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« Is mental Illness a Product of Choice to be Evil? | Main | Why Africans cannot yet Govern themselves Properly »

April 15, 2006

The Igbos are my Teachers

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- I have had lots of troubles with Igbos. In fact, it got so bad that I was tempted to avoid them altogether and go on living my life without them.

But before undertaking this journey to social avoidance, I asked myself whether that is the right thing to do?
In childhood, I avoided other people and kept to myself. This is called shyness or, in technical terms, avoidant personality.
I avoided other people because I wanted to be accepted by other people and if I felt that other people would reject me, to avoid being rejected by them, I kept away from them. In avoidance, I managed to convince myself that I was not rejected by other people.
In withdrawal from other people, society, I managed to retain a semblance of good self esteem. Not really, for the self that fears other people’s rejection is obviously not a good self. The self that fears other people’s rejection must be a false self.
The person who fears other people’s rejection, generally, has aspirations to be a superior self (see Alfred Adler, The Neurotic Constitution, 2003) and fears that if other people get close to him that they would recognize that he is not the superior self he would like to be. He avoids people to keep his imaginary superior self.
The neurotic (in this case, the shy person) feels inferior and wants to feel superior and uses his imagination to construct an ideal self (see Karen Horney, Neurosis and Human Growth, 2002) and wants to become that ideal self. He knows that his ideal self is false; nevertheless, he wants to be him and thinks that if other people come close to him that they would see that he is not the ideal person he wants to be and reject him. He avoids other people for strategic reasons: to retain his imaginary ideal superior self.

(Why human beings feel inferior and compensate with superiority feeling has given rise to a lot of speculations. Alfred Adler attributed it to either inherited organ inferiority or to adverse social circumstances, such as not been liked by other people or both. Clearly, Adler has some useful points. May I, however, add that another factor plays a role in human sense of inferiority feeling? I believe that when human beings are born on planet earth, they feel like they have separated from God. In God, who is the whole, they felt complete, perfect, adequate and worthwhile but upon separation from God, separation from the whole, they felt incomplete, imperfect, inadequate, inferior, worthless, valueless etc. Feeling not good enough, as they should outside God, they try to give themselves man made worth and completion, hence restitute with false sense of superiority. I think that all human beings do this, that in normal persons it is masked by apparent healthy bodies and is conscious in neurotics because, generally, neurotics tend to have more vulnerable bodies that exacerbate their sense of inferiority. I am not denying purely secular explanations like Adler’s but supplementing and complementing them with my spiritual psychological explanation. I tend to mix both spiritual and secular psychology, for I find both necessary to fully explain the complex creature called human beings. Human beings are not just one or another, not just animal or spirit, but both, and need both scientific and spiritual psychotherapy.)

The neurotic does not avoid people for fear of rejection of his real self, for he knows that no one can reject a human being’s real self, but because of fear of rejection of his ideal superior self.
In truth, all human beings are the same and equal. If you want to relate well to other people you have to see them as the same and equal with you. The moment you see yourself as better than other people or see other people as better than you, you have disturbed good interpersonal relationship rules. Only the same and equal can relate well; when desire for superiority enters human minds, human relationships are adversely interfered with.
Simply stated, the shy neurotic person avoids other people to prevent them from rejecting his false but preferred ideal superior self. If he changes his mind about his true identity and now sees himself as the same and equal with all people, he would no longer fear other people’s rejection, for no one can reject a son of God who accepts his true identity, sameness and equality with all children of God.
God created us same and equal; God created as unified with each other and with him. What God wills: equality and sameness, no son of God can destroy, except in dreams, in illusions but not in reality.
In dreams, in illusions people do imagine themselves better than other people; people do see apparent differences in themselves: some are black and others are white; some are men and others are women; some are adults and others are children; some are, as the world considers these things, handsome and others ugly; some wealthy and powerful and others poor and powerless.
In reality, despite apparent differences between dreaming people, they are always as God created them. They are always the same and equal to one another. All people are members of God’s one family; they are the children of God and are connected to him and to each other. In fact, where God ends and his Son begins is nowhere and where one child of God ends and another begin is nowhere. There is no space and gap between the children of God and their father and between themselves. The children of God are in God and in each other and God is in them. The children of God and their father are forever unified as one spirit and share one self and one mind. This is the eternal truth as God created it, and no one can make false what God made true.

In the dream, the world, I see Igbos seeming to do bad things to me, attacking me and I wish to move away from them. My ego wishes to separate from them and in separation retain my ideal ego self. When we separate from other people, invent space between us, they are no longer one with us. We now see ourselves as different from them. Perhaps, we see ourselves as better as or worse than them, as superior or inferior to them. We believe that we have different and separate interests and go protect our interests.

ONTOLOGY

The temporal world came into being because the unified children of God wished to separate from their creator, God, and from each other. In eternity, in heaven, God created all of us and created us as one with him. God and his children literally share one self and one mind. God and his children are joined.
You cannot say that this is where God is and that there is where the son of God is. Where God is, his son is; where God’s son is, God is. God is inside his son and his son is inside him. There is no gap between them.
God and his Son (who are infinite in numbers) have the same interest. Their interest is love. God wants his son to love him and his son wants his father to love him and his siblings to love him.
To love is to unify. To love is to be in union with the person one loves. In eternity God and his children love one another; this means that they are unified and are in union with one another.

