COMMUNICATION

How does a nation communicate with itself? How are messages passed, orders given, thought patterns and processes prescribed, and proscribed, consensus reached, an understanding made binding on all? Without words. 

How does a nation tell itself what to believe, what to say, how to act, where to go, which lie to tell and which truth to reveal? How does a nation converse with itself, argue with itself, consult with itself, agree with itself, without betraying itself?

Long before the Internet, long before the television and the radio, long before telephone and telex, long before railways and planes, long before highways, long ago, when not everywhere was motorable and some places were unreachable and remote, and journeys were laborious dangerous enterprises that took weeks and months. Long long ago, when Human was young, how did Nations learn to think as one and to perceive as a unit? 

There is something that unites people deep down in their souls sometimes, the reverberations of a common Inner Voice. And so, one word can last them a thousand years and sustain them and not go out of fashion and never be misinterpreted by them, because at its origin they all gave to it the same meaning. It becomes like a root, and however far and wide their flowers flourish or their fruits nourish, they draw from the root of the same word. And that word is their secret ancient name, in which their destiny is encoded.

Nations have changed so much. Sometimes it‘s hard to know to which nation you belong – and when you know it, you cannot find it anywhere. And when you find it, you do not belong there where you think you saw it. Everything is in daily motion, and tomorrow the world will mix up the different parts again. 

Once upon a time, there were nations and you belonged to one of them. Today, when you feel lost, close your eyes and listen for those whose Inner Voice are similar to yours. They are your Nation.

 – Che Chidi Chukwumerije 

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THE INNER NATION

What really runs a country is a system of thought, habits and behaviour to which a group of people subscribes. Not politicians. Not civil servants. Not a constitution. But simply an inner life in which all participate, and from which an intangible system of thinking arises that unites everybody who ascribes to it. It unites them and “runs” them according to a set of core rules which these people, in their inner being, unthinkingly believe to be the true reality.

This hidden level of surrender to their version of reality lies deeper that what is generally called culture and tradition. On the contrary, culture and tradition arise gradually from this foundation, simultaneously influencing its further development reciprocally – positively or negatively – even as it itself continues to reinforce the culture and tradition it birthed.

And then, after the level of “culture and tradition” has been formed, they in turn midwife the mentality that thinks out not just the surface laws and constitution of a country, but also the understanding of whether these laws are to be obeyed at all or in what way they are to be interpreted, implemented or circumvented. A recognizable national “way” comes to life which becomes attributable to that nation by everyone who visits it or lives in it. You just know: this is the way these people are.

Thus to influence or direct the path of a nation, you have to have power of this hidden level of reality, power over the nation’s inner life. You have to understand it, be homogeneous with it, so that you understand it and it understands you. You have to know it’s fears and hopes, the sources of its joy, and what is “real” to it. Only when you have mastered it on this inner level, will it follow you when you pull. You have to be it, but the better version of it. Sometimes, though, unfortunately those who grasp this are also the worst version of a nation’s inner life.

They have come to grasp that it is not really they themselves personally that rule the country – all they do is guide and manipulate an animal that already exists. Their job is simply to understand and feed the animal, by swinging in unison with the nation’s inner life. Because it is this hidden inner mentality that really runs a country, chaperoning it from generation to generation, reacting or not reacting to globalization and digitalization, focusing on the issues it focuses on, condoning the things it condones, evolving in its own way, determining its place on the global theater of nations and peoples, characterizing it as either a pawn, a puppet or a captain of its own ship.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije

PARADISE NOW

If paradise were not joy, then eternal life would be a punishment, not a prize. If eternity were not in the moment, then eternal life would be a burden, not a relief. We cannot permit paradise to always be somewhere far away, in another dimension, on another plane, to which we only attain after death, or sometime in the future after the last judgement. This concept of paradise only divides us from life and devalues the large trajectory of our past, by constantly limiting the scope and context of our present.

