The Illusion of ‘Self’

Dependence refers to the reliance on something or someone. This is a concept that is becoming increasingly obsolete in our society today. In our “me” centered society we have grown to adopt the belief that an inability to exert full autonomy implies weakness and immaturity. Perhaps the society is right. I mean, we’ve all had those moments when we’ve wished we didn’t have to depend on our parents for money, shelter, or even our education. However, while we’re all getting caught up in the struggle for independence amongst each other, there’s a need to remind ourselves who the actual only sovereign, only autonomous, only independent being in this world is; the only individual who can boast of Himself as the “I am”. I believe you know who I refer to. A problem ensues when we involve Him in our obsession for independence, when we attempt to be independent from Him.

This problem is what I refer to as the ‘illusion of self’ or simply, ‘self’. I refer to ‘self’ as an illusion because in reality, there is no “us” without “Him”, just like there is no branch without the vine. It will therefore make no sense for such a branch to boast of an identity of its own. It probably is the worst kind of idolatry to ever be practiced. Man shifts his focus from God to an idol that his himself. Rather than be dependent on God, man depends on himself. Remember that the reason God hates idolatry is because it challenges his sovereignty by attempting to create a substitute for Him.

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I live with the enemy; He’s Me.

“War, huh, yeah! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing”

Edwin Starr, War.

While you (reader of this article) may agree very strongly with Edwin Starr’s lyrics, I will be upfront about my slight dissent from this view. At this very moment, my reluctant fingers and agog computer keyboard will attest to the difficulty in converting my thoughts into words, not because that which I type is false, but because certain truths are not easy to tell. Regardless, my truth:

I have done something dire and they know it.

“He should’ve used his head!”, they whisper.

But what happens when his head is his enemy

And his mind, the culprit?

The puppet continues to wield its own strings,

Caging its master in the delusion of his autonomy.

In reality, his mind isn’t his,

Not now, not yet.

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Money in the Bank (by Olubusola Oladeinde)

People go through life not knowing what to get. Men walk the face of the earth thinking “Where would my resources come from?” But there is money in the bank waiting for the men of the earth. This money in the bank is sitting gathering dust. In order to get, one must draw near, but before one draws near, he must heed the call of another.

Men of the earth, O men of the earth!
The first man doesn’t know if there is money or not. He can’t hear people calling out. So, he never discovers that the money is gathering dust.

The second man knows. He has heard whispers but he doesn’t know where to look. He’s not covering the distance; he’s not drawing near.

The third man, the ignorant third man. He knows where the bank is but chooses to be uninterested, thinking, “Why should I draw near? Why should I receive?”
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Look within (by Hohenheim)

There was once a king in a distant land, his city was excellent yet he desired more. In that region, his kingdom was one of many Kingdoms; all more splendid than his, so glorious and wonderful than any thought could fathom. This king, day after day stood at the wall of his kingdom gazing over the vast land into these other kingdoms admiring their beauty, their splendour and their unimaginable greatness. With each day that passed, with each gaze, his heart grew sour, full of sadness and despair and he desired more than anything for his kingdom to be like these kingdoms in their statures as he thought nothing could be more than these. So he set out to fulfill his desire and employed every art and science to achieve this goal. Still unable to fulfill his desire, he grew more and more frustrated and so, he sought the help of magic.
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AN INFORMAL LETTER TO SEX

Dear Sex,
From your posts on Instagram, I understand you’re doing really great. Today, I’m writing to you because I feel it’s high time someone told you the truth about yourself.

Honestly, to most citizens of the Unmarried State, you are cool, welcoming and wonderful. You are exciting, engaging and satisfactory. I must say, that’s really commendable.
Nevertheless, I hold a few resentments against you. You are largely deceptive. First you’ve artfully convinced most people in this state into believing that your second name is ‘love’. You didn’t stop there. You went on to coerce them to rain applauses on you, cheering you by the nicknames you carved up for yourself and day after day they hail ‘’ …and here comes ultimate ROMANCE..’’ ‘’Let’s welcome almighty FUN, the commander of pleasures!’’

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THE SWEET LIFE

happy-black-woman

La dolce vita; Italian for the sweet life or the good life, is a 1960 Italian drama film which shows Marcello Rubini, a journalist writing for gossip magazines, over seven days and nights on his journey through the “sweet life” of Rome in a fruitless search for love and happiness.

Like Marcello, a lot of us are leading fruitless lives, sadly more than seven days and nights. Love and happiness are important ingredients that spice up life and make it worth living. They are not magical feelings meant for a selected few, contrary to the beliefs of some people. That conclusion comes about when we become exhausted, constantly searching for the right thing(s) in the wrong place(s) or doing the right thing(s) too little or too much.

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A Proud Heart

Pride is the most dangerous of the seven deadly sins. As it has often been said to be the root, from which the others originate. However it goes deeper than being arrogant or pompous. Pride is a character that is rooted in self-sufficiency and self-confidence. It comes from the misconceived notion that we are something on our own. Meanwhile, in truth there’s only one self-sufficient being in the whole universe or universes. If we are sustained or dependent on the self-sufficient one for everything from our lives to the construction of our personalities and intellect, then it makes no sense for a person to boast. Pride is therefore when one thinks of himself more highly than he ought to.

Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.  Rom 11:18
Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith? or shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it?  as if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself, as if it were no wood. Isaiah 10:15
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All about the Scars

In September 2001, I was 8 years old. I knew little about life and pain. Life to me was a playground and the only pain I knew was whips. I enjoyed playing until play became pain.
I had an elbow dislocation while playing on a swing. In that instant, I understood the meaning of the word anguish.
Several months rolled by and I had gone from severe pain to numbness. It was a swift trip from dislocation to necrosis. My fingers took various colours and lost all memories about how to move.
The doctors gave their verdict. The limb is gone, we have to amputate.
Does amputate mean what I think it means? Will my parents give their consent to remove a whole limb?

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So, I watch Game of Thrones…

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Beyond the exhilarating tussle amongst the various nobles and exiled heiress (aka. Daenarys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, The Unburnt, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, Queen of Meereen, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Protector of the Realm, Lady Regnant of the Seven kingdoms, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons) for the illustrious Iron throne, the show has caught the attention of many for reasons other than its remarkable plot. It is quite difficult to miss the gratuitous bouts of sexual raunchiness, extreme bloody violence and the ubiquitous depictions of cultural and religious taboos that shadow the HBO chef d’oeuvre.

In a bid to protect another similarly vulnerable ‘Iron throne’ housed within the confines of my skull’s red keep, I have wrestled with the decision on whether or not to watch the blockbuster a myriad of times. The series has in fact cycled between the recycle bin and video folder of my computer a couple of times. My surmise was that, one can only see so many gory decapitations and rapes before thoughts related to the aforementioned become implanted in the maze of his mind, seeking an escape route to a less ephemeral and more tangible aspect of his humanity, expression.

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The Gospel on the frontline

The Climax of the movie ‘Selma’ (2014) saw Actor David Oyelowo re-enact Rev. Martin Luther King Jr’s passionate speech on the steps of the Alabama State Capitol after a successful march in March 1965. He recited the first stanza of what is now known as the ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic’.

“Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord…” he cried. Then with “Glory Hallelujah! His (God’s) truth is matching on,” he roared in conclusion, sending his audience into raptures and earning himself a rousing ovation.

They had won!

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