Though God and his children share one self yet God created his children and they did not create him. Creation emanates from one source and moves outward. God is the creative spirit. God’s creative spirit expands into his son. Thus, his son is created. God’s creative spirit is now inside his son. His son uses God’s creative spirit in him to create his own sons and his own sons create their own sons, ad infinitum.
There was never a time when God did not exist and was not creating his sons and his sons creating their own sons. Creation has no beginning and no end.
Because the children of God are like God and do what God does, create their own children, they wished that they could create their own children without the power of God in them. Indeed, they wished that they could create God, create themselves and create each other.
In effect, the children of God resented being created by God and wanted to create him. The created wanted to create his creator. As it were, the children of God wanted to chase God out of his creatorship throne, usurp it and replace him as the creator of the universe.
This is the authority and authorship question in all of us: who authored you, you or God? If you believe that God created you, you are correct, but if you believe that you created you and created the world, you are wrong.
If you are in this world you must have believed that you created you, for only those who want to displace God and created the universe are in the temporal universe. The moment you accept that God created you, you leave this world of space, time and matter and return to the world of unified spirit.
The children of God, all of us, resented being created by their father and wanted to create their father and each other. This is impossibility; they could not achieve this desire in reality.
What they could not realize in truth they dreamed of. As it were, they cast a magical spell unto themselves and went to sleep. In their sleep, they dreamed a world where they seem to have chased God out and are now the God of themselves.




THE SELF CONCEPT, SELF IMAGE, EGO AND PERSONALITY

In their dream world they seem to come without a self and beginning in childhood learn a new self. Each of us builds on his biological and social experiences to build a self concept. (See George Kelly, Psychology as Personal Constructs.)
The self concept, the idea of who we think that we are is always that we are separated from other people and from God. We secretly wish that we are better than God and other people. But since the idea is absurd we hide it, make it unconscious in our minds; but the wish for superiority is conscious in neurotics who want to seem superior to other people and in psychotics who actually believe that they are superior to other people.
Mental illness is belief that one is superior to other people. Mental health is belief that one is equal to other people.
In the world each of us constructs a self concept and translates that self concept into a self image. In our minds eyes we see our self images. In the external world we see ourselves in bodies made of matter and see other people in bodies made of matter. Each of us is a separated special self housed in body and lives in space, time. He sees other people as such and these seeming separated selves relate to each other.
Body gives each of us a sense of boundary. Each of us believes that he begins and ends in his body. Thus, we see other people as other people but not as parts of us. Each of us believes that he has different interests and although he is willing to cooperate with others to work for mutual goals, when push comes to shove will work for his own goals and ignore other people’s goals. Each of us places his self interests above other people’s self interests.
The self concept is the same as the self image, personality and ego. These mean exactly the same thing; they mean the idea that one is apart from other people and has different interests.
The world exists to enable each of us to construct a separated self and make it seem real in his awareness. I am over here in a certain body and you are over there in a certain body. I may be short or tall and you may be short or tall; one may be handsome of ugly, poor or rich, powerful or weak, black or white, man or woman etc. We see differences and these convince us that we are different from each other.
Moreover, we live in a world of mutual attack. Other people do attack you. You defend yourself so as to survive in body and ego. Your very defense against others attack on you means an attack on those who hitherto attacked you. Now they perceive you as having attacked them. They defend themselves by attacking you and you do the same. That way we are always attacking each other and defending against each others attacks. The world is a defensive place.
If you live in this world you do attack other people and other people do attack you. The world is a place for mutual attacks and defenses. Attacks and defensiveness keeps our world going. If you stopped attacking others and defending against others attack, they would kill you and you would die (as the world construes death to be). But when you die to the world you awaken to the awareness of your true self, unified spirit self.
Defenselessness and forgiveness is the only way to regain the consciousness of our true self, unified spirits.
Here we are in the world. We believe that we have chased God out of his creatorship throne and created ourselves and each other. This belief gives us enormous sense of power and superiority. But we know that God is eternal, so we did not really kill him when we thought that we usurped his throne. Because we know that he is alive and is very powerful we feel fear that he might be angry at us and wants to kill us. We therefore try running and hiding from God.
(When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, ate the metaphoric apple, they felt that God is angry at them and could punish them, so they ran from him and go hide their nakedness, their vulnerability, their powerlessness, they go live in hiding, in darkness.)
In this world of darkness we are hiding from God. God is light and we hide in darkness. (Please have the mindfulness to recognize that I am writing in metaphors. I am stating the eternal truth in metaphoric language, for truth cannot be accurately represented in human language. There is no language in God because in God all of us are one and have no need to talk to each other. It is on earth where people are separated from each other and from God that language is necessary to communicate with one another. In eternity there is no you and I, no self and non-self; no subject and object, no seer and seen, no perception; all are one and at all times know each others thoughts, for their minds are joined. The world is a place we come in false belief that we can hide our thoughts from each other. Actually, at a higher level each of us still knows what is in the minds of all of us. The world cannot destroy what God created, openness.)

