The Three Dimensions of a Complete Life

Life at its best is reminiscent a great triangle with the individual at one point, other humans at another point, with Olódùmarè and all else at the final point.

The Length of Life, as we shall use it,  is the outward concern for the welfare of others. It is the measure of the number of lives, and the extent to which we are able to impact the lives of those around us.
The Breadth of Life, is the inward concern for one’s own personal welfare. It involves all activities involved in promoting ones own physical, emotional, financial, and spiritual development; this is basically ones intra-personal relationship with oneself. 

The Height of life is the all encompassing reach toward becoming one with all else. It is the strive toward resonating with the Almighty and all of existence. It involves first, the realization of the unity and interconnected nature of all existence, the realization of the fact that not only humans, but all other forms of life as well as all else that is, are part of this great network and only by interacting6 with these in a conscious and conscientiously favourably manner would one be able to attain the highest possible height and achieve the fullest potential of one’s life. 

These three factors are the components of the great triangle that is life. Without one of these components, the triangle becomes incomplete and therefore ceases to be. 

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On Laws

We all realize the importance of rules and guidelines in our everyday lives. We appreciate regulations against acts which would otherwise endanger us, and are greatly interested in those which offer rewards for our good acts as well as others meant to protect us from the unpredictability of nature.

As in a football match, so also medical practitioners have rules guiding their practice, so it is in every facet of human existence. These, we can all agree serves to provide tools ensuring the integrity of human life is maintained. Thus, they can be reckoned as mere tools to ensure the inalienable rights of humans are protected. What then do we do when laws fail to serve, or even work against this end? Is it not proper to amend or even abolish them as need be?

It is pertinent to determine how this differentiation is to be achieved, to determine rightly which of the innumerable rules, laws and guidelines are worth retaining, and which ones are to be amended or discarded. A general principle would be that any law which serves to restrict any human right or liberty but does not prevent or reduce the possibility of direct bodily or psychological harm to another human ought to be struck out.

Regulations which serve to protect the desires of a person or group based on the personal feelings at the expense of those of another person or group, in a situation where the latter’s desires do not cause direct bodily or psychological harm to the former are not worth having or enforcing since they merely represent the viewpoint of a fraction and do not reflect the opinion of the whole. Humanity is diverse, and in a lot of cases, one man’s desires happen to be the antithesis of another’s. We have the jazz fiends and the opera fanatics, vegetarians and meat-eaters. I cannot but wonder if there is anyway the interests/desires of one of these groups can be rightly placed above that of the other. This outrageously preposterous query happens to be a representation of what happens to obtain in many facets of human pursuits.

A clear distinction must be made between the robber and the prostitute, for while one aims to steal, to harm, to kill, the other harms no one, kills nothing, steals nothing. While we may rightly view one as bad, the other cannot be justly labelled the same under the basic principle of the law.

Ina Ori Orule (Fire on the Mountain)

We wake up every day thinking of the problems facing our nation. At every turn and corner, we’re reminded of them. We turn in at night with the same things on our minds. Our executives do nothing; their only concern lies with their pockets, filling their coffers while we fill coffins. The people do nothing regarding what plagues us them, believing it’s the prerogative of state (the executive) to do, and they do nothing about the state because “Everyone should be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God” and “o ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey His Messenger and those who are in authority among you” Galatians 6:6, and “If you differ in anything refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if you are believers in Allah and the Last Day. That is best and most commendable in the end” An-Nisa 4:59.

I ask; does God choose our leaders or do we? Is a man who rigs election then places a hand on God’s “Holy Scripture” to pledge his service God’s choice? Is a woman who pilfers our resources to purchase armored vehicles whole our farms lack machinery God’s choice? Are these people worthy of respect? If these aren’t God’s choice, would it be wrong to do something against them?

The rich own shares in weapon manufacturing corporations and appropriate the profits of war, while the poor get enlisted to fight for honour and motherland. It is said, “There is no peace in war, only profit”.

Think how much better thing would be if less armored personnel carriers and more tractors and harvesters were procured, if plutonium and samarium was gotten, less for military stockpiles and more for power stations.

Think of putative trophy heads, taken from Khoisan victims on display in The British Museum. Sierra Leone is one of the top 10 diamond exporting countries in the world but 203 out of 206 on the world’s poorest countries list. Picture the English Imperial state crown, the Sovereign Sceptre with Cross, Queen Mary’s crown, her Stomacher, et cetera, and the number of South-African lives it cost to procure those beautiful stones dignifying God’s chosen Monarchs. Imagine what happens if all the golden chalices and apparatus in the Vatican and other ‘shrines’ the world over were disposed and the proceeds committed to improving the lives of those deserving charities. Imagine what happens if we stopped sponsoring Hajj trips and focused on “educating” our children – not just schooling based on Eurocentric curriculum, but as Dr. Henrik Clarke said; actual education aimed at finding African solutions to African problems. Instead of paying for people to go throw stones at an imaginary Satan, why not help kids develop their sport/musical skills. Think what happens if low-cost houses were erected in place of mega cathedrals. How good it would be of women were not relegated to the background, if they didn’t have to line behind the men at every turn, if adulterous men were viewed in the same light as the women.

