Paul Woodruff: My death is close at hand

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Toyin Falola

Apr 27, 2023, 12:18:19 PM4/27/23
to dialogue, Woodruff, Paul B

A piece by an outstanding colleague of mine….

I wrote two similar pieces, “Transition to Nothingness” and “Death at Dawn” I wrote my first memoir at the age of 50 in anticipation of death. Here I am, 20 years later but I was in “heaven” last February.



 My death is close at hand. But I do not think of myself as dying.

By Paul Woodruff

April 27, 2023 at 6:30 a.m. EDT

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(Jon Han for The Washington Post)


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Read by the author|Listen to Paul Woodruff6 min

Paul Woodruff is a philosopher, translator and poet who has taught at the University of Texas at Austin since 1973.

How often do you think about death? “Every third thought,” said Shakespeare’s avatar Prospero in the last line of the last speech he gives in Shakespeare’s last play, “The Tempest,” aside from the epilogue that follows the play. My friends say they think of death at least as often as Prospero. I do, too. If we think about death so much, we ought to know what to think about it. Philosophy is supposed to have answers, but the answers we hear most often from philosophers are not good for us. “Live every day as if it is your last,” we are told. “Remember that you are on the way to death each day.”

A friend recently wrote an email message with this line in it: “Paul is dying of a lung infection.” He had meant it for someone else, but he had misdirected it. That sentence infuriated me. I do not have a lung infection. My death is close at hand, however, because of a lung condition called bronchiectasis, and I am on oxygen day and night. But I do not think of myself as dying. I am living each day with as much life as I can put into it. For me, that means going to bed each night planning at least one project for the next day — something worth getting out of bed and living for. As I think of dying, I make each day a time for living, for having something to live for.

What kind of project is worth living for? Not a project I could complete today. Worthwhile projects spread out over time. Writing this small essay and finding someone to print it will take at least a week, and today is only the first day. I will make sure that the last day for this essay will be the first day for something else. Thinking of death, I want to live every day as if it were the first for something.

Living as I do, with projects that continue over time, I can be sure that my death will cut me off before I finish something worth doing. I want to be cut off when I die of something I care about doing — not from thoughts of death alone. Unless I am in unbearable pain, I should be able to live right up to the last moments. Here is an inspiring (although slightly gruesome) example: Under bloody Queen Mary, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, the author of the lovely Anglican prayer book, was burned at the stake for his protestant views despite signing false confessions of faith in Catholic doctrine. Even as the flames licked up around him, and his death was moments away, he was very much living (not dying) when he put his right hand into the heart of the fire to punish it for signing false confessions.

I know I will die soon. But must I be miserable about it? Why not find a cause for joy in each day? Some corner of my mind always knows that sad thoughts lurk behind my projects. But my dying will be much harder on my loved ones than it will be on me. Survivors often think they have failed to keep their loved one alive. I want my survivors to know that death is not unwelcome to me, although I want to be living each day. There’s nothing wrong with dying. All the best people in history have done it. Let foolish philosophers see themselves as dying every day. Thinking of death, I choose life.


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Oluwatoyin Adepoju

Apr 27, 2023, 5:28:15 PM4/27/23
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Harrow, Kenneth

Apr 27, 2023, 6:44:12 PM4/27/23
Thank you for this, tf. 

From: <> on behalf of Oluwatoyin Adepoju <>
Sent: Thursday, April 27, 2023 1:13:17 PM
To: usaafricadialogue <>
Subject: Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Paul Woodruff: My death is close at hand

Emmanuel Babatunde

Apr 27, 2023, 7:59:28 PM4/27/23
My brother Toyin,
Life is a meditation on what is not to be dead.
I remember that my philosophy class in the Saints Peter and Paul Bodija Ibadan where I studied for the Catholic priesthood, and I was taught by Professor and later Primate Idowu, Professor Adegbola, Rector Ugboko and  was ordained in 1974, made  a distinction between being and existence. Being is to be alive and do things that people who are alive do. Existence is to be fully competent in doing the things that people alive do. I pray and hope that you are in the former. This is the first time that I am hearing about your state of being. My Yorubanese has conditioned me to do what Yorubas do when they are confronted with these two realities - to be or not to be.  I am crying.

We are all cultural animals. I am a seventy three year old Yoruba man who has been pushing African principles in America with costs. You Toyin Falola has done very well, You have put what you believe about Africa in print. You organized your exciting nAfrican Research points upon which you had highly successful academic discussions and publications in print.  You have created an historical existence for them even when we all have passed on to our Ancestors.

