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April 30, 2006

Ozodi Osuji Weekly Lectures on African Countries #9 of 54: Central African Republic

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- 9. CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC Flag of Central African Republic

Formal Name: Central African Republic.

Term for Citizens: Central Africans.

Capital: Bangui. Population: 666, 000.

Independence Achieved: August 13, 1960 (from France).

Major Cities: Bangui.


Central African Republic is in Central Africa. It is bordered by Sudan, Congo-Kinshasa, Congo-Brazzaville, Cameroon and Chad. Central African Republic has an area of 240, 535 square miles. Most of the country is located on a plateau 2500 feet above sea level, a plateau broken by even higher hills that rise to 4000 feet. The Ubangi River drains the southern and northwestern parts of the plateau, while the Shari River drain the North Country toward lake Chad. The south is rain forest and the north is savanna grassland. Only about 10% of the land is suitable for agriculture. The climate is very tropical, with two seasons, rainy (June to October…rain often is accompanied by tornados and floods) and dry (October to March).


The population of Central African Republic is estimated at 3, 865, 000.

Ethnic Groups: The major ethnic groups are Mandjia, Banda, Banziri, Sara, Mbum, Mbuti, Bunga, Mbaka, and Zande.

Languages: Each of the ethnic groups speaks its own language. Sangho is widely spoken. French is the official language.

Religion: Christian South and Muslim North and a variety of indigenous religions.

Education: Access to primary education is available to all but not free. Literacy rate is estimated at 51%.

Economy: Although less than 10% of the land is fertile, agriculture is the primary economic activity. Cotton, peanuts, and coffee are produced for export. Diamonds is a significant mining industry. The country depends heavily on France for supplies and on the Congo for military help. GDP estimate: $4.7 billion; Per Capita: $310. Monetary Unit: CFA Franc BEAC (XAF)

History and Government:

France took over what was then called Ubangi-Shari in 1894 and ruled it as part of its Equatorial Africa, which included present Chad. In 1958 the people voted to be an independent country within the French community. And in 1960, the country opted for independence. Subsequently, a series of army persons seized political power. Bokassa made himself an emperor and lavished spending on his coronation. Yet another army officer later dismissed him from power. Central African Republic remains one of the poorest countries in Africa. The country is divided into 14 prefectures, 2 economic prefectures and 1 commune.


During the last quarter of the nineteenth century, the major European countries scrambled to carve out territories for themselves in Africa. The French carved out territory around the Ubangi and Shari river basin and called it the French Colony of Ubangi-Shari (1900). Not much took place in this territory until France formed the French community in 1958 and Ubangi Shari was one of the first French African countries to join up. In 1960, Ubangi-Shari became independent and changed its name to Central African Republic.

Since independence, Central Africa Republic has witnessed political instability that even by African standards is excessive. It seems that military generals highest job position is to overthrow the government and become the head of state, until another general overthrows them.

Upon independence, the head of state, Barthelemy Boganda, was quickly disposed by David Dacko in 1962.

Dacko, himself, was deposed in 1965 by Colonel Jean Bedel Bokassa. In 1977, Bokassa crowned himself the emperor of Central African Empire.

Two years later, with the aid of the French, Dacko returned to power and the world was told that the former emperor feasted on human flesh.

In 1981, Dacko was overthrown by General Andre Kolingba. Kolingba clung to power until 1993 when pressure from the international community forced him to hold an election.

Ange-Felix Patasse won that election. In 2002, a military coup led by Francois Bozize toppled the Patasse government. Mr. Bozizi held an election in 2003 and won and is the current President of Central African Republic.

In 2004, Bozize wrote a new constitution for the country. The new constitution established a Parliamentary system of democracy with multiple party systems. The constitution established a National Assembly, a Supreme Court and permitted political parties to compete for office. The president is overall in charge of government but appoints a prime minister from the party with majority seats in the National Assembly.

The country was divided into 14 administrative units (prefectures). The prefectures were further divided into 71 sub-prefectures.

In 2005, a parliamentary election was held and Mr. Elie Dote was appointed the Prime Minister under President Francois Bozize.

Central African Republic is one of the poorest countries in Africa. The per capita income is U.S $310 (World Bank, 2005). Though the country possesses loads of natural resources, such as diamonds and considerable agricultural resources, these are underdeveloped. What revenue there is, such as comes from diamonds, is wasted buying military weapons by the various generals competing for power. Central African Republic is blessed with arable lands that could be put to effective agricultural use and feed the three million plus population, but, instead, political strife caused by competition for power and control of the government makes sure that the people live in poverty. Indeed, these conflicts force the people to run and spill over into other countries as refugees. A considerable number of persons from Central African Republic live in Chad Republic as refugees.

Mr. Bozize’s government appears to be respecting the constitution. He permits news papers, independent radio stations and TV stations to exist and, more importantly, to criticize his government without reporters going missing, as was the case in the past. Whether these criticisms by the press have impact on the government is another matter. As in many Africans countries, the government, bowing to foreign pressure, learns to tolerate the existence of apparent free Press while ignoring it.

In the end, it remains to be seen how long Mr. Bozize’s government would last before another General topples him. In the meantime, the country remains grossly underdeveloped, even by African standards.

Posted by Administrator at 11:23 AM | Comments (0)

What should we do with Africans?

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- Not long ago, I was thinking about Africans and their status in the world. It occurred to me that, in aggregate terms, they have contributed very little of significance to human civilization.

In fact, I cannot remember anything seminal that they contributed to human civilization: the wheel, written language, electricity, train, automobile, airplane, telephone, television, radio, transistor radio, computer, internet, microwave ovens and digitalization.

I cannot think of anything useful in the world of physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics that Africans have given to mankind. All that I can give Africans credit for is their contribution in popular music, such as Jazz, rhythm and blues and good athleticism.

All that seems to come out of contemporary Africa is draughts, diseases, death and suffering, political corruption and senseless tribal wars. I see wars motivated by egoism, some egos wanting to stay in office forever, fighting other egos, those that want to replace them in office, while both do nothing to serve society’s interests.
Africa and Africans seem just like one big mess and an unnecessary headache for mankind. The whole world is made to feel guilty because of Africans perpetual sufferings and out of guilt help them with monetary and food aid.
And that aid is often redirected into the pockets of Africa’s so-called leaders. The leaders seem sociopath, amoral and lacking in conscience and do not care one bit for the suffering of their people. Give them money to help their suffering people and they spend it on themselves and show no remorse for stealing what was meant for other people. African leaders seem like criminals, really, they seem to enjoy hurting their own people. They seem like one giant refuse that ought to be dumped into a garbage dump and allowed to rot there.

In light of the fact that nothing good seems to come out of Africa and only bad comes out of Africa, I began to think: would it not be better for mankind if all Africans are wiped out from the surface of the earth?
We have enough nuclear bombs to do the job, don’t we? Why not drop these bombs on strategic locations in Africa and wipe all Africans out, so that mankind is finally rid of an unproductive race?
If we did that Africa would become a game reserve and folks can go to the continent to go watch animals roam in the wild.

Unfortunately, the very bombs that would kill Africans would kill animals, too, and that is not good, for we want the animals to survive; animals seem better than unproductive Africans; animals give us joy from looking at them, while looking at starving Africans give us guilt.

So, instead of using the bomb to kill off vermin, as Adolf Hitler called them, why don’t we urge hunters from all over the world to go to Africa and shoot and kill Africans and leave animals alive?
This ugly chore would save us a lot of future headache. We would no longer have to worry about poverty brought about by a people who seem to have no clue as to how to govern themselves.

Obviously, this thought of wiping all Africans off the surface of the earth is dreadful. But dreadful as it may be, I am sure that some people do think along that line? White racists and terrorists like David Duke have articulated thoughts along that line.

If so, shouldn’t we think about it and understand why they should think so? More importantly, wouldn’t it be useful for Africans to know that some human beings would want to wipe them off this earth and why they want to do so? Perhaps, that knowledge would enable them to finally get their acts together, so as to prevent themselves from being wiped off the earth?

Actually, if Africans continue to be unable to govern themselves, to make their continent a mess, sooner or later, someone will attempt to get rid of them. Mark that down.

(I just asked for other people to destroy Africans. How is it that people always ask for others to destroy them when they could just as well do that to themselves if they wanted to die? If one wanted to die one could easily kill ones self and does not need to get others involved. Africans can kill themselves and do not need to get others involved in their death.

Jesus, too, had to get other people involved in his death. If he wanted to die and resurrect, destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, he could have killed himself and then resurrected in three days and not have to get Judas, the High Priests, Pontius Pilate, and other people involved in his apparent death wish. He did not have to get others to feel guilty from killing him when he could have done himself in. Two thousand years after his death, the Catholic Church is still making folks feel guilty for killing God’s allegedly innocent son.

Seriously, why do people who want to die want to get other people to take the responsibility for killing them? Could it be that deep down we want to see ourselves as innocent victims of others cruelty? Could it be that we want to see ourselves as good and others as bad?
Do we want to condemn other people, and say: look at what they did to us, they are no good, they ought to be punished and we ought not to be punished? Could it be that deep down the ego wants to feel innocent and condemn other egos as guilty?
It is us who separated from the whole and, as such, attacked ourselves; it is us who shattered reality into smithereens and each of us identify with a piece of it. It is us who victimized ourselves. We did this thing to ourselves; we brought our suffering to ourselves.
If we brought about our own suffering and have nobody to blame, why shift the blame to others? Why do we like to blame others? Adam blamed Eve and she blamed the Serpent, and, today, we are still looking for a scapegoat to blame for our bad behaviors. Kill yourself if that is what you want to do, but, please, do not ask other people to do so for you. Alas, life is immortal and there is no one to kill.)

I am an African. Wiping off all Africans from the surface of this earth would mean wiping me off, too!
Psychoanalytically, it could be said that what I am really saying is that I am no good, that I have contributed nothing to human civilization and, as such, ought to be killed off! It could be said that I deny this desire to destroy myself and then project what I think of me to those most like me, Africans, and say that they have contributed nothing to human civilization hence ought to be killed off.
If you proceed with this line of reasoning, you would, ultimately, conclude that what I wish for myself and for Africans that I also wish for all mankind: that I want all mankind destroyed. The logical conclusion to that manner of thinking is that one sees ones self and all mankind as imperfect and wants to destroy them.
Old Sigmund Freud saw this phenomenon as Thanatos, the death wish which he believed lies deep rooted in all people. We build things to destroy them, don’t we? We want to destroy ourselves?

I am sure that there are Africans who may not agree with my assessment that they have contributed nothing to human civilization, who, indeed, may conclude that they have contributed a lot to human civilization. Obviously, there are Africans who do not want to be killed off, as I want them to be killed off. Nigerians, despite their inability to do anything right, are judged the world’s happiest people; they (that is, their egos) love life so much that they do not want to die. In fact, they are so afraid of physical death that they do not challenge their criminal leaders, or if they do and the leaders kill a few of them, the rest of them run and go hide to preserve their cowardly existence. If they were not afraid of death, they would fight and, if necessary, get killed rather than live under the criminals at Abuja that misrule them.


If I want to be killed off, does this not represent the height of self hatred? One must hate ones self so bad to want to be killed? What brought about this self hatred and what can be done about it?
Let us see why I could possibly hate myself. I was born with spondilolysis and have always felt physically and psychologically weak. As a child, I walked for over fifty miles and my legs felt on fire and thereafter went numb for a couple of days. I felt totally embarrassed by this situation where I could not even stand on my legs.
While in college, I obtained a summer job at a fruit packing factory (Agripack) and had to stand on my feet for eight hours doing that assembly line work. After a few days of doing that job, enduring excruciating pain on my legs and back, my feet went numb and eventually “died”. My waist felt like lead and I could not stand up.
A year later, a friend of mine drove cab during the summer and told me that it is an easy job and asked me to try it out. A week into that job, my legs felt on fire and eventually went numb on me and I had to quit driving cab.
During my final year in college, I worked at a store where I had to stand up on my feet, eight hours a day. Again, my legs felt so pained that I had to quit after only a few days of working.
As a result of these physiological and or medical issues, I sought easy jobs, such as office jobs.

My body is vulnerable and I have always hated it. My weak body, in an epiphenomenal way, probably determined my thinking patterns, and certainly determined my personality (avoidant personality).
The human self, the ego, it seems, is epiphenomenal to the body; the processes of the body produced it? The state of the individual’s body, his inherited biochemistry and biophysics interacting with his physical and social environment seem to produce his personality?
As long as a human being sees himself as a body and sees his mind as separated from other minds, he must necessarily feel that his body determined his mind. This is the world’s logic.

On the other hand, if the individual withdraws from his identification with his body and separation he can enter a different realm where he knows that mind determines his body; but as long as he identifies with his body and our world and its logic, he must see himself as a product of his body, and must see himself as a victim of external circumstances; he cannot see himself as the person who chooses what happens to him.

I hate and reject my body; there is no doubt about that fact. In fact, I was aware of my hatred of my body by age six. In (Alfred) Adlerian psychological terms, my body is weak and was unable to adapt to the exigencies of this world hence made me feel psychologically inferior and I rejected it and seek to become a psychologically superior self, a self that successfully coped with the impersonal realities of the physical and social environment.
In Karen Horney’s psychological terms, I felt inadequate and used my imagination to desire feeling perfect and ideal. My ego self concept, that is, my psychological self, as opposed to my physical self, wants to feel ideal at all times.


I have two levels of conflict in my life: I have conflict between the unified self (our spirit real self) and the separated self (the physical real self); Christ (unified self) and ego (separated self). Every human being has this level of conflict.
Additionally, I have conflict between the ego and the ego ideal. My seeking to become an ego ideal compounded the degree of my conflict. Thus, I lived in intense tension.

The ego ideal is, of course, never going to be actualized, for the ideal is not possible in a world circumscribed by space, time and matter. The ego ideal is a will of the wisp.

Normal persons have only one level of conflict: the conflict between their unified self (real self) and the separated ego self (earthly false self). They do not have the additional conflict between their ego and ideal ego, for they accept their ego-body and do not seek to become ideal ego (or seek ego ideal in a muted, unconscious manner).
Normal persons accept their bodies and egos as real and live peacefully with them. They see their minds as epiphenomenal to their bodies and may or may not mouth belief in God. If they mouth belief in God, they do not really wonder how God, supposedly spirit, could be in their bodily lives.


One can reject ones body and ego as not real and escape from the world of matter, space and time. One can negate the empirical world and identify with the spiritual world; that world is not adaptive to the exigencies of our empirical world.
It takes total forgiveness and love to escape from the empirical world and return to the non empirical world of spirit.


My personality and life, so far, is like my father’s and my grandfather’s. All of us feel physically weak, reject our empirical bodies, invent ego ideals as replacement selves and pursue attaining them.
We are not empiricists and physical scientists who concentrate only on the observable, the objective world and deal with it without escaping into imaginary mental constructs of ideal selves and worlds.
We reject our bodies and escape into imaginary ideal selves; we seek ego ideals. Karen Horney calls this phenomenon neurosis. (See her book, Neurosis and Human Growth.)

The pursuit of ego ideals is what gives our lives meaning and value. As long as we pursue our ego ideals, our lives seem to have purpose, meaning and direction.

But the realization that the ego ideal is not going to occur since it is mere imagination leads to despair. When this reality hits one, the underlying self hatred then comes to the fore hence the desire to be killed, projected out as desire for Africans to be killed.
(All those who want to seem like they are very important persons, VIPs, narcissists, are, at root, depressed persons; they mask their depression with their pursuit of vain-glory goals. When failure hits them they experience devastating depression. All those narcissistic cum antisocial Nigerian big men are, at root, depressed creatures; deep down they feel inadequate and useless and mask their self loathing with seeming external self admiration. The various empty titles they give to themselves, such as Professor, Dr, Chief, Alhaji do nothing, are attempts to mask their underlying sense of worthlessness. They bedeck their bodies in gold jewelry, bodies that would die and rot and smell to high heaven. They must, at some level, know that body is nothing and that identification with body is identification with nothingness. Only Spirit has value and is eternal and identification with it gives human beings true grandeur, not the grandiosity of the ego. Body and ego are worthless and valueless and seeing ones self as only them means that one judges ones self as nothing important.)


One has the choice of the scientific solution, that is, accepts matter as all there is to life, and studies it and makes the most of ones bodily existence. This is where physical scientists are; they see the human body as real and as all there is to human beings; more importantly, they see mind and thinking as a product of the body, as epiphenomenal.
Thus, if there is something wrong with the body, it produces disturbances in thinking. If the body is improved it produces better thinking. This is the assumption of contemporary neuroscience and psychopharmacology.
It is now assumed that mental illness is a product of disturbances in brain chemistry and that they could be cured through medications. And make no mistake about it; medications that alter brain chemistry do improve people’s thinking patterns. The neuroleptics do reduce psychotic thinking; Lithium does reduce manic thinking, anti depressants do lift folks from depressive thinking; the anxiolytics do reduce anxiety based thinking.
The logic of psychotropic medications is that human beings are only their bodies and that their thinking and mind is produced by their bodies; that all is matter.
Material monism has, as it were, won the battle with its rival, idealistic monism. God is dead and matter has triumphed.
The Son of God is now only his body and, if so, his father must be dead, for if his father is spirit, how can his son be body?


The other choice is the paradigm that mind is apart from body and determines what body does. This view believes that there are no accidents in the universe, even in the material universe and that mind chooses what body experiences; that mind, in fact, chose the type of body one has hence chose what it felt and chose its resultant personality.
One, in effect, chose a weak body and ones resultant pursuit of ego ideal. But since pursuit of ego ideal leads to not doing what needs to be done in the empirical world to adapt to it, hence inevitably leads to failure and poverty, one chose ones poverty.
One can then choose to relinquish the ego ideal and either accept the empirical self or escape from the empirical world into the spiritual world.


Regardless of what ones approach to phenomena is, in the here and now world, what is self evident to me is that I want things to be better than they are. This means that I tend to admire those who seem better than me.
In school, I admired kids who seemed stronger than me and who seemed smarter than me. In general society, I tend to admire persons that seem ahead of me. In Africa, I admired those groups that seem more civilized than others, or those persons who seem more civilized and or richer than other persons.
I, in the West, I tend to admire White persons more than I admire black persons, for they seem ahead of black persons in material culture.
But when I come into close contact with white persons they seem as silly as black persons are, and I immediately reject them; from afar, I admire white persons but in close proximity I loathe them, as much as I loathe black folks.

The truth is that I do not like anything in flesh; I want to be disembodied, without flesh; I want to be spirit, not body.


In his biography, Mein Kampf, written in 1925, Adolf Hitler raved and ranted about the need to destroy what he believed were the unproductive races of mankind. As he saw it, only the Aryan race, particularly the Germanic portion of it, has made significant contributions to human civilization and the others have not.
He felt that he was god and was entitled to make the decision as to who lives and dies. He decided that non Aryans ought to die. And Hitler fully expected those he deemed worthy of death to accept to be killed by him without doing something about it. He was actually surprised that the Slavs, Russians, fought back and eventually defeated him. The man was a psychotic god and believed that other people ought to believe what his delusion tells them to believe because he is god. But he was no god and the Russians told him so in no uncertain terms.
The mouse that shook its arms at the sun committed suicide in his underground burrow before Russians; those he claimed are inferior, got to him, arrested and placed him in a zoo for people to gawk at an aberration of a human being. (Only a sense of oneness, sameness and equality is healthy mental state; if one feels different from and inferior or superior to other people one is mentally sick.)
Most reasonable people probably dismissed Hitler’s views as grandiose and delusional (Hitler was a paranoid cum antisocial personality disordered man) and did not take them seriously. Then he came to power and implemented his views.
Hitler tried to kill off Slavs and Jews, the mentally and physically handicapped and homosexuals. By the time he was finally stopped, he had killed over 50 million persons.
And when his empire of cards collapsed in on him, he gave others to his architect, Albert Speer, for all Germany to be destroyed. Finally, he took his own life.
In effect, this man was a nihilist and detested life; he wanted to destroy all life, his own life, the life of his fellow Germans and the life of every one else.
(Existentialists like Jean Paul Sartre would say that life made Hitler puke and vomit; that he was nauseated by the human condition, but did not have the intellectual training to understand what was going on in his mind and merely acted it out; that with a bit more sophistication that he would have redirected his disgust with human beings to doing something to serve them. I am disgusted with human beings; I redirect my nausea into social service.)
Apparently, Hitler hated his body and his life and initially denied his self hatred and projected it out as hatred of seeming other persons. For a while, he concentrated on hating others but when finally he was made to own up to his hatred of life on earth, he showed hatred of his own people and hatred of his own life and wanted to destroy them all.

The lesson of Hitler is that some persons hate themselves and hate other people but may deny and project their self hatred to hatred of other people and that seems to hide their underlying self hatred. Eventually, their underlying self hatred would come out and they commit suicide.
(The racist white person, in fact, hates his life; he redirects his self hatred to hatred of non-whites, but when that fails in masking his underlying hatred of human life he kills himself. If he could be helped to understand why he hates human life, his perception that human life is worthless and valueless and that there is nothing to like in it, and helped to seek that which has true value, spirit, God, he would be given reason not to hate himself and other people, black or white.)

Clearly, I tend to believe that Africans have contributed nothing important to human civilization. I tend to see Africans as consumers and not producers. They have produced very little of significance in civilization. Their existence seems superfluous and they ought to die? When I see an African, I see nothing important; to me, Africans seem like a heap of garbage. I do not have respect for Africans.
(This translates into: I see myself as a heap of garbage; I do not have respect for me.)
In effect, I have made myself god and now has the power to decide who has worth and who lives and who dies! This is ego grandiose power, a false power.
Grandiose or not, who knows whether if I had power I would implement my desire for Africans to be killed, to save mankind of the eye sore that is Africans and their constant starvation?
Never dismiss people’s wishes. We ought to understand why people have the wishes they have rather than cavalierly dismiss them.

Why do I want to kill off those who seem imperfect and not ideal? Put differently, why do human beings want to kill off the imperfect and the not ideal? Why do some human beings seek the ideal and detest the real?
No human being is perfect and if you insist on accepting them only when they are perfect, you will not accept any of them. Ultimately, you have to wipe off all human beings, black, white and oriental. That is the logic of the pursuit of neurotic or psychotic idealism.
Can human beings be made to give up seeking idealism and accept realism? What is realism?


According to some metaphysics, the ego self is man made and is made to replace the self God created us as, the real self, the unified spirit self. (See Helen Schucman, A Course In Miracles.)
The individual sees the separated ego self as not good enough (perhaps, due to its physical weakness and illnesses and wants to replace it with a mentally invented ideal self, the ego ideal. He then pursues that ego ideal, trying to make it become real.
Pursuit of the ego ideal gives the individual’s life seeming purpose, meaning and direction; all false, that is, neurotic purpose, meaning and direction. Pursuit of ideal self and its goals give the individual insane meaning, purpose and direction in his life.

Real and sane meaning lies in pursuing actualization of the real self, the self God made us as, the unified spirit self.
In the extant world, however, normalcy lie in actualization of the ego-body self, not the ideal self. The ideal self is imaginary and false self hence is neurotic and or psychotic self actualization. The mad man claims to be who he is not in fact, an imaginary important self. The normal person accepts who he is in fact: an ordinary weak person and does not seek escape from it into some imaginary all powerful self.
Giving up the neurotic and or psychotic ego ideal and seeking the real unified spirit self, Christ self, gives peace of mind and joy of heart, whereas the pursuit of the ego ideal gives neurotics tension and conflict.
(Christ unified spirit self cannot be actualized in this world of space, time and matter; it can only be actualized in the world of spirit; in this world, at best, the normal self, that is, the ego-body accepting self can be actualized.)


It is clear that my old self, my character, personality, my ego or whatever you may choose to call it, invented an ego ideal and wants to approximate it.
A new self for me would be one that did not seek to be an ideal self. Pursuit of the old ideal self gave me pain and yet it was unattainable hence gave me frustration, too. It is pursuing an imaginary ideal, an illusion, a mental illness, insanity that gives nothing but pain, lack of inner peace, constant judgment of the real to see if it approximates the ideal; pride in being like the ideal; identifying with the ideal and from its stand point speaking and behaving, hence being foolish, immature and childish, for it is speaking and acting from an unreal and imaginary self.


Refusal to be called by my academic title, Doctor, may, at first, seem an attempt to be humble but I am anything but humble. I am a proud person. Pursuit of the ego ideal is an attempt to be important.

Not wanting to be called by my academic attainment is, in fact, childishness, for it enabled me to remain indecisive, immature and not commit to doing what I studied to the best of my ability, as an adult ought to be doing. I remained uncommitted and felt like I could do everything, and that way satisfied my ego ideal’s belief that it could do anything it wanted to do.

The fact is that in this world, a person can only do a few things, not too many things. For one thing, there is not enough time for the individual to do everything he would like to do.


It is very difficult to ascertain the origin of any behavior pattern. Psychology is full of speculations, most of which are exactly that, speculations. What is self evident is that some persons, beginning in childhood, feel inordinately inferior and compensate with a desire for superiority. Alfred Adler made this point rather well. Such persons reject their physical selves and desire to become the imaginary selves they would like to become. They construct ideal, superior selves and act as if they are such persons. When their ideal self concept is validated by other persons they feel fine, if not they feel bad. Much of their activities are motivated by desire to live up to their ideal self concepts. In fact, they think, behave and do most of the things they do from the perspective of their ideal self.
Such persons are generally called neurotic persons. But this statement means nothing since they are found in all walks of life, some as the president of their countries.
The desire to become an ideal other person is clearly based on an underlying self hatred and self rejection. One must hate what is to desire what is not, what only potentially could become. The neurotic person hates and rejects his real physical self and aspires after an ideal imaginary non physical self.
If the neurotic could he would destroy his physical self and just be his imaginary ideal self.

This desire to become an ideal person often leads to religion. In this case, the individual rejects the physically real and believes that he could become the imaginary mental constructs of the self presented by the various religions of mankind.
Alas, this desire is not going to be fulfilled for religion is conceptual whereas spiritual matters are non-conceptual and we cannot conceive what and who we are in spirit with our present intellectual categories. No matter how much one tries, one cannot imagine what spirit, aka heaven is like.
This is so because our present thinking categories are based on our world. Our world is a place of separation, space, time and matter. Language adapts to this world of space, time and matter. In our world, there is a self and a non self, an I and a non I. The individual sees himself as here and sees other persons as over there. He sees space between him and other persons and it takes time for him to reach other persons. Our world is a world of differences, and inequality.

Our world is the exact opposite of the world of spirit. Spirit is unified. There is no space, time and matter in spirit. Spirit is the same and equal everywhere. In spirit there is no you and I, no seer and seen, no subject and object, no self and non self; all are the same and equal everywhere. Whereas there are infinite selves in spirit, they all know themselves as parts of one unified spirit (which may be called God).
God is one unified spirit with infinite parts to him, all of which is like him and is him. One God extended his one self into his infinite parts, and if you insist on anthropomorphizing it, into his infinite sons; all the parts of God are him.
God knows that all his parts are him. He is not different from his parts and they are not different from him.
The parts of God, the sons of God are exactly like God, except that God, the whole, produced them, the parts, and they did not produce him, for parts cannot produce the whole.
God created his sons; they did not create themselves or create God. Other than the fact that God created us and we did not create him and did not create ourselves or create each other, there is no other difference between us, the children of God and God. Indeed, God gave us his creative powers, and we do create other children of God; but we do so with the power of God in us and not with our own power. Without his father the son can do nothing; but with his father he can do everything.


We, the children of God, resented the only difference between us and God, his creatorship of us. We wanted to create him, create ourselves and create each other. In other words, God the Son wanted to become God the father. That wish is impossible of accomplishment. Creation goes in one direction only: from inside to outwards, from the father in us to the son and from one son to another son, ad infinitum.
Unable to gratify his wish in reality, the son of God slept and dreamt a world where he is the creator of himself, creator of other children of God and creator of God. That dream world is our world.
Our world is a dream, an illusion where the created come to seem to become the creator.
On earth, each of us invents his self concept and self image; he also invents self concepts and images for other people and invents concepts and images for God. All these are illusions, illusions that give him the impression that he has now created God and the universe.
In the world, the dream we invent self concepts and see them in forms and believe them to be real. We all think that we are our bodies and personalities. We all believe that the selves we see with our physical eyes are real. But the world is a dream and the selves seen in the world are dream figures, not real persons.
The real children of God are not in forms and are not conceptual; they are spirit. The real children of God are not separated from him or from their brothers; they remain as their father created them, unified and holy. They are guiltless, innocent and sinless in their non separated state but think that they are sinful, guilty and unholy in their separated states.

When they overlook their dreams, ignore the sights shown to them by their physical eyes, forgive each other what they do in dreams, they return to the awareness of their unified state.
Union is love; love is a glue that unified the infinite parts of the whole into one; that connects all creation to each other and to their creator.
When they overlook separation and what is done in it, they return to the awareness of love, a love which they always live in while thinking that they are separated from it.
We always live in the presence of love, union, while seeing ourselves as in the loveless world of separation.


The individual must let go of his present self concept and self image and all concepts and images he has of other people and things to be able to return to the awareness of formless unified spirit self.
One way to accomplish this goal is through meditation. In meditation, the individual consciously attempts to shut down his ego, separated conceptual self. He stops thinking in ego separated terms, or if he thinks so, reminds himself that nothing his ego thinks is true. The ego thinks and sees illusions, dreams, and nothing it does transcends illusions and dreams.
Even our science and technology is part of the ego dream of separation. One must therefore invalidate what the ego shows one as the truth. Not this, not this, Neti, Neti Hinduism teaches us.
The individual accepts that nothing he can think of is real. He accepts that he does not know who he is; that he does not know who other people are and does not know what anything is or means. He simply remains quiet and asks the universe of spirit to tell him what anything is, means and who he is.
If before he meditates, the individual truly loves and forgives everybody around him, in meditation he may experience momentary escape from the empirical world and return to consciousness of the spiritual world, a world where there are no forms, a non perceptual world, where there is nothing to see; a world of knowledge, knowledge that one is part of all people, as they are part of one, a world of pure light, one light that begins nowhere and ends nowhere and each of us is a unit of that light.
Each of us is literally inside each of us and we are all in God and he is in us. There is no space or gap between people and their creator; where one ends and another begins is nowhere.
Our true self is eternal, it is never born and does not die (it is not in body and, as such, cannot die for only that which is body seems to die).
The world of God is peaceful, happy and joyous, it is a blissful world.
The world of God is the world of sameness and equality, all the happy children of God playing with their eternal father, God.

The presence of the ego separated self concept, the human personality is a barrier to the experience of God. If the individual has a self concept and self image at all he cannot experience his real self, our unified self. Therefore, the individual must give up his conceptual self and remain still. He must become a void and say nothing about who he thinks that he is, who he thinks that other people are and what he thinks that anything means. He must become a void and in that openness his true self will dawn on him by itself.
The individual needs do nothing to be his real self, except that he needs to undo what he already did. He constructed his self concept and must give it up; he invented his self image and must give it up; he invented images for other people and must give them up; he invented ideas and images for everything he sees in his world and must give them up. He must give up all thoughts he has of himself, as good or bad, and about other people as good or bad and simply accept that in ego state he is ignorant of spiritual reality, and mean it, and he would be shown what things are and mean. But as longer as he thinks that he knows what anything is, he is arrogant, ego arrogance, and will not experience reality as it is.

Try meditation as described above and see what happens. Suddenly our seeming solid world disappears and you are in a different mode of being, a mode that is ineffable. This world seems like magic and fantasy to the mode you currently are in, but to that mode of being your present mode of being is fantasy, magic, a dream.
Which one is real? You will know which one is real when you have experienced unified spirit; no amount of reading or talking about it can convince you of the truth of God; only experience would.
In the meantime, you must give up all the concepts you have of who you think that you are, of who you think that other people are and what you think that the world is and remain quiet. Try it; that in itself gives you peace and some happiness.


I began this essay by noting that Africans have contributed little to human civilization and, as such, ought to be destroyed. There are, in fact, many people out there who think along that line. David Duke and his racist bed fellows certainly believe that Africans are useless and ought not to exist. However, they would rather use Africans as slaves than kill them. They recognize that the dirty jobs of this world have to be done by someone and they would Africans, who are supposedly unintelligent, did it for them; they would Africans are re-enslaved.
Racists play the role of the Ego-God and feel that it is up to them to decide who lives and who dies. In that role, as the dreaming son of God, they have usurped the role of God and now sit on his throne and make life and death decisions. Racists are deluded and grandiose. They are dangerous for some of them do, in fact, act to implement their fantasies, they do kill people; Hitler killed obvert 50 million persons. We must therefore not dismiss them with a cavalier attitude for they can kill people.

If one reaches a state where one thinks that other people ought to be killed, as I did, one has reached the penultimate of egoism. One is proud, as proud as the proverbial Lucifer, the demiurge who rebelled against God and wanted to recreate the world in his own image.
One is now in a power struggle with God, hoping to kill God and take over his creative powers. But one also knows that God is eternal and cannot be killed, so one runs into the dark corner of ones making, a dream world, where one thinks that darkness would prevent God from seeing one and what one does. In that dark world, our world, one hides and in darkness does evil things, as we do on earth.


God is light; light is everywhere. Darkness (separation, ego) merely masks but does not destroy light (union, love).
When the children of God separated from him, went to sleep and dream this world and God could not reach them, God created the Holy Spirit and entered the world as the Holy Spirit, and through him reach his children.
The Holy Spirit, the immanent God, sees everything we do on earth. However, the Holy Spirit does not stop us from doing anything that we want to do. Why? Because he knows that everything we do here is done in dreams and is not real. Dreams do not replace reality. He knows that we are still the children of light and love and only dream hatred in our dark sleep.
Nevertheless, there is such a thing as happy versus unhappy dream. We currently give ourselves unhappy dreams, nightmares, by hating each other. The Holy Spirit would like us to have happy dreams.
Happy dreams are obtained when we love and forgive one another. When we love and forgive our fellow dreamers we have happy dreams.
The Holy Spirit helps those who call on him for guidance to have happy dreams; he does not force himself on any one.
Call on the Holy Spirit; ask him to guide you in your drams on earth. How?

Before you decide to do anything, do so from love, do everything you do from the perspective of what is good for all humanity, for all those concerned; forgive those who wronged you and pray that they turn to God and stop living in their hellish ego prison.

The Holy Spirit is not a person; he is in our minds, in our right minds. The ego is also not a person; he is in our minds, our left minds. God is not a person; he is the idea of our shared self. The Son of God, Christ, is not a person, he is in our minds, the mind that knows its self to be part of all minds and love all minds. (See Helen Schucman, A Course in Miracles and Ozodi Osuji, Real Self Psychology).


No one is entitled to kill off any race, productive or not. However, Africans ought to know that there are folks out there who wished that they be killed off since they seem to do nothing right. Such folks are not just non Africans. I am an African but my perception of African leaders as thieves led me to believe that the best thing to do to these kleptocrats is to kill all of them off.
And make no mistake about it, African leaders ought to be rounded up and placed in prison and made to work for their living and not fed by the public. These people are beneath contempt. They are despicable. Get rid of them and replace them with public serving leaders.

What the metaphysics explicated in this essay means is that when one sees other people one should say nothing; one should not judge them as good or bad, for all judgment is of the ego and ego ideal.
One judges from the perspective of the values that one has accepted as ideal, as the way things ought to be; from ego standards, from the ego playing god.
One should not judge ones self, not judge other people and not judge anything as good or bad. One should just stay calm and ask the universe of God to tell one what anything in front of one is and means.
Do not presume to know what you see means for you would only look at it and interpret it with the yardsticks of the ego, hence color it with your ego perception and stay in the world of dreams. Keep still and ask the Holy Spirit to tell you what anything is.

What our physical eyes show us is a shiftless African people. That is our ego perception of Africans. They have another reality. In overlooking their lack of caring behaviors we see that they are the children of God, and in God, in spirit, are innocent, holy and sanctified.
(However, given the ego realities of this world, we must teach Africans social service and social interested behavior, so that they produce publicly dedicated leaders, not the kleptocrats they currently have.)

This essay is a metaphor, a metaphor on how to change ones character, from ego self concept to Christ self concept, from hate to love and forgiveness.
In pure ego state, one judges Africans, actually all people, as imperfect and wants to destroy them.
This means that one judges ones self as imperfect and wants to destroy ones self; but momentarily denies that self hatred and project it to other people, scapegoats to be destroyed to hide ones self hatred.
In reality, we are all imperfect and nothing we do could ever make us perfect. As long as we live in ego separated states, on earth, we must be imperfect, for to be separated from the whole is to be incomplete.
Perfection lies in the complete state of God, in the wholeness called God. No amount of questing for ego ideal would make the ego ideal and perfect for the separate cannot be perfect. Only the complete, by definition, can be perfect.
Perfection lies only in completion, in our whole and holy self, in union with God and all creation. When we let go of the world of separation, the world of space, time and matter and let go of our separated ego self concepts and self images and embrace the real self God created us as, the unified self, we experience the perfection and ideals that we seek in the egos world, a perfection and ideal that must forever elude us, as long as we live in the separated egos world.
We can seek ideals via political ideologies like socialism, fascism or capitalism or from neurotic ideals like ideal self concept and would never attain them. Eric Fromm correctly observed that neurosis and psychosis are personal religions, are personal search for God, except that it is false God that one is searching for, for the ego is separated self, whereas the real God is unified self.

In the immanent universe we are separated selves. As such, we have consciousness of our individuated selves. In a false world, the only way to make that world and self seem real in our awareness is for us to be consciousness of it. If we did not have self consciousness and consciousness of other people as others, and consciousness of the world as an other, we would not exist as separated selves. No self consciousness means the end of the separated self, the ego and its separated world.
The separated world ceases to exist the moment one loses ones self consciousness. In death, the self consciousness self momentarily ceases but is quickly regained as one return to this world. But those who proceed to the world of spirit, the world of God , those who have given up the desire for separated self consciousness, loose self consciousness forever and enter the realm of we consciousness, the world of God, the world of peace and happiness.

This essay is asking us to change our characters, from ego based to Christ based, from seeking personal glory to seeking glory for the whole.
When one lets go of ones ego self and ego self image, one closes the gap separating one from other people and from God; one returns to the awareness of union. In union are harmony, peace and happiness.
It is obvious that only the same and equal and the non material can unify. Spirit is the only condition for union, hence peace and joy; our world of matter, space and time is a condition for conflict, tension and war.
We must let go of our earthly personalities, our ego selves, to experience our spiritual self, the holy self, a self that is the same and equal with all the infinite selves created by God.
The holy self, the unified self, the Christ does not judge some people as not good enough and as worthy of destruction but judges all people, who are itself, as perfect in God but imperfect on earth, and works to make them perfect in Christ.
On earth, the unified self works through people of goodwill to enable all selves, Africans included, to live up to their potential, which includes being of social service to all people and training to understand their empirical world in the most scientific manner and devising technologies to adapt to it.


As I look at contemporary Africans from my ego ideal point of view, they seem unproductive. I either want to transform them into being productive or do away with them. This is my ego speaking. I must acknowledge that part of me, the false me.
Another part of me sees Africans as children who do not know what they are doing; this part of me, the Christ part of me, asks me to forgive them and to not think of punishing them for stealing their people’s monies and wasting them. This part of me sees them as children asking for someone to teach them what to do, someone to teach them the nature of leadership behavior as one whereby the individual does not think of what is in it for him but what is in it for the public.
Teaching Africans self transcending and social serving behavior is actually teaching me self transcending and social serving behavior, for they are me.
Africans reflect me; they are me denied and projected out for me to see me clearly; their shiftlessness is my shiftlessness denied and projected out for me to see and correct, first in me and later in them.
One must live and teach egoless behavior. Egoless behavior is actually self loving behavior. Ego behavior is self hating behavior. To be an ego is to hate ones self, to attack ones self.
Heaven is wholeness and as such peaceful and joyous. The peace of heaven was disturbed when we separated from it. To separate from something we had to attack it and shatter it to smithereens.
The pursuit of a special self, the ego ideal, the sense of self creation, miscreations really, shattered heaven’s oneness, peace, and gave us the conflict and tension we live on earth. We invented imaginary powerful ideal selves and see them in forms and think that these images are our real selves; they are false selves.
False or not, we are to love the forms we currently live in, for a while, and, thereafter, overlook them and return to our formless spirit selves.
In a loving world of form is some peace and happiness; however, it is only in the formless world of God that there is total peace and happiness, bliss.
We must love Africans despite their apparent lack of loving egos. In doing so, we finally teach them to become loving egos rather than the hateful egos they currently are. From loving egos they then recover their true selves, love itself, Christ, the son of God who is as God created him, loving at all times and in being loving lives in peace and happiness.


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

Bhaskarananda, Swami. (2002) The Essentials of Hinduism. Seattle: Viveka Press.

Beck, Aaron. (1990) Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Personality Disorders. New York: Guilford Press.

Bergen, Peter (2002) Holy War Inc.: Inside the Secret World of Osama bin Laden. New York: Free Press.

Ellis, Albert. (2004) Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy. New York: Prometheus Book Publishers

Firestone, Reuven. (1999) Jihad: The Origin of Holy War in Islam. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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

Hobbes, Thomas. Leviathan. Many editions

Hoffman, Bruce. (1999) Inside Terrorism. New York: Columbia University Press.

Horney, Karen (1991) Neurosis and Human Growth. New York: W. W. Norton.

Meissner, William. (1980) Paranoid Process. New York: Aronson.
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Raban, Jonathan. (Jan. 13, 2005) The Truth about Terrorism. The New York Times Review of Books.

Rattu, Krishan Kumar. (2002) Jihad and Terrorism. Jaipur: Books Enclave.

Shapiro, David (1999) Autonomy and the Rigid Character. New York: Basic Books.
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Smith, Adam. The Wealth of Nations. Many editions.

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April 17, 2006

Terrorism in Everyday Living

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- I look at myself objectively. In that light, I see a separated self, an ego housed by body that wants to live on planet earth. My ego wants to live so badly that it is perpetually afraid of death and anything that would bring about its death.

(Please note that I said my ego self is afraid of death. There is another self to us, our real self, unified, as opposed to separated ego self. The real self does not fear death for it knows itself to be immortal.)

Are you different from me? Probably not. As I see it, all that life on earth is, is the separated self, the ego, trying to live and fearing to die. We have a strong desire to live and a strong fear of death.
In fact, just about everything that we do on earth seems motivated by our desire to live at all costs. We eat food to maintain our bodies so that they survive and live for however long it is possible for the human body to live (may be 120 years?); we take medications to prevent diseases that could harm and eventually kill us; we wear clothes to protect us from the vagaries of inclement weather so that we would live; we live in houses and other forms of shelter so that we would survive for long….if you lived in the sub-arctic winter weather of Alaska and did not live indoors for 24 hours you would probably freeze to death. We work to earn the means of sustaining our ego-body lives.
Simply stated, everything we do on earth seem motivated by our underlying desire to survive. Even such seeming purely abstract activities as doing research in the pure and applied sciences are really motivated by our desire to live and our fear of harm and death.
Why understand what the sun is and how it works? Just curiosity? Probably curiosity plus the belief that if we understand how the sun works, we would better use it to improve our lives on earth. Why do we construct elaborate buildings, bridges, cars, airplanes etc? We probably do so to make our lives on earth more comfortable hence sustained.

Where am I going with all these seeming truisms, have not Charles Darwin and evolutionary biologists already tell us that life on earth is a struggle for living, and a struggle for the survival of the fittest?
And what have these questions got to do with the theme of this essay: terrorism in everyday living?
Have patience.


Terrorists are individuals who deeply appreciate that human beings are motivated to live at all costs and fear harm, death and dying. They, therefore, understand that if they randomly killed a few persons that they would arouse fear of death in the rest of the people. Now afraid for their lives, the rest of the people would easily do what the terrorists want them to do so as to avoid getting killed.
Terrorists use intimidation to get people to accept their points of views, and at the political level, their desired social policies. (See further reading list.)


If people did not desire to live at all costs and did not fear death, would terrorists be able to intimidate them and get them to do what they want them to do?
If the individual accepts death and is willing to die at any moment, clearly, other people would not be able to get him to kowtow to their points of views out of fear of what they might do to him.
We had and still have slavery in the world because human beings are afraid of harm and death. The slave master is usually a sadistic person and understands that the slave is a masochistic person. If you threaten to kill the slave, given his desire to live at all costs, he would obey you. Perhaps, he would have hope for a better future. He would think that perhaps tomorrow the slave master would have pity on him and not enslave him. But as long as he is afraid of death, the slave master would threaten to kill him and he would do as the slave master asks him to do.
It is only when the slave, or, at least, some of them, decides to accept death instead of accepting slavery, and defies the slave master, and insists on his personal freedom even if that means being killed that the slave master would release him. In fact, the easiest way for the slave to obtain freedom is for him to fight the slave master, and even if the master keeps kills some slaves, the slaves keep fighting him. Out of fear for his own survival, the slave master releases the determined slave.

Generally, oppressors do not give freedom to the oppressed because they are nice persons but because of their own self interests: their desire to live. If the oppressed act to kill the oppressor, or threaten to kill him, out of desire to live, the oppressor would give in to the demands of the oppressed.
That is to say that human beings do not owe their freedom to the goodness of their fellow human beings but to their willingness to fight for their freedom. If black Americans did not fight for their freedom, white Americans would probably still be enslaving them or would re-enslave them tomorrow; if Africans did not fight for their freedom in Mauritania and Sudan, Arabs would continue to enslave them. The phenomenon of slavery is world wide, for slavery existed in all races and up to a point still exists in all of them. (Pimps, all over the world, enslave prostitutes; prostitutes permit their slavery because of fear of harm and death in the hands of their sadistic pimps.)

Most people probably understand what terrorism is at the larger scale, that is, they are aware that there are religious fundamentalists and monolithic, authoritarian and totalitarian states that are willing to kill other people, those who they perceive as not accepting their position. Most people understand that some religious fanatics are willing to strap bombs around themselves and come to the West and blow themselves up if in the process they killed many persons and instilled fear in the rest of the population and in so doing swayed public policy in the terrorists favor.

The terrorist wants to kill people in a random act of violence so that most people would think that it could be their turn next time around. If the terrorist blew himself up in a bus, for example, the next time one is boarding a bus one fears doing so, for it would occur to one that there may be a terrorist on board who could blow himself and one up to smithereens. Perhaps, one would rather not take the bus; perhaps, one would now prefer to drive and pay the higher price of gas provided ones life is protected? In effect, the terrorist has made one to change ones behavior.
The terrorist hopes to use his random acts of violence to affect political and social policies and to get those policies to reflect his desired goals.

Whereas most people probably understand terrorism globally, they may not understand that terrorism operates in everyday life, albeit subtly. Let me therefore cite some examples from my personal experience.
About a year ago, I joined an internet forum. I observed the bantering going on. I ventured with some of my own opinions. Before I know it, this character warned me to desist from expressing my points of views. He insisted that his own views are the correct one. So, I began to pay attention to his views. What became apparent is that his views are rather childish and uninformed. In fact, his mental development seems not much more than that of an adolescent. He writes in a grandiloquent manner calculated to impress other people with his erudition when it would be better to write in simple prose. Good writers understand the purpose of writing: communicating ideas to other people, and understand that the simpler ones words are the better they are understood by other people.
As Alfred Adler reminded us, persons who feel inferior and want to seem superior in other people’s eyes often resort to using big words in their efforts to impress other people with their imaginary existential importance.
This particular member of the forum insisted that members of the forum accept his idiotic points of views. If one opposed him, he would go do investigation on ones past and if he sees anything that, in his opinion, is negative in one, he posts it on the internet.

My precocious daughter had rough teenage years. At one point she refused to go to school. I thought that she was going to waste her brains and did everything in my power to get her to return to school. She wanted to skip school and I insisted that she must go to school, and we got into an altercation. Apparently, she felt that I was tough on her and filed a no contact order on me. Obviously, she did this to get me off her case, so that she would do as she pleased. Of course, I was not about to allow her to get her way and drop out of school and did what I had to do to get her to pay attention to her studies. (I insisted on discipline and she resisted but eventually came around to appreciate it. She is now grateful to me for being firm, consistent and loving. We are now the best of friends.)
In the meantime, there is a public record that this order was filed against me. This is the only legal issue in my background. The internet bully that wanted everybody to accept his infantile views dug up that court record and posted it on the Internet.
(I understand that another person, a supposed lawyer, a possible Nigerian 419 criminal masquerading as an attorney, obtained the material for him. This man was in jail; he was arrested for domestic violence and he came crying to me for help. I have taught anger management classes and gave him some pointers on taking responsibility for his behaviors and not blaming his wife for his issues. In the process, I told him that when my daughter was fourteen years old that she refused to go to school and that I insisted and that she had filed a no contact order on me. Apparently, when this criminal felt that he could benefit from this information he went to the County Court House, presented himself as working on my behalf and got it and used it for his own intentions. For this misrepresentation, a felony, he could go to jail. If I take the matter seriously and insist on punishment, he is going to be punished for his unprofessional, unethical and illegal behavior.
Criminals are terrorists, after all they use intimidation to arouse fear in folks and out of fear get them to part with their property. This Nigerian 419 criminal supposedly loves his tribal members yet he was opportunistic enough to give the material to the internet bully, whom his tribal members hate, to post. In effect, he used the Internet bully for his own private agenda, as that bully used him for his own agenda. Criminals have no honor and, sooner or later, these two nefarious characters will duke it out among themselves.)
What was he trying to do? He, apparently, believed that by posting what seemed to him a negative mark on me that he would instill fear in me and that out of fear I would no longer challenge his idiotic views. This clown even looked into where he believed that I went to school to see if I told lies and, if so, to tell the public about it. He called the school and requested information on me and they would not tell him. He posted on the Web that he called my supposed school and that they would not tell him anything about me and that that raises doubt as to whether I went to school there or not.

I asked myself: why does this man want to know whether I went to school or not, what business of his is it? It certainly never crossed my mind to think about where he went to school, for I could care less; what matters to me is what he did in the here and now, not his past. Even if a fellow has all the degrees in this world, I will judge his behavior, not those credentials. So why does this ape of a person not judge people’s behaviors and not be a voyeur trying to dig up dirt from their background?
He is probably doing what he is doing for he believes that if he dug up negative materials from ones background that he would use them to blackmail and intimidate one into kowtowing to his childish views. In effect, this chap is a terrorist.
Psychologically, the man has paranoid personality disorder. He is full of hostility towards other people and attacks people and fears that they would counter attack him. Fearing their potential attack, he hides from them. He interacts with a false name and hides where he lives for fear that those he attacked would get to him and put a bullet into his unproductive life and put him out of his paranoid existence.
In his paranoia, he feels that his half baked ideas are the correct ones and if you disagree with him his grandiose self feels demeaned by you and he feels angry and acts out.

Paranoids are acutely aware of their existential littleness and fear being further belittled and demeaned. They devote most of their activities to trying to seem important. They believe that other people are like them, seek importance and fear being demeaned. Believing that people fear being demeaned, they set out to demean and disgrace other people.
While they are engaged in this obvious paranoid behavior, they do not want other people to recognize what they are doing as mentally disordered. They do not want any one to recognize their paranoia.
This man is clearly paranoid but does not want any one to know that fact, for he fears that if people knew it that they would see his convoluted writings as gibberish, which they are.
He perceives me as the person who is capable of exposing his insanity, hence dispose people not to take his writings seriously, and, therefore, wants to cast aspersion on me. He seeks to discredit me, for by doing so, he feels that he gets people not to believe my perception of him hence see him as saying relevant things. That way he maintains his apparent paranoia.
Paranoids generally deny that they are paranoid. They seldom go to therapists to seek help. In fact, they are more likely to see the therapists that they eventually get sent by law enforcement agencies as the sick ones. (Yes, we are all relatively sick; accepting ones own sickness is condition for becoming healthy, not denying it, as paranoids do and retain their mental illness).
Paranoid persons deny their paranoia and want other people to seem the ones with mental health issues (all of us do, normal persons accept their issues and deal with them, not deny them to maintain phony appearance of health).
It is very difficult to help paranoid persons. Many therapists give up on them and don’t even bother trying to help them.
You cannot help a person who does not even see himself as sick.
One must first accept ones sickness and go to a healer for one to be healed. If one denies ones sickness one cannot be healed.
This man ought to be grateful to me for pointing out his malady, but in typical paranoid vein, he spends his time and energy trying to discredit me rather than go sick treatment for his malady, a malady that is apparent to all his fellow forumites. (If he were normal he would write me a letter of apology; but one does not expect a sick person to do the right thing; he must defend his systematized false beliefs, so as to seem right in his deluded mind; to the paranoid he is right and other people are always wrong.)
The paranoid has the delusion that he can hide his illness when he is like a naked emperor seen for what he is by all persons. Just about all the persons on this internet forum know that this man has mental health issues. What else could make him seem to derive perverted joy from humiliating people? Healthy persons do their best to uplift people, not put them down.
This man revels in putting other people down and is sooner or later suspended from every Internet groups he joins. And it does not occur to him to ask why he is suspended. In his mind it is not his fault but other people’s fault that he is suspended. It is the fault of those who suspend him, not his fault. He blames them for everything, just as he blames other people for whatever is wrong in his life.
Paranoids generally do not have insight into why they do what they do and why things happen to them as they do. They are so motivated to seem perfect, ideal and powerful that they must rationalize their weaknesses, and see other people as responsible for whatever is wrong in their lives.
In blaming other people, they manage to retain their false grandiose self concept and self image, to maintain their madness.
It is only when the individual accepts that he makes mistakes and, as such, is imperfect that he can realize that it is not always other people’s fault that things go wrong for him.
This man is kicked out of the forums he belonged because he is obnoxious and insults other people and they do not like that. But, then, as a grandiose false god he assumes the right to degrade other people, but not for them to degrade him. The right he gives to himself he does not give to other people.
Actually this man lives in hell; a man who has to hide his identity and address from fear of other peoples attack is a lily livered coward and, as we all know, cowards die many times before their physical death.
The man is a dead man, a ghost, a phantom who makes noises from his grave yard. He needs to heal his paranoia, shrink his swollen ego, become resurrected from his death and hell (to live in ego state, hence live in fear, is to be dead and to be in hell, for to live in fear is to live in hell).

