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Word Count: 521
One of the foundations of the African concept of harmony and peace rests upon the basic African cultural world-view of the philosophy of participation and integration There is no drastic distinction between man and nature The theory of knowledge that the African cultural experience projects is that the world is centered upon the self and that man lives in a personal world of culture The African culture does not assume that reality can be perceived through reason alone There are other modes of knowing such as imagination intuitive experience and personal feelings This is why the deepest expression of the African cultural reality has been through art myths and music rather than through the European mode logical analysis The other basic views about nature held by the traditional African is that life-force permeates the whole universe and that matter and spirit are an inseparable reality The African has no definitions of such life-forces but only understands and describes them in terms of their functions Soul would be something like the individual will his thought conscience and judgment Unlike the European the African does not even say that the soul is the kind of entity which goes to heaven or hell after death When an individual soul is compatible with other individuals it is pure and there is peace and harmony When it is not compatible with others it is impure and there is no peace and harmony The African also believes that there exist interactions between man and man man and nature man and God Higher forces such as God directly influence lower ones while the lower ones indirectly through intermediaries influence superior ones The measure of the peace and the harmony in the world depends upon the standard of good behavior which in turn depends on the relationship between interacting vital forces in the universe The ontological relationship in equilibrium is the ultimate
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