There lived a mad woman in my home village by name Beatrice but we all called her “Bee.” She was young, probably in her late twenties back then. No one knew how she became mad. When I was a kid, the other kids and I will mock at her and go into hiding and she will chase some of us with a big cane. I am speaking of a time when I was about seven or eight and “Bee” was very fat then. Now she has grown a little lean.
Sometimes she got her senses back when the gods were on holiday or when they let the locks lose. During those brief moments, she will be calm, even if you teased her and yelled her name. I was told she even responded to greetings nicely.
It has been a long time, about twenty years now, since I went back to the village and I was shocked to know that “Bee” was still alive. In fact I saw but didn’t recognize her. We were watching a traditional dance one late evening when someone came and stood right in front of us thus not only blocking our view but polluting the atmosphere with a pungent smell – as a result of not bathing for almost two decades.
“Hey Bee, move away!” one of my cousins shouted and I asked him if that was the same Bee I knew as child to which he responded in the affirmative. It got me thinking. This is someone who eats from the trash can and drinks from the gutter and is still alive. She has no sense of hygiene at all and probably houses thousands of bacteria in body. Yet she is still far from death. Over these years many people have died of warfare, diseases, drugs and simple recklessness.
Let us take a look at the war in Syria and Iraq, where almost daily, hundreds are lined up and massacred. Or let’s come down to West Africa, Boko Haram, which has killed more than 2000 people during the first half of 2014. Could these things have happened by chance? Certainly not. Are there higher malevolent invisible forces involved? Maybe.
Human behavior is very intriguing. The seeds of evil are sown by humans but the larger invisible evil forces help water them daily and nurture them until they grow into unimaginable dimensions. Think of this as pouring gasoline on a piece of burning flame. There is a force behind all evil. Many people call this force “the devil.” But I am not sure if this is an accurate description because the forces that I have sensed are also dynamic – metamorphosing into other forms every now and then. So that something that initially appears good suddenly transforms into evil and vice-versa. How then can evil come out of good? How can hate come out of love? And how can death replace life if there are no malignant demonic forces involved?
Where ever there is conflict, for once, we know that there are at least two opposing forces – usually good and evil or sometimes all evil. The only medium for these forces is the human psyche. Here, let me try to, in psychological terms, define spirituality. It is at that precise point where emotions is joined with intellect or reason. It is like the confluence of two rivers, so you cannot know where one ends and the other begins or which direction each river is going. This is the arena of all mental struggles and this is where invisible evil forces perch in wait, like sea eagles, to dig their talons into innocent souls. Surely you will need an anchor. This anchor is called morality. And immortality is considered the ultimate reward for being moral.
In another sense, evil forces are like malicious computer software, they cannot destroy physical things on their own. They need hardware (humans) as a medium, so brothers and sisters let us guard against our emotions and reasoning. The point of this post is to draw your attention to the metaphysical aspect of the world in which we find ourselves. The physical material world is just one side of the coin. Science does not and cannot teach everything.
Bee, the lunatic, is still alive because the evil forces do not need her. She is a damaged piece of “hardware” so why would they want her. But those of us in our prime let us be on guard. I am just saying be careful. In the spiritual world there are no remedies, it’s a predator-prey kingdom, and it doesn’t matter whether you are on the side of this god or that god. A little mistake and you are gone and who is to tell whether there is another world beyond? If you ask me the answer is simple, I don’t know.
But I, personally, will never chose oblivion over immortality though the former is more obvious and the latter, simply speculative. This is because a belief in immortality makes one happy in the here and now. The ultimate purpose of cultivating faith (in anything) is to make one happy.