In Pursuit of George G. M. James'
Study of African Origins in "Western Civilization"
By Yosef A. A. ben-Jochannan
Count C.F. Volney, an eighteenth century C.E. French academician of the highest esteem in European academic circles, wrote the following in his major work—Ruins of Empire, page xvii, for all the racists who denied the indigenous African origin of the ancient Egyptians to read:
THERE A PEOPLE NOW FORGOTTEN DISCOVERED WHILE OTHER WERE YET BARBARIANS, THE ELEMENTS OF THE ARTS AND SCIENCES. A RACE OF MEN NOW REJECTED FOR THEIR BLACK SKIN and WOOLY HAIR FOUNDED ON THE STUDY OF THE LAWS OF NATURE THOSE CIVIL AND RELIGIOUS SYSTEMS WHICH STILL GOVERN THE UNIVERSE.
Isn't it rather interesting that today BLACK has become "SABLE," and WOOLLY turned "FRIZZLED" in the quotation! BLACK and WOOLLY are stated in the original edition; whereas Volney's successors found it necessary to change them in a later edition to "SABLE" and "FRIZZLED," etc. This, unfortunately, has been too long typical of "Western Scholarship."
Previous to the publication of Volney's Ruins of Empire the following appeared in the Sixth Century C.E. Balylonian Talmud through the effort of disorters of the original who called themselves "JEWISH TALMUDIST SCHOLARS," etc.; thus:
Now I cannot beget the fourth son whose children I would have ordered to serve you and your brothers! Therefore it must be Canaan, your first born, whom they enslave. And since you have disabled me…doing ugly things in blackness of night, Canaan's children shall be born ugly and black! Moreover, because you twisted your head around to see my nakedness, your grandchildren's hair shall be twisted into kinks, and their eyes red; again because your lips jested at my misfortune, theirs shall swell; and because you neglected my nakedness, they shall go naked, and their male members shall be shamefully elongated! Men of this race are called Negroes, their forefather Canaan commanded them to love theft and fornication, to be banded together in hatred of their master and never to tell the truth.
I know you cannot believe this was in you own HOLY BIBLE [Jewish and Christian]; but it still appears in the Mormon and Calvinist VERSIONS today. This is best analyzed on pages 121–122 of Raphael Patai's Hebrew Myths: The Story of Genesis, and in my own Black Man of the Nile and His Family, pages 13–14.
Which of these two questions shall we, as AFRICAN PEOPLE, and especially "SCHOLARS" and "STUDENTS," pursue in terms of our HISTORY and/or HERITAGE? I say the former, particularly in view of the teachings left us by Professor George G.M. James. In this context he reminded us in the "Introduction" of Stolen Legacy, page 1, of the following fact:
CHARACTERISTICS OF GREEK PHILOSOPHY
The term Greek philosophy, to begin with is a misnomer, for there is no such philosophy in existence. The ancient Egyptians had developed a very complex religious system, called the Mysteries, which was also the first system of salvation.
As such it regarded the human body as a prison house of the soul. Which could be liberated from its bodily impediments, through the disciplines of the Arts and Sciences, and advanced from the level of a mortal to that of a God. This was the notion of the summum bonum or greatest good, to which all men must aspire, and it also became the basis if all ethical concepts. The Egyptian Mystery System was also a Secret Order, and membership was gained by initiation and a pledge to secrecy. The teaching was graded and delivered orally to the Neophyte; and under these circumstances of secrecy, the Egyptians developed secret systems of writing and teaching, and forbade their Initiates from writing what they had learnt.
After nearly five thousand years of prohibition against the Greeks, they were permitted to enter Egypt for the purpose of their education. First through the Persian invasion and secondly through the invasion of Alexander the Great. From the sixth century B.C. therefore to the death of Aristotle (322 B.C.) the Greeks made the best of their chance to learn all they could about Egyptian culture; most students received instructions directly from the Egyptian Priests, but after the invasion by Alexander the Great, the Royal temples and libraries were plundered and pillage, and Aristotle's school converted the library at Alexandria into a research centre. There is no wonder then, that the production of the unusually large number of books ascribed to Aristotle has proved a physical impossibility, for any single man within a life time.
James has arisen once more; not to save or heal in the same sense as this term is used by so-called "Born Again Christians" like President Jimmy Carter of the United States of America, Eldridge Cleaver, et al, but in light of the FREEDOM OF THE MINDS of the African, African American and African Caribbean communities where they are. James' "rebirth," through his works, is for purpose of debunking the myth of a JUDAISM, JUDAEO-CHRISTIANITY and/or GREEK PHILOSOPHY that originated and developed free of their AFRICAN ORIGINS.
