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The Empire States of the Mind: Activate Self Exploration

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By Tolulope A. Adegoke

“How far a man conquers the world is a function of how well he conquers himself. Hence, the greatest journey, the most prestigious journey, the most rewarding journey any man would ever embark on is the journey of self-exploration.” Samson Adah A. Paul

By the activation of the processes of self –exploration, the prodigal son came back to his senses and went back home. The prodigal son did not come to himself by determination; he rather came to himself by a process- the process of self- exploration.

The ultimate goal of every exploration is to discover some-thing(s) and maximize those things to advance himself for the benefits of those around him, especially his or her generation.

A man will be stuck in ‘yesterday’ no matter how well he has explored the world around him, if he neglects to travel through himself; that is, to explore the industries that lies with him. Empowerment for change of levels or development does not come from travelling round the world; it comes from travelling through oneself. Africa’s government for example, crave to attract Africans in diaspora to come back home to make Africa better is an unnecessary move. Africans that will develop Africa are not those that have travelled round the world, they are simply those that have ‘travelled into the industries that lies within their earthen vessels’.

The prodigal son is a testimony of this; despite how well travelled he was, he still fell from grace to grass, from a Hero to zero, but he got connected to a program of restoration when he embarked on the journey of self-exploration.

Self-exploration is the art and act of outgrowing childish dependences on individuals, as an individual, a people or a nation, in acknowledging and celebration of the cultural values of developing and assigning one’s natural or innate potentials or gifts to the benefits of others. If you cannot lean on your inner grace (as given by God), you will end up becoming an unnecessary burden unto those around you. Treasures lies within everyone. To be honest, self-explorers out-grow and outshine childish nature of dependence on others. He does not just sit down and wait for others to make things work for them or better; rather, he gets up and work-out things for the better by accepting responsibility for the well-being of peoples, or corporates or nations without any need of compulsion.

Self-explorers meet needs, they do not waste time to first think of who to call on to help him meet the need when in need. Therefore, he waits on himself, because he believes in what the Creator, God Almighty has embedded in him, which he consciously and continuously works upon to become better and more useful to the society at large and not only to himself! We should be observant enough to know with empirical evidences that major life’s activities are usually done or carried out in seclusion. In quietness lies the truth. My daily mantra goes thus: ‘calm, quiet, available and useful is my soul before God Almighty, My Maker!’ For example, real banking transactions are carried out in the strong room and an organization’s behaviour is cultivated and strengthened and accounted for in a secluded company boardroom. Also, medical operations are usually carried out in secluded places known as the hospital-theatres. Self-exploration involves securing personal independence for self-realization and self-productivity, which requires a secluded or serene atmosphere, which required silence. Because, in silence lies the truth! A man that does not engage in silence is bound to perform below his potentials! The prodigal son as a powerful case study here was launched to self-realization and fulfilment of his potentials simply by engaging in silence; listen to the account: [Luke15:15-16]

15“And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; And he sent him into his fields to feed swine, 16And he would fain have filled is belly with the husks that swine did eat; and no man gave unto him.”

The prodigal son celebrated this truth: “…he sent him into his fields to feed swine.”

17“And when he came to himself, he said how many hired servants of my father have bread enough to spare, and I perish with hunger. I will arise and go to my father, and I will say unto him…am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.”

As we can see, the prodigal son became alone with pigs, he was disconnected from men, such that he had nobody to come to his aid or depend on. He became alone, disconnected himself from clubbing, from hanging out with sluts and macho guys. He indeed disconnected himself from distractions (the noises), so as to gain attention to the call of destiny!

Even, Albert Einstein, one of the greatest scientists ever lived was bearing witness with the prodigal son’s engagement to silence, when he revealed that:

“I am truly a ‘lone-traveller’ and never belonged to my country, my home, my friends, or even my immediate family with my whole heart. In face of all these ties, I have never lost a sense of distance and a need for solitude, feeling that increase with the year.”

What the above simply means is to practically engage in silence beyond locking yourself in a room, disconnected from all manner of human and mechanical noise. It simply means disengaging your mind from all manner of desires, lust, pursuits, values and associations that are not loyal, subject or beneficial to the discovery, development and deployment of your God given/innate potentials.

