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March 09, 2006

Ozodi Osuji Weekly Series on Psychology 2006, #14 of 52: Our Addictions to Mood Altering Agents

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- Addiction is a human issue. Unfortunately, many Africans tend to see addiction as a Western issue. It is not only a Western issue, it is our African issue. Many of us, Africans, are addicted to mood altering substances but we just do not know it. I doubt that there is a human being out there who does not have some sort of addiction?

In this essay, I will review the nature of addictions and what is to be done about it. This review is introductory and basic and is not meant as detailed information on the subject. My goal is to make folks aware of the nature of addiction and if they believe that they have an addiction, they ought to go seek help from Professional Chemical Dependency Counselors.

One is addicted to any activity that one finds ones self doing compulsively, doing it as if one no longer has the freedom not to do it; and if one tried not to do it one felt anxious and to reduce that anxiety do it.

Given this definition, it follows that some addictions are positive and others negative. If you are a runner, as I am, you find that you must run. If you do not run every other day, as I do, for five miles, you feel unhappy, and go run. When you run you feel good about yourself. Running is a mood altering mechanism for you. You are addicted to running. This is positive addiction; it is good for you, although it might have some negative aspect: damage the cartilages of your knees etc.

The compulsion to do something and obedience to that compulsion, unfortunately, is not reserved for positive activities like exercising, hard working and reading books only. The individual tends to be addicted to activities that are positively correlated with harm to his life.

Human beings tend to be addicted to over eating food, over drinking alcohol, sex, doing drugs like Cigarettes, Coffee, Marijuana, Cocaine, Heroine, Amphetamines, LSD, Valium, Librium, Xanax, Morphine, Pocadan and many other drugs, legal and illegal.


There are essentially two types of addictions, psychological and physiological. In psychological addiction the individual has an over powering mental desire to do something and finds himself unable to resist doing so. A sex addict, for example, may experience an over powering desire to go to a whore house or pick up a street worker, and have sex with her. He finds himself unable to concentrate on doing any other thing unless he goes and has sex with a hooker. Once he does so, he feels relaxed and is now able to concentrate on other activities. His craving for indiscriminate sex with any woman is psychological; it is in his head, not in his body. (Homosexual men have similar cravings; some of them cruise city parks trying to have sex with other men, men they do not know; lesbians, daggers, generally go to bars and pick up total strangers, queens, and have sex with them. It is a strange, strange world we live in. If you are a therapist, like I was, you get to hear the amazing things that human beings do while pretending to be saints, like the pastor driving around city streets looking for a girl under age twelve to have sex with while talking rubbish about his god, Jesus Christ.)

In psychological addiction the desire is in the mind. In physiological addiction, on the other hand, the desire is not only in the mind but now also in the body. The person is not only mentally addicted but physically addicted.

Consider the alcoholic. He may have begun his drinking vocation through social drinking and becomes psychologically addicted to alcohol, and finally graduates to physiological addiction. When he is physiologically addicted his addiction is now not only in his mind but in his body; his body craves alcohol and he must have it or else he cannot function. He now needs his drug of choice to be able to functional normally.

The physiologically addicted alcoholic gets up in the morning and must have his beer or wine or gin or whisky (whichever is his drug of choice) or else he cannot function on the job. If he does not have alcohol in his body, his body shakes rather uncontrollably (DTs, Delirium Tremens it is called), his nerves are raw and he cannot concentrate on thinking; he feels anxious and restless. No kidding, this person cannot do anything unless he downs some alcohol.

There are many stages of alcoholism, from mild to high. We shall not concern ourselves with such detailed knowledge here. All that we need to know is that the physiologically addicted alcoholic now lives to drink. He must drink to seem alive, to function in society. Without his alcohol he is unable to do anything. Of course, that alcohol is taking a toll on him: destroying his liver (cirrhosis), his kidney, his brain. In late stage alcoholism these folks memories are gone, literally gone; their short term memories are kaput: “What did you do yesterday?”, “I do not know,” No kidding; this is the real world, man. Yet this man will spend his last penny on booze.


Folks begin drugs gradually and their bodies build up tolerance. Consider smoking cigarettes. The first time a twelve year old child (twelve is the typical age kids begin to experiment with drugs) smokes a cigarette he probably chokes on it and coughs a lot. As he persists in smoking, however, he tolerates a cigarette and soon many cigarettes. He may get to a point where he smokes three packs of cigarettes a day. His body is building tolerance. The level of nicotine in his body that used to give him a feeling of stimulation, or whatever else he believes that he gets from smoking, no longer does so, and now he needs more and more cigarettes to get the same feeling.

The same goes for alcohol and other drugs. A beer may have given one the “rush” but in time one may need six or more beers to feel that rush. The cocaine taker may have felt high with a snort of cocaine but, in time, may need a noseful (and burns holes in his nose) to feel the same sense of high his first cocaine gave him. His body has built tolerance for that drug.

As ones body builds more and more tolerance one spends enormous time trying to acquire the high quantity of the drug one needs to have to feel some effect from it. One becomes hopelessly addicted to ones drug of choice.

One is addicted to a drug if when one tries to stop taking it one feels intense withdrawal symptoms. Those who are addicted to alcohol talk about having hallucinations, heart palpitations, shaking of their muscles, mental confusion, and preoccupation with the drug. When they finally get that drug into their system the withdrawal symptoms go away.

That is to say that one is now a slave to ones drug of choice; one must have it to avoid the painful feeling of withdrawal. The circle is closed and the addict is now totally in the hands of the demon, drugs, and his master. He is no longer a free person; he is a person in bondage to his master the drug.

If you are addicted to Valium, it has the same effects as alcohol addiction. If you try to quit it you may, in fact, experience visual hallucinations, heart palpitations etc just as alcoholics do. Alcohol and drugs that mimic it slow down the addicts heart beatings so that a sudden withdrawal from alcohol and or the Benzodiazepams could lead to heart attack.

The withdrawal symptoms are so bad that often an addict needs to be in a hospital for a month or so, so that physicians monitor changes in his heart and body to make sure that he does not go into cardiac arrest and die. (Alcoholics may be given Librium as transition drug, for sudden cessation of alcohol in their body could bring about a shock to their entire bodies and they die.)

Those who are hooked to street drugs like heroine often have to be given replacement drugs like methadone otherwise they seem unable to cope with the powerful withdrawal symptoms of their drug of choice (muscle itching and twitching, restlessness, mental confusion, agitation etc.).

Drug addicts so fear withdrawal symptoms that some of them can turn tricks (prostitution) to get money to buy their drugs; some of them steal from stores and resale the goods for the price of their fix…say, steal a leather jacket that costs three hundred dollars and give it to the drug pusher for a fix that costs twenty five dollars.

Some drug addicted fellows, in fact, abandon their children and devote their lives to the career of seeking and getting drugs into their bodies.

Some intravenous addicts, like Heroine addicts, literally inject every part of their bodies with needles and have ugly scare marks all over their bodies and yet must do it to feel good from their drugs.

Folks who are addicted to cocaine and amphetamine sometimes experience all the classic symptoms of paranoia; in cocaine high, they believe that some one, say the police, is after them, is trying to get them and they run from him; some of them may hear a knock on their doors and erroneously think that it is the police knocking and jump out of the upstairs window and hurt themselves, even kill themselves.

A fellow on cocaine run for days is often not different from a certified delusionally disordered person. (This would seem to suggest that there is biochemical causation of mental disorders…that too much dopamine may cause schizophrenia… cocaine initially leads to out pouring of dopamine, a neurotransmitter, which makes the drug addict feel fine for a while; but in time he builds tolerance and needs more and more drugs to feel fine. His paranoid reactions tend to be part of his late stage reaction to drug addiction. These days, schizophrenics say that they have brain chemical imbalance disease, but that is not yet demonstrated as a fact.)

LSD has hallucinogenic effects: seeing what is not there as there. It also produces flashbacks, that is, re-experiencing the effect of the drug years later. Marijuana has some hallucinogenic effect.

My goal here is not to provide technical information on drugs and their effects, but to talk about them at a basic level.

Let me talk a bit about caffeine addiction and addiction to nicotine, popular addictions that many people can identify with.

Hi, my name is Thomas, I am an addict. I am addicted to caffeine. (I tried cigarettes when I was in college and gave it up; I sometimes, say, every few months, drink a beer or two, but no hard liquor.)

I am a heavy coffee drinker. I have been drinking coffee since I was 12 years old. So here we are at an AA (Alcohol Anonymous) meeting and I get up and tell the room full of addicts that my name is Thomas and that I am a caffeine addict.

I am serious; I am seriously addicted to caffeine, both psychologically and physiologically. I have read many books on caffeine and know that it is correlated with heart diseases and pancreatic cancer etc. I would like to quit but somehow I always come right back to drinking my java.

I guess that is why I live in Seattle, Java city. Starbucks, you owe me one, for if I calculate the $4 dollars a pop, that I spend every day at your joint, you have taken thousands from me…just as alcohol joints take money from alcohol addicts.

Caffeine has psychological and physiological addiction. If you try to quit it you feel serious withdrawal symptoms, such as agitation, muscle itching, dizziness in your head, even heart arrhythmia. Folks, this is serious addiction, do not minimize it. I know folks whose teeth have fallen off and their gums receded all from drinking coffee and they still drink it.

Didn’t I tell you that we are all addicts? No shame, man, I own up, I am a coffee addict.

What is your own addiction? Cigarette? Do you smoke a pack or two a day? Do you know what you are doing to yourself? You are courting lung cancer, heart attack, and all sorts of somatic disorders. Are you still in denial?

If you are a Nigerian, do you have that peculiar Nigerian pattern of denial, of believing that you do not have mental issues and that only white folks do?

(Just about every Nigerian I see has emotional and or mental health issues, but he does not always know it; he thinks that he is okay. Poor guy. If only he knows that I am taking the time to write this stuff and give it away, for free, because I see his issues and want to help him.)

So you do not have drug addiction, eh? How about addiction to food? Have you seen some Nigerian big men lately? Their tummies are so fat that they look like pregnant women. Actually, they are heart attack waiting to happen…and in their primitive superstitions they would attribute it to juju and other such rubbish.

How tall are you? The typical Nigeria is about five feet eight inches tall. That means that he should not weigh more than one hundred and sixty pounds. So what is your weight, wise guy? Two hundred and fifty pounds? Are you pregnant? “Big man afo shi” we used to say when we were kids.

Loose that ugly weight and loose it now. Find out your natural weight, as delineated by medical science and do not weigh more than that.

To not be over weighted you must eat right. I will not tell you what to eat. There are good nutritionists out there that can tell you what to eat.

Are you a food addict? Are you using food to deal with your frustrations in life? Did you not get that girl you want, that job you want etc and feel disappointed and sad and eat to make you feel good? Food is used to make us feel good when our lives are going to the pots.

Clearly many Nigerians are addicted to food and alcohol. Just look at their sizes, the women with fat tummies and thunder thighs, the men with grossly fat bellies that they hide in folds of agbada.

I do not think that these folks need any one to tell them that they are in a bad shape. Get up and go exercise; run, swim, buy a bicycle and ride it to work rather than drive to work, play tennis, play golf, do weight training etc, do everything to make you sweat and loose that ugly fat.

(There are three types of exercises: cardiovascular, like running; strength, like weight training; flexibility like calisthenics, yoga…you already know all these, now practice them.)

I would like to spend some time on addiction to sex. Nigerians, indeed Africans are unaware that there is such a thing as addiction to sex. Yet sex is the most addicting activity known to man. How so?

When folks have sex, the men ejaculate and the women have orgasm. This gives them a sense of wellbeing. It momentarily alters their mood, their brain chemical balance and makes them forget about their troubles.

Why do you think that folks take drugs? They do so to alter their chemical balance so as to feel good, albeit momentarily. You achieve the same end through sex.

So you are tense and all stressed out and have a little sex, eh? You feel relieved. You associate physical release with sex. So you desire sex and repeat the behavior until it becomes a habit, an addiction.

In Nigeria, there are whorehouses just about everywhere you look. As kids growing up at Lagos we knew where the whores lived.
The whore houses usually contain the bottom of the barrel in the profession of harlotry. Those prostitutes who consider themselves a bit more sophisticated tend to walk the streets or hang around hotel lounges. I once lived at Victoria Island, right opposite Federal Palace Hotel. In the evenings, the hookers lined up the street leading to the Hotel. My friends and I used to go talk to these street women, most of them our age. There were fourteen year olds among them. When the police came, they scampered everywhere, vanished. These types of hookers considered themselves high class and preferred expatriates, whites. They used to tell us about their sexual exploits with white men. It was fascinating hearing the sisters talk about what they do. Interestingly, it never occurred to me to actually find out what they did.

Look, prostitution is everywhere in Nigeria and we do not need to play coy and pretend that reality is not reality. Indeed, some well to do Nigerians practically turn their junior staff and or students to sex slave status. Rich folks have arrangements for their mistresses, concubines and what not.

The Nigerian big man seems to believe that it is his right to have sex with as many women as he pleases. As a matter of fact, he does not even think that it is wrong to do so. If you ask him why he does what he does, he is likely to tell you that his fathers used to have many wives and that since the white man and his religion now limits him to one wife that he is somehow gratifying his polygamous tradition by having mistresses.

Is it really true that in traditional African society polygamy was the norm? Where is the evidence? Let me speak about my family. My father, my grandfather and my great grandfather…those that I knew…were all married, each to a woman. I have done a retrospective analysis of my ancestors to as far back as is possible, they were all in monogamous marriages. And least you think that they were monogamous because they could not afford many wives, let me quickly tell you that in our village, we are the first family, the Opara, and Ndi Ishi Muo.

So what is the point? People in my town, particularly, the well to do ones were monogamous. It is therefore a crock to say that polygamy was the norm in traditional Africa. In so far that there was some polygamy in my town it was always the riff raffs, the nothing trying to seem like they are something big by having many wives.

Generally, those fellows who married many wives were burned, quick, and returned to their senses and accepted that one wife is more than enough for a man to handle. In fact, the average man cannot even deal with the Wahalla of one woman how much more many women!

I am saying that it is not true that we should justify modern Africans polymorphous perverse sexuality with so-called African tradition of polygamy. Our traditions were very strict. In my area if you committed incest you were killed; if you engaged in adultery you were ran out of town. No sir, our African past was not morally loose, as decadent liberal cultural relativists would like to tell us.

Those Nigerians who have sex with many women have sex addiction, period. They must accept their addiction and deal with it and stop being in denial.

A human being is at his best if he limited his sexuality to one woman (and in his late fifties, avoided sex altogether and concentrated on spiritual matters).

Sex is best limited to monogamy, in marriage between a man and a woman. Within this context, sex is best if it is done out of love.
Do you love your partner? Do you care for her welfare? Do you see her as a total person, or do you see her only as a sex object? Is she a sex toy for you, a parlor trophy with which you decorate your house or do you see her as a life long partner with whom you go through the journey called life on earth?

Sex done in the context of marital love is proper sex. Sex with different women, persons one does not love, persons that one uses to obtain physical tension release is sex addiction.

If you pursue sex just to alter your mood, to feel good, you are not different from the chap addicted to heroine, you are an addict, a sex addict. Do you get it or do I need to stand on my head and say the obvious? Those Nigerians with several mistresses are sex addicts. They need to be healed of their addiction to a mood altering drug, the sex drug.

Like most addicts, however, these folks are probably in denial and need to accept their disease.

If you do have sex with more than one woman, please go to a sex addicts meeting and publicly declare yourself an addict. You must tell the world: Hello, I am James, I am a sex addict.

Accept your disease, for there is no healing until the addict stops being in denial and accept his disease in a public forum.

Just look at the price of sex addiction in Africa: folks contracting sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, chlamydia, and now the killer HIV AIDS. Africans are exposing themselves to unnecessary diseases and are dying from them and giving their children all sorts of deformities from these diseases.

I remember when I was in secondary school and some of my friends would go to the various whore houses and a few days latter say that they are having difficulty urinating. Some one says: he has Clap. Some one would direct him to street vendors selling antibacterial and other snake oil remedies for clap. He bought them. I hate to tell you this fact; many of those boys are now dead. They would have been fifty one this year, but their reckless lifestyles shortened their lives.

Look, there is always a price to be paid for every behavior we engage in. We must restrict our sexuality to monogamous marriages if we want to live healthy lives.


Addiction to drugs adversely affects the family. In fact, all members of the family are affected if one member is a drug addict. Whereas we are not talking about family counseling here, let me briefly observe that family therapist operate under what they call family system’s theory (See the writings of Healy and Virginia Satir). As they see it, the family is a system and whatever happens to disrupt any part of the system disturbs all parts of the system. All persons in a general system adjust to disturbances in any part of it.

If a father is an alcoholic the chances are that it would negatively affect his role as the primary bread winner of the family. Booz is expensive, you know. A pack of cigarette is half the minimum wage, you know. A cup of java is half the minimum wage. Simply stated, drug addiction affects family finances.

Moreover, drug addiction affects the psychological role of the addict. Have you seen a real alcoholic? Alcohol becomes the only important thing in his life, sometimes more important than his wife and children. As a matter of fact alcohol becomes more important than life itself, for now he lives to drink, not drink to live. He is hopelessly in the grip of alcohol addiction; he is now in the demon’s fangs.

The alcoholic and or the drug addict would rather spend his time at the bar or cruise the streets looking for drugs rather than go home and help his children do their home works. He may stay out till late at night and then stagger home and stagger to bed. In the morning he starts drinking, again, for now he needs his alcohol to steady his shaking hands. This man is lost to the human race; the devil has won him over, he is gone insane and now lives in the stupor of alcohol.

The alcoholic father or mother is unable to perform his or her family role. Some one else has to perform that role. If the man is the alcoholic or drug addict and is hopelessly dysfunctional all the other family members become dysfunctional too. The wife plays the role of the enabler, telling lies to cover up for his mistakes and thereby perpetuating his insanity. The children adopt certain roles: one the hero, or the rescuer, or the scapegoat, or the family rebel.

We covered these roles when we talked about children’s mental health issues. Find out about them. It might also help you if you know what role you tend to play in your social life, for it may be a carryover from your role in a dysfunctional family.

For example, my parents worked around the clock. Both father and mother got up at 5AM and by 6AM were out of the door, to work. They did not come home before 6PM for mother and 8PM for father. The five boys in the family were given material things but other than that were essentially left alone to fend for themselves.

I grew up with more material goods than the children of rich folks (my mother actually bought her first son a car, a motor cycle etc).

The children learned to take care of business for themselves. I developed the role of a family rescuer, helping the younger ones, rescuing them.

What do you think that I have been doing with my life? I went into the mental health field to save the mentally ill and learned that I could not. I went into teaching trying to make folks learn.

What am I doing here? I am compulsively giving out information to those I feel need it. I do not have to do any of these things, you know. I could be a typical Nigerian and parade around and be called Dr Osuji and find a sinecure job and leave it at that. But, instead, I am spending my Saturday afternoon in front of my computer typing this material for you.

And what do I get from you? Perhaps, headache from Igbos; they must find something to criticize in one, if only to show the world that they are better than one; they cannot stand any one else seeming good. Yet I must play my role, for I over learned it in my dysfunctional family.

All families have their own issues. All families are dysfunctional. Find out about your own family dysfunctions. Then try to heal it. These dysfunctions are multi-generational; that is, they are passed from one generation to another.

Nobody in my family drinks alcohol more than the occasional beer; no one that I know of in the kindred do drugs. But you know what? Everybody in my family tends to be a workaholic. My junior brother, Geoffrey, works eight hours for the government and does another eight hours private work, six days a week. That is who we are. I get up in the morning and work until I am tired and go to sleep at 11 PM. This type of lifestyle obviously affects our children. We must, therefore, be mindful of it and make time to take our children to the Zoo, Library, Museum, and Gym etc.

I know what my problem is and I am doing something about it. How about you? Do you even know that you have a problem? And if you do, are you doing something about it? I hope to God that you are dealing with your family dysfunction issues. You see, the Nigerian middle class, essentially abandon their children and they grow up with myriad of problems. Only God knows what kinds of problems our future children will have. I guarantee you that it will not be rosy.

We have the poor who cannot feed their children and these, like children from broken homes, all over the world, feel not cared for and do not care for any one. Some of them are so angry at society that they gravitate to street gangs and eventually make antisocial, criminal activity their lives career.

So will you do your part to make sure that our children are loved and nurtured so that they would grow up not messed up?
You will not say that nobody has told you about these problems. I am telling you about them. The ball is now in your court, so go do something about it and stop drowning your existential sorrows with alcohol, food, cigarette, coffee, sex and even the harder stuff like street drugs.

Go get help for your addiction issues. Do not be afraid to acknowledge that you have an addiction issue; I have not seen a human being who does not have one, negative or positive, but one nevertheless.

What is your own addiction? Identify it and treat it, for it is a serious problem, do not deny it, do not minimize it, do not blame other people for it, just accept it as your issue and deal with it. It really does not matter how you come about the problem; there is no use blaming others, accept responsibility and deal with it, now, not tomorrow.

But be warned that if you have a serious addiction issue, it might take several trials before you succeed. They say that the typical smoker of cigarettes often takes ten quitting episodes before he finally sticks to it. Alcoholics often under go ten treatments before they finally quit (or die).


Addictions have always been part of the human condition. I doubt that we can ever eliminate all addictions. To be human is to be prone to addictions.

Some claim that we are on earth because we are addicted to the ego; that the allure of the separated, individuated self, the special, superior self created self, the ego is why we are here and that we are addicted to it. They claim that we must let go of our wish for separated self and return to the acceptance of our true self, unified self, before we can overcome all addiction. Indeed, there are those who claim that all addiction is a spiritual disease. The Founders of AA certainly believed that addiction is a spiritual disease. As the AA Big Book sees it, our primary problem is our swollen ego. We are addictable because we have big egos. To overcome addiction, the AA book says that we must let go of the ego and let in God.

Let go and let God. (As a matter of fact, that is the first of the twelve’s steps that addicts must go through to heal.)

I am in agreement with the AA movement that addiction is a spiritual disease; nevertheless, I want to focus on the here and now world.

If you are addicted to something please accept your addiction. Do not deny it. I urge you to try to replace your negative addiction with a positive addiction.

Reading books is addictive, working very hard is addictive, exercising is addictive, and serving other people is addictive. If you start doing any of those things you will find it difficult to quit doing it; that is, you are addicted to it. They are positive addictions. Your wife may not like it if you are an exercise addict, a reading addict, a workaholic who lives for work, but at least you are not killing your self with drugs.

Positive addictions have their draw backs but they are superior to negative addictions.

In the long run, however, you must find some sort of meaning and purpose for living here on earth. Here spirituality comes in. I do not believe that one can heal ones addiction if one has not solved the existential question: what the hell are we doing here on earth?

I have friends who are vegetarians, do not drink any kind of alcohol, no coffee, no cigarette, no drugs, folks who live clean wholesome life. If I examine their lives, I see folks who are less egotistical, folks who have surrendered to a higher power, whom they call God.

As for yours truly, I hover between heaven and earth, unable to give up my ego. I am still egotistical hence I drink coffee and it is killing me. When I finally let go of my belief in my own powers, my ego, and totally accept God as my only source and rely on him, I am sure that I will lick my coffee drinking habit.

If you have an addiction, please understand it and seek treatment, do not deny it. There are many chemical dependency counselors out there who are willing and are able to help you.

In this essay, I merely called your attention to the issue of addictions. I did not aim at a complete explication of the nature of addictions. I am not a Chemical Dependency counselor, I am a mental health professional (Psychiatrists, psychologists, clinical social workers).
If addiction is your issue, please go seek the help that you deserve and stop making a mess of your life, and the lives of those around you.

Posted by Administrator at 12:14 PM | Comments (0)

March 07, 2006

Ozodi Osuji Weekly Series on Psychology 2006, #13 of 52: The Correlation of Idealism and Paranoid Thinking

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- Idealistic thinking is wishing that things be different from the way they are. The idealist sees reality as it is, but wishes that it were different from what it is. In paranoid thinking the individual sees himself as he is, imperfect, and wishes that he were different, perfect. No amount of wishing makes the earthly self perfect.

The paranoid person uses his imagination to invent an ideal and perfect self for himself and identifies with it, defends and protects it. He wants other people to acknowledge his imaginary perfect self as who he is, in fact, and resents those who do not acknowledge his false fictional superior and perfect self. He feels demeaned when other people do not respect his false superior self. As it were, he wants to con the world to accept his imaginary ideal self as who he is. If he is self deceived and believes that he is his imaginary ideal self he is now totally in the world of delusion; he is no longer not just a paranoid personality but delusional disordered.

He knows that his real imperfect self, the bodily ego self will die and so he wishes that his imaginary ideal perfect self would survive his physical death. He works to make his imaginary perfect self survive and in doing so gives his life on earth false meaning and purpose.

The reality is that the false perfect self is not going to come into being and the world is not going to be ideal.

The earthly self, real or imaginary, has no worth and is valueless. What survives is the dreamer, the conceptualizer, the thinker, the wisher of separation, the ever lasting spirit in us, not his wished for separated self and not the world of that wished for self.

Delusional disorder is trying to make the ego separated self ideal and important and has other people acknowledge the importance of the fictional self. The deluded person wants to make his imaginary ideal self important and make the world of that imaginary self important, that is, make human civilization important and ever lasting, all these are futile efforts.

If one recognizes that the false self, the ego, cannot be important and that its civilization cannot be important now what should one do?

One should love the dreamer, the Spirit in us, not his dream self and dream world. One should play with the dream self and dream world, play with other dream selves, egos and their activities without taking them as important, for they are not and will never be important. This world you are looking at will eventually be blown up in nuclear evisceration; the world is a smoke and will disappear from sight.


When one is inflexibly pursuing the rigid important self, ones body reflects ones thinking, mind, and are inflexible and rigid in its quest for importance. Ones body is tort and uptight.
One should go exercise and become flexible and enjoy the dream but not take it seriously.

Ego mind thinking is reflected in body but body itself is neutral; body represents what the mind wants to think and experience, ego importance or experience ego play.

The idealist and the paranoid rejected the empirical world; both saw that world, the world of science, as not good enough and used their minds to invent and construct an ideal alternative to it.

This process began in childhood, and by age six, at least, is perceivable in the individual.

All human beings, up to a point, engage in this process, that is, posit an ideal self and ideal world and seek to bring them into being.

The pursuit of self ideal and ideal world, a self and world to replace the self and world created by God, is what life on earth is all about, making our dream selves and dream worlds seem real.

God created a formless, spirit self, a unified self, a self that is the same and equal; we invented separated special selves housed in bodies and that live in the world of space, time and matter and want to realize our imaginary self and its world.

This process is accentuated in the so-called paranoid personality and even more so in the psychotic person. In the insane person, the insanity of the world is apparent. In the paranoid person you see defense of a non-existent self and its non-existent world done with vigor. The defenses are also taking place in the so-called normal person but in a flexible manner.


This rejection of empiricism, rejection of phenomena, rejection of matter and the human body, rejection of the imperfect self and invention of an ideal self and defense of that ideal self and its ideal world is chimera, it is recipe for despair since what is wished for is not going to come into being no matter how much one wishes for it.

Meaning and purpose given by illusions are not real meaning and purpose. The only real meaning and purpose are found in God.

On earth the only realistic thing to do is to embrace empiricism and study science and psychology and deal with people as they are, dream persons and dream things, not real selves , not valuable selves and things. Love the dreamer but not his dream.

One should never take the dream self and the dream world seriously. One should be flexible and enjoy the dream and then leave it upon death.


One should never kill ones self, out rightly as in suicide or slowly with drugs like cigarette, coffee, over eating, alcohol, cocaine, heroine, amphetamine, over sexing. If you commit suicide you will return to this world and live again, until you get it right and then leave the world, never to return to it.

The only way to leave the world permanently is to understand that the ego and the world is a dream. As dreams one should not defend them and have a happy dream before one leaves them. If one forgives the world, loves the dreamer, not his dreams, one has overcome the world. One no longer has a wish to be an ego, to dream a separated, special self and wish for a world to make that dream seem possible. One will not return to the dream, the world. One stays near heaven, heaven’s gate, has a happy dream and works with those still in the world, helping them to realize that the world is a dream. When all people have had this realization and come to the gate of heaven, the gate opens and all the separated children of God enter and return from the journey without a distance and resume the awareness that they are forever and ever one with their father and all their brothers.


If a person accepts the philosophy of this essay, that is, accepts that our true state is formless unified spirit and that our present state, separated forms, is false, he must necessarily be a different person; he must think and behave differently.


If one is formless and eternal spirit it follows that one would no longer be afraid of death. One would understand that though ones body could be harmed, even destroyed, that such happenstance does not affect ones true self. Ones real self is eternal spirit and no human being can harm or destroy it. Thus, one would no longer give in to fear, when it rears its ugly face, as it must to all those who mistakenly see themselves as separated selves living in bodies.


One would be less prone to anger. Anger is a response to perceived attack on ones body and ego self. Anger is an attempt to defend ones body and psychological self, the separated self concept living in body, space and time. Anger defends the separated self and its body. If one is not a separated self in body, it follows that when one perceives attack on ones body and separated self, one ignores it, overlooks it with the understanding that only the dream, false self is being attacked, not the real self.

One is in a dream and projects out other dream selves and bid them to attack ones dream self. One attacked ones self through other people. One takes responsibility for such attack and does not feel angry. One forgives those who attack one, and since they are part of one, in forgiving them one forgives ones self ones attack on ones self and on other selves. Other selves who are one with one.


One will no longer be prone to sadness and depression for if one is an eternal spirit self what cause is there for sadness and depression? All depression is rooted in our belief that we are bodies that will die. But if body is mere instrument for dreaming in the world of dreams and ones true self is eternal then there is no point in being depressed.


If one is eternal spirit and no one can harm one, one cannot be paranoid. Paranoia is a product of ones awareness of the worthlessness, valuelessness and inadequacy of ones separated self housed in body, the ego, personality and ones invention of an imaginary ideal self and identification with that fictional self and defense of it. The ideal self is a magical self and is meant to enable one adapt to the physical and social exigencies of ones world; but it does not enable one adapt for it is an illusion and an illusion does not affect reality. One must, therefore, not defend it for it is in defending it that it seems real to one when it is not real. The fictional ideal perfect self, the paranoid self must be let go into the nothingness whence when one conjured out from; it does not exist and it does not help one adjust to this world or to any other world for that matter. If one accepts that one is part of unified spirit one lets go of the false ideal ego self and, therefore, is no longer paranoid.


If one accepts the unified spirit self and is no longer seeking to become the ideal perfect self one would no longer use ones thinking to speed up ones quest for the ideal self. One would no longer be manic. In mania, the individual uses his thinking to think rapidly so as to convince himself that he is the grandiose self he wished he were. He is now god, the most powerful man on earth, the richest man on earth and other such nonsense. If the unified self is accepted and the ego is given up, the individual would no longer be prone to mania and its delusions.


Insane persons hallucinate in pursuit of false ideal goals. The mad man hears voices telling him that he is god, a very important person. If he did not wish to be an important ego self he would not hear voices (and or the other hallucinations: auditory, visual, olfactory, tactile, and feeling). If there is no wish for special separated self there would be no psychosis, no insanity, no madness, and no lunacy. Human beings are nuts because they desire to become ideal, perfect selves.


If one knows that ones real self is spirit and that other people’s real selves is spirit and that the apparent selves we see on earth, the separated selves housed in bodies are dream and false selves, one would no longer judge the dream selves with the standards of the ideal false self.

All judgment is rooted in using the standards of the fictional ideal self to judge separated selves housed in bodies, perceiving their imperfections vis a vis the imaginary perfect ego self and wishing that they were as perfect as the imaginary ideal selves.

People are not ideal selves and cannot become ideal selves. It makes no difference whether one illusion is better than others; they are all illusory selves and, at any rate, each individual formulates his ideal self and you cannot do so for him.

Each person used his inherited dream body and dream experiences to invent a self concept, a personality for him. You did not form his self concept for him and he did not form yours, though each of you has perceptions of each other.

Because the self concept is individualistically formed it is not up to you to change others self concepts, you cannot succeed no matter how hard you tried. So you might as well stop trying to change other people, changing dream selves.

The only person that you can change is you. However, you cannot change you to become an ideal dream self; you can change you by giving up all efforts to formulate ideal dream self concepts for you and just accept the real self that God created you, the self that is always already there, but hidden, masked by you, clouded and veiled by your ego self concepts.

Stop constructing ideal selves and see the unified light self that the Holy Spirit has already reinvented for you and then eventually experience the non-physical self, that is, your real self.


When you accomplish this goal, your life becomes one of joy and peace. You see this world as a play thing and play with other persons, your fellow dreamers. You laugh at your and other peoples efforts to invent replacement selves for you all. Life on earth becomes a thing of mirth, a joyful play.

The life of an enlightened and illuminated son of God is fun; he is always smiling, laughing and in peace and happiness. His presence, even the mere remembrance of his name, Christ, gives all people peace and happiness.

If you have a job in this world you do it playfully. For example, if you are a medical doctor, you still heal people’s bodies, for as long as people see themselves as bodies and get sick they need the services of medical doctors.

If you are one of the exclusive ones that cannot operate in the world of ego and body and can only teach about spiritual things, a teacher of God, a minister of God, a servant of God and people, then you find peace and joy in talking about spiritual matters, provided that you love and forgive all people, for all your teaching amounts to nothing if you lack charity. Charity is giving without asking for anything in return, for you know that in giving to other people, in loving other people, you only give, love you. The so-called other person is you.

In forgiving the brother that attacked you, you forgive you; in loving him you love you, for he is you projected out to do what he did, so that you see it and correct it, first in you and later show him an example of how to correct it in him.

A part of your spirit is in him…he must learn to love and accept his real self and stop thinking that he has to become a rich, important, ideal person before he accepts himself; he must stop being paranoid and in doing so become peaceful and happy.

You first give your self peace and extend that peace to all our brothers.

Giving is receiving; all people are part of ones self and in giving them love and forgiveness one gives that to one; in giving them peace and happiness one gives that to one.

On the other hand, in giving other people hate and anger one gives ones self hate and anger. Giving to others is giving to ones self.

Love knows that it is one, that all people are parts of its self, that as one does to ones self one does to others and as one does to others one does to ones self.

In this knowledge lies peace of mind for it is the truth.
The brother who in his paranoia misinterpreted your motives as attack on him and attacked you shows you how in your own paranoia you misinterpret other people’s motives and attack them. Learn to forgive him and love him and in so doing correct your own thinking and know peace and happiness. When you have peace and happiness you give it to the rest of the world.

The world, other people, are yearning for peace and happiness, are calling on you, teacher of God, to learn love and thereafter teach them love.

This is your true function, your true role and your true vocation. For this you came to this world.
It is also other people’s true vocation but that may not yet be their exclusive function, they may still find some satisfaction in performing ego roles, such as medicine, but in time they, too, will get there.

In the meantime, it is your exclusive function, perform it and it is on your performing it that all children of God, you, are saved. The saving of the children of God, you, rests on you. Perform your savior role, forgive and love all. See what others do to you as what you do to you. Study people’s attacks from secular psychologically perspective, that is, see it as paranoia at work, and then transcend secular psychology with spiritual psychology. This means understanding that all attacks is a call for help, for love and loving the attacker via forgiveness. Overcome your own paranoia and teach others how to overcome their paranoia, for all human beings, in degrees live in paranoia.

To live in paranoia is to live in fear; to live in fear is to live in hell. Show our brothers who live in hell how to live in heaven via forgiveness and love. This is the function of the teacher of God, teacher of love, teacher of union.


The secret of salvation is the realization that one and all of us did this thing to ourselves; we brought our suffering to us. No one else did this to us, we did it to us. On the individual level one did it to one, one brought about ones own suffering; one is not a victim, no other person did this to one; God or Satan did not do this to one, one did it to ones self. How so?

In eternity all is one; all is formless unified spirit; all are the same and equal (for only the same, equal and spirit can unify). Somehow, out of nowhere the idea of the opposite of eternity entered our minds and we pursued it.

Eternity is unified and the idea of separation entered our minds; eternity is the same and equal and the idea of differences and inequality entered our minds; God created us and the idea of self creation entered our minds; we desired to create ourselves, create each other and create God.

These set of ideas are impossible of gratification in eternity and its reality. What we could not satisfy in reality we dreamed. We formed a world of illusion, Maya, to go seem to satisfy our desires for there to be a will that opposes God’s will. Thus, as it were, we cast a magical spell on ourselves and went to sleep and seem to dream a world that is the opposite of God’s world. We find ourselves in the world of space, time and matter, a world that opposes the unified world of God.

Our world of space, time and matter requires that we take time to travel from one point to another; our world of bodies ( we used bodies to make separated selves seem real) require that bodies be hurt and pained so as to seem real to us, so we do feel pain and fear pain.

Simply stated, we do suffer in our world. But suffering is built into the world of space, time and matter and in as much as we desire that world we brought our suffering unto us. Indeed, we can stop our suffering by giving up the desire that brought it about, the desire for specialness and separation.

When we stop desiring special self and separation we exit this world of separation and return to the consciousness of oneness, union with all being, a world of no you and I, no space and gap between people, a world of no seer and seen, a world of no subject and object, a world where each of us is in each of us; God is in us and we are in him, the whole is in the part and the part in the whole; a world of peace and joy, a blissful world.

We attain that peaceful and happy world via forgiveness and love.


We came to this world to seem special and separated from God and from one another. The first order of business we engage in upon birth in this world is to invent a separated self concept for our selves. Each of us builds on his inherited body and social experiences and constructs a self concept. He also constructs self concepts for other people (for we do not relate to other people as they are, but as we think that they are).

We transform our self concepts into self images in bodies and see ourselves in bodies. On earth, we think in concepts and images. The external world is in fact the out picturing of our individual and collective thinking.

All self concepts and self images are false. For one thing, each of us has limited information available to him at any point in time, particularly when we were children, during which time we invented our self concepts aka personalities and egos.

However, the main reason why self concepts are false is because it is not up to each of us and all of us to invent self concepts for us. God has already created us unified self and our efforts to invent separated selves are disobedience of God’s will.

We disobey God’s will by having self concepts (egos and human personalities). This world is a conceptual self, hence is a world where we disobey the will of God.

No one can disobey the will of God. All we do is have wishes and dream that we have accomplished our wishes but, in fact, we have not done so. We dream and in our dreams see our wishes seem realized.

Dream self concepts and dream world is not the real world. In reality, we remain as God created us, unified with him and with each other, while dreaming that we have separated from God and invented replacement and substitute separated self concepts. Our human personalities are dream selves and not real at all.

In as much as we want to seem separated and dream that we have separated selves, we have to change our separated self concepts and make them congruent with the unified self God created us as.


We have to transform our self concepts and make them approximate the real self God created. We do so by using our separated selves housed in bodies to forgive and love other seeming separated selves housed in bodies. When we use our self concepts and our bodies to forgive and love other people, we purify them, and we approximate heaven’s self.

Forgiveness does not take us into heaven; it brings us to the metaphoric gate of heaven. We are still not in heaven for heaven is unified self, whereas in forgiveness we still live in separated selves, but now we are at the gate of heaven. Heaven is perfect peace and happiness, bliss; those who are at heaven’s gate experience some peace and joy in their lives.

Ultimately, we have to relinquish all separated self concepts, give up all efforts to define ourselves by ourselves and stay quiet (as in meditation) and God would reveal to us our real self: formless unified equal selves that are infinite in numbers yet are one self. This spirit self cannot be explained by separated self categories.


In the illusion that we have separated selves we make separated decisions. Making decisions is part of the delusion that separation is possible. Each of us makes decisions regarding what to do with his life on a day, to day, and minute to minute bases.

One must give up the illusion that one can make decisions for ones self. The fact is that by ones ego self one does not know what is good for one. Only God knows what is good for his son and can decide for one.

God, in fact, has already decided that his son is best served staying in him and with him in unified spirit.

In as much as God’s son wished to be separated from him and seem to be on earth, he must now ask God, the Holy Spirit, to guide him.
Before one makes a decision one must ask God to decide for one. Do not make a decision by yourself, always ask the immanent God in the temporal universe, the Holy Spirit, to decide for you.

When the children of God seemed to separate from their father and came to this world of separation, God entered their minds, their thinking, their separated world as the Holy Spirit. The function of the Holy Spirit is to remind the children of God that their true identity is unified self, and that their true home is unified state, aka heaven. He does this teaching through interpreting love as forgiveness. Whereas in heaven love is union, on earth love is forgiveness, for forgiveness unifies warring people.

The Holy Spirit is ones right mind; he is the agent of God and his true son, Christ, in our sleeping ego minds. Ask him what he would have you do before you do anything.

The Holy Spirit would always ask you to love and where there is attack to forgive it. He would teach you that attack is a call for love where love is perceived as missing. The Holy Spirit’s gospel is that forgiveness is the meaning of love. Jesus listened to this gospel and taught us forgiveness as love and forgave those who seemed to destroy his earthly body and ego. The entire gospel of Jesus Christ is love is forgiveness; he taught his followers to forgive one another so as to return to God, to unified state.

Listening to the Holy Spirit means that before you do anything, you ask yourself why you are doing it: Love or hate, for the good of all humanity or for the good of your selfish ego.

If love for all human beings motivates your action, go ahead and do it. If you made a mistake and behaved on behalf of selfish interest hence attacked other people and they attack you in self defense, then forgive them and forgive yourself. Always love and forgive yourself and all people.

But do recognize that what your selfish ego would want you to do is not what the Holy Spirit, love and forgiveness, would want you to do. Your ego may want you to work to seem important, wealthy and important. The Holy Spirit wants you to do work that gives you peace and happiness and gives all people peace and happiness. That is to say what your ego wishes is not what the Holy Spirit wants for you. What your ego thinks is good for you, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God in us, knows is not good for you.

The ego perpetuates your stay in hell, on earth; the Holy Spirit wants to liberate you from hell and take you to heaven. The ego asks you to do what adapts to this world and the Holy Spirit asks you to do what overcomes this world and takes you back home. The ego is your guide to staying in this world; the Holy Spirit is your guide on the homewards journey to God and his heaven.

Therefore, make sure that you are listening to the Holy Spirit, not to your ego. How do you know who you are listening to?
If you listen to the ego you are in conflict; if you listen to the Holy Spirit you are in peace and happiness.

Are you at war or in peace? That would tell you whose voice you are listening to: the voice for the ego or the voice for God; the voice for love or hate; the voice for union or separation; the voice for Christ or ego; the counselor for this world or for heaven?

You, as the ego, do not know what is good for you. What you think is good for you, ego power, wealth and fame, from the Holy Spirit’s perspective, is bad for you, for it generates conflict whereas love and forgiveness generates peace for you and for all people. What you and other people consider failure, such as not making it in the world’s work world, the Holy Spirit knows as success, for it is in failing in the egos world that you have the time to think about the things of God; seldom do people who succeed in the world have time to think about the things of God.


There is one source of intelligence in the universe, God. God is intelligence. In eternity, that one intelligence expanded into each of us and on earth manifests in all of us. One God extends to each of us. In that sense, each of us is as intelligent as other persons; no one is more intelligent than other people. In eternity, heaven we are equally intelligent.

In the world of space, time and matter; in the material universe it is obvious that not all people are equally intelligent. Not all of us are Galileo Galilee, Isaac Newton, Robert Boyle, Dalton, Albert Einstein, and Max Planck, Schrodinger, Pauli, Heisenberg, Bohr and the other outstanding brains of the past centuries.

In the world each of us inherited a set of genes, a body. Body is a mask through which universal intelligence manifests. Each individual’s body is a filter and allows only so much intelligence to shine through it. Our bodies and egos distort how universal intelligence operates through them.

If the individual wants to change his level of intelligence on earth he must begin by changing his genes and body, for body and genes determine how and what type of intelligence he manifests on earth. Since it is not yet possible to alter our genes it follows that each of us has certain intelligence level for the duration of his life on earth. But in the future, genetic science and engineering would be able to tinker with children’s genes and make the currently dull ones smart.


I have pointed out at several places that Igbos tend to have a higher incidence of paranoia. In my twenty something years of working in the mental health field, I have seen Igbo paranoid personalities than other groups (Hausa, Yoruba etc). The few delusional disordered persons I have seen included two Igbo women. This is a fact, not conjecture. On Naija politics there is a certified Igbo paranoid personality on it. You could see his dance of intelligence. He is pure reason at work but he is foolish intelligence. He says things that are essentially true but things said without love and forgiveness hence things that could generate war at any moment. No leader and manager would make him a supervisor or manager (and I know what I am talking about for I have run organizations). This man is very bright but has warped social intelligence, every time he says something he alienates people yet he believes that he is doing so in the service of truth. Truth does not bring war but peace and reconciliation.

What I would like to do is talk a little bit about paranoid intelligence. I hope that my paranoid Igbo brothers would discard their tendency to see me as their enemy and learn a thing or two from what I am about to say.

Paranoids are persons who are individuated and rational persons. Igbos worship individualism and are rational persons.

Paranoid intelligence, Igbo intelligence, is devoted to individualistic and idealistic goals.

The paranoid rejected his real self and seeks to become an ideal self. He also rejected other people’s real selves and wants them to become ideal persons; he also wants society to become ideal. He pursues ideal social institutions. This is what Igbos do.

The pursuit of ideal self in the service of the separated ego self is what paranoia is all about. The individual rejected the real separated self in body and wants an ideal separated self, also in body, but this time primarily disembodied since his ideal self is mentally derived and is a mental construct.

As a mental self, the ideal self does not take into consideration the realities of body, matter, space and time hence is not going to come into being, it is a wish of the wisp.
The Igbo ideal self, in the final analysis, like the paranoid ideal self, serves only the individual Igbo’s ego self interests. It does not serve social interests; it does not serve the good of other people. Igbos served only their individual interests and sometimes their family’s interests. Their level of social interest is almost zero.

(The typical Igbo are motivated to be an individual superstar and seldom care for other people’s interests. If you want to do things collectively you do not go to Igbos for help, for each of them wants to be a chief, the narcissistic person who makes it to the top and gets all the attention, admiration and glory. Igbos do not work together; working together requires shrinking ones ego and devoting it to common good. You must be the greatest idiot on planet earth to think that an Igbo man could work with you to attain organizational goals that transcend his ego; he is in the organization to serve his personal interests. This is sad but it is the reality of the Igbo ego state and you ought to be realistic when you are dealing with these people. It will probably take several hundred years before these people’s egos are shrunk and civilized and made to serve social interests. As they currently are, they seem incapable of serving larger organizational interests. They are poor leadership and management materials. Igbos are suited for technical positions where they shine as individuals, but seldom suitable for leadership positions where they are supposed to lead other people in pursuit of organizational, collective goals, for goals that transcend their individual interests.)

Igbos must learn to redirect their goals and serve social and collective interests rather than their selfish ego interests. They must stop seeking what is good for only the individual and seek what is good for all humanity. If they do so they would become truly intelligent. In fact, if they do so they would be second to none in the world. They would permit universal intelligence to shine through them and bless the world through them.

I believe that when paranoia is healed in the individual he becomes a truly productive intelligence serving the collective good. When Igbos heal their paranoia they would start producing scientists like no other group on earth. Why so? They are a gifted people; their gift is currently warped by their collective paranoia.

My goal is to help heal the Igbo paranoids I see all around me.
I know that my considering Igbos prone to paranoia could be construed as making negative statements about Igbos. Some infantile Igbos, in fact, circulated the notion that I hate Igbos. If only the fools realize that I am a true Igbo and am working for our social interests, but in a manner that they may not yet understand.

I am a brother that came to heal (change people’s pattern of thinking, change minds, from self interest to social interest hence sane, peaceful and happy), not to crucify my brothers. At any rate, nothing is new under the sun: the helpers of the world are generally misunderstood. But we cannot stop trying to help a world that needs help.


In this essay, I pointed out that the human condition disposes people to hate and reject their earthly real selves, their bodies and egos. They use their imaginations to construe imaginary ideal selves. They then work to become the wished for ideal, perfect self. Pursuit of this imaginary, fictional self is what paranoid persons do in the extreme.

Human beings must reconceptualize their self concepts, change them, and make them forgiving and loving selves. If they do so they experience some peace and happiness in their lives, not the total peace and joy, bliss of heaven, but an attenuated form of it. Ultimately, they must give up all conceptual selves, transcend the ego separated self concept and the body that houses it to experience their real selves, the unified self, the Holy Son of God who is one with his father.

God and his Son, Christ, can be experienced but cannot be explained with our current ego categories. I cannot explain God and Christ, the unified self. Oneness can be experienced when the separated self is dropped but it cannot be explained by the categories of manyness.

I give you my peace and happiness. But to receive my gift, you must jettison your separated, individuated ego and become aware of the Christ in you, your unified self.

* People are at different places in space and time; at different levels of spiritual evolution. Those that are meant to read and benefit from this essay will do so and those that are not yet able to benefit from it, will not read it and if they read it would not understand what it is trying to teach them and would respond to it with off the mark comments.

Posted by Administrator at 08:39 AM | Comments (0)

March 05, 2006

Ozodi Osuji Weekly Lectures on African Countries #7 of 54: Cameroon

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- 7. CAMEROON Flag of Cameroon

Formal Name: United Republic of Cameroon.

Term for Citizens: Cameroonians.

Capital: Yaounde. Population: 1, 480. 000.

Independence Achieved: January 1, 1960, from France.

Major Cities: Douala, Yaounde.


Cameroon is in West Africa. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, Nigeria, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Central African Republic and Chad. Cameroon encompasses 183, 568 square miles. The topography has four natural regions: northern plains, central and southern plateaus, western highlands and mountains, and coastal plains on the Gulf of Guinea. The climate is tropical with two distinct seasons, wet (April to October) and dry (November to March). Heavy rainfall at the coastal regions, tapering off inland and sub-arid north.


The population of Cameroon is estimated at 16, 018,000. The heaviest concentration is in the southwest. 40% urbanization.

Ethnic Groups: There is an estimated 200 ethnic groups.

Languages: French and English are the official languages.

Religion: Muslim North and Christian South and the rest of the population profess indigenous beliefs.

Education: Free primary education. Literacy rate estimated at 79%.

Economy: Small-scale crop production is rampant, especially cocoa, coffee, logs, cotton, rubber, palm products, and peanuts. Some light manufacturing activities exist. The economy is heavily dependent on France as destination of its exports. GDP estimate: $27 billion; Per Capita GDP: $800 US. Monetary Unit: CFA Franc BEAC (XAF).

History and Government:

Cameroon was colonized by Germany in the late 19th century. After the defeat of Germany in world-war I, the territory was taken away from Germany and divided between France and Britain; and ruled as trustee territories. In January 1, 1960 French Cameroon gained independence and a part of British Cameroon opted to join French Cameroon and another to join Nigeria. Cameroon established a unitary national government with highly centralized administration. A unicameral legislature dominated by the ruling party. The president is very powerful; he appoints the leaders of the various districts (departements). The country is divided into 10 provinces for administrative purposes.

In the 16th century the Portuguese came to the area now known as Cameroon. In fact, it was the Portuguese that named the country, Camarao, a place where prawns are found. Subsequently, nothing much was heard of the area until the 1870s when the newly unified Germany took interest in it.

Germany colonized Camarao but when Germany was defeated during the First World War her African colonies, including Camarao was given to the victorious countries. In 1919 Camarao was divided into two and one section was given to the British and the other to the French as League of Nation’s mandated territories.

At the end of the Second World War, The United Nations replaced the lackluster League of Nations and in 1946 took over Cameroon as a United Nations Trusteeship.

In 1960 France gave independence to its portion of Camarao. That same year the English section of Camarao held a plebiscite and the Southern part chose to join the French Cameroonians and the Northern part chose to join Nigeria. In 1961 Southern Cameroon merged with French Cameroon to form the Republic of Cameroon.

Ahmadou Ahidjo, a Muslim man from Northern Cameroon, became the president of Cameroon and was in power for over twenty years, until 1982 when he resigned and his prime minister, Paul Biya, became the president. Mr. Biya is still in power 24 years later.

Mr. Biya is from Southern Cameroon and is nominally a Christian. His first order of business was to clean house and replace the Northern oligarchy that was in places of authority with his Southern Christian henchmen. This house cleaning led to resentment and Ahidjo was said to have threatened the government and fled the country before he was apprehended by Mr. Biya’s police authorities. Thereafter, Mr. Biya consolidated power and since then has essentially established a one man rule in Cameroon.

In the early 1990s there was said to be a wave of democracy going through Africa. Mr. Biya, apparently, joined the wave and allowed a multiparty election in 1992. Mr. Biya won the election and has won every other election since then. These elections fairness has been a subject of contention.

Mr. Biya, the president, has executive powers and pretty much is the government. He calls the 180 members Parliament, the National Assembly, into session, three times a year, and determines what agenda the Parliament legislates into law.

The National Assembly essentially exists to enact into laws the president’s legislative desires and can hardly be said to have independent will of its own.

Indeed, the president, through his ministry of Justice, also controls the judiciary. On paper the Supreme Court has the powers of judicial review but may only review the constitutionality of a law with the approval of the president.

Cameroon is divided into ten provinces and these are directly and indirectly controlled by the president.

Regardless of how he won his elections, Mr. Paul Biya has managed to make Cameroon one of the well governed African countries. He has paid attention to economic activities particularly to the agricultural sector. Cameroon has one of the best managed agricultural economies in Africa.

Cameroon has free and compulsory elementary school for all its children. Just about every Cameroonian child goes to elementary school. Cameroon has one of the highest literacy rates in Africa, 79%.

The political cleavages in Cameroon are between the North and South and the English South and the French South. The North is Muslim and during the rule of Ahidjo dominated Cameroonian government. Under Mr. Biya, the Christian South dominates Cameroonian government. This has led to resentment in the North.

In the South itself the English speaking part formed Southern Cameroon National Council, SCNC, to work towards seceding from what it perceives as French speaking dominated Cameroon. This secessionist movement is still active despite clamp downs by the central government.

With the discovery of oil in Bakassi peninsula, a section of Nigeria claimed by Cameroon, conflict has raged between Nigeria and Cameroon. In 1994 and 1996 there were brief military skirmishes between the two countries. Cameroon was no match for the Nigerian army and took its claims to the world court. The Court appeared to have awarded Cameroon the oil rich peninsular but Nigeria has not relinquished its claims to the area.

Considering that Bakassi is part of the English speaking Cameroon that wants to separate from French dominated Cameroon, it would seem that the indigenes of Bakassi are not exactly too eager to rejoin French speaking dominated Cameroon.

Mr. Paul Biya appears to have his hands already full trying to keep Cameroon together, working against the Northern Muslims and English speaking Southern agitators for separation to effectively take on its next door colossus, Nigeria.

To keep his country from fragmenting, Mr. Biya resorted to suppression of freedom of the press. Newspapers are closely monitored by the government and journalists that print material that seem to oppose the government often go missing or jailed by the government. The government owns the only national television, CRTV in the country and essentially controls what is broadcast by the TV and radio networks.

(There are now an independent TV, TV Max and some independent radio stations but these are closely monitored by the government and reporters are harassed should they say anything Mr. Biya does not find to his taste; at least, so said Reporters Without Borders, an international Media rights group.

There are no two ways of saying it: Cameroon appears to have a one man rule with all the attendant dictatorial tendencies. Every now and then, shows of democracy are made but those are exactly that: shows, not substance.

The good news is that despite his high handed rule, Mr. Biya seems to have managed to contribute to economic development in Cameroon. By African standards, Cameroon can be considered to be doing well even though its income par capita is only $800 US. And because of the poor standard of living and other factors, professional Cameroonians are increasingly fleeing to the West. This brain drain impoverishes the country further.

On the whole, Cameroon appears a fairly stable African country, it is yet to be seen whether power can be successfully transferred in a democratic manner? Like most African countries, given its multiethnic make up and consequent conflicts, breakup of the country seems a possibility for Cameroon. Perhaps, it is as well that a strong hand maintains the country’s fragile unity?

AIS African Countries
Ozodi Thomas Osuji, PhD

Posted by Administrator at 10:40 AM | Comments (0)

Ozodi Osuji Weekly Series on Psychology 2006, #12 of 52: Nigerians and Domestic Violence

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- I will begin this essay by making the following assertion: there is absolutely no difference between men and women except the obvious anatomical ones. Men and women are the same and are equal. In fact, in standardized tests, such as IQ tests, on the average, women tend to do better than men. Any college professor knows that, on the average, women tend to do better than men in his course works.

I found it necessary to begin this essay with the above obvious assertions because I am addressing this essay to Nigerians, a group of people whose cultural heritage somehow gave the false impression that men are better than women. If any one of them has that baggage he must drop it and drop it now.

Culture is organic; it is always growing and changing. Any culture that does not change with the times, like any people that refuse to change with changing times, dies out. Culture must be dynamic and not static.

The times we live in accept equality of men and women, black and white, adults and children and if you have any problem with that reality, you had better go heal your problem. That is all there is to it. One must deal with reality and not take refuge in the past, as scoundrels do.

In some parts of the third world, Nigeria included, it was not unusual for men to beat their wives and children.

Some Nigerian men in the USA do beat their wives and children. They do so physically and or verbally or emotionally or sexually. Physical, verbal, emotional and sexual abuse is a criminal activity and is punishable by American law.

In the part of the USA that I am fairly knowledgeable about, California to Alaska, the law is that if the police is called to a scene where a spouse had abused a spouse (physically, verbally, emotionally and sexually) the police is required to arrest him and take him to jail and book him and jail him. He must, at least, spend a night in jail before he is bailed out. He then goes before a judge to defend himself. The least punishment he can get is one year of domestic violence treatment, also called barterers treatment. This entails that he would be required to go to group therapy, once a week, usually for about ninety minutes. He pays for the treatment out of pocket, usually about fifty dollars a week.

The therapist submits quarterly reports to the court on how the individual is doing. If, in his opinion, the individual has not learned how to cope with anger, he may ask the judge to extend the period he is in treatment. Some brothers have been in such treatments for years on end. Since many of the therapists providing these treatments are white women, they may see hostility in the brother’s relationship with them and judge them as still not respecting women hence keep them in treatment.

Anger management is the least punishment a guy can receive for beating his wife and or children. Not long ago, I went to Los Angeles, California to plead with a judge to release a man who had beaten his wife in the public and was arrested by the police. The judge refused to do so and sentenced him to two years in prison, to, of all places, San Quinton prison, and the worst prison in the State of California. (Since he is a naive country rustic, he is probably being raped by the hardened criminals in that prison.)

The relevant point is that folks do get sentenced to prison for abusing their spouses. No one has a right to abuse another human being, be it physically, verbally, emotionally or sexually. You may not know this fact: every time you touch someone against his or her will you have actually committed a crime. Many high school kids are sent to juvenile detention centers for merely touching a girl’s buttocks against her wishes. Do not touch any one unless they gave you permission to do so. Do not even come close to someone unless they ask you to; three feet or a yard is considered personal space in the American culture, and if you invade people’s personal space they can sue you.

Do not verbally abuse any one unless they are masochists and see you as a sadist and ask you to abuse them.


Some men say that they were given the right to beat their wives by their cultures. As far as I know, this is a crock. No culture on earth gives men the right to beat their spouses. Every culture actually seeks extra ways to protect women and children for they are usually the most valued members of society. Without women the species would not reproduce.


Those who abuse women do so not for cultural reasons but for personal reasons. The currently accepted view is that abusers do so for power and control reasons. Such persons, apparently, want to exercise power and control over those they abuse. As it were, some men have a need to be powerful and exercise total power over their wives and children. They want to dominate their spouses and children.

Apparently, such men see their wives and children as their personal properties and want to control them. Well, no human being is another human being’s personal property. A husband and wife are two friends, two partners who voluntarily agreed to go through the journey of life on earth together, sharing their lives. One does not own the other and if the man somehow sees the wife as his property he is deluded, period. He does not own his wife and children. His children are placed in his temporary stewardship until they grow up and leave him and if for any reason he thinks that he owns them he is smoking something and needs to be disabused of that drug. No human being owns another human being, be it his wife or children.


Men do not abuse women and children because they are reasonable; no, they abuse them because they are unreasonable, because they are delusional.

Delusional disorder is belief in what is not true as true and acting on the basis of that false belief. There are five types of delusional disorder: grandiose, persecutory, jealous, erotomanic, and somatic.

Briefly, the grandiose type means that the individual believes his self to be too important when, in fact, he is like you and I, ordinary. Believing himself godlike, he may expect his wife to collude with this insanity and beat her up if he thinks that she did not respect his deluded self concept. Thus, he beats his wife and children because they did not respect him.

In persecutory delusion, the individual believes that other people are out to get him, even kill him, when they had no such intentions. Deluded husbands often believe that their wives are planning to do bad things to them and abuse them on that account. Some would believe that the wife is out to poison them and take their money and stop eating her food (and or go marry another wife, only to repeat the same delusional pattern).

Erotomania does not seem to apply to domestic violence. (Here some one, usually a woman, believes that a very important person is in love with her or is her husband.)

Somatic delusional disorder also does not seem to apply to domestic violence. (Here the individual believes that he has a physical sickness and goes from doctor to another seeking treatment when he does not have a sickness, or exaggerates a minor sickness.)

The aspect of delusional disorder that applies most to domestic violence is jealousy. Just about all abusive men have delusional jealousy. These people feel that their wives or girl friends are always cheating on them. The jealous man watches his woman closely to see if she is cheating on him. He would examine her clothing to see if she had sex with other men. Some follow their women around trying to catch them in the act of cheating on him.

The Los Angeles case that I mentioned above had to do with a young Owerri man who believed that his wife was cheating on him. She was not. He would drive around spying on her. One day, he saw her talking to a fellow class mate, both attended Los Angeles City College, and jumped to the false conclusion that they were having an affair and started hitting her, right there in the public. He beat her so badly that she was hospitalized. Since the beating took place in the public domain, apparently a passers by called the police and he was arrested and jailed.

I was called upon to do what I could to help him. The district attorney, a female, did not buy our argument for him to be released to the kindred group for help. He was sentenced to two years at San Quentin.

Many abusers have delusional disorder, jealous type. These people are insane, period. In delusional disorder, the individual has an area of his thinking where he has systematized belief in what is not true as true and otherwise the rest of his intellectual functioning seem rational. Thus, he may believe that his wife is cheating on him, which is not true, and beat her up; while still working as an engineer, that is, being rational in other areas of his life.


If you are living with an abuser, a physically, verbally, emotionally, sexually abusive person, you are living with an insane man. You must get out, and get out now. Deluded people can kill, for they do believe their delusions, even though to you what they believe in is not true. Do not minimize the danger you are exposed to, for the insane man can hurt and or kill you, leave him now.

You should leave him and then insist that he go obtain treatment before he sees you and your children. He should not be near the children unless he is obtaining treatment for his mental disorder.

Psychosis is characterized by the presence of delusions and hallucinations. In schizophrenia there is both hallucinations (hearing voices, seeing what is not there as there etc) but in delusional disorder there is no hallucinations. Because the deluded person does not hear voices or see what he is not there, his mind seems intact and he can go to school and be a professional etc. But he is insane, nevertheless. He is insane because he believes in what is not true as true. He does act on the basis of his insane beliefs and could harm or even kill on their account. Therefore, you are risking your life and your children’s lives if you keep staying with a deluded person.

In major US cities, there are safe houses where abused persons can run to. These houses are usually not publicized to prevent the abusive husband from following the spouse to them. If you call a mental health Crisis line they would direct you to such safe houses.

Usually deluded persons do not see themselves as sick. In fact, they have no respect for therapists.

Deluded persons tend to seem rational and engage in facile rationalism. When forced into therapy by the law, they do their best to convince the therapist that he is the sick one, not them.

They are usually very argumentative and will argue forever about how they are right and other people are wrong. They never accept defeat and will never see themselves as wrong.

They do not voluntarily go to therapy; indeed, they consider themselves smarter than therapists and do not believe that they should do what therapists ask them to do.

Most therapists tend to give up on the paranoid character, for on the surface he seems normal but when you get close you see a sick human being who nevertheless does not know that he is sick.


Paranoid persons are usually very prone to anger. Their anger is generally rooted in their grandiosity. They constructed grandiose, that is, big but false, self concepts. They fancy themselves very important persons. They pretend to be very important persons. They present their imaginary very important persons to other people to relate to. If you allow them to fool you and see them as important they feel okay, but if you treat them as if they are not important they feel angry at you.

Their anger is mostly from injured vanity. It is called narcissistic rage, when their pride is affronted they become angry and can kill in that moment of anger. Merely joking around with the paranoid personality, saying something that he feels demeaned him, belittled him, degraded him, humiliated him, insulted him etc could arouse his anger and he acts out violently towards you.

When they feel belittled, and depowered they act out to try to make them selves seem powerful, grandiose power, that is, not real power. These brothers are sick; do not fool around with them.

Please remember that we are not talking about reality here but delusion. What you did may be perfectly rational but the paranoid person misinterprets what you did and feels demeaned by you when you had no intention of insulting him and he acts out against you.


As noted, the least treatment required by the law for domestic violence perpetrators is anger management/barterers treatment. Let me briefly review this treatment modality. First, let me try to explicate the nature of anger.

Anger is a natural phenomenon. All human beings are prone to anger. In fact, anger has survival aspect to it. Anger and fear are useful for human survival.

When an animal organism feels that his life is threatened, his body unleashes certain neurochemicals that forces his bodily processes to work faster so as to enable him to either run or fight whatever is threatening him.

The flight aspect of this response is called fear; the fight aspect of it is called anger. Fear and anger (the same physiological responses are involved in the two) are used to remove the threat to ones life. These responses are engaged involuntarily.

In fear and anger, the thinking part of the brain, the cortex, shuts down and the individual behaves strictly from the part of the brain we share with other animals. He pours out adrenalin which excites his heart, lungs, nerves etc. His entire body works faster enabling him to fight or run from the danger he perceives to his life. (I will not bother you with the intricacies of this physiological aspect of fear and anger response.)

The individual in fear and anger response is fighting for his life. If, in fact, his life is threatened his fight is realistic. But since his life may not be threatened and only his psychological self is threatened he may not be fighting a realistic fight.

If an individual has a grandiose self concept, that is, sees himself as very important, which he is not, in fact, and that false grandiose self feels that you did not respect it, it feels threatened and reacts with anger. It does not matter that you did not aim not to respect him, what is at work is his misperception of your intention, motive and behavior. The paranoid angry person almost always misinterprets other people’s intentions.

It is the false grandiose self that feels angry in the paranoid character. Thus, he feels that his wife or children did not respect his imaginary important self and feels angry at them and hits them. In effect, he is insane; his anger is a product of his insane thinking processes. His anger is not realistic. But realistic or not, he can still hurt or kill you, the object of his anger.


When the individual feels his life threatened, real or imaginary, he goes into anger mode. He is now a pure animal and is acting from the hypothalamus, not from his reasoning faculty, cortex part of the brain. You, therefore, cannot reason with him. In fact, if you tried to reason with him, you would only succeed in enraging him more.

Paranoids always blame other people, particularly when things go wrong in their lives; nothing is ever their fault, it is always other people’s fault; it is always their wives fault, their children’s fault, their coworkers fault, any body but themselves is at fault. They must see you as faulty and themselves as the perfect ones.

Paranoids want to seem perfect, to be godlike and therefore cannot afford to seem blameworthy so they must project blame to other people even if there is no one to be blamed. They want to be perfect and you imperfect; they want to win and you to lose. So when they are angry and you try to reason with them they see you as trying to make them lose and that redoubles their desire to win hence they would not listen to you.

Therefore, never argue with an angry man. If your husband gets angry, just walk away from him. That is the best thing that you can do.

When you leave the immediate vicinity of the angry person, you remove the stimulus (you) making him angry. He is then able to calm down…his body reverses the hormones it poured out or destroys them via complex enzyme activity.

As long as you are in front of the angry person, he would continue to be angry. So leave. Do not say one word; just leave him.

Even if you are right, which probably is the case, let him believe that he is right, gratify his delusion of always being correct and others wrong. Humor him please. It is necessary that you do so, for your safety may depend on your not saying anything.

If the angry person blocks your way, as irate husbands often do, stay calm and say nothing. If you are calm and do not show fear and weakness, he would not feel that you are about to attack him. If you are flustered and angry, he may believe that you are about to attack him and attack you some more, this time, with the delusional belief that he is protecting himself. Moreover, the angry person acts like a terrorist and uses intimidation to arouse fear in you and in doing so control you. Ultimately, do whatever you can to get out of his sight.


In case you are the one with anger reaction, and want to manage your anger, anger management consists in understanding the PHYSIOLOGY OF ANGER RESPONSE. Watch when your body starts to become excited.

Let us say that you are talking to some one and he called you a nasty name. You feel insulted and start feeling angry. You notice physiological changes in your body. Your heart pounds faster, your lungs bit faster, your body releases sugar and your blood carries it to the muscles preparing them to fight the person who put you down. When you try to talk you TALK RAPIDLY, for your nervous system is working faster, sending and retrieving information from your brain. Your FIST CLINCHES, preparing you to hit that person. Your face turns RED (FACE) as blood is rushed to it and to your muscles and they TENSE UP, PREPARING YOU TO FIGHT.

The first thing to do in anger management is to notice physiological changes in your body. If you notice them, do one thing and one thing only: WALK AWAY FROM THE STIMULUS.

Leave the presence of the person that makes you angry. Just leave him, for if you stay you might hit him and both of you might get into a fight. Leave the stimulus. When you leave him your body calms down.

If you cannot leave, say your boss is saying what makes you feel angry and you can not just get up and leave, then COUNT TO TWENTY. Do so quietly. Preferably, count backwards: twenty, nineteen, eighteen etc. The idea is to give your brain an abstract mathematical function to perform and that way trick it to ignore the threat in front of you. Try counting, it works.

Try to BREATHE SLOWLY. Inhale slowly and hold your breathe for a while, and then let it out slowly. When you breathe in oxygen it helps to calm your over excited cells and neutralize the carbon dioxide that builds in your body as it becomes heated during anger response.

When angry your skin feels hot, for through the pores on your skin your overheated body is trying to reduce the heat in your body. The air you exhale from your nose is also hot, for you are getting rid of heated energy from inside your body. The various chemical reactions taking place inside your body when you are angry or fearful produce heat that your body must get rid of.

If slow breathing does not work for you try VISUALIZING BEAUTIFUL SCENES. Imagine yourself walking on a beach, walking in a rose garden, or doing anything thing that you find relaxing.

Ultimately, the best way to manage your anger is to get away from the situation that is making you angry. Take a walk. A thirty to sixty minutes walk is the best thing that you can do when you are angry. (If you have a gym go work out for that amount of time; or go run, swim, ride your bicycle, or engage in any VIGOROUS EXERCISE that would help you burn off the excitatory neurochemicals your body poured out during anger response.


When you have taken your time out and calmed down and feel that you are now rational, again, you can then process the anger. Talk about it as calm as is possibly. But as longer as you are still angry, please do not talk about it. If it takes you a month, even a year to calm down take that amount of time before you talk about it to the person who made you angry.

In anger your brain has shut down the rational part of it and is now in the irrational animal attack mode. Take your time and feel calm before you talk to the person who made you angry.
In the meantime, you can process your anger on paper. Write in your journal. Type your feelings but do not show it to the person who made you angry, remember he thinks that he is right and you are wrong, particularly if he is the paranoid type.

If you have a mature friend that you trust go and talk to him about the incident that made you angry, this helps to get it off your chest, to vent.


In barterers groups, the first goal is to convince the barterer who beats up on his spouse and children that he is not right, as he generally believes that he is. The Owerri man who beat his wife senseless and was sent to jail still believes that he is right and her wrong. As he sees it, why was she talking to that man? Never mind that the man was a fellow class mate and that both of them had assignments to do together. It never even crossed her mind to cheat on him. We are not talking reason here, we are talking insanity. The brother is insane and in his insanity believes himself right and his wife wrong. That is where he is at. The goal of therapy is to show him that he is not always right.

Epictetus, a Roman philosopher, says that though you do not have control over environmental stimuli you have control over how you interpret and respond to it. You do not have control over another person calling you a bad name but you can choose to see the event differently.

So he called you a nigger, eh? That makes you angry? If another person makes you angry you have given your power to him. You can keep your power and not feel angry and instead see him as an idiot, for if he were reasonable he would not be trying to put you or any one down.

A healthy human being appreciates the human condition, understands that living on earth is already a depressing business, and tries his best to make all the people to feel happy; he does not depress folks.

You can choose to respond with anger, fear, sadness, shame, anger etc to others behavior; it is all up to you. How you respond to others behaviors is up to you.

The only power we have is the power of choice. We choose how we respond to environmental events. We have the free will to choose, to decide how we respond to others behaviors. (As I pointed out lest week, we can choose to see others attack on us as a call for us to forgive and love them.)


Most anger management therapists, in some form or other, employ Albert Ellis Rational Emotive Therapy, the ABC method. I have essentially reviewed it in the above statements. It entails your choosing how you respond to others behaviors. You do not have to simply respond with fear or anger; you can reorient yourself to respond differently to the same situation.

Cognitive reorientation and reconstruction is the goal of cognitive behavior therapy. You can see the same world differently and behave differently. The choice is yours to make.


Over the years, I observed how Nigerians behave towards their wives and children. Whereas some of them tend to respect their wives and children, many of them tend to abuse them. They are very disrespectful of their spouses.

Many of them rationalize this uncivilized behavior. They look you straight in the face and tell you that their culture permits them to insult their family members. It never occurs to them that if they disrespect their wives and children that they are giving them low self esteem and that those with low self esteem tend not to do well in the outer world. If you make your wife to feel bad about herself she will raise children who do not feel good about themselves. That way you produce progeny who are not going to do well in the world of work. Common sense tells one to respect ones wife and children, to make them feel like the best persons in life, and they are, actually.

Children go to school and if their teachers see them as unhappy and ask them what happened and they tell the teachers that their fathers yelled at them, there is trouble for the fathers. The teacher tells the school counselor who reports it to the State’s Children’s Protective Services. A social worker visits the child’s home and before you know it, he or she is removed from the home and placed in a foster home. The father is deemed abusive and told to go seek anger management before he can see his child again.


If you have an anger problem the chances are that you have a self concept, self image problem.

Each of us constructs a self concept, who you think that you are, during his childhood. The self concept is then translated into a pictorial form, a self image. Thus, each of us has a self concept and self image.

The self concept is constructed with building blocks like our inherited genes and our social experiences. Building on those and the information available to us, each of us constructs a self concept for himself.

By and large, the majority of the people tend to have realistic self concepts. That is, they see themselves as the same and equal to other people.

Unfortunately, some persons construct unrealistic self concepts and self images. Somehow they see themselves as superior to other people or want to seem superior to other people.

Those who want to seem better than other people generally have personality disorders, including narcissistic and paranoid personality disorders. Those who actually believe that they are better than other people are deluded, that is psychotic, they are no longer operating in the world of reality since in reality we are all the same and equal.

We are the children of one family; we are members of God’s one family. Whether you like it or not, all human beings, black and white, man and woman, adult and child, are the same and are equal.

God created us equal and it is not up to you to decide who is better than other persons. You are not the creator of human beings and have no business imagining yourself as better than other people.

Those who desire to be better than other people tend to be the ones who engage in unnecessary anger tantrums. When they feel that other people did not recognize their imaginary big selves they act out. They may act out verbally or physically. Their narcissistic rage is designed to make them seem powerful; to rehabilitate their felt diminished self worth.

These people need to deconstruct their false self constructs. They have to deconstruct the self they made during their childhood. Now, as adults, they have to accept reality, as it is, and construct a realistic self construct, one that sees them as the same and coequal with all people, men and women, adult and children.

If you have an anger problem, you have a self concept problem. Therefore, deconstruct your self construct and reconstruct it on a rational footing. Give up the wish to be superior. It is will of the wisp. You cannot be superior to any human being, no matter how much you try. Indeed, if you believe that you are better than others you have left neurosis and are now psychotic.

The anger prone person has a faulty self concept and self image and needs to work on it, to change it so that he comes to see himself as the same and equal with all persons. In as much as he tended to see himself as superior to his wife and children he must now come to see them as his equals. You must see yourself as equal with your wife and children.

A sense of sameness and equality is the indicator of sanity. At any moment you wish to be better than other people you are neurotic and if you believe that wish you are psychotic.


Some observers point out that it is the wish for superiority that led to the formation of our empirical world. In their view, in eternity, in God, in spirit, in heaven we are perfectly the same and are equal and know that God created us. But we resented that God created us and want to create ourselves and create each other. That is, we wanted to seem better than God and each other. That desire for specialness led to the formation of this world, the dream of the opposite of God, opposite of love, opposite of sameness, opposite of equality, opposite of union, a world of separation and differences.

Each of us must reverse the wish that led to the invention of this world, the desire for personal superiority. Each of us must reconstruct his self concept to one of perfect equality and oneness with all people.

When this is accomplished, one is now only capable of loving all people. One no longer resorts anger in a foolish effort to solve interpersonal conflicts through violence. One practices forgiveness and love, for they make for peace on earth.

In the here and now, if you have anger management issues, please go seek professional help for it. You do not have a right to hit your wife and children; you do not have a right to verbally abuse any one. You should love members of your family and all people. Read as many books as is possible on the subject of anger.

My goal in this essay is to call the attention of my fellow Nigerians to the problem of anger and domestic violence that is apparently rampant in our community. We must stop sweeping this problem under the rug. We must bring it out of the closet and into the open and deal with it.
If you have ever hit your spouse or child and or have anger issues, do not deny that you have anger issues; please go seek professional help for your anger problem.

Posted by Administrator at 08:20 AM | Comments (0)

March 02, 2006

Ozodi Osuji Weekly Series on Psychology 2006, #11 of 52: Children's Mental Health Issues

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- Some time ago, I visited a Nigerian in a different state from the one that I live at. This man and his wife are rich; I mean rich. They are probably millionaires? They have several houses in the city they live at and have at least six luxurious cars. They live in a six bedroom mansion. By all accounts this couple has made it, they have arrived.

The couple has four children ranging from four to twelve years. They brought their mother from Nigeria to take care of their children while they are out making money. They left house before seven in the morning and seldom came back before nine in the evening.
What is the problem with this picture, you ask? Don’t you like the smell of money? Are you jealous or something? Get out of here.
The problem is the couple’s children. The three of them at a nearby elementary school were all in special education classes, that is, classes for children judged mentally deficient.
Here is the picture. In the morning, the children walked to the school, only a few blocks from their house. School is over at 3PM and they walked home. Grandma was there and stayed with them. They watched TV and did whatever they could to entertain themselves. Grandma does not speak English (she speaks Pidgin English) so the kids really could not relate to her and generally amused themselves the best way they know how. Essentially, there is no one around to help them do their homework. By the time their parents are back from their work the children are in bed. The parents are generally out of the house in the morning before the children get up from bed so it is up to grandma to get them up and get them ready for school.
When I stayed with this very generous couple, I had nothing to do in the evenings, so I decided to help the children with their homework. We would sit by the humongous kitchen table and do their arithmetic, English, science and social science assignments.
On weekends, I took the children to the gym and had them swim; I played basketball with them; I worked out with weights; we played table tennis and tennis. In fact, the oldest boy began running with me (I run every other morning, five miles, at last). On the whole the children had an adult play with them, a new experience for them. Their parents are busy working hard to have the time to go do fun things with them. As you can imagine, the children developed strong attachment to me. The bonding was so strong that some wanted to go home with me. Nigerians, generally, do not play with their children. Some of them think that they are too important to go play soccer with their children. This is very unfortunate, for there is nothing more joyous than playing with ones children. I used to run with my son, Obi, and no wonder he runs for his university.
One day, I walked the children to their school and out of curiosity decided to talk to their teachers. I talked to all three teachers, primarily to find out why the children were judged special education material…they seemed to me like normal, averagely intelligent children and I expected them to be in regular classes. After talking to the teachers, I went to talk to the school psychologist. I asked her why the children were placed in classes for the mentally challenged, whether she tested them and found them deficient. She told me that she received information from teachers that the children were not doing well in school and requested permission from their parents to test them but that they refused. Since they were nevertheless not doing well she sent them to special education classes. I told her that I thought that the children were normal average kids and that with special effort that they would return to regular classes.
In the couple of weeks that I stayed with this fine couple, I taught the children the basics of arithmetic’s: addition, subtraction, division, multiplication, fractions, decimals, ratios etc. In fact, I began teaching the twelve year old algebra, geometry and trigonometry. I brought them up to snuff with the basics of English grammar, science and social science. Before I left town, I went back to the school and insisted that the children be returned to regular classes; one was.
My encounter with these children got me thinking about the plight of Nigerian children.
Nigerian children, like children everywhere in the world, have psychological issues but seldom do their parents have an inkling of what is going on with them. Many Nigerian parents just assume that their children are okay and that that is all there is to it. Poor fellows.
Nigerian children, like children everywhere, suffer from the whole array of psychological problems found in children. In this essay, I will briefly review the major psychological issues found in children. My goal is for parents to be aware of them and observe their children to see if they show signs of them and if so take them to mental health professionals who are equipped to handle such problems.
What is my qualification regarding children’s mental health? Long ago, I was a licensed therapist and worked as children’s therapist, then supervised a bunch of children’s therapists in a children’s psychiatric hospital. I have done just about every job there is to do in the mental health field. At any rate, it is up to you to listen or not. My self assigned task is to share information with you; what you do with it is your issue, not mine.
The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual is divided into to several sections: one section is devoted to children’s mental health issues, another to organic mental disorder issues, a third is devoted to drug and alcohol issues and another section is devoted to adult functional, as opposed to organic, mental health issues. If you are interested in today’s subject, please peruse the relevant section of the DSM. You can also write to me and request a list of books on Developmental Psychology, that is, children’s psychology.

There are many psychological issues first encountered in childhood. I cannot possibly cover all of them. What I will do is briefly define the major ones that you are likely to encounter. They are separation anxiety, oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, reactive attachment disorder, Asperger’s disorder, Down ’s syndrome, mental retardation etc.
Separation anxiety is seen in children during their first days of school. The child’s mother takes him or her to school and he does not want to be left at school and cries and wants to go home with the mother. He does not want to be left at school to be with strangers. I can speak from personal experience here, for I had terrible separation anxiety. At age five, my mother took me to school and I would not let her go. I simply clung to her legs and did not want to let her go. I cried my little heart out. Go she had to go and after a few weeks of this scenario I got somewhat adjusted to the school environment.
What is going on here is that the child has anxiety issues. Anxiety is exaggerated fear. All people have felt fear and therefore know what anxiety is. Anxiety is feeling of fear in a situation that should not arouse fear in people. In fear the individual’s heart pounds fast, he breathes fast, his nervous system works rapidly, he experiences a powerful urge to run (flight or fight response). These physiological responses are mediated by neurotransmitters. I am not going to get into the science of anxiety disorder, let me just say that neuroscience has shown that anxious children are born that way and inherited quick danger alerting system in their bodies.
(If you are interested in this research, please see Jerome Kegan’s efforts at Harvard University; also see Isaac Marks writing on anxiety.)
The anxious child feels fearful when there is no threat to his life and experiences an urge to run, hence he clings to his mother’s legs for protection. This problem is generalized: such children tend to be anxious across board. In fact, they tend to develop social anxiety (sociophobia) and or avoidant personality (fear of others rejection and avoiding people to avoid rejection). Some such children may develop obsessesive compulsive disorder and any of the anxiety related personality disorders.
Some children tend to have opposition defiance disorder, ODD. Where this problem exists, you can see it in nine year old children. Such children do not want any adult to tell them what to do. They resent their parents and teachers telling them what to do. They are constantly in power struggle with adults, resenting being told what to do. While resenting adult authority they gladly conform to their peer groups demands on them. Indeed, they may even accept leadership from the leader of their cohort.
If not handled properly, ODD children tend to drop out of school and go do their own things. As adults, they tend to be oppositional to authority figures and do not listen to their bosses and tend to be fired by bosses or simply quit their jobs because they do not want to be pushed around “by the freaking, god damned son of a bitch of a boss”.
These children simply do not want any one to tell them what to do with their “freaking lives”.
I have written extensively on this subject and do not plan to repeat myself here. Why some children do not want adults to tell them what to do has always intrigued me, since I am somewhat of a rebel myself. This resentment of adult authority is probably rooted in the child’s desire for autonomy and separation from the whole, God and man.
Some children have conduct disorder. In addition to not listening to adults, as ODD children do, they engage in anti social behaviors; they steal, tell lies and beat up other children etc. If not helped, such children tend to progress to adult antisocial personality disordered persons.
By elementary school age, you can already make out children with conduct disorder; they usually start smoking early, drink alcohol early, and do drugs early. (Visualize the twelve year old boy in your secondary school who tells lies, smokes cigarettes, drinks alcohol, gets into fights with other boys, and generally does not bother with other people’s well being.)
Conduct disordered children tend to be self centered and do not care for other people and do not feel guilty or remorseful for their hurtful behaviors. These children are heading towards criminal behavior and eventually to jail, their adult home. Their encounter with the law generally starts around age fourteen when they are arrested for law breaking and sent to juvenile detention centers. Thereafter, it is in and out of correctional facilities until they are burned out in their forties.
Some children have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, ADHD. These children are hyper active and cannot sit still for twenty minutes without fidgeting. Their minds tend to wander all over the place and they are unable to concentrate on their class work. They are every teacher’s nightmare; they are disruptive of the class process.
These days’ teachers generally refer them to school psychologists who test them and refer them to physicians for medications. The various psychoactive stimulants (Ritalin, Adderol etc) seem to have paradoxical effect on these children: calm them down. That which stimulates adults calms them down. Coffee also calms them down. This problem is very pervasive in American schools and no one quite understands why the sudden increase in ADHD.
There are all kinds of speculations as to what causes ADHD and its milder form ADD. Some attribute causal factors to dysfunctions in the brain; others see it as a result of ingesting too much sugar, yet others see it as a product of the break down of parental authority in society. (These days if you raised your voice at your children and or punished them corporally you could be arrested and jailed for child abuse.)
Suffice it to say that we do not yet know what caused this problem. At any rate, in this essay, I am not interested in a causal analysis; I am just pointing out some childhood issues that you may want to know about.
Some children have autism. Here the child looks normal but does not care to socialize with other children. He keeps to himself and occasionally self stimulates (strikes his head on the wall etc).
Some children have a milder form of autism called reactive attachment disorder or Asperger’s disease. They do not know how to get alone with their peers and just want to be left alone. They develop poor social skills as result.
I have written extensively on this disorder. I think that it has to do with not loving and caring for children. If a child is not loved and is emotionally abandoned he tends to learn to build a psychological wall around himself and not want anything to do with other people. As it were, he says: if you relate to people, they will hurt and or abandon you, so don’t even bother relating to them; keep to yourself.
Children who were raised in orphanages and or placed in numerous foster homes where they were either abused or ignored tend to develop reactive attachment disorder.
Since many Nigerians really do not pay attention to their children their children tend to feel emotionally abandoned and develop some forms of reactive attachment disorder.
Some children have Downs’ syndrome. These children inherited serious Chromosomal deficits which are generally severe enough to make them less educable; they tend to think concretely, not the abstract thinking required for education. In the past this disorder used to be called Mongolism, for such children look oriental even if they are born in Africa. Women over age 35 are more likely to have children with Downs’s syndrome than younger women.
Some children have mental retardation. Every parent has the illusion that his or her child is a genius but the fact is that children have different levels of intelligence.
IQ testing breaks down as follows: IQ under 70 is mental retardation. IQ 85-115 is average intelligence. IQ of 118-128 is above average intelligence. IQ over 132 is superior.
Generally, about 2% of the population has mental retardation, 2% has superior intelligence, 90% has normal intelligence and about 6% has above average intelligence.
The most used IQ test instruments are WAIS for adults, WISC and Stanford Binnet for children.
If a child tests out below 70, he is generally unable to learn in regular classrooms and cannot really graduate from elementary school. It takes average intelligence to do school work and certainly to complete secondary school.
If you want to know how smart you are, hence how smart your children are, take IQ tests. But you pretty much already know your intelligence level. If you were mostly a C student, you are average. If you were mostly a B student you are above average. If you consistently were an A student you are gifted. Of course, it all depends on the type of school that you attended, for an A in a yucky school is a C in an outstanding school.
For our present purposes, some children have mental retardation and are usually sent to special education classes until they turn eighteen and are seldom able to read or write beyond the first few grade levels.
High intelligence is not correlated with success in adult life; what it is correlated with is ability to do well at school.
If your child has high IQ you had better send him to a school for the mentally gifted if you do not want him to be bored by the drivel taught at public schools. Every school district in the USA has a school for exceptional children. These children tend to learn quickly and tend to feel bored and may get into mischief unless you give them more difficult tasks to perform. They thrive on solving difficult intellectual problems.