There are quite a number of perplexing books, papers, dictionaries, etc. by "Western Scholars" whose works have alleged some form of commonality in origin between "Western Civilization" and both "Judaism" and "Judaeo-Christianity." Some have even attempted to make all three—"Judaism, Judaeo-Christianity" and "Western Civilization"—EUROPEAN in every sense of this word. Thus my reason for bringing before you highlights "In The Pursuit of George G.M. James' Study of the African Origins in Western Civilization."
I will begin with the introduction of certain poignant points on so-called "Greek Philosophy" not cited by Professor James in any of his works, but in context with the following he wrote on page 31 of Stolen Legacy about what…
We are told in the Timaeus of Plato, that aspirants for mystical wisdom visited Egypt for initiation and were told by the priests of Sais, "that you Greeks are but children" in the Secret Doctrine, but were admitted to information enabling them to promote their spiritual advancement. …
Of course, this is in direct contrast to the following by a fairly contemporary "Western Scholar," Dr. Edward Zeller, who wrote in Volume I, pages 49–50 of A History of Greek Philosophy, that:
We have no need, however, to seek for foreign antecedents: the philosophic science of the Greeks is fully explained by the genius, resources, and state of civilization of the Hellenic tribes. If ever there was a people capable of creating its own science, the Greeks were the people. In most ancient records of their culture, the Homeric Poems, we already meet with that freedom and clearness of spirit, that sobriety and moderation, that feeling for the beautiful and harmonious, which place these poems so distinctly above the heroic legends of all other nations without exception.
To this we need add Dr. Heinrich Ritter's comment on page 145, Volume I, of The History of Ancient Philosophy:
Upon reviewing these elements of Greek intellectual culture, which were favourable to the development of philosophy, no doubt can be entertained that they were sufficient to impart and to sustain a philosophical impulse. When a people has arrived at the degree of civilisation at which the Greek people stood in the time of Thales, an expectation naturally arises that it will soon form for itself a philosophy, unless other unfavorable circumstances should occur to impede its opening career. We might, without hesitation, assert that the Greeks took in no need of instruction in this department of mind, and without any foreign teachers they were able to advance to philosophical thought.
The GREEKS WERE NOT THE AUTHORS OF GREEK PHILOSOPHY, BUT THE PEOPLE OF NORTH AFRICA COMMONLY CALLED EGYPTIANS.
This is the profound manner in which the late professor George G. M. James began his major thesis—Stolen Legacy. Professor James, by so saying, challenged the entire foundation of so-called "Western Civilization"—from the ancient European of pre-Christian Greece and Rome to the contemporary European Americans of North, Central, and South America. But moreso, Professor James equally challenged within this context the foundations of both "Judaism" and "Judaeo-Christianity" as he stated the following on pages 177–178 of Stolen Legacy:
(5) The statue of the Egyptian Goddess Isis with Her Child Horus in Her Arms
This was the first Madonna and Child of human history. It was a Black Madonna and Child. Read Max Muller's Mythology of Egypt, c. 13, p. 241–245; also Sandford's Mediterranean World, p. 551–568. Remember that the name Egyptian is a Greek word Aiguptos which means Black, and that primitive man visualized God in terms of his own attributes and this included colour.
(6) All the great religious leaders from Moses to Christ were Initiates of the Egyptians Mysteries
This is an inference from the nature of the Egyptian Mysteries and prevailing custom.
There should be no misunderstanding amongst you relative to "Judaism" and/or "Judaeo-Christianity" being integral parts of "Western Civilization." This is true, even though neither of the latter two had anything to do with "Europe" in terms of their origin. The first, "Judaism," predated the original European High-Culture/Civilization called "Pyrrus" or "Helladas" in ca. 1000 B.C.; it being related to the transformation of the first Hebrew of Jewish Prophet named Abraham or Avrm. A man said to have been born in ca. 1775 B.C.; his transformation, or new birth to "Judaism," having taken place in ca. 1675 B.C. in the City of Ur, Chaldea, the same place in which he was born while a colony of Africans called "Elamites" from the Nile Valley. These dates and events equally deny any validity to the claim by Dr. Ritter mentioned above.
At this juncture it would appear that Professor James should have remained mute, and equally myself as his student and protégé of very long standing. This is providing there was no evidence to the contrary of what we have been conditioned to believe about "Western Civilization."
