It is unaccustomed of me to write in celebration of a man or woman who is under 80 years. Yes, 70 is a milestone worthy of celebration. It even enjoys Biblical endorsement. Science and technological wonders have made three scores and ten relatively easier to attain, many have tended to observe and argue. So the society is shifting to celebrate the attainment of 80 more. Dr. Adeseye Aluko is 70, he has 10 more years to clock 80 when we will roll out the drums—No, beg your pardon: when we will stage a concert with the sounds of violins, violas and cellos—and piano rending the air; at no other more befitting venue for a music maestro than a hall dedicated to the show-casing and promotion of Arts and music, the Muson Centre, Lagos, in celebration of his arduous journey which has turned out to be a lesson in single-mindedness, forbearance and triumph. Dr. Aluko’s story is an inspiration to the faint-hearted, the despised and the rejected in the journey of earthly life that is a school for us all; for all human beings. Today, I summon Adeseye Aluko to step forward and tell his own story which he captions From Hero to Zero. In his words:Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
“I wish to write an autobiographical article, (which means a writing about myself). I write about myself, not because I am proud or self-centered, nor because I want to draw attention to myself, I write about myself because it is the easiest way for me to make my points.
In my earlier writings, I wrote that I gained admission at “King’s College, Lagos,” which in the estimation of many persons at the time was the best school in Nigeria. It is from there I was able to gain knowledge of certain facts of life, facts that are clear and indisputable. I wish to acquaint my readers with some of these facts, and they illustrate some of our undesirable traits as human beings. From experiences we will find that our shortcomings are in urgent need of mending. We are ungodly and proud! Observe our offices, residences and estates, where we live and work. These habitations are barricaded with burglary proofing, gates, padlocks and towering fences. They are guarded for hours on end by armed security personnel, and police dogs. We are not in harmony with one another. We relate to one another like the most famished and virulent carnivores. Look at all our wars where we wipe out numerous people, and wreck their homes and their lives. See the devastation in Russia-Ukraine war, where by using lethal apparatus, entire cities are demolished. Not until he has passed on (death) will Putin, the Russian President find he has attracted immeasurable amount of guilt and Karma to himself. In one breath we men cry out “Hosanna,” and in the next “breath we yell out ‘Crucify! Him’” We prefer to “follow the crowd.” We do not heed the word of the great Jewish prophet who said ’’Woe unto them that call evil good and good evil.” (Isaiah 5: 20).
Writing the way I do in the social media is not because I am arrogant but because it is often desirable for any reader to know better about the author of a writing.
I wish to use my own experiences to sketch or illustrate the unreliability of men. For I have had the peculiar fortune of having been acclaimed, and later disclaimed. This praise was for my academic prowess. I was adjudged a good scholar. These experiences have made me to realize the darker side of human nature, and to understand the weighty statement of William Shakespeare when he states in Macbeth: “There’s no art to find the mind’s construction in the face.”(Macbeth, 1. I.v.7).
From as early as my college days I was hailed as a good scholar, and with whom many wished to associate. But all this changed after I fell into rough times. The very persons who wished to associate with me when the going was good dissociated from me when I fell. This was my first bitter taste of the unreliability of we men.
In my schools, (Maryhill Convent School, Ibadan) and later King’s College Lagos), my academic results were excellent as I regularly ended up in the second or third position in my class. Because of this, my father (the renowned engineer/novelist), Dr. T.M.Aluko, found no reason to give me any stress. In King’s College I attained the magical aggregate score of 6 (6 distinctions) in the West African School Certificate examination in 1968. We were three in King’s College that year that had the aggregate score of 6. The others were Ayo Ighodaro and Dotun Lamikanra. However, this ironically brought me much heartache. I became a watched man that the public expected to achieve the same feat in future examinations such as the University of Cambridge Higher School Certificate, and the University of London General Certificate of Education more widely called GCE. The expectations were a challenge that I should not let down those who took much interest in my high performances with the concommittant stress that comes with such resolve.
If I may stress, I write about these achievements not to praise or draw attention to myself but to state the other side of life and its lessons. Indeed, with the three of us obtaining in one go such an aggregate score, and Tokie Cardoso and Segun Giwa (also from King’s College) obtaining aggregate 7 we all in Lagos circles became famous boys, stars, and role models. The school (King’s College) itself was highly praised and revered for nursing such brilliant students.