Most children, like most adults, are normal, psychologically and mentally. That is to say that at least 90% of the children at a typical school are normal children and do not give teachers a hard time. Schools are geared towards the normal-average child. As in adult life, some children are not normal.
The seriously intelligent child, the child prodigy, is not a normal child; in fact, he finds other children too silly to play with. As a matter of fact, he finds most adults too idiotic to worth his time. I had such a child in my Sunday school class at my church. He was only ten years old and knew more physics, chemistry and biology than university students. He graduated from Harvard before his peers entered university.
Then there is the reality of the mentally deficient; there are the children with anxiety issues; and finally there are children with conduct issues.
This is the real world. The real world exists in Nigeria, as it exists every where else. Nigerians tend to think that just because they do not think about these psychological issues that they do not exist.
Nigerians are human beings and suffer from the whole array of psychological problems human beings are prone to. If you randomly select one hundred Nigerians, you will see that two of them are psychotic, six of them have personality disorders, two of them are mentally gifted, two of them are mentally retarded and ninety of them are average and normal. This is reality. It is as simple as that. You can wish all you want to, facts are facts.
If you are trained in psychology and you relate to people you can see the whole array of mental health issues in the people before you. There is nothing you can do about it for such is life, cest la vie. You cannot make a dull chap brilliant just by wishing for it. Nor can you make a normal person a neurotic by wishing for it.
Most people are the way they are because of a combination of inherited biological constitution and social experiences. You cannot change them. All that you can do is work with them as they are, without illusions that you can change them. You are not God and cannot change people. However, if these problems are found in children there is a lot that we can do to help them before they become rigid and inflexible in their dysfunctionality.

My recommendation is for you to observe your children. The chances are that they are pretty much normal and do normally at school and society. But if you see some of the problems that I briefly mentioned above, please take the child to mental health professionals for help. Put away your pride and go get your children help. If you have the resources, it might be useful to have your children tested for intelligence and personality. These tests are very expensive and will probably set you back a thousand dollars.
Nigerian children have the issues children all over the world have and there is no use pretending that they are different. They are not.
In American schools Nigerian children are increasingly relegated to special education classes. Get involved with your children’s education, help them do their homework; that way you will prevent your children from being sent to classes for dumb kids.
Many white persons assume that just being black makes one unintelligent, thus if your child shows the least sign of not following what the teacher is doing, it is off he goes to Special Ed. His issue may not be intelligence but poor language skills, poor culture skills etc. As a matter of fact, if your child is brainy and was tested and scored very high the chances are that the white psychologist may doubt it. I remember taking the IQ test and the white psychologist not believing that an African can be smart and had several others test me, all with similar results.
Please pay attention to your children’s education. The world out there makes wrong assumptions about Africans and it is up to us to correct those assumptions.


If your child has any of the identified issues mentioned above get him into therapy. Whereas I am not proposing to do therapy here, I will briefly mention some of the therapeutic modalities available for children. They are individual, family, group and play therapy, and these days, medications or, as it is also called, pharmacotherapy.
Therapists make the assumption that a child is a member of a family. He is intricately connected into the web of family: father, mother and siblings. This family triangle (triangulation) is the child’s world.
The family is a system where member’s behaviors affect other members. What one member does is reacted to by other members and adjusted to and that reaction sets in motion responses from other members. The child cannot be outside his family system and wily nily must adjust to it. His personality is, in fact, largely influenced by his manner of adjusting to his family system. Personality is shaped by biological factors, the family climate and peer relationships. The family web is crucial in forming the child’s future patterns of behaving in the larger society.
Most children have normal families and adapt to them. Some families are abnormal…dysfunctional families. Children exposed to dysfunctional families form dysfunctional patterns of relationships.
Consider a family where the father is an alcoholic. The mother probably copes by playing the role of the enabler, making excuses for his behavior. She learns to tell lies for him. When he is too drunk to be able to go to work she calls his work place and tells them lies, such as say that he is sick. By and large, she does things that prevent him from taking the consequences of his problematic behavior, such as get fired from his job.
The alcoholic father creates a whole lot of problems for all members of the family and the children adjust to the dysfunctional home individually. In this pathological family, one child may play the role of the hero, another rescuer, another scapegoat, another rebel and yet another mascot etc.
The hero intervenes and does what the emotionally absent father is supposed to do and essentially becomes the man of the house. The rescuer does what helps every person in the hurting family. The scapegoat does things to get into trouble with the law and society. The mascot or family clown tries to become a comedian so as to reduce the tension he sees in the family.
Each child develops a pattern of behavior and takes it to the larger world. The clown tries to make his classmates and later all people happy, the rescuer devotes his life to helping other people (as I am doing here), the hero saves every body around him, the scapegoat or family rebel is always getting into trouble so that other people would rescue him, or talk about his issues. The scapegoat, in time, get into so much trouble that eventually he brings the family to the attention of authorities who then require them to be in therapy. The identified patient actually helps all members of the family to receive the help they desperately need.
The salient point is that people develop behavior patterns in their families, patterns of behavior that they take to other arenas in their lives and act them out there.
To help a child, therapists, therefore, want to do family therapy with him. They invite the entire family to sessions, usually for an hour or more a week. They observe the family’s interaction patterns, family dynamics, and note dysfunctional pasterns, if any, and try to intervene and get everybody to behave differently.
Consider a very common family pattern in Nigeria: husbands as terrorists. Many Nigerian husbands are psychological terrorists; they use fear to intimidate their wives and children to obey them. As a result, they produce members who are essentially fearful persons, persons who are afraid to use their God given minds to think for themselves. Children who come from family milieu where they were not encouraged to think tend not to be creative, whereas children who were encouraged to think and their opinions were respected tend to think and contribute to social discourse in a meaningful manner.
We have some psychological terrorists on Naijapolitics; they try to intimidate folks to think as they want them to think and if you dare think freely they go on a campaign of intimidation. I have in mind two Igbo engineers on the forum; both are terrorists and need serious psychotherapy. One has to dismiss them as psychologically stunted and warped fellows and delete their silly posts, all efforts to intimate folks into conforming to their half baked positions on social issues.
For our present purposes, some families terrorize their children and make them fearful persons. Family therapy enables them to learn to love and respect each other.
No therapist can work with a child without doing some family therapy, for the child is an intricate member of a family system and is affected by members of the family. You cannot heal him and have him go back and adjust to a dysfunctional family. You have to heal the entire family if you want to heal the child.
Therapists do individual sessions with children. They use whatever methodology they have to try to deal with the child’s issues. Question: how would you help a child with oppositional defiant disorder? How about if I gave you an assignment to read three books on that subject? Do so.
Your child may not be listening to you and you may be in constant power struggle with him. Each of you digs in your heel, trying to win and the other to loose. You see yourself as right and your child as wrong; he does the same. So who is going to win this battle of wills?
Find out a better way to handle your child’s need for autonomy and share power with him while still guiding him, setting boundaries and limits for him. There are many good books on how to raise children. I can think of the one I used to use called 1-2-3 Magic (it is also in videos). It teaches parents how to ask for time-outs and discipline their children without resorting to physical violence.
(All adolescents go through a rebellious phase where they do not like to listen to their parents. This is a natural development and is not the same thing as opposition defiance. Each adolescent must reject his parents and their values so as to go out there and find out who he is and define himself. You must therefore distinguish between normal teenage rebellions from ODD. The ODD teenager will stay out all night long if you ask him to come home at a certain time, will quit going to school if you insist on him doing so etc. The ODD child is a rebel without a course.)

Each therapist gravitates to particular methodology in his psychotherapy. There are tons of psychotherapies out there. I used to practice Adlerian and Cognitive Behavior Therapy.
Alfred Adler teaches that children feel inferior and want to feel superior and that most of their acting out behavior is rooted in their efforts to seem powerful; as Adler sees it, children want to have control and mastery over their world. He teaches parents how to handle this power issue in children.
Cognitive behavior therapists like Albert Ellis and Aaron Beck teach how to use reasoning to correct folks distorted thinking patterns. Change cognitions and change behavior and teach new patterns of thinking and behaving.
As the Roman philosopher, Epictetus said: it is not what is happening out there that makes you anxious, sad, or angry but how you interpret and respond to it. You can interpret stimuli differently and respond to them differently.
Suppose a white racist calls you put down names. You can respond to him with anger or with compassion. He is a stimulus but the type of response you exhibit is up to you. For example, the two Nigerian bullies on naija politics are so out of control that instead of being angry at them one can learn to pity them. They do not need to make you angry. You can choose how you respond to them.

You can teach children how to think in a rational manner and behavior in socially appropriate manners.

Many therapists employ group therapy in working with children. Here a number of kids are in a group and process their issues within the group. Group therapy is useful for it teaches interpersonal skills. We are social animals and must live together; groups help us learn how to get along with other members of our society. In group sessions, problems are solved through every members input. Members not only receive feedback from other members but learn that their problems are not unique to them, that other people have similar problems. This makes them feel not alone in the world.
Consider the anxious child. He is afraid of other people. He is afraid of speaking up in the group. He often experiences stage freight in classrooms particularly when teachers call upon him to come to the front of the classroom and speak, such as answer questions. He feels that if he spoke up that other people would think that he is no good, is unintelligent and as a result reject him. He does not want to be rejected by other people, so he keeps quiet in the group, classroom etc.
One can use group’s sessions to teach the shy, socially avoidant child to overcome his timidity and become assertive rather than passive or aggressive. He can learn that he can speak up in groups and that even if he is rejected by a few members that it is not the end of the world. He can be taught assertiveness skills.
In assertiveness one says ones bit and protects ones rights without putting other people down, without disrespecting other people. In aggressive communication one disrespects other people in pursuit of ones rights. In passive communication style one allows other people to walk all over one; one is a door mat. Obviously the aggressive person does not get what he wants for he alienates people and they oppose him; the passive person is ignored by other people. It is the assertive person who mostly gets what he wants out of life

Very young children are mostly treated with play therapy. Children learn mostly through playing, so the therapist can play with the child and through doing so help to identify his issues, solve them and teach him new social skills. There are many good books on play therapy, browse through some of them.

These days’ psychiatrists are increasingly resorting to using medications in treating children. I know six year old children who are already on anti depressants such as Paxil, Zoloft and Prozac. I know ten year old children who are on the various neuroleptic medications, such as Risperdal, Seraquel, Geodom, Zyprexa etc. I know six year old children already on Lithium, Tegretol and Depakote. I know children on psychostimulants.
Obviously, sometimes medications are called for but to subject six year old children to these psychotropic medications, medications with serious side effects? I will let you decide that one for your child. All that I can say is that if I had a child who had, say, ADHD, I would use behavior management to deal with his issues rather than medications.
(The psychological issues that your children have probably run in your family and you ought to know how to solve them through observing your family tradition. For example, if you are shy and anxious the chances are that one of your parents is shy and anxious. Indeed, if you have a certain type of personality the chances are that other members of your family have it. Family genes and culture determines similar behaviors in members. If you have successfully learned how to cope with your own issues the chances are that you can help your children cope with their issues.)
I am not in the business of giving medical advice. I am only trying to explain the various psychological problems found in children. If you see these problems in your children, it is up to you and your doctor what you do about them. What you should not do is ignore them and think that they would go away. They do not go away and need to be dealt with.
You see what is going on in Nigeria. Parents see their children developing conduct disorder and ignore it. The children grow up to become antisocial personalities and go into politics and transform their office into avenue from which they rob the country down. If we are going to change Nigeria we have to start by paying attention to our children, making sure that they are taught prosocial behaviors and that they internalize appropriate social norms. The climate of every behavior goes that exists in Nigeria is obviously not sustainable. Civilization cannot exist in the chaotic, anarchic milieu that is contemporary Nigeria.
Civilization, as Sigmund pointed out in Civilization and its Discontents, requires repressing Id instincts (sex, aggression) in children and sublimating them to prosocial behaviors. The price of civilization is suppressing our putative anti social proclivities.
If you give free rein to all desires and wishes then you live in a jungle. The jungle is not the best place to live, for as Thomas Hobbes (Leviathan) reminds us, in it the strong eat the weak and consequently life is perpetually nasty, brutish and short. We need to discipline the little savages called children, and make them respect the laws of society.


My goal in this essay is to point out the psychological issues seen in children. I am not aiming at showing how to heal them. If the reader believes that his children have some of these issues, he should take them to mental health professionals (psychiatrists, psychologists and clinical social workers) for help. Do me a favor, will you, do not ignore your children’s issues for they do not go away, they get worse. If you need evidence, look at Nigeria and see what ignoring children’s needs have done? If we want a better tomorrow, we must take good care of our children today.

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March 01, 2006

Ozodi Osuji Weekly Series on Psychology 2006, #10 of 52: Igbo Culture and Paranoia

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- SYNOPSIS OF IGBO CULTURE: Igbo culture is characterized by individualism and competition. The culture is not ascriptive and does not recognize status as inherent in persons. It is achievement oriented; it encourages people to do their best. People are socially rewarded on the bases of their individual achievements.

There is an Igbo saying that “if a child washes his hands well he eats with elders”. This means that if an individual does what the culture expects of him, is outstanding in lines of work approved by society; he is rewarded with high social status. No matter where the child began in life, if he attains valued social variables he is rewarded with social acceptance. Social importance is predicated on achievement; it is not inherent in the individual’s birth.

(See Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart, for description of traditional Igbo society. The chief character of the book, Okonkwo, was born by a poor man and “washed his hands well”, did what his society rewarded and despite his impoverished background achieved high social status. Along the line, he developed paranoid personality disorder.)

Igbo society is very conditional in accepting its children. It encourages children to do what society expects of them and accepts them to the extent that they do so. If a child is good at sports, school, and work and generally succeeds he is seen as an important person, but if he is not good at doing those valued social activities, he is generally regarded as a social nobody, a fool and is either ignored or out rightly rejected.

A failure in Alaigbo is called all sorts of names, including Anuoha (bush animal), Okpokoro manu (useless person). Often times, he is not permitted to speak in Umuna (kindred) meetings. When he tries to speak up at such meetings, the successful members of the group shout him down by saying: “do not listen to that okpokoro manu”.

Igbo culture is very competitive; it allocates social honors on the basis of competition. It is democratic and republican. It rewards entrepreneurship. (I doubt that socialism and communism can take hold in this capitalistic society.)

Many psychologists recognize that conditional acceptance of people, particularly children, is tailor made to produce neurotics.

A neurotic (see Karen Horney, Neurosis and Human Growth) is a person who constructs an ideal self-concept and its image form, ideal self image for himself and wants to become that person. Generally, he presents his ideal self concept to society to approve and relate to. He is afraid of being his real self, particularly if it is not good enough, as defined by society, lest it is rejected by society. Afraid of social rejection, he pretends to be the ideal self he invented for himself, a self that seems to meet the acceptance criteria of his society.

Since that ideal self is not who he is, in fact, he is afraid of not seeming it. Thus, he lives with tremendous anxiety from fear of not being his idealized self concept and self image. (See Alfred Adler, The Neurotic Constitution; Carl Rogers, Client Centered Therapy.)

Generally, the cure for neurosis is for the individual to desist from trying to be his wished for superior, ideal and perfect self and simply be who he is, in fact, his real self (whatever that is). When the individual stops aspiring after an ego ideal and accepts his actual self he tends to relax, feel less tense and lives in peace and happiness.


As long as the individual tries to approximate his wished for ideal self, he tends to live in tension, stress and anxiety. When he stops doing so, he feels like a great deal of weight has been lifted off his shoulders; he breathes easier.

A human being is psychologically healthy to the extent that he is not pretending to be ideal self. A healthy person is a person who accepts himself as he is and presents that real self, imperfect as it may be, to other people and tells them, in effect, accept me as I am or leave me alone but I am not going to pretend to be who I am not for you to accept me. I am not going to be a neurotic, a false ideal person, for you to accept me. If I must be phony, a sham self for you to accept me, the price of your acceptance is too great and I am not willing to pay it. I will not seek your conditional acceptance.

The price of seeking to become ideal self, the self that other people would accept is perpetual anxiety and tension (and cardiovascular diseases). Those who insist that their fellow human beings approximate ideal selves before they accept them are actually killing them with tension. Igbos kill other Igbos by making them neurotic and giving them tension and heart attacks.

(Of course, Igbos do not necessarily understand that this is what they are, in fact, doing by accepting each other conditionally. They are ignorant of their murderous behaviors. The purpose of science, in this case, psychological science, is to describe phenomenon, as it is, and show people what they are, in fact, doing and, hopefully, they would change their untoward behaviors, if they want to produce different effects.)


Igbo conditional acceptance of Igbos seems to have some positive aspects. Western civilization came to Igbo land in the early twentieth century. Although the Anglican Church, under Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther, had established a missionary outpost at Onitsha in 1851, Christian missionary penetration of the Igbo heartland, Owerri, did not occur until 1902. For all practical purposes, Igbos were exposed to Christianity and accompanying Western civilization in the twentieth century.

Late as was their exposure to Western civilization, Igbos are probably the most Western educated Africans? They embraced Western civilization with enthusiasm and went for it with total dedication. These days, most Igbo children take it for granted that they are to attend elementary, secondary and university schools. In only one hundred years of exposure to the West, Igbos have accomplished what even has not been accomplished in the West: attendance of college by just about all young men. This is an amazing accomplishment by anybody’s standards.

Igbos accomplished this seeming impossibility because of their competitive and individualistic culture. The culture does not accept failures. One must achieve something significant to be accepted in Alaigbo. To fail and be a nobody is not an option, for failures are socially rejected and laughed at.

Igbo young persons engage in what is called Imanjakiri. Here, they verbally and emotionally abuse each other, putting each other down to the extent that they did not do well in what society wanted done well.

Igbo school children are placed under tremendous pressure to succeed; the price of failure is to be socially disgraced. To fail at examinations is to become a social nobody, to be an anuohia.

During my secondary school days, ones greatest fear was to not be first in class. Second? You were given a lecture by your elders as to how you are useless. When I took the West African School Certificate Examination many of my classmates literally experienced what I now know as anxiety disorder. They were inordinately afraid of failing the examination, for they realized the consequences of doing so. Those boys studied like they were driven. (No society should put such pressure on teenagers.)

The day the result came out was the most dreaded day in our lives. The first question was: did you pass? If you did, the next question was: what kind of grade did you have, division one, two or three? If not division one, you are no good. If division one, was it less than aggregate ten (each subject was graded 1-4, I believe, with 1 being the best; one had to pass eight subjects to pass the School Cert, so if you had 1s in all eight subjects that would give you an aggregate of eight; ordinary pass required an aggregate of less than twenty four).

Some of my dormitory mates, in fact, collapsed when they learned that they did not make division one.

Thereafter, it was on to high school. At the end of those two grueling years, students took their examinations. They go through another round of tension. Did one make mostly As in the required four subjects or not?

Thereafter, it was unto university. Again, the question was: how well did you do, all As, Bs or Cs? God forgive you if you are mediocre and worse if you failed.

Finally, it was unto graduate school and eventually the much desired doctorate degree. The Igbo likes to achieve the PhD and be called Doctor; apparently, to be so-called is a symbol of achievement (not for what it is supposed to be: a person dedicated to the search of knowledge).

Then the next question was attaining high social status, via success on the job. Failure is not an option for Igbos. Failure meant being considered okpokoro manu and anuohia.

By my mid thirties, I recognized that I was dancing a neurotic dance and dropped out of the rat race. I accepted that which I was afraid of, that which my neurotic Igbo culture told me to be afraid of, failure. I accepted being a failure. I simply quit trying to succeed in any external endeavor. I looked myself in the mirror and accepted what I saw and did not want to meet any society’s criteria before I accepted myself. In doing so, for the first time in my young life, I obtained somatic and mental peace. Psychologically speaking, I healed my neurosis and became mentally healthy.
From my new stand point, I became aware that most of my Igbo brothers are engaged in the rat race for success and have attendant mental upsets.


The Igbo culture is the most tension making culture there is on planet earth; it is the most neurosis making culture there is in the world; and for our present purposes, it is the most paranoia making culture in the world.

I am afraid to say it, but the truth must be said for truth is what heals people. I have not seen an Igbo man who is not a bit paranoid in personality structure. In fact, the incidence of the more serious forms of paranoia, delusional disorder and schizophrenia, paranoid type, is high in Igbo land. I have worked in the mental health field for over twenty years, the few delusional disordered persons, a very rare mental disorder that I have seen, included Igbos. Only last week, I witnessed paranoia at work in an Igbo brother.


The term paranoia derives from Greek. It means to seek to become who one, in fact, is not. The paranoid person is trying to become who, in fact, he is not. In fact, he is like all human beings. In truth, he is weak, powerless, inadequate and imperfect. This is the human condition.

The paranoid person does not want to accept the reality of the human condition. Instead, he uses his imagination and thinking to construct an ideal alternative self, a self that is everything that his real self is not in fact. (Personality is a self construct. See George Kelly, The Psychology of Personal Constructs.)

The ideal self is made to seem superior (where the real self feels inferior), made to seem powerful (where the real self feels weak), made to seem wealthy (where the real self feels poor), made to seem intelligence itself (where the real self feels ignorant), made to seem all handsome (where the real self is ordinary looking); in short, the ideal self is the polar opposite of the real self.

The paranoid person hates and rejects his imperfect self and attempts to replace it with an imaginary ideal and perfect self.

He does so obsessively and compulsively. That is, he wishes to become an ideal self, as if he is driven to be so by an inner pressure he cannot resist. It is as if he is obeying an inner force that he must obey or else he feels anxious. As it were, he is now a slave to the desire to become an ideal self. He must pretend to be an ideal self or he feels anxious, like he is nothing worthwhile.


What is the origin of the inner pressure to become an ideal self? Psychological theorists have had a field day speculating on the origin of this pressure. Since this is not a paper for professionals but for the general public, I will not explore the biochemistry of personality. I will simply state that the pressure to become ideal results from a combination of biological, sociological and existential factors.

The paranoid person generally inherited a problematic body. He tends to be prone to anxiety disorder and anxiety disorders appears rooted in inherited somatic constitution. Certain neurotransmitters are involved in anxiety disorder.

I will not dwell on the role of such neuro transmitters as excess norepinephrine and deficient GABA in the etiology of paranoia. I will instead simply acknowledge that biology plays a role in the origin of paranoia and leave it at that. This essay will concentrate on the role of social factors in the causation of the phenomenon of self rejection and desire to become an ideal self.

Igbo culture is not unconditionally positively accepting of its children. Igbo culture is conditional in accepting its people. It accepts successful people and rejects failures. As a result of being brought up in this culture, most Igbos fear failure and aspire towards success. They tend to accept themselves mostly only when they seem successful.

Igbos tend to fear failure more than other human beings. In their hope for success and fear of failure, they live with tremendous anxiety disorder.

(Achebe probably intended showing how achievement oriented his Igbo society was by using Okonkwo as the exemplary Igbo character. Unwittingly, he ended up telling the world that his people are, in fact, paranoid, since the chief dramatic personae of the novel, is diagnostically paranoid personality disordered. Okonkwo, like paranoids, was filled with fear of failure, acted out violently when his young wife demeaned his desired high self esteem and found it easy to kill a person, Ikemefuna, so as to obtain social prestige.)

The anxious Igbo person does what anxious persons everywhere do: he masks it with alcohol and sex. He does not know that drinking too much alcohol and or seeking frequent sexual outlets is an attempt to relax his over tense body.


Every human being is a bit paranoid. In normal persons, paranoia is masked. In neurotic paranoia, the disease is overt in the individuals’ personality structures. In psychotic paranoia the disease becomes a way of living.

The most normal person exhibits paranoid symptoms during periods of social tension and uncertainty. When Moslem Arab terrorists attacked America on September 11, 2001, just about every American felt paranoid. Folks felt attacked, felt insecure and felt anxious. The month subsequent to that attack saw many normal Americans trooping to their doctors for medications to help them relax. Naturally, they were given the various anti anxiety (anxiolytic) medications. The amount of Valium, Librium, Xanax, Ativan etc popped by Americans in September of 2001 was incredible.

The relevant point is that all human beings, normal or not, have some paranoia and that this tends to be masked in normal persons. (Similarly all human beings have depression and anxiety, in masked forms in normal persons, waiting to come out when the situation stimulates them.)


(I will stay away from technical jargon and stick to pedestrian language; I do not think that it is going to help the reader for me to talk about ideas of reference, ideas of centrality, religious ideation, thought insertion, thought broadcasting etc.)

The paranoid person feels that the world he is living in is a dangerous place. He feels that other people could harm, even kill him. He, therefore, resolves to defend himself, to protect himself from the HOSTILE universe he believes that he is living in. (Is it true or not that we live in a hostile world? There is always some truth, albeit exaggerated truth in paranoia.)

Believing that he lives in a hostile world, the paranoid is GUARDED and DEFENSIVE. He SCANS his world trying to see if there are hidden DANGER AND THREATS that might sprint on him. If he believes that he has been ATTACKED, he goes into action defending himself. Generally, he MISINTERPRETS other people’s innocent actions as attacks on his GRANDIOSE, important self and defends himself.

He is always accusing other people of DEMEANING him, belittling him, putting him down, degrading him, humiliating him, criticizing him. Since, by and large, other people do not think that they are insulting him; they take offense at his constant ACCUSATIONS. Thus, they feel angry at him. Now that they seem hostile at him, they seem to have justified his earlier presupposition that people are hostile towards him. This is called the SELF FULFILLING PROPHECY of paranoia.

The individual has a false premise: he believes, wrongly that people are out to get him and stimulates attack on him and is attacked and uses that to justify his earlier preconception of what people would do to him. What he does not seem to realize is that he is the one stimulating other people’s hostility towards him by accusing them of being hostile towards him?

What is really going on in paranoia is that the individual feels inordinately INADEQUATE, POWERLESS and SMALL. He then tries to hide this sense of LITTLEMENT with false sense of grandeur. He uses his imagination, thinking, to construct a self concept and self image that he is a very important person, a powerful person, a wealthy person, a handsome person, the most intelligent person in the world etc.
Having constructed a fictional ideal self, he identifies with that imaginary self and comes to think that it is who he is.

If he merely wishes to be that IMAGINARY IMPORTANT person but knows that he is not that person, he is a neurotic PARANOID PERSONALITY. He is still able to test reality, he is not completely deluded.

If, in fact, he believes himself to be the perfect ideal self he wants to be, he believes in what is not true as true, hence he has DELUSIONAL DISORDER. This is a very rare form of paranoia.

Finally, if in addition to being delusional he also HALLUCINATES (hallucination could occur in any of the five senses: AUDITORY, VISUAL, TACTILE, OLFACTORY, FEELING), he is SCHIZOPHRENIC, paranoid type. (Schizophrenia has many types, including paranoid, disorganized, catatonic, organic, undifferentiated, residual, simple etc.)

World wide, less than one percent of the population is schizophrenic. (Another one percent has Bipolar Affective Disordered, manic-depression, to make up the two percent of people with severe, chronic mental disorders.). As noted, delusional disorder is even rarer than schizophrenia. What is quite common is paranoid personality disorder.

Many Igbos have paranoid personality disorder and anxiety disorders. (There are many types of anxiety disorders, including PANIC ATTACK, AGORAPHOBIA, SOCIOPHOBIA, GENERALIZED ANXIETY, OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE ANXIETY etc.)

(In this essay, I am not focusing on the serious aspects of paranoia. But for the sake of reference, let me briefly note that delusional disorder has five types: GRANDIOSE, PERSECUTORY, EROTOMANIC, JEALOUS, AND SOMATIC.

Briefly, in the grandiose type, the individual feels very important and may see himself as god; in persecutory type, the individual feels that other people, his ancestors, police etc are out to get him and hides from them; in jealous type, the individual feels that his spouse cheats on him, does not trust her, watches her movements and misinterprets her innocent behavior as evidence of her cheating and beats her up, domestic violence is rampant here; in erotomanic type, the individual feels that a very important person, say, Jesus, is in love with her or is her husband; in somatic type, the individual feels that he has a somatic, physical disease that is not real and goes from doctor to doctor seeking help.

All delusions are rooted in the individual’s desire for existential importance when he feels excruciatingly unimportant and does not want to accept that unimportance.

In schizophrenia, in addition to delusion is the presence of hallucination. The schizophrenic may hear a voice telling him that he is god and or Napoleon or Bill Gates. Conversely, she may hear voices telling her that she is a whore etc. The voice generally tells him that he is important thus gratifying his desire for importance; hallucinations are wish fulfillment.

Some schizophrenics will look you straight in the eye and tell you that they are god, Jesus, Zeus…whatever makes them seem special and important…and tell you that you ought to be worshipping them, that is, they are expressing their desire to be superior to you.

In MANIA/BIPOLAR AFFECTIVE DISORDER, there is excitement, euphoria, poor judgment and some times hallucination. The manic may say that he is Elvis, to compensate for his wish that he was a famous musician etc; he may write checks for money that he does not have, to compensate for his wish to be rich; he may claim to be Cleopatra, that is, the most beautiful woman on earth, to compensate for her sense of being homely and or ugly. There is always delusion in mania.)

In demeanor, the paranoid person, be it of the personality or delusional or schizophrenic variety generally looks serious and guarded; he lacks genuine sense of humor; he is uptight, stressed and anxious; he wants to be seen as a very important person and fears being seen as a small, insignificant person.

At all times, he defends what he believes is his dignity. He is stiff and inflexible in body, is not relaxed and happy.
He is generally very rational and argumentative. (Two Igbo brothers on naira politics exhibit these argumentative and pseudo rational aspect of paranoid personality disorder.) Such persons want to win and have other people loose; they want to be right at all costs and have others wrong. They will argue insignificant subjects that most people would take in stride. Their goal is to win and you, the person they are arguing with, to lose. They must be right and you wrong.

Why do they have this desire to be right and have others wrong, to win and have others loose? Think about it. If I am right and you are wrong; I am the winner and you are the loser, what does that make me? It makes me better than you. The desire to win and have others loose, to be right and others wrong is part of paranoid grandiosity.

Deep down, paranoia is rooted in desire to be godlike. The paranoid person feels small and sees god as all powerful. He wants to be godlike in his powerfulness.

(Although I want to devote this essay to strictly secular psychology, so that every mental health professional, that is, psychiatrists and psychologists, would accept it, I must digress and point out that there is such a thing as SPIRITUAL PSYCHOLOGY.

Spiritual psychology points out that we, as manifested in the paranoia person, want to displace GOD and become God. The Son of God, as it were, wants to kill his father and replace him as God; he wants to become the creator of God, the creator of himself and the creator of other people; he wants to be the author of the universe. God created us and, apparently, we resent that fact and want to create our self. Paranoia, in this spiritual sense, is an effort to be God and create ones self, create other people and be the lord of other people. Enough Metaphysics, already. Let us dwell on secular, that is, scientific psychology.)

The paranoid personality likes to seem PERFECT. He generally cannot stand himself as imperfect. When he makes a mistake he seeks a SCAPEGOAT to BLAME for it. Whenever anything goes wrong, he blames those around him. He is forever blaming his spouse, children, friends and colleagues in any and all organizations he is a member of. It is always OTHER PEOPLE’S FAULT, not his, that they did not achieve their organizational goals.

This OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE blaming of others is obviously an infantile attempt to make himself seem perfect and others seem imperfect. It is an attempt to seem better than other people, when it is obvious that he is not better than any other person. SANITY, mental health lies in seeing ones self as the SAME AND COEQUAL with all HUMAN BEINGS, men and women adult and children, black and white.
At any moment you feel inferior and or superior to other people, you are insane; you are neurotic and or psychotic.


Paranoid people’s attitudes towards SEX are very interesting. The sexual act is obviously an animal act. Sex and defecation are probably the two most animalistic acts human beings engage in.

In their thinking, as Shakespeare’s Hamlet observed, human beings are often like the gods. In sex, the presumed gods behave like anything but godly. Lord Chesterfield observed that in sexual act people look ridiculous. Visualize whomever you construe as a very important person…since I am a Catholic, I visualize the Pope…engaged in sexual intercourse. What do you see? Not only is that person suddenly no longer important in your estimation, he looks ridiculous and absurd.

The paranoid person wants to be god like. He elevated himself to the level of the gods. To engage in sexual act makes him feel insignificant and animal like. Since he wants to retain the illusion of being dignified, he tends to feel tremendous shame from sex.

The paranoid is generally a very proud person and easily feels shamed from whatever seems not deifying; sex is one such activity. Generally, the paranoid engages in sex in a hush-hush, hidden manner but does not talk about it. (See David Shapiro, Neurotic Styles; also see his Autonomy and the Rigid Character.)

Clearly, the sex act seems ridiculous. But, then again, such is human life on earth. If one puts on ones philosophical hat and engages in pure reasoning, one would see no meaning and purpose to our lives on earth. What folks call meaning and purpose are mainly make belief.

Nevertheless, health persons accept the absurdity of being human and that includes sex. If you are going to have sex, then have it and that is all there is o it. For Christ’s sake do not be ashamed of it. Do not pretend that you are above sex. Just do it. What is worth doing is worth doing well? You might as well have fun while at it. Sex is part of the human bodily condition. People came here to be egos housed in bodies and might as well enjoy their bodies. There is no use for ambivalence towards sex, as neurotics tend to be. Do it whole heartedly or do not do it at all.

Mystics reject the human ego and the body that houses it and give up all pursuit of sensual enjoyment. They concentrate on the things of God, only. Thus, folks like Buddha, Jesus etc overcame the attraction of flesh and live in the world of spirit.

The average person is not an enlightened, illuminated and real self realized person. As long as the individual has a pull to have sex, he or she ought to do so but do so as St Paul said: within marital situations, only.

I must confess that I accept the Catholic Church’s morality on sexual matters. I want sex restricted to the marital situation. This gut level position, however, is not as emotional as it seems, for if folks limited their sexual activity to their married partners only, they would spare themselves the prospect of contracting gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, HIV-AIDS, and other diseases that could kill them.


Have you been around Igbos? They are always trying to seem better than other people. They are extremely jealous of each others achievements. In fact, they do not like any one to do better than them and should they perceive you to be doing better than them their competitive spirit kicks in and they do all in their powers to bring you down. These people prefer to be lone stars and cannot work in groups for to work in groups is to subordinate ones ego to other egos, to accept others leadership. They detest others leadership. No wonder in their traditional society they did not develop political superstructures beyond the town level to rule them. Igbos do not accept chiefs. “Igbo ama eze”. Each of them wants to be the chief, the boss and does not tolerate other people’s leadership.

(Igbos, so far, do well in sole proprietorships but tend to fail in forming partnerships and corporations. Corporations have advantages that other forms of business organizations do not have. Igbos tend not to have big businesses; they tend to end up with mom and pop shows. Apparently, Igbo unbridled egotism militates against their success in collective business ventures.)

Igbos are always boasting about their accomplishments, trying to make themselves seem better than others. They fancy themselves better than other Nigerian ethnic groups when it is self evident that all human beings are the same and equal. This desire to be superior to other people is paranoid behavior, but Igbos do not know it. They are trying to seem perfect and have you seem imperfect; they are unaware that such behaviors are the mark of madness.

Let me illustrate the sad aspect of this phenomenon from the events that happened around me only last week.

We were at a meeting. My wife insisted on our need to abide by the LAW and limit our behavior to what the law permits us to do. She said this in obvious reference to an Igbo brother who has a tendency to take chances with the law. He tends to want to do whatever he wants to do without regards to the law. My wife, being a typical well socialized North American, understands the need to live by the laws of the land. North America is a land of laws. She said what she said because she wanted to protect all of us, to prevent us from running afoul of the law. She had no animosity towards any one.

The Igbo brother in question became angry, I mean angry. He was totally enraged. He looked menacing, ranting and raving about how a woman cannot tell him what to do, how he is tired of her bossing him around, how she bosses me around and now wants to boss him. He went on and on jabbering all sorts of meaningless rubbish for about ten minutes.

I had enough of his freak show and made the mistake of trying to redirect him to the issue at hand, and he let loose on me. (When a man is in anger, he is temporarily insane; one should never try to reason with him; I should have just walked out of the house and said nothing.) He called me every name under the sun. I have never before been subjected to as much verbal and emotional abuse in my life. He asked us to leave and as we were doing so he got up and started pushing us. He was totally insane.

The following day, he wrote me a series of email letters. He went on and on boasting about how he is rich and powerful and would do this or that to me if he liked. He wrote about ten pages of nonsense. (I showed his letters to two psychiatrists and both agreed that he was delusional and experienced transient psychosis and could be committed to a psychiatric hospital against his will, if he continued in his threatening behaviors.)

What is going on here is that the brother has paranoid personality disorder. He feels inadequate and compensates with fictional adequacy. He presents that imaginary important self to other people to relate to. When they affirm it, he feels okay and when he feels that they did not validate his superior self he feels demeaned, belittled and angry. Apparently, he felt that my wife did not recognize his grandiose self image and wanted to put her in her place.

In his paranoid grandiosity, he believed that women are inferior to him, men and ought to obey men.

Men and women are equal and any sexist views are insane. (In IQ tests, on the average, women tend to score higher than men so, in effect, women could be construed as smarter than men.)

Obviously, the brother’s reaction was based on injured pride; it was showing paranoid cum narcissistic rage. In that rage he was temporarily insane and could kill. That is correct, he so over identified with a false important self that he could kill any one who did not collude with his insanity and tell him that he is the fictional important person he imagines himself to be.

Paranoid persons often kill those they believe do not respect them, those they believe do not accept them as very important. (In delusion, they attack those they believe are out to kill them…folks that are not out to kill them.)

This brother’s obvious psychotic decompensation and paranoid behavior got me thinking about my relationship with my fellow Igbos. I recall many of them exhibiting similar paranoid boastings as this brother.

It became apparent to me that many Igbos tend to have grandiose self concepts and when they feel that you did not acknowledge their imaginary important selves they boast about how important they are and try to make themselves seem better than you. They are always boasting and talking nonsense about how their fathers are governors, ambassadors, chiefs, millionaires and whatever else they think would make them seem important. They tend to feel outraged when you do not humor them and go along with their infantile efforts to seem better than you.

The angry brother that tried mightily to convince me that he is better than me is mediocre. But here he was boasting of how he is the smartest man on earth, the richest man on earth, the most powerful man on earth and writing me about how I am a failure and nothing compared to him.

The relevant point is not what a temporarily insane man said but why he said it. He felt totally inferior and everything he said was in an attempt to seem superior and powerful.

As a known fact, all human children are weak. I am weak. I am powerless. I am poor. I am not the most intelligent man on earth. I am a human being, which means that I am imperfect. If am truthful to myself, I would accept all that I know myself to be: imperfect. If I do so, I am relaxed, peaceful and happy; I am not a phony, sham hypocrite who pretends to be who he is not in fact.

Igbo culture insists that I should not accept myself as I know myself to be but must strive to be successful, powerful etc before it accepts me. Igbo culture encourages me to deny my real self and pretend to be whom I am not; Igbo culture asks Igbos to be phonies. The average Igbo I see is a pretentious phony who presents himself as he is not in fact, big.

I had to drop out of Igbo culture, so as to be able to accept myself as I know myself to be: a worthless, valueless nothing, as the paranoid Igbo brother called me.

This Igbo brother is in his Igbo culture. Within that culture, he knows that people do not accept him as he is: a mediocre person. He is currently unemployed and he knows that his Igbo culture sees him as a failure (and projects his sense of being a failure to me.)

He thinks that other Igbos would accept him if he seemed perfect. Thus, he invented a perfect self-concept and self-image and latched unto that imaginary self and uses it to relate to other people.

He relates to other people from his fictional all important self. He tells lies about himself if in doing so he seems his important self. In the processes he became a pathological liar, a man who tells lies compulsively, even when telling lies is not called for.

I have eyes to see. I could see him and evaluate him as accurately as is possible. A man who is not working, at this time, but calls himself a professor is not persuasive. A man whose wife, a nurse, works double shifts to support them is not exactly rich. A man who often does not have the money to buy gas for his car is not exactly a rich man.

Simply stated, this brother ought to accept himself as he is without shame. But his Igbo culture disposed him to think, erroneously, that he needed to be important before society accepts him. He is forced by the pressure of paranoia to pretend to be who he, in fact, is not, a powerful self. In doing so, he lives in tension, stress and anxiety, and every once in a while acts out in narcissistic rage.

He is a psychologically sick man. He needs to be healed of his paranoid ideations. Unless he is healed, he is a danger to those around him, for since he consistently misinterprets their motives and behaviors and sees insults where non-exists, he is likely to attack people (as he did to me). He probably physically, verbally and emotionally abuses his wife and children; he is most likely to do so when his paranoid grandiosity feels that they did not respect it.


Essentially, there are three types of people in the world: normal people, neurotic people and psychotic people.

Normal people are the majority of the people, say 90% or more of the people in any given society. Psychotics are generally less than two percent of the population. Neurotics make up the balance.

In normalcy, the individual internalized the norms of his society and, more or less, is like any other person in that group. He is at home in his group’s world and in his own skin.

In neurosis, the individual is not at home in his group (and not even at home in his own body). Like the normal person, he, too, internalized his group’s norms. But for any number of reasons, he feels like an outsider in his group (and in his own body). He desires to be different from the group but at the same time wants to conform to the group. He is alienated from human beings but want to be part of human beings. Somehow, he is unable to do what the group requires of him to become an accepted member and feels like an outsider to it.

If the neurotic accepts his outsider-ness and gives up trying to become a member of the group, an outstanding intellect or artist is born to the world.

The normal person operates within the box; his group’s present parameters and is seldom able to make seminal contribution to art and science. It takes a bit of alienation from the group, neurosis, to see the group, the world a bit clearly.

Whereas, in aggregate intelligence neurotics are not smarter than normal persons, but because they are operating outside their group’s frame of reference they may use their intelligence more effectively. Consider the paranoid neurotic. He insists on rationalism. He attempts to seem rational. Of course, he is not more intelligent than normal persons but, by and large, he tends to make a few rational contributions to social discourse.

A particularly ultra rational Igbo brother in Naija politics insists on pure rationality. Every once in a while he actually says something that is worth paying attention to. Unfortunately, in the main, because his rationality is devoid of love for himself, love for his people and love for all human beings, it tends to be critical without understanding. He lacks wisdom. Most paranoids may have intelligence but they lack wisdom. Wisdom only comes from love and forgiveness of human foibles.

(The paranoid is the quintessential egotist; he bears grudges and grievances and seeks revenge and is vengeful; he wants to punish those who wronged him. The wise person wants to forgive those who wronged him for he knows that human beings make mistakes and need correction not hatred or punishment. The paranoid is litigious, he sues those he believes insulted him, to punish them and prove his social importance.)

Paranoia, among other things, emanates from the individual’s efforts to UNDERSTAND HIMSELF, OTHER PEOPLE AND, WHY THINGS HAPPEN THE WAY THEY HAPPEN; IT IS AN ATTEMPT TO PREDICT THE FUTURE. Particularly, the PARANOID WANTS to understand why the things that happen to him happen to him.

He does not have objective answers to his questions, so he speculates. In the process, he attributes false motives to other people. The fact is that we do not know what other are thinking about, and we do not know why things happen the way they do. We have to accept that uncertainty and live with it.

We must live with ambiguity and not pretend to know many things. The paranoid person is unable to live with not knowing, so he speculates and believes that his speculations are true and act on their basis.

Thus the paranoid brother speculated on my motives, reached false conclusions as to why he thinks that I do what I do…boss him around and demean him…all false ideations and to rehabilitate his injured vanity attacked me, to show me that he is powerful and is my boss.

For our present purposes, whereas it would seem that neurotics are more insane than normal persons, they are not. Normal persons are masked insane persons. A normal person could exhibit the symptoms of most of the mental disorders if subjected to stress: he could show paranoia, depression, mania, delusion even hallucination.

A normal person is an insane person who is sheltered by his group. As Eric Fromm (see Escape from Freedom) sees it, the adjusted normal person is not yet given birth to full individuation.
The neurotic is struggling to become truly individuated: separation from God and the human group.

Alas, separation and individuation is a problem. The world is a place where we live in the fantasy that separation and individuation is possible.

The psychotic optimizes the fantasy of individuation and lives in his own world without reference to other people.
Mystics point out that our spiritual reality is union, not separation. (See Meister Eckhart, St John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila; Evelyn Underhill, Mysticism; Helen Schucman, A Course in Miracles.)


In his book, Autonomy and the Rigid Character, David Shapiro wrote that the paranoid neurotic (what we now call the paranoid personality) desires autonomy. As Shapiro sees it, the paranoid is a person who desires excessive independence from the group. He desires extreme individuation (Carl Jung wrote extensively about individuation.)

This person sees the group as squelching his individuality and does not want to be swallowed by the group. He strives to seem individuated.

The paranoid character is seeking autonomy from the whole (God and human society). He does not want any one, God or man, to tell him what to do. He wants to do his own thing. In social and work organizations, he resents authority figures telling him what to do.
To tell him what to do makes him feel powerless. He wants to be the boss or else he is not a member of the group. If he stays in the group, he finds ways to do things his own way.

In work organizations, he is generally perceived as loose cannon, for he does not accept authority readily. Experienced managers understand this aspect of the paranoid employee and tolerate it. They cannot change him; they can, however, delegate to him those things that require individual efforts, such as technical jobs; it is a mistake to make a paranoid character a leader, supervisor, manager etc; this is because he does not know how to smoothly relate to people; to relate to people requires subordinating ones own ego to group needs.

You must leave the paranoid alone to live in his world of individual power. If you do not respect his need for autonomy and do things that make him feel imposed on, he may indulge in passive aggressive efforts to destroy the organization’s goals or engage in overt aggression.

Like all egotists, the paranoid believes in power and violence. He believes that problems can be solved by attacking, even killing people. He sees violence and attack on people as making him seem powerful. In fact, he sees killing other people as making him seem powerful. He is the quintessential egotists, a confused human being.

He has not evolved to a level where he understands that peace, love and forgiveness are the true signs of power. Jesus was a peaceful, loving man and never resorted to anger and violence to solve problems, as such, he was the most powerful human being that lived on earth.

Hitler used violence to solve conflicts, he killed people to seem powerful; in reality he was the most powerless man to live on earth.

Do not bother trying to change the paranoid. He is who he is in evolution. He is who he is from about age six on wards. At best, you can understand him and learn to handle him with care but you cannot change him. Only he can change him self, if he so desires, when he learns to give up his pursuit of imaginary egotism and accept his real self, a weak self, and, ultimately, accept our shared unified spirit self.

I must emphasize that one should never aim at changing the paranoid personality. If one tried, he is most likely to see himself as the healthy one and one as the sick one. Paranoids do not go to therapy because in their pseudo rationality they fancy therapists useless and see themselves as more informed than therapists. They usually believe in their supercilious knowledge.

Paranoids are mentally disturbed persons. They have been so from their childhood. You cannot ask persons who have been sick most of their lives to suddenly change and become healthy. It would take a lot of work for them to change (to change ones pattern of thinking, from egoistic to loving and forgiving is to heal). All that one should do is learn how to get along with these sick brothers. They are not going to become healthy overnight.

Let me dispel the notion that just because paranoids are sick that they cannot hold down jobs. Paranoia is an interesting mental illness; it affects only a part of the intellect, not all of it. The paranoid has systematic delusion in certain areas, not all areas of his thinking. He can be as paranoid as a mad dog and see the entire world as out to kill him and is defensive and yet can be a successful medical doctor, engineer and lawyer. Indeed, he can be the president of his country. Richard Nixon, Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Idi Amin and many African heads of States were and are paranoid personalities. In fact, your colleague at work, a successful professional, for all you know, may be a paranoid personality. You might even be one! Paranoia is an interesting human psychological disorder; we all have to understand it and work to heal it, as much as it is possible to heal it.

In as much as all human beings have a bit of paranoia, we should never make fun of those people that have the problem in exaggerated forms. We should understand and help them, as much as we could. I am trying to help my paranoid brothers in my own way, by sharing information on the phenomenon.

Whereas the paranoid person seeks autonomy, on the other hand, he has not developed the courage to accept his individuation without social reference. He still wants other people to like and accept him. He does everything he does to get other people to like and approve him. Therein lays his problem. He wants to be individuated and at the same time wants to be part of the group. You cannot have it both ways. To be part of the group one must reduce ones indivualism and conform to the group’s conception of reality.
The paranoid person lives in perpetual psychological conflict: to be truly independent and or to be part of the group? He is unable to make up his mind on this critical existential question.

The paranoid wears the mask of social and existential importance because he thinks that that is the person that society would accept. Igbos accept successful persons, so the Igbo paranoid tries to seem successful and important, so as to be accepted by the Igbos. On the other hand, he wants to be individuated. Obviously, he has to resolve the conflict by resolving to be his true self. If he does so, he becomes free, freed from the shackles of the group. He becomes relaxed, peaceful, happy and mentally healthy.


For the sake of fuller understanding, I will briefly mention the other accepted personality disorders.

Personality is the individual’s habitual pattern of relating to other people and to his world. It is usually formed before age twelve and once formed is very difficult to change except if the individual has organic brain injuries or underwent religious conversion (like Paul did on his way to Damascus).

Most human beings have normal personalities, that is, they successfully adapted to the mode people in their cultural group adapt to their world. I would say that more than ninety percent of the people have normal personality structures and that about six percent has serious personality disorders, that two percent has serious mental disorders and two percent has mental retardation (IQ under 70).

The mental health field’s nomenclature accepts ten or eleven personality disorders: paranoid, schizoid, schizotypal, narcissistic, histrionic, antisocial, borderline, avoidant, and dependent, obsessive compulsive and passive aggressive. Most human beings have traits of all these personalities but some have more of each hence have such personality disorder.

Briefly, the paranoid personality wants to seem very important and fears not being important; he is sensitive to being demeaned. The schizoid personality does not care whether other people like him or not, he just lives his life regardless of what other people say about him. The schizotypal personality tends to be interested in pseudo spiritual matters and may believe that she has supernatural powers and claim psychic abilities and is odd and eccentric. The narcissistic personality fancies himself superior to other people, thinks that he is special and that other people ought to admire him; he tends to exploit other people, use them for his goals and discard them when they are no longer useful to him; he does so because he believes that other people are inferior to him. The histrionic personality tends to seek attention through drama, the drama queen and tends to gravitate to men who pay her attention but seems not to pay them attention; she has shallow affect. The borderline personality has many dysfunctional areas in her life; she is confused in many areas and wants other people to take care of her and may cut on herself if others ignore her; she does not seem capable of giving love and attention to other people but craves it from them. The antisocial personality steals and kills and does not feel remorse or guilty; he has a sense of entitlement; he is the typical Nigerian politician, a criminal. The avoidant personality feels inferior and believes that if other people come close to him that they would reject him, so he keeps away from people, while hoping that they take the initiative to accept him. The dependent personality wants other people to take care of him and is a follower and lacks initiative. The obsessive compulsive personality thinks obsessively and acts compulsively and wants to seem perfect. The passive-aggressive personality pleases every body, goes along with all people’s demands on him but resents being imposed on and often finds indirect means to get back at those he feels are imposing their will on him.
I am not going to elaborate on theses personality disorders. You can read up on them. Each of them is an area of specialization in itself.


In his analysis of Judge Shreber’s autobiography, Sigmund Freud hypothesized that there is latent homosexuality in paranoia. Generally, paranoid persons feel weak and restitute with desire to seem tough. Any thing that reminds them of their weakness tends to make them angry.

In our society, homosexuality is equated with weakness. Paranoid persons, therefore, tend to resent homosexuals. If you called a paranoid person a fag, he could kill you. Let me illustrate how this works from a situation I was involved in.

During my first year at the University of Oregon, there was another Igbo chap there. On weekends, both of us went around looking for girls. One Saturday evening, we were in downtown Eugene and heard music coming out of a joint and went in to check it out. We did not know that the joint was a gay bar. We sat down and immediately this middle aged white man sauntered towards us and sat down with us. He said: “boys, (both of us were under twenty) can I buy you drinks”. We said yes. He ordered us two beers. We talked. Then he said: “boys, do you want to have a little fun tonight?’ We asked him how. He said, and I quote: “How about coming to my house for a little sex?” My friend asked him: “Do you have some chicks in your shack?”

The man said: “Don’t be silly, I mean with me”. Before he was done with saying what he said, my friend had slapped him.

Apparently, my friend felt demeaned that this old gizzard saw him as his sex object and hit him real hard. I literally had to drag him out of the gay establishment.

Being approached by a queer for sex made my friend feel small and he tried to restitute, to feel big, with anger and physical violence. If you sexualize a paranoid personality, you make him feel belittled and he could attack you. Paranoid persons can, and do, in fact, kill gay men who approach them for sex.

Freud said that paranoid persons do what they do because, deep down, they are latent homosexuals who repressed their attraction to same gender persons. In the case of the judge he was analyzing, he said that the man, who liked to cross dress, dress as a woman, was a homosexual.

I am not a Freudian and do not accept Freud’s often tortured explanations of human behavior. I think that the more likely explanation is that paranoids feel weak and being seen as homosexual makes them feel weaker and to restitute they attack who ever saw them as homosexual.

My friend attacked the idiot who asked us for a little sex not because he had latent homosexuality, but because, like most overachieving Igbos, he feels inadequate and restitute with desire for superiority and the gay man sexualizing him made him feel like he was weak.

It is interesting how I responded to this incident. It was my first encounter with real life gays and did not know what homosexual people actually do. I went to the library and read up on what the phenomenon is all about. I could not believe what I read, that gay men place their penises into other men’s anuses and that lesbians placed their tongues into other women’s vagina! This is sexual activity? This is absurd.

My attitude towards gay and lesbians is that there is something wrong with them, what it is I do not pretend to know. It is wide world and I do not have to understand everything. I can live with differences provided if you want to practice this form of human depravity you are not around me. I would vomit if I actually see folks doing this sort of thing.

I am an Igbo African; Freud was a German Jew; he probably had different experiences and his experiences led him to his conclusions.

I do not have to accept any idea that does not make sense to me. I do not accept the whole psychoanalytic concept of id, ego and superego, the deal on the unconscious and oedipal complex. Freud hypothesized that we are born with Id instincts (for sex and aggression), that those motivate all our behaviors and that the superego, that is, internalized social norms, tries to restrict the id; that the ego, a sort of referee, mediates between our id (animal nature) and our superego (socialized nature).

Freud further hypothesized that boy children want to have sex with their mothers and that girl children want to have sex with their fathers (oedipal complex). He believed that these desires are not approved by society and are punished should they be given rein to; hence people repress them into their unconscious mind. From the unconscious they still exercise pull on people hence people behave irrationally no matter how rational they hope to behave. Freud would all people came to him and his apostles for psychoanalysis, come lay on his couch and free associate, say whatever comes to their minds without blocking them with reason and that way cathected, bring what is buried deeply in their unconscious to the conscious for him to analyze. Freud believed that it is only after such analysis that people become somewhat normal, otherwise they are hopelessly confused.

On the whole, I do not care much for Freudian speculations. I am an Adlerian, better still; I am me, an Osujian. So, let us move on.

William Meissner (The Paranoid Process) believes that the paranoid person is really a depressed person. He sees paranoid bravados, boastings and quest for power as mask over the individual’s sense of inferiority and personal worthlessness.

Moreover, since the paranoid insists on pure rationality, he appreciates the meaninglessness and purposelessness of being and experiences existential depression. But instead of accepting his depressed view of himself and the world, he uses several ego defense mechanisms (See Anna Freud, The Ego and its Defense Mechanisms) to deal with them. He DENIES what he knows to be true; he DISSOCIATES from his weak real self; he RATIONALIZES his weaknesses, he PROJECTS what he sees in himself that he does not like to other people; he BLAMES other people for his faults; he INTELLECTUALIZES instead of deal with his issues, and engages in REACTION FORMATION, SUBLIMATION, FANTASY, REPRESSION, ACTING OUT, and so on.

My experience with paranoid persons teaches me that they are existentially depressed but deny it and mask that depression with their paranoid efforts to seem powerful. When finally they face their existential reality they must deal with their underlying depression.
(Depression is characterized by loss of interests in activities of daily living, lack of interest in food, sex, sports, interpersonal relationships, work, a feeling of tiredness and lethargy and lack of personal grooming and eventually a wish to kill ones self, and if untreated suicide. Depressed persons, these days, are treated with the various anti depressant medications. I am interested in existential depression, not clinical depression; this aspect of it requires cognitive restructuring and reorientation so that the individual accepts his reality as it and stops seeing him as no good or seeing him as all good. COGNITIVE BEHAVIOR THERAPY ala Albert Ellis and Aaron Beck helps depressed persons to accept their real selves as is and not put on masks of being who they are not.)


As I see it, the paranoid person wants to seem powerful and independent of others control. He seeks autonomy. Unfortunately, we live in social groups where society controls us. (See Swanson et al, The Paranoid, also see American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, latest edition, sections on paranoia).

The paranoid person is a human being who feels powerless and wants to seem powerful. I think that his inherited biological weaknesses and existential realities make him feel little.

We are born and we shall die. We are mere food for worms. This reality makes us feel vulnerable and powerless.

If we think about it, we are really nothing special. We are nothing. We are valueless and worthless.

But we do not like these existential facts and compensate with imaginary pursuit of importance and worth.

I see human beings trying to seem very important. I know that they are not important; after all, any one of us can kill any one of us. If you want to, you can kill me and if I want to, I can kill you. That is how unimportant our lives are. (Some people use religion to find worth. As Freud pointed out in the Future of an Illusion, some people postulate a father figure who seems to protect them from the precarious world they live in; more importantly, they believe that when they die that they would go to that father figure’s house, heaven, and live there forever and ever and that gives their apparent meaningless existence seeming meaning.)

If I am important how come any human being can kill me? My life is in every human being’s hands. I am very vulnerable, so are you.
I accept my impotence and vulnerability and am at peace with that reality.

My Igbo brothers, like human begins everywhere, refuse to accept their existential reality. Instead, they juxtapose an imaginary important self and want to become it. In pursuit of their various fictional ideal selves, they develop the various mental and personality disorders.

To not have a personality, mental and anxiety disorder, the individual must desist from seeking to be an ideal self that he is not. Unfortunately, people think that they must approximate the ideal selves their cultures bid them to be otherwise they would be nothing.

My Igbo brother called me a failure because I voluntarily took myself out of the social rat race to become somebody important and he is still in that race. He fancies himself struggling to become somebody important and indeed fancies himself already important. He lives in tremendous anxiety and paranoia. He is a miserable man but does not know it.

The paranoid does not know what happiness means; happiness is just being who you are, without pretending to be somebody else.

My goal in this paper is to help my paranoid brothers, those who hate their real selves, reject their existential and biological reality and attempt to become the imaginary ideal selves that their minds constructed to give up their pursuit of chimera. The ideal self is a mental construct, a product of imagination, ideation and cognition. It does not exist in the real world and it isn’t going to exist in the empirical world.

The self concept, real or imaginary, exists only in wishful thinking, in the mind. Ideas leave not their source. The ideal self concept is an idea and is always in the mind that thinks it real. It is not real.

Use your thinking to deconstruct your already constructed self concept and reconstruct it on a better footing. Now construct a healthy self, one that sees you as the same and equal with all people. Use your thinking, mind, to construct a self concept that sees you as unified with all human beings. Go further and see all creation as one.

Oneness can only exist in non-physical form, for the physical must be separated. Matter, space and time are means of separation. We can only unify in formlessness; we can only be in unified state where there is no matter, space and time. Folks call that world the world of God, the polar opposite of our world.

I am not going to allow myself to escape into wooly metaphysics. I just want to describe paranoia and point out the contribution of conditional social acceptance to its genesis.

Of course, other factors, such as inherited individual biology and existential matters play a role in the etiology of paranoia, as they play in most mental, that is, thinking disorders.

In as much as mental disorders are thinking disorders, we can change our thinking so that they are now ordered. When the individual stops desiring unrealistic importance and sees himself as the same with all people and works for our common social interests, he tends to be in peace and is happy. What else can you ask for beside peace and joy?

Peace and happiness is good enough for me. As for material wealth, if it can be obtained while one is at peace, I want it, too, but it is not worth the disturbance of my mind and body.

Igbo society must change and accept all its citizens and all human beings in a non- conditional, positive manner. It must do so if it intends to stop producing paranoids, albeit functional ones. If people are accepted as they are, they become peaceful and happy.

A healthy society gives people peace and happiness. Igbo society must become healthy and give its people peace and happiness.

I dedicate myself to healing the social pathology I see in Alaigbo, Nigeria, Africa and the world.

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February 27, 2006

Ozodi Osuji Weekly Lectures on African Countries #6 of 54: Burundi

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- 6. BURUNDI Flag of Burundi

Formal Name: Republic of Burundi

Term for Citizens: Burundians.

Capital: Bujumbura. Population: 346,000.

Independence Achieved: July 1, 1962, from France.

Major Cities: Bujumbura, Gitega, Muyinga, Ngozi and Ruyigi


Burundi is in Central Africa. Congo-Kinshasa, Rwanda, and Tanzania border Burundi. Burundi is 10, 745 square miles in area. Burundi is landlocked. Most of the country consists of highlands and plateaus of the Congo-Nile Divide. Average elevation is 5,300 feet; the highest peaks exceed 8500 feet. Because of its high elevation, Burundi tends to have less hot temperature. Average annual temperature is 73.F in the Rift valley region and 65.F in the central plateau region. Rainfall averages 40-60 inches per year. June through August is the driest months and March and April are the rainiest months.


Burundi has an estimated population of 6, 825, 000.

Ethnic Groups: There are three main ethnic groups: Hutu 85%, Tutsi 16% and Twa less than 1%.

Languages: Both Hutu and Tutsi speak Kirundi. French is the official language. Swahili is used as commercial language.

Religion: 90% are Christian, mostly Roman Catholic, 1% Muslin and the rest indigenous believers.

Education: Primary education is available to most children but few attend and even fewer attend secondary school. Literacy rate is estimated at 51.6%.

Economy: The economy is mainly subsistence agriculture. Coffee and cotton are the most important commercial agricultural products and main source of foreign exchange. GDP estimate: $700 million; Per Capita: $106. Monetary Unit: Franc (BIF).

History and Government:

The original dwellers in Burundi were the Twa pygmies. Bantu Hutus reportedly migrated to the area in the 1200s. In the 14th century, Tutsis, another Bantu group, probably from Ethiopia, conquered the Hutus and ruled them until the Germans came in the late 19th century. With the defeat of Germany during the first world war, Belgium took over. Burundi was traditionally a monarchy ruled by Tutsi kings. In 1966, the monarchy was abolished. Burundi is characterized by the struggles for leadership by the two groups, Tutsi and Hutu. Burundi is a very unstable polity. Burundi is divided into 15 provinces.


To understand contemporary Burundi’s conflict ridden politics her past history and demographics must be grasped.

It is reported that the original people who lived in what is now called Burundi were the Twa Pygmies.

Beginning in the thirteenth century, Bantu tribes began to move into the area. The first Bantu group was the Hutu. In the fourteenth century, another Bantu group, the Tutsi, moved into the area. Both Bantu groups speak the same language, Kirundi; the only distinguishing feature between them is that the Hutu tends to be stout and average in height whereas the Tutsi tends to be lanky and tall.

At present Burundi’s population is estimated to be about seven million people. Eighty five, 85% of them are Hutu, the other mainly Tutsi. The Twa pygmies are a few thousands and are negligible in Burundi politics. There are a few thousand Europeans and Asians.
The major languages of Burundi are Kirundi, French and Swahili. French is the official language.

Burundi is about 90% Christians with Muslims and believers in indigenous religions making up the balance.

Whereas the Hutus are the majority population, the Tutsi, beginning in the sixteenth century, dominated Burundi politics. A Tutsi established himself as the King of Burundi in the early 17th century and his linage pretty much ruled the kingdom until the arrival of Europeans in the early twentieth century. In effect, Burundi, like Rwanda, has the political anomaly whereby a minority group, Tutsis, rule a majority group, Hutus. This scenario is tailor made for conflict and conflict the country has had aplenty.

In 1903, Germany declared the area a German colony. With the defeat of Germany during the First World War, German colonies in Africa were allotted to the victorious European powers. Burundi was given to Belgium in 1923 and thus became a Belgium ruled country under the League of Nations. With the replacement of the League by the United Nations in 1945, Burundi became a UN trust territory under Belgium rule.

In 1962, Burundi obtained independence from Belgium. Thereafter, a series of military coups ensued, with military strong men ruling the country until 1993 when there was a democratic election.

The Tutsi dominated the military and military rule essentially meant Tutsi rule. In effect, the minority population continued ruling the majority population under the aegis of military rule. The majority Hutu, of course, resented this situation and formed several militia groups to try to fight the military and take over power.

The Front for Democracy in Burundi, FRODEBU, a Hutu dominated group, mounted an effective struggle with the Tutsi dominated military government. The country was in chaos from these struggles and in 1993 the Tutsi led government agreed to a democratic election, an election whose outcome was guaranteed to be Hutu since they constitute 85% of the population.

The Hutu won and their leader, Melchior Ndadaye became Burundi’s first Hutu president in early 1994. A few months later, the Tutsi dominated military killed him and it was back to square one, civil war between the two competing groups.

Hutu extremists embarked on killing Tutsis and the Tutsi dominated army retaliated by killing Hutus. In 1994 over 300, 000 Burundians were massacred in cold blood and many fled to neighboring countries as refugees.

The latest Tutsi military strong man, President Pierre Buyoya maintained some sort of grip on power but in 2000 was forced to enter into negotiations for a new formula for ruling the country. A cease fire agreement was signed by all parties and in 2003 FRODEBU, under its leader, Domiten Ndayizeye, took power.

The new power arrangement with a Hutu as the nominal president did not change things much, for the Tutsi continued to dominate Burundi politics. Therefore, some Hutu groups refused to recognize the government and continued with the struggle for eventual Hutu rule.

In 2004 these Hutu extremists again massacred some Tutsis (in a refugee camp at Gatumba, in the Congo) and that sparked Tutsi retaliation.

In May of 2005 all parties to the conflict agreed on a South African brokered cease fire and an election was held, with predictable result. A former Hutu rebel group, National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy, CNDD-FDD won the majority in the new Parliament. The new Hutu dominated Parliament elected a Hutu, Pierre Nkurunziza the country’s new president.

So far, Mr. Nkurunziza seems to be sustaining the peace in Burundi, a much needed peace if economic development is to take place in the country.

Civil war has devastated the economy of Burundi, so much so that it is the poorest country in the world, with a per capita income of $106 dollars and a GDP of $700 million. The country is essentially sustained by foreign aid.

The politics of Burundi is characterized by the struggle of the two ethnic groups, Hutu and Tutsi. Not much else can be said about politics in Burundi. As already observed, so far, the Nkurunziza Hutu government elected in August of 2005 is holding unto power. But given Burundi’s history, no one knows what might happen tomorrow. The young president (born in 1964) appears to be politically savvy and let us hope that he can keep the warring groups in check, so that some sort of economic development would finally start in this poorest of nations.

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February 24, 2006

Ozodi Osuji Weekly Series on Psychology 2006, #9 of 52: What is one's Vocation?

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- The greatest challenge facing any human being is making a decision regarding what to do with his life. Until a person discovers a vocation that he is really interested in, a vocation that suits his nature and whole-heartedly throws himself into it, he is seldom peaceful, happy and contented.

Further more, material abundance often requires a person to be doing something that he truly enjoys doing, what he has an aptitude in doing and what there is a market for (that is, what is found useful by other people and they are willing to buy it).
It would seem that the individual has several career options to choose from. Actually, this is not quite so. The individual has only one vocation that suits his unique nature, a vocation chosen for him by his particular temperament and aptitude. The only choice the individual really has in the matter is to discover his real vocation, what he came to this world to do and embrace it with his whole heart; he cannot do other things just because other people do them and make a living from doing them.
The time at which the individual discovers and embraces his vocation may not be as random as appearances would make it seem. If he has to try many other professions, and by process of elimination discover what is for him, such is his game plan. Indeed, he may go through his life time on earth without discovering his true vocation.

I have had a difficult time making up my mind what to do with myself. I have been a dilettante all my life. In school, I found many subjects intriguing and found it rather difficult to limit myself to one discipline. I gravitated from one discipline to another and acquired several degrees. Generally, a field would fascinate me but when I come to understand it, as it is, I found it no longer fascinating. The same goes for my work life. I would go into a line of work, feel fascinated and, in fact, work hard but soon find it boring. I would start looking for something else to do with my life.
As I look back on my schooling and work history, indeed, on my entire life, what is self-evident is that I am an idealist in search of an idealistic profession.


What is idealism, how did it originate and how is it that it predominates in certain individuals’ lives? Clearly, every human being is a bit idealistic, but some are overly so. The majority of mankind is realistic, perhaps, with a little idealism, but a small fraction of people are overly idealistic, so much so that nothing in the extant world satisfies them.
Idealism appears to originate in hatred and rejection of what is real. The idealist hates and rejects what is and yearns for what could become; he aspires for what, in his imagination, is better than what is existent in the real world. His whole life seems motivated by desire to transform what is into what could become ideal.

Karen Horney, in my opinion, is, perhaps, the psychologist that best captures the nature of idealism. Unfortunately, she gave it a psychopathological term, neurosis, hence alienates folks from embracing her wonderful hypothesis. Her most seminal book, Neurosis and Human Growth, gave me the greatest insight into me and I recommend it to all idealistic persons.
As Horney sees it, the idealistic child, in her Psychoanalytic terminology, the neurotic child hates and rejects his real self and uses his thinking and imagination to construct what seems to him an ideal self and strives to become that ideal self. What is ideal is not stable; it is always changing; as soon as one goal post is attained, another picture of what is ideal emerges hence the child, as it were, is on a perpetual trade mill, always striving to attain an ideal state that forever recede and eludes him. He is forever disappointed by his inability to attain the ideal self and is a frustrated person.
At all times, the neurotic child strives to become the idealized self and does not want to be his real self. Since the idealized self is an imaginary self, a mental construct, not a factual self, it is not ever going to be realized in the real world. In the real world, what human beings can be and or do is circumscribed by the limitations of space, time and matter. As long as the restrictions of the external environment are in place, human beings cannot possible do every thing; for example, they cannot fly, unless, of course, they grow wings. Nevertheless, the neurotic child and the neurotic adult are characterized by wish to realize his imaginary ideal self.
The normal pattern of growth, as Horney sees it, is characterized by a drive to realize the real self (what Abraham Maslow calls self actualization).
The neurotic pattern of growth, on the other hand, is characterized by desire to realize the ideal, but not real self.
As such, neurosis is a futile pattern of living; its idealistic goal is never going to be satisfied, yet the neurotic pursues it in an obsessive-compulsive manner, as if an inner pressure that must be obeyed, as primitive man obeyed his imaginary gods, a force that transcends reason compels him to pursue it. (See Eric Fromm, Anatomy of Human Destructiveness.)
Neurosis is filled with anxiety, for the neurotic child and adult are afraid of not becoming their idealized selves. The neurotic has what Horney called basic anxiety: fear of not becoming the ideal self he wants to become. The neurotic, according to Horney, lives with constant free-floating anxiety (neurotic anxiety).
Horney provided a sociological and psychological etiology of neurosis. As she sees it, neurosis is caused by unreasonable parental expectations from the child that he become perfect. In her view, all children are aware that they need the adults in their lives to survive and, therefore, are motivated to do those things that the adults around them, particularly those that Harry Stack Sullivan called their significant others: parents, siblings, peers, authority figures like teachers and pastors etc ask of them.
If those on whom the child depends on to survive expect a high standard of behavior before they accept him, he strives to accomplish them least they reject him. As Horney sees it, this conditional acceptance of children disposes them to reject their real selves and use their imagination and thinking to construct alternative selves that they believe that the important persons in their lives would accept. Thus, at all times, such children strive to become the idealized selves that they think that if they become that their society would accept. In doing so, according to Horney, such children become neurotic in personality structure.
As Horney sees it, a neurotic is a person who hates and rejects his real self and strives to become an alternative self, perceived as ideal and acceptable to society, and experiences anxiety when he does not seem like the imaginary ideal self. Not being like the ideal self arouses fear of social rejection and abandonment, which amounts to fear of death, since the child needs other people to provide for him if he is to physically survive.

Carl Rogers (Client Centered Therapy) built on Horney to urge parents to accept their children in an unconditionally positive manner, if they want their children to accept their real selves and not pursue idealized neurotic selves that could never be attained but in the meantime produces anxiety for the neurotic child.

Whereas Horney’s causal hypothesis is strictly social psychological, Alfred Adler (Neurotic Constitution) believes that biology plays a role in the etiology of neurosis. Without denying the powerful role of society in the formation of the human personality, Adler believes that those children who inherited what he called inferior organs tend to find it extremely difficult to do what the exigencies of this world call for human beings to adapt to them. As he sees it, children who inherited organ inferiorities are likely to feel that the physical and social environment is very tough on them, feel their lives threatened and develop a feeling of personal inferiority.
To Adler, no child could ever accept a sense of inferiority. Why? To survive the impersonal exigencies of this world, the child must overcome them.
Adaptation to the realities of this world require that the child become strong and powerful. Since the child is, in fact, not powerful, he uses pure mentation to imagine himself powerful. The human child, and more so, the neurotic child feels inferior and powerless Vis a Vis the exigencies of this world and uses his thinking and imagination to come up with a self-concept and its pictorial form, self-image that seems to successfully cope with the intractable exigencies of this world. He construes a fictional self, a self that is all-powerful, intelligent, handsome, wealthy etc, a self that is everything that his real self is not.
To Adler, neurosis is characterized by rejection of the real self and pursuit of a compensatory imaginary, fictional, all powerful and superior self.
The neurotic child has an all or nothing approach to his imaginary ideal self; he must become it or he feels that he is nothing. As it were, his whole reason for existing is to become his idealized, imaginary self. Neurosis thus gives the individual purpose for existence. The neurotic exists to become his fictional superior, powerful, ideal and perfect self. If he did not have that ideal self to pursue, his life would suddenly seem purposeless and meaningless. Existing to attain insane goals is, apparently, a possible reason to live on earth. (If so, could all existence on earth be motivated by desire to attain insane purpose? Helen Schucman, in A Course in Miracles, says yes.)
The neurotic often behaves as if he is the idealized imaginary, all-powerful and superior self. He presents that superior self to other people to relate to and accept as who he is.
If other people collude with him and accept his idealized self concept and self image (personality is a mental construct, George Kelly says) he feels fine, but if they do not validate his fictional self, he feels threatened and unsafe.
The neurotic child is happy (false happiness) when his ideal self is affirmed by society and angry with those who do not tell him that he is his imaginary all-powerful self.
At school and play, the neurotic child wants to be treated as if he is the ideal and all-powerful self. He wants his peers and teachers to treat him as the important self he wishes that he were, but is not, in fact.
Of course, other people know that the neurotic child is not the all-important self he wants to become and pretends as. They treat him as an ordinary self and he resents realistic such treatment.

Since the neurotic does not want to be treated as an ordinary self, he often withdraws from play and school and other arenas where he may be evaluated as ordinary. Such children would develop what we now call avoidant personality disorder, and or obsessive compulsive personality disorder, dependent personality disorder, paranoid personality disorder.
These neuroses, now called personality disorders, are characterized by wish to be an ideal self and avoidance of society in an effort to protect the imaginary ideal, perfect self.
The shy child, aka avoidant personality, keeps to himself and in his social withdrawal, uses his imagination to see himself as perfect and ideal. He feels that if he comes close to other people that they would look through his sham ideal self and reject it. To avoid rejection of his phony ideal self, he avoids other people. In effect, his social avoidance is a maneuver to help him preserve and protect his wished for ideal, perfect self.
If the neurotic, shy person did not have a false ideal self to defend, he would not fear social rejection and would readily relate to other people.
Psychotherapy for the neurotic avoidant personality, shy person, is for him to give up his quest for an idealized self and accept his real self and become comfortable with it and present it to other people to relate to. He does not have to pretend to be who he is not, ideal; he has to accept his real self, imperfect as it may be, and leave it at that.
When the imperfect real self is accepted, as it is, and when one stops desiring the impossible ideal, perfect self, one no longer has fear of not becoming the imaginary ideal self. One no longer has anxiety neurosis.
Mental health is characterized by absence of neurotic anxiety, whereas neurosis is characterized by the presence of anxiety (excessive fear).
The normal person has realistic fear, not anxiety. He fears what could harm his body and avoids it and or seeks ways to protect his real, bodily self, but does not fear what could harm an imaginary perfect self. The normal person has a realistic self and realistic fears; he does not have neurotic anxiety (disorder).

Adler, Horney, Sullivan, Rogers, Kelly, Maslow and other ego-psychologists have useful points and need to be studied and understood. However, they did not completely explain the etiology of neurosis.
Neurosis is not only a social-psychological phenomenon; it has a biological component to it. Isaac Marks and other neuro-psychologists are elucidating the biological nature of anxiety disorder.
According to neuro psychologists, those who tend to be neurotic, who have anxiety disorder, tend to have inherited bodies that are prone to excessive nerve excitation. Their bodies have a tendency to readily elicit those stimulations found in anxiety, with or without social causal factors. They seem to have inherited rapid somatic excitability. The fear and anger alerting system in their bodies tend to be over developed. They quickly perceive danger and threat to their bodies and their danger signaling system goes to work and urges their bodies to fight or flee from the perceived danger.
How this system works is not yet fully understood. Some claim that it has to do with neurochemical balance, or lack of it, in nerve cells. Perhaps, such persons have a tendency to produce excessive neuroadrenalin (neuropiniphrine…an excitatory neurotransmitter) and less GABA (an inhibitory neurotransmitter)?
The jury is still out on the cause of anxiety; no one has fully explicated the biological origin of anxiety disorder. On the subject, lots of causal speculations abound, however, interesting that conjectures may be, they are not science. Science deals with facts, as they are, not mere speculation.

What is self-evident is that anxiety disorder is a biosocial, existential phenomenon. It has its origin in biological, sociological, psychological and existential causal factors. Clearly, Adler, Horney etc explained aspects of the causal factors implicated in the etiology of anxiety neurosis, but the biological aspect of it still needs to be fully understood.
In the meantime, we can best approach anxiety disorder, aka neurosis on individual-by-individual case.


When I was a child (and now) my body was (is) prone to quick excitation. I was almost always aroused. Heat, cold, smell, paint, food etc aroused my body. I had physical and chemical allergies.
Being close to a woman who over perfumed her body and reeks of fragrances made me faint. Being in a house where certain types of food are cooked, the smell made me dizzy.
Hot summer days made my body feel irritated and uncomfortable. Cold days made my body itchy.
Running and other vigorous exercises made my muscles cramp up (perhaps due to lack of oxygen, a product of lactic acid metabolism in the muscles). Simply stated, I inherited a hypersensitive body. That over excitable body was not comfortable to live in.

I remembered always wanting to get out of my body and live outside it. That is correct: my body was so intolerable that I did not want to live in it. I wanted to jump out of my body and be bodiless. On hot summer days, my body felt so irritated that I had to douse it with cold water to feel tolerably comfortable.
By age six, when I started formal schooling, I was aware that I did not like my body. I admired those other boys who seemed at ease with their bodies.
I loathed my body and used my imagination to wish for a better body. I fantasized for an ideal body. By age nine, I was aware that I was not only wishing for a better body but a better self. I wished for a perfect psychological self, a self that is different from my imperfect self.
That is to say that I developed what Horney called neurosis: hatred and rejection of the real self and wishing for an ideal alternative, mentally constructed self.
However, Horney’s etiological analysis is only partially applicable to me for, clearly, my inherited problematic body had a lot to do with my self-rejection.
Obviously, my society is conditional in accepting children but that by itself is not the sole cause of my self-rejection. My self-rejection was caused by a combination of biological and social psychological factors: my inherited problematic body and my conditionally accepting society placed a role in my self hatred. Biosocial psychology, I believe, is a fuller explanatory psychology.

Biological psychology is still in its infancy; the various biochemical causal explanations of mental disorders (excess dopamine in schizophrenia, excess neurpiniphrine in mania, low serotonin in depression, excess neuro-adrenaline in anxiety etc) are not persuasive; they explain nothing. Let us just say that we have not yet explained the etiology of mental states; we may do so in the future.

This paper is not really devoted to causal analysis of neurosis, I made foray into some causal analyses to set the stage for the theme at hand: idealism and choosing a vocation.
I did not choose a vocation because I was seeking for an ideal body, ideal self, ideal other people, ideal society, ideal social institutions, ideal work situations and ideal everything. Nothing in the real world seemed good enough for me.
Just as I was seeking an ideal self, I was seeking an ideal vocation. As noted, I would go into a profession, like it for a while, and then find it not satisfactory, because it is not ideal. After obtaining my doctorate degree, I taught at a university for a while, and found what I was doing not ideal and quit. I went in search of ideal work. I worked in the mental health field. For a while, I enjoyed it and was rewarded with running a couple agencies. Many folks would be satisfied running a multimillion dollar agency, but that was not good enough for me. I left and went searching for an ideal vocation.
Over time, I learned that there is no such thing as an ideal vocation. Jobs are not the issue; the issue is I, my basic self-rejection and desire for an ideal self.
To find an ideal vocation, I must accept me. But the question is: what me am I to accept?
Accepting my real body is difficult to do; nobody in his right mind would accept my body. The best that can be done with my body is to subject it to rigorous scientific analysis, understand it and device a technology, (genetic engineering and or medications) to improve it.


In childhood, I escaped into neurotic idealism, and in my thirties I escaped into religious idealism. These two are fantasy and, as such, useless.
In maturity, I embrace the only methodological approach to phenomena that is realistic: the scientific method.
The scientific method studies phenomena as it is, and does not waste time and energy indulging in mentally constructed ideal versions of phenomena.
The science of psychology studies human beings as they are, not as they would like to become. Psychology is not idealistic philosophy where neurotics use their minds, thinking, to construe ideal selves, ideal social institutions and ideal world. The world is not what such idealistic philosophers as Berkeley, Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche etc made it out to be in their philosophical systems; the world is empirical and objective and independent of our imaginations.
There are essentially two types of idealism, secular and religious (aka spiritual) idealism. In secular idealism, the individual uses his thinking and imagination to wish how he, other people, social institutions and the world ought to become; in religious idealism, although it is still the individual that is doing the wishing, the individual attributes his ideal wishes to what he calls God, Spirit etc.
The secular idealist may wish for socialism as an ideal society; the religious idealist says that God intends for humanity to be in a certain manner, the manner his idealism tells him is what God would wish man and society to be.
Both secular and religious idealism are the products of human thinking and imagination; they are wishes of how the self and the world should be ideal and perfect.
The fact is that all the wishes in this word would not change a leaf from being a leaf. Perhaps, millions of years of evolution may alter the nature of leafs. In the here and now, one can wish all one wants, the fact is that human beings are the way they are and are not going to change and become ideal.
You cannot change yourself and other people by merely wishing that you and they became ideal. Conceptualizing ideals, although understandable, are really a waste of mental energy and time.

Instead of wasting ones mental energy and time imagining how human beings should be, at the individual and societal level, the individual is best served if he studied himself and human beings in scientific, that is, objective manner. He should study things as they are, and understand them as they are and stop wishing for them to be different.
You first have to understand phenomena as it is before you can change it; if at all change is possible.
You cannot change you; you cannot change other people and you cannot change the social institutions that responded to the way people are.
People are in varying degrees of normalcy, neurosis and psychosis and these states are due to their inherited bodies and social experiences. You cannot wish that people be angels.
For example, if you see a man who is, say, paranoid in personality structure, and you wish that he were not so, you are wasting your time. What you need to do is understand the nature of paranoia at both the psychological and biological level.
The paranoid person before you probably will always feel that he is a victim of others persecution and that other people are out to harm and or kill him. He actually wants to be attacked by other people and attack people to generate their counter attack on him. He then fears that those he attacked would counter attack him and hides from them to go protect himself. From his hidden corner, he feels justified in attacking other people, verbally or physically. Moreover, he wants to be very important, grandiose, in his and other people’s eyes. He over evaluates his worth (he feels inadequate and worthless and compensates with imaginary power and worth).
The paranoid person feels grandiose and persecuted. You cannot change him, for to change is for him to accept his underlying depressed self view, his self hatred and self rejection…what led to his compensatory latching unto imaginary superior self. If he gave up his deluded (grandiose, persecuted) self, he would become depressed, and develop low self-esteem and may even become suicidal.
To avert his underlying existential depression, his self evaluated valuelessness, and anxiety, he masks them with a fictional, all powerful self. His paranoid ideations serve a function for him: they make life tolerable for him. Paranoia gives the paranoid person purpose for being; he lives to become a grandiose self and to protect that self from imaginary persecutors.
What you can do is study him and understand the biological, sociological, psychological, and existential factors in the etiology of his mental disorder. If he is amenable to understanding facts, you can tell him about the factors implicated in the genesis of his paranoia, but the chances are that he may not listen to you.
It is not your function to change other people. It is not your job to change society. The individual’s only function is to study phenomena as it is, scientifically, struggle to understand it and struggle to come up with a technology to adapt to it. He then markets his understanding of reality, as it is, and if his understanding is realistic and useful to other people, they would buy it hence gives him money to meet his material needs.


Many human beings are preoccupied with the idea of God. They want to prove to themselves that God exists, that he created this world and that if they did the right thing by him, please him, that when they die that they would be welcomed into his heaven. They fear displeasing God, so as not to be relegated to his hell.

The human mind, ego intellectual processes, cannot prove the existence of God. The ego, the human thinking pattern, is individuated, and is a separated self.
If God exists, and I think that there is something that people call God, I call it life; he is all of us acting in tandem.
God is the whole of life as one life; one life that is simultaneously all of us. Because he is all selves in one self, the separated and individuated self, the human ego, our earthly thinking, cannot understand God. No amount of earthly intellectual thinking can explain God. This is because the part, human beings, is smaller than the whole, God, and cannot understand the whole.
It seems, therefore, a waste of time trying to understand and or explicate the nature of God.
On the matter of God, one should just keep quiet. Be quiet; in your silence you feel peaceful and happy.
Do not disturb your mind trying to explain God; you cannot do so. God exists all right; he is life, one life that manifests in all forms of life: us, animals, trees etc. The real God is not the God explained by the various religions of this world.
The God of the various religions of the world is nothing but the human ego projected out and attributed to what human beings call God.
Whereas the individual should gravitate to an idea of God that makes sense to him, mine is Gnostic Christianity, he should not have the illusion that he has explained God; he has not; no religion can explain God.


