The past as our today, and today our tomorrow
In deep contemplation in closets as well as in restaurants; in clubs, in casual conversations, the question has a way of agitating the minds: what has our today got to do with our past? Why worry about the past? And what can you do about it, about the past? These are said to a person who sometimes feels some stirring within or pangs in the menace of his past.
The past is dead and long-buried is always the retort, sometimes as a balm, or for comfort and reassurance. Many a man lost in thought about the past is known to slip into depression. In helpful love, he is asked to forget the past and face the future.
There are two main conceptions of the past. This is when we discountenance the transitional past which could be a few hours past, a day or two days past which may not fall strictly under the definition of recent past. Recent and transitional past fall within memory. There is the wider and longer stretch that covers contemporary history, the range of individual lives and the lives of nations. The past we are wont to have in mind when we speak of the past is our past within living memory or the facts of history which we may have experienced or read about. In other words, it is the past we can remember or the past of which we have tangible material evidence.
It is not infrequent when we hear it said—the labour of our heroes past. The Americans would talk about Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, George Washington, Truman, Thomas Jefferson or John F. Kennedy, or Martin Luther King Jnr. Barrack Obama who broke the glass ceiling, to use the words of Hilary Clinton, has undoubtedly entered the book of record. The British would, with nostalgia, mention Queen Victoria, the Victorian Age of etiquette, of culture and refinement. They would speak of Winston Churchill. The French would talk of Napoleon. Coming nearer home, the Africans would mention Nelson Mandela as a citizen of the universe. Ghanaians would be quick to name Kwame Nkrumah as their icon. Nigerians would refer to Herbert Yinka Macaulay, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo, Ahmadu Bello, and Aminu Kano, as their heroes and in Senegal, Leopard Senghor. And Guinea, Sekou Toure. But all these are earthly past.
The past man has the proclivity to throw into oblivion if and wherever it is hinted at in the past for which there is no tangibility, which is beyond the earthly. In its full unfolding that past for which there is no material evidence but which nevertheless exists determines the present and perhaps the future, depending on how each individual stands in its currents streaming into our world; and when we talk about a nation, how people collectively stand. The past beyond the earthly is in conception the Cosmic Past. This is the past that is filed away and which, with any little hint of its existence, is said, without any second thought, to be dead and buried. And changeless!
Today is passed in the making, filled with activities. Tomorrow, it will be passed. In a hundred years, in two hundred years or a thousand years, the past slips into the Cosmic Past of which man has no memory in the main. It is the larger segment of the past, which indeed, is the real past. It stretches from the unknown to the known.
The history of the earthly past, recent or contemporary, can be re-written and indeed it is often re-written or amended to suit whims and caprices, to satisfy fancy, or to provide the correct rendition of accounts. The re-writing of the contemporary tangible past suggests that man realizes that the past is not as dead as he has led himself to believe. Often the objective is to whitewash. Through the re-writing, many publications thought infallible in later years are often found to have suffered from distortion as a result of limitation or deficiency of memories. You may just have to read writings about events of the last 70 years in Nigeria by different authors and you will get my drift.
Regardless of the arrogance of man, the whims and caprices, his cleverness, subterfuge, the proficiency to cover tracts, the real past is untouched and uninfluenced. When the stone leaves the hand of a man, he has no control over it anymore, but he is tied to the consequences of his action. The past thought dead is in truth alive, driven by the Living and eternal Laws of Creation. Call them cosmic laws, laws of Nature or Divine laws, they mean the same thing. They are immutable, ineluctable, they are perfect. They affect all human beings whether they are aware of their existence or ignorant of them. They issued from the Hand of the Creator, from and for all eternity. They are the mechanism with which the Creator governs His Creation. The first and most urgent duty of every human being is to have a thorough knowledge of these laws. They form the foundation of all true spiritual teachings availed mankind by Teachers of mankind and the Prophets. It is from these Laws that the Ten Commandments of God revealed to Moses, first given by him to the Israelites but meant for all mankind, are derived. And didn’t the Lord Christ say, Whatever a man soweth that shall he reap? The Lord was referring to the Law of Sowing and Reaping.
In the Cosmic Past as well as the contemporary past are stored all thoughts, all speeches, and deeds where they go through the maturation process, ripen and are available for harvesting by no other than the sower. This Cosmic Past cast into oblivion of our own creating and at best of our own imagining is called in circles that have preoccupied themselves with it the Book of Life. As we now know in higher knowledge spreading on earth today, all names of all human beings are inscribed in the great Book and the pages are the souls of the human beings themselves. Each person is his own recorder, his own historian as it were. He fills the pages by himself.
