Monday, January 27, 2014


The English word infinity derives from Latin infinitas, which can be translated as "unboundedness", itself calqued from the Greek word apeiros, meaning "endless." (

Earlier in my career, I was an FAO consultant conducting participatory research to evaluate the impact of the Land Reform Proclamation of 1975 in remote villages of Ethiopia. We were in the southern Zone of Gamo Gofa in what was then known as Gofa Woreda (a tiny district) as remote as one could imagine without any kind of modern amenities. At the district we found a guide who spoke the native language as my team and I moved deeper into the hinterland to study the culture and production system of the natives. Based on the 2007 Census conducted by the Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia (CSA), this Zone is an area of 18,010.99 sq. kms.  Gamo Gofa has a population density of 144.68. The largest ethnic groups include the Gamo (64.61%), the Gofa (22.08%), and other minorities. Gamo is spoken as a first language by 63.75% of the inhabitants, and Gofa by 22.01%. Photo above shows young men from the Hamer tribe. 
It was still dark when we set out from our base on mule backs in the wee hours of the morning. After a few hours of a slow and agonizing journey through the thick tropical forest and mountainous range, we reached a tiny village whose name now escapes me. There was an eerie silence, the few households were all shut; not even a single person could we find to ask where everyone else had gone. No children outside, not even stray dogs on the dirt road. One of our team members said that our guide suspected there may be some kind of epidemic. Apparently he had heard rumors at the district there was a cholera epidemic in some villages. While our guide went knocking door to door, I took refuge near an old tree. As I leaned against the tree searching for a place to sit, something truly awesome caught my eye.
In a space of less than three feet there were countless variety of ants. Prior to this time, my experience of the ant variety was limited to two. The big black ants that came into the house or we found on a wet path during the rainy season; often people threw hot coal or put eucalyptus leaves on their path to get rid of them. The other variety I knew were called “Tinkusht,” tiny little brown ants whose bite would burn and sting for a very long time. I was introduced to what seemed like an infinite variety as I saw ants in red, brown, green, orange colors, some had very big heads, some had stripes and long bodies; their varieties was unimaginable. They worked in harmony moving up and down in lines; some carried pebbles, others dirt or straw, some worked in groups, some alone. Ants thrive in most ecosystems and may form 15–25% of the terrestrial animal biomass.[6] Their success in so many environments has been attributed to their social organization and their ability to modify habitats, tap resources, and defend themselves. Their long co-evolution with other species has led to  mimetic,  commensal,  parasitic, and  mutualistic  relationships.[7](
That moment of discovery was one of the clues that Spirit gave me and it has served me as a lighthouse whenever I lost my way in the sea of weariness from thinking of my limitations. As for the village, cholera epidemic had indeed wiped out the entire village, only one survivor, an old man gaunt and fragile looking came out of his home to tell us that only a few are left, they too were dying and he urged us to flee. We could not report the epidemic to the government as we were beyond the range of telephone or radio communication so we moved on. There was a reason I was at that spot at that time.The lesson was not about our helplessness and our limitations and inability to save that village. On the contrary, that experience was for me to bear witness to the limitless abundance of a life force. It was an experience that enabled me to internalize the idea of infinity in a span of few minutes.
So here area few questions for you to ponder; should you choose to engage me in the conversation, you could post a comment within the blogspot or write on my FB wall or send me email
  1. Do you believe infinity applies to you and daily life?
  2. Do you focus on limitations (I don't have time, money, energy, patience, wisdom, courage, strength, opportunities, luck, so on and so on)? If you answer yes, you might be blocking the abundant flow of opportunities, resources, and power of a Universal life force.
  3. Have you connected to your Spirit’s invitation to the infinite possibilities within you and for you? Please share your story, it may give us a different perspective.
Knowledge is internalized when we have an organic experience and understand what it means not with our intellect alone but with our whole being. I believe this is what Deepak Chopra refers to when he speaks of “Knowingness.”

“If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man, has closed himself up till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern.” 
William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

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