I have written this article for educational purposes only, so if you are a saint (Muslim or Christian) please hold your beliefs to yourself, this is a traditional article and has nothing to do with Islam or Christianity. This was a belief before Islam or Christianity. So read on if you want to, for educational purpose.
Ebira People believe there are two worlds which are Ehe (Earth) and Idaneku (Heaven). In Ebira theology, perhaps nothing is more complex than the metaphysical concept of Ozu, variously associated with the physical self, personal Spirit, consciousness, destiny, human soul, and ancestral guardian angel. It can be considered the Ebira theory of consciousness, or as the Ebira theory of destiny, or both.
In my conception, our Ozu is our soul, which contains consciousness (knowledge, wisdom, thought and emotion) as well as our predetermined destiny and is our connection to source as well as all things containing consciousness. Within the mystery of Ozu is another mystery, “Ozu,” our inner self; the divines park. A third component of the “Ozu complex” is our higher self. It is our mirror image that resides in Idaneku, the Invisible Realm of the Immortals.
It is, however, not clearly stated in the oral traditions what the pre-existent state of the person is before he comes into the world. However, that there is a predestination of man before he arrives in the world, no Ebira person doubts.
In one of my articles I titled “Ebira Believes about Onovave (Reincarnation)” I clearly stated that, during the initiation of a child or divination, which Ebira People called “Eva Ozi”. The main purpose of Eva Ozi is to know whom the ancestor that has come back to the world is; Ebira people refer to returned ancestor here as ‘The OZU’. Read About Eva Ozi Click Here
So this clearly shows that Ozu, Eva Ozi & Reincarnation of man are related.
Read Also: Ebira Believes About Onovave (Reincarnation)
The differences in these variants notwithstanding, all acknowledge the Ebira belief in predestination and also establish the belief in Aami (portion) as a person’s destiny which he chooses during his pre-existent state. It is this destiny that is seen as metaphysically constituted in Ozu (one spirit self) and it is this that man comes into the world to fulfil.
When man comes into the world at birth, he forgets everything about heaven and his destiny. It is only his Ozu that remembers the course and content of his chosen destiny, and pursues this accordingly. It directs a man’s affairs in this world. To the Ebira people, the “Ozu” is invisible, and is therefore referred to as Ozu Oza, destined to become the person’s instructor, his ‘guardian angel’, which is equally referred to as “a semi-split entity”, the “man’s double”.
It is Ozu that helps and guides life (Uhwe) at birth, sees the man through life and into death (Isu-Oza), leads him back to the creator and gives an account of a man’s conduct while on earth. This justifies the reason for the diviner’s (Oheva) advice to the individual that he always turns to his Ozu for assistance whenever he is in need or in time of trouble: hence the Ebira saying: ‘Ozu Oza” Aha Ni (it is one’s Ozu that abides with one). Ozu in Ebira belief is the man’s personality soul, his guardian angel and his personal deity, which is elevated to the level of a divinity, and thus worshiped by a man for things to be well with him. For a man’s designated role in life – his destiny – to be well fulfilled, it becomes necessary for him to be on good terms with his Ozu. This demands it’s being kept in good condition, well respected, and propitiated from time to time.
My Conclusion on the Concept of Ozu
From the point of view of our unlettered ancestors revealed through the Ebira creation myth, the Eva, proverbs, and other forms of oral traditions, the intrinsic meaning and value of Ozu among the Ebira people have been unlocked. Its position as man’s personality soul, his guardian angel and personal deity, which ranks it to the level of divinity, has also been revealed. Traditions also present Ozu as the spiritual accomplice of a man who kneels to choose the man’s destiny, which it is equally entrusted to protect and to help fulfil. Therefore, for a man to have his destiny fulfilled well, he has to be on a good terms with his Ozu and propitiate it from time to time.
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Written by Yakubu Binuyaminu Adeiza,