The man is exactly like Adolf Hitler in personality structure. Both are men with marginal education, men who did some independent reading and developed infantile ideas that to their minds seem true and they want the rest of the world to accept them as true. If other people accepted their foolish ideas as true they felt existentially important and if not accepted they felt belittled.
If you disagree with paranoid characters they feel humiliated, belittled, disgraced, degraded and to rehabilitate their infantile narcissism they try to demean you by digging up what seems to them unpleasant material from your background. (See list for further reading.)
This man, apparently, believes that human beings could be demeaned and does not realize that fully functioning persons could care less what other peopled say bout them and do not feel demeaned. I certainly do not feel humiliated by anything the gorilla could say about me. I know who I am; my self esteem is not dependent on external evaluation of my goodness or lack of it.

This man is a paranoid and terrorist, as was Adolf Hitler. He is so because he wants to use intimidation to control the behavior of those who disagree with him. He wants to arouse fear in people hoping that out of fear that they would do as he wants them to do.
(Because this man has posted this material on me, he adds me to the list of people who presumably are out to get him and hides some more. He lives in darkness hiding from his shadows. Of course, I am not out to get him. If I had interests in him, it would be to recommend that he go seek treatment. His physician could give him any of the neuroleptics and that would clear his deluded thinking processes. In the meantime, he acts like the classical paranoid character: he attacks people and thinks that people are out to attack him. He gets people angry at him by his immature behaviors…would any one have respect for a man who did what he did…and he does not realize that he is the one who makes people angry at him; he thinks that it is the other way round. This is called self fulfilling prophecy in paranoia. He needs to change his thinking patterns and cognitive behavior therapy, by Aaron Beck and or Albert Ellis, would greatly help him, assuming that he wants to be helped. As a paranoid, he probably prefers his grandiose thinking, for it makes him feel like he is god, an insane false god.)
Of course, he was not able to control my behavior, for I could care less what he posts on the internet about me. I do not permit other people’s views of me to deter me from doing what I know is right. In fact, if you pointed a gun at me and asked me to do what I believe is wrong, I would tell you to go right ahead and kill me. In Los Angeles, a mugger once pointed a gun at me and I simply told him to do as he pleased.
I have examined my life and understand that it is me who desires to live and who fears death; therefore, I can choose not to desire to live hence not fear death. I accept death as my reality and in that frame of mind will not permit any one to intimidate me into doing what he wants me to do out of fear of harm and death. I say: kill me now, and let us get it over with.


This man’s behavior got me thinking about how human beings act in a terrorist manner without being called terrorists. Most people understand the terrorist as the individual who, for political reasons, kills randomly to instill fear in other people and out of fear they do his will, or as the state, such as the former Soviet Union, that used terror to intimidate a whole population into accepting its foolish socialist ideology or else get arrested, tortured and or killed.

What many people do not appreciate is that most uncivilized human beings are capable of terrorism or are actual terrorists. It is civilization that socializes people out of their terrorist tendencies.

A human being is a separated self, an ego; he is motivated to survive at all costs and fears death.
Psychologically, most human beings want to seem to matter to existence. They have a desire to be somebody important, special, worthwhile and valuable.
Why do people seek a sense of worth? Generally, nature does not treat human beings as if they matter. Earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, tornadoes, volcanoes, draughts, plague of virus, fungus and bacteria (germs) randomly kill human beings. At the social level, each of us has the capacity to kill others; you can kill me and I can kill you, if either of us chooses to do so. Simply stated, nature does not seem to have any special regard for human beings. As far as nature is concerned people are no more important than other animals and trees, they are dispensable. An earthquake destroys human beings as it destroys dogs. The recent (2004) tsunami in East Asia killed an estimated 200, 000 people, without regard for whatever value that they may think that they have.

Because nature (and in some cases society) does not have regard for peoples worth, the only social worth people have is the one that they confer on themselves.

Self conferred worth is not existential worth; it is make belief worth. So you think that you are important, eh? Any one can put a bullet into your head and you die and rot like all other animals do and smell to high heaven. Human beings have no self evident worth that we all can verify.

Yet, apparently, no human being can live unless he has positive self regard. Human beings everywhere struggle to seem special, worthwhile, valuable and important in their eyes and in the eyes of their fellow human beings. They do all sorts of things to make themselves seem like they are very important persons, VIPs.
But we all know that our worth is made up, for that which can be destroyed and die cannot have worth.
The human body can be destroyed at any time and, eventually will die, so it cannot possibly have intrinsic worth. The human body is not more than dressed up feces. As the good book, Bible, observed, human bodies are white sepulchers.

In pursuit of physical survival and psychological importance, albeit false importance, people act violently towards other people. The terrorist wants to seem important and destroys those that he perceives as not recognizing his worth. The Internet bully mentioned above feels insignificant and wants to seem significant. He posits nonsensical ideas and wants you to accept them and if you do not accept them his false pride feels injured and he acts to destroy you. His whole life is motivated to engage in character assassination: he believes that it is possible to destroy other people’s characters.
Poor fellow, he does not recognize that you can only seem to destroy another person’s character if he believes that his character can be destroyed.
It is those who have false pride that fear humiliation. If you are humble, and accept yourself as you are, ordinary, nothing others do can make you lose self respect.
What this man did actually made me to study him rather than feel my self esteem threatened. Neither he nor any other human being can threaten my self esteem for I know who I am: an ordinary human being. I know that I have no existential worth and do not pretend to have a worth that nature does not give to biological organisms.
I understand that he is a sick person and that there is nothing that I can do to change him. Only he can heal him; it is not for me or any other person to heal him.
He can heal himself when he understands that human worth cannot be predicated on the ego and the body that houses it, but on belief in a higher power, God.


I noted that nature does not seem to have regard for people. That does not mean that human begins do not have worth. Human beings have total worth, not in their egos and bodies, but in God.
In formless self, the unified self that we all share with God, we have total grandeur and magnificence.
In ego (individuated, separated self-concept and self image) and body we are nothing, but in God we all things.
To obtain the magnificence of God, the individual must relinquish the false worth and value he gave to himself, he must extinguish his ego’s false worth and embrace the already there worth that our creator, God, gave us. Real worth lays in God and his son, Christ, not in our imaginary egos and its bodies.
The paranoid ego is not receptive to belief in God. The paranoid is man per excellence; he is in competition with God. He sees God as all powerful and man as powerless; he wants to kill God and replace him, usurp his creative throne and power. The paranoid is playing God and fancies himself the creator of himself, creator of other people, creator of the world and creator of God. He does not believe in God because he does not want to accept that God created him and that he did not create himself and God.
It is the authority and authorship question: who created us, God or us? Healthy persons know that God created them but paranoids want to create themselves hence do not believe in God.
The man in question has superficial belief that convinces him that there is no God, and calls himself an atheist. No rational person can see the wondrousness in the universe without appreciating that there is an intelligent creative force in it and bow to that force. Healthy persons are humble persons but paranoid persons are proud, vain, haughty and narcissistic. They are infantile persons playing God; they are like mouse believing itself mightier than the sun.


Many human beings are terrorists without recognizing that they are so. If you insist that other people accept your point of view or else you attack it, reject them, fire them from their jobs and do other bad things to them, you are a terrorist.
The husband who insists that his wife do only what he says or else he abuses her, physically or verbally, is a terrorist.
The parent who insists that his children do only what he wants or else he punishes them is a terrorist.
The employer who insists on absolute obedience from his employees and fires them when they disobey him is a terrorist.
The acquaintance/friend who accepts one only when one accepts his point of view and rejects one when one disagrees with him is a terrorist.

Terrorism exists whenever the individual insists that other people do what he wants them to do or else he does some negative thing to them. Whenever the individual manipulates human tendency to fear and arouses fear in people so as to get them to do what he wants them to do he is acting like a terrorist.
I once had a job and the employer told me to do a certain thing “or else”, and I completed the sentence for him: “you fire me”? I said to him, go ahead and fire me, better yet, I quit. He could not control me with his terrorist method for keeping his employees in line.
I can only exist in an atmosphere of liberty where all persons are free to pursue the truth, as they see it, and be themselves, be who they truly are, and do their own things, provided that they do not hurt other people.

Pure reason tells me that if I hurt other people that they have a right to defend themselves, which includes hurting me in return. If one does not want to be attacked by others one should not attack others.
If one does not want to be killed by other people, one should not kill other persons.
If you hurt others, in my book, they have a right to hurt you in return; if you kill another human being, in my book, society, representing the people, has a right to kill you. I whole heartedly support capital punishment; I see no reason why murderers should be allowed to live. And I support killing killers not because I am afraid of death; no, I have already accepted my own death, but because one has no right to prevent those who want to live from doing so.

Human beings have strong desires to live in their bodies for as long as is possible. Each of them seems afraid to die.
Though the individual would prefer to cooperate with other people for their mutual benefits and survival, when push comes to shove, each person would rather survive at the expense of other people? This is the ugly truth of all animals’ life, human beings included. As Thomas Hobbes observed in his seminal book, Leviathan, and Adam did in his book, Wealth of Nations, all animal organisms seem motivated by self interests. In pursuit of their self interests they seem capable of hurting, even killing other people.
The human beings that I see with my two naked eyes are selfish to the core and will sacrifice the individual for their own personal good.


The individual has a primitive ego self; that self wants to survive at all costs and to seem important at all costs.
The function of culture and civilization is to, right from birth, gradually shape the ego separated individual self and make it caring for not only the individual but all people.
A civilized and humanized person cares for himself and for those around him.

Religion, philosophy etc are instruments for civilizing the human ego separated self.

Traditional societies had less developed religions hence their people tended to be more primitive than modern man. The religions of Africa, Papua New Guinea, Pre-Christian Europe, and Pre-Christian America were primitive religions that did not civilize the people.
The primitive self in primitive societies felt powerful when it killed other people. In head hunting society’s people felt godlike in power when they chopped off other people’s heads.
In certain head hunting African tribes, manhood was judged by how many heads a man chopped off.
Obviously, in such society’s religion had not played an effective role in civilizing people, which means getting people to respect other people’s lives.
Christianity civilized European savages and made them respect human life, the much respect that they confer on people. Without Christianity, Europeans would still be running around chopping other people’s heads off and glorifying in doing so (such as giving themselves military honors).

In my observation Asians, particularly Hindus, tend to be the most gentle and civilized human beings on earth. I think that the reason that they are more civilized than the rest of us is their religion.
I cannot see a Hindu or Buddhist feeling powerful from chopping off other people’s heads. Hinduism and Buddhism teach respect for all lives and compassion for suffering humanity.
Hinduism and Buddhism teach people to shrink their swollen ego selves and to eventually eradicate them. Hinduism believes that we have a different self from the self that we are currently conscious of. We are currently conscious of the ego self, the separated self which Hinduism believes is a false self. Our real self is spirit, called Atman, in Christian terminology, the Christ self; in my language, the unified self. Hinduism aims at the extinguishment of the ego separated self (in meditation when Samadhi or Nirvana is attained). The purpose of Hinduism is to encourage people to give up their attachment to the sensual empirical world and return to the formless spiritual world of God.
When the individual is no longer attached to this world and its things and is not attracted by them, Hinduism and Buddhism believe that when he dies that he has broken the wheel of rebirth and would no longer reincarnate on earth.
The real self, the Atman, knows that it is one with the eternal formless Brahman and does not return to the world of forms where those who forget their real selves, the world of illusions come to dream that they are who they are not. They are unified with God and each other but dream that they are separated from God and from each other.

One must, however, warn that Hinduism’s insistence on selflessness, though theologically sound, can be exploited. Fascists and socialists, the twin evils that ravaged twentieth century mankind, also insisted that we not pay attention to the individual self. Both wanted to do away with the ego. Both detest studying the ego self (as in individual psychology), for they would rather concentrate on the collective self, the state.
Fascism under Mussolini and Hitler saw people as instruments of the leader, Fuhreprinz, and the state to be used to fight his wars and die for the state. Fascism wants the individual to sacrifice his life for the state and its leader and feel good from doing so. His life is supposed to only have meaning if it is devoted to doing what the state wants him to do. This is perversion of the religious truth of transforming the self centered self to a social interest serving self.
Socialism, under Stalin, in the USSR, eschewed the separated self, individualism, and emphasized the collective self. The self became a spoke in Stalin’s giant wheel, used by the monolithic and totalitarian state as it pleases.
We must not respond to the separated ego self in a cavalier manner. We must study and understand the ego self and straighten it out, make it as Jesus Christ taught us to do, a loving self, a self we use in reconnecting with other selves. In the meantime, folks must be weary of secular humanist ideologies that encourage them to do away with their ego selves, for they could be misused to enslave folks, as socialists and fascists do. Even religion has been known to misuse its insistence on selflessness to enslave human beings so that they live to chant only what the leaders of the religious sect want them to believe. We must embrace individualism, the separated ego self housed in body, but refine it to serve the common good, as the individual understands it, not as other people, not as the state and its leaders, tell him that it is.

How about Islam? Islam began with its founder, Mohammed, fighting to impose his religion on those who opposed him, whom he called infidels. That path has continued to the present. Islam is a fighting religion.
If you are dealing with Muslims, have your sword ready, or else they will use the sword to convert you to their religion. You do not want to be sentimental about these things; you have to face reality as it is, not as you wish that it become.


I think that human beings in the state of nature are terrorists. It is religion and or philosophy that make them less terrorist. In their natural state, each of them wants to survive physically and have his psychological self, the ego, prevail over other people. Each of them wants to be better than other people and in pursuit of that chimera of importance may kill other people, those who oppose him. Natural man is a terrorist.
What this means is that we must cultivate those religions and philosophies that give people the impression that they ought to care for one another. Those secular humanists who want to do away with religion just do not know what they are doing.
Without religion and sound philosophy how are we going to shrink folk’s swollen egos and civilize them? Adolf Hitler used pure thinking to convince himself that all people are fearful and egoistical and that if he could become the most egotistical person, by clobbering his rivals, that he would be obeyed. He succeeded, at least for a while before others seeking their own ego interests clobbered him to death.
If you carry a big stick and do not hesitate using it on other people, they will obey you. We have slaves to attest to that fact.
I believe that all people, in some degrees, are terrorists. We must, therefore, seek ways to humanize people’s egos and make them respect all people’s rights to liberty.
We should never be sentimental in dealing with human beings, for in dealing with people we are dealing with potential terrorists. If we are sentimental we live to pay a heavy price; the destruction of our liberty, and our enslavement.
Hit the terrorist hard; if necessary, go to war with him and kill him before he kills you. George Bush is correct in declaring war against terrorists; it is the only way to maintain our liberty.
If the terrorists attack us, we must counter attack them. The alternative is liberal, environmental sentimentality that does not accept the evil nature of human beings.
As I see it, we are born as asocial savages; in Christian terms we are born in sin and need salvation. We separated from God, and that is what sin is all about. We must return to God; we must rejoin God and all people and that is what salvation is all about.
To rejoin God we must live like God. God is love and we must love to come to God. We must give up separation and reconnect to our true self, unified with all creation.
In secular language, only proper socialization civilizes us. When socialization fails, people resort to their earthly, post separated terrorist nature.
It is possible to re-socialize terrorists and teach them Jesus Christ’s religion of love, so that they love all people rather than harm people. But in the here and now reality, we must be realistic in dealing with human beings, for they are potential terrorists.
While paying attention to state or religion sponsored terrorists, we must also pay attention to the terrorists around us. We must keep our eyes on those who insist that we do as they ask us to do or else they attack, degrade or even kill us, for they are terrorists in our everyday living. These every day terrorists are as dangerous as state sponsored terrorists; we must checkmate them; in fact, we must redirect their behaviors or punish them to teach them that no human being has a right to use terror to get others to do his will.


Adler, Alfred. (2003) Collected Clinical works of Alfred Adler. Ed. Henry Stein. San Francisco CA.: Alfred Adler Institute.

Allison, Graham. (2004) Nuclear Terrorism: The Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe. New York: Times Books.

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

Bhaskarananda, Swami. (2002) The Essentials of Hinduism. Seattle: Viveka Press.

Beck, Aaron. (1990) Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Personality Disorders. New York: Guilford Press.

Bergen, Peter (2002) Holy War Inc.: Inside the Secret World of Osama bin Laden. New York: Free Press.

Ellis, Albert. (2004) Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy. New York: Prometheus Book Publishers

Firestone, Reuven. (1999) Jihad: The Origin of Holy War in Islam. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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

Hobbes, Thomas. Leviathan. Many editions

Hoffman, Bruce. (1999) Inside Terrorism. New York: Columbia University Press.

Horney, Karen (1991) Neurosis and Human Growth. New York: W. W. Norton.

Meissner, William. (1980) Paranoid Process. New York: Aronson.
------------------ (1994) Psychotherapy and the Paranoid Process. New York: Aronson.

Raban, Jonathan. (Jan. 13, 2005) The Truth about Terrorism. The New York Times Review of Books.

Rattu, Krishan Kumar. (2002) Jihad and Terrorism. Jaipur: Books Enclave.

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

Smith, Adam. The Wealth of Nations. Many editions.

Stern, Jessica. (2004) Terror in the name of God: why religious militants kill. New York: Harper Perennial.

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

April 14, 2006

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April 16, 2006

Why Africans cannot yet Govern themselves Properly

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- Until recently, though an African, I did not have much to do with Africans. I lived in what is generally called white suburbia and did not have contact with Africans, indeed, with black Americans. I lost touch with who Africans are. At best, I had abstract but not empirical understanding of actual Africans.

Like every one else, I read about the miss-governance of Africa by African leaders. I wished that Africans governed their countries well. Indeed, I wrote abstract material on how Africans ought to govern themselves.
About a year ago, I came into sustained contact with Africans, particularly the so-called African intellectual. I interacted with those folks and learned a lot from them.
What I learned from them, unfortunately, finally helped me understand why African leaders are unable to govern their countries right.
Perhaps, it will take another century before Africans can begin to govern themselves right? I do not know how long it would take before a new generation of Africans emerge that would be able to govern Africa right; what I do know is that the Africans I have interacted with in the last year seem not only unaware of what it takes to lead groups but seem incapable of doing so.
The Africans I have interacted with are totally self-centered, egoistic, vain, narcissistic and infantile and seem incapable of dying to the ego and dedicating their lives to public service.
Some of them actually seem to take pleasure in destroying each other. These folks would go to great lengths to humiliate other people but would never lift a finger to do something that helped their fellow Africans. They seem to derive perverse pleasure from being destructive towards their fellow Africans. They exhibited the spirit that sold Africans into slavery and used the money they obtained to buy liquor and drink themselves to death and or buy trinkets to adorn their useless bodies with. They seem like unadulterated savages, not human beings.

Leaders are persons who perceive what their societies need and give themselves the task of delivering those things to them.
Leaders are persons who have transcended their egoistic needs and devote themselves to serving the common good of the group they identify with.
Leaders do not ask: what is in it for me, but ask, what is in it for us?
Because leaders are totally dedicated to public service, whereas self interest motivates the mass of humanity, leaders are few in every society.
Nor is reading books on leadership what makes one a leader. One can read tons of books on leadership and write about it and be seen as an expert and authority on leadership and yet not be a leader, if one does not have the psychological make up of leaders: total dedication and commitment to social good.
A leader must work with total enthusiasm and passion for public good, even if he gets no material rewards from doing so. It is not what he gets paid that motivates him, it is not the prestige of office that motivates him; it is serving suffering humanity that motivates real leaders.

As I look at the Africans I interacted with, not one of them seem to have transcended his little ego and devote his life to public service. They all seem motivated by crass self-interest; by what money they could get from public office. Indeed, they all seem like they have narcissistic personality disorder and feel like they do not exist, are inadequate and become somebody important only when other people admire them and see them as special and worship them, even as they do not do anything useful for the people they expect to admire them.
Like narcissists everywhere, African leaders seem to have a sense of entitlement and feel that they are superior to other people. They seem to perceive the people (those they lead) as inferior to them and as existing to serve them, rather than they, leaders, serve the people. They seem to believe that they are justified in exploiting the people, if in doing so they keep their social positions.

The Africans I have interacted with in the last year are what human begins ought not to be.
I am motivated to avoid them, to separate from them, to put a distance between me and them. These people are everything I detest in human beings. In fact, they ought not to exist.
But on second thought, I recognize that a physician must be with the ill to be able to heal them. You cannot separate from people with problems if you aim at helping them.
I had already done that in the past by avoiding Africans and obviously was not useful to Africans. In my isolation from the continent and from Africans, I was of no use to them. To be of use to Africans, I must be close to Africans. I must understand Africans and their problems to be able to be of use to them. Therefore separation from Africans is no longer an option.


I ask myself: what is the key problem with Africans? The honest answer that comes to my mind is that they are uncivilized. By this, I mean that they have less humanized self-concepts and self-images. In a word, they have primitive egos.
Africans are essentially, and I must say it, for the truth is necessary for healing, savages in Western suits.
They are savages because they do not know what it means to be a civilized person. A civilized person is a person who has willingly let his ego to die, or at least shrunk it, so that he embraces a socialized self and lives to serve the public, not just himself, as his ego desires.

What made Africans not to embrace death of their egos? I think that it is because they did not have ego shrinking, hence civilizing religions and philosophies. They had primitive religions that permitted them to retain their raw egos.
Developed religions like Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism teach people to have no egos, or, at least, to have less egos; to voluntarily die to the separated self and live out of their unified self, the Christ self, the Atman, the Buddha self that sees itself as one with all life and dedicates itself to serving the public.
The primitive self, the type of self Thomas Hobbes described in his seminal book, Leviathan, lives to serve only its self.
In primitive head hunting societies, as exited in Africa and elsewhere, folks actually took pride in hunting down other people, capturing and selling them into slavery and or just killing them. The more heads one chopped off the more one felt powerful. One did not feel powerful from serving the welfare of other people, but from enslaving and or killing them.
The savage lives only for himself and for his egos desire to seem godlike in its power seeking. He has not attained true humanity, yet, where he recognizes that self-centeredness is hell and that heaven is serving society.

Africans are unable to govern themselves because they have primitive egos; their egos are at savage level, and until they embrace and internalize the teachings of universal religions like Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism and use them to civilize their egos, they will be living for their individuated egos hence will be unable to govern themselves.
The universal religions are too recent in black Africa. It will take a few more generations before Africans are socialized to shrink their raw egos, so that they are able to devote themselves to public service hence have efficient governments.
Until the interior self of Africans change, so that people serve the public instead of expecting to just steal from it to serve their self interests, one honestly does not expect Africans to govern themselves right; one expects the chaos and anarchy that currently characterize Africa to continue.
Obviously, this conclusion is sad, but the truth must be articulated. There is an (Igbo) African proverb that says that one must speak the truth to shame the devil (Kwuo ezeokwu ka eme ekwesu ihere), so I must speak the truth to shame the devil, although many contemporary Africans are so sociopath that they may not even be shamed into doing the right thing.
Many of the Africans I interacted with were totally amoral and show no remorse from doing wrong things. In fact, some of them have no conscience, no idea of right and wrong and actually seem to enjoy hurting other people; they have anti social personality disorder.

Africa seems governed by narcissistic and anti social personality disordered persons. All these people do is steal money from the public treasury and squander the people’s money and do nothing for the people; all they seem to want is to be perceived as very special persons whom every person pays attention to, thus gratifying their infantile narcissism.
Do something for the public in a selfless manner? Whoever has heard of such a thing in contemporary African leaders? Apparently, it is not part of their character to help their people. Their function, it seems, is to sell their people, as they did for over one thousand years of slavery. (Africans selling slaves to Arabia and Trans Atlantic America lasted between 900-1900 AD.)
Contemporary African leaders are not different from their ancestors who sold slaves; they are still selling each other into the slavery of poverty by not working to help each other.

Does that then mean that other people, say Europeans, should come and govern Africans since they seem unable to govern themselves?
How are they going to learn to govern themselves unless they have the opportunity to try governing themselves? They must have the chance to try ruling themselves, make their own mistakes and learn from them what to do and what not to do.
Africans are currently muddling through and in time will learn what constitutes proper governance: dedication to public service to the point of forgetting ones ego in service to social good.


Since I believe that religion is the key to shrinking and, eventually, eliminating the human ego self, a precondition for having good government, I will briefly describe the three religions that. in my opinion, do an excellent job shrinking and eventually eliminating the human ego, Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity. This is a brief review; the interested reader is referred to books on those religions and to ultimately practice these religions, as I do. (I am a Gnostic Christian, which is Christianity that is in accord with Hinduism and Buddhism.)


Hinduism was not begun by any specific individual so it does not have any one person that folks associate with it, as folks do with Buddhism (Buddha), Christianity (Jesus Christ) and Islam (Mohammed). Hinduism began gradually, about five thousand years ago?
Rishis, Indian poets, composed poems on the nature of God. These poems are called Veda. In time, the more myth making Indians employed the ideas about God portrayed in the poems to write elaborate mythological tales about God and man; some of these tales are found in two books, Ramayana and Mahabharata (the most famous part of which is the Bagavad Gita). The more philosophical oriented Indians expounded on the ideas in the poems; these are called the Upanishads. The Yogis posited their own take on this subject, such as Patanjali’s Yogas. Later own, more formal Hindu philosophers, such as Shankara and Ramanuja, expounded on the Hindu concept of reality in their philosophical works.
The idea running through all these Hindu approaches to God and man is very simple. According to Hinduism, there is one life, one self, one spirit, God, in Sanskrit, Brahman. God is one. God extended his one self into infinite selves, each called Atman. Brahman and Atman are the same except that Brahman extended himself into Atman, thus created Atman; nevertheless, they are the same and equal.
In Christian categories, Brahman is God; Atman is the son of God. God has infinite children, infinite Atman. Each of us is an Atman. The Atman is one with God. We are one with God and one with each other.
At some point, as it were, we cast a spell on ourselves, Maya, and put ourselves to sleep. In our sleep we see a different world, our empirical world. More importantly, in our sleep, we dream that we are now different from each other and that there is inequality between us. Some see themselves as tall, others as short; some men, others women; some white, others black etc. The empirical world is the world of multiplicity, differences and inequality.
The empirical world is the opposite of the spiritual world. In the world of spirit, Brahman and Atman are formless, the same and equal. Brahman is in Atman and Atman is in Brahman. Where God ends and his son begin is nowhere and where one son of God ends and another begins is nowhere. There is no space and gap between God and his children. (Where there is no space, there is no time; in eternity, aka heaven, there is no space, time and matter, all is in one formless spirit, one formless light that has no beginning and no end.)
In the empirical universe, we see ourselves as separated from God and from each other. Each of us is housed in a house of flesh and sees space and time between him and other persons. He believes himself different from other people. He believes himself having different interests from other people. Each of us works for his separated self interests, and where possible cooperates with other people, but where necessary competes with them, even attack and or kill them and take from them what he needs to survive at their expense.

The purpose of religion, Hinduism posits, is to remind the separated children of God that they are one, that they are unified. All of us are unified in God.
Our real self is Atman who is one with Brahman. In the sleep and dream of this world each Atman sees himself as not who he is. The world is a dream of self forgetfulness, a sleep of ignorance, where we are ignorant of our true self.
Hinduism sets out to teach people to remember their true selves as Atman who are one with Brahman. Hindu religious practices (such as the five Yogas: Jnana, Bhakta, Raja, Karma, Tantra) are meant to teach people their real self.
Meditation (raja yoga) is meant to enable people to forget this world, a sleep-dream world and awaken to the real world of God, Brahmaloka. If the individual is able to tune this world out (in Moksha) and attain the world of spirit (Samadhi), he is said to have realized his real self, Atman, who is one with Brahman. He is now enlightened to his true self, he is illuminated to his reality, the unified light called God.
The purpose of Hinduism is to teach people that at root they all share one self, the self of God. As such, they all should work together and help each other.
Hinduism believes, in a literal manner, that we are all united; that I am you and you are me, in our true self. It teaches that what I do to other people and since they are my extensions, I have literally done to myself. If I give love to other people, I give love to me; if I give hate to other people, I give hate to me. Giving is receiving; what you give to the world, the world gives back to you for you and the world are one.
Hinduism has many aspects to it and many paths in it (such as Vedanta, Bhakta etc) but all of them teach return to love, return to union and return to God. (God is conceived as union, which is love.)
The person who has awakened to his real self, unified self, loves all people and works for all people, not from a sense of doing something for other people, but from knowing that he is working for himself since everybody is part of his unified, whole self.


Gautama Buddha built on his inherited Hinduism and, as it were, removed Hinduism’s emphasis on God and presented the same material in what we might call rational “atheistic” manner.
Buddhism is really Raja Yoga, the Hindu path of meditation, the royal path to God. Myth has it that Gautama was born into a rich family and was prevented from seeing the sordid aspect of life until he was twenty eight years old; that he did not see suffering and death until one day he snuck out of his palace and saw the suffering lot of mankind and thereafter left his luxurious living to go find out why human beings suffer so much. He supposedly experimented with most of the Hindu paths to God and studied under the most famous holy men of his time (Sadhus) and could not find the answer he was looking for. Frustrated, he sat under a Bo tree and refused to get up until truth is revealed to him. Allegedly, like Jesus, he was tempted by the evil one, Mara (his ego self) and told that if he gave up his search for the truth that he could have all the world, have all the flesh pot of the world, have as much sex as he wanted and he rejected all those and insisted on the truth or death.
Mythology apart, Gautama Buddha went into meditation and experienced union with all life: the extinguishment of his separated ego self and reawakening to his unified life. He called what he experienced Nirvana (which in Zen is called Satori and in Hinduism is called Samadhi).
After his experience of oneness with formless, spirit life, Buddha taught a simple philosophy that he believed would give people peace and happiness while they are in this world.
He postulated that (1) human life is characterized by suffering. To live on earth is to suffer.
That (2) suffering has a cause. What is that cause of suffering?
That (3) the cause of suffering is our desire to be separated from each other and from the whole called God and to be different and unequal selves.
That (4) to eliminate our suffering we must do certain things; we must remove the cause of suffering. Since the wish for separated ego self is the cause of suffering, to eliminate suffering, we must extinguish our separated ego selves.
If we do not have individuated and separated selves housed in bodies, we would not suffer, the sage of India taught. We must give up our attraction to the separated ego self and return to non-attachment to the world of separation; we must return to the world of union (which is the world of holiness, sanctity and love).
In addition to those four noble truths, Buddha also taught his disciples to live ethical life, such as is found in the Judeo-Christian Ten Commandments: love each other, have compassion for each other, speak the truth at all times, do not hurt other people in action and word etc. Buddha believed that one must live an ethical, moral and law abiding life if one wants to live peacefully and happily.

In Buddhist meditation the individual is taught to voluntarily die to his separated ego self. He is to let go of his identification with the ego-body complex. He is to deliberately let the flame of his individuated self burn out. That is to say that he is to literally give up his ego-body, to die to his current self concept as a separated self housed in flesh.
To Buddha, the ego-body is so bad that we must die to it before we can experience our real self. (Jesus, too, died to his ego-body identification and subsequently experienced his true self, Christ, unified, holy self, a self united with God and all selves hence are a whole self, contracted to holy self.)
In meditation the individual tunes out his ego and negates ego conceptual thinking. If he succeeds, he feels like he is a void; he feels his habitual personality dissolve and he no longer has a separated self, aka personality. He is now emptied of the separated self and is open to the experience of unified life.
If in addition to meditation he is a loving and forgiving person, he may experience unity with all life, Nirvana.
Unitive experience is ineffable. It is an experience where there is no you and I, no seer and seen, no subject and object, an experience of oneness, an experience where one knows that all life is, at root, unified and is eternal, formless, changeless and permanent.
The goal of Buddhist meditation is to offer the individual the opportunity to let go of his attachment to the ego and experience his true self, the unified self, a self that has no name since names can only exist in the world of differences.
If one experiences unified self, God, one gains wisdom, for God is total knowledge. After that experience, if one chooses to return to this world, one returns to the awareness of this world, but is now a different person, a wise person, like Buddha became. One now understands that the world is a sleep-dream world, a world of appearance, a world of impermanence, a world of change. The empirical world of space, time and matter is an illusion, an ephemeral world where things appear like figures in a dream, now here, now gone; nothing is real.
The illuminated son of God no longer has attachment to the world and the things of the world, though he lives in the world and works to make his living and contribute to every person’s well being, but he is not of the world. He has no attachment to his ego, to his ego-based thinking, to his body and to the things of this world. He does so effortlessly because he knows that the things of this world, including his personality are nothing; to give up nothingness is not to sacrifice anything of value; in fact, it is to give up useless baggage that merely weighed one down.

An enlightened person understands that this world is chimera and decides not to be part of it. When he dies, he does not return to this world again, he is not born on earth any more; he has broken the wheel of rebirth. He has cleaned his karma of all samaras he might have earned in the past; indeed, he has transcended the karmic world of cause and effect and no longer returns to this world. He stays in the world of oneness.
To come back to the earth, one must be attached to the world of senses; one must be attracted by flesh and ego power. If one is not attracted by flesh and not attracted by ego power, why would one come to this world?

To Buddhism pleasure and pain are the same, two sides of the same coin. What is pleasurable is also painful. Moreover, the one presupposes the other; if there is pleasure there must be pain and if there is pain there must be pleasure; the one cannot exist without the other. If you seek pleasure, whether you know it or not you also seek pain.
To Buddhism, both pleasure and pain are suffering. All life, be it pleasurable life or painful life is suffering, the wise one noted 2500 hundred years ago.

We live in a world of opposites: union and separation and necessarily must have conflicts in our internal and external lives. The interaction of opposites must produce conflict, pain and suffering. The only way to eliminate our suffering is to exit from the world of opposites and to return to the world of union and give up the world of separation.
The world of space, time and matter, that is, the world of separation, is the world of suffering.
Only the world where there is no space, time and matter, a formless spirit world, a unified world, can there be cessation of suffering.
Only the formless, the same and the equal can unify, for, ip so facto, the different must separate.
Union lies only in the world of spirit, the world of God, not in our world. We must, therefore, give up our world of separation to experience the unified world of God. We cannot experience both worlds at the same time; if we experience one the other disappears.
Actually, we always live in the unified world of spirit while dreaming that we are in the separated world of space, time and matter. The world is a dream place where those who are unified come to dream that they are separated from one another.

The goal of both Hinduism and Buddhism is to enable the individual to actualize his unified self. In our ordinary life, our goal is to actualize the ego’s separated self, and reap conflict.
What is the goal that you are working towards? Unified self or separated ego self? You must answer that question.
If you work towards unified self, you experience peace and happiness; conversely, if you are working towards separated ego self, you reap tension, conflict and wars.

To be ego-body self conscious is to live in fear. Ego and body are false selves. That which is false can only be maintained by fear and defense. The individual fears attacks that would expose his ego as fantasy and is always fearful.
To live in fear is to live in hell. (Normal persons live in fear hence live in hell.)
To pursue ideal ego self, as neurotics do, is to pursue a chimera that would never come into being for this world would never become ideal. Moreover, to seek ideal is to deny the real; which means to attack the real. The ideal self seeking neurotic is perpetually attacking his real self and gives himself unnecessary pain. Thus the neurotic not only lives in the normal person’s hell of fear he adds self invented prison to it; he lives in hell and prison. Human beings live in bondage to their ego invented pains.

To have a separated ego self one must engage in judgment; one must judge that one is not other persons.
The separated world came into being through such judgment: judgment that sees the infinite children of God as not parts of ones unified self but as others. Judgment produced the world of space, time and matter.
To judge ones self and other people as good or bad is to evaluate them with ones ego ideal standards. That is, one says that what one judges ought to be like ones ideal. In effect, one is now the creator of the world that one judges and wants to make what is, what one wants it to be.
To judge is to attack what is judged. If one judges ones self one has attacked ones self; if one judges other people one has attacked them.
To attack is to inflict pain. The person who judges himself and other people as good or bad inflicts pain on them.
To judge is not a friendly act; to judge is an evil act. To judge is to be in hell (to live in pain is to live in hell).

What is, is what is; judging what is will not make it change and become something else. All your judgment will not change your body or other people’s bodies; nor will you change people’s personalities by judging them.
Therefore, to judge is to be foolish. Judgment is a foolish ego behavior. One ought to not judge anything as good or bad; one ought to just witness what is and leave it at that. This produces peace and happiness.

We live in world of uncertainly. None of us knows what will happen the next moment. We do not know what we would be called upon to respond to during the next second.
Other people have egos and wishes and in pursuit of their ego desires do all sorts of things, things that we, in our own ego states, cannot predict what they are. We do not have the ability to predict other people’s behavior or the behavior of inanimate things.
Nevertheless, environmental stimuli present challenges to the individual. He must respond to them.
The individual only has a choice as to how he responds to the world, from love and forgiveness or from hate?
If he chooses hate, he attacks when he is attacked and the result is interpersonal conflict.
The ego, human beings, seeks punishment for those that offended it. On the other hand, the individual could recognize that the person who attacked him, though seemingly a separated ego, is at root one with one. In effect, one attacked one through what seems an other person. One can therefore choose to forgive and love that person, so as to forgive and love ones true self.
The person who attacked you is responding from his ego, hence is acting out of fear. If you act towards him from your ego, you are also acting out of fear. But if you respond to him from the unified self, Christ, Atman, Buddha, you are not acting out of fear, but love. Love is the absence of fear and fear is the absence of love.


True Christianity is very much like Hinduism and Buddhism. True Christianity is not what we were raised in (I was raised a Catholic) but found in Gnostic Christianity. Gnosticism is actually what some of the apostles of Jesus taught until their teachings were suppressed and the ego based understanding of Jesus taught by Paul was adopted by the triumphant Catholic Church. There are many books on Gnosticism, including the Gospels of Thomas, Mary Magdalene, Judas, the Dag Hamadi papers, and A Course in Miracles by Helen Schucman. I have elsewhere written on this subject, so let me merely summarize what Gnostic Christianity, which is the same as Hinduism and Buddhism, teaches. (For reference material, see, Helen Schucman, A Course in Miracles; Ozodi Osuji, Real Self Psychology.)

There is God. God is one. One God extended himself to his children, to each of us. There is no difference between God and his children except that he created them and they did not create him or create themselves and each other.
The children of God are like God and do create their own children, but they create with the creative power of God in them, not with their own powers. In their sane state, the children of God acknowledge God as their creator and source; in their insane state of mind, they deny that God created them and think that they created themselves.

Since the only difference between us, the children of God, and God is that he created us, we resented that difference. We wanted to create ourselves and create God.
It is impossible for us to create God, create ourselves and create each other. What we cannot satisfy in reality we dreamed of.
The world is a sleep where we dream that we killed God and usurped his creative throne and now created him, created ourselves and created each other. But we know that God is eternal so we could not kill him. Thus, we are afraid of punishment from God.
God is not punitive and does not punish us; nevertheless, we feel fear that he would punish us.
Fear of God’s punishment makes us run from him. Fear makes us separate from God and from each other; we avoid and separate from those we are afraid of. In effect, fear serves a purpose for us; it is a means of separating from God and from each other.
Since what we really wanted is to separate from God and from each other, it follows that fear was deliberately invented to enable us separate from them. Fear is not what happens to us, as we tend to think; in reality, fear is what we desire for it serves the function of helping us separate from each other and from God.

The world is a dream of separation. It is a dream that the opposite of God is possible. God is unified; we dream separation; God is the same and equal, we dream differences and inequality; God is spirit, we dream that we are in body, space and time.
The world is designed to be the opposite of God for it came in opposition to God. God is eternal, changeless and permanent and we dream that we do change, and are mortal and impermanent.
God is unified. God is the connectedness of all things. Love is the affect that unifies the infinite children of God with their father and with each other.
In our world we dream that we are separated from each other and use fear of what each other could do to us to separate from each other.
Fear separates us, love unifies us. Fear is a mechanism for separation; love is a device for union.
God loves and forgives. In reality, God has nothing to forgive us, for he knows that we have done nothing wrong; we did not separate from him and what we do on earth are like activities done in a dream and have not been done.
Nevertheless, in as much as we live in the world of dreams and do hurt each other, God asks us to forgive each other our attacks and wrongs. On earth, forgiveness is the real meaning of love. To forgive is to love. This is what Jesus Christ taught and it is true.
Jesus Christ came to the world two thousand years ago and taught the gospel of forgiveness and love. He asked us: what do you want from each other? We answered that we need love, that is, union, with each other. If so, he asks us to love each other, that is, to unify with each other.
What makes us not love each other? We tend to hurt each other. Jesus asks us to forgive each other if we want to truly love each other. Jesus’ gospel can be summarized in three simple sentences: God is one; we are the separated children of God; forgiveness and love is the means for returning to God.

Jesus taught that there is God, and that he is our father. He taught that we are the children, the sons of God. But we denied God’s fatherhood, God’s authorhood of us, and see ourselves as separated from him, hence are now the children of the ego, the sons of man. He asks us to return to the awareness that God as our father and see ourselves as his children and see each other as brothers and sisters, as children of one family, the family of God.
The key teachings of Jesus are love and forgiveness. He taught in parables, some of which are:
(1) A man was on his way to worship God and remembered that his brother wronged him. Jesus said that the man must first go home and forgive the wrong doer before he asks God to hear his prayer.
(2) Actually, God does hear all our prayers and has, indeed, answered all of them, for he knows what his children want before they ask for them, but to receive the gifts from God, already given, peace and happiness, we must forgive each other. Forgive the wrongs other people did to you and you have forgiven yourself the wrongs you did to other people and you would receive the blessings of God, peace, joy and love in your life.
(3)And they brought a woman caught in adultery to him and asked him what they should do to her, throw stones at her, as their father, Moses, taught them, or forgive her, as he, Jesus, taught them? They were, of course, testing Jesus to see if he would break the laws of Moses hence arrest and condemn him to death. He knew what they were up to, so he said: let him who is without sin cast a stone at the sinful woman. Let him who does not make mistakes judge other people as mistake prone and condemn them. We all make mistakes and have no right to judge and condemn other mistake makes. (Since we must judge mistakes, we should forgive them.) Since none of the people is perfect they left the sinful woman alone and Jesus told her to go home and sin no more, to try not to make the mistake of separating from God and her brothers and sisters, for to separate is to sin.
(4) Jesus walked his talk. They came to arrest Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane and one of his apostles brought out his sword and attacked one of the policemen that came to arrest him, in defense of Jesus. Jesus looked at him as if he was looking at a child who had been taught and did not understand what he was taught. He said: put away your sword, for those who live by the sword die by the sword. He reiterated that he came to show the world a different way of solving problems, the path of defenselessness to attack, the path of forgiveness as true love.
(5) Jesus was arrested and taken to the high priest and finally to the Roman governor of Jerusalem. He was accused of doing what he did not do. He did not defend himself, for to defend ones self is to say that one is guilty, defense makes attack seem real, when attack is on a dream self and body hence not real. He was falsely found guilty and crucified. The world falsely finds all of us guilty and crucifies us, for the ego, the world, believes that the children of God are guilty from separating from God and from each other and wants to punish them. But they are not guilty, for they have not done what the ego, the world, accuses them of doing, separating from God. They are eternally unified with God and with each other hence are eternally innocent, guiltless and innocent. The seeming evil things they do are done in a dream setting and what is done in a dream has not been done.
(6) Before he died he asked his father to forgive those who crucified his body and ego, for they do not know what they are doing. They are eternal spirit and believe that they are ego-body that is born to die and therefore do not know who they are and do not know what they are doing for they cannot crucify the immortal son of God, whom his father made eternal and is always in his father. Jesus practiced his teaching of forgiveness, for we, indeed, are sleeping and dreaming and do not know what we are doing when we hate each other. We are the children of God. God is love, so we are the children of love. We do not know what we are doing when we hate each other. When we are sane we can only love one another.


Clearly the gospel, the good news brought to the world by Jesus Christ is for us to forgive one another if we truly love one another. Those who attack us offer us opportunity to forgive them and find salvation (join with them and God) or counter attack them and live in the hell of separation.
How many times should one forgive those who sinned against one, someone asked Jesus. He said: seventy times seventy times, meaning infinitely. He proceeded to ask folks who are slapped to turn their other cheeks to be slapped, too, to never defend themselves against attack. He said that the people of this world tend to forgive, that is, love their friends and hate their enemies, that Christians, the children of God, are distinct from the children of the ego because they love their friends and also their enemies. There are no enemies in God’s one family, he said.
But in the temporal world, we identify with our bodies and fear that those who attack our bodies could destroy us, as surely body can be destroyed. But that which can be destroyed has no value; body and the ego it houses has no value. The real us, spirit, cannot be destroyed; spirit is eternal hence has value and worth.
To be saved is to return to union and love while to not be saved is to live in separation from God and from our brothers and sisters. To live in union and love is to live in peace and joy, while to live in separation from God is to live in conflict and turmoil.
Salvation, redemption, deliverance, healing, atonement all mean the same thing: to forgive and love all people, and from doing so overlook our separation and reconnect to God and all people; to rejoin all people, to unify with all people, to make whole that which was made unholy (to unify is to be holy, to separate is to be unholy).
God’s children are currently disconnected, separated from each other hence are unholy; they become holy when they reconnect with each other, and since God is in each of them, when two or more of them join hands, they have God with them.
There must be at least two persons working together for the purpose of love for salvation to take place; salvation cannot be obtained individually, for individuation, separation is the problem, union is the solution. To join other people is to join the God in them, to return to union, to God.
On Good Friday Jesus’ ego and body was crucified and died. On Easter Sunday his real self, the unified self, the Christ in him, the son of God who is as God created him, unified with God and all his brothers and sisters, hence is holy, resurrected from death. That new self is not corrupt and does not know corruption of the body; it does not die, for it is no longer in the corruptible, no longer in body. It is now pure spirit. Spirit is eternal.
However, to show his brothers and sisters who still believe in forms, Jesus had to take on a form, light form, to show people that death is not real. Jesus did take on the body of light, his earthly body in pure light form, if you like, in photons, to show the people that he is still alive and not dead. Death is not the end.
Jesus conquered death and showed the world that resurrection from death is real. But know what death is, to live in body and ego is to be metaphorically dead and to live in God, in union, in spirit is to be alive.
Death and rebirth is the theme of Christianity. Death is when we identify with ego and body; when we are separated from God we are dead; rebirth is when we return to the presence of God, when we deny the ego and the body that houses it and accept our true self as spirit.
Easter Sunday is the happiest day in the Christian world for it marks the day the son of man (ego) reclaimed his status as the son of God (Christ). It marked the end of the rule of Satan (which is metaphor for the human ego) and the beginning of the rule of Christ, our real self, the unified self, in the world.
God and his Son are the same; therefore, the will of God is his Son’s will. But in his sleep-dream, the Son of God, us, thinks that he has a different will from his father. It is impossible for him to have a different will from his father, for nothing in the universe can oppose the will of God. All that the Son does is having different wish; wishes are not reality.
The wishes of the Son of God, however, are very powerful for they produced the empirical world we see.
When the Son of God comes to his senses, is sane, he accepts that his father’s will is his will and relinquishes his wishes; he lets go of the wish that gave rise to this world and the world is changed into a light world (from its current dark state).
Finally, the kingdom of God replaces the kingdom of man, Christ replaces ego, and peace, joy and love reign in our transformed world, the New Jerusalem, New Israel, New World, and we have a happy dream for a little while before we return to the formless unified world where we disappear into God and he disappears into us and we know that all is God.
The body can be crucified and die. That which is destructible is not real and should be ignored and not defended. Christ, which is spirit, is not born in body and does not live in body and does not die. Christ cannot be attacked.
Christ knows himself to be eternal and therefore forgives those his brothers who in their ignorance believe that they can attack the immortal son of God.


When we separated from God and invented the ego false self concept for ourselves, God created the Holy Spirit, and entered the world through him.
The Holy Spirit is the immanent God, God in the world, whereas God as God is the transcendent God and is not in this world. As it were, God is now in three selves: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Christians call this reality the Holy Trinity, the Triune concept of God.
God is God; that God extended himself into his Son (you and I). The same God is now himself as well as in his part, his son, each of us. God is himself and yet is each of us. If you insist, there is God the father and God the son.
When God the Son (our collective selves; there are infinite sons of God, all of whom are the one Son of God) seemed to have separated from God the father, that is, God seems to have separated from himself (an impossibility), God created God the Holy Spirit to enter the mind of his separated son.
The business of this world is for each of us to understand these things, to realize that God the father is God the son and is God the Holy Spirit, one self in seeming three states, Brahman/Atman/Jivatman/Ahankara in different guises in his dream dance.
In each of our minds is God and Christ, unified as one self and one mind; this is our true self in eternity.
On earth, in the state of separation, the Holy Spirit is in our right minds and the ego is in our left minds.
The ego is the self that we are currently aware of, the left mind, the mind of the intellect, the mind with which we adapt to this world, the mind with which we do science and technology, the mind with which I am writing this piece. The ego mind takes the temporal world as real and does what it has to do to adapt to the world as if it is real, unaware that the world is not real; the temporal world is a dream, an illusion. We, the Son of God, that is, God as his Son, made the ego; we made the ego as an instrument with which to adapt to the world of shadows, the world of darkness and dreams.
The Holy Spirit is in the right mind, it is the mind with which we forgive and love one another, the mind that guides us back to love, union and God; the mind that takes us to salvation, to the happy dream of forgiveness, to purgatory, to the world of light forms and from whence we return to the world of formless spirit, aka heaven.
To be in this world we have already denied the Christ and his father God, and embraced the ego. We live as egos. The world is a place we came to be egos.
Eventually, the world becomes a place we realize that our true self is Christ, the holy and unified son of God. Christ, unified self, loves all people and forgives all people.
The Holy Spirit teaches us to forgive all people, so as to remember that all people are one. Jesus Christ was the first son of God to completely remember that he is the Christ, the unified son of God, hence he was able to resurrect from death, which no one before him did.
Buddha did not resurrect from death when he choked to death from eating meat. Only Jesus resurrected from death. Jesus, therefore, is the world teacher of God (folks like Buddha etc are teachers of God, but Jesus is at the head of all teachers of God, hence he is the world teacher of God).
Jesus is the way shower to God. Jesus is the mediator between heaven and earth. He reconciled heaven and earth, ego and Christ. He did so because he lived as an ego and while in ego state, in the world, recognized the nature of heaven, Christ, his true self. He understands the ego, the world, and God and heaven.
Jesus is the son of man (ego, separated self) who became aware that he is the son of God (unified self).
Jesus so completely identified with the Holy Spirit that he might as well be called the Holy Spirit; that is, he might as well be called God. You have my permission to see Jesus as God, as the immanent God, that is. Pray to him; ask him to help you, as you would ask God and the Holy Spirit to guide you. Jesus will help you.
Jesus is with you at all times; he is in front of you, besides you and behind you. Jesus is now like God, he is everywhere. He is in each of us, in our right mind as part of our Holy Spirit. Talk to him and he will talk to you back, as your higher self, your conscience. If you want to see him in form, that, too, he can arrange; he will appear to you as he appeared to the apostles, in light form; he could do this in your dreams and visions or in the person you see in front of you. Jesus is in the person who loved you; Jesus is also in the person who attacked you; in both he is asking you to forgive and love him to love you for he is you.
Jesus is real, my friend; he is more real than the body you currently think that you are.

I can go on and on what Jesus is and taught, but I have covered this subject elsewhere.
For our present purposes, suffice it to say that Jesus taught what Hinduism and Buddhism teach, that we are at root formless, unified and love. He urged us to escape from the world of separation and return to the world that is as God created it: a formless unified spirit world. He taught us to overcome this world of appearances by overlooking what is done in it via forgiveness, so as to return to the world of God, which is the world of unified spirit.
In union we experience the gifts of God: peace, happiness, joy and love. This is heaven, this is bliss. The opposite is the world of separation, differences, inequality and conflict, the hellish prison we currently live in.
Heaven, unified state is real. Do you want to experience it? You must meet its condition before you experience it. To meet its condition you must love and forgive all persons. Love and forgive all right now and suddenly the seeming real world you live in, the empirical world disappears and you find yourself in the unified spirit world of God, a world where there is no you and no non-you, no seer and seen, no space, time and matter, where all are one self and one mind and are all knowing and eternal.
You can experience the holy instant now if you choose to meet its conditions, forgiveness and love, that is overlooking the evil other people do to you. Start now by choosing one person, the person who wronged you and forgive and love him. If you truly forgive him you would feel peaceful and happy. If you proceed and forgive all people, you would experience your real self, unified self, total bliss.


We separated from God and from each other. In separation we live as egos, the human personality that seeks only what is good for the self. This type of living is found all over the world. It is the nature of the world, the ego based living. In it people only serve their personal interests and do not serve public interests, except in so far that they work for their mutual interests, out of pragmatism and opportunism but separate when they cannot see how they serve their personal interests.
This is where most African people are, the world of the ego, the old world of man. This is primitive man; this is man at the savage stage of evolution.
Africans are still primitive savages. (The other races of mankind are also primitive savages, but the universal religions have moderated their egos and disposed them to serve social interests more than Africans do.)