For example, PLATO'S Timaeus is fraught with inconsistencies and outright dishonesty, particularly the extent of his comment on Egypt and other Nile Valley high-culture from which Greece drew its fundamentals in philosophic ideology. Thus it is that Professor Kathleen Freeman felt obliged to write the following on pages 73–74 of her work—Pre-Socratic Philosophers.
That Pythagoras himself left no writings was widely believed in antiquity. Further, it was believed that one of the rules imposed on his disciples was that of secrecy, the betrayal of any of his doctrines being punished by excommunication. According to some, this secrecy was observed with marvelous strictness, and no account of Pythagorean doctrine was available till the time of Plato, when Philolaus the Pythagorean, owing to pressure of poverty, wrote an account of three books, which were bought from him at Plato's instigation by Dion of Syracuse…
Was this disciplinary conduct executed by Pythagoras not part of his African schooling in Egypt and Nubia! And, did Plato not plagiarized much of it under his own name!
We need not become perplexed by Ritter, Zeller, and all of the other early and contemporary European distorters of the teachings from the African MYSTERIES SYSTEM of the Grand Lodge of Luxor. For the evidence in the DIAGRAM OF THE LAW OF OPPOSITES before you (see the discussion of this in the next section) further personifies what Gerald Massey, on pages 13–14 of The Natural Genesis, had to say about the Greeks and their "MYSTERIES SYSTEM" they developed from their African teachers' creation. The Greeks, who even sacked the Great Library of the Grand Lodge of Luxor!
Outside of their own mysteries the Greeks stood altogether outside of the subject. They, as their writer's alleged, had inherited their mythology, and the names of their divinities, without knowing their origins or meaning. They supplied their own free versions to stories of which they never possessed the key. Whenever they met with anything they did not understand, they turned the more effectively to their own account. All that came to hand was matter for metaphysics, poetry, statue and picture. They sought to delight and charm the word with these old elements of instruction, and with happy audacity supplied the place of the lost nature of mystic meaning with the abounding grace and beauty of their art. Nothing, however, could be more fatal than to try to read the thoughts of the remoter past through their eyes, or to accept the embellishments of these beautifiers for interpretations of the ancient topology.
The human mind has long suffered an eclipse and been darkened and dwarfed in the shadow of ideas, the real meaning of which has been lost to the modern. Myths and allegories whose significance was once unfolded to initiates in the mysteries have been adopted in ignorance and reissued as real truths directly and divinely vouchsafed to mankind for the first and only time. The earlier religions had their myths interpreted. We have ours misinterpreted. …
The Greek and still more modern misinterpretations of ancient topology have made it the most terrible tyranny in the mental domain.
Homer's Iliad and Odessy are Prima facie evidence of Massey's observation, and that of many other scholars; also that "…the gods Zeus and Apollo are from Ethiopia [Afric]. …
What I have just quoted for you has an anti-climax, the writing of Zeller on page 27n of A History of Greek Philosophy; thus:
We find nothing in Herodotus as to any Egyptian origin of Greek philosophy. In regard to religion, on the other hand, he not only maintains that certain Greek cults and doctrines [especially the worship of Dionysus and the doctrine of Transmigration ii. 49, 123] were imported from Egypt to Greece, … and Diodorus asserts, the Egyptian priests related that Orpheus, Masaeus, Lycurgus, Solon had come to them; and moreover, Plato, Pythagoras and Eudoxus, Democritus and Oenopides from Chios, and that relics of these men were still in Egypt. These philosophers had borrowed from the Egyptians the doctrines, arts and institution which they transmitted to the Helenes; Pythagotas, for example, his geometry, his theory of numbers, and transmigration; Democritus, his astronomical knowledge; Lycurgus, Plato and Solon, their laws.
Zeller, like many other 'Western Scholars," cannot accept Herodotus' personal primary evidence. Why! Because it would mean that the entire basis of their claim of a "GREEK PHILOSOPHY" is baseless. Carried to its ultimate conclusion, this is also true for "JUDAISM" and "CHRISTIANITY."
We have plainly seen that "Western Scholars" have failed to understand that departmentalization, or in fact fragmentation, of educational discipline is "European"; not "African." For this reason, and many others of course, they cannot see or admit PHILOSOPHY in the religion, mathematics, science, law, engineering, etc. of Africa that produced the DIAGRAM OF THE LAW OF OPPOSITES I now place before you for you own examination of the philosophy complexities it contains. Yet in the case of Aristotle's attempt at being sarcastic about the philosophical foundation of the SCIENTIFIC EVALUATION therein, he knew from first-hand knowledge he had plagiarized the original; thus: (See the next section—PHILOSOPHIC THOUGHT PROCESS.)