GUILT AND PUNISHMENT

In this world we all feel like we did something wrong when we separated from God and from each other. We feel sinful and guilty. We feel guilty because we believe that we attacked God and each other and denied our true self, spirit and identified with a false self, a separated self housed in body.
The Catholic Church calls this phenomenon Original sin. To be on earth is to feel that one separated from ones true self and from God and to feel that one made a mistake, an error and therefore one feels guilty.
Each of us feels guilty and believes that God is angry at him and wants to punish him. We also feel that that we separated from other people; we all feel that other people are guilty, for they separated from us, and we want to punish them and believe that they want to punish us, too. Thus, everywhere we see ourselves, others as guilty, and punish each other.
In this world we all feel like criminals who committed a crime, original sin of separating from God and from each other, and want to punish each other. Thus, we run from God’s anticipated punishment and run from each other to avoid each others punishment.

We believe that we separated from God and now live in a world where we do not experience God. But God is still in us though we do not see him (he is not perceptual and cannot be seen but can be experienced when we love and forgive one another).
God knows himself to still be one with us, his children. He knows that we are not separated from him. He knows that we merely denied that we are separated from him, that we are merely pretending that we are separated from him; we are merely dreaming that we are separated from God and from each other. We live in the illusion that separation is possible and that we are separated. God knows the truth, that is, that union is reality.
Because God knows that we are eternally unified with him and cannot separate from him, he knows us as innocent.
To be innocent is to be unified with God and all people, to be whole, holy, complete, perfect, sanctified, and joined to the whole of creation and its creator. God knows us as guiltless, innocent and sinless.
But like the prodigal son of the Christian Bible who believed that he went away from his father, we feel like we did something wrong. We feel that our father is angry at us and wants to punish us. Fearing punishment we run from our father.
But one son of God, the prodigal son, Jesus Christ, decided to go back to his father. Though he was still trembling that he made mistakes and offended his father, he decided to go home, anyway. Thus, he began the journey homewards. His father, God was told that his lost son is found, that the lost sheep has been found by the shepherd, the Holy Spirit, and he ran to meet his son and embraced him and clothed him in the best robes and had a feast for him. When each of us returns home from the journey without a distance heaven rejoices.
His son was surprised, for he had thought that his father was angry at him. He did not know that his father was not angry at him for his father knew that his son merely slept and dreamed separation but was not separate from God.
God is everywhere and wherever we think that we go, we go in God; wherever we are we are in God. The journey to earth is a journey to nowhere that God is not is.

Change your mind and accept that you are in God and that God is in you and that you are in all creation and love and forgive all creation the wrong you see them do in the dream of separation and you awaken to the consciousness of oneness, unified spirit.
Try this experiment; select the person you believe did you the most egregious error and forgive him. Look at the people you believe wronged you the most and forgive them. Love them and pray for them to remember their true self, unified spirit.
Love and forgive every person you see in our world. Do not hold grievances against those who wronged you, do not seek vengeance against those who wronged you, do not bear grudges and seek revenge against any human being. Forgive all of us our sins against you.
To forgive means to overlook what all people did to wrong you. In forgiving all people their wrongs against you; you forgive yourself what you did to wrong all people, for you are part of all people.
At the moment you forgive all people, forgive the world, you have denied the reality of our world of attack and defense and you have overcame the world of dreams, as Jesus did. Suddenly our seeming solid world disappears and you first experience yourself in light form, see yourself in light form, see other people in light forms and, ultimately, experience the world of formlessness. You enter the world of God where there are no matter, space and time and all are one, literally. You experience yourself as one with God and all creation.
In God/heaven, you still have a self, you, but a self that has no name; let us call that self Christ, Chi, Atman, Buddha, Krishna, it is nameless, so you can call it whatever you like, what matters is the connotation, unified self. In heaven there is still a you and a me and a God but we all know ourselves as parts of one another, as in God and he in us and us in each other. We do not experience space and time for there is no space and time and body in heaven. In heaven all are spirit, unified spirit. In heaven all experience timelessness and all knowingness. Heaven has no past, present and future and is always in the moment, the present and the now. That experience is peaceful, happy and joyous, in a word, blissful. No human language can describe it for it is beyond words.
Love and forgiveness are the only means for overcoming the world of separation, the world of space, time and matter. As long as we do not forgive others their mistakes we are saying that they are guilty and that what they did to us was real. As we judge we are judged. If we judge others as guilty then we too are judged guilty. If we are guilty we are not innocent and guiltless and sinless.
Only the guiltless, sinless, innocent, holy and sanctified can be in the presence of God. But we are always sinless and innocent, therefore we always in the presence of God, though while asleep we do not know it.
To know that we are always innocent we must forgive each other our mistakes, errors made in the dream of separation.