These days many Europeans and white Americans call themselves atheists or secular humanists and do not profess belief in any deity. Nevertheless, they were socialized into two thousand year European Christendom; Christian ethoses permeate their psyche. Thus, even though they do not see themselves as Christians their behaviors tend to be informed by residual Christian values.
The most savage European leader serves his people’s interests than the most civilized African leader serves his people’s interests. I must confess that I have not seen one Nigerian leader that has transcended his ego and devoted his life to public service; all they want to do is steal from the public treasury and enrich themselves while the rest of their countrymen live in sordid squalor.
And worse, Africans are not bothered by the squalor in which their people live in. Their minds are the minds of savages; they do not concern themselves with others welfare.
In fact, if international organizations make the mistake of giving African leaders economic Aid to help their people, those so-called leaders redirect such money to their pockets. Even money given to help treat African HIV-AIDS patients are often stolen by Nigerians and used for themselves.
These people are, and there is no better way to say it, pure animals; they are not yet human beings. We insult the term human being to call Nigerians human beings. If we must call them human beings, let us then call them what we call those human beings who do not care for other people, less civilized persons, savages.
And this includes educated Africans. Do not let their degrees deceive you. An African with a chain of PhDs still behaves like the savage he is; he does not care for other people and devotes his existence to doing his best to destroy other people.
The African is the most egoistic, proud, vain, and narcissistic creature on earth. All he wants to do is dress his bloated body up in flowing robes and call himself Professor, Doctor, Chief, Alhaji do nothing Idiot.

Asians who call themselves Buddhists, generally, do not talk about God. But Buddhism teaches compassion for suffering humanity, thus, such Asians tend to have a desire to serve their people, while optimizing their personal good.

The teachers of God like Buddha and Jesus Christ came to teach us to become new men, men who transcend our egos and self interests and serve social interests and work for the public good.
Africans had tribal religions that did not teach them to love all people hence Africans socialized in those religions do not live to serve other people.
Africans mostly live to serve their separated selves; the concept of social interest is foreign to Africans. African politicians are savages, for they live only for themselves.
Christianity came to Africa only recently; it has not taken root in Africa; it has not permeated the unconscious of Africans and transformed them into social serving persons. Christianity has not done its wonders of changing Africans mind sets and personalities.
It took over a thousand years, Europeans, after embracing Christianity before they begin to practice what it teaches them. Even then very few Europeans have in fact understood the teaching of love and forgiveness that Jesus taught us. Nevertheless, the European has some understanding of Christ’s teaching of love to devote his life to public service.
Whereas Weston leaders are not yet perfect, they tend to accept social service than African leaders do. African leaders are primitive men who do not serve their people, but only serve their egos.


The reason why Africans are unable to govern themselves is because they are primitive persons in modern suits. They are absolute egotists, that is, they accept separation as real. They see themselves as separated from God and from each other, and live mostly for themselves.
We must teach them civilization, that is, teach them to learn that living well means serving the public good.
If you ask: what is in it for you before you do something, you are a primitive. It is only when you do something because it serves the public good that you are a civilized person.

To live from the separated ego self is to be metaphorically dead. Actually, the children of life can never be dead, for life is eternal; they can only sleep and dream that they are separated from unified life.
So far in their sojourn on planet earth, Africans live from their separated ego selves and therefore are metaphorically dead persons. They are like Lazarus in the Bible, dead. They need to resurrect from death.
To be alive in God is to live to serve all people, not just ones self, for all people are parts of ones unified self. When a person cares for all people and works for the good of all people he is alive, as alive as is possible while one is still living on this side of heaven.
My wish for Africans on this Easter Sunday is that they resurrect from their fifteen billion year sleep-dream. (That is, from the Big-Bang explosion to the present. During the big bang, man separated from God; he left unified spirit and invented the world of space, time and matter; he invented a false separated self concept for himself, and used it to replace his real self, unified self).
So far in human history nothing good has come out of Africa. This is because Africans were dead, better still, Africans were asleep and dreaming themselves as separated from God, from other people and from their real Christ selves. They have so far lived out of their ego false selves hence contributed nothing seminal to the world. It is now time for them to begin the awakening process and forgive and love all people and work for all people’s welfare.
When Africans begin to work selflessly to develop their continent, they would be accounted human beings and deserve the world’s respect. At present, they do not have any ones respect; an egotist is never respected by any one. I certainly do not respect egotistical Africans. I respect those who serve their fellow human beings.
Africans will shift from being the contemptible and despicable things they currently are to being admirable beings when they begin to serve each others interests rather than destroy each other.
I wish you a happy Easter Sunday. This means that I wish that you resurrect from death in ego and live real life in Christ. It means being the self that God created you as, a loving and caring self.

Christ brought us the good news that life is eternal and that awareness of that eternal life, temporarily forgotten, is regained through forgiveness and love.
I forgive and love all my brothers and sisters despite what evil they may seem to have done while they sleep and dream that they are separated egos and not the unified innocent children of our everlasting father.

Exactly a year ago, I joined Nigerian Internet forums. I engaged in daily bantering with Nigerians on the forum. I now end that daily participation. From time to time, I will post essays but I will no longer participate in daily bantering with folks. Apparently, these forums are infested by folks who prowl them for the purposes of gratifying their desire to abuse others and or pry into their personal matters. That is, primitive egotists, savages really, infest these forums. I do not traffic with savages. My mission in life is to help us begin our homewards journey back to our creator, God.
If I have an idea I want to give it away and will give it away.
I will complete my series on African countries, of course; that should be done in about a week.
I take my bow and move on. If you have read any of my postings, you should know what I stand for; if you need it, you know how to reach me.
I hope that you find what you are searching for, what you came to this world to seek.
I came for the truth and will share that knowledge with those who seek the truth.
I leave those seeking to abuse other people (sadists) to find those who seek such abuse (masochists). As the Igbos say: Onye yi na ukom na arahu ura ji esi shi shi.

Ozodi Thomas Osuji, PhD

Easter Sunday
April 16, 2006

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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.


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.


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.)


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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Is mental Illness a Product of Choice to be Evil?

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- In Biblical days, what is now called mental illness was seen as a result of possession by evil spirits.

The nineteenth century liberal movement rethought the etiology of mental disorders and closed with observers like Sigmund Freud (1961) claiming that mental illness is not a result of devils but a psychological variable to be understood and healed through psychotherapy. This new “scientific” approach to mental disorder seemed to relegate to the bust bin the Biblical Jesus Christ who was said to have cast out evil spirits from the demon possessed (what we would now call the mentally ill).
The contemporary psychology and psychotherapy establishment is a liberal school that teaches that the environment is responsible for what people do. B.F. Skinner (2002), and his behaviorism school, for example, contend that people’s behaviors are stimulus response shaped.
In the extant world, the mentally ill are seen as victims of bad internal and external environments: internal (biochemical imbalances) and external (bad upbringing). Having rooted the causal factors of mental illness in the environment, psychotherapists strive to heal the mentally ill by altering their internal and or external environments (via medications and or changed external environment).
The patient is seen as negatively impacted by his environment; and these days that environment is most likely to be seen as internal, biological; the patient is likely to be deemed to have inherited biochemical imbalances and he is treated with medications.
If the patient is schizophrenic the current hypothesis is that somehow the neurotransmitter, dopamine, is not balanced in his central nervous system; may be there is too much of it, and he is treated with the various neuroleptic medications to reduce putative excess dopamine in his brain and hopefully reduce his hallucinations and delusions.
If the patient is bipolar (manic) he is treated with anti manic medications to reduce the presumably elevated norepinephrine in his brain.
If the patient is depressed, he is treated with antidepressants, particularly the serotonin reuptake blockers to increase the presumed low serotonin in his brain.
If the patient is anxious he is treated with anxiolytic medications to increase the presumed low GABA in his brain.
If the patient has personality disorder, well, the various personality disorders (paranoid, schizoid, schizotypal, narcissistic, histrionic, borderline, antisocial, avoidant, possessive-compulsive, dependent and passive aggressive) are not yet correlated with specific problematic neurotransmitters hence are treated primarily through talk based psychotherapy.

Whereas medication and psychotherapy seem to reduce the symptoms of mental disorders, so far, they do not heal them. No known secular psychotherapist has found a way to heal any mentally illness.
Any profession with the dismal track record of the mental health establishment ought to be reexamined to see whether its operating premise is realistic or false.
Could it be that the operating hypothesis that mental disorders (which are thinking disorders) are what happen to folks against their wishes is wrong?
Could it be that mental disorders are a product of unloving hence evil patterns of thinking?
Could the Bible be accurate when it represents mental illness as a function of evil and wickedness? Could it be that liberal progressive views of human nature, and in this case, the genesis of mental illness, is wrong?

I ask these questions because some of my recent experiences with people have led me to rethink my understanding of the nature and cause of mental illness. These people engaged in behaviors that, at first, gave me the impression that they are deluded and paranoid. But as I reflect on their apparent wicked and evil behaviors I came to the realization that these people are plain evil persons. This realization placed me in a quandary as to whether mental illness results from choice to be evil and wicked?
Let me briefly examine the nature of paranoia and delusional disorder and see whether it can be explained with the evil choice paradigm.


The term paranoia is derived from Greek; it means to be besides ones self; to be who one is not, in fact. As it were, the paranoid person has identified with a different person and thinks and behaves from that person’s perspective, rather than from his own true self.
Apparently, each human being has a true self. According to some religious schools, the real self is the same and equal in all people; the real self is joined with all people; the real self knows itself to be one with all people and works for the good of all people; the real self loves all people as it loves itself. (See Helen Schucman, A Course in Miracles, 1976.)
On the other hand, in paranoia, the individual seems to make a choice to have a different self from his real self. Generally, he seems to see his real self as not good enough, as inadequate and inferior and do not like it. He then seems to use his imagination and thinking to come up with what seems to him an ideal self.
The ideal self is seen as superior to other people and as more powerful than other people. (See Karen Horney Neurosis and Human Growth, 1991.)
What Karen Horney called the false ideal self, Alfred Adler called the fictional superior self. (See Alfred Adler, The Neurotic Constitution, 2003.)

The paranoid person seems to reject his real self (which is the same and equal to all people and which is a loving self) and posits a superior, all powerful self that wants to be better than other people and seeks to become this imaginary self. He seems to deny his true identity and seeks to become a different person: an all powerful self. Most of his subsequent behaviors seem motivated by his efforts to approximate the all powerful, superior self. (See David Swanson et al, The Paranoid, 1970.)

Adolf Hitler would seem a case in point demonstrating the paranoid personality. He apparently denied his real self (which he construed as inadequate and hated) and posited an ideal all powerful self and sought to become that alternative self. He was willing to kill many people, indeed to destroy the world in his efforts to realize his ideal all powerful self. He was instrumental in killing, at least, fifty million persons in his effort to prove to himself and the world that he is the all powerful fuehrer prince he wanted to become. (See Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, 2002.)
In the not so famous instances paranoids do all sorts of evil things in their pursuit of their ideal, all powerful self. Consider the man who beats up his wife because she does not treat him as the all important self he wants to become; the employer who fires his workers because they did not respect his grandiose self concept; the man who generally maltreats other people, particularly those he perceives as not respectful of his dignity. These are manifestations of paranoia. (See William Meissner, The Paranoid Process, 1980.)
There are different types of paranoia. Psychiatry has at least three distinct types of paranoia: schizophrenia, paranoid type, delusional disorder and paranoid personality disorder. (See the American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 1994.)

Let us briefly review these nosological categories.
Schizophrenia, a psychosis, is characterized by the presence of hallucinations in one or more of the five senses (auditory, visual, tactile, olfactory and feeling) and delusion (believing what is not true as true; such as believing ones self to be important, to be better than other people when one is not; a schizophrenic, paranoid type may see himself as god and want other people to treat him as if he is god, that is, as if he is better than them). The schizophrenic, paranoid type has the symptoms of schizophrenia (hallucinations) and paranoia (believe in what is not true as true).
Delusional disorder is characterized by belief in what is not true as true, usually in certain areas of the individual’s life, whereas other areas seem normal. There are five types of delusional disorder: grandiose, persecutory, jealous, erotomanic and somatic. Briefly, in grandiose type the individual believes himself very important and superior to other people; in persecutory type the individual believes that other people are out to get him, do bad things to him, even kill him and he defends himself from them, even though they have no ill intentions towards him; in jealous type the individual believes that his spouse is cheating on him and may watch her behaviors and falsely accuse her of doing what she did not do and even beat her up for being unfaithful when she is faithful; in erotomanic type the individual believes that a famous person is in love with her or even is her husband; in somatic type the individual believes that she has a sickness that medical science and technology fails to prove as there.
Paranoid personality disorder is considered a neurosis. Schizophrenia, paranoid type and delusional disorder are psychosis; psychotics have lost ability to test reality well. The neurotic is able to test reality well but does not like what he sees, and wants to change it and make it what he wants it to become, ideal. The paranoid neurotic is characterized by desire to be seen as a very important person, while he still recognizes that he is not so. This person so wants to be seen as important, perfect and powerful that he perpetually scrutinizes what other people do to ascertain whether they treated him as he wants to be treated or not. If he thinks that other people did not see him as all powerful, that is, if he feels disrespected and demeaned by other people, he feels angry and accuses them of not respecting him. He is always accusing people of not respecting him. He wants to be seen as a dignified, important person. Generally, he is rigid, inflexible and stiff and lacks a good sense of humor. His whole life and activities are geared towards doing whatever he could to seem ideal and superior. He tends to work hard in an effort to attain his desired sense of importance and may even become his country’s head of state. An example is Adolf Hitler, a paranoid personality. Paranoid personalities are found in all walks of life: medicine, law, engineering, teaching etc. These people are normal persons with heightened desire for prestige and importance. I say normal persons because all people seek specialness, superiority and power but at a less obnoxious level. (See David Shapiro, Autonomy and the Rigid Character, 1999, also see his Neurotic Styles, 1999)

What runs through the various types of paranoia is a sense of inadequacy and inferiority and compensatory desire for a sense of power, importance, superiority and perfection.
The paranoid feels incomplete and wants to seem complete by seeming powerful over other people. As noted, if his level of paranoia is low, such as paranoid personality, he may, in fact, accomplish a lot in life, all in an effort to approximate his desired importance.
On the other hand, if his paranoia is psychotic, such as in schizophrenia, paranoid type, he does not accomplish any thing productive, he merely posits a grandiose self concept and believe it and act as such when he is not it, such as claim go be god and behave as if he is god and in the meantime is unable to feed himself and eats from garbage cans (he is a god that eats from the dustbin, a god, indeed).
In delusional disorder, what we might call partial psychosis, for it has only one leg of the two legs of psychosis, delusion, but not hallucination, the individual may be a professional, such as be an engineer and does well on his job but still has a fixed and systematic delusion in some areas of his life, such as believe that other people want to kill him and hide from them (while alienating them by writing degrading materials about them).

The currently accepted etiological hypothesis is that paranoia, particularly psychotic levels of it, is caused by problems in the individual’s biochemistry. The current hypothesis is that the schizophrenic, paranoid type has a problematic dopamine, a neurotransmitter, has too much of it or is unable to break it down once produced. Medications are designed to enable him neutralize his excess dopamine. The various neuroleptics tend to reduce hallucinations.
An argument can be made that delusional disorder probably has biological correlates. For example, when some folks ingest cocaine and or amphetamine, even caffeine and other nervous system stimulants, they tend to exhibit paranoid suspiciousness, lack of trust of other people, a feeling that people are out to get them, guardedness, scanning of the environment looking for danger signs that threaten the individual. However, it should be pointed that not all persons who take these drugs exhibit these paranoid symptoms; invariably it is those already predisposed to paranoid thinking and behavior that have that life style exacerbated by introduction of central nervous system stimulants into their bodies.

There is no question about it: paranoia has biological correlates. Whereas we may not yet fully understand it, in the future we shall find out how the workings of the body are correlated with paranoia.
But having said this, one is also aware that thinking does change body chemistry. If one wakes up in the morning and indulges in wishes for self importance, one could stimulate ones body (make it release excitatory neurochemicals). That is to say that it is difficult to tell which comes first, inherited biological tendency to over stimulation or stimulation of ones body by ones wishful thinking patterns. This is the familiar chicken or egg question, which comes first? It is not easy to tell which comes first.
Perhaps, they came into being in a simultaneous manner? Thinking and biological behavior associated with it probably came into being at the same time, with thinking, perhaps, preceding changes in our bodies by nanoseconds?

The thesis of this paper is that paranoia and, by generalization, all mental illnesses, is probably caused by unloving and evil thinking and behavior patterns. That is to say that the Biblical notion that the mentally ill are evil and wicked persons may be true! (See the Christian Bible, King James Version.)


Let me explain how I came to this seeming retrogressive conclusion. My wife and I started a business, and registered it as a partnership. Subsequently, we ran into a fellow and talked to him about our business and he indicated interest in joining us. We welcomed him with open hands. He then suggested that we invite other people to join us. We agreed. He brought three of his friends to join. He then suggested that we turn it into a corporation, and we did that too.
At business meetings a pattern began to emerge. He and his three friends would be against my wife and me. At a point, he asked why my wife was a member of the Board since his own wife was not members of the Board. I reminded him that my wife and I had started the business before he came on board ant that, at any rate, his wife is welcome to join us.
After a Board meeting at which he was particularly nasty towards my wife, she told me that this man and his friends are out to take control of the business, that since they are now the majority that they could vote me out and take it over at any time. I told her that she was exaggerating the situation but, nevertheless, began to pay attention to these folk’s shenanigans. To protect myself, I got some other persons into the Board to balance things out.
We applied for approval by the state to perform certain services. My wife and I did all the work, including depositing the required money to prove that we are financially able to do what we proposed to do. We got approved. I called the members of the Board to tell them of our approval. I called a meeting to discuss what next to do. At that meeting this man went off on my wife and abused her in the most despicable verbal manner. I could not believe the filthy things coming out of his mouth. Luckily, I kept quiet but at some point I tried to calm him down and he redirected his apparently “staged anger” at me, telling me how I allowed my wife to control me and how he does not allow a woman to tell him what to do. I tried to dismiss that assertion and he, in fact, got up and tried to shove me, to have a physical fight with me. This is a man who claims to be a former university professor, incredible. (I have never permitted another human being to place his hands on me and when he did that that was the end of our relationship.)
My wife and I left the meeting. But upon thinking about his behavior it occurred to me that a man who could be that angry could harm those around him. He has a wife and a little child living with him, so I thought: this man is probably intimidating those in the same household with him. I called the police and reported the matter, hoping that, perhaps, investigating it would lead him to recognize that he has an anger problem and go take an anger management course, so as not to kill any one during his fits of rage. In his anger, he turned into a menacing gorilla, a beast, ready to kill. It was an amazing transformation, from his usual lying self (most of his talking is calculated to make him seem very important in the listeners’ eyes, he is always boasting about his accomplishments etc) to violent criminal behavior.
I got home and began to think about this man’s personality. What became obvious is that he has paranoid personality disorder, delusional disorder and intermittent explosive behavior disorder.

The man and his gang tried to take the business over, by meeting without me and voting me out of office. Even though he was the one who attacked us he said that we attacked him and wanted to kill him and take his money. (This is outright delusional thinking for he has no money; he is unemployed and is, more or less, dependent on his wife, a nurse, to support him.)
Of course, they could not take over the business since I made all the arrangements for its approval. But what became obvious to me was that right from when this man and his gang joined me; they had their eyes set on taking the business over. He laid low and waited for me to do all the work that would get us state approval and then they would push me out and take it over. They made their move by assaulting my wife, knowing that that would get any man angry if they assaulted his wife, and that he would try to defend his wife. When that failed, they tried to vote me out of the Board as the president. Unfortunately, for them only the four of them did so. The other members of the Board did not participate and they did not have a majority to accomplish their design. Moreover, since I made all the arrangements necessary to get us approved, I simply pulled them off and they had nothing to go with other than make noises that as a corporation that they could vote me out and take it over. They had nothing to take over. Their hostile take over plan had failed. Failed or not, they set the business back.

Initially, I had pity for this man and his gang. I had sympathy for him for I was trying to explain his behavior from a mental health perspective. Since it is clear that he has paranoid personality, I felt that he did what he did out of mental disorder and was motivated to understand and have compassion for him.
But as I reflected on what this man did, it occurred to me that he consciously chose to be wicked and to act in an unloving and evil manner. He was a thief, for he wants to reap what he did not sow. His behavior was hostile towards my wife and I. He wanted to take over what we worked for and he did not work for. He deliberately brought in his friends so as to make the move he made to take our business over.
What he did he did consciously and deliberately, even his verbal assault on my wife, and later me, was deliberately done and calculated to scare us off, so that he would take over our business. The man is like a terrorist. He believes that human beings are prone to fear. Therefore, that if he intimidated us, aroused fear for our safety and that we would permit him to take over our business. Terrorists deliberately arouse fear in people by randomly killing a few persons and use fear to obtain the social policy of their choice.
What all these taught me is that his paranoia, his choice to seek superiority over other people, his quest for a grandiose self and behaviors attendant on it, though having biochemical correlates is, in fact, an evil, wicked behavior. This man, though mentally ill, chose to be evil.
Thus I began to wonder whether the mentally ill are wicked people. Is mental illness a function of the individual’s choice to be evil?
Could it be that the mental health establishment is putting the cart before the horse and do not have a clue as to the cause of mental illness?
Could mental illness be a product of choice for evil behavior, as the good book, the Bible said? Hitler, a paranoid personality killed millions of people in pursuit of his paranoid grandiose goals. This man, a paranoid personality attempted to take over my business and wrought destruction, all in pursuit of his paranoid grandiose goals. These paranoid persons are evil, heartless persons.
It is time to rethink what liberal environmentalists told us about the etiology of mental disorders and examine the possibility that mental disorder is a function of thinking and behavior that emphasize hatred and evil over love and social interest.


As I began to ponder this hypothesis, Helen Schucman’s metaphysical poem, A Course in Miracles, came to my mind. In her book, she claimed that the world came into being when we, the children of God, chose to separate from God and from each other. As she sees it, in eternity, in God all are one. God created us and we are his children. God is the whole and we are his parts. God has infinite children, the whole has infinite parts.
The whole and its parts are the same and are coequal. The difference between the whole and part is that the whole produced the parts; the parts did not produce the whole,
Anthropomorphized, God, the whole, created us, the parts. We did not create God, for logically the part cannot produce the whole; only the whole, by logical necessity, can produce the part.
Apparently, the fact that God created us angered us. We wanted to create God, create ourselves and create each other. She called this desire for self creation specialness; I would call it desire for power, a power that exceeds God’s power.
Naturally, there can be only one source of creation. Our parents produced us; we do not produce our parents by wishing to do so, though we do become parents in our rights and produce our own children. God created us and we do create other children of God, with the creative power of God in us, but not with our own power. We cannot create God and create ourselves. Creation has to emanate from one source, for if the created can create its creator there would be chaos.
Still, desiring to create God and ourselves, but unable to do so in heavenly reality, Dr Schucman said that, as it were, we cast a magical spell, on ourselves and went into deep sleep and in the sleep dream a world where we seem to have created ourselves.
(Cross check Dr Schucman’s myth of creation with Hinduism’s story of creation. In Hinduism, God, called Brahman, cast Maya, a magical spell on himself and went to sleep and in his sleep dream that his parts, his children, Atman, now seem separated from him. The goal of religion is to enable the various Atmans to realize that they are one with God. The realization of oneness is called enlightenment; illumination of unified reality. It is attained in what Oriental religions call Samadhi, in Hinduism, Nirvana in Buddhism and Satori in Zen. Buddha is the human being who realized that his separated ego self is a puff of smoke, that his real self is Atman who is one with Brahman, he is one with one life.)


That dream world, an illusion, Dr Schucman said is our world. The illusion of self creation, she said is represented in our invention of self concepts for our selves.
Upon birth on each, each child invents a self concept for himself and translates it into a self image (we see ourselves in pictorial forms in our mental and physical eyes). Also see George Kelly, 1955.
The self concept and self image, she says, is a substitute self we made to replace the self God created us as.
God created us as unified with him and each other, as Holy. We invented separated selves.
God created us as the same and equal with each other and him. We invented ourselves as different from each other, and see ourselves as unequal, some superior to others.
God created us as spirit, for only the spiritual can unify, join, and only the same and equal can be connected to each other. We remade ourselves in bodies and in bodies seem different from each other, some white and some black, some tall and some short, some handsome, and some ugly. Our goal is to make us seem different and better than other people. (Those who seem better in one life time may alternate and seem worse than others in different life times.)

In sum, Helen Schucman’s thesis is that the empirical world came into being because of our wish for specialness and separation, because of our desire to seem superior to God and to one another. She calls our world an evil dream.
The world of God is the world of love, and the world of union. We chose the opposite of that world; we chose the world of evil and separation.
She goes on to tell us that our world is a dream and, as such, has not occurred, that it is only in the mind of the dreamer; she says that ideas leave not their source, leave not the mind of the dreamer; that the world is in our minds, as we are in the mind of God.
Her whole book is devoted to enabling folks to overlook our world and in doing so awaken from it and return to the consciousness that they are unified with God and one another.
As she sees it, forgiveness is the best way to ignore the world and awaken to the world of God, the unified world. The empirical world began when we mutually attacked each other. We attacked each other to push each other away from us, to separate from them. In the world itself we are still attacking each other and separating from each other. She says that attack and defense maintains our world.
If you are attacked by others and you defend yourself, you are now an attacker on the attackers who now see themselves attacked and justify attacking you in self defense and that way attack continues without end.

To overcome this world of mutual attack, Dr Schucman said that we have to stop attacking each other and must forgive those who attacked us rather that counter attack them and separate from them. The balance of her book is teaching folks to forgive the wrongs people do to them.
As she sees it, salvation is return to the awareness of union with God and all people and it can only be attained when we overlook the world’s attack on us, hence overlook the seeming reality of the world of separation.
We need not get bogged down with the specifics of Helen Schucman’s interesting metaphor on the origin of this world and what to do to escape from it (her theology sees this world as a slaughter house, a purposeless, meaningless world that she wants us to negate and escape from; her Gnostic religion is akin to Hinduism and Buddhism for it calls for rising above this world of pain and suffering).
What we need to extrapolate from Dr Schucman is her thesis that our original state is love and that love is union; and that we came to be in this world to experience the opposite of our true self.
We are love and want to experience hate. We are unified and want to experience separated selves (egos, self concepts, personalities). We are formless spirit and want to experience life in form, in bodies. We are immortal and want to experience mortality, birth and death.
As Dr Schucman sees it, the world is a dream, an illusion. The world exists only as in a dream; otherwise it does not exist, in fact. The world exists only because we believe that it exists, and want it to exist.
If we took away our desire for the world to exist it would not exist. Because it does not exist and we believe that it exists, we are deluded. Indeed, since it does not exist and we see ourselves in it, we are hallucinating.
As Dr Schucman sees it, the world is mass psychosis where we see what is not there, hear voices that are not spoken and believe what is not true as true.
We are unified and we now believe that we are separated; we are formless and we see ourselves in forms.
The world is a place we come to attack each other and to hate each other. We came here to do evil things to each other (except that the evils we do on earth were done in a dream and have not really been done).

If you put all these together, what Dr Schucman is saying is that schizophrenia, delusion, mania and anxiety and all mental disorders are products of our wishes for evil, our desire to experience the opposite of love. That is to say that the mentally ill, which she defines as all of us, desire evil dreams and loveless dreams.
Whereas all of us are said to be mentally ill because we are dreaming and believing and seeing what is not there as there, there are more apparently psychotic persons. We do have schizophrenics, paranoids, manic, depressives, and anxious persons in psychiatric hospitals. These people, as it were, are more psychotic than the rest of us; they are motivated by more than average level of evil and wickedness. Their mental illness is a product of their evil thinking and evil behavior.
Consider the man who waited for me to do all the work, start a business and he came to take it over. That behavior is evil yet diagnostically this man is paranoid. His paranoia, his quest to have a grandiose self is thus a product of his evil nature, his evil thinking and behaving patterns. He does not love other people; he wants to separate from other people; he attacks other people; he steals what other people worked for.
In as much as it can be demonstrated that this man is paranoid as well as wicked, the two are correlated. He desired specialness and superiority and that led him to want to take over another man’s work, and he exhibited no conscience, no sense of right and wrong, hence is a sociopath, an antisocial personality. (Antisocial personality generally coexists with paranoid personality.)
I am forced to conclude that the mentally ill are those who exaggerate our human evil thinking and behaving patterns.

I will briefly look at other mental disordered states to show how evil thinking is present in all of them.

In schizophrenia the individual wishes to be very important and superior to other people. The wish to be superior to other people is evil wish for it often leads to doing what harms other people. Of course, he is not superior to other people, for in reality all people are the same. Hallucinations are probably wish fulfillment. If one wants to be God one can hear what one thinks is god talking to one, telling one that one is God etc.
In mania the individual wants to be very special and important and uses his mind to speed up the workings of his nervous system to put him into a manic mode where he is now all important and all powerful; wishful thinking can speed up the workings of the central nervous system. (The wish to be better than other people is a n evil wish, for if pursued it can lead to harming other people, indeed exploiting them without feeling guilty, for, after all, one is exploiting inferior persons of no consequence.)
In depression ones thinking depresses ones nervous system. Again, there may be an underlying grandiosity in depression, for to say that one is no good is as much an arrogant statement as to say that one is very good. Both statements presuppose that it is up to one to decide ones worth. In reality, we did not create ourselves, God created us, and, as such, it is not up to us to decide our worth. God has given us our value and worth and that worth and value is only found in loving relationships with other people and with God.
In delusion disorder it is apparent that one wishes to be important and that is the main issue involved here. Even in persecutory delusion the individual must have construed himself as very important, for other people to live to want to harm him. If all people are out to get one, one must be very important. If all men want to rape a woman then she must fancy her self, ego and body, very desirable. All these are of course delusional for not all people are out to kill one or rape a woman.
In anxiety disorder one must be very important for bad things to happen to one. The anxious neurotic generally has inflated self concept and self image and those false superior self conflicts with the reality of his ordinariness. The neurotic wants to actualize his imaginary ideal self concept, whereas the normal person wants to actualize his real self and is thus more likely to succeed than the neurotic trying to make the impossible self possible. (See Abraham Maslow, 1970.)
Only trust in God to protect one is realistic for by ourselves we do not have the power to do anything, not even to change the color of our hair.

It seems apparent that in all mental and personality disorders that there is inflated self concept. Consider the narcissistic personality with his grandiose self concept and belief that other people ought to see him as special and worthy of admiration. The narcissist feels inferior and masks his underlying sense of inadequacy and worthlessness with his outward sense of importance.
It seems apparent that if the individual shrinks his self concept to normal proportions, sees himself as not different from other people, is the same and equal with all people that he would not be prone to mental disorders, particularly if he also loves all people and forgives, as much as impossible, those who do bad things.
(I do not see how one can have total forgiveness for evil doers, as A course in miracles advocates; that would mean forgiving murderers, rapists, pedophiles, thieves etc. If we forgave them, overlooked their heinous behaviors with the idea that they did nothing, or that what they did was done in a dreamland has not happened hence over look their behavior to see their innocent Christ self, as the Course advocates, then we would be responsible for pedophiles etc running around and raping children. That is socially intolerable, so we must arrest and jail these people who harm other people. Much as one appreciates the philosophy of not punishing bad people, as the course teaches, one does not see how we can live on earth and not punish evil doers.
It should also be noted that if one forgives evil persons that forgiveness does not guarantee that they would no longer be evil. Jesus Christ forgave the world two thousand years ago but there are still evil people on earth who are still killing each other despite his forgiving them. If you forgive a murderer he could still murder other people and that is not desirable, for even if this world is a dream, folks ought to have happy dreams where they love one another rather than harm one another.
I must, however, observe that if one wants to exit this world that one can forgive all people. You can forgive your murderer, as Jesus did, and move on to other worlds. You would be saying that you do not want to defend your life in body. That would return you to life in bodiless, formless spirit.
Still that fact does not detract from the fact that for those living in this world the forgiven murderer could still be a threat to them hence their need to arrest and incarcerate him. As long as folks want to be in this world they must not have blanket forgiveness as their policy, they must punish evil doers, in the least, put them in jail and while in jail teach them to love and care for all people. I see nothing wrong with my death and other people’s death. I do not fear death. Therefore, a murderer ought to be killed, as in capital punishment, to prevent him from murdering other people. He should be killed not because one fears death and want him not to kill one but because he has no business running around killing those who want to live in body.
If you say that the murdered chose to be killed by the murderer, okay, the killed murderer chose to be killed by society.)

As one sees it, mental illness seems a sign of evil, wickedness and hatred of people. It seems that Dr Schucman is in the right direction when she claims that we came to this world to live the opposite of love, that we came here to experience hate. As she sees it, we hate God, hate other people and hate our real selves. We came here to destroy oneness, love and union so as to live as special separated selves. In effect, we live on earth because we are evil and that our evil desires account for our mental illness. The mentally ill have evil desires; they do not love their real selves, do not love other people’s real selves and do not love God. Our real self is unified spirit. Hatred of unified spirit and preference for separated existence in bodies seems to be at the root of mental illness.


The thesis that mental illness may be rooted in evil and wicked thinking and behaving has implication for our efforts to heal the mentally ill. So far, we attempt to heal them through talk based therapies that see them as victims or through medications that assume that there is something wrong with their bodies. Clearly, neither conventional psychotherapy nor pharmacotherapy has healed the mentally ill (reduce their symptoms yes, heal them, no).
The implications for psychotherapy are that to heal people we have to inject religion and spirituality into therapy.
True religion is not the elaborate ceremonies seen at churches. True religion is any effort to reconnect people to their source, their creator. True religion is that which teaches us to love one another and love our creator, God.
A Course in miracles talks about the Holy Spirit as the true psychotherapist (see Psychotherapy, its meaning and purpose, a track that applies the teachings of the Course to psychotherapy).
From a practical point of view what seems salient is that when we deliberately accept our true self: unified spirit self, Holy self, Christ, Buddha self, Krishna self, Atman, Chi, call it what you like, provided that you mean by your term a self that sees itself as unified with all selves and at base spirit, not body, although temporarily having physical experience, when we accept that unified spirit self and see all selves as parts of us and love all of them, as we love ourselves and work for our common social good (what Adler called social interest) we tend to be peaceful and happy.
In other words, good psychotherapy, in addition to what secular therapists do with their clients, and the medications they give them, must include efforts to reconnect folks to their creator and to all people.
Spiritual aspects of man must be addressed if man is to be healed. Spiritual psychology and psychotherapy must complement secular psychology and psychotherapy. This seems to be the only way that we are going to be able to heal the mentally ill.

Mental illness, among other things, lies in a choice not to love and care for other people, not to work for our common good, but to work only for ones self and to seem better than other people. These choices are then reflected in people’s bodies, particularly their nervous systems, thus disguising their root in their thinking, in their minds.
Mental health lies in working for the common good, and in loving all human beings, black and white, man, woman and children and in seeing them all as the same and equal and unified as one.


So far, psychotherapy sees the mentally ill as a victim of either his body or society or both. Psychotherapists tend to see their patients and clients as victims, as good people unto whom bad things happen, bad things in the nature of inherited problematic bodies and or bad social experiences.
Clearly, some persons do inherit problematic bodies and or are affected by adverse social circumstances. There are people born with medical disorders that cause them pain and make them suffer. There are people born in abusive families and suffer. Thus, there is some truth in the liberal environmental position that external factors contribute to mental illness.
However, human begins are also choice making creatures. They can choose to seem big and act as if they are big. In pursuit of their imaginary superior self they tend to harm other people. Harming other people is an evil and wicked behavior.
Attributing their harm of others to mental illness is not enough explanation. To say that Adolf Hitler was paranoid and in pursuit of his paranoid goals for grandeur killed millions of people are only a partial explanation. The real explanation is why he chose to pursue a grandiose self. He may have inherited a problematic body that made him feel inferior and he tried to compensate with false superiority.
In addition to that, however, is the possibility that we are all unified in God and in God feel complete, perfect , worthy, adequate and worthwhile, and that when we separate from God, from eternal union, we felt incomplete, imperfect, worthless, valueless, inferior, little etc. We then seek completion in ego terms, in making ourselves seem important in other people’s eyes.

In the light of spiritual psychology, the only thing that can make us complete, perfect, whole, adequate, worthwhile, give us positive self esteem etc is for us to relinquish our desire for separated self, for us to give up the grandiose superior self concepts and images we made for ourselves and embrace our real self, which is unified self. We must return to the awareness of our unified spirit self. We must love one another. We must accept God as our creator and give up the illusion that we created ourselves. We cannot create ourselves; the whole, God, created the part, us.
When we love one another and, as much as is possible, forgive one another our evils and seek ways to correct our evils, not just forgive them but correct them, so that we live mostly loving lives, we tend to be peaceful and happy.

Peace, happiness and joy presuppose each other; where one is the other is. If you are peaceful you are happy and if you are happy and joyous you are peaceful. Conversely, where there is no pace there is no joy and happiness.
Peace is found only in loving relationships with all people and with our creator, God.
To heal the mentally ill we must teach them to love all people, love themselves and love God; we must teach them to love our unified spirit self and to work for our common social goals.
This teaching cannot just be at the intellectual level. The therapist, which is all of us, must teach the client, which is all of us, to love. We are each others teachers and students.
We must teach by example. The therapist must be a totally loving and forgiving person. A loving and forgiving person is a person who does not hold grievances and grudges for evils other people do to him. A person who does not seek vengeance for the wrongs the world did to him tends to be a peaceful and happy person.
The best therapist is a peaceful, happy, just and loving person. He teaches his clients to do what he does, not just what he says they should do.
In the final analysis, psychotherapy, it seems to me, must embrace spirituality to be of real therapeutic value to its clients. Emphasizing only secular, scientific psychotherapy is not enough, it is only a beginning. We must mix secular and spiritual psychotherapies if we want to truly heal mental ill people.
But we must fully understand who is to be healed, who has mental illness. The mentally ill is a person who separates from other people, who does not love his real, self, other people’s real selves and God; a person who does hurtful, evil and wicked things to other people. He is healed when he does only loving (joining) things towards all people.


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

Posted by Administrator at 08:53 AM | Comments (0)

Igbos Must Heal their Tendency to Jealousy

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- One of the sad aspects of human beings is that they tend to want to hear mostly nice things said about them and resent those who point out their negative traits. The bad news bearer is always resented by the broad masses of humanity.

Nevertheless, we, the observers of humanity as they are, not as they think that they are, must state the truth as we see it, and take our abuses from those who misperceive our altruistic intentions to help improve humanity.

I am an Igbo. I have all that is good and bad in Igbos in my characterological make up. Therefore, whatever I see in Igbos I see in me. I am not a neurotic who sees something bad in him, denies it or dissociates from it, and projects it to other people. I fully accept that what I see in others I see in me.

I see Igbos as very competitive. Their culture rewards those who compete effectively and win in competitions. As a result of the competitive nature of Igbo culture, all Igbo wants to win, for each of them knows that if he fails that his culture would see him as no good and possibly reject him.

(When I was in school, if I made second in my class, my father chewed me out. Since I attended school with Hausas, Yoruba’s and other Nigerians at Lagos, father would say: how come you permitted an awusa boy, Nnama, to beat you? A Hausa boy, Bashiru Aminu was always making first in my classes. Father called me anuohia etc. Father, like most Igbos of his generation, believed that Igbos are special and better than other people; he simply could not accept the obvious fact that Hausas are as smart as any one else. The fact is that all human beings, white or black, Igbo or Hausa or Yoruba or Edo or Efik or Ijaw, man or woman, are the same and are equal.)

You get the point; Igbo culture expects all Igbos to excel in whatever they are doing and does not countenance failures. We sing praises to our winners and vilify losers. We heap positive reinforcements and rewards on winners and ignore, even shame losers.

The consequence is that most Igbos are afraid of losing. To loose is to loose social face and to be rejected.

Many Igbos, therefore, tend to envy those who seem like they are winners. In fact, many Igbos cannot stand winners.

Igbos tend to be jealous of winners and if they could would do everything in their power to bring winners down.

The least they do is make negative comments about those who seem to be productive, such as say: oh, he is merely writing about his field; he is not doing much; any one can write about his field; why should we see him as making significant contribution?

(Okay, why don’t you write about your field and share knowledge instead of hoarding it? Let us see what you are made of, what you got?)

The Igbo seeks ways to be like winners, and if he cannot, he tries to pull them down or desecrates them or rationalizes their efforts as not a big deal.

This jealously trait in Igbos tends to be obvious to non-Igbos. I think that it is time Igbos are conscious of this negative trait in them and work to overcome it.

(I am aware that what I see in Igbos also exist in other ethnic groups, indeed, in all human beings, in varying degrees. But I am currently focusing on Igbos, not on these other people.)

There is no use denying the obvious. One must accept ones good and bad. Igbos, obviously, have lots of good…they are probably one of the hardest working folks in the world…but, like all human beings, Igbos have their character weaknesses. Jealousy is one of their foibles and they must accept it and work to overcome it.

Thank you for developing insight into your true motivation, for accentuating your strength and working to improve your weakness without denying it.

· I made these observations in the spirit of helping our people, Igbos. I am also aware that those who want me to sing only praises to Igbos will see what I said as derogatory of Igbos. These people are entitled to project their self hatred to me. I am an Igbo and I love Igbos. One strives to improve those one loves. One way to improve ones loved ones are to tell them to improve on their weaknesses. Any one who loves other people does not ignore their negative aspects.

· Finally, a healthy person rejoices with all human beings, with winners and losers and does his best to help every person to succeed in whatever his calling is, rather than try to pull him down. If you rejoice with other people’s success you tend to be peaceful and happy, whereas if you envy other people and work towards their failing, you tend to be unhappy.

· What do you want: happiness or unhappiness? You know what you have to do for happiness.

Ozodi Thomas Osuji

Posted by Administrator at 08:46 AM | Comments (0)

The Two Levels of Ego Defenses

Defense of Animal State and Defense of the Wished for Ideal Ego by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- There are two levels at which we defend ourselves. The first level is the animal level. This level we share with all other animals. Here, we identify with our bodies, as who we are, and perceive threats to them and defend against them.

All animals attempt to defend their bodies when threatened. If you surprise a mouse it would run away. It runs away to protect its life. This level of self defense is built into the body and operates instinctively. It operates involuntarily. If you walk into a dark kitchen and switch on the electric light, if there are cockroaches on the counter they would scamper away. They did so from an involuntary understanding that you could kill them. They ran to go protect their lives. Apparently, they want to live and running from you is a means of making sure that they live to see another day.
(Why do cockroaches want to live, one may ask? Considering that they are a nuisance to people, people would wish that they did not live? Good question. Let us ask the real question that was redirected to cockroaches: why do people want to live, considering that, like cockroaches, all they are doing is surviving for however long they could then die and rot and are forgotten. Why do people want to live? Perhaps, they want to live because they are wired to desire to live? Who wired them so? Who placed in them the desire for survival at all costs? They do not know? Evolutionist biologists postulate that the desire for survival is inherent in animals but they do not explain why that desire is desired. Biology and the physical sciences, does not answer why but how questions, leaving why or existential questions still begging for answer.)
Unlike animals (?) human beings individually construct self concepts and self images. Each of us has an idea of who he thinks that he is. Apparently, the self concept is constructed from the individual’s inherited biological constitution and early childhood experiences. It is set by certain age, certainly no later than age twelve. (See George Kelly, Personality as Personal Constructs.)
Each human being, in addition to struggling to defend his body, struggles to defend his self concept and self image. Whereas the defense of the physical self is largely unconscious and involuntary, the defense of the psychological self, the self concept, is conscious.
Each of us is aware of himself as a certain type of person and defends that self concept and its pictorial form, the self image. If he perceives threat to that self concept and self image he defends against the threat. If a proud person, for example, perceives another person as insulting him he could defend his mighty self concept by fighting, even killing that person. In defeating the person he believes humiliated him, he maintains his prideful self concept.

There are difference in how people’s self concepts are and how they defend them. The majority of mankind can be construed as normal persons. They tend to have normal self concepts, that is, they have normal psychological selves. Their self concepts are slightly more conscious than animal state. They, in fact, may not be consciously aware that they have separate selves that they are defending. They go about, like animals, seeking food, shelter and clothing to defend their physical existence. They are not at war with their fellow human beings; they are at relative peace with other people. They only defend themselves when something attacks their bodies or prevent them from getting the means to support their bodies.
Unlike normal persons, there are neurotics. The neurotic generally posits an ideal self concept and defends it. Generally, he sees his physical self, his animal self, as not good enough. He uses his mind (thinking, imagination) to construct a different self concept, one that seems everything that the animal self is not. Generally, he posits a perfect ideal self and wishes to become it. (See Karen Horney, Neurosis and Human Growth; Alfred Adler, The Neurotic Constitution.).
The neurotic posits an ideal superior self and strives to become that false but ideal superior self. He is not that ideal superior self but he acts as if he is that self. Much of his motivation in life is to approximate the ideal but false self.
Since the ideal self wants to be superior he generally works hard to succeed and seem superior. He may even make it to become the head of state of his country, for that position would seem to make him seem superior to other people. Indeed, when the world is unified, as it would soon be, and a president of the world position is created, the neurotic would like to become the president of the world, for that would seem to gratify his craving for superiority and power.
Alas, even if the neurotic becomes the president of the universe, he would still feel inferior, for no amount of external position would make an inferior feeling person feel superior.

The psychotic begins out like the neurotic, seeking an ideal superior self. At some point, generally during his late adolescent years, he convinces himself that he is his ideal self. He goes from mere wishes to believing that he is what he desires, and now believes that he is the most superior person on earth. Thus, the schizophrenic, the manic and delusional believes himself superior to other people.
The psychotic lives in the world of fantasy and believe what is not true as true; they also hallucinate in one, or more, of the five senses.
All of us are the same and are equal and whoever believes himself superior to other people is not operating in the world of reality, and is insane.
Psychotics are few in number, no more than three percent of the human population, and tend to drop out of society and are unproductive.
Neurotics tend to be more in number, perhaps seven percent of the human population. Normal persons tend to constitute the ninety percent balance of the human population.
Considering that neurotics tend to be productive and at the same time destructive persons (they are single handedly responsible for much of human destructiveness, such as Hitler, Stalin etc) we must pay attention to them; As Freud said, we must understand neurotics, for they are all of us writ large. In understanding persons who exaggerate certain traits found in all of us we come to understand ourselves better.
The normal person is not entirely free from neurosis. In a manner of speaking, the normal person is a small neurotic, for, at some level, he, too, has a psychological self that wants to seem ideal and superior and he defends it, but he is generally not aware of seeking an ideal superior self. As it were, the normal person’s desire for ego ideals and superiority is unconscious, but that desire is still there, nevertheless.

As noted, neurotics include all human beings but for analytical purposes are those persons with what we now call personality disorders: paranoid, schizoid, schizotypal, narcissistic, histrionic, borderline, antisocial, avoidant, dependent, obsessive-compulsive and passive aggressive personal disorders. See DSM 1V, section on Personality Disorders.
The neurotic, during childhood, posits an ideal self concept and an ideal self image and wants to become that idealized concept and image of himself. He uses the various ego defenses to defend his desired ego self.
(Some of the ego defenses are repression, suppression, denial, dissociation, projection, displacement, rationalization, intellectualization, reaction-formation, sublimation, avoidance, fantasy, fear, anger, shame, pride, minimizing, blaming and so on. See DSM 1V, section on ego defenses.
The neurotic wants to be ideal. He uses the ego defenses for neurotics to defend their idealized self concepts and self images. The ego defenses, in effect, exist to defend his idealized selves.
If the neurotic, all of us, in degrees, did not have an idealized self he would not be ego defensive, he would merely defend his physical self involuntarily and instinctively, like animals do.
What distinguishes human beings from animals is that whereas animals only defend their physical bodies, human beings defend both their physical bodies and psychological selves.

The ego ideal is a mental construct; it is not tangible and does not exist apart from the mind that constructed it. It is solely in the mind of the thinking person. It can not be seen and or touched; it is subjective, and it is whatever the thinker thinks that it is.
The mentally constructed ideal self is not real. Unreal or not, the individual devotes his life to protecting and defending his self concept. If you insulted a proud neurotic he could kill you in a fit of rage; he does so to protect and defend his sense of being powerful, important and worthwhile.
Much of human conflicts are a result of folk’s efforts to protect their psychological selves, their ego ideals. We kill each other in efforts to protect our imaginary important, ideal selves.
As long as the individual seeks to become an ego ideal, a superior self (I am conflating and redacting the psychological theories of Adler and Horney) he must live in fear of not being his imaginary perfect self.
The neurotic lives in perpetual tension and anxiety, for he fears not being his idealized superior self. He has neurotic anxiety disorder.
To be neurotic is to be anxious, from constant fear of not becoming ones ideal superior self in ones own eyes and in other peoples eyes (one and other people’s eyes are the same).


In therapy, if the neurotic is persuaded to give up pursuit of his ideal self, to not want to be an ideal superior self and simply accept his animal self, his anxiety level tends to become normal. He will still have fear of harm and death, for, like all animals, he still craves to live in his body, and body is vulnerable and fears what could harm or destroy it. But his anxiety level would be reduced. He would feel like he has been immersed in a bathtub full of cool water on a hot summer day. He would feel peaceful and happy.
The first order of business in psychotherapy is to persuade the neurotic to give up pursuit of his obsessive-compulsive desire to be somebody special. If this is successful, he relaxes his body and becomes less anxious. As noted, his anxiety is not totally eliminated.
To live in body is to have some level of fear. It is fear that alerts us to threats to our bodies and enables us to run or fight back. Without fear, it is doubtful that any animal, human beings included, can survive in this world.
Even the most seemingly bold antisocial personality (they tend to have less fear than normal persons) at some level is very fearful. The criminal runs if a gun is pointed at him. Whereas he may intimidate others with a gun, if others point a gun at him he runs. That is to say that he, too, at some level, has fear.
Fear is necessary for survival as a physical organism. All animals feel pain hence fear. Animals born without the capacity for pain hence fearless tend to die young, for they tend to be reckless and injure their bodies and their bodies die from such injuries.
Some religions tell people to give up all fear. A course in miracles essentially teaches their student that since fear is what maintains the body that to return to the awareness of spirit, a non-physical self that the individual must give up attachment to body and the fear that maintains body attachment. It tells people to see themselves as not their bodies and to not defend their bodies when they are attacked.
A Course in miracles teaches defenselessness via forgiveness. If other people attack your body, deny that you are a body, that is, overlook their attack, even if they killed you. This is what Jesus allegedly did: he denied that he is his body hence did not defend it when it was crucified; that he identified with his spirit self hence was able to see those who killed him as doing nothing.
Body is valueless, nothing, and to destroy it is to destroy the valueless, to do nothing important. Jesus’ real self, spirit was not destroyed, and since he was not really harmed he did not see why he should be angry at those who killed him. He did not feel persecuted by those who killed him. In a way, he felt grateful to them for speeding up his return to spirit awareness.
(I have always marveled at persons who enjoy their bodies, particularly the bodily act of sex. The very act repulses me. Just looking at human genitals and what folks do with them makes me nauseated. Sex reminds me of our animal nature and I did not want to be an animal; I had always wanted to transcend my animal status. This desire to be spirit, in confused neurotic terms, to be an ego ideal self, has been in my conscious awareness since I was age six.)
All these seem logically true but the fact remains that if a person wants to live in body, he must feel pain and fear to be able to live in body.
If a person gives up fear he would not defend himself and, like Jesus, would die. (Since we are not aware that there is another world to go to when we die, the dead person will sort that out when he is dead. If there is no life after death, he loses, but if there is life after death, he lost nothing by being defenseless and permitting other people to kill him without fighting to defend his physical life, as all animals do.)

For our present purposes, what I want to emphasize is that ego defenses are primarily used to defend the ego ideal and that when the individual gives up questing for ego ideal and stops defending that imaginary self that he tends to reduce his neurotic anxiety and henceforth only experience animal fear, a reduced level of fear feeling, a better level of fearfulness, for to live in fear is to live in hell.

The call on the neurotic to give up his ego ideal is easier said than done. He constructed the ego ideal for a reason and that reason still remains. He generally inherited a body prone to pain (may be due to some medical disorder). He feels easily pained and therefore feels inadequate to the challenges of living on an impersonal world. In childhood his pain and inability to do what his environment demands of him for survival made him feel inadequate and inferior and he reacted with a psychological desire for power and superiority. The quest for superiority and ego ideal is not something that came out of the fluke; biological and sociological factors caused it and as long as those factors remain present the neurotic is not likely to give up his ego idea hence is not likely to stop defending it.
Consider black Americans. They are in an environment where the dominant population, white folks told them that they are inferior. Many of them construct ego ideals that want to seem superior and important. They then defend their ego ideals. Many of them tend to be neurotic (paranoid personalities, delusional disorders). Their society is primarily responsible for their construction of ego ideals and defense of those false ideal selves and consequent living in anxiety (which contributes to their shortened life span, 62 years, whereas more relaxed whites easily life to be 80 years or more.)
Children who inherited medical disorders that make them feel weak tend to construct ego ideals to compensate for their physical inferiority feeling. As long as they feel physically weak they find it difficult to give up their ego ideals.

