You will notice that in all the discourses we have avoided any involvement with government or its institutions and actors. We realised quite early in our consciousness that the problems of the institutions of and the actors in government are mere symptoms and they are not the fundamental problem. In our search for the real culprit behind our problems as peoples and nations we have managed to go deeper without getting our selves enmeshed with the observable cosmetic dressings of the problem.
We have applied the common sense approach of elementary chemistry to break down the problem into its constituent parts. We discovered that there are 36 states in Nigeria and that translates to 36 different problems. Further observation revealed that there are 768 local governments meaning there are another 768 different problems. Moreover, the tens of hundreds of communities that make up the local governments also give us tens of hundreds of different problems. From this simple evaluation, we realised that the effort of concerned Nigerians to treat all these problems under the fiat of a national government is to say the least grandiose in conception and unrealistic in programming.
Following the mathematical principle that says a whole is the sum of its parts and since the communities are made up of individual persons, the best rational bet shall be to focus attention on the individuals. Focusing on individual persons will reveal the attributes that make each Nigerian so predictably and exceptionally abnormal to the extent that collectively we could exhibit and perpetrate all the heinous problems that have befallen Nigeria since 1914. This is the area where we feel the collective effort of the redeemed and awakened NIDs can be of great help.
As each Nigerian becomes emancipated mentally and spiritually then the love to stretch out a hand to wake up your neighbour becomes highly imperative and desirable. The knowledge, understanding and wisdom that come your way during the search for the truth of life would have cleaned your soul of the foibles of ego and pride. The accompanied gift of humility would have trimmed the prickly thin-skin and other personal abnormalities to the extent that the ability to give freely of yourself to your community, even when insulted and misunderstood, becomes effortless.
In breaking down the national problems into its constituent parts, it will become obvious that each community has enough problems on its plates. The next rational step will be for the members of the community to get together and articulate how to solve the identified local problems. In essence each NID should learn to focus attention on his/her local area. The ongoing craze of wasting emotional and physical energy on a distant national problem is an exercise in futility. Our human nature is not blessed with such capacity for dealing with such large complex problems. This is one of the political deceptions of the modern world. For example, how can gunslinger President Bush of United States keep on deceiving himself that he is capable of solving global problems, albeit with dangerous munitions and unspeakable weapons of mass destruction? How can globe-trotting President Olusegun Obasanjo keep on deluding himself that he is capable of solving Nigeria’s problems? People keep wandering why he travels so much. Won’t you, if the place you call home is heaving with the ghosts of innocent Nigerians whose blood were mercilessly splattered on the walls of Aso Rock by the previous occupants? How could Aso Rock be a comfortable living place for any normal person?
We believe that the solution to any political, social and economic problem lies with the members of the local constituency directly concerned. It is the duty of each member to identify his/her resources and to focus them appropriately where they are most needed. As soon as NIDs can comprehend this basic idea we have a duty to help other Nigerians at home to appreciate this simple principle. It is under this basic premise of problem analysis that our effort can become constructive, decisive and effective to the local problems. We should desist from the popular craze of forming national umbrella organisations. It is an exercise of pretence and of an orientation of mind that believes doing something is better than not doing anything. If what we are doing has no bearing to the problem then it can never make a dent on our multi-local problems. We must learn to organise ourselves into local and small organisations with clear-cut simple, manageable and attainable objectives.
As a people desiring change in our seemingly hopeless situations, let us learn to think top-down but when it comes to plans, programmes and projects let us act bottom-up. In the search for truth and development, we discovered a seven-step thinking and action plan that says simply:
Think universal act global
Think global act continental
Think continental act national
Think national act local
Think local act communal
Think communal act familial
Think familial act personal.
In essence it suggests that while we endeavour to do our thinking top-down any action for social and human development should be carried out bottom-up. Our thinking should proceed from the universal to the familial while action should proceed from personal to the global.
What we are canvassing is the idea that social change or social revolution is possible. But a social revolution must start its journey with individuals. That it is possible for individuals to change or to emancipate but it has to start with mental and spiritual emancipation before social, economic and political emancipation can follow. And that before mental and spiritual emancipation can occur it has to be accepted as a full time business affair not an affair pursued when one has the time. In fact the pursuit of personal liberation should be the most important activity in the life of any slave desiring to emancipate from economic, cultural, religious, political and social slavery into true freedom.
