Wednesday, March 9, 2016
By Namakando Nalikando-Sinyama Somebody Died Last Night, But We Didn’t Somebody Did Not Wake Up This Morning, But We Did We Are Not Lucky, We Are Blessed! I know the above message was genuinely meant to be uplifting and probably aimed at encouraging someone out there. Well, that was until I picked up on it that is! And all those that died last night, are Cursed is that it? Sorry, I do not intend to seem overly critical and thus antagonising most people’s tenets of faith and religious dogma. I also do not want to be seen as one that is totally ungrateful for the divine providence and the abundance of grace that has seen me through to this day. It is just that, I have constantly struggled with this very concept of the so-called foreordained progression of events on Earth or the predestination/ preordination of the general course of human life and existence. There might be those souls out there who genuinely care for my safety and future wellbeing, who will probably wonder why I am not scared to write about such things. And to them, I am heartily grateful. But I should have Fear of what exactly? The fear of Eternal damnation, Reprisals and consequences for my free spirited stance in life has long since left me. But reprisals from whom anyway and for what? I am glad to report that, I happen to be one of the very last few of a dying and extremely rare breed of humans who claim to have sufficiently ascended spiritually to manage this kind of delicate leverage in handling such matters. Others will only attempt this at their own peril! I here write this piece, only for those that DO NOT find the exercise in Applied Logical Thought and Reasoning sinful or painful. The concept of Predestination, (in Christian theology) is the doctrine that God has ordained all that will happen, especially with regard to the salvation of some and not others. It has been particularly associated with the teachings of St Augustine of Hippo and of Calvin. If you, rather wrongly, felt that I am here unfairly taking a swipe at the teachings in Christendom only, you would sadly be missing the point, since this belief happens to be alive and well in other faiths as well. The same concept in Arabic is called Kismet. We have gotten only too accustomed to screams of, ‘Allah Uakbar!!’(God is Great) from Islamic zealots when they survive a calamitous event or just before they are about to end, either their own life or that of someone else’s! When people survive accidents on mass public transport and they quickly say ‘thank God they survived’, what are we to think about the many that die and get injured? What are they supposed to say? Or the good lord just gets so incensed with their many collective transgressions despite their diverse backgrounds and thus feels the over powering need or urge to snuff out their lives in one go especially seeing that by sheer happenstance, they have rather conveniently and mysteriously gathered in one vessel, in an uncaring display of instant justice? Some say, look, you cannot question him; he is the giver of all Life, so he can end it at any time as he wishes right? What about the many Babies that have died in accidents, was it also their appointed Time to die just after being born? What would have been the point of being born to begin with? Through one man Sin entered and all have fallen short of the glory of God, its ok for them to die too because they are sinners! Wow!!! Even Babies? This is also yet another concept that I will forever find morally repulsive and unpalatable and will never ever sit well with me in my conscience. Are they all really sinners and you are so special as the lone survivor of a Bus or Plane crash or it is just purely the Law of a Probable outcome at play? Out of all the people who have died and have been maimed, he only has a special purpose for you alone, while the others had all outlived their usefulness on the Planet? Talk about an exaggerated perception of self, what impudence and misplaced haughtiness indeed! Are we to understand that they all did not have Children and Relatives who still wanted them to be alive because they still needed their love and care? They looked up to them for sustenance and in their minds; these people’s passing suddenly whether naturally through disease/old age or any other causal agent cannot be justified in any way. The bereaved families will now be effectively consigned to abject poverty on account of the sudden death of their sole bread winners? The rather childishly naïve excuse I usually get from the many faithfuls is this that, for ALL those that die, it happens to be their appointed time and date to die! Alright, please consider if you may, what would happen to an individual who, let us imagine has not yet come to their so-called ‘appointed’ time to die and then they somehow fell or god forbid were forcibly dipped into a tank of highly concentrated acid which can even consume metal with relative ease. What would happen to them since it is not yet their time to die? This is obviously an outrageous example but if you are a thinker you do get the point. They rather shamefacedly say, because you know, according to the Bible, and I prefer the original text of 1611 King James Version, which by the way, is the originally published KJV text from 1611 A.D. which he officially approved, and had written in archaic English; Ecclesiastes 3: 1 – 8 To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. Are we honestly to believe that, God somehow conveniently decides to pack a bus or plane full of people with the same appointed day and time of death? Really, are you serious? I do not buy into this careless thinking one single bit. So, I hope you understand