The pursuit of superior self, ideal self, is the most difficult thing to give up. Yet one must strive to give it up considering the pay off from giving it up. One feels physically and psychologically relaxed and peaceful and happy. One has less anxiety (one now only has animal fear that defends ones body and one is now more able to devote ones energies to studying to acquire a reasonable profession that puts food on ones table; neurotic anxiety preoccupies the individual’s mind that he finds his mind less able to concentrate on studies and work that earn him a reasonable living.)


The individual, during childhood, feels that his body is not good enough and by generalization that he is not good enough. He sees himself living in a society that approves people who seem good. He wants to be liked by people (society), so, he hides his no good self and constructs an ideal good self and try to become that ideal good self and present it to other people to accept.
Once constructed, the neurotic speaks and behaves from his false ideal self. But since the ideal good self is a false self it can only be pretended to be real. The person trying to be an ideal self, the neurotic, is always pretending to be whom he is not.
Appreciating that what is pretended is not real, the neurotic is afraid to show that ideal good self to society lest they see that it is false and make fun of him. Thus, he stays in the background, not participating fully in society (avoidant personality) or actively participates in society by pretending to be his ideal self (paranoid personality).
One may ask: why does the neurotic not just be the animal self and leave it at that; why pretend to be a false ideal self?
The answer to this question is that it is part of human nature to seek ideals and to sometimes pretend to be ideals when ideals are not available. Those ideals are then defended with ego defenses.
Ego defenses do not defend the real self (spirit self) and do not defend the animal self; they defend the false neurotic ideal self. One must give up trying to be an ego ideal self and give up defending that non- existent ideal self.
The reward for doing so is somatic relaxation and psychological peace and happiness. The goal of psychotherapy for the neurotic is to help him work at giving up his ego ideals and just living as his animal self with its minimal fear, anger and other human emotions.


The ego ideal self invents its own ideal standards and ideal everything. It looks at real human beings, sees their faults relative to its ego ideals and comes up with imaginary idealized behaviors that they should have. It then uses those imaginary standards to judge real people.


The neurotic ego ideal is always judgmental, it constantly judges the real self with its false ideal standards, and naturally finds the real self wanting. This way the ideal self makes sure that the person who adheres to it is always unhappy. The neurotic is always an unhappy person and makes those around him unhappy because he is always judging himself and other people with ideal standards that do not exist in the real world.


Everything one does from the perspective of the ego ideal is wrong. This is so because the ego ideal is a false self and is not a real self. The ego ideal is like one standing outside the self and looking into the self and seeing its faults and trying to correct those faults from the outside. You can only correct the faults of the self from inside the self. The imaginary self cannot understand the real self, nor can it change the real self.


The neurotic’s dogged desire to transform himself, other people and the institutions of this world, if not the physical world, too, to his conception of what they should become, ideal, is, actually, an escape from the real world.
The neurotic is trying not to cope with reality as it is, but instead to make it what it should become. He uses his thinking and imagination to come up with how he should be and behave and how other people should be and behave and how society should be organized; all these are ideas in his mind and are not real; they are mental constructs and are devoid of the limitations imposed by the reality of space, time and matter.
In our imaginations we can visualize how things ought to be beautiful but the fact is that in the real world the nature of matter and energy imposes limitations on how things could become.
Consider our bodies. We want them to remain young and beautiful and not age and die. But the fact is that we live on planet earth, a planet cycling around the sun at great speed. The earth is always in constant motion. Because it is moving, it exercises pressures on our bodies and necessarily wears them down.
If the planet were stagnant conceivably our bodies would remain static and not age, but in a moving world, our bodies must age and eventually die.
Death is built into the reality of our bodies. With good nutrition, medication and good living, we can prolong our bodies, say, to 120 years, but it is doubtful that our bodies can live forever.
The reality of matter, space and time determines the aging and death of our bodies, despite anything that we might wish.
Even our light bodies (seen in near death experience) are composed of subtle matter, photons, and, as such, must eventually decay and decompose and die.
Only the non-physical can exist, as it is, forever. Whatever is in physical form, in body, gross or light body, must eventually decay and die, our wishes for permanency in physical form not withstanding.

Wishing for ego ideals, while understandable, is really an attempt to escape from physical reality. It is a futile attempt to negate the realities of space time and matter and live in a wished for ideal world. It is doing what some unrealistic religions, such as Hinduism and A Course in Miracles do, negate the world and escape into a fantasy version of it, a fantasy that could never come into being.
Those who negate the real world do not do what they have to do to adapt to it and end up living in poverty. Hindus tended to live in poverty until they recently embraced the world of science and technology and their life styles are now improving. New age religionists, such as students of A course in miracles, do not do what they have to do to adapt to this world’s reality and end up living in poverty, and the little money they irk from whatever jobs they do, half heartedly, their religious leaders take from them by asking them to attend their unending seminars and workshops on how to understand their nonsensical conceptions of reality.


The idealist actually derives false power, divine power, to change himself, change other people, change social institutions and change the world and make them over into whatever he wants them to become. This is one of the reasons why it is difficult to persuade the idealist to give up his dreamy nature and embrace realism that merely studies what is, as it is; the idealist enjoys false power to make of reality whatever he likes it to become in his mind.
The paranoid neurotic called Hitler, an idealist, in his thinking mind changed reality and people into whatever he wanted them to become and tried to make them to become as he wanted them to become and in the process wrought havoc on humanity. For example, he believed that this or that group are inferior to his German group; of course, he was wrong for in reality all people are the same and are equal although some are backward in material development. He wanted to translate his fantasies into reality by killing those he imagined are inferior to himself and his German people.
Because wishful thinking, which is what ego idealism is all about, gives the idealist imaginary power, he does not want to give up his wishing for things to be as he wants them to become; he derives false sense of power from wishing that reality suit his imagination.
The scientific realist merely studies phenomena as it is and manipulates it with technology and does not feel powerful; in fact, he is often overwhelmed by the awesome power of nature (such as earthquakes that open up the earth and swallow thousands of people).


The idealist perceives his body as problematic and social institutions as problematic and uses his thinking and imagination to come up with alternative ideal alternatives to them. Unfortunately, what he comes up with are mentalistic and not realistic to the laws of space, time and matter. His idealism is not going to replace reality.
Socialism, an idealistic political and economic ideology that visualizes an equalitarian society where wealth is shared equally, a philosophy that wants to replace our unequal economic and political power distribution is mentalistic and cannot operate in the real world of social competition where some win and other lose out. Socialism is a neurotic idealistic conception of reality and is not ever going to come into being. Only economic realism, mixed economy, capitalism with some socialistic aspects to it, will succeed in this tough, dog eat dog world.
(Socialists, like all neurotics derive false sense of power, godlike power, from their infantile wishes to make of reality what they want of it rather than accept it as it is, that they are not always willing to give up their socialism. To give up their socialist idealism would make them feel powerless and defeated. Yet, eventually they must accept their powerlessness if they are to deal with reality objectively. In the meantime, let old socialists be in their power tripping and do not ague with them; just as you should not argue with a neurotic and other mad person.)


Life on earth may be ugly but that is all we have. We do not need to negate it and flee into impossible idealistic alternatives to it.
At any rate, just because one wishes for a bed of roses does not mean that a bed of roses will replace the crown of thorns that is our lot on earth.
Actually, judging life on earth as either good or bad, as we tend to do, is a faulty methodological approach to reality. Life on earth, properly put, is neither good nor bad, it is what it is. Life is and the rest are opinions on what it is or should be.
The most heroic approach to life is to face it the way it is, not the way one wants it to become.
The most heroic attitude to life on earth is the scientific method. Here, folks study the world as it is and address it with a technology to master it, a technology that obeys its laws. Folks accept the limitations of life and attempt to make the most of their lives on earth. They do their best to adapt to the world and live fully on earth, accepting the limitations imposed by space, time and matter. When they have done their best to understand life on earth and lived fully, they die, without regretting anything. They exit from this world having done their best to making living on earth as pleasurable as is possible for all those they leave behind them and those who come to the world in the future.
Science and technology, I believe, is the best thing that human beings have done since they have appeared on planet earth. I insist that every person study mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology and the other physical sciences. Religion, philosophy and metaphysics may be useful but if they dispose folks to negate and escape from this world they are wrong.


It is clear that upon birth on planet earth some force in children invent (1) an animal self, (2) a social self and (3) an ideal self for them. That agent first appraises us as animals and invents an animal self for each of us, the self that sees itself as an animal and identifies with body. Where the inherited body is relatively healthy and is able to adapt to the exigencies of this world the animal self is pretty much normal.
Where the inherited animal body is relatively problematic, such as have medical disorders, the animal self is unable to do what the person needs to do to adapt to this world.
The force in the individual appreciates the social conditions that the individual is born into and knows that it must invent a social self for him, one that does what other people approves.
We are social creatures and must do what other members of society approve or else they would not accept us. No society on earth approves its children in what Carl Rogers (Client Centered Therapy) calls unconditional positive manner. Most societies approve their children mostly only when they do what they approve, which is what society and its culture thinks would enable the individual and society to survive the rigors of their impersonal environment.
Generally, the child who is more able to do what his culture needs to survive, work hard, excel at school, sports, work, interpersonal relationships etc is positively reinforced. Most societies reward those who help them survive. Therefore, the force in us invents a social self that society would approve. Each of us has a social self.
The ideal self is always a variant of the social self; it is the social self exaggerated. It is when a child is unable to do what his society would approve and he fears social rejection and social abandonment, fears that he would be left to die if he is not approved by his society that the creative force in him or her invents an idealized social self, the neurotic self, and in the worst case scenario, the psychotic self.
The neurotic ideal self is that self that if one is it one thinks that a conditionally accepting society would approve one. This is not the actual self but the neurotic tries to actualize it.
As Horney pointed out, the normal person tries to actualize his normal self but the neurotic tries to actualize his false ideal self and in the process lives in perpetual anxiety, for he is trying to make the unreal self seem real.
The neurotic is bound to fail; he is engaged in a futile battle, to make the unreal seem real. As Abraham Maslow pointed out, only those who try to actualize their real selves, not their imaginary ideal selves, become productive persons.
The psychotic is already defeated for he rejects the real self and lives as an imaginary ideal world and cannot be productive. He even has to be fed by other people, for his ideal mental self does not cope with the exigencies of the real world, the world of space, time and matter; he lives in an imaginary fantasy land where things are what the individual wants them to be.

My question is this; what is it in us that invent the various selves: animal self, social self and ideal self?
Biological psychology suggests that the self in us is epiphenomenal, is a product of the biochemical and biophysical processes in our brains. As it sees it, somehow, particles, atoms and elements in our brains interact to produce our sense of self.
I think that there is a non-physical self in all animals, what I call the spirit-self in animal body that invents the various selves we have.
I think that we came into this world with that spirit self. I do not fully understand the nature of the spirit self, but let it just be observed that philosophically I accept the hypothesis that there is a non-material force in animals that upon identifying with animal body invents their selves for them.
Religion and metaphysics explores the nature of that inventive self. A course in miracles, in a poetic manner, explored the nature of that real self. I have done some exploring of the nature of that self in other writings.
For now, all I need to postulate is that there is a spirit, non-material self in animals that invent their selves. That spirit self is not the various selves it invents for animal organisms. The spirit self is not the animal self and is not the social self and is not the ideal self (not the neurotic and or psychotic self).
The spirit self is always outside the selves it invents for us. As it were, it tries to use the various selves it invented for us to adapt to the tough exigencies of this world and some of them are more effective in adapting to this world than others. Obviously, the normal self is better than the psychotic self.
When we die our various invented selves die. What seems to live after we die is the inventor itself.
That inventor also invents a light bodily self for us, the self seen in near death and out of body experiences (that self, though ultimately is as illusory as the bodily self we have on earth, exists; I have had out of body experiences where I saw myself in pure light form; that form is like my current self but totally without solidity).
Eventually the light body-self itself dissolves, for it is composed of pure light particles, photons, and is bound to dissolve.
What remains is a formless spirit self, a self without physical dimension, the self that is unified with all selves as one self; this self is what the various religions call God and his children, what I have called the unified spirit self, infinite in numbers but all sharing one self and one mind, each in each other.
I must, however, add that what I said in this section is mere metaphoric expression of truth and not the truth itself. No one can express the truth of God in words and concepts. God and his world are non-conceptual.
Conceptual thinking can only take place in the divided, separated world of space, time and matter, in our world, the world of the separated selves, the world of ego and ego intellection. (All I have done here is engage in ego intellection; I did not explain the world of God. Ego intellection, however, can be so purified, cleansed and refined that it can bring one to the gate of heaven bring one near to God and if one keeps quiet, perhaps, God can reveal himself to one, and one can then experience God.)
The world of God is the world of perfect sameness, equality and union; the infinite parts of God, if you like, the infinite children of God are one with him.
Our type of thinking cannot understand the unified world of God. Therefore, none of us can explain God with our conceptual categories. All illuminated and enlightened persons know that to know God that one must stop all conceptual thinking, keep quiet and let God reveal his nature to ones open mind, a mind swept clean of all apriori thoughts of who God and his children are in fact.
Our true self, which is spirit, cannot be understood by our conceptual thinking and we must, as Buddha recognized, stop thinking, stop our ego chattering and simply learn to love and forgive one another and ask God, who is life, to reveal its true self to us when it wants to.
And when that oneness experience is experienced one cannot explain it in our ego intellectual categories. How can you explain knowing that you are all things and at the same time a part of infinite things? How can you explain knowing that you know everything, is eternal, is unified with all things, that there is no you and not you, no seer and seen, no subject and object?
You cannot explain eternity, for the very process of explaining implies that there is an other person that is not you that you re explaining something that is not you to; a contradiction of the very experience where everything is simultaneously itself and you. You keep quiet and smile at those pretending to explain God; you are amused by, say, the Catholic pope and his princes, cardinals pretending that know something relevant about God; they don’t. Those who know keep quiet; those who do not know talk about what they do not know, God.


Each of us has two levels of self, the animal self and the social self. The social self is often exaggerated into an ideal self in neurotics and psychotics.
The animal self feels fear and uses fear to protect its physical survival. This level of fear is tolerable for it is largely felt unconsciously, involuntarily and instinctively.
The social cum ideal self is felt at the conscious level and its fear is felt consciously. Its fear is fear of not becoming the idealized social self. This is the level of normal social self and neurotic and or psychotic self. In neurosis, the individual wants to become the idealized self and feels enormous anxiety from fear of not becoming it. In psychosis, anxiety is reduced by the individual pretending that he is already his wished for deluded ideal self.
The social and ideal selves are false and must be jettisoned. When the individual lets go of his desire for a social ideal self he tends to become somatically relaxed and mentally at peace with himself and his world.
The purpose of psychotherapy, among other things, is to persuade the individual to extinguish his false ideal self and embrace his real self. When the individual lives from his real self, which in the phenomenal world is mostly his animal self plus the unknown spirit self in us, he tends to be peaceful and happy.
If you want to be tense and anxious cling to your mentally constructed ideal self and try to live through it, try to actualize a false neurotic self. If you want to be peaceful, happy and productive give up the false ideal self and live from your animal and spirit self. The choice is up to the individual.
However, I must observe that neurosis, that is, the desire to become an ideal self, is compulsive; the individual pursues his conception of the ideal self and ideal society and ideal everything as if an inner force pressures him to do so; it is as if he does not have the freedom to disobey that pressure and must obey it.
Neurosis and its compulsion for the individual to become ideal is a form of religion, a personal religion with its own god, a god that the neurotic feels compelled to obey, lest the ideal self, god, punishes him.
Simply stated, it is very difficult for the neurotic not to obey his inner demon urging him to be a false ideal self. The real work of psychotherapy is to empower neurotics to develop the courage to resist the urge to deny their real selves and strive after becoming false idea selves that they think that other people, society, and their idea of God would approve.
When a neurotic finally develops the courage to accept his real self, a true independent thinker is born.
Normal persons are not independent thinkers, if they do think at all; they just conform to their group’s norms. The neurotic is an outsider to his group but is struggling to do what he thinks would appease his group so that they accept him. When he gives up trying to please society and does things that make independent sense to him, he becomes a true thinker. He blesses the world with a different way of looking at phenomena, not the currently socially approved way, but an independent way. He may produce ideas that may change the world.
Because of the neurotic’s potential for blessing humanity with useful ideas, we cannot abandon him to pursue his ego ideals; we must do our best to redirect him to thinking realistically. We must help and encourage him to think outside the box, the social system …such persons usually do not do well in organized group environments, for example, universities, they tend not to conform to the staid, dependent society that is academia…and help us understand phenomena as it is, not as we presently think that it is.

Ozodi Thomas Osuji

March 23, 2006

Posted by Administrator at 08:38 AM | Comments (0)

Healing Human Relationships

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- Lately, I have been preoccupied with finding a new direction for my life. What used to give me a sense of direction no longer does so. Old professions no longer satisfy me. Thus, I muse: what should I do with the rest of my life?

This morning, at 5: AM, I woke up at the tail end of a dream. May be this dream sheds light on what my direction should be? Here is the dream.
I was standing by the edge of a bush with my youngest brother, Paul. He went into the bush to search for something. I vaguely recall that he went into a hut somewhere in the bush to search for whatever he was looking for. After he had not returned in the longest time, I became worried for him and decided to go to into the bush and search for him.
As I was about to step into the bush, low and behold, he came out. He showed me attached letters that read HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS and asked me what I think of them? I bit on one of the alphabets to make sure that the letters were made of solid material; actually, I did not know why I bit with my teeth into the letters.
Before I could say something else he snatched the letters from my hands and ran off with them. He ran to a fellow buying stuff from sellers.
I was some distance from the buyer, watching his transactions with sellers. Paul approached him and showed him the stringed up letters. I could not hear what transpired between them. Apparently, the guy bought Paul’s stringed letters and asked him to go behind to another man to receive something in return for his letters. He did and came out with a whole bunch of guitars and stockfish’s and was coming in my direction with these handful of goodies, and just as he got to me I woke up from the dream.
The dream seemed important enough that I wrote it down and began thinking about its import. I decided to go type it and try to analyze it while typing it. Here I am.

What does this dream mean? Obviously, it has something to do with human relationships and selling it and making some profit from it. Could it mean that I am supposed to sell information on human relationship and from so doing making a living, a handful of living? I think so.
But before we evaluate the particular import of this dream, let us look at dreams in general.
The dreamer obviously is the projector of everything that happens in his dream. In dreams, the dreamer is thinking and somehow manages to think in images. His dream is his thinking translated into pictorial form for him to see.
The dreamer projects out all the persons and things in his dream. The seeming external world of his dream is an illusion. That seeming outside world is in his mind, is his thinking, and is his ideas. The seeming external world and people and things in it are ideas in the dreamer’s mind, ideas he gives form to, so as to experience them as if they are, in fact, outside of his thinking. But they are not outside of his thinking.
Ideas leave not their source, says A Course in Miracles. Ideas may seem external but they are still in the dreamer’s mind.

A Course in Miracles teaches that the seeming solid world we live in is composed of ideas in our collective and individual minds. As it sees it, all of us are the collective one Son of God.
According to its ontology, a myth of creation, God extended himself into a Son and that Son extended himself to other sons, who, in turn, did the same thing. Ultimately, there are infinite children of God who are collectively as one son to him.
God extended himself to his sons. He knows that his sons are in his mind, properly put, that they are ideas in his mind.
God is an idea, the idea of the whole; God’s children are ideas, ideas of parts of the whole. The whole needs parts to exist and parts need the whole to exist. So, whole and parts are necessary existents. God and his children necessarily must exist together for without one the other cannot exist. Without his children God cannot be a father and cannot be called a creator and a non-creative God does not exist. God and his children have existed forever and ever. (We are dealing in metaphors, of course; do not take anything said here as literal truth.)
God and his children are one self; God and his children share one self and one mind. God is in his children’s minds and his children are in his mind. The children are also in each other’s minds.
There is no space and gap between God and his children. Where God ends and his Son begin is no where, and where one son of God ends and another begin is nowhere. God and his children, God and his creation are literally one self and one mind.

Clearly, God and his children could not be inside each other if they were made of material things. Only the non-material and formless, that is, spirit, can be in each other. God and his children are spirit; they are formless unified spirit.
To be in each other, to be unified God and his children must be the same and coequal. Those who are different and unequal cannot unify. Where there are differences and inequality, as in our temporal world, there must be disunion and conflict. It is only in union, which requires sameness and equality would peace, joy, happiness and harmony prevail.
God and his creations, if you like, God and his children, is the same, equal (although God created his children, he is still equal to them) and are joined and unified.
Creation has no beginning and no end. There was no time that God did not exist and there was no time he was not creating and his children co-creating with him. In eternity, if you like, in heaven, God created his children and his children are creating their own children, ad infinitum.


While they remain in each other, while still unified, the children of God desired to separate from him and from each other. They wished so because they resented the fact that God created them and they did not create God and themselves. They wanted to go seem to have created themselves, create each other and, above all, create God. As it were, they wanted to kill their father, God, usurp his creator role, his throne, and go create their own world. (This is familiar Gnostic story of creation, of course, a myth, not truth.)
In reality, creation can only come from one source, God. If there were many sources of creation there would be chaos in the world. Thus, the children of God cannot create themselves and cannot separate from their creator and from each other.
Nevertheless, what cannot be achieved in reality can be dreamed. Dream is not reality. The dreamer remains his real self, unified spirit, and dreams that he is what he is not, a separated self housed in body.

As it were, the children of God cast a magical spell on themselves (Hinduism calls it Maya), and went to sleep. In their sleep, they dream that they are separated from each other and from their creator, God.
In their dream, each of them, with the help of all of them, invents a self concept and self image for himself. He, they do so with body and social experience.
(Physics has its own story of creation, a mythology given scientific mantle. According to the latest cosmology, fifteen or so billion years ago, a Big Bang took place in the universe. Prior to that explosion, all things were supposedly concentrated into a ball no larger than an atom. To know how small that ball was, consider that in a typical full stop, period, are millions of atoms. Yes, the world came into being from that small a factor. In nanoseconds after the explosion, whatever was inside the Presingularity ball formed particles? These particles later combined to form atoms. In time, as the hot universe cooled down, atoms differentiated into the various elements in the universe. Eventually, these elements combined to form biological life forms: trees, animals and, finally, human beings. There you have it, a story of creation as fanciful as the one found in the Christian Bible, Genesis. Yet intelligent men believe in this fantasy and if they can do so, I see no reason why you cannot accept another fantastic story that says that God extended himself to his children. Until we know for certain all we can do is speculate.)

Body formed from matter and space and time gives the dreamer a sense of being separated from other dream selves and from God. He can see where he seems to begin and end, in his body, and where other people seem to begin and end, in their bodies.
(According to Dr Helen Schucman and her A Course in Miracles, space, time and matter do not exist, in fact, but exist only in dream, the dream of separation and specialness. In reality, in eternity, in heaven only non-material spirit, a non material unified light…the Gnostic God is unified light without space and gap in it, each of us is part of that light… exists.)
Body gives us a sense of boundary from other people. In the temporal universe, we seem to live in bodies, in matter, space and time. These things make us seem separated from each other.
Upon manifestation in the temporal universe, upon birth on earth, each of us builds on his genetic inheritance, his body, and social experience, as George Kelly (Psychology as Personal Constructs) pointed out and constructs a self concept, an idea of who he thinks that he is. That self concept is transformed into a self image and seen in the mind’s eyes. The self concept and self image tells one that one is special and separated from God and other people. (The self concept is the same as the ego, the human personality.)

Since we invented our self concepts and self images, we seem to have created ourselves. Now, it is no longer God, who created us, it is us who seem to have created us. We now seem separated from God and from each other. The self concept, self image, ego, personality, as it were, is a replacement self that we made to substitute for the real self , unified self, holy self, that God created us as. In our world, we see space, time and matter separating us from each other and believe that we are separated from each other. The real self that God created us as is joined to him and to all other persons but the ego self, our current identity, believes that it is separated from God and from all other persons.

The temporal world is a dream, an illusion of self creation and separation. In it, we all seem housed in bodies and live in space and time and are separated from other selves and from God. The world is an illusion, actually a delusion for it is false yet it is believed as if it is real. As Ms Schucman sees it, our world is an insane place where we see what is not there and hear voices not spoken; we are all deluded and hallucinate; we are all insane. The world is a psychotic asylum, a nut house. (It figures! Whoever is proud that he is a body, a thing that when it rots, smells to high heaven must be a mad person? No wonder that I have always hated my body and wished for a non-physical self.)
What is wished for, believed, is seen in the perceptual world as real. Belief, that is, the desire for separation, the wish for self creation led to what we see in the world. The world of perception is a product of our wishes.
And we suffer because of our desires to be separated from the whole, God, and from each other. As Buddha recognized, twenty five hundred years ago, that desire to be self created and separated must be given up for the individual to end his suffering.
The separated self is housed in body; one must, therefore, give up the wish to live in body, which is to have a separated self, to end ones suffering.

In the temporal universe, we deny that we are united with God and with each other; we project each other out and house each other in houses made of matter and see each other as out there, but not as in us.
In eternity, in God, we are not in material forms; we know that we are in each other. In our temporal world we believe that we are outside each other. The world we see, the perceptual world shows us people who seem apart from us. Thus, the world reinforces the idea of separation.

In my dream at night I saw seeming other people. I saw my brother, Paul; I saw him go into a bush; I saw him come out of the bush; I saw him go to the buyer of antiques (?) and exchange his strung up letters (human relationships) for musical instruments (guitars) and food (stockfish).
As long as I am sleeping and dreaming the world of separation, the world I see seems real to me.
But when I woke up from my dream, I recognize that the world I had seen was in my mind. It was formed by ideas in my mind. I projected those ideas and the forms they were in out; I placed them in space and time and saw them as if they were, in fact, outside of me. This is an illusion.
In reality, the seeming outside world is in my mind. Ideas leave not their source. The seeming external others in my dream are ideas in my mind, as I am an idea in other people’s minds.
We mutually project each other out; we do not accept that we are extensions of each other, and are unified with each other.
The dreamer projects others out. He invents roles for each of them to play and has them play those roles. They play the roles as dramatic personae play roles in a play. It is the dreamer who wrote the script, although consciously he does not understand how he did it, and fitted willing characters into them. The dreamer uses others to play roles in his dream play and they use him to play roles in their own dream plays. We all use each other to play roles in our nightly dreams.

In my dream, I constructed a play and had my brother, Paul, play a role in it. I had all the people in the dream, buyers of human relationships etc do what they did in the dream.
The salient point, however, is that I did everything done in the dream via the auspices of seeming other people.
Other people have their own dreams and use the rest of us to enact roles called by their dream scripts.
The issue here is that the dreamer is responsible for his dream, for he invented it. (How he does so he does not know. I certainly do not understand how my mind constructs plays and enacts them out in my dreams, plays that even the best playwright, William Shakespeare, would find difficult to write. There must be a higher part of us that does these things.)
I played out the roles in my dream via dream persons/figures. I am the doer of everything that is done in my dream. I am Paul; I am the buyers of human relationship. I am the one who took the letters of human relationship and gave me guitars and fish. I am the one who did everything in the dream. (The guitar is metaphor for one to make music for the world, to give the world peace and happiness, to heal our relationships; fish is metaphor to feed people, to feed a hungry world.)

I once had a dream, a vision, really, where Jesus told me to go do something my own way, that my own way is really my own take on the universal theme that we are unified spirit and need to return to it; that we are dreaming that we are special and separated from each other and that we ought to awaken from that dream and return to the awareness of our union with each other and with God. He said that I will teach this message my own way, just as he and other real self enlightened persons have taught it their own ways, to those able to learn from the manner they taught it, and that those who are able to learn it from the manner that I teach it would come to me and learn it from me. That I should not waste my time trying to teach it the way he or others (particularly Hindus) taught it, for every teacher of God’s message of love teaches it in his own manner, for those who are able to learn it best in that manner. (Since other people are one, one teaches it in a way one is able to learn it.)
The Jesus in my dream obviously was produced by my mind. Jesus is the idea of Christ, the awakened son of God in our minds. Since I was raised as a Catholic, I had that Jesus clothed as a Catholic priest. I gave the idea of Christ in form, Jesus, a role to play in my dream and had him tell me to go do my own thing. In reality, I told me to go teach the universal gospel of union and love in my own way. (Please note that this interpretation does not mean that the actual Jesus does not exist and visit us; he exists and visits us daily; he was in my dream; he is part of our higher self, our Christ self.)
It was not the historic Jesus that told me what to do, but the Jesus that my mind produced. The actual Jesus is not a person but an idea in my mind and in your mind, an idea that I give whatever role I wanted him to play for me to play.
Traditional Christians made Jesus to represent the idea of the innocent lamb who takes away the sins of the world; they made him die for their sins, so that they would continue sinning. They made Jesus play the role they want him to play.
In truth, Jesus is the idea of the son of God who, while on earth, in space, time and matter, remembered his oneness with his father and all his brothers; he is the prodigal son who went on a journey away from his father and then relinquished the idea of separation and ended the journey to nowhere, the journey without a distance and went home, returned to the awareness of union with God and all of us.
Jesus no longer has individuality and is no longer in body, space and time but is now in spirit; he is now an idea inside God and inside all of our minds.

This dream tells me to sell the idea of human relationship to God’s seeming separated children. The dream tells me to help people unify, to close the gap that separates them. (Close the gap is metaphor for there will always be gap and space between people while they live in bodies, space and time; it is metaphor to love all people; love joins people together.)
That is saying that my function is to sell the idea of love to me and to all people. If I sell ideas on human relationship, love, I would make music to the world; I would feed the world, feed it with spiritual food. (According to Jesus, in the Bible, fish is the symbol of spiritual food, that is, the word of God, love is food four souls.)

In the temporal universe, we see ourselves as separated from each other. Each of us seems to think that his self interests are different from other people’s self interests. We pursue our different self interests. In doing so, we clash with each other. We live in a world of conflict. We lack peace, happiness and harmony.
Selling, that is, teaching about good human relationships means showing me and people how to heal our disordered human relationships. Love is what heals our sick relationships; so, I am supposed to be selling love to people.
The seller of an idea must first sell it to himself, for he needs it most. I have problems with human relationships. I tend to feel separated from other people. I tend to consciously feel superior to other people. Superiority feeling alienates the individual from other people. My sense of superiority and consequent separation from other people makes it impossible for me to unify with other people.
Other people, in different forms, do what I do, that is, they feel superior to me and to each other and are separated from me and from each other. Thus, we live in a world of separation (produced by our mutual sense of superiority), inequality, differences and conflict.
My function, my new profession, is to show me and to show the world how to heal our interpersonal conflicts, how to heal our human relationships. Love is what heals us. Love joins us together. In love we find social peace and happiness.
This dream tells me that I am to market knowledge of how to heal our human relationship conflicts (through love).

What heals, that is, what joins our separated selves is love. Love joins the separated; love closes the space and gap between people. When we love one another we heal our separated selves for love unifies all of us.
In real terms this means that since I feel separated from other people that I join other people via loving other people. It means that it is my sense of superiority that made me feel separated from other people and that if I give that false feeling up and accept my equality with all people, I would unify with all people. And since other people, too, were doing what I was doing, feeling superior to one another and consequently being separated from one another, I show them how to be unified via accepting our sameness, equality and love for one another.


In the world of space, time and matter, on earth, human beings do bad things to one another.
To love them is to forgive what they did to each other. To love a person who has done one wrong is to overlook what he did wrong and see the Christ in him. To love is to forgive the past wrongs of other people, the wrongs people did in the past. When one forgives others wrongs, their pasts, one forgives ones own wrongs and past.
If one can, in fact, forgive other people, overlook their wrongs, ignore the evils human beings do on earth, one would unify with them, literally. One would exit from the temporal world, leave the world of space, time and matter and return to the awareness that one is always living in the world of spirit.
We live in spirit, God, love, union while dreaming that we are separated from it.
Forgiveness denies this world of separation and returns one to the awareness of union. This is what Jesus did; he forgave the world’s wrong and returned to the consciousness of his oneness in spirit. He exited the world of forms and is now in the mind of God and all of us as the idea of Christ (which we can give forms).
Christ is the son of God who knows that he is one with God and all of us and loves all of us.

Forgiveness ends the world of forms, space and time. But most of us do not want to leave the world of forms, yet. We do not want to end the dream of specialness and separation; we still want to be in this world.
As long as we are in this world we cannot totally forgive one another. At best, we practice attenuated forgiveness, but not total forgiveness.
If I forgive the past, the past no longer exists. The world is a world of past, present and future, a linear world. If I forgive the past, that is, overlook the past, I have removed one stand of that tripod world, so the others will no longer stand.
A world without the past is a world without a future and present, as we know it; it is an ended world.
Forgiveness, that is, true love, ends the world of separation and returns us to the world of union, to the eternal present, the world of God, the world without space, time and matter.
But we do not want the world, as we know it, to end. So we do not want to completely forgive one another. We do not want to return to spirit, yet. So what should we do?


When we separated from God and from each other, God created a new self, the Holy Spirit and used that self to correct the mistake of separation we made. God as the Holy Spirit entered the temporal world, entered into our minds and gradually teach us to remember our true self, our unified self. The Holy Spirit gradually teaches us to forgive one another our sins. When we completely forgive each other our sins the world ends and we all return to the world of union.
God knows that his children want to be in this world so he permits us to be here. To be here means to be special and separated from each other, to seek our individual self interests and to punish those who wrong us. The world is maintained by separation and punishment. The separated self wants to be here on earth and resents those who do things that interfere with it being here; it bears grievances and grudges and seeks revenge, vengeance and punishment for those who offends it. We set up our judicial and penal systems to punish those who threaten our individual survival and the military and police to kill those who attack us.
The Holy Spirit gradually teaches us that we should not punish each other but should forgive each other our wrongs. If and when you remember the Holy Spirit and ask him to guide you, he will always tell you to forgive the wrong doer, to correct his wrong, to teach him love.

The Holy Spirit, God, does not destroy the world of bodies, space and time we made but remakes it into a loving world; he reinvents the world of space time and matter into a loving world of space, time and matter.
Ultimately, the Holy Spirit remakes the world into a world of light forms, a world still in forms and space and matter but a world where love exists more than it exists in our current world.
Actually, the Holy Spirit, God in the temporal universe has already remade our world, remade each of our bodies into light bodies and our world into a light world. (Your siblings, parents, friends and pet, all animals, all trees, everything on this earth are already existing in light forms and you will see them in the after death world. That world is not real; it is like our world, an illusion, a dream but one that approximates heavenly reality. The world folks see in near death and out of body experience is also a dream world; nevertheless, it is as real as our current world seems to us. However, as an unreal world it is temporary and like our world would end as we all enter the formless and changeless world of God.)
When we forgive the world of dense bodies we see the already remade world of light bodies. (I have actually seen my light body; it is exactly like my present body except that it is made of pure photons, light. That light self is also an illusory self. The real self is formless unified spirit self.)
In the meantime, the Holy Spirit is in our right minds (while the ego is in our left minds) urging us to love and forgive one another; to see all attacks on us as a call for us to love the attacker, for the attacker defined himself as an ego and believes that attack is productive, that attack gives him what he wants and, moreover, believes that one has already attacked him by separating from him.
All attack on one is a call for love when love, union, is missing. A brother’s call for love deserves love, so forgive the attacker and insist that he learn to love rather than attack.

In line with the mission of the Holy Spirit, I teach people not to do evil things to one another. I teach people to correct their evil past. Where you had hated other people, now love them; where you did wrong, now do right. That is to say that I want to correct the past, I want to correct our wrong behaviors; I want to teach us to love rather than hate.
However, I am not yet completely overlooking the past. If I did, I would no longer be in the temporal world; I would escape from this world and return to the world of unified spirit. I do not yet want to negate our temporal world. I want to improve this world but not completely transcend it.
If you do me wrong, I want you to be arrested and put in jail and while in jail taught how to do right. I do not overlook your wrong, as I should if I completely forgive you. I merely insist on correcting your wrong but not overlooking it.
You and I are still in the world of space, time and matter, and making it somewhat happy and peaceful. We are gradually healing our relationships, that is, learning to love one another, but we have not yet transformed them into holy relationships where we know that we are one self. We are still in this world, not in the light world invented by the Holy Spirit of God in us.


What this attenuated solution means is that one still has not given up the desire that gave rise to this world.
This world came into being when we desired to seem separated from God and from each other; when we desired to seem different and unequal. That wish and desire must be completely given up for one to return to unified spirit, aka God; for one to feel oneness with all being.
When the desire that gave rise to the world is given up, one experiences oneness, a spirit state where the material world of space and time disappears and one is no longer in the world of forms.
As Buddha correctly recognized, the world came into being from our desire to have a separated, superior self and as long as one retains that desire one must be in this world; one must have form, body, and if one dies while still having that desire one must return to this world, reincarnation, and keep coming back until one learns that the cause of the world is desire for separated, special self and give it up and accept unified same and equal self.
When one relinquishes the separated ego self housed in body and experiences unified spirit self, one is now enlightened to our true nature, unified light; one is illuminated to the light of God, the light of oneness in all of us.
In meditation, one can give up the wish for separated self, give up the ego self and the human personality, give up the wish for life in body and literally experience ones self reawaken to living in unified spirit. This is doable and must be done by each of us, when we are ready to return home.
However, if one still chooses to live in the world of forms, as Buddha did, one returns from the unified experience, and comes back to teach those here that we are unified.
To live in the world of forms, our world, one must have some separated self, some ego, some sense of specialness and superiority to other people (if only to teach them about God) some human personality, albeit purified and cleansed with love and forgiveness (not total love and forgiveness, for total love and forgiveness would make one stay in unified spirit, as Jesus did).

This temporal world of space, time and matter will last more millions of years before all children of God awaken to their awareness of oneness. I, therefore, choose to be here and be an ego, a purified and cleansed ego, and gradually teach us to love one another while exploring science and technology.
I like science and technology too much to leave this world. The world of matter, space and time are obviously illusory and do not exist, in fact, and only seems to exist in a dream state. Nevertheless, I want to explore that illusory world scientifically.
I am fascinated by science and want to explore this world scientifically and do not want to leave it yet. I am having ball studying science and technology, studying an illusion. This is my choice and I am entitled to that choice.
Provided the son of God knows what he is doing, and he always knows what he is doing, although he can choose to forget to know and seem unconscious of his motivations, he is permitted to be in the world of separation and take the consequences of his action.
Because I have not chosen to completely negate matter, space and time, because I opt to still live in body, I will be subjected to all the pains and sufferings the human body is prone to. Thus, I still feel pain. That is my choice. I am not complaining. I receive what I desired, sorrow and pain.
Nobody did this to me but me. If I give up my wish to live as a separated self, hence as a body I would end my pain, now and return to unified spirit.


I have reduced the level of my pain and suffering by eliminating my desire for an ideal self. When I was younger, I rejected my pained body and ego-self and sought an idealized self. I posited an ideal self and wanted to become it.
I used the standards of the ideal self to judge me and other people. In doing so, I lived in anxiety and psychological pain (anxiety, anger, sadness, paranoia, the human fare).
As Karen Horney and Alfred Adler pointed out, the pursuit of ideal, superior self is what neurosis is all about. (See Adler, The Neurotic Constitution; Horney, Neurosis and Human Growth.)
The neurotic experiences exaggerated anxiety, fear, anger and sadness and paranoia from his effort to become his idealized, superior self and bring that idealized self’s world into being. As long as one wants to be an ideal self one must fear not being it. That fear of not becoming an ideal self is anxiety. The neurotic lives with perpetual free floating anxiety.
But when the individual gives up his desire for a ideal superior self, when he relinquishes the wish for ideal self and accepts his real self, his body, as it is, and does not wish for a fantasy body that is ideal or for a fantasy ideal world and fantasy social institutions he eliminates his neurotic anxiety; he feels like a heavy weight is taken off his shoulders and he feels relaxed.
However, he does not eliminate fear. As long as he undertakes to live as a separated self in body he must be prone to some fear, for it is fear that protects the body and separated self.
When pursuit of the ideal self is given up, one is now normal in ones fearfulness, not neurotic in ones fearfulness. One still suffers human fear, anger, sadness, paranoia etc and will continue to do so until one completely relinquishes all wish for separated special self, real or ideal and embrace our unified spirit self.


Dreams can tell one a lot about ones self and the direction ones life ought to be taking. Year’s ago, I was teaching at a university and was getting nowhere. I had a dream. In that dream, I was trying to enter the University’s student’s union building and noticed that ropes were laid all over the entrance, preventing me from entering the building. I went around the building and tried to walk up stairs that would lead into the building. I found that ropes were tired all across the right side rails thus preventing me from climbing the stairs. On the left hand side, I saw folks walking down the stairs and I walked over there to walk up the stairs and saw the same ropes tired on the rails and preventing me from climbing up. In the meantime, other people were now walking on the right side of the stairs, the side that I had left and as I got there, I saw the same ropes, again. Baffled, I woke up and wrote the dream down.
Clearly my path was being blocked, but what was blocking my path? Could it mean that something inside me is blocking my path, something that I had to change?
A few days after this dream, I was turned down for a higher level position that I had applied at the university. Some one with fewer skills was hired. I felt totally angry and quit my teaching position and left town.
My prideful ego felt humiliated and rejected and had to go rehabilitate its injured vanity.
But now that I have had sufficient time to think about the dream of ropes, what was going on was that something in me did not want me to waste my time in academia. My path in academia was being blocked (by me, by my dislike of the dance folks dance just to survive in academia).
I am an independent person and like to do my own thing and not do things to please other people. I had to leave the university environment to go be myself, to go teach what makes sense to me, not what is publishable in academic journals.
That dream and this present dream tell me that I have to teach what makes sense to me, how to improve human relationships, beginning with improving my own human relationships. The dreams tell me to teach about love.
A teacher of love must first teach himself to love; he must first correct his own problems with lack of loving his real self and other people before he can help other people to correct their own unloving problems.
One cannot correct other people’s problems; even the Holy Spirit cannot correct other people’s mistakes; all that one can do is model and teach love and leave it to other people to choose to learn and when to learn it. Atonement is first meant for the atonement worker.
Generally, I do not get along well with people. I tend to quickly and correctly assess people, see people for who they are, imperfect, and not have respect for them. I tend to judge them with my ideal standards and find them wanting and reject them.
Naturally, they would see that I do not respect and love them and they would start working against me. And before long I would either cut off from them or they would cut off from me and the relationship would end.
I would say good riddance and say who cares for people; I can live by myself and do not need people. Of course, I need people (a child whistling in the dark is trying to seem courageous when he is afraid).
My approach to people is approach avoidance. I have an avoidant personality. I like people but I avoid them. In avoiding them I manage to retain my ideal special self and not feel the same and equal with all people.
Avoidance is a means of retaining the illusion of ones superior self and differences.


In eternity we are unified. We sought specialness and separated from each other and manifest on earth. On earth we are all alone; aloneness produces existential anxiety and no one wants to live alone. As separated persons we feel incomplete and seek completion in the company of other people. In other to get along with other people, we make compromises. For example, as a shy avoidant personality I used to please other people hoping that in doing so that they would like me. But that does not work for to please assume that one has a big self that pleases other people.
Our earthly relationships, special relationships in the language of A Course in Miracles, are characterized by tension, anxiety, sadness, unhappiness and other unpleasant emotions. Our relationships are disordered.
On earth, we are not ordered and our relationships cannot be ordered. Our true self is spirit; we are infinite spirits in one unified spirit, and we chose to live as separated minds housed in bodies.
On earth, we relate to each other from bodily standpoints. When we see each other we first see bodies. Men see women and the first thing they do is evaluate their bodies for sexual attractiveness. In doing so, we negate our true selves, the spirit in us and emphasize our false physical selves. Simply stated, our earthly relationships are unsatisfying and need healing; our relationships need to be made satisfactory.
Love is what makes any thing satisfactory. Our true nature is love and when we are in an unloving situation we cannot be happy and at peace with ourselves. Love is what heals our currently disordered human relationships; love joins people together; love unifies people; love returns us to our natural home, heaven, a place of union with all creations and their creator.
To love, the people involved must be totally equal. But on earth we want to seem unequal and different. Men fancy themselves better than women; some races fancy themselves superior to others. Belief in inequality is a delusion for in spirit we are equal.
Those who are equal do not please one another; they love one another and accept one another as they are.
We try forming substitute unions, such as in marriages and our other social relationships, but each member of these perfect union replacement associations reserve the right to leave them at any time. Both partners in a marriage, for example, assume that separation is always an option for them. Therefore, those in these replacement unions never feel totally unified and safe with others, for they could leave at any time.
Those in these special relationships feel insecure, for they know that their partners can leave them to their existential aloneness at any time, despite trying to bribe them to stick around.
What works is real love. Love, as I have pointed out, entails forgiving what people do on earth and appreciating their spirit self, the Christ in them.
Forgiveness overlooks the body and what is done in body and focuses on the spirit inside that body (spirit is actually not inside the body, for the body does not exist). In true love, the individual overlooks others bodies and unifies with their spirit as one self.
In spiritual union with other people one feels secure knowing that spirit is permanent and cannot be destroyed; no one can leave one in spirit.

This solution is, of course, easier said than done. In the world we live in, we prefer to be separated selves housed in bodies. In fact, most of the things we do on earth are designed to keep separation and body alive.
Body has its laws (nutrition, medicine, security needs… society’s laws protect bodies and the egos living in them). Just about everything we do on earth is an effort to defend our bodies (we defend our bodies with food, clothing, shelter, medications, governments, laws of society that punish offenders to protect innocent persons etc).
The wish to live as separated self housed in body produces all the things we do on earth. If the wish to live as separated self is given up, if the desire to be special and different from other people is given up and one return to the desire for union then one would no longer be a body and would actually die, that is, awaken to non-material state, to unified state.
If we let go of all desires to be separated, special selves and forgive the world, overlook the world, ignore the world and not defend ourselves when we are attacked, become defenseless to others attack, we would exit from this world and return to unified spirit. But we do not want to do so, yet.
The world is defense of ego, defense of separated self and defense of body. All that we call work in this world is no more than producing what enables people to adapt to the world as separated selves in bodies.
If you are able to produce what enables other bodies (and the egos in those bodies) to physically survive, they buy it from you and you make a decent living, but if you do not produce what helps the body live well you are out of luck and will be poor. (In making a career choice, ask yourself this realistic question: what do other people need to adapt as egos and bodies to this world that you can produce and sell to them? Some of us, the teachers of love, are, however, meant to sell the idea of love, the idea of joining, the idea of union, the idea of working for our common interests.)

Very few persons want to give up the desire to live on earth. The most many of us do is give up our desire for neurotic ego ideal self (secular psychotherapy accomplishes this end and can go no further) and retain the desire for life in body and become normal persons. We attain what we might call normal state of peace and happiness, but not the peace and happiness of having no separated self at all, the bliss of unified state.
(Only spiritual psychology, a metaphysics that teaches no-self, selflessness, giving up the separated self, giving up the ego and embracing our unified self can get people to the greater peace and joy of God.)
In eternity, in heaven we are already joined and unified. Heaven is permanent, so we are always unified. But in the dream, on earth we seem separated from each other. We can heal our separated selves by seeking ways to join all people in some form. If we completely healed the separation, that is, remembered our joined state, we would give up all efforts at protecting separated self, defending body and would awaken in unified spirit. But we do not want to do that, and that is fine by God.


What we can do is seek attenuated union. Here, we do not completely forgive those who wronged us; we use the law authorities to arrest, try and jail them. That is, we punish criminals to make us feel safe. To punish is an ego behavior. But while they are in jail, we try to correct their behaviors by teaching them to love rather than harm other people.
(To punish wrongful behaviors is an ego behavior. To correct wrongful behaviors is a Holy Spirit behavior. In effect, we are combining the ego’s and Holy Spirit’s approach to salvation, punishment and forgiveness.)

Those who identify with their separated selves and bodies tend to work hard to make a good living to support their separated selves and the bodies that house them. Most successful persons on earth are persons who identify with their separated selves and bodies; they are happy to be in the dream of separation and are not yet aware that the world is a dream.

Those who do not like the dream; those who do not like their bodies, (say due to the fact that they are too painful, I hated my body) and desire ideal bodies and ideal selves are pursuing a fantasy that would never come into being.
They pursue their ideal selves rather compulsively, for neurosis must be compulsive to be real to the individual. In the process they disturb their peace and lack peace, happiness and joy.
If they were to stop pursuing ideal selves they would eliminate their neurotic anxiety and stress and return to normal fear, stress, depression and paranoia.
(Normal persons, blacks, whites and Asians are generally people who value their egos and bodies and identify with them and work for their upkeep; these people tend to succeed in life. Neurotics are folks who reject their bodies, see them as worthless and valueless and posit ideal selves and pursue them and seldom do what they have to do to make a good living in this world, they live in castles in the sky, in fantasies; they tend to be poor.)


Our primary goal in this world is to adapt to the exigencies of this world. Those who want to survive here must do so. Science and technology are obviously the best means for adapting to this world.
Trying to adapt to the ideal self and ideal world is an escape into fantasy; trying to adapt to the spiritual world is also an escape of sorts for it does not put food on the table but takes one outside the world of matter and returns one to the world of spirit. There is no eating of food in spirit.
Therefore, in as much as we must be here on earth for the next millions of years, we must seek realistic ways to adapt to the earth’s material realities.

We have three different worlds: the material world of space, time and matter, the world of light reinvented from our material world by the Holy Spirit, and the world of God, the formless unified spirit.
In our world, we have to struggle to earn our daily bread. In the world of light forms there is no struggle for our daily bread, for we do not need bread, light does not need physical food.
In our world folks do harm each other. Each person has independent ability to harm other people. Jesus himself was killed by his brothers despite his doing good work for them. That is to say that in his dream of doing well that those dreaming of evil visited him with their evil.
The world is a mutual dream and other dreamers do affect one, positively or negatively, as one affects other dreamers, positively or negatively. In this world, therefore, people must protect themselves from evil persons; they must protect themselves from those bent on evil dreams.
Consider pedophiles. These evil persons are bent on having sex with children. Obviously, we cannot let them loose on the streets and permit them to impose their evil desires on children. We must arrest and punish them, put them away in jails. We cannot forgive them for even if a child asks an adult for sex the adult must not do it. It is not good enough to say, as flippant new age religionists say, that all of us experience what we want to experience. A five year old who is molested by a Catholic priest did not ask to be molested and even if he did his asking is irrelevant. Children do not have good judgment. We must arrest and incarcerate evil persons but while in jail we must teach them pro-social behaviors. (As already observed, this is a compromised solution that maintains this world by mixing the ego and Holy Spirit’s approaches to justice. The ego seeks punishment, death, for pedophile, the Holy Spirit seeks forgiveness for them. We combine both approaches and punish and rehabilitate them and keep them in prison for however long it takes to correct their evil behaviors and if we cannot correct them keep them there for life.)


We need do nothing to return to spirit for spirit is always there and if we let go of our desire to live as separated ego selves and do not defend our egos and bodies we die to the ego and resurrect to the awareness that we are unified spirit. Spirit is eternal and does not need food to survive.
On earth, on the other hand, we need to do something to earn our daily bread; we need to work for it.

Jesus discovered that this world is a dream and left it, but those who still come here obviously want to live here and must be helped to adapt to the exigencies of this world. Science and technology is our best hope for adapting to the needs of this world, not religion or metaphysics.
Religion and metaphysics, however, is useful for they give folks hope for life after death.
Living from the real self, that is, not pretending to be an ideal self enables the individual to find inner peace and happiness. Relating to all people from the real self, without the presumptions of the ideal self, makes for peaceful social living, and if added the spiritual (loving) dimension, for healed (joined) living.


My job is to help people to remember love and forgiveness and bring love into their social relationships. When people love one another, that is, overlook their bodies and see the divinity in them, and love that divine self, and work for our common social interests, they have, in attenuated form, and closed the gap between them. They have healed their sick relationships.
Whoever loves people and teaches people to love one another is a teacher of love. A teacher of love is a teacher of God. A teacher of love, a teacher of union, a teacher of God teaches people to heal their disjointed relationships; he teaches people to unify rather than separate from one another. He teaches by example, by loving all people, by unifying with all people, and as much as is possible by forgiving those who wronged him.

Ozodi Thomas Osuji
5:AM, March 20, 2006
Spring is for healing human relationship.

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April 09, 2006

Basic English Grammar for my Brother and those Interested

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- My brother, Paul, born after the civil war, hence attended Nigeria’s collapsed schools, writes letters that show that he does not have good command of basic English Grammar. I decided to help him. I am not trained in English but I know well written English when I see one.

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April 04, 2006

Ozodi Osuji Weekly Series on Psychology 2006, #52 of 52: An Introduction to Real Self-Therapy

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- Real Self Therapy, RST, is a religious, philosophical, and scientific ((psychological) approach to human beings. It is not just a therapy, but also a culture, a way of understanding, and living life on earth, so as to live it abundantly, peacefully, and happily.

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Ozodi Osuji Weekly Series on Psychology 2006, #51 of 52: A Synopsis of Igbo Religion – Transcendent, Creative and Immanent God

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- The Igbos of Southeast Nigeria believed that there is one transcendent God. That one God, however, has many attributes and functions; each of the functions is often given a name, as if it represented a different God.

The transcendent God is called CHUKWU. Literally, this can be interpreted as big God, since Ukwu means big and Chi means God.

Chukwu takes on a creative function and is called CHINEKE, literally, God the creator. It is said that God, as Chineke, created CHI. Chi is the individual’s soul, the spirit in the individual, his real self, the Christ in him.