In other words, if we acknowledge the reality of our powerlessness to change our world, then it is to knowledge we must devote unparalleled attention. Not just any knowledge but those that teach about us we are in the gigantic scheme of life. Not knowledge that is seeking to gain power over others or seeking to secure material advantage over others but knowledge that is seeking to understand the nature of man, the nature of the creator, and the purpose of creation.
In an essay on leadership problems in Africa titled, The Dishonourables we raised some fundamental questions on the purpose of life. We asked, “How can any sane person put so much faith in material acquisition as the sole purpose of life? How can the end purpose of this beautiful edifice called the universe and this magnificent piece of physiological machine called man be solely to be rich and famous? How can any man with sense and a living soul look back at the end of seventy odd years on earth and declare in all truthfulness that his achievement in life can be found in the empire forcefully acquired or established in blood; in the number of palaces, castles and houses built or stolen; in the number of women sexually conquered and abused; in the number of illegitimate children fathered and forgotten; in the multi-million dollars stowed away in the bank while millions of his/her generation have no food or shelter; and in the number of lives cruelly wrecked or ruthlessly snuffed out in the cause of personal ambition for earthly power and vain glory? How can these sickening perversions be, truly and sincerely, the purpose of life?” These questions are still begging for answers.
The Truth of Existence
Initially, we thought we shall go on and on to expatiate on policies, programmes and projects that NIDs might consider as they put relocation plans in motion. But we have a feeling that it is too early for such proposal. It is now our considered opinion that NIDs should be given time to discover themselves as they spend time to search for the meaning of life, to seek the truth of their personal circumstances, the truth of our world, the truth of our nations and the truth of the future of our world.
It is under this educational exercise that the rebirth of the souls of NIDs can be achieved. We need to reiterate that the intention behind these letters is to point the attention of NIDs to the importance of spiritual emancipation. We believe, the pursuit of spiritual emancipation will hasten the knowledge and the understanding of the ideals of equality, justice and freedom. Indeed, we are convinced that an academic understanding of these concepts can never translate into true power, true hope and true love. These three -hope, love and power – are the necessary ingredients needed for brewing the social revolution of Nigeria.
Our desire in dabbling into the spiritual art of writing is not to entertain by sensationalising issues but to cause a radical change in the life of NIDs. A change in the way you view, perceive and understand the world, in the way you appreciate and comprehend the ideals and values of power, equality, freedom and justice, and in the way you see and rate yourself in the universal arrangement of life. Above all, our ultimate goal is to wake you up to the reality of the untapped potential resources you possess and to help you understand the truth of the immense power within you.
The materials contained in these letters are as a matter of fact the gifts of heaven for the personal use of this writer. They are my references and benchmark for the future. They are the diaries of my spiritual adventures and explorations in the Diaspora. When this writer trespassed into the business of writing, he never knew there were so many wonderful things lurking somewhere within him. This, to me, is one of the manifestations of the truth of existence. It demonstrates that within each of us there are wonderful treasures carefully placed therein for our use as at when necessary. It seems without searching for them we would not know the extent of the wealth we have within.
There is a need for each of us to be aware of the bundle of potential treasure and immense spiritual power we possessed. We need to understand that it can be cultivated and it can grow to any size and level depending on the effort and attention of the cultivator. In sharing these treasures with NIDs we hope to stimulate your awareness of these great potentials within you. And that this spiritual powers within you are strong and adequate enough to turn our lives around and in turn to revolutionise our nations onto the path of true perfection, true love, true peace, true equality, true freedom, true justice, true progress and true prosperity.
As we seek and search for the power within us each seeker shall hit the treasure chest of life that is full of nothing else but love. The discovery of the power of divine love is the ultimate sublime achievement that comes to all sincere seeker of the truth of life. It is love that created our world and it is only through the power of love that we can live in peace in this world. Happiness and true human development will remain a mirage when love is missing on our planet. The governing spirit of the world as at this moment is one powered by hatred.