In seeking a realistic profession, ask yourself this question: does the vocation that you contemplate entering enable human beings to adapt to the exigencies of this world? Every realistic profession maintains this world, as it is, not transcend it.
We live in the world of space, time and matter. We are separated selves, egos and could, and do harm each other. We want to live in safety. Therefore, we seek protection from those who can harm us. We must apprehend, try and punish those who harm us. The profession of law enforcement: lawyers, judges, courts, prisons, prison guards, police etc is a realistic profession, for it exists to catch and punish criminals. The individuated self needs protection and must demand the services of law and order professionals.
Scientists study the world in an objective manner and understand it. Technologists devise techniques to adapt to the objective world, as it is. Thus, science and technology are realistic professions, for they give to men what they need to adapt to this world.
Businessmen produce goods and services and market them to people who need them to survive. Business is a realistic vocation, for it enables people to adapt to their world and survive.
Psychologists, provided they are realistic, that is, embrace biosocial existential methodological approach to understanding man, are useful to people. People have varying degrees of neurosis and psychosis and need psychologists to explain to them their mental states and help them cope with their world without excessive anxiety, paranoia, depression etc. However, since not too many folks buy the services of mental health professionals, they are not likely to become rich from their profession.

The relevant thing is for the individual to seek out a vocation that produces goods and or services that enable people to survive in this world.
If the individual goes into an idealistic but useless vocation, he will not sell his goods and services and will be poor. Consider professional socialists and communists. Who wants to buy their idealistic conceptions of how people and social institutions ought to be? Very few persons want to buy the services of socialists, so socialists tend to be unemployed. Some of them become professional revolutionaries and get other people to go work and earn a living and support them; Karl Marx fooled around in the Libraries writing idealistic materials, whereas his friend, Frederick Engels’ workers worked to support him. Socialists cannot make a living from their idealistic thinking and writing.
Religious idealists can make a living if they become ministers and, as clerical parasites manage to play on people’s guilt and fears and get them to support them.
If they are merely intellectual about religious idealism, as are many new age gurus, they starve.
However, religion has some utility. Human beings will always have fear of the unknown. Any religion that reduces their fears and enables them to develop peace of mind and have some happiness, even if ultimately it is a false religion, is useful and should be tolerated.


Any philosophy or religion that teaches that people should negate this world and escape into its conception of heaven, oneness, peace and joy, as new age religions do, will not enable people to adapt to this world and, therefore, will not be bought by reasonable people who want to live in this world.
If you tell folks to forgive those who wronged them, to permit themselves to be killed without defending themselves, you are not going to enable them to cope with the real world and will not be listened to. People will listen to those who talk of crime and punishment, to lawyers and judges, for they enable them to adapt to this world.
Jesus talked about forgiveness and defenselessness. His gospel would lead to death and those who want to live in this world did not listen to him and will not do so in the future, for as long as they want to live on earth, in the realm of separated self.
Those who want to die and extinguish their separated self will listen to the philosophy of forgiveness and defenseless, a world negating religion.
The individual should have clarity about his wish to escape from this world and do it if that is what he wants to do and leave other people to adapt to the exigencies of a separated world.


Real self-psychology teaches people to accept their real selves, which include their bodily selves and spiritual selves. It does not encourage people to negate their bodies and escape into idealistic, imaginary selves. It urges people to accept their bodies and study them scientifically and use medical technology to cope with their illnesses. It validates and affirms the human body.
It teaches that there is another self, the spirit self, a unified spirit self. That unified spirit self is not amenable to ego intellectual understanding and should be assumed while attention is paid to the physical real self. The reason the spirit self has to be recognized is so that people affirm an aspect of themselves that is also real, recognition of which tends to enable them to feel peaceful and happy.
In the here and now world, the neurotic ideal self, secular or spiritual, must be given up and not defended, for the individual to not feel neurotic anxiety, depression, paranoia and schizophrenia. All mental disorders are rooted in a misguided effort to become the ideal self, an imaginary self that could never be attained in reality.

My vocation is to teach people about their real self: the two sides of that real self, the physical, bodily self and spiritual non-bodily self. I am here to teach people to jettison their ideal self, secular and religious.
All mental illness arises from people’s desire to invent idealized selves and defend those false selves. Be they personality disorders, neurosis and psychosis, all mental disorders have something to do with efforts to become an imaginary idealized self. The mentally ill person thinks and acts from the perspective of his imaginary ideal self. The mentally ill person struggles to defend and protect his imaginary ideal self.
People become upset because their ideal selves are not validated and affirmed by other people.
Shyness, a seeming minor disorder, is an attempt to be ones ideal self, consciousness of it, and fear of not becoming it.
Stop trying to be an ideal self and simply be quiet and you would be peaceful and happy.
Do not expect other people to be ideal selves and just accept them as they are, even if they are crazy. In accepting people unconditionally, as they are, you give them your peace; you become a bringer of peace to their conflict ridden world.

All mental illness is healed when the ideal self is given up and not defended. In mental health, one no longer has emotional upsets: no fear, anxiety, anger, sadness, paranoia, mania, schizophrenia etc; one is peaceful and happy at all times.
Do not think and behave from the imaginary ideal self; do not judge from the imaginary ideal self. Do not see the world from the imaginary ideal self. Just tell yourself that you do not know who you are, who other people are and what the world is and means, and stay calm.
You are already seeing the world from the separated self, a self that is not real, but as long as you use that self to accept the world, as it is, not as you want it to become, approach the world scientifically and technologically, you will be calm.
Science and technology is the ego at its best, so become a scientist and or technologist. Nevertheless, the world of science and technology is the world of illusion, a dream world, for the real world is spirit, not matter.
The spirit world, however, should not be our concern, for if we seek it we color it with our ego wishes and distort it. It is enough to attempt to see this ego’s world objectively.


Every time one judges ones self, judges other people, as good or bad, one has wished that one and other people approximate ones ego ideal; one has attempted to be the author of ones self, and author of other people; one has disturbed ones peace and disturbed other peoples peace, for what one gives to ones self one gives to other people.
Do not judge you and other people; in doing so, you give your self inner peace and happiness.
By not judging you and others you are not playing God; you are not expecting the world to be according to your idea of good or bad; you are not disturbing your/other people’s peace; you are a bringer of peace to you and to other people.
What is my vocation? To teach folks how to attain peace and happiness through corrected thinking and behaving; to teach folks how to live through their real self, bodily and spiritual self. I do so from my understanding of what negation of this world and escapism means. I had negated this world and sought escape in idealistic thinking, philosophies and religion. I did nothing to effectively adapt to the realities of this world. I was out of this world; I was gone from it, mentally.
I got out of graduate school and worked hard for five years. I am a very hard worker for within five years of leaving graduate school I was the executive director of a very large mental health agency. If this world had made sense to me, there is no doubt that I would have worked my way to the top of things. But the problem was that the world made no sense to me. I could not take the world, as it is, seriously. I did not embrace the world’s philosophy and left the world in search of a better philosophy to live by.
Yet what I did was in my nature to do so; as it were, I was programmed to dream for a better world, and could not have not engaged in the long, arduous search for meaning and purpose in a meaningless and purposeless world.
But out of that futile searching for idealistic state, I learnt that if one wants to live in this world that one must embrace what makes for survival in it: holding grievances and punishing offenders, for it is in doing so that the ego’s separated world survives.
If you forgive the ego and do not punish it, when it offends you, it would keep doing so, even kill you. Forgiveness and lack of punitive behavior, as was my approach to people, leads to the end of the egos world and is an escape from what maintains this world.
(I once did group therapy for domestic violence convicts and did not want to punish them; I tried to reorient their thinking via cognitive behavior therapy but not through punishment; I was perceived as soft on criminals and was actually told to go. The psychologists running the show believed in punishing people; they are egotists who believe in punishment and were gratifying their desire to punish others by running those latest ego outfits for holding grievances, feeling guilty and being punitive. The normal psychologist and psychiatrist must believe in guilt and punishment, for guilt and punishment maintains the egoistic world he lives in. And since he believes in guilt and punishment, he must be found guilty and punished, for what one believes in happens to one. Abused persons who believe in guilt and punishment and punish their abusers will eventually be found guilty of a crime and punished, for what people believe in happens to them. The normal person is an egotist and believes in guilt and punishment, punishes other people and is himself punished.)


It should be noted that Jesus Christ actually negated this world and escaped from it. He taught a philosophy, Gnosticism that saw this world as valueless and negated it. He did not want to be part of this world. He wanted to negate his separated ego self. He overcame this world and was not fascinated by its attractions. He allowed himself to be murdered and did not fight to stay in this world. He had the common sense not to have children hence perpetuate this world.
The early apostles, those who knew Jesus first hand, knew that he taught an escapist philosophy. They sold their worldly goods and lived for the present moment, expecting the world to come to an end at any time. Of course, the world did not come to an end, for the world will be around for several more billion years. As long as the sun shines and it will shine for at least four more billion years, the world will continue to exist.
Disappointed that Jesus did not return to come get them out of what they saw as a corrupt world, Christians distorted the teaching of Jesus to make them adaptive to the exigencies of this world. They discarded Christian Gnosticism and what we now call traditional Christianity emerged.
What folks now call Christianity is really far from what the escapist, idealistic Jewish rabbi, Jesus taught his followers. Extant Christianity, like other religions, is now a mechanism for adapting to this world. True religion is almost always eventually distorted to make it maintain the separated, ego and its world. The religion of the founders of religion, like Jesus, is not always the religion practiced by those who call them their followers. That is the only way these religions can exist, for the alternative is idealism that does not cope with the realities of this world.
The Jews did not embrace the philosophy of forgiveness that their brother, Jesus taught. Instead, they preferred to retain their Mosaic view of guilt and punishment. As we choose is done to us. They chose what maintains this world, guilt and punishment, saw their fellow human beings as guilty and punished the; and their fellow human beings saw them as guilty and punished them hence all over the world they are usually punished, killed.


I have learned about the self defeating nature of idealism, secular and religious, and gave it up. What needs done in this world is to be realistic, to study science and technology and use it to adapt to this world while at the same time acknowledging the reality of formless spirit, without getting overboard about spirituality.
Spirituality does not enable any one adapt to this world, in fact, if taken seriously, it leads to escape from this world. Those who want to live in this world must do what living in this world requires, be realistic and operate according to the egos theology of crime and punishment.
Each human being is unique, and knows it. There is no other person like the individual; he is one in all time and in infinity. The specific combination of particles, atoms and elements in his body and his social experience disposes him to be who he is and to do ascertain type of work better than most other people. The individual is suited for a type of vocation; his first job is to ascertain his vocation on earth and subsequently to channel his energy into it, to the best of his ability. He cannot do well what others do well.
The idealist is readily able to perceive the imperfections in himself and in other people and feel motivated to change them, make himself and other people perfect. He cannot make himself and other people perfect. It is futile trying to change ones self and other human beings. The realistic thing to do is to accept ones self and other people as they are, not as they should become. One must accept all people despite their imperfections and insanities and not hope to make them sane and perfect, for one cannot succeed in that idealistic endeavor.
Yet there is hope for mankind. That hope is the scientific method: it studies people as they are, not as they should become; it does not moralize about how people should be and behave but embraces them as they are and behave. The scientific method studies people’s biology, chemistry, physics and psychology, and where changes are possible do so, but where not, accept them for being who they are. People are part of the natural universe of space, time and matter; they are imperfect creatures with an unknown perfect spiritual aspect. We must love all human beings and help them be the best that they can be.

The ego and its world are very complex and complicated; their language must address the world of differences and multiplicity. Those who write in the egos frame of reference tend to write in complicated, sophisticated language. The language of metaphysics, on the other hand, tends to be very simple. This is because metaphysics deals with simplicity itself: how people came to this world and can escape from it. When I write on secular subjects, my language is sophisticated, but when I write about spiritual matters, my language is very simple, as in this essay.
Africans and African Americans are not a psychological people. They seldom bother trying to understand themselves. In the meantime, they present with varying degrees of psychopathologies; and the sad part is that they don’t even know it. In over twenty years work in the mental health field, I have not had an African as a patient; it is almost always white patients. Black folks mostly come in contact with the mental health system when they experience psychotic decompensation and have to be hospitalized and treated against their will, or, as in Nigeria, when their underlying untreated mental health issues dispose them to over eat and drink themselves to untimely death. I hope that I am doing my bit to alert the brothers and sisters to their mental health issues; that is my goal, any way.

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February 23, 2006

Ozodi Osuji Weekly Series on Psychology 2006, #8 of 52: A Brother's Call for Help is Ones own Call for Love

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- All human beings want to be loved. Why so? They are love and only feel at home in love. In their original home, heaven, they live in love. Heaven is love; love is union.

They are perpetually connected to one another and to their creator, God. God is love and his children are love.

God’s children only feel happy when they are in love with one another and with their father. When they are outside love, union, they are unhappy.

Heaven is love and the earth seems the opposite of love. But because their true nature is love and they are happiest when they are in love, they are hurting when they are in a loveless place. The earth is a loveless place and the children of God are hurting, they live in pain and are crying out for love, for union with one another and with their father.

We are all calling on each other to love each other. We engage in this call in different ways. The best way to seek love is to love. If I love you and you love me that is the way it should be. Unfortunately, the world is not an ideal place. In this world, we seek love in different ways.

One of the ways we seek love is to attack people. All attack on other people is a call on them to love one, to love the attacker. All attack is a call for help.

The attacker believes that the person he attacks does not love him and he attacks him to offer him an opportunity to do one of two things: to respond as an ego and counter attack him and both separate from each other and go defend their individuated egos.
The alternative response to attack is to choose love. Our true self is Christ, the son of God who is as God created him, loving. When we live out of our Christ self, we can only love. In Christ consciousness, if other people attack us, we see their attack as a call for love, because they perceived us as, hitherto, not loving towards them (as having separated from them). Their attack on us is their call for us to forgive them, which means to love them. Their attack is a call for loves, which means to overlooking their attack and in doing so seeing their true self, the loving Son of God, the Christ, and loves them.
When we choose to overlook attack, to forgive and love attackers, we have behaved defenselessly, that is, we chose not to defend our ego.
Our ego and the body that houses it feel hurt and pained when attacked and respond with anger and counter attacks to defend it.
The ego feels hurt and seeks revenge; the ego bears grievances and wants to punish those who attacked it. The ego, the self that we are currently aware of as our self is always defensive, feeling attacked and defending itself, bearing grievances and seeking punishment.
Unfortunately, if the ego defends itself by attacking the person who attacked it, now that person feels attacked by him and counter attacks the person to defend himself and that way the world of mutual attacks continues. Thus, we continually attack, defend and attack each other. The consequence is living in a world of conflict and war, a world lacking in peace and happiness.
The egos pattern of response to attack is guaranteed to perpetuate a world of attack. The world of Christ, the world of forgiveness and love, on the other hand, is guaranteed to bring about peace, happiness and joy.
If a person attacks you and you forgive him instead of counter attacking him, that is, overlook his attack, you have ignored the reality of the ego and overcome the ego and its world and operated from the world of the Holy Spirit, the world of love and forgiveness.
The reward of forgiveness and love is peace and happiness for you (the forgiver). Your peace and joy you give to the person you forgive. (If that person is not a forgiving person hence not a loving person, he would not receive the peace and joy that you gave to him; but do not despair for the Holy Spirit receives it on his behalf and holds it for him until he does what would release it: forgive and love all children of God.)
The forgiving hence loving person is a bringer of peace and joy to a world at war with itself.

Any brother’s attack on you is his call on you to forgive and love him; his attack is a call for help from the person, you, that he feels is capable of helping him, teaching him the true meaning of love as forgiveness. It also means that the attacker is ready to learn the true meaning of love.
When a student is ready the teacher will appear; the attacker is a student of love, the attacked is the teacher of love
One must, therefore, forgive the attacker, that is, love him; in so doing, one gives him peace and joy; commodities lacking in his egoistic life.
What one gives to a brother is what one gives to ones self. One too is an ego and lacks peace and joy, so if one gives another brother peace and joy, one gives ones self peace and joy.
If I give a brother love and forgiveness, I give myself love and forgiveness; conversely, if I give a brother attack and pain, I give myself attack and pain.
The person you attack is likely to attack you and the person you love is likely to love you.
The other person is an extension or projection of ones self. What one does to him, one does to ones self. Love that person means love you; forgive that person means forgive you; attack that person means attack you. What you do to others you do to you. Giving is receiving; as you give you receive.

If you choose to respond to others attack from your separated, individuated self, your ego, you will feel hurt by their attack and feel angry and defensive. The ego responds with fear, anger, sadness, depression, paranoia, mania etc when it perceives itself attacked.
On the other hand, if you respond to attack from your Christ self, from forgiveness and love, you do not feel fearful, angry, sad, paranoid, manic etc; you feel at peace and are happy.
The choice is up to us how we respond to others seeming senseless attacks on us, to respond from ego frame of reference or from Christ frame of reference. Whatever frames of reference we choose to respond from we take the consequences.
If when attacked we respond with fear, anger and counter attack we experience lack of peace; if we respond with forgiveness and love we experience peace.
What do you want, peace or war? Others attack on you offers you the opportunity to decide how you respond and what consequence you receive, peace or war.

Other people are external pictures of us. Other people and the world mirror our thinking. The world is the out picturing of our individual and collective thinking.
We think in images and project those images out and see them as if they are external to us. The world is like a dream and whatever we see in it is a mirror of our thinking.
Because the world is our out pictured thoughts, the individual should not go about trying to change other people, the external world but, instead, should change his thinking. If you change your thinking, from attack and war to forgiveness and love, you see a world that mirrors peace and joy for you.
If at the present time you see a world where other people attack you, and attack each other, it means that they mirror your attack thoughts.
If you do not like the world you see, you should change your thinking rather than try to change other people’s behaviors.


Last night, I was at a meeting with some Nigerian brothers. One of them, for any number of reasons, became enraged at my wife and berated her. For a while, I sat quietly and observed the show he was putting out for us to see. Here is a middle aged man behaving like a five year old in his temper tantrums.
At a certain point, I made the mistake of trying to bring reason to bear on the situation. The first lesson we teach folks in anger management classes is never to argue with an angry person.


If a person is angry he is semi insane. The thinking part of his brain, the cortex, has shut down and he is mostly operating from the hypothalamus, the animal part of the brain. He is now in attack-defend mood. He feels threatened and is defending himself, physically and or psychologically. He is like an attacked animal and is motivated to counter attack his attacker so as to survive. He is not amenable to reason. Therefore, you should not try to reason with him.
If you see an angry person, you should just walk away, or if you cannot walk away, you should try to keep quiet, as much as you could. You can aid your effort to remain calm by counting to ten, taking a deep breathe and holding your breath and then let it out slowly. You may visualize beautiful scenes, like walking on a beech, in a bed of roses, or whatever makes you feel good.
Whatever you do, do not respond with anger to the angry person’s outburst. Anger management inheres in keeping cool when others are loosing their tempers.
I should have said nothing when this brother was verbally and emotionally abusing my wife, asking her who the hell she thinks that she is insisting that he follow set procedures etc. I piped in with what seemed a redirect and he shifted his anger to me and actually got physical. He was, more or less, like a menacing gorilla, beating his chest in an effort to seem powerful and scare other predators away from his territory.
When he became enraged, I remained calm so as not to provoke him further. Apparently, my demeanor irritated him further and he asked me to leave his house (the meeting was at his house). I got up to leave and he followed me, literally pushing me. It was a mess. But I managed to keep my head cool and left.
I could not believe what happened. I have run many groups for domestic violence batterers and know enough about anger management to know that a man who behaved as this brother did is probably a danger to those around him. Obviously, the brother has anger problem. The chances are that he abuses his wife and children and probably needs to receive anger management training. (His anger is probably rooted in paranoid grandiosity, sense of persecution and jealousy.)


People feel angry for a number of reasons, including a feeling that they are physically attacked. Anger is a response to perceived attack, real or imagined, on ones integrity. The angry person feels attacked, threatened and his body pours out adrenaline, a neuro exciter which speeds all the organs of his body urging him to fight back. In anger response, the individual perceives an obstacle and is trying to remove it; he feels frustrated in his drive to realize a goal and anger is a mechanism for removing that obstacle on his path to goal attainment. People can kill those they perceive as obstacles to their doing what they want to do.
In our modern world, seldom are people physically attacked to make them angry, so as to defend their lives. The most common source of anger is feeling of psychological attack. It goes like this. The individual has a certain haughty self concept. He imagines himself very important and powerful. Of course, he is not. It is fictional superiority, power and importance, not real power and impotence.
The personality disordered individual presents his desired ego ideal, the important self, to other people to relate to.
When he feels that they did not validate his fictional important self, he feels denigrated and made unimportant. He experiences narcissistic rage. His anger is really from hurt pride.
He uses anger to restitute his injured vanity. His intention is to seem powerful and in anger he is powerful.
The angry person is motivated by power and control. He is what psychoanalysts used to call a neurotic, a man chasing a false important self concept, self image. In today’s psychiatric terms, he has personality disorders, most probably narcissistic and paranoid personality disorders.
(The angry brother has all the indices of paranoid personality, I could see his quest for grandeur, persecutory feelings and inordinate jealousy, all features of paranoid personality. He probably beats up his wife when he feels that she is fooling around with other men and or accuses her of fooling around. He probably intimidates his wife and children with his terrorist behaviors; his anger is psychological terrorism at work; he wants to use it to get folks to feel fear and out of fear do as he wants them to do.)
To heal neurotic anger, one thing is required: the anger prone person must change his self concept and desist from questing after fictional superiority and importance.
The individual must have a realistic self esteem that sees ones self as the same and equal with other people, but not as inferior or superior to them. If he corrects his neurotic self concept and self image he would no longer be misinterpreting other people’s innocent behaviors as attacks on his imaginary important self-concept.
This brother has a false important self concept, self image, and a deluded, grandiose self concept and believed, falsely, that other people insulted his imaginary important self and his anger was a futile effort to seem important.
Alas, acting angrily made him seem like a five you old boy; he seemed pathetic in his flailing around in anger.

When I got home I wrote a memo to those present at the meeting stating my surprise at what transpired.
In the morning, I woke up to see more than five emails from the brother. He wrote at length about his understanding of what transpired.
He boasted how he is a rich man, a successful man and how I am a poor man, a failure in life etc. He bragged and praised himself in every which way his infantile thinking could imagine. At some point he began to read mind and said that I had asked my wife to insult him so as to provoke his outrage and that we had planned it to sue him to get his money! Now we are talking about transient psychosis, delusional disorder with aspects of mania. Clearly, the brother has an underlying sense of inferiority and inadequacy and felt a compulsive need to mask it with his desire for superiority; he pursues the fiction of superiority; he is a pathological liar; he is always hatching tales of how important he is; how his father is an ambassador, how his family are millionaire; how he was a professor at a university…he had at one time taught at a community college and that is the only truth in his fanciful yearns.

For a while, my ego kicked in and felt insulted by this man. My insulted ego asked me to respond in kind to the brother’s verbal onslaught. My responses would be in the nature of defenses, trying to present me as right and him as wrong.
Luckily, I remembered A Course in Miracles famous quote: would you rather be right or happy? If you insist on being right and in seeing others as wrong, and your rightness pours patrol unto fire and you experience conflagration all around you, is that what you want?
Even if you are right, why don’t you allow the other guy to feel right and let go of your own ego’s desire to be right? So, I decided not to defend myself. I went to Church and came back from church and wrote this essay. (This essay is based on Helen Schucman’s A Course in Miracles philosophy; a philosophy that I independently arrived at.)

At Church, the minister talked about how people have pain in their lives and are carrying that pain to wherever they go to. We tend to engage in geographic therapy, thinking that if we go elsewhere that our issues would be resolved. But the fact is that we take our psychological pains with us to wherever we go to. We must, therefore, stop and look into our minds and understand our issues and try to solve them rather than run from them.
Most human beings are walking wounded persons. They experienced psychological injuries and are living in psychological pain. At best, they are worried well neurotics.
What needs to be done is to pause and understand ones issues and deal with them rather than deny them.
This boastful brother obviously feels inordinately inferior and has a need to seem very superior and important. His life is geared towards seeming like he is a very rich, powerful and important person. He goes about calling himself professor when he is at the moment unemployed. Apparently, being called professor makes him seem very important.
Long term psychotherapy and anger management would probably help him deal with his unresolved issues. For one thing, he would learn to accept himself as he is and no longer have to put on airs, wear the mask of being an important person. He is suffocating in that mask of importance he wears. He lives in psychological pain, anxiety and anger, and paranoia. He would develop unconditional positive self acceptance. He would see his real self as good enough and no longer have an inner compulsion to tell lies about his non-existent accomplishments.
The brother’s issues are not the essence of this essay but my reaction to them. His behavior is an opportunity for me to choose once again, to choose differently. Hitherto, I had chosen the ego (separated self) and behaved like the ego. In ego state, I am motivated to counter attack, to punish my attackers etc. That path only leads to defense and more defenses, hence the world’s conflict.
This brother’s attack offers me an opportunity to choose differently, this time, to choose to respond to him from my Christ self.
Christ is the son of God as God created him. Christ is our true self. Christ is love. When Christ perceives attack on himself, he forgives the attacker and loves him.
Christ does not defend himself; Christ does not bear grievances and grudges, Christ does no seek punishment for the wrongs done to him; Christ knows that this world is a dream of the opposite of heaven. Heaven is unified and this world is a dream of separated self.
In heaven, we share one self, the unified self, Christ, the Holy Son of God. Christ, the son of God is in his father, as his father is in him and he is in his brothers. There is no space or gap between one son of God and another and the son of God and his father. God is in his son and his son is in him; the two share one self. God is one side of a coin and the Son of God is the other side of it. God and his sons share one self and one mind.
Christ is always forgiving and loving. He sees others attack on him as a call for love when love is missing. In that light, this brother has attacked me. Why did he do so? He probably felt that I did not love him. How so? He probably felt that I did not respect his desired power and prestige.
He goes about calling himself a professor and I call him by his first name. That probably makes him feel disrespected. All told he probably sees me as not validating his assumed important self. Obviously, he wants to seem important and powerful and wants those around him to collude with him and see him as such. If he is affirmed as an important person, his ego feels good but if not his ego feels humiliated.
Moreover, in the said organization he was bucking to become the president. He tried his best to make alliances with other members so that they would vote for him as the president. Unfortunately for him, he does not have leadership and managerial skills. He is not a doer, he is a mere talker, a man who wants the world to see him as a boss but does not understand what bosses do; bosses work harder than the average worker. Where the average worker puts in eight hours of work a day and goes home, managers often work double that time.
Apparently, he saw me as a rival, as an opponent for leadership position. I did not see him as a rival. I did not see myself as in competition with him. What is there to compete for? I am not interested in false power and wealth.
So how do I respond to him? I was tempted to respond to him from my ego. But the ego is a false self, not my true identity.
My true identity is Christ and that means that I must forgive and love him; his attack on me is a call on me to love him, for he perceived me as not loving towards him.
I choose forgiveness and love. In forgiving and loving him I give peace and joy to me; so I am not doing him a favor by forgiving him, I am doing me a favor.


In one of this man’s letters to me, he talked on and on about how I hated Igbos.
Translation? He believed that I hated him, an Igbo. Do I hate Igbos? Do I hate him? Nothing could be further from the truth.
Somewhere, I pointed out that Igbo culture is very conditional in accepting its people; people tend to be accepted when they succeed and ignored when they did not. This produces fear of rejection in Igbos. Many of them strive to succeed and, in fact, as the world considers these things, but not as God knows them, succeed. However, they tend to pay a heavy price for living in a conditionally accepting culture.
Karen Horney, Carl Rogers and other psychologists have taught us that a conditionally accepting culture tends to breed people who hate their real selves and identify with false ideal false selves. They invent a composite picture of a successful person and want to be like him and hate themselves to the extent that they do not approximate that ideal social self-concept and self-image. They have an obsessive compulsive desire to measure up to the picture of success and fear being a failure; Igbos, in general, fear not being like the person their society would not accept.
Where this fear of failure is intense, some Igbos use creative imagination to invent fictional successful selves for themselves and identify with them. In doing so, they develop neurosis, personality disorders, even psychosis, such as delusional disorder and mania.
(In mania there is excited thinking and behaving, a feeling of euphoria, a belief that one has enormous powers, powers that one dos not have, poor judgment and some delusional beliefs, such as seeing ones self as wealthy and all powerful, when one is not. In delusion one believes what is not true as true, such as the brother believing the make belief world where he is very rich and all powerful and others are poor and weak. There is grandiosity, persecution, jealousy etc in delusional disorder. Such persons tend to be very fearful and angry. The brother is obviously a fearful and angry person. He does not even know what true courage is: to forgive and love all God’s children despite their different conditions on earth.)
Conditionally accepting Igbo culture produces people who feel inadequate and seek adequacy and that often lead some to denigrate other persons so as to obtain compensatory sense of superiority to them.
Who does not know that Igbos would like to feel superior to Yorubas and Hausas and other Nigerians?
No human being is superior to others. The very desire for superiority is neurotic; if that desire is believed it is psychotic.
An insane person is a person who believes that he is superior to other persons. A sane person is a person who knows that he is the same and equal with all human beings. The president of a republic is exactly the same as the beggar on the street.

The brother’s mail to me tried to convince me that he is a successful person and that I am a failure in life. He struggled mightily to present himself as powerful and me as powerless. (Clinically, these are classic paranoid symptoms. See David Swanson et al, The Paranoid; William Meissner, Paranoid Process; Psychotherapy for the Paranoid Process; David Shapiro, Autonomy and the Rigid Character and, of course, DSM IV sections on the various types of paranoia: schizophrenia, delusional disorder and personality disorder.)
This man’s claims about how rich and powerful he is, his boasting about power he does not have made the point that I was trying to make that Igbo conditional acceptance of people produces neurotics and psychotics.
Now, suppose that it is, in fact, true that he is richer than Bill Gates should not that make him humble?
He is rich? The man’s credit rating is so abysmal that when we sought certain securities and asked him to secure them he said that no financial institution would look at his request. He is so rich that I essentially foot the bill of the organization.
I have seen mentally ill folks who were eating out of garbage dumps but still claimed to be billionaires, or if they have religious ideation, Jesus Christ or whoever their paranoid grandiosity could latch unto. These people feel inferior and want to seem superior and tell tall tales of how powerful and rich they are.
If, in fact, a human being is rich and powerful common sense ought to teach him to be grateful to God for blessing him. But this deluded brother feels a need to tell the world that he is rich even though he is demonstrably dependent on his wife for supporting him. The poor woman works double shifts to help support him while he presents an image of a successful rich man to the world.
The real issue is that somehow I had given him the impression that I hate him and hate Igbos. I have heard that some other Igbos apparently read my constructive criticism of their culture as hatred of them.
It is sad that in my effort to understand people, as they are, I had given some persons the impression that I do not like them. This is a mistake. I apologize. I love Igbos and all human beings.


It is necessary to understand that this brother’s boastfulness and anger is partly rooted in his Igbo sense of persecution. Many Igbos, apparently, believe that other Nigerians persecute them.
(Anger is biosocial in origin; in this essay, I stress the social aspect of it; I am, however, mindful that there is a biological aspect to it; angry persons tend to be excitable persons; they probably inherited a tendency to have quick somatic arousal; a situation that suggests over active adrenaline and other neuro exciters and or low neuro inhibitors like GABA. This paper will not address the biochemistry and biophysics of human thinking and behavior.)
This sense of persecution is partly empirical and partly rooted in their personal psychologies. It is true that some Nigerians do not like Igbos and in the past had killed them. Yet we must observe that the psychology of Igbos contribute to their unfortunate fate. Generally, they present a fictional important self to other people and bid them to acknowledge that grandiose self concept and self image. When their false self is not acknowledged by other people, they feel paranoid sense of persecution.
The solution to this insanity is for them to deconstruct their self concepts, give up desiring ideal perfect, all powerful self concepts, reconstruct their self concepts and accept their real selves, a self that is the same and equal with all persons. Each of us is the same and equal with all persons. As long as the individual pursues superiority and power he would be prone to paranoid fear, anger, sadness and hypomania.


It is doubtful that human beings can live without religion (metaphysics). A true metaphysics enables folks to develop inner peace and happiness; it enables them to have equanimity and not be disturbed by the exigencies of this world.
Here is a metaphysics that might help folks with anger problems. Anger is never justified just, as fear is never justified. Where there is anger and fear there is no love. Fear is the absence of love; anger is the absence of love. Love is union; only separated persons, egos, feel fear, anger, depression and paranoia, mania and other mental upsets.
God created us; he created us by extending his one self into each of us. Each of us is an extension of God, a part of God, a son of God.
God is union. We are eternally unified with God and with each other.
God has one self and one mind. We all share the one self, one spirit and one mind of God. In eternity (which is forever, including the present) all are unified.
At some point, a point that has never occurred, we desired separation from God and from each other. We sought to go seem special, to go seem to have created ourselves. Apparently, we resented the fact that God created us and wanted to create God, create ourselves and create each other.
Our wishes for self creation and separation are impossible of gratification, for God created us and we cannot create God or create ourselves.
What we cannot satisfy in heavenly reality we dreamed.
This world is our dream of separation. On earth, each of us dreams that he has a separated self, a self housed in body, a self living in space, time and matter. He sees gap between him and other people; it takes time for him to reach other people. His body is wired in such a manner that he feels pain when it is hurt hence feels fear of being hurt.


On earth, each of us invents a separated self concept and translates it into a pictorial self image for him to see. Each of us also invents self concepts and images for other people and for whatever he sees. The world is a place where self concepts, that is, separated selves, seem to interact.


When the Son of God, all of us, seemed to separate from his father, God, and from each other, God the father entered our world as God the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the correction principle. He is here in the temporal universe to teach us that our real home is unified, not separated.
Now there seem three Gods: God the father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. This phenomenon is also called the Holy Trinity or Triune.
God the father is the transcendent God; God the Holy Spirit is the immanent God in the temporary universe; God the son is us, the collective us, all creation.

Our ego is our earthly personality; it is the separated self that believes that it created itself and created God. We navigate the world with our ego, our earthly personalities.
In our earthly mind are three parts: the right mind (where the Holy Spirit and Christ are), the left, wrong mind, where the ego is and the unified one mind of God and his Son.

On earth, each of us thinks and behaves from his left mind, the ego mind. The Holy Spirit, the right mind, urges him to try to think and behave from the right mind.
The right mind, the Holy Spirit, Christ mind, is the mind that forgives and loves all people. It sees the past, present and future and overlooks them and knows that there is only one time, the eternal present of God.
The ego mind is the mind that bears grudges and grievances and does not forgive those who attacked him. The ego mind sees the attacker as guilty and wants to punish him. The ego mind maintains this world.

The mission of the Holy Spirit is to teach us to remember our real self, the Christ self, which is represented by the Holy Spirit, in the right mind, and respond to others attacks on us from that perspective, that is, to forgive and love the attacker.
If the individual responds from the right mind, forgives and loves all people, he is rewarded with peace and happiness.
Peace and joy are the gifts of God, the gifts of behaving as God wants us to behave, forgive and love one another.
If you forgive others their attacks on you, you are doing yourself a favor, you are giving yourself peace and joy, and extending that peace and joy to the person you forgive. However, if the person you forgave is not yet a forgiving person, he will not receive the peace and joy you gave him; the Holy Spirit will receive it for him, waiting for him to learn to forgive and love and then receive those gifts of God.


When an individual consistently forgives and loves all people, he lives in peace and joy. He is metaphorically living at the gate of heaven (though separated, he is near union). He is not in heaven for heaven is a place of formlessness and perfect union.
(Only the formless, the same and equal can unify; heaven is the abode of the formless, same and equal persons. The earth, on the other hand, is the abode of form, differences and inequality; the different and unequal cannot unify, they must be separated. If you desire heaven’s union you must accept our sameness and equality and stop defending ego differences and inequality. The brother sees himself as better than me, that is, he is defending his ego, and that is, he is insane for sanity lies in accepting all people as equal.)
On earth we live in forms, in bodies and therefore are not in heaven. But if we approximate heaven’s condition, love, via forgiveness, we are at the gate of heaven. We are still living in the world of illusion, still dreaming that separation is possible but now we are having a happy dream. We are now living in the real world, a world that though still separated approximates the world created by God: is peaceful and happy, what Bahaullah called the lesser peace; heaven is the greater peace. The happy dream, heaven’s gate, the real world, purgatory, call it what you like, is our world reinterpreted by the Holy Spirit and made a bit loving, a bit unified.

The forgiving and loving person, though still in the world of space, time and matter, occasionally experiences union with God, heaven; he occasionally perceives the empirical world disappear and he enters the spiritual world, the abode of oneness, a place where there is no you and I, no subject and object, no seer and seen, a place of perfect oneness, hence perfect peace and happiness.
Heaven cannot be described in words, so we cannot describe it. It is, nevertheless, real; in fact, it is the only reality there is. Our world is a dream, a fictional place with fictional selves, ego personalities, and dream figments going about thinking that they are real and are important. Important, indeed, their bodies are food for worms and worms are food for other organisms.


Each of us meets heaven’s conditions at his own time. He does so when he learns to forgive and love all people. Salvation, redemption and deliverance means that one is now totally forgiving and loving; they mean emancipation from the clutches of the ego and its pain, fear, anger, sadness, paranoia etc. To live in ego state, on earth, in the world of separation is to live in fear and anger; to feel fear and anger is to live in hell. (Our temper tantrum throwing brother lives in ego state, in fear and anger, in hell. Have pity on him and forgive him; but know who you are having pity for; you. You are having pity for you, for the collective son of God. The son of God sentenced himself to pain and suffering by seeking separation.)

When a person consistently forgives other people, overlooks the attacks on him, he has passed the last judgment on the ego and its world; he has renounced the ego and returned to his true identity, Christ, the unified self, the Holy Son of God who is as his father created him, unified with his father and all his brothers. He now lives in peace and happiness (the lesser peace).
The forgiving and loving person joins the saviors of the world (a savior is a person who forgives and loves all people) and works with them in trying to save those who still live in the ego, in fear, in anger (he teaches them how to overcome anger, via forgiving attack).
When all of us have learned to live from our Christ self, the self directed by the Holy Spirit, are forgiving and loving, the world disappears and we all experience formless oneness, heaven; as it were, we the sons of God disappear into God and he into us and the dream of separation ends. We résumé our eternal mode of existing, in unified spirit.

The end of this empirical world may take millions of years before it is accomplished. In the meantime, each of us must seek salvation, that is, learn to forgive and love all persons at all times. To the extent that each of us learns to forgive and love he is saved and lives in peace and happiness and experiences occasional Holy Instant, union with all.


In reality, we always live in love while imagining ourselves in a loveless place; we are always in union while dreaming that we are in the world of separation; we are always in God while thinking ourselves in ego states.
To know this fact, one must forgive and love at all times. Forgive others attack on you, which forgives your own attacks on other people, and experience oneness, unified spirit, heaven.


Last night, a brother verbally abused my wife and me. My ego perceived his behavior as a psychological attack on it and urged me to counter attack him. If I do so, he would defend himself and counter attack me. The result is that we would separate from each other and perpetuate the world of separation.
We came to this world by attacking each other and the world is maintained by our attacks on each other.
Our mutual attacks push each other away, thus enabling us to experience the separation we wish to experience. This brother attacked me thus urging me to separate from him and if I fall into his trap, I would separate from him and in so doing continue living in my ego state, in separation hence feeling the gifts of the ego: fear, anger, sadness, depression, paranoia, mania and other mental upsets egos experience.
This brother’s seeming uncalled for attack (at an unconscious level, I asked him to attack me, for there are no accidents in God’s universe; we experience what we desire to experience, what we want to learn from; I wanted to learn about his angry nature and, perhaps, help him heal it) offers me an opportunity to choose again, to choose differently, this time to love rather than hate, to forgive rather than bear grievances.
Actually, to forgive him is very simple. Everything he said about me is false. Not one word he said about me is correct. His perception of me is delusional, paranoid, period. He is not processing reality accurately, not even in ego terms. He is operating from an excited nervous system and is actually in a minor manic episode (hypomania…he said all sorts of rubbish about me that any one with the slightest knowledge of me would know that he was not talking about me; he was projecting his paranoid thinking to me). Because I realize that he is experiencing transient psychosis hence had thought disorder with characteristic word salad, confabulation and illogical association I do not have to be angry at him. I must overlook everything he said.
To overlook others verbal and or physical attacks is to forgive them. To forgive is to love, for in a world of mutual attacks forgiveness is the true meaning of love. (On earth to forgive is to love; in eternity there is no attack, only pure love, that is, union and its peace and joy.)

I choose the gospel of the Holy Spirit rather than the gospel of the ego, forgiveness rather than grievance and attack. I totally forgive this brother. I totally love this brother. In doing so, I give me peace and happiness; in giving me peace and joy, I give him peace and joy…though he may not yet receive it, given his confused emotional state, the Holy Spirit has received my gift to my brother for him. He will receive my gift when he heals his psychological disorders.
The brother obviously has personality disorders and anger management issues that he needs to go address in psychotherapy. He needs to deal with these issues at the secular psychological level and finally seek some spiritual understanding as to why we live on earth. He will find his God and his real self, Christ, in his own way, not my way, for each of us came here alone and must find a solution that fits his issues. We, however, must return home in the company of each other, when we forgive and love one another.
Brother you did not attack me. You did not do anything to my real self. You abused my false separated self.
That which can be abused and eventually destroyed has no worth. The ego and its body are valueless.
The part of us that has worth, our spirit cannot be attacked and or harmed by any one; he is safe in his father’s mind, for our minds leave not their creator’s mind.
Brother I forgive you but go seek help for your anger and psychological issues. However, it is not for me to worry about your issues. The sole function of an atonement worker is to atone for his own sins, to heal himself by forgiving all people. I have healed myself by forgiving you and all of us. And in doing so find the peace of God. Peace and joy is preferable to the transitory wealth that tickles your fancy.
The reader of this piece may think that I made this brother out as the guilty one and myself out as the innocent one; him as the sick one and I as the healthy one. Nothing could be further from the truth than that. The brother is obviously sick. His sickness, however, is my sickness projected out for me to see and heal. He is me mirrored for me to see. His Igbo culture based issues are mine, too. His temper tantrums were the way I used to react many years ago. When I was eighteen years old, I remember reacting exactly as I saw this man react to attack, real or imagined. I acted out at others, was angry at those that I thought had done something bad to me, when, in fact, they had not. This man thought that I did something bad to him when in fact I did not. He is me writ large. He presented my issues for me to see them clearly and heal them. (He is also you, for his apparent paranoid reaction is the way human beings react when they feel attacked, real or imagined.)
As for guilt and innocence, he is innocent, for all children of God are eternally innocent. They have not separated from God and have not done what we see them do on earth. They do what they do only as in dreams, and what is done in dreams is not real.
We all remain as our creator created us: innocent, guiltless and sinless. But in time, on earth, we seem guilty. We do bad things to each other. What we need to do is to correct our errors and mistakes, not to crucify each other. (The Holy Spirit’s mission is to correct our errors.)
The brother has to correct his ego based mistakes and learn to love people. In the meantime, it is not my job to worry whether he forgives; my one task is to be the one who forgives all God’s children. In forgiving all of us, I become an example for other people to imitate.
The ego is a tricky thing and those who trust and ask it to guide them always lose. We worked hard to achieve an objective and just as we achieved it our egos clashed and self destruct.
Those who redirect their ego goals and make them in alignment with the purpose of the Holy Spirit, God, that is, make them forgiving and loving, ultimately, achieve their goals.

Peace and joy to all my brothers in Christ, the one holy Son of God.

Ozodi Thomas Osuji

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February 02, 2006

Ozodi Osuji Weekly Series on Psychology 2006, #7 of 52: African-Americans, as I see them

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji (Seatle, Washington) --- PREAMBLE Like all people, African Americans are individually unique and no two of them are the same. It, therefore, seems a mistake to talk about them as if they are all the same. Be that as it may, the fact is that there is such a thing as group character. For example, I am an Igbo African. There is such a thing as an Igbo character type, within which are individual Igbos who are unique in their personality types.

I understand why folks are leery of talking about national character types; it tends to lead to treating people as members of groups but not as individuals hence stereotyping them. This is a noble intention. All human beings ought to be treated as individuals, not as members of any given groups. Nevertheless, it is silly denying the obvious, that there are national character types.

There is the generalized English, French, Italian, German and American personality type. If you do not accept this fact then randomly select a German and a Russian and give them work to do and see how they do it. The German is more likely to be methodical, thorough and efficient and produce high quality product, whereas the Russian is more likely to be lackadaisical, carefree and inefficient and produce a shoddy product. All said there is such a thing as group personality type, within which there are individual differences.

African Americans have a group based personality type, within which is individuation. Making stereotypical statements about them may be unfair to those who do not fit the group stereotype; nevertheless, we must attempt to understand the generalized picture of the African American. We must do so with the understanding that every general rule has exceptions to it.

I have lived in North America from the time that I left secondary school in Africa. During that time, I have had occasion to interact with most of the ethnic groups that constitute the great mosaic called North America: whites, Asians and African Americans. As a result of my relationships with these various people I come to certain conclusions about them. This essay is not going to dwell on the other ethnic groups that constitute North America but on African Americans.

The individual is seldom objective in his perception of other people, and perception of anything for that matter. He looks at whatever he sees with his past learning, and his internalized presuppositions and preconceptions of what is good or bad. We all seem to wear lenses through which we look at the external world. These myopic lenses probably mean that none of us ever sees anything as it is. In that light, I probably do not see African Americans as they are? My past colors how I see the present.

Having admitted the probable prejudiced nature of my perception, yet my perception is my perception. I am entitled to sharing that perception with those who care to know about it. They can do with it, though admittedly biased, whatever they want to do with it. My obligation to myself is to be honest and describe things as I see them. If my perception is not correct, which is probably the case, I stand to be corrected. You, the reader, please feel free to correct my misperceptions; and while you are at it, please do remember to do so, on rational grounds, not by begging the issue, or merely telling me to share your perception just because it is yours.

There is a common adage that admiration is the highest form of compliment. You want to be like those you admire.

I do not want to be like African Americans. That just about says it all, does it not?

If I were an idealist, I would set about trying to change African Americans. But I am a social realist and know how difficult it is to change people.

My goal in this essay is merely to describe African Americans, as I see them, and leave it to them to ponder how this African sees them. If they think that there is some merit in my perception, they could decide to change what is changeable in them and live with what is not changeable in them. My function as a social observer is to describe phenomena, as I see it, and, hopefully, that description enables individuals to better understand it than they did before.

I should say that the sword cuts both ways. Just as I have my perception of African Americans, they have their perception of me and other Africans. Their perception of us may not be positive? That is their prerogative; they are entitled to their perception.

Each of us behaves in light of his perception of phenomena; his only obligation is to ascertain what that perception is and strive to make it as synonymous with the truth as is possible.

(What is the truth, Pontus Pilate asked Jesus? I, a mere man, certainly do not know what the truth is. May be the alleged only son of God, a Jew, Jesus, knows what the truth is. Those of us who are not sons of God, are perhaps sons of an unknown God, do not know what the truth is. But please do not tell us what the truth is until our unknown God tells us.)

Every human being operates within a context; he operates with a frame of reference that his context gave him, a world view that he internalized while growing up. It is, therefore, necessary to know something about the individual’s context and frame of reference before we can understand him and his perceptions.

I am an Igbo Diala. I was socialized into Igbo Omenala. I internalized Igbo culture and operate from its parameters.

Igbo culture is very republican and democratic. Igbo culture is individualistic, achievement oriented and realistic. Igbos are not a sentimental people, they accept life as it is without unnecessary adornments. Their language is overly realistic. Consider: Owu manu ji ara edebere otu? (I will not interpret it for you, you try to figure it our for yourself, after all, if I have taken the trouble to understand your language, English, the least that you could do is take the trouble to understand my own language, a language, we believe is the best in the world. The Igbos say: Speak Igbo and then die, indicating how proud they are of their language.)

My grandfather grew up in the early 1900s Alaigbo (Igboland), a world that the British had recently conquered. What did him and his contemporary Igbos do? They would tell their children: Look, children, the British defeated us, not because they are better men than we are but because they have advanced science and technology. We must acquire science and technology, if we ever want to compete with them. Therefore, we must all go to school and study science and technology. We must work hard. With science and technology and hard work, in a few generations, we shall be able to do what the British do. We might even surpass them. Thus, these hardy men and women resolved to send their children to school. Going to school and working hard became their mantra. Today, many of these amazing people’s children are university graduates and are found in the best universities of the world.

The Igbo does not countenance laziness. He does not listen to excuses as to why one is poor. He says: if you say yes, your Chi (personal God, your real self) will say yes. (See Chinua Achebe’s novel, Things Fall Apart.) He does not accept the thesis that he is a victim of circumstances. He sees himself as in charge of his life. He has internal locus of control and believes that no matter what the external environment is like that it is up to him to do what he could to extract a decent living for himself and his family. However, he is not naïve as to the powerful effect of the external environment on the individual; he recognizes the reality of the external world but does not resign himself to it.

My grandfather’s generation recognized that, for the time being, the British were in charge of their affairs. But that was a temporary situation. With hard work, they believed that sooner or later they would be able to compete with the British on their on terms.

The Igbo does not want you to pity him, see him as a victim and give him anything out of pity.

(When the Igbo comes to North America and beholds such policies as Affirmative Action, he is annoyed by it; he says: if you cannot get into the school you want to attend on merit, and then do not go to that school. When I was in secondary school, my father would say to me, Tom, I want you go to Oxford or Cambridge University. To do so, you must have excellent grades in your studies, including your GCE Advance Level. He could not tolerate mediocre grades. I had the requisite grades to attend those top colleges, not because I was particularly smart but because father could not let go of my case until I behaved realistically, studied hard.)

The Igbo context from which I came from is one where individuals are expected to compete and receive from their world whatever their abilities could give them in the competitive world they live in.

I am an Igbo and carry the Igbo culture in me to wherever I go. I brought that culture with me to North America. I view the social phenomenon of North America through the lenses of my Igbo worldview. My perception is biased by my individual personality and by my cultural upbringing.


In my perception, African Americans, on the whole, seem to lack initiative; they seem to lack entrepreneurial and business skills. Generally, I see a people who do not start their own businesses; I see a people who wait for others, whites and Asians, to start business ventures and then come around and employ them.

(My parents were small business persons; my father started trading from age fifteen and by the time he was twenty, had gone to most West African countries, buying goods from them and reselling them at a small profit in Alaigbo; my mother ran a restaurant at an army barracks).

The African American that I see does not seem to realize that he can start his own business and employ himself and employ his own people. He stays around waiting for other persons to employ him. And when they do not employ him, he complains, bitching about discrimination against him.

Of course, in North America, discrimination is real. What do you expect? Human beings seem self-centered. (See Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations; Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan.) Human beings seem motivated to first help themselves and later help those like them.
Whites start business to help themselves and help their brothers and sisters; Asians do the same.

Human beings seldom identify with those who do not look like them. White Americans generally feel comfortable among whites and generally will employ fellow whites before they employ those who do not look them, those they do not feel comfortable around.

In North America, African Americans are generally the last hired and first fired in the workplace.

As soon as he obtains the token jobs white Americas give him, he feels very important. As it were, he says: see, I am now somebody important because I work at a prestigious white outfit.

The African American seems to derive false social importance from his proximity to white folk, folks he, apparently, assumes are superior to him.

The few African Americans that attended Ivy League colleges, such as Harvard, Yale, Princeton, even Stanford, tend to think that they are very special persons. They tend to carry themselves like they are godlike. Apparently, it never occurs to these folks that they attended schools that were started by individual white men and that they, themselves, can start their own schools and build them into top ranked schools.

(The so-called Negro colleges, such as Howard, Lincoln, Fisk etc were actually started by white men of good will, those invested in training Negroes during the era of Jim Crow and racial segregation).

On their own, African Americans have not really started great universities and large business corporations and made them outstanding. African Americans, apparently, wait for whites to achieve excellence and they come to bask in reflected glory of white achievement.

Generally, African Americans work for governments (city, county, state and federal) and major American corporations. They seldom start their own business and work for themselves.

Those of them who mange to be in positions of authority in white started employment places seldom employ other blacks, certainly, not in positions that they believe that those fellow blacks would compete for their positions. When they see a talented black person, they become afraid of him and do everything in their power to get rid of him. They surround themselves with mediocre persons and or with white women who would not threaten their positions.

The African American manager is perhaps, the most insecure human being on earth; he feels so insecure and protective of his sinecure position that he spends most of his energy keeping other blacks out. At the various universities, if a token black man is hired, usually to satisfy affirmative action requirement and have one Negro around, he proceeds to do whatever he could to keep other blacks out, certainly to keep out those blacks he believes are more talented than him. But when his unproductive position is challenged, when he does not secure tenure on the basis of his scholastic work, he suddenly seeks other blacks help and starts talking about discrimination against him. But when he has used black support to secure tenure in his school, he could care less about other black folks. In fact, he seldom mentors and nurtures other blacks to become scholars.

The African American is very jealous and perceives any talented black competitor as his enemy, a person to be kept out of his work environment.

African-Americans do not encourage each other to become the best that they could be.


Africans who have had extensive contact with African Americans generally report that the brothers are generally intent on using them rather than helping them. They say that African Americans would like to use Africans’ labor for free and not pay for it. A young unemployed African PhD told me that a head of a black studies department had asked him to come teach a couple of courses at his school and that he did so but found out that the man had no intention of paying him for his services. He wondered how the Negro expected him to pay his bills. He concluded that African Americans, no matter how educated they seem to be, are pimps and hustlers, and that if you do not protect your interest that they would use you for their own good and dump you, just as they use defenseless women as prostitutes to make a living for themselves.

(Actually, to make money to buy drugs, for a pimp could never respect himself; how could a person who exploits another human beings suffering respect himself? No, the pimp must be self a self loathing and destructive person and be addicted to cocaine, crack cocaine, amphetamine, heroine, and the other staple drugs these living dead persons are prone to).


African Americans seem to not value their lives. In their great ghettos, black on black crime is very high. For the slightest excuse, they kill each other. One would think that they would reserve their anger for the group that oppressed them, white folks. Instead, they seem to tolerate white abuse and seem to displace their repressed rage at whites towards fellow blacks. If their brothers, sisters and wives do anything to them that they consider disrespectful, what is left of their pride and vanity is pricked and they strive to rehabilitate their injured vanity by killing them.

These people seem to have no respect for each other’s life. Apparently, their experience of slavery and discrimination so devalued their lives that they do not place much value on black person’s lives.

Not valuing other blacks, not seeing them as important enough to be respected, they find it easy to kill other blacks.

Moreover, the white controlled environment made white life seem very important and blacks accept that feedback and seldom harm whites. At any rate, given the racist nature of American jurisprudence, if a black man committed a crime against a white person, he is most likely to be quickly apprehended and put away in prison than if his victim is another black person.

White judges seem to relish putting black Americans into jail; apparently, they define their role as protecting white society. In America, a minor crime would get a black person prison term and a slap on the wrist for a white person.

Institutional racism is a reality in American jurisprudence; we do not need to deny reality.

(As an Igbo, I am extremely realistic and accept things as they are without illusions that they could be ideal. I expect discrimination from whites, receive what I expect, and am not bothered by it, for, I assume that whites do not owe me anything in life. As I see it, by and by, we, Africans will come to our own and do unto whites as they have done to us. There seem a principle of cause and effect operative in the world; as we sow we reap; by discriminating against other people, whites have sown hatred for them and will so reap. For now, we, Africans, have to take it on the chin, and still keep our heads up and work hard. We must file away all grievances we may have, since you do not have the technological means to retaliate in kind for the injustices we currently experience in the world. We must work towards a future where Africa would have science and technology, nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction and thereafter we must insist that we be respected. No body respects weak persons and since extant Africans are too weak, no one respects them. So be it. Such is life, cest la vie. I do not cry over reality, I accept it as it is, stoically. But make no mistake about it, every insult Africans have experienced is filed away in our memory banks and in time some one must pay a heavy price for our degradation. Mark that point in your memory bank. Africans are not a forgiving people. All though many Africans are learning the Christian theology that folks forgive those who abused them, however, forgiveness does mean condoning of abuse. Abuse must stop, period; if the imported Jewish God tolerates abuse, he must be given back to masochistic. Our African God, Chukwu, Olorun, Obasi, will do, thank you).


In the past, social scientists tried to describe what they called the Negro personality. See W.E.B. Dubois, Souls of Negro Folk; Kardinar and Oversay, the Mark of Oppression; Karon, Negro Personality; Franz Fanon, Black Skin-White Mask; Thomas Pettigrew, A Profile of the Black American; Franklin Frazier, The Negro Middle Class; Kenneth Clark’s studies on Negro children choosing white dolls over black ones; Gunnar Myrdal, An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy, Omanini, Prospero and Caliban, The Psychology of the Colonized persons; Albert Memmi, The Colonizer and the Colonized.

These largely psychoanalytically oriented observers essentially concluded that the Negro is infantile in personality structure and that he is terrified of harm from his white oppressor and does whatever he does to obtain approval and attention from his white master.

Apparently, the person who is oppressed internalizes his oppression and comes to see his oppressor as superior to him, fears him and tries to emulate him, albeit in a childish manner.

In the Negro Middle Class, Franklin Frazier describes that annoying behavior still seen in many so-called Negro Middle Class (such as the petty clerks who work at the post office, licensed nurse’s aids, teacher’s aids etc). These marginal middle class Negroes seem to devote their entire lives to efforts to seem like they are very important persons. A Negro who is merely a clerk at a post office would buy a Cadillac and other expensive cars and dress in expensive attire, doing every thing in his power to impress other Negroes into thinking that he is a very important person.

A person who in the larger white controlled world is a no-body, in the ghetto, pretends to be a very important person. In the meantime, he does not do what real middle class white folks…medical doctors, lawyers, engineers, college professors etc…. do, work hard and compete for promotion on the basis of merit and train their children.

You seldom see Negroes sacrificing for their children, saving most of their monies to train their children in colleges; no, they would rather drive a Mercedes Benz, or whatever car they associate with high status symbol than pay the school fees of their children. In fact, if elementary and secondary school education were not free in North America, Negroes probably would not even have that marginal education.

These people often seem pathetic in their infantile efforts to seem important. They ape appearances of importance when clearly they are not important. It is not ones appearance that makes one important, it is what one does that is useful to other people that make one important in their eyes.

Are you the best medical doctor, or lawyer, or engineer or professor in town? If you have demonstrable work that makes you stand out from the crowd, you are important, if not, you are not.
(Do what those of us who have failed in the world’s rat race do: accept our failure; we do not attempt to seem what we are not, somebody important. What is important, high social position or peace of mind and happiness? Some of us accept our real self and leave it at that. What is the real self? Is it body or spirit? That is a topic for another essay).


I believe that though the African American has been theoretically emancipated from slavery that he is still a slave, psychologically. He is not psychologically independent, yet. He lacks internal locus of authority. He sees himself as a victim whom whites control.

He may talk volubly about victim-hood and seem to give the impression that he resents it, but, in fact, he seems to relish his sense of victim-hood. He likes the complaining rights being a victim gives him.

In fact, the African American seems to like whites to tell him what to do. Though he complains when his white masters call him boy, he is still a boy, psychologically and seems to like to take marching orders from those he perceives as adults, white men.


My belief is that to be healthy a person must work for what Alfred Adler called social interest, that is, for the common good of the human community. Those who are pro-social in their behaviors tend to be healthy persons.

On the contrary, as I look at African Americans, in the main, they seem self-centered in the extreme. Those of them that seem to have attained so-called middle class status, generally run from their fellow brothers and sisters and disappear into the white world, where they are nonentity and are invisible men.

These people do not reach out to help their fellow black persons. Black children grow up in inner city ghettoes without black adults caring for them. Black men get black women pregnant and disappear. They do not seem to have a sense of responsibility for raising their children. (Of course, I am exaggerating the situation; I am employing the literary device of hyperbole to make a point that needs to be made).

Over seventy percent of black children are raised by single teenage, and virtually illiterate black mothers. These children feel abandoned by the male folk. They grow up feeling angry with the men who did not care for them. They resort to taking drugs in an effort to salve their pain. They engage in petty crimes to obtain money for their drug habits and, of course, are picked up by white police officers and put through the kangaroo criminal court system that seems to exist with one thing in mind: jail young black males.

It is reported that one out of every four young male African Americans between ages 14-24 is either in jail or is being supervised by parole and probation officers. Society spends over $35, 000 a year to keep these folks in jail and spends less than $6,000 a year to train each child at school.

I believe that the intolerable state of black children in North America is largely produced by the self-centeredness of adult African Americans. In my encounter with these people, I often wonder whether they are animals. To me, a human being is a person who struggles to transcend his own self-interests, which is admittedly difficult to accomplish, and helps other people. But here are African Americans and their fancy cars and fancy Super fly clothing not bothering to care for their own children who are starving and craving for adult attention.

I must confess that I tend to not have positive regard for those who abandon their children. If truth must be told, I see them as the dreg of humanity. How can a human being abandon his children? If my poor mother and father could send all their children to university level by working two jobs, I see no reason why African American adults should not help their own people. I resent their tendency to ignore their people’s suffering and not intervene to help.

Consider Michael Jackson, the absurd one who turned his beautiful black skin into hideous looking pseudo white skin. The man has probably cut every bone on his face in his misguided effort to transform his face into Caucasian futures. This is clearly self-hatred at work. The man obviously hates and rejects his black self and thinks, erroneously, that white skin is better than black skin.

One assumes that there are some black psychologists and psychiatrists? How come they did not counsel this confused young man on the need to accept his real self, which includes his skin color?
Generally, a person is living dead and unproductive if he rejects his true self. See, when Michael Jackson lived comfortably in his skin color, he made beautiful music, but now that he is a pseudo white man, his creativity has gone to pot.

From where I stand, African American mental health professionals ought to have intervened and helped the confused soul called Michael Jackson. I think that these self centered folks should quit their annoying tendency of not caring for one another. There self-centered and social disinterested behavior reduces them to animal status.
As I see it, a human being should live to serve other human beings and not just exist for the sake of his own self.

Without other people, there is no such thing as the individual self; over emphasizing the separated self is a waste of time. For example, one cannot talk, for speech presupposes the existence of other people. We are social creatures and are fully alive when we are socially engaged, helping one another.


And here is the saddest part of it all. African American men and women are increasingly embracing the absurd life style of homosexuality. This phenomenon is seldom talked about but when you get to know these people well, you will be surprised at the large number of them that are gay and lesbian.

Actually, it is understandable why African Americans are turning to this absurd life style. The homosexual person is a person who society has thoroughly emasculated. All power has been taken from him. Civilization makes him feel like he or she is powerless. His government has so oppressed and reduced him to powerlessness that he feels lower than animals in worth. Now, he is below animals and does what no self-respecting animal would do, place his penis into other men’s anuses and mouths and call such nonsense sexual activity.

As Alfred Adler pointed out, these people feel so powerless that they can only derive vicarious power by engaging in absurd acts. Defying the obvious natural sexual processes apparently makes these pathetic folks seem powerful, when, in fact, they are as powerless as powerless can be.

Consider the American lesbian feminist woman who raves and rants about power. This woman is so powerless that she cannot even get her oppressive government to give to her what governments in Western Europe have given women: paid for childcare centers and medical insurance. The raging campus dictator called lesbian feminist who gets cowardly liberal professors to teach that her insane behavior is a legitimate alternative life style lacks real power to get her abusive government to do the right thing: give all children day care centers and health insurance.

No, the American is controlled by his oppressive government, so much so, that the only way he seems to derive some sort of existential efficacy is to do the absurd, such as engage in the bestial behavior called homosexually. (Very soon they will be having sex with animals, why not? Who should tell them not to do anything? Tell them to not do something and they defy you, for the sake of being defiant. One expects these folks to soon embrace bestiality and pedophilia. When society begins to go down, it does so rapidly. Rome embraced homosexuality and declined and America is doing the same).

African-Americans, the most emasculated and powerless group of Americans, are sadly embracing the absurdity of homosexuality. And since whites could care less whether they lived or died and since every homosexual act places the individual at risk of contracting diseases born by virus, bacteria, fungus etc these African American homosexuals will probably die out. Who cares if niggers die, and homosexual niggers at that?


I know many Africans who would not permit their children to play or befriend African American children. Apparently, they believe that their children would incorporate what seems to them the unacceptable culture of the African American. In fact, when I was in college and associated with African American students, other Igbos used to pull me aside and tell me to avoid those people, Ndi Akata, they called them. They saw them as hot headed and imprudent persons who are more likely to resort to violence at any time and might use a gun to settle a minor dispute rather than reason it out. An elderly Igbo man once told me:

If those African American friends of yours ever have a dispute with you, you are dead meat; they would shoot you. They do not believe that black life has worth and upon killing you would not feel guilty or remorseful. If you value your life, avoid them.

It should also be noted that Africans tend to consider African Americans as not particularly intelligent. I do not know where they got this information from, from white stereotype that blacks are not intelligent?

If African Americans are not intelligent and since they are Africans, Africans, too, are not intelligent?

I do not believe that there is any truth to the belief that African Americans are not intelligent. The so-called fifteen points’ difference between average African Americans and white-Americans score on IQ tests (85:100:115….blacks, whites and Asian average scores) can be fully accounted for by cultural differences. There are African Americans who score at the superior range (IQ over 132). Logically speaking, if one black person scores very high on these tests, you cannot make a categorical statement to the effect that all African Americans are unintelligent.

Intelligence is a product of biology and social experience. The experience of being black in America, being an ex-slave and a second-class person can fully explain whatever differences exist in-group scores on intelligence tests.


African Americans were slaves. This means that they permitted other people to oppress them and use their labor for free, rather than fight and, if necessary, die fighting than tolerate others abuse. To tolerate others abuse, they must have been afraid of harm and death.

African Americans, of course, were not the first human beings to tolerate others abuse. Slavery existed in Africa and, indeed, still exists in Sudan and Mauritania where Arabs enslave Africans. In Alaigbo some dialas enslaved other Igbos, called Osus. The Osus still live as second class persons in Alaigbo.

Whites did enslave other whites. Indeed, until recently most whites were serfs. In Western Europe, the aristocratic element, who were equivalent to today’s criminal gangs, prevailed on the masses to kowtow to their criminal will. It was only in 1862 that the criminal elements that ruled Russia, the so-called nobility, freed the Russian masses from serfdom.

The point is that all human groups had history of slavery and, as such, contain folks who so feared death that they permitted the sadistic psychopath called slave masters to oppress and abuse them.

Nevertheless, I believe that African-Americans developed fearful personality structures from their recent history of slavery and second class social status in America. They seem like cowards who are fearful of harm and death and will obey white men rather than fight for their freedom.

I believe that it will take a couple more generations, say two hundred years, before African Americans are fully emancipated from their slave psychology and begin to live like free men.

I do not think that we can readily change the personality of the African American. I certainly do not expect him to immediately change the character traits that I delineated above. What I hope is for him to become aware of how other people see him and, if that perception makes sense to him, for him to start working on changing himself.

It is not for me or other people to change African Americans. Only a people, in fact, only the individual, can change themselves. I do not have the delusion that I can change any other human being, both at the individual and group level. As it is, I have a difficult time changing my own negative traits. It is enough for me to struggle to improve me. My sole task, as I see it, is to improve me and in so far that all human beings help each other to become improved, to tell African Americans how I see them and in so doing, perhaps, motivate them to change themselves.


As I pointed out in another essay, African Americans seem to have developed a masochistic personality structure that allows sadistic white persons to oppress and abuse them. They formed a sadomasochistic relationship with whites, whereby whites act as sadists, abuser, and African Americans act as the masochists, the abused. Both parties in this pathological relationship tolerate their unnatural situation. (See Eric Fromm, Escape from Freedom for elaboration of sadomasochistic, symbiotic relationships).

I believe that both whites and blacks in North America need to emancipate themselves from their pathological relationship.

A healthy human being does his best to help other human beings, not abuse them. It is obvious that abusive white Americans are psychologically sick creatures and if they have not learned this fact by now, the rest of the world will soon teach them that lesson. As they go to the rest of the world and try to relate to them as they relate to their Negroes, abusively, they will learn that to others they are no more than sick persons whose warped and stunted approaches to people would not be tolerated. Americans are about to be disabused of their neurotic sense of superiority by the rest of the world; they are about to learn the truth of all human beings equality and sameness.

I am not here to advise white Americans. I am here to focus on black Americans. I have done so and if African Americans see any credence in my obviously negative perception of them, they could work to change it. If they do not want to change, that is their choice. My existential function is to tell folks how I see them, and for them to tell me how they see me, even if all our perceptions are biased.


In this essay, I chose not to wear the blinders of a particular profession, from whose parameters I see the African American. I did so for a purpose. I just wanted to describe the typical African American that is before me. I did not want to do a study of him or try to understand why he is the way he is.

The African American is probably the most studied human being on earth. White scholars have studied him to death. The conservative ones like Arthur Jensen see his faults as either in his genes or weaknesses of character; the liberal ones have offered every possible excuse for him that the human mind can come up with. Why is he not doing the right thing? Why does he abandon his children, why is he unable to do well at America’s schools’ and job places? Tons of liberal environmental explanations have been offered. These studies, by and large, see him as a victim of his external environment, as determined by the racist milieu he lives in. In effect, they make excuses for him. It is not his fault that he is the thing he has become, it is other folks faults, so, do not blame him, blame white Americans.

(In the real world, only a child is made excuses for; adults are blamed for their poor behaviors; thus, liberal scholars actually treat African Americans like children by making excuses for them. In my part of the world, we say: do not make understanding excuses for the individual, just provide him with equal opportunity to work his butt off and take the consequences of his performance, no rationalizations for his failure, please. White liberals have killed African Americans with their pseudo understanding of why they do what they do).

In the 1960s, a northern liberal, Daniel Moynihan, provided one of the first in dept study of the African American family. He alerted folks to the fact that over 25% of black children are raised by single parents, specifically female headed families. Psychoanalysts alerted us to the danger of raising boy children without the presence of men to exercise authority over them, the danger of their not internalizing law and order and behaving lawlessly and winding up in jails. Boy children are naturally aggressive and wild and it takes a lot to tame them, to make them obey the laws of society. Sigmund Freud and his disciples tell us that we are born with the instinct of Id and need the Superego (introjected and interiorized social norms) to tame it and a strong ego to balance our nature and society’s needs for law and order.

Today, over 70% of African American children are raised in single parents home, not the 25% that alarmed Daniel Moynihan. Today, America’s jails and prisons are practically the second home of African American young men. That is, despite all those social science studies, or, as I call them, rationalizations for the shiftlessness of African Americans, the problem has worsened.

I am not motivated to make excuses for any one. Of course, I do try to understand why people do what they do. I am a social scientist and if I choose to I can don the academic hat and provide us with a study of why African Americans are who they are.

In the light of social science, if I see African Americans not helping one another, I would approach the problem from a historical and sociological perspective: they were slaves and a salve’s humanity was systematically destroyed by the slave master; they were transformed into things and made not to care for other people; they were socialized to not care for their children and fellow slaves; they were made not to care for the future but to live for present, for immediate gratification..

In this essay, I am not interested in providing external environmental excuses for African Americans seeming shiftlessness. I just wanted to describe them, as I see them. As to why they are the way they are, I leave it to you to use your methodological approach to phenomena to explain it to your heart’s content.

I have honestly described the African American I see with my two eyes. I do not like the character of the African American that I see. I would like these people to change and become “better” persons. (I do not want to engage in a philosophical discourse as to what are better persons).

I really do not want to hear why African Americans are not doing well at ridiculously easy American schools; all I want to hear is that they are doing well. I want them to do as well as Asian students, to come to classes and make excellent grades. I want them to become diligent workers and responsible parents who stand by their children and do whatever it takes to provide for them. I want them to stop stealing so much so as to stop winding up in jail.

Of course, I understand the inherent institutional racism in America. I understand that many white racist judges seem to gratify their sadistic nature by looking for every opportunity to put blacks behind bars. Be that as it may, in this essay I am not interested in the behavior of white America.

I do read history and appreciate that whatever goes up must come down. America is an empire. We have had empires before. Just as soldiers come and go, empires come and go. The American empire is, in fact, rapidly burning itself out. China is already knocking on the door. Soon, a resurrected Europe would start making noises, asking to share power with America.

Within two hundred years, Africans would have gotten their structural issues settled and undertaken industrial revolution and begin to ask to be taken seriously. Africans will acquire nuclear weapons and there is nothing any one can do to prevent that from happening. The genii are out of the bottle.

America, for a while, out to protect its self interest and prevent its enemies from using such weapons on her, may retard the spread of weapons of mass destruction, but history shows that once a weapon is developed it is only a matter of time before most people have it.

Physics increasingly understands phenomena and soon what we consider today’s advanced physics would become child’s play. So, in time, all people will have advanced science and technology and will challenge their present oppressor, Americans. That is guaranteed. Therefore, I do not loose sleep thinking about white Americans’ current hegemonic control of the world. The sole superpower has her rendezvous with destiny and when she has performed her historical tasks would wither away and be replaced by other equally temporary powers.

I am not motivated to offer excuses for why African Americans are who they are; I am interested in providing a gut level picture of how they come across to me. In this essay, not study, I described how I see them. I relate to them as I see them.

Generally, I do not take African Americans seriously; I tend to assume that they are irresponsible folks who cannot be counted on to stand up for commitment to issues outside their immediate self interests. I tend to see them as folks who when the going gets tough run and make excuses for their cowardice.

If I need things done and done well, I tend not to go to African Americans, I go to white folks. White folks understand the need for working hard, and for volunteering and doing something because it is worth doing.

I expect African Americans to be lazy and uncommitted workers and to exploit folks if they could get away with doing so. Simply stated, I do not have a positive perception of these people.

Of course, I would like African Americans to be different. What I would like and what is, however, are two different things.

January 31, 2006.

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January 31, 2006

Ozodi Osuji Weekly Lectures on African Countries #5 of 54: Burkina Faso

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- 5. BURKINA FASO

Formal Name: Republic of Burkina Faso.

Term for Citizens: Burkinabes.

Capital: Ouagadougou. Population: 862,000.

Independence Achieved: August 5, 1960, from France.

Major Cities: Ouagadougou, Bobo Dioulasso.


Burkina Faso is in West Africa. It is bordered by Ivory Coast, Ghana, Mali, and Togo. The area of the country is 105, 869 square miles. The country is a plateau, drained mostly in the south by the River Volta. The country has two seasons, wet and dry, with the dry being more pronounced.


The population is estimated to be 13,002,000.

Ethnic Groups: There are many ethnic groups: Senufo, Habe, Lobi, and Mande in the western part of the country; Mossi and Gourounsi, Nininsi peoples in the center. The Fulani, Taureg, and Songhai in the northeast. Hausa, Yarse, and Dioula traders are found everywhere. Zerma slave raiders that devastated whole villages before the French came live in the country.

Languages: each of these ethnic groups speaks its own language; Mossi and Dogon are the major ethnic groups and languages. French is the official language.

Religion: Most people in the country identify themselves as Muslims, with a pocket of Christians.

Education: There is free primary education. Literacy rate is estimated at 26.6%.

Economy: The economy is largely subsistence based on agriculture and livestock herding. The soil is mostly sterile laterite, and drought is a constant fact of life. Corn, cassava, sweet potatoes, millet, sorghum, peas, beans, fonio, rice, and yams are basic foodstuff. Cotton, groundnuts, and sesame seeds are exported. GDP estimate: $13.6 billion; Per Capita GDP: $360. Monetary Unit: CFA Franc BCEAO (XOF).

History and Government:

What used to be called Upper Volta was a French West African colony. Upon independence from France, the country inherited French type presidential government. However, a series of military governments soon ensued. A strong military man, President Blaise Campaore, currently rules the country. He governs through a prime minister who is in charge of the day-to-day affairs of the government. The country is divided into 13 regions and 45 provinces.


Burkina Faso, formally known as Upper Volta, is one of those African countries with virtual one man rule and sham façade of democracy.

Upper Volta was part of the 16th century Songhai Empire. In 1886, the French conquered the Mossi Kingdom of Ouagadougou and made it a French Protectorate. Two years later, 1898, the surrounding regions were added to the Protectorate. In 1904, this enlarged region was integrated into French West Africa. French West Africa included what are now Mali, Senegal, and Niger, Chad, Dahomey, etc. In 1919, Upper Volta was separated from French West Africa and made a separate colony, a colony that nevertheless included Ivory Coast, Mali and Niger. In 1932, Upper Volta became a separate colony, essentially what it is today.

The country obtained its independence from France on August 5, 1960. Subsequently, there were a series of military coups, the first in 1966. The military returned power to civilians in 1978, but in 1980 there was another military coup. In 1983, there was a counter coup by Captain Thomas Sankara. Sankara changed the name of the country to Burkina Faso in 1984, meaning “the land of honest men”.

In 1987, Sankara’s assistant, Blaise Compaore, masterminded a palace coup and killed him and took over power. Mr. Campaore and his family are still in power in 2006.

In June 1991, Mr. Campaore wrote a constitution that established a semblance of democracy. He established two houses of legislature (National Assemble and House of Representatives). The President was to be elected for a 7 year term, as in France. Of course, Mr. Campaore managed to be elected unopposed. In 2000, Campaore changed the constitution and reduced the term of the presidency to five years. In 2005, he managed to be reelected in a landslide.

Mr. Campaore is an executive president. He selects the prime minister who, in theory, selects the ministers that work with him. The president can sack the Cabinet at any time he wishes. Indeed, he can dissolve the National Assembly. Essentially, Burkina Faso is a one man ruled country with external appearances of democratic institutions in place.

The country is divided into 13 regions and 45 provinces. The leaders of these units of governance are kept in leash by the president.

There seems some sort of freedom of speech in the country, as exhibited by the presence of private media outlets. However, it is reported that journalists who speak out against the president often go missing and, therefore, that the media self censors to be alive.

Burkina Faso is one of the poorest African countries. It relies mostly on agricultural produce for its revenue (Sorghum, millet, corn, groundnuts and cotton). The income per capita of the country is estimated at around $360, or about a dollar a day.

There are very few opportunities to be employed in the country; thus, many Burkinabes emigrate to other countries in search of employment. It is reported that over three million Burkinabes are in the Ivory Coast, alone. This massive presence of Burkinabes in the Ivory Coast, apparently, is creating tension between the two countries. It is reported that the current military rebellion going on in Northern Ivory Coast is supported by persons from Burkina Faso.

Ghana was at one time inundated by Burkinabes until it asked them to leave the country in 1967.

On paper, education is free in Burkina Faso and children are supposed to be in school until age 16. But only about 29% of elementary school age children actually go to school. There is one university, the University of Ouagadougou and one technical University, the Polytechnic University of Bobo-Dioulasso. Literacy rate is 27%. Burkina Faso is the most illiterate country in all of Africa.

Burkina Faso seems to have a beak future both economically and politically. Mr. Blaise Campaore, so far, has managed to keep the Mossi, the Dogon and other ethnic groups in a precarious peace, but given the personal rule of his government, no one can quiet predict what could happen in the future.

Democratic institutions have not taken hold in Burkina Faso; there is no political culture of successful transfer of power to other leaders. As long as the current strong man keeps opposition in check peace reigns, but if another strong man comes to the scene, who knows what could happen in Burkina Faso tomorrow?

January 30, 2006

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January 29, 2006

Ozodi Osuji Weekly Series on Psychology 2006, #6 of 52: The Benefits of Forgiveness

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji (Seatle, Washington) --- There is no doubt whatsoever that the teachings of Jesus Christ can be summarized as forgiveness for the wrongs done to one. Everything that the man taught had to do with forgiveness. His gospel is the gospel of forgiveness.

This is in contradistinction to the Old Testament teaching, which can be characterized as the Gospel of Punishment. Moses, the Old Testament, taught an eye for an eye, punishment for the wrongs done to one.

Jesus Christ taught forgiveness for all wrongs done to one. Thus, the Old and New Testaments are diametrically different from each other; the two cannot, therefore, mix. They should not even be contained in the same book, Bible, except in so far that the Old Testament gave some sort of historical perspective to the teachings of the New Testament; that is, the Old Testament describes the world and its laws that the New Testament came to replace, supercedes.

Let us briefly recapitulate what Jesus Christ taught his followers. He said that all the teachings of past teachers of God, prophets, could be summarized as: “Do unto others as one wants them to do to one”. How does one want others to do to one? One wants other people to love one. Therefore, one must do unto others how one wants them to do to one: love them. Jesus taught love for all people.

Loving other people, he said, includes forgiving them the wrongs they do to one. Whereas the world does not forgive those who wrong it, those who follow his teaching, Jesus said, are different from the rest of the world because they forgive those who wronged them.

In the only prayer Jesus taught his disciples, the “Our Lord’s Prayer”, he taught them to pray thus: “Our father, who is in heaven, forgive us our sins because we have first forgiven those who sinned against us”. That is to say that, as it were, we have a covenant, a contract with our father in heaven, God, to forgive us our sins only when we forgive each other our sins against each other.

In the story of a man going to worship God and remembered that his neighbor wronged him, Jesus said that the man must first go home and forgive his neighbor before he prays to, worships, God.

How many times should we forgive our neighbors wrongs, someone asked him? He said: seventy seven times seventy seven times; that is, infinitely.

Elsewhere, Jesus said that God does hear all our prayers to him. Indeed, that he has already answered all our prayers and granted all our requests before we ask for them, for he knows what our needs are before we ask for them. However, to receive the answers to our requests, prayers, that God has already given us, we must forgive one another.

He made it crystal clear that it is on forgiveness that hinges receiving the gifts of God: peace, happiness and abundance.
And to test him, to see if he really teaches a different gospel from the one taught by Moses, the Old Testament, hence violates the Mosaic Law that prevailed in the land, they brought a woman who had committed adultery and was caught red handed in the act.

Jesus was going about teaching forgiveness for sins, so here is a test case to see whether he would forgive the sinner, thereby publicly violating the laws of Moses. If he did, he would have become a lawbreaker, hence is arrested, tried and punished according to the laws of Moses.

Jesus knew why they brought the test case to him. The case was chosen to give him a public opportunity to declare his teaching, to point out the distinctions between his from Moses teaching. (Please do not see Jesus as a victim. He knew that he chose everything that happened to him. He knew that our lives on earth are like a script that he and all of us collectively wrote. Each of us is merely enacting out what is in our collective script, the play, the drama of the world. As such none of us is a victim. Jesus knew exactly what was going to happen before it happened. He knew that the Jews would test him, would bring the adulterous woman to test him. He knew what his response would be. He knew that it was necessary for him to use that episode to clarify his teachings.

Because he knew that he was going through a script all of us wrote he had no fear or anger at the consequences of the action he took. He knew that his teachings that superseded the Mosaic teaching would be rejected by the people and as a result that they would reject and kill him. He also knew that he would resurrect from death. That was part of his script, our collective script. The rest of us chose to forget that we collectively wrote the script. We forget it and then see ourselves as victims unto whom bad things are happening. We then feel fear and anger. It is part of our own script to choose and forget our role in so choosing so as to justify seeing the external environment as harming us to justify anger and fear, hatred of God and each other etc.)

For a while, he seemed to ignore the wily foxes of this world, but eventually outfoxed them. He said: let him who has not sinned cast the first stone at the sinful woman.

Since we are all sinners, we have no right to judge other people as sinners and should not punish sinners.

Thus the accusers left and did not punish the woman.
Jesus said to the woman: where are they that accused you of sin? She said that they are gone. He said that he, Jesus, did not accuse her of sin, either, but that she should go and sin no more. Sin is not to be encouraged but to be eliminated, yet that is no reason to judge and punish sinners.

Jesus walked his talk. He was arrested and his irascible apostle, Peter, tried to defend him by drawing his sward and attacking one of those who came to arrest him; that is, Peter tried to defend Jesus.

Jesus said to Peter: put away your swords for those who live by the sword, war, die by his sword, and die in war.
He said that if he had wanted to defend himself that he could have marshaled legions to defend him but that he came to show the world a different mode for dealing with conflict/attack:

defenselessness, which is forgiveness. He said that defenselessness/ forgiveness gives peace and joy, whereas defensiveness and attack results in conflict and war.

Finally, they subjected Jesus to a kangaroo court, accused him of doing what he did not do; he brought peace but they accused him of bringing war against the Roman overlords, tried him and found him guilty.

While being tried, Jesus did not defend himself. They sentenced him to death. Before he died on the Cross-he asked God to forgive those who were murdering, him for they do not know what they are doing.

There is no two ways of looking at it. Jesus taught the gospel of forgiveness. He told those slapped on one cheek to turn the other cheek to be slapped, rather than defend them selves; those whose clothes were stolen to give the rest of their properties to the thief, rather than fight and punish him.

Simply stated, Jesus taught forgiveness as the true meaning of love. To him, forgiveness gives peace and joy and is the only path to salvation.

You either accept what Jesus taught: forgiveness and love, or you do not; but you cannot make any mistake as to what he taught you.

That does not mean that what the man taught makes sense. Clearly, it does not make sense to our rational egos. Our rational egos tell us that if we permit those who attack us to do so, that they could harm and even kill us. The ego tells us that if we want to survive in the physical plane that we must not forgive our attackers, that we must defend ourselves and, if necessary, kill our attackers before they kill us.

The gospel of self-defense and punishment, the gospel of Moses, makes for adaptation to the exigencies of this world. If we did not defend ourselves, we could be killed, hence the gospel of forgiveness taught by Jesus, our earthly ego based reason tells us is the gospel of death, and escape from this world.

Nietzsche said it all: Jesus, the rational philosopher tells us, teaches a gospel of death, for if you do not defend yourself, if you forgive those bent on attacking and killing you, you will be killed and die. To Nietzsche, Jesus’ teaching is nihilistic, that is, it negates this world, negates the individual’s life, the ego, and is an escape from the realities of this world. Christianity, Nietzsche says, is a gospel of weak women cringing for life and he wants us to throw it away and embrace the gospel of power, attack and defense, the gospel of the pure human being, the ego, Zarathustra, the human animal, the blond beast. (Thus Spoke Zarathustra.)

In light of the empirical fact that forgiveness may lead to death and exit from this world, why should a rational person take Jesus and his gospel of forgiveness seriously? This really is the only question one must ask. The question is not what Jesus taught, for he taught love and forgiveness, but whether we should accept it, and why should we do so?

If we follow the logic of this world, which is to do whatever we could to survive as physical beings, we cannot accept the doctrine of forgiveness, we cannot accept Jesus’ teaching, and we cannot be Christians. For us to accept the teaching of forgiveness, defenselessness and love we must have a different frame of reference, one that transcends the frame of reference of this world.

The premise on which the concept of forgiveness is predicated is that the external world we see is not real is like a dream and that what is done in it is like activities in a dream.

What is done in a dream has not happened. The person you see attack, harm, even destroy your body did what he or she did to you in a dream; he did so in your and his mutual dream. In reality, what he did, and what you did, has not happened except as in a dream. (This is solipsism, idealism, as in George Berkeley’s Dialogues and Arthur Schopenhauer’s World as Will and Idea.)

In a dream, it is the dreamers that are responsible for projecting out their dream world. One projected out the person who hurt one.

The world is a mutual dream, therefore, the person who hurt one projected out the person he hurt in his own dream.

In effect, you, the dreamer, made the person who hurt you to do so; he made himself to do what he did, to hurt you. Both of you agreed to do to what you did to each other and for each other.

In reality, both of you did not, in fact, do anything hurtful to one another, for what is done in a dream has not been done in fact.