(Chi can be construed as the immanent God, the God in the temporal universe, and the God in us. This is probably equivalent to the Christian concept of Holy Spirit. If you recall, Christians believe that God has three selves, all of whom share one self: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. This is called the Holy Trinity/Triune. It is said that God created his Son; that in heaven is God and his Son. Then God the Son rebelled against his father and seem to have separated from him and came to live on earth. God the father (the transcendent God) came to earth as God the Holy Spirit (immanent God), to remind his Son (collective humanity) to return to heaven, to remember his real self as the Son of God. God is love and always loves, so his Son is love. To remember his true self is to be a loving and forgiving person. Thus, in effect, God came to earth with his Son. God the father, God the Son, (each of us/all of us), and God the Holy Spirit are the same God, according to Christian theology. See the writings of Thomas Aquinas, Meister Eckhart etc.)

The Son of God, Chi, is said to be like God. Both are spirit and are creative. However, it is Chineke that created Chi, not the other way around. God extended his one self to his Son, not the Son to him. The whole produced the part, not the part the whole. God created us; we did not create God or create ourselves. This is a critical point, for it means that though God and his children are of the same essence, that God the father is greater than God the Son and that the later must obey the will of the former, not the other way around. It is misguided pride and arrogance to see ones self as self created or to believe that one created God and created other human beings. Therefore, one must worship God. One must see God as ones superior and worship him. It is the pursuit of self creation that is said to lead the Son of God, us, to separate from God and invent this world. When we accept that God created us, obey his will, which is love, love all people, we return to being in God/heaven/state of oneness.

Igbo people believe that there is God in each of them, Chi. They, in fact, pray to this personal God, ask him questions and ask him to guide them.

(Before the traditional Igbo person goes to sleep at night, he, generally, kneels by his bedside and prays to his Chi and accounts to him how he spent his day and asks him to forgive him for his errors during the day. No Igbo goes to sleep without thanking his Chi for what he did for him during the day. Igbos try very hard to be right with their Chi, for they believe that if one offends ones Chi, meruala/ sacrilege, that one is punished with sufferings and misfortunes.)

Igbos generally give themselves names that imply that they are the children of God, such as Nwachukwu (child of God), Chukwuemeka (God does great things for us), Kelechi (thank or praise God), Obinna (heart or will of the father, in this case, the father referred to is God, hence heart or will of God), Ozodiobichi (there is another idea, child, in the mind of God) and so on.


Whereas the above synopsis represents Igbo conception of God, however, Igbos believe that God takes many guises, including coming to the world to help them. Thus, every Igbo town, village and kindred has it own God, indeed, most Igbo activities have their own gods. Let us illustrate how this phenomenon works in real life.

In Imo state of Nigeria is a town called Umuohiagu. Umuohiagu is a typical Igbo town. It is divided into four villages. One of the villages is Umuorisha. The village is divided into kindred units. One of the kindred units of Umuorisha is Umuamadi.
Each of these units has a god. Umuohiagu has a goddess called Ala-Umuohiagu. (Ala means land; the people were farmers hence their god is a woman, for women are associated with fertility and harvest; generally, Igbo towns have goddesses, Ala, as their chief god.)

Umuorisha has its own God, also a goddess called Ala-Umuorisha. Umuamadi has its own god called Amadioha hence Umuamadi. (Umu means children of …each town, village and kindred is started by a specific person hence the people are referred to as his children, such as the children of Orisha, Umuorisha, the children of Amadi, hence Umuamadi. It should be noted that the god Amadi is a male god; it is also called the sun god, thunder god etc; it is a god for all the town of Umuohiagu, not just for the kindred that bears its name.)

Each Igbo activity has its own god. Igbos were primarily farmers. There is a god of farming called Ajoku. There are other gods in the Igbo pantheon of gods.

The Igbos had a high priest for each of their gods. These priests come from specific families. That is, priesthood is inherited. In Umuohiagu, for example, only persons from Umuamadi can be the priests of Amadioha. The priest of the god of farming, Ajoku comes from specific families; such families are generally called Njoku or Osuji.

In Umuohiagu, the Osuji-Njoku family produces the priests of Amadioha and Ajoku.


Whereas certain persons inherit the priesthood of Igbo gods and perform all ceremonies related to worshipping god, there is another class of persons that perform spiritual function for the Igbos. These persons can be referred to as Shamans. The Igbos call them Dibia. (Duru is the term for male and lolo term for female dibia. A highly evolved debia is called Duruji, equivalent to Hindu concept of enlightened, illuminated person. Please notice the suffix, Ji, at the end of the word duru; in Hinduism the same suffix is applied to spiritually evolved persons, such as Ghandiji, Shankaraji etc.) These persons perform healing functions for the people.

Dibias are selected differently from the manner Ndi isi muo (high priests) are selected. As noted, high priests are selected from certain families. Dibias, on the other hand, are selected from any family. The process, however, is not random. The elders of the village observe all children. In time, they conclude that certain children are highly evolved, spiritually. This decision is made before the child is twelve years old. Apparently, there is something about such children and their behaviors that lead the elders to conclude that they are Onye agwu isi (literally, persons possessed by the gods). These children are prevailed upon to under go certain grueling initiation processes, after which they become dibia. They then become the spiritual psychotherapists of the people. They also provide herbal medicine healing for the people.


Igbos believe that human beings are, at root, spirit (chi). They see human beings as spirits that chose to come to the world to play, (Igwu egwu). People are spirits enjoying a Game of hide and go seek in the realm of space, time and matter. They are spirit that purposely choose to forget their spirit-hood and take on the identity of being material beings, and come to earth. The objective of the game is to see whether one can remember ones true identity while still on earth. When the individual remembers his real self, his spirit-ness and his oneness with God, Chi as the extension of Chukwu, the game is over for him and he returns to God. It may take several life times before one remembers ones true identity. There is, however, no hurry, for it is, after all, a game, a self chosen game and one can come to the world over and over again, for millions of years and play until one set up events that would enable one to remember ones true self. When the true self is remembered, one exits the game, leaves the temporal world and returns to the permanent world, and regains the awareness of unified spirit self. (God and his children are said to be unified spirit…only spirit can unify, matter separates; God and his children, Unified Spirit Self, Unified Mind, Chukwu, are said to be eternal, permanent, changeless and all knowing.)


When people have had enough of our world, play acting, they die. Igbos believe that upon physical death that the spirit in people, Chi, returns to being with his father, Chukwu, and other persons who had died. These “dead persons” are said to rejoin the ancestors and live in a spirit place, spirit land, called Alamua. (Ala for land, Muo for spirit.)


Igbos believe in reincarnation. Thus Chi, spirit, can manifest in the temporal world for however many times it desires.

When a child is born in Igbo land, Alaigbo, the parents consult a dibia to find out whom, in their community, died and reincarnated as their present child? What ancestor has returned to the people through this child, they want to know. (Obinna, for example, is said to be reincarnated Chukwuemeka Eugene Osuji, his father’s brother.)

Igbos do not believe in the oriental concept of karma, a concept that most people associate with reincarnation. To the Igbos, those who do evil in this world are punished in this world and that is all there is to it. Traditional Igbos did not have a concept of HELL.

(Contemporary Igbos, however, are Christian. As such, they have accepted Christian concepts into their metaphysics. They have accepted the idea of heaven and hell, albeit in attenuated forms. Indeed, they have invented Satan and devils. Satan is called Ekwesu and hell is called Okumuo…where one is burned; Oku is fire, Muo is spirit; in effect, okumuo is a place where errant spirits are burned, as in Christian notion that hell is a fiery place where sinful persons are burned forever and ever.)


When a child is born in Alaigbo (Igbo land) the elders circumcise him or her (on the 8th day). On the 28th day, a month, a naming ceremony is held. At that ceremony, the village high priest names the child. During that ceremony, the priest welcomes the child into the kindred, village and town. To do so, he usually traces the child’s genealogy for as far back as he could; sometimes he goes as far back as several hundred years.

For example, he would say: we, the people of Umuamadi, Umuorisha, Umuohiagu, welcome you to our fold and name you Obinna. Obinna (meaning his father’s heart/will, God’s heart/will), you are the son of Ozodiobi, who is the son of Ohaegbulam, who is the son of Osuji, who is the son of Njoku, who is the son of Opara, who is the son of Orisha, who is the son of Ohiagu, who is the son of Onyeayalanwanneya and so on and so on.


The Igbos, until their encounter with Europeans, were farmers. They farmed such crops as yams, coco-yams, cassava, corn/maize, groundnuts/peanuts, okra, chili peppers and assorted fruits and vegetables (like ugu, okasi, nturukpa, oha etc). Their chief crop is Yam (Ji).

The Igbos practiced rotational farming. They would farm a piece of land and then leave it to lay fallow for four years before they farmed it again.

They practiced slash and burn use of land. They cut their bush in March and burned it in early April.

The rains usually come in April (wet or rainy season, spring) and they plant their crops. It generally rains between April and October and then the dry season begins (November to March).

The Igbos have two seasons, rainy and dry. However, it does get cold during the months of December and January, cold enough for folks to heat their houses with burning wood and wear sweaters while outside. This cold season is called Hammattan. It is generally breezy and dusty, with wind blowing sand from the Sahara desert to as far south as Igbo land on the Atlantic Coast of West Africa. (Igbo land is in what is called Equatorial forest, on the Guinea Coast).

Yam, cassava, corn and other crops are planted in late April to early May. Corn is harvested a couple of months later and eaten without much ado. In August, the first yams are harvested. But before this yam is eaten much ado is made. An Igbo land wide ceremony, called Ahanjoku, is held.

This ceremony is probably the most important one in all of Igbo land (Alaigbo). All the people in a village cook food, from the new yam and bring it to their obiriama (public house) and gather to eat it. The yam priest, called Njoku or Osuji blesses the food and goes through an elaborate ritual, thanking their gods for blessing them with good harvest and then the merriment begins.

Ahanjoku day is generally characterized by eating, drinking and joy. It is something to be seen, for one does not have artistic powers to describe the ceremony. The New Yam festival and the naming of a child ceremony has to be seen to be known. The child naming ceremony, like Ahanjoku, brings all the members of the clan to the child’s house and food and wine are had and the entire day is devoted to merriment, welcoming a new soul, Chi, to the kinfolks.


The Igbos have four days in their week: Eke, Ore, Afo and Nkwo. Persons born on each of those days are often given names symbolizing that they were born on those days, such as: Nkwocha, a fair skinned (ocha is fair complexioned) child born on Nkwo day; Okorie, Okoye, Okoroafo, Ekeji, Okoroeke, Nwafo etc. Igbos from different parts of Igbo land pronounce these week days a bit differently, thus, Okere in Owerri, Okoye in Onisha, Okoronkwo in Owerri, Okonkwo in Onitsha etc.

The Igbo calendar, like in the West, is twelve months. The first day of the New Year is a holiday and is a day of great ceremony in Igbo land. (Those of them, which is practically all of them, who are Christians now have added Christian holy days like Christmas, Easter etc to their holidays.)


Christian missionaries penetrated Igbo land during the nineteenth century. They, more or less, told the people that their religion was primitive. They worked very hard to destroy Igbo and African religions. Today, most Igbos are Christians.

During the era of missionary activities, European missionaries divided Igbo land and assigned sections to different religious denominations. Thus in Igbo land some persons are Catholic, others Protestants (of the various sects, Anglican/Episcopalian, Baptist, Assemblies of God, Pentecostal etc).

The Holy Ghost fathers, mostly Irish, came to Umuohiagu in 1906 and established their Catholic Christian religion there. The first Catholic Church and school were built in the town in that year. Thus, most people in that town go to St Michael’s Catholic school and Church. Some of them proceed to the town’s Catholic secondary school. A very few go to University at Owerri, sixteen miles from Umuohiagu. (Owerri is the state, Imo State of Nigeria, capital.)

These days, very few Igbos practice their traditional religions. In fact, some of them are ashamed of their religious past. They are more likely to identify with Christianity and proudly tell you that they are Catholics or Anglicans etc.

(These days, religious syncretism has taken place whereby imported European Christianity mixed up with traditional African religions to give rise to a synthesis of both in new religions. These new Africa religions are found all over urban Africa. In Igbo land, they are generally of the Pentecostal variety and some of them are called Cherubim and Seraphim Churches; in Yoruba land, they are called Aladura. These Churches have different names in the Congo, South Africa or Kenya. They all combine African religious worship styles with European Christianity. They are similar to what obtains in black American Christian churches: the dancing and loud singing to their gods. Black American churches manifest these people’s religious carry over from Africa.)

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Ozodi Osuji Weekly Series on Psychology 2006, #50 of 52: Can There Be an African Psychology?

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- Can there be an African psychology? To answer that question requires us to ascertain whether human beings are the same all over the world or are different? If human beings are the same all over the world it follows that their psychology is the same. But if they are different then they must have different psychologies.

Empiricism suggests that human beings are the same all over the world. Human beings are equal. Human beings have the same psychology.

Therefore, there can be only one psychology, the psychology of human beings. Psychology must be universalistic and not particularistic in scope. There can be no such thing as African Psychology.

Nevertheless, human beings are cultural animals. Each group of human begins evolved in isolation from others. Each group tends to have particularistic view of phenomena. It is appropriate to study how the different groups conceptualize who they are and how they see their world.

Therefore, it is necessary to have cultural psychologies. We can study how Africans see themselves and their world and that is their cultural psychology. Within Africa itself we can study how each ethnic group adapted to its environment, its cultural psychology.

Cultural psychology does not detract from universalistic human psychology. As human beings from all over the world come together and live together their cultures tend to become similar. Their converged culture plus their underlying same human traits makes it necessary to study them as a universal group of human beings.

Until recently, what was called academic psychology evolved in the western world? That makes psychology, as we knew it, a Western enterprise. Any one reading Sigmund Freud knows that he is reading Jewish fables…along the lines of the fables found in the Old Testament Bible; any one reading Alfred Adler knows that he is reading a modern Jewish rabbi, a prophet telling his people to behave ethically and care for one another least their Jehovah god strike them dead (lest the state, the modern god, punish them). What is Eric Fromm but an erudite Jewish rabbi? What is B.F Skinner and his behaviorism but an English logical positivist along the line of Francis Bacon? The behaviorist movement is really a re-articulation of English empiricism.

What is neuroscience but Greek efforts to understand man as he is without reference to external gods, to see man as his body?

The point is that what we currently call academic psychology is rooted in the Western tradition. It is not necessarily a universal psychology of man.

In that sense every conclusion posited by western psychologists must be reexamined by non Westerners.

Of course, those non-Westerners are doing the reexamination from the cultural parameters they bring from their own cultures.

Asians look at the world from the prism of Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Zen Confucianism, etc. This methodological approach to phenomena shapes how they see things.

Africans see the world from their respective tribal cultures perspectives. This is fine, provided that they understand what they are doing.

No human being is ever totally objective in his perception of things, but we all must strive to be objective.

In sum, there is only one human psychology; however, there are many cultural psychologies.

As an African, it is my duty to understand African cultural psychologies, as well as what, for lack oaf better name, I would call a universal scientific psychology.

Neuroscience is offering us the possibilities of finally transcending our cultures and seeing human beings from a physical perspective.

In the meantime, I am glad to study African cultural psychologies, as well as scientific psychology (provided that the West is not defining what constitutes science).

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Ozodi Osuji Weekly Series on Psychology 2006, #49 of 52: Can There Be an African Political Philosophy?

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- Africans love to talk politics, but not psychology and philosophy. Whenever they gather, they talk politics. Politics, politics, politics. Politics offers them the opportunity to offer their opinions on how their society ought to be governed. Good.

However, there is certain sadness in Africans talk of politics. They tend to talk politics outside a philosophical context.

When Europeans and Americans talk politics they do so within the context of settled political philosophies. They have a political frame of reference guiding their discussions. The West has grappled with political theory and came to conclusions as to how they think man ought to be governed.

Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Hume, Adam Smith, Rousseau, Montesquieu, John Stoat Mill etc are some of the framers of Western political discourse.

Simply stated Westerners have come to certain conclusions about the nature of man and his society and practice their politics in that context.

Asians pretty much have done the same. The Asian is rooted in Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism, and the political philosophies implicit in those apparent religions. Thus, when the Asian talks politics he is doing so in the context of what his people have accepted as the nature of man and the nature of man’s society.

Africans have not taken the time to think through the nature of man and what his polity ought to be like.

Some of them went to Western schools where, generally, they obtain superficial education on the nature of the West. Very few of them have actually tried to understand the spirit of the West.

To understand the spirit of the West, one must study Western philosophy, and religion (Judeo Christianity) and, of course, science. One must grasp the struggles by the rational elements of society to overcome the strictures of the faith community; the nature of the Renaissance, the struggle between the Catholic Church and the Protestant Church, the struggle between the Christian Church and the secular movement, the nature of reformation, enlightenment, urbanization, scientism and the other forces that shaped the West.

Pseudo educated Africans seldom understand what any of these things mean. In fact, they even do not know what politics is all about. They jabber about politics and think that politics is only free for all talk and that it is up to each individual to say and do what he likes. It is a pity.

My heart cries out for Africans, as I see them jabber nonsense. Listen up, folks. Politics is war by other means (to stand, Von Clautzwise definition of war as politics by other means, on its head). When you are engaged in politics, you are at war with your opponents. It is cold war. Each of you is trying to win and have his will, his idea as to how the polity should be governed prevail.

This is an existential struggle, a titanic struggle. In fact, it is a struggle between men and gods. As it were, men have wrestled power away from the gods and are trying to make their will prevail in the world, their corner of it, anyway.

In normal politics, you go about this war in a cold manner but where talk fails, it becomes hot war and people shoot it out.

Thus behind the smiling faces of legislators must be military men willing to settle matters with bullets. Generally, politicians backed by stronger militaries win debates in politics.

Political realism tells us that war is always right around the corner, at any time in the affairs of men. Therefore, those engaged in political discourse must be very careful in what they say or do for if their talk becomes unacceptable to their opponents war breaks out. A minor thing like insulting ones opponents can lead to war where thousands, even millions die.

After the First World, liberals and their brain dead understanding of human nature took over. They gathered at Versailles, in France, and listened to Woodrow Wilson’s hare brained liberal agenda (the so-called fourteen points) to remake the world for liberal democracy. They ignored political realism and decided to humiliate Germany.

That is correct; they degraded the most warrior race on planet earth. Those Liberal fools actually went home thinking that they could sleep. But they had murdered sleep and Adolf Hitler soon showed them how. They paid dearly for their political immaturity. Fifty million of them died for them to come back to their senses, the recognition that you cannot degrade a man and get away with it.

Every man has the capacity to kill other men. You can kill me, and I can kill you. This is our existential reality. Either of us can choose to exercise that reality at any time.

So, if you insult a man and he looses face, there is no reason why he could not kill you.

Is there a reason why you should not kill me and I you? Religion? God? Where is God? Grow up and think empirically.

Human beings have the capacity to harm and or kill each other; therefore, if you want to live, you must treat them carefully. Failure to do so and you live to regret it.

But you see Africans insulting each other etc and you know that they will sooner or later shoot it out and kill each other. Just look at Africa and what do you see? You see incessant wars.

In Nigeria, the various tribes insult each other. The Igbos carry themselves as if they are better than other ethnic groups, thus inviting them to slap them around. If you pretend to be superior to others, all things known about human psychology suggests that they would attempt to slap you down. That is a fact, so, grow up and give up your delusion of superiority and accept the reality of our sameness and equality.

In that same Nigeria, some tribes, Hausa-Fulani, rule others. In their infantile minds, they probably believe that they can go on ruling others for ever.

Didn’t we resent it when white men ruled us? If we resented powerful Britain ruling us what makes you believe that the rule by primitive African tribes would be tolerated?

But no, Africans seem brain-dead, so the tribe in power continues ruling others and others keep quaffing in anger, seeking an opportunity to kill the rulers. Sooner or later, war breaks out and people are killed and these idiots see themselves as victims. No, you are not a victim; you are a fool and know nothing about human nature.

People are like birds, they seek freedom. You can cage them for a while but they never lose their desire for freedom. When the opportunity presents itself they will fly way. The subordinated tribes will break free, by and by.

If that is the case, wouldn’t the right thing to do be to structure the polity so that all its members feel respected hence feel happy to be in it?

That is what reason would suggest, but nobody ever accuses Africans of being a reasonable people.

Nigeria, indeed, most African countries are hastily put together by Europeans. Nigeria is not a country in the real sense of that word. But it can be made a country. Instead, of seeking ways to make it a real country, the rulers, foolish as ever, do things that make Nigeria’s break up inevitable.

Here is what would make Nigeria a country. How many tribes are in Nigeria? Perhaps, there are ten major tribes and numerous small ones. Divide the country into twenty states with each major tribe a state. Alaigbo state (comprising all Igbos, from Abo to Port Harcourt), a Yoruba state, an Edo state, an Ijaw state, an Efik state, an Urhobo state, a Tivi state, a Hausa state, a Bornu state (The smaller tribes who are generally similar to their neighbors can be grouped into states.) Altogether Nigeria should be no more than twenty states. It simply does not have the money to support more state expenses.

The twenty states should have no more than four hundred counties (also called districts or local government areas). This limit reduces administrative costs.

Each state would rule itself (have its own legislature, governor and judiciary) and send delegates to a national government (unicameral legislature of no more three hundred members, a president elected for six years with two term limit, and a judiciary headed by a supreme court) .

There would be true federalism where each state is almost independent and controls its resources. All citizens pay taxes to the national government (as well as state and local governments) to perform common services such as military, foreign affairs etc.

This is the only solution that, in the long run, will work well in Nigeria and in other African countries.

African countries must be restructured and made realistic to their ethnic compositions. You may pretend that all is fine but all is not fine in the land until you do the right thing by all the tribes. You cannot have internal black colonialism and not expect political strife.

Do Africans need to reinvent political philosophy? Is there such a thing as African political philosophy?

I do not think that there is such a thing as African political philosophy, but there is such a thing as political philosophy applied to Africans.

Africans can study philosophy, Western, Eastern African, and apply it to the particular exigencies of their world.

With regards to what existed in traditional African societies, they were not unique to Africa, they were found in all traditional societies in the world.

Human beings are the same all over the world; therefore, philosophy is the same all over the world.

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Ozodi Osuji Weekly Series on Psychology 2006, #48 of 52: Syncretism of African and European Religions

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- Right under our very noses a new religion is emerging in the world and we don’t even know it. I am talking about the mixture of African religious practices and imported Europeanized Christianity.

Conquerors usually denigrate conquered folks religions and impose theirs on the conquered people. Generally, the religion of conquerors is seen as superior to the religion of the conquered folks.

But an interesting thing always happens. The religions of conquered people invariably mix up with the religions of their conquerors and both synthesize to form different religions. This phenomenon happens all the time.

It happened in Europe and Asia. Buddhism was founded in India and spread to other parts of Asia. Wherever it went it took on the traditions of the people, so that Zen is now more Japanese than Indian Raja yoga that is Buddhism.

What we now call Christianity is certainly not the original religion allegedly founded by a Jewish rabbi called Jesus Ben Emmanuel. The religion of Jesus was not that much different from the religion of his Semitic people, the Jews and Arabs. Indeed, he preached his religion in Jewish temples (synagogues). He merely gave radical interpretation to familiar Jewish beliefs. Jesus was a Jew, not a Christian. (All his personal followers were Jews; indeed, he refused or hesitated working with non Jews; see his degrading talk to the Sarophenician woman…the children of the table, Jews, must first eat, and the dogs, gentile, pick up the crumbs of bread that fall from their table.)

Paul took a sect of the Jewish religion of Judaism to Europe. Paul insisted that his views are superior to other peoples. In time his views of the mission of Jesus prevailed in Europe.

But an interesting thing happened. Paulian Christianity later incorporated the various European religious practices to become what we now call Christianity.

Go watch a Roman Catholic Mass. What you are seeing is certainly not what Jews did in their synagogues but the ceremonial processions of Roman nobles.

In fact, such Christian terms as Easter are incorporated from European religious practices. Let us not beat around the bush, what folks now call Christianity’s a mixture of Jewish and European religious traditions.

That tradition has come to Africa. Initially it told Africans that their religions are primitive. It imposed European cum Jewish religious traditions on Africans. Our grandparents were browbeaten to accept this silliness as religion.

As these things always turn out, Africans began to transform the religions of their master. They began injecting their own religious traditions into their imported religions.

I grew up at Lagos and before my very eyes, my fellow Catholics began to abandon that largely Irish religion and flock to Aladura, Cherubim and Seraphim and similar Christian churches that mix African and European religious practices. Religious syncretism is taking place in our own Africa.

These syncretism religions are still evolving. What they would look like in maturity, I do not know. What I do know is that in a few centuries from today African Christianity would be different from the European Christianity given to Africans by their European masters. This process is inevitable and there is nothing any of us can do to stop it.

In the meantime, it is for each of us to find a type of religion or no religion that makes sense to him. It is every man for him self.

I find solace in psychology, philosophy and science. How about you?

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Ozodi Osuji Weekly Series on Psychology 2006, #47 of 52: New Age Religions of America

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- American white folks came from Europe. They brought with them their European version of the Middle Eastern religion called Christianity. At the time that America was founded, Europe was embroiled in religious wars, with Protestants asserting their right to interpret the Bible as they saw fit and the Catholic Church’s emperor, the Bishop of Rome, insisting that his interpretation of the Bible is the correct one.

The Pope, even though he may be having affairs with several women, indeed, having sex with men, too, insisted that his views on God were the only correct one. The Church was a mess.

In America, folks felt a breathe of fresh air and felt free to interpret the bible as they saw fit without obtaining the approval of the king of Rome. They did not even have to obtain the approval of the secular kings of the respective European countries that they came from. Thus, they interpreted the Bible, however, they liked. In the process, they found Protestant churches all over the place.

All a fellow had to-do is say that his understanding of the bible is the best one, and persuade a few persons to follow him and a new denomination of Christianity is born. American must have thousands of denominations of the Christian religion.

Then the British conquered India and Europeans came into contact with religions of India: Hinduism and Buddhism. In time, Americans went to India and studied those Oriental religions.

These fellows came back to America and gave their Bible a Hindu interpretation. The Christian science of Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy is nothing more than Hinduism in Christian garb.

Unity Church, Religious Science and the other genre of Christian denominations called New Thought are all attempts to reinterpret Christianity from Oriental religious perspective.

After Japan opened up to the West in 1852, it and its Zen religion got into the game. China contributed its own religion and philosophy, Taoism and Confucianism, Japan contributed its traditional ancestor worship, Shinto.

In the twentieth century, Western Anthropologist went to Africa and brought back with them ideas about African religions.

All these information mixed together to form a new religious movement called New Age.

For our present purpose, these new age religions are attempts to marry east and West. Some of them actually make sense, but, in general, they tend to be a jumble of contradictory beliefs, such as belief in reincarnation and karma, but not belief in class system, as in traditional Hinduism.

Let us just say that these religions are interesting. They are still evolving. They generally call themselves metaphysical churches and by that they mean that they give the Bible, not a literal interpretation but a Hindu interpretation.

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Ozodi Osuji Weekly Series on Psychology 2006, #46 of 52: Gnostic Religion

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- While the masses of the Middle East flocked to religions that posited a father figure that liked those who worshipped his great ego and punished those who disobeyed him, Greek rationalism combined with Semitic thinking to produce a somewhat rational religion called Gnosticism.

Gnosis is Greek for reason, so this religion imagined itself based on reason. This religion had both Christian and non-Christian versions of it. Plotinus, one of its fervent advocates was not a Christian but an educated Roman gentleman, whereas some of the apostles of Jesus (such as Thomas and Mary Magdalene) were said to be Gnostics.

It is really difficult to tell when Gnosticism began; what we can ascertain is what the followers of this religion believe.

They believe that our world is evil and that anything to do the world is evil. They want to negate our world, and escape from to it to a world they conceptualize as better. In this sense, Gnosticism is like Hinduism, for both want to negate this world and return to a world they consider ideal.

Gnosticism believes that there is God. They postulate that God is light. God created all things. At some point, one of God’s creations variously called the Demiurge and other names (in the Christian tradition he is called Lucifer, the chief angel) became proud and wanted to replace God as the creator of the universe. He warred with God. Some angels followed him, some remained loyal to God.

The loyalist eventually defeated the rebels and drove them out of heaven. The rebels came to this world and formed this world. Their world is the opposite of God’s world. This world is formed of matter and matter hides light, so matter is evil, is darkness. Gnostics see matter as evil and want to negate it and return to what they believe is good, light.

The Gnostics see this world as impure, as evil, as darkness. They want to overcome this world and return to the world of light, to God. They do not want to explore this world and adapt to it, they just want to leave it.

The Gospel of Thomas and Mary Magdalene supposedly made the best arguments for Gnosticism from a Christian point of view. Plotinus made similar argument from a non-Christian perspective.

The recently discovered Dag Hammadi papers suggest that there were many Gnostics during the first three centuries of the Christian era.

The Church eventually accepted the view of God as a father figure to be served by servant humanity and extirpated Gnosticism from the Roman world.

In the 1960s, a Jewish clinical psychologist, Helen Schucman wrote a poetic book, A Course in Miracles, which essentially brought Gnosticism back to the modern world. In her poem, it is not an angel that rebelled against God but the Son of God.

God’s son did not like the fact that God created him and wanted to create himself, create God and his brothers. He could not do so in reality, so he dreamed a world where he seems to have created himself. That world is our world.

As in ancient Gnosticism Ms Schucman considers our world evil and wants us to leave it and return to the world of God. She does not want us to do what we have to do to adapt to this world, for why waste time in a dream when you could wake up in heaven? Her theology tries to teach people how to negate this world and return to the real world; how to overcome the separated self, the ego, and return to the unified self, the Christ.

Is Gnosticism true or false? You decide that one for yourself. But before you decide you ought to research it.

As an African, I examine all foreign religions and choose from them only what makes sense to me. So far, no religion rooted outside of Africa makes complete sense to me. On the other hand, African religions, as they are, do not make sense to me, either.

I suppose that I am just going to have to articulate my own religion?

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Ozodi Osuji Weekly Series on Psychology 2006, #45 of 52: The Semitic Religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam)

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- The Semitic religions are the religions founded by the Semitic race. These three religions are all similar: worship of one God. In Indian categories they are Bhakti religions, that is, they posit a father figure in human form and worship him, sing praises to him and hope that if he is pleased that he would receive the worshippers into his heaven.

The three Semitic religions are Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Most Africans are probably aware of these religions, so I will only spend a few lines on them.

Tradition, or is it mythology, has it that Abraham, the founder of these three religions, was born in today’s Iraq. He left his hometown and settled in what is now Israel. He claimed that God promised him that land. He and his offspring displaced the other Arabs living on that real estate (then called Canaan) and took it over.

Abraham is claimed to be the father of both Jews and Arabs. He apparently had one legitimate wife and a concubine and had one son from each woman. He had one son, Isaac, from his legitimate wife. He had another son from his illegitimate wife; that son was called Ishmael. The Jews trace their lineage to Isaac and the Arabs trace their lineage to Ishmael.

For our present purpose, these Semitic folks had a conception of God as their father figure, a man who loves those who worship him and punishes those who do not. They had a monotheistic religion.

Judaism comprises of the approach to God delineated in thee Old Testament portion of the Bible. The Jews holy book is the Old Testament portion of the Bible. (Torah)

Christians combine the Old Testament and the New Testament. The New Testament delineates the activities of a Jewish rabbi called Emmanuel Ben Joseph, whom the Greeks called Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Jesus taught his followers that he and his father are one. He taught that he, the Son of God, has a right to forgive sins.

Apparently, the traditionalist Jews believed that he committed blasphemy by seeing himself as one with God, and presenting himself as able to forgive sins. Apparently, they schemed to have him killed.

(There is no empirical evidence that any of these actually took place. There was no Pontus Pilate in Jerusalem when Jesus was allegedly crucified and there is no historical record of him being tried and crucified. Let us then call all these quaint mythologies.)

Paul took the gospel of Jesus to the then known world, the Roman Empire and after three hundred years that religion wore down the empire and replaced it.

The triumph of Christianity meant the demise of Greek rationalism. Faith replaced incipient Greek science. Europe went into the reign of primitively, Dark ages, until the Arabs reintroduced Greek rationality into Europe.

If Christianity is taken literally, it is a silly religion; in fact, it is more primitive than African religions. Imagine, God permitted his beloved son to be killed for the sins of the world. What arrant nonsense. I do not want any one to be killed for my sins.

If Christianity is seen as a metaphor, now we are talking. The metaphor is of man, symbolized as Jesus, dying to his separated self, the ego, to regain awareness of his true self, unified self, the Christ, the Atman, the part of God who is one with God, and then it makes some sense.

The story of Jesus is the tale of death of ego (selfishness) and resurrection to Christ consciousness (shared living), the giving up of separation to attain union.

Along the line, Jesus said some interesting things. Saul/Paul transformed what was essentially a sect of Judaism, a Jewish religion, into a universal religion. Paul said some useful things and some idiotic ones…such as asking slaves to obey their masters.

Before Jesus died, he promised to send to his followers a counselor to be with them. Traditional Christians believe that the counselor came in the form of the Holy Spirit, who descended on the apostles on the day of the Pentecost. Others believe that he was Mohammed the seal of the prophets.

Mohammed (570-622AD) was an Arab, like Jesus, and had experiences that led him to found a new religion.

Briefly, young Mohammed worked for a rich widow called Khadija. Apparently, he later married her but she was past childbearing age. In the meantime, now that he was married to a rich woman and now that money is no longer a worry had time to devote to spiritual matters and would go to the caves to pray to God. There, he had visions and had the Angel Gabriel tell him to take down some notes. Since he was illiterate he had his friend Abu-Bakr takes them down.

The notes became his teaching. Meccans did not like what he was teaching about one God, Allah and the need to submit to him (Islam). They chased him out of their town. He ran to medina. (Hajira) There, he found a more receptive audience and eventually formed an army and used his army to conquer Mecca and forced the people with the sword to embrace his religion. (Jihad)

Mohammed’s followers followed his example and used the sword to take his religion to all over Arabia. Then they swept into North Africa and took it from the Christians. They swept into Spain and southern Europe, Sicily, Constantinople (now Turkey) and so on. They went east and got as far as India. Indeed, they went to Afghanistan and even into China and Indonesia. In Africa, they were stopped by the great Sahara desert otherwise they probably would have imposed their religion on all Africans. However, through trade contacts many parts of Sahel West Africa became Moslem.

I do not see much difference between Islam and Judaism and Christianity. All three believe in the same father figure God and worship him. All three want to please this man and hope that if they succeed that he would receive them into his heaven and that if they fell that they would be cast into hell.

Mohammed enjoined his followers to submit their will to God and to face Mecca while praying. They are to make a pilgrimage to Mecca, if they can afford it. They are to pray five times day. They are to fast during certain periods of the year (Ramadan).

Judaism, Christianity and Islam are the same religion and we need not beat a subject that does not need beating. If you find Christianity suitable to your temperament, the chances are that you would find Islam suitable to your temperament.

These religions appeal to worshipful persons.

Posted by Administrator at 01:43 AM | Comments (1)

Ozodi Osuji Weekly Series on Psychology 2006, #44 of 52: The Indian Religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Zen)

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- India has spawned many religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism and their Chinese and Japanese derivatives, Cheng and Zen. I will briefly review these religions.

Four thousand years or so ago, Aryans from what is now Iran crossed the river Cindy and settled in what is now Hindu-land (from Cindy River). These light skinned Aryans found dark skinned Dravidians already living in India.

The two groups mixed and produced today’s Indians. Their mixture produced the Indian religious orientation to life.

Some fellows, called Rishes, began to write poems on God. Their poetry is now referred to as the Veda, from which we obtain the Indian religion, Vedanta.

The Rishes also composed elaborate heroic poems on their God and his servants, which came to be known as the Ramayana and the Mahabharata (the most famous section of which is the Bagavad Gita).

In time, the more philosophical oriented Indians subjected what the Rishes wrote in poetic forms to more rational explanation. Their writings are in the nature of philosophical discourse and are today called the Upanishads.

Other thinkers added to this body of religious literature, including Patanjali (the Yogas) and Shankara and Ramanuja. Lately, Guru Nanak and Ramakrishna added to India’s impressive religious literature.

This body of literature, written in Sanskrit, constitutes the corpus of Hinduism. No one particular person founded Hinduism; it is religion that grew incrementally. Nevertheless, it has a core belief system running through it all.

According to the Indian story of creation (every human group has its own story of creation, a mythology of how they came into being); the world began when Brahman (God) decided that he needed company. Apparently, he divided himself into infinite parts. Each part is called Atman. The Brahman and the Atman are the same, since one God self became all the Atmans.

Brahman/Atman in their true state is spirit. At some point, Brahman/Atman decided to experience something that is not their spiritual nature. They cast Maya, magical spell on themselves and seem to go to sleep and in their sleep dream this world. This world is the dream of Brahman/Atman.

In the dream, Brahman/Atman forgot that they are one and the same person and now imagine that they are separated from each other. Each sees himself as totally different and not the other.

One self, Brahman is dreaming this world; all of us are that one self. In the world of dream, also called illusion, each person is called an ego, (Sanskrit Ahankara). The ego is a false, separated self. The real self is jivatman who is one with Brahman.

The world is the dance of one self, Brahman, who sees himself as infinite selves, us. It is an illusion, false and not real. In reality, all the people, animals and everything in this world is no other than God himself, albeit in different forms.

The purpose of the world is two fold: first, for Brahman to forget his true identity as one self and, second, to remember that the entire world is he.

To remember his one self, he undergoes elaborate dances. Since he seems different in different people, he remembers his true self through different dances in different persons.

Patanjali posits five paths to remembering our true self, the five Yogas (yoga, to yoke, to link back to God). These are Bhakti yoga, Jnana yoga, Karma yoga, Raja Yoga, Tantra yoga. These are religious paths to remembering the real self, which is Brahman. Each of these Yogas appeals to different human temperaments.

Some people like to worship God, so Bhakti yoga appeals to them. Some people are rational and intellectual, so Jnana yoga appeals to them. Some are action oriented, so Karma yoga appeals to them. Some people are experimental and Raja yoga appeals to them. Some persons are sensual by nature, so Tantra yoga appeals to them.

Each person must follow the path that suits his nature and cannot follow other paths, other religions (Christianity is a Bhakti religion). The Bhakti cannot be a Jnana, for the Bhakti wants to sings songs of praises to his god and worship his god as if he is a person craving his praises. The Jnana yogi wants to think about God and in time comes to the conclusion that all things are one (one self). The Raja yogi meditates and in his meditation transcends the ego separated self and goes through moksha and experiences our unified self, Brahman (in Samadhi). The karma yogi is active and wants power and wealth; if he goes out there and makes money and uses it to improve the welfare of mankind, he is serving God in his own way. The tantra yogi enjoys sensual pleasure, sex, if he sees his sexual partner as no other than God herself he is unifying with God.

According to Hinduism, there is only one self in the universe. That one self first created matter, called the Guna, and uses it to construct his many bodies. There are three gunas; everything in the world is said to be made of these gunas. Each of the three gunas has different characteristics and whichever one predominates in a person shapes his personality and fate.

The three gunas are: Sativa, Tamas and Rajas. Sativa is calm and if it predominates in one, one tends to be calm and priestly in nature. Raja tends to be active and if it predominates in one, one tends to be active. Tamas is slow and if it dominates in one, one tends to be lazy in nature.

Depending on the Guna that dominates in you, your temperament and even social class is fixed. Sattva predominates in the priestly class, the Brahmin; Rajas predominates in the administrative and ruling class, the Kastriyas. Tamas tends to predominate in the bodies of the lower classes the Sudras.

Hinduism believes in natural class system. It also believes in reincarnation and karma. As it sees it, people’s behaviors have effects and they tend to take the consequences of their behaviors in this life time and the next ones. If you are good in your behaviors, you may reincarnate be a Brahmin, and if you are evil you reincarnate to be a Sutra or worse, the untouchables.

(Bad behavior are said to accumulate debt, sansara that must be paid off before one moves on to higher forms of living.)

It so happens that Brahmins tend to be light in complexion whereas Sudras tend to be dark in color, so it is not particularly difficult to figure out that this karma business is nothing but political ideology hatched by the Aryans to oppress the Dravidians.

Hinduism believes that there are cycles to this world, and that each world lasts so many thousands of years, Yuga, and then ends and a new one begins. Hinduism has names for these cycles, including the present one cycle.

The goal of Hinduism is for folks to realize that they’re sleeping and dreaming that they are who they are not. In truth, they are Brahman/Atman. The idea is to awaken to the truth of who they are. Any of the Yogas can help folks to remember their real self.

India has elaborate religious practices and thousands of gods. Some of them are Shiva, Kali etc.

Indians worship their gods with foods etc. Watching a puja, where Indians worship their gods may make you feel that you are among the most primitive folks on earth. Then you read the Upanishads and you raise your hat for the Indian philosophers who reasoned that God is everything in this world.

Let us then say that Hinduism is a potpourri of religions under one religious umbrella. You will find the type of religion that appeals to you if you want to approach your god through Hinduism.

I found Jnana yoga amenable to my philosophical nature. However, I also practiced the royal yoga, raja yoga, meditation.


As already noted, if you saw aspects of Hindu religious practices you may be revolted by it. Who could behold the class system, the belief in karma, the encouragement of widows to throw themselves into their dead husband’s funeral pyres and the primitive perception of God as a deity to be worshipped with food etc and not feel offended at such superstitions?

Gautama Sakayamuni was an Indian who did not particularly like aspects of his inherited Hinduism and sought changes to it.

Gautama meditated and in his meditation experienced oneness with all life (what Hinduism would call Brahman). He entered Samadhi and broke through the veil of separation and recognized that all life is one. He called what he experienced Nirvana.

You probably have heard all the mythologies surrounding Buddha, that he was a prince who did not know suffering or see the old and dying until age 28 (that is impossible); that at 28 he finally stepped out of his father’s palace and saw suffering and death for the first time, that this discovery of pain and suffering unsettled him so much that he left his luxurious palace to go seek for the reasons why human beings suffer. That he tried many of the Hindu religious paths, the path of austerity, the path of tantra and sensual pleasure and finally settled on raja yoga.

All these are quaint stories and need not detain us.

What is likely the case is that a young Indian man of religious sensibilities tried the various paths to God and studied under many Hindu Holy men, Sadhus, and finally tried meditation and sat under a tree (Bo tree) for as long as it took him to discipline his mind to stop thinking, chattering.

When the mind stops thinking in ego terms, stops all conceptual thinking, it tends to escape from this world to a peaceful world. In the meantime, the mind does not like to stop thinking in ego categories, for to do so amounts to dying to this world.

The individual’s mind does not want to die to this world, so it would provide one with reasons why one should live in this world; think about all the nubile young things that one could have sex with, the wealth; the power…Hindus call this the temptations of Mara, the evil one. All these were the temptations of Buddha but he said no dice to them. He refused to go along and meditated and eventually escaped from his ego and its world of separation and experienced oneness, which he called Nirvana.

After his illumination to our essential oneness, he felt enlightened to the nature of truth, human oneness, and he got up from his meditative state and taught his followers that to live on earth; in ego separated state, is to suffer. We suffer because we desire to live as separated selves. To overcome suffering, we must relinquish our desire to live as separated egos.

But we do not want to relinquish our desire to be separated selves. Okay, Buddha said that we could desire the things of this world with detachment realizing that they are transitory and ephemeral, that they come and go and do not last.

If we are detached we do not feel disappointed if what we desire is not received; if we are attached to the things of this world, we suffer their loss.

If you are detached and your child dies you shrug it off, for you know that whoever is born in flesh must die. Why fret the inevitable, death?

Buddha taught people to have compassion for all their fellow suffering human beings, to live moral lives, to not steal, to help other people, to not backbite, to speak the truth at all times etc.

His teachings are called the four noble truths and the eight paths to enlightenment.

Buddha built monasteries and lived with his followers, those who renounced the world and lived simple lives, monks. They begged for their food…begging for food is one way to overcome pride, to humiliate the ego and its false pride; and when we overcome pride, ego, we are ready to reach oneness, God.

Buddha died and his followers carried his religion from India to all over Asia. The religion eventually split into two main branches: Theravada and Mahayana.

The Mahayana branch got to China and became Chiang and Chiang got to Japan and became Zen.

Zen is Japanese coloration of Indian Buddhism. It gave Japanese names to Indian names. Nirvana became Satori; swami became Roshi (priest).

Zen is a very disciplined method of meditation, not necessarily to escape from this world, as Indians do, but to control the mind and concentrate it for action.

Japanese Samurais (soldiers) would discipline their minds not to feel angry when insulted but to only fight when they are calm and collected; they were the world’s most efficient killing machines.

They disciplined their minds not to give in to fear and fly planes into American war ship, as kamikaze pilots. The Japanese transformed Buddhism to serve their militaristic ends. Of course it also served some religious purposes.

Buddhism spread to all over Asia and wherever it went the local religious practices infused it. In Tibet it became very magical.

For our present purposes, Buddhism is Hindu raja yoga and helps people meditate and overcome their ego minds and attain inner peace.

Buddhists want to reach what they call no self, giving up the ego self and its thinking, to make their minds a void, an open spot where their real self then reveals itself.

Indian religions are interesting and should be explored by Africans. However, I have a feeling that theses religions appeal to the oriental temperament, to persons who are world weary and want to negate this world and escape from it to what they believe is a better world. (Hindus wants to return to the abode of God, brahmaloca).

Those persons, who want to live in the here and now world and explore it scientifically, probably would not find Indian religions any thing but a passing fancy.

Posted by Administrator at 01:42 AM | Comments (0)

Ozodi Osuji Weekly Series on Psychology 2006, #43 of 52: Morality Matters

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- What is morality and ethics, and, more importantly, is man a moral animal? Should man be moral? This is a very pertinent question, for, as you already know, contemporary Nigerians seem to believe that it is natural for them to be amoral.

Nigeria is a lawless place. Hardly any one lives by the law, unless they fear immediate apprehension by the authorities and punishment. In Nigeria, it seems that the belief is that Laws are made to be broken.

In Nigeria, just about all the politicians and bureaucrats are crooks, law breakers; I call them criminals in political office. We have a rule by criminals in Nigeria.

Given the sad state of affairs in Nigeria, it is appropriate to ask whether Nigerians ought to be left as they are: amoral?

Is morality a luxury that folks can dispense with at will and live in an amoral jungle where every body does as he pleases?

Philosophy defines ethics as the individual’s choice of morality, his idea of good and bad, and defines morality as what a group of people decide is good or bad. Ethics in personal and morality is social.

Every human society has ideas of permissible behaviors, what is right or wrong behavior.

What one society considers good behavior may be considered bad behavior in another? (Hence moral relativism.)

Society’s morality can be codified or not. If it is codified it is called rules and laws (constitutional or statutory). If it is not written down, but is expected behavior it is generally regarded as mores. Norms and laws are, together, referred to as the norms of society.

Norms is what is accepted as normal behavior in a group. In that sense, normality is derived from norms; a normal person, in effect, is a person who does what is in his group’s normative expectation. That is to say that the group defines normalcy.

This is what sociologists tell us. But reality is different from sociological construction of reality.

Is mental illness socially constructed? Is schizophrenia and mania (bipolar affective disorder) only a social phenomenon? Have you seen psychotics? The schizophrenic and or the manic see himself as god and try to behave as he imagines that god behaves: all powerful. Is the insane person a social creation?

I know many sociologists who believe that mental disorder is a social construct. Let us see. Society tells us to strive to seem important and decides that god is the ultimate symbol of importance and power and indirectly disposes those who feel powerless and unimportant to latch unto god in their efforts to seem powerful? That is to say that the psychotic’s grandiosity is a function of society’s reinforcement of such pursuit in people?

Society tends to accept people conditionally, mostly when they seem successful and ignore or reject them when they seem failures, and in this sense dispose poor men to see themselves as successful as god, so as to be accepted by society?

See, most Nigerians are neurotic; they want to seem important, fictional importance, by calling themselves engineer fool who has not contributed an iota to engineering science.

Does biochemistry play a role in the etiology of mental disorder, in the psychotic’s apparent grandiosity?

In other words, is reality a sociological construct or is it a biological construct. It is probably both?

If what we call reality is determined by our society and biology, can morality be considered self evident?

If there is no God, there can be no moral absolutes. Without God every thing is relative (cultural relativism).

Or does God exist, thus making morality self evident? Where is your proof that God exists? Religion? Whose religion determines morality? Christianity and Islam? Are those not formulated in Arabia; are they not Semitic religions? Hinduism and Buddhism? Are those not Indian religions?

Why should foreign religions tell Africans what is right or wrong? Do Africans have religions? If so, what are they? (See my essays on the religions of the world.)

Is there such a thing as morality in nature? If not, is killing some one good? If your answer is yes, could you volunteer to be the first to be killed? Can you practice what you believe?

Is there such a thing as natural morality or is morality a social construct? This is a critical question, for how you answer it decides whether you are a moral being or not.

Let us see what Western political philosophy said. Thomas Hobbes (Leviathan) claims that in the state of nature human begin were selfish and lived mostly for themselves. Each person pursued his personal interest at the expense of other people’s interests. The result was conflict. People were perpetually at war with each other. The powerful killed the weak and a band of the weak killed the powerful and took his wealth. Thus, life was insecure for all. Life was nasty, brutish and short.

To ameliorate their personal and social insecurity, people agreed to form a civil society. They agreed to give some of their powers to ruler, to government who makes laws that protect all of them. In effect, people agreed to reduce their natural license to do as they pleased and live under law that restricted their freedom.

The benefit of curbing their freedom is social security.

Would you like absolute freedom and the risk of death from other equally free persons or would you rather have your freedom reduced, so that you have social security and live long?

Hobbes said that reason disposes people to choose reduced freedom and more security.

In Hobbesian perspective, morality is pragmatic. Morality is that which gives individuals’ social security. Morality is not self evident in nature; it is an artificial social construct.

The English utilitarian school (John Mill, John Stuart Mill, and Jeremy Bentham) essentially agrees with Hobbes (and Locke, Hume, Adam Smith, Ricardo etc). To them, human beings are rational animals; as such, they prefer pleasure to pain. In pursuit of pleasure they pass laws that accentuate their pleasure and reduce their pain.

What is the right public policy? That which optimizes pleasure for the majority of the people in a polity, John Stuart Mill said in On Liberty.

Because morality is an artificial construct some persons can choose, and do choose not to abide by it. Criminals deliberately choose to live outside the pale of law. While most people obey the laws of the land, criminals disobey them. A thief takes from others because he does not believe in respecting others rights to their property and does not respect the law.

(But does the thief like it if other thieves stole from him? Of course not; the thief feels angry when other thieves steal from him. There is no honor among thieves. Thieves do kill other thieves who stole from them. The fact that thieves do not like to be stolen from makes the argument that no one likes to be stolen from hence no one should steal.)

Does morality exist in nature? What do you think? In the Republic, Plato gathered prominent Athenians to debate many issues, including why there should be justice and what justice is or is not.

(I really would like to see Africans debate intellectual issues rather than rehash what their white masters told them. I, too, went to Western Universities and learned from our white masters. But, I want to see us think through many things and decide what makes sense or not to us. I am really sick and tired of seeing Nigerians regurgitate what they learned from their colonial masters and in doing so fancy themselves educated. To me, a person is truly educated when he has thought through things and came to independent conclusions as to their nature.)

I do not see morality in nature. In nature, I see big fish eat small fish and there is nothing moral about that. The small fish obviously has the same desire to live as the big fish, so the big fish had no business eating the small fish.

Yet, morality is a necessary social phenomenon. No society, no group of people can exist without its members agreeing to behave morally.

If people behaved amorally the result would be anarchy and insecurity. Do you need and example?

Look at Nigeria; look at what the devil has made; an amoral place where folks do exactly what they want to do regardless of the law.

In a well functioning polity, there must be morality. I do not see how society can exist without laws.

In my view, the first order of business for society is to make laws (legislative branch of government is primary) and the second order of business is to implement them (execution, executory branch of government is next to the legislative), and the third order of business is to adjudicate them (Judiciary, some one must interpret the laws).

Laws ought to be implemented in a draconian manner. Whoever disobeys the laws of society ought to be hunted down, arrested and tried and jailed. There ought not to be sentimentality on this issue, for without laws and morality no society can exist. Society is the same as morality and rules and laws. Without laws there is no society.

Therefore, whereas empirical observation shows me that there is no morality in nature; logic tells me that there must be morality and laws in organized society.

In this light, the rulers of Nigeria, if that is what the thieves at Abuja are called, ought to pass laws and implement them in an impersonal manner. You commit a crime, you are arrested and jailed. No sentimentality should be wasted over this matter.

If you treat criminals with kid gloves, as they do in Nigeria, (the Inspector General of police, a certain creature called Tafa Balogun stole billions of Naira and was sentenced to a few months in jail; that was all; he was given a slap on the wrist; he ought to have been allowed to rot in prison; better still, his head should have been chopped off) there would continue to be criminals everywhere.

The average human being wants to live at all costs. If you threaten to kill him if he is anti social, his fear of death would dispose him to obey the law. So shoot a few Nigerian criminals every weekend and the rest of that thieving population would shape up. The fear of the hangman would make them begin to obey the laws of the land.

Generally, in human societies, only a few persons tend to really think about the nature of morality and laws and reach the conclusion that there is need for morality and laws for society to exist and voluntarily choose to obey the laws of their society. Plato made Socrates to drink the hemlock and die to show that laws must be obeyed.

The mass of humanity is like cattle and do not think; these animals need draconian application of the law, punishment of offenders, to get them to obey the laws of the land.

