Decolonizing Spirit

I said that I would not discuss Spirit on this blog. Matters of Faith are often contentious. To be honest, I am afraid that my worldview will alienate my audience. My belief system is firmly rooted in a variety of traditions. I fall outside of a conventional Afro Caribbean Christian framework. However, my outlook also resists being trapped inside the boundaries of Western reason. As it pertains to matters of the Spirit, I am a transgressive figure in our prevailing order. Therefore, it is easier to relegate my discussions of decolonization to the material world. Politics, economics, and education are tangible. They are also legible in ways that spiritual discourses are not. However, the easy road is not always the best choice.

I began to feel as though I was complicit in the colonization of my psyche. I was erasing constitutive portions of my being in my socio-political presentation of self. As an Academic, I know that Afro Caribbean cosmologies are often defined as being symbolic rather than material. I disagree with this framing. I argue that Spiritual discourses are often complex systems of knowledge that have not been legitimated by scientists in the Academy. More often than not, they are understudied and misunderstood.

“Science is just a kind of magic, and magic just a kind of religion, and Owen Arthur knows all about this because Owen owns a ship and men who spend their lives on water know that magic is real.”- Tiphanie Yanique, Land of Love and Drowning

Decolonization is, in part, about resisting the process by which a “regime of truth,” a term used extensively by Michel Foucault to describe legitimated discourses, relegates alternative ways of knowing to the margins of our epistemic framework. More often than not, African and Indigenous discourses are deemed illegitimate. Efforts to make them legible to the discourse constitutive codes of Western Academic disciplines often mangle these ways of knowing and being. Yet, my efforts to separate my spiritual discourses from my Academic theories are rooted in the logic of colonial domination. In an effort to decolonize my own faith, I’ll allow matters of spirit and the flesh to mingle here on this blog.

It is becoming increasingly impossible for me to talk about decolonization without also talking about spirituality and questions of belonging.






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