HOME AT LAST! Part 30
OWN TURF IN THE DIASPORA
Because I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth, the notion that I must be happy with what I have here and now, no matter how little, was ingrained in my head from a very early age. If I could get more by doing what is acknowledged and recognized as good and acceptable practices, well and good. However, if it doesn’t work, too bad; try something, or go for something else, and/ or simply wait. Waiting never meant for me to just rest on my laurels, hoping for some miracle to happen for the more of that which I want to materialize somehow, without any effort from me, though. If I have to pray, it will be more to introspect and find peace of mind so I can think more clearly, but not for God to deliver it all for free just because I believe in her. It means that I have to, in the meantime, divert my attention to other things that work, even if they are not in any way related to that the more of I want in the first place. The point being that I have to keep myself moving in constant mental, physical, and spiritual shape, such that whenever the opportunity arises that I can now get more of the little I already have, I am ready, alert, and sharp. It may also be that by the time the opportunity for more presents itself, I may have lost the interest and desire. In that case, then, because of my ever alert and ready mental, physical, and spiritual state, making a transition to other areas of more gain and satisfaction potential should come as second nature.
Growing up with time, I also have come to learn and understand that I can only be what I can be, at any one time, wherever I am. That which I want to be, that which I aspire for I may or I may not achieve. But that’s not as important as the help I get to focus my energies and resources in positive, productive, and inspirational activities and ventures, by way of maintaining and sustaining healthy levels of mental, physical, and spiritual sharpness and alertness. To the extent that, although I will or may be terribly disappointed in the face of apparent failure in one area, I am never totally shattered because there is always an almost immediate alternative to channel out my frustrations in the creation of something new and different. There are many great things I have purposely and actively aspired to do and achieve in my life, but all to no avail. Nevertheless, the unexpected alternative opportunities for personal growth and development which have over the years presented themselves from even the most unlikely of sources have given me unimaginable levels of joy and fulfilment. And, that’s all that matters to me; not the could have, might have, or should have been. I am that I am, I have that I have here and now. That’s just the way it is.
Beaten and tired, coming back home from the Diaspora to the motherland in July 2013, it in no time emerged that I wouldn’t get, if at all, on the local professional and business success bandwagon as quickly and as trouble-free as I had earlier envisioned I would. Indeed, shattering reality when a prophet fails in his own land. So, I withdrew, allowed my depression to run its full course, did some special social responsibility/ community work volunteering, did lots of gardening, walked long distances for exercising, read a lot, thought about things a lot, fought a mean insolvency case in Norway, and wrote blog articles on the internet. The latter would build a loyal and critical following, which subsequently brought forth the desire and opportunity to expand my thoughts and creative energy to present them in a book form. A new me is born, tasting my own COOL Coaching’s sweet medicine of Self-Discovery, Self-Knowledge, Self-Renewal, and Self-Reinvention.
My maiden novel will be launched on the e-Books platform in a week’s time. Although the storyline decided to take its own form and direction when I finally got to get going with the writing process for exactly three weeks, starting last week of October to second week of November, 2015, the original idea actually crystallized itself in August, 2001. This was supposed to have been a story of and about the life of my late father, one of the truly most remarkable men who were forced by British colonialism induced poverty and misery to leave their countries in Central-East-Southern Africa to come and work as cheap labour in the then, and still, vibrant South African economy. Without exception, they all came with nothing but an awesome hunger, desire, and need for a better life. With minimal to zero level education, lack of any vocational skills, and not being accustomed to any form of heavy physically demanding work from before, many would sustain permanently debilitating injuries, if not die altogether, in the gold, diamond, coal, and platinum mines, as well as the large commercial farms across the country. Others, as became the case with my father, would end up in the service industry, especially restaurants and hotels, including domestic servant jobs.