No man is created for himself or herself. Each of us is created for a particular role in the theatre of nature. Every playwright understands the simple logic that he must create, designate and apportion roles for each character in a drama production. He understands that each role, whether big or small, is essential to the story line. The theatre of life is also built on the same principle. In this sense, it is very essential to our thesis that each NID should not assume that he/she has an insignificant role in the Social Revolutionary project of Nigeria. We believe nature has made each of us for a purpose. You have a duty as a living person to seek and understand what that divine purpose is.
Our story has been loaded with several references to the truth of life or of existence. We have tried in the third letter to brainstorm on what we think is the truth of life. The phrase, truth of life, may sound mystical or mythical but the truth of life is the common every day life experiences we all share. Any truth of life that goes beyond this level is no longer a natural phenomenon. It is very important to stress this particular fact because some spiritual gurus have tendencies to lead mankind on a wild goose chase. We are aware of claims that the truth of life can only be found under a strict punishing exercises and physical denials or on the mountain tops or in the graveyards or in some sacred places in the desert or by the sea shores, etc. To our understanding that is not the truth of life we are referring. The truth of life is the sensory experiences of everyday phenomenon common to every human being. It is the ability to observe attentively the minute details of the events happening in the environment, the faculty to review these observations mentally and the capacity to accord meaning and interpretation to them that sets mankind apart from one another.
In this sense, each NID is urged, as you search for the truth and the meaning of your own personal life, to look closely at the past and the present stages of your historical life. At every point in our lives there are signposts placed here and there for our attention and guidance. In most cases we were never observant and so we missed the telltale signs. And without discovering who we are and what the purpose of our life is, it will be practically impossible for any of us to succeed in our assigned divine roles.
The need to seek and search for the meaning of life is highly recommended for any NID desirous to be redeemed or awakened into the spiritual state of existence. We have mentioned in some of the early essays about the duality of all natural phenomena and that the human nature is made up of the physical and the spiritual components. It is a natural law of creation that the reproduction of our kinds in our own image must continually occur. The physical reproduction of childbirth is familiar to everyone but the real meaning of spiritual reproduction, even though most religions talk about it, has eluded most of us. The teaching of ‘You must be born again’ should not be seen as a casual slogan or mere religious slang. And we are of the opinion that no religion has a right to privatise the concept. ‘You must be born again’ is a universal injunction. The basic problem is the inability to find the safest and a result-oriented way for its realisation. This writer will cautiously advise that if the ancient prescriptions popularised by religion are no longer yielding the dividend of rebirth it becomes the duty of humanity to throw them out and look for a more promising route.
In the case of physical reproduction, a woman has the prerogative to embrace or to turn her back on child-bearing endeavour. There is no law against such an action of rejecting or accepting motherhood. All that such a woman who refuses to have a child would miss is the experience either of joy or pain of motherhood. There is no sin whatsoever in such a life choice. Similarly, a person can decide to live a ‘normal’ life of the physical and to refuse outright to be born again. There is no law against that as well except for the loss of wonderful spiritual experiences. Such a person would lose the experiences of divine love, spiritual power, and serene hope that make charitable co-operation effortless; that make being ones brother’s keeper a joyful activity; and that make the practices of equality, justice and freedom in a polity desirable and exciting political exercises.
These are the kinds of truth of life this writer will like to impress on the mind of NIDs. It should be mentioned that no matter how much we fret and worry about the problems of British Nigeria, without the spiritual power none of us can make anything to happen. The battle over British Nigeria is a spiritual battle. It is not a battle that can be won by a display of academic laurels and erudite pronouncements or of acquisition of political power or of hoarding of money and material possession. Even though these things have their uses, they are appropriate only when the spiritual battle has been fought and won. We are not talking of cults or religions or secret societies or anything of such macabre nature. We are stating the fundamental truth that every sage and every teacher that has made valuable impression on our world discovered.
The ancient sages discovered that there is power in the knowledge of our visible world when sought with the right desire and attitude. An attitude that seeks knowledge from the perspective of love and of a single-minded desire to know the meaning of life. It is under this attitude and desire that a soul can enjoy the experience of rebirth or awakening. This is the only way this writer has discovered to be foolproof. This way of seeking truth does not make or turn a seeker into a slave of any master, prophet, teacher and guru of any doctrine or of any religion or of any society. We sincerely believe that it is under this liberal educational endeavour of seeking knowledge faithfully and sincerely that true freedom can be attained.
