One of the fundamental religious beliefs in the African tradition is the belief in impersonal mystical powers.
It’s an essential belief in our theological interpretation and analysis of the African traditional religions. Any meaningful and useful approach to the African traditional religions must begin from here.
The belief in impersonal, and mystical Powers.
There’s a significant impact of this dominant religious belief in impersonal and mystical powers upon traditional African life.
The belief in the impersonal and mystical power is dominant and pervasive in traditional African religious thought.
The whole of creation, nature, and all things, and objects are believed to be consumed with this impersonal power. This mystical power has been often identified by various names, such as; life force, vital force, life essence, and so on, depending on locality, and deferent interpretation.
In African beliefs, the source of this impersonal and mysterious power is not always known or fully understood. Well, that’s why it’s called mysterious. But, it is usually attributed to higher authority activities, whether personal or impersonal, whether human or non-human, that either generates or deposits such powers in things or objects.
The potency, efficacy, and the durability of such impersonal powers varies from object to object. It’s believed that some objects are said to be inherently more power induced than others; that is, they possess more power naturally than others.
The manifestation and the use of the impersonal powers are often described and attributed to the practices of medicine men and women, diviners and seers who use natural objects, plants and animals for medicine, charms, and amulets. Some people or most African traditional believers believe that mysterious powers imbedded in things or objects can be extracted for some certain uses. Mystical and mysterious powers can be transmitted through certain object media or by purely spiritual means. Mystical powers can be sent to specific destinations for an intended good or evil because the African definition of being shows that beings are interconnected. These powers can be contagious when someone gets in contact with objects carrying or mediating such forces.
The life of a traditional African with this belief in the impersonal powers is at the mercy of the benevolent or wicked users of the mystical powers at their disposal. This belief is reflected in the traditional religious practices and African behavioral patterns—this belief in Africa.
Every external religion should recognize and study the theological basis of the traditional African belief as regards the existence of mystical and mysterious forces because the religious and social role and function of this belief have to be thoroughly studied and understood, before the application of the holy book, and the Gospels of any external religion.
Africa, our pride.