The successful man
The wish and prayer of every human being, man or woman, old or young, is to be successful in life. It is drilled into everyone: My dear son, you must study hard and you must work hard to be successful in life. If you fail in this you fail in life, so the well-meant admonition goes. If you do not want to be a hewer of wood and drawer of water, and carrier of the shoes of your peers, studious must you be and unrelenting must be your exertions in working life. Parents say it; teachers drum it into our ears. Poets get the homily to ring deep down our souls. The true relation is hard work, J.F. Odunjo says in his epic poem. (Ikunpa n’iyekan…!) Nothing succeeds as success. It is when you are successful that the world laughs with you. Work maketh the man. When you have money the world welcomes you with respectful rejoicing and laughter! How can we forget the debt of gratitude we owe the renowned poet, J.F. Odunjo?
In a majority of cases, it is not enough to be a quiet achiever; the wish and prayer is to also be publicly acknowledged as such. And what is wrong, to boot, in being a man of the people, apologies to Chinua Achebe! Year in, year out, endless streams of prayers arise from us that we may hit fortunes some day. Many long to make their first billion before they are 30, and they work hard at it.
No season than the New Year provides a more unique, indeed, a greater opportunity to look back and assess how the journey has fared thus far, renew the desire and say the prayers all over again. Our prayer warriors ask us to get up and say after them: “I will make my first billion this year.” Aside from prayers, some are driven to make striking their first billion a New Year resolution. “This year I must make my first billion”, they say. In decades past, it used to be the first million, but times have changed. The younger generation today talk about billions as if they are referring to a tipper-load of granite stones!
Generally for a long time, the man of means is regarded as the successful man. Recruitment into the upper class is no longer drawn principally from aristocracy or the men of letters, but from business families. The successful man is defined by the extent of his material endowments. He is one who has two or three mansions, a palatial country home, a fleet of limousines, a private jet and a yacht. In Nigeria he is chairman of a bank and he has one or two oil blocs. At ceremonies he is distinguished by a long gold chain and beads. Sometimes, one or two gold teeth will be considered ain’t bad!
In a gathering, all heads turn in his direction to pay homage. In the home, many gather at his feet to be favoured with his glances and an eye contact with smiles, and to partake of the comestibles from the richly-laid table. Close by is a security detail who doubles as his telephone man. Many in want look at him with envy and some others watch in prayerful thoughts of a day they would be like him in this wonderland.
Despite the overarching influence of money, the world still spares a thought for the scholar. Consequently, every year, scholars who have distinguished themselves in their various fields are given national and international recognition. In our country, such men of distinction are given the National Merit Award. Beyond our shores, there is the much coveted Nobel Award. Men of power and influence as well as men who have distinguished themselves in their chosen careers are also accorded the pride of place as successful men worthy of emulation, especially in societies with a modicum of wholesome value system.
Through the efforts of these successful men, our world has been transformed and has witnessed technological wonders which have fetched us remarkable benefits. Life has been facilitated through inventions and manufacturing. Through media boom—the social media, print and electronics, indeed, the miracle digital media—we now live in a global village. And through science, life has been saved and prolonged. Justifiably, we say all that have been connected with such beneficial works can’t but be regarded as great and successful men. They are indeed men to be saluted.
As there is no standstill in life, as our world is governed by motion, which ensures progress in development, and extension of knowledge, necessarily the parameters of success will have to be reviewed and redefined; frontiers will have to be widened with revelations which are unfolded in the march into time brought about by movement. As we will discover before long, the movement which already places us in a Cosmic Turning Point also compels knowledge. For all-round beauty of the worlds of Creation of which our earth is only no more than a tip of a fountain pen, there will be compulsion to knowledge. As we are permitted out of Grace and Mercy to know, peace and harmony, and for man therein to prosper and be free from pressure and bondage, familiarization with and voluntary submission to the structure, order and workings of Creation is an imperative.
Come to think of it, haven’t scientists given us just a glimpse of the vastness of our universe alone, which is one of the seven in just the material world? Our earth is a planet in our solar system which is around the sun. The sun itself is only one of billions of stars in our galaxy, the Milky Way. The Milky Way is in turn one of the billions of galaxies in our Universe called Ephesus. We learn of the remaining universes in the Book of Revelation in which they are referred to as churches. Did I hear the scientists say the sun is 28million miles from the earth and the moon 400,000 miles away? As I once mentioned, planet earth takes 25,960 earth years to traverse a cosmic or zodiac force field. Each force field which corresponds with an Age is the same as what is called Universe or World Hour. Because there are 12 Zodiac force fields, one Age is 2,160 years. This century has brought the transition from Age Pisces to Aquarium Age, the age of the Holy Spirit. The true knowledge must, therefore, consist of how all the billions of stars and the universes orbit in circles without any colliding with the other. They are held and controlled by the Order, the Law from which they issued! These are material worlds only; the Spiritual Realms are not included here, the vastness of which is incomprehensible to any human being! Little wonder 1,000 years on earth is said to be no more than one day in the Light Region!
