Ela ‘boru, Ela ‘boye, Ela ‘bosise.
The desire for wisdom is in itself the most commendable of human emotions, but in too many cases this desire come to nought through ignorance and misunderstanding. We must not only earnestly and unselfishly desire truth, but we must create an ethical environment suitable for the reception of spiritual knowledge. If a building is to stand, it must be raised upon an adequate foundation; and if human character is to withstand the shocks of circumstances, it must also be built upon a firm and true foundation.
‘Ela may your beautiful reasoning, abiding purity and spirit of harmlessness illuminate us at this time. Ase.’
No man can ‘know’ more than he himself ‘is’. That which we understand is the measure of our understanding. Before it is possible for an individual to perceive clearly the mysteries of the inner life, he must develop the faculties for this perception. From ancient times the holy, venerable and reputable awo and ologbon were the custodians of the disciplines of the mysteries of the inner life. These disciplines were imparted only to disciples-students-initiates who have demonstrated integrity, strong determination, patience, reliability and overall fitness for such instruction. There is much to the study of the mysteries of the inner life than merely listening, reading and agreeing.
‘Ela may your ennobling presence, illuminating power and inspirational influence benefit us at this time. Ase.’
The first step in the study of the holy mysteries of the inner life and Ifá is not the immediate acquisition of knowledge but the preparation of oneself to beneficially receive this knowledge. The condition of ones hearts must be right, ones manner of living must be consistent with the divine pattern and ones basic character must be honest, sincere and clean before one embarks on the path of receiving divine knowledge which lead to understanding and power. This is where most adepts, students and initiates make their first mistake. With their eyes turned towards the heavens, they rush prematurely and without adequate development of morality and ethics towards the goal of gaining ‘illumination, authority and power’, only to become disillusioned, only to fail and stumble repeatedly into the muddy ditch of their own unpreparedness.
‘Ela may you carry and impress these facts deeply into our hearts and minds at this time. Ase.’
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There are a great many people who want to be wise, influential and authoritative, but very few of these people seem capable of understanding that before the acquisition of wisdom, authority and power there must first be the capacity for the reception and wielding of wisdom, authority and power. There must first be a sound and firm foundation in morality and intellectual-emotional maturity before one can enter into the sacred grove of the divine mysteries and gain true benefit. Illumination is possible only in a person who has fitted themselves for it. One does not qualify for true adepthood, neither can one fit oneself for true divine knowledge, power and authority by simply hoping, wishing and mere wanting. As an athlete must train himself in order to excel in bodily prowess, in like manner a student of Iwa and Ifa must put his thoughts, emotions and manner of living (acting) under specialized training if he is to develop morally, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. The student-disciple has to do more than just be willing to do the work, he must actually do it, with patience and perseverance. Without this work and commitment to continual moral regeneration, intellectual development, responsible living, integrity and gradual spiritual unfoldment no true headway can be made in the divine mysteries and no true wisdom and power can be gained. One has to qualify and be deserving of the authority, power and knowledge that one is entrusted with. The divine powers do not share their divine wisdom, power and authority with incapable, lax, immature and irresponsible people.
‘Ela, divine spirit of sound reasoning, truth, right guidance and irresistible power…you who are harmless, pure and irreproachable in conduct…you who are peerless in wisdom grant us the benefit of your association that these divine facts may penetrate our hearts deeply and permeate our lives. Ase.’