It has always been a great source of curiosity and fascination for me as to how people like my father managed, against all the odds facing them, to finally settle down, curve their own spaces, get married to local girls and women, and establish own families in South Africa. If South African Black people were third class citizens during the Colonial to Apartheid eras, people like my father were treated with even lower levels and worse forms of indignities by all the White, Green, Purple, Yellow, and Pink South Africans. Their wives and off-spring were not spared either, especially among fellow Black people, with whom, of course, we had/ have the most immediate contact. Yet, despite all the hassles, many of these people like my father would keep it together, raising children many of whom would grow up to be very prominent in the various fields of human endeavour, contributing to the growth, progress, and development of the country, making South Africa ever so proud. While my father died at a relatively tender age of 65, his remaining friends and former colleagues continue to pass on, many between 80-100 years old, leaving behind as much as 9 generations since they first came to the country in the 1930s, if not earlier. Contrasting issues of violent xenophobia tendencies in post-1994 South Africa, absolutely without exception, the older generations of Black South Africans never cease to talk about how, despite everything else, people like my father were ever so humble, peaceful, tolerant, patient, kind, generous, and inclusive. I guess it may be because as a Diasporant in Europe myself, I see and feel much of my father and people like him in me. I see and identify many parallels with those of my father and people like him in my own life experiences abroad. After at least 20 years in the country, my father, and many other people like him did in the 1970s, at the height of Apartheid’s deadly venomous brutality, return to their countries of origin, Zambia, in my father’s case. Many, including my father, failed to reconnect with their own roots. Much had changed too much for them, they also had changed too much for their own lands of birth themselves. That’s how prophets fail in their own lands. Some came back to South Africa, their new old homeland. Story of my life. I am going back to Norway.
Watch this space for more information regarding the book launch. A recommended reading for those seeking to understand how the minds of immigrants work out in the Diaspora. I especially recommend the reading for those who sadly fail to make it in the Diaspora, thinking that the Diaspora is the place called hell itself. Indeed, hell is a place on earth. But so is heaven. We make what we make, and choose what we choose for ourselves.
Tel.: +27 717 454 115
November 23, 2015 (more…)
Racism is a constant. Racism does not change colour with location, or time. Racism is not some figment of the imagination. Racism is as real as day and night. Racism cannot be explained away; it is neither an intellectual nor academic exercise. Racism is unidirectional like an arrow in flight. Its objective is to demean, use, abuse, exploit, hurt, dehumanize, destroy, and obliterate; nothing in between. The ultimate goal of racism is genocide.
Racism is a systematized, institutionalized mind-set of false superiority, entitlement, and privilege over Black people by White people. Racism classifies Black people as stupid, intellectually inferior sub-humans. Racism is no playing matter for Black and dark-skinned people of the world. Racism eats into the flesh and bones of Black and dark-skinned people of the world as if sulphuric acid. When a Black and dark-skinned person has lost their identity and sense of pride, and have ceased to reproduce themselves effectively, racism has done its job according to plan.
Racism against Black and dark-skinned people of the world nothing compares to it. It does not matter how intelligent, successful, creative, powerful, affluent, influential, proud, and self-confident a Black and dark-skinned person of the world is; racism seeks to eliminate them from them face of the earth. In South Africa, it took out Steve Biko, to name but one anti-racism icon in our time. In the USA, racism can’t quite get it right. And, so, it has a field day dishonouring, disrespecting, and working against President Barack Obama each and every step of the way. It’s not about President Obama doing the wrong thing or not. The man is simply Black, and according to racism propagators, he cannot rightly be the president of the USA, and by extension, the most powerful man in the world. If allowed to live, Black people, according to racism, ought to be slaves and/ cheap entertainment objects for other non-Black people.
Because this is a very personal piece on the subject, based on my direct life-long experiences of the abhorrent practice as a Black person, in my world, racism defines both historical and contemporary power relations between White people and Black people at both regional, as well as global levels. In the competition for access to, and ownership of limited survival resources on earth, White people have devised methods, ways, and means to sideline, deprive, exclude, marginalize, suppress, and oppress Black people with respect to deriving benefits from the wealth of their own nations, as well as that of the world. Discrimination and segregation have been/ are used to set Black people apart and away from the good that growth, progress, and development in society ought to bring to all who live in it. In the old South Africa we had Apartheid, which instituted and applied with extremely effective police and military brutality, laws which ensured total disenfranchisement of Black people.
South African Black people were second class citizens in their own country, treated with the most humiliating and dehumanizing indignities by White people practising racism, guided and protected by the lethal Apartheid power state machinery. To this day, there is evidence of extremely poor housing and sub-standard provision of social amenities inherited from the Apartheid era. There is also evidence of continuing arrogance of power by pockets of White racists misguidedly acting either alone or in organized fringe groups, living in denial of the fact that the inherently structurally weak South African White supremacist foundations crumbled with the fall of Apartheid in 1994. In the same manner, there are White and some strange other supposedly non-Black-but-not-quite-White people across the world who live with the conviction that real Black-Black people are inferior and intellectually deprived by default. Hardly surprising, therefore, that Black people are treated as doormats by even the most wretched of the earth globally. But then again, there are Black Super Stars who crush racism and racists everywhere on a daily basis. Come to me, I show you how.