ATTACK AND SEPARATION

.
I see myself attacked by a whole bunch of Igbos. They did so in their various electronic forums and in real life. Some of them have been particularly vicious towards me. Some of them, in fact, tried to steal my business.
Because I see a group of people seeming to do bad thing to me, I judge them as guilty and see the judger, myself, as innocent.
Alas, if you judge others as guilty you have simultaneously judged yourself as guilty, for as you judge others you have judged you; what you give to others you give to you; giving is receiving. If you give guilt to other people, you receive guilt from them. If you see others as innocent and love them you see yourself as innocent and receive innocence.
I see Igbos seeming to work against my interests. I feel angry at them. To protect my interests, I feel a powerful urge to move away from Igbos. I felt like having nothing to do with Igbos, not again in my life. I told myself that I can live without them. I am in America and Igbos are in the fringe here. All I need to do is work with white folks, and Asians. I told myself to go form business partners with white and Asians folks and live my life without having anything to do with Igbos.

SEPARATION IS ALWAYS FROM ONES WHOLE SELF

My motivation was for me to separate from Igbos. But who are Igbos? They are part of me, right? I am an Igbo, so if I avoid Igbos I would be avoiding those are most like me! To avoid Igbos is to avoid me. To separate from Igbos is to separate from me. (Which is to separate from all people, too; but as a matter of practical reality, I am not with all people; God gives us a few persons to be close to and from doing so work out our separation issues.)
The urge to avoid Igbos is an urge to avoid me. The desire to withdraw from Igbos is a desire to withdraw from me. Separation is from ones unified self. I am one with Igbos and if I separate from them I am separating from my unified self, my whole self, contracted to holy self.

Nevertheless, the Igbos I see seem cantankerous and hate each other and do not get along with each other. My God, these people are their own worst enemies. See, I started a business and brought some of them in and they schemed to take it over. These people seem evil and wicked and every thing in me wants to avoid their presence.
These people are evil and wicked, did I say that? You heard me right. Since I am one of them, could it be that their evil and wicked nature is showing me my own evil and wicked nature?
In my mind, I see myself as innocent, as a victim unto whom bad things happen. But am I an innocent victim?
Let’s see. I told you that I was a shy boy who withdrew from other boys. I told you that shyness is undertaken to preserve ones sense of superiority to other people. My entire life, beginning at age six, at least, I felt that other people are inferior to me. As a matter of fact, I saw other people as garbage, as no better than animals. I tended to prefer the company of my dogs to the company of human beings. I dismissed people as idiotic and ignored them. To the extent that I relate to people, at all, it is from a condescending distance. I treat them like one treats children, as folks who know nothing. I do this to all people, white, black, man and woman. I remember when a white man, my accountant, dared talk to me, as if he is my equal, and I fired him on the spot. Simply stated, I have a belief that I am better than other people.

This is the heart of neurosis. As already pointed out, in God, in eternity we are all the same and equal. God created us as equal and any one who sees himself as better than other people is living in the world of illusions, the world of dreams. More to the point, every time you feel better than other people you have attacked their reality, their equality with you, and they know it. I attacked people by pretending to be better than them.
I tended to see Igbos as a bunch of uncivilized people and treat them with disdain. I was born a Lagos and essentially had an urban upbringing and came to the USA right after secondary school. I have lived in the West most of my adult life. I imbibed the best of the Western world. I understand Western philosophy, psychology, science and enjoy classical music. All these would seem to give me a refined culture. I consider those who listen to popular music as primitive. You have to be the symphony crowd to seem civilized, in my opinion.

Igbos generally have a tendency to fancy themselves as superior to other Nigerians. The average Igbo seems to believe that he is better than, say, a Hausa person. Of course, he is not better than any one, for all God’s children are the same.

If Igbos fancy themselves to be better than other people, and I am doing the same thing, what is going on here?
Igbos are me projected out to see me. Igbos are my mirror to see me, to see what I am doing. What Igbos do, I do, and in observing what they do I come to understand what I do.

If I observe what Igbos are doing wrong, feeling superior to other people, and learn from it not to feel superior to other people, I would improve my own life, right? What does that make Igbos to me? It makes them my teachers. They are teaching me about myself. By learning about these people and their neurotic struggles to seem better than other people, I learn about my own neurosis and my own struggles to seem superior to other people. Thus, those that had seemed reprehensible are, in fact, sent by the Holy Spirit to teach me about my own foolishness, so that I would change and became a better person.

