By Goke Omolade.
AT one point or the other in one’s life, the issue of the spirit, as against ephemeral pursuits, irresistibly comes to the fore. Even among fervent faith-waving adherents, self-adduced agnostics and atheists, it often generates so much passion. From the history of man, moving accounts have been rendered of those who recanted of their rather empty postulations as per the indisputable issue of God Almighty and the hereafter; shortly before they crossed to the other side, the beyond. While in the flesh, these ‘faithless ones’ pooh-poohed the very idea of any so-called life after this earthly life.
Whereas, for some, it was said they were ushered into brightening light while others had gross darkness as their miserable lot. Irrespective of one’s position pertaining to this knowledge, call it awareness, or lack of it which some dismiss as fairy tale, each and everyone would be held accountable for one’s deeds or misdeeds some day.
Atimes, the degree of one’s spirituality is indeed a function of one’s state of individual inner maturity (freely upright or utterly reprehensible). One’s proclaimed state of faith, notwithstanding, those who are standing right with their Creator certainly know as against those who are distantly rebellious yet delude themselves to be still under ‘some faith covering’. As if suffering from an incurable spell, they habitually contend that only the Creator knows those who are His while in fact those who are not part of His stock, for surety, know their decidedly chosen path (of destruction?). It is like an assertive vote; either for or against godly values and ways of life.
As often said, the heart is the seat and window of the engine-room of its owner, the owner being the spirit and to a limitless extent, the direction of an action is how the spirit, using the heart, a material substance, as tool, regulates all issues at hand. The spirit is eternal while the heart, consistent with its material content, perishes at death. In a way, the measure of the developmental unfolding of the spirit forms the character and discernible ability of a fellow to make rational decision as against being an easy prey to emotional or psychological warfare.
Regrettably, so, if-only-that-encountered-incident between the first couple and the cunning serpent had not been or turned otherwise; the initial sin of disobedience that severed the spiritual ‘umbilical’ cord of man from its Maker would have been avoided. Nonetheless, ever since has real and lasting peace been elusive and like that sage of old, St Augustine, was at one time quoted to have said: ‘Man shall know no peace until it secures its rest with its Creator’.
For those who so believe, man consists of three concentric make-ups: spirit, soul and body. Soul itself is the finer covering around the spirit and the body the more coarse physical covering. It is the spirit, the real man, which animates and drives all. It is at the spirit level that man, through its radiation threads, through communion, relates with its Creator and manifests this tie through conscience and intuition in his relationship with his fellowmen. Where this intuition is muffled, man relies solely on his intellect which is limited in range and draws from the environment and even below rather from the sublime Height. The soul acting as the handmaiden of the spirit has its regulatory branches in the five human senses of the ear, eye, nose, tongue and touch.
Drawing eclectic cues from some demographic accounts (that is, online: the world population since Adam; how many people have lived on the earth?); up to 110 billion of human beings are said to have passed through the planet earth since Adam and Eve and currently about 7•3 billion people are in existence. By this, it means that there are more of the dead than the living and if anything, death is an inevitable fact of life that would happen, aside individual’s spiritual proclamation, state of health, wealth accumulation or deprivations, influence peddling or just any other thing.
Indeed, it may not be out of order if, for once, one spiritualises on the whole essence of humanity and its encompassing issues. For instance, why does the good Lord despite all His breathtakingly excellent virtues still permit listless diseases to assail the world at large or death to strike at will without discerning criteria or widespread poverty, complete injustice and inequities on a global scale?
Stretching it to the endless gamut of logical reasoning, would man have viciously descended to this sinking abyss if Adam had been assertive enough by taking full charge of his expected family and leadership responsibilities, thereby saving all from the great fall through that consequential sin of disobedience? Would the reigning terrors of iniquities and errors of judgment have been avoided if man had stayed with just been ‘vegetarian and fruitarian’ as reportedly intended and, by implication, herbivorous only as against being carnivorous and now resultantly bloodthirsty, nasty, brutish, devilish?