The anti-racism stance and struggle are not about individual victories over small time, small-minded bigots and racists in small towns owing to a Black Super Star’s privilege, status, success, power, influence, as well as protection and luck. There are many a Black Super Star and other dark-skinned people who will go through their lives claiming to be oblivious to racism. These will either be outright dumb, ignorant, naïve, arrogant, uncultured, and unrealistic, if not all of these. On the other hand, we acknowledge that there will be eccentrics everywhere; they too have the right to live and to express themselves in the free world. Nevertheless, it is tragically insensitive, symptomatic of having little or no respect at all for Black people victims of racism all over the world to perceive racism as non-existent, dismissing it as being merely a matter of possible low self-esteem issues manifestation on the part of the racially violated.
Racism is huge, ugly as any monster can be. Racism is at the core of historical and contemporary imperialist and colonialist expansion, as well as domination. The enormous losses of human life and material resources in the global struggle against Imperialism and Colonialism bear enough testimony as to the deeply grave nature of racism. Through the epochs, at the centre of about all major liberation struggles across the world is the people’s need to free themselves from the shackles of racism and its anti-life attributes of discrimination, marginalization, and segregation, as well slavery and murder.
Racism is not about how I as an individual feel and think of myself and my reality. My thoughts give substance to my feelings arising from how racism ever strives to soil my reality, and how I shall relate to that reality. I know I am not alone in knowing and understanding how racism works. It is by rising and keeping together as boundless resourceful free thinkers, intellectuals, academicians, philosophers, scientists, and freedom fighters that we can continue mobilizing mass movements against racism through creativity and innovation via the arts, literature, culture, and education, including social activism and militancy, as well as business. The fact is that White supremacist racism pukes on everybody that’s not White. There may be so many shades of Black and/ or Blackness in a racialised non-White-yet-not-so-Black person’s eyes, but Black is Black in a White supremacist’s eyes.
Therefore, I beg to differ with a dear friend when she says, on Facebook (Own translation from Norwegian), “Either I am ignorant of the negativity that has come my way, or I am an exception. If I say I have (ever) experienced racism that will be a lie, but if I have (ever) been subjected to stupid comments about not being an ethnic Norwegian, yeah, then the speaker will have gotten a response he/ she will remember the rest of their lives … (I) Think that which is perceived as racism is more a form of vulnerability on the part of the offended. If the offended had seen that it’s only idiots who can behave that way (i.e. racist), and that all are equal under the law, regardless of whether someone likes it or not, we would perhaps hear a bit less (of) ‘victim’ of racism occurrences. Exception is harassment, (and) discrimination because of dressing style, religion, and skin colour. In that case one ought to seek justice, and report the case… / Enten er jeg ignorant av det negative som må ha passert meg, ellers så er jeg et unntak. Hvis jeg sier jeg har opplevd rasisme så vil det være en løgn, men om jeg har vært utsatt for dumme kommentarer angående det å være ikke etnisk norsk, tja men da har vedkommende fått seg et svar som han/hun vil huske resten av livet… Tror det som blir oppfattet som rasisme er mer en form for sårbarhet av den som føler seg utsatt, hadde vedkommende sett at det er kun idioter som kan finne på å oppføre seg slik og at alle er like under loven, uansett om noen liker eller ikke liker det, så hadde vi kanskje hørt litt mindre “offer” for rasisme episoder. Unntak er da trakassering, diskriminering,pga klesplagg, religion og hudfarge. Da bør man gå rettens vei eller anmelde…”
Tel.: +27 717 454 115
September 14, 2015
HOME AT LAST! Part 28
New Job Application:
Change, Win, Adapt, or Jump in The Lake in The Diaspora
How old I was then was of no concern to me. At that age I saw things in terms of physical appearances relative to other objects in the immediate environment. People were adults because they were far bigger, and stronger than me. When I first became consciously aware of where I was in my surroundings, it was of no concern to me as to whether I was coming or going; I was just there where I found myself, having the time of my life discovering wonders of the world.
