THE DEPARTED DO NOT REST IN PEACE

No, I do not want to rest in peace. And when my body dies and I, the spirit, move on, please do not wish me to rest in peace. If you love me, wish me activity – joyful activity. Because, believe it or not, life goes on. I was me when I was on earth; I want to remain me when I leave the earth – an explorer. An experiencer. An adventurer.

Nobody steps off a plane after a journey just to slump into the ground and rest in peace. Nobody arrives in an interesting new place just to close their eyes and become inactive. And when you cross over onto the other side, you will become seized with wanderlust, an overpowering restlessness. You will want to explore, to follow the pull of that invisible magnet drawing you somewhere.

Only the inwardly indolent, the weak and the lethargic come to rest – but not in peace. Motionlessness is torture.

The departed do not rest in peace. They set off on a journey to a better or a worse place. Or they hang around, dissatisfied ghosts, trapped in inner space or bound to the unsatisfying earth. And sometimes they are so lethargic, they just lie down and wait for the torturous sleep of eternal death. But they shall not rest in peace.

Eternity is for the living, the inwardly mobile, the spiritually active. It is the land of perpetual motion and joyful activity. That is why it is called Eternal LIFE.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

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HEY, I’M HUMAN

They say I make enemies on all sides. Sycophancy and hypocrisy seem to be the price of friendship and group play in a civilized, polished world gone corporate. Living analog authenticity has been replaced by plastic digital superficial smoothness. Personality is dead; long live the System.

But I refuse to be the servant of a System that serves only itself and not the human in me. Being myself is not suicide; surrendering to the System is the real suicide. Being myself is birth, is life.

Don’t kill yourself. Resist. Be it education, be it politics, be it diplomacy, be it the corporate world, be it religion, be it organised Sport – they all demand one thing: the compromise and capitulation of the true human being. The human Spirit. Thwart their plan. Resist!

In every aspect of life, deep in the fabric of our group existence, we have to change the System. And it starts when the individual human being comes back to life. Until you know yourself, you won’t know your real friends. They may be many more than you think, but you don’t know and they don’t know – because you are all afraid to be the first to drop the mask and say:

“Hey, I’m human. Are you?”

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije

HAPPY PEOPLE

If you’re mad, and you know you’re mad, are you mad?
If you’re in heaven, and you’re not happy, are you in heaven?
If you have everything, and you’re empty, do you have anything?
If you have nothing, and you’re full, do you have nothing?

What’s the point in being able to explain the Laws of God to everybody, if you lack the courage to live the paths that will reveal yourself to you.

Some people have the courage to show you God, but they don’t have the courage to show you themselves. It is not God that is shrouded in strange mystery, it is the human being.

Don’t tell me about God – you can’t. Tell me about yourself. Show me who you really are. That’s difficult enough. But that’s the knowledge we reciprocally need, between and amongst ourselves, in order to be able to live happily with one another.

And happy coexistence, as ourselves, with ourselves: that is our Paradise.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

RESPONSIBILITY

Sometimes when people disappoint you, it is because they are following, or seeking, the experiences that will mature them. Were they to suppress the urge, or to ignore the chance, to follow those experiences – just in order not to disappoint you – yes, you would have your loyal beholden person in your life, but they would have thereby killed themselves inside. Is that what you want?

If you love something, give it the freedom of choice of experiencing. Let it grow. Whether this means that it stays with you or leaves you, let it search by itself for the paths towards becoming its best self. For the urge to do so rests within each one of us, as an unremovable part of being a human Spirit. – The urge to embark on the journey of becoming oneself. Not every decision will be right, but Mistakes are sometimes the best teachers; and every experience can help you a step further towards becoming your real self, if you always make the effort to understand the lesson in them.

And, paradoxically, you can only become yourself by being yourself. The more you take responsibility for yourself, the more you grow towards yourself. Every seeker will always disappoint somebody – and sometimes the person they disappoint will be the person with whom they share the strongest bond of love. It is the price we all pay for taking full responsibility for our own ship of fate.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

USE IT

Anything you do not use, goes away from you. Memory. Your mind. A relationship. A skill. A language. Your spirit-life. Your destiny.
And all that will be left is just an empty moving shell.

To get the best out of any tool – use it.
Anything you want to keep – use it.
Anything you want to grow – use it.
The more you use it, the less you lose it.

