By Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko
This book takes you into the world of Igbo mythology. It is set in a Nigerian village in the 20th Century but this village seemed to be unaffected by the westernisation of Nigeria at that time. Nigeria was under the British rule in the 20th Century. This rule introduced Christianity to the southern part of Nigeria. At that time most Igbos (South Easterners) in Nigeria were Catholics, this had a huge impact on the culture and the traditional belief systems that the Igbos held so dear. A lot of people at that time neglected their traditional spiritual beliefs for Catholicism while some refused to neglect what they believed to be the ways of their ancestors, and the rest found a way to merge both.
The book takes a look into the afterlife in a very unique way. This book combines spirituality, science and the Igbo culture, which seems like a rather odd blend of ideas. The book takes a look at the idea of parallel worlds and how duality exists within realms that we cannot see with the naked eye. The parallel worlds are often feared but are not quite as fatal as they seemed to the humans. Reading this book will make an individual less scared of the concept of death. Instead of the traditional heaven and hell that most religious people are used to, the book provides more options. The book, however, affirms the existence of one God, the existence of different planets, solar systems and galaxies as well as multiple parallel universes.
The main characters in the book are a mother and son who end up in a parallel world in a mysterious way. To their family members and the inhabitants of their village they were dead, but to themselves, they were very much alive and normal. Later on, in the book, they find a way to manoeuvre between worlds and universes. They also find a purpose even in death and achieve oneness with God. In the afterlife, time is not just linear but horizontal as well. Spirits travel much faster than the human body.
Death is seen as the liberation of the soul and there is much more we can achieve and see when we are free of our mortal bodies. The human being is perceived by the author to be made up of the spirit, the soul and the body. The body is only a vessel, a home for the soul and the spirit. The body takes the shape of the world you are in and is often essential to fulfilling your purpose in that world. I love this way of looking at the body because it dispels the notion of our bodies being all we have and who we are in entirety. It also makes you realise how trivial beauty is in the wider scope of things.
The soul is seen as the mind and a connection between the spirit and the body and the spirit is what goes on into the afterlife. It is said to be the purest part of our being and the part of us that will become one with God.