Considered from the enormity of suffering and misery in the world today, we cannot truthfully say we are successful men, for by our definition as successful men, such misery and sorrow must have been banished from our lives to be so regarded.
Because the majority of mankind regards what is material as the only thing of value, our conclusions as to the successful man are conditioned by parameters of material attainments. Not much has been given to considering and understanding man who is supposed to be regarded as the successful entity. An understanding of who man is and his purpose here on earth will clearly show whether he should be regarded as successful in any light other than that for which he is here on earth. Is there any wisdom in the admonition that enjoins us not to call any man successful until he has breathed his last? Is it because of the possibility that his endowments can vanish at any time in the course of his life that we have been asked to hold our conclusions about a man of means? It will seem to me that the saying is deep indeed, coming from recognitions of the purpose and the path of man’s sojourn in our world. For we are not likely to say a traveller is successful until he has returned to the starting point no matter the ovation that is lavished on him along the way.Who is man? Where does his journey begin and where does it end? In the 70s, Ebenezer Obey in one of his immortal lyrics reminded us that we are travellers and our supplication to the Father is to get us home at all costs. In another, he says this earth is a marketplace, Heaven is our home. In the market, we sell, we buy, we learn by interacting and when it is night we leave for home with our profit or losses as the case may be, and with lessons learnt.
Briefly put, as new and higher knowledge available today reveals, man is a spirit who pre-existed back home in the Spiritual Realm and he is here on earth which is a special school for him to grow, develop and unfold his talents and abilities. As in all school systems, after moving from class to class the time of a final examination for man arrives. If he passes he returns home in the Spiritual Realm more known as Paradise where he will make use of his talents and abilities in the further development of the worlds and partake of the splendor that exists there. He returns home through the combined outworking of the Law of the Circle that stipulates the end going back to the beginning; the Law of Spiritual Gravitation which ensures a spirit which is light having dropped all burden of dross and has washed his linen clean is lifted up; it soars as it were; and the Law of Homogeneity that propels him to live among his own kind in Paradise. These are the mature and perfected self-conscious spirit-personalities. Those who fail are made to repeat classes (re-incarnation) and if in the end they squandered the grace of the opportunity of repeated classes offered and they cannot be helped any longer, they are expelled (eternal damnation).
What I am getting at is that every man left the Spiritual Realm as a spirit germ who pre-existed before his appearance on earth. He existed there in an unconscious state, a condition which can be likened to that of a new-born baby. Every newly born baby is alive, but not conscious of its environment. It takes months before it comes gradually to an awakening and becomes familiar with its environment, its father, brothers and sisters and so on. In the state it pre-existed in the Spiritual Realm, his development into a full human spirit, that is a full human being of value, was impossible. The luminousity of the radiations occasioned by the vicinity of the Light would make his development impossible. This also is like opening an unripe fruit to the sun. It would be scorched. For the spirit germ to develop it required a cooler place where through influences assailing it and struggling with them it would gradually develop, become familiar with the rules of the house, that is the Will of the Creator which manifest in the Primordial Laws of Creation, the Laws of Nature, become fully mature and then return in a state of self-consciousness to its real home, Paradise. His animating core, the spirit, stands out there radiating and glowing. Every help has been afforded us to develop in this manner. Teachers were sent. So were prophets, to point the way, guide our steps and warn. When their efforts were unavailing, the Lord, the Son of God Himself, had to come with His Word of enlightenment to redirect and guide men to the purpose of their existence, how we are to move so we do not entangle ourselves in all manner of wrongdoing which would debar entry into Paradise. There have been other lesser helps all of which man has ignored, scorned or misrepresented.
But for man to live on earth, he needs the body, constructed with the same material as the earth. However, it is this body that has been widely and wrongly regarded as the man himself, rather than just the cover for the real man, the spirit, which he needs to manifest and work here in the course of his development. Every effort is made to give that body all that it needs—food, shelter and clothing, but not much attention, if at all is paid to the needs of the spirit! While plant and its derivatives are the food of the body, the Word of Truth is the food, the elixir of life for the spirit.
What we witness is that the body develops, receiving all the attention, and ovation, but the spirit is neglected. Because of the transient nature of the body as is the case with every garment, when it is discarded, the inhabitant of the body is found to have been malnourished such that it has not moved from being a spirit germ. It is like a seed grain lost in the ground. With all his fame, material endowments, applause and acknowledgement by his fellowmen on earth, on the other side, in the Beyond, he is a total failure—feeble, paralysed, many a time blind, deaf and dumb. In some cases disfigured in unbelievable deformity, and unconscious.
Thus, the successful man is he who returns home self-conscious with his spiritual talents unfolded—standing out there a human being—a human spirit in human form (which he gradually attains correspondent to his development into self-consciousness)—beautiful, polished, refined, perfect and glowing, with a crown mercifully bestowed on him for eternal life. Any wonder, the Lord Christ was reported to have said: “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?”As we begin a New Year, what our resolve individually should be is clear, our prayer unmistakable: to be a human being, who is then the successful man.