“In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.” Isaiah30:15

The Hero called Michael Jordan, the man whom God had in mind in blessing mankind with basketball. The game called basketball would have become boring without the legendary exploits of Michael Jordan. With a divine sense of understanding, there are reasons beyond the visible that made Michael Jordan such a timeless star, which has helped inspire a lot of individuals across the world and lured many of us study several respective versions of his biographies.

It has been discovered that Michael Jordan’s winning edge is his mastery of the ageless art of silence. He once wrote this powerful piece online:

“When I am out there, no one can bother me. Being out there is one of the most private parts of my life…during the game; for a few times in my life, I feel untouchable…I mean that about a game being like meditation period for me. Anytime I am playing serious basketball, it’s like meditation.

Sometimes even in the middle of the game, I am able to think about things as loud as it is; it’s almost a quiet time for me. I know that basketball game can be very exciting, but for me the game is one of the calmest parts of my life.”

Michael Jordan’s winning edge no doubt is his discipline to play the game on the platter of silence, by being united- spirit, soul and body-with the game of basketball; not minding external or distracting forces which surround him the process with such force that would break any unfocused man. By this, he is able to initiate and maximize communication and application with the unusual and inherent basketball energy he is endowed with.

Silence is the strong force that connects the physical into the spiritual, if properly harnessed to yielding the manifestations of possibilities. Silence therefore, is the art of being immune to distracting-external forces in order for one to initiate or propel or maximize communication with inherent and invisible resources endowed in man by God. But the art of silence has been neglected by vast majority of mankind; yet it is as important as the art of prayer. Surprisingly, those that are master of the art of prayer without mastering the art of silence make little or no contribution to human existence. But those that master the art of silence enjoy the grace to maximize, expand and contribute meaningfully to the advancement of humanity!

Attesting to the reality of this fact, Bishop David O. Oyedepo revealed in his book titled: “Maximizing your Destiny” that:

“Quietness enhances the quality of thinking. Quietness enhances productive reasoning. I cherish quietness and I will do anything to have it…that is why although we have many rooms in our house. I sometimes have to put certain guest in the hotel, to avoid the noise they will make in my home. Quietness is precious to me. It has great spiritual value…”

One of my prolific and indefatigable writers and enviable role models named Samson Adah Paul wrote this mind blowing piece that reminds me of Divine creation techniques:

“When God Almighty saw the need to create woman for man, he did not inspire man to employ the ‘art of prayer’, he simply inspired man to connect to the art of silence…”

“And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs…and the rib which God had taken from man, made He woman.”[Genesis2:21]

Silence informs! It is the factory house of progress and development; any quest for progress and development that is pursued without the art of silence will ever be in vain. According to a prolific writer and a passionate African, Samson Adah Paul: “Africans that will experience the fulfilment of the ‘African Dream’ will have to be masters of the art of silence. Mind you, silence in this context is not about being mute and dumb, it’s rather about being immune to distracting external-forces in order for one to initiate and maximize communication with the inherent resources endowed in man by God.”

Some sensitive aspects of Thomas Edison’s life have been a great lesson and positive example to me as a person after series of comprehensive study about him. I discovered too that his greatest strength was his mastery over the art of silence. His life showed impeccable discoveries and exploits, but were all as a result of paying attention to necessary matters; it is much more a function of withdrawing attention or refraining from unnecessary matters. He refused to submit to his medical science advancement for the treatment of 100% deafness which he suffered from birth on one ear and 80% deafness on his other ear. Edison rather preferred to bear the burden of deafness, for him to become better, because to him, that was an advantage. He wrote this mind-blowing piece:

“Even though I am nearly deaf, I seem to be gifted with a kind of inner hearing which enables me to detect sounds and noises that the ordinary person does not hear.” Edison did not consider hearing disability as pain but as gain which helped to strengthen his concentration levels in the areas of discoveries and impeccable inventions, thereby serving as a plus to humanity, rather than living on the guise of excuses!

Thank you for reading.

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Students Protest ASUU Strike, Block Ogun, Osun Highways

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Students, on Friday, continued protests across the country over the lingering strike action of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

Students of Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, Ogun State, trooped out in their numbers and blocked the Ijebu Ode/Ibadan express road.

Similarly, a mass of other students from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, went on a joint protest with counterparts in Ogun State, as organised under the banner of the National Association of Nigerian Students, Ogun Joint Campus Committee. They blocked the Abeokuta-Ibadan express road, around Camp-FUNAAB Junction.

