THE SOCIAL REVOLUTION OF NIGERIA
The social revolution of Nigeria we are proposing shall definitely take its bearing from the ideas and thoughts of Yeshua who was the father of social revolution on planet earth. It is a pity that Paul succeeded in watering down his ideas into something totally different and unrecognisable. However, it is the opinion of this writer that Paul’s work must have been part of a divine plan. From hindsight, it is now obvious that humanity was not ready for the liberating ideas of Yeshua at that time. Therefore, heaven must have allowed Paul, through his kind of philosophy and doctrine, to build a shell around the teaching of Yeshua for safekeeping until the time is right. This writer has found Paul’s philosophy on the meaning of life and his interpretation of the Good News of Yeshua completely out of tune with the revolutionary ideas, teachings and revelations of Yeshua.
In order to understand fully the teachings of Yeshua on freedom, equality and justice NIDs must endeavour to dig deeper and if possible to bypass the sweet-nothing coatings supplied by Paul. The philosophy or doctrines of Paul that gave life to the gigantic religious edifices of the world could definitely not have anything in common with the teaching of Yeshua that threatened the foundation of the religious institutions of Jerusalem. Paul’s doctrine to which all power-loving people – Monarchs, Generals, Popes, Bishops, Fat Cats, Politicians, Usurers, etc. – of the world found pleasantly comforting could not be the same teaching of Yeshua that threatened to tear into smithereens the entire social order of the Roman Empire. The social and economic philosophy of Paul under which every slave-merchant, every slave-owner, every racist and every supporter of economic, political, social and sexual inequalities have found a soothing shelter couldn’t be the same teaching of Yeshua that promised fundamental equality, freedom and justice to all and everyone as the bedrock of the Good News.
The inspired and necessary corrections of the age-long misinformation that started at the time of the Renaissance have not ceased. In fact, the efforts greatly intensified from the 17th to 19th century. Most of the thinkers like Thomas Paine, Friedrich Nietzche, Pierre-Joseph Proudhun and many others that the religious world have viciously maligned are surprisingly the few that understood the deep spiritual context and the fundamental meaning of the teaching of Yeshua. In characteristic fashion, the powers of the world and the self-appointed guardians of our spiritual welfare have done everything they could to discredit the works of these uncompromising thinkers. In order to understand the core philosophy of Yeshua and the salient message of his Good News to the world, NIDs shall be advised to spend some quality time with these authors among others.
The aforementioned writers have tried in no small way to correct a host of misinformation popularised by the Christian religion that grew out of Paul’s interpretation of Yeshua’s teaching. From the Renaissance period down to the Age of Enlightenment thinkers have managed to scratch holes in the shell of obfuscation supplied by Paul. And the ensuing rays of light streaming into the darkness of humanity have been reviving and bringing back to the world the true spirit of the seeker of knowledge that started earlier in Greece. NIDs should take advantage of their sojourn abroad to do justice to the volumes of materials produced by these unusual individuals of the last two centuries. It is a fact that our contemporaries at home are still under the shadow of religious misinformation but those of us living and suffering abroad should be able to free ourselves. We must take advantage as we make use of the easy access we have to diverse materials on history and philosophical thoughts on the meaning of life.
It should be mentioned that what the printing press did for Europe during the Renaissance the computer shall do for Africa and the world in this Millennium. In the battle for the freedom of the defenceless people of the world nobody should doubt for a moment the power of the computer as a fast purveyor of information and knowledge to revolutionise our world completely. Flowing through the thick walls of sensational reports of miracles and other extraordinary events recorded by the Gospel writers we can still find the core teachings of freedom and the principles and mechanisms suggested for the establishment of a totally new social order on earth.
H. G. Wells in A Short History of the World captured very succinctly the gist of the teaching of Yeshua. He was spot on when he writes, ‘It was not merely a moral and a social revolution that Jesus proclaimed; it is clear from a score of indication that his teaching had a political bent of the plainest sort. It is true that he said his kingdom was not of this world, that it was in the hearts of men and not upon a throne, but it is equally clear that wherever and in what measure his kingdom was set up in the hearts of men, the outer world would be in that measure revolutionized and made new.” Wells goes on to say “Whatever else the deafness and blindness of his hearers may have missed in his utterances, it is plain they did not miss the resolve to revolutionize the world. The whole tenor of the opposition to him and the circumstances of his trial and execution show clearly that to his contemporaries he seemed to propose plainly, and did propose plainly, to change and fuse and enlarge all human life.”
A discourse on religion and social revolution is a dangerous territory for any writer. We have tried not to be flippant in this discourse but we know we have said more than enough to draw anger and venom from some quarters. Religion can be a hindrance rather than an asset to the goal of a social revolution. We have observed that most religious people have been conditioned to accept the status quo of the world as given, and to live happily with their deplorable human condition as the act of God. In such a situation, the natural need to ask fundamental question about why they are suffering and wretchedly poor would have died in them a long time ago. They would have been taught to look forward to the Hereafter and to forget about seeking any comfort here on earth. And they would have been encouraged by their spiritual leaders to endure the social, political and economic predicaments of their environment. With such attitude, a truly religious person will be the last person to become involved with anything that promises a radical change of the social order. He or she would rather wait for the Second Coming than soil his/her hands and religious garments while seeking redress for political injustice, social inequality and economic slavery.
