Purgation: The Justification of Living Souls - Onyeji Nnaji

Copied from the book, Cosmic Chain, by Onyeji Nnaji

The highest journey the soul can embark on, while the body is still alive, is purgation. Purgation is an aspect of the temporary journey of the soul when the soul of a living body is allowed to plead it's course before nature. It is a justification period of the soul, not purification. Explaining purgation as a moment of purification for the human soul faults the true purpose of the process as intended by nature. It was misconstrued by some orthodox religious beliefs as a period when the soul of a dead sinner is purified to make proper possession of the afterlife. The truth is, nobody is purified after death. The soul of a sinner can only be justified, not purified. 

The metaphysical concept originated from Igbo land. The Igbo call it "Oget Ikpe", a time of judgement. Nkanu express this process as, "Idu odudu". Other Igbo settlements have different terms they used to express purgation. It was the Roman Catholic church via their encounter with Egyptians in the decay stage of Egyptian Civilization. Taping from this succinct knowledge of the manifestation of the soul, they coined the belief that the human soul is made to wait at purgatory to be purged of the sins it committed in flesh. If there is a place marked as purgatory, it should be noted here that African philosophical thoughts do not contain such. In Nkalaha, for instance, purgation shows a period in the life of any soul, within a single generational life time, when the soul has the one and only opportunity to occasion the matter concerning it's constituent body in the face of nature.

Igbo hold tenaciously to the view that, before an adult soul departs at death, there is usually a moment when the soul is occasioned to plead the course of the living to either justify the body or otherwise. This occurs usually when the adult is sick and is heading towards death by a cause which is not his fault. If the soul is justified at the end the body would be vindicated and would recover. Where otherwise, the soul would have no option than to part finally. 

Two things take place as the soul of an adult travels. For either of these situations to take place, the determining factor remains the sole act of the individual concerned. During the first purgation period, as the soul is set to part. The soul is either indicted or not. An indicted soul is the soul that is charged with certain wrongdoing in the body. The wrongdoings which the soul is usually charged for are usually those actions that are against nature. The nature of sins that a soul may be indicted for include murder, murder attempt and other sins that are against nature laws.

In the traditional Igbo society, many sins are ruled to nature laws. Any action that leads to or attempts to lead to murder is considered nature-condemned. Bearing false witness against another person, stealing as well as coveting another man's wife are all nature sins. In Nkalaha, coveting one's wife is punishable by death in most cases. And it is the land (Ala) who does the policing and punishing of the offender. Ala is the god of moral justice  responsible for making sure that those rules that had been set by nature since creation are sustained indestructibly.

To know nature laws held by any society is simply to understand those rules that are naturally placed to condition the society. They are enshrined in the people's tradition, for it is the tradition that disseminates them through stipulations. Ala therefore comes in as the closest spirit-judge and moral advocate to the human world. That is why, in the traditional Igbo society, such named sins are considered as the sin against the land (nso Ala). 

(I) Indictive Purgation:

When the soul is indicted during the first purgation, the soul is naturally forced to make confessions on the evils it has involved itself bodily. This is one aspect of the judgement. The soul of the human body is usually charged for those cases that are related to murder. During the period of the purgation, the soul is usually tortured for it's sins. While the punishment is going on, the person who's soul is facing judgement is usually forced to confess naturally. 

The person will not stop confessing until he has mentioned all the people he has killed, usually diabolically. He will name those he has killed and also name those he is still processing their death. Whenever the person finishes confessing, the soul is immediately separated from the body and the body will die. I have witnessed a scenario where a man facing purgation openly disclosed, while he was confessing, that he was standing inside flame. Another also revealed, as his people shouted that he closed his mouth, that the people who were forcing him to confess were clogging him.

During purgation of the soul, it is not always advisable to interrupt the person from confessing. Many families had tried to prevent their own person from confessing. They knew the danger the deceased relations stand to face in the society. At least, people would begin to disassociate themselves from them on the ground that someone within the family members may have inherited the evil from the dying person. 