In Osun State, students of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, led by 22-year-old Abraham Omowumi, popularly called Ewatee, resumed their second-day protest on the Ife-Ibadan Expressway, blocking the popular OUI roundabout at Oduduwa University, Ipetumodu, with a lot of road users left stranded.

This was also as students were still protesting in Ibadan, the Oyo State Capital where they moved from the University of Ibadan to Agbowo, Sango, Mokola, etc.

One of the protesters, a former President of Tai Solarin University of Education, Ogun State, Soneye AbdulAzeez, said, “Vehicles going from Abeokuta to Ibadan are on standstill now. FUNAAB and Federal College of Education, Osiele, roads are on lockdown as well.

“We are resilient and making a statement, the Federal Government must listen to Nigerian Students.”

The National Public Relations Officer of the Fund Education Coalition, Joseph Aliu, who was spearheading the protest at Ago Iwoye, said, “It is saddening that after a series of talks, the Federal Government has failed to listen to the voice of reasoning.

“Since they’ve chosen to pay deaf ears to the cries of the striking lecturers, we have no other option but to take to the streets. We are here, we’re not stopping, here’s a fight to finish.”

The Students’ Union President, OOU, Akorede Afeez, in his comments, said, “It is an impediment to the societal growth and development of this nation in general that the students have been in their houses since February 14, 2022.

“The state government should rise to her responsibility to take charge of education and welfare of OOUiets. We are demanding the reopening of our classes. Education is our right, not a privilege.

“OOUiets say no to Technology fees and exorbitant school fees.”

Also, the Chairman of the Fund Education Coalition, Damilare Adenola, said, “We are protesting because we are clever enough to understand that the ongoing strike is a deliberate attempt by the government to kill public education so that politicians who own private universities can thrive, and we have concluded that for the sake of the poor masses, we are not going to fold our arms and watch public education die.

ASUU strike has entered its 88th day as the meeting between the lecturers and the government ended in deadlock on Thursday.

The Punch

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Mum As Tambuwal Meets Security Chiefs, Christian Leaders over Lynching of Student Accused of Blasphemy

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The Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, has met with Christian leaders and heads of security agencies in the state following the lynching of a student for allegedly making blasphemous comments.

The governor’s spokesman, Muhammad Bello, said in a statement that the governor cut his political engagements to return to Sokoto to meet the stakeholders.

The meeting was attended by the chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Nuhu Iliya, and other officials of the association.

“Gov. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto state cut short his engagements in Abuja, the nation’s capital following the killing of Miss Deborah Samuel, a student of the College of Education, Sokoto; and returned to Sokoto where he held a closed-door meeting with heads of security agencies in the state as well as the state Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Fr. Nuhu Iliya at the Government House,” Mr Bello said.

He didn’t provide details of the discussion, however.

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Police Arrest Councillor with AK47 Rifle at Kidnappers’ Den in Kaduna

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The Police in Kaduna State has confirmed the arrest of a serving councillor, recovering AK-47 with rounds of 7.62 X 39mm live ammunition from him in the Soba Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

This is contained in a statement issued by the Command’s Public Relations Officer, Muhammad Jalige, in Kaduna.

“Operatives of Operation Puff Adder II attached to the Kaduna Police Command, acting on the instruction of CP Yekini Ayoku, on May 9, at about 0800hrs, conducted routine patrol along Galadimawa road, Giwa LGA of Kaduna State.

“The operation, which was aimed at ensuring sanity in the connecting area, succeeded in intercepting a Lifan motorcycle, ridden by the suspect.

“Upon a search, a concealed AK47 rifle loaded with six rounds of 7.62 X 39mm live ammunitions were recovered from the sack and taken into custody alongside the suspect,” he said.

Preliminary investigation, he said, revealed the identity of the suspect as a serving member in the legislative council of the Soba LGA of Kaduna State.

“The suspect equally confessed to have gotten the firearm from his accomplices and he is to deliver same to bandits around Galadimawa village for their nefarious activities,” Jalige said.

“The Commissioner of Police appreciates the diligent and thoroughness exhibited by the officers and was miffed with the involvement of a supposed stakeholder,” he said.

The CP, Jalige said, has directed that a full scale investigation be carried out to ensure all those connected with the said crime were apprehended to face justice.

NAN

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