Cecil Thompson is a fresh voice, an inspiring speaker, an emerging leader, and a wonderful writer in the areas of spirituality, society, and culture. Cecil was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone in West Africa. Freetown is the capital city of Sierra Leone. As a settlement for people emancipated from slavery in the New World, Freetown was initially called the “Province of Freedom” and as such has great historic and political significance. But for Cecil, this place of his birth—that shaped his consciousness— goes far beyond freedom and self-determination in the political sense. To him, freedom’s call is primarily a spiritual call, which is twofold: a call to the philanthropic spirit that declares that the bondage of any member of the human family is a violation of the laws of life, and a call to every human individual to do three things: look within, find the laws of life (joy, peace, happiness, compassion, health, wholeness, etc.), and find ways to live by them.
Cecil’s infancy and childhood were haunted by an inner stirring that there was more to life than met the eye. As a child he surrendered to three major spiritual influences: his own deep sense that there was an invincible anchor –anchoring his soul, an irresistible love of wisdom,and the compassionate light of the Spirit revealed in all creation.
Growing up in Sierra Leone, the stirring in Cecil’s heart turned into an eagerness for God’s unfailing love and a satisfaction that grew even stronger in the midst of worship at his church or when he was sitting on the hill at a place called Tower Hill in Freetown, which was located behind his church home. He sat there sometimes for hours in absolute awe of the creative power of God that put the rocks in place, the One in the winds, in plant life, and even weeds on the Earth.
The three influences in Cecil's life culminated in a deep compulsion to follow a trail that led to only life-giving spiritual forces. In the“real world,” goodness is ignored, persons discarded, individual-life neglected, happiness scorned, love disdained, peace demeaned, joy fictionalized, wholeness rejected, forgiveness scoffed at, health denied, and abundant life betrayed. The compassionate light of the Spirit revealed in creation always reminded him that the laws of life were life-giving spiritual forces that like energy could neither be created nor destroyed.
As Cecil grew and followed the trail, the Spirit magnificently exploded the possibilities of each new day into four roads for him to travel, roads of instinctive conviction and irresistible practice: 1) that human life is more than value (i.e., value defined by economic worth, 2) that family life, culture, material production, and civic life-patterns are part of God’s abundance, 3) that obsession with and abuse of any of the gifts of abundance puts distance between the individual and the spirit within that is part of God, and 4) dropping the pretentiousness of culture, and accepting that God is in our every movement, in every breath. This sense was an inner quest for life itself; on an intellectual level, a search for the meaning of life, but spiritually a knowing that there was a sacred abstraction, a space in time, but one that also transcended time, and in which life existed, the life of the Spirit. Today Cecil brings this four-road inner spirituality to his life and work as he lives, writes, and speaks about spirituality, society, and culture.
After high school, Cecil went on to do advanced studies in Religion and Government; and at the University level, he studied philosophy, law, and literature. Today, Cecil holds degrees in law and English Honors. He is also a recipient of the prestigious Certificate of Academic Excellence and the Certificate of Academic Achievement. Cecil is a great voice, an emerging spiritual teacher, a thought-leader, and a scholar. He is an inspiration in every sense.
Cecil opens his heart, mind, and soul to the "oneness of life." And shaped early by the spiritual and intellectual legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his notion of the "Beloved Community" or what he called the "brotherhood of man," Cecil writes and speaks so brotherhood would one day become a reality. Also, Cecil holds affectionately to the vision of the great American mystic and theologian, Howard Thurman: a vision of "harmony that transcends all diversities and in which diversity finds its richness and significance." Cecil embraces interfaith dialogue and visits a variety of churches and spiritual organizations. Cecil firmly believes, as did Thurman and King, that "We are all God's children."
Over the years, Cecil has presented to a variety of audiences. From his exhortations at morning assemblies in high school as Student-Chaplain to youth celebrations at Christ Church, Portuguese Town Church, Warren Memorial Church, Young Men's Christian Association (Y.M.C.A), etc. in Sierra Leone, to audiences in the United States: The International Conference on Religion and Spirituality in Society, the Full Gospel Open Door Assembly, Inc., The Universal Church of Prayer, The Historic Little Rock Baptist Church, Advance, Inc. (A Metaphysical Society), The Michigan Academy of Arts, Science and Letters, The National Association for African-American Studies, and a Conference on Black History by the Department of African-American Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, etc.
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