Therefore, you must forgive what you see other people do to you on earth, in the dream, and must forgive yourself what you did to you and to other people. (Whether other people, those you forgive, forgive you or not is for them to decide and is not your concern, what should concern you is whether you forgive other people.)

Forgiveness is for all things done on this earth, including what ordinarily we call heinous crimes, such as murder, discrimination, rape, slavery etc. Do you need example? What did Jesus do? He forgave those who murdered him, implying that if you accept his gospel that you, too, must forgive those who murder you.

It is only a dream. The person who seems to have killed you in the dream has not, in fact, killed you; the person you seem to have killed in a dream has not been killed. Neither of you did anything other than dream that killing each other is possible. This world is a dream where we dream that it is possible to hurt each other, and eventually kill each other.

Life extended its permanent self to us; God created us eternal; but we dream the opposite of how God created us, joyous and eternal, and dream that harm and death is possible.

Despite our dreams, we remain as God created us, formless spirit, unified with God and with one another, eternal and immortal and nothing can harm us. We are eternally safe in God. We are protected in God while dreaming that we can be hurt on earth.

In practical terms, this means that a sociopath who hurts other people should not feel guilty or remorseful. A sociopath does not feel remorseful, anyway. That is to say that the sociopath is actually more realistic, for he knows that he, in fact, did nothing to the persons he seems to have hurt. The seeming amoral criminal does not feel guilty for he knows that no matter what he does to other people that he did not do wrong. (And by the same token, if you shoot and kill criminals, you should not feel guilty, for you did not do anything wrong. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.)

To feel guilty and remorseful is to assume that what one does on earth is real and is not done in dream. But if what is done on earth is like actions in a dream, one should never feel guilty for anything one did wrong to other people. By the same token, other people should not feel guilty for anything wrong that you believe that they did to one.
You should not forgive any one for what he did to you or ask people to forgive you for what you think that you did wrong to them. Neither you nor they have done any wrong to each other (or good either, for what is done in a dream is neither good nor bad).

Do not ask other people to forgive you, for what you did to them; you did nothing to them. Do not ask those you murder to forgive you, for you did not murder any one. By the same token, do not expect other people to ask you for forgiveness even if they killed you, for they did nothing of that sort, they did not kill you, for in real life no one can kill you, you are always free and eternal; you are always as God created you.


It is because you believe that you did wrong by hurting other people, and other people believe that they did wrong by hurting you, that forgiveness seems required.

In as much as you believe in wrong doing, then forgive it, that is, overlook it, and come to accept that no wrong and no good was done to you or by you to other people, for it was all a dream wrong and right, not real.

Overlook the dream, the world and what is done in it and you feel free, happy and peaceful.


If a person did something wrong to you, say, discriminated against you, you invited him to do so, and by the same token, he invited himself to do so, hence invited you to, if you choose, do something wrong to him. If you killed him, he invited it; he asked for it, he killed himself. (Ultimately, nothing was done.)

The oppressor wants to be oppressed. If you choose, you can go-ahead and oppress him in return, even kill him, for that is what he invited you to do.

If you killed the oppressor, you should not feel guilty from doing so, for you only did so in a dream and nothing was done. You just dreamed that you killed an oppressor; that is all there is to it.

By the same token, if the person you harmed decided to harm or even kill you, you invited him to do so by harming him and must accept what he does to you. Ultimately, he did nothing to you and you did nothing to him, both of you just had a not particularly pleasant dream in which you seem to harm, even kill each other.

(In reality both of you cannot be harmed and cannot die, so it was a mere dream of harm and death, not a factual one).


The philosophy propounded above would seem to make the world an amoral place. It would seem to suggest that folks should go ahead and do whatever they want to do, including stealing and killing people, and should not feel guilty or remorseful from their behaviors?

If that philosophy makes you feel self-righteous; may I ask you what type of world do you think that you already live in? We already live in an amoral world, don’t we? Is there morality in this world? Is there morality in a world where white Americans killed Indians and took their land and enslaved Africans? Is there morality in Nigeria where a band of thieves took over the government and do with the public treasury as they please, while the masses suffer?

Morality is make belief; morality is man made. Nature destroys people as it destroys rats and plants. Germs, virus, bacteria, fungi, diseases kill us as if we are nothing worthwhile. Earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, hurricanes, draughts etc destroy people as they destroy rats.

Human beings’ egos and bodies are completely worthless and valueless. They are dream selves and dream bodies and have no value whatsoever that pure reason can ascertain.


Some human beings like to take themselves too seriously. Taking ones self seriously is an egoistic behavior. Taking ones self seriously is actually an effort to convince ones self that ones ego and the body that houses it has worth and is important.

The ego, that is, the separated self-concept, and the body that houses it, do not have worth and value. Therefore, let go of the nonsense of personal worth and value; do not take yourself seriously.

If you stop taking your ego and body seriously you feel light, and life becomes light and mirthful. You smile and laugh a lot; you appreciate that people are nothingness trying to seem like they are something important.


No pride, vanity and narcissism mean total peace and happiness. To the extent that you retain your ego, pride and narcissism you disturb your peace.

Fear and anger are means of defending the separated self and feeling emotional upset. If you did not have an ego and did not defend it, you would not feel fear, anger, pride, shame, depression, paranoia and other emotional upsets; you would be perpetually calm, peaceful and happy.

As long as you identify with the ego, you must feel emotional upsets, and must be in this world. When you let go of the ego and no longer desire or defend it, you would no longer feel fear, anger, pride, shame, depression, and paranoia and other mental disorders.
The gift of peace and joy, bliss comes from not having a separated self, ego, self-concept, self-image, and no body to identify and defend.


Are there benefits, positive payoff from relinquishing the false separated self, and the ego? I think so. Peace and joy. The problem is that that gift requires one to exit this world.

Is this world so beautiful that one wants to stay in it?
Give up the ego now and exit the world now and return to the abode of undifferentiated self, which is the condition for peace and joy, bliss.

Or stay in this world, that is, retain a separated self, the ego, live in hell and mitigate it by mostly overlooking what is done in the world, forgiving your and other people’s mistakes. To the extent that you learn to love and forgive all people, you give yourself peace and give those you forgive some of your peace. Peace is not a shabby thing, wouldn’t you say?

I recommend that one stays in this world and live to however long ones body can last. I recommend forgiving most of the wrongs people do to one, loving people, realizing that total forgiveness entails permitting other people to harm one and even kill one while one does not defend ones self. If one chooses total forgiveness and defenselessness, as Jesus did, one could die, exit this world and return to undifferentiated oneness, spirit, eternal peace and happiness. I do not ask any one to hasten to bliss. I myself will defend myself if attacked, will attack and in fact kill the person who attacks me, for I still want to live in this world. I am not in a hurry to get out of this world. I want to be here and study the world scientifically and use technology to adapt to it.

Nevertheless, as a thinker, I am motivated to provide thinking on the implication of the gospel of forgiveness and love that brother Jesus taught to the world. That gospel leads to death and exit from this world and that is why it is mostly practiced in the breach, for very few want to leave this world yet. If you want to practice it, that is your choice. You know the consequences of your choice. It is true that you will experience peace and joy if you practice forgiveness but is that what you want? Do you want peace and joy badly enough to sacrifice your physical life for it? Just know what you are doing. I know what I am doing. I agree with Nietzsche that forgiveness is nihilistic but on the other hand, I also know that there is eternal life of peace after this world. I choose to be in this world and that requires defensiveness and me to be sometimes unforgiving.

Those who call themselves Christians talk about the gospel of love and forgiveness that their savior, Jesus Christ, brought to the world. Good. But very few of them practice that gospel. Thus, you conclude that they are hypocrites, those who say one thing and do another. In fact, you might even see them as dangerous since they urge naïve persons to forgive those who wronged them while they themselves do not forgive any one.

Christian Europe talked about love and forgiveness and killed Indians and enslaved Africans. How hypocritical can human beings be? In college, I told myself not to listen to these European criminals.

In this paper, I have taken the trouble to show you that Jesus Christ did, in fact, teach love and forgiveness and that those variables are necessary for peace and happiness. I have also taken the trouble to show you how unmitigated forgiveness and love would lead to exposing yourself to harm and death, to exiting from this world.

There is another world all right. I know that for a fact. God, unified spirit, is real. In fact, God is the only reality there is.

The choice is yours whether you want to return to your creator, God, by being totally loving and forgiving. But if you are not ready to return to your maker, please do not always forgive those who trespass against you, fight back. The decision is yours to make, I cannot make it for you, and no one else can make it for you.

The individual can only choose for himself, he cannot choose for other persons, though his choice affects all others. If he chooses defense (to attacks on him) he gives conflict to himself and to those around him; if he chooses defenselessness, forgiveness, he gives peace to himself and to those around him.

I have chosen peace and joy, which means love and forgiveness; but, then, again, I have chosen conflict and war, which is not to love and forgive at all times.

Please do not try to understand my and other people’s choices. You cannot understand them, even if you tried. Never mind my choice. I do not worry about your choices. Worry about your own choices. It is for you to save you, not other people. It is for other people to save themselves, not save you. Your primary function is to save you, not to save other people.

The secret of salvation is the realization that you, the individual, chose whatever happens to you/him while he is on earth. Jesus was saved because derecognized and accepted that he chose everything that happened to him while he was on earth. He chose to be killed, so that he would resurrect and teach himself and the rest of us that death is not real. He chose those who killed him and those who did any other thing to him for they had to do so for him to accomplish his mission. Because he knew that he chose everything that he experienced, he could not feel fear and anger at any one that did to him what he wanted to experience. He chose his accusers, he chose his murderers, he chose his disciples, (and the people he chose, chose him, for the world is a play we all coauthored).

Whereas Jesus knew that he chose everything that happened to him, hence not angry at the world that seemed to harm him, those who played roles in his drama did not know that they, too, chose to play roles in his play. They chose and forget that they so chose. Thus, they felt guilty for murdering him.(People today are still feeling guilty for killing the son of God, Jesus and all of us, for taking on a different identity, ego, and denying their true identity, Christ.)

Feeling guilty make people run from Christ and from his father, God, whose son they believe that they killed and that God is, therefore, out to punish them. This is a strategy to avoid God, to separate from God.

No human being could kill God’s son for he is immortal. We have done nothing; all we do is dream that we did anything.

We choose collectively; you and your parents choose each other; you and your immediate group, kindred, tribe, race etc, choose each other; and ultimately, you and the rest of the world choose each other.

There are no accidents in the world. You choose exactly whatever is happening to you at any moment, as those doing things to you choose to-do so in your and their drama of separation; both of you forget what you choose, so to justify anger and fear. You and they are not victims, although in your separated identity, ego, you believe that you are victims, for you see things happening to you and forget that you chose to have those things happen to you.

Because we choose to experience certain things and choose to forget that we chose them, we choose the Holy Spirit, the Wholly Spirit part of us, our higher selves, to remember for us what we choose to forget.

The Holy Spirit knows that we choose our script and enact it out and that, as such, we are not victims. He knows our past, present and future. He does not pity us for experiencing what we experience, for we want to do so. He merely wants us to remember that we choose what we experience and do so without fear and anger, do so with forgiveness and love. Jesus listened to the Holy Spirit and remembered that he chose his world’s experience hence went through this world without fear and anger at any one playing roles in his script. The Holy Spirit’s mission is to enable all of us do what Jesus did, remember that we chose our life and experiences on earth, hence go through our sojourn on earth peacefully and happily, have a happy dream while at it dreaming.

I chose to have everything that happens to me to happen to me. I chose to live in America so as to experience racism first hand. Initially, I forgot that I so chose and felt angry at whites. Then I realized that I chose to experience racism and chose the whites that discriminated against me. As such, my discriminators were merely playing a role I desired for them to play for me, a role they wanted to play for me. Thus, I stopped being angry at whites. I forgave them; I overlooked their role in my dance of victim hood, and death.

I know where the dance is leading. The goal is for me to play my chosen role of rearticulating the perennial wisdom of mankind in my own language, as I am doing here. I am not doing anything new. Other folks have articulated that wisdom in their own language; Buddha and Jesus did. But I must do it in my own voice, so that those who can learn it from the way I put it can learn it; those who chose to learn it from me can do so; those whose script calls for me to be the one who wrote it in a manner they want to learn it to learn it from me, from themselves, since they are part of me as I am part of them.

When a person knows that the world is a script that he helped write and enact his part in it without fear and anger he gets out of the play, he does not return to this world upon death. He is now a world teacher of God, teaching us all that we are not victims unto whom bad things are happening; he teaches us that we mutually choose what is happening to us. Such a person has overcome the dream of forgetfulness and is now fully awake.

If you are wake and not sleeping and dreaming, why return to the abode of forgetfulness and dreaming, our world? You are out of here. You do not come back to the world; you have broken the wheel of rebirth; you no longer reincarnate in the world, you are no longer dreaming.

But until you accept responsibility for your dreaming, for the script you enact out in this world, for whatever you experience in this world, as long as you see yourself as a victim unto whom what you do not wish happens to, you must keep coming back to this world until you accept responsibility for separation and the dance of the opposite of heaven, opposite of oneness.

I have accepted responsibility for my role in the fragmentation of God’s unified son; I have also accepted return to union, I am saved. Therefore, do not worry about me, worry about your own salvation.

The individual, you, cannot change the world’s script, play. But you can remember that it is only a play and play your part in it calmly. You chose to play your part and all of us, the entire world, chose that part for you, as you helped choose other people’s parts.
Each person must play his part in the show, for it is in each playing his part that the whole show is completed.

Future generations will come to play their part and it is on your playing your part that they will play their parts. Every part is necessary for the salvation of God’s unified son, just as we all played parts in his condemnation, in separation.

There is no meaning to the play we are involved in, for the world is a meaningless, purposeless show; yet each of us must do his part in.

The ultimate goal is for all of us to remember that the world is meaningless and stop trying to play a role in it. When the individual recognizes the silliness of the show, plays his part in it, he, as the world judges it, dies and is seen no more by those still in the show, those still in the world. He exits the play and henceforth lives in formless unified spirit.

From there, he helps those on earth who choose to consult him, to learn that the world’s drama is meaningless and purposeless and that the only meaning to it is to awaken from it, and become enlightened to the unified light we are, and be illuminated to our light which is life.

No one can change the show or stop it, but every one must return to the show over and over and play his part until he gets it right, until he understands that it is he who chose it and that no body chose it for him. When that recognition is made, one smiles at those children of God who still believe that the impossible, separation, is possible. He laughs at a silly world, as I am laughing, yet does his part in its salvation.


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Ozodi Osuji Weekly Series on Psychology 2006, #5 of 52: People Generally Receive what they Ask for

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji (Seatle, Washington) --- A man generally receives from life what his mind constantly asks for and he works for. However, the manner in which what is asked for is received may not be satisfying.

If a person is realistic and accepts the empirical self and the empirical universe, body and matter, and works within their parameters, that is, science and technology, he generally gets what he wants in the empirical world. If you ask for material wealth and work for it, that is, your behavior is objective and within the parameters of science, you tend to become materially wealthy.

The majority of mankind is objective and realistic and think thoughts that are congruent with empirical reality, work hard and receive what they ask for, material wealth.

There are a small percentage of people, perhaps no more than five percent of the population, who are dreamers and idealists. They hate and reject the real world, as it is, and yearn for an idealized version of it. They hate and reject their bodies, hate and reject other people’s bodies, hate and reject everything related to matter and social institutions and desire an idealized version of them. They hate governments and other social institutions and use their minds to figure out how they could be different and better and make people and the world become like them. They use their minds to construct ideal selves and ideal everything and find it difficult to operate in the world as it is.

These idealists do not want to accept the imperfect real world. Thus, they avoid the real world, avoid real world people, avoid real world work situations, avoid real world social institutions, and escape into the world of dreams. In their imaginary dreams, they visualize an ideal everything. They live in that perfect world of dreams.

Avoidance of the real self and real world is a means for inventing an imaginary ideal self and ideal world and living in that fantasy world, a neurotic world. The neurotic thinks that he could become the ideal perfect self and world he imagines and wants to become and feels angry when other people do not treat him as if he is that ideal, godlike fantasy person; he also feels angry at other people for not becoming the imagined ideal selves he made for them.

Neurotic fantasy self and world, imagination, is an attempt to make the self, other selves and the world, as perfect as the real self is in spirit; to make earth heaven like, to make an imperfect earth as perfect as heaven is. But the earthly self, the separated self, the ego housed in body cannot be made perfect, so it is futile trying to make the earthly self and world as perfect as the heavenly spirit self. The neurotic and or psychotic is trying very hard to make the separated self he invented to replace the unified self God created him as, the separated world he invented to replace the unified world God gave him, perfect.

The ego is trying to make its separated kingdom on earth as perfect as the unified kingdom of God. Its efforts are understandable, for we love what we made, they are our idols, and want to perfect them (ego selves, social institutions), except that we cannot succeed in doing so for if our succeeded our new world would permanently replace the world of God; separated self would replace unified self, an impossibility since only unified self can be permanent.

The earthly self and the earth must be forgotten, overlooked and ignored, that is, forgiven, for one to experience the already existing perfect self and perfect world created by God.

The ideal world is a pure mental construct and is unlimited by the external realities of space, time and matter. Therefore, the ideal self and ideal world is not going to come into being, for they are mere products of imagination. Imagination is not reality.

The person who dwells on fantasy and idealism gets what he wants, ideal mental constructs but nothing real in the world of reality. He generally is poor and dies poor. He dies poor still wishing for an ideal, perfect self and perfect world and rich life.

Yet the idealist must be an idealist, for, as it were, he was destined to be so and consequently to be poor and a loser. His unacceptable sensitive body makes him hate and reject it and seek an alternative ideal form of it and he generalizes that to seeking ideals for everything else in life. He is a neurotic ala Karen Horney (Neurosis and Human Growth).


So what to do? What to do is to transform idealism to realism, fantasy to reality. Much as one hates the real and yearns for ideals, ideals are not going to come into being; fantasy is not going to replace reality. So, one must use ones thinking to deal with the real world.

The real world that pays off is the world of science and technology. Escaping into ego idealism, or religious idealism, both of which are mentally constructed, not real in the empirical world, is neurosis. There is secular neurosis and religious neurosis. In neurosis, secular or religious, the ego deceives one into thinking that ideal selves and world can be invented to replace spirit’s perfect self and world.

Both secular and religious neuroses lead to poverty, of spirit and material things. There is God all right, but he is not the idealistic fantasies found in the religions of this world, be it in Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christian Science, Unity, Religious Science etc. Religions are social institutions constructed by the human mind, by ego based thinking. They are models of reality, mental constructs hence not real.

Yes, you can change your thinking pattern, change your mind, and go from idealistic to realistic thinking and make it in this world. You can then become an existentialist and accept the world, as it is, even though it is purposeless and meaningless and make the most of it via science and technology, without fleeing into religious fantasies.

We are part of undifferentiated life and continue to live in it forever and ever. From undifferentiated life we become differentiated and live in separated ego self and in matter. Matter is composed of particles of atoms and must decompose; in body we must die. As long as we still wish to experience separation, body, we re-manifest in matter again and again until we give up the wish for separation and return to union.

This is an impersonal process. What matters is how we live in matter, the here and now, realistically or not.

If you want to be successful in this world, accept yourself as you are and make the most of it. If you have a sensitive body hence hates and rejects it and seeks an alternative ideal body and self, learn that you cannot escape that body. Accept it, study it on scientific terms and adapt to it.

Study science and technology and stop yearning for ideal states that would never come into being.

In terms of making a living in this world, seek a realistic profession that produces what people actually desire and sell it to them. You should not seek a profession to make you become an ideal, perfect, all important, all powerful, grandiose self, but one through which you understand an aspect of phenomena and use that knowledge to sell to people what they desire and make a living from doing so.

Understanding the differences between idealistic and realistic thinking (real psychology), for example, is useful. People need to understand their real selves and their false selves. People demand such knowledge. If one markets that knowledge, people will buy it. They buy it for it helps them change their patterns of thinking and heal their neurosis and psychosis. One can make decent living selling information on the different types of self: empirical real self (body based self and its world); Ideal self (as in neurotic yearning for ideal self) and ultimate real self, unified spirit self).

Neurotic escape from reality and its extreme form, psychotic negation of reality and escape into fantasy is unproductive. We can understand why folks have a desire to negate empirical reality and escape from it into unrealistic mental constructs, it is rooted in their bodies over sensitivity, and helps them to accept their bodies without using their minds to negate them and escape into fantasy land.


Nineteenth century RELIGIOUS idealists rejected their bodies and used their minds to construct ideal selves. They centered their ideal selves on their religion and its chief dramatic personae, Jesus Christ. They called their new religion New Thought (today, it is called New Age) religion.

These religious idealists emphasized changing their thinking and believed that positive thinking led to healing their minds and bodies. They believed that if somehow they got rid of negative thinking that their physical diseases would dissipate.

They called their practices mental healing, mental science, metaphysics etc. It is true that thinking in a realistic manner produces peace and happiness in the individual’s mind. But it is not the case that one does not need medications or that one can use thinking alone to heal one’s sick body. One needs nutrition and medication to make ones body healthy.

You cannot use your thinking, prayer, to regenerate your body’s cells, as the apparently racist founders of Unity Church believed. (See Neal Vahle, The Unity Movement, particularly chapter 13.)

On earth, human beings are scheduled to live and die. Perhaps, they can live to be 120 years before they die. They are not going to keep their bodies alive forever.

(Actually human beings already have other bodies, ones constructed of pure light photons, the bodies we see in dreams. That body, too, would dissolve and die. Ultimately, people live in formless, spirit self, the real self God created them as.)

Much of our human ego fantasies, religious idealism or secular idealism, are really an attempt to recapture the real self, formless, spirit, in form, in matter.

It is impossible to make spirit become matter and matter become spirit. Only spirit can be perfect; matter cannot be perfect. The ego and its material world cannot be made perfect, as spirit is.
The idealist wants to make his empirical self, body and ego, as perfect as his real self, his spirit, and cannot succeed, for matter corrupts whatever it is made of.

Matter was formed in the spirit of opposition, in rebellion against ones reality, unified spirit and desire to be its opposite. Matter is used to make separation seem real in our awareness. That which came into being in opposition to unified reality cannot replace reality; body cannot be made perfect, for if it becomes perfect, it would then replace the reality of spirit.


The neurotic person avoids being his real self, avoids other people’s real selves and avoids real social institutions. In close quarters with his real self, other peoples real selves and real social institutions, he appreciates their imperfections and avoids them, and attempts to construct ideal selves, ideal social institutions, all in his mind.

Avoidant personality and its avoidance behavior is a means of separation; it is rooted in the desire to go construct ideal, perfect self and perfect everything on ones own terms. We desired special selves, a self of our making and avoided heaven’s union.
In the world we made, we inevitably see imperfections and seek to perfect them hence the ongoing avoidance of our empirical world, a world that came into being in opposition to unified reality must be in opposition to whatever it made. We live in a world of opposition and must oppose whatever we made as we opposed what God made. We must oppose our own constructed ego self concept and social institutions and attempt to make them perfect.

This is a forever struggle until opposition is given up and one returns to the world of union, the formless, spirit self where real perfection exist, not in this world of separation, space, time and matter.

Our reality is perfect union. Union is love. Union, love, peace, joy, happiness, sameness, equality, oneness, God are synonyms. Love, Union is all there is. God is love, God is peace, God is happiness, God is sameness, God is equality, and God is oneness, that God is unified self and unified state. Nothing real exists outside from union, God, love.

What seems to exist outside union, love, God, that is, separation, is not real, is fantasy, a dream, an illusion. We desired to create ourselves, create each other and create God and could not accomplish that fantasy in eternity and seem to have separated and come into a dream world, earth, where we dream that we have accomplished our wishes.

Forgiveness, that is, overlooking the separated world we invented, ignoring it, not defending it, being defenseless to attack…attack brought the world into being and the world is maintained by attacks and defenses and when it is not defend, when it is forgive, disappears from existing in the forgiving person’s awareness.

All that exists is love, union. Separation, attack, makes us not experience that love. Forgiveness is a means of over looking the world of separation we made to replace the world of Love that God created. Forgiveness is not love but is a path to recovery of the awareness of love that is always there but we do not see it.

Forgiveness is salvation in the sense that it brings us to the gate of oneness but does not make us one for in forgiveness we are still on earth, are still in forms, albeit light forms.

Forgiveness gives us some of the peace and joy and union of heaven in a lesser form. Forgiveness is a precondition for re entering heaven, for it removes the veil with which we hide the face of Christ, love in us. Forgiveness banishes the darkness that is this world and brings us to light, union, and heaven. When we are tired of living in separation, we all join hands and reenter heaven as one self, the unified son of God who is one with his father.
God is one side of the coin and we, his son are the other side. Both sides, God and his one Son, who are infinite sons, exist forever and ever.


Just because the empirical world is an illusion does not mean that in the here and now it does not seem real. Dreams seem real to dreamers.

The son of God is all power. He used his all powerful thinking, mind, to invent the world we seem to live in. A mind that dreams an unreal world and makes it seem real is indeed powerful.

Though the world is a dream, a non-reality produced by magical thinking, it is still a powerful world. It is not easily gotten rid of.

In dreams, we see mountains and those mountains prevent our movement. The mountains, though not real, seem real in our dreams. It is only when we awaken from dreams and realize that there were no mountains where we thought that we had seen mountains that those mountains no longer constitute barriers to our freedom of movement. On earth, space, time and matter are real barriers to our movements. But when we awaken from the earth’s dream of separation and enter the unified world where there are no space, time and matter, we no longer have the barriers of the world limiting us.

Enlightened persons like Jesus Christ, while still on earth, knew that the earth is a dream hence did not believe it as an obstacle to their movements. Jesus knew that the mountain he saw on earth is a dream mountain and that the water he saw was dream water. Hence he could walk on water, for he knew that there was no water where he was walking on, so could not sink. But you who believe that the dream, the earth, is real, that there are waters and mountains, you would sink into the water if you tried to walk on it and would bang your head and get hurt on a wall if you tried to walk through it. Jesus knew that there are no walls and could walk through seeming walls.

Do not minimize the power of your thinking, mind, for it produced your world and whatever you see in it and whatever happens to you. The world is an out picturing of your and our collective thinking. You are very powerful.

Think only forgiving and loving thoughts, for those bring peace and joy to all people. If you decide to misuse your thinking, mind, and think destructive thoughts, you will produce destructive effects in your world, for your thought is very powerful. Do this: tell a person that you are going to punish him, even kill him and see what happens. His ego knows that you can harm or even kill it. He therefore engages the affect the ego made, fears, and becomes fearful. He may panic and run away from you.

The ego is an illusion but in its illusory world it is powerful. You, the ego, can hire or fire some one from his job; you can harm or destroy human bodies, as in wars. You can kill those who believe that they live in bodies. In a word, the ego, your present self concept is very powerful, and along with other people’s egos produces the effects you see in our world. Therefore, do not misuse your ego’s power; use it constructively, to love all people.

I once told a man who was boasting about what he was going to do to me that I would get him jailed, for I knew that he engages in shady activities. This bragging egotist fled town. I aroused tremendous fear in him and he panicked and fled to go seek safety. My ego, your ego, our egos are very powerful in the world of illusions we live in, so do not threaten any one, so as not to generate anxiety in him.

If you make others feel anxious, you must feel anxious, for what produces that effect on others must also produce that effect in you; you must believe that others can harm you in other to believe that you can harm others. Hence you must feel anxious when other persons threaten you. If you stop believing in your ability to harm other people, you also stop believing that other people can harm you hence you stop feeling anxious when other people threaten you.


The idealist avoids working with other people, working in groups, for he wants to be alone and in his aloneness dreams of perfect self and perfect group activities. He must learn to work in groups, with other people and within organizations and stop yearning for separated self where he is free to use his mind to construct ideals that can never come into being.

This does not mean subjugating ones self to the stifling organizations that characterize extant work organizations. It may mean starting new work organizations where optimal freedom is given to members to be their productive real selves, not their unproductive imaginary ideal selves. (Defense of the ideal important self via vanity, pride, narcissism, leads to unproductivity in the work place.)


The mystic chooses to negate the immanent, temporal world and concentrate on the transcendental world. He escapes from the material world and does not bother with science and technology that study and adapt to the empirical world. He does not make efforts to adapt to this world’s reality.

Generally, the mystic does not do things to prolong his physical survival in this world. Jesus, a Gnostic mystic, saw life in body as not good enough and did not defend his body when it was attacked; he died young, reportedly at page 33. (The wisdom attributed to the man is seldom found in folks under age fifty.)

I am not interested in negating this world and escaping from its realities. I am not interested in doing what the mystic does. I want to be here and understand how the world works, study science and technology to enable me adapt to this world and live for however long I can live on earth. I am not an escapist and I do not negate the empirical world, though I understand that it is illusory.

While on earth, it is possible to change ones patterns of thinking. Hitherto, one thought in an unrealistic, neurotic pattern, which is, hating and rejecting the bodily self and pursuing an idealized mental self. One can desist from doing so and, accept the bodily self and its world of space, time and matter.

One can redirect ones thinking to science and technology, so as to cope with the exigencies of this world. If one thinks of realistic ways to adapt to this world, one will do them and make a useful living in this world hence get what one thinks about.

One does not need to do what psychotics do, ignore the realities of this world and live in the world of imagination and ideals and merely wish for how things ought to be. Things are not going to become ideal. One must live with the imperfect world, as it is, and make the most of it. One must work hard to earn a living to support ones self and ones family. The material universe has enough resources to feed several billion human beings.

A healed mind is a changed pattern of thinking, from ego based to Christ based thinking. From thinking of vengeance to thinking of forgiveness, overlooking what other people did to harm you in the past, with the understanding that they could not harm you and that you could not harm other people’ real selves. (We can only harm our false self, the ego and its body. What can be harmed and or destroyed, ego and body, is not important and ought not to be defended. It is actually only defense that makes the ego and body to seem important).

When the past is forgiven, you live only in the present, lovingly. You must overlook the past, forgive it, to become aware of the only reality there is, love, union in the present…forgiveness is necessary to see the love that is always there.

A mental healer is a person who has learned to think forgiving and loving thoughts hence has peace and happiness in his life and teaches other people to do the same. When we forgive, overlook the past, live in the present now, we live in the awareness of love, union, and hence feel peaceful and happy.

A healed mind, a mind that thinks only forgiving and loving thoughts, a mind that prefers union heals its physical illnesses.

Physical illness is produced by unforgiving thinking, by desire to make ones self a body so as to experience separation and specialness and avoid love, avoid other people, avoid God, avoid union.

A healed mind must produce a healed body. Where the body is sick the mind is sick (prefers separation and specialness to union and love). Love, that is, union heals the body but love requires forgiveness to produce healed body.

When forgiveness is practiced, one often experiences ones self in light form, photons and when one ultimately loves, one experiences ones self in formless unified spirit. (This is called Holy Instant, mystical union etc.).

The light body is already there, for God, as the Holy Spirit, created it at the moment we invented our dense body forms. The light body is waiting for one to forgive ones physical body and the ego to see it.

But as long one focuses on the ego and its body one cannot experience light body. It is an either or situation; you experience one at a time but not both. If you focus on spirit you experience light body, spirit, and do not know that body, ego exists; conversely, when you focus on body and ego, you do not know that spirit exists.

Light body gives joy but not as much joy as unified formless self.


Love and forgiveness is not the same thing, although forgiveness is a means to getting to love hence, in a manner of speaking, approximates love. Forgiveness gives some of the gifts of love: peace and happiness but not to the extent of love. Love is total peace and joy, bliss, whereas forgiveness gives attenuated peace, brings one to the gate of heaven, love, union, and gives one the lesser peace, for one is still in form, albeit light form, but not the total peace of formless heaven.

Forgiveness is a means to attaining love. Love, union, God, peace, joy, sameness, and equality is all there is. Nothing that is not love/union//peace exists.

We wished for separated existence, in pursuit of specialness. Our wish led us to our mutual attack on union, love, peace, sameness, equality, God and in doing so, we no longer experience union, love.

One cannot identify with separation and experience union; one cannot be the opposite of love and experience love. Separation is love’s opposite; specialness is equality’s opposite.

To separate from union, God, we collectively attacked union, love and seem to have shattered it and each of us identifies with a fragment of it.

To be on earth, in form, in ego and the body that houses it, I attacked union, I attacked love, I attacked peace, I attacked joy, all of which means that I attacked God. You did the same thing. Thus, we see ourselves in a world of separation.

Now, if I overlook the world of separation which I made by forgiving what keeps it going, grievance and counter attack, if I forgive others attacks on me, I simultaneously forgive my own attacks on others and on myself. In forgiveness, I overlook what maintains separation and thereafter experiences the union, love that is always there.

We live in union, love, while seeing hate, separation. The prerequisite for returning to the peace, joy, love and God that is always there is for one to forgive what maintains separation and the world of mutual attack, grievance and punishment (that presupposes that attack is real and that separation is real).

Forgiveness is not love but a means to love. To forgive is to do something, to undo what we did to maintain separation.
To love is to do nothing, for we did not create love, union; God did. We merely undo what we did; we made separation and when we undo it we experience union.

We must remove what we did to mask love, union; we must remove the veil that hides the face of Christ in us. To see the face of Christ, light form, in each other we must forgive each other.
From a forgiven world, Christ vision, spiritual seeing, we return to experiencing formless unified spirit, aka heaven, which is peace and happiness, which is bliss.

Posted by Administrator at 10:34 AM | Comments (0)

January 22, 2006

Ozodi Osuji Weekly Lectures on African Countries #4 of 54: Botswana

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji (Seatle, Washington) --- 4. BOTSWANA

Formal Name: Republic of Botswana.

Term for Citizens: Tswana.

Capital: Gaborone.

Population: 225,000

Independence Achieved: September 30, 1966, from Britain.

Major Cities: Gaborone.


Botswana encompasses an area of 231, 804 square miles. Botswana is in South Africa. It is bounded by Namibia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. The Okavango River creates the Okavango swamps. The river often floods and forms shallow lake over the swamp area. In the east of the country, Chobe, Shasti, and Limpopo rivers and their tributaries provide adequate water supple for the country. 80% of the people live along these rivers. The southern part of the country is mostly desert, Kalahari, and semi desert grassland. The Khoi people generally live in and around the desert areas of Botswana.


The population of Botswana is estimated at 1, 785,000.

Ethnic Groups: Tswana, Khoi and others.

Languages: Tswana, Khoisan. English is the official language.

Religion: Christianity and indigenous African beliefs.

Education: Primary education is available to all pupils of school age. Literacy rate is estimated at 79.8%.

Economy: There is some mining of coal, copper, and gold. The majority of the people raise cattle and goats and plant crops for food. Many Tswana men seek employment in South Africa. Tourism is a strong industry. Excellent hotels and resorts have been built and attract people from all over the world to them. GDP estimate: $15.1 billion; Per Capita GDP: $4, 340. Monetary Unit: Pula (BWP)

History and Government:

The British established the colony of Bechuanaland in 1884. When South Africa attained union Status in 1910 it made attempts to absorb Bechuanaland but the later resisted and remained part of the British Empire. It gained its independence in 1966. The country is made of eight semi-independent kingdoms whose people speak dialects of the same language. Government tends to be a compromise between the eight groups. However, the country appears a stable polity. It is attracting international capital and has developed an internationally known tourism industry. The country is divided into nine districts, and five town councils.


Botswana, compared to other African countries, has had stable politics and sustained economic growth. When the country received its independence from Britain in 1966, a real election that was not marred by rigging brought to power Mr. Seretse Khama and his party, Botswana Democratic Party. Mr. Khama was reelected to office until 1980 when he died in office. His Vice President, Ketumile Masire, became the President and subsequently was elected on his own rights. He retired from office in 1998 and his Vice President, Festus Mogae, became the president and was subsequently reelected. Mr. Mogae was reelected in 2004 and his five-year term in office ends in 2009.
All these seeming musical chairs apparently were, in fact, legitimate elections that happened to see one party and its leaders continually get elected to office without rigging elections.
Botswana’s success in the practice of democracy, apparently, is attributable to its population make up. One group, the Setswana, make up half of the population. That group, apparently, had historical democratic antecedents. Every indication suggests that the Setswana ruled themselves democratically before the Europeans descended on them. Apparently, they transferred their well-developed sense of democracy to post independent Botswana. The other ethnic groups in Botswana are individually numerically too small to exercise negative influence on this Setswana’s democratic tendencies.

Botswana is 70 deserts, Kalahari Desert, and is sparsely populated (total population is estimated at 1.8 million). Other than the Setswana the other groups are very small, some only a few thousands. (The San, Bushmen, were the earliest people to live in the region; the Setswanas migrated into the region as a result of Zulu pushes in the 1820s.)

In the nineteenth century, the Boer farmers from South Africa began migrating into what is now called Botswana. The local Setswana population pleaded with the British for protection. Britain declared the area the protectorate of Bechuanaland. Prior to independence, in 1965, Southern Bechuanaland merged with South Africa and is now part of the Northwest province of South Africa, whereas Northern Bechuanaland became today’s Botswana. The majority of Setswana people live in South Africa rather than in Botswana. The former capital of Bechuanaland, Mafikeng, is now in South Africa. Gaborone, the current capital of Botswana, was selected during independence.

There seems real democracy with multi parties competing for political office in Botswana. The Botswana government permits freedom of press. The government operates Botswana Television, BTV and two Radios, Radio Botswana, 1 and 2, (2 is for the capital area) and one daily newspaper. Private and other interests operate newspapers, such as the Botswana Guardian, Botswana Gazette, Mmegi/The Reporter and the Midweek Sun and private radio stations such as Ya Rona FM and Gabz FM.

The key political parties in Botswana are Botswana Democratic Party, BDP, Botswana National Front, BNF and Botswana Congress Party, BCP. In the last general election, in 2004, elections are held every five years, BDP won 44 of the 57 contested seats of the National Assembly (4 seats are appointed by the majority party); BNF won 12 seats and BCP won 1 seat.

The National Assembly elects the President of Botswana for a term of five years. He now has two terms limit (the first two presidents did not have term limits.) The president has executive powers and selects his vice president and ministers from the National Assembly.
In addition to the National Assembly is the Council of Chiefs. The Council of Chiefs comprises of the traditional chiefs of the various ethnic groups that make up Botswana. The council of Chiefs has advisory functions rather than legislative ones. The National Assembly gives Bills, particularly those relating to chieftaincy issues, to the Council of Chiefs for advice.
The traditional chiefs operate local authority courts in their area of jurisdiction although any citizen can ask to be tried in the imported British legal system that prevails in Botswana.

For administrative purposes, Botswana is divided into nine districts: Central, Ghanzi, Kgalagadi, Kgatleg, Kweneng, Northeast, Northwest, Southwest and Southern, and five town councils. The Central government appoints a District commissioner for each of the districts; the commissioners have executive powers; locally elected district councils and district development committees assist them.
Each of the districts has a magistrate court as court of first instance; cases are appealed to Court of Appeals, High Court, at the national capital.

Botswana’s economy is heavily tied to South Africa’s economy. This means that if there is a hiccup in the South African economy, Botswana has fever. This situation was even more so before South Africa became freed from Afrikaans control. South African politicians had the ability to destroy Botswana’s economy and could have wrought havoc on it when in the 1970s and 1980s Botswana became a haven for anti apartheid workers.
Botswana’s economy is largely dependent on Diamond…Botswana is the world’s largest exporter of Diamonds. Other minerals exist in minor proportion. Cattle raising exist. Tourism is the second largest source of revenue for the country.
For an African country, Botswana has a well-developed tourism industry, world-class hotels and resorts etc. The government, in cooperation with the private sector, has well managed game preserves. The Okavango Delta, the world’s largest inland delta, is a well developed tourist attraction in Northwest Botswana.
Botswana’s economy is the fasted growing one in Africa. Her income per capita, $4,340, is one of the highest in black Africa. As a result of her good economic performance, those trying to escape from Zimbabwe’s poverty flood Botswana. Botswana had to build an electric fence at its border with Zimbabwe to check the deluge of economic refugees flowing from Zimbabwe into its territory.
Despite its excellent economic growth, in recent years, 9% annually, Botswana remains a poor country. Moreover HIV-AIDS is ravaging the country. Botswana has the highest HIV-AIDS infected population in the world, 37% of the population (more than one in every three persons is infected). This means that the future of Botswana is not very bright given the coming demise of nearly half of its population from the AIDS plague. However, unlike poorer African countries, Botswana is making AIDS treatment drugs freely available to those with the disease.

All said Botswana is a thriving democracy in the South African region; its economy, though dependent on diamond and tourism, is doing well. However, since only one political party, Botswana Democratic Party, a party dominated by the majority Setswanas, has ruled the country since independence, it remains to be seen if a different party can win the national election, and, if so, whether power can be successfully transferred to it. Thus, the last test of democracy, transfer of political power to different parties, has not been met yet in Botswana.

Posted by Administrator at 10:58 PM | Comments (0)

Ozodi Osuji Weekly Series on Psychology 2006, #4 of 52: The Alienating Nature of Criticalness

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji (Seatle, Washington) --- I grew up with a father who forever was criticizing all those around him. Nothing any one did was ever good enough for the man. He judged everything we did as not good enough and found us imperfect. His criticisms and judgmentalness was so much that our house was literally tense and one could cut the tension with a knife.

No one likes to live in a tense environment. Therefore, we sought every opportunity to leave our house, to escape from father’s critical and judgmental behaviors. We looked forward to returning to schools (boarding) to avoid father’s presence. Indeed, during inter quarter recess, we would either go to friends homes or, if we came home, we would seek every opportunity to avoid father’s critical mouth. Instead of just welcoming us home from school, father would make much ado about our poor grades at school. God forgive you if you did not make excellent grades. Anything other than perfect grades brought out the man’s wrath. I do not remember the man praising me, not once; it was always finding fault with me, my brothers, our mother and every person around him.

Because of father’s criticalness and judgmentalness, I was alienated from him and so were his other children and, indeed, his wife. Nevertheless, he sacrificed to train us and we respected him for doing that.

My goal in this paper is not so much to focus on father but to use him as a jumping off point to talk about why people are critical and what it does to those criticized and to the criticizer. My goal is not to blame any one, but to understand the phenomenon and seek a solution to it.


It is very easy to observe who is critical and judgmental, what is difficult is to understand why he is so and to find a solution for his problematic behavior.
I believe that father and his fellow critical and judgmental persons hated and rejected their real selves; they hated their bodily selves, and juxtaposed ideal selves as replacement selves. They rejected the real self and replaced it with an ideal, perfect self. They then strive to become the substitute perfect self that they want to be but clearly are not.
There must be a reason why an individual hates his body. There are probably numerous reasons why different folks hate and reject their bodies. In the case of father, I think that it has something to do with his over excitable body. He had physical and chemical allergies. Heat made his body feel itchy and irritable. Paint and the smell of food being cooked made him feel very uncomfortable. Father inherited an over sensitive body. His nervous system was extremely excitable, too quick to stimulation. He was almost always feeling somatically over aroused. His problematic body contributed to his obvious hatred of his body. Any one who inherited his overly excitable nervous system probably would hate and reject and seek a calmer somatic constitution. I certainly would not like to have Johnson, that is, father’s body; although I do not mind inheriting his obvious superior intelligence (his IQ is over 140). When father was not busy criticizing people, he could be a joy to be around. Some evenings, he would give us lectures on astronomy, the origin of the universe, the nature of stars etc. At other times, he would talk about philosophy better any college professor I have ever encountered. He liked to debate with me on whether God existed or not. He would say: “Tom, do you really believe in God?” There we go. We could debate the existence of God for the next several hours, with him trying to prove to me hat God cannot possibly be what is written in the Bible. He would bring out his bible and use its contradictions to make his obvious agnostic case. He would say, referring to our parish priest: “Father owu onye okpere?” Is a Catholic Priest a Church person? To him, the Catholic priest seldom knows a damn thing about theology. He saw them as mere bureaucrats, functionaries performing a necessary function in society. As he sees it, human beings are born anti social and need belief in a punitive God that punishes them to make them somewhat prosocial. Without belief in a punitive God, he said that most people would be criminal in their behavior. If you are of the intellectual type, father would satisfy most your curiosity about the nature of phenomena, but be prepared to accept his negative side, his devastating critical nature.

Whatever are the reasons folks hate their bodies; they posit ideal, perfect selves and identify with them.
(This is not a technical paper, if you are interested in the literature on the origin of neurosis, aka anxiety disorder, father is clearly neurotic, see Karen Horney, Neurosis and Human Growth; Alfred Adler, The Neurotic Constitution. Also see the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. Father meets most of the diagnostic categories for Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder, just as I meet the criteria for avoidant personality, both neuroses.)
The ideal ego self is not real; it is a mental construct, the person the individual wants to become, but is not the person he is in fact. No matter what the individual does, he is never going to become an ideal self, for the ideal is mentalistic, is a mental construct and is devoid of the limitations imposed by the realities of matter, space and time. In our thinking and imagination, aka mind, we can be perfect, but in the real world we cannot be perfect, for our external world limits what we can do or not do. You can wish all you want; the fact is that you cannot fly unless you have wings.
The ideal self concept and its image form, the ideal self image has its ideal standards, perfect standards.
The neurotic identifies with the ideal ego’s perfect standards and uses them to judge himself and other people. The neurotic denies his real self and its real body and identifies with an imaginary ideal ego.
Such persons, which are all human beings, in degrees, stand apart from their real selves and put on the hat of their desired ideal selves. From the standpoint of their ideal, perfect selves, they judge the behavior of real human beings. Naturally, real human beings are never going to measure up to the ideal standards of the ideal self. Thus, neurotics find real people imperfect and reject them.

Father constructed an ideal self concept and ideal self image with ideal, perfect standards and identifies with those pure mental constructs. He, in effect, rejected the real, self and the world, and sought to become the imaginary ideal. He used his ideal perfect self to judge his real self and other people’s real selves and found them not good enough.
Nobody likes to be subjected to perpetual criticism and judgment and found imperfect. All human beings seem to want to be accepted as they are in what Carl Rogers called unconditional positive manner. When we are accepted in an unconditionally positive manner, we tend to relax and enjoy ourselves. But when we feel judged, found wanting and rejected, we tend to feel tense and unhappy.
Nobody likes to be anxious, tense and unhappy. Thus, people tend to avoid the presence of those who criticize and judge them and make them anxious and tense.
As noted, father’s children avoided his company. Thus, he was largely abandoned by his offspring. The critical and judgmental person tends to be avoided by other people hence tends to be alone.
Nobody likes to be abandoned and feel alone. The critical person, who is socially abandoned, obviously does not like to be socially rejected. He, in fact, struggles to be accepted by other people, but, alas, he does not seem to recognize that his criticalness is correlated with his social abandonment and he keeps criticizing people hence keeps pushing them away from him. Indeed, since he judges people with the standards of a perfect self, in his mind, he wants people to be perfect and naturally thinks that he has their best interests at heart. Father must have first that he has our best interests at heart by expecting us to be “A” students. Indeed, he worked two jobs to send all his children to universities and in his mind that made him a good person. What he did not realize is the tension he put into our lives by always expecting us to excel in whatever we do. It is that tension that made us abandon his presence. We left him to go seek folks who accepted us as we are, imperfect, not as we could become, perfect.

The judgmental and critical person tends to do what he does rather obsessively and compulsively and tends to feel like he is doing it for the good of those he is judging; after all, he wants them to be better. Father would tell us that he wants us to become better students and attend the right schools. Unfortunately, his favor is a very painful one. He wanted us to approximate perfect states and no human being can be perfect, so, in effect, he was really not doing us a favor.
In fact, father was attacking our real selves. To hold people to ideal standards is literally to ask them to reject their real selves and to insist that they become ideal selves. It is like the critical and judgmental person is trying to kill people’s real, imperfect selves and replace them with his mentally construct ideal selves for them.
The criticizer and the judge is not a nice human being; he is at war with real people and wants to replace them with imaginary ideal people of his making.
The criticizer and judger are at war with reality; he wants to destroy people’s present reality, for he does not like it, and replace it with his mentally constructed abstract ideal reality. As it were, he is playing God. He wants to replace the self that God created us as with a self his imagination invented for us.
To criticize and judge is not to accept and love people as they are; it is to want to love them only when they approximate an ego ideal one invented for them and since they are not going to attain the imaginary self the criticizer ends up not loving any one.
Those subjected to intense criticism actually know that the criticizer and judger do not love them, that he wants to kill them and replace them with imaginary ideal selves. They feel attacked by him hence resent him. We resented father, even though, materially speaking, he was probably one of the most caring fathers on earth. A man with scant education whose children went to graduate schools must have done something right. Nevertheless, we resented his refusal to accept our real selves. He did not love our real selves but wanted to love our imaginary ideal selves, this is impossibility, for only the real can be loved.
If you expect people to be ideal before you love them, they would put on a mask of being perfect, become phony for you to love that pretentious self. Love, real love, accepts the imperfect real self.
Love does not criticize, love does not judge, love does not condemn; love accepts people as they are, not as they could become.

To love is to unify with the person one loves. To not love is to not unify with the person one did not love. Thus, not loving people, the criticizer and judger ends up not joining people; he feels cut off from people and feels all alone in this universe.
Those around the judger and criticizer do not feel joined to him. His wife and children particularly do not feel joined to him. They do not feel joined to him at several levels. At the physical and ego level they do not feel joined to him. At the spiritual level they do not feel joined to him. In effect, he gives to people around him what he has given to himself: aloneness. He feels alone and those around him feel alone. All of them feel alone and pained. (Because I was subjected to intense criticisms, I tend to expect those around me to criticize me. To avoid being criticized and rejected, I tend to stay away from other people. When I relate to people, I do not do so intimately. Deep down, I suspect that they could judge and find me not good enough and reject me. To avoid such judgment and rejection, I emotionally put a distance between me and other people. I may physically be with people, but I have a defensive wall around my psyche. I developed avoidant personality lifestyle.)


I am very cerebral. I would rather live in the world of thinking, philosophy, psychology, the world of ideas than deal with real people. I tend to be very analytical. I tend to analyze people’s behaviors. What does this mean in real life?

To analyze is to posit an ideal standard and use its methodology to analyze real people’s behaviors. To analyze is very much the same thing as to criticize and judge. To analyze is to point out how people are not ideal. In effect, I am doing what my father did, albeit in a different mode.

As a teenager, I wanted to understand why father was always critical. I generalized that pattern of behavior to wanting to understand why people do what they do. Instead of relating intimately with folks, I stand apart from them and subject them to intense psychoanalysis. (All analysis of other people is done with ones own ego and its yardsticks hence is seldom objective; one mostly projects to other people.)

Like the criticizer and judger, the analyzer is inflicting pain on people. He is, therefore, almost always left alone by other people. People are, in effect, telling him to stop his silly analysis of them, his comparing them to ideal states and to simply accept them as they are in the here and now world: imperfect.

I hated my father for always judging and criticizing me. I recognized that his judgmental nature meant that he did not accept and love me as I am. But here I am doing the same thing he did in a different manner, via analysis. In effect, I, too, am inflicting pain and tension to those I analyze. I, too, am creating tension for those around me.

My wife and children feel that I created a tense household where every person was expected to be perfect or he or she is considered not good enough, this time via analysis. My wife once told me to “quit your god damned analysis of why I do what I do and simply love me as I am”. I thought that she had lost her mind. How could I accept her imperfect self? I wanted her to be perfect, a saint, before I accepted her. Since neither her nor any other person is about to become a saint, it followed that I could never accept her.

For our present purposes, my father, in pursuit of the ego ideal, inflicted pain on his family; I replicated the same phenomenon and inflicted psychological pain on my family via my pursuit of ego ideal.

My immediate family and anteceding families have the same problem I have. We all invent tense and anxious households where failure is unacceptable. (We have several PhDs in the kindred.) Therefore, those around us tend to feel attacked by us and resent us. They tend to abandon us and leave us.

People tend to do what their parents did, albeit in different forms. Therefore, this phenomenon must be understood and changed (that is, healed). Moralization, talking about how bad it is will not change it; what will change it is cool headed understanding of it, how it works and effort to change it. Religious precepts are as good as useless, so we cannot take recourse to religion in trying to understand this aspect of the human condition, only science of thinking, aka psychology, can help us.

(Religion is primitive man’s psychology; psychology is civilized man’s religion; the high priest of yesterday’s religion is today’s psychotherapist; my ancestors were their people’s Amadioha high priests and I am the people’s psychotherapist; it figures, I am performing my family’s existential function.)

To change a pattern of behavior is to heal it. My family’s pattern of thinking, that is, expecting people to become ideal selves, is literally an attack on people and inflicts pain on them. We must change this pattern of thinking and behaving, that is, we must heal our neurosis.

To heal is to change the mind, to change ones pattern of thinking and behaving, from pursuing ego ideal to accepting the real self in all people and over looking their empirical imperfect selves, their obvious problematic personalities, self concepts, and self images.


One cannot change other people. People are like trees and leaves and other things in phenomena. They are what they are and will behave as they do just as trees and leaves will be trees and leaves. You cannot change a tree or a leaf; all you can do is accepting it as it is. People cannot be changed, all you have to do is accept them as they are, not as your ego ideal wants them to become. (People’s personalities are actually largely produced by their inherited body types and early childhood experiences; by adolescence it is virtually impossible to change any human being.)

The only thing that you can do is change how you look at people. See their inner Christ self, loving selves, and accept that and over look their empirical external, imperfect selves.

Accept your and other people’s personalities as they are, you cannot change them. Over look people’s imperfect personalities and bodies and accept the perfect, loving Christ in people. That is all you can do.

To over look the imperfect self and its world and accept the perfect loving Christ self in ones self and in other people is what is meant by being forgiving.

In forgiveness one over looks the apparent self, the human personality and its behaviors and accept the hidden Son of God in people.


Father was an intellectually gifted man but he wound up doing jobs that were not exactly intellectually challenging. I have pondered this situation. I think that it has to do with his pursuit of ego ideal and the colonial environment he found himself in. In the colonial world, pre 1960 Africa, Africans were relegated to certain types of jobs; they could not just go do whatever type of job they wanted to.

Nevertheless, it was not the colonial situation alone that determined father’s job choices or lack of it. His personality played a key role in it. He looked at the empirical self and empirical world and found them not perfect, not good enough and hated and rejected them. He looked at the work world and found all of them not good enough, not perfect. No one particular profession was good enough for him. He could not reconcile himself to one vocation and channel his considerable mental energy to it. Instead, he looked for an ideal profession to suit his idea ego self concept and ideal self image.

Of course, there is no ideal profession out there. Thus, he ended up not in any meaningful profession. He, therefore, did whatever he could, trading and odds jobs, to make a living.

Once his children were out of universities, since he did not find any line of work interesting and satisfying enough, since none of them was perfect, he chose not to work any more. He retired.

Unfortunately, he still needed money to subsist on. So how was he supposed to get the money given his lack of income, savings and pension? He expected his children and wife to support him. He literally expected us to take care of his material needs.

But we had our own ideas of what life ought to be. My idea of the good life was not to sacrifice for my father. I was into understanding human behavior and could care less for money.

Father’s children could not support him. His wife kept working and literally supported him from about age sixty-five onwards. On my part, I tried to coerce him to return to work to no avail.

Apparently, the man preferred to be doing nothing productive and instead sat around nursing his ego ideal. In idleness, he fancied himself his ego ideal, a perfect self. Poor chap. If I had the power, I would prevent retirement for all men until they die, at least until they are eighty years old.

It is all too easy to say that one would force people to work until they drop dead. The fact is that until a person finds a line of work that he has interest and aptitude in, he tends not to want to work very hard, and if compelled to do so would only do so half-heartedly. Father did not find any extant line of work interesting. As I have pointed out, he was seeking for ideal work to suit his ideal self concept and no extant work was ideal enough for him.

Given what I know about him, what line of work would have suited father? Clearly, there are no ideal professions out there. Idealism is a neurotic proposition, is a mental construct of how one, other people and reality ought to be but are not, in fact. There is simply no ideal line of work that I know of. What is realistic is for one to resign ones self to a line of work that approximates ones idea of ideal but is within realism.

Total idealism is actually grandiosity; it is trying to have the power of God and recreate ones self, recreate other people and recreate the world and make them as one likes them to be. This is an impossible wish. It is a psychotic wish that can only be satisfied in imagination, not in reality.

Father could have resigned himself to being a realistic psychologist, not an idealistic psychologist. An idealistic psychologist is out to change people, to make them become what his ego wants them to become, perfect. A realistic psychologist knows that people cannot really be changed. The most that you can do is study people as they are and accept them as they are.

You can understand people but you cannot change them. You cannot even change you. Certainly, you cannot change your body and since your body influenced the formation of your personality, you cannot change your personality. All you can do is over look your personality and other people’s bodies and personalities and their behaviors and do not fret about them.

Overlook the world and accept the loving self in people, the Christ self in people, but do not expect their empirical selves to be loving selves. This is not cynicism and skepticism but realism.


We often focus on the bad that people do to us, but the fact is that if we reinterpret those bad differently, we see that good come out of them. Bad is good and good is bad.

Let us say that somebody did something bad to you. You can choose to be upset and angry with him or her. If you do so, you get bogged down in emotional upset. On the other hand, you can choose to over look what other people did to you. If you over look what another person did to you, that is, forgive it, you experience peace and joy.
The very bad that some one did that could have irritated you, if forgiven gives you peace and happiness.

If you forgive and overlook the wrongs of others and obtain peace and joy, you are now a beneficiary from their apparent bad behaviors. Their wrong has benefited you, instead of hurt you.

It all depends on how you choose to look at what people do; look at it one way and you feel upset and another way, you feel peaceful and happy. The choice is up to you how you look at the events in your life.

The events that could destroy you could also save you. Whatever gives you peace and happiness serves you well, would you not say that? Forgiveness of the wrong that other people did to one gives one peace and happiness and therefore serves one well.


Another way of looking at what people do is to see it as chosen behavior. People are thinking agents and choose their behaviors. Not only do they choose their behaviors they choose whatever they experience in their lives. This is one way of looking at phenomena, the religious alternative.

The other alternative, the scientific one, is to say that whatever happens to people are accidental, making the world an accidental, random and chancy place. Science is neat and simple; it sees everything happening to one as a product of chance. William Shakespeare wrote his great plays as a product of biological and social chances. This is an Interesting biosocial reductionism.

The alternative, metaphysical reductionism is to say that people choose their experiences and what happens to them.

I talked about my father’s critical and judgmental nature. If we adopt the metaphysical methodological approach to phenomena, which I tend to adopt, without negating science, of course, it can be said that father chose to be who he is, hyper critical. Why did he choose that painful life style? In being critical and judgmental he vicariously attained his cherished desire to be godlike and be the creator of his self, other people and the world.

You must be the creator of what you judge/criticize with your ideal standards, for you are, in effect, saying that what you judge ought to be as you want it to be, and ought to be according to your ego ideal standards.

Criticism and judgmentalness is playing neurotic god (and if you believe in your ego ideals, playing psychotic god).

Going along with my metaphysical take on reality, I would say that I chose to have a father who is critical and judgmental. Exposure to him enabled me to understand what judgmentalness and criticalness is all about, to understand the psychodynamics of it.

In as much as I am motivated to understand human behavior, I chose a father that did something that created tension and anxiety in those around him, so as to learn about his apparent neurotic behavior.

Father and I chose each other. I wanted to learn about problematic behaviors and he volunteered to play a role of a problematic person for me to learn from it.

Of course, he, too, learned from it and learned from my own behaviors. (I leave it to him to decide what he learned from my avoiding his presence…could he have learned the silliness of being critical and judgmental hence gave them up, let him decide.)

People choose their physical illnesses. Geoffrey, my brother, (he had a serious physical illness) chose his illness. He did so, to feel like is a body and deny his spirit self, his Christhood.

In physical sickness body is made real. Body houses the separated ego self, so he chose it to make his ego and its body seem real in his awareness. Initially, he denied that he chose it and felt that it was something that happened to him against his wishes hence felt angry with God (and his parents and society for allowing that to happen to him). He felt like a victim.

The real lesson to be learned from the illness is that it taught him that he is not a separated self housed in body, but is Christ spirit having physical experience. He learned that it does not matter what happens to ones body, that body can be made sick and die. The ultimate lesson for all of us to learn is that our real self is unified spirit.

Unified spirit is eternal and what harms or destroys the body cannot touch it. Thus, Geoffrey’s sickness taught him that he is an immortal spirit, a Christ self.

Christ is love, so his sickness taught him love. Geoffrey, despite his physical issues, is a very loving person. He exists to work for the welfare of his wife and children. What a great guy.


Generally, metaphysics negates this imperfect world of ours and posits an ideal alternative to it. It then urges people to escape into the better world it conceptualizes and for them to ignore the exigencies of this empirical world. If the persons told to so, does so, do nothing related to adapting to the realities of this world and concentrate on meeting the conditions of God and his heaven, he ends up poor.

Because they are focused on other worldly affairs, those who embrace metaphysics tend to ignore the affairs of this world; indeed, they tend to die from diseases. India is a good example of this phenomenon.

Indians are, perhaps, one of the world’s smartest people. They ignored empiricism and focused on metaphysics and philosophy. For three thousand years, they filled the world with writings on metaphysics, writings unequaled by any other group on earth. Think of the Veda, Ramayana, Mahabharata, Upanishad, Patanjali’s Yogas, the philosophies of Shankara, Ramanuja, the insightful views of Guru Nanak, the avatar Ramakrishna and his foremost disciple, Vivekananda and others and you see the outpouring of Indian religious thinking. I do not believe that any other human group rivaled Indians in philosophical thinking. In the meantime, Indians ignored scientific, that is, empirical thinking, and the result is that despite possessing the best minds in the world they remained poor.

I say these things because my frequent incursion into religion can give the reader the impression that only religion matters. That is not so. While religion is certainly important, folks must do what they have to do to adapt to the exigencies of this material world. Adaptation to this world requires science and technology, dealing with this world on its own terms.


Metaphysics tends to take an either or approach to human affairs. This is correct, but in this world, we must combine things. This is a world of opposites, good and bad, light and darkness, life and death, not either or. Heaven may be all good and light, but in this world we cannot have just good and light for that would mean returning to heaven. On earth, there must be bad, as well as good.

Metaphysics, for example, suggests that to have an ego and seek narcissistic goals is not good for one. It rails against vanity, pride and other neurotic goals and urges people to give them up. But the fact is that whereas the less vanity and ego people have the happier and more peaceful they are, if they were to give up all vanity, pride and narcissism, they would cease existing in this world.

If human beings were not vain, that is, were not in hell, for to be vain is to be in hell, they would not be in this world; they would escape from this world and return to bliss, peace and joy, to oneness, to heaven. As long as human beings are in this world, they need to be egotistical, vain and narcissistic, for those adapt to the exigencies of this world. Yes those mental states do cause pain, but if they are given up, the individual escapes from this world, from pain to a painless world, to heaven; he leaves the empirical world and returns to the formless spirit world.

The same applies to fear and anxiety. Clearly, fear is a noxious affect and very few people consciously like to be in a state of fear. Yet to be on earth, to be human, the individual must experience fear and anxiety, that is, must lives in psychological pain and suffers. Why so?

Fear is used to protect the individual’s separated self, his ego and its chosen home, the human body. Fear is the primary defense mechanism of the separated self, the ego. Fear alerts the individual to threats to his physical existence. He takes measures to protect him hence exist as a separated being. Without fear, the individual would not do what it takes to survive on planet earth hence would be harmed and die and exit from the realm of separation.

Children who were born without capacity to feel pain and fear tend not to take precautionary measures to protect themselves hence tend to die from physical injuries and die young. Fear and pain protects people and keeps them in ego existence. Without fear and pain people cannot live on planet earth.

Yet to live in fear is to live in pain, to live in hell. To live fearlessly is to live in heaven. But to live fearlessly, the individual must not be concerned with defending his separated ego self and its body.

To live fearlessly, the individual must extinguish his separated self and return to unified spirit self. But in as much as the individual wants to live in separated self, on earth, he must live in fear, hence live in hell.

To be on earth, what Carl Jung called individuation, is to be in hell, a hell of ones choosing. It is in undifferentiated unified state that pure joy and happiness lies.

We came to earth to experience the opposite of union, opposite of God, opposite of heaven and to experience hell, the opposite of heaven. We came here to experience pain, the opposite of heaven’s joy.

To be separated, to be individuated from the whole is to be in pain and in hell, period. In as much as the individual seeks to be on earth, in the abode of egotism and separation and body that defends it, he must live in fear, pain and hell.

Metaphysics urges him to give those up, so as to attain heaven, peace and joy. Well, is the individual willing to negate this world, to die out from it? If not, then he must not give up fear, shame, vanity, pride, fear and pain, depression, paranoia; he must choose to live in his hell.


On earth, people play by the rules of the game. In the game, they live in flesh, are born and must die; they are limited by space, time and matter. They cannot do many things due to those limitations. It takes courage to do things in the world of limitations.

In this world, folks must do certain something despite awareness of the end game, death, and in the present, possible harm to their bodies.

The individual may opt out of this game and choose to live only in his imagination. He merely dreams about how things ought to become. In wishes he has godlike powers to change reality, but in the real world he cannot change reality given the limitations set by space, time and matter.

Living in the world of wishes and idealism is actually a wish not to play by the rules of this world and to play by a set of rules one made up, rules that are not shared with other people. (When something is shared it is realistic, if it is not shared by other people, it is fantasy, in the imagination only.)

Some persons latch unto their definition of God and hope that that God would intervene in this world and use his magical wand to change the limitations of this world. These persons are also living in fantasy land, for God does not intervene in the world’s affairs. You can pray all you want to win the Lotto and become rich; you will not win it, for the Lotto is a game of statistical chance, it is not controlled by God. You are better served to get a job and earn your living the old fashioned way, work for it.

Idealism, be it ego idealism or religious idealism, really means that the individual does not want to do what it takes to adapt to the exigencies of this world; it means that he wants to escape from this world to a never, never land of perfection that would never come into being. Such a person lacks animal courage to do what it takes to adapt to this world and merely flees into an imaginary world.

A world where things and people are whatever the idealist dreamer makes of them is a fantasy world. Indeed, the idealist lacks the courage to persuade other people to help him realize that imaginary world of his, for in reality nothing is ever accomplished without working with other people.

No dream is ever realized, in dream or reality, on earth and in heaven, without working in conjunction with other people. Ideal goals generally end up only in the imagination of their neurotic and or psychotic dreamers. Idealists live in fantasy, feeling vicarious power from it but in fact are powerless.

What I am saying is that whereas metaphysics clearly states the truth in an either or manner, that to meet its conditions, one must voluntarily choose to negate ones ego and the egos world; one must give up separation and return to unified state.

One does not have to do so. One has the freedom to live in separation for however long one wants to. Indeed, when one lives the optimal 120 years on earth and dies, one can choose to return to earth, and do so many times. There is no hurry to exit this world.

Living on earth, in separation, is a choice. Because it is a choice, one should never work to change other people, one cannot change other people, any way. Other people are who they are by choice. People choose to be who they are. They choose whatever condition they seem to be in. They choose their happiness and or suffering. They choose their wealth and or poverty. When they are sick, they choose their physical illness. They choose these conditions and want to experience them and learn from them. They do not want to change and experience something else; otherwise they would choose something else.

Even when people are mentally ill, they choose to be so, and if you try to make them mentally healthy, they would resist you. I should know, for I worked in the mental health field and initially had the illusion that I could change people. I learned from bitter experience that you cannot change the mentally ill. Only they can change them selves…and since to change is to heal; only they can heal themselves.

The mentally ill choose extreme individuation, extreme separation, extreme egotism and that is what they want to experience. They choose bodies to make their choices possible, for there is always a biological aspect to mental disorders.

When they have had enough of that, they would choose differently, but you cannot make them give up their choice.
The garden variety neurotic chose his anxiety. He is the one who insists on being egoistic and defending his idealized self concept and self image and in so doing feels anxiety. All he has to do to escape from anxiety and fear is give up defending his separated self, his ego, and convince himself that he has no separated self housed in body and see his ego and body as dream self, as illusion and stop defending it and he would no longer experience anxiety. He experiences anxiety, fear and tension because he wants to have a separated self; he wants to be an illusion and by definition must experience anxiety, for illusions are maintained with fear and other defenses.

Slaves chose to be slaves. If you try to change their status, you run into problems, for they want to be slaves and do not want freedom. They prefer to experience themselves as victims of their brother’s oppression and abuse and being slaves optimizes that experience.

But the moment a slave no longer wants to be a slave, no one can enslave him. All he has to do is take a gun and kill his slave master. It is as simple as that to end slavery. Kill the sadistic person who wants to enslave you and he would no longer enslave you. At the societal level, rises up against your social oppressors. Destroy the oppressor or he destroys you, in which case there will be no you for him to oppress.

Consider the dance of blacks and whites in America. Any one with eyes knows that blacks are physically stronger than whites and can easily destroy whites any time they so desire. So why did blacks tolerate slavery in the hands of physically inferior persons? Is it because whites are smarter than them? Whites are not even intelligent; for if they were intelligent they would not enslave or discriminate against any one…their civilization will eventually be overthrown by those they maltreated.

The point is that though blacks had the capacity to not give in to slavery and discrimination, they chose to experience those negative states. It was their choice not to be freemen.

If you doubt this fact try to enable black Americans gain their liberty and you realize how much they like their second class status in America; they like their slavery; it is their choice.

Slavery is a choice and as such only the slave can choose to regain his or her liberty, you cannot choose for him.

On a larger scale, we are all slaves of the ego and choose it and only we can choose freedom from the ego, other people cannot choose union for us.

Nobody can compel you to give up your separated self and live as your unified self. Even God can not choose for his son, you, for, like him, you have perfect freedom to choose what you want to experience.

For God to take away your freedom is for him to take away his own freedom, for, after all, you a part of him and what he does to you he effectively does to himself.

God is perfect freedom and his children are perfect freedom, so God cannot take away his children’s freedom without destroying his own freedom. For God not to be freedom is for God to die and since that is impossible, for God is everlasting, he cannot take away his freedom and cannot take away his sons freedom.

Thus, you are left free to dream that you are separated from God, from other people and from your real self. It is your choice to dream and you can dream for however long you desire.

God knows that dream is not reality. Your dream of separation does not alter the reality of union, for, in reality, you are always in union with God and all creation, while dreaming that you are separated from them.

God wills union and we are all in unified state. To separate from God is to die; to defy the will of God is to die. No one can separate from God/union, hence no one can die and, therefore, in reality we all obey the will of God, are unified and always love one another.

On earth, our acts that do not love others if seen from the Holy Spirit’s perspective are really acts of loving. Slavery, racism discrimination are really acts of love, for they enable blacks to give up their identification with separated self, egos and embrace unified spirit self hence regain peace and joy and return to heaven and its bliss.

Do not try to change other people, that is, do not try to heal other people, do not try to save other people, do not try to redeem other people, and do not try to deliver other people.

All that you can do is try to change you, to change your identity from separated self to unify self, from ego to Christ, from body to spirit, from belief in death to acceptance of immortality. The sole function of the atonement worker, Sister Helen Schucman reminds us, is to atone for his own sins.

To sin is to separate from the whole. To atone for ones sins is to give up separation and return to unified state, to God. When one relinquishes ones ego and embraces the truth of unified spirit, one is healed; one is a changed person, one is now living from Christ self, from love. One becomes an example of a changed person, so that those who wish to change, to be healed, can emulate one. One lives in peace and those who want to live in peace can emulate one.


One does not have to go about trying to change people, all that one needs to do is change ones self and one becomes an example of a changed human being for the rest of the world to emulate, if they so desire.
One does not have to criticize people, urging them to live as ego ideal selves. The pursuit of ego ideal self, which is the pursuit of fantasy, is really an attempt to replicate the perfect self of God’s unified real self on earth. Alas, God’s real son is spirit and is perfect in spirit, in unified spirit and is always so and cannot be perfect in body, in separation, so one must stop criticizing him and asking him to be ideal, for he cannot be ideal in separation, in body.

The son of God, your real self, is already ideal and perfect in unified spirit, in heaven. All he has to do is let go of his desire for separation, an ego housed in body and he recognizes that he is always in perfect state, while dreaming that he is imperfect in body and ego.

Instead of criticizing and judging people, recognize your union with them and live it via love and forgiveness for all creation. Leave other people to choose when to live out of their unified self, when to love and forgive all hence live in peace and joy.

* Africans, generally, do not pay much attention to their personalities and behaviors. When you examine them, you see lots of psychopathologies, but they do not know that they have these disorders. It is the case of ignorance is bliss! If you attempt to point out their screwed up life styles, they may think that you do not like them. Some may even think that by talking about my father’s issues publicly that I hate him. They could not be further from the truth. I love him more than I love any man on earth. I just want to understand his problem. Now that I have, more or less, understood it, I can stand his presence. He is now my greatest friend, but as a child I sought every opportunity to avoid his presence. Try, my dear reader, to understand your and your family’s behavior patterns, your personalities, and improve on the problematic aspects to them. There are too many warped and stunted Africans running around. Much of the misgovernance of Africa is attributable to many Africans problematic personalities and behaviors.

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January 19, 2006

Ozodi Osuji Weekly Lectures on African Countries #3 of 54: Benin

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji (Seatle, Washington) --- 3. BENIN
Formal Name: Republic of Benin.

Terms for Citizens: Béninoise (or Bininese).

Capital: Porto-Novo. Population: 225,000.

Independence Achieved: August 1, 1960, from France.

Major Cities: Cotonou, Porto-Novo.


Benin is estimated to be 43,483 square miles. Benin, once called Dahomey, is located in West Africa and is bounded by Nigeria, Togo and Niger. Benin is bisected by Oueme River, which empties into the Gulf of Guinea. The coastal region is swampy and immediately after it is rainforest, giving way to savannah. In the north, the land rises to 200-500 feet. In the far north a low mountain range crosses Benin and its neighbor, Togo. The land is tropical with two seasons, wet and dry. Rainfall is heavy in the coastal regions and tapers off inland.


The population of Benin is estimated at 6,736, 000.

Ethnic Groups: The major ethnic groups are the Fon, Adja, Aizo, Bariba, Somba, Yoruba and Fulani.

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

Religion: Christian south, Muslim North and varieties of indigenous beliefs.

Education: Access to primary education is readily available. Literacy is estimated at 37%.

Economy: Benin is primarily a subsistence agricultural economy. Benin is heavily reliant on trade with Nigeria and when in the 1980s Nigeria closed its borders with Benin to reduce smuggling, Benin practically went bankrupt. The Benin government currently attempts to attract western capital to help develop the country. GDP estimate: $7.3 billion; Per Capita GDP: $1200.

Monetary Unit: CFA Franc BCEAO (XOF).

History and Government:

Benin or as it was called Dahomey was ruled by France. Upon independence from France, Benin inherited French type government structure. However, its democracy is weak and the president has a lot of powers. In the 1970s, President Mathieu Kerekou attempted to turn Benin into a socialist country but failed, and Benin turned towards the West for economic aid. Benin is divided into 12 Departments/counties---Alibori, Atakora, Atlantique, Borgou, Collines, Donga, Kouffo, Littoral, Mono, Oueme, Plateau, Zou.


Benin was colonized by France in 1872. Prior to that, the area was inhabited by a conglomeration of many groups, the most powerful of which was Dahomey.
The origin of the Kingdom of Dahomey is not well understood, but what is known is that by the sixteenth century it had a powerful army and, unfortunately, used that army to capture slaves from its neighbors and sold them to the Americas.
The coast of what is now called Benin was called the Slave Coast. In 1704, France built a slave Port at Ouidah and in 1752 Portugal built another at Porto Novo. Dahomey was a slave state until France put a stop to that heinous practice when France incorporated it into its orbit of influence.
In 1894, the French named the area the Colony of Dahomey and its dependencies. It granted the territory some sort of autonomy, which it retained until 1904 when the territory became part of French West Africa. France replaced the trading in slaves with trading in palm oil and cotton. Palm oil and cotton remain critical products of Benin today.
Benin was part of the French empire until 1960 when she was given her independence from France on August 1, 1960. As is the case in many African countries that were put together by colonial powers, the various ethnic groups could not get along with each other. It would seem that the country was disintegrating, falling apart. Many governments were formed only to fall. The first military coup took place in 1963 and thereafter many coups and counter coups took place until 1972 when Mathew Kerekou took over.
In 1972, Mathew Kerekou, a major in the army, intervened in a military coup and took over the governing of the country. He changed the name of the country from Dahomey to Benin. In 1975, Mr. Kerekou embraced Marxist-Leninist political and economic ideology and proclaimed Benin a Marxist state.
From there on the economy of Benin went downhill. For one thing, Western powers that hitherto bought Benin’s produce were capitalist and did not kowtow to any third world country’s attempt to separate from it. Benin is an exporter of Palm oil and Cotton and the West was its primary market. The West simply refused to buy Benin’s products and strangulated the economy.
In 1979, Mr. Kerekou resigned from the army and ruled Benin as a civilian president. He began to make some changes to the economy, liberalizing aspects of it. Nevertheless, Benin remains one of the poorest countries in the world with an income per capita of $1200. Benin’s economy relies heavily on the smuggling trade that goes on between it and its neighbor, Nigeria.
In the late 1980s, there was a wind of change blowing through Africa. African countries were increasingly embracing democracy. Mr. Kerekou called for a constitutional conference at which a constitution was written for Benin in 1990. The conference, among other things, abolished Marxism-Leninism as the official state ideology, embraced multi-party system, abolished the prevailing ruling single party structures, released all political prisoners, stipulated respect for human rights and adopted a national flag.
A presidential election was held in 1991. Mr. Kerekou was not elected president and, for the first time in Benin, an African dictator peacefully handed power to a different person.

The new constitution called for an 83 seat National Assembly, for which elections are held every four years.
The constitution called for a President to be elected for five years and stipulated two term limit for the president. The president is empowered to appoint a council of ministers. The constitution set age 70 as the limit at which an individual may compete for the presidency.
The constitution established a constitutional court with the powers of judicial review and a supreme court as the last appellate court in the country.

Benin, like many African countries, is bedeviled by the problem of ethnicity and politicians tend to be voted for by the members from their ethnic groups. (There are about 40 ethnic groups in Benin, the largest being the Fon, 49% of Benin’s population, followed by the Adja, Yoruba, Somba and Bariba).

In April of 1996, Mr. Kerekou returned to power, elected this time, sort of (there were allegations of electoral irregularities). He is both the chief of state and the head of government. His term ends in March of 2006 when another differential presidential election is scheduled.

Benin appears to tolerate the existence of many political parties, some of whom are African Movement for Democracy and Progress or MADEP, Alliance of the Social Democratic Party or PSD, Coalition of Democratic Forces, Democratic Renewal Party or PRD and many others.

The Legislative branch of government is unicameral and witnesses spirited election campaigns by the various political parties for its control. The result of the March 2003 election gave parties in alliance with the president 52 members in the National Assembly and opposition parties’ 31 members, meaning that the president tends to have the support of the legislative branch of government behind his policies.

To the president’s credit, he has not suppressed opposition movements. Indeed, Benin seems to have a thieving freedom of Press and interest group politics activities. There are several independent news papers, radio stations and a National Television outfit. On the whole, there seems freedom of press and basic human rights.
What remains to be seen is how the 2006 presidential election would be conducted, whether the now reclusive, claiming Born Again Christian, Mathew Kerekou, would hand over government to a freely elected successor, retire and not meddle in subsequent Benin politics. If that happens, Benin would have made successful transition from a third world dictatorship to a thriving democracy. So far, the history and politics of post independence Benin is largely the documentation of the activities of one man, Matthew Kerekou.

AIS: African Countries, Benin
Ozodi Osuji

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January 15, 2006

Ozodi Osuji Weekly Psychological Series 2006, #3 of 52: Forgiveness as the True Meaning of Salvation, Peace, and Happiness

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji (Seatle, Washington) --- If you were brought up a Christian, as I was, you probably have had a lot of talk about salvation. I was raised a Catholic and was told that we are born in sin, live in sin and need to be saved. We are told that a Jewish rabbi that lived in Palestine two thousand years ago is our savior and that if we believe in him that we would be saved. We are told that God has only one son and that this man, Jesus Christ, is that one Son of God and that whoever believes in him shall be saved.

These teachings by traditional Christianity seem cute and quaint. Few intelligent fourteen-year old youngsters find them believable. Generally, adolescents dismiss these teachings as fairy tales. Some leave the Church and others find ways to reconcile themselves to what seems to them mythologies. I left Catholic Christianity at fourteen and thought whoever believes in the myths described in the Bible ought to have his head examined by psychiatrists and treated for psychosis.
However, this does not mean that there is no saliency to the teachings attributed to the Jewish carpenter called Emmanuel Ben Joseph, whom the Greeks called Jesus Christ. I believe that if properly understood it is correct to say that we all live in sin and need salvation from sin. Specifically, I believe that I live in sin and need salvation from my sins. How so?
I tend to bear grudges and grievances against those I see as having done me wrong. I do not easily forgive any one for the wrong they did to me. I have not forgiven white folks for enslaving black folks. I tend to study history, the past, and dredge past injustices done to those I identify with, blacks, and seek vengeance. If you push me, I will tell you that I want white folks to be punished for enslaving and discriminating against black folks. I want them to burn in hell fire for degrading Africans. Closer to home, I have not forgiven extended family members who did not financially help me when I was in college. I was so angry with them for leaving only my poor parents to support me when they could have helped, that I never wrote any of them and did not care, one way or another, when I heard that some of them died. As far as I was concerned, they were evil and I swore them off and wanted nothing to do with them. I distanced myself from these folks to the point of not even wanting to see them physically. When I completed graduated education and felt that white controlled universities discriminated against me, I swore to have nothing to do with them. In fact, I refused to step into a campus that I felt discriminated against me.
You get my point. I am capable of great anger and hatred; I tend to bear grudges and grievances and seek vengeance and punishment for those I see as having wronged me.
As long as I bear grievances and seek vengeance for my presumed enemies, I tend to be angry, fearful, tense, and unhappy. In fact, as long as I bear grievances and seek punishment for my supposed detractors nothing tends to work out well for me.
Bearing grievances and seeking punishment for others, I believe, is what living in sin means. The unforgiving person lives in metaphoric hell: in pain and tension.
Forgiveness for the wrong others did to one, on the other hand, tends to give the forgiving person the gift of peace and joy. If you look those who wronged you in the eyes and truly forgive them, you benefit from that action: you feel freed from anger, fear, hatred and tension; you feel like a heavy weight has been lifted from your head.
To forgive and love people is metaphorically to live in heaven, while still here on planet earth.
To forgive is to see an apparent injustice which ones ego sees as real and overlook it. Forgiveness is an act of choice. It is looking at what has occurred in the empirical universe and overlooking it as if it has not happened. It is a choice not to look at the past as a guide for the present.
To truly forgive is to overlook the world and what is done in it, good or bad, and love the people in the world. To forgive is to see a man who has enslaved blacks, a racist, a murderer, a rapist, and any one who, to ones thinking, has done something egregiously wrong and overlook what they did and still love them.
To love other people is to join with them and become one with them. To forgive, that is, to love and join people, gives one a sense of oneness with people.
In the state of oneness one feels peaceful and happy. In separation from other people (we separate from those we do not genuinely forgive) one feels unconnected, tense, anxious and unhappy.
I believe, in fact, I know, that to forgive those who have done one wrong, to forgive the world, all of it, is to join the world in love. Forgiveness gives one a sense of belonging to those one has forgiven and in that sense of oneness one feels peace and joy. Forgiveness, therefore, gives one the gift of peace and joy.

I believe that forgiveness and its gifts of peace and joy is what salvation is. To be saved is to forgive all people their hurtful activities on this earth. To forgive is to truly love all people, and to love all people is to join with them, to become one with them hence to be peaceful and happy.
The forgiving person is a saved person (and he lives in peace and joy and material abundance).
The unforgiving person is not a saved person; he lives in anger, fear, hatred and tension, all of which are hellish. The unforgiving person is in hell, a hell of his own making.

We tend to think that there are certain sins that are unforgivable. I, for example, believed that slavery and racial discrimination are unforgivable. My whole life was dedicated to a time when black folks would seek vengeance for the wrong done to them by white folks. I wanted blacks to acquire nuclear weapons and reduce whites to slavery, so that they experience the pain they inflicted on black folks.
What I am saying is that it is difficult to truly forgive those who wronged one. However, forgiveness is possible if one reinterprets the wrong done to one. There are essentially two modes of interpreting the events of this world, the ego’s mode and the mode of love, aka the Holy Spirit. The ego is self centered and urges one to punish those who hurt ones interests; the Holy Spirit, aka love, urges one to forgive them.
According to the Holy Spirit’s (where I employ the word Holy Spirit, you can replace it with love, for both terms stand for union, which is what God is) mode of thinking, those who wronged one were merely acting out ones script. As it were, one wrote a play, a script and placed people into it and had them act out its parts. Those who did one good or bad were mere volunteers acting out roles that ones play, drama, called for people to act for one. One, therefore, ought to be grateful to them for acting out the roles they acted in ones play.
In effect, one asked those who did right or wrong to one to do so and they merely obliged ones request.
Those who did not help one financially when one was young did so because one asked them not to help one. One wanted to go it alone and suffer and feel like one is responsible for ones education. Those who discriminated against one did so because one asked them to do so. One did not want to work for them. One wanted to be independent so as to be free to do ones own thing. To operate within the box is to be a conformist, which, more or less, is to live a stunted and warped life.
If one is fired from ones job, one asked the person who did so to do so, so that one might be out of the work place and go find out what one likes doing and have the courage to do it. Simply stated, one asked all those who did what the world calls good or bad to one.
One asked people to do these things to one with certain objectives in mind. The first objective is ego. Here, one feels wronged, feels like a victim and feels angry with those who did one wrong. (As a young man in my twenties, I was furious at white folks for discriminating against blacks and wanted them destroyed.)
This initial response to perceived injustice is later reinterpreted with a more adult response. One gradually realized that one asked the people to do what they did to one, so that one would learn ones true identity as not a separated self, not an ego housed in body.
We came to this world identifying as separated self, the ego, but later want to learn that our true identity is unified spirit, a self that is outside matter, space and time and cannot be hurt by what hurts ones body.
Ones body is a dream figure, not ones real self. The whole point to other persons attack is for one to learn that one is not a body that can be hurt, that one is spirit and that nobody can hurt spirit.
This is the lesson of Jesus. He was attacked by people and was physically hurt; he forgave those who hurt and eventually destroyed his body. He did not feel angry with them. He forgave them, that is, he overlooked what they did to him. In overlooking what they did to his body and ego, he remembered his real self, unified spirit, Christ self. He identified with Christ, unified self and detached from ego and its body, so that what was done to his body did not concern him. Of course, to the extent that he identified with body and thought himself his body, he felt pain when his body was attacked, but when he recognized that he is not body and did not defend his body when it was attacked, he no longer felt pain. He overcame the ego and its chosen home, the human body and awakened to the awareness of unified spirit world.
Jesus wrote a script in which he had some of his friends seems to betray him and others crucify him. They did what they did for him to seem to die and from death resurrect. In resurrecting from death, he proved to himself and to the world that death is not final, that our tendency to fear death is misguided. He wanted to teach us that there is life after death, hence teach us to stop fearing death.
We tend to be unforgiving and punitive primarily because we feel that this world is all there is to human existence. But if we accepted that there is a world other than our empirical world, we would be forgiving and less punitive. In fact, if we knew that there is life after death, we would be totally forgiving of those who wronged us.
Jesus taught us that there is life after death hence that we must forgive those who made a mistake in wronging us. His lesson is that we must totally forgive whoever seemed to have wronged us. Jesus taught us total love for all people.
To be a Christian is be totally forgiving and loving. If you were totally forgiving, hence loving, you would live in peace and happiness, whereas if you were unforgiving you would live in pain and tension, in hell. To forgive, love, is therefore to live in heaven, for heaven is peace and happiness; and to not forgive is to live in hell.

