METAPHYSICS OF REINCARNATION: BEING AND BECOMING IN IGBO PHILOSOPHY

AUTHOR: OKECHUKWU M.H. IZUNWA 

DEPARTMENT: PHILOSOPHY

AFFILIATION: NNAMDI AZIKIWE UNIVERSITY, AWKA

Irrespective of applicable cultural synthesis, the questions of the origin (arche), purpose (telos) and destiny of man remain a perennial problem for renewed anthropo-metaphysical theorizing in all traditions of philosophy. Such interrogatives as who is man? What is man, of what stuff is he made? Where does he come from? To where is he tending? What happens after life? Are sufficiently puzzling to the mind and provide a proper substrate for rigorous conjectures. Any proper engagement with such issues of “being and becoming” must of necessity reconnect with a peoples’ worldview (weltanchaung). Concerning the after-life existence and conditions, some cultures, religions and strictly philosophical systems, regard reincarnation as unquestionable. Creationism, evolutionism, thermodynamics and parallel claims of death and eschatology drawing from differing inspirations have emerged either as counter-points or attempts at rational supports. The precisely Igbo ‘metaphysics of reincarnation’ is presented in the form of a possible return to earthly existence after death through the claimed ontological device of ‘Ilo uwa’ or ‘Ogbanje’. This thesis defends points of view critical of reincarnation in general, especially the Igbo constructions of same. Beginning with a description of the relevant indices of the Igbo worldview, this work will be engaged at two different levels; phonomenological and symbolic (semantic, semiotic and ontology). Notwithstanding any volume of structured criticism against ‘Ilo uwa’ and ‘Ogbanje’, the Igbo is quite reluctant to change his ideas of these. Indeed, there is a remarkable resilience in favour of those para – metaphysical claims. This is not surprising given that beliefs are generally not susceptible to easy deconstruction and as such would require a whole restructuring of a people’s most fundamental grounds of existence; a re-think or collapse of their ancestry of metaphysics, epistemology, ethics and indeed, life. Races are understandably reluctant to embark on such revisions which will pass judgment on their antiquity and identity. This work is projected to clarify the grounds of the belief in reincarnation by digging into the metaphysical supports for the possibility or otherwise of the claims instead of reclining merely on the popular inductive material evidence. It employs the method of hermeneutics in its wider dimensions of dialectics, criticism, analysis and phenomenology. In all, this work finds that ‘ilo uwa’ and ‘Ogbanje’ are Igbo paradigms of reincarnation. It further finds that reincarnation (ilo uwa and / or Ogbanje) is not a free conclusion of those popular metaphysical foundations Western or African but a truth of Igbo religious faith coached in mythological forms and types. What is more, it is validly sustainable within the dynamic and pragmatic Igbo worldview precisely as a metaphor for imperfections and longing and defensible variously as a paranormal, symbolic and alternate reality.

TO VIEW THE FULL CONTENT OF THIS DOCUMENT, PLEASE VISIT THE UNIZIK LIBRARY WEBSITE USING THIS LINK, http://naulibrary.org/dglibrary/admin/book_directory/Thesis/10368.pdf

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: