Friday, January 8, 2010
IS THERE REALLY ANYTHING LIKE JUJU?
So I was having a conversation with my very erudite bros who says every nonbeliever is "poor upstairs."In the course of the conversation, I was reminded of the extent to which religious faith trains the mind to accept things without reason. In this case, proof-free belief in supernatural/spiritual phenomena.
On a side note, he offered me an answer to a question I've asked others concerning what I consider a paradox in the concept of on omniscient creator, and I must confess that his answer gave me serious pause. I wanted to know how an omniscient being can find purpose in humans when she knows all; our beginning through to our end. If so, why bother creating us? Bros went like "Have you ever watched a movie you've seen already? Where's the purpose in that? Where do we get off trying to imagine the emotional imperatives of an omniscient being with our stunted minds? O PLeeeze sharap!!" I'm still stumped.
Anyways, as our conversation evolved he made references to his 'spirit' and that got me thinking. How did we come to accept absurd ideas like every human has a spirit as fact? No one has ever observed evidence of his/her spirit. I would think progress in science should have arrested that dogma, but Bros isn't convinced that biology would ever explain his consciousness, and as far as he is concerned, his brain is an instrument through which his spirit controls his body. Nothing more. All that complexity. Nothing but a spiritual receiver of sorts.
Most of my episode with Bros reminded me of a convo I had in school with friends regarding witches and wizards. I still don't understand how engineering PhD students believe that humans fly and convene at 2:00am (i dunno if it's pacific time or central African time) to discuss and plot evil. That these witches/wizards can transmute into different animals (For what purpose, I don't know). That a barely dressed man with chalk markings who thinks raffia clothing ain't faux pas , but an appropriate fashion statement, can call your name into a calabash in his shrine and inflict an ailment or death upon you, remotely, for a small nominal fee from your enemy.
Like most Nigerians, my friends have unshakable convictions about these witch doctors, shrines, black magic, voodoo, and stuff like that, and yet the closest they've ever come to witnessing any supernatural phenomenon is a naija movie. That and umptillions of third hand accounts.
This issue shouldn't deserve more than a chuckle but when a relative's nanny loses her mum and her family members do an 'autopsy' in their heads and conclude the cause of death is a spiritual attack and then proceed to beat a confession out of the alleged perpetrator, chuckle turns to wild choke.
So like I usually ask folks, has anyone around blogsville ever witnessed a supernatural phenomenon? If not, why do you believe second hand accounts?