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Saturday, 24 February 2024 06:55

[OPINION] The Past As Our Today, And Today Our Tomorrow - Abdu Rafiu

No one can dispute the fact that Nigerians are going through harrowing times. The digital channels, namely Twitter, FaceBook, WhatsApp, SMS, name them, fill Platforms with lamentations of hard times. All blame is heaped on the leadership. We least understand the place of personal responsibility including the responsibility we bear in the choice of leaders at different levels, or even aloofness which are in themselves choices and decisions we make. Says renowned author Herbert Vollmann (1903-1999) in his unique book, A Gate Opens:

“Every moment man gives cause to fateful consequences in the future and every moment he stands in the reactions of previous decisions from the present and from past earth-lives. Thus, men living on earth today must also be answerable to themselves for what they willed and thought in former earth-lives. In this connection it matters not whether the volition was general or directed at definite other human beings. This should exhort us to act with caution, and heighten our sense of responsibility, so that in future, whether on earth or in the beyond, evil reactions that darken and make our lives painful will no longer be possible.”


He went on: “Therefore let everyone who is struck by more or less severe ‘blows of fate’ remember, above all, that he is the originator, and not some other person.  Perhaps at one time he has done something evil to a fellow human being, who had to suffer innocently. To the innocent sufferer the Laws of Creation always bring compensation in some form or other, provided he forgives the wrong-doer. But to the guilty one dark threads of karma become attached at the very moment of the deed, which unfailingly return to him as the fruits of his volition. This is then the ‘punishment’ he inflicts upon himself. In reality it is the just balance of his evil volition, the real ‘compulsion to atonement.’”

In view of the foregoing, what does the future have in store for us, for our brethren, that is, those who kill, kidnap or torture their fellow men, or inflict pains on the hapless? Those who engage in man’s inhumanity to man of whatever nature or form? And what has the present yet to unfold? 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? These are said to a person who sometimes feels some stirring within or pangs in menace of the past. The past is dead and long buried is always the retort, sometimes as a balm, or comfort and reassurance. A great many of us are wont to blame others, but ourselves that we go through excruciating experiences in our daily living while others live in splendour.


As I did write five years ago and the present conditions necessitate a recap: 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 the recent past. Recent and transitional past fall within memory. There is a wider and longer stretch that covers contemporary history, the range of individual lives, and 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 that 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., and Barack Obama who broke the glass ceiling, to use the words of Hillary Clinton, and 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. In Tanzania, Julius Nyerere. And in 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 is the past for which there is no tangibility, that which is beyond the earthly. In its full unfolding that past for which there is no material evidence but which nevertheless exists and 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 a past in the making, filled with activities. Tomorrow, it will be past. 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 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 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, and 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 the action. The past thought dead is in truth alive, driven by the living and eternal Laws of Creation, which may also be called Cosmic Laws, Laws of Nature, or Divine laws; they mean the same thing. As I have repeatedly stated in this column, they are immutable, perfect, incorruptible, self-acting, and self-enforcing. They affect all human beings whether they are aware of their existence or ignorant of them. They issued from the Hand of the Almighty Creator, from and for all eternity. Again, as I have stated quite often, they are the mechanism with which the Creator governs His Creation. Thus, 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 us by Teachers of mankind, and the Prophets. It is from these Laws that the Ten Commandments of God were 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? As I explained last week, the Lord was referring to the Law of Sowing and Reaping, the Law of Reciprocal Action.


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, each according to its nature, ripen and are available for harvesting by no other than the sower. The 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 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. From the extensive discussion of the Laws last week, it could be seen that 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; cat fish, whales among their own kind, and different animals in different colonies.

Go to the ants and learn, and be wise, 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 or ethnic groups according to the degree of their inner development, that is, their 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 the Creator of all the worlds, discarded the Law and has disarranged the order stipulated for formation of societies and the entire Creation with the attendant harmonious swinging and development. 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 to be light. If it is continuous 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 boxers 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 man says or does comes back to him in harvest as 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 experiencing will be, drawing from his store of his long-forgotten past and also of the recent and contemporary past.  In the words of Herbert Vollmann, “Anything that befalls man in the way of hardship is very often called fate, and looked upon as a higher power which determines his life. But in reality it is men themselves who shape their fate or karma, which depending on their free decision is either good or bad, exactly in accordance with the Law that he who has sown it must reap the seed many times over even if it be only in later earth-lives.”

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, hurricane, tornadoes, landslide and volcanic eruptions, and even man reasoning upside down—are trumpets of judgment. 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 modern gadgets at his disposal is synonymous with the ability to tamper with the tapestry of life in the present time. 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 some obviously good people suffer. The suffering seemingly inscrutable is flowing from the past earth-lives as life is a continuum; it is one continuous existence. Today is thus the harbinger of our tomorrow!!

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