Sunday 26 June 2022

What should we honestly expect from Ifá and the orisa? What should we expect from ourselves?

Be the answer to your prayers. Be the solution to your challenges:

/!!!\ The importance of having a realistic outlook and expectation in regard to our Ifá-orisa faith and practice. /!!!\ 

Aboru Aboye. Ogbo ato asure iworiwofun. Àse.

As proud members, believers and practitioners of Ifá-orisa esin ibile [the noble way and path of Ifá and the orisa] we are fully convinced of the efficacy and power of ebo. There is no doubt that ebo and other spiritual activities bring countless temporal and spiritual blessings and benefits to our lives. But there is an unfortunate trend today in the lives of many believers and practitioners that I wish to address. That unfortunate trend is the attempt of many misguided believers to replace or substitute their own necessary responsible actions, duties and practical efforts with ebo and other spiritual practices.

Let me give you some examples of what I mean:

[1] In this world we all need money for everything. Of this there is no doubt. We need money for food, for medicine, for clothing, to secure shelter and basically to live. This is clear to everyone. What many people are not clear about, is that if you want to have money then you have to study, you have to prepare yourself with a useful skill and then you have to patiently apply it. You have to work for and earn your money with a real, dependable and honest profession or job. Money is not coming to us magically from Ifá or the Orisa! Show me the line where Ifá and the Orisa are handing out money to one and all so that perhaps I can get in line!

Money is the fruit of our study, preparation, dedication, effort, strong determination, honest industry and usefulesss towards others. Can we agree on this? I am sure we can.  But there are some devotees who think that if they just offer Ebo or offer some presentation offering to Ifá and the Orisa, that that is all that needs to be done and somehow or other, money, prosperity and riches will somehow find their way to their homes, lives and pockets! These misguided devotees just simply don’t want to work! These unfortunate and misguided ones suffer from severe allergic reactions with only hearing the words: work, industry, study, disciplined living and consistent effort! These unrealistic and lazy devotees want to benefit from the money that other people have, and that other people have had to honesty work hard for and earn! They want money, peace and prosperity effortlessly via ‘magic’. I feel sorry for these kinds of people because there are many of them. Ebo does work. But ebo and other spiritual processes are just a part of the remedy and solution to our material (temporal) and spiritual needs.

[2] There are also some devotees suffering from ill health and they want to recover their health as if by ‘magic’, by offering ebo, by initiating into Ifá or Orisa, by making offerings, by the use of the power of Ifá incantation science etc., but they don’t want to change their eating habits, they don’t want to exercise, they don’t want to change their lifestyle, they don’t want to abandon their nasty attitudes, they don’t want to stop smoking, they don’t want to give up their alcoholic abuses and other things, but they want to deceive themselves into thinking that by offering ebo alone or initiating alone or by applying some spiritual remedy alone, that this will bring health and well-being to them without them having to personally participate and involve themselves in additional complementary practical steps.

These are just two examples but I am sure we can see how many people apply this type of erroneous, delusional and lazy thinking to various problems and difficulties in their life. Such unrealistic delusional devotees with fantastical views, expect and want to enjoy financial prosperity, health and success but without doing anything significant or worthwhile to earn it. I am sad to report that there are many people in the world who are willing to take advantage of people who have this ‘magical’ and ‘effort free’ mindset, to dupe them of what little resources they had to begin with. And I am even more sad and embarrassed to report that there are even some ‘priests’ who encourage and promote this kind of thinking so that they can take advantage of these gullible and delusional people.

The things that I personally have to enjoy in life whether it be finances, home, family, career, property and good-relationships etc., I did not receive these things by virtue of luck or destiny. Neither did Ifá-Olódùmarè bestow them magically upon my life. Ifá has giving me more than I have words to express. But Ifá has given me nothing independently of my personal commitment, effort, participation, industry and disciplined living. This is a fact.

Ifá-Olódùmarè gifted me with a good measure of health, intelligence, time and countless potential opportunities, but then I had to employ and use these things with diligence, intelligence and dedication. I had to go to school, study hard and prepare myself. I had to consistently make wise and responsible decisions. I had to pay my dues so to speak, and save my ‘pennies’ for many years, and little-by-little, step-by-step and through much sweat, patience and effort I developed myself so that I would be qualified to have and enjoy the things that I have worked for and earned, through the use of the means, intelligence, time, health, opportunities etc., that Olodumare has made available to me.

I did not not just offer iwure [petitionary prayer] and ebo to Ifá and the irunmole-orisa and then sit down on my laurels to wait and see. And this is exactly what many are doing or are being convinced to do.

