Shares the spiritual wisdom of Rastafari through the stories, teachings, and traditions of practicing Rastas in Jamaica
• Includes the author’s interviews with bush doctors, healers, and Rastafarians gathered during his 15 years of living in Jamaica
• Reveals the old ways of the Rastafarians and how their beliefs form an unbroken lineage tracing back to King Solomon
• Explains the connection of Rasta beliefs to important biblical passages
Tracing their lineage back to King Solomon--the wisest man who ever lived--Rastafarians follow a spiritual tradition of peace and meditation that is more a way of life than an organized religion. During his 15 years living in Jamaica, Gerald Hausman developed deep friendships with Rastafarians and rootsmen, enabling him to experience firsthand the beliefs and traditions of these followers of the Kebra Nagast--the African gospel excised from the King James version of the Bible. He met bush doctors, Rasta preachers, members of the Marley family, and respected elders who knew Marcus Garvey, prophet of the Rasta movement and vocal proponent of the Pan-African movement in America. He also met elders who were present when Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia and descendant of the House of David, came to Jamaica in the 1960s.
Through interviews with fishermen, mystics, and wise men, as well as direct encounters with spirits and the spiritual, the author reveals the deep wisdom that underlies the “old ways” of the Rastas. He connects their stories, lives, and teachings with important biblical passages as well as reggae songs. He shares their views on the medicinal and meditative powers of cannabis--the sacred herb of Solomon--and explains that while Rastas believe it to be “the opener of the door,” they maintain that peace and understanding must be found within. Illustrating the unwavering faith and hope of the Rastafari of Jamaica, Hausman shows them to be a people who, above all, emphasize equality, because the Holy Spirit within each of us makes us all one and the same.
Hausman first went to the north coast of Jamaica in 1985, and for 10 years he led an outdoor-experience summer school there. He came to know Jamaica from the "inside out," developing deep friendships with an intriguing cast of Rastas, who trace their lineage to King Solomon, "the wisest man on earth." Hausman skillfully connects the lives and beliefs of these peaceful and resourceful people fishermen, wicker weavers, Rasta preachers, respected elders, and wise men and women through heartfelt conversations that arise spontaneously while sitting under the shade of a pimento tree, in a dusty yard, or by firelight in the cool evening ocean breeze. Rastafarian spiritual wisdom, recounted here in authentic Jamaican patois, emphasizes equality: an unwavering faith and hope in the holy spirit that lives in each human being. As followers of the Kebra Nagast the African gospel excised from the King James version of the Bible these Rasta "old ways" are epitomized by a statement from Jesus: "According to your faith, be it unto you."