My father’s brother has a brilliant daughter. She has PhD and is a researcher with the Center for Diseases Control at Atlanta. I once called her and talked to her about my observations about Igbo men. She does not talk much and just listened to me.
After I was done talking, she calmly said: “Tom, I heard you describe yourself when you were describing the Igbos”.
She did not elaborate and changed the conversation to other subjects.
Some people are very perceptive, even if they do not talk much. Women, in particular, seem to talk less but generally state the truth without much fanfare. My cousin stated the truth about me and left it for me to figure out the details. Of course, she could have provided the details but she knew better than try to lecture Tom, the airbag that if you provoked him would give you a lecture on the subject at hand.
I liked to win all arguments I entered. If you seemed to have more information, I would go to the library and read up on the subject and come back at you and argue with you until I defeated you. I did not like to lose. To lose made me loose social face and I did not like that.
I avoided people to avoid being rejected, losing social face. Men do not tend to give women credit for being smart, but I have gradually come to the realization that women are probably more diplomatic than men. My mother used to keep quiet as my father talked, on and on, and somehow always managed to get the family to do what she wanted to do, which was almost always the best thing for all of us. For example, out of pride, father did not want mother to work. But mother said: if my children are to go to the best schools we need money, and off she went to work and father felt humiliated by the fact that his wife worked. But because she worked the family had money to pay all the children’s expensive school fees. I say that women are more mature than some of us men; we, men, are too engrossed in pretending to be very important persons to see that the tree is not the forest, whereas women tend to be humble and see things as they are, not as their egos want them to become.

What I see in Igbos is what exists in me, albeit hidden. I am the quintessential Igbo man. I have all the characteristics of Igbos: I am proud and arrogant, I see myself as better than other people etc.
In observing Igbos manifest these annoying characteristics, I learn how they are also operating in me and, hopefully, change them. If I change them and become a person who accepts the reality of our sameness and equality and love all people, I would have been saved.
Igbos who seemed to attack me are, in effect, out to save me. The people who seemed out to destroy me were actually sent to save me.

OUR ATTACKERS ARE OUR SAVIORS IF WE FORGIVE THEM

The person who attacked you (the Igbos who attacked me) saw you as not a loving person. They saw you as arrogant and haughty. They attacked you, do bad things to you, to offer you opportunity to (1) counter attack them, do bad things to them or (2) to forgive and love them.
If you counter attack them…I felt like putting the Igbos who tried to cheat me in jail, to destroy them…you would separate from them and they would separate from you. This way both of you continue the life of separation we live on earth.
On the other hand, if you look your attackers in the face and still love them, forgive them despite what they did to you, that is, still join with them and not run from them; if you stay and seek a way to solve problems without running from problems, you would have become saved.
All attack is a call for love when love is perceived as missing; all those who attacked you are asking you to love them, to help them learn how to love. A brother, who asks for help ought to be helped, taught the nature of love as forgiveness. Attack does not call for counter attack but for forgiveness and love. Attack, defensiveness, anger and fear are never justified; only forgiveness is justified.

Being forgiving does not mean permitting evil behavior to prevail. Those folks did something wrong by trying to take my business. To permit them to succeed is not love; for one thing, they do not have the skills to run the business, and would not do a good job of it. What is appropriate is to have pity on them and calmly work to defeat their evil intentions and still accept and love them. Love means correction of other people’s mistakes not condoning of it.

THE HOLY SPIRIT AND HIS MISSION: CORRECTION OF OUR MISTAKES

When we separated from God and from each other, God created the Holy Spirit, as the correction principle. God as the Holy Spirit entered the world his children invented and is in the world trying to correct our mistakes.
God as God is transcendent and is not in the world, but God as the Holy Spirit, the immanent God, is in this world.
This concept is difficult to understand, so let me spend some time on it. God originally had two sides.
Conceptualize God, though he is beyond conceptualization in ego categories, as a coin. The head of that coin is God the father and the tail of that coin is God’s Son.
God has one Son; God’s one son is infinite in numbers; he is all of us.
In eternity there is God the father and God the son. The Son of God is exactly like God, for after all, God extended himself to his Son. All of God is in his Son, yet his Son is not God the father, for God the father created God the son.
In heaven, eternity, there is one self, God and his Son. God and his Son share one self and one mind.

A MYTH OF CREATION

The Son of God, all of us, seems to have separated from God the father. God the father created another God, God the Holy Spirit, and entered the world his Son made and is in the world as God the Holy Spirit, while remaining in heaven as God the father.

THE HOLY TRINITY

There now seem three Gods: God the father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, the so-called three selves in one self.

