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Dominica weekly is a personal weblog about the nature island of Dominica.

Archive for July, 2008


jesus obama photo

Today I had this strange déjà vu –you know the kind where you tell yourself “I’ve heard or seen this before.” While riding the bus, and I overheard this conversion between a group of people seating at the back of the bus. They were talking about Barack Obama, and how he came from nothing to being one of the most highly respected men in the world.

Traits they believe are already prophesied in the bible – where a Child will venture forth – for the first time – to bring the light unto the entire world.

Not taking any heed to the conversion which I just overheard, a few hours later I came across this article on the internet entitled: Barack Obama, the second coming of Christ.

Below is an excerpt from the article:

And it came to pass, in the eighth year of the reign of the evil Bush the Younger (The Ignorant), when the whole land from the Arabian Desert to the shores of the Great Lakes had been laid barren, that a Child appeared in the wilderness.

The Child was blessed in looks and intellect. Scion of a simple family, offspring of a miraculous union, grandson of a typical white person and an African peasant. And yea, as he grew, the Child walked in the path of righteousness, with only the occasional detour into the odd weed and a little blow.

When he was twelve years old, they found him in the temple in the City of Chicago, arguing the finer points of community organisation with the Prophet Jeremiah and the Elders. And the Elders were astonished at what they heard and said among themselves: “Verily, who is this Child that he opens our hearts and minds to the audacity of hope?”

In the great Battles of Caucus and Primary he smote the conniving Hillary, wife of the deposed King Bill the Priapic and their barbarian hordes of Working Class Whites.

And so it was, in the fullness of time, before the harvest month of the appointed year, the Child ventured forth – for the first time – to bring the light unto the entire world.

—–Personal Note——

For some strange reason I feel like the universe is trying to tell me something. 🙂 How ironic is that ah? In one day I was lucky enough to accidentally come across this same topic – or maybe it wasn’t an accident. You can call me crazy if you want – but I do believe that Obama was sent by god to save mankind from himself. “Yes We Can.”

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Editor’s note:This is a guest post from Danielle Edwards – a Literature and History student and an aspiring Journalist.

Evil exists, no doubt. But do we sometimes feel so haunted by the threat of evil that we allow our minds and bodies to be controlled by unsubstantiated beliefs…?

It is rumoured that some Haitians claim the practice of Obeah is more prevalent in Dominica than Haiti! – I must say I would be very surprised if this were to be proven. In a nation of so many Christians, it is necessary to wonder why superstitious beliefs are so rampant, and why they exert such a powerful force on our lives. There must be a reason why people hold on to such beliefs, even when they profess that Christ is in control- or do these beliefs hold on to the people?

Do Superstitious beliefs in the Caribbean exert a sort of mental slavery on our people, the way our colonizers once did, particularly in rural communities- or have WE allowed ourselves to be enslaved by unquestioning belief in irrational myths?

Think of the number of Dominicans who have testified to seeing a ‘soucouyant’ or ‘la diablesse’ in the forest, or a ‘jumby’ dancing late at night in Roseau. They are not alone- many Jamaicans believe in the ‘Ol’ Higue’ who is fabled ‘to be a witch or sorceress, who enjoys humans and preys especially on infants.’ She bears an uncanny similarity to out local soucouyant. Some Jamaicans also believe that when a person dies, his ‘earthly spirit remains for three days in the coffin with the body, where it may escape if proper precautions are not taken, and appear as a duppy’, or ghost.

I’ve heard so many soucouyant stories from persons of all walks of life- from varying backgrounds, degrees of education, communities and ages- that I’ve come to the conclusion that some of these things really do exist- and I’m not being sarcastic. How could so many people be wrong? Our grandparents and great aunts and uncles are such keen-sighted people, I would hate to think that NONE of them know what they’re talking about.

But perhaps this is the root of the problem- that superstitious beliefs have been allowed to seep into all generations- and classes- so they will never die.