Don’t be shy. Grasp it firmly and use it resolutely. Keep on using it until it becomes a part of you and the best it can be. The things that have value to you, give them a function in your life – a sense of worth and a reason to stay. Let your attention and effort follow the path of your love. And if you love a language, use it to say everything you want to say, especially the important things, the difficult things. Just try it. Start little by little, in private spaces. After a while, it will start flowing, start growing, start glowing. If you use it, you won’t lose it. And when it grows, you grow too; for it is a living thing and has its origin in an invisible place, far away in the land of eternal activity. That’s why you have to use it, in order not to lose it. Practice makes perfect.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

COARSENESS IS NOT AFRICAN

Have you ever opened the door for a lady, only to be told by another African… that that is not African?
Have you ever arrived punctually or waited patiently for your turn, only to be told by another African that that is not African?
Have you ever spoken in soft, sophisticated tones, only to be told – loudly and crudely and full of mortified or amused laughter – by another African that that is not African?

Do you, when you are with your fellow Africans, deliberately coarsen your ways or diction – sometimes greatly, sometimes very subtly – in order to be accepted as being authentically African?
Do you act as if certain habits are normal to you which you actually inwardly abhor because they are less than your innate take on nobleness?
Do you too subscribe to the thinking that coarseness is not only a badge of belonging but also a way not to show weakness in African culture?

Well, the truth is this: You carry Africa in you. Africa begins and ends with you. Whatever you do today, that is what posterity will one day point to and label as being African. And if you acquiesce today to something which you inwardly know to be inferior and improvable; something a better version of which you carry consciously or unconsciously within you; then you commit three sins, at the very least.

One: you fail to establish the next stage of African evolution by not bringing out the New which you carry within;
Two: you reinforce in the next generation the false assumption that it is African to be coarse;
Three: you transfer to subsequent generations the poisonous message that it is right to acquiesce to what is wrong and to lower one’s standards, within the context of one’s African culture – even if one carries strong convictions in the opposite direction within one.
And these three things, which reinforce each other reciprocally like the sides of a triangle, are some of the greatest killers of Africa.

Additionally, as a human being you are not just an African, you are also a member of the human race. You owe it as a duty not only to Africa and not only to yourself but also to mankind as a whole to be a part of the evolution of civilization. Very often the African component is missing on the world stage of emergent ideas and evolutionary effort. But each time you break the self-fulfilling stereotype of African coarseness, and of African lethargic changelessness, of helpless receiver mentality instead of creator impulse, and of lower African standards, you produce something – tangible or intangible – that fulfils a part of the the African responsibility in the advancement of humanity.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

THE BASIS OF AFRICAN POLITICS

I know liberal Africans and I know conservative Africans. I know Africans who lean towards capitalism and those who are convinced solialists or even communists. I know those that are committed naturalists and environmentalists. I know those who are naturally republican in nature and those whose inclination goes towards centralisation of power, akin to monarchy. In short I know Africans of different philosophical and ideological convictions.

And yet, for some reason, when we want to form political parties, we form them not along ideological lines, but based on factors like Ethnie, Region, Religion, class, wealth, vengeance, opportunism, greed, materialism and temporary matrices towards the satisfaction of power-lust.

Needless to say, this impedes an effective meeting of positive like-minds in political affairs and makes it difficult for similar thinking patterns to congregate, refine each other, transform, evolve and grow, and gather that momentum which births concrete deeds, processes and systems out of mere ideas. And yet this alone is how tradition and civilization evolve.

So, my question is: Why are African political parties founded mainly not on objective universal ideas, but on earthy group similarities? Was political Democracy, as an idea, invented solely for internally homogeneous groups where there is enough of that mutual trust and those shared common interests which act as a playing field on which people can then divide and converge into ideas-based camps, knowing that their basic – and base – needs are uniform and covered by all sides equally.

Whenever a too divergent (apparent) heterogeneity comes into play, however, with different ethnies or nations – especially when it was not consensual – there you suddenly see a congealing into a more primal group identity first, as a home and as a shield against the others, to fight for, ensure and protect the covering of the basic – and base – needs.

Before I continue maligning Africa, let me look over to America – another multicultural melting pot – where at every US election, one hears of the Asian vote, the Jewish vote, the Black vote, the Latin Vote, the Italian vote, the White vote, and so on. Well, that also does not sound very much like ideas-based politics to me, but more like the same old herd-adherence, constantly lurking beneath the surface of high philosophical jargon, and clandestinely (sometimes openly) simply jealously guarding the native group interests.

