Ifa is made up of Odus, which are either “Oju Odu” or “Omo Odu”. The Oju Odu (main ones) are sixteen, from Eji Ogbe the first to Ofun the last. Meanwhile the “Omo Odu” are made up of the combination of these sixteen been paired together. For example, Ogbe is paired with Oyeku (the second Odu) resulting to the Omo Odu called Ogbe-yeku, which is the combination of the first and second Oju Odus. By the time we multiply the sixteen it will give us 256. Further multiplication will give us 4096. There are thus over four thousand verses in Ifa, just as the Koran has over six thousand verses; and as in the Bible, Ifa has 256 chapters with each having sixteen verses.
But what makes Ifa different if we will not close our mind to bias, since many people have been programmed to think on the limited lines that there are only two religions on earth, Christianity and Islam, forgetting the Hindu and Buddhists, not even mentioning Ifa, and also forgetting that they are what they are simply because they were born in places colonized by either of these two religions. What makes Ifa different is the intertwining link of one Odu to another to make up thousand of verses that we may say is Ifa as a whole. Life is an intertwining fact. You cannot exorcise the relevance of the earthworm from the ecosystem even though we may not ordinarily link them until we pause to think. The stoma on the leaves of a plant which act like the nostrils through which plants breathe air like us, are invariably linked to our lungs. The crab feeding on the edge of a lagoon whose tide rise and fall at every magnetic pull of the moon is linked to the lunar satellite in the sky. This is the beauty of interconnectedness of life. This is what we see in Ifa’s linked odu. It is a subtle message of how nothing can be totally divorced from another and man only breaks the world into units, races and maps, but it is really one whole LIFE.
Another interesting thing to be noted in Ifa is the concept of Yin and Yang, Good and Bad, Up and Down, This and That, Here and There. It is noteworthy that in the verses of Ifa, there is a verse for virtually everything one can think of about the life of man. There are verses that are on Islam, Christianity, Sango, Ogun, Egungun and even witches. It is yet odd to see that this compilation of ALL reiterates strongly the need for moral upright and kindness, yet it recognizes the fact that some verses are warlike especially in Odus like Ogunda or Okanran (please note that with each Odu is pronounced Meji or Eji, meaning Two). Just like in the Bhagavad Gita of the Hindu, some people are born to be warriors while some are born as scholars; each with his nature and this is why knowing oneself is very important in Ifa. Know your guiding Odu. While some people need to have it rough in life to make it successfully, some people do not need to hustle as hard, yet some people can never be successful in life unless they get married first. It varies according to each Ori (inner man). The concept Meji or Two in Ifa also certifies the Yin/Yang truth of life embedded in Ifa. Life is in pairs. And like the bible said in Romans, “All things work for good for those who love God.” Now, permit me to say…”for those who know God.” Life will be more tolerable if we understood this truth. Why will a Muslim want to slaughter a Hindi because they believe differently. We all can never be the same, yet we are the same. Where you are strong, I may be weak, and where I am strong you may be weak, all we need do is to dovetail even as each of us has his/her niche.
Life is so beautifully we will find it awesome if we truly give ourselves the time to study it. It is even foolish to totally condemn the body has a slab of sin. Have you taken time to study how nature has creatively designed your alimentary or digestive system, the network of blood circulation and the complex yet delicate connection of your nerves all over your body? Would you painstakingly create something of such and then see someone sneer at it as ‘shit’ or in this case, sin? Even our sex organs are not shabbily created. there is art in every work of nature. It is only left for us to not allow what we see take from us what we do not see, not forgetting that there are so much we cannot see.
If you still think the universe around us is 3-dimension then you have been poorly educating yourself about the world around you. Intuitively each dimension is an independent direction in which we can move. We live in three dimensions of space, “forward-backward”, “left-right” and “up-down” (or height, width and depth). But there’s fourth dimension, which is Time “past-future”, making 4 dimensions in total. But there are now discovered extra dimensions called String Theory that show our 4D dimension is wrong. In fact the universe of strings must have ten dimensions! This is immediately at odds with our perception of reality, which we can only resolve knowing that the other six unseen dimensions are be incredibly small to be noticed like the initial four…but they are there! Our perception of dimension is greatly affected by scale or size and at large distances we cannot resolve dimensions. So perhaps these extra dimensions are so small that we don’t perceive them.
Levels of magnification:
1. Macroscopic level: Matter
2. Molecular level
3. Atomic level: Protons, neutrons, and electrons
4. Subatomic level: Electron
5. Subatomic level: Quarks
6. String level
This shows there are forces around us we do not perceive because we do not operate on the same dimension or plane with them. The issue of gnomes or such beings have been treated with elitist snobbery and even in Europe it is only restricted to beliefs among the working class. Because we do not see some beings does not mean they do not live among us. Egbere, and Iwin are a class of existence but sneered at just as Abiku is sneered at as Sickle Cell. Please, Abiku is not Sickle Cell.
The kind of education we have today is awful. All we care about is the certificate, get a job, raise a family, live a mundane existence and then die…that is all! Education goes beyond that. Until we stop attaching education to westernization and unite it with our religion, our locality, our culture, then we will keep being treated as no better than the literate Africans who ape the whiteman ridiculously.
Education was stored in Museums from the Egyptian priests by the Greeks. With the coming of Christianity, education became threatened and it was a sin to as much as think scholarly. When the Alexandrian and Greek scholars fled, many went East and there they intrigued the Muslim Caliphate who took them to his court in Baghdad. They were seen as People of the Books too and there teaching was Hermeticism. They had given birth to alchemists who gave birth to what we today call chemistry. Mathematics from India too was expanded and Arabs like Al-goritmi expanded what became algorithm and algebra much later. Writers sprang up and books like A Thousand and One Nights Arabian book. As Islam conquered Europe establishing its capital in Spain, the Christians in western Europe were illiterates and unlearned then. Islam civilized eastern Europe. When the Crusades later helped Christianity reclaim Europe, apart from the Ottoman Empire (present-day Turkey and ancient-day Constantinople), education gradually filtered to the Catholic priests, like the Jesuits and Templar knights. But religious fervor rose up again. We see that religious fervor in islam against education eventually ended its golden age, and religious fervor in Christianity could have also ended it too but some people chose to form underground fraternities with the knowledge and ancient wisdom; freemasons, AMORC and Illuminati became social pariahs. But as time went on, this education still filtered out in books or covert researches by some priests or frat members at the risk of their lives. This gave birth to what became the Renaissance movements.
What kind of education do you exhibit? One worthy of a renaissance or one stifled by faith? Interconnectedness is the ingredient of life. Go to the market of wisdom, knowledge and understanding and purchase the ingredient to re-cook yourself.