Rasta Essay

This essay has a total of 937 words and 5 pages.


The Rastafarian Belief system

The belief system of the Rastafarians is that Haile Selassie is the living God for the
black race. Selassie, whose previous name was Ras Tafari, was the black Emperor of
Ethiopia. Rastafarians live a peaceful life, needing little material possessions and
devote much time to contemplating the scriptures. They reject the white man's world, as
the new age Babylon of greed and dishonesty. Proud and confident "Rastas" even though they
are humble will stand up for their rights. Rastas let their hair grow naturally into
dreadlocks, in the image of the lion of Judah. The total following is believed to be over
a million worldwide. Also the belief system of Rastafarianism is somewhat based on six
fundamental principles. These included Hatred for the white race, the complete superiority
of the black race, Revenge on whites for their wickedness, the negation, persecution, and
humiliation of the government and legal bodies of Jamaica, Preparation to go back to
Africa and Acknowledging Emperor Haile Selassie as the Supreme Being and only ruler of
black people.

However there are several other key concepts to belief system of Rastafarianism. These
include Babylon, I and I, Jah, Colours, Ganja, Lion, Diet and Dreadlocks.

Babylon is the Rastafarian term for the white political power structure that has been
holding the black race down for centuries. Through the past, Rastafarian people claim that
blacks were held down physically by the shackles of slavery. Rastafarian still feel that
to day blacks are still held down through poverty, illiteracy, inequality, and the
trickery by white man. These efforts are trying to remind blacks of their heritage and
have them stand up against this Babylon for their Freedom.

I and I is concept that maybe the most important tool apart from the Babylonian conspiracy
in the Rastafarian belief system. I and I is an expression to totalize the concept of
oneness, the oneness of two persons. So God is within all of us and we're one people in
fact. This is the bond of God in all of man. But man itself needs an authoritative figure
to lead them. For Rastafarian people this is Haile Selassie of Ethiopia.

The Rastafarian name for God is Jah. Ethiopia specifically, and Africa in general, is
considered the Rastafarian heaven on Earth. However, there is no afterlife or hell as
Christianity believes. Also they have refined their language definitions in such ways they
can gaining independence from others. This is shown below.

- "Overstanding" replaces "understanding" to denote an enlightenment which places one in a better position.
- "Irie" is a term used to denote acceptance, positive feelings, or to describe something that is good.
- "Livication" is substituted for the word "dedication" because Rastas associate ded-ication with death.
- "Downpression" is used in place of "oppression," the logic being that the pressure is
being applied from a position of power to put down the victim.

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