In the middle of the darkest of nights, this big man had put me up on his shoulders, with my hands barely touching each other across his forehead, holding tight as I had been instructed. He took my grandmother’s hand, and led the wade into, and across the Caledon River at a hip high, slow rapids point, with thick willow tree forest on either side. Silence was everything, so was invisibility. Somewhere about half way across the river, the man stepped on a loose stone, missing balance slightly. My immediate panic reflex response was to scream, but the man’s harsh “SHHH!!!” stopped my voice cold. He whispered we stand still for a while. “If the police on the other side see or hear us, we are dead. They shoot to kill. They don’t miss!” the man said. After what seemed like forever, our guide and protector proceeded to see my grandmother and I across the river safely, and walked us through the river bank forest. Sure that we were safe into South Africa, the man turned back to return to his village on the other side, instructing my grandmother to speak to no one until we get to the train station. My grandmother had earlier told me that the man and his elderly father made a living by helping people cross the river into South Africa in the way we just did. There were all sorts of people, from those simply out to look for work, lovers such as my grandmother was, to politicians and freedom fighters.
Now I know I was four-and-half years old when I was introduced to the world of human trafficking. I understood already at that age that lack of passport could never be a hindrance to travel if you had money and other resources to pay somebody who had alternative, unconventional routes and methods, and you were prepared to risk your life as a worst case scenario in the process. 51 years later, I still wonder at how my dying would have felt like had we been discovered that night. What would have happened had the man fallen in the middle of the river, and the currents had taken me? We used to hear of many, many people drowning in the river while attempting to cross into, and from South Africa.
51 years later, human-trafficked children suffer and survive incomparable ordeals over the Mediterranean. For those who do finally make it to Europe, many will have died not only at sea, but the many transit points in North Africa on the one side of the Mediterranean and Red Seas, and the Middle East on the other. I can’t help but wonder where and how these surviving children will be 51 years ahead.
The fact that endless streams of so many, many thousands of people in our time continually go out with rock-hard, clearly well-thought-out determination to seek to defy the meanest odds in order to get to Europe ought to serve as more than enough proof that imperfect and decadent as it may be, the Western way of life remains the most human needs and aspirations fulfilling of all. Western countries of Democracy are lands of promise. Democracy is a beautiful thing, worth dying for, for its enlivenment and propagation in one’s country; worth dying for in the pursuit of living in it in far away lands if conditions at home are impossible. Democracy frees the human spirit, inspires hope, enhances faith, facilitates for and enables unleashing of maximum human creative potential and expression.
Democracy is a tool for lasting and durable human development in the service of humanity’s sustenance and sustainability against challenges of living and life in, and with nature. Perhaps the most endearing thing about Democracy is its humane aspect, where the individual has the right to choose to live their lives as they see and deem fit for themselves as individuals, or specific collectives sharing common beliefs and norms. Because Democracy is what it is, it is so to the extent that it is measured against other systems of human society organization and engineering. Therefore, Democracy does have its own boundaries and limitations, as defined and expressed in each a democratic country’s constitution and laws. You choose to love or hate Democracy as you will, just don’t seek to destroy it where it thrives well and good in its acknowledged imperfect nature, as it does in various ways in many a progressive Western country. To those who want to hang themselves, Democracy gives them abundant access to the ropes.
I contend that the worst tragedy for many survivors who do eventually make it, and settle into Western Europe, as well as other democratic countries of the world, is not so much the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) arising from their escape travel ordeals, or tyrannical experiences in countries of origin. Many of these people get it all completely wrong by egoistically exploiting the newly-found, rather broad and wide, extremely tolerant freedom of choice and expression platforms taken for granted here. What boggles the mind is the ever single-minded determination by many of these people to want, at every cost, to reproduce the very oppressive and inhumane conditions they ran away from, from their own countries of origin in the first place. These people seem never to ever want to take time to introspect, compare and contrast the real human existence conditions between what they find here relative to where they come from. But then again, the core of how these people will ultimately organize their lives lies not in man-made life philosophies and their operative institutions.
