Soul Mutation: The Manifestation Souls Across Lives - Onyeji Nnaji

Copied from the book, Cosmic Chain, by Onyeji Nnaji

The term mutation is used by philologists to dramatize a situation in the structural formation at the word level (within a particular language) where there is no explicit change encountered in the structure of two different words rather in their phonological compositions. Mutation generally is used to denote an observable change in the form of one organism from another. This change can be physical or biochemical in nature. The physical change connotes that which the eyes can see, while the biochemical change anchors the internal process that gives rise to it. Mutation is employed here to explicate the process and condition which souls undergo in other to accomplish their required days within a particular cycle here on earth. This is different from the splitting of the soul. Soul mutation simply refer to the situation where a particular soul leaves a particular environment after the demise of the bearer-body and moves to another environment to continue to live as normal as an earthly being with a complete human body. 

Soul mutation is one of the mysteries bothering on life discovered by the ancient Igbo metaphysics. The ancient Igbo pluralists held to the view that certain souls do not leave the earth completely when their host bodies die. They believed that the soul of a person who dies prematurely does not have any opportunity of reincarnating. Souls have opportunity of reincarnating only when they lost their body at the right time. There are number of cases where people who had died are seen living normal lives elsewhere. They engage in normal human businesses and take part in the various activities due to fellow men. Researches cover various instances of this form of soul-dualism. The content of a recorded tape will give us a clear understanding of this idea. One of my resource persons have the following to say:

Sometime around 1984, the person who is supposed to be my first son was found in this spirit movement. His name was Obaru, for I named him after my father. He travelled to Lagos to look for what to do. Years later a message came that he was dead. He was knocked down by a reckless motorist who did not care to give consent to whatever animal he had killed; even though he was not an animal. None of our people was there to identify him, so the police carried him to the hospital and it became their own dead body. We spent all we had to bring his corpse home and bury. Few months after his burial, about three people came on different days; each told me the same story. They said that they saw Obaru in Over-rail market here in Nigercem. 

According to them, he sold few provisions in the market. My son (referring to me), when the last person came with the same story, I decided to go and see with my eyes. I went with Nwauzu, the wife of Benjamin Okoega. As we got to the railway line, she pointed towards the direction where she had seen him and I saw him with my own very eyes. She suggested that we go closer and buy something from him as she had done before. But something happened. There was a sudden movement prompted by a force known not to me. As me got closer to him – at least, at that point I could see him very clear – too many people walked pass before us at the same time. When the road was clear, we saw him no more. Getting to his trade post, his neighbor told us that he was there just now. We waited at a hidden corner to see him return to his post, all to no avail. It was then I realize that the purpose of the confused movement was to elude us of his presence. That was when he became aware that someone who knows him in his real body was around. After that experience, people told me about so many cases like that. You see, the issue about the spirit is still confusing to man. (Interview © Onoja foundation; 2014).
Ancient Igbo metaphysics did not see the affairs of the soul a confused study. They were of the conclusion that the earth and the spiritual world are in a constant transaction. The soul is immortal, so does not die. It can pass through generations of cycle either by reincarnation or by mutation. This gave then the impetus to assert that life is a transformation process under the due influence of constant permutation; only the body suffers absolute destruction. They believed that the earth is parallel to the spiritual land. As Achebe noted, a “--- considerable confusion and obscurity darkens the picture at this point because there is a sense in which the two supernatural worlds (the abode of Chi in the sky and Ala nmuo, under the earth) are both seen as parallel to the land of the living.” In an early anthropological study of the Igbo, Major A. G. Leonard reported the following account from one of his Igbo informants:

"We Igbo look forward to the next world as being much the same as this… We picture life there to be exactly as it is in this world. The ground there is just the same as it is here, the earth is similar. There are forests and hills and valleys with rivers flowing and roads leading from one town to another... People in the spiritland have their ordinary occupations, the farmer his farm."

In many of the instances as related by researches, the mutant soul in his recreated form is found doing the same activity which his original body did at his life time. The idea surrounding the manifestation of spirits in this form suggests that the soul does not leave (forgets) the picture of the body until the body dies the normal time. A traditional Nkalaha thinker believes that every person on this planet has a date when he would die. This date is decided as the person is coming into existence. He is expected to live up to that date before he dies. It is when a person has lived up to his normal date that he is liable for reincarnation. But there are conditions where a person does not live up to his appointed days. Conditions for such situations are things like untimely/premature death. This can take the form of accident, murder, death by mystic means etc. when any of these conditions prevails, the soul does not go to rest because the body was cut off untimely. Therefore, in thus condition it cannot reincarnate.

When this happens, the soul leaves to another place different from the first place to recreate his buried body and live in it to complete its normal cycle. Such soul is not due to live in another body in such a state, all it can only do to survive is to improvise an exact copy of the muted body and live in it. In this condition the improvised body is just a bubble, not corporeal. It is just improvised to envelope the soul so that it can communicate and engage in normal human activities. 

The body can be felt as a normal body, but it is not a real body. With the improvised body, the soul will continue to live a normal life until the day marked for the original body to die. On that very date, the soul vanishes and seen no more. That is the day nature has it that the cycle has ended. There are situations where mutant souls have opportunities of procreating. 

An account was related in the cause of my research about a mutant soul that got married and had children. Year after year the wife had pleaded that he should take them to know his people. Each time he had had one flimsy excuse to give. One year, the woman insisted and he took then to the village. Getting to the village, he directed the driver to his compound and returned to collect the things he forgot in the city. The driver took them to the compound and the woman was told that the man she called her husband had died many years ago. She waited in unbelief, but the man never returned. He vanished forever from their sight; she and her children.       

Mutant souls are found in the cities. Those who lost their original bodies as students are usually found in the universities and some populous colleges. Those also whose demise took effect while as business men normally leave that business environment and move to another city where he cannot be seen by familiar faces. There they establish themselves. It is possible that people from other field of study overtaken by sudden death also may have travelled to distant countries to continue their careers. 

The reason why they travel to a distant place is because they would not want to be seen by familiar faces. A question was raised on whether it is not possible for a mutant soul to put on another body. The answer to this came rather too fast, it was rhetorical; thus, “whose own?” From this reply it was apparent that a soul has dominion over the very body created to harbor it through a life cycle. The same is the only body it has control over, and possibly can recreate it in its mutant stage because it has an oversight (image/picture) of it. 

For a mutant soul to move into another body, such body must be a new born baby. In that case, mutation is altered completely because it only reincarnation that takes such process. That is why mutation does not take place among children. The situation that prevails among children is not mutation. Such process is discussed under incarnation.

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