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The Celts : How Their Ancient Spiritual Origins Support Nature?

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Although the origin of the Picts is uncertain; evidence suggests that they were descendants of pre-Celtic aborigines, who spoke a Celtic language. The Irish & Cymric languages have also been deeply affected by Afro-asiatic languages of Africa. Blood Group DNA Analysis reveals a deep connection between Irish/Cymry and Africa. The analysis of ancient skeletons has also revealed a genetic connection with Africans.

The Scotti were a Celtic Irish people who migrated to Scotland. They gave Scotland its name. They rose in power and influence between 700 BC and 400 AD The Picts who were already there were also Celtic people. Celtic spirituality has a long and distinguished ancestry with its origins in pre-Christian times. Linguists have discovered surprising differences between Celtic languages and related languages such as French, while seeing striking resemblances between Celtic and Afro-Asiatic languages that are spoken in countries including Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria. About 1 per cent of all Scotsmen are direct descendants of the Berber and Tuareg tribesmen of north Africa, a lineage 5,600 years old.

It should not be at all surprising if the comparable figure for Ireland, especially in the west, is many times higher. Geneticists at Trinity have already shown that the Irish hold one of the purest remnants of the pre-Neolithic hunters and gatherers of southern Europe. Men with Gaelic surnames, and almost all the men of Connacht, carry the oldest genes of all. And in the adaptive radiation of human cultures (a term more usually reserved for the rest of nature’s species) the flow of life to Ireland was undoubtedly enriched originally by the tribes from the mountains and sands of Africa’s northern littoral. The culture of the Celts was different from Roman Christianity in distinct ways and from its inception, it has been closely linked to the environment. Many key aspects of Celtic spirituality have been integrated in many religious traditions and shows similarities with African spirituality and can contribute to a new ethical perspective on environmental issues.

Celtic traditions included an overwhelming belief that nature was sacred and saw the divine in all natural phenomena. Using the spirituality of the ancients is important in changing a Eurocentrist culture that is defined by greed avarice and the control of nature even to the detriment of the planet. "There is an enormous amount of corporate selfishness and unmitigated greed in the world, and Africa is so easy to plunder. Global corporations are heavily influencing global bureaucrats into overriding local and regional interests. The World Bank, the IMF and the WTO are being persuaded to allow transnationals greater access to Africa's resource. Global corporations may claim to want to close the gap between rich and poor, but in Africa wealth has an historical tendency to trickle up, not down." (Clarke,2002)

Christians' disregard for the environment is responsible for many of our current problems due to its thoroughly anthropocentric identity. The idea of a radical separation between human beings and the world of nature was totally foreign to Hebrew thought, but it is deeply embedded in ancient African philosophy. After it was given to the Greeks a distortion occurred of the main message eventually removing the nurturing maternal energy and focusing primarily on a paternal conquest driven version of the Christian faith this has led to the idea that nature exists only to meet human needs and desires, leading to human exploitation and domination, rather than cooperation.

Secondly, the concept of the image of God was developed in such a way as to distance God from his creation and emphasize the Deity's transcendence. Thirdly, dualistic notions of nature led to a denial of the physicality of creation (e.g. as in the incarnation): African spirituality similarly to Celtic beliefs hold that the earth conceals life, protecting it from drought and reviving it when the rains come. All creatures are from earth, will become earth and none can live without the earth. Kemet called Egypt by the Greeks was the birthplace of Monasticism which was a way of life where one lived to a high moral code and pledged to do no harm in order to support ALL life.

The Coptic Church and Egyptian Monasticism by De Lacy O’Leary explores the African links to Monasticism: “The formation and development of monasticism did not take place in Alexandria which was Greek-speaking and participated in Greek culture, but amongst the NATIVE (indigenous) Coptic-speaking Christians of Egypt, which strictly denotes the Delta, and Thebais (Thebes) or Upper Egypt (Lower Nile Valley Black Kemet), the whole area watered by the Nile between Aswân a city in Southern Egypt (the temple of Isis is there),and the Mediterranean coast. Thebes was the main city of the fourth Upper Egyptian nome (Sceptre nome) and was the capital of Egypt for long periods during the Middle Kingdom. Downriver, Elephantine Island holds the Temple of Khnum, ancient Egyptian god of fertility, associated with water and with procreation from the Third Dynasty.

The formation of monasticism took place in two stages: first came the solitaries, some, but by no means all, of whom were hermits or ‘desert men’; then came the formation of coenobia or monastic communities, at first simply groups of disciples gathered round some well-known and revered teacher.

The monastic life of Kemet became famous throughout the whole Christian Church, and for a long time Kemet was regarded as the ‘Holy Land’ in preference to Palestine, because there could be seen the multitudes of saintly ascetes who lived a lifestyle characterized by abstinence from sensual pleasures, often for the purpose of pursuing spiritual goals. , and Christians came as pilgrims from all parts to see and hear them. Amongst these were St. Basil the Great, the founder of Greek monasticism, Hilarion, who introduced monasticism into Palestine, Rufinus and a Roman lady named Melania who spent six months in Kemet in 373. Then in 386 St. Jerome and a wealthy widow named Paula visited the monasteries of Egypt, and of this visit St. Jerome has left us an account (Epistle 108). Palladius, Bishop of Helenopolis, spent the years 388-99 and 406-12 amongst the African monks of Kemet, the former period in Thebes, the latter in Nitria.”

"Ecologically speaking, the infrastructure of life on earth is in danger of collapsing under the weight of human extraction, production, consumption and waste. Climate change, depletion of scarce resources, destruction of plant and animal life, pollution of water and air, soil erosion, declining food security in many parts of the world - these are symptoms of a deadly trend that must be reversed if humanity (and much of life in general) is to have a future. Economically speaking, the current system is leading to widening gaps in productive capacity and life chances between economic centers and peripheries.

Growing sections of the world population are marginalized or pushed out of the formal economy altogether. Productive capacity and scarce resources are invested in the luxury consumption of elites rather than the needs of the majority. Rising debt levels haunt individuals and states. Spiritually speaking, these developments have led to a concentration of human goals on material wants; the artificial creation of a culture of discontent; a narcissistic mindset of wider horizons and long-term visions; the dismantling of traditional systems of meaning, cultural values and social norms without providing valid alternatives and the concomitant dissolution of extended families and communities." (Nurnberger 2011)

"In urban centers economically better-off people can live in green neighborhoods while poor people are housed near factories, refineries or waste-processing plants [which depend on their labor] which heavily pollute the environment. The bitterness of this situation is exacerbated by racial prejudice as environmental racism pressures people of color to dwell in these areas. Feminist analysis clarifies further how the plight of the poor becomes exemplified in poor women whose own biological abilities to give birth are compromised by toxic environments, and whose nurturing of children is hampered at every turn by lack of clean water, food and fuel. The ruination of habitat and the wide-scale perishing of species, with concomitant devastating effects on human beings living in poverty, intertwine in a vicious circle in rural areas alike." (Johnson 2014:6; cf. Johnson 2000:16)


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