THE EGO, HOLY SPIRIT, ONE MIND

On earth, the Son of God, you and I, invented a different self, the self-concept. The self concept sees itself as apart from God and as housed in body. The self concept, the ego, the human personality is the identity of the sleeping, dreaming Son of God.
There is one ego, the idea of separation, and that ego is individuated in each of us and seems different in each of us, but, in fact, is the same mistake of believing that we are separated from God. Each of us is variation of one mistake, the delusion of specialness and separation.
God enters the mind of his sleeping dreaming Son as the Holy Spirit. Thus, on earth there are now three parts to our minds; two of which we are not aware of. There is the unified mind the son shares with his father, our mind in heaven (when you have unified experience you return to that mind, albeit momentarily), the ego mind (the mind each of us is currently aware as his mind) and the mind of the Holy Spirit.
Metaphorically the ego mind is the left or wrong mind and the Holy Spirit is the right mind.
The Holy Spirit occupies our right mind, that is, is now where the sleeping mind of God’s son, Christ mind, is supposed to be. The Holy Spirit, therefore, can be called our real self, our right mind, the Christ self, call him what you like, he is nameless.
Like the ego, the Holy Spirit is one but is individuated in us; he seems different in each of us, as our real self, our higher self but in fact he is the same self.
The ego, the desire for separation is in our left mind, the analytic mind that understands the world of separation, the mind I am using to write this essay, the mind all of us employ in adapting to this world, in doing science and technology, in adapting to the world of dreams, the hall of mirrors we live in.
The ego mind, the sleeping-dreaming mind of the Son of God, seeks ways to adapt to this world; it seeks individuated self; it seeks, self centered interests.
The Holy Spirit mind, the right mind, urges the ego mind to seek common interests, to love and forgive all of us.
Aspects of this essay is written from my right mind, is written by my higher self, by Christ, by the Holy Spirit, whereas aspect of it, the part of me that seeks only what is good for me, the ego, also plays a role in writing this essay.
In my current state, in your current state, we are not aware of our unified mind; we are only aware of that mind in spirit, in heaven.
At the moment, we are aware of our ego minds and with effort occasionally are aware of our Holy Spirit directed mind.
The Holy Spirit is a communication device, a channel between God’s separated Son and his Father; he is a bridge between earth and eternity; he sees the world of separation hence perception, our world, and also knows the world of God, the world of union. He mediates between heaven and earth; he is our accessory to God.

The ego mind urges me to hate Igbos and move away from them, to go protect my self interests without their irritating constant interferences in my affairs.
The Holy Spirit part of my mind urges me not to move away from Igbos; he urges me to forgive them and love them.
Nevertheless, in as much as I want to continue living in the world of separation the Holy Spirit accommodates me and seeks ways to correct Igbos destructive behaviors, rather than just over look them with forgiveness. He teaches forgiveness and correction; he does not ask me to condone murderers, rapists, pedophiles, thieves and criminals; he asks me to teach them to love and work for our common social interests.
The Holy Spirit is the corrective principle in our minds. It corrects our mistakes. We made a mistake in separating from God and from each other. The Holy Spirit teaches us to join and unify with each other. We made a mistake in attacking each other; the Holy Spirit teaches us to forgive and love one another.

Ultimately, the Holy Spirit teaches us to totally forgive this world, to not be defensive when others attack us, even if they kill us. If you listen wholly to the gospel of the wholly Spirit part of your mind, you would be defenseless and totally forgiving of those who attacked and even destroy your body.
This is what Jesus did. His body was attacked and he did not defend himself; he forgave those who crucified his body and permitted them to crucify his ego. He died to the experience of ego and body (separation, specialness) and woke up in unified spirit and is now in our right mind, in the right hand of God. He is in God as the awakened son of God, the Christ. He is also in our minds as part of the Holy Spirit. He is so totally identified with the Holy Spirit that it is okay to call him God, as Christians mistakenly do. But he is not God; he is a part of God; he is a son of God like each of us is.

If you believe in Jesus Christ you could actually see him. He would appear to you in a manner that you can accept. He appears to you in people who do good things for you in this world. He appears to you in your dreams helping you solve your problems. He appears to you as ideas you read in good books. He is appearing to you right now in some of the good ideas in this essay (the bad ideas are part of my own ego).
If you insist on seeing Jesus Christ in form, he could appear to you in form, in light form.
(I will not pursue that subject because you may not yet be ready to know such things. Just accept that Jesus is in front of you, is behind you, and is besides you, left and right. He is everybody you see on earth, particularly those teaching you to love and forgive all children of God, to see their underling innocence despite their apparent evil behaviors.)

The Holy Spirit in me, who is joined by Jesus Christ, who is also in me and in you, teaches me not to run from Igbos and for me to stay with them and forgive them to forgive me, for what they do, I do.
Igbos are me writ large. Igbos are me projected out for me to see well, see their errors, which are my errors, and correct them. Igbos are pictorial representation of me. Igbos are me, my thinking represented in images, pictures for me to see me.
What Igbos and all human begins do, I do, and they also do, for the world is a shared world; we all collectively do what is done on earth; each of us influences other people and they influence us; all minds are joined hence influence all minds. There is no such thing as a separated mind that is not influenced by other minds.

EGO FALSE INNOCENCE AND CHHRIST’S REAL INNOCENCE

So far, I have made it seem like I am innocent and Igbos guilty. The ego likes to see itself as innocent and see other egos as guilty. It thinks that if it pretends innocence that God, whom it thinks that it separated from, would not punish it. Indeed, it is willing to punish other people whom it thinks are guilty to incur the love of God.

Other people are not guilty. Igbos are not guilty. They did nothing evil to me. The evil I saw them do to me, try to take over my business, bad mouth me on Naija politics, were done because I asked them to do so. I asked them to attack me, to do evil things to me, so that, at first, I would feel fear and anger and separate from them and later learn that I do not need to separate from them; that I need to forgive and love them.
Nothing can happen to a child of God without his electing to experience it, to learn about fear, anger and attack and eventually to learn about forgiveness and love. I asked my brother Igbos to attack me in a vicious manner, to try to take my business so as to arouse anger in me, but also to learn forgiveness and love for them.
They offered me an opportunity to choose differently; before I had chosen attack, defense and avoidance, now to choose again, this time to choose forgiveness, love and union, to not run from people to go preserve my ego.