It is said “the powerful are afraid of truly educating the masses, because when that happens, the masses won’t ask for power, they’ll take it”.

Revolutions are like bitter syrups, taking it one drop at a time doesn’t reduce its bitterness, go once and be done with it. Think on the questions and act, you might have to give account someday.

 

ÒGÚN and the Quick-witted

The day comes to a close,
The Sun has gone to rest
The hen has gone to roost
Her chicks are less one
But she does not know, or
Couldn’t care less about it
What good is care to the weak
When might prevail still
The hawk grows fat on the young fowl’s essence
Perched atop the northern mountains
Out of reach from man and beast
The great flood is come again
Their wings bear them away
Ends there are, but means are not
Hopes and dreams is all we’ve got
Their arks, they build with planks of blood
But safe they sail even in storm
Where lies the face of the gods, or
The God we choose to set above
Is he asleep, blind or dumb, or
Has the devil we made usurped or God?
The chosen few take it all
The cake for all, swallowed by one
Tomorrow’s yam is roasted tonight
Omodedere yet starves on
Still we bow and scrape
Applauding every crumb that drops from the great oaken table.
Shouts of joy rent the air
A chunk of half-rotten mutton has dropped into our laps
The gods truly bless us.
Blinded by crumbs in our eyes
We sings praise songs for the flavour we perceive
Feeding on blood-stained crumbs
We fight to survive
The gods will liberate us someday
So we say, when nothing spills
We fail to grasp the simple truth
Ògún only favours the quick sitter
The Olympians will not meddle with men as long as Zeus lives
He who desires liberation gains it by force
The boot that wears the boot of oppression
Does not move till it is struck
God is asleep, blind or deaf
And the gods do battle only by the might of men
If we live on crumbs by faith
The gods look on in silence
By rousing from our tepid state are the gods agitated
Arise, ye that seek liberation
And wrest it by force.

On Purpose

On the question of innovation, technology and general human development and intelligence, a man of the cloth once said something to the effect of; mankind can do nothing except the initiative comes from God. This might seem a perfectly sound verdict; especially to the indoctrinated sheep that trust and obey, who never stop to question or consider. But when you take a moment to consider the implication of that sentence and try to reconcile it with what God is supposed to be; good, loving, fair, faithful, et cetera, then one sees the discrepancy. When we contrast these benign qualities with what God’s initiative has helped man “achieve” over the years; the beauty of the atomic bomb, as displayed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the righteousness of the idea that led to the development of the Kalashnikov line of firearms – perhaps the almighty had a better intention for the weapon, and what were Molotov cocktails meant to be for – blowing animals to bits? The idea of Jewish conspiracy God planted in Hitler’s mind – anyone ready to explain that?
These examples may seem to portray this author as one very hateful human bent on rebellion against all that is good, but this is not so. To clarify this, I implore my reader to juxtapose their preconceived views of God with the simple but true examples outlined above and thoroughly consider the questions between those lines.
Some of us, true to our faiths may say God gives good ideas, but the devil corrupts them in the minds of humans. This is a very feeble defence at best. Objective assessment of God’s nature shows a very evil, egoistic, and sadistic undertone. I invite those not convinced of this to consider the question of hurricanes and tornadoes, earthquakes and landslides and provide a worthy explanation on how the devil has corrupted these holy gifts from the father. I invite anyone still to consider the fact that a mosquito has to feed on human blood just to survive; thus making the transmission of malaria one of their primary life purposes. And what about the other virus and diseases; the onchocerca volvulus and other parasites as terrible as, and even more terrible than this, did the devil make these too? This takes my mind to Stephen Fry’s words “Bone cancer in children? What’s that about?”
Did the good Lord not say in Isaiah that he made all; the good and the bad alike? What about the carnivores that have to slay throw other animal families into mourning just to survive, think of the atavistic savagery that keeps life on Earth perpetuating? Even if it so happens that the lord of the flies has infested some hitherto sterilized meat, does the “good book” not show that he cannot do this without the express permission of the one above? Or has the devil we made usurped the omniscient? That is preposterously unlikely.
We must realize that we are on our own. We must recognize that there’s no sky daddy out there regulating what goes on in here. We have to understand that little children don’t die because God needs a new a new angel to guide his beloved. We must see now that the world is as terrific or as terrible as we make it. We need to grasp now that the purpose of our existence is not to prepare for an hereafter or to incessantly offer praise and worship to a being whose existence is to be mild; unfamiliar, but to at least make sure that we live this plane a better place than we met it. Our lives should not be assessed based on our religious creed but by the content of our character.
If at the end of our lives, there happens to be a God out there, he is certainly not going to be interested in us living “good lives’ just to partake of the joys of paradise, but in our service to the good of humanity. It would be unreasonably dishonest to claim this character is not found among people of the faith, but to attribute this to their religious creeds would be equally iniquitous. Just as Napoleon Bonaparte said “I am surrounded by priests who repeat incessantly that their kingdom is not of this world, and yet lay their hands on everything they can get” there are a lot of people – most of them really – who creed one religion or another but are as pragmatic as – if not more so than – those whose only faith is humanity.