mysticism that attracts some to this tradition is also responsible for others being repulsed by it. For such individuals the thought of us experiencing and realizing the divine within oneself is thought of as being sacrilegious and constituting a form of Black magic. This is perhaps the most tragic consequence that has resulted from our colonization—rejecting the magical nature of our Blackness (in the metaphysical nor racial sense).

Neterianism is not only a religious tradition but is also a psychological science and philosophical inquiry. It informs us of who we are, why we are here and our essential purpose in life. It is a science of realizing the fullness of what it means to be both human and divine. Unlike Western religions that objectifies the divine and places it outside of the self-accessible only through faith, Neterianism conceives of the divine as existing inside of ourselves and being an essential part of our nature. Realizing the divine within ourselves is therefore a psychological process being grounded on proven methods and practices. Western psychology like western religions have lost their mystical component resulting in them becoming materially grounded, empirically based practices that further alienates us from the divine both within ourselves and in others.