SALVATION, REEMPTION, DELIVERANCE, ATONEMENT AND HEALING AS JOINING PEOPLE, NOT SEPARATING FROM PEOPLE


Because I chose to correct their seeming evil and not separate from them, I join them in Christ spirit, in the Holy Spirit, not at their ego level. Because I unify with them in God, not in ego, they have saved me. That is correct, whoever offers you an opportunity to join him in spirit, not ego, is your savior for salvation is joining in God, not in ego (the ego cannot join any way, since it is a separation derives). The Igbos who attacked me are my savior.


Since I have chosen to not avoid them, to not withdraw from them, to stick around them and talk to them about our true self, the unified self, I am now a bringer of salvation to them. I am a teacher of love, a teacher of forgiveness, a teacher of union and a teacher of God.
A teacher of love and God is a bringer of peace and happiness to the world. I bring peace and joy to my fractured Igbo brethren. I bring salvation, redemption, deliverance to my specialness and separation seeking Igbo brothers.
I have joined forces with our brother, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, in teaching us how to close the space that separates us. I am teaching us to love one another, to work for our common goals, which is to be joining one another, which is to be saved.
I am part of the saviors of the world, as you are, when you accept the reality of our unity and teach only love for love is who we are.

In sum, Igbos are my teachers, as well as my students. We are each others teacher and student. We teach each other whatever would bring us back to our truth, unified spirit, which is peace and happiness.


SICKNESS IS SEPARATION FROM GOD, HEALING IS JOINING WITH GOD AND ALL PEOPLE


To be sick is to be separated from God and from each other. Sickness is of the mind, for only mind can decide to separate. Space, time and matter were invented by mind to enable it seem separated from its creator.
On earth, on the other hand, we tend to define sickness at the physical level, only. Actually physical sickness is a projection of mental sickness to the body so as to forget awareness of where the sickness really is mind. A mind is sick if it believes itself separated from God and from other people and if it believes itself superior to other people and God.
A mind is healthy if it knows itself as unified with God and all people; if it knows itself as joined to all people. Mental health, mind’s health, lies in awareness of our eternal connectedness to one another and to our creator, followed by love for all of us.
As already observed, we seem to have resented the fact that God created us and want to create God, create ourselves and create each other; we separated to go seem to have accomplished these impossible desires. We want to seem special and separated. We also know that it is not right to deny our true self, unified spirit. Nevertheless, seeming separated from God and all people living in ego state housed in body gives us a sense of power and gratifies our wish for self creation. Thus we wish to retain the illusion of separation.
We feel guilty for what we did. But we want to keep what we did. We are sick for separating from our real self. To avoid awareness that we are sick at the mental level we project our sickness to our body. We make our bodies feel weak, pained and vulnerable. We make our bodies sick. Now it seems that it is our body that is the sick one, not our mind. We concentrate our efforts to heal our sick bodies with medications etc. In the process we do not pay attention to where attention is due, the mind.
We do not want to pay attention to our separated minds, our sick minds for obviously if we did we would know that the only solution to that sickness is joining with God and all people. To return to union with God and all people means giving up the world of separation we see. If we returned to spiritual union, the empirical world we invented would disappear. The cost of mental health, union with God, is the disappearance of our physical world.
But we do not want to give up our physical world. The physical world is our handiwork, we made it, it is our idol and we are very proud of it. Our bodies are our idol for we invented matter and used it to fashion bodies for us. We wrote the information in our DNA and used them to fashion our bodies and seem to live in bodies. To give up body, matter, space and time (all our creation) is to relinquish what we made. We think that we would become powerless if we allowed the world we made to disappear into the mist from whence we conjured it out from.
Thus we allow ourselves to live in bodies and make our bodies sick and die. We accept the death of our bodies rather than relinquish bodies and accept spiritual union. Thus we seem born in bodies, live in sickness, age and die. We then come back to the world and live in body and die and go through this merry go round for as many times as we want to.
When we are ready we recognize that the sickness is in the mind and heal it by joining with God and all people, we do so by accepting that God created us and that we did not create ourselves and by loving all people. When we do so we are enlightened to the light that we are, we are illuminated to the fact that the son of God is the light that illuminates the world.
When spiritual union is accepted, the individual returns to living in spirit and escapes from the world of space, time and matter.
While on earth, when mind is healed, that is, when the individual accepts union with God, accepts that God created him; accepts that he does everything he does with the power of God in him, not with his own power, he is able to heal his body also.
A healed mind heals the body it seems to live in. But the cart should not be placed before the horse; the priority is to heal the mind before healing the body, whereas we tend to want to heal the body before the mind. Indeed, we see sickness as caused by body when, in fact, body is mere receptacle of what is in the mind.
We tend to endow body with qualities it does not have, such as say that it has instincts, reflexes and does things by itself. Whatever we see body do is done by the mind and we forget that the mind did so. For example, we tend to see the control of our vital organs like hearts, lungs etc as done involuntarily by body (nervous system) and as outside the purview of thinking; we tend to say that birds flying from the south to the artic north from instincts; we say that whales moving around the waters do so through built in sonar. But all these seeming programmed responses were programmed by our minds. It is our minds that make our bodies sick. It is also our minds that heal our bodies.