Nature purposely created this situation probably for two reasons. When a particular soul is being purged, the corresponding confession that accompanies the process will create room for people around to know the reason and person behind the demise of their late relations. Most important, the second reason for Purgation is to warn the living of the impending judgement at death time, and through it also help the living to amend their ways.

In 2013, a man was admitted in the Federal medical Centre (FMC) Abakaliki in Ebonyi State. Little did people knew that he was an evil man. On the day his soul was set to part, purgation began. The news of the things confessed by the man reached home and his wife doubted them all. She insisted that her husband was not diabolic. That day, at night, she encountered the biggest challenge of her lifetime. Soldier ants came in .their numbers and fested on her while on the bed. She shouted for help, but nobody heard her. Suddenly she recalled very fast that her repudiation of the husband's act was the reason the ants attacked her. 

She shouted, pleading that she never knew her husband was a killer. As she said so, the ants left her immediately. What people do presently, when they know that their ailing relation is deadly sick, is to quickly go to the nearby deity and close the person's mouth spiritually. With this, the person won't be able to talk while the soul is being tormented in the other realm. Many people have seen or experienced this form of purgation. What people do not know two well is the second aspect which is discussed below.

(II) None Indictive Purgation:

The second form of purgation does not involve any form of indictment for the soul. This form of purgation opens stage for a different form of judgement altogether. Unlike the Indictive type that involves only the soul of the dying body, this later type involves the person's soul and the person's chi (the residue soul). Again, unlike the former which allows for the confession of the person bodily, this latter type does not involve any form of confession bodily; instead the body remains silent, topor, mute and redundant througout the period of the purgation. 

The only proof the body has to show that it is alive is that it will be breathing. In most cases the person's eyes would be open, but the person won't be seeing anything. The body of a purging soul in this regard is usually disconnected from every activities connected to life. It is the judgement of the souls that are free from sin against life. Because such a soul is not indicted, the purgation of such a soul does not stage judgement upon him, instead it is designed to justify or vindicate the victim.

Judgement of souls in this manner involves not only one soul. Other souls are usually involved. Cases that allow for this form of purgation include when an adult is being held in the spititual realm by an evil person who wants to kill him or when an adult is bedridden to a point that it appears the person would never recover. Those usually present in this pugation are the soul of the bedridden, his chi and the soul of the evil person who is holding his soul. In this case, unlike the first purgation discussed earlier, the person's soul does not play any role. It only stands as someone in the dock. The part of the person that is usually proactive is his chi. The duty of his chi here is to fight for him and seek redemption for him. If his chi wins at the end, the person is redeemed and the trapped soul will be restored to the body. At this, the soul is justified, vindicated and allowed to return to the body. If otherwise, then the bedridden person will have to part completely.

After the justification of the living soul, the residue still has the ultimate power over the condition of the living soul. Every person's chi has the final say about whether the living soul would return to the body or not. The condition for the living soul to return lies on whether the residue soul is still confortable with the body or not. If the soul still find the body suitable to return, then it would return. Where otherwise the living soul parts from the body and moves on to the second phase of the purgation. The time for this purgation does not always elapse as long as that of indicted purgation. The interval for indictive purgation is as long as the time the person confesses completely.

As the living soul returns to the body after the judgement, it registers one sign on the body. The body usually loses hearing or speaking ability. The reason for this is that the body usually loses certain sense of life in the course of being purged. Yes, the process of this form of purgation makes the body to die momentarily: the body experiences death bodily and, for so, will not return as complete as before. Then, consequently, if the purged soul is exonerated, the person that caused him to be purged will die in exchange. Remarkable enough, the culprit does not always die a natural death. 

He either dies by thunder strike, ant infested, conflagration or an incurable disease. When the person harbours an incurable disease, then it becomes clear that he will have to confess his deeds before death. One irrevocable truth is that, no soul retains the knowledge of his purgation after the process. It happens that way so that the victim would not be able to tell vividly what transpired in the process. 

There are more spiritual journey that the human soul enbarks upon. They are discussed in their sequences here. The next movement of the soul is "Mutation". Details are shown in the referent heading shown below.

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