Paradise has to be in the moment, every moment. Paradise has to be for you not a place you go to, but a way and manner in which you go every place you are going. Paradise for you has to be the way you walk your ways, the way you talk, the way you think and perceive, the way you feel and sense, the way you intuitively perceive, in short: the way you are, in every moment. And this concept of paradise can only make sense to you when you recognize that the only thing paradise can be is joy. And the only thing that can be eternal is joy. And since life constantly pushes towards motion, then eternal activity only makes sense in combination with eternal joy. The only price that joy demands is that in seeking it we do not infringe on the personal boundaries of other joy-seekers.

But there is nothing like eternity, because it does not exist, because it has not yet existed, because by definition it cannot exist since it can never conclude itself and be a rounded event. It is an open-ended assertion. There is nothing like eternity. There is only the moment which gives birth to the moment which gives birth to the moment which gives birth to the moment which gives birth to the moment…. unendingly? Well, I tell you what. The only thing that makes a thing gladly repeat itself unendingly is joy. If being itself makes it happy, then it will repeat itself unendingly.

Would the beings in paradise and spirits in heaven want to live forever if they were not happy, and happy being themselves? Would YOU want to live forever if eternal life were not eternal joy but the lack of joy and you could not be yourself and be happy? I would not. Come to think of it: is that not the definition of Hell? I really think that is beyond the capacity of human experiencing. Every joyless human existence must come to an end some day. Only joyful spiritual experiencing can extend endlessly.

Joy is not a place. It is an inner state of being. It is paradise. It is not connected with earthly or exterior badges of praise. It is not by itself connected with power or money. It is not even connected with achievements, which become the past. It is simply a product of the way you are. Thus you can carry it about with you, every moment, every day, through all your lives, on earth and in the beyond, and at home in the spiritual kingdom, forever and ever.

The Kingdom of God lies within you – and it’s name is Joy.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

TIME OF OUR LIVES

I wish there were two of me – and both would go out in the morning on different paths of experiencing and fulfillment, to cover all I have to cover. And in the evening they would come back again and unite in one person, myself, not doubly rich in experiencing, but just fully rich.

I sometimes wish the two sides of me could divide and live two different lives, and then unite again at the end. The linear experiencing of time and limited experiencing of space are the best spur to make the most of every moment, every second, every thought, every intuition. Because one person one life… is just not enough.

Our vanity projects end up eating up most of our time. Superficiality. Once is not enough, even twice is not enough. The many lives we should give to our Striving, we sell to our Vanity for nothing. And then you are here, trapped in one experience, and wishing you could divide yourself into three or more; and send out your volition, cloaked multiple times as you, to go and attend to all the other fires which, deep within your heart, you know are still burning in other aspects of your life.

Who is ever finished at the end when he or she has to go? Hardly anybody. Precious Moment, open up and link me always to the underground stream of my true destiny. Whatever I seek and whatever I do, may I the spirit be truly finished and fulfilled by the time I‘m done and gone.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije

STOP KILLING THEM BEFORE THEY GROW

Nobody is born thinking he or she has less dignity or less worth than another human being. No child thinks it has less dignity or less worth – or more dignity or worth – than another child. These things are trained, instilled, indoctrinated and socialized into them in the process of growing up. By the time they become adults, they „accept“ their position, their place and their role.

Teach and train your children, above all, to be confident and self-confident. Self-confidence is the most powerful weapon in the soul‘s arsenal. It is what makes people cross boundaries and borders, break barriers, and open up new vistas of experiencing as well as make new discoveries for themselves, their environment and even for humankind. Self-confidence is the original character and prime characteristic of the Spirit.

When the spirit opens its eyes for the first time in the world of matter, it just finds itself confronted by this gigantic unknown world around it. But it is not intimidated, it is curious and full of the urge to adventure and discover. It is self-confidence that makes it set forth, intuitively certain that it will overcome all obstacles and challenges, thirsty for experiencing and knowledge, and wanting to forge its destiny, and find itself.

Children carry a deep sense of worth, of „I-am-somebody-ness“ inside of them. Of „I deserve whatever another child deserves“. They have a sensitive inner antenna against discrimination, and an instinctive feeling of having the same rights as very other child. Strengthen and preserve this intuition within them, so that they will never ever surrender their dignity and equality without a fight all through their life. And they will always win the fight.

