The Soul Mates
Finally, Nnanna remembered Scott his friend and mentor who had made another demonstration cassette for him by backing up his singing with a guitar. His inability to get a recording deal with that demo cassette did not deter him from pursuing his musical dream. Scott was a white skinned long-haired, bearded ex-hippie he met at a rock concert organized as a protest against American support of Israel in their encroachment on the Palestinian territory.
Nnanna recalled reading placards that read, “Stop violating the Palestinians’ human rights”, “stop denying the Palestinians their right to self determination”, “the Palestinians deserve a home land”, etc.
Scott was colour-blind. He had been inspired by African American blues greats like Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters and Lightnin’ Hopkins. Scott believed in the universal brotherhood of man and considered himself a citizen of the world. He was indeed a “cosmic yankee”.
Scott told Nnanna that modern mediums of communication such as the internet, satalite television and G.S.M have reduced the world into a global village. This has linked up people who are separated by artificial physical barriers called national boundaries. Many countries have thus engaged one another in a vicious trade war known as “globalization”. In globalization, countries build protective barriers around themselves and fight each other to gain control of the world market. He then explained to Nnanna the philosophy behind the concept of world citizenship.
“Men should imbibe and use the universal and cosmic teachings of great philosophical giants like Aristotle and Nietzsche; as well as those of spiritual masters like the Buddha and Christ to awaken and uplift the God consciousness within every man above artificial national boundaries, human restrictions and other barriers erected by race, tribe, religion and ideology across humanity”.
Nnanna nodded repeatedly without uttering a word.
“People should rise above such man-made barriers and reach out to one another in a universal brotherhood of man”, Scott added.
“The world is a global village characterized by inter-connectivity, inter-relationships and inter-dependence”, Nnanna read out from a magazine.
Nnanna soon became Scott’s disciple and Scott educated him on the discontents of the modern world.
“Since the Western man adandoned nature for creature comforts, he has been groping in materialistic blindness in a modern world without spiritual guideposts”.
Nnanna recalled one of his conversations with Scott who said,
“The spiritual consciousness which ensures health of mind is lacking in the modern soul”.
“I see”, Nnanna replied.
“Yes! that is why there are many sick-minded people in this country. From the gratuitous murderers and exhibitionists on our streets to the sexual perverts in high places like top politicians and judges who indulge in various abominable acts of kinky sex and other saddistic behaviours”.
“That’s absurd”. Nnanna said.
“It sure is. Secondly, the drive for success creates the competition that drives people against one another”. Scott paused, then continued, “this human rat race subjects both children and adults to very high emotional stress”.
“Is that why most of your country men and women are addicted to black coffee which they use to calm down their nerves”?.
“Yes”, Scott replied.
Nnanna became sarcastic,
“I thought you whites were so fanatically racist that you would even disapprove of mixing black coffee with white cream”.
They both burst into laughter, then Scott continued,
“the spiritual vacuum that causes emotional stress is filled by mind benders which are hard drugs like cocaine otherwise known as coke and heroin. These drugs alter the user’s state of consciousness artificially and spontaneously”.
Nnanna nodded and said,
“available information indicate that many people who are hooked on dope are often teenagers and youths who become slaves of the drug peddlers and their barons”.
“Yes”, Scott agreed, “opinion polls show that over fifty percent of high school teenagers in this country have tried hard drugs. Very cheap crack cocaine are always peddled around our high schools”.
“You bet they are”, Nnanna replied, “the inner cities have become flooded with those hard drugs and many addicted youths engage in crimes like burglary and armed robbery in order to sustain the habit”.
“I hope you’ve not forgotten the rapes, and murders often linked to the scramble for the drug market”? Scott added.
Nnanna recalled how he had suddenly become apprehensive as he rattled out his words,
“if hard drugs do so much havoc, are people better off evading their problems and pretending they do not exist”?
“No” Scott replied, “People are better off facing up to their problems.
“How”? Nnanna enquired.