why I write this piece because I stand ready to be called all sorts of names. I am also prepared to face the possible consequences of my taking the liberty to think the way I do, probably as hoped by the many that subscribe to fear based Religions that I will be punished (I am actually already having flashing images of a fluke-tailed, pitch folk or trident wielding, crimson horned fiend poking me into a blazing hot inferno of Hell Fire, complete with the accompanying music from the celestial choir for special effects and all, as the heavenly Bakolo Braai or Barbecue goes on!) I have personally had very narrow escapes with my life and avoided it coming to a premature end during my pilgrims’ journey on earth. I have had a close shave with one of the Four Horsemen of Revelation by surviving road traffic accidents more than once but have been somehow reluctant to thank God that I came out unscathed while others were permanently maimed or lost their lives. How would you feel standing next to someone who gets up and dusts themselves off and rather selfishly, rudely and inconsiderately says, “ Thank God I have survived, I am truly blessed!” when you have just lost a loved one in the same accident? What choice words would you have for them and for their ‘god’ who has so blessed them but allowed your relation to die? It will not at all be surprising that this piece will be dismissed by some as a silly attempt at an Atheistic expose of how things really operate on this planet from someone who seemingly has no clue whatsoever. But, if like me, you have also wondered just why such utterly tragic happenings are seemingly allowed to freely go on unchecked, then you are slowly getting close to answering the age old question about who really is in control of this world we live in? Are we as humans marionettes or puppets on strings, cast into the Arena of Life where we are but pawns in a game or tossup between the perpetual struggle between Right and Wrong? Are we going to be forever at the mercy of these forces to be influenced whimsically? Whether this influence is total or partial is obviously a subject of debate because things on Earth are so bad for any thinking person to claim that a truly loving deity is and has been in charge all along. It therefore goes without saying that the belief in FATE is, in all reason and logic fallacious. Human beings are not ANDROIDS (Star Trek creations) or an army of robots living a life pre-programmed into microchips imbedded into our brains. If this were the case you will agree that that would make the concept of us having a free will (one of our greatest weapon against self-destruction) seem a philosophical myth or a childish prank. Is the whole of human Life some kind of Truth or Dare Game between God and The Devil, where the latter was given latitude or the unrestricted carte blanche to exert some or given complete or full degree of influence over human life and dared to have a go at tweaking or tinkering around with us while the former claimed there would still be a few humans that would remain faithful to him and make it through the period of temptation? Whose awaiting reward being an endless floating existence in weightlessness conditions NASA style to perpetually enjoy the heavenly bounty consisting of what we hear will mostly be a vegetarian diet punctuated with lots of praise singing. Singing forever? Is it because the already existing angelic orchestra has called for an urgent reinforcement of tenors or what? I have always known the multitude of believer who are always clamouring to going for church every Sunday hope for this exact cherished prized but have not quite sat down to think of what they will be doing while there drifting away in a suspended state. Singing forever? Come on Namakando, do not be so negative and such a party pooper am sure the entertainment committee would spice it all up and come up with activities like tag of war, Beach volleyball or something! Wow! That would really be something alright levitation mounds of silica (sand) to step on. Well, there could also be some occasional earthly visitations arranged as a tourist attraction to just have a reminder of what life was like of Earth. And all this is to go on for a time indefinite! Of course, you do understand that technically and grammatically speaking, an activity that goes on indefinitely eventually does come to an end right? It is just not really definite or certain when the end will be, right? After it ends, then what? This just tells you that very few who aspire for a heavenly existence have actually paid much thought to what exactly they yearn for. Come on then, scripture tells not be anxious of tomorrow or the life ahead, leave everything in his hands and it shall be revealed to you. Well, then and I my friend are not wired the same! This, in the end, is what makes and has made many people who have greatly suffered much on earth in many different ways not to believe in a truly caring and all powerful God because they have concluded he had or has so far been powerless or has been uncaring enough to prevent the death of their Baby /a Loving Mother or Father or Sister or Brother through natural causes like disease or accidents or have lost material possession through theft or natural causes. It does not exactly help that in Insurance Cover circles these natural happenings or causes have been aptly called Acts of God! A closer look at the Christian Biblical story of Job for me had somehow foreshadowed how life in general was scripted to play out on this planet. Yes, scripted, for we are all but actors on the stage of Life, while the Directors watch on and decide when the proverbial curtain falls for each one of us.