Date Published: 07/26/11
Honouring Ancestors by M A C Odu
The Ten Commandments is said to be the main pillar of Christianity and the sure basis for relationship between man and his Creator. It is apposite to commence this essay from here to disprove the wrong principle fast gaining ground that our ancestors were pagans and consequently hell bound and should therefore not be given any honour.
The fourth commandment reads ‘Honour your father and your mother.’ My Thesaurus gives the following words as closely related to the noun honour: respect, admiration, credit, reputation and tribute. Verbs from the same word are: revere, reverence, and respect, venerate, pay tribute to, and pay homage to.
I intend to examine the basis for that injunction in this essay in order to position the attitude of churches regarding our traditional rites of passage and excoriate their ambivalence in respect of saints of the church. To them no saint can issue from a pagan background. None of our ancestors are worthy of veneration. In fact some fanatics avoid attending events concerning their ancestors but are crazily involved in worshipping saints of churches and leaving huge resources for their continued veneration.
Parents are crystals of past volitions. They become parents by merit of each individual human spirit. The past actions of each parent of an offspring and their volitions in past lives compel each parent to deserve a human spirit that incarnates through each of them. There is not one gap in Creation for error of parentage. Every parent deserves the offspring they receive in every material particular. A human spirit cannot incarnate accidentally in the womb of an undeserving mother. Past thoughts, volitions and actions compel the closeness of a human spirit that appropriately suits both parents at the point of incarnation.
The point of incarnation of a human spirit in a feminine womb occurs midway through pregnancy at that point in the formation of a foetus or human body in formation, when the foetus is ready in a feminine womb to receive a human spirit. Before this, what exists in the womb is mere human tissue without the quality of a human spirit. What forms the quality of a human spirit is the entry of a human spirit. It is the human spirit’s entry that imbues character to a human spirit. It is at this point that the first movements of the incarnating spirit takes place in the womb of a woman bearing the human body in formation. What comes in as spirit bears the character of the human being in an earthly body that has two parts, the mere physical body and the animating spirit.
That character is formed by past thoughts, volitions and actions of that human spirit, through its past earth lives. If a human being lived dishonourable lives in the past resulting in harm to Creation in any way, it can only incarnate in a womb through the sperm of a man and the ovum of a woman that is appropriate for its spiritual density. It can not be otherwise. Nature is perfect in allocating without error of any sort, the parents that most suit the pains that both parents deserve for the past lives of their forming child. Parents who led lives that had conflicts with Natural Law shall only receive allocation of human spirits that will cause them pain and anguish commensurate with the pain and anguish that such lives of conflicts deserve. In the opposite manner parents who lived lives that conformed to Natural Law can only deserve offspring that would have an opportunity to further the operation of Natural Law. In fact the spirit of the young child hangs around a woman that has the same spiritual density until the point of incarnation is reached by the foetus forming the human body. This is not capable of changing unless the parents deserve the change by serious change in their thoughts, volitions and actions.
It may be necessary to explain that thoughts operate at a lower plane in Creation than volitions. Volitions operate at the spiritual plane. What a spirit hankers after is registered for it without fail. If a spirit has a desire to harm fellow humans and sets his volitions on that, he can only attract such human spirits as cause harm in Creation to other human beings. For birds of a feather flock together.
This implies that marriage between two human beings can only yield what both human beings deserve as the maturation of their past thoughts, volitions and actions which are firmly anchored for them in the records of Creation. There are beings in Creation whose tasks are to weave into human spirits the exact forms that represent their thoughts volitions and actions with which an incarnating spirit is imbued under the eternal law of reciprocal action that compels one to reap what one sows in abundance. This is fully dramatised in the parable of The Sower in the Christian Bible.
These foregoing facts of Creation’s Laws make it imperative that human beings should cooperate rather than conflict with Natural Laws. Nothing can change the inexorable laws of Creation It is man that must lead lives that conform to Creation’s laws in order to work in harmony and benefit from the bounty within Creation It is futile for anyone to hold volitions that are not positive and in conflict with Natural Law. For everyone must receive what everyone deserves. And the ultimate law is Love your neighbour as yourself.
With this background explanation honour is what we owe our parents. We owe our parents this honour because we issue from them in body and spirit. Those who remember their parents with love and respect that they afforded them an opportunity to incarnate and correct past mistakes are praiseworthy. For in the act of honouring their parents they are able to drop Karma originating from past misdeeds and have an opportunity to strive to live aright. Those who scorn their parents as heathens and dishonour them are bound to pay dearly under Natural Law because each human being deserves the parents that they have. Regarding parents as heathens not worth remembering tends to deny human spirits opportunities for bettering themselves in an incarnation. It has become a scourge to many lives especially those who in their fanatical Christianity tend to look down on their ancestors and despise them as people who lived in darkness before Christianity came and consequently were worthless in Creation.
Honouring ancestors by celebrating their lives and deeds while they were in the flesh assists parents in the beyond drop their threads of fate for wrong doings for subsequent incarnations. In Igbo unpolluted tradition ancestors were celebrated with a lot of pomp commensurate with the measure of visibility of the ancestors in society during their lives on earth. Ancestors who were instrumental to the ennoblement of society got very loud and wide publicity on their passing. Their children ensure that all those with whom an ancestor had relations during his or her life got informed at his or her passing. Their children ensured also that whatever an ancestor owed to the various social units with which he or she was identified was paid in full. This includes rites of passage which an ancestor participated in while in the flesh. He is bound to hang out in the cold in spirit until he has redeemed what he owed. Some progenies suffer tremendous anguish for denying their ancestors this right to release. Their ancestors make war against them for shunning them and demeaning their status among ancestors in spirit. Many think that running into churches and wishing away their existing debts is a worthy route to shield themselves. They find in the end that they are merely kicking against the goad. What one owes one must pay to regain his freedom.
The received religions thrive most by ridiculing our ancestors and those who revere them. Yet they have ample room to sell saints canonised by fellow human beings for love shown during their lives on earth and perhaps exceptional conformity with the injunctions of churches. It is frightfully unimaginable that in Africa before advent of received religions that no one among our ancestors qualified for higher realms of activity because they were not Christians in the sense of received religions. There is evidence to prove that we have become worse materialists since the Europeans sold us their own mode of relating with The Creator. One key distortion is the concept of one life and after that judgment. Our ancestors were aware of reincarnation and could trace the arrival of human spirits back into their families for purposes of redeeming debts owed in previous lives and bettering communities within which they led their lives especially when they led highly visible lives.
It is easier now with our conundrum of problems to conclude that we have in fact degenerated as a result of received religions. The communal spirit of old has all but vanished from our psyches since the atomised culture of our invaders have taken root. Even the received religions have been monetised and the purveyors are richer by the day as society moves from one decadent and despicable level of irrelevance to another. We are neither beasts of our own system nor full beasts of the alien system. Our traditional sanctions have been clericalised out of efficacy. Curses no longer have force since received religion has weakened its potency by introducing ambivalence in the minds of the holders of traditional staff. Our identity is fast being eroded and destroyed. Our ancestors are in perennial tears in the beyond as we drift from one social confusion to another in our socio-political and economic life without reverence for our roots. The darkness looms in the distance against the variety which Nature imbues us with which we have trampled under foot to assume the ways of others in utter disregard for our ancestors and their legacies.