When a person inhabits this place called earth, there are three things inherent to living:
1. The instinct to survive and avoid suffering;
2. The potential to expand one’s understanding (and acceptance), of ‘being’ in relation to others;
3. The potential to expand one’s understanding by seeking the cosmic ‘why’ of their own existence on this planet earth
Not everyone finds the latter points within themselves. Some exist on a level of survival, solely seeking pleasure and the avoidance of suffering and pain with little to no ethical/moral consideration as to how they will attain this in relation to others. Some exist driven to think more about the welfare of those around them than they do for themselves. Some think nothing of hating those they have never even met, never talked with, labeling others in pejoratives and even calling for their death when they have suffered no harm whatsoever from the object of their hatred This is life on earth. Never ‘perfect’, yet by no means wholly imperfect.
At no moment in time will you find all people in agreement about what Truth is, how to live life ‘best’, just which viewpoints/held beliefs/ways of living/being/behaving are wholly deemed to be ‘correct, just and moral’. There will never be a unanimous consensus. But at this current point in time on earth it appears there is a vast global unsettling occurring which highlights scrambled sense and reasoning in people who are standing on shaky, weak or non-existent moral and spiritual foundations. People are being manipulated by propaganda, by censorship and a lack of facts and information. Many are living in great stress, hardship and fear from orchestrated misinformation (and aggression) put out by the political elite in their respective counties, states, countries, with heavier influence yet still in the form of global figures who have enormous wealth, power, control and influence over entire blocks of countries and their people. This is a time of outright lies, omission of facts and truth from ‘leaders’, while media outlets are being used as social engineering tools through censorship and the skewed curating and presentation of ‘facts’ which fit certain agendas and narratives.
People are being hindered by their lack of using critical thinking and deductive reasoning, their inability or lack of desire to seek out facts, their inability to question and look at the bigger picture, and by their lack of having true spiritual consciousness or of having had that awakening. The outcome has been widespread violence, criminal behavior, loss of innocent life, destruction of livelihood, panic, hysteria, the polarization of ‘other’ and a complete breakdown in people’s mental and emotional health. We have never witnessed so many people absolutely losing their minds over external manipulation. These are very dangerous times.
We who know we are created by God/Olodumare, we who know that we carry this Divinity within, we who are believers in the Ifa tradition, we have a choice to stand for good, to be morally strong in character and virtue by pushing and testing our own limits and beliefs in practice – i.e. in daily life. Not because we want to signal to the world that WE hold the answer, that OUR view is the only correct view, but because the way to our happiness in life lies in knowing who we are, what we stand for, where our power comes from, where we stand on earth and in heaven – and simply being that. By knowing where we stand inside the structure of Ifa, we rest in this central point and engage with a world that is not truly outside of us, but within us. This is the key that unlocks inner peace, strength in the face of adversity, and gives us the ability to touch and transform others around us without even having to speak a word. It is precisely this Ase – this vibration of Divine energy which we know exists – that in its purity is unstoppable, energizes, transforms negative into positive, performs miracles. When we are strong in our own person/divinity, we reflect that out into the world. We don’t need absolute acceptance from all others nor are we obligated to accept those who are of fundamentally challenged moral character , but we also don’t need to contribute to the apparent meltdown happening globally by running amok like mindless goats.
Every forest holds a few grand trees that stand strong and tall against the elements, rising high above the forest canopy. They draw our admiration and reverence without us even thinking twice about it. We touch their trunks while tipping the head far back to gaze up in awe at their majestic branches, admiring their tall strength, solid girth and beauty.
Why is that?
It is because we know they overcame adversity over decades, even hundreds of years, possibly thousands, starting out as a tiny seed in contact with earth, waiting patiently for rain to begin the germination of Life. They strove towards the life-giving sun, stretched out and up in a relentless pursuit of survival and growth, suffered through drought, fire, foraging animals, any number of hazards. Yet there they stand stretching so high into the blue sky, roots planted firmly in the earth.
Admiration for excellence is hard-wired into us. Because excellence means to do more than just survive – it means to strive, thrive and stand up as a leader in whatever skill, talent, ability, gift, insight, wisdom one may have.
The orisa are high leaders and examples of excellence in their unique individual traits, abilities, talents, skills and character. Ifa practitioners are also called to be leaders. Just as Babalawo can be viewed as an embodiment of Orunmila when they are wise, so are we all the embodiment of orisa energy when we strive to hold ourselves open and channel that pure vibrating energy of TRUTH, the resting place of Peace.
We are human beings who can choose to stand as examples of goodness, strength and wisdom in our respective lives/professions/ spiritual beliefs. We can choose to do no harm to ourselves and others. And this only comes about through living life with courage, being honest with our Self, willingly exposing ourselves to others, exposed and open to Olodumare/God and the orisa. It comes through honing off our own rough edges with persistence and determination – being truthful with and within ourselves. But where does one ‘find’ this truth? Through much reflection, through prayer, by lowering our heads before what IS a higher standard of being and perfection – the Divine. And only by earnestly seeking this out within ourselves do we open the door to engaging and linking with this excellence of life-giving life-thriving energy/Ase.