We are not under any illusion with respect to the size of the audience in the cyberspace that is actually reading these letters. We know that NIDs are very busy people. Most NIDs have no time for intellectual concerns as they are mostly driven by the need to earn a living and by a greater vanity-motivated need to have material success over and above their contemporaries both at home and in the Diaspora. This category of vanity-driven NIDs sleeps and dreams about making money either by crook or hook. It does not matter how. Some have turned themselves into job prostitutes in the work place since they change jobs faster than they change their underwear. They have no commitment to any ideals or ethical values. If the devil is offering them a job as long as the pay is right they would take it. The ethical consideration of what the employer is really doing has no place in their final decision to take any job on offer. And so there is no illusion at all as regards the number of NIDs that have the time to read these materials.
This is the way it has always been. The greater numbers of the human race at any time in history are always intellectually and spiritually challenged. This is the reason why the very few awakened members of humanity have succeeded time and time again in taken the horde of humanity on a roller-coaster ride. It should be noted that mankind can be awakened to either a godly state or an ungodly state of existence. Awakening can be either spiritual or intellectual or both. When awakening is spiritual, the awakened is motivated by divine love and when it is intellectual, self-love dominates. We can therefore cautiously suggest that it must only be self-love that drives the intellectually awakened members of our world to institute, support, protect and maintain the kind of heinous values that are currently ruling the so-called civilised world. We could not agree less with Herbert Reed (1953) when he writes “Our civilization is a scandal and until it is remade our intellectual activities are vain.”
Intellectual awakening is the type that manifests itself when a person seeks knowledge with the sole intent to acquire power, fortune and fame in order to dominate and to own or hold down others of his/her kind. This is the spirit that created royalties, marauding colonialists, racist and apartheid ideologues. It is the same spirit that created slave hunters, slave merchants, slave owners, sweat shop employers paying slave-wages and other ruthless capitalists. It is also the spirit behind the atrocities of the blood-sucking bankers, artful-dodger auditors, fiddling-finger accountants, heartless lawyers, con people as advertising and sales gurus, and voodoo economists. These types of people are those awakened purely and simply to an ungodly state of existence. The motivating force is of a satanic spirit. This is the spirit that the social revolution of Nigeria intends to overcome. It is a serious battle but heaven shall be our guide and light. Unless this spirit is driven out of the centre stage of our world, it is a question of time before our extinction, as a human race, would become a forgone conclusion.
However, it is much easier for the intellectually awakened to progress to the level of the spiritually awakened than for the intellectually challenged. To achieve this revolutionary transformation the intellectually awakened must change the premise of their knowledge acquisition from seeking power over others to seeking power over self; from seeking high political and career positions to seeking spiritual growth and development; and from seeking fame and fortune to seeking love and peace. Whereas the intellectually challenged have the emotional display and superficial characteristics of spirituality they lack the knowledge of its meaning. Since the intellectual component and senses of their being have not been awakened, they attach more importance to the ornaments and symbols of spirituality. They will hold the symbolic performances of the rituals and ceremonies of worship more highly than the lesson the rituals were supposed to teach. Neither do they desire to seek understanding on the reasons why the religious rituals and ceremonies were commanded in the first place. They are very comfortable to hide under mysteries, miracles, and superstitions as valid explanations for the grey areas of doctrine and faith.
At this stage of the social revolution, we do not expect a multitude to understand the jigsaw of the revolutionary puzzles. However, we shall seriously recommend that those who are interested in the social revolution of Nigeria should first be ready and willing to wash them selves clean in the rivers of knowledge flowing freely in the lands of their sojourn. We will give all the praise and glory to the Almighty Creator if only 36 Nigerians in the Diaspora drawn from each of the 36 States in Nigeria are awakened to the message of the discourse. This number is more than adequate for the social revolution of Nigeria. We sincerely believe that there are 36 Nigerians out there already designated by the creator of life for this important assignment. If heaven has chosen you to carry the message of the social revolution to your state of origin and local community you will know when the spirit of truth sets your soul on fire. As you ponder over these issues let the words of John Stuart Mill guide your thoughts. In his works On Liberty and Utilitarianism, Mill writes “The initiation of all wise or noble things comes and must come from individuals; generally at first from some one individual. The honour and glory of the average man is that he is capable of following that initiative; that he can respond internally to wise and noble things and be led to them with his eyes wide open.”