Considering the blessing of forgiveness, peace and joy, to forgive other people is thus to bless ones self; to give yourself peace and joy, to put yourself in heaven.
Considering the consequences of not forgiving other people, lack of somatic and psychological peace and happiness, to bear grievances and not forgive other people is to give ones self pain and conflict, to put ones self in hell.
I was an unforgiving man. I bore grudges and grievances. I wanted punishment for those who wronged me. All you had to do is not acknowledge my presence, ignore me, and I felt humiliated by you and wanted to punish you.
(Objectively, no one can ignore one, no one can humiliate one, no one can belittle one, no one can disgrace one, and no one can say anything to detract from ones worth, for ones worth is not given to one by other people. The individual’s worth was given to him by God. It is not up to other people to give or withdraw worth and dignity from the individual. Of course, if one thinks that other people can detract from ones value, they can do so. They will seem to do so, for one has given them the power to do so, and one would feel degraded by them. But if one knows that no other human being can degrade one, just as one cannot degrade another human being, then no one can degrade one. People do to one as one wants done to one.)
Do you want to be saved? Do you want to live in peace, joy and happiness? Do you want to live in material abundance? If your answer to all these questions is affirmative, then you must do what they require; you must forgive all people, not a little bit, you must forgive them all the time. You must have one hundred percent love for all people; you must forgive the wrongs that you believe that people have done to you, all of it.
You cannot have a bit of unforgiveness in your life if you want to be peaceful, happy and live life more abundantly. If there is any human being you have not forgiven, you have kept him or her in hell and you are there with him.
The person you have not forgiven is in hell and you are in hell with him. If you do not forgive a person who wronged you, he fears your vengeance and is; therefore, always defensive, trying to protect himself from your anticipated vengeance, attack on him. A defensive person is an anxious and unhappy person and, therefore, is in hell. You placed him in hell by not forgiving him. Forgiveness makes him less defensive; forgiveness makes the forgiven person relaxed and happy, hence in metaphoric heaven. To forgive people is to give the forgiven the gifts of peace and joy, which is to give them heaven.
What you give to others you give to you. If you forgive others, you forgive you; if you love other people, you love you. If you hate other people, you hate you. Giving is receiving; what you give to the world is what the world gives back to you.

Do I want peace, happiness and abundance in my life? If the answer is affirmative, then I must forgive all those who I believed wronged me. I must forgive all of them. I must forgive my relatives who did not support me financially; I must forgive whites for enslaving blacks, I must forgive Africans for selling blacks. (I hated my ancestors, the Osuji-Njokus for selling their own people into slavery.) I must forgive the world the evil I see it do.
Each act of evil is perpetrated for a purpose; the purpose is for those it is done to, to forgive and love its perpetrators. The abused asked the abuser to abuse him. The enslaved asked the slaver to enslave him. Why? So as to feel angry and abandoned by God, and to learn forgiveness and love and live in heaven.
The person who undertakes to abuse other people learns his own lessons; he, too, is in hell…look at white Americans, who is living in more hell than them?
I must forgive all people. I must forgive my parents whom I perceived as caring more for my brothers than for me.
(I used to think that my mother, Teresa, loved my senior brother, Eugene, more than she loved me. When Eugene went off to boarding school, Hussey College, Warri, mother cried for weeks. When I went off to boarding school, Anglican Grammar School, Port Harcourt, it seemed to me that mother did not miss me for a second. I certainly did not receive the type of pocket money that “Boy” my senior brother’s family name, received. The same mother I thought did not like me sold all her belongings to send me to America. She did not even want me to work in Nigeria and sent me off a few months from taking my secondary school exams. At any rate, to the extent that attention was not lavished on me, I believe that folks did so in compliance with my request for them to leave me alone. I wanted to feel not loved hence feel angry and subsequently learn love via forgiveness. There can be no island of un-forgiveness in my life if I want to be peaceful and happy.)

Forgiveness does not mean condoning evil. The best-lived life is a life of love and giving. If you, therefore, see a person abusing another person, you must speak out against it. You must tell the abuser and the abused that their dance is foolish, you must tell them that the abuser is in hell and the abused is in hell with him; both can live in heaven only when they love and work for the welfare of each other.
The abused and abuser choose their dance, but they chose it out of foolishness (ego dance of victim and victimizer), they chose it to learn from it. But there are better ways to live. You tell them what they want to learn, love and forgiveness and ask them to practice it right now and stop inflicting unnecessary pain on each other.

Consider Christians and Moslems. They fought during the crusades and that war is resumed with the Arab terrorist attack on New York on September 11, 2001. Actually, the war between Christians and Moslems never ceased, it was fought in other forms and has now resumed in overt forms.
Question: are Westerners Christians? If Christians are those who love and forgive those who wronged them, as Jesus Christ made crystal clear in his teachings….see what he told the man going to worship God and remembered that a neighbor had done him wrong; he told him to first go home and forgive the neighbor before he prayed to God, see the implication of the adulterous woman: let him who has not sinned judge her a sinner and since we are all sinners we have no right to judge her a sinner or stone her; see the “Our Lord’s prayer…God, forgive us our sins for we have first forgiven those who sinned against us”…and Jesus walked his talk by forgiving those who destroyed his body: “father forgive them for they know not what they are doing”…simply stated, Jesus taught the gospel of forgiveness of sins as path to salvation…can any one describe Americans as forgiving people, hence as Christians? They are not Christians; in fact, they do not even know what Christianity is. How can those who enslaved blacks be called Christians? At best you call them criminals.
Are Arabs Moslems? Didn’t Arabs, too, enslave Africans? Those who enslaved their fellow human beings obviously cannot be practicing love. God is love and only loving persons are exhibiting the characteristic of their father, God.
There are no real Christians in the West and no real Moslems in the Middle East. What we have here are two sociopathic people attacking and counter attacking one another. What we are witnessing are two sets of aggressive egotists fighting one another for the control of the world. Neither is right.

So what to do? Teach both sides and all humanity the true meaning of Christianity: love and forgiveness. This teaching is best done through individual example, not just by talking about it. Jesus taught his gospel of love and forgiveness by loving and forgiving people. The followers of Jesus must, therefore, teach by example, by totally loving and forgiving those who wronged them.
With regard to political policy, Americans, obviously, need to stay in the Moslem world and teach them democratic principles. Arabs need to learn democracy. America and the West will be in the Arab world for a long, long time performing that historic duty. While helping to establish democratic institutions, Americans must forgive and love Arabs, as Arabs must forgive and love Americans, for their mutual hurtful pasts.
At the individual level, each American and each Arab must learn forgiveness and love as a means of attaining salvation, that is, as a means of attaining peace and happiness.


Traditional Christianity is chockfull of metaphors like virgin birth, immaculate conception, being born again, redeemed, delivered, saved, healed, resurrected from death, the second coming of Christ and the last judgment. If you were raised a Christian, you probably heard these metaphors and if you are like me, as an oppositional defiant teenager, you probably thought them a whole load of nonsense and threw them to the garbage dump and went on to study what seemed to you realistic adaptation to the exigencies of this world, science and technology. But in retrospection, those terms actually stand for psychological truths that are empirically observable in people’s lives. Let me; therefore, try to explain their true meaning.
To make the ensuing explanation understandable, let me address some background noise. We, human beings, tend to believe that we are born in sin and live in sin. I think that this belief originated in how we came to be in this world.


Here is a story of creation for you to ponder. It is not the truth but it approximates the truth.
Originally, all of us were unified as one spirit self. In that one unified self, we are infinite in numbers but are united, we are all the same and are equal; we are eternal and all knowing.
Somehow, we desired the opposite of our true self, our unified self. We desired to be separated from each other. Separation offered us an opportunity to seem to create ourselves, as opposed to the fact that the whole created the part and if the whole is called God, and the part is called Son of God, God created the Son of God.
The Son of God, the part, cannot create himself or create his brothers and their father; the part cannot create the whole for the whole produced the part; the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts. God created his children and though the father and his children are the same, the father is greater than the children.

The part wanted to create itself, create other parts and create the whole. The Son of God wanted to create himself, create his brothers and create their father. In effect, the son wanted to kill his father and become the father, become the author of reality.
In reality, the part cannot displace the whole; the Son of God cannot create his father and create himself and his brothers. But he still wished to do so. Unable to do so in reality, he forgot his truth and dreamed a different truth. We sleep and dream that the truth is not the truth; we replace the truth with our desired truth. The truth is union; we replaced it with separation.
The world is our dream of special ness and separation; the world is a place where what is eternally unified is seen as divided and separated from each other.
On earth, each of us invents a separated special self-concept for himself and for other people and use those to substitute for the unified self-God created us as. On earth, the dream of real self-forgetfulness, we assume ego separated personalities and defend them to make them seem real in our awareness.
Defense makes what is defended seem real even if it is not real. The separated self-housed in body and defended seem real but it is not real, it is a dream self.
The act of separation, in pursuit of special self, the act of splitting oneness into fragments and identifying with fragments, amounts to attack on unified reality. In truth, we cannot divide unified reality.
God’s will is union and we cannot really disobey his will, for to do so is to die and for God to die.
For the part to exist, the whole must exist, for God to exist, his son must exist, and for the Son of God to exist his father must exist.
God and his son desire to exist and do exist; they can only exist under one condition, union, so they are still unified.
The children of God merely dream that they are separated from their father and from each other, but in truth they are always unified.


The dream of special ness (self creation) and separation makes people feel like they did something wrong. As long as people wish to be separated from their real self, they feel like they live in sin.
Separation from God, the unified self, is what Christians mean by the concept of Original sin. Since we came to this world through separation, we, as it were, committed an original sin. To be on earth is to have committed an original sin and to live in sin.


But, in fact, we did not separate from God, our real self; we merely pretend that we are separated from the whole; the whole, even in physics is always unified. In as much as we have not separated from God and all of us, we are still as God created us, unified. To be unified is to be innocent, sinless and guiltless. The children of God are always as their father created them, innocent (lamb) and guiltless. To the extent that we see them as guilty, we made a mistake and must correct our misperception of the children of innocence.
Though still innocent and sinless, though still in union, if we believe that we are separated from each other and from God we feel sinful. Thus, those on earth, the realm of separation (space, time and matter) feel sinful. To be a human being, which is to believe in separation, is to be sinful, not in reality but in dreams.
To pursue self-interests at the expense of other people’s interests is to feel sinful. To seek social interests, to serve common good, is to feel sinless. To serve the whole is to feel sinless.
(But whether one knows it or not, whatever one does, good or bad, seen correctly, serves the interests of the whole, hence one is always serving social interests and, as such, is always sinless, innocent and guiltless. Consider the Second World War. Hitler killed people and destroyed Europe; in the process of committing evil, he weakened almighty Europe; because of his weakening of Europe, Third World countries were able to emancipate themselves from European control. Thus, Hitler’s bad produced well for Africans and Asians; he was, therefore, in spirit as sinless as any other human being.)

In the temporal universe, each of us feels separated from the whole, God, and from other parts, other people, and from his spirit self; he, therefore, feels sinful.
In pursuit of his separated interests, each of us does hurtful things to other people and that reinforces his sense of guilt. To be on earth is to feel sinful and guilty.
Feeling guilty and sinful, each of us needs to be redeemed, delivered and saved from our sin. How is this done?

A person is redeemed from sin by recognizing that he has not done what produced a sense of sin. A sense of separation produced a sense of sin. But in truth one cannot separate from union, for reality, the universe, even at the material level, is always unified. Separation is an illusion, union is the eternal truth. Thus, one has not separated from union. One is always unified, while dreaming that one is separated. Since one is always unified, therefore, one is always sinless, innocent and guiltless.
God has only one Son, one Son that is simultaneously infinite in numbers; all God’s sons are the same to him; where one son of God ends and another begins is no where and where the Son of God ends and God begins is no where; there is no space and gap between God and his children; God is in his children, as they are in him and in each other.
The Son of God is always as God created him, unified with his father and brothers, he has not separated from God and his brothers and sisters and is therefore always innocent.
Forgive the belief in separation; overlook the things done in the world of separation and you experience the world of union. Forgiveness is the path to the awareness of union.
Forgiveness is not an ego moral statement; it simply means recognizing that what is done on earth is done in a dream and is not real; hence despite what we do here, we have not done them and are still as God created us, hence we are still unified, innocent, sinless and guiltless. No matter what you have done on earth, no matter what other people have done earth, we are still innocent. Even those who do what some of us consider horrible, such as homosexuals, pedophiles, rapists, murderers, racists, enslavers, criminals etc are still innocent, for they have not done those things. They did them only in dreams, not in reality; they remain as our God created them holy, unified with all, hence innocent, guiltless and sinless.
To be saved, healed, redeemed and delivered from our sins is to recognize that despite what one and other people do on earth that one has not done those things and is not separated from ones real self, is not separated from other people, is not separated from God and is always unified with all people. This awareness of eternal union is what is meant by salvation, redemption and deliverance from sin/separation.


God extended his one self to each of us. God gave all of himself to each of us and remains himself and is in us. This is the first creation. God created us unified with him. The creation of each of us is the first birth of Christ. Christ is the Son of God who is unified with his creator and his brothers.


Christ died means that the Son of God forgot union and believes himself separated from God and his brothers. In separated state, in ego, self-concept, self image, human personality, one is metaphorically dead. To be in the dream of specialness and separation, to be on earth is to be metaphorically dead.


When one recognizes that one is forever unified with God and all people, and lives as such, one has resurrected from death. Ego is death; Christ is resurrection; separation is death, union is rebirth.
Jesus was the man who first voluntarily died to his ego self conception and resurrected to the awareness of his Christ self. He recognized that he is not a separated self but a unified self. While seeing himself as separated, he knew that separation is impossible and that he is always unified with God and creation.


The act of accepting that one is always unified with God and all creation is what is meant by the term being born again. One was born first as unified spirit and one rejected it and sees ones self as separated ego self housed in body, now one is born-again as unified, that is, accepts unified self as ones true identity. One has resurrected from ego death and now lives as Christ unified self.


The second coming of Christ to the world is the day one relinquished identification with the ego and embraced the Christ as ones true identity.
The seconding of Christ is not some fanciful thing like Jesus coming from the sky to rescue his followers (see Christian concept of tribulation and eruption). It simply means that one has changed ones identity, from separated, ego, to unified Christ. One, of course, still sees ones self as separated but now knows that separation is an illusion.


The act of judging separation as false and union as real is what is meant by the last judgment. The individual performs the last judgment on the ego and its world, and decides that the ego is false and Christ is real and lives accordingly, lovingly and forgivingly.
The last judgment is not going to happen in a future time for all people, it happens when each individual changes his mind/thinking and rejects the ego self (which is what Christians call Satan, and his ways, the world), and accepts Christ and his ways, union. When we accept union and its requirement, that we love and forgive all people, we now obey the will of God, for the will of God is that we love him and love each other.


When we obey the will of God, that is, love and forgive each other, we live in the grace of God. In grace, this world becomes a comfortable place to live in. Ones life is now like one is being carried along by cool breezes on a cool summer evening. One lives a life of material abundance and whatever one wants that is in accord with the will of God, love and forgiveness, is given to one. Doors open for one, for those one loves in an unconditionally positive manner tend to bend over backwards to help one obtain what one wants from them. Those who love and forgive God’s children obtain peace, happiness and, yes, material abundance. They live in God’s grace, guided by the Holy Spirit.


When we separated from God and dream that we are in this world, God entered our world, our minds as the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the immanent God, whereas God the father is the transcendental God. Thus, there seem three persons in one God: the so-called Holy Trinity, God the father, God the Son (you and I) and God the Holy Spirit. God the Holy Spirit urges us to love and forgive one another, whereas God the Son is sleeping and identifies with the ego and enjoys seeking only self interests and not forgiving other people.
The Holy Spirit is the correction principle; it corrects the mistake of separation; it takes us home and, as such, is our guide to our real home, unified state, aka heaven; he is our comforter in the distresses of this world; he is the link, the bridge between heaven and earth; he is part of God and brings God’s will into our sleeping minds and takes our wishes back to God, where they are reinterpreted to suit the will of God; he reconciles heaven’s will and earth’s wishes, via forgiveness; Jesus identified completely with the mission of the Holy Spirit and taught that gospel of forgiveness as the true meaning of love.


Jesus was born of virgin birth does not mean that his mother Mary did not have sex. She had sex all right and, in fact, lots of it. You got to have lots of sex to have the many children she had. Thomas was one of her children.
Virgin birth means that God crated one as unified with him and all people hence innocent.
This is the same meaning of the concept of Immaculate Conception. Immaculate means pure, sinless and guiltless. Each of us was conceived by Immaculate Conception means that we were created sinless; each of us was given birth to by a virgin, meaning that we were created sinless. We were created by love and in our true self love. Whatever loves is purified for love purifies whatever it touches. Love is purity and immaculate.


(Jesus), Christ, unified self, was born on Christ-mass day. That is, God created his son unified. This is done whenever each of us is created.
Christmas is not any specific day in the year; it is whenever the individual’s real self, the unified self, is born, that is, is remembered by him. So, December 25 or January 28 makes no difference.


Jesus died to his ego identification on Good Friday (it is good when we forget the ego and do not defend it) and resurrected to his Christ self on Easter day. Ones Easter day is the day that one gave up identification with the ego separated self and now identifies with Christ unified self and does what that requires, loves and forgives all people.


The prodigal son is all of us who left the state of union and see ourselves in the state of separation. We came here to seem separated from each other and from God. We think that we can be independent of God and of each other.
In separation, while on earth, we suffer. The prodigal son eventually recognizes his mistakes and learns that union is reality and that separation is impossible and goes home. This means that he now lives in the awareness that he is always unified with his father and brothers.
He did not have to make a journey, for there is nowhere to go. God is everywhere and where you see the Son of God, you see all his brothers and his father, for all of them are one person, one self in infinite persons. Where you are, where I am, God is. Our stay on earth is a journey without distance, a journey to nowhere, for wherever we think that we are is in God.

You are here on earth. You see yourself as in a world of space, time and matter. You believe yourself as separated from other people. These beliefs constitute what folks call sin. All you have to do is recognize that you are right now in union, in God, in all people; that there is no space and gap between God and his children and his children and each other; that you are always in union while dreaming that you are separated from it.
Accept that truth and behave accordingly, love and forgive all creation, and you are now sinless, guiltless, and innocent. Despite every thing you have done in this world, things done in the illusory world of separation, you remain as God created you, unified.
You are right now in union, hence saved from the sin of separation. To know this truth, however, you must love all people, for love is union. Love does not judge and love does not condemn any one; love only forgives all.
To love is to forgive all people the wrongs you see them do to you; I mean all wrongs for to not forgive one wrong is to say that separation is real, that illusion is real. You must forgive all wrongs; this means that you must overlook the world of dreams.
If you forgive all, now, you experience oneness, holy instant, mystical union, call it what you like, for in truth, it has no name. This is experienced now, not tomorrow. In this experience you feel joined to all things, know that union is truth, know that in our true state we are formless, spirit and are eternal.

All the so-called evil you believe that you did on earth actually was necessary for some one to experience whatever he wanted to experience, what is part of his script. Let me expatiate a bit how this works.
I had girlfriend. I had to leave her and that, apparently, broke her heart. I felt evil. But I knew that I had to leave her. She wanted to experience separation. She wanted to be a special, separated self and did not want any man to destroy her cherished independence, to swallow her. She found intimacy, physical and psychological, threatening. She found it difficulty to attach to any one. Though I was not really interested in sex but it seemed odd to me that she was not interested in sex. On earth, people tend to use sex as a means of joining each other. (That is pseudo joining, true joining is done at the mind level, via love.)
I eventually recognized that the lady psychologist came to this world to experience optimal independence and gave her space to experience what she came to experience. I left her. Her ego, like all egos, felt like a victim wronged by me. But at a deep level, she wanted me to leave, so that she would experience her ego cherished feminist independence. That is what she came here to experience and set it up to happen so.
When she gets over her anger and sense of being maltreated by evil men, she will eventually learn that union is reality and give up her illusion of independence. She might do so in this lifetime or in other life times, in other dreams.
Did I do wrong by leaving her, by breaking her heart? No. I did what she wanted me to do, to offer her the opportunity to experience what she wanted to experience. Am I evil? No at all.
By the same token, all the people that have done what my ego mind believes is evil to me did what I asked them to do for me, so as to forgive them and from forgiveness, overlooking of the past (see a purified present, stop coloring the present with the past), come to the awareness that I am always a unified self despite the appearance of separated self.
I should not bear grudges and grievances against anybody that did something wrong to me, for, in fact, they did what I asked them to do to me, so as to learn the reality of union, hence become enlightened to my true self, unified self.
I asked folks to do seeming bad things to me, thus, offering me an opportunity to choose again, to choose love and forgiveness, to choose union, over anger and attack and defensiveness; to choose union over separation. When I overlook the evil done to me and choose forgiveness, I have chosen salvation and I experience peace and happiness. In this sense, the person who did seeming bad things to me, hence offered me the opportunity to forgive him is my savior.
I tell you what, I was so furious at white folks that I wanted to destroy all of them. As a twenty eight year old PhD floundering about in America, I saw all whites as devil incarnate. The day I finally forgave them the sin of enslaving my people was the happiest day in my life. I felt peaceful and happy. I felt like a heavy load had been uplifted from me. I felt in metaphoric heaven. When I was an unforgiving person, I lived with tremendous tension and conflict; I was filled with fear, anger and hatred and was unhappy. My tension dissipated with the simply act of forgiving those I was angry at. (Choose the person that you believe did the worst imaginable wrong to you and forgive him and see how you feel. If, in fact, you forgave him or she, that is, loved him, you would feel unified with that person and feel peaceful and happy, blissful, in heaven.)
From that episode, I learned that I ought to be grateful to all the people that did me well and bad. I am grateful to whites that discriminated against blacks and me, for I asked them to do so, to offer me the opportunity to forgive them, to over look their apparent evil, so as to see the Christ in them and in doing so experience the Christ in me. Without them and their seeming bad and or good, I would not have recognized my eternal unity with all being, hence becomes saved.
It is when you look at a person who came to hurt you with love and forgiveness that you experience Christ vision; this is also called spiritual sight. This is literal, not figurative. Suddenly, that person becomes indescribably beautiful in your sight. He looks like he is made of pure light particles.
(When we invented our bodies, the Holy Spirit reinvented them in light bodies…bodies made of pure photons of light. The light body is still an illusion, still a dream self, albeit a better one, for it approximates heaven’s self more than the gross, dense self we currently identify with; the light body does not last long. Whatever is temporary is a dream self. What is real is a formless and changeless, the unified self that God created us as. Nevertheless, if you love and forgive all people, you will see you and other people in light forms. This is factual, not speculative. If you could understand these matters, I would explain them to you. For now, enough said for you.)

Separation has not occurred. What people are doing on earth are done in a dream state, therefore, people have not done what you see them do.
People are right now innocent, sinless and guiltless, for they have not done what you see them do in your and their dreams of separation, dreams of the opposite of union, dreams of the opposite of eternity, dreams of death. Love them no matter what you see them do. Even if they do dreadful things like engage in racism still love them. They do those dreadful things to see whether despite doing them you would still love them, hence love yourself despite whatever dreadful things you yourself do on earth.
Despite seeing separation, accept the fact of union; accept that you and all people, right now, are unified as one self, the Holy Son of God, the eternal Christ who has lived forever with his father.
Union is not going to happen tomorrow, it is already here, now. We live in union and dream separation; we live in the presence of love and dream that wee are hated by God and all our brothers and sisters.
(If you are into philosophy, my first love, some of the ideas propounded here fall under the categories of solipsism and idealism. Solipsism teaches that the world is in our minds. See George Berkeley’s Dialogues. You also might want to see Arthur Schopenhauer’s World as Will and Idea, Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit and William James Varieties of Religious experience. You could also study Hinduism, particularly Vedanta and Buddhism. I am not, however, writing philosophy. I am writing what I accept as truth, not some academic exercise to impress my “colleagues” so that they would give me tenure at some university. I do not need their damned tenure if I must tell lies to secure it.)


You are having your own self chosen dream and other people are having their own self-chosen dreams.
You cannot prevent other people from having their type of dreams, for they chose them before they were born on earth.
Those who will go to war and die there chose it before they were born. Those who will die of cancer will die of cancer for that is what they chose. Ramakrishna chose cancer and died of cancer. Among other things, he wanted to show that he could still be a man of God, identify with spirit despite the cancer ravaging his body. (See M. The Gospel of Ramakrishna)
Helen Schulman chose cancer and died of cancer, so Jesus could not heal her of her cancer. But she did not take ownership of her choice and felt like she was an innocent person unto whom bad was visited; she felt like she did work for Jesus by writing his book, A Course in Miracles, her book actually, and was not helped by Jesus and hence angry with him for using and dumping her. She identified with her ego to the end and did not see that nothing could happen to her without her choosing it. She was still an ego who blamed others. She did not learn that she chose her cancer to prove that she is spirit and that what could destroy her body could not destroy her spirit, just as destroying Jesus’ body did not destroy his spirit.

The lesson is that one must identify with spirit and love and forgive despite diseases that afflict ones body. One cannot wish away the diseases of ones body, for one chose them before coming to this world, but what one can do is overlook the diseases of the body and still see ones self as unified self hence be peaceful and happy despite the afflictions of the body. (We must, of course, study science and technology, and use knowledge garnered from them to heal the sicknesses of the body. I eschew Christian Science’s antipathy to medical intervention. We were given minds to think with, to study material phenomenon. Without choosing material monism, we can understand matter and device technologies to manipulate it.)
People die from the diseases they chose and will either interpret it from ego or spirit perspective. If from ego perspective, they see themselves as victims and are angry; they are not enlightened hence will come back to the dream world to dream some more, until they get it right, that they chose what happens to them, to learn that they are not bodies and not egos but unified spirit hence remain calm and happy despite it all.


In this paper, I have reinterpreted some familiar Christian concepts. I have given them the only meaning that could possibly make them acceptable to a mind bent on knowledge, Gnosis. I have, in effect, given the Bible Gnostic interpretation. I am a Gnostic Christian.
If you are interested in Gnosis, begin your studies by reading the Gospel according to Thomas, Platonus, my writings and Helen Schucman’s writings.
But be warned, the Catholic Church and, now, the Protestant Churches, would not like you to be a Gnostic Christian. The Church stamped out Gnostic Christianity during the fourth century, AD. The Church, that great egotistical institution (Elaine White, the founder of Seventh Day Adventist Church, called it the great Satan) likes people to remain in darkness and hides the unifying light of God from them.
As long as the Church keeps people in darkness, prevents them from awareness of the truth of our oneness, it controls, oppresses and abuses them, even subjects their six year old boy children to sexual abuse.
The narcissistic institution called the Christian Church, and for that matter, other religions, will probably persecute you if you try to think for yourself, if you choose Gnosis over the nonsense propagated as Christianity by the moribund church. Please be aware of what you are getting into if you choose truth over falsity.
The material world, Gnosticism teaches, was not created by a benevolent God, as the Bible seem to teach. (Actually the Old Testament God qualifies as a pathological narcissist, a psychopathic God that belongs in a psychiatric hospital for treatment, to heal his narcissistic rages and senseless punishment of those who did not gratify his narcissism by paying him unmitigated admiration and attention.)
As Gnosticism sees it, and I agree, the world was created by a malevolent God, which the Greek Gnostics call Demiurge. (In the Christian tradition, he is also called Lucifer, the proud angel that rebelled against God, and was chased out of heaven by obedient angels led by the archangel Michael, and came to the world to form his own kingdom in opposition to the will of God.)
The Greek Gnostics were mistaken, for they gave the creation of the world to an external force. I believe that we, in the collectivity, called the Son of God, invented this world. We did so in sleep, in our dreams, not in reality.
To me and to Gnostics, this world is a mistake that needs to be corrected and, indeed, has already been corrected by the Holy Spirit of God.
All we need to do is forgive the world, over look what is done in the world and we experience the corrected world. The corrected world has been called by many metaphoric names: purgatory, gate of heaven, happy dream, (the Iranian prophet, Bahaullah called it the lesser peace). Call it what you like, it is not heaven for in it people are still in still in forms, albeit light forms. Whatever is in forms is not real for it is transitory and ephemeral. Heaven, what I have called unified spirit state, is formless and is unified. Heaven is not a place; it is a state of thinking, a state of mind that accepts our eternal oneness and loves all creation. In that state, there is no you and I, no seer and seen, no subject and object, all is one. In that state of oneness is eternal peace and joy, bliss. This is not conjecture but fact. I speak from personal experience.
I am not interested in deceiving any one. I am a bringer of light into a dark world, a bringer of peace and happiness into a conflicted and unhappy place called planet earth. I cannot save you, only you can save you. My function is to explain the path of salvation and leave it to you to do what you must do to attain salvation: love and forgive all God’s children. Cheers, for there is good news; there is hope for mankind. There is light (union) in this sea of darkness (separation).

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January 14, 2006

Ozodi Osuji Weekly Psychological Series 2006, #2 of 52: The External World Mirrors our Thinking

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji (Seatle, Washington) --- (1) There are basically two modes of approaching this world: one that the world is a product of accidental events and, as such, whatever happens to the individual is an accident and not his making; that the individual is a victim of random working of events. The other approach to phenomena is that the individual has effect on his world, that he does make choices that affect what happens to him and that what happens to him is not a function of accident and randomness but a function of his thinking and behaviors.

This is an either or proposition; you cannot mix them, for the two have different philosophical ramifications. If random events shape human beings, then there is no God and justice in the universe. It is only a matter of luck who gets what and who does not get what. On the other hand, if there is God in the universe, it follows that the universe is not a random place and what happens to the individual is a product of his choices.
Some persons would like to embrace both propositions, mix them, but that is not philosophically tenable given the implication of each side of the proposition. One must accept one or the other, but never both. Any attempt to accept both leads to wishy-washy-ness and fuzzy thinking. In the end, it is impossible to mix both approaches to phenomena for compromise is impossible.
It is either the universe is ruled by choice (hence is lawful) or it is ruled by chance (chaos).
Science operates on the premise that the universe is ruled by chance. Metaphysics and religion operate on the assumption that the universe is ruled by choice. So which is true?
One must figure out which proposition is true and predicate ones behavior on that decision and take the ensuing consequences. Any attempt to vacillate, to fence sit and not make up ones mind is rewarded with unproductive and unfulfilled living.
The immature, neurotic attempts not to make this existential choice, to avoid the consequences of choosing one or the other.
Science has chosen chance and religion has chosen determinism; which side of the equation do you fall? Where do I stand, what is my choice, what is my methodological approach to phenomena?

I will answer this question by drawing from my life experiences. My experience teaches me that the external world reflects my thinking. I generalize to say that all people’s individual and collective thinking affect our world. I see the external world as the out picturing of what is in the individual’s mind and the minds of all people. The seeming external world reflects back to each of us what we think about reality and ourselves in general.
If the individual has doubts in his mind, is uncommitted to anything he finds worthy of living and dying for, his world would mirrors that vacillation to him. Conversely, if the individual believes in himself and believes in certain things as right and behaves accordingly, his decisiveness would be reflected back to him by his external world.
I believe that whatever happens to me is a response to my thinking and behavior, if you like, to my personality and character.
The individual is not always conscious of his thinking yet their products affect him. Thinking is both conscious and unconscious; thinking goes on all the time, even when we are sleeping, and are not aware of thinking.
Whatever I think about who I think that I am, behave as such, produces results for me in the external world.
If I have negative thoughts about me, they produce negative happenings to me. If I have positive thoughts towards me those produce positive experiences for me.
When my negative thinking produces negative experiences for me, I am meant to learn from that experience and change my thinking patterns, so as to produce different happenings to me. I am meant to learn from my mistakes, learn from my bad choices and become a better person.


I believe that at a higher level, all our minds are joined, that all our thinking is joined. Since all minds are joined, it follows that each of us, at a higher level, not conscious level, knows what each of us is thinking.
Each of us responds to other people based on awareness of what they are thinking. For example, if a person thinks that the world is a terrible place that people are hostile and are out to get him (this is paranoid thinking pattern), other people will tune in to his thinking and know what he is thinking. They undertake to enable him experience the world he seems to think is real, a world he actually wants to experience.
Thinking that other people are not trustworthy means that one does not trust other people (and does not trust ones self, either). Other people know this. They respond by treating him in an untrusting manner. He is hostile to people and people respond to him by being hostile to him.
The individual then forgets his own side of the equation and sees other people’s behavior. He sees other people as hostile towards him. True. What he does not see is that he is also hostile towards other people.
It is an act of hostility to believe that other people are hostile towards one. The person, who believes that other people are hostile towards him, hence is defensive and guarded around them, ignores his hostility and attack on people and sees only their hostility and attack on him. In doing so, he ignores the role he plays in his life’s circumstances and manages to see himself as a victim, a good person unto whom bad things happen, when. in fact, he is not a victim. He is a victimizer who does bad things to other people and they reciprocate in kind.
I believe that at a higher level, we all know what each other is thinking. Of course, at a lower level, the conscious level of the here and now world, we do not know what other people are thinking. Even if one tries, one cannot consciously know what other people are thinking.
(Psychotics tend to believe that they can read other people’s minds and that other people can read their minds or put thoughts into their minds; this is called thought broadcasting and thought insertion. We are not dealing with psychosis here.)
For our present purposes, the point is that at the consciously level, none of us knows what other persons are thinking; but we do know what each other is thinking at a higher, unconscious level…unconscious to the day to day mind but conscious to the spirit level of living.

Other people tune in to our higher-level mind, thinking, and respond to us accordingly, as we do to them. For example, if a person is in a state of fear, people around him tend to know that he is in fear. He sends out signals (fear vibrations) to the environment that he is fearful and people pick them up. In fact, he sends out signals that he wants to experience what he fears (to learn that there is nothing to fear).
Other people do those things that would make the fearful person experience fear. Let us say that a worker fears that his boss would fire him. What is really going on is that he wants to be fired by his boss. He wants to experience being fired by his boss, so as to learn that there is nothing to fear from losing his job. Losing his job is not the end of the world, as his conscious mind, ego, thinks. His boss picks up his fear of being fired, which is really his desire to be fired, and he is obliged and is fired.
Now that he has been fired from his job, he feels angry with his boss for firing him. He sees himself as an innocent victim unto whom his bad boss did something wrong. He feels poorly treated and is angry.
This is the typical ego response. The ego always sees the individual as an innocent victim unto whom other people, seen by the ego as evil, do bad things to. Feeling unjustly treated and angry, the ego in the individual fights back. This may mean going to court or in some circumstances, verbally and or physically attacking the boss. There are cases where fired employees actually take the law into their hands and kill those who fired them. This behavior is called going postal, for many fired postal workers have gone back to kill their ex bosses.

The person fired from his job wants to be fired. He wants to be fired for a number of reasons. He probably does not like his job and is enduring it, perhaps to make enough money to pay his bills. Apparently, he does not have the courage to figure out what he likes doing and has aptitude in doing, training for it and working in that line of work.
If a person is doing what he likes doing, nobody would fire him from his job, unless he is laid off due to lack of work.
Being fired is a choice the person made. The lesson is for him to pause and find out what he really likes doing and develop the courage to go do it and do it to the best of his ability.
Once a person figures out what he likes doing and does it cheerfully, he tends to feel like life is worth living and tends to be peaceful and happy.
The lesson of being fired, the lesson the fired person wants to learn, is to go be his real self, including doing work that reflects his real self, his real aptitude and interests ala Abraham Maslow.
The healthy person tries to actualize his real self and real interests and as a result tends to enjoy his work and is productive. The neurotic, as Karen Horney tells us, hates and rejects his real self and wants to become an alternative, idealized mentally constructed self. He wants to actualize his mentally constructed ideal self-concept and self-image, this is impossibility.
The imaginary ideal self cannot be realized in the real world hence the neurotic is fighting a futile war. He can never attain the goals of his neurotic ego ideal. He is bound to be disappointed and frustrated and become angry and sad.
The ego ideal is a fantasy self, a dream self, a wished for self but not a real self. All the wishes of the ego ideal are mere wishes that cannot be attained in the real world of space, time and matter.
Matter limits what real people can do. The ego imagines all sorts of things, such as flying, and making the world an ideal, perfect place. You cannot make people perfect, given the fact that they live in body and are limited by their bodies. Wishes, dreams, fantasies are of the idle ego; they are not possible in the real world.
The desire to actualize the imaginary leads to failure. Success lies in striving to realize the real, that which conforms to space, time and matter.

Human beings and animals in general think in concepts and images. The world is our collective picturing and imagining. As it were, there is an empty space out there and each of us projects his thoughts (which are in images) into that empty space. Our collective images constitute the world we all see. The world is our individual and collective picturing of our thinking.
(Of course there are objects like buildings, trees, mountains etc but what we know about them is conceptual and imagery. We approach them according to what we think that they are. I am working with empiricism that says that the external world is independent of our wishes. Solipsism says that the external world is in our minds. Ultimately, however, materialism and idealism are ideas; what is real we do not really know.)
The world we see reflects thinking in our minds. If we think differently, we see a different world. (Different persons, depending on their thinking about it see the same tree or building differently.)
If what the individual experiences are not to his liking, he must first accept that the world reflected his pattern of thinking. If he wants to change the world he experiences, without changing that world he must change his thinking about it. When his thinking pattern changes, he sees and experiences a different type of world.

Consider Nigerians. When you hear them talk, they talk about having a corruption free country. But when you deal with them at the individual level, you find out that they got to be the world’s most self-centered persons. Each of them thinks mostly of him. He seeks ways to gratify his interests, often at the expense of other people. He seldom thinks in terms of what serves the collective social good. Given his self-centered thinking, he is willing to use and exploit other people to get what he wants.
When Nigerians come to America, they often behave like classic users of other people; they use American women to obtain Green Cards and discard them. They have no feelings of guilt and remorse. They are sociopaths in their approach to other people.
Given their self-centered pattern of thinking, what type of world do you think that they are producing in Nigeria? They are producing a self-centered world.
Nigeria is hell on earth, literally. No one cares for other people. In fact, if you care for other people, Nigerians may think that you are crazy. They do not even care for their sick. See, the world gives them money to care for their AIDS afflicted brothers and they steal that money and put it to personal use. They do not have the slightest urge to care for those with AIDs and other sicknesses. These people are, if truth were said, animals and subhuman beings. They are totally lacking in principled moral behavior. No wonder they sold their brothers into slavery, they do not care for each other.
Their corrupt world reflects their self centered thinking. If you can get these anti social persons to change their patterns of thinking and start caring for other people, start working for what Alfred Adler called Social interest, and to always ask: how is my behavior going to affect other people and to only engage in those behaviors that serve the common good; if they make this shift in thinking, their country would become a well governed place. But until they change their pattern of thinking, they can wish all they want for a corruption free society, the fact is that they cannot get it.
They are corrupt, in fact they wish to be corrupt and see a corrupt society. The Nigeria that Nigerians see, reflect their self centered thinking; their country is an out picturing of their selfish mode of thinking and behaving.
Like all those identified with the ego, Nigerians see themselves as victims. They fancy themselves good people unto whom bad things happen. They point two accusatory fingers at others, while three fingers point right back at them, reminding them that though others contribute to their problems that they are mostly the cause of their hellish country.
Other people do contribute to our problems…the two fingers pointing at others are correct in identifying that others contribute to ones problems, but the three fingers pointing straight back at one tells one that one contributes more than others to one problems.
We live in a system and what every person does affects every other person, as well as himself.

Science teaches that human bodies are the product of evolution and chance. The environment changes and people adapt to it and that adaptation is reflected in changes in their bodies. This would seem to suggest that people are merely victims adapting to changes in a capricious environment.
It is not true that people are victims of a capricious environment. People do adapt to changes in their environment all right but the real question is how did those changes come about?
The environment is produced by our collecting thoughts. Our collective thinking changes the environment.
When our bodies adapt to changed environments, they are really adapting to changes produced by our thinking. Thinking changes the environment and bodies adapt to the changes produced by thinking.
We are not conscious of how our thinking produces changes in our environment. This subject will take us too far a field to explain than the ten pages maximum I want to limit this paper to. I have addressed it in Real Self Psychology.
It is true that we do adapt to changes in our environments, as evolution biologists teach us. What we need to add to their teaching is that our thinking, at the unconscious and conscious level, brings about the changes we see in our environment, changes that our bodies respond to.
The environment is a dream world; it does not, in fact, exist independent of our thinking. The external world is a dream and we are collective dreamers projecting our individual and collective thinking to the collective dream world and experiencing the dream as if it is something happening to us against our wishes. The world is our wish, our wish gratified in a dream world.

In eternity we are unified spirit. We wished to experience the opposite of union, separation and invented a dream world were every thing seems separated from each other. Space, time and matter were all invented to enable us experience separation and special ness. Our world is a dream where we dream that we are the opposite of our real self.
Our real self is unified self, same and equal self; our world, the dream, shows us as separated, different and unequal selves housed in bodies.
Our real self is immortal but our empirical world shows us a mortal world. Our real world is the world of knowing but our dream world is the world of perception, of not knowing anything for sure.
In the spirit world there is no you and I, no seer and seen, no subject and object, all are literally one self; one self that is simultaneously infinite selves.
In our temporal world we see ourselves and see other people, there is you and I, subject and object, differences and inequality, birth and death.

Science is correct in stating that the environment is changing and that our bodies are adapting to it via gradual evolution. What science does not say, however, is that our thinking produced the changes in the environment that our bodies adapt to. If we change our thinking, we produce a different environment and adapt differently to it.
If we consistently love and forgive all people, we produce a loving and peaceful environment and our bodies adapt to it in a peaceful and joyful manner. In fact, if we consistently love and forgive, we produce bodies that are healthy at all times.
Ultimately, when we tire of wishing to live in separated self, we stop dreaming and end the dream and return to the awareness that we are unified spirit.
We are always unified spirit while dreaming that we are separated persons living in bodies, space and time.
When we change our thinking, change our mind, from wishing separation to wishing union, working for union via love and forgiveness we first see a harmonious but still separated world and ultimately we will, not merely wish, for perfect union. When we will love, that is, union; when we give up all wishes for separation and let go of separation, we reawaken in unified spirit self.


Every thing one does in this world is in accord with ones character and personality. Ones behavior, in turn, yields certain outcomes for one. Thus character is fate.
Character, personality is largely due to the individual’s inherited body and early childhood experiences. If he is not responsible for choosing his body, genes and social experiences then he is a victim and is not responsible for the fate that his character produced for him.
If it can be shown that the individual chose his body and social experiences, then he is not a victim of his world.
None of us is consciously aware of choosing his body, his parents, his genes and social experiences. That choice was made at a different level, what I have called unconscious level. (What is unconscious to our level of being is conscious to spirit level of being.)
Before birth on earth, people have different consciousness. At that level, they choose their parents, and their parents choose them, before they come to this world. They write a script that they want to play out and come to the world to enact it out. They choose every situation they find themselves in, not consciously but unconsciously.
It is because at a higher level human beings choose their experiences on earth that it can be said that justice exists in the world. If what the individual did not want to experience could happen to him then there is no justice in this world, the universe is amoral and hostile to him. If there is no justice and morality in the world then there is no God in this world.
It is only if people chose their circumstances, albeit unconsciously that justice and God exist in this world.


This paper has posited that the external world we see is colored by our thoughts, that we do not see things as they are and that our perception is colored by our thinking, our state of mind.
In the immediate world, there is what is generally referred to as the objective and empirical world. That world seems immovable and implacable. However, our perception of it is a function of the concepts and ideas we have in our minds. Those concepts shape how we see the apparent objective world. The world, as it were, remains the same but how we see it determines how we respond to it. If we change our thinking, our minds, about the nature of the world, we see a different world.
If we are in a certain frame of mind, we see other people in a certain manner and if we change our thinking, minds, we see people differently. We tend to relate to other people, indeed, to ourselves in accordance with our operating concepts, our cognitive frame of reference. We seldom see any thing as it is, in fact, but see them as our perceptual lenses predispose us to see them. If we change our perceptual lenses, we change our perceptions; when we change our perceptions we change our relationship with other people.
Our thinking, good or bad, affects how we see and relate to the objective world. At any point in time, our thinking is based on the information we have. Generally, we have insufficient information in our brains and, in fact, do not know much about the nature of anything we see. Whatever the individual says about things, people included, is limited by the insufficient information in his brain. He cannot say something that is totally correct about anything he sees.
Whatever one says about phenomena is an opinion based on limited information available to one. Know about things or not, the individual behaves one way or another towards them. His behavior towards them influences what he gets out of the world. The individual experiences the world his thinking, mind ideates and conceptualizes, but not necessarily the world as it is.
I see you, I have notions of which you are, which, in all likelihood, are incorrect. I relate to you based on my perception of you and you respond to me according to my behavior towards you. In effect, how you relate to me is dependent on how I related to you and vice versa.
The individual behaves in accordance with his understanding of the phenomena he perceives. Since he always perceives phenomena incorrectly, what should he do?

Meditation is an approach to phenomena that recognizes that the individual does not know about anything for certain. He does not know who he is; he does not know who other people are and does not know about anything for certain. The individual does not know what the world is and what the world is for.
Since the individual does not know anything for certain and whatever he thinks about anything amounts to an opinion based on incomplete information (and his thinking affects how he relates to the things he thinks about and the consequent effects he has on them and their response to him), the best thing to do is to keep quiet.
That is correct, one does not understand the nature and meaning of anything one sees in the perceptual universe and ought to keep quiet and say nothing.
In meditation, the individual consciously tells himself that he does not know who he is, who other people are and what anything is or means, other than entertain incomplete opinions about them. He consciously strives to keep quiet. Instead of rushing in with an opinion about who one is, who other people are and what any thing is, one simply pleads not knowing and keeps quiet. One strives to not think at all, at least to not use ones familiar conceptual categories to conceptualize what one sees.
In the real world, when I see you, my ego self would like to know who you are and generally uses its past learning to try to understand you. We all do this.
We use our past to color our present perception, hence distort it. Instead of doing this, one now consciously attempts to not use ones past learned ego intellectual categories to understand the present.
I see you and my perception shows me a man, woman, black, or white, tall or short, fat or thin, good or ugly looking etc. This perception of you is colored by my past, my learned perceptual instruments. If I accept the evidence that my past learning shows me, I will see you in a certain manner and relate to you in a certain manner.
This is what most people do. They use their past to interpret the present and distort it and relate to their distortions. They are not relating to other people, to reality as it is, but as their past has made it to seem. Even so, they receive consequences based on their perception and behavior.
If your past disposed you to be distrusting and you do not trust people, they, in turn, will not trust you, so you generate a distrusting world.
In meditation, the individual consciously rejects his past, his learned perceptual schema, and his instrument of interpreting the world. He sees another person or thing and instead of telling himself that he saw this or that kind of person, he simply does not exercise any judgment about what he sees. In fact, he tells himself that he doesn’t know the nature of what he sees.
What the individual thinks that he sees is largely influenced by his past. I see a person, man or woman. It is my past that says that what I see is a woman or a man. Suppose I reject what my past disposed me to see and tell myself that I do not know what I see, now what?
This is exactly the point. You do not know what you see; you just think that you know what you see (and relate to it according to your misperception of it). Now be honest and accept that you do not know what you see. If you truly do this, accept that you do not know what you see and keep quiet; you have emptied your thinking, mind, of its presuppositions and preconceptions. Your thinking, that is, your mind, will be blank, void. You will feel your mind empty. You would feel light, like you have no weight. In fact, at a certain point you would feel like you do not exist.
Indeed, you do not exist in the temporal world. You merely think that you exist in the temporal world and your belief makes it seem real to you. If you negate all your thinking, perception and your past learned ways of interpreting the world, you would feel like you are empty, a void and you would feel very peaceful and happy. You would be so peaceful and happy that you would wonder how come you had not known that so much joy and peace could be found in this world.
What prevented you from knowing peace and happiness was your thinking; your thinking colors the present with the past.
If you see things and keep quiet and say nothing about their nature, and ask the universe, if it makes you feel good, call the universe God, to tell you the nature of what you see, but do not tell yourself about the nature of what you see.
Let us see how it works. I see you; my past tells me that I see an Igbo person, a brash, intemperate and egotistical person. That is my past experience of who the Igbos are. That perception is generally in accord with most people’s perception of the Igbos. (If you are a normal person, your perception of phenomena tends to be congruent with the perception of people in your society. “Reality” is a social construct; social reality is what people in a group have a consensus that it is. What actual reality is we do not know? Abnormal persons, that is, psychotics, tend to have their own unique perceptions; perceptions not shared by other person; that is why they are said to be insane, they live in an unshared world, whereas sane persons live in a shared world, shared perception of reality.).
Now, instead of accepting the perception that my past told me, instead of relating to you as my past disposed me to do, I keep quiet and tell myself that I really do not perceive you correctly and certainly do not know who you are, apart from my past colored perception of you.
If I honestly keep quiet and say nothing about you, do you know what will happen? You think that you know it all, eh? You know exactly nothing. Where I see you, if I remove all my preconceptions and presuppositions that my past told me that you are, is another person, a person in light form.
That is correct, if you extinguish all your past, the same individual that your past had shown you as living in dense body, is seen in pure light form, a light being, a beautiful, peaceful and happy person. The person that had seemed to you an ugly, arrogant Igbo person would suddenly take on the form of light, and is so beautiful that you are almost compelled to fall down and worship him.
If you continue with this pattern of being, saying nothing about what you see, and add love and forgiveness to your life style, at some point, you would escape from the empirical world and enter a world that is beyond concepts, ideas and images, the world of knowledge. You escape from our conceptual and perceptual world and enter the world of unified spirit self, a world where there are infinite selves, all of whom are one self, are the same; a world of no you and I, no seer and seen, no subject and object, a world of perfect oneness. That world is ineffable and cannot be explained in ego intellectual categories. One does not need to even talk about it, for it is beyond talking and even if it could be talked about those living in ego-body states, normal persons, would not understand what one is talking about.

The salient point is that the world we see and experience is colored by our thinking, thinking based on our past experiences in space, time and matter. We color our world with our past.
It is possible to live in a perpetual state of meditation by consciously relinquishing ones usual perceptual instruments and choosing not to color the present, what one sees, with ones past intellectual categories.
If one is in this constant mode of mediation, ones world tends to become peaceful and happy. One tends to be so peaceful that those around one feel peaceful. One is so happy that those around one feel happy. Ones peace and joy are so infectious that one gives them to other people without doing so consciously. In fact, merely thinking about one gives those who think about one some peace of body and mind. One is now a bringer of peace to the world.
One is now the son of God who has awakened to his real self, unified self; one is enlightened to ones true self, light self; one is illuminated to the self that God created one as, unified light self. One is now an avatar, a Buddha; one lives from ones Chi self. One has reclaimed the self that God created one as, and given up the false, separated, special self one had made for ones self. One has given up the replacement self, the substitute self that human beings live as on earth and returned to being the unified self that God created one as.
Our true self is a holy self, a unified self, and an innocent, sinless, guiltless, immortal, self. That self is not the self we are currently aware of. The self we are conscious of is the opposite of our real self.
To know our real self, one must consciously give up the present ego self one thinks that one is. One must relinquish and let go the ego separated self-concept and its conceptual world to know the unified self and its unified world.
This is an either or choice, you cannot mix both selves and both worlds; you must let go of one to experience the other. At present, we have let go of the unified world and experience the separated world; we must let go of the separated self and its world to experience the unified self and its unified world.
Our temporal world is a make belief world we mutually constructed and defend. Our empirical world is a dream world. We made it up and like it. It is our idol. We are proud of our invention, the separated world and defend it.
The self that adapts to this world, the separated, special self, the ego, the self-concept, the self-image, the personality, is a made up self. It is not real but is defended to seem real. Each of us has a separated ego self housed in body and defends it and in defending it makes it seem real to him.

What is the empirical world for? The world is designed as a means for making separated selves seem real. Separation, which means, space, time and matter are all means of making the ego separated self seem real in our awareness.
I see me as a separated self-living in space and time and defend it; you do the same. In separating from my real unified self, from other people and from God and defending my seeming separated self, that self seems real to me. Thus, in my past, as an avoidant personality, I avoided most people. In avoiding them, I managed to make my separated self seem real to me.
The avoidant personality avoids people to make his separated important self seem real to him. Each person uses his personality to avoid, that is, separate from other people and make his separated self seem real in his imagination.

In meditation, one consciously stops defending the separated special self and lets it go. It does not die, for it has never existed. What has never existed cannot die.
Birth and death are variables that take place in a dream state, not in the real world. In meditation, one consciously relinquishes the separated self, the self-concept, the self-image, the personality one knows ones self as and asks God to show one who one is, in fact.
First one is shown a self in light form. The purified light self, still looks like one is in dense matter.
When we invented the ego self in body, God remade it into a light self. Each of us has his present self in body and another self in light form.
The dense and light bodies are all illusions, both are not real. However, the light body approximates reality more than the dense body. Ultimately, if one loves and forgives all people and continues with mediation and prayer one experiences oneness with all being; one reawakens to unified state and experiences the peace and joy of God that the ego cannot understand.
After that experience, one reenters the egos world to become a teacher of unified spirit, teacher of union, teacher of love and forgiveness, teacher of God. No one stays permanently in unified state, in peace and happiness, while his brothers still live in the world of separation; one must return to his brothers’ separated hell to teach them that there is an alternative world, one of union, peace and joy. The awakened child of God teaches the perennial wisdom of mankind that we are eternally unified and ought to love one another, in his own manner for those able to learn from his particular manner of teaching to learn from him. One is doing such teaching here.


The empirical world shows us a world that seems apart from us. It shows us a world that seems to be doing things we do not like to us. Each of us tends to see himself as a victim that a bad world does evil things to. This is the general state of mankind.
At some point, some of us become aware that the seeming external world actually responds to our thinking and behaviors. Other people do to us as we wish that they did to us. If we do not love and forgive and are always seeking vengeance for wrongs done to us, other people will seek punishment for our own apparent wrongs. We receive from the word what we put out to it. We are not the victims we tend to think that we are. We are active participants in inventing the world we see.
It is very difficult for our empirical selves, the ego self, the self-concept, the self-image, the human personality to accept that one is a co-inventor of ones world. What is immediately apparent to one is that one is a victim of the world one lives in for it seems that what one does not like does happen to one.
It takes wisdom to know that we make the world we experience. You and I co-invent the world we see and experience.
If you are unable to accept this view, don’t force yourself to accept it; you cannot do so any way. Be where you are at in space and time; you cannot force your spiritual evolution.
In eternity, we are all the same and equal, but in time we are different and not equal; we are at different spaces in our evolution.
When you are ready to accept our co-invention of the world, you will do so; no one can force you to do so.
My goal in this paper is to present the thesis that we are co-inventors of our world, and that our world reflects our thinking. My aim is not to convince you of the truth of this thesis. I just want you to think about it and if it does not make sense to you, reject it. If you are ready for it to be sensible, you will embrace it and turn your life around by taking total responsibility for your thinking and behaviors and stop blaming others for your life.
The individual, you, is responsible for his life on earth. And on that note, we end this week’s discourse.

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January 10, 2006

Ozodi Osuji Weekly Lectures on African Countries #2 of 54: Angola

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji (Seatle, Washington) --- 2. ANGOLA Formal Name: People’s Republic of Angola.

Term for Citizens: Angolans.

Capital: Luanda. Population: 2,819,000.

Date of independence: November 11, 1975, from Portugal.

Major Cities: Luanda, Cabinda.


Angola is located in South West Africa. Congo-Kinshasa, Congo-Brazzaville, Zambia, and Namibia border it. Angola is approximately 487, 353 square miles, including the enclave of Cabinda. The coastal area is lowland, ending at the Namib Desert South of Benguela. Hills and Mountains parallel the coast, divided by many rivers. Hot along the coast than in the mountains. Two seasons: wet and dry, rainy season from September to April and dry season from May to September. Coolest months July and August, Warm and wet in Cabinda.

Society: The population is estimated at 13, 625, 000, most of which are concentrated in the Western part of the country.

Ethnic Groups: Ovimbundu 37%, Kimbundu 25%, and Bakongo 13%. Other groups are Lunda-Chokwe, Nganguela, Nyaneka-Humbe, Ovambo, and Mestico and Europeans.

Languages: Portuguese is the official language, with indigenous people speaking their various Bantu languages.

Religion: Christians 90%, the remainder practices African religions.

Education: Free and compulsory elementary education. Literacy rate is estimated at 42%.

Economy: Extractive oil industry and agriculture play dominant role in the economy. GDP estimated: $16.9 billion; Per Capita: $1, 030. Monetary unit: New Kwanza.

History and Government:

Various African groups lived in what is now Angola. The Portuguese came around 1483 and eventually took over. The Portuguese considered Angola part of Portugal and did not want it independent. A large Portuguese population settled in the country and essentially transformed Africans into slaves working in their plantations. In 1961 a guerrilla war against the Portuguese colonialist began. Different African factions formed armies to fight their colonial masters. Portugal gave Angola independence in 1975, and thereafter a protracted civil war by the African factions ensued. The protracted civil war between MPLA, FNLA and UNITAS devastated the country. The end of that war has led to attempts at democratic elections but MPLA still exercises dominant role in politics with little opposition tolerated. An elected president who governs through a prime minister rules Angola. The country is divided into 18 provinces.


Angola is an interesting African country. It had extended colonization by a European people to the extent that two thirds of Angolans speak Portuguese as their primary language. The Portuguese settled in Angola in 1483. They named the country, apparently, from the Ngola tribe. The Portuguese has more or less lived in Luanda since that time, except for a brief interregnum, 1641-1648, when the Dutch drove them out and controlled Angola.
Portugal used Angola as its main slaving source for its South American colonies, particularly Brazil.
Portugal considered Angola part of Portugal itself, an overseas province called Portuguese West Africa).
During the post Second World War, a wind of changing blew across European colonized Africa. Portugal refused to acknowledge the wind and considered its African territories (Mozambique, Angola, Guinea Bissau etc) as part of itself. It felt that these territories were not foreign lands and, as such, not to be given independence, pretty much as France felt towards Algeria. However, the wind of change was not containable and Angola was no exception.
Angolan groups formed political parties to fight for their country’s independence. Unfortunately, as in many African countries the political parties were formed along ethnic lines.
The Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (Movemento Popular de Libertacao de Angola) was organized around the capital of Luanda by the Mestico (mixed, white and black) and Kimbundu peoples. This party embraced socialism and had affiliations with European socialist parties. In the North was the National Liberation Front of Angola (Frente Nacional de Libertacao of Angola) FNLA; this party comprised mostly of the Bakongo peoples that exist both in the Congo and Angola, and was supported by Zaire’s Mobutu and his American Ally. In the south was the Union for the Total Independence of Angola (Uniao Nacional para a Independencia Total de Angola) UNITA; this party comprised mainly of the Ovimbundu peoples.
With Portugal’s refusal to entertain the possibility of independence these three parties quickly became guerilla militias, each based in its ethnic area and a fourteen year war of independence ensued. In 1975, there was a military coup in Portugal and the Salazar dictatorship was overthrown. Portugal began negotiations with the three Angolan parties for independence and eventually gave Angola independence.
The three parties could not agree on a unity government and became armed camps fighting one another for the control of Angola. MPLA in the capital area declared itself the national government and a civil war between it and its two rivals ensued, a war that did not end until 2002 when finally Jonas Savimbi, the leader of UNITA was killed.
The Angolan civil war occasioned foreign powers jostling for control of Africa taking sides. The United States supported FNLA, the USSR and the communist block supported MPLA and South Africa supported UNITA.
In 1976, FNLA was quickly disposed of by MPLA. But the war between MPLA and UNITA became an internationalized war with Cuba sending in troops to support MPLA and South Africa, acting as USA proxy, sending in troops to support UNITA.
Each group depended on the resources in the area under its control to wage the war. MPLA had access to off shore (near the costal Luanda area it controlled) oil mining and UNITA controlled diamond mines in the Ovimbundu heartland, the center of the country.
Several efforts were made at reconciling these parties to no avail. It was the end of the cold war that eventually brought about change in Angola. With end to the cold war, Russia and America had no use for proxy wars to control the rest of the world. Russia was dead and America became the sole superpower in the world. As the sole superpower, America essentially could care less for the welfare of Africans, so it no longer supported UNITA militarily. Mr. Savimbi was forced to negotiate, particularly when South Africa, his main arms supplier, negotiated for the African National Congress under Nelson Mandela to rule South Africa. Mr. Savimbi was left in the lurch and sued for peace. In 1994, a peace accord was reached by the warring parties at Lusaka. The Lusaka protocol called for a shared government between UNITA and MPLA and integration of their forces into one Angolan military.
The two parties began negotiating for a national government. In 1992, an election of sorts was held and the result was contested. The official result claimed that Mr. Dos Santos narrowly beat Mr. Savimbi. Mr. Savimbi rejected the results. The negotiations to form a national government failed and fighting resumed between them in 1998, a fighting that did not end until Savimbi was killed in 2002.
With the death of Savimbi, UNITA ceased fighting and essentially MPLA emerged victorious. Whereas what remains of UNITA and FNLA serve as opposition parties of sorts, essentially, Angola is ruled by MPLA in an unchallenged manner. A national election is scheduled for 2006. If this election is, in fact, held and a party wins it and transition is made to democratic government, Angola would have become a democratic polity.
MPLA has essentially ruled Angola from 1975 to the present. When the first leader of MPLA, Agostinho Neto, died in 1979, Mr. Dos Santos took over the leadership of MPLA and nominally became the president of Angola. Mr. Dos Santos is still the president of Angola.
The twenty seven years war between the three groups contesting for leadership of Angola led to tremendous devastation of Angola. Four million of the country’s estimated fourteen million persons were internally displaced persons (refugees). The land was so heavily mined that people are still having their limbs blown up by exploding mines. Indeed, farmers are hesitant returning to farming, so that little farming is done in the country.
Angola depends heavily on food importation. Much of the wealth it generates from oil (which is mainly in the enclave of Cabinda, a land almost surrounded by Congo) is either wasted or used to feed the people.
Corruption is so rife in the country that in 2005 alone four billion dollars from oil revenue suddenly vanished from Angola’s foreign accounts.
In Cabinda the native population, who are Congolese, are fighting a guerrilla war to separate from Angola.
Angola’s current government is essentially government by MPLA and its leader Dos Santos.
Mr. Santos is the nominal president of Angola. He is assisted by a prime minister, Mr. Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos. The prime minister supposedly heads a council of ministers and runs the day to day affairs of the country, but, in fact, the president is the unchallenged ruler of Angola.
On paper, the usual institutions of democracy are in place but they are seldom used. There is a unicameral legislature that supposedly makes laws. The country is divided into 18 provinces. But the president appoints the governors of the provinces and they are beholden to him and there is no pretense of independent leadership by them.
The country is divided into 140 municipalities, only 12 of which have operational courts.
At the national level, there is a supreme court that acts as the appellate court of last resort. Its judges are appointed by the president and can hardly be said to be independent in their adjudication of law (what there is of it).
Angola is the second largest oil producer in sub Saharan Africa. With a small population and rich mineral wealth, Angola ought to be one of the richest countries in the world. Instead, Angola is one of the poorest countries in the world, with a per capital income of US $1, 030 and life expectancy of 39 years for men and 42 years for women. Diseases are rampant and medical institutions, what there is, have little or no medicines and equipments to treat the sick. Schools are either closed and if functioning have little books. Government offices lack in equipments and supplies to do their work properly.
Angola is another mismanaged Africa country. Much of the country’s problems could be attributed to its prolonged war of independence and civil war. It remains to be seen if the country can make a transition to modern democracy and efficient management or whether it will continue to suffer the scourge of Africa, poor management of its resources and endemic corruption in all walks of her life.

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January 09, 2006

Ozodi Osuji Weekly Psychological Series 2006, #1 of 52

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji (Seatle, Washington) --- (1) HOW I FOUND PEACE IN A WARRING WORLD Are you living in tension and want to experience peace? If so, consider doing what I did to find peace. I have found freedom from tension and would like to share with you the gift of tension free living.

Some background information is necessary before we explore my methodology for reducing tension.
I lived in tension. In fact, I was so tense that if you touched my body, it felt hot. This was a very uncomfortable pattern of living, so I sought explanation for it and elimination of it.
I was born in Alaigbo. Alaigbo must be the most neurotic society on planet earth. See Victor Uchendu. (I) In Alaigbo, children are not accepted in an unconditional positive manner ala Carl Rogers. (2) Children are accepted conditionally, mostly only when they do what society expects of them to do.
In no uncertain terms, Igbo society tells its children that, as they are, they are not good enough until they do certain things that are expected of them. Those who perform as expected are positively reinforced with social approval and acceptance.
Those socially approved generally turn out as normal adults. The normal adult is a person who has adjusted to his society as it is, even if that society is pathological.
Igbo conditional approval of its people probably accounts for the amazing achievement of the Igbos. Igbos essentially came into contact with Western civilization in the twentieth century; they now have families whose children routinely attend universities, a feat not even achieved in the United States of America. Igbo society drives its people to achieve greatness or they are perceived as nothing. It pays a heavy price for its neurotic basis of social acceptance. Many Igbos live with inordinate fear of failure, anxiety and tension.

In all human societies, Igbo society included, some children, the physically sensitive ones, usually find it difficult to do what their conditionally accepting society expects of them to do to be accepted. I was one such sensitive child. I could not do what my conditionally accepting Igbo society expected of children and, therefore, was largely not positively rewarded.
All children are motivated to be accepted by what Harry Stack Sullivan (3) called their “Significant others” (parents, siblings, peers, teachers, authority figures).
Children know that they are very vulnerable and left alone that they are unable to do what it takes for them to survive physically. Children need adults support to survive. Fearing death, children seek ways to please those whose support they must have for them to physically survive, adults. Thus, children struggle to be accepted by the adults in their world, particularly the significant ones.
By and large, the majority of children seem able to do what their significant others require of them for acceptance. Thus, every where in the world, about 90% of children tend to turn out normal.
Some children are unable to do what their significant others require of them for positive acceptance. As Karen Horney (4) sees it, some of those children who are unable to do what their society rewards exaggerate known human tendencies. She called these children neurotic children. I was a neurotic child. The neurotic child is unable to do what his society expects of him before he is accepted, so he uses his imagination and thinking to construct an ideal self that he thinks is the type of person that his society would approve and accept, and attempts to become that idealized person. He experiences an obsessive compulsive desire to become the ideal ego self that he wishes he were, but that, in fact, he is not. He feels fine to the extent that he seems to approximate the ideal mirage he wants to become and feels anxious when he feels that he is not that ideal person. As it were, his very life depends on him becoming the ideal self, for he thinks that it is only if he were that person would his society accept him and that failure to become him would lead to social rejection hence death.
Most children under age twelve would die if not accepted and cared for by adults, since they cannot fend and shift for themselves yet. The fear of social rejection is thus rooted in social realism, for social rejection is often tantamount to death. We protect what we value and destroy what we do not value. Unvalued children fear destruction by society.
The desire to become an ideal self, a self that society would accept, is, in effect, the desire to live, given the conditional terms of social acceptance. Thus, to Horney, our conditionally accepting societies cause the sensitive child to become afraid of death and to construct an idealized false (neurotic) self and cling to it as if he is that fictional self.
In the process of trying to become their idealized selves, some persons become psychotic. These persons are not our present concern, for they are the purview of psychiatrists. See The American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. (5)


Every human being thinks in concepts. By age six or so each child has posited a self concept, an idea of the person he or she thinks that he is.
Since human beings also think in imagery, the self concept is translated into a self image, a picture of who the child thinks that he or she is. Thus, children have self concepts and self images.
George Kelly (6) tells us how the self concept is reached. As he sees it, the human child uses his biological constitution and social experiences as building blocks and combines them to construct a self concept and self image. By age thirteen, adolescence, each human being has constructed a fixed self concept and self image and behaves accordingly.
Alfred Adler (7) conjectures that children who were born with problematic bodies, who subsequently feel inordinately weak and inferior Vis a Vis their physical and social environment tend to construct problematic self concepts and self images. They pursue superiority. They construct superior self concepts and self images and desire to become them. To Adler, the construction and pursuit of the superior self is what constitutes neurosis.
Karen Horney defines neurosis as pursuit of the idealized self image and fear of being the real self. The neurotic child associates his real self with a failed self that society would reject and desires to be an imaginary ideal self that society would accept.
As Horney sees it, society accepts children conditionally. Those children who were unable to meet the conditions for social acceptance and who therefore were not socially accepted still struggle to meet the conditions of social acceptance. They posit idealized self concepts and idealized self images, usually a very perfect self, and strive to become it. They hope that if they attain the idealized perfect self that their society would accept them. Since they fear social rejection, they fear not meeting the conditions of social acceptance, the idealized self.
The struggle to become the idealized self concept and self image produces what Horney called basic anxiety (what psychoanalysis, in general, calls neurotic anxiety disorder). The neurotic person at all times has free floating anxiety, from his fear of not living up to his cherished idealized self image, a self he believes that if he attains it that society would approve him. Sometimes, he pretends that he is his imaginary idealized self image, and acts in what Adler called “As If” he is the superior self he wants to become but is not.
The neurotic is a person who acts in an obsessive compulsive manner to become an idealized self concept/image and lives with anxiety and tension.


The term neurosis applies to all people, in degrees. All human beings have idealized self concepts and corresponding idealized self images; all human beings have a desire to attain their idealized self images and all human beings feel some anxiety and tension from the desire to become their imaginary ideal selves.
The normal person is a person who, more or less, is not conscious of the neurotic anxiety in him, whereas the neurotic person is conscious of his neurotic anxiety. The neurotic person is conscious of the fact that he has an idealized self image and that he is afraid of not attaining it, hence is anxious.
What the full fledged neurotic does consciously, the normal person does unconsciously.
Consider the normal Igbo person. He must fit into his conditionally accepting society. He knows that his society accepts him mostly when he achieves something significant and ignores him when he fails. Thus, he seeks to become an important person (importance as defined by his neurotic society, not importance as it, in fact, is). He sees going to school and attaining higher education as an instrument that would make him seem important in his society’s eyes. The moment he obtains a doctorate degree he insists that every person in his world call him Dr Njoku (a typical Igbo name). Being called doctor makes him feel important in people’s eyes.
If he does not have access to higher education, he may, in fact, buy the term doctor, for he thinks that it makes him seem very important.
Generally, the term doctor of knowledge indicates a person who dedicates his life to the pursuit of knowledge. But the Igbos have perverted that term to mean a very important person. In the West, many academic doctors actually make less money than plumbers, showing how the term is not meant to reflect wealth but designation for a person who loves philosophy and science.
If the Igbo cannot buy doctorate degrees from degree mills, he buys chieftaincy titles from his village. He gives people in his village money and they invent a non-existent chieftaincy title and confer it on him. Suddenly, he masquerades about as Chief Njoku. Being called chief makes him feel important in other people’s perception.
If he happens to secure a job at a university, without even bothering to publish prolifically, he insists that the public refer to him as Professor Njoku. This makes him feel very important in society’s eyes.
If he is an engineer, he appends the term engineer to his name; if an architect, he appends the term architect before his name, if he is an attorney, he appends the term lawyer before his name, such as being called “lawyer Njoku”.
All these apparent ridiculous behaviors are undertaken by the Igbos wish to seem superior, powerful and important.
(You can substitute your own ethnic group’s name for Igbo, if you feel that they behave as I am describing; I am limiting my analysis to the people I know most, my people, myself, the Igbos. Please remember that what a person sees in others is very likely what he sees in himself. What I see in Igbos I see in me. I am, therefore, projecting what I see in me to them; this is positive use of the ego defense of projection; one is not denying what one sees in ones self by attributing it to other people.)
These behaviors are neurotic. But at the conscious level, the normal person does not know that he is being neurotic in engaging in his title crazy behavior.
The normal person is an unconscious neurotic person, whereas the neurotic person is a conscious neurotic person. In a manner of speaking, the neurotic is a more conscious human being.
In metaphysical categories, the neurotic is at the verge of awakening from the dream of (spirit) self forgetfulness and is struggling to cling to his dream separated self, whereas the normal person is fast asleep and takes his dream self as his real self. See Helen Schucman, A Course in Miracles for an elaboration of these ideas. (8)


The Igbo person who appends ridiculous titles to himself is gratifying his desire for specialness; he is gratifying his infantile narcissism. Whereas all human beings have aspects of narcissism, some exaggerate it and have narcissistic personality disorder. Such persons have a compulsive desire to get other persons attention and to be admired by people; they often do not hesitate using people to enable them attain positions in society that they believe would garner them the attention they think that they need; they show no remorse or guilt feeling in exploiting and using people for their ends and discarding them when they are no longer useful to them. The narcissist feels inordinately inadequate and does whatever he does to enable him seem adequate in his and society’s eyes. Generally, he tends to be hard working and is successful, as human beings consider these things. As long as he is succeeding, he feels like he is a social somebody. But when he meets with failure, he tends to feel depressed, even suicidal.
The human child desires to seem like he is important and special and matter to a world that clearly does not treat him as if he matters. Natural workings like earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanoes, draughts, tsunamis, plagues, diseases, virus, bacteria, and fungi sweep people to untimely death, as they sweep animals and trees to death.
To nature, human beings are no more important than animals and trees. But human beings want to seem special and important despite nature’s judgment that they are nothing significant; they want to seem special, so they give themselves useless titles that seem to make them important when, in fact, their bodies are mere food being prepared for worms. Human beings are nothingness pretending to be somethingness.


For our present purposes, the salient point is that whereas all human beings desire importance, certain human beings exaggerate what all human beings do; aspire to becoming very important persons. These persons live in tremendous anxiety and tension. They know no somatic and psychological peace.
The neurotic lives a life of internal conflict, the conflict between his real self and his ideal self.
The real self is the bodily self and the ideal self is the mental self. The ideal self is exactly that, ideal, and not real. The ideal self is a mental construct, an abstraction, a fictional and mythical perfect self.
The ideal self is non existent but the constructor of it, the human person wants it to become real.
Human beings are animals that hate and reject their real selves (animal selves) and construct mental ideal selves and aspire to making these imaginary ideal selves come true.
The real is that which adapts to the world of matter, energy, space and time. The real must be imperfect for it is limited by the exigencies of the world it lives in and has no control over. You cannot stop the rain from falling.
The ideal self is merely a mental reconstruction of our imperfect selves and made perfect. In our thinking, in our minds, we invent ideal, perfect selves, but in the real world we are all imperfect selves, for our lives are restricted by the reality of space and time.
No matter how much you wish that you were godlike in your powers, the fact is that you are living in a body, body which is composed of matter, elements, atoms and particles hence not powerful. Your body is just a variety of biological organisms; you are an animal and a tree in a different form. Simply stated, your body is nothing important. You may delude yourself into thinking that you are very important; the president of the world, the fact is that you are food for worms. You will die, decay and smell to high heaven.
Human beings do not like to accept their real selves, their bodily selves; they hate what their bodies do, such as defecate and engage in filthy sex. (They hide those physical activities for they are ashamed of them.)
They reject the real bodily selves and invent imaginary mental ideal selves and attempt to become them.
As long as they quest after their idealized selves, they must live in conflict and tension.


To live a tension free existence, one must give up the desire to live as an idealized self. One must embrace the bodily self. One must not be ashamed of the activities of the bodily self, such as eating food, defecating and having sex. One must let go of ones prideful ideal self. (Horney pointed out that pride is a neurotic property; it is the ideal self that feels proud; the real self, an animal self just is, it is neither good nor bad.)
The bodily self still has some tension; tension free existence is not an absolute proposition. Animals do not want to die. They fear death and protect themselves. If you come into a room where there are cockroaches and rats, they run away and go hide for they desire to live and do not want you to squash them to death. Their running away is motivated by their desire to live and their fear of harm and death. This biological fear means that they experience some somatic tension and do not have total peace.

If a human being accepted his bodily real self and gave up his idealized self concept and self image, he would experience the level of fear and tension found in animals, minimal fear and tension, the neurotically maximal fear and tension.
To not experience any fear and tension at all, to have perfect peace, the individual must die. I guess that is why they say RIP for the dead, Rest in Peace, for it is only when we die and no longer live in body, that we no longer defend our vulnerable bodies that we experience total peace.
As long as we live in this world and are in bodies, bodies threatened by microorganisms and other natural forces, we must have some fear and tension and not have perfect peace. But we can reduce our neurotic anxiety and tension and increase our peace by not aspiring after idealized self concepts and self images, and by accepting our real selves, our physical self.
I found peace by jettisoning my earlier quest for an idealized self concept and self image and by accepting my real self, my animal bodily self.
Now, I see myself as an animal and not more than that. I do not imagine myself anything other than an animal. Like all animals, I experience animal fear of harm and death of my body hence is a bit defensive. But I no longer have neurotic desire for an idealized self and do not have neurotic defense of that idealized self concept and self image. I tend to be relatively tension free and at peace with the world.

I live in relative peace but I see my brothers, particularly Igbo brothers living in neurotic tension and anxiety. I see them with their idealized self concepts and images and seeking to realize those fantasy selves. I see them wanting to be called professor, chief, and doctor Njoku, all in a neurotic effort to seem like they are very important persons. Their behaviors are efforts to negate the obvious, that they are food being prepared for worms.
I see them dance normal neurotic dances for worth and know that like me they are worthless and valueless.
I am totally worthless and valueless. The same goes for you. I have no illusion and or delusion of my worth. I do not see you as better than me, for I know that you, even if you are the president of the world are food for worms. I am not deceived by your crazy attempt to give you imaginary worth.

If a human being accepts his real self, his body and its worthlessness and valuelessness, he tends to give up defense of imaginary important self and only defend like animals do, hence tends to be only mildly fearful and tense.


Nothing said in this paper negates the possibility of a spiritual dimension to us. In fact, I think that we are spiritual beings having physical experience. In other papers, I described my spiritual psychology.
I believe that we are part of one unified life, one life force that can be anthropomorphized as one unified self. That one self is simultaneously infinite selves.
One life, one self manifests in infinite lives/selves. In its real state, which is outside of matter, space and time, it is spirit. But in matter, space and time, it constructs the self concept and self image for each of us.
Each of us is an individualized aspect of one life, one self. As part of that unified life, unified self we are permanent, changeless and eternal. But in body, we are changeable and mortal. In unified spirit we have total worth and value. In body we have no apparent value and worth.
Spirit is all importance, body is nothing; unified self is grandeur, separated self is grandiosity. See Osuji, Real Self Psychology. (9)
In this paper, I am focusing on the temporal man, the man in body, space and time. That self is temporal, is born, grows old and dies and his body decomposes and returns to the elements, atoms and particles that constituted it. As body, I see no value to people, other than the imaginary values they give to themselves.
Imaginary values are no values. To prove that people have no value, if you, the reader, choose, you can kill me and, if I choose, I can kill you. This means that we are nothing important to nature.
Our physical importance is imaginary and pretended importance. (I used to amuse myself by watching people bedecked in fine clothes and jewelries; I would visualize them as dead and rotten bodies. I would, like Arthur Schopenhauer (10) ask: why take all that trouble to wear; why adorn the body with trinkets if it is food for worms? Human beings seemed absurd.)

For pour present purposes, the salient point is that the pursuit of the idealized important self, an imaginary self, exacerbates human fear, anxiety and tension. That pursuit contributes to people’s tendency to feel emotional upsets. In fact, the pursuit of an idealized self is implicated in most mental disorders, such as paranoia, schizophrenia, mania, depression, anxiety disorder etc.
If a person wants to live in relative peace, for absolute peace is impossible while we live in bodies, he must give up his imaginary important self and simply accept himself as unimportant self.
Accepting the self as unimportant does not mean that other people are more important than one. I do not consider any human being alive as better than other human beings. I do not care whether he lives at the American president’s house, the “Black House”, the Pope’s house at the Vatican, the Dibia House, he is still an animal.
When I visited those two places, I felt inordinately superior to the “children” living in them. I felt that they were no more than children pretending to be adults, animals pretending to be mighty human beings.


To live in peace and be tension free, the individual must give up his self concept and self image, all of it. Unfortunately, to live in body, to be on earth, the individual must have a self concept and self image, a personality. The most he seems able to do is ascertain that his self concept/self image/personality is flexible and not too rigid. (See David Shapiro, Neurotic Styles. (11))
In as much as the individual must have some sort of self concept, self image and personality, he must have a certain degree of fear, anxiety, anger, sadness; he must live in some somatic and psychological tension. As long as human beings live on earth, they must have tension and lack peace but they can reduce their tension and increase their peace by remaking their self concepts.
If the individual reinvents his self concept and makes it a loving and forgiving one, and uses it to serve social interests, he tends to be relatively less tense; he tends to be relatively peaceful and happy.
Jesus Christ said: I give you my peace. Indeed, his followers refer to him as the prince of peace. What that means is that whoever dedicates his life to loving; forgiving and serving all people tend to live in peace and is a bringer of peace to a world at war with itself.


If it were possible to not judge ones self or other people, one would be in perfect peace. Judgment disturbs peace. But that is an ideal statement, not a realistic one. In real world, human beings must judge themselves and other people. They judge themselves with either real self standards or ideal self standards. Real self standards are the standard of animals in bodies, while ideal self standards are the standards of disembodied selves, abstract and unrealistic. Judging the self and other people with false ideal neurotic standards gives them tension.
It is feasible to judge with realistic standards and give up judging with ego idealistic perfect standards. Judge people as they are, not as you think that they should be, according to your perfect standards. People are animals living in body; therefore, judge them as you would judge an animal and you would not generate tension in them.
An animal eats, sleeps, and seeks survival and mates to reproduce it. There is no particular reason why it should reproduce itself except that it simply has a desire to do so.
Human beings are like animals; they do the same things that animals do: eat, sleep, have sex, reproduce and there is no particular reason why they should do so. They have no reason to live in body except that they have a desire to do so.
(You may say that they separated from their unified self to go seem to live as special separated selves, to dream that they are separated selves in bodies etc and that the dream is an illusion, since the individual cannot separate from the whole unified self; he is always unified while dreaming that he is separated; the most he can do is have a happy dream where he loves and forgives himself and his fellow dreamers but he cannot make his dream, separation real)
In the temporal universe, there is no particular reason to live or not to live. People simply live because they have an inner compulsion to live; they experience a drive to survive for as long as it is possible to do so in body (which is, perhaps, 120 years?).
In the meantime, if the individual loves and forgives all people and does something he truly likes doing and has an aptitude for doing and serves social interest, he will be relatively peaceful and happy.


Human beings have self concepts and self images, aka personalities and egos. There is no doubt that each of them, building on his biological and social experiences constructs his self concept and self image.
The individual is responsible for inventing his self concept and self image. He got a little help from other people in inventing his self concept and self image; just as he helps other people in conceptualizing themselves and their world.
The self concept and the self image were constructed by some force. Who is the conceptualizer, the image maker?
Obviously, the conceptualizer is not his concept; the image maker is not his image. The concept builder is different from his constructs. The various religions of mankind call the concept maker, the image maker spirit.
Spirit is not amenable to intellectual understanding. Spirit knows but does not understand. Understanding is for our world, the world of space, time and matter.
Ours is a perceptual world, not a knowing world. We do not know anything for certain. Our world is always changing, you cannot step into the same river twice; where things are always changing there can be no certainty of knowledge.
To perceive, to see there must be a self and not self, a you and I, a world of separation, space and time. To perceive there must be a world of things, a world of objects, bodies and forms. We live in the world of perception, the world of objects and perceiver of objects. This is the temporal world.
Unified spirit is not in the world of space, time and objects hence does not perceive things. The world of spirit is the world of oneness, sameness, and equality. Our temporal world is the opposite of the unified spirit world, for it is the world of separation, differences and inequality, whereas the unified world is the world of union. Our world is a world of change, time and mortality; unified spirit world is the world of changelessness and permanence.
Unified spirit knows itself as unified and has no sense of you and I, seer and seen, subject and object. The world of unified self, the world from which the conceptualizer, the image maker came from, is totally different from our world and cannot be understood with the categories of our world.
We leave the spirit world, for now, and concentrate on the empirical world, the world of the here and now, the world that science (which psychology is a part of).


The path to tension free living lies in understanding of the self concept, self image and personality. We must reconceptualize and rethink our self concepts and self images; we must accept the real self, the animal self and desisting from pursuit of neurotic, or psychotic, false ideal self.
If it were possible to have no self concept, no self image and no human personality, to extinguish the separated, special self and return to the unified self, folks would live in total peace. But that prospect is for after death existence in bodiless, that is, spirit mode.
In the here and now world, we can experience relative peace and happiness by shrinking our self concepts to realistic proportions.
I found peace in a world at war with itself by reconceptualizing who I think that I am; from idealistic to realistic; from hating and rejecting what is peculiar to human beings, animal behavior, to embracing them.
I no longer feel ashamed to eat, defecate, and even have sex, as I used to feel. Like Nietzsche, (12) I accept all that it means to be a human being, without pride and its opposite, shame. I just accept what is, as what is, without wishing that it be different to suit my idealistic wishes. In doing so, I found some peace in this warring world, a world where we declare war on our real selves, our animal, bodily selves by wishing to be purely mentally constructed selves, a world where we are at war with our unified spirit self by wishing to be separated special selves.

Ozodi Thomas Osuji, PhD

* These weekly series of articles can also be found at:

(Africa Psychology welcomes contributions by psychologists and other mental health professionals. Articles must be useful to actual people’s efforts to adapt to their world. These articles are also published in the journal: African Psychology. Contact: for further information.)


Alfred Adler, The Neurotic Constitution
American Psychiatric Association, DSM
Karen Horney, Neurosis and Human Growth
George Kelly, Psychology of Personal Constructs
Frederick Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra
Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Real Self Psychology
Carl Rogers, Client Centered Therapy
Arthur Schopenhauer, World as Will and Idea
Helen Schucman, A Course in Miracles
David Shapiro, Neurotic Styles
Harry Stark Sullivan, The Interpersonal Psychiatry of Harry Stack Sullivan
Victor Uchendu, The Igbos of South East Nigeria

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January 05, 2006

Ozodi Osuji Weekly Lectures on African Countries #1 of 54: Algeria

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji (Seatle, Washington) --- These 54 introductory lectures, each an hour long, offered by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, PhD (UCLA), are meant to give students freshman level acquaintance with African countries. Thereafter, students are encouraged to take the 200 level courses (West Africa, East Africa, Central Africa, South Africa, North Africa, five courses).