I am crying as I read your piece. I still pray that our African Ancestral Forces will reach out to touch you with a healing potent touch because they feel as I do, that your time is not ripe and that you have more years to conclude your existential appointment.

As a former Catholic Priest, I was so angry when I read archival materials, during my studies in England, about how the two avangarde Catholic Religious orders, Jesuits and Dominicans - debated among themselves as to whether Slavery was Justified or not.  I studied and, among other things, got my Mlit. and Phd in the Jesuit Hall of Oxford University in Anthropology and my PhD. in Comparative Education under the supervision of Professor Brian Homes at the Institute of Education, University of London. The Jesuits that I worked and studied with in Campion Hall, the Jesuit Private Hall of Oxford University during my studies were clear about their disagreement with the decision that their Society took  in relation to whether slavery was good or bad for the economy of Great Britain. The Dominicans were right that history will not forgive those who support Slavery.

The highly interesting book by C.L.R. James, The Black Jocobins: Tousaint L'Overture and the San Domingo Revolution:(2nd Edition Revised} Vintage Books provides important historical points for why Catholicism itself needs to be brought to account for slavery.

How could the World keep quiet or support slavery as a tangible source of economic resources for survival when the commodities are people made in the image and likeness of God.  How could every one, and particularly the Pope of the day and time keep quiet when White Slavery Traders spread out in the corners of Africa capture human beings supposedly created in the image and likeness of God, to be brought to Britain, United States of America via Virginia as well as the Islands to provide free labor that generates capital income for the  rapacious and greedy Europeans and Americans who claim that they are the superior human beings and that, because cotton gin and the sugar cane factories have not been created, they must go to Africa to kidnap human beings who would produce their economic capital. 

Why is it that when Toussaint L'Ouverture was kidnaped as the head of State of Haiti, the Pope of the day who was the equivalent of the global King of Catholicism did not come to his rescue or make any pronouncement on the criminality of the offence?

It is always the indigenous people like the Scots who must prove that they are in alignment with the movement of history by being the only people who announce to the World that the kidnap and arrest of Tousaint L'Overture was wrong and against the dictates of  the forces of nature and modernity.
As Tousaint noted in his poem:
Toussaint – the most unhappy of men! –Whether the rural milkmaid by her cowSing in thy hearing, or  though liest nowAlone in some deep dungeon’s earless den,Oh miserable  Chieftain, where and whenWilt thou find patience? Yet die not! Do thouWear rather in thy bonds a cheerful brow;Though fallen thyself, never to rise again,Live, and take comfort! Thou hast left behindPowers that will work for thee – air, earth, and skies –There’s not a breathing of the common windThat will forget thee! Thou hast great allies:Thy friends are exultations, agonies,And love, and man’s unconquerable mind.

Toyin Falola, You will never be forgotten
Remember that in Yoruba epistemology,
The Foundations of the forces of nature are
air, earth and skies. I pray for your healing.
Remain blessed.

I am

Emmanuel Babatunde

To Toussaint L'Ouverture by William Wordsworth


‘To Toussaint L’Ouverture’ by William Wordsworth is a sonnet that describes how Louverture lives in the hearts of men even after his sad demise.

Wordsworth wrote this poem just a few months before the Haitian anti-slavery and anti-colonial revolutionary, Toussaint L’Ouverture’s death. The poet sees him as a part of nature. His demise means to him a process of assimilation into the air, earth, and sky. However, the poet thinks he can hear his voice. Hence, he asks him whether he can hear the song of the milkmaid. It can also be possible that he is buried inside some deep dungeon. Those who come to redeem mankind never die. So, Toussaint remains everywhere. None can forget his contribution to humanity. Lastly, the poet eulogizes him saying his friends are exultations, agonies, love, and the “unconquerable mind.”


Wordsworth wrote this sonnet in praise of the revolutionary leader Louverture. This poem follows the Petrarchan or Italian sonnet form. Hence, the poet divides this poem into two parts. The first part comprising eight lines (octave) contains the ABBA ABBA rhyme scheme. While the sestet contains the CDCDDC rhyme scheme. So, the second section of the poem differs a little from the Italian model concerning the rhyme scheme. However, like any conventional sonnet, this poem is also composed in iambic pentameter. Along with that, there are some metrical variations in this poem. For example, the first line of the sonnet is in iambic tetrameter.