The academic results made me to number among twenty-two (22) carefully selected students from schools across the country who were awarded scholarships by the Shell British Petroleum, (Shell BP). The scholarship regarded at the time as the most prestigious was to study mechanical and civil engineering in universities scattered around Britain. I ended up at the renowned Imperial College of Science and Technology, University of London, in 1970.
I was a student at Imperial College from 1970 to 1971. You may ask, why did I not complete my studies there despite the glittering results I was flaunting? Unfortunately for me, in 1972 I fell seriously ill. Despite the greatest efforts to resist it, I had to return to Lagos to “rest”. Yes, dear reader, I crashed out; I had a nervous break-down, and had to leave the prestigious halls of the revered Imperial College London. In Lagos I struggled to continue my studies in civil engineering, at the University of Lagos. And it was at this time I began to learn about us human beings. I soon observed that the majority of my “friends” had deserted me. They did not care about me. They did not ask for me! For years on end I was “out of all reckoning.”
The re-location from London to Lagos was a most grievous experience for me. It represented a huge loss to my opportunities in life. It shattered my resolve, and played havoc with my ambitions. And dear reader, this is my exact point. My life changed; I took my academic achievements for granted; I did not study when I was supposed to do so. I lost a lucrative scholarship in the process. Up till the present day it is a matter of regret for me from the effects and after-effects of my single act of great neglect.
Yes, when I was “up there” I had many “friends.” I used to hub nub with the great and mighty, I was searched out by women and girls because I was “famous,” and it seemed that I had a promising future stretched out before me. In the space of two short years of my sickness, I was no longer in serious reckoning. I had graduated in “status” from “HERO TO ZERO.”
In London I had experienced physical, physiological and mental distress, for which from time to time, I had to be “hospitalized.”
Dear readers, has any of you also had this experience – to be revered at one time, and to be scorned at another? This experience is bitter. That was what happened to me! No more praises, no more accolades, I was reduced to being a forgotten, discarded and an empty soul. The story of persons abandoning their friends in the time of their greatest need is not uncommon. Even in the case of such a high Being as Jesus Christ, (The Son of God) the story is the same. Mankind did not shrink from visiting Him with evil and inflicting harm on the Lord. His disciples abandoned Him in His hour of need. Jesus was wrongly arraigned, false witnesses who were not in short supply accused Him of one thing or the other, and then subjected to an excruciatingly painful execution. In this way they aimed at reducing Christ from “Hero to Zero!” How did Christ’s disciples act during His arrest and trial? They ran away! Let us reinforce this poser by gleaning the words in the Bible itself at the time of His arrest “Then all the disciples forsook him and fled.” (Matthew 26: 56)
Thus all the men who had wined and dined with the Lord Jesus, who had witnessed all His wonderful miracles etc., could not remain with Him in His hour of need. It is Jesus Christ that the singer, ex- Beatle John Lennon was referring to, when he complained about his being trailed and harassed, by hordes of photographers, (called Paparazzi). Lennon was referring to and blaming his many fans, sycophants, enthusiasts, hangers-on, and other groups of persons who gave him no rest, but belong to the group of men who trail, and harass celebrities, and crowd around the rich and the famous.
John Lennon sings:
“Christ you know it ‘aint easy
You know how hard it can be –
The way things are going,
They’re gonna crucify me.”
(John Lennon, “The Ballad of John and Yoko”).
We have been discussing how stars, celebrities, role models etc., are praised, eulogized etc. when the going with their fans is good, but who are harassed, scorned and sometimes even killed when they fall out of favour with these same fans.
And now to the crux of this my account! This is to bring to the awareness of the reader, a personality in the name of Abd-ru-shin. Abd-ru-shin is an Arabic word which when translated means “Son of the Light” or “Son of the Holy Spirit.” Abd- ru-shin is a man who has come to prominence by his publishing a monumental work, “a Book of Truths “titled “The Grail Message, In the Light of Truth.” Abd- ru-shin was a writer, and playwright, and his book explains the true concept of Almighty God, and the relationship that God desires to have with the entirety of the human spirits. Abd-ru-shln, in his un-assailable “Book of Truths,” (The Grail Message), corrects the twisted notions of human beings, and our false attitudes to life. Abd ru shin teaches that time is running out for the human spirit, and always stresses that each man will pay for his actions and inactions, his acts of indiscretions, his activities and inactivities, and his decisions and indecisions. Abd- ru-shin teaches that man, and the world in which he lives, has entered into the phase long predicted by the Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Bible, which phase is described as “ The End Times,” “ The Last Judgment,” “Armageddon” or “The Latter Days.” It is the time when the earth will be shaken to its very foundation, when the earth and every man in it will be judged!