Our individual circumstances is relevant to our person. Regardless of where each NID is toiling or slaving away in the alien shores there are some lessons to be learnt in the experience for your rebirth. Therefore, instead of moaning about the hardship you are going through, please spend valuable time to observe carefully, diligently and intelligently your present circumstances and pronto you will be able to solve the jigsaw puzzle of your life.
At this point in time and with the raging fire of disasters in the fatherland you need to discover your spiritual nature. Your spiritual self is the original counterpart of your being. Your body is a shell designed to house the real you. The real you is eager to come alive. It is the only part of your composition that is real and worthy of attention and care. The real you is anxious to get involved with the social revolution of Nigeria because that is the only reason why it is on planet earth today. Your present devotion to a physical-oriented consciousness is the only constraint holding your soul back. This and the other letters are urging and pleading with you to seek understanding about this natural phenomenon so that you can hasten the rebirth of your soul into active service for the people of New Nigeria under preparation.
It is necessary to draw the attentions of NIDs to the obvious fact that the people causing havoc in Nigeria are less than 0.00001% of the population of Nigeria. We believe if only 0.00001% of Nigerians can seek understanding of the meaning of life and will allow the spirit of truth to teach and to guide them, this number is sufficient to confront and to overcome the spoilers, the polluters and the destroyers of our lives.
Dear Fellow Nigerian in the Diaspora, if you are seriously concerned about the suffering of other not so fortunate Nigerians, please spend some valuable time on the analysis of the problems and of the values governing our world. Thereafter seek understanding about the purpose of your life. This intellectual and spiritual engagement will definitely put you on a different plane of comprehending higher moral and ethical values. It is our considered opinion that without each of us consciously identifying and constructing new noble values based on a well-defined meaning of life every energy that we spent on reforming the present moral values plus the accompanying social, economic and political institutions shall remain a wasted effort. Sadly, this is what the intellectually awakened Nigerians are doing and the result is predictable. Nothing is changing and nothing can change as long as the present amoral operating values in Nigeria and the world are still in place.
In closing the discourse with NIDs, we thank the creator of life for giving us the opportunity to plant some seeds of the truth of life through this medium, as we understand it and to the best of our ability. We believe the seeds of these letters are bound by natural law, as every true seed in creation is bound, to germinate, to grow and to bring forth fruits of rebirth in the lives of NIDs. It is our hope that the resultant fruits of love shall empower the spiritually awakened Nigerians to become true warriors in the battle between darkness and light. We believe the fruits of love shall inspire them to rise in grace, in truth and in courage to vanquish forever the darkness in our continent. As the spiritual battles rage we invite all Nigerians to sing along this song of hope and redemption:
All over Nigeria the spirit of truth is moving
Just as the prophets said it would be
Dispossessing the powers of the wicked.
All over Nigeria mighty revelations are coming
Just as the dawn of glorious lights appear
Healing and blessing every heart.
All over Nigeria the spirit of truth is moving
Just as the peace and glory of heaven arrive
Settling down into the new hearts of mankind.
All over Nigeria the spirit of truth is moving
Just as the clouds move around the globe
Bringing the rebirth of souls and new life.
May the spirit of truth be our helper and our guide in our search for the truth of existence. May every seeker be blessed with spiritual power and courage to overcome the raging forces of pride, sloth, envy, greed, gluttony, anger lust, vanity, hate, unkindness, unfairness, inequality and enslavement. And may the spirit of truth deliver every seeker from the worldly wisdom that seeks only the advantage of self over others, that seeks to have the largest share of every cake, that seeks to see while others are blind, that seeks to hear while others are deaf, that seeks to know while others are ignorant, that seeks to own everything while others have nothing and that seeks to be king while others are subjects. May we all be free from the spirit that seeks to set up all those engaged in these depraved practices as successful role models worthy of our emulation and adoration rather than our disgust and disdain.
In The Spirit of Truth
Sam Abbd Israel
A Concerned Common Nigerian
19th August 2002