I thus hesitate to blame the lack of ideas-based politics in Africa on any notion of primitiveness. I rather think that the human being, by nature, first seeks for safety and a sense of belonging in that which is most obviously and easily his outer and ethnic homogeneous group. This provides a certain outer protection. It often represents also how he or she is default-seen by the rest of the world too. Thus it provides a rallying point around which a sense of vulnerability and victimhood can also be mutually nursed and addressed and transformed into strength.

Without a sense or the reality of safety on this basic level, humans hesitate to commit fully to the bonding that takes place on more sublime levels of abstraction. Religion is usually the first of these abstract levels and often the strongest. The next is the uniting consciousness that comes from shared socio-economic conditions like poverty or oppression or ostracization. Finally, there comes the realm of ideas where all those nice sounding -isms dance to the Wailers. But on all these levels, even in religion, one sees how pressures can push people back into tribe adherence, interpretations and loyalties whenenver their is uncertainty or conflict.

The question is thus: At what stage of bonding are African countries, in the process of their socio-political engineering, currently situated? And since the primary element of unison is still the tribe and not the country, what efforts are being made to further, to improve and to entrench friendship, understanding, a sense of familiarity, and an intertwining of the cultures, and amongst the ethnic nations? Because this is the crux of the matter. Only when, for example, the constituent tribes of Nigeria build up adequate depths and dynamics of reciprocal trust and generational bonding, will the stage be set for that sublimation into ideas-based politics, on the foundations of a shared trust that the basic needs are uniform and will also be always uniformly covered and addressed by all. The same with Africa in general.

There is today need more than ever to promote friendship amongst the cultures, to build working relationships between homogeneous or historically close ethnic groups, and then to expand these in circles. There is the urgent need to openly address the difficulty in finding a neutral theater of resolution for the situation where one etnnic or religious group dominates the power structure of a country and uses (or seems to use) this Advantage to ruthlessly oppress or conquer the other ethnic or religious groups, whose options for reply are often very limited. The current situation in Nigeria under the Buhari government is a classic example. There is need to engineer the dynamics of true Fairness in Africa and clarify the nature of authentic sovereignty for African peoples, one that furthers rather than impedes development in all spheres. There is need for a new theater and type of African dialogue and conflict-resolution.

Because, as things stand now, one can safely say that it is not the African “tribes” but the modern African nations that are primitive. – because they offer no possibility for their actual constituent Units (the ethnic nationalities) to express, defend or cross-engineer their sovereignity, nor to thematise their vulnarability once they are not in power, nor to protect themselves. The basis of today’s colonially born modern African country is unwieldy, unindigenous, uncondusive for progrewss, and primitive. That is why it throws up non-ideological parties and has to be constantly defended internally by a brute Military force that has its origins in a colonial police machinery that was originally designed just for that purpose.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

LANGUAGE

Language is to group identity as spirit is to earthly personality. As the spirit grows weak you still see the body walking about as if the actual human being is still alive. But it is just an illusion – at physical death, the real human spiritual personality will disintegrate for good.

The same thing with groups. When a group loses its language, you will still see its indigenes walking around, congregating und socializing, and calling themselves the group name… but it is an illusion. A people without a language have ceased to exist as a people – what holds them now is memory and a wish. At the next tragedy that strikes them they will scatter and have no center of orientation that triggers a sense of belonging which pulls them back together again in any meaningful way. We witness the end of yet another branch of civilization.

The death of African languages was initiated when Africans stopped – or did not at all really determinedly try – translating and transsituating their rapidly expanding world view, new knowledge, science, technology and philosophy into their indigeneous languages. Thereby they caused a break between the African psychic identity which had indigenously developed over millenia and the new African mentality whose birth was being so forcefully and unnaturally midwifed. It was also a missed opportunity to embrace the challenge of exertion that catalyzes growth.

Any indigenous national psyche worldwide that has achieved the feat of transforming ITSELF on its own foundations into or towards a so-called 1st World Country, has not done so on the back of the scientific and philosophical lingua of a foreign language. They have instead forced their own language to expand, to deepen, to evolve, to grow, to be alive and exhibit the characteristics of a living thing – self-preservation through movement, exertion, growth, self-upgrade within a healthy sense of self. Thus these peoples did not just move, they took their cosmos and their roots along with them. Therefore, no matter to what dizzying heights of technology or abstract new thought they arrive, they always feel at home. They never feel lost. Because their world always exists in their language, and their language is the structure within which their world pulsates and expands.