Interested students are further encouraged to take the 300 level courses on specific African countries politics, history and economy.
The 400 level courses are deemed professional courses for advanced students. For the 400 level courses, students are expected to write a thesis of no less than one hundred pages on an African country or aspect thereof.
In all courses, to obtain grades, students are required to take an in class mid-term and final examination and to write a take home 20 pages (or more) paper. Of course, students can take the courses for interests only; such students are not given grades and, as such, are not required to take examinations.
(Grades are: 90-100= A; 80-90= B; 70-80= C; 60-70= D and 59 and under =Fail; Grade Point Averages: A= 4, B=3, C=2, D=1 and F= Fail.) This course lasts thirteen weeks, that is, one quarter. Credits: 4 credits
The lectures are in this order: 1. Algeria; 2.Angola; 3.Benin; 4.Botswana; 5. Burkina Faso; 6. Burundi; 7. Cameron; 8.Cape Verde; 9. Central African Republic; 10.Chad; 11.Comoros; 12.Congo; 13.Congo Democratic Republic; 14. Djibouti; 15.Egypt; 16.Equitorial Guinea; 17.Eriteria; 18.Ethiopia; 19.Gabon; 20. Gambia; 21.Ghana; 22. Guinea; 23.Guinea Bissau; 24. Ivory Coast; 25.Kenya; 26.Lesotho; 27.Liberia; 28.Libya; 29.Madagascar; 30.Malawi; 31. Mali; 32. Mauritania; 33. Mauritius; 34.Morocco; 35. Mozambique; 36.Namibia; 37.Niger; 38.Nigeria; 39.Rwanda; 40.Sao Tome and Principe; 41. Senegal; 42. Seychelles; 43. Sierra Leon; 44. Somalia; 45.South Africa; 46.Sudan; 47.Swaziland; 48.Tanzania; 49. Togo; 50.Tunisia; 51. Uganda; 52. Western Sahara; 53. Zambia; 54. Zimbabwe.
Each country’s vital statistics will be offered, followed with a brief introduction to its contemporary politics.
Each lecture notes is about five pages long; the fifty four lectures are about three hundred pages long. (Students can purchase the compiled lecture notes.)
The examinations will be based on the lecture notes and the assigned Textbook, Thomas Pakenham, The Scramble for Africa, 1870-1912. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1990.
Dr Osuji can be reached at (206) 464-9004;


Formal Name: Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria.

Term for Citizens: Algerians.

Capital: Algiers. Population: 2,861,000.

Date of Independence: July 5, 1962, from France.

Major Cities: Oran, El Djazair (Algiers).


Algeria is located in North Africa. It is bordered by Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Libya and Tunisia. Algeria encompasses a total area of 919,594 square miles, more than four fifth of it is desert. The Mediterranean cost is mountainous and relatively fertile and is the area of most of the population centers of Algeria. The Mid and Southern section of the country is mostly deserting. The coastal regions experience mild Mediterranean climate and mild winters and some rainfall. The desert is hot and arid.


Algeria’s current population is estimated at 31, 800,000; most Algerians live in the urban coastal lowlands.

Ethnic Groups:

Algeria has a mix of Arabs and Berbers. Arabs constitute about 80% of the population.

Languages: Arabic is the official language, with pockets of Berber language. Most educated Algerians, however, also speak French.

Religion: 99% of Algerians are Sunni Muslims. Christians constitute less than 1% of the population.

Education: Education is free at all levels, including compulsory free elementary education. Literacy rate is estimated at 70%.


The economy is mixed with the state playing a greater role in it. Agriculture accounts for less than 10% of the GDP. GDP estimate: $167 billion; Per Capita: $5, 300. Monetary unit: Dinar.

History and Government:

During the 19th century, France occupied what is now called Algeria and encouraged French persons to settle in it and displace local Arab and Berber population. Thus, a substantial French population settled in Algeria. The French took over Algeria’s choice real estate and pushed the locals to the country’s arid regions. Algeria was considered a department (administrative district) of France itself and ruled as if it was part of France. The local population resented been controlled by foreigners and the result was a war of independence against France. That war led to the toppling of the French government in Paris in 1958, and the return to power of Charles De Gaul and the formation of the fifth French Constitution/Republic. The victorious Arabs achieved their independence in 1962, and formed a government. The government is based on the French model, a strong presidential system, many political parties and separation of religion from state activities. However, fundamentalist Islamic elements strive for theocracy and law based on Sharia (Islamic law). This produces a situation where the secular government is afraid of democratic elections least the Islamic majority wins and imposes its theocracy on society. Indeed, the government has had to annul an election reportedly won by fundamentalist Muslims. There is tension between the religious and secular elements in society and this tends to lead to repression of extreme religious activities, out of fear of dragging the country to fundamentalist lines. Algeria is currently divided into 48 regions for administrative purposes. The elected president governs through a prime minister, who is in charge of the day-to-day affairs of government.


In 1834, France annexed Algeria and encouraged its citizens to emigrate and settle in Algeria. These immigrants displaced native Arabs and Berbers. As would be expected, this colonization policy did not sit well with the native population hence skirmishes ensued between them and the French occupiers. In 1945, pro independence demonstrations erupted throughout Algeria. Several thousand Algerians were killed. As a result, Algerians in exile formed the Front de Liberation Nationale, FLN and subsequently initiated a pro independence war. The Algerian nationalist, Ben Bella, led this war. In 1958, Charles de Gaulle came to power in France and promised to end the war in Algeria. In 1959 president De Gaulle released Ben Bella from prison. In 1962 Algeria was given independence by France. It is reported that over 100, 000 Frenchmen and 1,000,000 Algerians lost their lives during the Algerian war for independence.
In 1962 Ben Bella became the first native president of Algeria. In 1965 Houari Boumedienne sized power and placed Ben Bella under house arrest for fifteen years. In 1978, Boumedienne died in office and was replaced by Benjedid Chadly as President of Algeria.
Algeria is composed of Arabs and Berbers. Arabs are the majority and rule the country. The Berbers erupted in protestation of Arab rule in 1980. This revolt is still going on, as sporadic anti government rallies.
FLN has consistently ruled Algeria from independence to the present. Although it fought with France for independence, the FLN has tilted towards France and is secular in its orientation. The Arab population is mainly Sunni Moslem.
Aware that a free democratic election might result in victory for Islamic parties, the secular FLN resisted free and fair elections. In 1990, the ruling FLN tolerated a free election and the Front Islamique du Salut, FIS, apparently won the election. Afraid of Islamic theocracy, the Algerian Army cancelled the result of that election. This resulted in the Islamic elements forming an armed band, Group Islamique Arme, GIA, and resorting to armed struggle. A civil war ensued in Algeria. That civil war is still, in one form or another, going on. Over 150, 000 persons reportedly have been killed, so far in that civil war.
In 1994, the Algerian Army tried to extricate itself from government by appointing Liamine Zeroual as the president. In 1996, Zeroual outlawed religious parties from future elections and in 1999 held an election, an election where religious parties were barred from participating. Abdelaziz Bouteflika was elected the president. Election improprieties were alleged. Bouteflika won reelection in 2002, an election boycotted by opposition parties.
One party, FLN has essentially ruled Algeria since its independence from France in 1962. This party is secular and fears free democratic elections for it believes that in such elections fundamentalist Islamicists would win and proceed to transform the country into an Islamic theocracy. To avoid this happenstance, FLN is said to have either rigged elections or out rightly prevented religious parties from contesting elections.
On paper, Algeria has many political parties and, as such, would seem a democracy. There is Algeria National Front, Democratic National Rally, Islamic Salvation Front, and Society for Peace Movement, and many other political parties. Many pressure groups seem to exist, particularly religious interest groups, such as the FIS.
The political parties and interest groups exercise influence on Algeria’s bicameral Parliament (National People’s Assembly or Al- Majilis 389 members, and the Senate, 144 members; members of the Al Majilis serve five years and members of the Senate serve six years. The Senate is partly elected and partly appointed by the President.)
Law making seems democratic, that is, Bills are introduced, debated and voted on and must pass the two Houses and go to the President for approval or vetoing. In reality, it seems that Bills that make it to the President are those that serve the secular goals of the ruling party and its military supporters.
The struggle between the secular rulers and the Islamicists appear inevitable in Algeria and other Arab countries. It would seem that free and fair election would favor Islamicists since they appear to be in the majority in the population. Democrats would seem to like such free elections. On the other hand, given the theocratic nature of fundamentalist Islam, it follows that it could impose Sharia and other non-democratic ideas of governance on the country and thus eliminating the very democratic process that brought it to power. In this prickly situation, it seems that the West tacitly permits the secular rulers of Algeria to stay in power through antidemocratic means.
The Algerian economy is heavily dependent on hydrocarbon; hydrocarbon accounting for over 60% of the national budget, 30% GDP and over 95% of export revenues. Algeria has the seventh largest Gas reserve in the world and ranks second in exporting Gas. It ranks 14th in oil reserves.
Given the recent (2005) sky rocking of oil prices, Algeria is making substantial revenue from oil and is running trade surpluses. But despite this substantial revenue from oil, Algeria has a large population of poor persons. Many of these poor Algerian find their way to France and constitute a large percentage of the Moslem population in France.
Algeria’s international politics is generally limited to Arab issues. It supports the exiled Sahrawi Polisario Front in its struggle with Morocco. Morocco claims right to Western Sahara and the Polisario fights for independence of that country.
Over 165, 000 Western Saharans, Sahrawi Arabs, who have chosen not to live in Morocco administered Western Sahara, live in Southern Algeria towns like Tindouf, as refugees.
Algeria and Morocco have border claim issues. Algeria also has border disputes with Libya; the disputed lands with Libya contain substantial oil.
Armed robbers operating in the Sahara Desert sometimes make incursions into Southern Algeria and destabilize its towns. The Algerian Army is kept busy chasing these bandits out of Algerian Sahel territories.
It is clear that the rulers of Algeria have democratic impulse but is afraid of the consequences of a free and fair election, Islamicists control of the country. The rulers, mostly Arabs, are also afraid of the demands of the minority Berber population for that could lead to the bifurcation of the country. These fears appear to leave them little choice but to resort to undemocratic means in trying to be democratic and preserve their territorial integrity. There seem no easy and apparent solution to this dilemma at this time. Uneasy peace seems to exist in Algeria, peace that is likely to be disturbed at any time.

Ozodi Thomas Osuji, PhD
Weekly Lectures on African Countries

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December 30, 2005

Redirecting the Desire to Make Fantasy Real

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- All through my life, I have hated and rejected my body and true self, and by extension, hated and rejected all people’s bodies and real selves. I have hated every thing that is real, such as anything that is in body, in matter, space and time. I preferred the abstract and beautiful to the impure but real. I have tried to replace the material with the mental construct of how the world should be.

In the process, I have lived in fantasy land, the world of idealism and imagination. I used my mind to imagine and wish for everything to be better than they are, in fact. I hated the real world and preferred the imaginary ideal world.

I never really did anything to help me adapt to the real world. Make no mistake about it, I understand the real world alright, as in studying science, but, somehow, I did not like that real world and aspired after transcending it. I transcended it in my mind, in imagination, where I preferred to live. I did not like to live in the empirically real world, the messy, imperfect world.

Because I escaped into the world of imagination, I did not do what the real world required of me to adapt to it hence failed in the real world. I failed not because of what other people did to me or did not do to me but because I could not resign myself to the real world.

I have the skills to adapt to the real world…I have as much skills as any political scientist, psychologist and management professional. If I had resigned myself to any of those professions, I would have done well in it. The problem was that none of those professions seemed good enough for me. I preferred the imaginary ideal profession and ideal world, knowing fully well that human beings cannot make fantasy, idealism (such as socialism) real.

So what should I do? I should accept the empirical world. That is, I should accept the scientific method, the most realistic mode of approaching our world. I should accept technology.

In the job place, I should seek out what people desire in the empirical world that I can do and supply it to them. What is that? What is it that enables people to adapt to their real world, not the imaginary world of religion, spirit etc but to the world of the here and now that I can do and supply it to them?

I am in a position to give people psychological science, a field that I believe that I am second to none.


Sigmund Freud wrote about what he called Thanatos, the desire to kill ones self. Since his postulation was mental and not amenable to empirical verification, it was not accepted.

But I have come to the conclusion that people have a desire to kill themselves. I reached this conclusion by observing my own self destructive acts.

Recently, I found myself ignoring exercising. I used to run, at least, every other day, swim, and weight lift, ride my bicycle and generally engage in all kinds of exercises. I hated to have an extra ounce of weight on my body. But these days, I have stopped exercising; I eat more. I drink too much coffee. I have gained several pounds.

So I got to thinking why I am doing this to me? I came to the conclusion that I am doing these destructive things to me because deep down I want to kill myself? I want to self destroy with caffeine…for caffeine is a stimulant and over stimulates the heart and is correlated with cardiovascular diseases and pancreatic cancer. So, why do I want to kill myself?

I think that I want to kill myself for, as I approached middle age, it became clear to me that I had not achieved my ego ideals and that I was not likely ever going to achieve them.

My ego ideal wanted to be the most important person in whatever I was doing. If it dreamed of politics, it wanted to be the best politician in the world, indeed, the head of the world. If it dreamed scholasticism, it wanted me to be the best scholar in the world.
Well, I am not the best in anything. At my age, I ought to be at the top of my game, but the fact is that I am not at the top in anything.

Since my ego ideal expected me to be at the top of something, I could not really resign myself to being at the bottom of any profession. To avoid being at the bottom of any profession, I dropped out of the usual professions. I did not fit into any real world profession. At this point in time, I am not functioning from the parameters of any one particular profession. As a result, by the world’s standards, I am a failure.

I am not materially rich and I am not socially powerful. I am a nobody in society. I am unimportant.

I believe that as I fail to achieve my ego ideals, life lost its meaning for me. Pursuit of my ego ideals had given my life purpose and meaning, what purpose and meaning there was in it.

I recall myself as a boy. At age twelve, I had set my mind to obtaining a PhD and did so at a relatively young age for an African. My desire to become somebody important motivated me.

I worked in the mental health field and in a few years was the executive director of a very large mental health agency, supervising folks some of whom were older than my own father. Then I felt the job boring, ennui and quit and embarked on a study of the various religions of the world: Hinduism, Buddhism and New Thought Christian churches like Unity and Religious Science. I spent three years in this quest and eventually came to the conclusion that they are useful but not for me.

I am an African and cannot fit myself to Asian or Americans religions. Now what? I was back to square one.

What is missing in my life is something to give my life worth, purpose and meaning. Hitherto, pursuit of ego ideals had given my life pseudo worth, purpose and meaning. But now that I know that ego ideals are fantasy and cannot be realized in the real world, and I seem unable to fit myself to the real world, I seem goalless and stuck.

I believe that it was at this point that I embarked on an unconscious desire to kill myself via over eating and drinking too much coffee (I do not smoke cigarettes and do not do drugs, I drink a beer every once in a blue moon.)

I believe that Freud was right: people reach a point in their lives when they see no point in living and they unconsciously desire to kill themselves. Somehow, they manage to get themselves killed.
Of course, people do all this in an unconscious manner. The average person is, more or less, unconscious of the motives for his behaviors. Africans seem particularly dense in this regard. I am yet to see Africans who take interest in understanding their personal psychology. In fact, they tend to look at me and my efforts to understand us in a psychological manner as if I am insane. When you look at them, what you see are warped and stunted lives, folks living meaningless and purposeless lives, but who do not even think about it. They seem like mere animals eating, defecating and dying without asking why they live. No, my African brothers and sisters do not seem to care to understand why they live and do what they do. Be that as it, they still have death wish and like every one else manage to get themselves killed and die. Some do so by over eating and dying from cardiovascular diseases: heart attack and stroke.

If you over eat and do not exercise and die of heart attack what do you expect? You are the one who killed yourself. Even though your ego would like to see you as a victim unto whom bad things happen, the fact is that you are the one who brought your death to you. You are responsible for what happens to you in your life.

When one fails in actualizing ones ego ideal, one prefers death to living and begins to do those things that would bring about ones death.

One can understand the process and redirect ones life and give ones self a different purpose and meaning.

As I see it, empiricism is the only alternative purpose I see in this world. Understanding things as they are and devising a technology to manipulate the workings of nature seems the only realistic thing to do in this world. Thus, pursuing the sciences and technology seem the best thing to do in this world.

Escaping into ego fantasy aka idealism or sprit fantasy aka religion is unrealistic and a dead end.

Killing ones self, as in suicide, is cowardly. True, life is tough. Courage requires one to accept life on its own terms and make the most of it without illusions that it is going to become heaven on earth.

I believe that there is a life force ala Henri Bergson operative in the universe, what folks call God, but it is impersonal and does not interfere in this world.

As long as we are here on earth, we have to study science and technology and use them to adapt to our world and live up to the maximum it is possible to live in body (maybe 120 years?).

I have no illusion of worth, purpose and meaning, for I do not see self evident worth, purpose and meaning to my life (or to any ones life either).

I do what existentialist thinkers like Jean Paul Sartre urge us to do: posit a purpose that seems meaningful to me and pursue it and do not have the illusion that it is meaningful beyond the meaning I give to it.

In this light, I love and forgive every person in the world because doing so gives my life worth, purpose and meaning, not self evidently and objectively verifiable worth, purpose and meaning but subjective worth, purpose and meaning.


One posited an ego ideal and that ego ideal invents its ideal standards and one uses them to judge real people. But real people are limited by their body, space and time and cannot ever become ideal persons.

To judge real people, ones self and other people, with ego ideals are, therefore, foolish. It is a waste of time and energy, for it seeks to accomplish the impossible, try to make the imaginary seem real.

Moreover, one is causing ones self, other people, the entities judged with ideal standards, pain.

One is actually playing an imaginary god for one’s ego invents imaginary self and imaginary ideal standards and uses them to judge real people. This behavior is play-acting imaginary god.

Engaging in judgment and other ego behavior does not enable the individual to adapt to the empirical world and does not put food on the table.


One is tempted to go from escape into ego fantasy to escape into spiritual fantasy. Some people escape into religion and its myriad fantasies of God and what the after life is like. The fact is that whereas there is an eternal changeless life force, those on earth cannot explain him. It is a waste of time talking about God, spirit.

One must talk of real psychology, a psychology that understands human beings in the here and now world; a psychology that nevertheless recognizes the reality of God, without pretending to understand him.

Man must recognize the reality of God and bow to him, so as to shrink his ego to normal proportion, but he cannot pretend to understand God.

So what is the right thing to do? We must study real psychology, secular plus some spiritual psychology, and sell that understanding to people, for people need it to adapt to the exigencies of this world.

One should not escape into suiting but unproductive ego idealism or spirit idealism. (Whereas idealistic intellectuals like me escape into philosophy for consolation, the poor masses of urban Nigeria seek solace in Pentecostal religions. These religions essentially are magical thinking and enable poor folk to imagine that if they wished hard and prayed long enough that some god would give them what they want out of life. This is pure wishful thinking. As far as we know, no god gives us what we ask for. See the slum folk live in abject poverty and die from poor nutrition. We cannot change empirical reality by wishing for it to change. Only doing science and technology enable us to wrestle decent living from nature.) One must face the empirical while acknowledging the non empirical without fleeing into magical thinking.


I have amazing insight into human nature. I am tempted to abuse this gift of understanding. In fact, in the past I had come close to abusing it.

I believe that if one abuses ones gift that one must pay a heavy price. Consider my troubled relationship with women. Men do abuse women’s vulnerability to seeking love. Women may talk tough but when you get to know them they are different from men. They need love and without it would wither. If a woman is not loved by a man she would do funny things. If you wish to manipulate this reality, you can pretend to love women and they would fall for it. But if you do so, you have toyed with human feelings. This is a crime against knowledge, in religious terms, a sin against the real self (which is love), and a sin against God.

(However, since God does not acknowledge sin, he urges the apparent sinner to stop sinning. To sin is to not love people. To not sin is to love ones self and other people. To love requires forgiving ones mistakes and other people’s mistakes done in the past; and not consciously repeat them; to live a sinless existence is to love all people in the present. It is in forgiving the past and loving in the present that one becomes peaceful and happy. Love and forgiveness of the past is the only way to obtain the gifts of God, peace and happiness.)

I say all these because last week, I received a Christmas Greeting card from Alaska. I used to live in Alaska.

When I divorced, I decided to get out of town for a while and went to Alaska. Without really meaning to be involved in a love affair, somehow, I got involved with a female psychologist. I later found out that she was really, really in love with me. But I was not intent on having a serious relationship and certainly was not invested in another marriage, so I abruptly ended the relationship. I refused to return her phone calls and largely returned to the lower forty eight (states) to avoid encountering her.

Through mutual friends, I do hear about her. The minister of the church that both of us had attended while I lived at Anchorage, Alaska (teaching at the University of Alaska, Anchorage), recently called and gave me a picture of what she is doing with her life. The composite picture that I gathered is that she vowed to not have anything to do with men, ever, again; that she sees all men as exploiters of women’s affection. To her, men use women and abandon them in the lurch and she is going to do without men. Apparently, now she prefers the company of animals to men: she lives with her two dogs, two cats and assorted other animals.

Given what I had heard about her, I was, therefore, surprised that she sent me this cute little Christmas Greeting Card. The talking electronic card contained a dog in a snow bound surrounding, your typical Alaska ambiance during the winter months.

As an introspective type, I wondered about the import of her sending me a Christmas card and the symbolism of a lonely dog in a snowy, god forsaken sub arctic world? What was she trying to tell me?

Psychoanalysis teaches us that our behaviors are metaphors and that most of the things we do are motivated by unknown unconscious forces. We do not always know why we do what we do but there seem deeper reasons why we do what we do.

At the conscious level this woman is sending me a Christmas Greeting Card and that is all there is to it. Case closed.
But life is seldom as simple as that, is it? If life was that simple, it would all be honky dory. So, my mind went to work speculating on the probable meaning of her remembering me during this period of the year.

It is a well known fact that folks tend to want to associate with their loved ones during the Christmas session and that if they do not have close relations that they tend to feel sad.

The Christmas and other holiday periods are the most lonely periods for some folks, and it is said, the time that witnesses the highest depression, even suicide in folks.

Could it be that the lady is lonely and even depressed? Could it be that she is reaching out for love? Could it be that she is attempting to connect with an old flame?

What is the meaning of the dog in the dunes of snow? Could it be saying: see what you did to me, you abandoned me to live like this dog, lonely and lost in the snow of Alaska?

When I first got to Alaska and experienced its cold and lonely six months winter, I developed a habit of buying paintings (first, as an investment, but later as a hobby). One time I went to an Audubon society sell and bought a painting of a dog in a tundra surrounding. The dog seemed so lost and lonely! In fact, that painting, the dog, seemed symbolic of my own sense of been lost and lonely in the snowy world of Alaska. Imagine an American trudging all over Alaska, as I did, renting “bush taxis” (small planes) and flying to practically all the villages in the Lower Kuskokwim delta.

Every once in a while, I looked at that painting of a dog in a tundra setting and told myself that he is me, lonely and lost in the tundra. My God, I was so lonely in Alaska that I went and got two dogs, golden retrievers and black labs, to keep me company.

Could it be that I am merely projecting my own sense of loneliness, symbolized by the picture of a lonely dog, to my ex lady friend? Is it the case that she is not lonely, that I am merely transferring what I see in me to her?

If she is not lonely, how come she has dogs and not human beings as her friends?

Could I be making myself seem very important by imagining that a female doctor would desire me? I have had female clients who told me that certain famous men are in love with them, when those men did not even know that they existed. This is called delusion disorder, erotomanic type. When a person feels worthless and undesirable, she can delude herself into thinking that she is so beautiful that important men desire to have her as their love object. Being found attractive and loveable by important persons, apparently, make ugly duckling feeling persons feel beautiful and attractive?
Could it be that I feel like am not attractive and that I am making myself seem attractive by imaging a successful female professional desiring me? You never know how these things work out.
I have no illusions about who I am. I am one giant nothing. I am an empty vessel that makes a great deal of noise.

Nevertheless, I feel that this woman is seeking love. Unfortunately, I am not able to love her, for my own madness inclines me to be independent. My line of work requires that I be unattached to anybody. I have to be dispassionate and objective; love triangles have a way of contaminating a man’s objectivity in his perception of phenomena.

Life is a bummer, is it not?

In the final analysis, the point is for men never to mess with a woman’s love. You must love a woman but do not feel her to fall in love with you and vamoose, as I did.

If you get a woman to get attached to you and you disappear, you will pay a heavy price, as I am paying. I am always feeling guilty, feeling like I did something terribly wrong, like am evil. I tell you, this is not a pleasant feeling.

You do not want to be in my shoes. To not be in my shoes, please to do toy with women’s desire for genuine love with men.

This year, I resolve to be realistic in my thinking and behavior and to forgive and love all people in a genuine manner.
December 29, 2005

Next week I begin my weekly profiling of African countries, my justification for being alive in 2006.

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December 27, 2005

Politicians should Write Blueprints of what they Plan to do for Nigeria

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- I have been pondering the fact that our political leaders seem to seek political offices for personal purposes, to use them to seem important and or steal from the public.

To prevent politicians from using public office for personal purposes, we ought to do certain things, including requiring all those who want to seek public office, from city council to the presidency, to write a booklet, of no more than 200 pages, in which they delineate exactly what they plan to do in office and how they plan go about doing so.

The political economy has many areas; political aspirants should tell us what they plan to do in most areas of it. The candidate for public office should tell us what is his economic plan for the level of governance he wants to participate in? What is his educational plan, his industrial plan, his agricultural plan, in short, what he is going to do in most areas of the political economy? The aspirant ought to delineate his plan, his visions and goals for the country; their costs and how exactly he intends to get the money to finance them. He ought to give us time lines when each of his goals would be accomplished.

Taking the time to write ones goals and objectives down on paper and publishing them helps the public to know what the political aspirant wants to accomplish for them. Moreover, this also enables the public to hold him responsible and accountable for accomplishing them.

In subsequent reelection bids, the public would then say to the politician: this is what you said that you were going to do for us, and this is actually what you did for us, so we think that you are a good or bad leader and reelect or reject the politician accordingly.

I am really sick and tired of Nigerian politicians seeking public office, not because of what they want to do for Nigeria but because of psychological reasons. It is obvious that most of what passes for politicians in Nigeria feel inadequate and seek high political office to give them compensatory sense of adequacy. They seek office as a means of attaining prestige. Office is restitutory for their underlying sense of inferiority.

One should not seek public office as therapy for ones psychological deficit. One should seek public office because of what one wants to do for the people.

Consider Governor Orji Kalu. His performance as the governor of Abia state is abysmal. One cannot honestly see anything worthwhile that the man has done for his people. The man cannot even pave the streets of Aba and Umuahia. Yet this man wants to be given the opportunity to become the next president of Nigeria. So why should he be the president of Nigeria? He tells us that it is because it is Igbos turn to rule Nigeria and that he is “the most qualified Igbo to rule Nigeria”. In other words, he wants us to elect him because he is an Igbo not because of what he plans to do for us.

Actually, Mr. Kalu probably wants us to elect him to give him the opportunity to steal more money from Nigeria and for him to export that money to the West. The man probably assumes that we are all imbeciles and cannot read between the lines. Apparently, the man assumes that we should offer him an opportunity to be a political 419 criminal at the national level.

(If you come close enough to the man and assess him, you recognize what a nincompoop he is; he lacks political gravitas; the man is probably mentally challenged, and is emotionally crippled. Yet this nothingness of a being wants to rule Nigeria, what travesty!)

In conclusion, I am recommending that as a matter of public policy, Nigeria require all aspirants to political office in the country, at all levels, to first write a blueprint that tells us what they plan to do for us.

Any literate man can write, edit and publish such a booklet within a month. Therefore, it is not asking too much to require those planning to rule us to write down on paper what they plan to do for us.

What do you think about this suggestion?

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Insanity Results from Searching for Worth, Meaning, and Purpose in the Wrong Places

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- INTRODUCTION: The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (1994) has done an excellent job describing the various mental disorders. However, it did so without describing the causes of those disorders.

Whereas, official Psychiatry is hesitant delineating the causal factors in mental disorders, Physiological Psychiatry seems to give the impression that these mental disorders are caused by biological factors. See Schizophrenia: Dopamine causal hypothesis; bipolar affective disorder: norepinephrine causal hypothesis; depression: serotonin causal hypothesis; anxiety: GABA causal hypothesis.
Clearly, there seem putative biochemical correlations with the various mental disorders. However, this situation does not necessarily prove that mental disorders are caused by disordered biochemical states. The identified biochemical disorders may only predispose persons to think in a manner that leads to mental disorders? At any rate, most of the phamacotherapeutic regime predicated on the assumptions that mental disorders are caused by chemical imbalances do not seem to heal mental disorders. Perhaps, it is time we sought different understanding of the etiology and healing of mental disorders?


In this paper, I offer a hypothesis that mental disorders are caused by individuals’ search for worth, meaning and purpose, in a world that, apparently, lack in worth, meaning and purpose?
Our world, as existential thinkers like Sartre, Camus, Jasper and Heidegger pointed out, seem to have no apparent meaning and purpose to it. Human life on earth seems worthless, meaningless and purposeless.
The individual’s body is food for worms, William Shakespeare observed in Hamlet. We are born and will die and rot. We seem the play things of nature. Virus, bacteria, fungi destroy human bodies, as they destroy other biological forms. Earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, draughts, and other natural disasters destroy human life, as if human beings have no value. Other human beings if they so choose can kill the individual as he can kill them.
All said, empirical evidence indicates that human life does not seem to have any apparent worth. We are born and must die and become manure that fertilizes plants. There does not seem any meaning and purpose to our lives other than our desire to live, to survive, and survive for what we do not know. Any serious observer of the human condition cannot fail but conclude that human beings are not special in the eyes of nature. In so far that human beings seem to have worth, it is self conferred and that worth seem made up, fictional and not real for if the individual has real worth, how come microorganisms make a meal of his body?
My thesis is that the mentally ill to be person is generally a very perceptive child and perceives that as persons that human beings do not seem to have any empirical worth and that their lives are meaningless and purposeless. I believe that this perception is reached before adolescence.
Perceiving himself and other people as worthless and believing that his life and other people’s lives are meaningless and purposeless, the mentally ill to child refuses to accept his obviously accurate assessment of human existence on planet earth. In place of worthlessness, meaninglessness and purposeless, he posits their alternatives: worth, meaning and purpose. Where he perceives a worthless self he posits an ideal self.
The abstract and mentally constructed ideal self and ideal everything is designed to give the sensitive individual personal worth and give his life on earth meaning and purpose.
Having postulated an ideal self concept, and its image form, ideal self image (human beings seem to think in concepts and images), the individual feels an obsessive compulsive pressure to attain that imaginary self.
In pursuing his impossible goal, he feels like his life has worth, meaning and purpose. But the price he pays for his imaginary worth, meaning and purpose is that he literally becomes a slave to the pursuit of his ego ideals and ideals of who other people should be and what the world ought to become.
If he were to stop seeking to actualize his ego ideals, his life would suddenly lack in worth, meaning and purpose. Cessation of the pursuit of the ideals would bring to the fore what was denied and repressed into the individual’s unconscious: the awareness that his life has no worth, meaning and purpose.
The awareness of his existential worthlessness, meaninglessness and purposelessness may stimulate existential depression in such a person. To avoid awareness of the ugly realities of his being, he may use his imagination to invent even a more grandiose sense of worth, meaning and purpose for himself. He may posit a very seeming important self and pursue it. In the process, he may experience schizophrenia, or delusion disorder or manic depression (bipolar affective disorder).


Mental disorder is unified. The pursuit of worth, meaning and purpose are unified and where one is pursued the others are pursued. Indeed, such seeing different phenomenon as self consciousness is part of the individual’s efforts to seem worthwhile. Self consciousness emanates from an effort to have other people accept the false ideal, superior self as who one is, and awareness that it is not who one is in fact and that as such other people could appreciate that fact. Self consciousness is rooted in the misguided effort to get other people to validate the individual’s imaginary worthy self. If the individual did not have a desire for a special separated self, he would not be self conscious.
The mentally ill acutely perceives the worthlessness, meaninglessness and purposelessness of being as a separated human being housed in body that will die and struggles to give himself mentally constructed fictional worth, meaning and purpose. His goals cannot be attained in the empirical world since they are fictions and imaginary. A pure mental construct of reality cannot be attained in the world of space, time and matter.


The mentally ill has two options: give up his pursuit of fictional worth, meaning and purpose and accept that he is living a worthless, meaningless and purposeless existence or somehow convince himself that there is worth, meaning and purpose outside this world.
The atheist accepts that he is living a worthless, meaningless and purposeless existence and accommodates himself to that reality without illusions that he has worth or that his life has meaning and purpose; he is just like any other animal life, and when he dies his body rots and becomes fertilizer for other animal lives.
The religionist gives himself faith in what he believes is a better self, a self that lies outside the reality of space, time and matter, the world of spirit; he believes in God and after death existence. The religionist believes that God is beyond space, time and matter and, as such, is permanent, changeless and unified; he believes that in the world of God all beings are the same and equal and as immortal as God, their creator; such beliefs, apparently, gives the religionist worth, meaning and purpose.
Worth, meaning and purpose cannot inhere in the human body. Just thinking about what people do with their bodies, eat, defecate, have sex etc makes the sensitive person want to vomit. The human body at best will live a hundred and twenty years and die and smell to high heaven; as such, it cannot have worth, meaning and purpose. Worth, meaning and purpose, if they exist, must be outside body.


The normal person is, more or less, like a satisfied animal; he seems not capable of appreciating the worthlessness, meaninglessness and purposelessness of being. This observation gave R.D Laing (1965) the impression that psychotics are higher evolved persons than normal persons. Laing believed that the psychotic was akin to mystics. In his view, normal persons adjusted themselves to what seemed to him pathological human conditions.
Laing tended to romanticize mental disorders. The relevant point, however, is that normal persons do not seem acutely aware of the valuelessness, meaningless and purposelessness of being and therefore do not use their imaginations to construct imaginary worth, meaning and purpose for themselves. Indeed, some normal persons are even convinced that their bodies have worth. Some women, for example, take pride in their sexual organs and sexual activities; activities that give such sensitive souls as St Paul the impression that only lower human being could engage in them. As Paul saw it, the things of flesh ought to be repulsive to highly evolved human beings.
Normal human beings enjoy their food whereas the sensitive mind wonders why he must kill animals and tree and eat them to stay alive, to survive to become food for other forms of life.
Life on earth is a vicious struggle by animals to survive, in the struggle, the stronger eat the weak. And what do they live for?

Suppose the neurotic and or psychotic person who pursues imaginary worth, meaning and purpose accepts the reality that his self has no worth, meaning and purpose, what would happen?
He would be freed from his psychological compulsions to seem what he is not. He would feel emptied of all illusions of worth, meaning and purpose. Devoid of the false baggage of personal value, meaning and purpose, he would feel able to live and do whatever he is able to-do with his life, provided that his goals are doable and are within the realities of space, time, matter and energy.
Matter, space and time limit what human beings can or cannot do. If they limit themselves to what is doable in space and time, they are realistic; if they dream of doing what those physical realities cannot accommodate, they are idealistic and bound to fail in achieving their goals.
Instead of wishing for abstract states that would never come into being, the realistic individual uses his thinking to understand how the empirical world works and studies science and devices technology to cope with the exigencies of his empirical world. He does not escape into idealistic, abstract make belief worlds that will never come into being.
The realistic individual sees his ego, his sense of separated self, the I, as an illusion since it is bound to disappear with the death of his body. The self seem a product of experience in body and dies with the body.
The disappearance of the ego false self, however, does not mean that there is not a permanent life force operative in the universe. What seems to live outside body and survive the demise of the human body is life itself. Hinduism and Buddhism construe life as undifferentiated self; one self that is simultaneously infinite selves.
Obviously life, at least in human beings, does think and behave. There is no reason to believe that thinking and behavior would end after physical death.


When the individual gives up all the illusions of the ego, he appreciates that our life on earth is like a life in a dream. Dream activities seem real to dreamers but when they wake up they realize that what is done in dreams have not been done in the real world. Human egos and bodies are dream figures and their activities on earth are dream activities, Hinduism tells us.
The realistic individual learns to overlook what is done in dreams; to overlook is to forgive the seeming evil all people committed.
What are done in dreams is neither good nor bad, therefore, they ought to be overlooked, forgiven.
The forgiving person walks this world peacefully and happily. He is always smiling and laughing, for, to him, life on earth and what we do on earth seem mirthful, humorous. Just think of people having sex and see how ridiculous they seem. A realistic approach to this world must elicit laughter rather than seriousness. Life on earth is a comedy (and a tragedy if you take it seriously, as neurotics and psychotics do).


Alfred Adler (1911) pointed out that some children feel intensely inferior and compensate with pursuit of fictional superiority. He speculated that biological and social deficits predispose such children to feel inordinately inadequate and hate and reject their bodies and attempt to restitute with imaginary, all powerful, superior selves.
Adler did not convince us what the biological deficits are, but there is no doubt that he made an accurate observation that some people feel inferior and compensates with pursuit of false superiority. He called such persons neurotic (contemporary psychiatry has differentiated Adler’s global neurotic into the various nosological categories in psychiatric diagnostic manuals).
Karen Horney replaced Adler’s terms with her own. Where Adler employed superiority she employed ideal. To Horney, the neurotic hates and rejects his real self and seeks to become an ideal self. The ideal self is a mental construct and is not the real self. To Horney, the neurotic attempts to actualize the imaginary, the ideal self. As such, he is trying to translate fantasy into reality.
The neurotic is very proud to be his ideal self. The ideal self is his handiwork, his idol and he is proud of it and defends it. Alas, he is proud of an illusory, non-existent self; he uses the various ego defense mechanisms to defend an illusory, non-existent self, hence he is insane.
Helen Schulman (1976) gives the writings of Adler and Horney a spiritual coloration. She calls psychoanalysis’ neurotic the ego; in her psycho-spiritual system, the ego seeks to realize itself. Since the ego was invented by thinking, the mind, it is not real and cannot be actualized in the real world. Schuman urges people to give up pursuit of the ego and embrace their real self, a self she, along with Hinduism and Buddhism, believes is undifferentiated self.


The insane person, be he neurotic or psychotic, hates and rejects his real self and seeks to become an idealized superior self. His real self comprises of his body and ego; he believes that that real self, body and its I, the ego, is worthless, meaningless and purposeless.
The insane person rejects the real self and its real world and postulates an alternative ideal self and ideal world and pursues them. In seeking to realize his imaginary ideal states he obtains fictional worth, meaning and purpose. He is pursuing the imaginary and therefore cannot attain them hence he is insane.
Insanity is seeking to make the unreal real, seeking to make the ego ideal real when it cannot be real.
Sanity lies in relinquishing pursuit of the false ideal self-concept, false ideal self-image and false ideal personality and accepting the truth of human existence on earth, imperfection.
Buddhism helps us understand how the false can be given up and replaced with the real self. Let us, therefore, explore the nature of Buddhism.


Buddhism, properly considered, is not only a religion but a psychology, a science of thinking and behaving that realistically acknowledges God but does not make much ado about him.
In Buddhism’s meditation, the goal is to attain no-separated self. On earth, each of us believes that he has a separated self and acts as such. The separated self, the self concept, the self image, the human personality, Buddhism wants to get rid of.
Buddhism believes that the separated self is not real, that it is a chimera, a smokescreen hiding our real self, which it believes is unified life. The goal of Buddhism is to eliminate the separated self so as to experience the real self.
In meditation, the individual is encouraged to give up his attachment to his separated self concept…the separated self is always conceptual. He actively negates the separated self concept that he is consciously aware of. He denies that he is his self concept, self image and personality. He denies that the thinking of his separated ego self is his real thinking. He negates all conceptual thinking. Every thought that enters his mind is seen as part of ego thinking, hence not his real thinking and denied as true. Neti, Neti, not this, not this, he tells himself (Hinduism does the same).
The goal is to deny the reality of the conceptual self and its conceptual thinking. It is hoped that at some point the individual attains inner silence. As it were, his mind is emptied of all ego separated thinking. He is now like a void, a blank slate, wiped clean of all earthly thinking.
It is said that when the individual attains this state of emptiness, void, no self, no conceptual thinking, that he may escape from the temporal world and enter into what Buddha called Nirvana (Zen Buddhism calls it Satori and Hinduism calls it Samadhi). In that state, the individual is no longer aware of his self as a separated self but knows himself as part of one unified self/one unified life, an undifferentiated life.
In unified state, the individual is not this or that person, not this or that animal, not this or that thing; he is nothing, no thing in particular. Since no-thing is everything, the individual is part of everything. He is part of one universal life.
In unified life, there is no you and I, no seer and seen, no subject and object.
However, there is still some individuality in the universal self. It is one self that is simultaneously infinite selves. All the infinite selves know themselves as part of the one self and as in it, as it is in them; they are in each other.
There is no space or gap between one self and another self, all are joined, connected and unified.
All selves share one self; all share one thinking and share one mind.
In unified self is perfect peace and happiness, bliss really. Conflict can only arise where there is separated selves, where there is disharmony.


Clearly, the goal of Buddhism is to eliminate the separated self and attain unified self. In the unified self is said to be peace and joy.
Buddhists try not to think and speak from their separated ego selves. Of course, like all human beings, they are living out of their separated selves and think and act from them. To be on planet earth, a separated place, the individual must have a separated self housed in body. But Buddhists try to rise above that separated self.
Buddhists believe that the separated self is not who they are; they believe that the separated self is a false self and that whatever it says is, ip so facto, false. They, therefore, try very hard not to think, talk and behave from the separated self. Instead of saying anything that comes to their mind, they pause and wonder whether the thought is ego related and if the answer is yes they keep quiet and do not say it. They smile and talk less.
The Buddhist tendency to try not to speak from the ego, the separated self, is probably why Oriental persons, by and large, tend to operate at a higher intellectual level than other groups of human beings.

Thinking requires that there be a thinker, a separated self that does the thinking. If you there is no separated self, there would be no thinker.
When people die, their separated selves die and there are no more selves in them that think, hence their thinking ceases.
Without thinking, the world ceases to exist for the dead. Hinduism and Buddhism extrapolates from this reality that our world is like a dream and that those in it think in a certain manner. When they awaken from that dream, they no longer think in the manner they did while they were dreaming. The world they had seen while in dream ceases being. They awaken to a different self and a different world. They awaken to unified self and unified world with unified thinking, a mode of thinking that those in our world cannot understand.
Those in the unified mode of existence do not know that our separated mode of existence exists. God as God, unified self, does not know that our world exists. The son of God, as his father created him, unified with God and all his brothers, Christ, does not know that our world exists.
It is only when the son of God sleeps and dreams that he is who he is not, special separated self who created himself, created his father and brothers that he sees himself in the perceptual world, a false world. Of course, in reality he did not create himself or his brothers or his father; God created him.
Our illusion is the belief that we created ourselves, when, in fact we are created by God; the whole produced the part; the part did not produce the whole. As long as the son of God sleeps and dreams that he is separated from his father and brothers and is in the world of space, time and matter, his father enters his dream as the Holy Spirit and guides him towards real self realization, teaches him to remember his real self, unified self. He teaches him how to do so, through forgiveness and love.
In meditation, when the individual tunes out our world, our world literally no longer exists for him; he escaped to a unified world that does not understand that our world exists. The vibrational energy of the unified world is higher than the speed of light, the most our world’s vibrations, speed, and movement can attain.


The ego self is flippant and has superficial understanding of things. Any one who talks out of his ego generally is glib and not deep. Africans, for example, by and large, talk mostly from their ego selves. Because they live mostly from their shallow ego selves their actions generally do not exhibit much thought. They speak whatever comes to their minds and do not pause to ask whether they are speaking from the ego or from their real selves.
As Horney pointed out, the neurotic ego is almost always proud. Whoever speaks and behaves from his ego self is almost always a proud person. Proud persons are almost always childish persons.
Whatever is said from pride standpoint is seldom the truth. To search and know the truth, even empirical truth, the individual must relinquish his ego and its false pride.

The separated self, the ego is full of opinions about everything. It readily proffers opinions on every topic, whether it knows what it is talking about or not is bedsides the point. It just wants to have opinions on things.
The ego has opinion on which the individual is, who other people are, what things in nature are and what life is all about. None of these opinions accurately represent the truth of anything.
The fact is that the individual (as an ego, a separated self) does not know who he is, does not know who other people are and does not know what anything means. Opinions are not facts, particularly, if they are based on lack of empirical study of the nature of things.
On the other hand, when a person learns to speak and act less from his ego stand point, he tends to be less opinionated. Unfortunately, the individual may not want to be less opinionated, for it would seem that if he has no opinions he does not exist.
What actually makes the ego feel that it exists is that it has opinions on everything in its world. If it did not have those opinions, it would not exist, as it, in fact, does not exist.
Wanting to seem to exist, the separated self feels compelled to have opinions, even if they are false. (Having no opinions gives the individual peace and happiness.)
The ego is full of itself. The person who is mindful that he is not an ego tends not to be full of himself; he tends to be less opinionated.
The realistic individual accepts that he does not know who he is, who other people are and what anything means. Therefore, instead of proffering an empty opinion, he keeps quite.
This helps account for Buddhists tendency to just keep quiet rather than talk too much and be opinionated. Orientals, Buddhists tend to be less opinionated, whereas egotistical Africans are full of opinions, false views of reality.
The prideful egotists talks to make noise; he expresses opinions so that he may seem to exist when, in fact, the ego does not exist and his opinions are false.
It is generally better if the individual kept quite rather than open his mouth and talked rubbish.


The separated self, the ego is very judgmental. It posits an ideal ego and from its standpoint, judges reality: the constructor of the ego, the individual, is now judged by his ego; the son of God, the inventor of the ego false self, judges himself through the standpoint of his ego ideal; the ego judges the individual, other people and everything it sees.
All the ego’s judgments are based on its understanding of what is ideal. The ego’s ideal is a mental construct, a conceptual idea and not rooted in the world of empirical reality. The ego identifying person uses his merely abstract, mental constructs of how human beings and things ought to be to judge actual human beings and things.
Obviously, ego judgmental behavior is a mistake, for reality does not fit the fictions invented by the ego mind.
Judgments produce enormous pain and suffering for the judge and those judged. To judge is really to attack the person or thing being judged, it is to say that it ought not to be the way it is and ought to become different, become as the judge, the ego ideal thinks that it ought to become.
To judge is to seek to destroy what is judged and make it become as the judge wants it to become. To judge is to play god and want reality to be as one wish it be.
In Helen Schucman’s terms, to judge is to attack the Son of God, ones real self and other people. Whoever attacks the son has attacked the father. To judge people as not good enough relative to ones ego ideal, is to Judge God as not good enough relative to ones ego ideal.
To judge is to attempt to replace reality, God, ones real self, things, with ones idea of how reality ought to become. The ego declared war on reality, war on how things are and wants to convert them how it wants them to become: ego ideals.
To judge is to declare war on the person and or thing judged, hence to inflict pain on him. The judgmental ego is at war with reality, with God and his children and is inflicting pain on them.
It follows that to stop inflicting pain on people one must stop judging them as either good or bad relative to ones ego ideals. One must stop ones war on oneself. Judgment saps people’s energy and tires them.
If one stopped all judgment, one would become peaceful, relaxed and happy. One also makes those one do not judge, other people, peaceful and happy, for one is no longer attacking and inflicting pain on them.

To not judge, one must detach from the ego and identify with a non judgmental self, the unified self.
Buddhists struggle to detach from the ego and are usually less judgmental human beings. They are not attacking reality, they are not inflicting pain on themselves and their fellow human beings hence they tend to be more at peace with their world. Buddhist cultures are most peaceful and loving cultures on earth.
It seems that Buddhism and its aims are conducive to making human beings more peaceful and happy. The pursuit of no-separated self seem the best path to attaining inner and outer peace and happiness.


There are many stories of how Buddhism came about. These are exactly that, stories and mythologies. One is not interested in myths but in facts.
What I will do is extrapolate from the myths surrounding Buddha the truth about him. There was a man called Gautama Sakayamuni. He was from the middle class. He was married and had a son. He was given to introspection and philosophical reflection. He wondered what life was all about. Apparently, he could not quite figure life out and left his home to go search for the truth.
He wandered about and joined many Hindu sects to learn about the truth. He listened to many Sadhus, Hindu holy men, teach their variations of Hinduism. He tried several paths to the truth and found no answer to his question.
Frustrated, he attempted Raja Yoga., meditation. (Hinduism has much Yoga, such as Jnana, Bhakti, Raja, Karma, and Tantra, see Patanjali’s Yogas.) He sat under a Bo tree and told himself that he is going to stop thinking and just sit there until he gets answers to his questions or else that he would not get up. He decided to sit there and, if need be, die rather than get up and live without knowing why he is living. He went for broke.
Until a person unequivocally throws himself one hundred percent to doing something, he tends not to succeed at doing it. People claim to seek unity with God, but want to retain their separated egos. It is only the few who extinguish their separated selves and do not want anything to do with it and its world, our world, that experience unified state, aka God.
In his meditative state, he was given many reasons why he should live in this world. The ego provides him, as it provides all of us, reasons why we should live on earth. The usual reasons are presented: Sex, there are many nubile damsels that the young man could have sex with. But Buddha said nope to that, for he recognized that sex is a ridiculous activity, a desire that when it seizes one, one pursues it as if ones life depends on it, but after ejaculation one asks: what was that all about? Sex is an irritant to the thoughtful man, an addiction that ought to be overcome, rather than given in to.
How about power and wealth? Those are ephemeral and transitory. The rich and powerful of today are not remembered a thousand years from today.
The young Gautama was not impressed by women’s bodies, wealth and power. The man was tempted by Maya, Mara, and the force that makes this world desirable to us and maintains our stay in this world and did not succumb to it.
Five hundred years later, another young man, Emmanuel Ben Joseph, whom the Greeks called Jesus the Christ, was similarly tested and, he, too, refused to give in to the temptations of the ego and flesh. It seems that those who want to overcome the ego and its world of flesh must be tempted in assorted ways; only the few with the courage to not give in to temptation to be separated ego self succeed.
Buddha refused to bite and take the bait to live as a separated ego, to live a meaningless and purposeless existence on earth, a life, as Shakespeare’s Macbeth discovered, full of sound and fury but signifying nothing. We are, indeed, like actors on a stage enacting weird scripts, pursuing false worth, meaning and purpose but in the end as another Shakespearean Character, Hamlet, observed, food for worms.
(At age nine, I concluded that my life, your life, our lives on earth, is worthless, meaningless and purposeless. Like other thoughtful players in this insane drama, I sought to make it worthwhile, meaningful and purposeful by pursuing the path of understanding, Jnana yoga, science and philosophy.)
Buddha just sat there, cross legged, not eating, not drinking, not talking to any one, and willing to die if he is not shown the truth of human existence.
If you are falling off a cliff and desire to live, you will be afraid of death; but if you do not care to live, you would joyfully fall to your death or land on your feet. Gautama embraced death and did not care for meaningless ego living.
At some point, he escaped from our ego separated awareness and entered nirvana, to unified life. Nirvana is total bliss. He lived in total bliss, peace and happiness with his face shinning with the light of peace (what some people call aura, the bliss reflected on the face of those who have relinquished the ego and its turmoil and attained eternal oneness with all being).
In Nirvana, Samadhi and Satori and mystical union, one has a choice to make: to keep being in it; in which case ones body would drop dead, or to return to ones body and use that body to teach other people that there is another mode of living that is peaceful and happy.
Buddha opted to return to his body, to the ego and to this world and subsequently use them to teach human beings how to live in peace.


Buddha taught his followers that we live on earth because we DESIRE to live separated lives. Life on earth is due to desire for separation.
Separation has a goal: to go make the separated self seem real. What is real is our unified self, but we want to go make its opposite, separated self, seem real.
In Hindu terms, we cast a magical spell, Maya, on us and seem to sleep and in sleep, dream see a separated world.
This world, the material universe, is a product of our desire for separation. That desire, separation, led to the formation of space, time and matter, all to make our seeming separated selves real to us. In space and time, each of us houses himself in body and sees gap between him and others and takes time before he reaches other people. Separation seems real to us, but is so because we want it to be real; what we desire and believe is possible is what we see in our world; wishing and believing produces what is seen.
As long as we desire separated selves, Buddha says that we must SUFER. For one thing, to make separated self seem possible, we housed ourselves in bodies; body is vulnerable and prone to pain. Those who live in body must experience pain; to be pained is to suffer. Therefore, to live on earth is to suffer.
We suffer because we are living as the opposite of our real selves. Our real selves are unified and we prefer to live as separated selves.
In effect, we attacked our true self, unified self, holy self; we attacked reality and seem to split it into fragments and each fragment, each of us, thinks him self separated from other fragments. As Helen Schucman wrote in her Christological rendition of Buddhism and Hinduism, A Course in miracles, we attacked union, which is what religions call God; we attacked God and see ourselves as separated from him. The part (human beings) sees itself separated from the whole (God).
That attack on our whole self inflicts pain and suffering on us. To live on earth is to inflict pain and suffering on ones self.
To live on earth is to desire separation from God, which is to suffer. Gautama recognized that to eliminate suffering that one must give up its source.
Desire for separated self is the cause of suffering; therefore, give up desire for separated self and you return to unified self, in which there is no suffering.
But if one gave up the separated self, one would return to living in total formlessness, spirit, hence exit this world.
We do not want to give up our separated ego selves, die and leave this world. Okay, Buddha said to us: go ahead and desire the things of this world but do so with detachment. See the ego and its entire world as transitory and ephemeral; desire them but recognize that they come and go and are not permanent.
What is permanent and changeless is the real self, the unified spirit self. As long as we live on earth, in the world of separation, space, time and matter we must have some desire, for separated self and its world, for it is desire to live here that keeps us here.
Okay, go ahead and have desire to be a separated human being, but use your separated self to care for all separated selves, for they are literally part of our one unified self.
Aware of our true self as unified self, that other people share our self, Buddha taught compassion, love and forgiveness for all human beings.


Do you want to be peaceful and happy? If yes, Buddha asks you to forgive and love all the people; indeed, to love all the animals and trees. Why do so?
One life manifests in all biological life forms. We are all, literally, one life and what we do to others we do to ourselves.
Giving is receiving. Since other people are you, what you do to them you do to yourself, what you give to other people you give to yourself.
In our world, we believe that we are separated into discrete selves. In that world, other people are more likely to do to you as you do to them. If you love other people, hence join them and in so doing give them peace and joy, they would love you and in so doing give you peace and joy.
Peace and joy inheres only in union, in joining with all people. On the other hand, if you hate other people, give them tension; they will hate you and give you tension.
Buddha taught the four noble truths and the eight paths to them. To live on earth is to suffer; suffering is caused by desire to live as separated ego selves; to eliminate suffering, one must stop desiring separated existence and since that is impossible if one still wants to live in this world, one must desire things with detachment, desire them but do not feel disappointed if you do not get them, and if you get them do not feel disappointed when they leave you.
One must live the truth of oneness: forgive and love all; one must talk the truth at all times and refuse to give in to talking from the ego and its prideful lies (calculated to make one seem important).
The Buddha taught people to live a highly compassionate, social serving existence; a compassionate person is a person who identifies with human suffering, albeit self induced; he is generally a moral person. Buddhists tend to be very moral human beings.

Buddha set up monasteries where monks lived and meditated, so as to attain their real selves hence experience peace and happiness. He urged his monks to be detached from the things of this world, to dress in simple robes and work and beg for their food (begging humiliates the prideful ego and makes one feel humble, a precondition for experiencing unified life).
Buddha lived to old age, eighty. His disciples continued his teaching and spread from his native northern India to other parts of Asia.
As they spread out to other lands, their teachings took on the coloration of the local cultures they were living in. In Tibet, for example, certain already existing Tibetan views on God entered Buddhism. In China and later Japan, the people’s marshal spirit entered Buddhism to form Cheng, Zen Buddhism and its upshot, Samurai.
Religion, sooner or latter is corrupted and bastardized by the surrounding culture it operates in; religions fit what people want them to become. Generally, only a few persons truly understand the true import of religion, our efforts to reconnect to our source, to the source we seem separated from.

Buddhism is religion, philosophy and psychology in one piece. An American poet and clinical psychologist, Helen Schucman resurrected the true teachings of Buddha and cast it in Christological language, a form that she hopes would appeal to apostate Christians who could not accept traditional Christianity but could accept Buddhism, if cast in the Christian language that they are used to. (I studied Hinduism and Buddhism and fell in love with them. Later, my attention was drawn to Helen Schucman’s book and I read it. I marveled at her ability to translate what Hinduism and Buddhism had taught me into Christian terms. She was probably one of the best religious thinkers of the twentieth century.)

My own function is to cast Buddhism in prose and in non-religious language. I hope that in doing so, it would appeal to scientists.
Ultimately, the end of all teachers of union is the same. No matter what form the teaching takes, the goal is to help people eliminate their attachment to the separated self and live through their real self, unified self. When people live out of their real unified self, they tend to experience peace and happiness.
We cannot live as unified self while on earth, a separated place, but we can approximate it. To the extent that we approximate it, we live in peace and joy.
To the extent that a human being sees that separated self is an illusion and gives it up and live out of his true self, unified self, he tends to be happy and peaceful. Therefore, we must find a way to teach the psychology of no separated self.


Human beings suffer because they have the illusion that they have separated ego selves and live out of them. Each of them posits a special separated self, an important (and in neurosis and psychosis, superior) separated self.
They pursue a chimera that does not even exist, or that seems to exist only in a dream setting.
In awake state, what exists is our joined and unified self, God and Christ, one self with infinites parts, all of whom are it and it is all of them. In unified state, the individual is calm, quiet, peaceful, happy, non judgmental, non critical, not proud, forgiving and loving.
If somehow the individual convinces himself that his separated special self is an illusion, a dream self that seems real while he dreams but is not real when he wakens, he saves himself a lot of mental and emotional upsets. If one has no self, one would not be prone to feeling fear, anger, depression, paranoia, and other mental and emotional upsets. If one has no separated self, one would not be defensive, for there would be no self to defend.
Only the false self needs to be defended to seem real; the real self, unified self is inclusive of everything and everything does not need to defend itself from other things for nothing is an other from it.
Such a person would not experience anger, for there is no other person to attack and make him feel angry; he would not experience fear for there is no self to be fearful. He would be calm at most times.
Pursuit of the ideal self is escape from reality. It is childish refusal to deal with reality as it is. Such a person concentrates on becoming the imaginary self that he has no time to deal with the exigencies of the real world he finds himself in. He finds the real world unpalatable and negates it and escapes into fantasyland. In his idealism, he is a king and shapes the world to fit his wishes, but in the real world, he is a pauper.
The dreamy, idealist does deal with the exigencies of the real world. In the meantime, he is poor. If only he stopped idealizing and dealt with reality as it is he would be able to figure out what his interests and aptitudes are and what skill sets the job market requires, train for them and make a decent living in the temporal universe.
Having escape from the real world, he generally wounds up depending on other people to support him. In the West, he goes on public assistance, in societies with extended families; he depends on his family members, his wife and children to support him. He sits around wasting his mental energies wishing for how things ought to become rather than dealing with them as they really are.
Insanity lies in believing that one has a separated special self, a self concept, self image and personality one made for ones self and for other people and attempt to become it. Sanity lies in accepting the truth that the separated self, ordinary or superior, does not exist, is a figure in the dream of life on earth, and accepting the truth of our unified self. We all share one life, a life that is formless, unified, the same and equal everywhere and eternal.
Do you want to live a peaceful and happy life? If you relinquish your presumed separated self special, superior and accept equal, same unified self; do not give in to the temptation to speak or behave from separated self; always strive to do what serves social interest, to forgive and love all human beings, you would be peaceful and happy.
I cannot speak for you or any other human being. I can only speak for me for I am only responsible for my thinking and behaviors.
While in college, I accepted that my body and ego were worthless, meaningless and purposeless. I considered myself an existentialist thinker ala my then hero, Jean Paul Sartre. But latter in life, I learned that whereas my earthly body and its ego activities are still worthless, meaningless and purposeless that our unified spirit self has real worth, meaning and purpose.
I strive to live out of my unified self. Of course, I have an ego separated self, a prideful self, but I know it for what it is, a false self and try to over come it through love for our shared one self. To the extent that I succeed, which is seldom the case, I feel peace and joy that, as St Paul observed, passes human ego understanding.
Find out for yourself whether this is the truth or not. You do not have to believe anything on faith; just practice egoless living, forgiving, loving and social service and see whether you would not experience peace, happiness and material abundance in your sojourn on earth.

Posted by Administrator at 12:00 PM | Comments (0)

December 22, 2005

Science and Technology of Thinking and Behavior: Focus on Paranoia (Part 2)

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- The goal of this paper, inter alia, is to help heal the brother; I enjoy the flashes of brilliance that his writing exhibits but do not like his underlying paranoia. That underlying disorder makes him quarrel with just about everybody, to the point where he hides from people, thinking that they are out to kill him.

One hears that he sought police protection, a doing that would play into his paranoid grandiosity: for one must be important for the police to be protecting one individually. Nobody wants to harm him. He ought to join all people and work for their mutual good, rather than always trying to pull them down; he must give up his perverse paranoid interest in pulling people down and develop the healthy trait of accentuating only the good in people.)


I believe that every human being must have a story of creation, albeit a mythology. We do ask questions such as: how did we come into being? In as much as we ask such questions, an answer must be attempted.
Science provides an answer in the area of energy and matter. I am talking about the Big Bang hypothesis that claims that fifteen billion years ago, all matter was in a ball the size of an atom, called state of Presingularity and that this ball shattered and threw its contents out and in nanoseconds space and time were invented and subsequently particles came into being, out of nowhere, and that these particles, in time, combined to form atoms and in time atoms differentiated into the 104 elements we have on the current Chemical table and that the elements formed molecules that in time produced the stars and planets and eventually biological life forms and ultimately human beings. The Big Bang story is a fascinating imaginative fairy tale. We work with it in the area of physical science but we do not have any illusions that it is the truth. It is simply a mythology that seems to answer our question of how matter came into being.
We also need a story on how we, as human beings, came into being. We have Charles Darwin’s views on how animals evolved. Interesting hypothesis, that. However, it does not explain how the sense of I, the self came into being.
No one knows how the self came into being. Neuroscientists claim that the self is epiphenomenal, that is, a product of the configuration of atoms in our brains, the result of the dance of electrical ions in our nervous system. Oh, really? Let us amuse ourselves differently.
There are millions of stories on how people came into being. Indeed, every human group had its own story, and every individual has his own twist on his group’s story of creation, all of them false. These stories, false as they are, respond to our need to understand our origin.
As the world moves towards one universal culture, clearly, all the particularistic stories of creation will die and a universal story of creation will replace them. (See Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth.)
The story of creation in the Christian bible, the story of Adam and Eve is obviously not true and, as far as, such stories go is not particularly interesting, certainly not as interesting as the Igbo story of creation.
In as much as we need a story of creation and past ones seem not to satisfy us, consider this story of creation; it is not the truth, but it approximates the truth. I will merely summarize it here for I have elaborated on it elsewhere.
There is God. God is one. God is everything and everything is God. God is everywhere and everywhere is in God.
God extended his one self into other selves. He gave all of his self to each of his extended selves. All of God is in each of his extension; aka the son of God. The Son of God is in God and in other extensions of God, other children of God.
God is in us and we are in God and in each other. There is no space or gap between us and God and each of us and the rest of us. Where God ends and his son begin is nowhere. We are all joined as one self, the one self of God. We all share the one self of God; we all share the one mind of God.
God is creative and created us; he gave us, his creations, his creative ability and we do create, like God. We create with the creative power of God in us, not with our own powers. As it were, we co-create with God.
God and his children are infinite in numbers.
God has always existed. God has no beginning and no end. There was never a time when there was no God.
Since each Son of God is an extension of God, therefore, each Son of God has existed for as long as God has existed.
Yet God created his children; they did not create God and themselves. Though all creation is changeless, permanent and eternal yet God created them all.
The difference between the Son of God and God is that God created him and he did not create God.

The Son of God resented the fact that God created him, pretty much as adolescents on earth resent being the children of their parents and want to reverse the process and be their parents’ parents. We wanted to create God, create ourselves and create each other.
In other words, we wanted to kill God and become God, chase God out of his creatorship throne and usurp it and sit there. (All these are metaphors, so do not get carried away and think that we are talking literal truth here; enjoy the metaphor, they actually approximate the truth but are not the truth.)
We cannot create God and ourselves. But the wish to do so was so strong that we cast a magical spell, what Hinduism calls Maya, on ourselves, and seems to have gone to sleep. In our sleep, we dream that we are the author of reality, that we created God, each other and ourselves. We invented our separated self-concepts, our egos, our self-images, and our personalities. Our personalities are replacement selves; we use them to substitute the selves God created us as. God created us as unified with him, a unified self; we seem to have destroyed that holy self and invented separated selves housed in bodies for us. On earth, in the dream of specialness and separation, we see ourselves as in bodies and separated from each other.

Our world is the opposite of heaven: separation is the opposite of union, time is the opposite of eternity, change is the opposite of changelessness; mortality is the opposite of immortality, hate is the opposite of love etc.
We are on earth to oppose heaven’s will. God wills union and we wish separation; God wills sameness and equality and we wish differences and inequality. What we wish we saw in dreams. (See Helen Schucman, A Course in Miracles. Also see M. The Gospel of Ramakrishna.)
(The paranoid person wishes that he were superior to other persons, acts as such, and seems so in his dream world, hence the paranoid personalities called Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Idi Amin seemed like superior persons, when, in fact, they felt inferior; in truth they are the same and equal with all people).
Each of us wishes to seem superior to other persons and invents situations that would make him seem so. The paranoid personality invented an inferior body for himself, feels inferior and compensates with a superior feeling self-concept. We have seen how he goes about feeling superior to other people when, in fact, he is not superior to any one. Hitler and the Nazis felt superior to other people, when, in fact, they were not. They felt superior to Jews, and killed Jews. They felt superior to Slavic people and killed them. People do act on their insane ideas.
The paranoid Igbo brother in naija-politics feels superior to other persons and acts as such. He sets himself up as god and from that imaginary standpoint criticizes every person. He satisfies his desire for superiority by making other people’s lives very miserable. Of course, he is not superior to any one; he is merely dreaming superiority.
But make no mistake about it: people act on their wishes. Thus, the brother acts on his delusion of superiority and does not want to see himself as the same and equal with other members of the forum. He is capable of doing harm to other people. In pursuit of his fictional superiority, he can hurt, even kill people. One must, therefore, keep studied eyes on him. Paranoid persons do kill people, so he must be watched and if he acts out arrest and place him in a psychiatric hospital.

In my experience, Igbos tend to fancy themselves smarter than other Nigerian groups. They behave as such. But in truth, they are just like other Nigerian groups. The Igbo sense of superiority is delusional sense of superiority. No ethnic group is superior to others, just as no race is superior to others. But like deluded paranoid persons, Igbos tend to think that just because they want to seem superior to others, that other Nigerian groups should accept their delusion and see them as their superiors.
In terms of material culture, most other Nigerian groups are, in fact, more developed than Igbos. The Hausa, Fulani, Yoruba and Edo are certainly more developed than Igbos in terms of socio cultural structures.
The relevant point here is that Igbos tend to deceive themselves into believing that they are superior to other Nigerian groups when, in fact, they are not so.
What the individual and group needs to do is relinquish his/their sense of superiority and come to see himself/themselves as the same and equal with all people.
To the extent that a human being accepts his sameness and equality with all people, and behaves as such, he unifies with all people.
In union with all people, the individual attains inner peace and joy.
I must confess, however, that the temptation to seem superior to other people is not easily relinquished, even by those of us who know the truth of human equality. I still find myself wishing to seem superior to other people, if not in my conscious life, but in my dreams at night. Consider the following dream that I had two days ago.


Sigmund Freud attempted to understand people’s dreams. As he saw it, in their daily lives, people seem to behave in a very rational manner, but that they are not really rational. He believes that people’s dreams give us an opportunity to really understand what is in their minds. (He also employed other means to get to understand the real person; he believed that we tend to repress our true wishes into the unconscious mind and that if only we can reach that level of our mind that we would get to see what is hidden there; thus, in therapy sessions, he had his clients lay on a couch and speak without checking to make sense of what they said; they were to say whatever comes to their mind, uncensored; they were not to block their thinking, free associate, to not try to make them rational and just to let them come out, flow; the idea was for them to bring what was repressed into their unconscious to the conscious mind; to dreg it out, catharsis, and Freud would then analyze it. Freud believed that people wished to have sex with both men and women and are polymorphous sexual perverse and hid this socially unacceptable idea in their unconscious; that, in fact, they want to have sex with their parents but hid such wishes in their unconscious mind; this is the so-called oedipal complex. See Freud, Dream Interpretation.)
Freud believed that in dreams we gratify what we wish that we could not gratify in conscious living; society prevents us from doing many things, we internalized social norms as our superego and that checks our Id wishes and the ego balances the two wishes. In dreams, we gratify our day time wishes that we could not gratify lest society punish us. To Freud, dreams are the royal road to the unconscious.
Other psychoanalysts also employed Dream analysis to understand the true individual. Adler, Jung and others explored dreams.
I believe that dreams are useful for the individual to understand his real wishes and real self. However, I do not believe that other people can accurately interpret the individual’s dreams, for dreams are highly specific and particular to the individual; there are no universally accepted dream interpretations.

My wife’s alarm clock went off at 7AM and woke us up. I went back to sleep. I dreamed. In this dream, I and other members of my family were walking along our suburban street. I looked back and saw what, as kids at Lagos, we used to call agwuepo, a shit carrier. During my youth at Lagos folks had tins in out houses into which they defecated. Once or twice a week, “shit carrier” would come to their house, pour their shit into a large tin and carried it off, usually on their heads. If you were walking down the streets at night, you would likely see the shit carrier doing his job and, as would be expected, spreading the smell of shit with him.
The shit carriers wore rags over their face, perhaps to cover their noses and breathe less of the feces they were carrying and to disguise their identity, so that no one knew who they were. Their covered feces and the shit they were carrying made them look scary to little boys and we fled from them. (We used to think that they could kidnap and put us in the tin of shit on their heads and go throw us away.)
Shit-carriers were low in the social pecking order and were dreaded by us kids. No one wanted to be an agwuepo. That is to say that folks wanted to be superior to them.

Now back to my dream. I was walking on an American middle class suburban street and looked behind me and saw the shit carrier coming towards us. I ran to the bank of the street to avoid contact with him. The other members of my family did not make much ado about him, they just stepped aside, as he walked pass them, indeed, my wife even said hi to him. (The dream has relevance for me, not other people.) We continued on our walk. Then I looked behind me, again. I saw another shit carrier coming towards us. Again, I jumped to the side of the street. The shit career followed me to where I jumped to. Somehow I got home and was lying on a humongous bed, a bed that could contain the entire family of five (husband, wife and three children). We were all lying comfortable on the bed when I noticed that the shit carrier was lying with us, right in our middle. I freaked out and jumped up, wondering what in the world the man was doing on my bed?
He got up with me and went to the refrigerator and came up with fruit cocktails in small plastic cuts and began handing them out to the members of the family. I was aghast; thinking that the man must have contaminated our refrigerator by touching it and certainly the fruit cocktails was filled germs? I was not going to eat what the man touched. In the meantime, other members of the family accepted the cocktails from him and ate them and thanked him graciously for preparing such a delicious meal for them.
My face was all contorted as the man handed me a cup filled with cocktail of grapes and other fruit goodies. I was thinking of a polite way to refuse it, and not to eat it. At that point, I woke up, aware of the cocktail in my hand. I looked at the clock and it was exactly 7:15 AM. That is, the sleep and dream took place within an interval of fifteen minutes.
The dream was very vivid in my mind, so I went to a room we converted into our office and sat in front of a computer and typed it.
After typing it verbatim, I began to wonder what it meant. Here is the thought that came to my mind. The shit career represents lower class persons, that is, inferior persons. I was running from the low class shit carrier. I did not want to have anything to-do with him. I wanted to be superior to him. I had no respect for him.
The significance of this dream is that despite my conscious acceptance of my sameness and equality with all people that at the unconscious level that I feel superior to some people, the shit carrier of this world. Shit carriers symbolize poor people. I wanted to seem superior to poor people.
I kept reflecting on the import of the dream and the obvious hit me. I talk about equality but, in truth, avoid the poor. Generally, if a person is not well read, I tended to avoid him.
What is the point? The point is that at the unconscious level, I still had the wish to be superior to other people. Consciously, I do not want to be superior to other people, but unconsciously the wish is still there.
In my dream, my wish was satisfied for me, for dreams provide us opportunity to satisfy our wishes that we cannot gratify in wake life.
The salience of the dream is that I still had work to do; I still must work to see every person as the same and equal with me.
The dream teaches me that we are all a family, that shit carrier are part of my family…he was laying in the same bed with my family and eating with us, so he is symbolically my family member and I must treat him as such, for all people are children of one family, God’s unified family.
On a different note, the dream means that it is very difficult for people to accept their sameness and equality. I found it difficult to accept the shit carrier as my equal and family member.

The paranoid personality finds it almost impossible to see himself as the same and equal with all people. Can you imagine our Internet paranoid Igbo character accepting that he is the same as other people? The man has the illusion that he is better than other people.
A few minutes again, I minimized my typing and read his posting on the forum and, as usual, he sounded pedantic, convoluted and superior, all in a childish effort to seem erudite and superior to other people.
This man admires the achievers of this world and has contempt for the losers of this world. His talk is replete with admiration for the powerful men and women of the world and disrespect for poor people. No, this man would rather die than accept his equality with poor folks. (See Adorno et al, The Authoritarian Personality.)
The point is that it is difficult to give up the wish for superiority. Even when one has consciously done so, as I have done, unconsciously, one still wants to be superior to other people.
The mentally ill wants to seem superior to other people; paranoid persons, in particular, want to seem superior to other people.
Mental illness lies in the wish to seem superior to other people, to disobey God’s will that we are the same and equal and remake us in such a manner that one is now superior to other people.
If you can get the paranoid person and other mentally ill persons to give up their not so secret wish for superiority and accept sameness and equality, you are on the way to healing them.
If a person sees all people as the same as him, loves and forgives all and serves all in some form, he is as mentally healthy as is possible in this world.
Nobody here on earth, the world of forms, can be totally mentally healthy, for to be in body is to have interfered with reality.
Our reality is spirit, not body. Body is means of seeming different and separated from other people. That is to say that to be in body at all is to be insane. The most that one can do is using ones body to love other people in bodies. When one uses ones body to love other people in bodies one approximates normalcy, normal insanity, and not mental health. One attains what Bahaullah called the lesser peace, what Ramakrishna called ego love and what our poetess, Helen Schucman calls happy dream, gate of heaven and real world.


I believe that it is possible to understand how people think and where there is thinking disorders change them. Thinking tends to be reflected in behavior. Where there are thinking disorders there are behavior disorders. Therefore, we must correct our thinking disorders and behavior disorders.
Cognitive behavior therapists like Albert Ellis and Aaron Beck attempt to teach their clients how to reconstruct and reorient their problematic thinking and behavior. Ellis, for example, tells his clients that it is not what happens in the world that makes them depressed, anxious or angry (or any other emotional upset) but how they interpret it. As he sees it, one can choose to interpret the same event in such a manner that it depresses one or makes one happy.
Let say that a white man called a black man nigger. The black man may feel offended by it and feel angry. He may then fight the white man. On the other hand, he may choose to see the name caller as not worth responding to. Indeed, he may even pity him, from the understanding that mature persons do not put people down, but find ways to elevate them.
The point is that whether one feels anxious, angry or sad is up to one. One can respond to the same situation differently. Therefore, one is responsible for how one feels and acts.
Ellis built his therapy on Epictetus’ philosophy. Epectatus was a Roman stoic thinker, a slave who found a way to be happy despite being a slave. He did not feel diminished by his low social status. Obviously, any human being could rationalize whatever he wants to rationalize. If a woman is a prostitute, she can tell herself that she is making a living out of it and not feel degraded by her profession. Be that as it may, it is probably better not to be a prostitute, since as a prostitute, one is likely to be infected by diseases and die from them. Ellis is therefore not a very profound philosopher for his ideas could lead to tolerating abuses by other people. If you slap someone, you inflicted pain on him and ought to not do so. Because you did so, that person may choose to forgive you. I will forgive you but insist that you do not repeat the offensive action again. If you do, I want you arrested and jailed and while in jail re-socialized, so that you learn to help and love rather than inflict pain on other people.
My approach to cognitive behavior therapy is different from what Western therapists like Ellis and Beck do.
I teach people to think and behave differently. In this paper, I have pointed out how paranoid persons think and behave. I have pointed out how they need to think and behave differently. They think in terms of inferiority and superiority; they can learn to think in terms of sameness, equality, love and forgiveness.
This type of change in thinking and behaving tends to lead to healing mental disorders. Try it and find out whether it is therapeutic or not. See all people as the same and equal with you, forgive and love all people and find a way to work for our common good and see whether you would not feel peaceful and happy. We do not need to argue, for the taste of the pudding lays in the tasting, try it and find out for you.


Many therapists do not want to work with paranoid persons; they throw their hands up and think it hopeless trying to help paranoid persons. The reason for this is that of all the people who come to therapy, paranoids are the most difficult to help. They are difficult to help because they desire to retain their separated ego selves. Paranoids desire to seem important persons and do not want to let go of their big selves. On the other hand, the business of psychotherapy is to shrink the big ego self to normal size. That is why they call therapists shrinks: they really aim at shrinking people’s swollen egos down to manageable size.
The person who does not want his ego shrunk to rational size obviously is not going to come to shrinks…paranoids seldom come to therapists, unless forced… and are not going to benefit from therapy. Indeed, paranoids come to therapy hoping to strengthen their big egos and when they learn that the therapist aims otherwise, they get scared and quit coming. They leave and go retain their big ego selves. Unbeknown to them, as long as they maintain their big ego selves, they will live in pain and suffer.
The problem of man is that he believes that he has a separated special self. I will put it bluntly to you. Man does not have a separated special self. The separated special, that is, superior self, is an illusion; it is a self that exists as in a dream but, in fact, does not exist. What exists in truth is the unified self.
There is one God, if you do not like the word God, then say one life, for God is life.
That one God, one life, extended himself to each of us and we are united with him and with each other. Our true state is formless spirit; we are unified spirit. This is a fact, not conjecture.
We desired to seem separated from our real self and went into a dream where we dream as separated selves housed in bodies and each seeming separated self seeks specialness and importance.
The paranoid person seeks specialness and separated from God and other people to go seem special and superior. On earth, in the dream, he strives to seem self created and creator of God and all people; he struggles to be important. All these strivings are part of his delusion, and that is why they call it delusional disorder, he wants to believe in what is not true as true. He is unified with all and he wants to seem separated from all; he is the same and equal with all and he wants to seem different and superior to all; he is created by God and he wants to seem self created; in a word, he is deluded, insane. It is because he is insane that he needs healing, although he does not know it.
Healing for the paranoid, as it is for all human beings, is to relinquish the paranoid’s outward movement, ego, and return to the inward process and rediscover his true self, unified same and equal self.
Meditation is the best way to reconnect to ones real self. I practice Buddhist meditation, every day, for one hour, at least. I recommend it for you. However, you can practice any kind of meditation, Hindu, Zen etc that you like. The name does not matter, what matters is that you know what meditation is trying to accomplish and do it consciously.
Meditation is aimed at eliminating your separated special self. That is correct, meditation aims at destroying what you currently call your self concept, self image and personality and replacing them with your real self.
Twenty five hundred years ago, Gautama Buddha recognized that what human beings call their self concepts, self images and personalities seem to exist but, in fact, do not exist. This is literal not figurative. What we call our selves are dream figures, not real selves. The human personality is a pipe dream, a smoke that does not exist and only seems to exist in a dream setting, Maya. It seems to exist for those who want it to exist and defend it (with what psychoanalysts call ego defense mechanisms, such as, repression, suppression, denial, dissociation, projection, displacement, rationalization, intellectualization, sublimation, reaction formation, avoidance, fantasy, minimizing, acting out, fear, anger, pride, shame, paranoia, depression, hallucination etc). People have non-existent selves that are housed in bodies and defend them and their defense makes them seem real. Withdraw the defense and those selves are non-existent.
Do you want to find out that your so-called ego self is not real? Then try meditation. In meditation, you consciously deny the existence of your ego. You tell yourself that the self you know is not real, is a fiction. You tell yourself that what the self you know thinks is not true, is as false as itself. Thus, you negate all your conceptual thinking. You say, in Hindu terms, neti, neti, not this, not this. You deny the truth of whatever the empirical self tells you. You deny the empirical self itself. You deny knowing anything. You firmly tell yourself that you do not know anything. You then ask to be told who you are, who other people are and what things mean. Your superficial ego rushes in and tries to tell you who you are and what things are. Neuroscience, the latest ego noise, tells you that you are a product of the dance of atoms. But firmly reject whatever the empirical self tells you are the truth and try to be quiet.
In effect, you destroy your empirical self and its world. You, in Buddhist terms, aim at having no separated self. If you can truly aim at this and keep denying the reality of your ego self, you will get to a point where you attain inner silence, peace, bliss (for peace is synonymous with joy).
You feel like you do not exist. You are not any particular thing; you are NOTHING. Nothing is everything! You are part of everything.
If you continue with self negation, you literally rise above our empirical world and enter a world where all are the same and equal, where there is no you and I, no seer and seen, no subject and object. In Buddhist term, this is called Nirvana (Zen calls it Satori and Hinduism calls it Samadhi). It is a world of one unified light, a continuous light that begins nowhere and ends nowhere. All beings are part of that eternal light. It is formless, it is spirit, and it is permanent and changeless. What am I talking about? It can not be described in human terms, it is ineffable.
But to attain knowledge of our real self, unified self, one must give up the false ego self one made to replace it with. One must give up identification with the separated, special ego self. One must give up the human personality. One must give up ones self concept and self image. One must give up the substitute self one identifies with and come to ones God as he created one, unified and holy.
Our true identity is a holy self, that is, a unified self, what Christians call the Christ and Hindus call Atman and Buddhists call Buddha self. Call it what you like, it has no name, it just is.
To attain awareness of the real self, one must overcome the false ego self one currently identifies with. Additionally, as Buddha taught, one must have compassion for all sentient beings and as Brother Jesus the Christ taught, one must forgive and love all human beings and as the last of the prophets, Mohammed taught, one must submit to God; one must have no other God but Allah.
Forgive, love all and then come to our God in meditation and behold that God is real. God is the only reality that exists, all else is noise.
What is salient is that the individual, and for our present purposes, the paranoid person must give up his cherished special separated self and its facial intellect.
The Igbo chap that makes a whole lot of noise at naijapolitics forum must seek his true self. If I were him, I would do so under some religious forum. It really does not matter what religion one accepts; all religions are paths to God: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, New Age Christianity such as propagated by Unity Church and A Course in Miracles, they are all useful in enabling the individual to shrink his swollen ego and return to the awareness of his real self, unified spirit self.
But the brother is lost in ego superficial reasoning and embraces the flippant ideas propagated by childish scientists that there is no God. He quickly tells you that there is no God and that he does not accept any religion. Indeed, he has a condescending attitude towards religionists; it is as if they are not rational enough and cannot cope with the exigencies of life without seeking protection from an illusion called God.
We have heard that one before. The character called Sigmund Freud wrote a book called the Future of an Illusion in which he claimed that religionists are like children seeking a powerful father figure to protect them in our precarious world. To him, God is a fiction and belief in him is neurotic (in as much as neurosis is belief in what is not true as true). Poor Freud, he knew so much that he was addicted to a mood altering drug, cocaine, and could not overcome his anxiety and his numerous phobias. The man talked shop about anxiety neurosis and yet could not overcome his various fears and actually had to be blind folded to be dragged out of Vienna before the murderous Nazis got to his flippant ego.
The paranoid person is totally identified with his spurious ego and its intellect and finds it difficult to relinquish it and explore other ways of knowing. But to heal his paranoia, he must give up his ego; he must voluntarily not identify with the ego; he must stop trusting the separated special self and trust in God, (God as God, the transcendent God is not in this world, but an aspect of God, the immanent God, the Holy Spirit is in this world) his unified real self.
Meditation is the quickest way of attaining awareness of the real self, the unified self (hence Hinduism called Raja Yoga, the royal yoga…the other Yogas: Jnana, the path of the intellect; Bhakti Yoga, the path of worship; Karma yoga, the path of public service; Tantra yoga, the path of sensual pleasure etc ultimately lead to real self realization but take longer to do so; meditation, raja yoga is the quickest path to real self realization, to awareness of the reality of God).

Prayer and meditation are indispensable in any effort to know the truth of who we are. One must constantly pray to God to guide one, to lead one on the path of righteousness (forgiveness, love, social service etc what Buddha called the eight noble paths…recall that Buddha talked about how all life is suffering, how suffering is caused by our desire to live ego separated life, how suffering is overcome when we stop desiring ego separated self, when we give up attachment to the ego and are detached to the egos world and its ephemeral things; how we must live a moral life, always speaking the truth, not harming other people, not stealing, and having compassion for all people).
Yes, one must pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance and relinquish the counsel of the ego self.

Prayer is talking to God. Meditation is listing to God. One must talk and listen to God hence both prayer and meditation is crucial in all efforts to know who we truly are.
Western psychotherapy generally does not include prayer and other religious practices. However, it is gradually coming around to embracing meditation. In time, it would overcome its present adolescent stage of evolution and become adult. As an adult profession, it would encourage a return to religion, and return to prayer and meditation as a means of knowing who we truly are.
In the meantime, the paranoid personality is full of him self; his ego is swollen up and he finds it difficult to pray to God. He sees himself as in competition with God. God, he thinks, is his rival for power. He wants to eliminate God and replace him and become the creator of himself, creator of other people and creator of the world. The paranoid is on a power trip. That is why he is deluded.
His delusion disorder is healed when he stops the childishness of trying to replace his father, God, and accept him as his creator.
One must accept God as ones creator and pray to him and ask him for guidance in everything one does. Before one makes any decision, one must pause and go inwards, pray and ask God’s Holy Spirit to guide one. Invariably, God asks one to act out of forgiveness, love and public service. Whatever one does out of love cannot be totally wrong.
The paranoid probably will not give up his egotism in this life time. But if he learns that the ego is his problem and makes some effort to be egoless, he will benefit.
To the extent that the individual thinks and behaves egolessly, he feels peaceful and happy.
Peace and joy are the gifts of God, are reward for being ones real self, while still in the world of forms, bodies, space and time.
Our paranoid friends must learn to start working on their swollen egos and start giving their false selves up; they must give up their self concepts, self images and personalities; they must give up the masks of specialness that they wear, so as to see their true self, a unified spirit self, a loving and forgiving, hence peaceful and happy self.
In the meantime, paranoids live a tumultuous existence, almost always alienating those around them and experiencing social conflicts everywhere they go. Sadly, they do not recognize that it is they themselves that generate their conflicts by attaching to the ego self.
To be identified with the ego self is to live in hell, a hell of ones making. To be released from the ego jail house, one must jettison the ego and embrace ones real self, the unified self, the holy self, the Christ self, the Atman self, the Buddha self, the Chi self. In the Chi self lay peace, happiness and material abundance.


My experience as a human being and from working in the mental health field leads me to conclude that people, by and large, think and behave in a manner that is not always conducive to mental health. Biological and social factors contribute to the manner people think. We need to address those. However, we also need to teach these people how to think and behave in such a manner that they are at peace with their world.
People need to see all people as the same and equal; they need to love and forgive all people; they need to find out what they like doing and good at doing and do it for all of society.
Do all these and I am convinced that you would be peaceful and happy. Peace and happiness are the indices of mental health.
I have elaborated the ideas summarized in this paper in my book, Real Self Psychology. If you are interested in this manner of thinking and behaving, you may want to take look at that book.

*This has been a year during which I introduced myself to folks. Next year, I will focus on politics; each week I will do a write up on the political economy of an African country.
Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year by Thinking and Behaving Differently: from Ego to Christ Thinking and Behaving patterns.

December 20, 2005


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Science and Technology of Thinking and Behavior: Focus on Paranoia (Part 1)

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- INTRODUCTION: Psychology began with the noble intention of understanding how human beings think and behave. Unfortunately, it seems to have lost its way. One no longer knows what the business of psychology is.