This is sound conservative view. I make no pretense: I am a conservative. I have a negative view of human nature. I think that by nature human beings are self centered and amoral and need the law and the hangman to keep them in check, to civilize them. If you remove the police, courts and prisons from society, most people would steal and engage in other anti social activities.

(Liberals have a rosy picture of human nature; they tend to believe that left alone that people are good and will choose to obey the law. The fallacy of liberalism is Nigeria where folks are not voluntarily choosing to obey the law. Conservatism assumes that people are selfish and would disobey the law unless you have the threat of the hang man hovering over their heads. In my view, liberal thinking is brain dead. Conservatives appear to be the only ones with realistic thinking. Conservative political ideology seems eminently empirical whereas liberalism seems what folks wish to exist that does not exist. Human nature is not pretty. Man is a fallen creature and needs supervision to do the right thing.)

I want a society of law and order. In that society morality must be clearly defined. Those who disobey the law should be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Nigerians must become realistic and understand the need for obedience to law and start transforming their current lawless African jungle into a civilized law abiding society. In a country of laws, in a country where law is implemented and lawbreakers are punished there is security for most people. The converse is the insecurity that characterizes life in the thief-
Land called Nigeria.

Posted by Administrator at 01:41 AM | Comments (0)

Ozodi Osuji Weekly Series on Psychology 2006, #42 of 52: Developmental Psychology

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- I was going to write a straight essay that summarized developmental psychology, raising children, the stages of child development etc but decided to not do that. Instead, I decided to engage in a bit of moralization.

The way Nigerian men abandon their children have been on my mind for a long time; it has been eating me up with annoyance, so, I am just going to have to say it like I see it.

Briefly, let me say that developmental psychology studies children: from the time they are born to the time they are eighteen years old; that is, until they become adults. Psychologists have carefully delineated the stages children go through, what they need at each stage and what parents can do to enhance their proper development. Alfred Adler wrote extensively on child development. Alfred Driekurs did, Piaget did, Dr Spock did, Erik Erickson did (you should read his Childhood and Society), Burton White did, Jerome Kagan did. The literature on child development is rather extensive. I recommend that every parent take, at least, one course on developmental psychology and one course on parenting skills. In the USA, most community colleges offer such courses.

What I would like to do here is ask my fellow Nigerians, Africans why they are so stupid when it comes to raising their children. What exactly disposed them to ignore their children? I am talking about men, not women. What exactly led our men to take a “hands off” attitude to the raising of their children?

(I am generalizing, of course. I know that a few Nigerian men are the exception, but where most people behave in a certain manner, one is allowed the literary right to generalize.)

In traditional African societies folks were mostly farmers. Again, I will not be hypothetical; I will draw from a real African Society. I am from Alaigbo.

Until the white man came to our world in the early 20th century, our people were farmers. Both men and women farmed. A child is born and the mother carried him or her on her back to wherever she went to. She carried him on her back as she did her work on the farms and where that was not feasible she brought him to the farm, any way, and had the older children look after him, right there at the farm, as she worked. She had her eyes on him at all times.

When a boy child is old enough, say, eight years old, he begins to work with the men and essentially worked with his father, as they worked on their farm. In effect, he was with the father and was receiving attention from him.

Generally, the boy worked with the father until he is old enough to have his own farm, probably when he is married, around age eighteen.

For our present purposes, the salient point is that the boy child was with his father and the girl child was with her mother, most of the time. The children were not abandoned and, in a way, can be said to be nurtured by their parents.

Now, let us look at what happens in contemporary Nigeria. The family of interest lives in the slums of our emergent cities. The father has a job in the better part of the city, miles away from his slum residence. The mother may also have a job?

Children are born. The mother takes care of the children until they begin schooling at age six. Thereafter, the child goes to school, may be in the company of other kid but is seldom taken to school by his parents, comes home and plays with other kids and eats dinner and goes to bed. His father goes to work in the morning, comes home in the evening, eats, talks to other men, goes to bed, wakes up and goes to work. This child generally has nothing to do with his father, with his mother, sometimes, but the father, seldom.

(Please note that I am not writing an academic treatise here; I am writing from direct experience; I was born in the slums of Lagos and grew up there and know a thing or two about how we, children, were raised. When Nigerians write, they often make stories up, perhaps, to make the white man, their presumed reader, like them. They paint glowing images of their society. I do not tell lies; I say it, as it is, and if you cannot handle the truth, ugly as it may be, you are free to live in your beautiful made up fiction land.)

Any way, before we get into an argument, let me ask you if you engaged in activities with your father. If you did, you are one of the lucky ones. The majority of our children are essentially abandoned by the fathers. No wonder they grow up not guided and confused. Above all, no wonder they do poorly at school.

African men are essentially like black American men; they abandon their children. In the USA, over seventy percent of the children are born and raised in single parent homes. That is, in homes where there is only a mother. The men come around, have sex with the women, get them pregnant and disappear.

The African American boy children mostly grow up without their fathers in the house. If a boy is lucky, some uncle or grandfather gets involved in his live, but that is occasional involvement. On a day to day basis, he is essentially growing up only with his mother (and the series of boy friends that troop through the house).

I tell you, it is a mess, the state of the black family, in America and in Africa.

African American girl children, generally, do well for they can identify with their mothers and essentially learn from them how to be women and grow up somewhat normal.

Generally, boy children do not identify with women and since there are no men in the house to identify with and learn from, they grow up essentially confused. You see them act tough; you see them try to seem like macho-men, but, in fact, they are “women” psychologically.

Some of these fathers-less man-children (In Igbo we say Nwatawoko, translated into English, child-man or man-child) fall into the company of street gangs and the gang becomes their surrogate parents. They would do anything to please their gang members, particularly the leaders of these vicious gangs. They would steal, sell drugs, even kill to please gang leaders, so as to be accepted and feel like they belong to the gang family. They have to belong to something, you know, and if there is no family to belong to, they might as well belong to street gangs.

So, I ask myself: why are black men so stupid, why are they doing these damages to their children by abandoning them.

I have read a million sociological studies on how the black family was destroyed by slavery, racism, discrimination, unemployment and poverty.

Do you know what? I do not want to read one more freaking sociological study. I do not want one more white sociologist telling us why our people are dumb. I do not want us to be understood by freaking white social scientists; I just want us to do the right thing, which is all.

And if sociological studies explain the mess that is the black American family, what explains the equal mess that is the African family?

Let us see. These people are in a rapidly modernizing society. They have to scrap for a living. The men leave their houses before six in the morning and seldom come home before six in the evening. They perform back breaking jobs in the incipient factories in industrializing Africa. So, when they get home from their arduous work they are tired and just want to relax and go to sleep. So, they eat, shoot breezes with their friends, for a while, catch some sleep, and the grind starts all over, the next t day. They do not have the time to do anything with their children.

Have I understood you, idiotic African, or do we need a formal sociological study by a white master boy to explain your stupidity some more? What would it take to make you understand that your children need your attention?

Those of us who were lucky and our parents paid attention to us do well, not because we are rich but because some one cared. A child needs the adults in his life to care for him.

Sigmund Freud told us that all children are narcissistic and feel like the center of the world, are kings and queens and want to be treated as such, and that they ought to be treated as such, until they gradually learn that they have to share attention with other folks. But if a child’s narcissistic needs for attention and admiration are not met, he lives the rest of his life seeking neurotic attention from other people.

See, Nigerian men grow up without receiving good attention from their fathers and devote the rest of their lives seeking attention from other people; they often do so in a warped manner, such as calling themselves: Professor, Doctor, Chief, Alhaji, Engineer Do-nothing. Being called by the phony titles they give themselves, apparently, makes them seem important in their infantile minds. Apparently, this is because, as children, nobody made them seem important.

Those of us who, as children, were made to feel important could care less whether we seem important or not in other peoples eyes; we just do what we feel is right and leave it at that.

Let me review my background. Everybody in our household got up at 5:30AM. We took shower and by six thirty the adults were out of the door. Father went to work. Mother went to work. They did not come home before six in the evening. This is typical of the households on our street at Lagos.

But when father came home from work, he insisted on helping us do our home work. When there was no home work to do, he talked to us about his people’s traditions. He told us so many stories about his people and about the politics of Nigeria that even though we were not living in the village we probably know more about it than those in the village. Father had only elementary school education and came to Lagos during the Second World War. After that war, he stayed at Lagos and pretty much spent the rest of his life at Lagos. He had all his children at Lagos. Lagos was our real home (with occasional visits to see our grandparents in the village, especially during Christmas periods).

On Sundays, we went to Church. At the end of the service (usually at Holy Cross Cathedral, Mariner, Lagos) father and the two boys, I and my junior brother, would walk. Sometimes, we walked to Victoria Island, to Bar Beach, some times to Ikoyi Park. Some times we just walked around the island of Lagos. We must have walked to every piece of that territory. As we walked, he talked to us about all sorts of things.

I had a special relationship with father, since I am like him, both physically and mentally. We enjoyed the same type of topics. Father would suddenly ask me: Tom, do you think that God exists? There we go, and for the next several hours we would examine the pros and cons for the existence of God. On different occasions, he would say to me: Tom, look at the stars, how many do you think are there, how far do you think they are from us? We would then spend hours talking about the stars. On Saturday afternoons, father would take me and my brother to the Central library and we spent the afternoon there reading books. At age fifteen (1970) for my birth day, father gave me Will Durant’s History of Philosophy and insisted that I read all of it. I did and we had unending conversations based on that book. My God, I had so much conversation with my father that when I came to the university I found undergraduate education a waste of my time. And I mean this literally.

For our present purpose, the point is that despite being a working class stiff, father had the time for his children. Mother literally adored us; she lived for us.

If my father had the time to do things with his boys, how is it that his fellow African men did not?

My friends seldom had anything to do with their fathers. Did you go sit in the library all day with your father?

When I was an undergraduate, father kept involved in my schooling and certainly wanted to see my quarterly report cards…they were sent to him, all the way from America. In fact, he used to correct my letters; he would mark up my poor grammar, and send them back to me. That is correct: a man with minimum education was editing his university son’s writing. So, why was father involved with his children and his peers were not involved?

I do relate to so-called educated Africans in the USA. The men seldom get involved with their children’s education. I sometimes go to some friends’ houses, pick up their children and take them to the library or zoo or museum or anything else. I take these children to the parks and play with them. I mean play with them. I get to their levels and play with them as if I am a little boy. And their parents? They are too busy acting big man, pretending importance to get down to the level of children and gambol around with the kids, romp with them.

These children tell me that their parents are too busy to take them to the places I go with them. Indeed, they tell me that other than their mothers that their fathers seldom help them do their home works.

(My God, I love doing homework with kids; I learn a lot from doing so. I am very bad in mathematics and helping kids do their Algebra or Geometry helps me understand them better.)

Here then is my question. Are black men lunatic or what? In Igbo language: Isi omebiri ndi-ojie?

Is it difficult to understand that men should be involved in their children’s lives? Common sense ought to tell all men that if they are involved in their sons lives that the sons would identify with them and feel at home in this world and go on to face the world in a courageous manner.

Why do our men essentially abandon their children? Nigerian big men practically have no time for their sons. The truly rich in Nigeria have their drivers take their children to school, bring them back etc. They seldom have any thing to-do with their children. I attended a rather good secondary school and many of the boys were from rich families. On the first day of the quarter, when we came back from holidays, some of these boys were brought to school by chauffeurs, in expensive imported cars, but seldom by their parents. Me? Mother took me to school and made sure that I settled in before she left.

So, my class mates are from rich families, eh? But they had absent fathers. So they had all sorts of material things, but they did not have emotional nurturing, what they needed most. Many of those boys grew up confused.

When I left secondary school, another boy from my school and I wound up at the same university in the USA. It was strictly accidental, for we were not particularly friendly while in secondary school. His father is a millionaire and my parents are working class. So, at secondary school he carried himself like he was better than me, and I ignored him. So here we were in the good old USA, a couple of months after leaving secondary school. Two boys, lost in strange white man’s land.

This boy’s father (I call him boy, for we were both 19 years old) did not get involved in his life and that compounded his issues. I talked to my parents every week. So who is better served by his parents, the rich boy or poor boy?

I still do not get it, I mean why Africans abandon their children. It really does not take a rocket scientist to realize the need to be involved in ones children’s lives.

Just look at the state of black America. What do you think is the cause of the mess you see? Been to the ghetto, lately? Young men hanging around street corners in the evening talking nonsense. My God, I had to be home and do my work. I do not believe that I was given permission to be outside after a certain hour. I accounted for every minute of my time. But here we see teenagers hanging around street corners, smoking cigarette; (when some one saw me smoke, in secondary school, and told my father, I was punished and that was the end of that nonsense), drinking and getting into trouble.

So why do black men abandon their children and when the children turn out messed up they blame it on the economy or on the white man. These people are pathetic; they are what human beings ought not to be.

I usually speak what is in my mind. I am not subtle at all. In that light I would say shame on black men. In fact, I say, shame on the black race, I mean the male portion of it. If our women were as unconcerned as our men, we would really be worse than we currently are.

You know what? I do not want to hear of a study explaining why our men do not get involved in the upbringing of their children. I have had such studies up to my ears and do not want any more.

I don’t want any more excuses for a man not doing what he should be doing. What I want to see happen is for black men to be with their children, for black men to provide for their children, for black men not to abandon their children, for black men to help their children do their home works, for black men to take their children to libraries, bookstores, zoos, museums etc; for black men to play with their children, go to parks and do all sorts of fun things with their children.

Please do not tell me that you do not have time. You have the time and can make time if you like. I work at least ten hours a day and still find time to do all sorts of fun things with my kids. My son and I go jogging three times a week. We go to the gym. We study together etc. You can do it and I do not want to hear excuses why you do not do it.

I have heard so many excuses from black men that I do not want to hear one more.

Finally, all black parents should go take courses on developmental psychology, so that they know what children need and do it.

Be a father and perform your god damned parental function. If you brought a child into this world you ought to do your best to make life as interesting as is possible for him. This world is a place of pain. You do not have a right to bring a child into a pain house. You brought a child into this world of pain and suffering; the least that you could do is help him learn how to reduce his pain and suffering by being there for him. Please become involved in your children’s life.

Posted by Administrator at 01:40 AM | Comments (0)

Ozodi Osuji Weekly Series on Psychology 2006, #41 of 52: Stress Management

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- Stress, ah stress. What are we going to do about it? You cannot live with it and you cannot live without it. (Now, don’t go talking about women, you hear me.)

Living on planet earth is stressful. Every step one takes is stressful. Just think about it. How many people are killed on a typical day in auto accidents in this great country of ours? You don’t want to know, for if you know it would make you fearful of even leaving your house, how much more driving your freaking car.

You could be killed by any human being around you, you know. Did I say that you could be killed? Didn’t that raise your blood pressure? Did it not make your heart race, pump faster, urging you to run, to do something to save your life?

You got it. That is what stress is all about. Every second of your life on earth certain things are attacking you, threatening your life and you are feeling an urge to flee or fight them. That fear and anger response you feel is what stress is all about. Hans Selye, a Canadian medical doctor initiated the study of stress. Life is stressful. What a bummer.

As I sit here typing, millions of virus, bacteria, fungus and other unicellular organisms are trying to make my body their dinner. My body is fighting back via the immune system killing those damn germs. The immune system is almost always at war with germs trying to kill us. This means that blood is rushed to where bacteria attacks your body, the spot circled off; antibodies sent to fight the freaking germs, war ensues and some cells are killed and you survive.

I will not go into detail here, it is scary, and I tell you. Old Darwin was correct, after all, life is really a struggle for the survival of the fittest.

Poor little mosquito wants to eat you and big you kills it and survive. If your immune system is weakened, say, by HIV-AIDS, those little bacterial things kill you.

What can I say? I did not tell you that life is a bed of roses, did I? Life is constant struggle for survival, visible and invisible struggles.

If you let down your physical and psychological defenses, the battle is over, and your body becomes dinner for worms.

Listen up, life is stressful and nature built into us mechanisms for responding to them. Our bodies have danger sensing mechanisms, danger alerting mechanisms, signaling systems that cue our brains that danger is around and urge us to do what we have to do for us to survive.

Theses systems are globally called fear, anger, stress and immune response systems. We have already reviewed how some of them work and you ought to know about them by now. (I did not review how the immune system works; why don’t you do so for us? You ought to have something to contribute to our people’s welfare, you know.)

The relevant point is that at all times something is attacking our bodies and is stressing our bodies.

There are physical and psychological stressors every where. Your medical doctor can tell you about the physical stressors. Let me review some of the psychological stressors. The major ones are divorce, separation, unemployment, being fired from your job, poverty, a significant one dying, a child dying, a girl friend leaving you, taking examinations, fear of failing, fear of not doing well (folks in Japan do commit suicide if they did not make perfect grades). Any number of things could stress you.

When you are stressed your body is responding like you respond when you are afraid or angry. We talked about anger and anger management. Review how your body feels when you are fearful and or angry; that is how you feel when you are under stress (rapid heart beating, rapid breathing, tort muscles, tension, urge to run or fight etc).

Think about your school days. You had examinations. How did you feel during examinations? In my school, the school authorities used to post the results on the school bulletin board. A typical class would have thirty students and they would list all of you, from who made first to who made last. If you did not do well you were embarrassed. Every person knew how every person did. There was no place to hide.

On the first day back from holidays, back to boarding school, we all came running to see how we did. I never made first in my class. I always hovered between second and anything thereafter. I envied the kid who made first and I don’t mind telling you that I prayed for him to die, so that I would replace him.

Just think about your feelings when you took your school certificate examination. I can speak for myself. I was afraid of failing. I was tense. I felt that if I failed that my folks would disown me. I was tension on legs. To avoid not failing, I studied very hard. I stayed up most of the night studying. Then the examination was taken. I believed that I did okay. Now, I developed another worry. Would I do well, have all As or not? My God, I lived in perpetual fear of failing. You made a sound and I jumped. Then the result came out and I had an excellent result but a few Bs and felt like the ground should open up and swallow me. The next year I sat for the GCE Advance level and cleared them As. The family name was redeemed. Then it was off to the USA, to college. Every quarter my father got my results. If I had poor grades, he chewed me out. You got it. I lived in tremendous tension during my schooling days. You probably did, too.

That is what stress is all about, my friend, living in physical and psychological tension. Those who live in such tension seek ways to reduce the awful feeling of pressure they are under. Some take recourse to smoking.

Have you been around high school kids during examination times? Many of them smoke to reduce the tension they are under. Have you seen folks going through separation and divorce? They are under enormous pressure and some of them start doing alcohol, big time, some even get into drugs, legal and illegal. Ah, the great American suburbs, that haven for Valium poppers.

No person can live under tension for too long. Too much tension can actually damage some of your visceral organs. So we all try to reduce our somatic tension. We do so in many ways. We drink alcohol, some do drugs, some engage in sexual activity…all these reduce physical tension.

(When Nigerian big men are under stress they have sex, lots of it. Many of them are sex addicts and do not know it. They use sex to reduce their somatic and psychological tension. Sex releases tension and becomes another addictive drug. And the sad part of this story is that many of these folks have sex indiscriminately and, of course, contract venereal diseases and die of HIV-AIDS. If only these fellows would learn to restrict their sexual activity to only their wives and seek other ways to deal with their stressful lives.)

The traditional methods of reducing tension, alcohol, drugs, etc, unfortunately, also kill you.

Stress management teaches folks alternative methods of managing their stress. Exercising is a big one. Run every other day, for, at least, an hour. Work out in the gym, at least, twice a week, an hour each time. If you can, ride your bicycle rather than drive your car to work. Swim. Do some callisthenic exercises like Yoga etc?

Exercises and healthy life styles in general, such as eating right (your nutritionist can tell you what is good meal, combining the four food groups: protein, carbohydrates, oil and fact, minerals) in a balanced manner, not eating too much, is ideal stress coping mechanism.

If you are a parent, playing with your children is, perhaps, one of the best ways to relax after a busy day at the office. Come home, put away your suit, put on your jeans and T shirt and romp on the floor with your five year old child. For one thing, playing with a child gets you out of your neurotic desire to seem like you are a big man; a very important person…that desire leads to acting, trying to seem a big man, acting as if you are what you are not. The fact is that you are just an ordinary man, even if you are the president of your country. Relax and play and have fun, for life is meant to be fun.

Listen to music, dance, have good conversation with friends, laugh a lot (look for opportunity to laugh, go to comedy clubs and laugh at jokes). Laughter, they say, is the best medicine, it relaxes you, and God knows how much you need to relax before you experience cardiovascular diseases (heart attack, strokes).

Life is stressful and we are always under stress. We cannot use a magical wand to banish stress. There are stressors everywhere we turn. In fact, some stress is good for us; running is stressful on our muscles and heart but that stress is good for us, makes our muscles healthy.

Stress is part of living. Find ways to reduce your stress; you cannot eliminate them. What you cannot eliminate you can learn to manage. Find ways to relax. You know what they say: all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy (and all play and no work makes him a ….Balance, the middle way, is the best approach to everything in life.)

Posted by Administrator at 01:38 AM | Comments (0)

Ozodi Osuji Weekly Series on Psychology 2006, #40 of 52: Anger Management

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- Anger is one of the human emotions. It seems a necessary emotion. In fact, it seems necessary for survival and without it, it is doubtful that human beings can survive on planet earth.

Anger is actually the same emotion as fear. The physiology of anger and fear is the same. From the body’s perspective, it is impossible to distinguish the two for the same physiological responses are involved in both.
Fear has two sides to it: flight and fight. When we are in fear we feel an urge to run away or to stay and fight back. Anger is the fight aspect of fear response and what folks call fear would be the flight aspect of fear response.

When an animal organism, human beings included, feels his life threatened he experiences a powerful urge to flee or to fight back. Both motivations are designed to enable the individual to take measures that would protect his physical and or psychological existence.

Fear and anger responses are involuntary responses, that is, they are not undertaken consciously; they are done involuntarily.

Perhaps, the best way to describe these responses is through an example. Let us, therefore, examine an example.

You are walking down the streets of inner City Los Angeles (this is an actual story that happened to me…I am keeping these essays real, not hypothetical) and a young Mexican man runs up to you with a gun. Without pausing to think about what to do you find your heart pounding furiously, as it wanted to fall out of its chest cavity; you breathe rapidly, inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide, you find that your face is red, your muscles are tense, your fingers are clinched, your legs are ready to run and that your fists are ready to hit at the threat.

You are in anger and fear mood. Your body felt threatened and poured out adrenaline, an exciter neurochemical and it stimulated most organs in your body to work faster. Your body released sugar and your blood pumped faster carrying that energy to most muscles of your body preparing them, giving them energy to do the additional work they are required to do: run or fight. Your Belly feels knotted because you temporarily stopped digesting food as blood is redirected to the limbs to enable you to fight back.

In anger response, you are like a soldier at a battle field; you are ready to do battle for your existence. Your goal is to survive and if fleeing from the danger would best enable you to survive you flee, and if staying and fighting back would enable you to survive you stay and fight back. The goal is physical and psychological survival

Messages are sent to your central nervous system (brain, spine) from your entire body (the peripheral nervous system). The brain searches its memory bank and judges whether you have what it takes to fight back and survive or not? If it judges that the gunman could kill you it urges you to run. And you will run fast for your whole body is now mobilized. If you normally ran the 100 yards dash in fifteen seconds, when your life is threatened you could do it in ten seconds, a time that could get you into the Nigerian Olympic team; that is not bad for a normally lazy chap.

If your past experience tells you that you could fight back you stay and call the gun man’s bluff. And all these decisions are made in split seconds, for messages are relayed in the nervous system at a very high speed, indeed, they are not done consciously, you do not think about them. You just find yourself doing what you have to do to survive.

For some reasons, when I am threatened I feel angry and fight back. I seldom run. This is in contradiction to those who seem physically bold. These people will run at the slightest sign of danger. The school yard bully who shows off how tough he is, is very likely going to run if confronted by real danger; bullies are almost always cowards.

When I am confronted by danger, somehow, my brain stays calm and figures out what to do. I am cool under crisis. So, I stopped and looked at the young Mexican chap (he was no more than sixteen and I was at least ten years older than him) and said nothing. I just stood there with both of my arms in my pocket. It was like we were engaged in a battle of wills to see who would blink first. I come from a warrior family and folks would rather die than accept another man physically defeating them. In my mind, I said a short prayer that went as follows: Grand father, Osuji, I am coming home, if that is what it means to save our family honor. But I will not give in to this Mexican punk. Let him kill me. (Igbos call themselves Christians but in danger they generally pray to their ancestors, not to the foreign god that was imposed on them by their European masters.)

So, both of us stood there, staring at each other. I was expecting him to ask for my money or shoot me, but he did not and after a while he ran off.

When he was gone, I relaxed and rather felt proud of myself. In my mind, I did something that my ancestors would be proud of. If I had chickened and begged for my life, I would have felt like I shamed my ancestors.

The episode is reminiscent of what happened during the Biafra war. Nigerian jet planes were almost always in my town, spraying bullets at people, killing folks. There were lots of military installations around: 14th Division, 63 brigade, an army training ground, a military hospital etc. Apparently, the Nigerians were particularly interested in the area’s military installations and made life miserable for the civilian folks. Many people I know were either killed or wounded by the incessant air raids.

People were almost always hiding. It got to a point where I said to myself: damn it, I am not going to hide no more; I am just going to go about my business and if I am killed so be it. Thus, the planes would come around flying at roof top and folks would be scampering into hiding places and I would ignore them and went about my business. I was ready to be killed at any time. I was not afraid of dying.

The air raids were particularly heavy in 1969 (when I was 14 years old). I just simply did not care. My Moniker is agu (tiger). For some reason, my extended family members have always called me agu, tiger, since I was, may be, six years old. I understand that they do so because they believe that once my mind is made up it was useless trying to persuade me to change it. Once I said no, do not even bother trying to talk to me to change my mind, for we would then enter into a battle of wills and I would rather die than allow you to win over me. That was just the way it was and is still with me. I am stubborn. I seek the truth and once I have an idea of the truth I stick to it and will not go along with any ones idea of the truth unless it makes sense to me. Any way, folks would ask: agu why do you want to die?

Anger is the response to danger that urges folks to fight back. Its objective is to enable the individual to defeat whatever is threatening his life. Anger mobilizes the body to remove obstacles in ones life. Anger mobilizes the body to destroy what could destroy the human organism.

When angry, the individual is very strong. When angry his brain is in a fighting back mood…I can just see me standing in the village road shaking my feeble arms at the airplane flying above me, daring the “god damned, mother fuckers” to come get me. (I read so many American novels, particularly Westerns, beginning around age ten that I cussed like the cowboys I read about did. My favorite words in those days were sonofabitch, damn, cocksucker, chump etc.)

In anger, you perceive an obstacle, you fight it; you remove it; you survive (or the obstacle overwhelms you and you die).

In anger, you felt frustrated by something and the physiological responses attendant to fear and anger enable you to fight whatever is frustrating you. Anger is a mechanism for dealing with whatever is preventing you from attaining your objectives.

Have you understood fear and anger? They are the same, as far as the body is concerned. This is why they say that an angry man is also a fearful person. (I have told you somewhere that I was a fearful child, a shy child. So I was both fearful and prone to anger.)

The medications employed in treating anxiety (fear without known cause) are the same medications employed in treating anger. The anxiolytics (the various benzodiazepines like Librium, Valium, Xanax, Ativan etc) relax the body and some doctors use them to treat anxiety and anger.

If a guy is unable to manager his anger he is often given these medications and they help him manage his anger. Unfortunately, these medications are all habit forming and if you go down that road you develop tolerance for them and will be needing more and more of them before you feel calm and eventually will be addicted. It is difficult to quit them. They have serious adverse side effects. Their withdrawal symptoms are similar to the withdrawal symptoms of alcohol addiction: DTs, visual hallucinations and possible cardiac arrest. Please don’t go there; I mean, do not try to use medications to deal with your anger. Try cognitive behavior therapy.


In anger, your whole body is aroused. The arousal is function of chemical changes in your body. The first thing to do when you are angry, therefore, is to reverse the chemical arousal in your body. Notice when there are physiological changes in your body.

So your wife is talking to you and you feel angry. You notice that your fist is clinched, your face is red, flushed with blood, your muscles are tort, your stomach is knotted; when you try to talk you talk rapidly, a mile a minute. You are angry. Certain chemicals have been released in your body. They have reduced the activities of your cortex, the reasoning part of the brain and accentuated the hypothalamus, the part of the brain responsible for involuntary responses; this is done to enable you do what you have to do survive as an animal. You are now a pure animal. You are not in a rational frame of mind. You are about to fight back, to hit at somebody, to kill somebody.

No, no, no. Do not fight back. Do not hit any thing. Just walk away. That is what you are required to do in anger management: walk away from the stimulus arousing your body.

Walk away from your wife, if she is the one whose running mouth is making you feel your manhood belittled and you feel like smacking her mouth to shut the damn thing up.

No, big boy. If you smack her and she calls the police, off you go to jail. That is right, in the USA, if you slap your spouse you are arrested and jailed and then sentenced to one year of batterer’s treatment. So you can not afford that urge to smack “dat woe to man around a bit to show her who is de boss”.

Walk away. The idea of walking away is to give your body the opportunity to reverse the biochemical’s it produced when you are angry.

Go take a walk. Trust me, I know what I am talking about; it works. I used to have anger problem of sorts. As a child, I was willful, unruly and stubborn. I generally kept to myself; I read most of the time. But if you crossed my path, may God save you. When I got angry there would be no peace in the world. I recall at age eight lying on my bed. I had just gotten home from school and was lying on my bed. My cousin, Bernadine, a girl, about my age, came into my room. She began touching me, tickling me. I asked her to stop it and to leave my room. She refused, I gave her an ultimatum and she still refused to leave. She had defied my will and I had to show her whose will would prevail. I got up and smacked her so hard that she began crying and ran out. Her father happened to be around and she told him what I did. He walked into my room and smacked me on the buttock. My God, he did what not even my parents had ever done, smack me. I was enraged and went after him. I destroyed all the glasses in his house. I went on and on that it took several hours before several folks managed to subdue me. No, you do not cross my path and get away with it. I was flogged just once at school and I fought with that teacher. I must have destroyed the entire classroom. No, Tom may be quiet but if you treat him unjustly, you are in for real trouble. The point is that I had an anger problem of sorts…I only feel angry when unjustly treated… and had to learn how to manage it.

If you cannot walk away from the person you believe is making you angry, count to twenty. I prefer to count backwards: twenty, nineteen, eighteen etc. Doing this enables your brain to be tricked into performing an abstract mathematical function, hence distract it from the animal anger response it wants to engage in.

Go do some exercises. When I feel really angry, I go run. Nothing will calm you down like a five mile run. Just go run. Go ride your bicycle. Go do some weight lifting? Go swim. Just do some physical exercises, will you, they help burn all that noxious chemicals that you produced in anger. (Your body’s enzymes are trying to neutralize them.)

Do some slow breathing? Breath in slowly, hold your breathe for a while and slowly let it out. Breathe from you stomach, not just room your chest.

Go to your room and close the door. Be by your self and try to relax your body. Try what Dr Benson calls systematic relaxation exercises; that is, lay on your back and try to relax your entire body, beginning with your arms: say, my hands, now relax and try to use your mind to relax it, then proceed to your legs, to your belly, to your face etc, it works.

If you have a book read it. I usually have my Bible handy and if I am angry I open it randomly and read whatever page it opens on. Any kind of reading tricks your mind to perform abstract functions rather than the animal function of anger.

Stay away from the source of your anger, the person that you thought made you angry. Stay away for at least one hour. If you remove the stimulus your body does not respond to it and calms down. It is not an act of cowardice to leave the presence of the person making you angry, it is biologically necessary to calm you down.

If you must address the issues that made you angry, do not do so immediately. May be you should stay away for at least a day before you tell the person who made you angry about your feelings. Please do not talk to him when you are still angry. Anger and fear and reason do not mix. What I usually do is go to my computer, in a separate room, and sit down and type what I would have liked to tell the person I believe made me angry and save it. When the next day I come back and read it, I wouldn’t believe in that I would have told that person. I would have said some awful things. I recommend that you sleep on the issue before you try to process it.

And when eventually you process it, do not talk to that person in an accusatory manner, for if you accuse other people, even if they are culpable, they will defend themselves and off you go again on an anger trip.

Use first person singulars and say: I felt angry when you said so and so; please do not say so again. Thank you.

If you are beginning to feel angry, again, stop, walk away. If she begins to defend herself, say; I just wanted to let you know how I felt, I am not accusing you and I do not want to argue with you, please do not do that again. Do not call me Mr. Big Stuff, again. Then walk away.

Some women would not let you off that easily. They would follow you around, nagging you, itching for a fight.

Go to your room. Close the door and stay there. If that does not work, leave the house and go walk around the block. For Christ’s sake, do not argue with your spouse.


So far, I have described behavioral responses to anger. The other response is cognitive. That is, understanding how you think when you are angry and changing your cognitions, changing your thinking.

You would not believe how much this stuff works. Anger is mostly due to bad thinking, and due to poor interpretation of what other people say.

Epictetus, a Roman stoic philosopher, said that it is not what happens out there that makes one angry, sad, anxious etc but how one sees it, how one interprets it. What a person said that made you angry can also elicit different response from you.

In our modern world, we pretty much have removed most of the natural causes of anger, such as an animal attacking one. What makes folks angry is their problematic self concepts, self images, ego; their false pride. If a man feels that he is a very important person, is proud and you said something that he perceived as degrading, he would feel injured pride and feel angry. He could even indulge in narcissistic rage and attack you. Killing you would assuage his injured vanity.

It is the 1970s. I was an undergraduate student in a mostly white town? I am walking down the street on a Friday evening, say 11PM and a car filled with a bunch of white high school kids drives by and the punks yell at me: Nigger. I would react with fury and chase after them. Of course, they would speed away.

Family tradition has so much hold on Africans. People just do not know how much they’re controlled by their family culture. In my home, the Osujis do not permit others to insult them. They fight whoever tries to insult the family name. So when a bunch of white punks call me a negative name, I feel an urge to defend my family name: no one calls an Osuji names and gets away with that.

But that was me at twenty. That was then. Now is now. Now, I am an adult. How do adults respond to anger making situations?

Certainly not in a knee jerk manner. You process events differently. I tell myself something like this. Those punks are probably scared shitless. They are cowards. Only cowards call names and then run. Real men face you face to face, amano-amano. Or, I would say something like this: they feel so inferior that the only way they feel important and powerful is to put other persons down. Na, they are not worth the trouble. Or, I would say something like this: they are miserable, pitiable lost folks, have pity on them.

And if I put on my spiritual hat, I would say: God forgive us our stupidities. They do not know what they are doing. God help me to forgive them and to still love them despite what they did.

One can engage in all kinds of self talk. You can talk yourself into a different response to anger. You do not have to respond to anger with knee jerk fight response. You may even get to a point where you smile and are in peace as the world tries to get you to loose your cool. I am not yet there, but I know folks that you would call a put down name and they would smile at you (Asians do that a lot…see the essays on Hinduism, Buddhism and Zen.)

The Zen (Japanese) say that if you fight back in anger you have lost the battle. The Samurai warrior never fights in anger. When you insult him, he goes inside and meditates and tries to calm down. When he is cool and collected he challenges you to a duel and calmly cuts off your head. But if he kills you in anger he feels bad about himself. Calm down, calm down, atta boy.

I want to keep this essay to five pages, so I am going to wind it up. Anger is that response we all engage in when we perceive obstacles to our goal attainment. In primitive society it was probably appropriate to respond with anger. In today’s society if you respond with anger, off you go to jail. In fact, even calling somebody negative names may result in his suing you for verbal and emotional abuse. And if you have lots of dough, and he gets himself a good lawyer, you have to say good bye to your smackaroos.

You could be found guilty of causing some one psychological pain. Wealthy or not, try to stay calm when otherwise you would loose your head.

I have talked about some of the ways you can remain cool. If you really cannot walk away from the person making you angry try visualizing a good scene, say walking along a beach or walking in a rose garden; visualize anything that makes you feel happy.

Whatever is peaceful and happy making counteracts the noxious feeling of anger. Get a grip on yourself, man; real men do not give in to childish temper tantrums.

Real men stay calm when others loose their heads. Real men are calm in crisis. Real men are cool and collected under pressure. If you are the religious type, try meditation and prayer; they work. Try whatever makes you control your anger, but for God’s sake do not give in to the urge to be angry at folks and smack them around. You do the hitting; you do the time in the big house, jail house. Remember that whenever you are angry.

Anger is part of our physiological nature, we cannot wish it away but we can manage it. What you cannot get rid of you can manage. Manage your anger.

Posted by Administrator at 01:04 AM | Comments (0)

Ozodi Osuji Weekly Series on Psychology 2006, #39 of 52: Is Consciousness Epiphenomenal?

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- We are going to have fun here. Fun because I am going to play the Devil’s advocate. Here is the point.

Neuroscience studies the human nervous system, particularly the central nervous system, the brain, and the spine. These studies, so far, have not found any evidence that thinking is anything other than the dance of electrical ions.

We know something about the nerve cell, neuron. There are trillions of them in the human brain. The neuron is like any other human cell (study human physiology, if you have not done so; I am not able to discourse it here). The neuron, in addition to being like other cells, is characterized by certain qualities that enable it to transmit messages from one neuron to another. It has dendrites. A neuron’s dendrite touches the dendrites of other neurons. Apparently, where they touch, called the synapse, is where messages are relayed from one cell to another. The relaying of messages is done through complex electrical exchanges (transmissions). Several electrical ions, such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium and other ions play roles in the transmission of information from one neuron to another.

In addition, several neurotransmitters (such as dopamine, norepinephrine, Serotonin, GABA, Acetylcholine etc) play roles in the transmission of messages from one nerve ending to another. Again, to understand this intriguing subject one needs a few courses in neuroscience and I do not propose to teach you that here. I assume basic knowledge in the reader. Let us just say that messages are transmitted from their point of origin to the brain through complex biochemical and biophysical activities.

In the brain complex biochemical and biophysical activities take place and that is what thinking seems to be all about, electrical activity in the human brain.

Most available empirical evidence indicates that our thinking is strictly materialistic. This would seem to justify a philosophy of material monism, the idea that everything in the universe is materially based, that there is no such thing as spirit or God, that thinking is epiphenomenal, a product of the dance of electrons, protons, neutrons and other particles in our nerve cells.

We know that if something happens to the brain that it impairs our thinking. If a person had an accident that injured a part of his brain his thinking is impaired. In organic mental disorders, trauma to the brain results in mental illness.

If certain parts of the brain atrophy, decay, die the individual may loose his memory, as in Alzheimer’s diseases and old age senility.

All said it would seem that thinking, what makes us seem different from other animals, is, in fact, a product of animal biochemical and biophysical activity. In other words, we are not different from other animals after all; we are just a differently evolved breed of animals!

Neuroscience is increasingly demonstrating that man is just an animal and that that is all there is to him. It is convincingly showing how most of our behaviors are rooted in our biological brain, activities.

Behavioral scientists of the 1960s merely speculated that we are animals but now physical scientists seem to be demonstrating that fact.

If all our thinking is biological and if something happens to a part of our brain our thinking changes, it is very difficult to say that man is anything other than an animal. Consider alcoholics and drug users. They put those poisons into their bodies and they eventually interact with their brains to produce certain changes in their behaviors. Those changes result in their behaving in a certain manner.

Those who use cocaine and amphetamines may become paranoid; those who drink a lot of alcohol may lose their short term memory; those who take the various barbiturates, benzodiazepams and analgesics may hallucinate etc. That is to say that we can now demonstrate the causal relationship between the brain’s health or lack of it and mental health.

You do drugs, in street language; you fry your brain and become crazy. That is your choice. You did it to you, so why should I feel sorry for you? Get out of here. Who asked you to drink too much alcohol? Don’t come crying to me that you do not remember what happened yesterday. You take the consequences of your behavior; I do not have to take the consequences of your silly behavior by sympathizing with you.

(Being a psychotherapist and seeing what people do to themselves can make even the most sentimental man a realist. I used to pity folks until I listened to them. After years of listening to them, I decided that they brought about most of their issues and left them to their problems. It is not for me to solve other people’s problems, let them solve them. My only function is to seek the truth, to pursue knowledge and go wherever that pursuit takes me. I do not have to be available for folks to cry on my shoulders. I am not any ones mother, let folks go cry on their mamas’ shoulders.)

In the past idealistic monism, aka religion and or metaphysics contended that human beings have an external force that operates in them, a force that is not material. Some called that force spirit, soul etc. It is now very difficult to make that argument. Where exactly is spirit in the brain? Show it to us.

Philosophy is different from science. Philosophy deals with rationalism, reason reached through deductive thinking. Science, on the other hand, is reason plus empiricism.

Science may speculate about the nature of things but it must demonstrate their truth in the empirical world. Science is both deductive and inductive in its reasoning.

Philosophical reasoning may tell us that there is a force in us that thinks through us. That proposition seems to make sense, but science asks philosophy to prove it.

Now, big boy, if you believe in God, prove that God exists. Do not beg the subject and ask folks to just believe in what seems to make sense to you. What makes sense to you may be senseless, after all.

Human beings used to believe that the sun is god. My ancestors were the high priests of the sun god, Amadioha. But now we know that the sun is not god. The sun is just a ball of gas, a boiling cauldron of helium and deuterium and other isotopes of hydrogen. The nuclear of those atoms explode (fission) and release energy, which comes to us as light energy.

Light itself is made of particles, photons, traveling at a certain speed (186, 000, miles per second).

There is no such thing as a sun god. Therefore, there is no such thing as god? Everything is matter (which is the same as energy).

If you disagree with materialistic monism then prove your position for us. But do not ask us to believe something just because your religion asks you to believe it.

Do not ask us to believe something because of religious authority. Do not tell us that the founder of your religion, Jesus etc was the son of God and therefore has special access to god and ought to be believed. Jesus is assumed to be credible on religious matters. This is an assumption that has no basis in fact. Do not make assumptions, examine every proposition. Be skeptical until you prove anything to your satisfaction.

First you have to prove that God exists, second you have to prove that Jesus existed and was not a mythical figure that primitive Jews projected their hopes unto.

Make your case, old boy. The ball is now in your court. Let us hear you. Shoot.

In other essays, I made my metaphysics clear. I will not go into that subject here. All I am doing here is setting the stage for us to have some fun debating a serious issue. Show me why you insist in believing that God exists when all available evidence points otherwise. Let us see how smart you are.

Africans generally do not try to reason things out. One of my goals is to force Africans to think and reason things out. I am sick and tired of their merely believing in things.

See, some Danish cartoonist makes fun of a religious founder, a non-African, and Nigerians kill each other. What a bunch of apes we are. Why kill each other because of what other people did? Why kill each other when we do not even know that God exists?

And if God exists and is the all powerful man folks make him to be, surely, he can defend himself and does not need powerless us to defend him?

Or is God our projection, as Freud said in the Future of an Illusion?

Let us hear from smart Africans what they say on this subject.

Posted by Administrator at 01:02 AM | Comments (0)

Ozodi Osuji Weekly Series on Psychology 2006, #38 of 52: Animal Territoriality

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- Yesterday we talked grand metaphysics and God. Now let us return to the here and now world.

By the way, one must be able to shift ones mind from the metaphysical to the physical. One cannot afford to live in the clouds at all times; that would be fantasy. One must live in the here and now world and deal with its reality.

The here and now world has certain principles, laws, or call them what you like, and we must all deal with them.

I am not an escapist from this world, I do not negate this world, I deal with it, as it is, and nevertheless recognize the existence of another reality, the metaphysical world. I deal with the laws of physics, what the Romans called Natura-natura, nature.

I deal with natural man while acknowledging that there is more to him than meets the eyes. I tell you this because some folks often make the mistake to think that I live in the clouds and act out and I immediately put on my hardball hat and treat them in manners that they do not expect another human being to do. I can be very severe, for I do not mess around with human beings.

I know that human beings, in their present ego states, are as Thomas Hobbes (Leviathan) described them: very selfish and look after their self interests at the expense of social interest. Thus, when they act to place their self interests ahead of mine, I immediately descend on them like a ton of bricks and punish them.

I have no pity on selfish human beings, I treat them like one treats animals, for if a person is only selfish he is living in the animal mode and ought to be treated as an animal.

I particularly treat Nigerians as animals, since they have chosen to be selfish and not be socially interested. In choosing self centeredness they have reduced themselves to animal status and are treated without respect.

Only caring for each other, love, makes us different from animals.

Animals, human beings included, are territorial creatures. This means that they tend to demarcate territories as theirs and try to keep other animals away from entering them. A lion would consider a certain territory as its own and not permit other lions to enter it (except a lioness, for obvious reasons). If another male lion tried to enter his territory he chased him away and if the other is also an alpha male and does not mind fighting for his rights the two lions fight it out. Whichever wins the fight takes over the territory (and whatever harem of lionesses is there). To the victor goes the boothies.

Nature is fierce and full of what Charles Darwin called the struggle for the survival of the fittest. In the wild, make no mistake about it, the strongest animal survives at the expense of the weakest animal. Strong, big fish eats small weak fish. This is just the way it is in nature. Do not deceive your self with misguided religious sentimentality.

Human beings are always struggling for access to the scarce resources that exist in the world. Generally, the strongest get more than the weak. This is reality.

If your parents were strong men they probably had land etc for you. If they were weak persons they probably left you with no land. Such is life. Make no mistake about it.

Life is not the nice thing they teach you at Sunday school. Life is characterized by the struggle of wills. You may not like it but such is life.

I recall spending some time in my Igbo village. I observed my grandfather. Very few persons dared talk when he talked. If you did you might wound up punished and your land taken away from you. That was the way it was and still is in a different form.

Do I like what I see? What has what I like got to do with anything? I am interested in reality, not fiction.

I became interested in animal territoriality when I was in college. It was a white college. There were just a handful of black student there. Because there were just a few of us, one had the opportunity to learn a few things about ones self.

As a minority, you enter into your animal mode and operate as an animal, pure and simple. You consider yourself in enemy territory, not consciously, perhaps unconsciously, and do what you have to do to survive.

I would go to a class and was the only black face in it. Imagine typical undergraduate classes, particularly introductory courses, sometimes with over two hundred kids in them. So there I was in the sea of white faces.

Then I began to notice that on the first day of class I would go to a chair and subsequently went there. If, for any reason, another kid, white kid, sat on my chair I felt angry. I mean angry. I felt: how dare he take my chair?

There you have it. How dare he take my Chair? Since when was a chair bought and paid for by White Americans an African’s chair? There you go.

Rationality apart, I still felt angry if another boy took my seat. I would look at the boy with menacing eyes. If the occupant is a female, I was a bit angry but not as angry as if he were a boy. (Men compete with men for control of their territory, not with women? Men want to take care of women and children?)

Being who I am, an introspective type, I began to wonder why this seeming innocuous event bothered me. I talked to other boys and they said that they generally had mild irritation when some one took over their seats but moved on to open sits, without sweating the issue.

I have a hang dog mentality and when an idea enters my consciousness it becomes obsessive-compulsive and I won’t let go until I understand it.

So I went to the library and did a little research on the subject. I came upon the writings of Conrad Lorenz (Ethology) and others who wrote on animal territoriality. I was so fascinated that I did a paper on the subject and the professor asked me to turn it into a thesis and I did. In the process of doing the research for the thesis, I practically read everything written on the subject of territoriality.

I will not bore you with scholarly literature review. My job here is to put complex ideas into simple language that high school kids can comprehend. I am writing at tenth grade level, I think.

Animals are territorial creatures. They demarcate areas of land and call it their own and defend them. This behavior accounts for the nation state.

Each nation state is a territory staked out by certain human animals and defended by them. They keep out other human animals from their territory. If you tried to enter their territory they could kill you.

(Mexicans try to enter a territory White Anglo Saxon Protests, WASP, from North West Europe, a Germanic group, staked out for themselves and are arrested and sent back. Papists Spaniards are not desired in Henry the eight’s protestant country.)

Germanic Europeans came all the way from Europe and warred with Indians, defeated them and took over their territory. They marked off their land. It is called national boundary. If you entered that territory without their permission you have invaded their space and you are treated with severity.

Animals do kill other animals that stray into their personal space, at the individual and group level. At the individual level, each of us has his own territory. (Three feet around each person is his personal space; if you come too close he moves back and if you do not get the message to stay out and keep coming closer he attacks you.)

Human beings have their houses and yards and fence them off and that is their little territory. If you entered somebody’s house he would feel violated and might kill you.

I used to think myself a mild mannered Christian person until one day, I came home from work and found that a thief had broken into my house and stolen some of the electronic equipments that littered the place. I felt depowered, violated and furious. When I feel attacked, my God, I go into offensive mood. I called the police and stayed on the case until the punk was arrested and jailed. I could not let go until he was behind bars. You get the point. I am very territorial. I protect my house, my yard, and my properties. You also do the same. We do so because we are territorial animals.

Given the fact that folks are kept out of countries by those persons who claim and defend them as theirs, and that the land so claimed are not naturally belong to the folks who claim them as theirs, that only their aggression seem to make it theirs, until other aggressive persons drive them off, if you are the aggressive alpha male type, you probably have felt irritated that countries keep you out? I used to ask: if the birds have a right to fly to wherever they want to fly to, why should I not go to wherever I want to go? I resented being kept out of certain countries. I did whatever I had to do and have practically being everywhere. And I feel at home wherever I go to. I do not permit other people to tell me that I am a foreigner and that they own the land. I felt at home in Scandinavia as I feel in North America or Africa. The world, all of it, is my home. The right that I grant myself I grant to other people. Thus I see white folks as belonging in all of Africa, as Africans belong everywhere in this world. I support white Afrikaners being in South Africa, as I support Africans in Europe. I am totally consistent in my philosophy.

Why am I telling you all these? I am telling you these facts so that you deal with facts and stopped that sentimentality I see in Africans that makes me sick to my stomach.

Our life on earth is really as Thomas Hobbes described it: perpetual war. We are at war with each other. Each person is motivated by self interests and will attack other persons and take from them if he could get away with doing so. The other persons would defend themselves from your attack. The result is that life on earth is nasty, brutish and short. Life on earth is life in a jungle, a human jungle. It is a dog eat dog world and we all feel insecure in that jungle.

To reduce our personal and collective insecurity, we formed civil governments. We selected leaders and made them rulers over us. We pass laws and bid certain authoritative persons to implement them with the objective of protecting our individual lives. Without laws we revert to the jungle and live insecure lives.

Why do we need to know this? Nigerians are sometimes so dumb that it makes you want to puke. See, they allowed their country to revert back to jungle status where insecurity reigns. They do not seem to understand the primacy of law in civil society.

In civil society law must be supreme. If a fellow disobeys the law, we must arrest him, try him and put him away. There should be no misguided sentimentality in the matter. The society must be draconian and treat antisocial elements without pity.

In fact, a developing society like Nigeria, where necessarily there is tremendous disparity between the haves and the have nots and the have nots are tempted to by pass the arduous road to acquiring wealth, ought to have more draconian laws. There ought to be capital punishment; criminals ought to be immediately hunted down and captured and jailed.

Criminals should have no rights, whatsoever. Garbage must be treated like garbage. You do the crime and you do the time. You kill other people you get killed. That is all there is to it.

Why you committed crimes is for you and your shrink to figure out, not for society to worry about.

You should not commit crimes and if you do, in my book, you belong in jail, period. I have no misguided sentimentality on this issue. If I had my way, I would pack most Nigerian politicians and bureaucrats off to prison. I would turn the Sahara Desert into our own Siberia and send prisoners to there and have them plant trees in the arid land and try to transform it into habitable land.

I would have prisoners feed themselves, for law abiding citizens have no business feeding those who chose to disobey the laws of the land. I am totally a law and order type of person.

Natural man is capable of unimaginable evil and you do not need to deceive yourself with misguided sentimentalities about him. Your Church going and seeming nice neighbor could sell you down the river, if it serves his or her interests. See, for a thousand years (900-1900AD) Africans sold each other into slavery, first to Arabs and then to Europeans.

Arabs and Europeans used African labor to develop their countries. I am not being sentimental here, for it takes two to tango. Africans sold their people, and others bought them. Both Africans and non-Africans were culpable in the crime of slave trade.

The lesson is that all human beings are capable of criminal behavior and if left to their devices could enslave each other.

Human beings are always looking out for ways to reduce the labor they expend in their efforts to extract a living from their impersonal, harsh environment. If they could employ other persons labor for free in their efforts to extract living from their world they would do so.

Your smiling neighbor could be your slave master tomorrow; therefore, in dealing with him or her; do not deceive yourself, be tough minded. Do not trust his professed good nature; pass laws that prevent him from enslaving and using you and you him.

In the law I trust. I do not trust in good human nature. This is hard nosed realism.

Human beings are territorial animals. Do you disagree with this observation? If you do, let us hear your argument. And I do not want to hear sentimentalist or socialist drivel about how man is good. Jean Jacque Rousseau (Social Contract) wrote that man is by nature good, is born free but everywhere is in chains. He thought that in nature we are good. He talked about the Noble savage who is uncorrupted by civilized living. Unbeknown to him the noble savages, Indians, were chopping off each others heads in senseless wars.

Hobbes remains the most realistic political philosopher in the world. Read Hobbes, Locke, Machiavelli, Montesquieu etc and you would be a political realist.

Karl Marx and his cohorts appeal to our feelings not to our heads. Life is: on your marks, get set and go, and some win and some lose. There will always be winners and losers in the game of life.