Africa’s deepest, most intimate and most imediate break with the preservative Spirit and Act of INNOVATION therefore was the failure to translate and transfer new world knowledge into their own indigenous languages, and make their language the vehicle for transfering knowledge and civilization to the next generation. This was an act of indolence or carelessness of gargantuan proportions whose degenerative after-effects will continue to manifest exponentially from one generation to the next. In Igbo language, this is the true example of “i fu” – to become lost. Everything that is familiar to you feels simultaneously strange, and you don’t know why.

The fact that I am expanding and writing this thought in English and not in Igbo is the very evidence that I too am a product of that colossal careless break in transmission, and thus I carry within me also the unending thirst for rebalancing, that deep-seated African search for identity in a world, of shared human responsibility, in which aptly one often feels MISUNDERSTOOD.

In Africa, African languages have for over a century rapidly lost their role and function as the medium via which knowledge and civilization are transfered from one generation to the next. Ancient proverbs and perception patterns, yes, but every other thing no. The African, as an agent of innovation and civilization, is today a divided personality. When the European colonialist wanted to give us his religion he translated it into our language. But when he wanted to give us science and technology, he kept it in his language and forced us to learn it in his language. The Arab colonizer went a step further and taught everything only in his own language. Little wonder then that we are masters of Christianity and Islam in Africa today, but not of Innovation and Invention.

And to those who will tell me that attempts have recently been made here and there with inconclusive or initially uninspiring results, to them I will say: Civilization is not a sprint, neither is it a game of materialism and quick profits where you jump trains at will in search of quick gratification and the illusion of fast progress – indeed that is what has brought Africa to where we are today.

Civilization is a long long race, a marathon, a movement of the people, like Moses’ Israelites wandering (and wondering) for decades in the wilderness on the way to their promised land. You are in it for the long haul; solid progess is slow and hard if you want it to be real, and you must be dogged, persevering and patient. And, above all – this is the crunch – you must trust and rely in your own creativity and abilities; and develop these.

Setting off onto the right path does not mean that you automatically take over the lead or catch up immediately with the rest. It simply means that you have created the right conditions for a growth which, no matter how initially hard, if managed diligently, will be lasting and always feel natural. A growth that will be indigenous and make you the master of your own fate in this uncertain future into which Mankind is currently herding.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

INHERENT INCLINATIONS

Why do Africans look down on their own intelligence, their own inventions, their own historical recognitions? What we disparagingly call primitive African religions today were the expression of search, perception of recognition done by the African psyche. That psyche still lives and works today in the subconscious of the so-called modern African. He has been made to believe, however, that there is something inherenrtly wrong in an inner world view that came up with the concept of an Amadioha or a Shango. And yet these perceptions at that time represented leaps in consciousness and expressed a willingness to independently break new ground spiritually, mentally, physically and technologically.

They expressed a desire to dare to understand and interpret nature through the agency of their own eyes and indigenous preceptions. They document an understanding of the inherent calling and duty to “explore” the world, to “dissect” nature, to search for patterns and laws, to align intellect with intuition, to look for the next boundary of civilization, to advance themselves, their world and their world view forward – in little steps or quantum leaps – from one recognition to the other, on their own, indigenously, self-driven and self-motivated. Just for the heck of it. Just for the fact of being alive and possessing the faculty of thought and of intuitive perception. They were Explorers, they were Inventors.

Quite apart from the fact that Shango or Amadioha really exist (but that is the subject of another discussion), this instinctive attitude and inherent inclination in the earlier Africans found expression in all walks of life. Be it in the field of what we now call religion, but which at that time was integrated science; be it in what is today called the arts, but which at that time was living culture; be it in architecture which for them was just common sense; be it in early technological advanes and dynamics; in well thought-out and varied political systems; in the arrangement of soceity; in military equipment and strategy; in the philosophy behind the structure and implementation of justice codes; in the orderliness in the fields of commerce, finance and markets; and in the practical relationship with physical nature to ensure survival.

Everywhere we see evidence not just of independent thought and not just of WILLING thought, but also of progressive and evolutionary thinking and applied recognitions. Africa was a continent of ambitious explorers who found joy in breaking boundaries, a place of restless thinkers, and of innovators and inventors.

If today there exists inside of you any of the indolence or lethargy that now impedes the re-awakening of thie Original African in you…, UPROOT IT! Go within your own soul and destroy it! Become an abstract and creative and hungry thinker and DOER again. Become again someone who can – yes – study, replicate, preserve and respect the past…, but who can then leave it behind in the past, if necessary, and strive forward in search of the next Amadioha! The next bolt of thunder that will ignite the next leap, the next JUMP of Africa into the future, independently, indigenously – without boarding one migrant boat, without receiving one aid package, without self-destructing.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.