Though it is unnecessary to write about the actual life of Abd-ru -shin on this earth, it can, however, be stated that because of his revolutionary statements, he was slandered and reviled. He and his followers quickly attracted the negative attention of the Austrian and German police. Despite his sacrifices, and all the efforts he made to uplift mankind, he constantly suffered criticisms and immense hostility from almost all cadres of men, even those “closest to him.” Many Judases emerged from out of Abd-ru-shin’s inner circles. He was often summoned to court on frivolous trumped-up charges. He gave the security personnel of Austria and Germany sleepless nights because of his great influence on men, through his writings, and in many circles his books were banned. He also caused great consternation in Christian circles, as well as to the earthly representatives of the numerous churches, all over the world. They were aghast at the prospect of losing their influence over their numerous (and sometimes) indolent followers. Abd-ru-shin was incarcerated in detentions, subjected to arrests, and house arrests. He was also betrayed and disappointed by his own friends. He was betrayed by his closest associates. He was arrested repeatedly by secret organizations, and the members of the infamous German Gestapo of the Nazi party. The whole scheme was to reduce Abd-ru-shin’s status from Hero to Zero.
Abd-ru-shin’s benevolent work on earth came to an abrupt close with his death in 1941.
Abd ru shin teaches that the great changes that are occurring today, with greater and greater frequency and regularity, would result in grievous catastrophes, “Natural Disasters” and “climate changes.” They will be such that they will be witnessed by the blind as well as the seeing, the deaf and those able to hear, and the dumb, and those able to speak. He teaches that for all human beings it is the time of the “World Judgment,” often referred to in the Holy Bible. He states that for all human beings it is the beginning of the end because God’s forbearance is now at an end! And he says that God speaks to man, through His restless earth, through the earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornados, mud – slides, volcanic eruptions, floods and more. Abd-ru-shin describes the phase of unrest now being witnessed on earth today as “The Great New Cosmic Turning-Point.” But who exactly is Abd-ru-shin? Is he a Redeemer, seer, prophet or priest? Where did he study? Where did he train? How did he draw down his very wise postulations? These are the questions that will confront mankind in the Judgment. Writing in a rich, lofty and elevated style, Abd-ru-shin says:
“With my words I lead to God and also to Jesus! However, in a more vital way than has been known in the past, and not as people have trimmed it through their propensity for spiritual comfort. Jesus shall not be given up as the Son of God through my Message. He must now be recognized as such all the more, but not as the servant and slave of a decayed humanity in order to carry their burden of guilt, or to redeem it so that they may have it easier!”
(From the Lecture “Believers Merely Out Of Habit,” The Grail Message of Abd-ru- shin, (Pages 917/918 excerpted).”
Life’s lesson, therefore, is that no one should lose hope of a better tomorrow; whoever boldly tackles the problems of life is bound to succeed.
With the encouragement, confidence and strength drawn from the outstreaming Rays shed In the Light of Truth, Adeseye Aluko, son of renowned Lagos City Council engineer of old and more known by his many works among them “One Man, One Wife” with iron resolve confronted the storms that sought to drown him. Two other publications of the iconic novelist are One Man, One Matchet and Kinsman and Foreman. Adeseye Aluko has gradually climbed back into reckoning. Here was a boy who crashed out while at the Imperial College and for whom life looked bleak, he has through unyielding resolve pulled his bootstraps to wade through all vicissitudes of life. He eventually, not only had his first degree in engineering, but went on to have his Masters degree (MSc) and then PhD. He is a photographer, a painter and a music teacher who mounts music concerts from time to time. Even though he is not 80, I ask that we all rise and clink our glasses to celebrate the man of courage with the sing-song “Never say die!”