There are forces called religion, and culture. These house, and express in various ways the attributes and nature of God, the creator of heaven and earth. It doesn’t matter even if God created different parts of the world unequally, such that in those parts of the world where religion and God are most highly exalted, the human condition is often at its most appalling, with disease, ignorance, poverty, inequalities, and exploitation of the weak and fragile at their most rampant, and non-apologetic. Whether or not by intention, these people have made God the original, and biggest segregationist, as well as racist of first order. In the real world, Democracy if understood and left alone, all (can) live harmoniously side-by-side with respect, honour, and dignity, within the operational boundaries of Democracy itself, as well as God through religion and culture.
No one is born a child of God. People are born to be children of God as a matter of personal choice, or through coercion, if not persuasion. No one is born with religion encoded within their genetic make up. People learn about religion, and so choose to be religious as a conscious act, persuasion, and/ or through coercion. No one is born religious. No one is born Atheist. No one is born Animist, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, or Taoist. People are born into religions, and other systems of belief, including cultures, traditions, as well as other systems of thought seeking to make sense of the human condition and its existential imperatives, both material and otherwise. Blessed are those born in times and spaces of Democracy; here shall all men, women, and children of the world aspire to be, paying the ultimate price to get there if need be.
To the extent that Democracy permits people to be real, giving them chances to be rational and critical about the big questions of life and living, including whether to die or not in its pursuit, attainment, cultivation, and preservation, its enemies can never, and will never crush it. Great harm and damage may be caused in the short term, but, ultimately, Democracy shall prevail. Democracy is freedom, and all people of the world are born free. The duty and obligation of every living human being are to essentially work continually at enhancing freedom, its expression, and experience; such that all children of the world are not only born free, but are born into freedom. Freedom shall enable children of the world to travel the world freely, making, with no effort, the necessary behavioural changes necessary to adapt to any new environment. Freedom as an extension and expression of Democracy does not impose. Imposition applies force, force begets resistance; resistance creates conflict, conflict will often culminate in violence, and, subsequently, death. Democracy is pro-life. If and when Democracy kills, it will often be in extreme necessary self-preservation circumstances, an act which in itself does not make killing conditionally right, or justifiable. Democracy is also about doing what has to be done when it has to be done. Time will judge as to the moral justness or not of effecting what had to be done.
No religion and its attributes, neither culture nor belief system, are encoded in anybody’s genes through conception and birth. Faith gives religion a face, highlighting its tenets, defining its boundaries, specifying its systems of rewards and punishments, and not in the least, it’s supreme, all powerful and mighty being. Faith is the pathway between religion and God Almighty. What is encoded in the genetic make up of people is the infinite potential and capacity to learn and fantasize.
Because it is in the nature of nature to be unpredictable, human survival on earth depends on the full and constant use, as well as application of the potential and capacity to learn. This is, and this has been the only way for humans to solve and overcome challenges of life and living in/ with nature. Learning provides tools for effecting change, as well as effective living with it in changing times and circumstances. Fantasy allows, and is the expression of the human mind’s ability and capacity to apply the five senses to conceptualizing perceptions beyond the normal physical reality as we experience it on daily basis. Life Coaching inspired by Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) seeks to broaden conscious awareness of the value and application of fantasy in relating to, and solving life’s ever present survival challenges.
Every word, every symbol, every thought, every action enlivens or subdues fantasy in variable ways according to time, space, and circumstances in relation to what we have learnt, what we have been taught. I can teach people new to the Western Democracy way of living to change their extremely exaggerated perceptions of Western society vis-à-vis their own imported religions and cultures. I can take these people on powerful fantasy trips that will show them that it actually is possible in reality to live in peace and harmony in the Western world. I can teach them that the Western world facilitates conditions for people to be nearer to, and understand their own God even more profoundly. Bombings, orgies of mass destruction, murder, oppression and exploitation of the weak and vulnerable can never be effective methods of creating a perfect world for a liberating, and loving God. This is a manifestation of extremely bad education, and human fantasy potential application gone totally wrong.
There is no better place to be a deeply religious, totally devoted to any God-of-choice-person than in the Western world today. Operating within the fully transparent and, if/ when necessary, contestable laws of the land defining the boundaries and limitations of Democracy, religious people of all faiths are ever happiest, and thrive more in the Western world as a matter of course. With my COOL Coaching® personal development training methods and techniques, I can help people from religious and political despotic, oppressive, repressive lands to settle well, and be decent value adding citizens in their new homelands; this done without in any way alienating them from their Gods and religions at all. On the contrary, experiencing the glory and power of God, living out one’s religion as a conscious personal journey of self-discovery, self-realization, self-knowledge, and self-reinvention can be the most liberating thing in so far as loving one’s God and creation go. Love of God is in practice a manifestation of love for the inner self, where love for humanity, understanding, tolerance, and the never ending urge to open one’s mind to new learning in/ with changing times and spaces reside. Welcome to the world of Western philosophical thought inspiration, and Democracy.