But teach them too that in addition to their rights, as payment and balance for their rights, that they also have equal responsibilities as everybody else too. The responsibility to enact and uphold and obey fair and just laws. The responsibility to create and maintain and constantly improve a system that helps the disadvantaged without unfairly suppressing and disempowering the talented. The responsibility to not only preserve every good thing already achieved by humankind, but to be untiringly innovative and to invent and constantly re-invent the future. The responsibility to never stop seeking the truth, seeking to understand life, seeking to know what makes us human, what links us as humans, and how to become better humans. The responsibility to listen to their conscience.

This is a responsibility we all share – old and young. We pass on the torch endlessly to the next generation. We do this by igniting the flame within the young souls of children. Even if we are all reincarnated souls, Every Childhood is a new chance to re-engineer humanity, correct or discontinue the past, and save the future of humankind. Every child is worth the effort. Never stop trying. Never give up on a child.

Seek always to bring out the best in your child, in a child, in every child.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

MEETING ORLANDO JULIUS

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Back in 2008 when I used to work partly in Nigeria, partly in Ghana and partly in Equatorial Guinea, the late great Sir Maliki Showman – the wonderful man who taught me how to play the saxophone (that’s a tale I’ll tell another day) – told me that if I ever had the chance , I should pay a visit to and say Hello to the pioneer of Afrobeat music and one of the greatest living Nigerian saxophonists of all time, Orlando Julius, who had at that time temporarily moved from Nigeria to the Ghanaian countryside, to a quiet village on the outskirts of Accra.

So one weekend in Accra, I chartered a Taxi and drove over, where I met the maestro himself, Orlando Julius Ekemode, and his incredibly gracious and beautiful wife and dancer, Latoya Aduke Ekemode. I have seldom experienced greater hospitality than they showered to me on that day. They took me as their son, we ate together, drank together and the great man regaled me with funny and touching and inspiring tales from the good old days of Nigerian music long before I was born – just like his friend Maliki Showman always used to do too.

Finally Orlando brought out his tenor sax and asked me to unpack mine which I had brought along. And after I showed him how far Sir Maliki had already brought me as at that time, Orlando Julius proceeded to lovingly show me new tricks on the Tenor sax and to expand my knowledge of the instrument and of African and Jazz music, like a father would. These are precious memories I‘ll never forget.

And last night, in Frankfurt, more than a decade later, and many years after the death of my friend and teacher Maliki Showman, it was such a joy for me to see Orlando Julius and his wife Latoya and his whole band again on stage, slamming out one great old hit after another. At 74 he is still going strong and the tunes are still as irresistible as ever.

To crown it all, they saw me in the crowd and they remembered. Latoya told the crowd how I had come to visit them in Ghana years ago. And then Orlando asked me to dance with them on stage. New precious memories. Great great people.

Highlife, Afrobeat, Funk, Jazz – they all originate from okdschool African Music… and Orlando Julius remains among the greatest of all time.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije

NEO-AFRICANISM

Nigeria has not yet had a Nigerian President. South Africa has had many Presidents, but only Nelson Mandela was a South African President. The others, before and after him, white and black, have all been just sectional leaders. Africa has had very very few AFRICAN leaders-of-state, Pan-African heads of government. Selfless father-figures and servants who are a father to all and a mother to all, regardless of ethnic or religious affiliation.

Why? Because it is not easy. It is not easy to place loyalty to high ideals above loyalty to tribe, religion, family and every thing else. When people come campaigning for votes and popularity, and they claim they will be „President of everybody“, „there will be no sacred cows“, they will be „everybody‘s friend and nobody‘s friend“, „everybody will be equal under the law“, they will rise above „tribalism and religious chauvinism“, they will not favour „their side above any other side“, etc etc etc…

Look at them carefully or just wait for it. In time, they have almost always turned out to be just a Big Fraud.
Why? Because it is not easy. Deep in their heart, everyone loves their ethnic nationality, their religion, their spiritual philosophy, their origin. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. It is normal and healthy. The question is: WHO loves the Truth and Justice more than he or she loves ANY OTHER THING? That is the Point. Who, above loving his tribe or faith, loves the progress of the Whole more than any other thing.

