On The Path Of Winners
BY BAYO OGUNMUPE
Overcoming The Challenges Of Our Existence
SATURDAY the 27th of September 2014 was an environmental sanitation day in Lagos. As such the streets were jam packed in bid to honour an invitation to attend a symposium in Ikoyi on that day. Nonetheless, the symposium went ahead albeit late. Held at the old Ikoyi Hotel now Christened Golden Gate Restaurant, the seminar by the Rosicrucian order, AMORC was titled, Overcoming the Challenges of Mortal Existence. It was hosted by the Lagos Zone of the Order.
The first of the AMORC mismatches was the choice of Dr. Frederick Fasheun of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) as chairman. Expectedly he disappointed them by not attending. It was not expected of AMORC, an order that teaches its members to think and absorb wisdom of the ancients to choose such a controversial politician as its seminar chair. The OPC isn’t only controversial in a federal republic, its cohabitation with the Unity Party of Nigeria is all the more untenable among Nigeria’s score of political parties.
At all events, the seminar discussed through a panel of discussants the mortal existence of man, the sources of the challenges facing humanity, the solutions and optimizing the spiritual gains of man’s existence. The opinions tendered made interesting listening occasioning several guffaws and humorous excitement. During questions and answers, the press was allowed to ask questions. My question was not answered satisfactorily.
The question was: Why is the path of an average Nigerian billionaire dogged with fraud and dishonesty? Put another way, why is the path of an average rich man in Nigeria dogged with fraud and dishonesty unlike in the United States where the state declares a person a millionaire based on his tax returns and his patents. Apart from Frater Johnson Ikube, the Lagos Zonal grand councilor of AMORC, in his address on mortal existence, no other speaker gave us an inspiring speech.
In his speech, Ikube averred that we must learn to pray and seek to find and obey the will and the laws of Jehovah God. But as an answer to my question, the panelist who volunteered to answer it said he found nothing reprehensible in the behavior of Nigerian money bags. Nonetheless, I found solace in the Rosicrucian worldview that difficulties are often necessary for us, that though they seem like setbacks, but that they are real opportunities to learn lessons and remove obstacles to our desires.
However, as it often happens to me, the answer to my question came dramatically via a radio programme of the Inspiration FM. The sermon was given by a Ghanaian pastor, the Reverend Mensah Otobil as I heard it relayed by radio. Accordingly, to the pure, all things are pure but to those different, those without belief, nothing is pure. Thus, the state you are into influences your actions. To the pure everything is pure. To the impure, if you placed him in a holy place, he will pollute the holiness of such a place. For the pure person, he will sanctify a holy place.
In the same vein, the mindset is a product of a worldview. Whereas, a worldview is a set of spectacles. Every human being has a worldview. One’s worldview determines his outlook. The worldview is the way a community looks at the world. It is out of the worldview of an individual that his mindset evolves.
A mindset is basically the way you understand and respond to whatever is happening around you. Your worldview determines the way you deal with life. There are three different mindsets. First, are the people who have fixed mindsets. Such people have a fixed position on the sphere of the wife in a marriage. There is the mindset that denies respect to a married woman in the family where the world-view do not respect women.
Secondly, there is the mindset of the double mind. Here, a double mind is the opposite of the fixed mind because the double mind has no clear position on any issue. He cannot make up his mind on any matter. James 1: 6: 2-8 describes a double minded person as a wave of the sea tossed by the wind. Finally, the growth mind is the open mind whereby a person freely adjusts to the circumstances of his life. The growth mind is the mindset of a godly person.
Thus, it is the mindset of the Nigerian moneybag that prevents him from paying his taxes. According to Pastor Mensah, that would be the mindset of one with a fixed worldview. In this seventh decade of my earthly existence, I have come across Christians who were so selfish that they peopled their media organizations with only members of their denominations, leading to the failure of their companies and losing millions of naira therefrom.
In the same way, I have worked with Moslems who alienated members of their families and died in the process of hoarding money stolen from the state. In the end, I have found the Jehovah Witnesses nearest to what God wants us to do to one another in the course of our earthly existence. Which is why lapses among the Rosicrucians did not come to me as a surprise. In Nigeria, we have such a warped worldview that we could not but live in poverty in the middle of plenty.
Out champion for this week is Herbert Spencer, the English sociologist and philosopher who was an early advocate of the evolution theory and achieved an influential synthesis of knowledge, advocating the pre-eminence of the individual over society and of science over religion. Spencer’s greatest work was The Synthetic Philosophy (1896).
Born in Derby, England in 1820, Herbert Spencer’s father, William Spencer, was a schoolmaster whose, dissenting religious views influenced Herbert’s nonconformity which led him to abandon the Christian faith. Herbert Spencer declined an offer from his uncle the very reverend Thomas Spencer, to send him to Cambridge and in consequence his higher education was largely the result of his own reading. Briefly he was a schoolteacher and from 1837 to 1841 a railway civil engineer.
In 1842, he contributed letters republished as a pamphlet, The Proper Sphere of Government to The Nonconformist magazine. Later he became a subeditor of The Economist. From this safe vantage point Spencer wrote his opinions on sociology, psychology and philosophy. His strong scientific orientation led him very far in an era plagued by pessimism. Spencer’s synthetization of science showed a sublime audacity that has not been repeated after him. He died in Brighton in 1903.