Perhaps, a little emphasis on the very idea of life may suffice, because it is in life that one finds fulfillment, happiness, health, abundance, satisfaction, heart desire and other virtual set-pursuits.
Or put differently, a state of human nature which dwells on unimaginable vices, unpretentious wickedness and hell-propelling moral bankruptcies. Until date, successive generations have interwoven each other in almost inseparable ways. For instance, there have been the past (constitutive of those long-gone), the present (those who still have the breath of life) and the future ( a waiting age which is said would be determined by one’s ultimate destination; Heaven or hell?)
As for one’s final exit from this earth, is it by the so-much advertised rapture (that is, by a rather abrupt disappearance and then heralded to a higher calling as decided by our merciful but impartial Judge, consequent upon a carefully-led life) or rupture (just as its nomenclature suggests—exit to an era of sheer miseries as deserved by an earlier vices-filled life)?
Instructively, it is like drawing some degree of modernity out of our ancient but so patient Almighty Creator and deducing sensibility from this seeming paradox effortlessly makes the Creator of the entire universe to be agelessly relevant in every passing generation. Going by the recorded accounts of mostly heroes and patriarchs of ages past, no human being has, so far, been able to be infallible, indestructible or ubiquitous as required to play superhuman roles in the affairs of man. None yet— whosoever nor whatsoever in any capacity. Rather, all these attributes along with related virtues are what make God to be so Almighty, exclusive and Divine in endowments and dispositions.
Comparing the emptiness of man to its endangered lifestyle in the course of existence can be equated with the utter inertia that sleep subjects man to while under its temporary state of deathly stillness. In fact, no matter how gifted or goofed, powerful or puppeteering, presidential or pedestrian, royal or ravaged; sleep like death is one leveler of all flesh which treats all creatures as one and the same and on this score, man on its own dictates is simply helpless.
In a similar parlance, death is said to be a sedative lull which melts off immediately for the next stage of one’s future prior to being ushered to; a bliss of enjoyment or an abyss of torment? May be out of slothful ignorance or daring indifference, a large segment of humanity seems so unbothered about what happens next to its present and quite precarious generation. For some, there is absolutely nothing called a future life in the beyond and, perhaps, this is basically why they act so wickedly and operate so devilishly as if there is no tomorrow, but what, if this said tomorrow indeed comes?
One fact of reality with us in this present life on earth and which ought to catalyse further and deeper thinking is; whatever has happened to the entire tribe of the long-gone dead of the human race since Father Adam’s demise and where are they now? Are they all in the same place: enjoying or suffering? Are they subjected to the same fate, if in the affirmative, on what measuring indices or if not, why? By the way, who is that fellow that decides who goes where, what, why and how? Obviously his weight, his soul unburdened by guilt. And the spirit washed clean flies home in eternal Kingdom that is Paradise!
So much has been said about the hereafter-and-all-it-holds-afterwards, either one believes or not hardly matters. At one’s own appointed time (who and what decides this?) that inevitable and irresistible hand of termination would manifest and none formed of flesh and blood; nonetheless one’s possession, power, prestige, popularity, can ever dare or delay it for another time. Expectedly, as a wise one embarking on a journey of no-return there is the utmost need to fully gather and resolutely act upon every piece of information within reach just before your exit to the age-of-all-ages to come and, if anything, the audacious time for such is now.
In several ways, human nature prides itself on many fronts as if man has that power of invincibility and eternity, whereas not even Adam and Eve the first pair of humans so rarely favoured with the direct work of Creation could go beyond their brevity of the ordinary human nature. Indeed and in total sum, the age of eternity beckons on all mankind-irrespective of one’s ambition, creed, gender, race and status or any other thing whatsoever.
In fact, the best ever and optimal attainment of humanity is being graciously permitted eternity. Considering man’s pursuits of material possession, societal relevance, legacy accumulation or power tenacity…all these are as anathema, foolish, foul-smelling and needless as the final dressing of a lifeless body with gold and frankincense. Simply put, human nature terminates the moment one is ushered into the death chamber, onward to the great beyond.