Literary Devices

This sonnet, ‘To Toussaint L’Ouverture’ begins with an apostrophe. In the beginning, invoking his spirit, the poet says he is “the most unhappy of men!” The quoted phrase contains hyperbole. Thereafter, one can find the use of alliteration in the phrase, “deep dungeon’s”. Here, the poet uses the repetition of the hard “d’ sound for creating an internal rhythm. Along with that, the line “Alone in some deep dungeon’s earless den” contains a personification. In the following line, the poet asks a rhetorical question. Moreover, the poet uses synecdoche in the “a cheerful brow.” Here, “cheerful” is a transferred epithet. Thereafter, “common wind” is a metaphor for humankind and the last line contains a polysyndeton.

Detailed Analysis

Lines 1–4

Toussaint – the most unhappy of men! –

Whether the rural milkmaid by her cow

Sing in thy hearing, or thou liest now

Alone in some deep dungeon’s earless den,

The first four lines of ‘To Toussaint L’Ouverture’ sets the tone and mood. In the first line, the poet says Toussaint is the most unhappy of humankind. The reason is that before Toussaint’s death he was imprisoned by the French colonists. So, the last few days of his life were full of misery and suffering. Thereafter, the poet asks him whether he can hear the song of the rural milkmaid. Here, the poet paints a beautiful pastoral scene consisting of a milkmaid tending her cows.

However, the poet makes it clear that he is no more. His mundane body lies deep in some dungeon. The place is so marooned that none residing there can hear the rhythm of life. Moreover, the “dungeon’s earless den” contains a personification.

Lines 5–8

Oh miserable Chieftain, where and when

Wilt thou find patience? Yet die not! Do thou

Wear rather in thy bonds a cheerful brow;

Though fallen thyself, never to rise again,

In the last part of the octave, the poet refers to L’Ouverture as the “miserable Chieftain.” The poet thinks his soul can never find patience as the custom of slavery still exists. However, the poet quickly changes the mood of the poem by saying “Yet die not!” Here, the poet implicitly says that his contribution to the anti-slavery revolution cannot be forgotten. However, the poet is not sure whether his soul rests cheerfully or not. In the last line of this section, the poet uses an enjambment. Hence, one has to go through the first line of the next section to understand the meaning of the line.

Lines 9–14

Live, and take comfort! Thou hast left behind

Powers that will work for thee – air, earth, and skies –

There’s not a breathing of the common wind

That will forget thee! Thou hast great allies:

Thy friends are exultations, agonies,

And love, and man’s unconquerable mind.

Though Toussaint has fallen never to rise again, he will never die. In the last section of ‘To Toussaint L’Ouverture’, the poet says he will live forever. He has left behind the natural powers that work for him. Being a part of nature, he lives in the air, earth, and skies. Moreover, the “common wind” that humankind breathes, contains his essence. As long as nature exists, his existence will never be lost. Lastly, the poet says he has great allies. His friends are “exultations”. The pain he has suffered is his friend. Besides, the love of mankind and his “unconquerable mind” is always with him. Hence, the hero will live forever in the hearts of men.

Historical Context

Wordsworth’s poem, ‘To Toussaint L’Ouverture’ is dedicated to the former slave Toussaint L’Ouverture. He was an influential leader in the Haitian Revolution of 1791 to 1804. Moreover, he led the anti-slavery and anti-colonial insurrection by self-liberated slaves against French colonial rule in Saint-Domingue. It is now a sovereign nation of Haiti. However, L’Ouverture was imprisoned by the French and died in captivity shortly after Wordsworth wrote this poem. He penned down this piece in January 1803 and L’Ouverture died on 7 April 1803 at Fort-de-Joux in Doubs. Moreover, the opening phrase of this poem, “the most unhappy of men” appears in Louverture’s memoir written during his imprisonment.

Similar Poetry

Here is a list of a few poems that similarly talk about the major themes of Wordsworth’s ‘To Toussaint L’Ouverture’.

  • Checking Out Me History by John Agard – In this poem, John Agard also talks about Toussaint L’Ouverture who was a great source of concern for slavers and a source of hope for the slaves.
  • Parsley by Rita Dove – This poem deals with the mass murder of thousands of men in the Dominican Republic in 1937. This poem taps on the themes of grief and violence.
  • The Slave’s Lament by Robert Burns – This poem presents a Senegalese slave’s lamentation after being captured and deported to Virginia.
  • Poems On The Slave Trade – Sonnet V by Robert Southey – In this poem, Southey anticipates how the slaves would revolt against the brutish men who were responsible for the degradation of their lives.