What do contemporary psychologists do, anyway? The discipline now seems lost in scholasticism and, therefore, seem irrelevant to actual human beings efforts to understand and change their thinking and behavior.
The real business of psychology is to strive to understand how human beings think and behave. Psychology is the science of thinking and behavior.
Having understood how people, in fact, think and behave and appreciated self defeating thinking and behaving patterns, psychology ought to design a technology for helping people think and behave in the most adaptive manner.
Thinking and behavior have an aim, to enable the individual to adapt to the exigencies of his world, his physical and social environment. Psychology ought to enable people adapt to their world.
In this paper, I attempt a science and technology of thinking and behavior that seems realistic to the actual human beings I see in my world, not the fictional human beings studied by academic psychology.
Real psychology must be realistic and show people how to adapt to their environment and make material living in their world. Psychology should not dwell on esoteric concepts that have no relevance to the real world people live in.
Real human beings find themselves on planet earth. As Alfred Adler observed, they find it difficult to adapt to the exigencies of their world. Some are particularly challenged by the exigencies of their world. All of them, and some of them more so, hate their bodies and what they call themselves. They reject themselves. All human beings reject their real selves. (These seem like dogmatic assertions; they call for you to disprove them?)
Using their thinking and imagination, they invent alternative selves and bodies. They invent ideal selves and ideal bodies. They invent superior selves and bodies.
The ideal, superior self is purely mental and imaginary. It cannot be attained in the empirical world. Nevertheless, since it seems better than the actual imperfect body and self the individual has, he prefers it to his actual self. He embarks on a mission of trying to become his imaginary ideal superior self. Most of his activities are directed towards actualizing his imaginary ideal self (and the ideal other selves, ideal social institutions and ideal world of that ideal self).
Pursuit of the ideal superior self is an escape from reality. It is a waste of mental energy. A mental model of which one ought to become cannot be realized in the empirical world where matter and energy limits what human beings can and cannot do. Space, time and matter set limits as to what real human beings can do. We cannot fly unless we have wings.


Impossible of attainment, yet the individual pursues his ego ideal. He does so because his ego ideal appears to be what gives his life meaning and purpose. The effort to attain his imaginary fantasy self, fantasy other people and fantasy social institutions is what gives him (neurotic) direction in his life.
If the idealist stopped seeking to attain his imaginary ideal self, the fiction of superior self, life would suddenly become ennui for him. The individual would not know what to do with his life if he did not pursue some sort of ideals.
Yet pursuit of ideals, ego ideals and or spirit ideals (as in religion) is a waste of time and effort, for nothing pursued that is not rooted in the reality of space, time and matter will be realized by human beings.


Science is that endeavor which attempts to understand empirical reality, as it is, not as it should be. In the area of human beings, science attempts to understand how real human beings think and behave. It does so objectively; it describes how actual people think and behave not how they should think and behave.
Science does not indulge in value judgments, and does not moralize that this or that behavior is better than others; it merely describes how people think and behave.
However, since some thinking and behaving patterns are clearly more adaptive to the exigencies of the environment, science recommends them, not from a moral point of view, but from a dispassionate assessment of what is more useful and productive. In this light, science of thinking and behavior shows human beings the pattern of thinking and behaving that are more likely to enable them get what they want out of their lives.

All human beings think idealistically but some more so than others. All that we can do is understand and redirect human beings’ idealistic thinking and behaviors; we cannot eliminate them.
Escape into idealism, be it in philosophy, religion or politics, is a waste of time. The science of psychology must focus on the science and technology of thinking and behavior.


In the last year, I participated in several Internet news groups. What became obvious to me is that some of the Igbo participants exhibit paranoid traits and don’t even know it.
I am motivated to help these people. I will, therefore, focus on paranoia, and show how such persons think and behave and then point out alternative patterns of thinking and behaving.
The terms persona and paranoia derive from Greek. (See Meissner, 1980) In ancient Greece, actors wore masks to hide their true identity, as they enacted plays on the theatre. They enacted real people’s personalities and behaviors, people who might be in the audience, and, therefore, thought it prudent to hide their identity, as they pointed out the not always healthy behavior patterns of their fellow citizens of Athens. Paranoia is Greek for denying ones real self and identifying with a different self. To the Greeks, to be insane is to deny ones true self and act as if one is a different self, apparently, a self that one considers a better self than ones real self.
The pioneers of psychology borrowed Greek and Latin terms. Persona, mask, was transformed into personality. The idea is that the human personality is a mask that the individual wears and that it merely hides his true self. Personality is an act, not reality. Each human being, as it were, hides his true self and learns those behavior patterns that his society would approve. In relating to other people, he presents a personality (which is the same as self concept and self image) to them to approve, a self image that he thinks that they would approve. The individual masks his real self and presents a socially approvable self to people to relate to in his social interactions.
Who the individual’s real self is, is not shown to other people. Indeed, the individual may not even know who his real self is. (My dear reader, do you know who your real self is? Are you just your body and or your personality? If not, who are you?)
Carl G. Jung observed that beneath the persona (lity) is another human being. Jung considered the real self that is hidden by the mask of personality a spiritual being. (See Jung, 1963)

Whereas all human beings, to certain degrees, wear masks, personas, have personalities, to be paranoid means that the individual has taken the phenomenon of personality to its logical conclusion. The normal person wears a personality and presents it to other people to approve but suspects that he is not his personality. On the other hand, the paranoid person thinks that he is his personality. The paranoid person, in effect, has taken the tree for the forest. He, like all people, has a cherished persona that he wears in society and wants other people to see him as that personality. At some point, he thinks that he is the persona he pretends to be.
The paranoid person now believes that he is the ideal self, ideal self concept and ideal self image, ideal personality that he wants to be but is not, in fact. He wants other people to see him as he wants to be seen, as the ideal, superior self he wants to be but, in fact, is not. He has completely denied his real self and identified with a false ideal self and wants other people to collude with him and validate that false self as his real self. He wants society to confirm his false self as his real self.
If the paranoid person is seen as the ideal self, the persona, the important mask, he feels good, if not, he feels upset. His real self feels inadequate and inferior. He rejects that real self and compensates with a pretended superior self. He wants other people to see him as a superior self. If they see him as a superior self, he feels okay, if not, he feels upset. His affect is a yoyo, up and down, depending on how he perceives other people as treating him. He is angry at those he perceives as not colluding with him and seeing him as a very important, superior self and anxious from anticipation of being degraded by other people. He closely scrutinizes other people’s behaviors and if they seem to be demeaning, humiliating, insulting, belittling, in a word, not recognizing his ideal self concept, ideal self image, high and mighty personality, he feels angry at them. His anger is an attempt to get people to see him as he wants to be seen: a very important, exalted and dignified self.
The paranoid person is generally very stiff, inflexible and humorless, all in an effort to seem very respectful and dignified. Important people, he thinks, do not crack jokes and do not laugh; only unimportant fools and clowns do so, so he is almost always serious and proper in demeanor.


Paranoia is caused by a confluence of biological and social factors. Paranoids invariably inherited biological constitutions that make them feel weak and inadequate to the challenges of existence in our impersonal world.
As Alfred Adler (1911) pointed out, up to a point, all human beings feel inadequate. Paranoid persons tend to feel more inadequate than the average person. Obviously, biological factors contribute to the genesis of paranoia.
Sociological factors also play a role in the causation of paranoia. Consider Igbo society. Igbo society is very competitive. (See Victor Uchendu, the Igbos of South East Nigeria.) All children are told to compete and those who are more able to compete are positively rewarded. Those less able to compete are generally not positively reinforced. In fact, Igbos either ignore losers or makes fun of them. A non-competitive Igbo boy is called negative names and rejected by his cohorts. In time, he feels socially ostracized and marginalized.
Igbo society must be among the most competitive societies in the world. It is an achievement oriented society. Nothing is given to the individual by ascription; he has to earn whatever is socially valued. Achieve and you are a somebody, fail and you are a nobody.
Carl Rogers (1951) would say that this society is a neurotic society and that it is bound to produce many neurotic children. As Rogers sees it, children who are raised by conditionally accepting parents and society tend to become neurotic, that is, they tend to posit ideal selves that they think that society would approve and strive to become them and reject their real selves ala Karen Horney. (Horney, 1999)
On the other hand, Rogers thinks that a society that positively and unconditionally accepts all children as good is more likely to produce healthy self accepting children.
We do not need to quibble about facts. Igbo society is pathological. It accepts children conditionally. It, therefore, disposes those children who are less able to compete to fear failing. Some of such children, therefore, posit ideal selves that would like to become very important persons, indeed, superior persons, and present such false selves to other people to relate to.
In Igbo society, many adults behave as if they are the imaginary important, superior selves that they would like to be but that they are not, in fact. They spend an awful amount of mental energy defending the false, imaginary ideal and all powerful self that they imagine themselves to be that they are not. This social pretense is carried over to all aspects of their behaviors.
One such Igbo chap on Naija politics strives to seem the most intelligent person on the forum. He writes in convoluted, hiflutin and pedantic language that is calculated to make him seem like he is a genius. If his overly rational but superficial analysis is applauded by others, he feels fine, but if you dared point out that he is an emperor without clothes, he flies off the handle. He is almost always responding with anger and rage at those who dared point out that he is talking rubbish. Moreover, he seems to take particular joy in putting other people down, finding fault with them showing them as not perfect. This man spends his time and energy looking into other people’s backgrounds, with the intention of finding something negative in their history that he could use to show them up as not perfect human beings. He investigates where people went to school or not, what kind of education they have or do not have, all with the intention of making them seem unimportant. He is the only one that is entitled to be important, his paranoid thinking believes. Apparently, he satisfies his desire to seem superior to other people by making other people seem inferior to him. This is a cardinal trait of suspicious paranoid characters. Simply stated, this man is trying to become his imaginary ideal, superior self. He has paranoid personality disorder.
I believe that competitive Igbo society exacerbates whatever biological variable this paranoid Igbo man inherited that disposed him to paranoid thinking and behavior. Biosocial factors play roles in the etiology of paranoia.
(This paper is written for the average reader; therefore, it does not overly employ technical terms. If the reader wants technical understanding of paranoia, I refer him to David Swanson et al, The Paranoid; William Meissner, The Paranoid Process, and Psychotherapy for the Paranoid process; David Shapiro, Autonomy and the Rigid Character; and, of course, the purely descriptive DSM IV.)


There are many levels of paranoia: Schizophrenia, Paranoid Type; Delusion Disorder; and Paranoid Personality Disorder.
Briefly, in schizophrenia, the individual is psychotic; that is, he has delusions (believes in what is not true as true) and hallucinations (in any of the five senses… auditory, visual, olfactory, tactile and touch). Schizophrenia is every person’s idea of mental illness. It occurs in less than one percent of the human population. Within this small fraction of people, there are many subtypes of schizophrenia: paranoid, organic, disorganized, catatonic, simple, undifferentiated, residual etc. They are within the purview of psychiatrists, for they are generally managed with neuroleptic medications (such as Zyprexa, Risperdal, Seraquel, Geodon, and some of the older psychotropic medications like Thorazine, Prolixine, Navane, Millaril etc.) These people hear voices and see what is not seen by other people and generally have bizarre delusions, such as see themselves as god etc. For all practical purposes, they cannot operate in normal society. They are either at psychiatric hospitals or walk the streets as the insane persons folks see eating out of garbage cans. No one has figured out a way to heal them yet.
Delusion disorder means that the person believes what is not true as true. In delusion disorder there is no hallucination, just systematized delusions. (I call this disorder half psychosis, half insanity, for in complete insanity there is both delusion and hallucination, as in schizophrenia and in some severe Bipolar Affective Disorder.)
Generally, the deluded person has systematized delusions in some areas of his intellectual functioning but not in other areas. For example, he may believe that his wife wants to poison him with her food and not eat it, and still function appropriately in other areas of his social life. Genuine delusion disorder is very rare. I have seen less than ten patients with delusion disorder in twenty two years of working in the mental health field.
There are five types of delusion disorder: grandiose, persecutory, erotomanic, jealous, and somatic. Briefly, in grandiose type, the person believes that what is not true is true, for example, that he is the richest man in his world, or that he is the most intelligent man in the world, when he is not. In persecutory type, the person believes that someone or some people are out to kill him and hides from them, when those people do not have such intentions. In erotomanic type, usually more common in women, a woman believes that a famous man is in love with her and sometimes stalks him. She may believe that she is married to Jesus or any other socially important person. (Apparently, such beliefs make an inferior feeling person feel vicariously important). In jealous type, the person feels that his spouse or girl friend is cheating on him and follows her around, trying to catch her cheating on him; he generally misinterprets her behaviors and physically and or verbally abuses her. Many of the men involved in domestic violence actually have delusional jealousy. In somatic type, the person believes that she has a sickness that the medical profession is unable to figure out yet, and goes from doctor to doctor seeking treatment. (Apparently, this belief is a rationalization for her failure when she expects to be a success but fails.)
Paranoid personality disorder is characterized by desire to seem very important and superior to other people, accompanied with inner sense of inferiority and inadequacy. The paranoid personality feels inordinately inferior to other people and restitutes with desire for superiority. He posits a mask of superiority and acts as if he is that superior persona. The Igbo chap on naija politics obviously feels inferior and acts as if he is superior to other people. Although he is above average in intelligence, he is not gifted. But he presents himself as a superior intellect. He is not aware that a superior mind is not just claimed but seen by other people. In the political forum we read what each other write and most folks can easily make out those with superior minds. This Igbo brother is certainly not seen as particularly bright, pretended brilliance. He feels an inner compulsion to seem a gifted mind.
The paranoid personality wants to seem superior and for other people to see him as superior. Because of his desire for superiority, he fears been seen as inferior. Thus, he is very sensitive to being demeaned, belittled, humiliated, disgraced, degraded, criticized etc. Behavior by other people that give him the impression that he is treated in an undignified manner makes his false pride feel attacked and he reacts with anger.
He is always accusing other people of treating him, as if he is a nobody. Since other people did not treat him as such, they resent him accusing them of doing what they did not do and become angry at him. Thus, he stimulates attack on him by his accusatory behaviors. The subsequent attack from other people reinforces his hitherto belief that other people are hostile towards him. (He is hostile towards other people and projects his hostility out and sees a hostile world.)This phenomenon is called paranoid self fulfilling prophesy, he believes that people are hostile towards him, attacks them and they react in a hostile manner to him, making his belief seem true. What he does not realize is the role he plays in getting people to react negatively towards him.
The paranoid personality’s intellect is otherwise in tact. He may be a medical doctor, engineer, physicist or president of his country. Whereas his intellect seems in tact, his disordered personality disturbs his interpersonal relationships but does not affect his intellectual functioning.
He tends to over employ certain ego defense mechanisms, such as denial, projection, rationalization, intellectualization and dissociation. In the process, he comes across as rational The said Igbo chap on naija-politics appears intellectual, except that his intellect is really shallow; he is unable to nuance thinking and behaviors, he appreciates only the superficial, the seeming rational.
As Psychoanalysts tell us, behind rationality is irrationality. The paranoid personality is not a genuine intellectual, he is a wannbe intellectual.

For some reasons, there seems a higher incidence of paranoid personality among Igbos. I have pondered this issue and came to the conclusion that biosocial factors play a role in its genesis. I speculated that inherited biological constitution and Igbo competitive society play roles in producing Igbo paranoid personalities.
In most human populations, generally, less than one percent has paranoid personality, but in Igbo society that percentage is more like five. (The number of Igbo Schizophrenics appears to be the same as elsewhere in the world; the number of Igbo delusion disordered persons appear slightly higher than in other populations. It would be fascinating to perform a thorough epidemiological study to verify what my anecdotal observation suggests.)


Paranoid thinking is probably the easiest thing in the world to understand. Unfortunately, the paranoid does not want to understand and or change his thinking and behaving patterns. He derives secondary gains from his thinking and behavior; he feels godlike from imagining himself superior to other people.
It is very difficult to heal paranoia. In fact, many psychotherapists don’t even bother taking paranoids as patients/clients. They see them as not likely to benefit from talk therapy and do not want to waste their time on those who do not want to change.
If a paranoid client walks into a therapist’s office and he administers psychological tests (MMPI, WAIS etc) and does verbal mental status examination, he easily diagnose him. That is the easy part. The difficult part is how to help him change.
The chances are that the paranoid client is more likely to have contempt for the therapist, and see him as naïve. He sees himself as superior to other people and sees the therapist as inferior to him, so how can the inferior therapist help him?
Factor in the paranoid’s lack of trust in other people’s good intentions and his belief that the therapist is not his friend and is not out to help him, you see an interesting dynamics developing. He is skeptical of the therapist’s good intentions and, in fact, doubts his knowledge. (The paranoid Igbo chap on naija politics doubted my knowledge and went as far as checking my credentials to see if I even went to school. His goal was to undermine my credibility so that he did not have to listen to me. That way, he retained his obvious mental disorder. Just about every person in the forum knows that he is a sick man. He is the only person who does not know that he is sick. Paranoids generally do not have insight into their problems.)
Whereas, therapists tend to give up on paranoid persons, they nevertheless understand their thinking and behaving patterns. Let us, therefore, explore paranoid thinking and behaving patterns and see whether they can be changed.
The paranoid person thinks that he is inferior. Talk to a paranoid person for an hour and you sense his deep rooted sense of inferiority and inadequacy. He generally tries, albeit futilely to deny his self assessment and tries to seem superior; indeed, he tends to project out what he sees in himself to others; thus, he sees others who seem inferior etc.
It is correct that all human beings, in degrees, feel inferior. The relevant point is the paranoid’s excessively sense of inferiority. He needs to stop worrying about other people’s inferiority and first accept his own sense of inferiority and address it squarely. He needs to understand why he feels inferior and compensates with superiority. He is the subject to be analyzed and healed. He should not divert attention from himself by focusing on other people’s minor sense of inferiority.
So why does the paranoid person feel inferior? There are combinations of causal factors in his feeling: biological and sociological.
Each individual is unique and, as such, inherited a unique biological constitution. We therefore need to explore whatever medical disorders the paranoid person inherited that exacerbated his or her sense of inferiority. Any number of medical disorders could make the individual feel unable to meet the challenges of his society hence increase his sense of inferiority.
Inferiority feeling does not have to lead to paranoia, if it is accepted and not denied. If a child feels inferior and his parents love him, in an unconditional positive manner, he is not going to develop paranoia. For example, I was born with spondylolysis and Mitral Valve Prolapse. Both medical disorders made me feel inferior. But my mother loved me in an unconditionally positive manner. My mother is a saint among women. Her love for her children was total. Surrendered by love, I trusted the people around me despite feeling inferior. Now, suppose that I was not loved in an unconditional manner, I can see myself feeling as paranoid as the said Igbo chap.
The paranoid person must explore why he feels inordinately inferior. In my experience, biological and sociological factors are implicated in the etiology of most mental disorders.
Different biological disorders can dispose different children to feel inferior Vis a Vis their environment. The individual therefore needs to understand what particular medical disorders run in his family that tends to make them feel inordinately inferior. Having done that, he needs to understand his family and society’s pattern of raising children. If it is conditional and competitive, he needs to explore the role of these in the origin of his self hatred, self rejection and aspiration after an imaginary ideal superior self.


The paranoid person tends to think idealistically. He rejected his real self and real every thing and posited an ideal self and ideal every thing and wants to become these ideal fictions. He posited a perfect ideal self and wants to become that perfect person. He wants other people to become perfect selves he made for them. Indeed, he wants the world to change and become the perfect ideal he wants it to become. All these are fantasies and are not going to happen. Fantasies or not, pursuing them makes him feel like he is powerful, like he created himself and created the world he wants to change and fit his self image.
Having explored the biosocial factors playing a role in his paranoia, he has to resolve to think realistically, not idealistically.
Generally, the individual does to other people what he does to himself? The paranoid person hates and rejects his body and self. He generalizes and hates and rejects other people’s real bodies and self. He wants to change himself; so he wants to change other people; he wants to become perfect, so he wants to make other people perfect; he wants ideal social institutions, so he wants society to have ideal social institutions; he wants an ideal world.


The paranoid person posits an ideal self and uses that ideal fictional self and its ideal standards to judge real human beings. He uses the ideal standards of his false self to judge his real self, other people’s real selves and reality in general.
Since he is judging the real with an imaginary ideal standard, it is inevitable that he finds nobody good enough. He is always criticizing other people, pointing out their faults. The said Igbo chap is always pointing out other people’s faults. Nothing other people do or do not do is ever good enough for him. This is because he is looking at them from the perspective of an ideal standard.
(If a normal person reads this paper, for example, he would appreciate my effort to help; but the paranoid brother would be more invested in showing to the world that I do not know what I am talking about; his whole reason for being seems to be to show that people are imperfect, hence inferior to him. Of course, people are imperfect, I do not know much.)
Having appreciated paranoid thinking processes, we then show to the paranoid person how to stop wanting to seem ideal, superior and perfect.
The crux of his problem is his desire to seem better than other people. He must be taught to accept our human sameness and equality and give up the neurotic/psychotic desire to seem better than other people.

In eternity as in time, in heaven and on earth, all human beings are the same and equal. Let me repeat the obvious: we, man, woman and child are the same and coequal. No one is superior to other people. No amount of effort on any ones part can make him or her superior to other people.
Racist whites (usually paranoid personalities) tried very hard to seem superior to other races. The fact is that white folks are exactly the same as black and brown folks.
The paranoid person wants to seem superior to other people. He cannot gratify that wish in the world of reality, for the impossible cannot be gratified. In fact, if he believes that he is superior to other people and no longer merely wishes it, he has gone from neurosis, paranoid personality, to psychosis: delusion and or schizophrenia.
If he is fairly intelligent, the paranoid person is tempted to see himself as mentally superior to other people. He is not so. Although different people test out with different IQ levels, yet they are all the same and equal. The mentally retarded person with IQ lower than 70 is the same as the gifted person with IQ over 132.
(The said Igbo chap fancies himself mentally superior to others in the forum. His IQ is probably no more than 120, that is, he is above average but not in the superior range (over 132). How do I know this fact? He does not exhibit that subtle understanding of phenomenon found in the truly intelligent; he tends to be rationalistic and not understanding of true phenomenon. For example, recently, he has taken to saying that his fellow forumites feel inferior and act like they are superior. His observation is, of course, true. But what a truly bright person would do is try to understand why the people do so and try to help them out rather than seize it as an opportunity to desecrate them. The truly intelligent person wants to help suffering humanity, as Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed, Ramakrishna, Bahaullah and other religious geniuses did. The superficially intelligent use their shabby perception of phenomenon to destroy, rather than help.)
The paranoid person posits a self concept, and its pictorial form, the self image, and a personality that wants to seem superior to other people. He struggles mightily to become that seeming superior self.
It is the pursuit of the fictional superior self that produces his paranoia. He must, therefore, desist from seeking to become that false superior self and accept our sameness and equality.
This is obvious enough to normal persons. But the paranoid person does not want to give up his desired superior self. Indeed, if he gave it up, he might find his life suddenly meaningless and purposeless, for it is pursuit of the chimera of superior self and superior world that gave his life direction, movement and pseudo purpose. If he gave up seeking to be better than other people, he might experience the underlying depression that paranoid grandiosity is masking.
(Meissner, in The Paranoid Process, contends that paranoid persons are depressed persons, that they have low self esteem and use their grandiose self concept to mask their underlying depressed self view. In Psychotherapy and the Paranoid Process, Meissner argues that the paranoid’s grandiose self image must be given up and for him to accept his underlying depressed self opinion, and eventually work through his existential depression and come to accept the human reality of powerlessness. Meissner recommends that this process be aided by a competent therapist, for if the paranoid’s ego compensations are attacked and decompensated when he is not ready to recompensate at a normal level, he might experience transient psychosis where he goes from merely wishing to be godlike to believing that he is actually god, from garden variety neurosis to psychosis.)
The paranoid child is very perceptive and accurately appreciated the human condition as filled with pain and suffering. He hated and rejected that pain and suffering filled life. Instead of accepting that reality and making the most of it, he rejected it and used his imagination to invent an alternative reality, an ideal reality and wants to become it.
In therapy the paranoid must be helped to let go his ideal reality and embrace empirical reality. The truth is that all of us are imperfect and that we must still be loved and respected despite our imperfection. We must have the courage to accept and love our imperfect real selves. It is actually cowardly to reject the real, just because it is imperfect and seek to become the imaginary ideal.
The self rejecting paranoid person is a cowardly person; the truly courageous person accepts imperfect human beings, as they are. He loves people as they are, imperfect.
Mental health lies in ability to look ones self in the mirror, see ones imperfect self, ones weak body and still accept it as it is, not as it could become, perfect.
The paranoid rejected his real body and real self and wants to become an idealized body and self. That is not going to happen. He is wasting his time and giving himself unnecessary anxiety (from not attaining his ideal self).
He must let go of the desire to be an ideal self and accept who he is, in fact, an imperfect, ordinary human being.
Alas, he does not want to be an imperfect, ordinary human being. In fact, his delusions are efforts to convince him that he is a perfect, superior self.
Let us revisit the symptoms of paranoia and see how they exhibit his desire for superiority. Grandiosity: it is an effort to seem superior; persecution, it is an effort to seem superior, for one must be very important for others to exist to persecute one, one must be the numero uno for the entire police force of the land to have nothing better to do than try to kill one; one must be very important for ones wife to want to poison one, simply stated, persecution complex is an attempt to seem a special self; jealously, here the person wants to control the spouse. Control is power; so jealously really is paranoid desire for superiority. Erotomania, here a woman thinks that important persons are in love with her when they are not or that she is married to important person when that is not the case. What is going on here is that she feels inferior and attaching herself to seeming important persons makes her seem important; if she did not want to be superior, she would not struggle to seem married to god. Somatic type, here the person claims to have mysterious illness and uses it as an excuse to go from doctor to doctor; what she is doing is deriving a sense of superiority through illness and having doctors pay attention to her. I must say, however, that where there is hypochondrias there is always some unknown biological disorder.
Paranoid personality lacks trust in other people, is suspicious and fears being belittled. He does not trust on a higher power to protect him, he is the higher power who ought to protect him. In the real world, he is not that powerful, for he is not God. What is going on here is fear of being inferior, which really is desire for superiority. Simply stated, it is desire for superiority that is at the root of paranoia.

Every thing that the paranoid personality does is motivated by his fear of inferiority and desire for superiority. He is afraid of sameness and equality and wants to seem special. He must learn to accept our sameness and equality. He must give up his neurotic/psychotic wish for the impossible, superiority, to become possible.
The creations of God are inherently equal and there is nothing any human being can do to make any person superior to other people. The head of state is the same as the garbage collector. In fact, the garbage collector may even be more crucial for our survival than the idle politician. Consider, if the garbage collector did not collect our wastes, we would die from it. Politicians, particularly the African brand who do nothing for their people, are in the language of paranoia, inferior to garbage collectors. (In the language of mental health, every person is the same, there is no inferior or superior person; inferiority and superiority are delusions, false beliefs.)
Lest I appear overly optimistic and naïve, let me stress that it is very difficult to get the paranoid person to give up his desire for superiority and fear of inferiority. As far as I know, very few therapists (?) have ever succeeded in persuading paranoid persons to give up their delusions of superiority.
The mad man, apparently, prefers to walk the streets isolated from other human beings, rather than accept relating to other people. This is because he is unwilling to do what relationship requires: see all persons as the same and coequal with him. In his psychotic delusions, he imagines himself superior to other people. Since he is not so, other people leave him to live in his fantasy world. Thus, he pays the price of desiring specialness by being alone in the world.
To avoid being lonely, he must give up his desired special self and accept our equal self.

Paranoia is a result of certain thinking and behaving patterns: the desire for a special self. To heal paranoia, the paranoid person must learn to think and behave differently; to see him self as the same and equal to all people and to behave accordingly. He must resist the temptation to seem better than other people.
Any moment a human being yields to the temptation, which is always there, to think and behave as if he is superior to other people, he has disconnected himself to other people, in religious language, he has sinned.

In my experience, no one can heal paranoia unless we factor in the spiritual element. In fact, I think that the reason secular therapists have no track record of healing paranoia is that they took God out of the equation.
I think that paranoia arose from the individual’s efforts to take God out of his life, his rejection that God created him and that he did not create himself. His delusional efforts to seem special are really childish efforts to seem self created, beginning with his invention of the ideal self concept and its self image.
To heal paranoia, I believe that we need spirituality. I think that combined secular and spiritual psychology can heal paranoia and other mental illnesses.
Therefore, I will share with you my metaphysics. Do with it what you lay. It is not the only approach to God there is; there are infinite approaches to God, but this is the approach that makes sense to me.
Ultimately, my goal is not to get lost in theological disputations, but to enable the paranoid person to accept that he is not the author of reality, that God is. He must bow to his creator, God. He did not create himself, other people and the world, as his ego would like to believe. He must relinquish the wish to create himself and the world and accept the reality that a higher power created him and the world.


Whereas mental health professionals do treat schizophrenia, paranoid type with the various neuroleptic medications and those medications appear to reduce hallucinations but not eliminate them (these medications, apparently, reduce the levels of the neurotransmitter, dopamine, in the central nervous system and somehow that reduces hallucinations), persons with paranoid personality disorder are generally not treated with medications.
Personality, normal and abnormal, is a systemic response to the environment; it is how the individual, his body included, responds to his world. It is, therefore, not just a product of biological disorders, although medical disorders contribute to it in as much as they play a role in the individual feeling inferior relative to our tough physical environment. Paranoid personality disorder, as well as other personality disorders are not medical issues and are not treated with medication.
However, every now and then, the paranoid person does feel anxious. His anxiety is probably psychological in nature, not medical. He posits and pursues a grandiose goal that he is never going to achieve. In the meantime, he struggles mightily to attain his goals and fears not attaining them. The fear of not becoming his ideal perfect self and not attaining whatever other big goals he set for himself produces anxiety for him.
Because he feels anxious, some medical doctors are tempted to give him some of the anti anxiety medications (such as valium, Librium, Xanax, Ativan etc). These may temporarily reduce his anxiety. But these medications have adverse side effects and are very physiologically and psychologically addictive; folks go through severe withdrawal symptoms trying to quit them, including experiencing visual and tactile hallucination and heart palpitations. It is, therefore, not a good idea to give paranoid personalities medications.
What is therapeutic for paranoid personalities, as well as other disordered personalities, is for them to change the pattern of their thinking and behavior; to cognitive restructure their mind through cognitive behavior therapy. The paranoid personality needs to give up his desire to be superior and stop acting as if he is superior to any one else. He needs to accept our sameness, equality and unified nature and work for our common interest. In Adlerian fashion, these persons need to dedicate themselves to serving social interest…Adler believed that serving social interest is the best therapy for neurosis, and, by generalization psychosis.
The paranoid Igbo brother in naijapolitics does not need medications; he just needs to change his pattern of thinking and behaving; he needs to accept all people as like him and work to uplift all people rather than try to destroy them through his tendency of trying to humiliate people, so as to feel superior to them…psychoanalytically, he feels humiliated by life and, therefore, wants to do unto other people what was done to him, to humiliate others; he feels belittled by life and wants to belittle other people etc. Now he must work to make life joyous for all people, if he is to heal his apparent paranoid personality disorder; if he heals his disorder, his obvious bright mind could be put to productive use for all Nigerians.


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December 17, 2005

Do American Liberals have a Death Wish?

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- Given the current behavior of Liberals, one wonders whether they have developed a death wish. Do they want to marginalize themselves; indeed, do they want an end to liberalism? I do not know. One thing that I do know is that their current stance on many social issues indicates a wish to not be taken seriously as a political party.

The liberal wing of American politics has done the country a lot of good for one to stand by and witness it self destroy. One must, therefore, speak out, perchance the party changes its ways, and makes itself once more relevant in American politics. Think about Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and Lyndon Barnes Johnson and the great good they did for America. What would America be without FDR’s New Deal legislations that radically altered the economy, from government’s lack of involvement in the welfare of the people to the present social compact whereby we all agree that Cain’s question: “Am I my brothers’ keeper”, must be answered in the affirmative. Think about LBJ’s great society programs that improved the lives of many poor minority persons, and certainly facilitated their entrance into mainstream American politics. Think about Harry Truman’s executive order that ended racial segregation in the military and the good it has done America. Yes, liberals have done America a lot of good that one wished they survived.
One wished that America’s two party systems survived. We need our two mainstream parties, one to the right of the center, and the other to the left of the center of the political spectrum. Both parties essentially accepted the underlying premises of the American polity: democracy and free enterprise economy. It is politically healthy for liberals to seek to have government be used for programs that served the people, particularly the poor and for conservatives, who understand the dangers of big government, to resist them and make sure that the government does not become so large that it begins to tell the people what to do.
John Locke’s wisdom that the best government is a limited one is balanced by John Maynard Keynes’ economic wisdom that sometimes we need to use the instrument of government to make sure that the seeming built in cycles of boom and bust in capitalist economies are ameliorated. The two parties, conservatives and liberals, balanced each other out, and the result is the excellent government we have had in this country.
Sometimes we need government intervention in, and regulation of, the economy, but realistic conservatives ascertain that the government does not go too far least it destroys the goose that lays the golden eggs. Liberals can get so carried away by their do good thinking that they want to use the government to solve just about every ill that dogs mankind, unaware of the consequences of what they are doing, enlarging the government to a point that it becomes monolithic and overbearing and begins to tell the people how to live their lives.
Think of the USSR’s government and its total control of society, all in the name of serving the people’s welfare, and how it became authoritarian and totalitarian, and, worse, killed the incentive for people to work hard and in the process essentially destroyed the Russian economy.
The free enterprise system, as envisaged by Adam Smith, has its built-in flaws and needs to be corrected by Keynesian thinking, but we must make sure that we do not go too far and over regulate the economy, and or take too much money out of the hands of hardworking people through taxes, that they no longer have the incentive to work hard. In short, America benefited from the struggles of the liberal and conservative wings of its system maintaining parties.
The thinking of liberals today suggests that they have decided to take themselves away from playing significant role in American politics. Perhaps, they have decided to exit American politics, and or be replaced by another party?
Our Anglo-Saxon tradition somehow works in such a way that two strong political parties exist in the land. This is certainly the way it is in Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, and until recently the United States of America. When one of the mainstream parties decides to die, it is replaced by the emergence of another, to maintain the traditional two-party system.
In Britain, the Liberal Party essentially marginalized itself and was replaced by the Labor Party, so that Britain continues to have two strong political parties, labor and Conservative. In the recent past, it was Liberal and Conservative Parties that competed to rule Britain.
In America, we had the Federalists and the anti Federalists factions, and later the Tories and Whigs, and much later the Democrats and Republicans. We have always managed to have two parties, and as one ruling party chooses to bow out, another replaces it. America has not been like continental European countries with their multiparty systems. Our traditional stability, among other factors, lies in our wise choice for two political parties, both of whom are system supportive. One of our parties always leans to the left and the other to the right. The weaknesses of continental Europe, inter alia, are attributable to their multi party system. Many political parties weaken the country so much so that occasional dictators were needed to restore some sort of stability in their polities.
Nature abhors power vacuum. If indeed the American Democratic Party has decided to destroy itself, the polity will spring forth another mainstream political party to replace it. But, in the meantime, one cannot help but ask why this otherwise acceptable political party is doing what guarantees its demise? Why are democrats indulging in social policies that alienate the American people?
Has the Democratic Party forgotten that political parties exist to articulate the wishes of the people, to compete for the right to win elections and translate public opinion into public policies? In a democratic polity, political parties do not tell the people what they should do, but do for them what they want done.
The American people do not want God removed from their social discourse, they do not want abortion on demand, and they do not want legalization of homosexuality. Yet the Democratic Party seems bent on forcing American people to accept these values.
America is a Christian nation. That is a fact and is not up for debate. However, our Founding fathers appreciated what happens in theocratic states and decided to separate church from state. They did not want to destroy religion but to make sure that secular rulers are not beholden to any particular religious sect.
If we are intellectually honest, we accept that we do not know what God is, or is not. All we know is that at a deeper level we feel that there is God.
History teaches us that sometimes some deluded individual has interpretations of what God is, or is not, and is motivated to superimpose his interpretations on the rest of society. Our founding fathers realistically appreciated that religion ought to be an individual thing, that no one ought to have others views of God imposed on him. Therefore, our founding fathers correctly insisted that religion had to be separated from the state. They wanted to leave individuals the freedom to gravitate to whatever interpretation of God makes sense to them, not the one that a state religion told them is true.
We witnessed the horrors of the Spanish inquisition and other Roman Catholic atrocities, such as making Galileo recant his scientific discoveries; we witnessed what the Church of England did to those who did not accept Oliver Cromwell’s particular view of God. Today, we witness what apparently deluded Islamic mullahs did in Afghanistan, Iran and other places in the Muslim world.
Today’s liberals consider themselves so smart that like the fool, they know that there is no God. With little scientific understanding, they are convinced that God does not exist. They see belief in God as superstitious and want to eradicate it from our society. They want our society to remove all symbols of God from its public institutions. They have joined forces with the godless ACLU and other knows it all organizations to remove God from American society.
Given man’s sinful nature, he needs moral agents to continue to teach him to behave morally. Indeed, it is doubtful that a human civilization can exist without religion?
The question is not whether there should be religion or not, but to make sure that our efforts to reconnect to our source is as rational as is possible. But liberals want to remove all signs of religion from America. They want to do so even though over 90% of Americans say that they believe in God. Apparently, these liberals believe that they know more than religious Americans do and want to impose their deemed better understanding of the nature of phenomena on all Americans. In so doing, they have become dictators and want to ram their godlessness on a godly people.
If democracy means government by the majority of the people, liberals who want to impose their godlessness on Americans are not democrats. One cannot see why less than ten percent of the people should be making policies for the 90% of the people who believe in God.
Abortion is another area where liberals want to impose their views on Americans. History teaches us that no matter what we do some women would become pregnant and want to get rid of their pregnancies. Whereas the best policy is to encourage those women to carry their pregnancy to term, and if they do not want their children, give them up for abortion, the reality of human fickleness is that some women seek abortion. Okay, abortion is a reality of life, so make it available for those who want it. Roe Versus Wade is a necessary evil. We do not need to go back to the past when women who wanted abortion resorted to back alley quack doctors to satisfy their wishes.
Nevertheless, to abort a child is to kill a child. A society that accepts the killing of children simply because some women do not want them is devaluing life. If abortion on demand is accepted, sooner or later, we must so devalue life that we shall have eugenic social policies. It should be remembered that the founders of the Planned Parenthood movement were not only eugenics but wanted to prevent poor persons, particularly minority persons from having children. These people were not always the angels they made themselves out to be. They may be nihilists.
Empirical observation indicates that certain persons are unproductive elements in society. The mentally ill and the developmentally delayed are examples. If life is to be preserved on the basis of pragmatism, as abortion choosing feminism teaches, it follows that we should exterminate the unproductive elements of society? These people are kept alive because society values all lives; they are kept alive through the support of normal persons’ taxes, taxes they themselves do not pay.
If abortion on demand or so-called women’s right to choose becomes cavalierly accepted, the next logical argument is to destroy those we do not want in society, those who do not contribute to the economy and who must be supported by the tax payers. Therefore, to avert cheapening human life, every rational society discourages abortion as much as is possible, while understanding that some form of it will always exist.
Realism teaches us that man is not an angel, and is not going to become perfect in the near future. So, rational persons tolerate some abortion but not make it an admired social policy.
What do the Democrats do? They jump in bed with death seeking radical feminists who teach abortion on demand, and want society to make abortion very easy. They accept the dangerous hypothesis of a woman’s right to choose what to do with her body. True, we all must choose what to do with our bodies, but if what you do with your body entails killing another human being; your right must be limited by society. When behavior has negative consequences for other human beings, we all must intervene to make sure that it is prosocial, not antisocial.
Some abortion must be allowed, such as when a woman’s life is in danger, and when pregnancy is as a result of rape, but reason teaches that in other instances society ought to discourage abortion, so as to preserve the sanctity of human life.
The Republican Party wisely adopts this benign neglect policy towards abortion. The party looks the other way as abortion bent women get what they want. But the Democratic Party chooses to forsake reason and mouth the death welcoming logic of radical feminists who want women to kill their children on demand.
These feminists are unaware that the logical consequences of their choice are the killing of women themselves. Just look at what is happening in China. Male dominated society and logic teaches that men will always dominate society because stronger animals always dominate weak ones, generally prefer male to female children. Developments in ultra sound technology have made it possible to ascertain the gender of the child in the womb, and if the choice is what child to abort, the chances are that it would be the female child. It is already happening in China and could happen here. If we are still an adult reasoning society, we understand why society prefers boys to girls: in times of war, and war is always a part of human society, we need strong men to defend society.
The other perplexing policy choice of Democrats is their support of legalization of homosexuality and the oxymoronic concept of same sex marriage.
It is true that throughout the animal kingdom there are always those animals that prefer sex with their gender. Probably about one to two percent of the human population has always been homosexual, two percent pedophiles, two percent psychotic, two percent developmentally delayed, and two percent antisocial. In every large population, deviance from the norm exists in the order of one to two percent.
There seems nothing we can do to change reality. We cannot wish homosexuality away just as we cannot wish criminals, pedophiles and the mentally ill away. We have to live with these deviant persons. We have to tolerate them, but toleration is not approval. Toleration does not mean that we should normalize deviancy, as the homosexual lobby would have us do. These people would like nothing better than for normal society to approve their self-destructive lifestyle, thereby making us party to it. They are seeking assisted suicide and some of us refuse to help them do so, though they are free to destroy themselves by themselves.
The main argument of the homosexual lobby is that they are the way they are as a result of biological determinism. By the same token, criminals are probably determined by their biology?
If it can be demonstrated that there are genes disposing to antisocial personality disorder, should we therefore legalize criminality?
There is putative biological factor in the etiology of the major mental disorders (schizophrenia, Delusional Disorder, Bipolar Affective Disorder, Depression etc.). Should we, therefore, stop seeking a cure for these mental disorders and simply say that because nature predisposes persons to disordered thinking, and to hallucinate in one or more of the five senses that they should be accepted as normal?
Why don’t we permit known schizophrenics and or deluded persons to become our political leaders? Why decry an Adolf Hitler who obviously had delusional disorder, grandiose type, being in politics? Why not tolerate deluded politicians who believe that we ought to kill our enemies even if those enemies are the product of their overheated imaginations?
If we put away political correctness, it is obvious that intelligence is largely inherited. We know that about two percent of the population of all races tends to have superior IQ (over 132), two percent tends to have inferior IQ (under 70) and that the rest of us have average intelligence (IQ 100-110, with some being above average, IQ between 120-130). Since about two percent of the population inherited inferior intelligence should we then stop making efforts to improve their lives and simply accept them as they are?
Research will soon show that some people are born with preference for sex with children. Yes, there are adult men who want to have sex with six-year-old children. Satan’s revered priest, Paul Shanely, wrote articles arguing that adult men should have sex with six year old or even younger boys. The North American Adult-boy Association devotes itself to seeking civil rights for adult men to have sex with one-year old children.
Whereas rational adults want to protect children, cowardly ones want to have sex with them. If you must have sex, why not do so with fellow adults and obtain their permission rather than from children whom you can intimidate into doing whatever you want them to do for you? Cowardice is afoot in the land, and these contemptible and dastardly people who ought to be shot on the spot now ask for their civil rights to inflict pain on children.
Since it can be proved that pedophiles are predisposed to be so by their genes, should society approve it? Why not? If we are going to approve homosexuality on the basis of its biological causation, why not approve other odious behaviors that are possibly determined by individuals’ biological constitution?
Just thinking about what homosexuals do makes the average male want to throw up. It takes some sort of inherited predisposition for a man to overcome what is otherwise a shameful act, and ask another man to insert his penis into his anus and mouth and call that absurd activity enjoyable. Obviously nature made the penis to go into the vagina, not the anus or mouth. (Homosexuals do not want the public to know what they do, to prevent public disgust at them; therefore, we must let the public know what these creatures do.)
Odious as homosexuality is, experience teaches us that we are not going to wish it away. In fact, if you oppose it, its practitioners are more likely to engage in it. They would do so as an act of defiance.
God’s children are a defiant lot and would defy whatever you tell them not to do. They would do so if only to tell you that you cannot make them behave in a certain manner, hence have power over them. They want to seem like they have power, and control and can do whatever they feel like doing. Indeed, some have argued that the world itself began as an act of defiance of God and is maintained by continuing defiance of God.
Rational persons, therefore, desist from telling other human beings what to do; they do not preach against homosexuality, they simply ignore it. If folks want to desecrate themselves, that is their prerogative, provided they take the consequences of their actions. Placing ones penis into feces is likely to lead to infection with bacteria, virus and fungus. Homosexuals tend to incur sexual and other diseases at a greater rate than heterosexuals. This is not including the fact that their sexual practices so widen their anuses that in their old age they practically have feces drooping out of their bowels. Many of them have to wear diapers.
There is a price to be paid for childish oppositional defiant behavior. If in your effort to seem powerful and in control of your body and what you do with it you defy nature, you must pay a price. Homosexuals pay a terrible price for their childish behavior and one does not worry about it. Adult reasoning tells one that all of us must take the consequences of our behaviors, so one does not loose sleep if one sees decrepit old homosexuals.
So you want to be homosexual? Be my guest and do as you please, provided you do not do what you do in my presence? Rational persons adopt a live and let live policy without supporting homosexuals’ self-destructive life style.
The Democratic Party forsakes prudence and wants to pass laws to legalize every absurd life style they see. They want to legalize so-called same sex marriage. They know that over 70% of Americans do not approve of homosexuality but they want to ram down our throats their absurd friend’s insistence on ramming things down people’s throats. They want to convert all of us to the wish of normalizing deviancy. Indeed, one of these days they would want us to see deviancy as normalcy. (Just wait and see; if homosexuality is legalized, the very next day the battle would be to legalize pedophilia. When societies begin to decay, they do so quickly.)
The homosexual lobby argues that homosexuality is a civil rights issue. They equate their struggle with black Americans struggle for civil rights. They point out that if left alone that white Americans would not have permitted whites and blacks to intermingle, that it took laws that did not respect racist whites’ desires to give blacks civil liberties. Even the devil Bible quotes scripture to make its case.
There is a difference between civil rights for blacks and civil rights for homosexuals, pedophiles, criminals and other antisocial persons. Blackness is a biological state. As far as one knows, no one chooses his race?
Homosexuality is a behavior. Individuals can choose their behaviors. Homosexuals can choose not to do the disgusting thing they do. Of course, they have a right to choose to do what they do but they do not have a right to ask us to approve it. If they want to destroy themselves, the universe permits that, but they do not have a right to ask us to be a party to their assisted suicide.
While we are on the subject of the similarity of black civil rights and so-called homosexual civil rights, let us point out that Africans loathe homosexuality. They consider it insulting and degrading to equate their struggle to be free men with homosexuals’ struggle to be perverted men.
In traditionally African societies, people did not approve homosexuality. Yes, there were homosexuals and other deviants in Africa but what happened was that these creatures were told to leave their villages and never to return. They were ostracized and banished for life. Those who engaged in incest were literally banished. (Ah, soon, there will be a battle cry by the decadent to legalize incest. Why not? Every thing that occurs is natural, as Homosexuality occurs and is natural, incest occurs and is natural, and so it must be legalized. As Dostoyeski said in Brothers Karamazov, once we remove God from social discourse, every behavior is permissible.)
Please take note of what is going on in the World Anglican Church. African Anglicans adamantly opposed the consecration of same sex marriages. Indeed, they have influenced the kicking out of the American Episcopal Church from the Anglican community for elevating a gay bishop, Robinson, to that high position. American Episcopalians have desecrated the Church of Christ, and Africans want them out or they go form their own Church of Christ. Let narcissistic gay Americans Episcopalians go worship their bodies, their craven idols, and leave other Christians to worship the God of the Bibles that tells us that a man should not lay with another man (Leviticus, 18:22).
Finally, there is considerable historical evidence that when homosexuality is permitted into the open that society degenerates and dies. Greek civilization died when it permitted the two percent perverted men in it to desecrate boys. Roman civilization died when it permitted the likes of Nero to abuse boys. All things being equal, Western civilization will die if it permits the legalization of the abusive behavior called homosexuality.
We must remember that great empires come and go and are replaced by others. Already China and other Asiatic peoples are poised to replace us, and would gladly do so if we permit our society to degenerate and collapse.
One is simply baffled why Democrats support every thing that is decadent and repulsive? Why do these so-called liberals depart from the struggle to improve every one lives to destroying people’s lives?
Democrats have gone sentimental and no longer appreciate the evil nature of human beings. They have bought the sentimental claptrap of academic professors who teach that human beings are good by nature and, as such, ought to be treated with kid gloves. History teaches us that men do prey on other men. In the state of nature, Thomas Hobbes hypothesized that life was nasty, brutish and short because all preyed on all. In the real world of international politics, nations prey on other nations. Therefore, adult reason teaches us to always be prepared for other nations attack on us. We must always try to balance power with whoever has power to defeat us.
As John Stuart Mill pointed out in On Liberty, our liberties are safeguarded by our eternal vigilance, and by military strength. Become weak and other nations would chew you up.
If American had not developed a strong military, the slaves of communism would today be governing us; America would be another republic in Russia’s empire of slaves. And if we do not continue to make our military second to none in the world, China and other Asiatics would gladly take our country over. In the face of this historical reality, Democrats want to weaken our military.
One watched John Kerry talk nonsense about withdrawing our troops from the Middle East. If we did not fight Arab Muslim terrorists in their lands, we would have to fight them on American streets. As a matter of fact, President Bush has not gone far enough in trying to counter Muslim terrorists. He ought to insist on change of regimes in all Middle Eastern lands. He ought to insist that their governments be elected in a democratic manner because history teaches us that elected governments who have to obtain their people’s periodic approval in order to stay in office hesitate to go to wars or support terrorists. It is autocrats that go to war at their whims.
I suggest that the United States government adopt a policy of not recognizing unelected governments worldwide. We can relate to these non-democratic governments through our embassies but they should never be permitted to talk to our elected officials like the president and congressmen. Oriental despots and their minions can talk to our appointed officials like the Secretary of state and his deputation in other countries, ambassadors, but not to our democratically elected officials.
We also ought to get the United Nations to change its charter and require only elected governments to have membership in the United Nations.
These very simple measures could get most of the oriental despots to suddenly become democratic and, as such, pose less threat to America.
The primary function of government is to protect the people from each other, and from external others. We must, therefore, have a strong military and fight wars that protect our liberties.
Give the military whatever it wants, if you want your liberty, but the Democrats want to destroy the military just as they want to destroy every value Americans cherish.
I do not know why Democrats are bent on self-destruction and the destruction of America along with it. What I do know is that if the Democratic Party continues on the path it is on, it will be marginalized and become irrelevant in American politics. The Republican Party would become the dominant party, and, perhaps, in time a new Social Democratic Party would rise to replace what has increasingly become a moribund Democratic party.
Perhaps it is time for the Democratic Party to go? But if it wants to survive, it must restructure itself and stop espousing destructive social policies.

December 13, 2005

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December 13, 2005

The Nature of Sanity and Insanity (Part 2)

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji (Seatle, Washington) --- Come to your creator as he created you, not as you made you. Give up the self you made to replace the self he created you as. Come home to what Buddha called selflessness. (A better name for it is no-separated self, for you still have a self, a unified Christ self.)


Let me rephrase what I have said above. We all undertake two journeys, the first an ego based, outwards, separating journey; the other, a Christ based, homewards bound, unifying journey.
During the first journey, we separate from God, from our true self and from other people and come to the world and look after our self’ interests. This is earthly man. This journey is directed by the ego, by self interests.
During the second journey, we let go of the ego and trust in the Holy Spirit to direct us. The Holy Spirit directs the journey homewards, to our real home and real self, the unified Christ.
During the ego directed journey, ones ego is swollen and one feels in charge of ones life. One pays the price of feeling fear, anxiety, anger, hate, hostility, grievance, revenge, lack of love, lack of peace, having personality disorder, shame, pride, humiliation, belittlement, avoidance, all in a futile effort to keep the big ego. In extreme cases, one experiences depression, paranoia, mania, schizophrenia and so on.
During the homewards bound journey, the journey inwards, love and the Holy Spirit guides one and one does not feel any of the noxious effects of the outward bound journey. One is in peace and loves all people and is always happy.


Forgiveness is overlooking the world one sees (a world one, along with other people, invented). One gives up ones ego ideals, ones plans to improve the self and world one made so as to seem all powerful from doing so. One overlooks all the hurts one had felt that made one feel angry. One loves all people, not their egos and bodies, but the spirit of Christ, union, in them. One does not judge people’s ego/body behaviors as good or bad, for those behaviors are by definition insane, since they are based on the ego and the ego is insane. What is done in insanity is neither good nor bad; what needs to be done is over look them, forgive them, to see what is truly good, unified spirit.


In the past one sought an ideal ego, ideal other people, ideal social institutions, and ideal world. These ideals are not going to come about. The ideal is mentalistic, an idea, a concept, a cognition devoid of physical properties.
Ideals exist apart of matter but real human beings live in bodies, matter; their bodies limit what they do.
In our imaginations, fantasy, we do everything, including flying. In imagination, ones weak body becomes strong and one does what one could not do in the physical world: such as excel in sports and work. Idealism is a waste of time and energy, for what is idealized and desired will not come into being.
The pursuit of ego idealism is really an escape into fantasy. One negates the world of realism and lives in fantasy. One is not doing what the real world asks of one to adapt to it. Neurotics and psychotics are usually unproductive people; indeed, the psychotic is not even able to support himself materially and others have to feed him. Still, it is true that these people did not like the world they saw and want to negate it. Negation of the world is cowardly and escapist. The courageous thing to do is to understand the self that one does not like. We must study the ego in as objective a manner as is possible, that is, study the science of psychology. We must then design a technology of thinking, mind, (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) that enables the individual to properly adapt to the exigencies of this world rather than escape from it.


Having posited his ideal mentalistic yardsticks, the idealist uses them to judge real human beings’ behaviors. He is always judgmental of himself and other people.
In doing so, he makes life miserable for himself and other people, those he judges. Judgment of the physically real with the imaginary ideal is actually an insane behavior, for it merely makes ones self and other people miserable without improving any ones life. Life on earth is not going to become art; reality is not going to be fiction, for earthly reality is circumscribed by matter, space and time.
The neurotic and psychotic mind comes up with ideals. Even though the ideal self is not real, the neurotic identifies with it and from its standpoint talks and behaves. The proud identify with a proud self and try to talk as if they are their superior proud self. They feel angry when their proud self is humiliated; they feel fearful when others threaten their ideal self. That is, the ideal self, though mentalistic, is of the mind, if believed and acted on, seems real to one and elicits all the affects in one.
If one identifies with the false, one feels as the false would when attacked: fearful, angry, sad, paranoid, hateful etc.
It is the false ideal self that feels all those upsets, the real self does not know fear, pride, shame, anger etc.
Reality is not wished, it is what it is, spirit. We wish for an alternative to it, a purely mental alternative.
Thinking, mind, can wish whatever it wants and pursue them and they seem real to it. We defend what we desire and in doing so they seem real to us.
We use matter, body to defend the idea of having a self concept, a separated special self and that makes it seem real to us. We use space, time and matter, all illusions to make these separated selves seem real and they seem real to us. We dream them but they are not real.


In our daily lives, we are limited by the reality of physical and social laws. We cannot fly unless we have wings. We cannot do all sorts of things. At night we sleep and dream and in our dreams do most of the things we wished to do during day time that we could not do. Dreams offer us opportunity to fulfill our childish, impossible wishes, to make reality of what we want it.
In reality, we are unified and were created by God; in dreams, on earth, we seem separated and self created. Once I had a dream with Jesus in it. In it, I made Jesus tell me to go write my own book on metaphysics, that is, I made him fulfill what I wish to do, write a book on metaphysics. I used Jesus to tell me to do what my ego wants to do.
What my ego wants to do, replace Jesus, if given to the Holy Spirit, can be done, not in a competitive manner but in a cooperative manner, for Jesus needs to be replaced, Bhakti religion need to be replaced with Jnana thinking.
The world is wish fulfillment, we wished to destroy God, union and replace it with separation. We seem to have destroyed union and live individuated lives. We seem to have destroyed Christ and replaced him with the ego.


Every thing that happens to the individual is his wish fulfillment. Everything happens to one exactly as one wish it, for the world is a dream in which our wishes seem realized for us. If you wish to have sex with others, you will do so in your dream. If you wish to be poor, you will be poor (for poverty makes your ego seem real to you). If you wish to be discriminated by your white brothers, you will be discriminated and discrimination makes your ego seem real to you and makes you feel justified anger and attack them and they defend themselves.
Ego wishes and dreams on earth can be understood and replaced. They can be replaced with unified wishes, still wishes hence a dream, and dreamed of.
In Holy Spirit directed wishes and dreams, one forgives and loves all people. One brings union to separation, heaven to earth, love to hate. A place where love is brought in becomes a holy place.
One is still in the world of wishes and dreams but because ones wishes now approximate heaven’s purpose of union, one is peaceful and happy.
Ones hitherto wishes for poverty and experience of poverty made ones ego seem real to one; now that one does not wish to be an ego and wish an abundant self, one would no longer be poor or suffer. This is so because if one forgives and loves all people, they forgive and love one and make ones living peaceful, happy. People who feel loved by one feel peaceful and happy around one and will reciprocate the favor; some will do their best to help one, such as open the doors of opportunity to one. Love opens doors to wealth.

The world is our individual and collective wishes represented in dreams. Nothing can happen to the individual outside his wishes (thinking) and dreams where those wishes are fulfilled.
One may deny that one wishes for what happens to one, but reality is what it is. I, for example, wished for white America to abuse me and I got what I wished. Those white Americans who wish to abuse blacks abused me.
No one is guilty for I got what I asked for. Now I wish to be loved. I love and forgive all people and they love and forgive me and make live abundant for me.
When I was a kid, I used to wish that I had a body that no bullet could destroy. I would then single handedly take over the government and transform it into doing what I thought was good for the country (mostly socialist ideals). This is fantasy. It is not going to happen, for empirically, bullets do destroy bodies; there is nowhere in history where bodies are not destroyed by bullets. History, reality, is not going to make an exception for me.
I wished to transform Africa into a modern society. That is not going to happen. Africa will evolve gradually and in the next couple of centuries catch up with other continents. Africans must learn to walk before they can run; they are not going to be at Western levels of scientific and technological attainments without first developing the educational and other infrastructures that are necessary for doing so.

Actually, my failure in life is attributable to my pursuing ideals. I do not pursue the real and did not do what is doable in the world of matter, space and time. I rejected the real and quested after the imaginary. I rejected my body, matter, space and time and sought the ideal, the mentalistic alternative to the real, that which is not going to come into being.
First, I dwelled on ego ideals and later on spiritual ideals. Both ego and spiritual ideals are concepts, mental constructs and will not occur in space, time and matter. Therefore, seeking ego and spirit ideals are ways of guaranteeing ones failure on earth.
I do not like any job in the real world; I do not even want to work within the parameters of known organizational bureaucracies. For example, I could not work for the United Nations for I did not want to operate under its political culture where the powerful nations tell the weak ones what to do. To pay my bills, I take dead end jobs; hence do not make good income.
Once you reach a fork in the road and reject the ego and its world, you cannot go back and embrace it. You have already rejected it. You may doodle and dream for a better world, fantasy, idealism, and waste your time. What you need to do is seek spiritual realism, not spiritual idealism.
Spiritual realism is not wished for; spirit is there and if you do what you must do to experience it, you experience it. If you meet spirit’s conditions, forgive and love all people, you experience it.
You did not make the spiritual world, God created it. How you experience it is beyond your ego understanding.


All human beings have mental illness, for to be human is to be mentally ill. A human being and ip so facto denied his real self and identified with a false self hence is living a false existence. Whoever denies his true self is mentally ill.
Psychiatry correctly diagnoses people as having this or that mental disorder. Most of the Diagnoses in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual are true mental states and ought to be treated. What is wrong is that the West does in lieu of treatment of mental disorders.
In this world, we all rejected our true self and live as false selves. We live in a collective illusion, Maya. Those who live within the context of the collective dream are said to be normal.
At this moment, about 90% of the people are normal, about 2% have psychoses (schizophrenia, delusional Disorder, Bipolar affective disorder etc), 6% has personality disorders and 2% has mental retardations (IQ under 70).
That is to say that most human beings are normal, and are operating within normal insanity. Abnormal persons, in addition to undergoing our collective ego dream, undertake individualistic dreams that are outside the norm. Like every human being on earth, they denied their real self and identified with a false separated ego self. For some reasons, their ego selves are unable to adapt to the realities of this world. They, therefore, reject them. They then invent different separated selves, egos, ones that are outside the orbit of what society calls the normal self.
The abnormal person wants to use his new self to replace his normal self. Thus, he has two levels of insanity: the normal insanity he shares with all people on earth and a secondary insanity (neurosis and or psychosis), he shares with no one. Such persons substitute the false self they individually invented for the normal self we collectively invented. They then want everybody to accept their secondary replacement self as their true identity. They struggle mightily to get themselves and other people to accept their secondary ideal, powerful and perfect self as their true self. They struggle to get society to approve their false secondary self as their true self. They want to make the unreal real; make an illusion real.
Neurosis is the effort to make an unreal self real. Psychosis is the belief that the false self is already a true self. The insane person believes that his false self, the self he wishes to be, the ideal, powerful and superior self is real and defends it. He avoids living in proximity with other people, lives isolated existence and wanders the streets and byways of this world, alone, just so that he convinces himself that he is his wished for ideal, perfect self.
The insane person avoids other people, so as to gratify his wish for a delusion to be true. In isolation, the untrue is made to seem true. In the collectivity, even here on earth, only what the group agrees upon as true is true. Since the group does not agree that the man who sees himself as better than other people is so, they reject him, and wishing to retain his illusion of specialness, he leaves the group and wanders the byways of this world, living in his own world, talking to himself and seeing what is not seen by other people.


Human beings are self consciousness. Indeed, some claim that self consciousness is what separates human beings from other biological organisms. (How do we know that other animals are not self conscious?)
Some human beings are extremely self conscious. They feel like other people are always looking at them, evaluating them, seeing whether they are good or not. (This may be called ideas of self reference and centrality. See Swanson et al, The Paranoid; William Meissner, Paranoid Process, Psychotherapy for Paranoid Process.)
Shy persons are generally self conscious. Self consciousness is associated with anxiety. Why so? The self conscious person posits a self he wants to become, usually an ideal self concept and ideal self image. He then wonders if other people see him as he wants to be seen, as ideal (superior and perfect). He fears that other people may see through his mask, and see him for what he is, not ideal. Anxiety derives in fear of not being seen as the ideal perfect self he wants to become.
The ideal self is a false self, it is not who the individual is, in fact. Only the false separated self can be self conscious. In fact, self consciousness is a futile effort to make the false separated self real. Thinking that other people are always looking and examining the separated self makes the separated self seem real in its awareness.
Human beings feel self conscious because they want to be their ideal separated selves. To the extent a person does not identify with the separated special self, he does not feel inordinately self conscious. (See Burke, Cosmic Consciousness.)
The separated self is the self consciousness self; the real self is not self conscious. The real self knows itself to be unified with other selves and does not know other people as apart from it. Since other people are part of one, they cannot be looking at one and evaluating one as either good or bad. It is the false self concept that feels evaluated by other separated selves and feels anxious, fearful etc.


On earth, we have all separated from the collectivity, known by religions as God. If we had not separated from the whole we would not be on earth. We came to earth to seem separated from the whole and from the other parts of that whole. We invented space, time and matter to make separation seem real. Each of us is in a body and body gives him a sense of boundary from other people; body makes separation seem real to the individual. Space between people and the time it takes to reach people make separation seem real. We live in a world of separation.
Those who live in the world of separation, by definition, have denied the truth. The truth is eternal union. The truth is union of all things.
Actually, the individual has no choice but to accept union, for it is the truth. You deliberately denied the truth and decide when you will accept it. I cannot tell you when you will accept it, for every child of God has the freedom to decide when to accept truth, indeed, he has already decided when to accept it. My function as a dibia is to remind you of the truth, not to force it on you.

Eventually, we must all return to union. We must all return to love. We must all return to God. We must all jettison our false separated self concepts and embrace our real self, the unified self. When we jettison the false separated self housed in body and embrace the unified self we become mentally healthy.
In unified state, we think as unified self, not as separated self. Unified self is spirit and cannot be in body. While in body, forms, we can, however, choose to approximate unified self by forgiving and loving every person on earth.
Forgiveness, as brother Jesus taught us, brings us closer to our real self, and as Sister Helen Schucman taught us, in her metaphor galore manner, brings us to the gate of heaven. Forgiveness gives us a happy dream and makes us live as close to the real self and real world as is possible. Forgiveness brings us close to heaven that we might as well be said to be living in heaven, the real world.
In our present world, there are levels of separation and pursuit of specialness. As noted, all of us are separated and pursue specialness. The majority of us are normal separated persons, or as I call it, normal insane persons. A handful of the people, no more than two percent of the population, are abnormal insane persons (Psychotics). A few more are neurotics and or personality disordered persons.
Schizophrenia, Delusion disorder, Mania, depression, anxiety disorders, personality disorders are more intense means of separation. These people invented more disordered special selves; they want to be perfect selves and since that cannot be possible, even on earth, for we are all the same and equal, in eternity and on earth, they separated from even the normal insane world and live in their own more insane world.
All mental illness, normal or abnormal, is pursuit of special self via separation. All mentally ill people desire superior selves and separate from other people, so as to go maintain their false superior selves. They would rather be alone, and keep their false big self than return to other people and accept our equal unified self.
(RD Laing made psychotics out as mystics and Thomas Tzas denied the reality of mental illness. Both were right and wrong; the mentally ill rejected the extant world and replaced it with his own inventions and defends that world, an illusion. It is an illusion for it is defended with fear. The real is not defended with fear and anger. Thomas Tzas is wrong in saying that mental illness is a myth; people do have mental illness and need to be healed, not through medications but through changing their thinking patterns.)
Mental disorder derives from efforts to have a false perfect self. To be mentally healthy, the individual must give up the wish that led to his mental illness. He must relinquish the desire for a special self and must stop the desire for separation. He must accept that God created him and that he did not create himself. He must give up his childish separated self, the self he invented to replace the self God created for him, the holy, unified self. He must give up the separated self concept and its self image; he must give up his ego and personality and accept the Christ self.

While still in the world of space, time and matter, it is impossible to entirely give up the separated special self and still live in this world. This world is a place of separation and specialness and those who live here must have separated selves. The most that one can do is have a normal special separated self, that is, attain normal state, normal insanity.
If you think that you have a separated self, as you must do if you are on earth, and then use it to love all people. When one uses ones ego, false as the ego may be, to love other egos, one is normal. One feels some peace and happiness. One attains what Bahaullah called the less peace. One is at the gate of heaven (Dante’s purgatory).
The lesser peace is not the same as what the Iranian mystic called the greater peace. The greater people lie only in heaven, in the totally unified world of spirit. There are no forms in heaven, so that is out of the question in the world of the here and now.
We are currently in form and that is okay. Just use your form, use your ego and body to love other children of God who also believe that they are in forms.
This means changing your pattern of thinking, from desiring special separated self to desiring unified equal self. It means stopping the defense of a special superior self. It means defending the unified, same and equal self. You give up defending your wished for ego ideal and now defend our equal self.
Though in reality, truth does not need defense to be true, but in as much as you denied it and defend the false, you must change and now defend the truth. You must defend your real self, our unified equal self.
At all times, you must see yourself as equal with all people and defend that fact, rather than defend the illusion of your superior separate self. When you consistently defend union, equality and work for our mutual common interests, have what Adler called social interests; when you forgive, love and serve all humanity, you would experience peace and happiness. If in addition, you practice meditation, you would experience what Helen Schucman called Holy Instant, what I have been calling unified state. This experience is a bit of heaven while one is still on earth. Brother Jesus called it bringing the kingdom of God, the kingdom of peace and happiness to the world of space, time and matter.
I am your ancient brother, Thomas, who has returned to teach a skeptical world that God really exists. To understand skeptical persons, he himself was a skeptical person. If you think that you are a doubting person, I am the most doubting person on earth. I considered any non-scientific notion idiocy. Then I practiced forgiveness and love and meditated and experienced a world that no one can explain to you.
Forgive and love all, affirm our sameness and equality, work for social interest and then see whether your life would not be more peaceful and happy.


Western psychiatry correctly defines mental disorders but does not understand their true causes and their true cures. Whereas neuroscience is correct in studying the biological correlations in mental disorders, the cure for mental disorders does not lie in ingesting medications.
If you have mental disorders, by all means take the medications your psychiatrist prescribes for you. You temporarily need them. When a person is in intense anxiety, he probably needs his anxiolytics to calm his over heated nervous system down; when a person is in florid mania, he probably needs his lithium to calm down his excited nerves; when a person is schizophrenic and talking to himself, he probably needs his neuroleptic medications to reduce the voices he hears; when a person is depressed, has beat himself down through depressive thinking, and no longer finds interests in the activities of daily living, such as work, schooling and play, his body is probably producing less serotonin and he probably needs his serotonin reuptake blockers to feel good for a while.
After the body has been calmed, someone ought to teach the mentally ill person to correct his thinking pattern, to go from special separated to equal unified thinking and behaving.
Mental health lies in changing ones thinking and behaving patterns. Cognitive behavior therapy seems the best means for curing mental disorders. Medications are, at best, adjunct therapy.
In the final analysis, mental disorder is thinking and behavior that says that one is special and separated from the whole, God and other parts of the whole, people; mental health is thinking and behavior that affirms our union and equality.
This is not how Western psychiatry conceptualizes mental disorder, but it is how mental disorder is. Psychiatry will, in time, come around to accepting it, for truth cannot be denied forever.
As I see it, the mentally ill person confronted a self and world that he judges as meaningless and purposeless. He does not like the world his eyes show him. He rejects the self and world and invents an alternative self and world and defends them and tries to make them real in his awareness. His new self and world are not real, they are illusions. They have to be defended to seem real. He fears their demise. Escape into ego idealism is not the solution to the problems of this world. What needs to be done is to scientifically study the self. We must cool headedly study the separated self, how it came into being and its nature.
In this paper, I have begun the effort to understand the separated self and how it thinks. I have posited that our real self is unified self and that unified self is spirit, not matter. I pointed out that in this world unified self thinks in social interest lines, it works for common good. I know that my thesis is difficult for the scientifically trained to accept. Let us then call it heuristic and study it. Of course, we must also study the biology, chemistry and physics of thinking and behavior.


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December 12, 2005

The ideas in this paper are elaborated on in my book: Real Self Psychology.

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The Nature of Sanity and Insanity (Part 1)

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji (Seatle, Washington) --- The mentally ill hate what is: hate their real selves and society and replace them with their own self invented ideas of what should be, their ideal selves, ideal other people, ideal social institutions and ideal world. (See Karen Horney’s Neurosis and Human Growth.) They invent alternative selves, alternative society, alternative everything and try very hard to make their alternative reality, mere mental constructs hence fantasies, come into being. Their alternative reality is an illusion and is not going to come into being. Their alternative reality is mentalistic, a product of thinking. Mental constructs cannot be used to replace reality.

Reality is rooted in the laws of space, time and matter. Reality cannot be replaced with that which is only a product of mentation. What the mind invents is abstract. In mental abstractions, we can see things in perfect and ideal states. Mental perfections cannot replace the imperfections of the world of matter.
In the meantime, mentally ill persons struggle, mightily, to make their cognitions seem real. They employ the various ego defenses that psychoanalysts (see Anna Freud, The Ego and its Mechanisms of Defense) talked about to defend their imaginary reality. Mental illness results from misguided efforts to make the imaginary constructs of the mind seem real. Mental illness results from misguided efforts to substitute reality with the individual’s wished ideal reality. Alas, no matter how much the individual tries to make his ideal self and ideal world real by rigidly defending them, they are not going to become real. Illusions cannot replace reality.
There are reasons why the mentally ill reject reality and strive to replace it with fantasy. The mentally ill person did not wake up one fine morning and say to himself that he is going to hate and reject himself, other people and the world and replace them with his own wished self and world. He did what he did for a reason. The mission of science is to find out why he did so. In as much as science studies things as they are, not things as we want them to be, and there are always people who, for some reasons, reject the real world and seek an idealized world it behooves science to find out why they do so and to design a technology, in this case, a cognitive behavior technology to help them correct their mistakes in thinking.
The real mission of the mental health profession ought to be figuring out why the mentally ill hated and rejected what is and quest for what could become that will not come into being and helping them give up their idealism, their wishes for fantasy to replace reality. The Mental Health profession ought to help the mentally ill give up their wishes to make illusions real and instead learn to accept reality as it is, imperfect.
The problem of mental health is mental and must be addressed at the mental level. Cognitive reorientation, that is, changing the individual’s habitual thinking pattern, is the proper role of the mental health profession. Of course, biological and sociological factors play roles in disposing the individual to certain thinking patterns and we ought to understand these factors and correct them. Where there is mental disorder there always are biological and sociological disorders.
Mental illness, though rooted in problematic biological and sociological disorders, is healed at the mental level. Learning how to think differently, how to think realistically is what cures mental illness.
Mental health lies in having no illusions about ones self, other people, social institutions and the world; it means not struggling to defend the unreal, illusions, so as to make them seem real; it means accepting reality as it is.


Perhaps, it takes many characteristics to be a human being. But one undeniable characteristic of human beings is their belief that they have selves. Each human being has a self concept, an idea of who he thinks that he is. That idea of self generally is that he is separated from other selves. Each human being sees himself as a separated, individuated self living in space, time and matter (body).
No human being is aware of having a self before age two? Typically, the idea of the self is known by age six.
It seems that upon birth on earth, each human child experiences his inherited biological constitution and social givens in a certain manner. Apparently, his biological and social experiences combine to give him an idea of who he thinks that he is. By age six, generally, the child has a sense of self in place.
George Kelly (Psychology as Personal Construct) tells us that each of us is responsible for constructing his self concept. As he sees it, each human child is like an engineer and takes his biological and social experiences and uses them to construct a self for himself. The self, according to Kelly, is a personal construct.
I believe that Kelly is right. I constructed my self concept, using my inherited biological datum and social experience to do so. I believe that each human child is the one who constructed his self concept. I believe that he did so building on his inherited biological and social experiences. Biological and social factors, therefore, influence the self the child constructed.
Alfred Adler (The Neurotic Constitution) pointed out that each human child experiences the human condition as painful. (There are children born without the capacity for pain, who have CIPA, congenital insensitivity to pain with anhidrosis. These children tend to die early, for not feeling pain, they tend not to anticipate what could hurt them hence get injured, and usually die from injuries. Pain has survival value: it enables us to anticipate what could hurt us hence avoid it, and in doing so survive.)
As Adler sees it, each child experiences his physical environment, and sometimes his social environment, as adverse to his survival. He feels his life threatened and feels powerless to do what it takes to adapt to his world. He develops an initial sense of deficit. But, sooner or latter, the child recognizes that he cannot accept a sense of deficit because if he were to do so he would die.
The environment is tough. To survive in it, one must strive to be strong. Nature seems impersonal and does not care for human beings survival. At this very moment virus, bacteria, fungi and other microorganisms are trying to feed on our bodies and our immune systems are trying to destroy them. Simply stated, nature attacks the human child and he feels threatened and inadequate. He reacts with initial sense of being attacked and is defensive (hence all human beings have some paranoia in them).
Adler hypothesizes that the human child feels inferior vis a vis his environment, and that since it takes power to survive the exigencies of the environment, tries to convince himself that he is superior to his environment, other people included.
The human child feels inferior and compensates with superiority, Adler postulates. He feels attacked and compensates with self defense.
The child who experiences more than average level of attack, may be due to inherited organic deficits, develops what Adler calls neurotic constitution. Such a child posits a fictional superior self and tries to “Act as if” he is that fictional superior self.
As Adler sees it, the neurotic is a human being who hates and rejects his real self and posits an alternative unreal self, a superior self and acts as if he is that superior self. He uses the various ego defenses described by psychoanalysts to defend his imaginary superior self.
The neurotic is a person who has rejected his real self and attempted to replace it with a false superior self and wants that false superior self to be real. He defends the false superior self. He wants people around him to collude with him and tell him that he is the imaginary superior self he wants to become. If they collude with him and validate his imaginary superior self, he gets along with them, if they do not confirm his imaginary superior self, as whom he is, in fact, he feels threatened, anxious and angry. Thus, the neurotic engages in a neurotic dance with other people, asking them to validate his false superior self.
To Adler, neurosis and psychosis is the wish to become a false fictional superior self. Sanity is being ones real self.
Adler sees the real self as a loving and socially caring self. The healthy person, Adler thinks, serves social interests, that is, works for the common good of all mankind.
Karen Horney (Neurosis and Human Growth) essentially rephrased Adlerian psychology. Her causal analysis, however, is strictly sociological, hence deficient, for man is both a biological and sociological phenomenon.
As Horney sees it, the human child could be hated and rejected by what Harry Stack Sullivan (Interpersonal Theory of Psychiatry) called his “significant others” (parents, siblings, peers, teachers etc). The child, recognizing that he needed to survive and that only the adults in his life would make that possible, resolves to do what they ask of him, for them to provide for him.
As Horney sees it, neurosis comes into being when the significant others of a child expect him to live up to high standards, that he could not, before they accept him. The child, wanting to be accepted, fears not being accepted. To be socially approved and accepted, the child, therefore, rejects his real self and posits an alternative ideal self, the self that seems to be like the self his society would accept. Subsequent to positing the ideal self, the neurotic child pursues becoming it, with the hope that he if he succeeds that he would be socially accepted hence provided for and survives.
The neurotic child is afraid of not becoming his idealized social self. He experiences what Horney called Basic Anxiety, from his fears of not living up to his ideal self.
To avert making children neurotic, Carl Rogers’ (Client Centered Therapy) advices parents to love and accept their children in an unconditionally positive manner. As he sees it, doing so would dispose children not to hate and reject their real selves and help them accept their real selves hence become normal in their growth.
In sum, it seems that the neurotic hates and rejects his real self and aspires after becoming a different self, an ideal, superior and powerful self. He takes pride in his ideal self and is ashamed of being his real self. He struggles to actualize his ideal self. This is in contradiction to normal Growth. The normal person tries to, in Abraham Maslow’s terms, actualize his real self, not his imaginary ideal self. The attempt to actualize the fictional self is what neurosis and or its more severe form, psychosis is.
Since the ideal self is a mental construct, it really cannot be actualized in the real world of matter, space and time. The purely mental cannot exist in the empirical world. If one wishes that one could fly, ideal self, one is not going to fly in the real world, for in the real world the laws of physics operate. One cannot fly unless one understands and follows the laws of aeronautics.
Simply stated, the neurotic’s wishes for an ideal self, ideal other people, ideal social institutions and ideal world is not going to be gratified, for what he wishes for are mental constructs, which are not possible in the physical and social world. Thus, the neurotic is bound to be frustrated from not realizing his wishes. He feels anxious from failure to realize his wishes (has neurotic anxiety).
To free him from neurosis and its anxiety, Horney recommends that the neurotic give up his quest for an idealized self and accept his real self. As she sees it, the healthy person tries to actualize his real self. Neurotics try to actualize their false ideal self. Neurotic pattern of growth is self defeating, for the wish to realize an imaginary ideal self is not going to happen.
The problem with Horney’s thesis is that she did not tell us what the real self is. However, it should be noted that she died a sudden death and probably would have eventually grappled with what constituted the real self. Towards the end of her life, like Eric Fromm, she flirted with Zen Buddhism. Perhaps, if she had pursued that line of inquiry, she probably would have learned to meditate and in meditation let go of her self concept and experienced what Gautama Buddha called no separated self, or undifferentiated self, or life. Nirvana (unified self) is experienced when the individual lets go of his separated self construct, the ego. In unified life, the individual feels the peace and joy that Saint Paul says, passes human (ego) understanding.
Neither Adler nor Horney told us what the real self is. Carl G. Jung intimated that the real self is spirit. He made incursions into Oriental religions and philosophy. On the whole, Jung contributed useful insights into the human psyche. He helped us understand the nature of individuation and the various types of individual personalities (personas, masks worn to adapt to the exigencies of life on earth), such as introversion and extraversion. (In Horney’s terms, moving away from other people, moving towards other people.) Jung’s ideas on the collective unconscious are fascinating but not proven as true.

Behaviorists like Watson, Pavlov, Skinner, Bandura, Milligram, Zimbardo, Seligman etc tell us that the human personality is learned. B.F. Skinner went as far as to boast (Walden Two) that if given a bunch of children that through his behavior technology, operant and classical conditioning, he could train them to become whatever he wants them to become.
Behaviorists descended on our schools, prisons etc and tried to modify people’s personalities and behaviors. Needless to say that they had not one single instance of success. To the best of my knowledge, behaviorism has not transformed one single anti-social personality into a pro-social person.
Philip Zimbardo wrote on how shyness was learned but had no track record of making the shy person outgoing. (Jerome Kagan thinks that shyness and temperament, in general, is inherited, that is, is biological.)
Obviously, we do learn many things. Without social learning there probably would be no need for schools. But to say that all that we are is a product of learning seems infantile reductionism.
What is the self in us that does the learning that behaviorists talk about? Who is learning what? Who is positively or negatively reinforcing whom? Who is doing the behavior modification?
Clearly, there seems a life force, ala Henry Bergson (Creative Evolution), in us that takes our social and biological experiences and combine them into our personalities, our habitual patterns of responding to stimuli from our environment.

Behaviorism had told us that psychoanalysis was not able to change people; it, too, is not able to change people. So observers were back to the drawing board.
Observers took a look at the possible biological etiology of human personality. We are now in the era of neuroscience.
Neuroscience believes that human thinking and behavior is epiphenomenal, is a product of the activities of neurons in our central nervous system: brain and spine. It studies the nature and behavior of nerves. It claims that biochemical imbalances in the nervous system are largely responsible for mental disorders. Schizophrenia, it reduces to problematic dopamine; mania, it reduces to problematic excitatory neurotransmitters like norepinephrine; depression it reduces to low serotonin; anxiety, it reduces to low GABA. It then designs medications to correct the assumed biochemical imbalances it thinks that it has identified. Thus, these days, patients’ bodies are filled with psychotropic medications.


Clearly, biology and social factors play some role in the genesis of mental disorders. Biosocial factors, however, are building blocks employed by an unknown life force to construct a self concept for the individual. An unknown life force in the child uses the givens of his body and social experience to construct a self concept for him. When the self concept is constructed, that life force images it. The self concept is seen in image form, hence the self image.
Each human being has a self concept and a self image. The self concept/self image is the same as personality and ego. The self concept is constructed during the first twelve years of the child’s existence.
There is a life force that we come to the world with. That life force is originally undifferentiated, but in the temporal universe is differentiated into each of us. That life force individuates into each of us. It then uses the biological constitution that it is born into and its childhood social experiences to construct a separated, individuated self concept/self image for each of us.
Once the separated, individuated self concept/self image is constructed, the human child identifies with it.
The human child is the constructor of his separated self concept and, as such, is very proud of what he constructed. The self concept is his idol. He made his self concept and takes pride in his invention. He wants his separated self concept to survive and defends it with the various ego defense mechanisms.


The separated self is a false self. It is an illusion. The self we know ourselves as, our individuated self is unreal. Unreal or not, we want it to be real. We defend it. Defense of it makes it seem real in our awareness.
That which must be defended to seem real is obviously not real. If the separated self concept is not defended it dies. That is correct, if one did not defend ones self concept and the body that houses it, it dies.
That which dies, is changeable, obviously cannot be real; it is at best an illusion, a temporary reality. The separated self concept is an illusion, a dream self. When it is not defended, it disappears. (Only that which does not change, that which is permanent is real.)
There is an undifferentiated life, real self, in us. That life force seeks separated existence and in space, time and matter seems separated and defends itself.
In meditation, as Buddha recognized 2500 years ago, one can consciously decide not to defend the separated self. One voluntarily lets go of ones self concept, self image, personality, ego. One tells ones self that one is not ones self concept, not ones self image, not ones personality, not ones ego, not ones body. One lets go of the self one is aware of. As it were, one consciously accepts the death of the self concept and the conceptual world.
When the conceptual self and its world are let go, one experiences ones self as part of a universal self: one life that is simultaneously all lives.
There is a real self, a formless, non material, aka spirit self. That real self is eternal, immortal, all knowing, changeless, permanent, same and equal and is everywhere.
That undifferentiated, unified self cannot be understood with the categories of the differentiated, separated self.
Our extant world is a separated place, with separated selves, you and I, seer and seen, subject and object, and a world of language.
In the unified world, there is no you and I, no seer and seen, no subjected and object. The unified world is ineffable; it is beyond the categories of matter, space and time.

In our extant world, each of us has a separated self concept. That self concept is imaged: human beings think in concepts and images.
The separated self is housed in a vulnerable material medium, body. It sees itself in space, time and matter. It sees things trying to eradicate its puny life (virus, bacteria, fungus; people who attack it). The separated self feels constantly attacked and constantly defends its self. Without defense, it would not survive in this world of mutual attack.
Each person has a separated self concept/self image that he is defending. All separated selves are false, unreal. All separated selves are illusions. In Hindu categories, all separated selves are dream selves.

Insanity is the construction of a false, separated self housed in body and efforts to make that false self seem real.
The insane person is trying to make an unreal self become real. He constructed a fictional superior, ideal self and wants to make it real, via defending it and asking other people to acknowledge it.
The mad person is in a loosing struggle to deny his reality, unified self, and replaces it with a false reality of his making, separated self and has it become real.
Sanity lays in giving up the separated self, giving up the illusory self, giving up ones self concept, self image, ego and personality and accepting ones real self, the undifferentiated unified self.
Give up the self you made to replace the real self nature (and nature’s God) made you as. If you can do so, you become sane.
Sanity lies in having no separated self concept/self image, no self you are defending. What is real does not require defense to make it seem real. Only the unreal requires defense to make it seem real.
Unified self does not need defense to be real. All you have to do is give up defending your separated ideal self and you experience your real self.
But as long as you identify with the separated self and defend it, you cannot experience your unified real self.
Alas, if you stopped defending your separated self, as this world sees it, you would die, and return to the unified world.
Obviously, you do not want to die to this world yet. You still want to live in this world. Therefore, you must have some defenses to live in this world. You must, at least, have defense of your body to live in this world. If you did not defend your body with food, medications, clothing and shelter you would die within minutes. If you did not wear clothes in Alaska’s minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit, you would die within minutes. Our physical bodies require defense to exist.
The separated self is an imaginary self; it does not exist in reality. You can remove the psychological defense mechanisms with which you defend it. If you can do so for an hour, you would escape from this world and return to the undifferentiated unified world, a world of harmony, peace and joy.
The real world is a world where there is no separated self, a world where there is only one self, one self that is simultaneously infinite selves.

One is not asking you to give up all defenses and die. One is not a nihilist who negates this world. We are here to live and ought to live until at least a hundred and twenty years (the current outer limits of how long we can survive in human body before the body, like all mechanical contraptions, wears down).
What one is asking you to do is to examine your self concept and decide not to defend it, at least sometimes, and see if you would not experience a different self.
Insanity lies in constructing an imaginary, fictional separated, superior and ideal self, identifying with it and defending it.
Sanity lies in giving up the imaginary fictional self, and in not defending it. Defenselessness is sanity.
To be sane is to have no separated self that one is defending; to be insane is to have a fictional separated self that one is defending.

