by Craig Ross, Steve Champion and Stanley Tookie Williams - self published in 2007
"The title "The Sacred Eye of the Falcon" is derived from an Egyptian symbol representing the god Horus, who is depicted as having the head of a falcon. In a great battle with the god Seth (Satan) over rule of the kingdom, one of Horus' eyes was gouged out. His eye was eventually restored by Tehuti, the god of wisdom. This act gave Horus divine sight (the all-seeing eye) and he used it to give the people the divine law of Maat (truth, justice, righteousness, order and reciprocity). After years of conflict and imprisonment, our sight has been restored and our lives are now governed by Maat.
the basic theme of all spiritual systems is the need to be awakened. For centuries the words of sages, holy men, and shamans have been committed to oral and written tradition so that the coming generations may benefit from them. We follow this noble path and humbly submit our aphorisms in the hopes that the reader may glean from them light and understanding.
All spiritual teachings share a common thread. Though each philosophy has its own unique qualities, each is connected to the wisdom that preceded it. This book of aphorisms - "The Sacred Eye of the Falcon" is connected to all of the spiritual teachings that have come down to us through the ages, and just as the tributaries find their way to the sea, this book reaches ahead by reaching back to mingle in the great spiritual universe.
At the time we wrote this book, prior to the loss of our brother Ajamu, each of us had spent over twenty years( on San Quentin's death row; collectively, we had accumulated over seventy years. (it is now over 35 years).
In the best of all possibly worlds, during the time we were being sentenced to death, we should have been enjoying our first years of college; instead we entered a realm that few Americans know the actual truth about. To enter prison is to enter the badlands of our society, the inferno of Dante, where the levels of hell are all too real, and where racial divide dominates every facet of life.
Prison is, without a doubt, violent. It is a hard place to become whole and most who walk through the gates will leave shattered in some way. Tossed into such a miasmic environment, how we would survive would be solely up to us. Being thugs, criminals, and gang leaders, we were acclimated to the do-or-die approach and sustained our existence by brute force in this microcosm of madness. It was our way or no way. Inevitably our jingoistic stance would be our undoing.
As a result we ended up in the Adjustment Centre (solitary confinement). It is a place designed to emasculate a man's constitution, paralyze thoughts, perpetuate aggression, extinguish the spirit, and bury him beneath indeterminate time. Being in the Adjustment Centre put us at a crossroads -- the path of violence versus the path of redemption. Either we would continue to allow the predetermined conditions to manipulate our lives, or we would change the course. We chose to change.
Transforming our cells into acadamies for higher learning, we began to study history, religion, English, math, psychology, mythology, philosophy, political science, and many other subjects. Like alchemists, we used the basic elements of our own potential to transform ourselves. The process of introspection imbued us with the knowledge of how to conquer our negative and violent behaviour. It gave us the ability to emerge from the pathological fog that had overshadowed our lives for so long. For over a decade in solitary confinement we embarked on a path of redemption that we have not wavered from, nor have we compromised our integrity or convictions.
As it stands, our spiritual journey has motivated us to pursue a missionto enlighten others. Our writings simply reflect our change, growth, and struggle to achieve self realisation under the worst circumstances. We dared to forge a new compass for ourselves and this is what we desire for others."
Excerpts of the book will from time to time be published here on Steve Champion's site. You can if you wish also purchase the book from Lulu here:-
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Poetry, writing & Lessons in Life from San Quentin death row