You can also read about the incredible poems on black history and empathetic poems concerning slavery.

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Emmanuel D. Babatunde, Ph.D (Lon), D.Phil (Oxon)
Professor and Chair
Department of Sociology & Anthropology
Senior Fulbright Scholar
Lincoln University
Pennsylvania, USA
(484) 365-7545

Emmanuel Babatunde

Apr 28, 2023, 1:12:43 PM4/28/23
Correction on My Contribution upon hearing of Toyin's announcement. 

The Poem enclosed in that article was written by the Scottish Poet  Wordsworth advocating for Tousaint, rather than Tousaint advocating for himself.
May you be healed My Brother Toyin.


Cornelius Hamelberg

Apr 28, 2023, 6:31:52 PM4/28/23
to USA Africa Dialogue Series
"Scottish" Poet  Wordsworth ?

Who  and  what made him a " Scottish" poet?

When he made a tour of Scotland ? 

Michael Afolayan

Apr 28, 2023, 9:24:34 PM4/28/23
Brother Emmanuel!

I can't read and not comment on your deep musing and creative intellection. You spoke well! You wrote well. Greetings! The last time I saw you was at the TF's conference on indigenous epistemology some years back, in which the mini-conference was designed as a one-day roundtable conversation for 10 people. I enjoyed hearing you then, as I am enjoying "hearing" you now. I hope all is well at Lincoln!

You just educated me on one of the reasons for the non-existence of theological and ideological confraternity between the Dominicans and the Jesuit Order. You invoked my memory of my old Dominican professor of philosophy at the University of Ife, an American priest who called himself "Bàbá Àgbẹ̀" (because his actual name was Father Farmer). In teaching us ethics, slavery was a topic he used as what he saw as the peak of inexplicable "man-on-man inhumanity," an ethical challenge that had tainted the human history and made the angels to shed tears. Fr. Farmer himself (just like you) wiped tears occasionally while treating this subject. I wondered why then. Now, I know where he was coming from.

I could not but love your juxtaposition of the concept of being and the fact of existence (I will call it "existing" here). You know the Yoruba have epistemically crafted both into the notion of "Ìwà" (character and being). A young woman doing research on Yoruba children's literature and the concept of Ọmọlúwàbí, from the University of Glasgow in Scotland, interviewed me just four days ago and I spoke to her on this subject. To the Yoruba, "being" and "existing" are central to the inner caucus of humanity intertwined with the umbilical cord of positive "character." It is why being, existing and character are semantically inseparable. It's the reason the Ifa verse goes on to say,

Owó l'o ní,
Tóò níwà,
Owó olówó ni;
Ìwà l'à ń wá,

Ọmọ l'o ní,
Tóò níwà,
Ọmọ ọlọ́mọ ni;
Ìwà l'à ń wá,

(If money is all you have,
And you lack Ìwà! ,
It's borrowed money (belonging to someone else);
Ìwà is all we are searching for (all we need)

If children are all you have,
And you lack Ìwà! ,
They're borrowed children (belonging to someone else);
Ìwà is all we are searching for (all we need)

But, let's set that aside. Yes, Ojogbon Agba TF has helped us to refuse to be intimidated by death or dying. It assures me that he will live long, thinned out like the strand of the hair on tail of the horse (borrowing another line from Ifa poetry). As for the man, Paul, that TF showcased here, he reminded me of one of my favorite characters on TF's listserv at its inception, a woman by the name LaVonda Staples. From the very day, LaVonda was diagnosed with a terminal cancer to the moment she took her last breath, this courageous woman gave us a down-to-earth chronicle of her journey. What a documentation! Her last posting was:

Dear Family & Friends,

 If you are reading this, I have successfully made my transition to be with my Heavenly Father. I have Lived, Laughed, and Loved. I have shared most of my life experiences & lessons with everyone I know with the intention to help those without a voice. I am overjoyed that I was able to touch as many lives as I have. Believe me when I tell you that I suffer no more, and I am in a much better place. My ancestors and I have a LOT of catching up to do...

Always remember, life is what you make it. Make it your only live once.

I love you all forever, 

La Vonda R. Staples

I attended LaVonda's funeral in Missouri. She parted with courage. We will keep Paul in our prayers. He has the will to live, and that he will. AMEN!