It is not easy. It requires honest and painful soul-searching. It requires self-unmasking experiencing. It requires self-conquest. It requires, not self-abnegation (for you cannot deny who you are, and anyone who denies who he or she is, is a liar or is still in the process of finding himself). It requires Ennoblement and Maturity. It requires elevation into Selfless Love.

These are the new kinds of leaders we need in Africa now and in the future. These are the people we should look for and encourage, instead of discouraging them. These are the people we should begin to awaken within our own souls. These are the Neo-Africans.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

THE FORCE IS WITH YOU

Every profession can bring out the best in you or the worst in you.

A policeman can over the course of his career develop an ever stronger urge to protect the weak and to prevent the unjust victimization of the innocent. Or he can nurture hatred and suspicion in his heart, and actively seek the demonization and destruction of those that fit certain stereotypes. And whenever a policeman passes by you and you look deep into each other’s eyes, you know which off the two he or she has become.

A politician can be or become a selfless servant or a selfish manipulator.

A teacher can become ever more patient with the slow-at-learning and develop an ever greater capacity and urge to accommodate and further each and every student. Or he can become one of those teachers who focus on and take delight only in the bright students, and say to the Slow students: “Nothing good will ever come of you in life.”

A teacher can also, over time, grow more fascinated and convinced of the unique miracle in each child, and try to patiently seek out, recognize and nurture whatever special flower is waiting to blossom in each young soul. Or she can become impatient, self-centered and self-absorbed, and seek to impose a one-size-fits-all grooming and goal on all students.

A teacher can become a fair defender of humanity who sees all children as God’s creatures. Or a teacher can become a biased agent of a one-sided ideology that favors some children and disadvantages others on grounds of origin or appearance.

A teacher can become an even more avid learner than his students. Or he can stop learning altogether, because he knows it all.

And so it is with all professions, situations, and life.

Events do not shape people. Professions do not shape people. They only offer options for development. The Free Will of each individual alone it is that determines if and in what way each individual will be shaped.

At some point, we have to accept responsibility for who and what and how we are. Like spring that dawns anew every year, every human personality feels an impetus once in a while, over the course of an earth life, to re-examine themselves and their character, to re-appraise how they look at life and how they react to life; to make a fresh new decision about what kind of person they want to be.

When you look into the past and remember all the forces that have shaped you…; When you look around you and consider all the forces pressuring you and moulding you…; When you look into the future and imagine all the forces that will happen upon and hit you…; – do not forget to also include one special force in the list of all those forces that shape your spiritual destiny; the one force that will always be with you: YOUR OWN FREE WILL.

It is the strongest power of all in the determination of what kind of Human Being you become.

Don’t blame your parents forever.
Don’t blame your teachers forever.
Don’t blame your country forever.
Don’t blame your culture and tradition forever.
Don’t blame your religion forever.
Don’t blame your employers forever.
Don’t blame Injustice and Unfairness forever.
Don’t blame your physical body forever.
You will blame them for a while, I know. We all do. We are human, and we need time to heal.
But don’t blame them forever.

In you is the power and the force to birth a new you. It is your FREE WILL. Don’t be deceived by the simplicity of that thought. It is really true. You are the reincarnation, the result and the resolution… of yourself. You are a Jedi – and the Force is already with you.

Use it.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

DO IT QUICKLY

That feeling that you‘ve gone down a path before and seen the outcome… And now you‘re watching others go down that same path.

And you know that no amount of warning or explanation will make them stop going that way. The only thing that can help is the recognition that comes at the end, when everything is over and it‘s too late to change anything. But then, just the bequeathing of this recognition is also what is needed too.

So, instead of preaching to them to not go that path, you start to wish them the opposite: that they go it QUICKLY, and get to the end quickly, so that they can come to the recognition sooner than later.

Just like Jesus Christ said to Judas: „That which you are about to do – do it quickly!“

Sometimes, a Fall is the fastest way to Rise Up!

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.