As a fellow "leftist militant", let me attempt to answer your question.
Each man and woman must have their individual relationship with the Most High, if they need to see the Most High represented in some physical form, they will see that form "through their own spectacles", as Marcus Mosiah Garvey tell we long ago.
I personally do not see H.I.M. Haile Selassie I as LITERALLY God in Flesh. I see H.I.M. as REPRESENTING God, clothed in African flesh so that the Africans that was ripped from InI homeland and scattered across the four corners of the earth, can overcome our brainwashing and inferiority complex and recognize the divine within ourselves, as within all living things.
JAH is LIFE, the binding force of LIFE is LOVE.
It could be, though, that Selassie I is indeed God in flesh and that he denied this for a specific purpose: so that we would HELP OURSELVES and not wait on God to deliver us.
I see it more that he come to represent God and open up the seven seals (eyes, ears, nostrils, mouth)so InI could have the power to free ourselves and all oppressed people (and even animals and plants, we are all ONE). HIM might not even have known this but I see HIM as fulfilling prophecy and I see the words emanating from his mouth as prophecy and scripture to be studied, i-terpreted and overstood. I see nuff of it as parables like how Christ used to speak. For example, when HIM in an interview say there must be a death penalty for disobedience, I don't see any contradiction between that and my own opposition to the death penalty, I see it as HIM explaining why humans are mortal.
Is a mystical thing, I don't know if you ever read Jung and know about "archetypes", well Selassie I represent the archetype of the Divine King, the Powerful Protector, humble as a lamb in peace but mighty thunderable and dreadful in war to defend his people.
I am aware that there are contradictions between InI conception of Selassie and that of some Ethiopians who view him as just another dictator. (As I used to before the natural mystic tell I otherwise). Certainly he was part of a corrupt system, I don't romanticise the feudal society of imperial Ethiopia (though it was never as bad as the europeans' feudalism and slavery). But ask yourself this: if it was necessary to spread your message over the four corners of the earth in a short span of time, how would you have to come? I talkin before we had records and concert tours like how Bob and dem spread the message. You woulda have to come as a head of state. So you couldn't be ignored. And since Selassie either did not realize or chose not to reveal his connection with God and prophecy (Bible tell ya to look out for anyone CLAIMING to be Christ, they a false prophet) he had to act as a mortal man, and accomodate himself somewhat to the different forces in Ethiopian society, so he could maintain the throne and the world spotlight. But still he abolished slavery in Ethiopia, and put slave-traders to death. A lot of them feudal lords was mad with him for that.
I think it's significant that Selassie is the LAST emperor. He used his position to spread his message to the world. Now, no more need for emperors. A different time now. Mengistu was to show we that his kind of authoritarian atheistic so-called "communism" is not the answer either.
I hope I ain't madding nobody with what they may consider a 'blasphemous' view of His Majesty. These are the conclusions I personally have reached, no disrespek to other opinions.
As far as the race thing, it ain't nothin about 'skin color', as you know there are African people whose skin is lighter than some "white" people anyway. Is downpression we against. And white superiority ideology is one of the main forms of downpression in the world. So InI counter it with Black Supremacy. I got a post on the subject somewhere down below if ya want clarification, it does NOT meen white supremacy in reverse, seen. Rastafari is not a religion, it is a way of life and a culture created PRIMARILY by and for African people to address our specific needs and problems, SECONDARILY for all people (especially oppressed people) to learn from and adopt in whatever manner they see fit, as long as they are RESPECTFUL of its AFRICAN origins.
Is not the first time people bring this Selassie quote to the board. I respect that your intentions are good and you just want to start a discussion but certain self-procalimed Christians is steady trying to convert rasta with these things, I ain't mad at them either, leh dem do what they feel they need to do, but it can't work. Whatever your conception of Rasta is, know that rasta is about STANDING FIRM.
In future maybe instead of focusing on this topic you could leave people to work out they own relationship with the Most High in their own hearts, and bring forward some different topics of dicussion that more reflect your name as a 'leftist militant.'
Raspek brother. Peace and Love, JAH guide
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