SET ME FREE.
WE TURN TO GOD FOR HELP WHEN OUR FOUNDATIONS ARE SHAKING, ONLY TO LEARN THAT IT IS GOD WHO IS SHAKING THEM for our greater good so that we may evolve to the next level and never to repeat our iniquities. That was an excerpt from a poem forwarded by a writer, Geetanjali Dahwal. She is clearly giving God a dual nature responsible for both pleasurable and unpleasant things in our lives.
In any given family, there are ALWAYS two kinds of kids: the ones who are extroverted and the ones that are introverted; the kids that are hyperactive and the ones that are passive; in short, the kids that are of the field and the kids that are of the tent. This is nature revealing its wisdom to us, right under our noses! This is not to say one child is better than the other, for each comes with his/her own gifts that the other lacks and vice versa.
Ifa has become a mainstream religion internationally. Yet despite its approval by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization many Africans still have their distrust of it thinking it is evil, devil-worship, “god of stone” or outrightly just do not give any reverence to it as they do other religions, even if they were not firm believer. It is certain that if Jesus had been an African and Orunmila had been imported from Europe, Africans would today have reckoned more with Orunmila than Jesus, why – colonial mentality that everything ours is evil and everything WHITE is superior. We need to start being objective and investigative to find the truth, no matter how ugly the truth: BLACK TRUTH OVER WHITE LIES.
Ifa is made up of verses (Odu) that could have been like the Suras of the Koran, the Vedic hymns or the psalms of David, if written down. This oral tradition of Ifa verses do not mean it lacks authenticity. There is no aspect of life, from the moon to other religions, that Ifa does not have a verse or two on it. The dual nature of life is well-emphasized in Ifa because it has verses on everything.
There are verses in the Otua Odu on Islam; verses on Christianity in Odu Oturupon and as well as Odu verses on Eleiye (witchcraft). This does not mean Ifa adherents are Christians or Moslems, as much as they ARE NOT WITCHCRAFT PRACTITIONERS! Ifa believes all these things could not have come into existence without the knowledge of the Creator and therefore each has its role in life.
Only an open mind can understand this duality in all aspect of life; ALL SIDES OF LIFE ARE COLORFUL WHEN YOU ARE IN THE LIGHT. Odu Otua Meji reads in one of its verses that: Otua kan soso ni n be ni oju opon (There is only a single entity that makes the universe), Bi o ba di meji yi o di ododo (Yet, its dual nature becomes Truth in life). This is not to say, evil should be encouraged…NO!
Odu Oyeku Meji says: Oloto ti n be laaye o p’ogun (The righteous of the world are few), Sikasika ibe o mo niwon egbefa (The world is teeming with the unrighteous) Ojo esan o lo titi ko je ki oro o dun ni (Judgment shall catch up with the evil doers and so the righteous should be patient). An enlightened mind learns not to condemn another for his/her belief, so much as such belief is not a threat to humankind.
If this is all our mindset then the Moslem would not be skeptical of his neighbor Christian and the Christian would not scoff the Moslem, and not even the fundamentalists of any religion expect that the whole world MUST practice his religion. We all will know that the best religion to raise our children is to LOVE HUMANITY!
To relate with people as they present themselves, not by color, religion or social status. According to the words of William Shakespeare; “There is nothing good and there is nothing bad, it is only our thinking that makes things seem so.” Ifa is not devil worship or bowing to god of wood and stone; it has ancient wisdom and practices that teaches about life, and as Africans it is a heritage we should not be the ones condemning because of our ignorance of it.
Because the Europeans brought Christianity to Africa and the Arabs brought Islam to Africa does not mean the Africans never had a profound knowledge of God and of life. But while these two have not gone down much into this duality and even distrusting this dual nature, Ifa has elaborated it well and this may be the reason many distrusted it. Though, there are pollutants in every creed or belief. Let us dislodge our minds from rigidity, for the mind is like water that must flow freely or it shall remain stuck in ignorance.
Each of us has an orbit as unique to us as our fingerprints. But as mortals we easily go astray from our predestined orbit – let us not imagine the moon or earth out of orbit. The science of Ifa religion is to reveal to the seeker his destined orbit to make the journey through life less difficult than groping wildly and blindly. There have been cases of people who Ifa was divined for and they were told to go on the path of Christianity (Odu Oturupon) or Islam (Otua), depending on any of the over four thousand verses that is revealed.
Unlike most other religions, Ifa is not a religion for a believer; it is only a religion for the priests who take care of the Ifa. The believer need only follow the advice of his/her priest and do not need special days for congregation. The priest is allowed to take tithes just like clergies.
This post is not to preach Ifa, this post is only to enlighten us that Ifa is not evil practice, even though there may be priests who are corrupting Ifa as some clergies are also corrupting Islam, Christianity or Buddhism. If other parts of the world, India, China, Arabia, Jews boast of their religions, why do we condemn ours when we have not even attempted to know anything about it. Whether anyone likes it or not, Ifa is fast becoming a world acclaimed religion practiced by Latinos, Africans (Home and Diaspora) and Caucasians.
Let me end this with a verse from Oturupon Odi: Ifa reveals that Timole Okunkun was running without seeing, until he fell into a hole dug by Esu (we already treated the difference btw Esu and Devil) who was giving a performing a sacrifice on behalf of Obaluaiye for calmness on earth with Eko (hardened pap) and Epo (palm oil). In the hole Timole has fallen into, he finally ate the sacrifice and this renewed his strength. So he was able to climb out of the hole, rationally think about his life, and took a direction different from the one he had once set out. Hence, it is “those with the eyes of clarity that will be able to see destiny and success.”