“If they avoid the problems, they cannot avoid the stress which accumulates over the years like a loaded pistol. Accumulated stress triggers off sudden health problems like psychoses, paralytic stroke, high blood pressure and other illnesses that are often fatal”, Scott responded.
“What then is the remedy”, Nnanna asked.
“The ability to recognize stress and manage it effectively empowers us and gives us control of our lives and our health”, Scott answered.
He looked at Nnanna and added,
“instead of temporarily evading your problems by using drugs that alter your state of consciousness; you should overcome your problems by facing them, looking inwards, awakening your higher faculties and raising your consciousness above those problems and the accompanying stress”.
Scott was “anti-establishment” to the core. He was aware of the conflict between the authority of the state and the autonomy of the individual.
He maintained that, “the objection to politics is that people who have no control over their circumstances want to control the affairs of others”.
He identified with the “anti-establishment” ideological leanings of the intellectual left. People that were in the Hippie movement who believed that there should be less government interference on individual liberty lived out that “anti-establishment” philosophy. Rock musicians of the nineteen sixties spread that philosophy and awareness around the entire globe.
Scott often quoted the Clash,
“in America you’re free until you begin to exercise that freedom”. He idolized rock giants like Bob Dylan, Jimmy Hendrix and Pink Floyd; but his real hero was Jim Morrison: that ultimate rebel who in his own words,
“decided to probe the bounds of reality just to find out what would happen”.
Scott always had a flood of tears in his eyes whenever he heard Steppin’ Wolf’s rock masterpiece: “Born to be wild”. Scott was a social and environmental crusader who described the Pentagon as “the headquarters of international terrorism”.
He and his colleagues also organized counter protest marches against hate groups like the ku Klux Klan white supremacist “red necks”. They also went on hunger strike when they wanted the municipal or state government to reverse any of its policies that were hurting the poor. Scott was still making court appearances in a suit filed against him by the F.B.I. He was charged with “malicious damage of an object of national defence”.
Scott and two of his colleagues, including a nun, had sneaked into a Bridgeport dockyard at night. They had damaged the prototype of the Trident nuclear submarine beyond repair by the time the dock officials arrived for their daily 9 to 5 work routine. In court the judge had up-held the objection of the F.B.I lawyer restraining Scott and his colleagues from referring to the Trident nuclear submarine as a “weapon of mass destruction”.
“Don’t call it a weapon, you have been charged with damaging an object, not a weapon”, the judge had warned him on more than one occation.
“I am sorry your honour”, Scott apologized politely, “we destroyed an object of death”.
The judge blushed and his face turned red, from his neck upwards……..
Nnanna remembered the day he invited Scott to his room to celebrate with him on his graduation day. As they drank beer and ate fried chicken, Scott suddenly became silent and thoughtful. Then he looked Nnanna in the eye and said,
“do not make your formal education your prison, make your education the key to your freedom”.
Nnanna was silent, but Scott read from his facial expression that he was listening with keen interest and rapt attention.
“educational institutions like universities are structured in a manner that turns school graduates into tools, lubricants and components that are used to grease and to operate the money machine of capitalists who call themselves multi nationals”.
“Capitalists are the backbone of corporate organizations. They are always in positions of power leverage in government. Many-a-government often break the social contract between it and its subjects by failing to fulfill its social responsibilities to its people”, Scott told him.
Nnanna nodded again.
“one exercises real power over another person if he controls the resources that are critical to that other person’s survival”.
Scott narrated to Nnanna how he had freed himself from economic slavery by relying on his God-given talent of music for a self reliant means of livelihood, and self actualization. He told Nnanna that it got to a point where he could no longer stand the high handedness of his boss and the encroachment of his job on his individual liberty. He put in his resignation, went to his suitcase and brought out his B.Sc. degree certificate. He then went to a public toilet, eased himself, used his certificate to wipe his “ass”, and then threw it into the dust bin “where it belonged”.
He summed up his teaching by telling Nnanna,
“it’s impossible for you to become another person so be yourself and nobody can control you”.