I shall receive and consider job offers from any organization, state or private (NGO), in any Western country working with the integration of immigrants as discussed above. Please download my CV (Pdf-fil).
Tel.: +27 717 454 115
August 24, 2015
38 YEARS AN EXILE: XXIV
HOME AT LAST! Part 24
– Life After Death? –
Existential Questions In The Diaspora
Especially due regard to all those who depart of this our plant earth in the most untimely, the most tragic manner and circumstances – Victims of global terrorism, wars, and all sorts of violent crimes, including competently ill-managed curable maladies, as well as all kinds of accidents, and natural disasters. I also declare solidarity with, and the most humane sensitivity possible to the ever deep sense and feelings of loss, as well as distress, to all who lose/ have lost their beloved ones in any way the ever sad eventuality occurs/ has occurred.
There is no life after death. Death is an express one-way ticket ride, out and far away from planet earth. If it has a distinct destination, then the place death takes souls of the dead to is a place totally unlike earth, totally detached from earth, totally giving bull about whether planet earth exists or not. When you die, no matter how, when you are dead, there not only is no turning back; there is no looking back either. Death is an absolute end to life and its attributes on earth, as well as the rest of the fathomable universe. We live only once, that’s it.
There is no place called hell located somewhere in the darkest of recesses of the universe beneath planet earth somewhere. You burn alive for your sins in numerous ways and possibilities right here on planet earth. When you die, often doing so as you lived as a sinner, you thank God it’s over, for, you know, it is here on earth the fire is real. Phoenixes rising from ashes are things of mythology meant to inspire ideas of reflection, and critical thinking about life, and the living here on earth.
You atone for your sins, God rewards you with heaven thrown into your hands in the living here on planet earth. If you are not living it already, the day you wake up not only feeling it, but also knowing with tangible earthly evidence in any recognizable form that you are living your consciously and deliberately chosen dream as a free citizen in a free world, then you have received heaven in your hands. You can then design and build your world according to your visions and tastes, populating it with all the beauty, joy, and happiness you choose; sharing it all with all those you choose because you love them. Heaven is a place called earth, living side-by-side with hell; two sides of the same coin eternally turning round and round till death calls. When you die, you thank God for the music, the light, the blessings, the abundance of it all on the heaven side of the coin you chose to live. You lived, you created, you loved; you played your game well. Amen. But your heaven, because it is an earth thing, remains behind as a matter of course. Yes, Jobs’ gone, Apple’s here; keeps the world moving. Life goes on.
Overwhelmed by maddening real flames of earthly hell fire, and through ignorance and fear of the unknown, those remaining behind will construct giant pyramids and shrines, thinking and solemnly believing they are preserving for you the heaven you created for yourself while in the living. What bull, you ain’t gonna come back, you ain’t gonna look back. Any archaeologist knows this fact just too well. Hello, Tutankhamen! Then, evil reigns, creating myths and monsters, supreme Gods and holy angels for those remaining behind to blindly worship and glorify. These, not knowing, or not wanting to take responsibility for creating the hell they have arsoned for themselves on earth, transposing heaven to such fantastic outer realms of human existence it is possible to get there only by living life on earth in line with the most impossible, if not most grotesque rules, rituals, and life choices human beings on earth can be subjected to. Some are even willing to offer and pay the ultimate price in their ever futile and doomed efforts to knock on non-existent heaven’s doors ludicrously and falsely envisioned beyond planet earth.
It is both scientifically and philosophically not objectively possible that hell and heaven are experiential realms outside the material world, the material universe, as we understand them to be today. Hell as a place of endless super heat flames of fire functioning as the final perpetual roasting place for sinners negates contemporary moral and ethical thought. So does heaven, if the way into it has to be the longest, the most arduous; turning people into social deviants, psychopaths, as they live in constant extreme fear of/ for failing to live up to the commands and demands of their religions. These commands and demands often go against the most basic natural aspects, and instincts of being a free human being, both in thought, sentiment, and action. Religion and its beliefs being used as the vehicle to heaven, where God supposedly abodes, is in parallel used by some to get many a made psychopath to execute some of the most abominable acts of violence against humanity, all in the promise and outrageous belief that the perpetrators will have free and direct access into heaven somewhere above, to enjoy a never-ending life of super opulence, with ever abundant supplies of nubiles for all-time satisfaction of needs of the flesh. All this is self-contradictory, non-scientific, amoral, and non-ethical, defying progressive modern, free world conventional and radical philosophical thought, as well as practice.