The issues we are raising are both spiritual and intellectual. When a soul is set on fire it grows and matures. It is similar to what happens to a pregnant woman. She needs not inform her neighbours that she is pregnant but as the growing foetus develops everyone that can see will know that the woman is pregnant with a baby. Moreover, if a woman does not want to become pregnant, the safest protection is to avoid sexual intercourse. Similarly, a soul that chooses to remain in darkness will be naturally against the idea of seeking knowledge. The knowledge of the truth of existence is the fertiliser of the soul hence it is the only effective means of bringing the soul to the spiritually awakened state. Just as the male sperm fertilises the ovum and results in a bouncing baby, knowledge also possesses the power to fertilise the soul and bring it to the awakened state of the Reborn. In case you are very comfortable with your present state of life, please avoid knowledge at all cost particularly living knowledge of the type that issued forth from the pens of thinkers we mentioned earlier on. These writers shall definitely cause a revolution or a complete change in your life. The ideas they developed have the power to refashion and restructure your values, beliefs, perceptions, attitudes and life goals. Please be warned! Those awakened thinkers are dangerous to your present life styles.
In conclusion, the social revolution of Nigeria shall begin when there is a revolution in the mind of the individual Nigerian. Pierre-Joseph Proudhun in “What is Property?” gave a concise explanation of such a revolution. He writes, ‘when our ideas on any subject, material, intellectual or social are completely transformed because of observation which we have made, I call this movement a “revolution”, if there is merely a widening or modification of our ideas, this is only “progress”.’ When a Nigerian receives a diploma or degree from a Higher Institution we can safely say he has made some progress since his basic ideas of life have been modified or widened. It is only when he or she starts to make personal observations of the environment and begins to analyse values and the premises of values that his/her ideas can be completely transformed through reflection. It is only through this process of observation, reasoning and analysis that a revolution of the mind can occur.
This is what this writer is canvassing at this stage. Public demonstration and industrial strike never translate to a social revolution. It cannot be attained by arson, bloodshed and riot. It must start its simple journey from within the soul of each person. It must start with a simple living idea based on the observed need to change a bad situation for the better. It cannot be rushed. It has its own momentum and time frame. When a race or a people is ready for a social and spiritual revolution, it is heaven that raises up men and women to articulate the idea and to canvass it to the team that heaven has designated for the revolution.
Let us learn and be informed by the history of our world. There is nothing that is happening now that is new. Heaven is the custodian of knowledge and heaven is the one that master minded our creation. It is heaven that keeps the timetable of our existence. If heaven is saying to Nigeria today that enough is enough of our foolishness, none of us can say otherwise. If heaven has planned to create new hearts for Nigerians and to write new programme into them based on the values of divine love, none of us can stop it. This period shall call for humility. Let those who think that they know rethink their positions. Let us be open-minded as we face our ignorance squarely and unconditionally. The spirit of truth, the only teacher of our Age, is more than ever ready to teach every soul that is seeking a rebirth into life.
It should be expected that some pragmatic and intellectually awakened Nigerians will be eager to caution and to demand, if you are proposing a fundamental change of the social order what are you going to put in its place? It is a good question. Before we answer, can we also ask from the brilliant political experts to confirm if indeed it is true that the present social order is sickly and deadly? We all need to resolve this simple issue before we can move forward to the next phase of the project. Is the present social order in Nigeria all right and is it capable of building, supporting and sustaining a sane human society? Is the present social order worth defending and keeping intact, as the patriots are demanding? Can this social order produce anything noble apart from corruption, dishonour, dehumanisation, moral gangrene, spiritual decadence, economic bankruptcy, political disharmony, ethnic rancour, and social decay? If our experts cannot convince us otherwise, then why are we still waiting? Let the demolition work begin in earnest.
The Nigerian intellectual giants, prominent experts and eminent personalities must refrain from underrating the human spirit and potentials. We can never know how far a person could jump until he faces a deadly obstacle in his path. The only challenge facing every Nigerian at this moment is the need to remove the timber of spiritual ignorance blocking our senses and to allow powerful sunshine of true knowledge to stream into the mind. This is the only way that can set the soul free to pursue its natural duty as a creative spirit. Let each of us work hard at setting each soul free. This is the only work that concerns each of us. The soul is the master designer, master builder and master beautician. The awakened soul of each Nigerian, as soon as it is allowed to soar and to roam the universe again, shall know what to do and what role to play in the construction of a new social order for Nigeria.
In closing, we shall like to remind NIDs again that their prestigious position in the Western world is still insecure. The demonic global economic system is gradually unravelling at the seams. NIDs should not for a moment think that their positions are safe. The little tolerance you are presently enjoying in the West is as a result of a relatively stable economy. You need to be reminded that as soon as the expected burst of the intolerable over-bloated global economy happens, NIDs, particularly the financially successful ones, shall inevitably become the target of hate and unfounded accusations. This is a fact of history. We are neither making this up nor exaggerating. The warning we raised in January is still valid. There is a need to think ahead. Nigeria is the only country that shall forever be your home. No matter how rotten it is now, it can still be cleaned, redeemed and rebuilt. This shall be the final outcome of the social revolution project when the awakened Nigerians in the Diaspora shall team up, as they join hands and minds together for the great challenges ahead.
May the spirit of truth, the only true teacher bless and enlighten you further.
In The Spirit of Truth
Sam Abbd Israel
A Concerned Common Nigerian