Consciousness, Witchcraft And Literature


Normal human beings who have slept for at least six hours will not be drowsy at work, at home and on any other occasion.  If he lapses into sleep, he oscillates between the conscious and the unconscious realms. One who is awake is in his full consciousness: he sees objects and people; he hears sounds around him and meditates.  He is capable of reacting to any attempts of doing him harm physically, he can refuse or accept food if offered him.  He can make coherent speech on any subject.  It is difficult for witchcraft to operate at this level except hypnosis is induced.  Witchcraft works with the unconscious mind and sub-conscious mind. One’s mind must operate at the cognitive realm, where self is in its active powers: the ‘I’ reason with representation.  It associates one thing with another and is the investigator that garners experience.

‘I’ cannot determine what is witchcraft without knowing.  What is witchcraft?  It is non-existent without experiencing it or, it is a narrative constructed by I-connections based on the relations between the right hemisphere and the left hemisphere of the brain.  If there is an occurrence of witchcraft that ‘I’ directly experience, ‘I’ interpret it in relation to background as Lancaster avows in his work about the construction of a narrative of a patient, where the right hemisphere received the message and the left hemisphere gave it an interpretation based on previous background.

Consciousness may be compared to a theatre.  Most actions are dramatised on stage but some events are reported on stage having happened previously off stage.  When the mind is passive, resting from active preoccupation with social, political and academic activities, one slips into the state of sleep, where the possibility is there to interact with the spirit realm depending on the state of the individual’s consciousness.  At most times, the busy person finds it difficult to transcend into the realm of pure consciousness having been worried or preoccupied by so many issues in the day.  The body becomes weary.

Witchcraft operates at the level of the body’s weakest point or ineptitude which corresponds with low level of spirituality.  The body is induced to sleep and, the soul is covered with or without a blind.  In the case of the earlier, the soul is kept in a darkroom where it becomes impracticable to know what happens in the realm of physical reality.  The individual becomes vulnerable to the witch or the wizard who comes as the unwanted guest, who metamorphosis into a commander and makes the victim do his wishes.  If he is a cruel antagonist, he sends him to weed or fetch water.  He does anything without his will.  The blind that covers his soul does not allow him to see through the event(s).  He is left with physical signs to help him decipher the occurrence of the night.

The victim whose level of consciousness is higher sees through the event(s), but is incapable of disengaging from it.  He wakes up with an I-narrative which he constructs from the scenes of the occasion or experience.  He may not be capable of identifying the individual, but is certain that someone has done an inauspicious act.

A higher state of consciousness is when an individual’s level of spirituality becomes higher that he struggles to wake up under the powerful influence of the oppressor.  He becomes aware of his presence and contends with him.  He struggles and eventually grapples with him or he escapes.  The I-connections are known from the beginning to the end; the stuff of narrative, plotting the beginning, the conflict, the characters involved, the climax and the end.  The I-interpreter starts with the sense of the occurrence, the reception in the mind, its establishment, its register and the interpretation.

Few examples, consider these narratives:

Narrative 1

I was sleeping one day when some unknown person came into my house through magical means and assaulted me.  It continued for weeks intermittently.  On every occasion, I could not wake up; I felt drowsy, overwhelmed by the spell the wizard castled on me.  I found my body in an unkempt state.

The persona in our context is at the lower state of consciousness.  He recollects her helpless encounter with the wizard.  Her sub-conscious mind reports hours after about the tragic dramatic encounter.  The I-interpreter narrates the story with cues from the dream state like a dark figure walking into the room, the feeling of some strange person lying beside her on the bed and physical signs: naked and salt-like particles around her thighs.  The feeble dramatic action of turning on the bed is the struggle seen in the dream state with an unknown person.

Narrative 2

The wife advised his wife A to fast for three days in his company.  The wizard came as usual through comatose and entered the house.  The wife felt the impact of his entrance, she struggled to get up, waiting for the man to undress before gripping him.  She succeeded and discovered that her neighbour was responsible for her illegal sex exploitation.

The unconscious mind and the subconscious mind are subdued with the elevation of her consciousness through the spiritual exercise.  The event registers on her conscious mind with a prop of the I-connections from sense through reception of the entrant to registration on the memory, until the I-narrator becomes ready for the composition of the story.

Narrative 3

A wizard entered my compound.  I was asleep but I felt a sensational vibration within me.  I woke up and listened keenly to sounds in my environment.  There were showers of rain in the background and the barking of a dog in the compound, I switched on my torch and looked at my wristwatch, it was 1.00p.m.  I kept it back and lay down on my bed ready to sleep; a strange movement made me turn left, looking at the wall, I saw a gecko transforming into a human being.  I took my machete from beneath my bed and chased him; he changed into a gecko, disappeared and turned into a man outside. I opened the door and saw the man few yards ahead of me. I chased him and shouted: ‘I will kill you today’. He ran away faster, fear drove him from being slaughtered. ‘I will kill you if you come back again’, I said as I gave up the chase. The wizard ran on without saying a word, keeping mute intentionally to prevent disclosure.

The I-narrator’s consciousness has been trained to live at a higher state of consciousness.


The witchcraft is motivated by hatred which could be because of a previous quarrel or jealousy. The witch or wizard seeks to hurt an opponent who has disagreed with him on the ownership of land, stream, business deal, contest for kingship, political position, academic position, and other issues.  It could be that it was not motivated by trespass or offence, but jealousy emanating from the prosperity of an individual.

I-narrator from the perspective of the witch or wizard picks an action around which the hunt is fore-grounded, whether it is an irrational rationalisation of a framed event or action. He weaves the story with hatred, the thread that knits the setting, plot, character, action and performance.   It may be a tragedy that could lead to the fall of the central character or his frustration in social status, political or religious.  The I-locus ends in triumph.  It could end in the tragic disgrace of the tragedian: reduction in social status, political deprivation and physical damage.  There are always two persons or groups in the drama of good and evil which continue to replicate itself in humanity with different narrative perspectives, blends, prospects and outcomes.  It depends on individuals, their levels of consciousness, cosmology, spiritual laws, developmental level of the society and human rights.

To be continued.

Dr. Barine Sanna Ngaage, resides in Bayelsa State.


Barine Saana Ngaage