How unfortunate and how foolish. Ifá and the irunmole-orisa do not promise to give riches, home, good relationships and a happy life etc., to anyone as if by magic. Ifá gives you health, intelligence, inspiration, enthusiasm, asé, ideas and providential opportunities so that then you can get up and do something with the asé, the guidance, opportunities and encouragement that Ifá and the Irunmole-Orisa have manifested for you. Ifá creates occasions and opportunities for us to succeed, persevere and prevail, but we have to be dynamic active participants in our spiritual, material and financial unfoldment. Can anyone please show me the line where holy Òrúnmìlà and the other divine Irunmole are just handing out money, success, spiritual powers, homes, cars and prosperity to people? There is no line. This is not what Ifá is for, this is not what Ifá does, and Ifá has not promised to bestow special blessings and benefits upon our lives independently of our own determined commitment, preparation, diligence, responsible living and dedication. Don’t get me wrong. The workings of Ifá are extraordinary and inconceivable. In many ways the activity of Ifá is without a doubt wonderful and for lack of a better word magical. And in some instances Ifá does manifest extraordinary and immediate materializations of certain blessings under certain circumstances and special conditions, but we are not promised or guaranteed these special manifestations of Ifá for every and all things that we want or think we should have.

The Ifá program and way of success, harmony, peace, fulfillment and happiness is for us to work and live in harmony with Ifá. After we do this consistently, determinately and continuously, then Ifá will take responsibility for what we are not able to actually do and secure through our efforts and persistent industry. When we work and live in harmony with Ifá, and we live responsibly, Ifá will take up the slack for what is truly beyond our diligent ability.

I deeply care about our faith and the way people are perceiving and understanding it. I care about the true success, wellbeing and happiness of all sincere devotees. We have to be realistic and practical in our approach to Ifá, the irunmole-orisa and what we should be expecting. We should not expect Ifá and the irunmole-orisa to do for us what we can and should be willing to do for ourselves. We cannot promote a culture of laziness in the name of waiting upon Ifá and the Irunmole. We cannot promote a lazy lifestyle in the name of ‘what I am doing is what Ifá and the irunmole-orisa want me to do’.

If living a lazy, indulgent and non-productive life is what you personally think Ifá and Irunmole-Orisa want from you, and you have decided to conveniently accept this lifestyle that allegedly Ifá and the Irunmole-Orisa recommended to you, then you should not be complaining that you don’t have money to develop and fully enjoy and realize your life. You should not complain that your spiritual life, your relationships and overall quality of life is not what it should be. How else should it be, when you have decided to live an indulgent, unproductive, inconsistent and lazy lifestyle? You are eating what you have sowed and planted! If you sow and plant little or nothing what kind of return are you expecting? Why get upset about not having or enjoying what you have not earned and therefore do not have a right to, by virtue of your own decision to live an indulgent, unproductive, indecisive and lazy lifestyle? Should other hard working and responsible people be sponsoring and encouraging lazy people who live an indulgent, unproductive and irresponsible way of life by handing their hard earned income to them?

So please. Let’s not use Ifá and the Irunmole-Orisa as an excuse to live lazy, indecisive, leech like and unproductive lives. There are no lazy or unproductive Irunmole-Orisa! Let us not just sit down on our laurels and do nothing with ourselves and our lives, and then wait for the big blessing to come in ‘magically’ from somewhere just because we offered ebo or just because we made a presentation offering to Ifá and the Irunmole-Orisa, while we are refusing to take charge of our lives, and we refuse to study, educate ourselves and apply ourselves to a useful trade, skill and profession.

People today have become so lazy and bold that even without competently doing or studying anything temporal or spiritual, and without having any actual expertise in any single discipline temporal or spiritual, they dare to promote themselves as spiritual doctors! Ask them where they studied? Ask them who accredited them? Asked them who they studied under? Ask them what they really know? Ask them when and where did they graduate and who certified them? Ask them for how long they studied and what was their course of study? You will only hear the sound of silence and maybe some crickets!

So please, let us be diligent. From diligent and consistent temporal efforts we will reap great temporal rewards and blessings. From diligent and consistent spiritual efforts we will reap great spiritual rewards and blessings. Let us eschew lives of make believe, laziness and fantasy. Let us WORK continuously in harmony with our iwure, ebo and other spiritual works.

Nowhere in Ifá does Òrúnmìlà or any other irunmole-orisa recommend laziness, irresponsibility and dependence on instantaneous magical blessings and trickery to get ahead in life, to secure money, to enjoy health and to build a home and family.

Ifá teaches us to be self-reliant, energetic, wise, studious, practical and industrious. Faith and effort are an indivisible reality in our precious and wonderful Ifá faith and practice. If many understood these realities many unfortunate things, happenings and disappointments would be entirely avoided. If many embraced and promoted these clear sighted truths then all kinds of abuses, deception, manipulation and trickery would cease to be.

Let us take charge of our own lives and get to work with the blessings, backing and encouragement of Ifá and the Irunmole-orisa. Let’s put this unreal, distorted, unhealthy and exaggerated magical thinking to the side because it promotes laziness, deception and a leech like existence. Let us not deceive ourselves or others.

Aboru Aboye. Ogbo ato asure iworiwofun. Àse.

~  Awo Òrúnmìlà Mark Casillas /!!!\ A.O.M.C. /!!!\

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