Monday, September 08, 2008

For the Love of God

Now the nature and disposition of God is the most abused cover for scoundrels I have ever experienced. As a Nigerian living here in Gidi it has developed into the basis of the most corrosive exploitation of the National psyche. The uncritical nature of the 'It is well' crowd is quite in line with their American cousins who gave us 8 years of a US Government whose policies has rained more munitions on the earth surface than any other in recent memories and caused the most deaths of non-combatant civilians in any war in the 21st century. They have achieved this through the direct use of the 'happy clappy' crowds and platforms to ensure an uncritical support for their policies. The loyalty of the believers who are enthralled into waiting and wanting for prosperity, saddled in polite bigotry and wallowing in unconscious incompetence is never in doubt. Their guilt and fears regularly topped up ever Sunday will ensure that any critical thinking is aborted before they are fully formed.

Let me first set forth that until recently i would have qualified as a believer in the mode of those I criticise. I shared the sanctified, tongue speaking, natty dressed , Sunday morning, social engagements. Quite a few times it was an uplifting experience, generally it was passively mind numbing and sometimes it was decidedly an insult on any intelligent mind. For many months my brain was in full conflict with my guilt and worry about my relationship with God. This in spite of the total lack of credibility of many of my co-religionist to my world view. Imagine the same people who brought us George W Bush now offer us Governor Sarah Palin. I feel sick to my stomach for my own collusion. I have watched as the large body of Nigerians finally capitulate to the Cultural assault launched by the fringe Scripture Union when I was in University and ably supported by our own culture of consumption rather than production into this adulteration that masquerade as commitment to God. How come we do not associate God with critical, challenging and direct thinking. I know there exceptions to the positions I am articulating but it does not serve the purpose of disrupting this wider pattern to focus on those. on the contrary it promotes complacency. In the same token it is easy to blame the Pastors but this is mostly about the laziness and total foolishness of the congregations.

I was born into the Islamic tradition and even though I am not a Muslim I have a healthy respect for the discipline and way of the faith. I have watched it however in its attempt to match the enthusiasm of the Pentecostals go into the new Fatwa narrative . I now know that Nigerian Muslim's issue Fatwa's over those that do not conform to their interpretation of proper Islamic practice like the man with 86 wives. The government watched from the sidelines as a Nigerian citizen was threatened with death and banishment by a dubious body without constitutional authority but with the name of God firmly in tow. There were very few voices to be heard to challenge this Fascist decree. The man was never before any authority nor asked to put any case. How did we get here?

For most of my life I have been very coy about the nature of my spiritual interests and even though i am adventurous in all other aspects of my life and openly challenge convention, i have been by my own standards quite conservative in my spiritual evolution. Yes , Khahil Gibran is a saint to me and his book the Prophet never leaves my thoughts, mind and daily crosses my lips, true I have read all Paulo Coehlo's books from page to page but I have been quite restraint in my dialogue about God in my life. That is until i started thinking for myself in this area. On my way to Lagos being driven to the airport, my colleague and friend Simon Mcintyre (now Simon Smethurst- Mcintyre, after he got married) challenged me on God. Being a committed Atheist he had an intellectual freedom and openness that was quite refreshing. I was forced to articulate for myself without any authority who God is to me. Here goes.

God is the embodiment of human connection and co-operation when it is bonded in love and driven by something greater than just self interest, elevated to create and humbled by emergence. God is the magic of the multitudes in the process of greater creativity and production for beneficial service without thought of recompense. God is the fullness of the complexity of all things in interaction, which completely surpasses the sum of the parts at a level and scale that the individuals cannot observe. God is innate purpose pursued, self interest submerged and love unbridled. God is possibilities untamed by the need for subsistence. God is our humanity unfettered, unsimplified, unintimidated in the pursuit of the pain and joy of a life committed to love.

Ok, enough . But there is method to this ranting. You see I love Nigeria with my heart and passion. As I now reflect it is a place that exhibits the least love of God in my understanding. You see where God is present then the sum total is more than the aggregation of the parts. Here in Nigeria with the level of individual excellence, the sum total is less than the aggregation of the parts. Yet we are listed as being in the top 10 in the world who believe in God. Go figure!

1 comment:

aart hilal said...

Hello!

I'm a big fan of Paulo Coelho! You will love this! He's the first best-selling
author to be distributing for free his works on his blog:
www.paulocoelhoblog.com


Have a nice day!

Aart