A dibia (spiritual healer) once determined that I am under the influence of mami-wata (mermaid) goddess and that I am an ogbanje (child spirit) who will reincarnate many times.
My scientific vision is influenced by Christianity, animism and mysticism.
I attended Catholic schools, sang in the church choir and was an altar boy while in the 7th and 8th grades.
At the same time, animistic beliefs permeated our everyday life. A dibia (spiritual healer) once determined that I am under the influence of mami-wata (mermaid) goddess and that I am an ogbanje (child spirit) who will reincarnate many times.
A figure representing the mami-wata water spirit of the Igbo- and Ibibio-speaking people of West Africa. The mami-wata brings both wealth and loss of fertility to her lovers and followers.
My scientific vision is also influenced by my earlier readings of my father's Rosicrucian Digest, an AMORC (Ancient and Mystical Order Rosae Crucis) quarterly publication that covers topics ranging from the mysteries of ancient Egypt to metaphysics and mysticism. Metaphysics teaches intuition and visualization techniques --- attributes that I use in making scientific discoveries.
Since animism attributes conscious life to nature or natural objects, scientists that have animist beliefs tend to have enormous respect for nature and Mother Earth and are therefore more likely to borrow from it. There are parallels between animist worship of trees, stones, and rivers and my design of the first computer networks that mimick the branching patterns of trees; my formulation of the new theory of tessellation which was inspired by the structure of crystal stones; and my mathematics thesis on river flows. Therefore, the animist religion of my Igbo tribe subconsciously influenced my scientific discoveries.
Africans in the Diaspora are increasingly acknowledging the influence of animism in their lives. In Part of Each Other, Part Of the Earth, Aneb Kgositsile wrote:"We, Africans in America, come from people tied to the Earth, people of the drums which echo the Earth's heartbeat ...
People tied to soil and wind and rain as to each other ..."
After many years of spiritual malaise and environmental catastrophe, animism is being suggested as the salvation of western society. Best-selling books such as Bill Moyers' Healing and the Mind, and block-buster movies such as Dancing with Wolves and The Last of the Mohicans advocated or romanticized animism. My scientific writings are interspersed with quotations from animist religious leaders.
Letters to Emeagwali
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