Cornelius Hamelberg

Apr 29, 2023, 4:50:12 PM4/29/23
to USA Africa Dialogue Series

In mystical Islam, it’s “Die before you die” 

St Paul the Apostle is supposed to have said: I die daily 

Dr. Samuel Oloruntoba tells me that, " it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this judgment:!"

When there’s no more karma holding them back, when the stock of bad karma is all burned up, some advanced yogis can leave the body at will and depart into the hereafter. Others are said to be sinning deliberately, because they don’t want to leave this vale of tears in such a hurry, at least not yet. (Right now I’m feeling enormous remorse about this business of William Wordsworth being referred to as a “Scottish Poet” - he could be rolling over in his grave, on hearing this and wondering if Robert Burns ( 1759 - 1796) would take kindly to that kind of testimony of Wordsworth ( 1802 - 1859) sharing distinguished Scottish pedigree with him. Maybe as preposterous as referring to Wole Soyinka as an Igbo poet, or  Christopher Okigbo as a “ Yoruba Poet.” or the Prophet Muhammad salallahu alaihi wa salaam as a Jew or the Prophet Moses - alaihi salaam, as an Arab…

 But for all we know Wordsworth as a “ Scottish “ poet, is a witty, inner joke…


I have been following reports of Near-Death Experiences on this  Youtube channel : 

The Other Side NDE

After a lifetime of pampering the body and the mind, acquiring knowledge and much material wealth, women and wisdom, in the last days of those who believe they are heaven-bound, or going to burn forever in that other place, all the academic degrees that have been obtained in theology won’t be of much help. Hopefully, from a higher, more sublime conceptual plane some words of comfort from Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj: “Nothing dies. The body is just imagined. There is no such thing

Cornelius Hamelberg

May 3, 2023, 10:25:30 PM5/3/23
to USA Africa Dialogue Series

Some stray thoughts, more musing

The most important insight is this: A doctor should NEVER do this: a SHARP warning

The fact is everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.

Somebody asked Woody Allen, “ Aren’t you afraid of death?” He replied, “I'm not afraid of death, I just don't want to be there when it happens” 

I suppose, you too. Don’t want to be there for the great event.

The terminal event.

The End. 


When we’re circa 20 years old, at least some of us feel immortal. Touch wood

Nowadays, with modern medicine, the optimistic standard expectation is circa 120 years  - like Moses ( the Prophet Moses). For the rest of us, even the pious and most holy among us want to cling on to dear life and to do what can be done down here on earth - not down there in the grave or after the cremation, what remains of us as a box of ashes ( as “into ashes all my lust!”) So, ideally some of us - not suicide bombers, would like to delay entry into “The undiscovered country, from whose bourn, No traveller returns, there’s good reason to despair of attaining to the ripe old age of the fabled Methuselah; somewhere or other down the line, you, me,  we are at one of the stages known as “The Seven Ages of Man”  and no matter at what/ which stage we find ourselves, this much is certain:“Your days are numbered, so are mine

I don’t know exactly what figure of speech he was employing, but earlier in the day I came across upbeat youthman Shola Adenekan affirming his certainty on Facebook, in the following words: “There are 3 things certain in life: tax, death and Arsenal beating Chelsea !”

BTW, I had thought that he was going to say, these three are certain: 1. The Father, 2. The Son, and  3. The Holy Spirit….

BTW, Death is universally known as “ the certainty” - at least in Islam death is a certainty there’s no escape, i.e. none so far has escaped it. Good Christians look forward to the everlasting life that has been promised will be granted to them, after they die. It’s a very tempting idea. A pleasant idea. A luminous future to look forward to.

In a brighter and much calmer mood, John Donne composed this Holy Sonnet: Death be not Proud  - the kind of Sonnet Woody Allen did not compose, however, as far as I remember, when J.D.  was actually passing out of this life, he called for a priest ( to administer the last rites) There’s a similar story about Tolstoy and what historians and some literary biographers - and some Church people - have disputed as his religious conviction towards the end of his life. This much is true or certain: some people become more religious in old age, with remorse and repentance for an earlier life of profligacy, as they begin to contemplate the Elysian Fields, the possibilities of eternal life in the Olam Ha Ba / the fulfilment of promises about the Christian Hereafter /  the Islamic Paradise 

There is, for instance, the Quranic polemic in  2: 96 // Quran 2:96 - about the Jews, and whilst these days with the War in Ukraine about to escalate and goodness knows the future of the war in Sudan, we may be thinking of life and death in terms of our individual destinies of three score years and ten according to the Hebrew Bible, but the idea of collective destiny is clear in this chilling statement by Iran’s President: Iran's Initial Response To Any 'Small Step' By The Zionist Entity Will Be Its Annihilation

Cornelius Hamelberg

May 4, 2023, 5:18:10 PM5/4/23
to USA Africa Dialogue Series

Very important: We should not undervalue the life of our fellow human beings. That’s why e.g.  Zelensky is incomprehensible; so is what’s happening in Sudan.

