THE MIRACLE CALLED LANGUAGE
One of my wonderful lecturers in the University of Lagos would always say, “To my mind, language is god.” Professor Adeyemi Daramola would also say, “Language is a miracle!” Although there can be scientific explanation about stages of First Language Acquisition and there can be distinction between language learning and language acquisition the fact still remains that the acquisition from childhood is in itself a miracle. Language is one of the greatest mysteries.
THE MIRACLE CALLED MUSIC
Music is a miracle. This is because it operates in and with all languages. I have thought about certain things common to all cultures in the world. First I realized that virtually all cultures in the world have music and oral traditions in their designs. O music so great! From ancient time, in languages extinct and in languages booming; in cultures buried and in cultures glorified, there are forms of music and oral chants. Also virtually all individuals love one form of music or another. There were and are, but rarely, people who dislike music. At least a type or genre will appeal to someone. The Spartans who preferred swordsmanship to artistry and euphony would pay for it. The scientists who preferred empiricism to artistry would achieve greatly but would be victims of utilitarian Hard Times of Charles Dickens. Science embarked on a drift away from artistry but now science has its fiction. Life is like a coin –whether plain or rough it must have two sides –and the two sides must be acknowledge. Music is universal. Drum beat is a language of all.
Second, I learnt that virtually all cultures recognize a higher being –a god who must be worshipped or gods as the case may be. All cultures in their traceable roots desire spiritual push into the god-person, reaching god for help. I like to call that godism. All cultures have godism. And godism is universal. The country that has high number of the irreligious, the home of the Hans has godism too.
Why will a man create a god and worship it? Godism!
Why will people like to seek a god to rely on? Godism!
Why would people kill to please a god they created? Godism!
Why would people defend an inherited god or an imposed god? Godism!
There is the clairvoyance inherent in humanity. The desire for the spiritual, the desire to get help from a supernatural origin had always been there. The Renaissance could not delete that vacuum. The science or any anti-god orientation couldn’t win against that godism. It is everywhere. Some gods are very lucky; some gods are just lucky and some gods are unfortunately extinct. Whatever the level of a god is, people want to feel safe in godism. Perhaps, it is a form of escapism. But how would all cultures, in ancient time, with different languages just exhibit godism? It seems it is not just escapism. It is a part of humanity. It is an original culture of humanity. Linguists have worked well and grouped languages into families. So, some languages rooted from a common source? Maybe that's it. But music and godism are universal characteristics of all cultures. And in fact music is also universally embedded in all godism practices. Who taught different religions that euphony is essential in worshipping a god? Even without instrumentation, music exists in all or almost all religions.
Why do people seek for a spiritual being to link to?
Why is it that oral tradition exists in all histories that enjoyed justice?
It is simple. The whole world was one people, one language, one desire and same knowledge of ‘god’ or recognition of a spiritual and powerful being.
THERE IS GOD: GODISM AND MUSIC
Gen 11:1 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.
The whole world was one people, one language and one voice. They did all things together. They had same food culture, dress culture, marriage culture, arts and music. Everything about ways of life was the same. It is of one origin –Adam.
Gen 11:2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.
Gen 11:3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter.
Gen 11:4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.
The reason why the whole cultures of the world have music and god-consciousness is because they all were one. The people divided because they spoke different languages. There was no understanding. But they all had the mind of what used to be in their oneness past. As they went on centrifugal journeying across the world they never forget that there is a God. And generations upon generations would keep that godism. It’s in the mind of man. It’s an original knowledge. Now, as they separated and as generations arose, there was no one to give a universal description of a God. So, all cultures, apart, created gods differently. Some, upon meeting with strange items of nature and beauty or strange elements, accepted the goodness in that no-god item. Then they design the likes and dislikes of the gods by themselves –from the original knowledge.
I like to disagree with this position of mine, briefly. If all came from one source then except the God that confused their language also altered their god-consciousness they would have had same worship system –monotheism, at least. After all, it was one God they knew at that time. If they had been idolatrous we would know. In fact that would have been the reason for their destruction and not division. But these people came from Noah that came from Adam. And Noah knew God –one God –the Almighty.
Nevertheless, I cannot say that if they came from One-God godism they wouldn’t have made gods or polytheism. This is because the people who even followed one God; the people that were freed from slavery in Egypt; that were being taken to the promise land; the people that saw all the miracles God did in Egypt; the people that witnessed the parting of the red sea; the people that were God’s beloved could ask for a god. They demonstrated that it is god-consciousness that prevailed over the person of the God. It is a matter, “there must be something to call a god. There is always a god. At no time must we be without a god in our midst. Their mediator had gone for forty days. And they didn’t know how to reach God. If Moses had died, then they would be Waiting for Godot. Aaron couldn’t assure them of Moses’ status and he couldn’t reach God for them. Well, they weren’t even ready to listen to Aaron’s rationalization. Moses had never been missing for forty days before. So …