Thus the past is not dead even though it may be changeless. It has a life of its own derived from the same laws in which the arrogant and conceited, “all-knowing” man has his life and being. There are three main laws: The Law of Reciprocal Action, the Law of Attraction of Homogeneous Species which may be called the Law of Similarities which stipulates that creatures of the same nature and characteristics live together. So is it that we have tilapia fish in the bed of the sea in the school of tilapia fish; catfish, and whales among their own kind, and different animals in different colonies. Go to the ants and learn wisdom, the saying goes. Soldier ants do not mix with termites.
Although human beings have the same spiritual origin, they are grouped by the Law into different peoples, into different tribes according to the degree of their inner, that is, spiritual maturity, each to develop according to its own light and at its own pace. It is so that none will interfere with the other in their development, but may learn from one another. Man in his vaunted conceit to know better than His Creator of all the worlds, discarded the law and has disarranged the order stipulated for the formation of societies and the entire Creation. Man thus became a lawless animal, creating chaos and disharmony everywhere. The third principal law is the Law of Spiritual Gravitation. All the negative and ennobling activities including thoughts and speeches are deposited on the souls, the negative making the soul to be heavy and the beautiful and ennobling making the soul be light. If it is continuously light and beautiful the ascent to On High ensues. The negative and ignoble souls are dragged down in line with the degree of its weight, in the dark region of the Beyond.
There is also the Law of Movement and closely related to this is the Law of the Cycle which stipulates that the end must go back to the beginning. Everything in life must be kept in motion, failing which atrophy sets in. A man long on hospital bed soon loses the use of his limbs. To walk again, he has to relearn it. We can see from the chest of a boxer or from the legs of a footballer the beauty of the law of motion manifested in the exercises of their bodies. The implication of the Law of the Cycle is that everything a man says or does comes back to him in the harvest as the ripened fruits of his own sowing.
In the present time, it is the past that is catching up with every human being on earth. It governs where and the environment each person is born and what his experience will be, drawing from his store of the long-forgotten past and also of the recent and contemporary past. Adiele Afigbo, Professor of History, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, once said: “As a historian, I know that man is not in control of his past. He is neither its master nor its mistress. If anything he is, to a greater extent than he realizes, a pitiable puppet dangling at the end of a rope held by the implacable Leviathan we call the Past.”
Our world is now in the End-Time with its forces relentlessly sweeping through all lands, energized by the abundance of power of the Light now pouring into our universe, Ephesus, with the return of the Star of Bethlehem. The power is awakening and driving into activity all that is slumbering or all that is dead in each human being to face judgment as foretold. Hence all the aberrations and collapse in most societies at the moment. Intensification and acceleration of events everywhere whether it is war, famine, pestilence, drought or natural catastrophes are the trumpets of judgment. Nothing can be hidden anymore. Everything is being brought before the Light, exposed to face judgment. No society will be spared. The modern man cannot continue to believe that his ability to tamper with the physical relics of the past with the modern gadgets at his disposal is synonymous with the ability to tamper with the tapestry of life in the present time. It does not lend itself to revisionism. Man has the freedom to act in the present. But once he has acted and inscribed something in the Book of Life, he loses control over it. Our today is our past living reality. It is what we have individually and or collectively planted in the soil of life. This explains why obviously good people suffer. The suffering seemingly inscrutable is flowing from the past eartlives as life is a continuum; it is one continuous existence. Today is thus the harbinger of our tomorrow!!
The printer’s modern-day error
I WANT to believe that we have all experienced it at one time or the other, one way or the other. It is this wonder gadget of the technology of our time. I am referring to no other than the teacher, sometimes insufferable, that goes by the name autocorrect. It reads the mind and quickly prints out what it thinks you wish or ought to write. You find phew becoming pew, the preposition ‘in’ becoming the adjective “incapable” and ‘is’ the present tense of “be” getting spelt Ishola! This autocorrect teacher wielded the cane last week. What I thought I wrote was as follows: “From February 1983 when The Guardian was launched until July of that year when it installed its own machine it was printing at Ibadan using The Sketch facilities.” Alas, what I later discovered from my computer print-out and which came out was February 1982. The error is regretted.
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