We made a choice to be ego housed in body. That choice is supported by our eating food, taking medications, wearing clothes, living in shelters. These behaviors maintain our identity as egos and bodies. They make it seem real that we are separated selves in bodies. The physical world of space, time and matter was designed to make separation seem real, and to maintain our egos. Then we choose sickness of body to make our bodies seem real, too.
If body and sickness are real then we are separated from God and we created ourselves; God did not create us.
Finally, we choose death to prove that we are bodies and that we created ourselves and that God did not create us; in doing so, we seem to have won the authorship question, we now created ourselves and the world and God did not create us and the world.
We choose suffering to make our separated egos and bodies seem real. If we relinquished body, sickness, weakness, pain and suffering we would be saying that the world we invented isn’t real and that only the world God created, the spirit world is real; that would seem to take away our false ego power (and give us shared power in God).
Human beings would do anything to prove that they are separated from their creator. Some would undertake to be slaves, suffer humiliation just so that they feel that they have egos and created themselves; others enslave their brothers to prove that they are powerful and created themselves and their brothers. (Slaves and slave masters alternate in different lifetimes, just as leaders and the led alternate in different life times.) We would rather punish our bodies with sickness and slavery than accept that God created us.


CONCLUSION

Igbos are like all people, they choose what all people choose, suffering. They also choose their apparent narcissism, grandiosity and delusional disorders. They mirror these behaviors for me to see and in seeing those see them in me, though in a disguised manner. They teach me about me. They help me to heal those disorders in me and in doing so help to heal them in them. They are my healer.
We heal each other when we stop running from each other and join each other. We do not join at the ego-body level, but at the spirit level; the ego and body are means of separation, only mind can join, hence heal.
A mind that sees itself as joined with other minds, and works for our common interests has formed holy relationships with them and is healed.
A person must join other people to be healed. One cannot be healed while staying apart from other people. A holy self is found in the union of many selves (at least, in two selves).
One should not run away from people for in isolation is separation which is sickness, and in union is healing.
Salvation is never attained by an alone, separated self but in groups of twos or more people. To be saved you must select a human being and join with him by forgiving and loving him. When one joins with other people and work for our interests and do not exclude other human beings, one has formed holy relationships with them; one has transformed the egos special relationships to holy relationships; one has healed ones neurosis, for neurosis is seeking for the self only, while health is seeking for the many, social interest, as Adler called it.
(Alfred Adler was a secular mystic and Helen Schucman was a religious mystic. The thoughts of those two observers shaped this essay.)

The healed person makes the judgment of the Holy Spirit: he sees all people as one with him; he sees the ego and its world as worthless and valueless and does not desire it. He still makes judgment, but this time not from ego ideals perspective, not from trying to become an improved ego and positing ideal ego standards and using them to judge people. Instead, he judges people from the perspective of love and forgiveness, which means that he loves and forgives all their illusions and what they do in the world of illusions.
A healed, healthy person now works with the Holy Spirit in teaching the world to unite and love and forgive one another and in doing so brings peace and joy to all mankind.






__________________________
FOR FURTHER READING

Adler, Alfred. (2003) The Neurotic Constitution. In Collected Clinical Works of Alfred Adler. Ed. Henry Stein. San Francisco, CA: Alfred Adler Institute.

American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. (1994) Washington DC: American Psychiatric Press.

Bible, King James Version. (1983) New York: Thomas Nelson Inc.

Freud, Sigmund. (1961) The Life and Works of Sigmund Freud. Ed. Ernest Jones. New York: Lionel Trilling and Steven.

Hitler, Adolf. (2002) Mein Kampf. New York: CPA Books.

Horney, Karen (1950) Neurosis and Human Growth. New York: W.W. Norton.

Kelly, George. (1955) The Psychology of Personal Constructs. New York: W. W. Norton.

Maslow, Abraham. (1949) “The Expressive Component of Behavior”, Psychological Review.
----------------- (1970) Motivation and Personality. New York: Harper

Meissner, William. (1980) The Paranoid Process. New York: Aronson.

-------------------- (1994) Psychotherapy and the Paranoid Process. New York: Aronson, Jason Publishers.

Rogers, Carl. (1951) Client Centered Therapy. New York: Houghton Mifflin and co.

Schucman, Helen. (1976) A Course in Miracles. Tiburon, CA: Foundation for Inner Peace.

Shapiro, David. (1999) Autonomy and the Rigid Character. New York: Basic Books.

------------------ (1999) Neurotic Styles. Basic Books.

Skinner, B.F. (2002) Beyond Freedom and Dignity. New York: Hackett Publishing.

Swanson, David. (1970) The Paranoid. Boston: Houghlin, Mifflin.

Ozodi Thomas Osuji
Ozodi@africainstituteseattle.org

Posted by Administrator at April 15, 2006 09:03 AM

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