The Meaning of Ma’at

To clearly understand this genius Afrikan principle of Ma’at and its relevance from the inception of our world, we need to first understand the concept of Chaos from the perspective of ancient Afrikans. There are lots of creation stories one could choose to use for this article, but I chose to use the Biblical creation story. No biases intended whatsoever, just a personal preference. According to the Biblical story of creation, the heavens and the earth were created by God, by His Spirit of wisdom which put all things together in accurate harmony. We read in Genesis 1 and 2 about what the space we now call earth looked like before anything was created that was created. There was darkness, emptiness (void), depths of incomprehensible realities hidden, formlessness and practical chaos upon the face of the deep. The Spirit of God which is the Life Force of God moved upon all of the chaos and formlessness and like a Divine creative Architect, plotted the entire edifice called earth. The Hidden Voice of God (The Amen) then released His Word which instantly brought forth light and the next lines of words and utterances created the other things that were created. An interplay of sound (music), light (knowledge) and movement (dance) was heard and beauty emerged out of chaos.  Chaos was instantly suspended, creating balance, harmony and a beautiful music called life on earth. Ancient Afrikans in Egypt called this music and balance Ma’at. Everything God created on earth in their uncountable numbers didn’t create any form of chaos but rather it all brought together the meaning of Ma’at which is life in its stable form. Meaning that everything God made whether seen or unseen by man was created to give substance and balance to life. The earth (soil) was commanded to give life when God said “let the earth bring forth grass”. The waters were commanded to bring forth life when God said “let the waters abound with abundance of living creatures”. The sky was commanded to bring forth life energy when He said “let there be light in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”. Thus by these creative utterances, our world was populated with life and all was in perfect harmony and balance. For all was pronounced good. Ma’at therefore means the balance and harmony of life.

As above so below

As above so below is one of the Seven Hermetic principles of ancient Egypt called the Principle of Correspondence. Ancient Afrikans both those who lived in black Egypt and the rest of Afrika, did nothing randomly. They did all things with clear understanding of nature and its connectivity with spirit. To them, life on earth must not be lived outside of the life in the Spirit. In fact, the reality of Ma’at is only valid if seen from the dual sides of a weighing scale. The side which represents heaven or spirit and the side which represents earth or the physical must be in constant balance or the scale will be tilted and disharmony and chaos will set in. As it is right now in our modern world, the imbalanced downward tilt of the scale to the side of earth or physicality has created and it’s still creating the fears, insecurity, discord, disharmony and chaos we have with us. For even Jesus, when He mentioned and said “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”, He was speaking of the principle of as above so below. He knew that without this balance, the entire world would never be at peace. His words gave credibility to Ma’at as the balance of life on earth.

The Afrikan way of Justice

The ancient Afrikan justice system was not just about punishing evil or wrong-doing. Not at all. It was about the restoration of Ma’at in a society or community. Crime was not met with another crime in the name of justice. For to just punish crime without consideration for the restoration of harmony and balance is to kill the very heart of Ma’at. Unlike many modern day Afrikans who now only think in terms of science, which obviously sees spiritual things as superstition, the ancient Afrikans were deep spiritual thinkers. The modern day Afrikan has become so shallow in his thinking that he can’t seem to connect back to spiritual things even in their simplest forms. Talk about the poisonous effect of westernization. Ancient Afrikans knew the beauty and the gift of God in life. To them, life was more precious and important that anything. To them justice was for correction, restoration in order to preserve life and Ma’at in the community and not about taking life. They believed that as long as humans practice good, there will be life. As long as humans practice harmony, there will be life. As long as they practice true justice, equity, love, brotherhood etc, there will be life. Life to an Afrikan is sacred and must not be undermined for anything. The modern day man with his so called civilization and technology kills babies through abortions, poisonous vaccines, weapons of mass destruction. He has no value for justice, he dishonors God and by all these evils, chaos and disharmony dwell in our lands. A pastor in the US said that prisons in the US were started by the pioneers, who would keep the errant ones away from society and actively engage in rehabilitating them using the word of God and teachings about how to interact with other members of the society. And it worked. These people would be released back into their communities successfully. But when the government saw how well it worked, they took over the system and the result is what you see today.

Restore the Afrikan Harmony

In this particular issue of the magazine, the theme of responsibility and brotherhood stand out on almost every side. This is quite deliberate, even though how it all came together into one stream of thoughts must be a miracle. We strongly believe that Afrikans have come of age to know what is good for them and to deliberately go for it. The colonialists left us with a broken Afrikan system that was lopsided in all its parts towards the continuation of the enslavement of the Afrikan people. The supposed independence obviously has not done much to set Afrikans free from their new colonial masters who now work hand in hand with their Afrikan leaders to keep the narrative of Afrikan backwardness going. But for how long should Afrikans be subjected to slavery? How long till Afrikans themselves know that the leadership of Afrikan countries have failed in their duties to the Afrikan people and thus the way forward may just be without them?

I read an article a while ago about some white tourists who were doing a road trip across west Afrika. Crossing through the Nigerian border into Cameroon, they were surprised to learn that the Cameroonians in the villages around the borders actually used the Nigerian currency for trading instead of the Cameroonian currency. They also noticed that these villagers didn’t even realize that there was any difference between the government of Nigeria and that of Cameroon. That got me thinking. For it means that, if the people that live around the Afrikan borders do not even recognize a difference between countries on both sides of the border then the issue of Afrikan borders is not real. It’s just some signatures on some colonial papers only recognized by the governments involved. But how can a people live their lives based on the rules of the very people that enslaved them and then claim they are independent? We must restore the Afrikan harmony and brotherhood by removing borders both on the “sand” and in the minds.


The way forward for Afrika

We live at a time when Afrika has completely lost her bearings both locally and internationally. It is sad that Afrika is still suffering under the weight of neo-colonialism and the bullies of her failing heads of state and AU; there has to be a way to move forward. The solution for Afrika lies here in Afrika and must be as seen from our own eyes and not for what we are shown it is. For where poverty still prevails over many, where a few live in luxury and plenty leaving the majority under the weight of poverty and diseases, where conflict, drug abuse happens, Ma’at offers a solution.

Afrikans must understand that 1.2 billion Afrikans must no longer live under the failed minds of a few who call themselves Afrikan governments. Afrikans must rise up to the challenge to work with one another to create an Afrika that is safe, whole, prosperous, innovative and real. Certainly, this article is not a call for anyone to rise up against their governments, but for all Afrikans home and abroad to truly now rise and come together in harmony to help each other rise. It is not difficult, I believe, it just needs one Afrikan to raise another Afrikan up and by the law of multiplication, all will be raised in no time.

Give your Afrikan brother and sister a helping hand. Let each person see the good in other Afrikans and together we will rise. Together.

About the author

Samuel Phillips

Samuel Phillips

A gospel music minister, song writer and singer, passionate photographer and a lover of God and the nature that He created. A free-lancer who writes from wherever his trips take him in Africa.

I simply love photography and anything arts. Music, poetry, singing, graphics, all come to me as spiritual bridges to deeper realities of God. I am passionate about the art.

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