Speaking or writing Russian like Pushkin is a quality,  just one of many qualities that makes a human being human. We ought not to replicate or try to replicate what was once Apartheid South Africa anywhere, particularly not in Israel and that’s just putting it lightly. 

At the risk of sounding more pedantic than I actually am, just one more correction to make. Sin, after all, is about mistakes made, such as missing the mark, and repentance is all about regret and remorse, correcting, and as much as possible, rectifying the deliberate and the unconscious mistakes made, and making the necessary amends thereof, for example, apologising, where apologies should be in place. Even on Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Hebrew Calendar, also known as the Day of Atonement, there are two categories of sin  - the ones committed against God, which only God Almighty can forgive, and those committed against your fellow human beings which only the fellow human being can forgive, failing which you may remain unforgiven. 

Well, here’s one that was made by the machine ( I blame it on it - the machine): In the search engine I think that I correctly entered what I was looking for:  Tolstoy : his religious conviction towards the end of his life but what popped out of the link was “Tolstoy: history religious conviction towards the end of his life”, making me feel a little like Aaron, Moses’ older brother who thus explained the situation  to Moses, when Moses came down from the Mountain and saw his people dancing round the Golden Calf: “When some of them - the rebels demanded that I make them a golden calf  - as if I was a magician, I tried my best to thwart their demands  which were becoming life-threatening, and to delay them,  knowing how attached they were to gold, I requested that they surrender their gold ornaments, their rings, earrings, bracelets and  gold necklaces to me, after which I threw the whole bunch into the fire and out popped the golden calf!

So apart from “ die before you die” it's a good idea to repent before you die and this perhaps sounds all too morbid & macabre, but the fact is that once you’ve gone past the Biblical three score years and ten, you’re living on extra-time. After phase three, the next stop is the cemetery, and as Marvel put it in  his To My Coy Mistress., 

“The grave’s a fine and private place,

But none, I think, do there embrace.”

Now, if you’re a Muslim and a good one at that, there should be little to fear about the questions that according to al-Islam will be asked of everyone in the grave: Islam : The questions that the dead will have to answer in the grave , namely, 

Who is your Lord?

What is your religion?

Who is your prophet?

Of course, it’s different strokes for different folks. I don’t know how Nigeria’s Pentecostal pastors, and those politicians who tell their daddy that it’s “ a religious war” are going to answer those three questions, nor do we know what is going to be their likely fate in the hereafter, if they do not give the correct answers to those questions. Furthermore - too late, we are not to suppose that lying and telling lies even in the grave, is going to be acceptable or accepted by The Most Merciful.

Right now, I would like to know  - get some clarifications from the traditional African religionists who always post on this forum, about many a soul that has gone unto the Hereafter, that such souls have “ joined the ancestors.” I ask since I believe that it’s a tenet of Yoruba religion - and maybe, not only Yoruba religions that our ancestors are with us in the world, right now - as per the discussions in  Professor the Rev Canon Harry Alphonso Ebun Sawyerr’s book,  God: Ancestor or Creator ?

 Lastly, I should think that for the adherents of the religions that believe in reincarnation // gilgul, the finality of the Day of Judgement according to Islam and Christianity could be less fearful and less tearful, as some people will at least be given another chance.

 Jalāl al-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī : 

 “I died as a mineral and became a plant,

I died as a plant and rose to an animal,

I died as an animal and I was human,
Why should I fear?
When was I less by dying?
Yet once more I shall die human,
To soar with angels blessed above.
And when I sacrifice my angel soul
I shall become what no mind ever conceived.
As a human, I will die once more,
Reborn, I will with the angels soar.
And when I let my angel body go,
I shall be more than mortal mind can know.”

This evening, during dinner at the restaurant at Sven-Harry’s  - after the Art Exhibition there, we listened to the following souls that have long departed coming from the speakers

 Sam Cooke

Otis Redding

Bob Marley

Marvin Gaye 

Bill Withers

Aretha Franklin 

All, constellations in the musical heaven. 


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