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My Involvement in Rastafari

September 17, 2003
by Ayinde

My involvement in 'Rastafari' was at the request of several persons one of whom was Ras Forever. He sighted I as a Rasta and knew the reason that I refused to grow a dreadlocks. I made it absolutely clear to him many years ago that I do not accept the absolute divinity of Haile Selassie although I sight him as one of our esteemed ancestors.

I always knew I was Rasta and that was also long before I paid any attention to what many claim to be Rastafari (Hailing Selassie I as absolute divinity).

I never accepted his absolute divinity for several reasons.

a) I did not agree with many decisions he made and still feel strongly that he made too many errors in regards to his attempt to unite Eithopia, which disfranchised many Ethiopian groups.

b) In my opinion, if one understands absolute divinity then one imparts a definitive process that allows people to attain that cosmic reunion. Nowhere in his writings have I seen any of the definitive processes that I know (have experienced) and have demonstrated many times even to people I never met physically.

c) I read much of his writings and have gotten nothing that I did not already know. So from my perspective he imparted nothing new to advance me. However, I do agree that many can learn from his writings, especially those who are unfamiliar with many other sources for such information.

On this basis I cannot and do not consider him anything other than one of our ancestors who played his part and is held in high regards similarly to many other esteemed historians and elders.

Rastafari as a movement is about addressing the same issues as most other Black Movements. Rasta by the definition I gave is what I am about. And there would be no Rastafari without the concept of Rasta.

I know many Rastas (including dreadlock Rastas) who do not accept Haile Selassie as anything more than another esteemed leader. The term Rasta was around before the 1930s, long before people started Hailing Selassie as their leader.

My involvement in Rastafari is that of a Rasta, an African, as someone who assists many Black Movements and also having been involved in schools and other grassroots work that also cater to underprivileged youths many of whom are 'Rastafarians'.

It does not matter much to me whom others wish to follow, or claim is their saviour as long as in their doing so they do not infringe on my rights.

Part of my work is to help those who wish to become Rastas, but only if they ask, are able to engage the process and if I feel comfortable working with them. I do know several other people whose personal essence interacts with (some are connected to) the Universal essence and they too are quite in order to claim Rasta. I have been working over the years to get more Rastas on the Internet to assist in sharing from deeper personal experiences with those who are interested.

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