Of course, the winners ought to help the losers. Bill Gates, a winner, ought to give some of his money to universities to support research. That is how winners ought to help losers, not by giving folks free money.

Give money to train the poor and homeless, but never, repeat, never give these people free money, for in nature there is no free lunch. You want to eat an orange? You climb an orange tree, risk been pierced by its thorns, and pluck an orange. If you wait for an orange to fall down and you pick it to eat it you will eat rotten oranges since only rotten ones fall down. This is reality, my friend.

Life is struggle for the survival of the fittest, Herbert Spencer tells us and my own experiences confirm for me. So let us get on with realism. Part of that realism is that human beings, along with other animals, are territorial creatures.

Posted by Administrator at 01:02 AM | Comments (0)

Ozodi Osuji Weekly Series on Psychology 2006, #37 of 52: Inter-Gender Attraction

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- The topic of sex gets your interests up, right? If so, I am probably going to disappoint you. I am not going to satisfy your prurient interests. I am going to be talking about the relationship between man and woman, the attraction man and woman has for each other. I will do this explanation at non sexual level, with only passing reference to the sex thing.

Now to the obvious. Boy is fourteen years old; girl is fourteen years old. Both notice certain changes in their physiological make-ups. (You know your basic biology, so let us skip that here.)

Those changes transform them into adult humanity. They feel attracted to each other. If care is not taken to supervise them, they are probably going to mate and you know the consequences, don’t you, pregnancy and a child?

In our complex technological world, folks seldom complete their education before their mid twenties and certainly are in no financial shape to become parents. So, reasonable parents intervene and try to prevent boy and girl from mating.

(My mother used to send my little brother, Kingsley, to my room, whenever a girl came around. A particularly bright girl, now living in Oklahoma, came around rather often. She came to teach me French and Latin. Mother knew that our relationship was platonic but nevertheless did not want to take chances, she did not want any hanky panky business between us, so, in comes Kingsley, the eight year old, and he would not leave when we asked him to leave, for he had strict instruction from a higher authority than me never to leave. His order was very clear: never leave Tom alone with Grace; your life depends on it.)

Adolescents experience sexual attraction for each other and society tries to guide that attraction. Adult society knows what is good for its children and must attempt to get them to do what is good for them.

Young persons tend to see life from the immediate point of view, and want immediate gratification of pleasure. Adults have lived long enough to know that pleasure sometimes must be differed if you do not want the pain that comes with it.

Pleasure presupposes pain, they are pairs of opposites and where one is the other is. You cannot have pleasure without having pain. You cannot even conceptualize pleasure unless you can conceptualize pain. Life is a bummer, but youth does not yet know it.

Youth thinks that adults are evil and resist being told to differ gratification of their sexual desires. Conflict ensues.

Sexual attraction is built into our bodies. Young women, for example, send out certain scent/fragrances (ferome?) that make young men feel attracted to them. When a female dog is in heat, just about all the dogs in the neighborhood know it and congregate around her.

Older women, apparently, loose the capacity to attract men. When a young man sees a fifty something year old woman, he is generally not thinking of sex; he is probably thinking of service and respect. But when he sees an eighteen to thirty five years old woman the first thing that he notices is her breasts and buttocks.

Sexual attraction is a biological thing; it is very powerful; it is one way nature designed to get the two genders together, so as to reproduce the species.

Sexual attraction is difficult to control with pure reason, for if it were easily controlled by our thoughts alone, many of us probably would not have children.

(Just think about the nature of being on earth: we are born, live in pain, suffer, age and die. Why would any one want to bring children to come suffer pain and then die? It would be callous to bring children to this world, this slaughterhouse. As Arthur Schopenhauer observed, human life seem a mistake that ought not to have been made.)

Boy has sex with girl. Spermatozoa are transferred from the male to the female; they pass through the vagina and travel to the fallopian tube, and if there is a released ovum, egg, fertilizes it and a new life begin.

Nine months later, what began as physical pleasure becomes pain, the enormous responsibility of raising a child. (The human child is the most dependent animal on earth. Without adults help no child can survive. In our current world parents’ responsibility is seldom over until the child is done with university education, which may drag into the mid twenties. Five minutes activity produces twenty-five years of responsibility.)

We are attracted to each other because we cannot not be attracted to each other. Without each other we feel incomplete. There is no such thing as an alone human being. Without other people we cannot survive and will die out.

Jesus said: where there are two of you, I am in your midst. This is a metaphoric way of saying that there must be two of us, for us to return to God.

No one can come to God alone. We come to God two by two, but never as individuated selves. Why so?

I will rehash a metaphysics that I arrived at only to find out that it is congruent with what Hinduism, Buddhism, Gnosticism and other philosophical religions teach. I teach it not because other religions tell me that it is true but because I independently reached it and know that it is true. You can make of it what you like. It is not my function to argue with you; my duty is to state the truth, as I see it, and leave you to decide whether it makes sense to you or not.

This story of creation is completely amenable to science. Elsewhere, I showed how current cosmology can be seen as the empirical rendition of this more poetic and metaphoric myth of origin.

Current cosmology hypothesizes that fifteen billion years ago all was concentrated in a ball the size of an atom, then exploded, Big Bang, and in nanoseconds particles were created and those evolved into atoms, who evolved into elements, who evolved into biological life forms.

You know that story and if you don’t you should have. Go study physics, chemistry and biology, those are critical for adapting to this material world. I am here talking about metaphysics, not physics.

Let us dispense with doubt and state the truth, as I see it. All of us, black and white, all human beings, and all living things are one. This is literal, not figurative. We are all parts of one family, God’s one family.

There is one God. God extended his one self to each of us. He is now himself, as well as us. God remains as God and yet is us. God is God and yet is in each of us.

God is creative and gives his extensions, his creations, his children, his creative power.

Each of us uses the creative power of God in him to create other children (of God). Creation has no beginning and no end.

True creation takes place in a non-material world, in what we might call the spiritual world.

God is spirit and creates in spirit. His children, in their true nature, are spirit and create in spirit.

In spirit God is in each of us and we are in him. Each of us is also in each of us. We are one self; we are one self with infinite selves, one mind with infinite minds.

Where one self ends and another begins is nowhere. Where God ends and his son begin is no where. We all share one self and one mind (mind is the agency for thinking).

In eternity, if you like, in heaven, we are all spirit and are in each other. There is no you and I, no subject and object, no seer and seen. All share oneself, the self of God; all share one mind, the mind of God.

Eternity remains as it is, but we wished to experience it’s opposite. Eternity is union and we wished to experience separation.

It is impossible for reality not to be unified. If separation were possible we would all die. God and his children would die out if separation where possible.

Separation is impossible and God and his children cannot die. God and his children are eternal and immortal.

What the children of God could not achieve in spiritual reality they dreamed. As it were, we cast what Hinduism calls Maya, spell, magic on us, and went to sleep and dream. That dream is that we are separated from God and from each other. In that dream we see different persons who seem not us.

(In Hinduism, it is Brahman, God that cast Maya on himself and dreamed that he is separated from his sons, Atmans. In the dream, Brahman/Atman now sees himself as separated self, an ego, Ahankara. The objective of religion is to enable the ego, Jivatman, human beings, to realize that, in truth, they are unified. When they try meditation and go into Samadhi, they break through the illusion of separation, Moksha, and return to heaven, Brahmaloka, to oneness, to Brahman, to self realization.)

For our present purposes, in the world, we see men and women.

Man and woman now seem different from each other. Indeed, they seem unequal. Men have the delusion that they are superior to women. (Actually, in IQ tests, women, on the average, tend to score higher than men. Never mind delusional thinking. The truth is that we all, men and women, black and white, are the same and are coequal.)

The world is the dream of differences and inequality. Each of us sees himself more different from others, and as better than other persons.

In God, in eternity, in heaven, in oneness, we are the same and are equal. We wished to experience the opposite of our heavenly reality hence see ourselves in a place where there seem differences and inequality.

The world is a dream of specialness, a dream of inferiority and superiority. In this world, some play the role of inferiority and some play the role of superiority.

Until recently, whites used to fancy themselves superior to blacks and black Americans used to play the role of being inferior to whites.

(The role African Americans played is amazing, for in Africa itself, we had it the other way round. My grand father, Osuji, until he died, considered himself superior to white persons; he even doubted that they were true human beings. During my neurotic period, if a white man disobeyed me I felt furious at him. This is the nature of neurosis. Folks can believe in what is not true as true and behave as such.)

In truth all the races are the same and are equal. I am not speculating, I am stating the truth. Take it or leave it. Actually, you cannot leave it, for truth is not up to you to decide what it is. What you can do is decide when you will accept the truth. The truth remains the truth, even as you delude yourself with the belief that what is not true is true.

What is the truth? The truth is that we are all unified and are the same and equal.

God permits his children to dream all they want. He does so because he knows that dreams do not change reality. We are always unified and equal; we can dream that we are separated and unequal. Dreams do not alter reality.

In the meantime, dreamers can have happy or nightmarish dreams. God wants us to have a happy dream.

To have a happy dream, we must dream with love and forgiveness. In the dream, in the temporal universe we see men and women. There are no such persons as men and women. Male and female are illusions.

Illusion or not that is what we see. Okay, go ahead and see what you see. You are dreaming. Now make your dream a lovely one. Love the dream figures in your dream. Love every person in your dream. Overlook their mistakes and errors and if possible correct them. (The function of the Holy Spirit is to correct our mistakes, not to perpetuate them.)

In as much as we are in eternity unified, on earth, we cannot feel complete unless we have some semblance of union. We must come together to seem complete. Man must be attracted to woman and vice verse, for both of them to seem complete.
We are conceived by a man and a woman. For nine months we lived in our mothers’ wombs hence still feel one with another person. Then we are born and begin the separation process.

For twelve or more years we live in families and are really not separated from other people. In adolescence we begin the final push to separate from other people.

Alas we cannot be separated from other people, so we experience powerful urges to be with the opposite sex. The force at work here is the desire to unify with our other half, so as to feel completed.

We must be attracted to each other otherwise we would completely separate from each other. If we were completely separated from each other we would not exist.

You are smart and want to complicate this overly simplistic metaphor of mine, eh? You point out that some folks are attracted to persons of their own gender.

We know as a matter of scientific fact that in every norm there is standard deviation. There are two percent super bright people and two percent super dull people. By the same token, there are two percent homosexual persons.

Deviation from the norm is a fact of life. Homosexuals exist. They seem odious. Just thinking about what these folks do makes one want to vomit. Imagine a man putting his penis into a man’s anus and calling that behavior sex. One must be genetically programmed to do such an awful thing. Love must overlook what these folks do and love the Christ in them.

Human beings are choice making creatures. They are a defiant bunch. We came to this world in defiance of God’s will. God wills union and we desired separation. The world is a place where the children of God came to seem to have their wishes done. It is therefore understandable that some people defy what seems natural sexuality.

Whatever exists must have its opposite. Say white and black must come into being. If heterosexuality exists, its opposite, homosexuality, must exist. It is the nature of being on earth for human beings to defy whatever is.

A rational person does not waste his time and energy fighting the various human deviances. As long as two adult men or women choose to do whatever they do, let them be.

Where we cannot have tolerance is in the abuse of children. Children cannot make adult choices. If an adult superimposes his perverted sexual will on children he should be arrested and kept in jail for however long it takes for him to purge that dastardly wish from his warped mind. (In traditional African societies, sexual deviants were killed.)

Sexual attraction brings men and women together. The real task before us is how-to get men and women to love on another.

In my judgment, whereas it is possible to reach the truth through pure reason, we need religion to help us learn that we are the children of one family and that we ought to love one another.

Love is the only thing that truly counts in this world. Everything else is transitory and ephemeral. Love those around you.

Love is not of body but of spirit and mind. Love the real self in people, the spirit in people, and the unified self in all of us.


I could have told you what Sigmund Freud and other secular thinkers said about sexual attraction. I did not do so because over time, I learned that only love is our healer. You can concentrate on sex all you want but sooner or later you will learn that sex is fleeting and, indeed, addictive. It does not satisfy. What satisfies is love between a man and a woman?

Do you truly love your spouse? Do you know what love is? To love is to unify with. To unify with another person you must see her/him as the same as you and as equal with you.

You must respect your spouse. You must work for your mutual welfare. This is true love, not the romantic or libido attraction that initially brings boy and girl together.

Love and everything you do is right. But if you do not love everything you do is wrong.

To sin is to not love another person.

To be holy is to love other people and yourself. You cannot love others unless you love yourself; you cannot give to others what you do not have; you can only give what you have. If you love you, you can love others, if you hate you, you will hate other persons.

Love makes the world right. Love makes living on earth peaceful and happy. Love banishes darkness; love is light, hate is darkness. Love is union with the loved object.

Finally, there is nothing wrong with sex. It is, however, advisable to limit ones sexual activity to one partner, preferably, to a partner one is married to. For one thing, such behavior would reduce the likelihood of your contracting sexually transmitted diseases. If you give yourself permission to have many sexual partners, you have chosen to have gonorrhea, syphilis, Herpes, HIV-AIDS; you have chosen to kill you. That is your choice.

If you choose to live a decent life, you ought to limit your sexual activity to monogamous heterosexual marriage settings.

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Ozodi Osuji Weekly Series on Psychology 2006, #36 of 52: Life is Relationships

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- Yesterday we talked about politics, leadership and psychology. Today, we shall talk about a human interest subject. Thereafter, we shall return to a vexatious subject, animal territoriality and whether human beings are pure animals, as materialism would seem to suggest that they are.

Today, let us talk fun stuff, our relationship issues, general interpersonal relationship, and the next essay, relationship between the sexes. Oh, goody.

As you may have noticed, we live in a world of space, time and matter. We are separated from each other. We are separated by space, time and matter. Each of us lives in a body that gives him a sense of boundary from other persons. Each of us sees space between him and other persons. It takes each of us time to reach other persons. Simply stated, we live in an atomized world, a world where we are individuals apart from each other.

Each of us is motivated to defend and protect his individuated self and resents it when other persons come into our personal space. In fact, animals do attack other animals who invade their personal space; for they feel safe in their space and feel threatened when a person enters that space without their permission. (Three feet or a yard is considered personal space for people; do not get too close to people if you do not want them to resent and or move away or even attack you.)

We are each unique. No two people are alike. Each of us has his own personal values, what he thinks is important for him. Each of us has his own personal beliefs, what he thinks are important and are worth fighting and dying for. Simply stated, we live in a world of differences.

In the real world, people are not only different but unequal. Some are born so intelligent that by age three they are already reading whereas some do not even begin reading until age seven and even then can hardly be said to read well. Some are born physically strong, others physically weak. Some are born into wealthy families and have most of their material needs met, whereas others are born into poor families where they starve and grow up malnourished. Some are born into politically powerful families and are connected to other powerful families and, therefore, can network and get their social needs met, whereas others are born into politically insignificant families and have to scrape for menial jobs.

We live in a world of differences and inequality; this is the hash truth of our human existence on planet earth. There are no use sugar coating facts, for facts are not amenable to our feelings and desires.

Whereas we are individuated creatures who fiercely defend our separateness, still we feel incomplete unless we relate to other people. As it were, we feel incomplete unless other people are connected to us.

Alas, whereas we seek other people to join us, we still fear them, we fear that they may absorb us and destroy our individuation.

This is a dilemma. We seek aloneness and yet we seek union. This is the paradox of human existence, a contradiction: our simultaneous desire for separation and union. The result is conflict.

This conflict can only be eliminated if we chose one and not the other. If we only sought separation, individuation and not union, we would have no mental conflict; or if we sought union only, we would not have mental conflict.

Logically speaking, we cannot seek only individuation, separation, for no human being can survive if he is alone. We simply need what others can do to help us cope with the challenges of this world. Economics 101 teaches us how interdependent we are. I am typing on a key board that some one else produced. I cannot produce it. I can produce ideas whereas others can produce other things and we, thus, need each other to survive. Absolute independence is a childish dream, not reality.

Union also seems impossible in this world. If we were unified, and there was no space between people, there would be no need for relationships. Indeed, there would be no movement and action were all things unified.

Moreover, it is impossible for material things to be unified. Matter, elements, atoms and particles must be separated to be what they are.

Only the non-material, spirit, can unify. Union is impossible in our material world.

This leaves us with the simultaneous existence of separation and union. We are separated from each other, and yet at some level are unified.

In union we seem completed. Yet in union we feel that others could squelch our individualism and we do not want that to happen.

I remember when I was a student. I valued my individuality. If other people came too close to me, I feared that they would overly influence me and I deliberately put some space between us. I remember my first girl friend, a black American. She wanted a close relationship and would be by my side at all times. At some point, I felt like she was swallowing me, squelching my individuality. I wanted space to be my self, to breathe fresh air. I did not want to have an external other referent point, a person I took into consideration before I said or did anything. So, I deliberately began putting a distance between us. I would not return her incessant phone calls. Apparently, she got the message and we went our separated ways. That episode actually aroused primordial fear of loosing my independence and thereafter I was hesitant allowing myself to be “in love” with girls. Superficial relationship with girls became my norm.

Many persons do not consciously know it but the fact is that they fear love more than anything else in their lives. They talk a lot about their desire for love but, in fact, they fear love.

Love is union with other people. To fear love is to fear union with other people. Look, some of us are totally conscious and know what is going on in our psyches. I am consciousness in motion and closely examine what is going on in my psyche, at all times. In that light, I know that I am afraid of love; I am afraid of union; I am afraid of other people. If other people came too close to me, I ran from them. As it were, I say to folks: keep a reasonable distance from me, okay? I don’t want you to come so close that you destroy my chosen independent path. This is also what you do, although you may not be conscious that it is what you are doing.

What did I tell you was/is my personality type? Avoidant personality. What does that mean? It means a person who avoids other people. On the surface, he avoids people because he fears that they would reject him because he believes that he is not good and that other people would see that he is not good and, as such, reject him. This is what psychiatry says, and superficially it is correct description of the shy child. What is equally true is that beneath the fear of rejection, beneath the belief that one is not good is belief that one is better than other people.

My God, I used to fancy myself better than every person I saw. God, I would automatically dismiss folks as riff raff and feel that they are not good enough for me to relate to. The average person seemed so dense that I actually sought out very bright persons, the Mensa society type, to relate to.

I certainly did not consider myself physically ugly. In fact, I have been told that I am very handsome, so physical appearance could not have been the source of the self rejection.

The point is that those who feel inferior actually feel superior, too. Alfred Adler made that point rather well. The neurotic (in degrees, all human beings) feels inferior and compensates with a feeling of superiority.

The shy, avoidant child simultaneously feels inferior and superior, not one and not the other, but both. He has the pair of opposites in his psyche: inferiority and superiority, good and bad, light and darkness etc. This is what it means to be a human being, to simultaneously have opposite trends in ones mind.

In eternity, we do not have opposites. In eternity we are one: one self, one mind, one thinking, and one consciousness. God is one and we are all parts of him. We are in God and he is in us and we are in each other.

We desired the opposite of God, the opposite of reality, the opposite of oneness. We could not gratify it in reality and dream it.

Our world is the dream of the possibility of the opposite of God, opposite of union, opposite of love.

This world opposes God, opposes union, opposes love, and opposes oneness. Our world is the world of opposites.

Whatever exists on earth must have an opposite. This is because the world started in opposition to what is, oneness, God, and must itself be opposed.

If you do something, someone will oppose you. Even if you have the best intention in the world somebody must oppose you. Your spouse will oppose you; your children will oppose you etc. The moment you think out an idea, another idea arises to oppose it. This is our world, a world of opposites.

In the world of opposites, there are different and opposing people. These people look for every opportunity to oppose each other. You oppose me, and I oppose you. There is no end to this dance of opposition. As long as we live in this world, forget union and harmony and accept that other people will oppose you and go ahead and do what you think is right, despite others barking at you. Other people cannot help themselves but to oppose you, so do not permit their opposition to make you conform to their own ideas of reality. (Conformity to others views merely masks differences but does not eliminate them.)

In a world where we oppose each other, a world of differences and inequality, how are we going to relate to each other?

Thus, relationship issues are the greatest challenges facing human beings. As already pointed out, people cherish their individuation yet are pulled to unify with each other hence must relate to each other. They want to relate to each other yet fear relating to each other.

If people have mutual goals, they come together and temporarily agree to join and pursue their goals together. But as soon as they meet their goals they stimulate a crisis that enables them to justify moving away from each other.

Boy desires sex; Girl desires sex. Both meet and have sex. The itches of their groins are scratched. They no longer need each other to scratch each others itches. They begin to see their differences, differences that were always there, differences they temporarily overlooked when they were driven by the need to satisfy the itches of their sexual organs.

After a few years of marriage the average couple sees each others faults and the illusion of ego based love disappears.

The grass is always greener elsewhere. Thus married folks separate and imagine that they could recapture their lost love by having love affair with other folks. They separate, remarry and for a while have the substitute union of marriage.

Marriage is special relationship where two special people, two people who think that they are special, two people who think that they created themselves, two egos, two different people, temporarily agree to suspend their desire for specialness and separation and be with one another. Actually, they always retain the illusion that they could separate at any time; that is, they did not give up their right to independence. They came to this world to seem independent and only associate with each other to reduce their felt aloneness.

Sooner or later, the desire for separation returns and the couple separates and or divorces. If one has had one divorce, other divorces are easy to handle.

So you do not like the way your partner brushes his teeth? What do marital counselors tell you to do? They tell you that if there is irreconcilable difference between you and your spouse that you should leave. Life is too short to waste it accommodating another person’s peculiarities.

You keep moving away. And suddenly you are a fifty five year old woman, and as far as male psychology goes, no man wants to marry you. Even older men want to marry women no older than thirty nine. (That is before menopause, for a woman who cannot bear children, to the male psyche, is an old woman.)

If you are an aging man and you are poor, forget about girl friends. If by age fifty you are not rich, forget it. It seems women are programmed to desire young, athletic and handsome men and only tolerate rich old men to provide for their children. Selfish genes, it is called. (See Edward Wilson, Sociobiology.)

Okay no man wants to marry you. You try lesbian relationship for a while. You masturbate each other. Then you realize that women can, in fact, hate each other more than men hate them. When I worked full time as a therapist I heard so much from my lesbian clients about their abuse of each other. These people have disobeyed the laws of society and know that the larger society loathes them, so they cling to each other for company and when a partner threatens to leave, it is not unusual for the abandoned one to threaten to kill her, so they hang on to each other, out of fear of harm. It is a mess out there in the relationship world.

So you leave troublesome relationships, and now what? Now you are all alone in this wide world. That is it. Accept it. You came here to seem separated from the whole (God and all other people). Be honest with yourself about what you did and accept your aloneness. Deal with your existential alones without self deception.

Or, is there more to life than separation? Why do we seek union with other people, anyway? Is it a fluke that we are only happy in love, in union with all people?

In reality, in eternity, in God we are unified. We are only happy and peaceful when we are unified with other people.

Separation is alien to our nature. Still, we came here to seem separated from our creator and from each other. We came here to experience the opposite of reality, which is union. We came here to experience separation and so must experience it.

Do not deceive yourself with the pseudo unions we form in this world. When push comes to shove, other people will leave you. Accept it, my friend; you are all alone in this wide world.

Like the Bible’s prodigal son, we went away from our father (union, God). For a while we enjoy our independent existence. Then we begin to experience pain. When we have suffered enough we recognize that separation is an illusion and return to union. We accept that we made a mistake and correct that error by returning to union, to love, to God, to our real home.

To return to love and union is to return home, for our home is unified state. Unified state is spirit and non-material. It is only in spirit that union is possible.

In the meantime, while we are on earth, in the world of space, time and matter, we can genuinely love other people. Love means forgiveness of others mistakes.

I have covered this subject elsewhere. For our present purpose, we can have good relationships by loving all persons around us. I do not mean sexual love for sex is of the body. To love is to join the loved object and we cannot genuinely join other people through our bodies. Body, in fact, is designed as a means of separation.

We can only join, love, through our spirit. We cannot unify through body but through mind, spirit. True love is spirit love.

Look at all people and love them. Over look their bodies and what they do with bodies and love the spirit in them. Love the real self in people; love the Christ self in people. Love the sons of God as God created them.

If you truly love the spirit in people and forgive their earthly wrong doings, you would experience a sense of union with all people. You would occasionally feel unified with them and forget about your individuality. You would feel peace and happiness. It is only in love that we feel peaceful and happy.

In the meantime, we identify with the ego separated self and that self always feels incomplete and seeks association with other ego selves, to obtain some modicum of union. While it seeks union with other people, the ego strives to remain independent. Thus, it can only form substitute unions.

In the pseudo unions that the ego, our current self concepts, arranges for us, it simultaneously seeks ways to destroy them.

The ego seeks love and fights love, seeks union and fights union. We want to unify with other people yet we do not want to unify with them.

This is our dilemma here on earth. We seek love and we do not seek love. We want love and simultaneously do not want love. So what are you going to do about it?

Life is relationships. This is so in eternity and in time. We cannot avoid relationships, for even the effort to avoid it is relationship of sorts. I used to avoid people only to learn that I spent most of my energy avoiding people, separating from people, protecting and defending my ego.

We must relate to each other. Even when we make efforts not to relate to each other, that effort is relating to each other. We cannot not relate to each other.

In my early twenties, I was into race politics. I was thoroughly schooled in what whites did to blacks, slavery, discrimination etc. I was very angry at white folks. I did not want to talk to white folks. In fact, my professors used to invite me to their homes for dinner and I would find an excuse to not go. I used to run, every other day. I am out running and I run pass white kids and they say Hi there. I ignore them.

When I ignore them something in me dies. I felt alienated from my true self. My true self was a loving self.

In my thirties I learnt that we are all one, black and white etc and started relating to all human beings. I no longer even saw people’s color.

What do you think happened to me? I felt happy and peaceful. When you genuinely love all people, black or white, man or woman and overlook their bodies and mistakes, you begin the process of returning home to our God, unified spirit.

You cannot not relate to other human beings. So seek ways to relate to people as lovingly as is possible.

Figure out what people want that you can do for them, and do it. Give it away for free. (As I am giving it away, here.). Give of yourself freely. Abundance will return to you in many ways.

Do not ask how it would come back to you, just trust me, it will come back to you. Do everything you do with love and for the good of all mankind and do not expect any returns to you. God keeps records of your good deeds, and believe me, he will repay you. In fact, he has already repaid you. You are rewarded with the gifts of God: peace and joy.

Our human relationships are sick and need to be healed. They are healed when we forgive each other and love each other. Forgiveness and love is the medicine that heals our disrupted relationships.

The desire for separation, the identification with the separated self, the ego, is the source of our sick relationships.

To heal our relationships we must return to love, to real union with other people. What is mental health? You are mentally healthy when you are mentally and physically peaceful and happy.

You can only be peaceful and happy in healed relationships. Healed relationships are loving relationships.

So love all persons in our world; if you do, you will be rewarded with peace and happiness. If you want material abundance, that, too, will come to you, if you love all the people around you.

Posted by Administrator at 12:59 AM | Comments (0)

Ozodi Osuji Weekly Series on Psychology 2006, #35 of 52: Leadership Psychology

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- Leaders are members of groups who study and understand what their groups want and set out to bring them about. Leaders posit goals, objectives, dreams, and visions for their groups and mobilize other members of the group in pursuit of those group goals. Leaders are people who dedicate their lives to knowing what their groups want and finding ways to satisfying them.

Leaders are not just seeking to meet their own personal goals but organizational goals. Of course, an individual can know what he needs to survive and seek to attain it. Most of us do that; it is called living on planet earth. But that is not leadership behavior.

Leadership behavior must be related to doing what a group of people desire. People live in groups and want to do what serves their group interests. Leaders are folks who do what serves group, not just individual interests. Leaders are committed to their groups’ well being and do whatever they could to serve group members interests. They are willing to work hard and long to meet their group’s desires. Whereas the average Joe Blow worker works eight hours a day and goes home, a real leader often works around the clock for his group’s interests.

There is academic debate going on out there as to whether leadership capabilities are learned or inborn characteristic. In the nature of things, it is probably both. Whatever is their origin, understanding of what leaders do and doing it is our present concern.

Leaders serve public good; leaders are persons who set out to serve what, in their opinions, and generally the opinions of others, serves the common good. They are motivated by public welfare (as well as their own personal welfare, of course). They work long and hard for the good of other people without asking for what is in it for them.

The average person asks: what is in it for me before he does what he does. He wants to be paid for his labor and services. He puts in his eight hours of work a day, five days a week and expects to be paid at the end of the week.

Leaders put in twelve or more hours a day to their work and do so for public good and do not concern themselves with whether they are paid for their labor and services or not. What gratifies them is working for the public welfare itself. Of course, if they are paid that is good but payment is not leaders’ primary motivation. Their primary motivation is doing something that serves an aspect of their group’s welfare.

Leaders are people who ask: how can I help other people rather than how can other people help me? President Kennedy summarized the leadership attitude of mind when he called on his people to ‘ask for what you can do for the nation and not just ask for what the nation can do for you”.

(Nigerians generally ask for what their country, other people, can do for them, not what they can do for their country, other people, and hence are not leaders. I am yet to see a Nigerian who has heroic leadership qualities: a person who so dedicates his life to the public that he forgets that he has an independent and separated self.)

Interestingly, if the individual sets out to help other people, other people tend to want to help him, too, or, at least, help him do those things that serve their group interests.

Leaders tend to generate public follower ship. People see the leaders’ visions, see what they want to do for the group, their passion and enthusiasm for accomplishing common good and follow them, and help them accomplish those goals and objectives. Indeed, just as leaders are willing to bend over backwards to help the people, the people are willing to bend over backwards to help their leaders accomplish their goals for them.

People will do anything to help their leaders accomplish their group goals and objectives, including placing themselves in harms way.

Define your goals clearly. Let the people see how it serves their interests. Have good interpersonal relationship skills. Respect other people. Show the people how the goals you posited are good for them and they would buy them and work very hard to achieve them.

The public generally follows charismatic leaders for the public perceives that they live for them rather than for themselves. No greater love is there than that a man should serve and die for his own people. When a charismatic leader comes along, admittedly once in a while, people are willing to die for him. It is reported that when Napoleon Bonaparte, a charismatic leader, asked his generals to jump into icy cold waters that they would do so, even die obeying his orders. They did so because they recognized his total dedication to goals larger than his puny life.

(Nigerian so-called leaders are known to be thieves and no one is willing to do anything thieves ask him to do.)

Leaders posit goals they deem good for their polities and attempt to realize them through the auspices of other people. Goals are attained through the mobilization of human labor and materials, capital.

Leaders must get other people to follow them. Leadership psychology consists in how to get the led to follow the leader. How do leaders generate obedience in those they lead?

To answer this question requires a review of individual and social psychology. In a brief essay, I, obviously, cannot possibly review the literature of a broad field. I will, therefore, pick and choose points to be stressed.

First we have to understand why human beings select certain types of persons to lead them. Not every human being is selected for leadership position.

Human beings generally feel inadequate and lack self confidence. They are always on the look out for the person who seems to feel adequate and have confidence in him or herself.

People look unto the person who appears confident and is self assured. People look unto somebody who appears to know what he is talking about and speaks with authority, that is, speaks as if what he is talking about is true (even divine truth, never mind that nobody knows what the truth is).

If a fellow carries himself in such a manner that those around him feel that he is happy to be who he is, is comfortable living in his own skin (body) and is not going about timidly seeking acceptance and approval from other people, people tend to admire him. Most people have low self confidence and poor self esteem and when they see a fellow that appears to have high self confidence and high self esteem they tend to admire him and want to be like him or her.

People generally feel weak. If they see a person who appears physically and psychologically strong, they tend to look up to him. Leaders thus generally tend to be persons who appear and or act physically and psychologically strong.

In primitive societies, the man who killed the lion menacing the village, the best at performing certain sporting activities valued by the band was most likely elected the band’s leader.

No one elects a wimpy man into leadership position. (A wimpy scholar may be made an advisor but certainly not president of the polity).

In the contemporary world, we are more likely to elect into office vigorous athletic persons. We tend to elect ex-military generals, particularly those who were victorious at wars, for our top leadership positions. This is because living on earth is always a dangerous business and we need men who can protect us from danger to lead us, not idle talkers. When there is a crisis men are separated from boys, for boys cry and call for their parents to protect them, whereas men rise up to the challenge and do what needs to be done to cope with the crisis confronting the group’s survival?

Generally, people prefer tall men for leadership positions (and this includes for work place leadership positions). What is tall is group related. Among the pygmies of the Ituru forest, a five foot tall person is tall. In Nigeria, a six foot person is tall. In the USA the ideal height for a politician is six foot two inches (to six foot six inches; anything above that one is considered an abnormally, not admired but an object of curiosity).

Leaders are men who stand strong and tall; men who are physically and psychological strong and imposing.

Leaders tend to be fearless and courageous human beings. In street language, when shit hits the fan you know who is a leader and who is a follower. When the goings get tough real leaders of men stand up and are counted, whereas chicken shit men who hide their identity and talk rubbish are ignored.

Leaders are willing to fight and die for what they believe is right for their people. Leaders do not hide; they stand up front and are willing for all to take shots (literal and metaphoric) at them.

Leaders are men who are decisive and do not vacillate in making needed decisions. Generally, human beings are filled with self doubt and do not know what to do. But they want a person who is decisive, who does what needs to be done, to lead them. When a lion is confronting a primitive band, some one must kill it before it eats some of the children. There is no time to have committee meetings and vote on how to deal with the lion. The lion must be attacked and killed now, not tomorrow when it would be too late to do so.

Men look unto decisive men, and generally have contempt for vacillating, fence sitting type persons. This is one reason why all over the world men do not elect intellectuals, artists and university professors to leadership positions (appointive positions, yes, but not political positions). Academicians tend to see problems as issues to be studied to death and discussed forever in their Ivory Tower seminars. They are mostly talkers not doers. If you relied on a typical university professor to get a job done you would not have it done. (I have had both academic and executive backgrounds and know what I am talking about. In my capacity as a CEO I made quick decisions and took the consequences; but in academia, I had to attend forever meetings to decide how to do simple things. It took six months to make a decision on hiring a freaking assistant professor. I do not have the time for such bureaucratic waste of time, so I left academia. At any rate one had to be a hare brained politically correct liberal to be in academia. I am a proud conservative, a capitalist and a believer in democracy. I have settled political views and have no time to waste debating children on issues that I have already made up my mind on.)

Apparently, professional teachers are best left to relate to children and talk forever but are not relevant when it comes to making leadership decisions. Here, we need confident men and women, folks who are not afraid of sending their relatives to the battle field and have them killed, if that would help win the war.

(Interestingly, I have the appearance of a scholar; I seem mild mannered. This appearance generally misleads folks into underestimating me. In the past, I have summarily fired top managers without sympathy. Do you do your work or not? If not, you are out of here. Only a few weeks ago, some Nigerians in partnership with me in a project misbehaved, acted like criminals, and I summarily let them go. No sentiments, no compassion, they were out the moment they acted unlawfully. I am totally a law and order person. The slightest evidence that you toy with the law and I send you packing and would not regret my action, not even if you are my own child. My daughter once skipped school and I called the police to arrest her and take her to a juvenile detention center, to learn a lesson that one does not skip ones job.)

Leaders cannot be perceived to be weak and lacking in decisiveness. Human beings simply want a self assured person who does what has to be done to lead them.

Leaders are generally selected from those who, though they can forcefully articulate the group’s aspirations, tend to be less talkative in real life. Men do not like men who talk too much. If a person is perceived as a wind bag, men suspect that he may not be a man of action, a woman may be, and they prefer a man of action in their leadership positions.

Men prefer the silent strong types who do not talk a lot but when something needs to be done spring into action.

Simply stated, men prefer men who seem to have visions, who seem to know where they are going, to lead them. If you have no dreams, no visions, no goals and objectives for the group that you want to lead, so why do you want to lead them?

I see, you are a Nigerian and in Nigeria the world is upside down. A Nigerian seeks leadership position not because of what he wants to do for the people but because of what he wants to get from the people. We essentially have criminals seeking political positions in Nigeria. These folks see political offices as from which they steal from the public and while at it satisfy their childish vanity; the crooks want to seem the most important persons in the banana republic, the most important apes in the jungle is more like it. (As I see it, a human being is a person who works for our mutual social interest, for our common good. If an individual works only for his self interests I tend to see him as an animal, an ape, really. I tend to see self-centered Nigerians as apes, not human beings. I have no respect whatsoever for thieving Nigerians. I want to put them all in prisons, lock them up and throw away the key. I do not make excuses for their criminal behaviors. I am done with understanding why criminals do what they do, I just want them punished.)

Generally, people behave differently in groups than they behave as individuals. There is such a thing as mob psychology.

In groups folks suddenly loose their good judgment and simply go along with the mob. A mob leader initiates an action and the group follows him and does what he asks them to do, regardless of whether what he wants them to do is right or wrong. Men are mindless animals in mobs and thoughtful persons as alone individuals.

Social psychology teaches us how people behave in groups: conformism to group requirements. A leader, therefore, must understand this phenomenon and not try to reason with the mob. He must select mob leaders (peer leaders) and have them do something and wham the rest of the mob follows suit.

You do not reason with the crowd, for in crowds pure adrenaline takes over and influences people’s actions, not reason.

For example, at present, there is political debate as to whether the Nigerian president should be limited to one, two or three four year terms in office. The group I associate with prefers one but not more than two terms for the president of Nigeria. They want to quickly get rid of the president so that another politician could attain the presidency and gratify his own narcissistic desires. The chorus sings: Obasanjo get out of office, so that we occupy it and take our turns stealing from it.

One asks: does it take time to accomplish anything in office or not? If affirmative, how long does it take historic leaders to accomplish all that they could possibly accomplish in office?

Twelve years appears to be the optimal time folks can be in a particular office before they run out of things to do. What a fellow has not done in twelve years he is not likely to do, ever.

So structure the presidency so that nobody occupies it for more than twelve years. You could do so by having, say, two six year terms or three four year terms. The idea is to give folks time to initiate programs and carry them to fruition.

One is not concerned about the present occupant of the presidency; he is irrelevant, what matters is what pure reason would suggest.

But the mob wants the president to quickly get out of office, so that they may have their own opportunity to steal money from the government. They are not motivated by what is good for the polity but by what they can get from the polity. Thus, a brain dead Igbo Nigerian governor runs around preaching against a third term for the president because he wants the opportunity to occupy the office of the presidency. In the meantime, he forgets to tell us what he is out to do for Nigeria. Those clamoring to replace the do nothing Obasanjo have zero goals for Nigeria. When push comes to shove they play the ethnic card and tell you that it is time for their tribe to produce the president, but a president to do what? They have no idea.

Unscrupulous leaders can peruse what social psychologists have studied and concluded about human group behavior and use them to manipulate people into electing them into office. For example, during times of economic uncertainties, people tend to look for princes on white horses to come and rescue them. If one presents ones self as strong and decisive and knows exactly what needs to be done to get the people out of their economic quagmire, the chances are that the people would select one to lead them.

In the last presidential election in the USA (2004) John Kerry came across as knowledgeable but indecisive, like he is a university professor who sees both sides of every issue and is paralyzed by inability to decide what to do about the issues. On the other hand, Mr. George Bush, came across as not particularly intelligent, but nevertheless came across as a man who knows where he is going. Bush appeared not bothered by academic debates as to what is right or wrong. If you attack him he simply defends himself. If you attack his country he would attack and kill you and would not loose sleep from doing so. In other words, he came across as natural man, a leader of natural men.

American liberals generally come across as wimpy intellectuals that no reasonable man would trust to lead him when there is fire in the house. When the polity is sailing smoothly, it may be okay to elect an academic into office, so that we have ourselves good intellectual discourse and in the meantime produce nothing, but when a country is attacked and need to defend itself, it needs a strong conservative hand that loves his country’s tradition and is out to defend it.

As for socialists, they are as good as useless in leadership positions. They are best left debating what Karl Marx said or did not say, as if what some idle European said hundreds of years ago matters in present Africa. What matters is what needs to be done, now, not yesterday, not tomorrow.

Real leaders tend to be pragmatic and opportunistic. They do what is necessary for their group’s survival and let others worry about the morality of their action. Drop the atomic bomb and prevent the death of American GIs from invading Japan and worry whether it is right or wrong to drop the bomb, later.

(What exactly is moral behavior? That which serves social interests? Is that not a pragmatic statement? If you sacrificed an individual for the good of the community, is your action good for the individual? Clearly, morality is a subject for philosophers but in the world of leadership, men do what they have to do to get goals implemented, goals that protect the interests of their groups.)

In developing countries, particularly poor ones like Nigeria, leadership psychology takes into consideration the behavior of hungry persons. Despite their noise making, their posturing as wealthy persons, Nigerians are poor persons. Folks with income per capita of less than $1000 are not exactly rich folks.

Nigerians are starving persons (their food is mostly carbohydrates and they die at age 43 from this poor nutrition and from lack of access to good medial care). These poor people tend to flock to politicians who seem capable of giving them food, money. They elect rich old men into political offices because they think that such money bags would help them get access to food.

The USA and Britain elect forty something year old men (Clinton, Blair) with vision into office and Nigerians elect sixty something year old tired bones that have no clue as to what to do to fix the house of problems that is Nigeria

In poor countries the electorate is easily swayed by appearance of wealth, not real wealth. Actually, those Nigerian politicians who appear wealthy are no wealthier than janitors in the West.

Nigerians have a political culture that precludes electing men with visions to political offices. Nigerians are swayed by the appearance of importance in politicians. Consider Azikiwe. I have read just about everything the man wrote. I honestly cannot ascertain what exactly he wanted to accomplish for Nigeria. I do not see a well thought out articulation of a blueprint of what needed to be done in Nigeria: what type of political structure Nigeria needed, his idea of what the executive, legislature, judiciary, economic programs, and education programs for Nigeria should be. I see zero vision for the country. All I see is the man’s impressionable grandiloquent English. (An inadequate feeling man may believe that if he spoke in big words that he would seem big and powerful in other people’s eyes. A self confident person speaks in simple English.) Zik bamboozled his preliterate Igbo crowd into seeing him as godlike, when, in fact, he had no useful political agenda for the Nigerian polity. The Igbos of the man’s generation would die to get him elected to office. But elected to office to do what is a different question.

Nigerian leaders are really not leaders in the real sense of the word but something else. Nigeria, a country of over 100 persons, can hardly be said to have produced a leader of world note. In Africa we had Kwame Nkruma and Nelson Mandela, but from Nigeria? Nigeria has produced no historic leaders unless, of course, you count kleptomaniacs as leaders.

To conclude, leadership, like everything else in life, has a psychology to it. In this brief essay, I call attention to the need to study leadership psychology.

Posted by Administrator at 12:58 AM | Comments (0)

Ozodi Osuji Weekly Series on Psychology 2006, #34 of 52: Political Psychology

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- Harold Lasswell and others tried very hard to establish a field to be known as Political Psychology but failed. What is left of their efforts is found at many universities, where, occasionally, a brave professor, either in the department of psychology or political science, offers a course entitled political psychology. He might find a few interested students or he might not.

Every now and then some one writes a book under the rubric of political psychology.

What is political psychology? Since there is no legitimate academic discipline called political psychology, it would, therefore, seem that the political psychology is whatever the writer says that it is? I once did a literature search on the subject and found that each writer provided his own idiosyncratic definition of the subject.

I tend to accept Harold Lasswel’s approach to political psychology. Lasswell was influenced by Freudian psychoanalysis and tended to approach political psychology from the individual’s standpoint. He studied the psychology of individual politicians and appreciated how their presumed psychopathologies affected their political behaviors. Thus, from his perspective, political psychology is the study of the individual psychopathologies of political actors and how those psychopathologies affected their political behaviors.

However, it is possible to approach political psychology from a sociological perspective and show how pathological individuals are products of their pathological societies; that is, show that the political system itself is the sick entity and that it produces sick politicians.

Nevertheless, I tend to concentrate on individual psychopathology and will, therefore, not focus on the general political system’s pathology, although that too is germane in political discourse.

Human beings live in political communities. It is frivolous wishing that they did not live in political communities; the fact is that they do. Anarchy may fascinate youth but adult reality is that wherever human beings are found they have political systems. Human beings operate and live in political systems.

Individual human beings bring their personal psychopathologies into the political systems that they are operating under.

The political system has its own independent qualities that affect the individual. Thus, all things being equal, what exists is a dynamic relationship whereby the political system affects the individual and the individual affects the political system.

Consider Nigeria. Corruption is endemic in Nigeria. Nothing ever gets done in Nigeria without some one bribing some one. Do you want to obtain a job with a Nigerian government bureau? You had better bribe some one if you seriously hope to obtain a job. Do you want to secure a contract from the government to perform certain services for it? Are you serious? Then figure out what officials are in charge of making such awards and bribe them. Do you want to get into a good school? Bribe the school officials. Do you want a passport from the ministry of foreign affairs? Don’t kid around just bribe the officials in charge of issuing passports. Indeed, to obtain the form to apply for your passport or for any services delivered by the government one must bribe some one.

It is obvious that in the Nigerian context, any individual who seriously wants to get anything accomplished in Nigeria and wants to get his foot into the door must participate in corruption. The alternative is to stay outside the government circles and criticize the government.

Governments are operated and changed from within, not from academic seminars. To be part of the ruling class in Nigeria one simply must bribe some one and that is all there is to it. To be part of the ruling group in Nigeria one must be socialized into its corrupt culture. In the process the system has co-opted one and transformed one into its type of person, corrupt official.

Simply stated, it would seem that the political system, if sick sickens people. The system affects the individual.

Despite the truism that a pathological political system produces pathological political actors, I prefer to look at the individual rather than the pathology of the polity itself. I do not deny the sickness of the political system but I choose to delimit my focus on the individual, for the polity is a collection of individuals.

Individuals bring their personal psychopathologies to their positions in government and those interact with their positions to affect what they do while in office.

Democratic political systems, such as the USA and Britain, tend to screen out persons with serious psychopathologies. Many of the checks and balances of a democratic society make sure that those who make it to the top of the political system pretty much tend to be normal persons. Moreover, these days’ folks seldom rise to the top of organizations without having taken some psychological tests that might call attention to serious psychopathologies in them.

I simply cannot see a schizophrenic or manic making it to the top of the political system in the USA or Britain. What is possible is for folks with personality disorders to make it to the top of the political system. Joseph McCarthy of the “Red scare” is an example of a man who escaped the radar of the system and made it to Congress with a serious mental disorder. Richard Nixon made it to the presidency with mild paranoid personality traits.

Persons with serious personality issues are likely to make it to the top of the government in underdeveloped political systems. All over Africa many of the political leaders are, in fact, disordered personalities. Many of these see public office as avenue from which they gratify their desire for personal importance, pride and vanity. They seem motivated by narcissistic goals rather than by burning desire to do something for their people and country. Being seen as the most important person in the country seems to be all that they care for. Having gratified their grandiosity they proceed to eliminate whoever seems to threaten their positions.

Many African leaders are narcissistic cum paranoid personalities. These folks seek admiration and attention from the people, exploit people to get to high positions and destroy those they believe threaten their position of social importance.

Of course, not all African leaders have serious psychopathologies. Some are normal persons.

For our present purposes, however, the salient point is that many politicians are motivated for public office by desire to gratify their personality disordered issues. These folk’s personal psychopathologies play themselves out in the political arena.

Consider Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. Both were paranoid personalities who imagined that there were enemies under their beds and killed whomever they imagined was out to get them. In addition to their persecutory complex was their grandiosity, their desire to be the most important and powerful persons in their world. Both could not brook opposition to their psychotic will. Oppose Hitler or Stalin and you wound up at concentration camps and if you did not recant, and do so quickly, you were dead.

Those two men initiated a reign of terror that humanity had not seen before and has not seen after. As Laswell saw it, those two men were enacting their personal psychopathology on the national and international arena.

On the other hand, their national polities, Germany and Russia, were also pathological and contributed to the general social pathology of their era.

The end of the First World War produced lots of dysfunctional behaviors in both the Soviet Union and Germany. Prior to the war to end all wars, both countries had Monarchs who ruled in absolute manner. The people were, more or less, like children and obeyed what their father king told them to do. The First World War ended with the removal of those two powerful monarchs, the Kaiser and the Tsar.

The removal of these two powerful rulers meant that their people were like orphans whose parents had died and they had no one to tell them what to do. The people felt confused, abandoned and did not yet have democratic stills to guide them out of their quandary. Both Germans and Russians were used to taking marching orders from their father like rulers and were not used to being free citizens who ruled themselves.

In addition was the general economic collapse in those two countries. The post WW1 inflation and poverty in Germany certainly played a role in the confusion of the people and in disposing them to seek another absolute ruler to make life less ambiguous for them.

Clearly, a combination of individual and social pathologies worked to produce the political anomalies that characterized the rule of Hitler and Stalin. To explain these rulers, it is necessary to look at their individual personalities, as well as the society they were operating in. It is doubtful that these two monstrous demagogues could have come to power in England.

English democratic politics probably would have caught and removed these undemocratic personalities. Imagine Hitler and or Stalin in the British House of Commons, debating with his peers, trying to convince them that their policy options are what the people needed. Clearly, other MPs would have redirected Hitler when he went on his rambling speeches that manage to say nothing except present a litany of those who are to be blamed for Germany’s problems.

Blaming other people for what is wrong with one and ones group in itself is a sign of mental disorder, for it is as ploy to retain a sense of perfection while being imperfect. Adult human beings know that they are not perfect and do not need to blame other people for their problems; they accept their shortcomings and do their best knowing that their best is never going to be enough. Blaming other people for ones problems is childish behavior engaged in by those with personality disorders (sociopaths and paranoids do that a lot).

Political psychology, as I see it, is that field which studies individual politician’s personal psychologies to ascertain their correlation with their political behavior. It postulates that individuals with serious psychopathologies are likely to produce serious social problems and are therefore best kept out of the political offices.

If I had my choice in the matter, all aspirants to political offices would be screened for personal psychopathologies. I would require that five different psychologists test all persons seeking public offices and ascertain their personality styles. Once ascertained each person would be give a list of books to read that pertains to his identified psychological issues.

Having a psychopathology does not necessarily exclude the individual from office but if attention were called to it, the individual would work to eliminate its negative sides. Let us say that a person tests out as narcissistic and or histrionic. He would be told that such persons seek public attention and admiration, perhaps to make them seem important, and feel unimportant if they were not receiving social attention. Such persons, perhaps, seek social attention for recognition from other persons seems to make them exist and without it, they would experience existential anxiety, aloneness and other issues.

The individual seeking public office ought to know who he is and why he is seeking office. He ought to be clear in his mind what he seeks office for, what he wants to do for society, while still gratifying his residual attention seeking needs.

All personality disorders are weaknesses that also have strength to them, and if the individual understands his weaknesses, minimizes them and accentuates his strengths he is likely to become a blessing for his society.

Psychological testing is not designed to eliminate people from political offices but to enable them become healthy office holders.

Regarding the fear of giving enormous power to those who do the testing, psychologists, this problem can be minimized by building in certain checks and balances into the system. The problem is real enough for psychologists are human beings and, as such, are prone to corruption. If test results are provided as advisory rather than as official records, that would solve the problem.

In addition to studying personalities, clearly, political psychology can study other aspects of the polity. It, for example, it can study human political behavior itself. How do people behave in groups, in politics? What motivates politicians? How do people make political choices? Why do people choose to belong to a particular party, political ideology?

Clearly, social psychology’s findings would supplement and complement the findings of political psychology.

The possibilities of political psychology are unlimited. The amazing thing is that society has not yet explored those possibilities. Given that human beings’ are political animals and just about everything that they do has to do with politics we ought to have made a serious undertaking to understand their political psychology. What we currently have are scant observations by any one who is interested in the subject, but not a systematic study of the field.

In the field of management there is a subfield called organizational behavior or organizational psychology; it systematically studies how human beings behave in work groups. If we can devote that much time and energy trying to understand how people behave in work organizations, we ought to do the same on how human beings behave in political organizations.

We ought to have a subfield called political psychology in every political science department and or psychology department. (The field is clearly an interdisciplinary one, combining psychology and political science.)

Political science seldom makes itself useful to political leaders by actually studying what politicians do. Instead, it dwells on esoteric issues and writes articles and books that no practical politician reads. There is no reason why departments of political science cannot be like business schools, actually studying how to govern and producing those who know how to govern. A master’s degree in public administration ought to be like a master is business administration with studies in finance ( public and private), accounting, management, labor relationships, human resources, productions, strategic management etc, subjects what would actually enable politicians manage their polity. Instead, contemporary political science is like medieval scholastic waste of time; it contemplates how many angels could sit on a pin’s head, not how to run a government bureau.

Political psychology is a field whose time has come. It could enable us to understand our politicians: why they do what they do, why they make the public choices they make. It could enable us select only healthy men and women for political offices. It could enable us make sure that only those persons who are committed to serving social and public interests are recruited for public offices.

It is really unacceptable that unscrupulous characters manage to get themselves elected into political offices and proceed make a mess of our human polity. This situation could be corrected and or averted when we have pool of professionals who specialize in political psychology.

Posted by Administrator at 12:56 AM | Comments (0)

April 03, 2006

Ozodi Osuji Weekly Series on Psychology 2006, #33 of 52: Psychological Assessment

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- One of the key functions of psychologists is performing tests and measurements, administering tests and ascertaining folk’s mental status.

Psychiatrists generally do not administer formal tests, they talk to folks and ask a series of questions and based on folks verbal responses diagnose them, that is, decide whether they meet any of the nosological categories listed in their Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, DSM.

