There is confusion, controversy, conflict and uncertainty everywhere in today’s world. This is an age full of dizzying activities, anxiety, depression and unrest. Why? Because humanity has forgotten Olodumare Agotun and has determined to give Him none of their time. Is time really ours? Who by chance has given us this time? Olodumare! Mankind has no time to stand still, stare at nature and to consider who the wonderful creator, nurturer and upholder of all things is. The life of humanity is overwhelmed with misery, dissatisfaction and sorrows. Humanity finds no way to shatter the shackles of bitter experiences. The rich and the poor alike sail in the same boat. What makes humanity live in the midst of a lot of grief and miseries, is the hope of a grain of fleeting joy which comes across occasionally.
The way out lies in facing challenges, hardships and difficulties with courage, understanding and patience. The only path to shake off these moments of hardship and difficulty is to surrender ourselves at the feet of Olodumare and to offer our iwure (supplication) and adura (heartfelt prayer). Then, after we surrender to God, our turbulent and restless minds will become calm, serene and peaceful. Surrendering to Olodumare is not as easy as it sounds. We can only surrender to someone whom we truly know the person. We can only surrender to a person when we really know his quality of character, personality and behavior. We can only trust when we perceive the love, care and sympathy of the Other towards us. We can surrender only when we recognize our need for divine support. We can surrender only when we acknowledge our limitations and when we awaken to the fact that no one here can be self-sufficient. Surrendering to Olodumare is not a passive activity. Surrendering to Olodumare is a dynamic and fulfilling action. Only when we surrender and entrust ourselves to Olodumare Oba Anu in a very real and wholehearted way can we experience the peace of Olodumare and divine happiness.
Everything in this world and everything in our possession will one day abruptly cease to be and fail us. No warning will be given before hand. Only the grace of Olorun, our own store of good actions and the remembrance of our noble-honest living will remain with us to support us.
We must spiritualize our lives. We were created to discover our inner divinity and to cultivate it. Spiritualization of our lives does not mean the destruction of our human faculties, abilities and sentiments. It means raising our human faculties, abilities, feelings, thoughts, will and actions to the level of purification, correction, perfection and higher consciousness. Ifá consistently and repeatedly encourages and invites us to acquire, develop and perfect clear-seeing consciousness and deep empathy for all.
There is a purpose to our lives! When we fail due to neglect, indifference, ignorance and/or laziness to live according to this purpose, nature causes us to experience discomfort, pain, dissatisfaction, suffering and restlessness so that we can reflect upon and examine on what path we are walking on, so that we can get on the right path. These pains, discomforts and periods of unease are veiled messengers of love, wisdom and compassion to assist us and to steer us in the right direction. If you sincerely long for a divine quality of life, a genuine moral-spiritual life and fulfillment it is needless to say that you should give up habitual mundane habits and replace them with divine habits. It means that through our own personal willingness, determination, resolve and initiative we change our life pattern and our manner of understanding. This implies that we should train ourselves to relinquish ordinary, worldly or mundane desires, attachments and ideas that are within, which are ruling us, which are keeping us down and restricting us from fulfilling our divine mission and purpose in life.
To achieve freedom from the peculiar unwholesome types of bondage that we are susceptible to, we must develop mindfulness of the reality, primacy and importance of Olodumare in our lives. All power, strength, virtue and potency is of Olodumare and from Olodumare. Olodumare will assist and empower us, and will help us shoulder our responsibilities, when we acknowledge Him and we decide to build our lives according to His guidance and divinely given pattern. If our approach towards Olodumare is in earnest and is done in a spirit of loyalty, sincerity and determination, He will cause our mentality to change. We will be free from a retarding-retrograde mentality and we will be established in the joy, power and freedom of a divine-progressive mentality. Olodumare will surely save us from all we need to be safeguarded from. We should cultivate the feeling, sentiment and thought that Olodumare is our true father, mother, best friend and loyal companion of the heart. We should see Olodumare alone at work in our lives and we should acknowledge no secondary influences or causes in our lives. This is the way to peace, serenity, inner strength, courage and confidence. This is the way to independence and freedom from the control of people, places and things.
By changing from an unenlightened mundane life to an illuminated spiritual life we can change the quality and direction of our destiny for the better. By wholeheartedly adopting a new divine moral-spiritual life, the repercussions, impressions and influences of past wrongful acts done in ignorance will be completely wiped away with nothing remaining. Our future will be bright, confident and radiant, —irrespective of how previously destiny was seemingly unfavorable to us. Even bad destiny becomes purified and sublimated when we change our hearts, minds, habits, attitudes and manner of living. We should then view and consider past difficulties, hardships, sorrowful experiences and undesirable elements as ordeals that we needed to pass through, like gold thru fire, so that the dross of impurity, defilement, laziness, childishness and ignorance might be removed from us. Divine life upon this earth and the increase of goodness on this earth can only be achieved when we are individually and collectively established in a change of life leading to moral-spiritual regeneration and stable, consistent and abiding holy living. The things of true value in our lives cannot be achieved and secured until we are willing to resolutely exert ourselves and are willing to sacrifice immature, worldly and impure ways for the sake of attaining moral-intellectual divine spiritualization of our inner life and outer practical life. We need inner harmony and outer cohesiveness. Only by living in conscious union with Olodumare Agotun can we realize our divine humanity and bring great pleasure, satisfaction and delight to our great divine Parent, Friend and Guide. We must build up the divine spiritual force within ourselves, so that we can be qualified to assist and enable others to do what otherwise would be an impossibility for them. From building up and cultivating the divine force -asé- of Olodumare within ourselves through enlightened living, divine knowledge and devotion, we will experience the personal manifestation of our own divine sacred energy and genius. Our lives are a gift. Time is a gift. Enlightening knowledge is a gift. Fortuitous Opportunity is a gift. The divine spirit of inspiration, insight and motivation is a gift. We must cease squandering our time and gifts and get to the realization of our life purpose. No one can do this for us. Others can help and assist us but they cannot do it for us. We have to be our own best friend, well wisher and true guide. If we fail in this due to negligence, lack of interest and forgetfulness then we alone will share the losses. It’s time to awaken from the slumber of indifference, laziness and superficiality. Make the best of your life. No one can make your life better for you, than you.
Your friend and well-wisher: Awo Òrúnmìlà Mark Casillas