The separated self is a mental construct, a construct mediated by body and social experience. In as much as the self is a mental construct, it can only be understood through mental activities. One can think about the self, understand and change it. One can change ones pattern of thinking and relating to other people.
When cognition is reconstructed and reoriented (ala Albert Ellis and Aaron Beck), when the self concept is reconceptualized from separated to unified (ala Helen Schucman) though still conceptual and defended, one is normal.
The neurotic defends a wished for false separated self; the psychotic not only defends a false superior self but believes it to be real. The normal person defends a false self but one that, in Adlerian terms, is used to serve social interest.
The normal person has an ego and uses that ego to help other egos. He uses a false self to serve all false selves in his community. Because he puts his imaginary self to social use, it is normal.
When one wants to be totally healthy, sane, one must give up all self concepts and self images, give up the ego self and personality housed in body and escape to unified spirit self. (This is accomplished in what Orientals call Samadhi, Nirvana, and Satori; what Christian mystics call mystical union with God. See William James, Varieties of Religious Experience and Evelyn Underhill, Mysticism.)

Normal mental health lies in shrinking ones swollen ego self to a minimal self concept. To attain complete mental health, one must completely give up ones self concept/self image, ego, personality. When the conceptual self and the body that houses it is voluntarily relinquished, one attains awareness of being part of unified self, aka Christ self, Buddha self, atman self.


The neurotic and or psychotic person saw the exigencies of this world, and does not like what he saw. He hated and rejected the world as is. He then uses his thinking, aka mind, to construct an alternative ideal, perfect self and tries to become that strictly imaginary mental self.
The ideal self is a replacement self, a substitute self. It is used to replace the real self. (The so-called normal self is also a replacement self; it is used to replace the unified spirit self.)
We came to the world by rejecting our real self, which is not material. The world began in opposition. The part opposed the whole; the son of God opposed his father.
In the world, just as we rejected and opposed God, we reject and oppose whatever self we made for ourselves. All that exists must constantly be replaced.
We came here in opposition to union, and must oppose whatever we made. We oppose our separated normal selves with our separated ideal selves, normal self with neurotic and neurotic with psychotic selves.
Ours is a world made in opposition and must oppose everything in it; a world made out of defiance of union and must defy everything in it. People invented heterosexuality to procreate with, and now defy it with uncreative homosexuality.


A neurotic is a person who feels inferior and wishes to seem superior to other people. He invents a self concept and self image that wishes to be superior to his environment. He compulsively wants to become that fictional superior self. Sometimes, he lives a lie by presenting himself as a superior person. As it were, he has an obsessive compulsion to be superior, to be who he is, in fact, not.
The neurotic invents a superior self and identifies with it and talks and acts from that imaginary person’s stand point.
The neurotic wants to be an imaginary important, ideal self. He takes pride in that imaginary perfect self. He is proud to be a fictional, mythical self and is prone to shame feeling. He is anxious, fearful, given to depression and paranoia.
However, the neurotic is still able to test reality. He knows that he is not his imaginary important self. Though he desperately wishes to be important and superior to other people, he knows that he is just like every body else. He is unhappy with his real self, his ordinary human being-ness and hankers after a picture of himself that seems perfect in his imagination. Thus he lives a life of perpetual discontent, for he is always comparing himself and those around him to an ideal and perfect self/world that no human being could ever become and is dissatisfied with his truth, and other people’s imperfect reality. In Henry Thoreau’s terms, the neurotic lives a life of quiet desperation; he is unable to accept his imperfect reality (Vis a Vis his imaginary perfect self) and is unable to become his wished for impossible perfect self. (See David Shapiro, Neurotic Styles, also Autonomy and the Rigid Character.)
The psychotic, unlike the neurotic, not only wishes for an ideal, perfect self but thinks that he has already become it. For any number of reasons, the psychotic to be child does not like who he is; he hates and rejects his body and real self. He uses his imagination and thinking to invent an imaginary ideal and perfect self. This process begins right from birth and is complete by age thirteen. He identifies with his ideal perfect self. He thinks and behaves as if he is the fantasized ideal self he wished to be but is not in fact. That is, he has lost ability to test reality. He now takes fantasy as reality. He has escaped from our shared world and is now living in his own world. People around him notice the gradual slip into fantasyland and judge him insane.
Let me give you an example. A nineteen years old college sophomore began telling those around him that he is God. They laughed and said to him: “Get out of here, man; you are old John, not no God”. He persisted on being seen as God and his peers began to make fun of him, and say to him, “Yoo, god”. This making fun of him infuriated him and he began to quarrel with them. Eventually, his issues came to the attention of his parents, who took him to the nearest psychiatric hospital. Diagnosis: Schizophrenia, paranoid type. Why so? It is because he feels like he is god, but he is not god. He has delusion of grandeur, that is, sees himself as god. He also heard voices telling him that he is God (auditory hallucination).
The man feels that he is god when he is not god. In other words, he believes what is not true as true (this is delusional mental status).
The more critical question is why he believes what is not true as true.
The answer is that he did so because he felt weak and inferior and restitutes with a desire to be powerful. God is the most important inventions in the world, so he identifies with it and in so doing felt like he was powerful. He has now gratified his desire to be somebody very important, albeit it imaginarily.
The young man is a black man in America. His racist society tells him that he is inferior, a lie. This socially induced sense of inferiority interacted with whatever biological predispositions made him feel inadequate to produce a feeling that he is an inferior person. Like all human beings, he does not like to be inferior, so he restitutes with an imaginary superior self, hence has a delusional important self.
In psychosis, the individual sees himself as who he is not, and does not know that he has done so. He presents himself as a very important person, god, and expects other people to see him as such. He is not god hence has delusion.
The neurotic, too, wishes to be all powerful, a god, but knows that he is not all powerful and is not god. So, he is able to distinguish between reality and his wishes for reality to be changed and make him all powerful. Since he still hankers after an imaginary all powerful self, even though he is not it, he is constantly anxious, from not becoming that all powerful self.
The neurotic has anxiety; the psychotic has transcended anxiety by making a leap of faith, believing in the unreal as real, seeing himself as all powerful when he is eating from garbage cans.
A manic depressive person, in florid stages of his mental illness, will believe that he is the most powerful man in the world, the richest man in the world, the most beautiful woman on earth (even though he is poor and penniless and she is, as the world judges these things, ugly).
In psychosis, the individual takes the wished for ideal self as the real self and since he is not the ideal self he is insane. A grossly fat and ugly woman who sees herself as the most beautiful woman on earth, a Cleopatra, obviously, is not testing reality well. She is deluded, as in mania (bipolar affective disorder).

The mentally ill thinks and behaves in a manner that is not congruent with empirical reality. It is his thinking and behavior that is problematic. He thinks and acts in a disordered manner. Therefore, to heal him, he must be persuaded to think in a realistic and ordered manner. He has to change his thinking patterns. He has to change his behaving patterns. His thinking must be in alignment with empirical reality.
Mental disorder is exactly that, mental, that is, thinking disorder. Mental health is exactly that, well ordered thinking, thinking that is in alignment with empirical reality.
The neurotic wishes to be perfect and ideal. He is not perfect and ideal. If he accepts that he is ordinary, like every one else, and gives up hankering after perfection, his thinking and behavior would be in alignment with reality. He must stop asking people to validate his imaginary wished for ideal self. He must want them to validate his real self, a self that is the same and equal with all selves.
The psychotic must stop thinking that he is all powerful; he must accept that he is not god, not the richest man on earth and not the most beautiful woman on earth. He must accept his reality as a powerless, ordinary human being and give up the quest of perfection.
Mental health lies in thinking in alignment with empirical reality, whereas mental illness lies in thinking in non-alignment with reality. Therefore, to heal the mentally ill, we have to teach them to think and act differently. Mental health professionals must aim at correcting peoples disordered cognitions.
This is not to say that there are no biological correlations with mental status. When a person thinks that he is god, when he is not, he is thinking falsely. He uses his thinking to excite his body into producing, say, dopamine (as in schizophrenia), or producing norepinephrine (as in mania). Conversely, when a person thinks that he is not good enough; his thinking causes his body to reduce its production of serotonin. If a person wishes that he was very important and fears not becoming so, his thinking produce the physiological state seen in fear and anxiety (less GBA and more excitatory neuro chemicals like acetylcholine).
There seem biochemical imbalances in mental disorders but psychiatrists tend to place the cat before the horse. The biochemical imbalances are probably produced by disordered thinking, not the other way around.
Of course, some persons may have inherited certain types of bodies that dispose them to certain biochemical traits conducive in mental disorders.


If, as a six year child, I was psychologically assessed, I would probably have been assessed as having separation anxiety (I felt anxious at school and wanted to go home and be with familiar persons, my parents and siblings), and as a teenager, as having avoidant personality with oppositional defiance.
I was shy. I felt that I was not good enough. I felt that if other children came close to me that they would see that I was not good enough and, as such, reject me. To avoid being rejected, I kept to myself.
In social isolation, I imagined myself the important person I wished to become. I feared not becoming the important person I wanted to become.
Shy and introspective as I was, if any one dared tell me what to do, I would ask him who the hell he thought he was? I resented any one telling me what to do. This would make me oppositional defiant.
As a thirteen year old secondary school boy, if some one had given me a complete psychological battery, the assessment would have read, I think: Axis 1: Social Anxiety; Axis 11: Rule out avoidant personality and oppositional defiant personality; Axis 111: Rule out medical issues like Spondilolysis, physical allergy etc; Axis 1V: psychosocial stressors, fear of social rejection; Axis V: highest level of social functioning, good. Intelligence: superior. (On the WISC or WAIS, IQ over 132 is considered superior.)

In ordinary language, avoidant personality is called shyness. This person feels that as he is, he is not good enough. He feels that other people would reject him if they came close enough to him to get to know him. He is operating under the social reality whereby we tend to reject people who are not good enough and accept people who seem good enough (as defined by society). His assessment of social reality is realistic; hence he is neurotic and not psychotic.
The avoidant person, while fearing social rejection, secretly wishes that he were a superior person. In Adlerian terms, he rejects his presumed inferior self and juxtaposes a fictional superior (in Horney’s terms, ideal) person. He wants to accept himself as an ideal, superior and perfect self. He wants other people to accept him as an ideal superior self.
His fear of social rejection is not really motivated by fear of the rejection of his real self but fear of rejection of his imaginary ideal self. The fear of social rejection is rooted in fear of rejection of the ideal, perfect superior self.
The shy child’s social withdrawal is motivated by effort to preserve the ideal self for he knows that the ideal self is false and that other people would see it as false.


To relate to other people, one must be the same and equal with them. Any time one wishes for special, superior, ideal, perfect self, one has interfered with good relationship. If you want to be superior to other people, you cannot relate well to them.
The only way to relate well with other people is to accept the truth of your and their perfect equality.
The avoidant personality does not want to accept the truth of our equality; he wants the illusion of his personal superiority to seem true; and since it is not going to be true in the empirical world, he avoids people and in social withdrawal retains the illusion that he is better than other people.
What is the cure for avoidant personality disorder? Is it giving such persons anxiolytic medications, as our confused Western psychiatrists do? Medications, of course, have temporary calming effect. If you are fearful and anxious and take any of the anti anxiety medications, you feel calm (and get addicted to them and when you try to withdraw from them experience visual and tactile hallucination).
The individual does not need medications. What he needs is change in his thinking and behaving patterns. He has to give up the wish to seem special and superior to other people; he has to accept all human beings perfect sameness and equality. He has to accept the equality of all races, black, white and oriental, the equality of the two genders, man and woman and the equality of adults and children.
We are the same and equal. Any time the idea of inequality enters ones mind, one has escaped from truth and is now temporarily insane.
Sanity lies in accepting truth and operating from its parameters. We are all the same and equal and whoever relates to other people as if they are the same and equal with him is operating from the standpoint of truth hence is sane.

All mental and personality disorders are efforts to make a false special self seem true, to make an illusion seem real. Let us briefly look at the various personality disorders.
The paranoid personality wants to seem superior to other people and see them as not accepting his imaginary superiority hence sees people demeaning him…this person is close to delusional disorder, a psychosis. He must relinquish his wish for superiority and accept our equality.
The schizoid personality withdraws from people and in his social isolation believes that he is special. He is close to schizophrenia and needs to see himself as the same and equal with all people and go relate to them.
The schizotypal personality gratifies her wish for superiority by believing in weird matters, such as claiming to have sixth sense etc; her oddity and eccentricity is really an effort to seem superior to other people; she is close to schizophrenia.
The narcissistic personality fancies himself special and worthy of other people’s admiration and often exploits people and uses them to get what he wants without caring for them. His illusory superiority must be given up. He is close to mania.
The histrionic woman fancies herself beautiful and worthy of other peoples admiration. Her histrionic, dramatic behaviors are quest for superiority and specialness. She is close to mania.
The antisocial personality fancies himself better than other people and from that erroneous standpoint steals and does other antisocial things and does not feel remorseful for his criminal activities (the narcissistic cum antisocial slave master so felt superior to blacks that he justified using them and did not feel remorseful or guilty for his iniquitous behaviors). This person is a psychopath.
The borderline personality gratifies her wish for superiority and specialness through getting other people to take care of her. She refused to grow up and become an adult. In the adult world one must give love to get love from those one gave it. She is close to mania.
The obsessive-compulsive personality gratifies his wish for specialness by seeking perfection and fearing being imperfect. He is close to having anxiety disorder (Neurosis).
The dependent personality gratifies his wish for specialness by having other people take care of him. (This is a neurosis)
The avoidant personality gratifies his wish for specialness by fearing and separating from other people. Some have social phobia. This is a neurosis.
The passive aggressive personality gratifies his desire for specialness by not asserting himself, by permitting others to walk all over him, feeling like a good boy, read, superior boy, then feeling angry at them when they go too far. (This is a neurosis.)

All mental disorders, be they psychosis, neurosis and personality disorders, are rooted in peoples wish for specialness, superiority and separation from other people, in a misguided effort to retain the imagined ideal self. If people changed their thinking, from desiring superiority and specialness to desiring sameness and equality and working for social interest, ala Adler, they tend to become normal persons.
Schizophrenia, mania, delusional disorder, depression and the other psychoses are maneuvers to separate from people and in isolation manage to retain the illusion that one has a special, superior self.
If you change people’s thinking and behavior (through cognitive behavior therapy), from wishing specialness to wishing sameness and equality and union, you heal them. The insane person thinks and behaves in a disordered manner and can learn to think and behave in a well ordered manner, in a manner congruent with the reality of the empirical environment. When he does so, he is mentally sane.
We are all the same and equal; whoever sees him self as the same and equal with all people and serves all people is mentally healthy.


Neuroscience has the delusion that mental health can be reduced to biochemical balances; it sees thinking as epiphenomenal, as a product of the configurations of particles, atoms and elements in our brains. Where there is chemical imbalance, mental disorder supposedly results.
The amazing part is that no one has dared tell these reductionisms that it is only a fool who says that there is no God.
We may not know what God is but to dismiss him and see people as only their bodies is arrant nonsense.
People kept quiet as Soviet era psychiatrists used their pseudo scientific views to abuse those who opposed the evil empire; today, people keep quiet as know nothing American psychiatrists abuse people with their so-called psychotropic medications.
Man is more than his body. He is spirit having physical experience. Therefore, he cannot be healed by merely focusing on his body. We must address his mind, his psyche, his thinking and behavior.


No one on earth can explain God aka spirit in human language. Speech came into being to adapt to the world of separation, space and time.
The world of separation is the world of you and I, seer and seen, subject and object. Language and perception are adaptive to the world of separation. Language is not needed in the world of unified spirit.
In Spirit, literally, there is only one self, God. That one self has infinite selves, all of whom are it. There is one God who manifests in infinite us. God is all of us and all of us are God. But each of us is not all of God. Please note the difference, before you go psychotic and call yourself God. You are a part of God but not all of God, for God is all of us.
The whole is in all the parts and the parts are in the whole and in each other but the part is not the whole.
In as much as we need a story of creation, a mythology as to how we came into being; consider this mythology, it is not the truth but it approximates the truth.

There is God. God is spirit. God is everywhere and everywhere is him. God extends his one self into many selves. Each of us is an extension of God.
Since God is extending his already existing self into each of us, it follows that each of us has existed for as long as God existed, which is forever.
Yet God created each of us. In creation, God gave all of himself to his son, to each of us. God gave all of himself to you. He remains as God and yet is you.
God extended himself to you and me. He is in you and me. God is in us and we are in him and in each other.
There is no space or gap between God and his children and between his children. We all literally share one self, the self of God and share one mind, the mind of God.
God is eternal, changeless and permanent. As parts of him, we are eternal, changeless and permanent.
God is all knowing. As parts of him, we are all knowing.
In God, all are joined together as one self and one mind.
Only the non material can join. The physical must be separated, at least in appearance, not reality. God is spirit, that is, non material. His creations, as part of him, you and me, in our true self are spirit and not material.
Only the same and equal can join. Though God created his children, he is the same and equal with all of them, as they are the same and equal with him and with each other.
If you like the word heaven, use it and say that in heaven there is perfect union, sameness and equality.
While in eternal sameness, equality and union, (heaven) the idea of heaven’s opposite entered our thinking, mind.
What is, union, produced the idea of its opposite, separation. Equality produced the idea of inequality. Sameness produced the ideal of its opposite, differences. Eternity produced the idea of its opposite, time, immortality produced its opposite the idea of mortality and changelessness produced its opposed change.
In heaven, we are perfectly unified, the same and equal. The idea of separation, differences and inequality entered our minds.
We pursued it. We sought separation, differences and inequality. Another way of putting this idea is that God created us and that we did not create God or ourselves. The idea of creating God and ourselves entered our minds. It is impossible for the part to create the whole, for the child to be his father’s father or his own father.
What cannot happen in reality can be dreamed of? We, therefore, seemed to go to sleep and dream a world that is the opposite of God’s world. In Hindu categories, we cast a magical spell, Maya, on us and seem to go to sleep and in our sleep dream that we are separated from God and from each other and that we created ourselves.
Another way of putting it is that the son seems to have killed his father and usurped his throne. Yet another way of putting it is that the son has chased his father out of his throne and is sitting on it.
We entered the zone of illusions, Maya. In that dream world, our wishes seem gratified. We set it up in such a manner that our wishes for specialness are gratified.
We broke eternal union into fragments (Big Bang) and each fragment of God split off from him and from each other, not in reality but in illusion. In reality, we remain unified, we remain as God created us, but in our present awareness, we seem separated from God and from each other.
We separated from God and each other. The invention of separation is what science means by Big Bang, the invention of space, time and matter.
Space preceded time by nanoseconds and time preceded matter (particles, atoms) by nanoseconds.
The moment space came into being, it was logically inevitable for time to come into being, for now it takes time to traverse the distance between two selves; space time inevitably produced matter and energy (it takes energy, effort to go from one self to another, one point to another in space; energy and matter are the same).
In time, we perfected matter into biological forms and housed ourselves in it. All these took millions of years to accomplish.
We are now in the world of space, time and matter; we seem housed in bodies. Bodies give us the impression that we are separated from each other, just as space and time also give us the illusion of separation.
Separation is an illusion and an illusion must end, bodies must die. Thus, those who seem to live in body must die.
We are, as it were, born, to die. The moment a child is born on earth he starts dying. Death is the opposite of eternity. We came here to experience the opposite of immortality, to be mortal and die, we must. In truth, in unified spirit we do not die. But in illusion, in our world we do die. In realty, we are not born and do not die, but in illusion we are born and do die.
On earth, each of us uses his physical and social experiences to construct a separated self concept for himself, for other people and for everything he sees. We live in a conceptual world.
Concepts are not permanent and always change. So our self concepts are always changing. In one moment we feel inferior to others, in another moment we feel superior to them.
We chose bodies, space and time that enable us to invent our desired self concepts. For example, I chose a very vulnerable body. Feeling easily hurt, I formed a self concept that I am vulnerable. I formed an avoidant self concept, an avoidant personality.
You chose the body you are born in and chose your social experiences and combined both to form your self concept and personality.
We think in ideas and images. Thus we form concepts of who we are and image them. Each of us has a self concept and a self image.
The self concept, self image is the individual’s personality. The self concept, self image, personality, is an ego self, it is a self that sees itself as separated from God and other people. On earth, in the dream, Maya, each of us has a separated self concept.
The separated self concept, your personality, is a dream figure, a self you employ in dreaming, in being on earth. The self concept, self image, personality, ego is not real; it is a false dream self. We defend it and in defending it make it seem real to us. Defense makes the unreal seem real to us.
Upon birth on earth, each human child uses his chosen body and social experiences to form a self concept, self image, personality and ego and uses the various ego defense mechanisms to defend it. Defending it makes it seem real to him. He does so for a hundred or so years and his body seems to die and decompose. He leaves his body, for he was never in his body.
He returns to the world in different bodies and in different circumstances. You may call this reincarnation, but since one is never born or dies one really has not reincarnated, all that one did is sleep and dream several times.
In the dream, one forgets ones true identity, unified spirit. One sets the terms of ones remembering of ones true self. The dreamer writes his dream script and enacts it out.
Each of us decides when he is going to wake up and the manner he is going to wake up. There are no accidents in God’s world.
For example, I chose a very sensitive body. That body made it impossible for me to adapt to this world. I failed to adapt to this world. Having failed, I began to wonder what to do with myself. Kill myself and get it over with or explore the possibility of another world? I threw myself first into Western philosophy, then psychology and, finally, into the study of comparative religions, particularly Hinduism and Buddhism. At some point, I took Buddha’s teaching seriously and did what he asked us to do.
Buddha asks us to let go of our identification with body and ego. He tells us to relinquish the ego self. In meditation one consciously accepts that one is not ones ego, separated self, self image, personality, body. If one is none of these things, then who is one? The ego, the earthly intellect rushes in to suggest answers as to who one is. Buddha said: ignore the suggestions of the ego, they are mere noise, the chattering of a fool, just try to keep quiet and the answer will come to you; if you are a sincere seeker after the truth and do what the truth requires of you: forgive, love and have compassion for all people, it will eventually come to you.
Stop all ego intellectual thinking. If, in fact, you can stop thinking, which requires that you give up wishing to be this or that, and be silent for one hour, you would escape from this world. Suddenly, you leave your body and disappear into a world of no forms, no bodies, no you and I, just one self that is simultaneously all selves. There is no space, time and matter in the world of spirit; it is a world of oneness, literally, not figuratively. There is still a you and I but each of us simultaneously knows himself to be all of us and as part of God.
After you experience oneness, you return to the world of separation. If you stayed in the world of unified spirit, as people consider these things, you would drop off your body, die. But you cannot be permitted to stay in eternal union, while some folks are still dreaming that they are separated. So you voluntarily return to our world. You come back and teach the lesson of our unified nature in your own way. Perchance, the manner you teach it will appeal to a few persons out there and they will take the message seriously and try to experience union.
There are as many teachers of union, teachers of love, and teachers of God as those who have experienced union. Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed, Bahaullah, Ramakrishna being a few of them. Each teacher teaches the same truth: union, and forgiveness as a means to it. But each teacher teaches that truth in his own manner and, as such, appeals to certain persons, but not to all persons.
Jesus, for example, appeals to poetic and worshipful persons, those Hinduism call Bhakti. Jesus could never appeal to rational, philosophical persons. Buddha and his rationalism reach thinkers, what Hinduism calls Jnana. (See Patanjali’s Yogas: Jnana, Bhakti, Karma, Raja, Tantra etc).
All those who have experienced union become what Buddhism calls Buddhavista, that is, enlightened persons, avatars, come back to teach the eternal gospel that God created us unified and that we are always as God created us, unified, though we dream that we are separated. (Helen Schucman taught that message in a combined Bhakti and psychological manner. She tells her students, as she called what in old fashioned religion was called followers that we are unified and in union are innocent, guiltless and sinless; that we only seem to do bad things in separation, in dreams of separation and that what is done in dreams has not been done, hence we are still innocent. We must learn to forgive each other and stop trying to punish each other.)
I teach the gospel of union, the gospel of truth in my own way and if you choose to learn it in the manner only I teach it (philosophical, psychological) you will learn from me. But if you have decided to learn it from other folks, so it is for you.
Actually, you made the choice of how you are going to learn about your truth before you were even born on earth. You have already decided when you will learn the truth, today or a thousand years from today.
My function is not to force feed you the truth but simply to restate what Aldus Huxley called the perennial wisdom of mankind in my own inarticulate way and leave it to you to decide to pay attention to it or not. As noted, you have already decided when to learn and practice it, and like the prodigal son return home, reawaken to your real self, the unified self, the Christ. (In time, those who will meet will meet, and those who will not meet will not meet. Although in eternity we are the same, in time we are different. We have different, unique personalities, different dreams. Those whose dreams, personalities will appeal to each other will meet and learn from each other and move on, or stay together.)

To come to God, you must be God like. God is union. Union is love. To come to God you must seek union with all people. Since love is the glue which glues people together, to come to God, you must love all people.
God created love and uses it to join all his children to him; we invented fear and use it to separate from each other.
In our world, we attack one another. We hurt one another. I have hurt you. You have hurt me. Our mutual inclination is to bear grievances and seek revenge against those who hurt us.
As a black man, nothing would give my ego more perverted satisfaction than to enslave white people, so that they feel what it feels like to be slaves and discriminated against. But who are white people? In time, they seem separated from me, a black man. In reality, we are unified and what I do to them I do to me. We are merely in dreams in which one is white today and black tomorrow; the slave master today is the slave tomorrow. Therefore, there is no use punishing any one, for one merely punishes ones self, if not now, in the future.
The best thing to do is to overlook the hurt other people inflicted on one. In doing so, one overlooks the hurt one inflicted on other people.
To forgive is to overlook the past. To forgive is to see what is done on earth as if they were done in a dream and overlook them. To forgive is to recognize that what was dome on earth was done in a dream and, as such, has not been done. The person who enslaved you, or raped you, did so in a dream and, as such, has not done so in fact. Nothing has happened to you in reality.
Moreover, it is your dream and you actually made what happened to you to happen to you. Nothing can happen to a son of God without him wishing to experience it. There in lies the justice of God. If what one did not want to experience could happen to one, then the universe and its God, temporal and permanent, is unfair.
Forgive and love all people, and then meditate. Give up all wishes to be a separated self, give up your ego, give up your self concept, give up your self image, give up your personality, and give up thinking in concepts. Then sit quietly for one hour.
Do this every day. Choose a convenient time and sit quietly for one hour. Stop thinking in ego terms. Return your mind to God, return your self to God; accept the self God created you as, unified self, not the self you made yourself as, separated self. Stay quiet. Have an open mind, be a void. Do not accept your ego’s efforts to write another fairy tale in your mind about the nature of reality. Read this material but forget it, for it is not the truth. The truth is beyond what any one can write or talk about.
I must warn you that if, indeed, you take what is being said here seriously, please find yourself a spiritual guide. I had a Hindu Swami as my guide. You need someone to guide you. Why so? If you truly forgave and loved people and tried meditation, you would have experiences that could result in psychosis in you. How so?
Now listen, my boy. Your separated self and body are false; they are illusions. They do not exist. If you enter into meditation, you would experience your self concept die. This is literal, your personality will seem to die and you would seem to have no self. This is the most terrifying experience you will ever go through on earth. We do not like to die to our separated selves and will make insane efforts to seem to have them.
To re-convince yourself that you have a separated self, you may invent a different self for you, a more outrageous self, like the psychotic’s self. You go from merely wishing for a big self, as neurotics do, and believe that you have a big self, as psychotics do.
In clinical language, you would experience ego decompensation (your normal ego defenses….repression, denial, suppression, displacement, dissociation, projection, rationalization, reaction formation, sublimation, avoidance, fantasy, intellectualization, fear, anger, paranoia, pride, shame etc will fail) and you try to recompensate with a grandiose ego….employ psychotic defenses like delusion and hallucination. You can make your false ego seem to talk and see things, hence hallucinate; the mad man made his delusional self seem to talk and see things, to make it seem real in his awareness. In short, you could experience transient psychosis.
To avoid this from happening, you need a person who knows about God to guide you. I do not mean a regular corner store minister, for those are practical idiots and know nothing about the God they talk much about. They are egotists. I am talking about a relatively egoless person. A Hindu or Buddhist priest (Swami, Roshi) is probably your best bet.

In meditation, you experience your self concept and self image dissolve and illusions play themselves out in your mind. In my own case, I had what people call out of body experiences; literally, see myself outside my body. I saw myself fly to a point of light, through a dark medium etc. All these are illusions for there is no place to fly to. The real experience is simply disappearing into unified self that I cannot describe.
Without making much ado about it, there is a different self, a unified self, and a different world, a unified world. Call it what you like, it is nameless, for names apply to the world of separation and multiplicity. To go there, you must die to the self and world you know, the world of separated self living in space, time and matter.
(The ego and its world are not left by physically killing your self. Suicide is not an option. If you kill yourself, all that would happen is that you would come back to try again, until you get it right: live as unified self via forgiveness and love. The ego and its world are left by overcoming them via learning to love at all times.)
In the meantime, learn to see all people as related to you, forgive and love them all. Learn that you are joined with all selves. The payoff of forgiveness and love is peace and happiness. Forgiveness and love rewards us with internal peace.
Peace is the definition of joy and both go together. Peace and joy are the best rearwards one can ever get on this earth. Forgive and love and your earthly dream becomes like a happy dream. As it were, you would be at the gate of heaven, but not inside it, for you are still in form and heaven requires that you be formless. Forgive and love and you would approximate your real self, unified spirit self, that you might as well be said to be living out of your real self and is in the real world (hence real self living, of real self psychology and real self fellowship).


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December 06, 2005

The Role of Fear in the Genesis and Nature of Government: An Essay on Political Philosophy (Part 2)

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, washington) ---The balance of this paper would address itself to how to live as Christ self and form social institutions that serve Christ’s purpose of love for all humanity.


As Thomas Hobbes observed, and as our empirical experience verifies, people do harm one another. You do harm other people and they do harm you. The world is a place of mutual attack. Each of us is, in Adam Smith’s terms (see his Wealth of Nations, 38) pursuing his self interests, and in doing so, often steps on other people’s feet. We do hurtful things to each other.
In a world where all attack and hurt one another, the apparent rational thing to do is to defend ones self. We all do defend ourselves.
At the individual level, we defend ourselves and at the social level, we employ governments to defend us collectively (at least, to defend those in our group, our nation).
The world is a place of attack and defense. Make no mistake about it, if you did not defend yourself, you would be killed. At this very moment, virus, bacteria and fungus are attacking you, trying to make your body their meal, and you are defending yourself through your immune system by killing them. You defend your body through eating food, taking medications, wearing clothes and living in shelters. Just about every thing we do on earth is motivated by self defense. (Can you think of something you do that is not meant to defend your separated self housed in body?)
To live in body is to perpetually feel attacked and to defend ones self. Defense makes living in body, in separation, possible.
Defense makes separation (ego) seems real. If one did not defend ones ego and its body, the body would die and the ego would return to an undifferentiated state. As noted, we are afraid of harm and death and afraid of returning to undifferentiated self. We came to this world to seem separated from the whole, aka God and from one another. The world is a place of separation.
Space, time and matter are means of making our separation from one another seem real to us. I live here and you live there. There is space between us; it takes time for each of us to reach the other; we live in bodies. This is our current reality.
(What seems real is not necessarily real. Space, time and matter are illusions; they, in fact, do not exist; they seem to exist in a dream world, but not in the real world created by God. The world created by God is a unified world, which, by definition, is a non-material but spiritual world. However, in this paper, we do not need to worry about the non reality of matter. We shall assume that matter, space and time are real. When you have unified spirit experience, you would know that matter is a fiction and do not need any one else to convince you of your reality, but until you do, we shall assume the reality of matter. You do not need to be taken to a world you are not yet capable of understanding; it is enough to ask you to accept the possible reality of spirit.)
People, particularly sadists, do harm other people. To survive in body, you must defend your self against sadistic people. If you fail to defend yourself, you could be enslaved. Make no mistake about it; if black people did not struggle to be free, white people would enslave them, now, not tomorrow.
The human ego is an evil thing; there is no mistake about that. One must not have illusions about human beings, they are, in their ego states, very evil. They will kill you and urinate on your grave (assuming that they buried you at all). As Arthur Schopenhauer (see his World as Idea and Will, 29) observed, man is a mistake that ought not to have been made. It seems the universe would have been better off without human beings.
Be that as it may, we have human beings living on planet earth and the real question is what to do about them. If you kill them off, say with atomic weapons, they would simply re-evolve on earth and continue their history of mutual oppression and abuse. Thus, killing them off is not the real solution to the problem of man.
The real question is whether it is possible to change human thinking and behavior? As people think, so they act. Human beings are cognitive, mentational and ideational creatures. They do think and behave as they think. If they think hateful thoughts, they act hatefully; if they think loving thoughts, they act lovingly.
Loving thoughts are unifying thoughts, whereas hateful thoughts are separating thoughts. Can we teach people to think and act lovingly? Can we teach those who see themselves attacked by others to love one another?
To love, one must have a different frame of reference, a different conceptualization of what it means to love.
Forgiveness is the real meaning of love. Let us explore this concept for a little while.
Consider black-white relationship. White folks did enslave black folks. Every thing in me, my ego, wants to fight back. My ego would like nothing better than an opportunity to enslave white folks.
My ego-mind bears grievances and seeks revenge for whatever is done to it, that it considers wrong. As I see it, white folks had no business enslaving black folks, so I seek revenge.
And make no mistake about it, where there is a will there is a way. If black folks determine to seek revenge for the ills they suffered in the hands of white folks, they will eventually find a way to accomplish their objective. If you are impressed by the present lopsided balance of power in favor of whites, let me quickly disabuse you with historical facts.
In history, empires come and empires go. Nothing in this world is more predictable than the fact that all empires built by man must collapse. Although those in power tend to have the delusion that they are invincible, as, apparently, the leaders of America feel, the fact of history is that we live in a world of constant change. (The world of God is changeless; its opposite, our world is changeable.)
Whatever goes up must eventually come down. At one time, Rome ruled the known world. (See Gibbons, The Decline and fall of the Roman Empire, 41) The leaders of Rome considered their Germanic neighbors as primitive and used them as slaves, as white Americans currently consider Africans as primitive and use them as slaves. But guess who sacked the Roman Empire? The so-called barbarian Germans destroyed the mighty Roman Empire. The Roman Empire became so decadent that its Patricians refused to fight and recruited German barbarians to fight for them. Eventually, the barbarians took over the empire.
Does history repeat itself? White America is currently on the same path as Rome. It does not take too much political perspicacity to know that the white population is increasingly effete; in fact, most of them could become homosexual. (Homosexuality, apparently, is Westerners latest method of exercising their defiance of God. Human beings came to the world in defiance/opposition of their creator and must necessarily find ways to be defiant/oppose whatever is; the absurdity of homosexuality being one such means. In the world, people feel an urge to defy/oppose everything, including defy nature, for they came here to oppose their father’s will and must oppose their own will; they made heterosexual sex as a means of procreating themselves and now oppose it with the insanity of so-called homosexuality. Ones Machiavellian thinking would encourage homosexuality in the West, it as a means of weakening it.)
The American army is increasingly composed of the poor, blacks and other minorities. Rich white folks like George Walker Bush serve their military time in rear battalions. Poor black folks like Collin Powell serve their military duties at the war front. Warrior skills are gained at the battle front, not in club med rear brigades.
Where are Egypt, Persia, Greece, Rome, the Soviet Union, Britain and France, once mighty empires? They are now in the dustbin of history. Do not weep for fallen empires, for they were all unjust. The evil must fall for civilization to progress to better ends. Such is life, Ces’t la vies!
Are you over impressed by America’s military might, her possession of nuclear weapons? Let us see what history teaches us. Throughout history, a group initially invents a weapon and it confers an advantage to them. That group, generally, exercises power over its neighbors. In time, however, the very weapon that gave a group military advantage is produced by other groups. The playing fields are equalized. When this happens, power is rebalanced, often to the advantage of those who, hitherto, were suppressed.
America was the first country to explode nuclear weapons. That gave it military advantage. The Russians struggled to equalize the playing fields. In time, nuclear technology will spread to all parts of the world. There is nothing any one can do to stop this spreading. The genie is out of the bottle and cannot be rebottled.
All things being constant, it is in America’s self/national interests to try to stop the spread of nuclear technology. America knows that it would lose the current advantage it has were other nations to have weapons of mass destruction. Moreover, her sole superpower status offers her the right to be a bully, to terrorize the world.
America’s foreign policy has become: do as America says or else you are removed from power. We just witnessed George Bush give Saddam Hussein of Iraq an ultimatum to vacate power or else. Obviously, Bush’s behavior was very degrading and I assure you that every one took note of that unmitigated arrogance. Folks would not want to suffer the fate of Iraq, now a testing ground for the latest American weapons. Who cares if Iraqis are killed? In real politics, as Henry Kissinger would say, sentiments have no place. Just kill Arabs, that is all there is to it. The world is an amoral place and if you have the power, you ought to stick it to the weak, the power intoxicated real politics’ “Neocons” surrounding Mr. Bush, tell us.
All over the world, folks have taken note of America’s intolerable hubris and are quietly working to develop nuclear weapons, so as to checkmate America, if only to reduce her swollen head. If history is our guide, by the end of this century, many nations would have access to nuclear technology.
We all know who folks are arching to use those weapons on: Americans. Unless we change the pattern of international politics, I suspect that in a century or so American cities would become the testing grounds for other group’s makeshift nuclear devices. When that happens, another human empire expires. Such is life.
Nevertheless, some of us do not accept the inevitability of history repeating itself. We work to change the pattern of human thinking and behaving. Besides, one really loves individual Americans, white and black. We so love them that we must tell them what is good for them, for, in their misguided arrogance, they have forgotten what is good for them.
If history is our guide, power changes hand. We are already witnessing the passing of economic power to the Asians.
Economic power tends to go with political power. China is going to be an important player in world politics. We, therefore, cannot allow ourselves to be intimidated by America’s current stupendous power. We must emphasize the truth and only the truth and may God help all of us.
The truth is that America’s power is not going to protect her when the chicken comes home to roost, when those she alienated, the army of the weak, find courage and leadership to fight back. When external others begin to explode their bombs in America, those oppressed and abused in internal America will rise up and tear the empire sown from the inside. This is what happened in Rome.
When external others attack the empire, as they eventually will, America’s domestic slaves, like the slaves in the Roman Empire, will join battle with them and the empire implodes from the inside.
When the bullets begin to fly, America will realize that she really does not have too many admirers out there. She has alienated too many people. People smile for her because they are aware that she is currently too powerful, but when her power is challenged by a credible external power, such as emergent China, the suppressed minorities in America will, no doubt, suddenly find courage to vent their suppressed rage at their oppressors. (At present, for example, African Americans displace their anger at their white masters by abusing their spouses and children and killing each other, but when they find the courage to stand up to their abusers and stop killing themselves in senseless drive by killing, well, history would change.)
We cannot delude ourselves into believing that those Americans oppress and abuse should not seek revenge at Americans. They can and, as a matter of fact, will do so, unless we change the parameters of international politics. To avert the inevitable, we must transform politics from the politics of grievance and revenge to the politics of forgiveness.
I know that as a twenty something young man with a doctorate degree but experiencing discrimination in America, I was capable of pulling the trigger to destroy America. And I would not have felt an iota of guilt. To me, then, destroying America was like getting rid of a pestilence that ravaged the world. America seemed like cancer to be exorcised from the human body (politics).

The new paradigm of politics that would save all of us is one that insists on forgiveness of the past. We must forgive what was done to us in the past. This includes at the individual and collective level. All of us, individuals and groups, have done awful things in the past. No one has a squeaky clean past. Africans did enslave their own people. Africans, in fact, so enjoyed selling their own people that it took European intervention for them to stop oppressing and abusing their own people. Simply stated, there are no innocent persons in this world.
Because, in time, we are all guilty, although in eternity we remain guiltless, no one really has a right to point accusatory fingers at other people. If one points two accusatory fingers at others, three point right back at one.
If Africans accuse whites of enslaving them, they must also accuse themselves of enslaving themselves. Dwelling on past injustices done to one is, therefore, not a useful thing to do. If one accuses others of abusing one in the past, they can equally accuse one of abusing them in the past.
(What can black people remember doing wrong to white people, you ask? Okay, have you studied the personality of Africans? If Africans were ahead of whites in material culture, given Africans brutality to one another…see their leaders take the money that are supposed to be used to develop their people and redirect them to themselves and could care less for their fellow Africans…given Africans self centeredness, they would have abused whites more than whites abused them. This is a fact, not a conjecture. Africans are some of the world’s most brutal people. I know my people, trust me.)
Since none of us is innocent in the past, we must, therefore, overlook our mutual past. Forgiveness means overlooking peoples past behavior.
Forgiveness means loving people in the present despite the evils that they did in the past. If people did not brutalize each other in the past, there would be no need for forgiveness. We all abused each other in the past. We all therefore, as Jesus Christ recognized, need to forgive each other. To forgive each other’s past is to love each other. In a world of mutual attacks, forgiveness is the true meaning of love.

Forgiveness is not a luxury the victim exercises; it is not a charity conferred on evil others. We tend to feel smug, superior, that we forgive others, morally inferior persons, who sinned against us. There are no true victims in this world. Consider the slave. He is not really a victim. It is his fear of harm and death that led him to tolerate others abuse. True, his abusers were sadistic but he had to be masochistic to permit them to abuse him. He is not a victim, for he could have challenged the oppressors and, if necessary, die fighting for his liberty, rather than tolerate abuse. No one can oppress a man who is willing to die at any moment. No one can oppress a warrior who looks you in the face and says: go ahead and kill me but I will not accept servitude to you. It is fear of pain and death that disposes human beings to tolerate other human beings abuse. If you want to be a free man, you must overcome the fear that bounds you to slavery.
Nothing can happen to human beings unless they tolerate it. In fact, nothing can happen to human beings unless their personalities invite it. I will give you a personal example. As a child I was stubborn and willful and do not take marching others from any one. Contemporary psychiatry probably would have diagnosed me as an oppositional defiant child. As a child, if you dared tell me what to-do, I would slap your face, and it did not matter that you were bigger than me.
(These days, America’s establishmentarian psychiatrists, always out to get people to not rock the boat, to tow the line and conform to American society’s increasingly decadent values; consider some children as having oppostional defiant disorder, ODD. These teenage rebels, who, generally, are responsible for changing society, are filled with stimulant medications like Ritalin, even psychotropic/neuroleptic medications like Zyprexa, Risperdal, Seroquel, Geodon, Lithium, Depakote, Tegretol, Valium, Librium, etc in a misguided effort to numb them and get them to conform to the values of a dying empire. These medications have terrible side effects and actually do not heal any of the mental disorders they supposedly heal. America is destroying her people with quack medications. This house has fallen; it must be replaced with a better one: a love based civilization. In case you have not grasped it yet, my efforts at a political philosophy has a mission: to replace the West’s
ego/hate based civilization with a Christ/love based civilization. If this seems grandiose and not doable, hang around and witness the power of love over hate.)
When I came to America and a racist white police officer tried to harass me, I was so outraged that I insisted that he be fired from his job. And I did not care whether I was killed or not. You cannot intimidate me by pointing a gun at me, for I would automatically tell you to go ahead and shoot me. I grew up during the Nigerian civil war. Nigerian fighter plans flew at roof top level spreading bullets at whatever moved. My senor brother, Eugene, was killed and my mother, Teresa, was wounded during such raids. Upon perceiving approaching jet fighters, people scampered into hiding places. Without thinking about it, I said: bring it on, kill me, right now, but I would not hide, just so I preserve my worthless life. Thus, I walked about, as folks hid all over the place. Folks would, in fact, try pulling me into taking cover and I would say: to hell with that and went about the business of living. I had a fatalistic view that if a bullet was meant for me that it would get me,
no matter what I did, and that, therefore, there was no use hiding from anything. I have never seen any need to defend my body and ego, for even as a child under age twelve, I grasped that my body is eventual food for worms and, as such, is valueless. I do not have to protect the worthless. The valuable, our souls, do not need protection, for the real needs no defense.
The relevant variable here is my stubborn personality. How do you think that that stubborn personality would fare in slavish America? You guessed it. I found it difficult to adjust to America’s school and work organizations. I resisted being told what to do. Thus, when I say that I was unable to obtain a reasonable job after graduate school that must be qualified with the statement that my personality played a role in my fate. If I was a compliant chap who did what his bosses told him to do, I would have fitted right into America’s slavish society?
America gave me every opportunity to succeed within its cultural parameters but my personality dictated that I be an outsider in America. My personality, therefore, played a role in what I used to call my marginalization in America. I bear responsibility for what I got out of life; I am not a victim of circumstances. If anything is to be blamed for my fate, it is my personality, but since I like that personality, no one is to be blamed.
If any human being objectively examines his life, he would find out that his personality, along with the circumstances he found himself, played a role in what he gets out of life. No one is a total victim of circumstances. We all play roles in what happens to us, at least, in how we experience what happens to us. Racism is real in America; make no mistake about it, but ones personality plays a role in how it affects one.
We live in a general system where everything affects everything else; we all mutually affect each other; no one is a total victim of other persons.


Upon birth on earth, the child’s inherited biological datum and his social experiences interact to form a personality for him. By age six, the typical human children has formed a self concept and allied self image. (See George Kelly, Personality as a Personal Construct, 42, also see Alfred Adler, 43, Karen Horney, 44, and Carl Jung’s 20, B.F. Skinner, 45, Laswell, 46, and other writings on the etiology of personality.)
We develop ideas of who we think that we are and picture those ideas in images. Human beings think in ideas and in images.
We have concepts and images of ourselves, other people and the world. Once the self concept is set, certainly by early adolescent, age 13, it is difficult to change it. Subsequently, the individual thinks and behaves according to his self concept, self image, his ego and personality.
My willful and oppositional defiant self concept/self image was in place when I started elementary school at age six. No one dared tell me what to do. On the other hand, I saw other kids cheerfully doing what our teachers told them to do. At age nine, a teacher flogged me and I practically destroyed the entire school, for, to me, how dare he flog me? In Alfred Adler’s categories, I felt superior to the teacher and could not accept an inferior him flogging me.
You got the picture. Ones personality plays a role in what happens to one in ones life. However, it must be observed that the etiology of the human personality is not yet fully understood. Psychoanalysts speculated on end about it, behaviorists reduced it to social learning and contemporary neuroscientists believe that it is biochemical in origin. All these observers have useful insights into the human personality; nevertheless, no one has yet understood the genesis of human personality.
My own predilection is that there is a life force, ala Henry Bergson (47) that takes our biological and social experiences and uses both of them as building blocks to construct our personalities for us.
Each of us has a unique personality. Once formed, personality shapes our future. As the German writer, Novalis, observed, character is fate (the external environment held constant).

If none of us is a victim, it follows that all of us have done things to other people that need to be overlooked and forgiven. I must forgive other people what I see them do to me that I consider not right. By the same token, other people must forgive me what I did to them that they construe as not right. In other words, we must forgive each other.
Forgiveness is not a frivolous thing; it confers rewards on the forgiving person. When one forgives other people, one feels peaceful and happy.
Do you want to feel peaceful and joyous? If affirmative, then forgive those who you believe wronged you in the past. Forgive all the people that wronged you. Forgive the whole world for the wrong it did to you.
If you can honestly forgive the entire world, you would have loved the entire world. You would feel very peaceful and happy.
Forgiveness is a means of receiving the gifts of God: peace and happiness. There is no other way known to man for receiving the gifts of God, other than forgiveness, which is the true meaning of love.
Jesus taught: love God and other people; forgive your enemies, turn the other cheek to be slapped by them when one is slapped. Consider the example of the adulterous woman. Jesus said that she be forgiven. Moses, the Old Testament, taught punishment for our sins and Jesus, the New Testament, taught forgiveness for our sins. (See the Four Gospels in the Christian Bible. Pay particular attention to the Sermon on the Mount, in the Gospels according to Mathew and Luke, 48.)
Jesus taught the need to forgive other people before we pray to God. God does hear all our prayers and, in fact, have already answered all of them because he knows what we, his children, need, peace and joy, before we ask for them. But to receive the things of God, already given, we must obey God’s will: love, that is, forgive one another.
No one comes close to God without first forgiving all his brothers. As long as there is a human being that you have not forgiven, one person for whom you bear grievance and seek vengeance and punishment, you cannot see the face of Christ, your true face, and certainly cannot come to his father.
Jesus walked his talk and forgave those who destroyed his physical body, for they knew not what they were doing. The world believed that they could kill the immortal son of God; all they could do is destroy his body and ego, but his real self, unified spirit, Christ, lives for ever and ever with his father and all his brothers.

You may have studied science and believe the spurious and flippant notion that there is no other life outside our empirical world. I understand your skepticism and even cynicism. I, too, read our philosophy but, in time, learned that there is more to life than is taught in our ego based philosophy (and if you insist on the difference, natural science).
Forgive every person who has done you wrong, that is, love every person, and see whether you would not experience another world. The taste of the pudding is in the tasting. Forgive, that is, love, and see whether God is real or is a fiction.
But until you forgive God’s son for what you see him do in his dream, this world, that, in fact, he has not done while awake in spirit, please do not expect to experience God.
God is love. To come to love/God, you must love/be godlike, unified. To love is to forgive. To come to God you must be a loving and forgiving person.
Until you meet the conditions of God and his heaven, you cannot enter heaven. At the moment, you are in exile from heaven, our real home. You are the prodigal son that our brother Jesus talked about. To return home, you must acknowledge your mistakes, your separation and unloving behaviors and correct them by loving all people.
That is correct; you must make amends for your sins. We are not talking some new age “salvation is cheap stuff” here. We are talking reality. To be saved, you must be a forgiving and loving person. I mean totally forgiving. You cannot have an iota of an unforgiving thought and behavior and be saved.
Salvation, redemption and deliverance require that you be a totally forgiving person, that is, that you totally love all people. You must undo what you did.


God created a loving you. This means that God created a unified world. You and I chose to split that world, to fragmentalize heaven’s union, not in truth, but in our awareness. We separated from God and from each other.
We exploded in a Big Bang and each split off to his separate ways. We invent space, time and matter and each unit of life, a fragment of God, split apart from others. We then wander the world we made as separated, special persons.
We have been separating from each other since the Big Bang. Whenever we meet, we reattack each other, feel pain and or anticipate pain from each others attack and move away from each other. Whites attack blacks and blacks move away from them. Blacks attack each other and move away from each other. Human beings move away from each other. This is the world of separation. It is the world we invented, not the world God created.
God created a unified world. Return to the world God created. If you love and forgive all people, yourself included, you have returned to the world of union, for love is union. Love and you are back in God.
This is not some kind of game, we are talking here. Get up today and resolve to love and forgive every person in your world. Think loving thoughts and forgive whoever did something wrong to you, and this includes your slave master and your rapist (if you are a woman). There is no exception to God’s law.
God does not make compromises, so don’t even bother trying to ask him to love you until you have lived up to the terms of the covenant, contract, that he signed with us, when we separated from him, that we must forgive each other, that is, reunify with each other, before he unifies with us.
God is love and love is forgiveness. To obey God’s law, love, you must love all his creation.
God is in all his creation. If you love God’s creation, you love God. As long as there is one child of God that you do not love, that you bear grudges against, that you want punished, you do not love God. (God is not fragmented, he is whole, and so you must love all of him, all people, to love him.)

Love and forgive all and suddenly you escape from this world into the unified world of spirit. That world is in effable. It is beyond speech. Ego reasoning, in Kantian categories (see Critique of Pure Reason, 49), cannot understand the world of God. The world of God cannot be described by human language or with concepts and images, for concepts and images apply only to the world of space and time, the separated world.
The world of God is the world of union, a world where there are infinite persons, all of whom are one person, a world of one self that is simultaneously all selves.
One God is all of us, literally, not figuratively. God is all of us and all of us are God. But each of us alone is not all of God, for God is in all of us. God is everywhere and is everywhere.
God is in us and we are in God. There is no space between God and us. There is no gap between one child of God and others. We are all, literally, one self, or, if you like, we all share one self and one mind, the self and mind of God. There is no other in God. There is no you and I, no seer and seen, no subject and object in God, in heaven.
God created us unified, that is, holy. We separated from him and from each other, that is, we became unholy. To experience God, we must return to holiness, that is, we must return to union. To do so, we must love and forgive one another.
Forgiveness brings us to the gate of heaven. Love takes us back into heaven. Love and forgive and then see what happens. We do not need to debate with you as to whether the truth is the truth or not.
A childish physical scientist who refuses to forgive and love, to experience God, tells the world that there is no God. Poor idiot, he is part of God and God is part of him. In denying God, he is merely denying his real self. He is saying that he is metaphorically dead.
He needs to die to the self he made for himself, the ego, the self he made to separate with and be rebirth in the self God created him as, the unified self. When he loves and forgives all and experiences a holy instant, union while still in time, he would stop the idiocy that there is no God.
God exists. All else is noise. We are in God; we are part of God. As it were, we cast a magical spell, what Orientals call Maya, on our selves and seem to go to sleep, and in our sleep, dream that we are separated from God and from each other. (See The Gospel of Ramakrishna, 47, as well as the Veda: Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bagavad Gita, Upanishad.)
According to Hinduism (see Vedas, Bagavad Gita, and Upanishads) the world is a sleep-dream place, an illusion. In truth, we are always in God. All we need to do to verify the reality of union, God, is do what God asks us to do: love and forgive ourselves. But we prefer separation; attack makes separation possible. We prefer to hate each other rather than to love each other.
Our world is a place of separation. Very few persons are ready to relinquish separation and reawaken in the world of union.
Temporary separation is permitted. God tells his son to go ahead and sleep and dream, but asks him to make his sleep-dream pleasant by forgiving and loving his fellow dreamers.


To make his sons’ sleep-dream happy, God entered their dream world and is in them as the Holy Spirit. As the Holy Spirit, the immanent God (while remaining transcendent of the world) God urges us to love one another. The Holy Spirit, the God in us, teaches us to forgive one another.
In heaven, God is originally in two selves: God the father and God the son. God is the whole; the son of God is the parts of God. We are collectively God the Son. Each of us is part of God the Son. God the son can be called the Christ, so each of us is part of the Christ.
God the Son wishes for specialness and seems to have separated from God the father to go gratify his wishes for self creation. Actually, God the Son cannot separate from his father, but in his awareness he seems to have separated from his father and brothers.
When God the Son seems to have separated from God the father, God the father created God the Holy Spirit and entered his separated son’s mind.
In the temporal universe, there now seem three Gods, the Holy Trinity: God the father, God the son and God the Holy Spirit. Thus, in each of us are three selves: God the father, wholeness, God the son, part of God, ones true self, and God the Holy Spirit.
Each of us denied his true self, Christ, union, and identifies with a false separated self, the ego. We now think as the ego. God the Holy Spirit enters our mind and tries to get us to think as God and his Son, Christ, our true self, thinks.
If you like, we have four sides to us: God the father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit and the ego. The ego is our dream self, the dream figure. In reality, the ego does not exist, it is false. But for our present purposes, the ego seems to exist, for it is the self you and I identify with. If you are reading this material, you are in ego state, for only the ego can read, conceptualize and image things; God and his Son, Christ, do not read things, they know things.
(By the way, all these talk of God the father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit and the ego are metaphors, figures of speech, they are not real; they are poor concepts that we employ to try to explain what no human being on earth can explain. God cannot be explained by any human being, certainly not by me. God, however, can be experienced. God is known only through experience. As already observed, to experience, hence know, God, you have to meet the conditions for doing so, forgive and love all creation.)

Forgiveness and love overlooks the separated world and what is done in it. When the temporal world is overlooked, the ego and its world are overcome and one experiences the unified world of God. This is a fact, not a conjecture. But since we value the ego and world we made, God accommodates us. He, in effect, tells his children to go ahead and live in the world they invented. He tells us that if we want to experience some peace and joy, not the total bliss of heaven, oneness, that we must forgive and love our fellow sleepers and dreamers.
Please note the phrase: “must forgive and love”. You must forgive and love all people, if you want to experience peace and happiness. You do have a choice not to forgive and love all people but you must pay a price for your unforgiving thinking and behaving: you must live in conflict and be unhappy. You cannot eat your cake and still have it.
A world that approximates the will of God is a loving and forgiving world. Therefore, we must love and forgive one another. If we want a Christ like world, we must love each other.


We do not need to change the forms of our governments and social institutions; what we need to do is put them to different purposes. The structure of the American government, for example, is good enough. Just use that government to teach forgiveness and love. Use the instruments of government to love all people. (Where governments are not democratic, of course, we must make them democratic.)
What we must do is change our behaviors, from anti social to pro-social. If a criminal does something wrong, it is his ego and body that did so. His ego is his sleeping, dreaming self, not his true self, the Christ. Arrest, try and put him in jail. While in jail, teach him forgiveness and love. If we kill him, as our ego wants to do, all we accomplished is guarantee that he would come back to the world to continue his evil ways. But, if while in jail, we teach him to love and work for our common interests, while we may not entirely succeed, we would guarantee that he would come back a better self than he is in the current lifetime.
(We do have several dreams; if you like, reincarnations, but none of the selves in the dream is the real self; the real son of God is always in God, while dreaming that he is born on earth; in truth, he is not born and does not die; he only seems born and dies in dreams; dream birth and death are not real.)
By teaching and practicing love and forgincveness we find healing, peace and happiness.
A Christ based world is a forgiving and loving world. The institutions of the world would remain as they are, or changed, if they are not democratic, but they would be put to different uses, to love and forgiveness. Let us see how that would work in reality.

On September 11, 2001, Moslem Arab terrorists attacked Americans. They randomly destroyed property and killed several thousand Americans.
Americans are human beings, that is, they identify with the separated self, the ego housed in body, other wise they would not be in this world, this dream. As egotists, Americans were outraged that some one dared come into their house and attack them.
The ego always seeks grievance and revenge. Grievance, defense and punishment maintain the ego’s world. In this ego mood, Americans sought revenge and went to war and quickly dispatched the Talibans in Afghanistan. That being not enough to assuage their anger at the Arab Moslem world, they attacked Iraq and disposed of its criminal leader, Saddam Hussein.
Now the fun part begins. Europeans have attacked and defeated Arabs. So what do you think is in the Arab’s mind? Remember that we live in a separated world, a world where there are groups of egos. What do you think the Arab mind is thinking?
Think, God gave you a mind to think with. The Arab mind, like the American mind, identifies with the separated self, the ego, otherwise he, too, would not be in this world.
The ego feels pride and shame. (Christ does not feel pride, shame or fear; he only feels love.)
The ego is the desire by the Son of God to kill his father and replace him as the creator of the world. The Son of God wished to kill his father or create his father, create his self and create his brothers. He could not satisfy these insane wishes, for the son cannot be his own father, so he went to sleep and in his dream, dreams that he is his own creator and the creator of everything in the universe. He is deluded, of course, for in reality God is the creator of everything. Each of us invented a self concept for ourselves, and for other people, as symbol of our imaginary self creation.
For our present purposes, to identify with the ego is to desire power, hence to be subject to feeling humiliated when one is shown as powerless. The American ego has humiliated the Arab ego. The Arab ego feels shamed.
What does the ego do when it is belittled and shamed? If it has the ability to fight back, it fights back, right away. But if it is weak, it bites its tongue, bides its time and waits for an opportunity to fight back, to humiliate those who humiliated it.
Arabs cannot really fight back at this time, for the power of the West is too much for them to handle. But make no mistake about it; they are going to fight back. This whole century is going to witness on going wars between the Christian West and the Moslem East. The Crusades has restarted where it stopped in the thirteenth century. The Christian European and the Arab Moslem has been at war for hundreds of years and that war merely resumed and will last for a few more centuries. George Bush cannot finish what he started.

Prior to attacking Americans, Arabs believed that Americans and Westerners hurt their interest, for example, by supporting Israel. However, the issue of Israel is merely a tip of the iceberg. These two cultures resent each other; each wants to finish off the other and impose its world view on the rest of the world. The Arabs want to arabicize the world and Americans want to Americanize the world; the battle of two sets of egos is joined.
When two elephants fight the grass suffers. The rest of the world will suffer from the titanic war ensuing before our very eyes. In our mysterious world, however, out of bad good comes. As the West and East finish each other up, other civilizations will emerge. Africa gained independence when Europe self destruct during the Second World War.
Africa will emerge truly independent when the West and Arabs, the two groups that traditionally humiliated Africans by enslaving them, self destroy. The real politician in me, therefore, encourages Europeans and Arabs to fight, so that I might pick their pieces. But the Christ in me, my loving side, knows that there is a better way to handle the situation.


It is not necessary to say that Arabs are right or wrong or that Americans are right or wrong. Both were right and wrong. What is salient is that America could have chosen to respond differently to Arab attack. America is obviously more powerful than the rag tagged Arab army. As the stronger of the two, America could have chosen to forgive Arab attackers. This does not mean tolerating and or condoning terrorist attacks. It means removing the Talibans, even removing Saddam Hussein from power (through diplomatic means).
The difference is the purpose of the attack on the Arab world. If you go to the Arab world to help them become democratic, they would appreciate you. If you do something with love and forgiveness, not punishment, in your mind, you would be appreciated. But the fact is that America went into the Arab world to punish Arabs, to teach them a lesson as to who is the stronger boy in the school yard. They will teach them a lesson all right. But as these things always turn out, those who set out to teach learns have lessons to learn.
By the time this war is over, America would have squandered most of her resources in a senseless war, while her competitors, China etc, devote their resources to economic development.
It is not necessary to dwell on what America should have done in the past. What is relevant is what America does today.
The past is over with and is gone. The future is a hope; the only real time is today, this moment.
What should America be doing now? America is now in the Arab world. It is too late for America to cut and run. She must stay where she is and help bring about capitalism and democracy in the Arab world. It must help Arabs elect their leaders, as folks now do in the West.
Elected governments have too many checks and balances to easily go to war. Of course, they do go to war, after all we saw George Bush the allegedly moronic president manipulate Americans to lead them into a war of choice.

International politics must be reframed to one whereby nations forgive and love one another. In practical terms, this means working for our common global interests. The world has really become a global village and what happens in one part of it affects all parts of it. We can no longer ignore other people’s plights.
In the new world order, real politics means helping Africans learn democratic government and manage themselves right; it means helping Americans learn to love and forgive one another, for if they fail to-do so, their country may implode from within and explode from outside.
We need a Christ based Government where the apparatus of the state is used to care for all people, to teach love and forgiveness. It means providing education, at all levels, to all young persons; it means working for an economy that provides jobs to all people, a mixed capitalist-socialite economy. It means teaching the criminal elements in our midst how to care for all people, rather than harm all people. (One is sufficiently trained in biology to know that there are putative genetic elements in human behavior. Criminals probably inherited certain genetic disposition that makes it easy for them to steal and kill without feeling remorseful and guilty? Otherwise, how can these people be as amoral and predatory animals? Reason immediately tells a rational person that serving social interests is what is good for the individual, so how can criminals do the dastardly things they do without worrying about the consequences of their actions?)
Biology not withstanding, human beings do think and can change their patterns of thinking and behaving. If the individual indulged in criminal thinking, he can change and think in pro-social terms, and seek ways to care for all people. He may not turn out a saint, a mother Teresa, but he could become more human than be animalistic.


One is not naive to think in terms of making the world over into a perfect place. Idealism is of the ego. It is the ego that wishes to transform the self, other selves and the world into an idealistic place. What this type of grandiose idealism means is that the ego is seeking absolute power. The idealistic egotist is seeking power to change himself, change other people and change social institutions. If he ever gets power, he is very likely to use it destructively, to get the world to kowtow to his egoistic wishes.
We witnessed what fascist and socialist idealists did in Germany and Russia respectively; they murdered those whose ideas of life were not congruent with theirs. One is not, therefore, enamored with the fantasy that human beings can be made over into angels. We are depraved creatures and will only gradually improve our lives.
Of course, in every generation, a few persons will do what it takes to make the transition to Christ like living, but the many will behave like egotists. The run of the mill human being seeks ways to satisfy his self interests, preferably in cooperation with other people, but if needs be, at the expense of social interests. In so doing, the ordinary person necessarily generates social conflicts and needing conflict resolution.
Government must exist to resolve our on-going conflicts. The world is not going to change tomorrow and attain purgatory status. It will take thousands of years before the mass of the people attains Christ like living.

No one can change other people. Each child of God has freedom to do as he likes. God is absolute freedom and since each of his children is part of him, they have freedom to do whatever they like. (Except the freedom to permanently change themselves into separated selves; they may only dream of separation but they cannot make separation real and permanent; if separation were ever to become real, all of existence would self destroy. God and his real children desire to live and do not want to self destroy, so they cannot permit separation to exist. Nothing can exist in a separated world. Existence requires union, albeit hidden union. Even the material universe is unified by super strings that are invisible to the physical eyes.)
God gives freedom to all his children. His children have the freedom to sleep and dream that they are who they are not, separated selves housed in bodies. In reality, they are unified spirit self, outside matter.
God permits the world of dreams to exist and there is nothing any of us can do about it. You cannot prevent other people from sleeping and dreaming. All that you can do is understood that you yourself are asleep and dreaming. You can study the pattern of your sleep-dream and strive to correct it. This means that you can study your personal psychology, personality, self concept and self image and work on improving them.
The individual’s sole task is to understand his own personality, that is, the structure of his ego, the manner he separates from other people and work at improving it. The goal is for the individual to use his personality and body to move towards other people, rather than away from them. The realistic ego learns to love and forgive all people; to use his specific personality and body to teach love and forgiveness.
No one can change his body and ego (although that may be made possible in the future by genetic science and engineering), but he can use them to communicate love. For example, I am still as stubborn as a mule. You cannot tell me what to do, for, before you are done telling me what to do, I am already asking you who you think that you are telling me what to do with my freaking life. Even God himself cannot tell me what to do. How about Jesus Christ? Who the hell is he? Jesus is just another son of God, albeit one that discovered a way to return to our shared home, to union. Good for him.
Thomas, a Jnana (philosophical) yogi, will find his homewards journey on rational grounds, not Jesus Bhakti (poetic and worshipful) terms. Of course, he could use the assist of Brother Jesus and all the other teachers of union, teachers of love and teachers of God, including Gautama Buddha, his favorite teacher.
The salient point is that it is not for the individual to change other people. His primary function is to find out what the truth is and live it.
The truth is love and love is attained through forgiveness. Love and forgive all people. That is all that is asked of each of us.
Having become loving and forgiving, the individual models it and, hopefully, other people learn from his example. If they do, like him, they experience the peace and joy that, as Saint Paul said, passes human, ego, understanding.


This paper hypothesized that governments have their origin in human beings tendency to feel fearful. It complements and reinforces Thomas Hobbes contention that government has its genesis in human insecurity.
The article stressed the need to redirect the purpose of government. Whatever are the reasons why human beings established governments, governments can redirect their functions, by seeing themselves as instruments for helping people to becoming their brothers keepers, loving and forgiving one another. Governments do not have to do so as communists and socialists tried to do, by killing people. They should do so by having those in government: politicians and bureaucrats use their public offices to work for the common good.
Finally, before the individual does any thing, he ought to stop and asks: why am I doing this? If the objective is to serve the public, ones action cannot be that wrong. Whatever is done out of love and forgiveness, although sometimes misguided, since the ego can define love inappropriately, cannot be all wrong. Whatever is motivated by love and forgiveness serves a better public good than whatever is done for selfish purposes.


1. Karl Popper, Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1963.
2. Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan. New York: Broadview Press, 2002.
3. John Locke, Two Treaties on Government. New York: Nuvision
Publications, 2004.
4. Jean Jacque, Rousseau Social Contract. New York: Dover Publications,
5. Charles Montesquieu, Spirit of Laws. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004.
6. Madison, Hamilton and Jay, The Federalist Papers. New York: Penguin Classics, 2004.
7. John Stuart Mill, On Liberty. New Heaven, Con.: Yale University Press, 2003. Principles of Political Economy. New York: Prometheus, 2003.
8. Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents, in The Life and Works of Sigmund Freud, Ed. Ernest Jones. New York: Lionel Trilling and Steven, 1961.
9. Konrad Lorenz, On Aggression. New York: Harvest Books.
10. Abraham Maslow, Maslow on Management. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1998.
11. See, Somalia: Country Studies; Federal Research Division, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
12. Isaac Marks, Living with Fear: Understanding and Coping with Anxiety. New York: McGraw Hill Publishing Co. 2001.
13. For information on Congenital Insensitivity to Pain with Anhidrosis, CIPA, and painlessness hence fearlessness, see textbooks on neurology.
14. Jeremy Bentham, The Economic Writings of Jeremy Bentham, New York: Routledge, 2003.
15. Ernest Becker, Denial of Death. New York: The Free Press, 1973.
16. Sigmund Freud The Future of an Illusion.1927. New York: Prometheus Books, 1990.
17. Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto. New York: Nuvision Publications, 2003.
18. Horace, Ovid and Virgil, see their literary works, including Virgil’s Aeneid, Ovid’s Metamorphosis and Horace (Quintus Flaccus) Odes. See The Life of Horace, Translated by Alexander Thomson and Thomas Forester.
19. Zeno, Seneca, Cicero, Marcus Aurelius, Pliny, the Younger, The Philosophy of Stoicism, Epicure, see Gibbons, The Decline and fall of the Roman Empire. New York: Random House, 2003.
20. Carl G. Jung The Collected Works of Carl G. Jung
21. There are numerous books on Terrorism, for a sample see Mark Juergensmeyer, Terror in the Mind of God.
22. Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy. 1642.
23. David Hume, An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.
24. George Berkeley, Dialogues. In The Works of George Berkeley, Edited by A. A. Luce and T. E. Jessop. London: Thomas Nelson and sons, 1957.
25. Samuel Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations. Foreign Affairs, summer 1993 v72, n3 p22 (28).
26. Francis Fukayama, The End of History. In The National Interest, summer, 1989, pp 3-18.
27. Eric Fromm, Escape from Freedom. New York: Morrow/Avon, 1994. Man for Himself. New York: Routlege, 1999. Anatomy of Human Destructiveness. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1972. The Art of Loving.
28. Helen Schucman, A Course in Miracles, Tiburon, California: Foundation for Inner Peace, 1976.
29. Arthur Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Idea. 1844.
30. George F. Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit, 1807.
31. Frederick Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra. 1885.
32. Blasé Pascal, Pensees.
33. Benedict Spinoza, Ethics. In Collected Works of Spinoza. Ed. Edwin Curley. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985.
34. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz, Discourse on Metaphysics.
35. Voltaire, Candide 1759.
36. Dante, Inferno, Divine Comedy.
37. M. The Gospel of Ramakrishna. New York: Vedanta Society, 1947.
38. Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations. New York: Penguin Group, 2004.
39. William James, Varieties of Religious Experience. In The Works of William James, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1975.
40. Evelyn Underhill, Mysticism. 1910.
41. Edward Gibbons, The Decline and fall of The Roman Empire. New York: Random House, 2003.
42. George Kelly, Psychology of Personal Constructs. New York: W. W. Norton, 1955.
43. Alfred Adler, The Neurotic Constitution. in Collected Clinical Works of Alfred Adler. Ed Henry Stein. San Francisco, California: Alfred Adler Institute, 2003.
44. Karen Horney, Neurosis and Human Growth. New York: W. W. Norton, 1991.
45. B.F. Skinner, Beyond Freedom and Dignity. New York: Hackett Publishing, 2002.
46. Harold Laswell, Psychopathology and Politics. New York: Textbook Publishers, 2003. Politics: Who Gets What, When and How. New York: Peter Smith Publisher, 1990.
47. Henry Bergson, Creative Evolution. Translation by Arthur Mitchell. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1911.
48. New Testament, Bible.
49. Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure Reason. Trans. Werner Pluhar. Indianapolis: Hackett, 1996.
50. American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. Washington, DC. APA Press, 9004.
51. Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf. New York: CPA Books, 2002.
52. Thomas Paine, Common Sense. New York: Broadway Press, 2004.
53. Plato, Republic in the Complete Works, Ed. John M. Cooper and D.S. Hutchinson, 1997.
54. Aristotle, The Complete Works of Aristotle, Ed. Jonathan Barnes. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000.
55. Edmund Burke, Reflections on the French Revolution, 1790.
56. William James, Pragmatism. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1979.
57. Karl Von Clausewitz, On War. New York: Penguin Classic Library, 2004.
58. Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, New York: Sagebrush Educational Resources, 2004.

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December 5, 2005

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The Role of Fear in the Genesis and Nature of Government: An Essay on Political Philosophy (Part 1)

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- Political science seems non-theoretical. The discipline describes people’s political behaviors without striving to understand why they behave as they do. Apparently, there is a belief that speculation regarding why people do what they do leads to nowhere and, anyhow, is best left to psychologists to worry about?

Let psychologists engage in their favorite pastime of reductionism: reducing complex human behavior to unproven causal hypotheses. Psychology has had a field day reducing people’s behavior to this or that reasons, most of which turns out conjectural.

Psychoanalysis had its id origin of behavior, Behaviorism had its every behavior is learned, and Neuroscience has its every behavior is a product of biochemical balance or lack of it in people’s central nervous system. All these are conjectures that, in time, are given up as evidence indicates that we really do not know why we do what we do.

Political scientists describe what people do in the political arena and leave it at that. Apparently, it is believed that leaving the field to mere description of political phenomenon makes it a science?

What is science? Are science mere description of phenomena and or Karl Popper’s (1) definition of the scientific method, only? Shouldn’t science try to explain what it describes?

In so far that political science has a causal theory of political behavior, it includes Thomas Hobbes’ speculations on the reasons why people formed government?
Thomas Hobbes, in his seminal book, Leviathan, (2) attempted to explain the origin of government. Obviously, governments had existed before the seventeenth century when Hobbes wrote his book but, apparently, he felt a need to provide justification for the existence of government. As it were, he wanted to provide people with a rationale for accepting government as a necessary part of the social world.
In a nutshell, Hobbes pointed out that in what he called State of Nature, a pre-government society, people were in competition for access to the scarce resources provided by the environment. As he saw it, the powerful got more than the weak. Since it takes labor to wrest sustenance from nature, in his view, some of the powerful prevailed on the weak to work for them. Thus, everywhere, the strongest used the weak to work the land and lived in pleasure, while the weak lived in penury. The weak, in turn, often banded together and fought with the powerful. The result was that everywhere there was war. In this perpetual state of war, life became “nasty brutish and short”. The strong enslaved the weak today and the weak killed the strong tomorrow. All people, therefore, lived in perpetual insecurity; people were not sure whether they would live to see another day.
In order to reduce their insecurity, the people banded together and elected rulers from among them to rule them. They invented the Leviathan, government, to make laws that all of them were to obey or else be punished.
Obedience of laws made by the monarch led to peace and personal security in society. People began to respect each others rights (personal and property) or else they were arrested, judged and punished. Those who disobeyed the laws of the land were sent to jail or even killed, as in capital punishment.
As Hobbes sees it, it is the presence of the Leviathan, kings and governments that led to the existence of personal security in society. Without government and the hangman threatening to arrest, try, jailing and or killing law breakers, human beings would not respect each other’s rights. Slavery and other forms of social injustices would exist. Without government, all would be chaos, anarchy and insecurity. In his view, therefore, we need government.
It appears that Hobbes favored autocratic monarchs? Other political observers, such as John Locke (3), Jean Jacque Rousseau (4) Montesquieu (5), Madison, Hamilton and Jay (6), John Stuart Mill (7) have shown how to have a government that is not authoritarian. For our present purposes, the salient point is that Hobbes saw the origin of government in human beings’ desire for personal and social security; in other words, that he had a causal speculation, a rarity in political science, on why people do what they do.
Clearly, human beings need government if there is to be any kind of civilization. Given what we know about human nature (on aggression and territoriality, see Freud, 8, Lorenz 9), without government and laws, it is doubtful that people can have security. And without social security, people’s energies and time would be so devoted to seeking ways to survive that they probably would have less time devoted to economically productive work. As Abraham Maslow (10) indicated, it is doubtful that people can engage in actualizing their potentials in scientific and technological endeavors unless they first have security for their lives. If in doubt, look at situations where law and order has broken down and see what happened? In Somalia (11), for example, there has not been a functioning government for a period of twenty years and just about all economically productive activity has ceased. People devote most of their time and energy figuring out ways to physically survive the attack of
their next door neighbors. As a result, poverty reins in Somalia and similar anarchic situations.
Without a government passing laws that protected people in a polity, the people would probably devolve into anarchy and pillage each other’s properties. Bands of people would war with each other and total chaos would rein. The people would kill themselves like people swap flies. Life span would be less than a few decades. Clearly, we need laws, and government to implement them, if we are to have any kind of social harmony, peace, security, and material civilization. Hobbes, one thinks, had a useful causal hypothesis regarding the origin of governments. In the final analysis, we may not yet understand why there is government, but in so far that reason is our guide, Hobbes’ speculation seems relevant.


One does not think that Hobbes went far enough in explicating the possible genesis of government. While accepting his thesis, in this paper, I will argue that the deeper explanation of why we need governments is human tendency to fear.
Fear (see Isaac Marks, 12) is not an end, but a means to an end. The end is survival of the animal organism. Fear is a means to surviving the impersonal exigencies of planet earth. Fear alerts people to actual and or anticipated danger to their physical and or psychological integrity. Fear compels people to take measures to defend and protect themselves from threats to their biological existence.
Fear is a biological and involuntary mechanism built into human beings to compel them to run from danger and obtain security, or, if their past experiences tell them that they can stay and fight back, to fight whatever threatens their existence. In fear, animals, human beings included, undergo biochemical reactions in their bodies: adrenalin and other excitatory neurochemicals are poured out and these stimulate most of the organs of the body to work faster. The lung works fast dragging in more oxygen into the body. The heart pounds rapidly, carrying blood, oxygen and nutrition to all parts of the body. The body releases stored sugar and blood carries it to all parts of the body, giving them energy to flee or fight whatever is threatening their lives. The nervous system works very fast carrying messages from all parts of the body to the central nervous system (spine, brain), where they are interpreted and feedback sent to other parts of the body, instructing them on how to
respond to the perceived danger to the individual’s existence.
If the individual’s past experience, stored in his brain cells (neurons), tells him that he does not stand a chance in defeating the current threat to his existence, he is told to run from the perceived danger; conversely, if his past experience tells him that he is able to overcome the present danger, he is instructed to stay and fight back. These decisions and reactions are made in a split second; in fact, they seem made involuntarily, for the individual does not first pause to think about what he has to do but just does certain things, when his life is threatened. A gunman points a gun at you and you run away or, if you cannot do so, stay and beg for him not to kill you and perhaps do whatever he asks you to do; a car comes close to you and you jump away.
The purpose of fear is animal survival; people do whatever they do out of fear to survive physically and psychological as separated, biological organisms.
Fear mobilizes the individual’s whole physical and psychological energies and compels him to do what he must do to defend his existence when that existence is threatened. Without fear signaling to people that there is danger to their lives and compelling people to do certain things, involuntarily, since those activities are biologically mediated, it is doubtful that animals, human beings included, would survive in their present environment.
The environment is full of threats to animals’ existence and animals must have a ready (best inbuilt) mechanism for alerting them to danger and compelling them to take survival measures, if they are to survive in their environment. Fear is a crucial means for human and all animals’ survival on planet earth.
Assuming the absence of fear, it is doubtful that animals would live long. In fact, some human children are born without a tendency to feeling pain (see CIPA, Congenital Insensitivity to Pain with Anhidrosis, 13), hence fear, for fear is a response to pain, and generally do not live long. They do not learn from experience that certain things could harm them; they, therefore, do not anticipate what could harm them and do not take appropriate measures to protect themselves and generally die from injuries. They seldom live to be twenty years old.
Those who are ashamed that human beings have a proclivity to fear, and want to eliminate fear, ought to think about this reality. Without fear, human beings probably would not survive as biological organisms. If so, the desire for fearlessness amounts to nihilistic desire to end biological forms of life! If other forms of existence, say, spirit, exist, perhaps, it is useful to end biological life forms? But if no other forms of life exist, apart from biological forms, perhaps it is not wise to give up fear and hence die out? One must be careful for what one wishes; those who wish for fearless existence may not like what follows, if their wishes are gratified: their personal physical and psychological demise.

Speculations on fearlessness aside, extant human beings, as we know them to be, are fearful animals. It is because they are fearful that they feel insecure. It is because of their fearfulness and consequent insecurity that they need government.
The thesis of this paper is that if human beings were not prone to fear, they would not need governments; they feel insecure because they are fearful and, therefore, need governments to reduce the threats that arouse fear and insecurity in their lives.


Why do human beings feel fear? They feel fear because they have an awareness of having a separated and individuated self housed in vulnerable bodies. Body is very vulnerable and prone to been hurt and eventually to been destroyed. Human beings do feel pained when their bodies are hurt. Ultimately, they will die. Give or take, a hundred and twenty years and a human being dies.
As utilitarian philosophers (Mill, Bentham, 14) tell us, and our own experiences verify, human beings do not like pain and do not seem to like to die. Human beings fear pain and death. (See Ernest Becker, The Denial of Death, 15.)
Perhaps, the greatest fear people have is the fear of the demise of their separated ego selves. People fear oblivion and finitude. Atheistic thinkers tell us that it is in their efforts to avert future finitude that human beings conjectured after death existences. As it were, the various religions of mankind came up with illusions of post death lives as a way of enabling men to tolerate their inevitable physical death. (See Sigmund Freud, The Future of an Illusion 16) In this sense, religion and its concepts of after death world are like drugs, opium; Karl Marx (17) called it, that temporarily enable people to forget the terrible end that waits all of them in time. Freud, In the Future of an Illusion, having told the reader the functions of religion, all neurotic, that is, false, urges people to grow up and embrace the reality of death. People should give up their hankering for non-existent after death lives and, like courageous persons, accept their tragic nature.
Do all you can do to make your life as pleasant as is possible, for tomorrow you will die? Seize the day, Carpe Diem, Horace (18) said. Also see Zeno, Seneca, Cicero, and Marcus Aurelius on the philosophy of stoicism and epicure (19). Don’t cry over spilled milk, for there is nothing you can do about it. Life is a tragic and comic thing, yet is worth living, stoicism teaches.
Clearly, human beings have fear of the demise of their individuated ego selves. They seem to fear return to undifferentiated state. Vaguely, human beings sense that their individuated lives emanated from an undifferentiated state. In that undifferentiated state, they fear loss of their individuation. (See the writings of Carl G. Jung, 20) Apparently, human beings want to have individuated, separated selves and fear their loss.
As long as people have separated selves and wish for those selves to live and fear their end, they would experience fear; and as long as human beings live in bodies that can be hurt they will feel fear of hurt.

Human beings are aware that each of them could inflict pain and death on other human beings. If you choose to do so, you can kill any human being close to you. In turn, other human beings, if they choose to do so, can kill you.
The fact that human beings could harm and or kill each other; the fact that human beings want to live at all costs; the fact that human beings fear death led to a situation where the sadistic elements undertake to oppress the masochistic element in society.
The slave master, for example, knows that the slave, like himself, wants to live, at all costs. Thus, he uses terror to intimidate the slave into accepting his wishes and work for him, for free. The slave master was the original terrorist. (For a useful definition of terrorism, see Juergensmeyer, Terror in the Mind of God, 21.) He knew that human beings are prone to pain and fear and that if you do not hesitate in using coercion to get people to do as you want, and that if you do not mind killing people to get what you want, that people would do what you asked them to do.
White slave masters in America were essentially terrorists. Americans celebrate their slave owning leaders, but actually celebrate terrorists. Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, James Madison etc used force and intimidation to get African slaves to do their wishes or else the slaves were tortured and or killed. They manipulated the slave’s human tendency to pain and fear of pain and used it to enslave some human beings. These people intimidated folks into doing what they did not want to do, be slaves for other people. They were no different from today’s terrorists who use fear and intimidation to achieve political objectives.
White American slave masters were aware that black folks, like white folks, and human beings everywhere, fear pain and death, and used terror to intimidate them into becoming slaves for them or else they were beaten up, inflicted pain on (which they did not want to experience) and, ultimately, killed (they did not want to die).
Unfortunate as their fate was, slaves contributed to it. They feared pain and death and wanted to live as separated selves in vulnerable bodies. Their desire for separated existence led slaves to tolerate other human beings oppression and abuse of them. If the slave did not fear pain and death and stood up and fought for his personal liberty, nobody would have enslaved him. It is fear of harm and death that led the slave to accept his masochistic relationship with the sadistic slave master. (See Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy, 22, and Eric Fromm, Escape from Freedom, Man for Himself, The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness. 27.)
The slave master himself is very much afraid of pain and death. In fact, it is his acute awareness of pain and death and desire to live in bodies that led him to seek ways to use other people to make his life tolerable.
(On September 11, 2001, Arab Moslem terrorists attacked the world trade center at New York. One beheld folks scampering for their lives. The super rich, the whites who oppress the working classes, ran like rats looking for burrows to hide their oppressive lives in. Their behavior showed that they are as fearful as those minority persons they oppress. The events of September 11, 2001 ought to help the woefully fearful African Americans to realize that their masters are as fearful as themselves. This realization ought to enable them to do unto their masters as their masters did to them. With sufficient exercise of unsentimental brutality against their present oppressors, African Americans would liberate themselves from their current pathetic second class situation.)

For our present purposes, the relevant point is that both the sadist, the slave master, and the masochist, the slave, are afraid of harm and death. Both are operating under the same human tendency to fear harm and death. If the slave did not have fear of pain and death, the slave master, sadist, would not have been able to enslave him.
Everywhere in the world, people are able to oppress and abuse people because of human tendency to fear of pain and death.

Aware of the vulnerability of their lives, human beings formed governments to protect them. Clearly, given our fears, we will always need governments.
Governments, specifically, leaders, aware of the reasons behind the need for governments, human fear of harm and death, are tempted to oppress and abuse the people. As it were, governments say: you need me because you are a bloody coward who is afraid of pain and death; you gave me weapons to kill those who are out to kill you because you are afraid of harm and death; you made me your killer for you; you made me a murderer so that you may live secure life, I will, therefore, oppress and abuse you, for transforming me into a murderer for your safety. As it were, leaders, governments, are angry at those they govern, for transforming them into murderers who kill criminals so that they obtain their phantom security.
Thus, everywhere in the world, governments, political leaders oppress and abuse the people they are hired and paid to protect. (A minor aspect of this phenomenon is our ambivalent relationships with policemen. We hired them to protect our lives and properties. We like the fact that they defend us. We authorized them to kill criminals on our behalf. But because they can kill other human beings, we have contempt for them. All over the world, adolescents, teenagers, even the most law abiding ones, have total contempt for cops. This is probably because they vaguely know that cops are hired killers. Hired killers are not exactly any one ones ideal human being. Cops, in turn, have contempt for those who hired them to kill on their behalf. They resent being made over into murderers for peoples safety. Cops are the world’s greatest liars. They are ready to say or do anything, including planting evidence on people, to justify arresting and or killing them; many of them are, in
fact, outright sociopaths. Psychological, that is, personality, testing, suggests that anti social personality types tend to make better policemen. It figures: it takes a thief to catch a thief.)

If the people did not have fear of harm and death, they would not have governments; they would not delegate the power and authority to protect them to rulers, to those they made murderers for them. (Political leaders, the military, police, judges, and prison officials are given the power to become murderers for society. As it were, society empowers them to sentence criminals to death and carry this onerous chore out for the protection of the people.
There is no getting around the truth: the people made some of the people legal murderers, they authorized some persons to murder those who threaten their lives. For their safety, human beings transformed some of their people into killers of other