Psychologists give actual paper and pencil tests and from how folks perform on them make clinical judgments about them. Most clinicians also do what we call intake interviews. They ask questions and based on folks responses determine their mental status. The intake interview determines the treatment plan the clinician undertakes for helping the client.

The clinician, of course, revises his initial assessment and, at any rate, is required to do so every ninety days (quality review, utilization review) to make sure that the problem(s) is still the same and or changed, in which case he comes up with different treatment plans. He is required to keep thorough progress notes so that any observer could tell what he is doing for the client.

There are several types of tests, including personality testing, aptitude testing, interests testing, and intelligence testing. I will give an overview of these tests without getting into their specifics.

Each human being has a personality. That personality is, more or less, set by an early age. This means that he has a specific and habitual pattern of relating to his world. Therefore, we can ascertain the pattern the individual has of relating to his world.

Personality testing attempts to figure out the individual’s pattern of relating to other people and to his world.

Why do so? It is because some patterns of relating to the world are clearly problematic and if they can be understood and changed the better for all persons. This knowledge is particularly useful in employment situations. If we can ascertain that when stress builds up that an individual is likely to loose it and become angry and attack other people we can point this out to him and ask him to do something about it.

There are many personality test batteries aimed at determining the individual’s personality. The most used ones are Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) and California Personality Inventory (CPI). These consist of a list of questions that the individual is given and told to answer yes and no. From his responses we can actually decide whether he has mental problems.

I will not give away the barnyard but consider the following questions. Do you feel that other people make fun of you? Do you feel that other people are watching you? Do you feel self conscious in the public? Do you guard yourself lest other people harm you? Do you feel that other people are not trustworthy? Are you always trying to figure out what other people’s real motives are in doing what they do? From such questions we can pretty much decide whether an individual is paranoid or not.

Are you always happy? Do you feel excited for no good reason? Do you sometimes go for days without sleeping? Do you engage in projects aimed at saving the world? Do you feel on top of the world, euphoric most of the time? From these questions we can pretty much determine whether an individual is manic or not.

Personality testing is actually a science and can pretty much tell to a T an individual’s personality type. Folks, particularly Africans tend to think that they are not known to other people. All it takes a seasoned psychologist is a few hours of observing an individual and he can pretty much ascertain the individual’s personality type.

Personality is reached in childhood, before age twelve. Each personality type is neither good nor bad; we simply have to understand them. Actually, certain types of personality are a plus in certain professions. Folks with certain personality types tend to do well in certain professions. A schizoid person is probably likely to do well in engineering and computer science. A mildly suspicious paranoid person is probably going to do well in professions where suspiciousness is a plus, such as police, prison guard, judge, custom and immigration officer etc.

On the individual level, it is beneficial if the individual performed personality testing and get to know his personality type. That way he can learn to optimize its strengths and minimize its weaknesses. Each personality type has strength and weaknesses, even the most disordered ones have some social advantages.

As an undergraduate, I undertook comprehensive psychological assessment. I was told what I already knew about myself, just given fancy names for them. I was found to have avoidant personality type (fancy name for shyness). I learned what it is all about and set out changing it. It is rooted in a sense of inferiority and a belief that one is not good enough and fears that if other people came close to one that they would see one as not good and reject one, hence one fears rejection.

The shy child avoids other people to avoid their rejection. But what happens if other people, in fact, reject one? Nothing. The world would not come to an end if other people rejected one.

Perhaps rejection harms children, since they rely on adults to care for them materially, hence need adults’ acceptance. As Albert Ellis pointed out in his Rational Emotional Therapy, adults can survive with or without other people’s acceptance.

Now knowing that what matters is me accepting me and not whether other people accept or reject me, how do you think I would behave? I would be assertive, that is, say what is in my mind, and not be deterred whether other people liked me or not. In the past, I would be preoccupied with seeking social approval.

As long as one is afraid of social rejection, one would conform to the group and the group’s leaders, usually sociopath would control one. See, certain Igbo sociopath persons on naijapolitics give group approval to certain confused Igbo folks seeking approval from their group and in so doing control them.

I got out of the dance of aggression and passive aggression and dependency and live an independent live. That is what psychological testing does to folks; it enables them to know themselves and correct their problems, so that they now live independent, fulfilling lives.

Intelligence testing is usually part of the entire psychological test batteries. Psychologists attempt to figure out what the individual’s intelligence level is.

Each of us, by age six, at least, has a set intelligence level. This is a fact, not conjecture. If you are smart you have been smart all your life and if you are dumb you have been dumb all your life. Good teaching can help the dumb a bit but will not make them Albert Einstein.

This subject is a very prickly one for Africans and African Americans and one must be very careful here. Yet one must state the known facts.

There are many IQ test instruments but the major ones used in America are WAIS for adults and WISC, and Stanford Binnet for children. I will not go into detail about these tests.

Folks are given these tests and are timed as they do them. They are then scored. The total score is around 139 or round it up to 140.

Everywhere in North America the score on these tests are as follows: 2% of the people tend to score 132 and above; 2% of the people tend to score less than 70; six percent tend to score in the above average range of 115-130 and the rest of the people tend to score in the average range, 85-115.

There are racial differences in how folks perform. Asians tend to score the highest (average 115), followed by Jews (110), then whites (100) and at the bottom blacks (85). Hence the IQ controversy, the so-called 15 points difference between whites and blacks…a situation that tends to make white racists see blacks as inferior to them. (If so, could we then extrapolate and say that since Oriental persons tend to have fifteen points more than whites that Orientals are superior to whites? You figure that one out.)

The scores on IQ tests tend to be reflected on scores on Scholastic Aptitude Tests. The typical SAT has 1600 points, overall. Generally, Asians score the highest, average around 1250 and blacks score the least, average around 850.

Given this data, you can see that top universalities are more likely to admit Asians if merit is their criteria for admission. This is a bummer.

Again, I will not allow myself to get drawn into the IQ controversy. In the past, I speculated on why blacks score lower than other people. Folks have had a field day engaged in this augment. The honest truth is that I do not know why, on the average, blacks score very low on tests that to me seem ridiculously easy. I took them and had just about perfect score. I took the various college entrance examinations and the best universities were literally begging me to attend them.

There are some black persons who score high on these tests, but generally they tend to be very few in number.

Psychologists test for people’s aptitudes, what individuals have special capabilities in. Some persons have high aptitude in certain areas than others. Some are gifted in mathematics, some in the physical science, and some in the social sciences. Some have mechanical aptitudes and others do not. Some have managerial and leadership aptitudes and others are followers.

There are tests that can pretty much tell us what the individual is likely going to do well at. (The Briggs Mayer test is often used by employers to screen for those likely to do well in their industry.)

There are Interests Inventory Tests that attempt to test for what fields individuals are interested in.

We know that if an individual does what he has an aptitude in and is interested in doing that he tends to do well at it.

Figure out what line of work you are interested in and that you have mental and or physical aptitude in and go train for it and the chances are that you would succeed in it. (Strong Campbell is a useful interest test.)

My goal here is not to give folks specific and detailed information on testing. My goal is to draw folk’s attention to the fact that there are tests out there that pretty much can help them come to know themselves a little better.

If I were you, I would go to a clinical psychologist and have myself and my children tested, given the whole test battery, as listed above. You certainly ought to know your personality type, know how smart you are and what aptitude and interests you and your children have. It is good to know these things. At any rate, there are people who make it their business to know them and they will try to understand you whether you like it or not.

In another essay, I talked about a Nigerian who masquerades as a professor…he had taught at a community college before they let him go. I decided to estimate his intelligence and personality. By asking him certain questions, which he did not know were test questions, I estimate his raw IQ at around 110, that is, high average. You may go to the end of this world and test him all you want the fact is that he is what I estimate him to be. When I worked full time as a psychotherapist, it usually took me less than an hour to figure out the diagnosis of the client before me and even estimate his intelligence etc.

The point is that there are people out there who have studied how to assess people and whether you know it or not can and will assess you. If so, you might as well learn something about your own assessment and stop fooling yourself. If you go about presenting yourself as healthy when folks can tell that you have a personality disorder, who do you deceive but yourself? If you pretend to be smart when trained folks can tell that you are dumb, who are you deceiving but yourself? You deceive yourself, not other people.

It is important that you have your children tested and if they are very smart try to get them into schools for gifted children. Regular public schools are designed for average students and are taught by average teachers. Exceptionally smart kids are generally not challenged at regular schools and need to be around smart kids to be challenged. Not long ago, I had a ten year old boy teaching me higher mathematics and physics. How do you expect such a child to do in regular public schools? He would be bored by the ho-hum taught at such schools.

Test your kids and if they are part of average humanity, leave them at public schools but if they fall into the 2% gifted humanity, get them into schools where their exceptional talents may be challenged. Do not ague with facts, for facts are facts.
Your child is not going to be an Einstein if he is not born smart. But with good training you can improve his chances of succeeding in life.

High intelligence does not predict for success in social life. All that it predicts is ability to learn complex subjects and to do well at school. To succeed in social living such skills as ability to get along with other people come into play. Improving ones interpersonal skills is probably more important in making it in life than having high IQ.

Because Africans and African Americans generally do not do well in organized testing in the Western world they tend to avoid those tests. As it were, they operate on the assumption that what they do not know would not hurt them. This is like the proverbial behavior of Ostrich that hide their head in sand. Reality does not go away just because we do not like it.

Honestly, I do not know why African peoples tend to do poorly on Western designed IQ tests. I have speculated on why but I know that conjectures are exactly that, not facts. The facts are that if I go to any public school in North America and test the kids the average black kid will test out low. (There is such a thing as teacher expectation contributing to test results, so one is very careful not to expect low performance from any student.)

I know that the average black kid would probably score low on the SAT and thus may not qualify to attend good universities, if admission is based strictly on merit.

I really do not understand this situation. And, I will not bother my little head with trying to figure out this perplexing problem.

In this essay, my goal is very simple, to point out that there are tests and measurement and that folks should avail themselves of them and get to know themselves a bit more than they ordinarily do. I will leave folks to engage in the interesting intellectual discourse as to whether tests designed by white folks can, in fact, test African folks? Aren’t these tests colonial instrument for imposing European cultural imperialism on African people?

If so, shouldn’t African psychologist design their own tests and demonstrate their validity and reliability and use them to test their own people? Would test instruments that test Africans well also test non-Africans well?

Is there such a thing as science with universalistic principles that apply to all people, not just to this or that particular people?

Why do Asians do well at tests designed by whites; indeed, do better than the very whites who designed them.

Are all these a conundrum? You figure some of these things out. After all, you ought to have something to contribute to intellectual discourse. You should not just be a consumer of Western knowledge; you ought to participate in the production of knowledge.

Posted by Administrator at 11:56 PM | Comments (0)

Ozodi Osuji Weekly Series on Psychology 2006, #32 of 52: The Purpose of Psychotherapy, Secular and Spiritual

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- Africans, as a whole, do not go to professional psychotherapists for help with their psychological issues. This does not mean that they do not seek help for their psychological issues. They tend to consult their significant others, such as parents, uncles, aunts etc for help.

Whereas in traditional societies parents and other relatives may have been able to help the individual to deal with his issues, in today’s urban world it is doubtful that an uneducated parent can help his university educated son deal with the challenges modern living throws at him. It is simply no longer advisable to rely on the advice given by illiterate relatives for solving complex problems. One ought to seek advice from those trained in giving such advice.

Alas, Africans have not yet recognized the utility of seeking professional psychological advice. Those of us who found ourselves in the mental health field seldom have African clients. Indeed, we seldom have African American clients. Our clients are generally Caucasians.

African Americans do not go to therapists; they attempt to solve their problems with alcohol and drugs and or wait until they breakdown and get hospitalized and treated with medications. Since, generally, they tend to have less than adequate language skills; they seem unable to articulate their feelings in the language of psychotherapy.

At any rate, white psychotherapists, generally, do not know how to communicate with African Americans and, too readily give them serious diagnoses justifying medicinal intervention. A black person who experienced, say, panic disorder may be diagnosed as schizophrenic and treated with one of the neuroleptic medications, medications with serious adverse side effects.

Clearly, Africans and African Americans have to learn to express their issues in words that therapists can understand, so that they could be helped through talk based psychotherapy rather than have their bodies pumped full of destructive medications.

Psychotherapy is a compound word: psycho and therapy. Psyche is Greek for self; therapy is any effort to bring about change in the self. Thus, psychotherapy is any effort to change the individual’s self.

Each of us believes that he has a self, a self concept and a self image, a personality. He acts in accordance with his idea of self. That self is a compilation of the individual’s thinking, ideas, concepts and images of who he thinks that he is or is not.

The idea of the self may be functional or dysfunctional, normal or abnormal. Most people have normal self concepts and self images. But, as in everything else in this life, some persons have problematic self concepts.

Those with normal self concepts, generally, get along with other people, have harmonious social relationships and tend to be relatively at peace with themselves and with the people around them.

Some person’s personalities (ideas of the self) are so problematic that they generate conflict with those around them. They, as it were, are always generating social conflicts and may be blaming other people for such conflicts without appreciating that they are the ones generating them.

Consider. We all feel inferior and inadequate and compensate with a wish to seem superior. In pursuit of superiority we work very hard and may succeed, as the world considers these things. We may desire that other people see us as superior persons. When they affirm our desired superiority we get along with them and when they treat us as ordinary persons we resent it and quarrel with them.

This is not a big deal, right? Consider Igbos. They generally want to be seen as superior persons. They have a neurotic desire to seem like they are superior persons. They expect other people to see them as superior persons. Other Nigerians, of course, know that all human begins are the same and equal hence do not collude with Igbos and place them on the pedestal that they want to be placed. Igbos resent being treated as ordinary. They quarrel with other Nigerians. Other Nigerians resent them for fancying themselves better than them.

The average Igbo goes about thinking that he is an innocent person who is persecuted by other Nigerians. He actually sees himself as not at fault in the social dynamics he sees himself in.

In reality he plays a role in his so-called persecution. If a person places himself on a pedestal, other people must attempt to drag him down, for we are all equal.

Of course, other Nigerian groups have their own issues that come into the mix and interact with the issues presented by a problematic people called Igbos.

Clearly, Igbos must understand their self concepts; they must understand that it is neurotic, that is, to seek to be very important, to believe in the fiction of ones importance, and shrink their swollen egos down to normal proportions where they see themselves as ordinary, like any one else.

This is easier said than done, for Igbo culture is predicated on rejection of the real self and pursuit of the ideal self. This pursuit of the ideal accounts for the Igbos uncommon achievements.

If you are psychologically savvy, you know that I am engaging in projective identification, that is, I am projecting what I see in myself to Igbos. Not all Igbos are neurotic. Nevertheless, Igbos tend to reject their real selves, posit ideal selves and pursue them, and in so doing become inordinately ambitious. The ambitious person wants to be a very important person and may not respect other people, or pretend to respect them; he may, in fact, exploit them and discard them upon using them to attain his goals. Igbos tend to exploit others, use them to achieve their goals and discard them. Other people know this fact and, therefore, do not appreciate Igbo narcissistic behaviors. No one likes to be used and discarded.

The purpose of psychotherapy is for the individual with problematic behaviors to talk to a person trained in human psychology, thinking and behavior, to help him understand himself, his social behaviors, and help him change his unacceptable behaviors. Psychotherapists are persons who help other people to understand themselves and change their problematic behaviors.

The persons engaged in psychotherapy tend to be psychiatrists (medical doctors with training in psychology), psychologists (those who are not medical doctors but who are trained in psychology) and clinical social workers (social workers trained in some psychology). One needs at least a master’s degree level education to become a therapist.

There are basically two types of psychotherapy: secular and spiritual. Secular psychotherapy is what they teach students at our universities. Here, folks are taught to concentrate on the scientific method and empiricism. They observe phenomena as objectively, dispassionately and impartially as is possible. They are not supposed to inject their personal feelings into what they observe. They must be detached and observe phenomena as it is, not as they want it to be.

Generally, this methodological approach to life is called materialism or material monism. It presupposes that matter is all there is to any thing. In the case of man, it assumes that his thinking is epiphenomenal, that is, is a product of the configuration and permutation of particles, atoms and elements in his body, particularly in his brain.

I was trained in empiricism. Empiricists are persons who deal only with observable phenomena. I began my career as a psychotherapist as a pure empiricist. I had no use for subjective and or religious ideas, for those had no verifiable aspects to them.

Religion is derived from the Latin word religio. Religion is man’s attempt to reconnect to his source.

Religion assumes that man has origin in a non-material source. That origin is generally called Spirit or God, that which is not of matter. Everywhere in the world folks believe that they have their origin in a non-material source.

This non-material source is not easily verified. Therefore, science does not accept the premise of religion and generally leaves religionists to their own devices.

Religions attempt to use their various belief systems to help their followers experiencing psychological problems. Those efforts to use religious and or spiritual perspective to help human beings cope with the exigencies of their life on earth are called spiritual psychology.

Ministers, priests and pastors can be called spiritual psychologists, or pastoral psychologists.

Spiritual psychologists, aka ministers, actually help more people than secular psychologist do. I go to Church. My minister typically has over 1000 persons attending his Sunday Church services. He counsels these people on assortments of issues: children, marriage, interpersonal etc. That is to say that he is a therapist without having official designation as one.

For our present purposes, ministers are traditional spiritual psychotherapists; they perform as useful a role as secular therapists.

Psychotherapy, any effort to change the human psyche, self, mind, thinking and behavior, can be undertaken secularly and or spiritually. Both perspectives work. One is scientific and the other is non-scientific.

Man is more than matter and no one who wants to help man can afford to ignore his religious beliefs.

Secular psychotherapy is generally subdivided into different modalities: individual therapy, family therapy, group therapy, sex therapy, marital therapy etc.

Briefly, in individual therapy, the therapist talks to the individual one on one and tries to figure out what his problems are and help him deal with them. The therapist, if he was trained at American universities was probably exposed to many therapeutic methods, such as Freudian, Adlerian, Jungian, Horneyian, Ericksonian, cognitive-behavior (Aaron Beck, Albert Ellis), Behaviorally, Neuroscience and many others.

The typical therapist is ecliptic and takes from the various modalities what makes sense to him and uses them to help his clients. I am generally Adlerian and Cognitive behaviorist.

In family therapy, the therapist attempts to solve problems affecting the entire family. The family is like a system and what affects one part of it affects all parts of it. Every member of the family responds and adapt to every member of the family. Where a dysfunction exists in a family, all members of the family develop dysfunctions. All members of the family become dysfunctional and to heal one member all of them must be healed, for healing just one and having him go back to a sick family and try to adapt to it would only make him adapt dysfunctionally. I will not deal with the specifics of family therapy here.

Group therapy attempts to help folks in group’s sessions. Here, a number of people, ideally, no more than twelve, sit in a circle and talk about their problems and the therapist acts as a facilitator and directs the discussion to therapeutic modalities.

Human beings are social creatures and their problems are generally socially related. To truly heal them, their social issues have to be addressed. Moreover, people have to learn to get along with all members of society.

Individual psychopathologies are really social pathologies. We must heal our interpersonal and relationship issues if we are to become healthy human beings.

Group therapy is particularly suited for certain issues, such as anger management, stress management, batterer’s treatment, alcoholism, addiction issues etc.

In group therapies, folks learn from how other people deal with their issues. Again, I will not go into the specifics of group therapy.

Marital therapy attempts to understand the issues a man and his wife have and help them solve them. When the initial sexual attraction that brought a boy and girl together wears off, say in seven years (seven year itch) now what? How are they going to get along with each other?

Sex is usually over rated; what keep couples together are good relationship skills. People must get along with each other to be in a loving relationship.

Since each of us is unique and different from others, so what happens when we learn about our irreconcilable differences? Separation and divorce? Sometimes that is the best option. But sometimes folks can learn to still get along with each other despite their differences

Sexual issues? That is a biggie in most marriages. Some folks want sex very often while others could care less for sex. Now what? Should you accommodate your partner’s sexual demands even though you are not interested in sex? How about sexual fantasies and deviances? Some folks want anal, oral sex and everything else in-between. Suppose one partner desires these things and the other does not want them?

Your way or the highway? What gives? Compromises? Bargaining? Trade offs? What, what, what.

I will not get into the specifics of any counseling modality. If you desire counseling, go see a therapist. I am not your therapist; I am just providing you with general information on therapy.


I find human beings complex creatures. I try to understand them. I do so empirically. Thus, I study secular psychology, particularly brain science. I am into understanding the biology of human behavior.

Human beings, on the other hand, are more than their bodies. I know that there is a life force, spirit, in them. That life force is best approached through metaphysics aka religion.

To truly help human beings you have to take into account their spiritual nature.

Thus, I adopt both secular and spiritual modalities in my efforts to help me and all of us. However, if a person is where I was until recently, that is, is only interested in secularism, science, I will not bring spirituality into the therapeutic process. Indeed, I can even go along and employ the language of neuroscience and explain to the client how his mental disorder is a brain disorder, a biochemical disorder. Schizophrenics, these days, say that they have a chemical imbalance disorder. Whatever works for you is fine with me.

We must continually strive to understand who we are and where we see problems in our psychological make ups attempt to change them, any which way we can. Philosophy, religion, psychology, biology etc are all necessary considerations in our efforts to understand and heal our psychological problems.

Africans, my present audience, must start paying attention to their individual psychologies. I hate to say this: I have not seen a Nigerian whom I could not diagnose as having either a psychosis, neurosis or personality disorder. This is correct.

Actually, the political decay we have in Nigeria is because psychologically disordered folks rule that hell on earth. Consider narcissism. Narcissistic folks want to seem special, and want other people to admire them. They want to seem superior to other people. So they go into politics to seem very important persons. They are not in office to serve the public but to serve their egoism. They steal and do whatever would seem to make them gratify their narcissistic egos.

Now, suppose some one told these emotionally retarded folks that they are developmentally children and showed them that the adult way to live is for one to devote ones life to serving the public and not steal from the public?

Suppose the criminals in Nigeria’s governments learned that it is better that one died than take what does not belong to one, what would happen in Nigeria? Good government?

Psychology could be useful for Nigerian leaders. But, as noted, Nigerians, Africans and African Americans do not patronize psychotherapists. This is too bad, for those who need the most help do not seek it.

Posted by Administrator at 11:55 PM | Comments (0)

Ozodi Osuji Weekly Series on Psychology 2006, #31 of 52: The Ego and Its Defense Mechanism

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- The word ego is Latin for self. The Greek word is Psyche. The ego is the idea of the self, the separated self, the self apart from other selves and apart from the entire universe.

The self is not tangible and cannot be seen and or touched. The self is an idea, a concept, a belief as to who the individual believes that he is. That belief, the compendium of ideas the individual calls his self, can be normal, neurotic and or psychotic. Wherever it falls on the mental health continuum, the individual believes that it is who he is and acts as such.

For our present purposes, the self is not self evident, it is not tangible, it is not objective; it is subjective. Does the self even exist?

What is self evident is that upon birth on earth each human child builds on his inherited biological constitution and social experiences and constructs a self for himself or her self. He does not appear to have come to this world with a preexisting self (?), for the self he constructs tends to reflect the biological and historical experience of the time during which he was born.

Okay, let us not play academic games and just state the truth, as I know it. We do not come to the world with a preexisting self-concept; we make our self concepts here on earth. However, what is self evident is that there is a force in us that we come to the world with, a force that does the construction of the self concept. That force that we came to the world with has been called many names: spirit, Henry Bergson called it life force; Christians call it the son of God etc. Call it what you like, it has no name and, therefore, we need not quarrel over a nameless force. All we need to know is that there is a force in the universe that manifests in animals and human beings and in human beings constructs a self concept (and translates it to self image).

The construction of the self concept begins in childhood. By age six, the self concept is pretty much in place. Let me put it this way, by age six, I was aware of my self concept. That self concept (in psychiatric terms, a shy boy, a boy who thinks that he is so bad that if other people come close to him that they would see that he is not good and reject him, a self that feared rejection, so much so that he avoided other people and kept to himself while hoping that other people would come to him and accept him, in a word, an avoidant personality has been stable with me all my life. Of course, I have studied and understood it and made changes to it, so that that shy boy is now the most assertive, not aggressive, not passive aggressive, person on earth).

The self is formed in childhood and is observable by age six and is fixed by age twelve, the end of childhood. Who the individual is in his adolescence is who he is in old age. People do not change their self concepts, self images and personalities, unless they were involved in organic traumas that affected their central nervous system or underwent religious and or ideological conversions. (On the way to Damascus, Syria, St Paul was converted to Christianity and became a changed man, a man who had persecuted the followers of Jesus became the foremost teacher of Christianity; I was a shy scholar and experienced the reality of our oneness and feel emboldened to talk about it.)

The idea of the self is defended with ego defense mechanisms. These defenses make the defended self seem real to the individual. Even if what is defended is not real, it seems real to the defender.

Consider the manic person (bipolar affective disorder) who, during his manic episode, thinks himself Bill Gates, the richest man in the world, even if he has no food to eat. As long as he believes that he is the richest man on earth, that is, defends that idea of his wished for self, he acts as such. Of course, his self concept, here, is false, deluded. (There is always delusional disorder in mania, as it exists in schizophrenia.).

For our present purposes, the idea is that the self is an idea that the individual defends and in defending it makes it seem real in his awareness. It is defense that makes the ego seem real. Without defense the ego does not exist, at least, it does not exist in the form that we currently know it.

Do you want to find out? Okay. Here is an experiment for you. Do not defend the self that you think that you are. Do nothing. Do not respond to other people from your habitual self, your personality. Do not think at all. Just keep quiet. Tell yourself that you do not know who you are, who other people are and what anything in the world means at all. Do you know what? If you did this for one hour, just one hour, my friend, you would first feel inner peace. If, in addition, you loved all the people around you, you would suddenly escape from the self concept you have and enter a world that words cannot explain.

It may seem foreign to you, God, in fact, exists. But to know that fact you must give up the self concept, the ego you invented for yourself and for other people and defend. No one who identifies with the ego self concept can come to God. The self concept is a shield against entrance into heaven. Until the self concept is given up one cannot experience ones real self, the Unified Self, the Holy Self, the Christ, the Son of God who is as God created him.

In the meantime, if one identifies with a self concept, as we all do, one can improve that self concept and make it as adaptive as is possible to the challenges of this world.

The original psychoanalysts: Freud, Adler, Jung etc talked about ego defenses but it was Anna Freud, Freud’s daughter, who collated them together into a book called the ego and its defense mechanisms. Today, psychiatry has accepted those ego defenses (see DSM four, section on ego defenses). All we need to know is that the self is an idea, an idea we defend with certain mental tricks and in defending it makes it seem real in our consciousness. When we do not defend the idea of the self, as Buddha correctly pointed out 2500 years ago, the idea of the self disappears, for the ego self is a smoke that does not exist. What exists is the source of the smoke, the fire, the God in us.

Many ego defense mechanisms have been listed. I will merely describe those that come to my mind as I sit here and type away. This is not a research paper. You can look up the rest of them, if you care much for the subject.

The ones that come to my mind are: repression, suppression, dissociation, denial, displacement, projection, rationalization, intellectualization, compensation, restitution, fantasy, avoidance, sublimation, reaction formation, anger, fear, pride, blaming, etc. Let me briefly describe them. If you desire thorough understanding of this subject, please take some courses in psychology.

Sigmund Freud was the one who first talked about repression. He said that some behaviors are so tabooed by society that we are forced to not even think or talk about them, and that if we insist on talking about them our society would punish us; in the past, would kill us. One such idea is incest.

In all known human societies, folks were killed for committing incest. Incest leads to passing pathological genes from one family member to another and the result is that (genes) diseases that were recessive would become dominant and the family would die off. For families to survive, incest had to be forbidden.

Yet most children, Freud told us, desire sex with their parents and certainly with their siblings. These desires are not tolerated and are repressed into what Freud called the unconscious part of our minds. From the unconscious, the repressed ideas still influence our lives, hence we tend to act irrationally, Freud says.

In psychoanalysis, the patient is encouraged to free associate, to say whatever comes to his mind, without checking what he says to make sure that it is reasonable and socially acceptable, and that way will drag from the dark unconscious to the open conscious what is repressed in it and the analyst analyzes them, and that way the individual feels freed from his guilty conscience (catharsis, release). For example, the patient tells the analyst how he used to want to have sex with his mother, how she used to want to have sex with her father etc and the oedipal complex is finally resolved, so that he does not have an urge to kill his parent to take his wife, and hide that desire and act irrationally from it.

For our present purposes, it is true that we tend to repress socially intolerable ideas such as our little desires to have sex with our neighbor’s wife or husband etc. Whatever society does not approve that we desire, we repress, we put out of our mind.

The Superego cannot even permit a repressed idea to come to our conscious mind or else we feel anxiety. The ego, the referee between superego restrictions and id desires, makes such that certain id ideas that are not allowed by society are not thought about.

We engage in repression in childhood. In adult life we consciously suppress (suppression) ideas that would get us into trouble. When I was an undergraduate, my dormitory room mate had a smashingly beautiful girl friend. I wished that she were my friend. But my Catholic upbringing forbid that wish so I went to confession and confessed my sin of avarice. Subsequently, I suppressed the wish.

We deny the presence of something that we do not want to change. Consider alcoholics. They drink a lot and are killing themselves with their alcoholism. They use the ego defense mechanism of (denial) to deny that they have a drinking problem. Or they may engage in minimizing (minimization), make light of their very serious problem and say something like: alcoholism does not kill any one. Or they may rationalize (rationalization) their self destructive behaviors by telling themselves that every body drinks.

Alfred Adler observed that all children begin their lives feeling weak, inadequate and inferior and compensate with the opposite desire to seem powerful and superior. Compensation defense is seen in every body. Igbos generally feel inferior and compensate with wish to seem superior persons hence they run around thinking that they are superior to other Nigerians, when, in fact, all Nigerians and all human beings, men and women, are the same and are equal. The Igbo likes his fiction of superiority. It motivates him to accomplish a lot. He is, in Adlerian terms, a neurotic (and in more precise terms, he is mostly narcissistic and paranoid in personality structures).

When I was a child, I can just see myself during my first year at school, at age five, feeling totally worthless and inferior to all the other children. Good gracious, I felt like shit. Why did I feel so? I was totally physically weak. I was born with a spinal disorder, spondilolysis. My feeling of inadequacy was caused by my inherited biological, medical disorder. It was not caused by sociological factors, for in the classroom none of my class mates was actually close to me in academics; I used to even teach them what the teacher taught us.

For our present purposes, we feel inferior and compensate or restitute with desire for power and superiority. All human beings do this. If one can compensate in the right manner, work for social interest, serve the common good, Adler says that one is normal, but if one seeks glory for one ones interests only Adler says that one is neurotic.

We sometimes see something in us and do not like what we see and dissociate from it (dissociation) or displace it (displacement) to other persons. If a girl is raped she may dissociate from her body and say that she is not the one raped. Prostitutes generally do not consider themselves the ones having sex with their johns; they dissociate from their bodily activities; they may see themselves as nice women and believe that it is another woman, a bad woman who is a slut. (In multiple personality disorder, dissociation is used to invent other personalities and identified with.) In displacement, an individual may feel angry at his boss for humiliating him but feels that if he shows his anger that he could be fired from his job, so he bits his tongue and go home. When he gets home, upon the slightest provocation by his spouse, he dumps his anger at her; she, in turn, dumps hers on their children, who dump their anger on the family pet. We displace anger to weaker objects.

When we are poor, we dream of wealth; when we are hungry, we fantasize of food. Human beings tend to use their imaginations to engage in fantasies, in wishing for ideal states. In schizophrenia, the individual over employs fantasy and invents an imaginary world where he is god and king and live there. In mild neurosis, such as is found in socialists, the individual uses his imagination to invent and ideal society where wealth is distributed equally and strive to bring that fantasy society into being, a futile effort for fantasy is not reality. In reality people have different aptitudes and interests and therefore must be unequal. In heaven we are equal but on earth we are different and unequal. We all employ fantasy when life is tough on us.

We all sublimate ideas that society oppose to useful areas. Society opposes nudity, so the artist paints nudes and hangs them up at museums and we go gawk at them (and satisfy our prurient interests). This is called sublimation.

We all engage in reaction formation. We preach against what we see in ourselves that society disapproves. A minister likes pornography but preaches and fights it.

We all have pride. Pride, as Karen Horney pointed out, is pride in the ideal self, the superior fictional self. One feels inadequate, constructs an adequate, ideal and perfect self and identifies with it and takes pride in it.

One feels shame to the extent that one does not approximate ones ideal self, the self society approves.

We all feel fear. Fear is actually the primary defense mechanism, for it defends the very idea of the self. Fear alerts us to danger to our physical and psychological selves and we either run away to survive or fight to survive. Without fear none of us would survive on planet earth.

Anger is another defense, for fighting whatever threatens our sense of self, particularly our ideal self, makes us survive. Paranoid and narcissistic persons tend to have grandiose self concepts and defend them and feel their vanity easily injured and engage in efforts to rehabilitate their injured pride, narcissistic rage and other acting out behaviors.

We employ intellectualization to defend our egos. I can speak from experience here. I am an intellectual and would rather talk about something than do it, for action is more difficult than mere talk. The talker is not always the doer, for doing requires courage to defy social opposition.

We avoid certain situations. Shy children employ the ego defense of avoidance a lot; they see themselves as inferior and avoid people and in social withdrawal retain some precarious good self esteem. Actually, in social isolation they maintain a false fictional important self. (I have pointed out in theoretical papers that avoidance is a maneuver to retain a fictional important self, an effort to avoid accepting our sameness and equality.)

We all project what we see in ourselves and do not like to other people. Some white folks, for example, want to have sex with black folks (a perfectly normal desire) and project that desire to blacks and say that only black men want to have sex with white women. One does not need to deny the obvious, human beings do want to have sex with other human beings, black or white, and there is nothing wrong with that, though in the past that desire was opposed by society.

One can feel hostile towards other persons, deny it and project it to others and see others as feeling hostile towers one. Paranoid persons do this a lot.

By the way, each defense mechanism, or a cluster of them, is employed in certain pathological states, more than others. We are not doing therapy here and will skip this subject. But if you do project a lot you are probably paranoid; if you do compensate lot you are probably neurotic.

We all employ the ego defense of blaming. Why? We all would like to see ourselves as ideal and as perfect. If one is perfect, how come one makes mistakes? To avoid the ensuing cognitive dissonance one blames other people for ones mistakes.

If I can blame you for my mistakes, make you responsible for my problems, and then I can mange to retain the illusion that I am perfect. Thus, everywhere folks blame other people for their issues and in doing so mange to retain their false ideal self concepts and images. Obviously, the right thing to do is to accept that we are imperfect, and as imperfect persons do make mistakes. If one is imperfect one makes mistakes and takes ones mistakes as learning tools to enable one improve, knowing that as long as one is on planet earth one must make mistakes.

Do you blame other people a lot? If you do, you have a neurotic self concept and self image, that is, you want to seem ideal, perfect, superior and all powerful and need scapegoats to retain that illusory neurotic self of yours. You must reconceptualize your self concept and now see yourself realistically, as all too human, hence imperfect and capable of mistakes and live with that reality.

I want to keep his essay to five pages. What you need to know is that you and all of us employ the various ego defenses to protect your imaginary sense of I; you defend your idea of who you are, the self. As long you are defending your imaginary self, that self seems real to you. If you did not defend your self it would disappear from your awareness.

At a clinical level, when stress is too much for us our habitual pattern of defenses may fail and we experience temporary insanity (depersonalization, derealization, disorientation). We call it ego decompensation. Your defenses fail and you decompensate. If, for example, you are an Igbo woman and while in Alaigbo fancied yourself beautiful and desired by men and came to America and now realize that black is ugly and white is good, you feel that you are no longer beautiful. You have suffered narcissistic injury. You struggle to seem sexually desirable to men. You may decompensate and now recompensate and see yourself as the most beautiful woman on earth and imagine that all men desire you. Here, your desire for beauty has now become a belief in imaginary beauty. You have gone from mere neurosis to psychosis.

The neurotic wishes something to be true but still knows that it is not true; a psychotic believes in what he wishes as true.

We all wish to be powerful but know that we are weak. The psychotic now believes that he is all powerful, when, in fact, he is still weak.

I had an Igbo woman who experienced transient psychosis and imagined herself Cleopatra, the all beautiful woman because she felt ugly in racist America that denied the beauty of black womanhood. I helped her to accept herself as she is, a black woman, despite the larger society’s non validation of her beauty. One does not need other people to affirm ones beauty before one to accept ones self as worthwhile; one can accept one self as one is without reference to external others. (See Albert Ellis, Rational Emotive Therapy.)

Know yourself means know how you defend your ego self; and, ultimately, giving up your ego defenses. When the ego defenses are given up we experience our true identity, the unified self. In the meantime, the normal person is compensated, that is, well defended. The psychotic person is compensated at a fictional, unrealistic level.

Posted by Administrator at 11:54 PM | Comments (0)

Ozodi Osuji Weekly Series on Psychology 2006, #30 of 52: Christ as the Innocent Lamb?

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- You probably have heard it said that (Jesus Christ) is the innocent lamb that washes away the sins of the world. If you were like me, you probably thought that that statement is a whole lot of nonsense. But upon reflection, it really means something very profound and at the same time simple.

God created us as his children. God is innocent and is holy (holy is contraction of whole, meaning that God is whole, holy, complete, perfect).

God’s children are like God, whole, holy. God’s children are unified with him. They were created when God extended himself into each of them. God is inside his children, as they are inside him and inside each other.

God is immaculate, that is, pure love; God is pure light, not physical, not hot light, but light without heat, peaceful light. God is literally a light that has no beginning and no end.

Each of us is part of that unified light. In physical categories, each of us is a unit of that light, a particle of that light; except that God’s light is not physical hence has no units, no parts. God is one light that is simultaneously itself and infinite parts of it.

God created his children through immaculate-conception, that is, he gave them his pure self; he created them in spirit, by extending his spirit self into each of them and made them spirits. (As it were, we are dirtied when we are born in body, in separated state, but since such birth has not taken place, except as in a dream, we are still immaculate in our conception.)

We were created innocent, guiltless and sinless. We remain as God created us, innocent, guiltless and sinless.

But when we wished to separate from God and from each other, we seem to have committed the original sin (of Christianity) and are now guilty and live in guilt.

To separate from God is to sin. To live apart from God is to be guilty. On earth, we live in separation, space, time and matter and must necessarily feel sinful, guilty and unholy (enjoined one another).

To be a human being is to feel like one committed a sin, from separation.

This sense of sinfulness actually play a role in maintaining our separated world, for it presupposes that, in fact, we could sin, that is, that we could separate from God, that our wishes could over ride God’s will for there only to be union.

God’s will is love, is union. Nobody can oppose the will of God. No one can separate from eternal union. No creation has the power to oppose God’s power.

We merely dream that we are separated from love, from union but, in fact, we always are unified and live in love. We live in love but mask love/union with the veil of separation; we are always in the presence of love but cloud it with the darkness of separated ego.

We have not separated from God; we merely think that we did. Because we have not separated from God, and if to separate is to sin, we have not sinned. Because we have not sinned, we remain as God created us: innocent, joined to each other and to God, guiltless. We are eternally sinless and innocent.

The Son of God is always as God created him: joined with God and all creation; Christ is forever sinless, guiltless and innocent.

It is the sleeping and dreaming Son of God that thinks that he has done some awful thing, separate from God and his brothers that feel guilty.

Guilt demands punishment, so we think that God is out to punish us. Fearing punishment we run from God. The sense of guilt keeps us away from God.

Feeling guilty, and that feeling is painful, we want to reduce that guilt. We see other people do bad things and we punish them. In punishing them, we feel like we have ameliorated our own guilt and now God would take mercy on us and not punish us too much.

But God knows that we did not sin, for we have not separated from him. God knows that all the things we do on earth are done in a sleep-dream state and have not been done, so are not worthy of punishment. They are mere mistakes, errors that must be accepted as such and given up.

Mistakes must be corrected. God created the Holy Spirit to help his children correct their mistakes.

The Holy Spirit corrects our errors by teaching us to love one another. He teaches us that to love is to forgive what we see others do to us that we do not like. He teaches us not to bear grievances and not to seek to punishment for our detractors, for punishment makes errors real. To punish others imply that they, in fact, separated from God and from us, that their egos and what they do in ego states are really done. Punishment implies that the world, the dream is real.

When the prodigal son accepts his mistakes he goes home and knows that his father missed him and does not want to punish him. He had thought that his father was angry at him and wants to punish him. That fear of punishment kept him away from his father. But when he overcomes that fear and goes him, he finds that his father had already forgiven him, indeed, that his father did not even know that he did something wrong. His father only knew that his son slept and dreamed that he did something wrong. God welcomes us cheerfully when we return to him, via forgiveness and love for all creation.

In the meantime, those on earth feel like their mistakes are real and punishable by God. They fear God’s punishment and run from him. Since they also attack each other, they fear punishment from each other and expect punishment from each other and run from each other.

Guilt leads to separating from other people hence maintains the world of separation. Guilt feeling maintains the world of separation. Guilt feeling keeps this world going.

If we did not feel guilty we would not be in this world. We would just go home to God, to oneness, give up our sense of separation, ego, and embrace our natural unified state and its innocence.

It is difficult to tell human beings not to feel guilty. They want to feel guilty. The ego wants to feel guilty, for feeling guilty makes it feel like it did something wrong, which makes it feel powerful. The ego wants to feel wrong for that means that it is powerful enough to have defied the will of God and created a different world, a separated world that opposes God’s world, the unified state.

The ego sees others doing bad things to it and feels that they should be punished. The ego bears grudges, feels revengeful and seeks vengeance. The ego bears grievance. The ego must believe in guilt to exist and seem real.

The moment the individual recognizes that he is not guilty, sinful and that he is innocent he is freed from the ego’s hold on him.

But to feel innocent he must let go of his ego; he must relinquish his desire for separation and not defend it and its world.

Not defending the ego and its world leads to experiencing oneness with God and all creation, union, and sense of peace and joy and guiltlessness.

Jesus recognized that he had not separated from God and from his brothers. This means that he accepted his egolessness and unified state. In that state, he felt innocent, guiltless and innocent.

He saw himself as the innocent lamb that does not have the sins of the egos world.

Acceptance of the unified holy self, the unified self, the Christ self is liberation from sin. This is what Jesus the Christ teaches humanity; he teaches us that we have not separated from God and from each other hence that we are always innocent.

The children of God are innocent despite what they seem to do in their dreams of separation.

What is done in dreams has not been done in spiritual reality; the murders, rapes etc done on earth, in the dream, have not been done, in fact, so all people are always innocent.

An awareness that all people are innocent hence loveable despite what they seem to do in their dreams of separation, is what all prophets, all teachers of God teach humanity.

All teachers of God teach the gospel given to us by the Holy Spirit; they teach that we are eternally joined to each other and to our creator; they teach that we have not separated from each other and from God hence are always innocent.

But in as much as we believed in separation, we made a mistake and must forgive that mistake and now accept the truth of union to regain the sense of oneness, hence innocence.

You cannot keep desiring a mistake, separated self, and feel innocent. As long as you desire separation you must feel guilty.

It is the teaching that we are eternally unified hence innocent that saves us. When we accept our unified nature hence innocence, and mean it, we let go of our egos and experience unified Christ self. In experiencing it, we are resurrected from ego death and now live in Christ, our true self.

Posted by Administrator at 11:52 PM | Comments (0)

Ozodi Osuji Weekly Series on Psychology 2006, #29 of 52: The Meaning of Love

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- The term love is employed in so many different ways that it is really difficult to know what it means. There seems no consensus as to what it means. In this short essay, I will define love in a metaphysical manner.

Love is union; Love is joining; Love is connecting with. To love is to unify with the love object, to join with the love object, to connect with the love object, to connect to the love object.

God is love. This means that in God everything is connected. God is the whole and we are his parts. All of us are connected, joined and unified with each other and with God.

Love is like invisible glue that glues everything in the universe together. (Physics has the idea of Superstrings, of an invisible element that joins everything together.)

There literally is no space, or gap between one thing and another in the universe; we are all connected to one another.

The invisible force that joins all of us together is love. God is that invisible force that joins all of us together; God joins his creations together in eternal union with him.

To say that I love you is to say that I am joined with you. In our union, we have peace and joy, for it is only in union that peace and happiness can exist. If there is separation, space and gap, there can be no peace and harmony in the world.

For people to be joined they must be the same and equal with one another. In spirit, in God, we are all the same and are coequal with each other and with our creator. Only the same and equal can unify.

The different, the unequal cannot unify. The desire for specialness, differences, and inequality produce conflict and disharmony.

As I have pointed out elsewhere, this world came into being because we, the children of God, who in God are the same and equal, desired to seem special, to seem different from each other, some better than others.

It is impossible to seem different and special in God, so we all seem to have closed our metaphoric eyes and dream that we are separated from God and from each other and in our dreams seem unequal to each other, some seem inferior, others seem superior. (All these are, of course, metaphoric statements, take them as such; not literally, reality cannot be expressed in words.)

As it were, we have changed reality, from as it was created by God, and remade it to seem what we want it to become: a world of separation, space, time and matter, a world of specialness, differences, and inequality. This is the world of illusion we live in, a world that is the opposite of the world of God.

God and his creations are joined; our world is disjoined. God and his creations are the same and equal; in our world are inequalities and differences, men and women, black and white, dark and light, good and bad, inferiority and superiority…all the opposite of God’s one unified world of sameness and equality.

Love is everywhere, for everywhere is joined. God is everywhere and everywhere is in God. Wherever we go we go in God, for God is everywhere. The journey to separation is a journey to nowhere, for everywhere is joined; our life on earth is a journey without distance, for we are sill in God and in each other.

Love is everywhere, so we always live in love. We live in the presence of God’s unifying love but do not feel loved.

We do not feel loved by God and by other people because we seek separation from God and from other people. The desire for separation is the desire not to be love.

In separation, we feel unloved and alienated from love, from God and from each other (each person’s true self is love, unified self).

We did this to ourselves; no one else did this to us. The secret of salvation is the realization that individually and collectively we did this to ourselves, we brought our suffering to ourselves by wishing for separation from our unified self.

A mistake must be accepted before it is corrected. As long as one has not accepted an error as ones responsibility, one cannot change it. To return to God, each of us must consciously accept that he made a mistake in seeking separated self and give up that wish and return to unified self.

To experience love, we must return to love. We do so by loving all people and loving God. In the temporal universe, to love entails to overlook what other people do, to forgive other people and yourself our wrong doings.

The children of love, God, union, can only be happy when they are in love with one another, when they love one another and when they love their creator as he eternally loves them. We are part of union and are only at home in unified state.

In separation we are in alien land and feel unhappy. When we begin the journey homewards to unified state, to God, to love, we begin to experience peace and happiness (peace, happiness and love are the same, one cannot exist with the other).

We are at home only in love; when we are not in love we feel like strangers and are unhappy.

Do you want to be peaceful and happy? If yes, please love all the people around you and if they do bad things to you forgive them and teach them how to do good things.

Posted by Administrator at 11:51 PM | Comments (0)

Ozodi Osuji Weekly Series on Psychology 2006, #28 of 52: Unified Versus Separated Self

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- There are two types of selves, what Hinduism calls the Self (Brahman/Atman) and the separated self (ego, Ahankara); what I call the unified self and Christianity calls God versus the separated self, sinful man; Christ versus ego, God versus ego.

God is the whole self. Whole is contracted to holy, so God is the holy self, the unified self.

God is all selves as one self. God is one self that is simultaneously infinite selves. If you like, God is like a coin with two sides. One side is God, the whole, and the other side is the infinite selves of God. One God, one self manifests in infinites selves; one life manifests in infinite selves.

The one self, God is his infinite selves. The whole is its infinite parts.

Somehow, the parts of the whole, the children of God, the manifestations of God, come to see themselves as separated from God. Each of them thinks and acts as if he is different from God and from other children of God.

Of course, it is impossible for the part to separate from the whole; it is impossible for the children of God to separate from God.

In reality, we remain unified with God. In the meantime, we dream that we are separated from God and from each other.

Our current world is the dream, the illusion that we are separated from God and from each other.

Dream is not reality. In reality, we remain unified with God and with each other. In reality, there is no space and time between us and God and each other. There are no boundaries of matter separating us. We are in God and he is in us and we are in each other.

For our present purposes, God is the Self or unified self or Holy Self, whereas our separated selves, our egos are the other selves.

Suffice it to say that salvation requires that we give up the separated self, that we let go the ego and return to the awareness of the unified self.

In the Unified self there is God and there are the infinite children of God; there are the whole and infinite parts of the whole.

In union with God and each other we still have selves but selves that know themselves to be part of God and all selves and that separation is impossible. Our real self is joined to all selves and serves all selves and is therefore called the Christ, Atman, Buddha self, Krishna self, Chi self, call it what you like; in truth, it has no name, for God and his sons are one hence cannot be named, for only the separated and different can be named. God is nameless.

The Christ self is a self that knows of its eternal union with all selves and with God and loves them all.

In this world we believe that we are separated from God and from each other; we believe that we have separated selves, the ego self, aka the human personality and self concept.

The immediate goal of both secular and spiritual psychotherapy, aka religion, is to make the seeming separated self as loving as is possible. As Ramakrishna used to say: to make the ego of hate the ego of love. As Jesus said, to make the ego a forgiving and loving self.

Eventually, we shall learn that the ego is a dream figure and that it does not, in fact exist. We shall stop defending it, and in doing so experience our real self, the Christ, the unified Son of God, the Holy Son of God who is one with all his brothers and his father, God.

There are levels of self: unified self, aka God, the son of God aka Christ, the Holy Spirit, the son of God sleeping and dreaming that he is separated from his father and all his brothers, the ego.

The ego is our earthly self concept and self image, our earthly personality, the self housed in body and lives in space, time and matter, it is a false self.

The real self is the Christ self, who is one with God, hence is part of the Unified self. The Holy Spirit is that aspect of us that reminds us that we are unified and asks us to forgive one another, so as to awaken from the dream and resurrect to the awareness of our unified self.

Posted by Administrator at 11:50 PM | Comments (0)

Ozodi Osuji Weekly Series on Psychology 2006, #27 of 52: The Self Concept and the Self Image

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- Each human being has a self concept and a self image. The self concept is the individual’s concepts, ideas of who he thinks that he is. The idea of the self is translated into a mental image, a self image and seen as if it is real.

The self concept is conceptual, ideational, yet it is transformed into a pictorial form and treated as if it is tangible.

The individual employs the various ego defense mechanisms to defend his self concept and self image, and in defending them, make them seem real in his awareness. (The various ego defense mechanisms are repression, suppression, dissociation, denial, displacement, projection, rationalization, intellectualization, minimization, fear, anger, pride shame, fantasy, avoidance, reaction formation, sublimation, depression, paranoia, schizophrenia etc.)

Beginning from birth, the human child uses his inherited biological constitution and social experiences to construct a self concept for him. (See George Kelly, Personality as a Self Construct.)

By age twelve, the self concept, also called personality, is, more or less, in place. Once established, it becomes stable and is difficult to change. The individual at age sixty three is pretty much who he was at age thirteen. That is to say that the self concept and personality is stable over time. It is trauma to the brain, accidents, organic disease issues and religious conversion or conversion to a political ideology, such as socialism, that changes people’s basic personality types.

Once established, the self concept can be studied and understood and where there are dysfunctional aspects to it, efforts can be made to change it.

The self concept is exactly that, a concept, an idea held in mind and defended with the various ego defenses; that idea of the self is rooted in the individual’s inherited body and social experiences, two variables he cannot change. Therefore, he cannot totally change his self concept, unless, of course, he can change his body and society (the science of genetics and genetic engineering, no doubt, will effect this change in the future).

Consider the person who inherited a weak body and feels physically weak and sickly. He may have developed a self concept that says that he is weak and ask other people to help him, to guide him, hence have a dependent personality disorder. While he still has his weak body, he can only change his self concept only so much. He can study his self concept, understand it and modify it, within reason, but he cannot necessarily change it entirely, unless he changes his body.

Secular psychotherapy aims at helping the individual to understrand his self concept, and where there is problem change it.

Spiritual psychotherapy aims at teaching people that they have separated self concepts, aka ego, and that they need to change them, that they need to return to unified self concepts, aka Christ self, a loving self.

The separated ego self seeks self interests at the expense of other selves, whereas the unified self, the Christ works for social and common interests. When the self concept is changed from selfish to social serving, the individual tends to contribute to social welfare hence feels good about himself.

I will not indulge in spiritual psychology here, for if you have followed these essay series, so far, you probably have a good understanding of my spiritual psychology.

Suffice it to say that human beings must change their self concepts, from separated to unified, from selfish to social centered and learn to work for social interests. The reward for working for social good is peace and joy.

We must make no mistake about it. It is very difficult to change the self concept. As already pointed out, the self concept is reached in childhood, before age twelve, and is influenced by the individual’s inherited genes and early childhood social experiences. Society and its culture heavily influence the self concept and since the individual really cannot go back and change his genes and society, he cannot totally change his self concept. We must, therefore, not hope for a perfect self concept and self image.

The best that we can aim at is a self concept that gets along with most people in ones society.

(We must move from ego based self concept to Christ based self concept, from selfishness to social serving; and, ultimately, we must relinquish the separated self concept and embrace our real self, unified self. Salvation is first change of the self concept, from ego to Christ, and, ultimately, the letting go of all conceptual selves and the acceptance of our one shared self and one shared mind, a return to formless unified self.)

Posted by Administrator at 11:21 PM | Comments (0)

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