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Abiku: Homesick for Heaven

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"Abiku" is a Nigerian word for a feeling that you don't belong in this world, and homesickness for the spirit realm you came from. It traditionally refers to sickly kids who fail to thrive, but it happens to adults too. Happened to me. Mystics (of whatever tradition) who roam the spirit worlds already, are quite susceptible: having to return to this often barbaric plane can be painful, despite loves, loyalties, and responsibilities that tie us here.

It's revealing that the nearest English equivalent is Freud's term "deathwish." But (at least in popular use) deathwish generally means being tired of existence and wanting it to end--oblivion. Abiku, in contrast, means wanting a better existence you intuit--or remember. A hunger for life, just not this life.

And I don't think it's all that rare. It's what Goth is all about...

RELATED TOPICS: home - anorexia - souls - prayers and wishes - loneliness - sadness and grief - astral plane - paradise - See also the full INDEX OF SUBJECTS.

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AFTER BIRTH: by Wayan, 2004/9/29, astral acrylic painting
Never mind an afterlife! What if, before life, we were spirits with no idea what happens after birth?...
ANOREXIA NIRVANA: by Wayan; 1993, a digital picture-poem of astral temptation.
I was anorexic for years; I only mastered it when I saw it was a hunger for the spirit world...
THE ARMS POLICY: by Wayan; 2000/4/7, a nightmare.
The government has a harsh policy on armed dissidents. Not the kind of arms you think...
BEAR READ DUNE: by Wayan; dreamed 1981/1/28, painted 10 years later.
There are many astral planes--this world's just the cellar.
A cat and a bird in love, a literate bear and I guard the astral stair...
BEHIND THE SCREENS: by Wayan; 1984/2/12, a vivid sex dream that hid a warning
I hide a catgirl behind Japanese screens. We have hot sex now & then--but usually I ignore her...
LA BELLE DAME SANS MERCI: by John Keats, April 1819, a sexy nightmare poem
A knight falls in love with a fey woman, until her previous victims warn him in a nightmare that she is...
THE BOULDER DISSOLVES: by Myoe Shonin; mid Dec. 1230, an old monk's dream of liberation
I was trapped inside a boulder, but as I chanted it melted around me until it resembled a discarded skin...
DOCTOR WHO AND DEATH: by Wayan; 1984/6/30, a hopeful dream of betrayal.
Dr Who, that BBC perennial, allies with Death. An alarming turn-around! What's he up to?
GHOST DOGS: by Wayan; a 1993/4/2 dream of temptation digitally painted as one giant comics page
I meet a wolf who invites me to join Dr Who's pack of sexy Ghost Wolves. There's just one catch...
GRIEF KIVA: by Wayan; 1980/2/16, a lucid psychic dream.
In a Hopi underworld, I find even lucid dreaming can't cure guilt and grief over losses yet to come...
KITTY WANTS TO DIE: by Wayan; 1981/11/9, a nightmare baring a side of me ready to DIE to avoid stuff
Kitty, exhausted, stops fighting what's inside her, and lets herself die.
Crystalline alien worms burst out, growing till they loom over the spaceport...
THE LEAP: by Naguib Mahfouz, 2001?, an aborted flying dream.
I rode with my love in a cart drawn by a winged horse. But as we flew over the Great Pyramid, I jumped...
LUCID FLIGHT: by Lisa Reich; March 2003, an ecstatic lucid dream of flight.
I flew as if part of the air--an otherworldly freedom so exquisite I wonder if it's attainable at all in earthly existence...
MARK'S DISSOLVE: by Wayan, 2015/7/31, a dream-poem of a world where death is different
My friend Mark is ready. He evaporates into the spirit realm--as we all do here when we die! Flesh to glass to air...
NOW DON'T PUT WORDS IN MY MOUTH: by Wayan; 1998, pencil sketch of 3 recurring dream figures.
It's hard being even mildly multiple. Here three of my least compatible personalities line up and...
PLANETOCOPIA: by Wayan; 2002- (ongoing Sisyphean project)
19 nondream imaginary worlds rendered in text, art, & sculpture. Most teem with intelligent life--alien Edens!
PRISONS AND STRIPES: by Emily Joy; 2007/10/4, a lucid dream.
In a museum full of spacetime-bubbles holding lost souls, the museum-goers are as weird as the exhibits...
SHEEP IN THE SKY: by Myoe Shonin; c.1220/9/20, a dream of strange advice.
A strange transforming thing appeared in the sky--a light, a sheep, a man. It told me to stop burning my head...
WHALE BIKES TO HEAVEN: by Wayan; 1974/5/6, a shamanic double-flying dream
A road trip with no road--levitating over the Arctic Sea to meet the Whale Philosopher.
Then it's time for us all to bike to the stars, leave this world behind...
WHY ARE WE AFRAID TO DIE?: by Hopper; summer 2008, an astral-interview dream.
I meet a ghost girl and ask her about death. I figure she knows first-hand. And she tells me...
ZENNA CAT: by Wayan; 1972/10/13, a childhood dream.
My cat dissolves in the shower. I follow her to a telepathic world. I want to stay, but can I?...
ZYGOTE: by Wayan; 104K, 600 x 640, 1999.
It's true: after death, angels advise you where to go next.
But what if you get an over-eager travel agent?

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