Many West Indians, educated and uneducated, acknowledge that legendary folkloric characters, many of whom originated from West Africa, really do exist. Even Bob Marley expressed his belief, in ‘Duppy Conqueror’. A thrill comes from knowing supernatural creatures exist, and the exciting stories of the deeds of the Obeahmen in numerous rural communities can certainly be magnetic. In fact, any student of the arts ideally should have some level of appreciation for superstition- it makes a fine subject of fantasy for painters and poets, and a great subject for theatre, dance and music.

Superstition has given such vibrancy and colour to our culture: We have been warned to beware of who gets a slice of our wedding cake- because some people allegedly have the power to destroy a marriage before it starts. And to be wary also of the people who hide consecrated bread under their tongues during the Sacrament of the Eucharist. I once heard a tale of a person who placed the names of his enemies in a paper bag with rotten eggs in a coffin at a funeral ceremony. I was even told a story, 9 years ago, of a polling station that mysteriously became filled with candles, all ablaze on the eve of an election- soon after it was dead-bolted. More recently, I have heard stories of people who eat garlic and bathe in jays to keep ‘soucouyants’ away. And when you’re about to construct your next house, do not be surprised at the number or Dominicans who may be willing and ready to sprinkle the blood of a dead chicken on your foundation.

I must say these stories and superstitions are all quite interesting, even if some of them are unbelievable. I certainly don’t find them all ridiculous. Like I said, our older and wiser citizens can’t all be at fault. And when it comes to dreams, I’ve personally found many of them reliable and meaningful.

While superstition is one of the few aspects of our life which is dominated by African heritage, it has made too many of our people vulnerable to mind-control –not least by Obeahmen. I don’t think there is a logical explanation for everything in this world, so it’s sometimes necessary to give people the benefit of the doubt. But I think if some of us took the time out to recognize that many of these beliefs are really shackles on our minds, we would be able to learn from our mistakes instead of blaming them on ‘bad mind people’.

And we would realize, ironically, that we have more power over our lives without adhering to superstitious beliefs than when we submit to the Obeahmen who propose they have a remedy for everything.

Sources:
http://www.nlj.org.jm/
http://en.wikipedia.org/

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One of the traps that’s easy to fall into is filling your life with too many incompatibilities – places, objects, activities, people, and circumstances that we just don’t mesh with the person you’re on the inside. Not too long ago a good friend of mine realized that he had surrounded himself with so many incompatibilities – in his relationships, job and activities. Shame to say, but a lot of us are just tolerating certain aspects in our daily life – even if we know that it’s not who we’re inside.

When your external reality is out of sync with your inner self, your inner self will refuse to give in to it. This creates the feeling of wanting to escape your circumstances. You’ll fantasize about quitting you job, moving out, ending a relationship(s). You may feel powerless to make big changes, but deep down you’ll still sense a strong desire to “get out” and leave parts of your reality behind.

Like my friend, it’s easy to lose years of your life while surrounded by incompatible energies. In fact this problem is so common that some people just consider it normal. They figure it’s normal to dread going to work or to feel disconnected from the people around them. This may be common, but it certainly isn’t a healthy situation.

Look at the different parts of your life — your career, health, relationships, spiritual practice, daily habits, and finances — and ask yourself these questions, “Is this really me?” do you hear some no’s? How long have you been tolerating these incompatibilities?

Some people think it’s a good thing to tolerate the parts of life they don’t like. I think personally that’s stupid. Tolerance isn’t acceptance. Tolerance is resistance.

When you fill your life with energies you must tolerate, you prevent yourself from attracting what you really want. The more incompatibilities you tolerate in your life, the fewer compatibilities you’ll be able to attract and enjoy. Keep this up for a few years, and you’ll be drowning in a life that feels totally wrong for you.

What bothers you about your life? What are you tolerating right now? I’m challenging you to stop tolerating your life. Kick out the incompatible parts to create the space for a life you’re able to love and accept completely.

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