Our bodies are electrical circuits pumping blood in rhythm with all other living creatures and elements. We humans are creatures living on this earth at the same moment as all other Creation. Our lungs fill with air while reading this and at this very same moment the lungs of a leopard are expanding mightily in the effort of chasing after prey, right now, somewhere on this earth. A colorful bird is perched on the edge of its nest far up on a limb of a tree, busy feeding their helpless hungry fledgling swaying gently in the breeze. They are also worried for their survival and fly off in search of more insects as we take another bite of food off our own plate in our own home nest. We can feel the leopard’s hunt, we can feel the bird’s hunt, we can be the leopard, we can be the bird, when we enter deeply the mysteries of Ifa. We can be in all places, in all bodies of existence at one precise moment of time. While someone is shouting obscenities, raising their hand/weapon to strike and hurt someone who they have decided they ‘hate’, another is caressing the face of their newborn child, exhausted and wet with sweat, but bathed in silent happy tears. It is this balance point, this riding of the waves of energy, this is the place am speaking of.
In order to not only survive in life but to thrive and be happy, to stay removed from mass hysteria and global skullduggery carried out by elites (who care not one whit about your ‘spiritual persona’ or well-being), a person must find that still divine energy point within. Reach for it, seek it, support it, be open and open to it. Without the still point, without our ori inu and ori ita in balance – our divine ‘head’/ higher self/ highest destiny being able to manifest outwardly and in balance with our outer actions/deeds/words etc. – we may find ourselves spinning out of control by the actions, deeds, words, aggression of others and by our own reaction to those same.
Self-reflection. Self-accountability. Accountability. For what and to whom? Who do you respond to. Who or What makes you pause and check your breath in the still of the soul’s night? What is your worth? Where is your dignity? Do you discount your soul because others have lost their own worth – before they might have ever even found it? Do you lower your dignity because others are conducting themselves in ways that are undignified? Think Big. Expand the mind. This is your life at this very moment. We either reach high within, expanding our own consciousness to absorb and to become absorbed by Divine Consciousness, or we join the bleating goats running this way and that on the face of the earth. Choice. Though some goats are very, very cute, Wehoose not to act like one – nor be one.
We have a certain allotted time to live here on earth. Each moment counts. Every thought we bring forth counts. Every action, every utterance counts. It is the measure of who we are, what we stand for and how we choose to spend the lives given us. Life is a gift. How do you choose to use it.
We do not have the power to erase what we have already set in motion should we choose unwisely; we can only learn, grow and change using past and immediate experience to moderate what has not brought the peace and happiness we so desired in our lives (or, has caused destruction and pain in others around us from our hand). We can halt negative actions, speech and behavior in ourselves, we can heal the past by putting our prayer there and asking for transformation; what we cannot change on the outside we can change on the inside, and that in itself causes outward transformation to manifest. How wonderful is that?
We can stand for destruction; we can stand for growth and progress. We can stand for lies and deceit; we can stand for truth and honesty. We can stand for seeking out knowledge, facts and truth; we can stand for accepting hearsay blindly, allow others to ‘think’ for us with no thought of our own. We can stand for love and care; we can stand for hate and disregard. We can stand for inclusive thoughtful acceptance; we can stand for exclusive ideologies of rejection and separation. These are some of the choices all human beings face. And every choice we make as Ifa practitioners brings us face to face with…(and you thought we weren’t going to go into another dimension in this long post?)
…Esu ogiri oko
The hard stone wall, the task master and task maker, Elegbara. You will never outsmart or outrun Esu. The One put in place by Olodumare. The sacred child of Heaven.
To know Esu means you are courageous – and of enough strong-will to face God
To know Esu means you understand both positive and negative, what is of the light and what is of the dark, the all-time and no-time, the forwards and backwards incessant story of Humankind.
To know Esu means to know exactly where you stand. At any given moment, on any given day, in any given country, in any given year of your life.
If we are perceptive, pliable, open, honest, thinking, exercise self-restraint, exercise applied PATIENCE, put into action what we’ve deduced are solutions to any weakness, are obedient and humble – we learn and progress in wisdom. We find peace. If not, then that ogiri oko will fall upon us at some point in time without fail. And always in spectacular ways.
It’s the yardstick of how we learn, but it’s also the stick in our own hand used to beat our own selves.
There is a difference.
If you believe in the Ifa system, have faith, follow the Ifa tradition, cultivate the orisa, your ori/divine destiny and guiding self, then you know that Chance and the physical realm is something that can be manipulated and maneuvered, that Choice is entirely under your own control. And a very slippery area – especially right now at this point in time on earth.
When others have chosen to be undignified, choose to be Dignified. Uphold and hold divine Ase, be Ase, walk Ase, talk Ase, share Ase, spread Ase. If you bow your head to orisa, then bend also to clothe yourself with orisa. Demand of yourself that while you still walk and breathe here on earth that you will bring Dignity to this planet and to those around you; express it with your whole body, mind, heart, soul and being. Remember that every forest has its tall elder trees who have mapped out their life story for all to admire and aspire to. The same in the forest of Man. Give people a reason to stop and take note. Bring Light into Darkness, Bring Truth into Confusion and Lies.
What you do today will effect those not even yet born. This is our temporary physical home – the home of all living creation. Whether we agree or disagree with one another on small things or very big things, we are all we have in this life cycle on earth. None of us will ultimately beat the power of Death over our human bodies. Channel the Dignity of Ifa and the orisa to bring grace and empower us all. Bring true Dignity back to humanity, to your communities, to your businesses and homes. It starts with one. And that is You.
Copyright protected by Digiprove © 2020 Farinade Olokun