Upon my having become a certain critical age a lifetime ago in Lusaka, Zambia, my father carried out a special male bonding cleansing ritual at dusk of this one day. Afterwards, I had to join him to go out and dispose of the concoction of stuff used in the ceremony. We had to find a busy, but distant pedestrian crossroads from our neighbourhood. Rolled in a piece of chitenge cloth, we lay the mixture in the middle of the crossroads, but only after having made absolutely sure that we saw no one coming by. It was equally important that nobody saw us at this point either. Done deal. Before we turned to walk away, with darkness now upon us, Pappa, in an uncharacteristically guttural voice, commanded me not to look backwards once we’ve taken the first steps to walk back in the direction of our house. “Remember the story of Sodom and Gomorrah in the Bible, Buti!” He further implored me to avoid finding myself in this part of the neighbourhood for as long as possible. I never looked back, never went back.
Pappa would later explain three full moons gone later, “What is supposed to happen is that anytime from as soon as we’ve turned our backs on the parcel to dawn, one of your most ancient vagabond ancestors will come to clean up the crossroads, taking with her the parcel further in her wonderings. Legend has it that she is so old, and elements-beaten that the sight of her is scarier than the most scary horror movie character you can ever conjure up. Were you to lay your eyes on this figure, you shall live, but you’ll never be able to tell the story. How many plausible tales can a mentally deranged person tell, Buti, my son?
“Occasionally, it does happen that some stupid person arrives at the disposal scene before the ancient one does. If they see, but ignore the parcel, all shall be well with them. Were they to step on it intentionally, or touch it in any way, an abnormal physiological condition incapacitating coherent speech, and ability to describe things in any way shall befall them. Were they to take and open the parcel, then, instant mental derangement, as well as incurable blindness shall be their fate. Therefore, you are not to look back because were you to see a person begin to suffer as a result of messing around with the parcel, dire emotional issues will burden all your living days on earth. You will never, you can never ever be free as a human being from seeing another human being suffer as a result of fallouts of your traditional life rituals, or beliefs.
“Symbolically, the parcel contains unwanted, dead aspects, call them sins, of each our own lives shaping our mutual relationship with each other as father and son. The crossroads reminds us that although life can be lived in any direction, it ultimately all culminates at one point in the centre, death. Placing the parcel at the crossroads represents burial. What happens after death is really worry for the living, not the dead. The symbolism of not looking back is that death must never hold the living back, life must go on. While allowing for natural human curiosity, ideally, once buried, the dead ought to be left alone. Those who through, wilful intention or otherwise, temper with the dead may discover things too heavy to make sense of for an ordinary human mind in the living. That explains the great personal misfortunes upon the one who shall touch the parcel. Why not bury the parcel totally out of sight underground, then, you might ask? Well, Buti, beware of temptations. If and when you delve into the unknown for whatever reason, there may be dire outcomes. A man shall deal with them as they come, the good and/ or the bad consequences of his own actions”
Indeed, life on earth must go on because there really is no life after death. And life on earth is good for the sound-minded and rational. If, for argument’s sake, there is life after death, then it’s a paradise teeming with raving mad lunatics. They look back, and return to earth, calling it reincarnation, and yet again fail to make sense of it all the good life of the living on earth. Turning planet earth into hell, they then engage in orgies of the most horrendous of murders worldwide. People have died by the millions over time, others continue killing themselves by the thousands, yet no heaven’s doors beyond planet earth ever seem to open. The situation gets worse all the time. If God is there somewhere above, I am convinced he is stone deaf, blind as a bat in daylight. People sing glory in his name at killing everything and everybody, including their own. But nothing ever changes for the better. This God must be lame, and neurologically incapable. In that case then, here is yet another negation of any possibility of any existence of life after death. If there is, it’s not worth the extreme troubles many believers go through in his name. Life begins, and ends here on planet earth. Punktum. Face it!
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July 01, 2015