Know Thy Self: Akan Perspective

Fri, May 1, 2009

Elders, Traditional Afrikan

Know Thy Self: Akan Perspective

by Nana Ankobeahene Oparebea Bekoe / Circle of Light Society – Akan Temple

The exterior is the Self we most often show to others. It is through the exterior Self that we form our first opinion of others and that others form their first opinion of us. The exterior Self is trained to act and re-act according to circumstances that are deemed appropriate to the exterior existence. The exterior Self is referred to as the Sum Sum. The Sum Sum absorbs the energy impressions; images, knowledge of the world around us, these images and impressions are filled to the interior Self and imprint themselves on the interior Self creating an energy field that is finder in vibration and an exact duplicate of the physical Self. The exterior Self is also the Self that shields and or protects the interior Self. What is expressed or portrayed by the exterior Self does not always reflect the interior Self; the exterior Self may be protecting some part of the interior.

The interior Self is the Self most people keep to themselves. It is the interior Self that holds the true opinions and feelings and is not subject to open exposure like the exterior Self. Once the images and energy impressions of the exterior Self is absorbed by the interior Self an interaction begins. The interior Self is commonly in conversation with the exterior and holds the strongest opinions. The interior Self is constantly working toward the realization of a purpose. There may be a very harmonious relationship between the interior Self and exterior Self, or the exterior and interior Self may be in great battle with each other. The interior Self is referred to as the Okara or soul.

The origin of our purpose in life  is embedded within the soul (Okra) or the interior Self. The interior Self is driven by a purpose or reason for being or what we call Nkrabea or destiny. The interior Self pushes or emanates this purpose to the exterior Self. The embedded mission (Nkrabea) of the interior Self greatly influences the direction of the exterior Self. The life experiences of the Sum Sum (exterior Self) absorbed by the interior Self contributes to the direction and manifestation of that purpose or Nkrabea.

At times, experiences of the Sum Sum distract or lead the Nkrabea through trials and tribulations that become obstacles for the Okra to overcome and grow toward the realization of the purpose. When the realization of purpose which is bestowed by Nkyankopon Kwame (God) to the interior Self becomes threatened, the Okra becomes embattled with the Sum Sum and the process of Self survival of the Okra, or survival of the original purpose, begins and continues by any means necessary. When the interior Self and the exterior Self are in harmony great bounds and leaps towards the realization of purpose are accomplished and there is great internal and external joy and success with all endeavors.

The core Self is the Self that is the essence of pure energy derived directly from Odumonkuma Oboade. This core energy is referred to as Esu. Esu is a portion of the divine universal energy. It is pure energy waiting for instruction, waiting to be born into purpose and encapsulated into the many forms of creation. Every individual, all things created contains its personal gift of Esu. Esu flows from the universal source of all energy that is Odomonkuma, into the interior of all things. Each of us is born with Esu and Okra. All things created by Odomunkuma contain Esu, but not all things contain Okra. The amount of Esu belonging to something can be seen and or felt with both the physical and spiritual eye.

This core Self (Esu) is what the interior Self needs to activate the Okra or soul and the Nkrabea or purpose. The Esu continuously pushes the Okra toward realization of that purpose. An example of this Esu in the exterior Self is what we often view as “This person is so full of energy” or “so full of life”. The brightness we experience around someone is the ability of the Esu to filter through from the core to the Okra flowing clearly out to the Sum Sum because the three are in some level of balance or agreement.

When the energy field is dull and sickness of body and spirit prevails, there is usually a blockage of the interior Self’s (Okra) ability to receive the divine energy of Esu to activate the Nkrabea given to the soul, or the interior purpose is blocked or clouded by the exterior experiences of the Sum Sum. Esu provides the necessary energy if it be the destiny of the person to Self heal physical, mental or spiritual disorders. Traditional healers tap into the Esu of medicine leaves, stones, bushes and trees, the rivers, the Earth and all things in order to heal the spiritual, mental and physical illness of others.

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4 Comments For This Post

  1. L. Lanier Says:

    Yet another insightful, straightforward and informative article from Roots and Rooted! Thank you for informing a learner about this form of spirituality. Will be back for more articles!

  2. obaa yaa Says:

    Medase Nana for providing this information. I will shre this with tose in my community that are interested in the Akom tradition….

  3. katybee Says:

    I was looking for a translation of the term “esu”, which in another context is also a term for Jesus, and similar to Issa. In a psychological context, the religious terms used here in Akan, seem very similar to “id”, “ego”, and “superego” which indicate various degrees of interpersonal functionality if there is good harmony, or dysfunction if there is lack of integration. Thanks for providing this basic information; it’s a new perspective.

  4. Admin Says:

    Well, Esu isn’t related to interchangeable with Jesus. Nor are they comparable. If you read “Echoes of the Old Darkland” by Dr. Charles Finch, you will find that Jesus is similar to Sango, or what the Kemetic (Egyptian) people called Heru, who is also known by his Greek (European) name, Horus. Sango died and was resurrected. Heru was born of immaculate conception, died and was resurrected. His death was not by crucifixtion, but it was done for religious purposes by Set, who is the closest Afrikan concept to Satan. Although it should be clear – there is no Satan in any traditional Afrikan concept.

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