THE SECRET TO FINDING FULFILLMENT IN YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE

[Ifá-Orisa]: The Secret to getting your Legitimate Needs, Reasonable Desires and Realistic Requests fulfilled by Ifá and the Irunmole-Orisa.

[***The Secret to Finding Fulfillment in your Spiritual Life. The [true] means to realizing your legitimate needs, requests and spirituality are easy and simpler than you think.***]

Aboru Aboye. Ogbo ato asure iworiwofun. Àse.

Today spirituality is being abused and has been turned into a business by many. Hence what was once something pure, potent, meaningful, simple, uplifting and efficacious has become virtually polluted, powerless, meaningless, complicated, degrading and ineffective.

Self-respect, respect for others, sincerity, and love have long since departed and disappeared from the spirituality of many. Today many have a sickly, lopsided, malnourished, unbalanced, unstable, volatile, self-serving [selfish] and emaciated spirituality.

Many think that to receive and enjoy the love, power, support and benefit of the irunmole-orisa that one has to spend exorbitant amounts of money in complicated and questionable rites, rituals and ceremonies.

My dear friends please ask yourself: “Why has a faith, spirituality and tradition that was once once simple, clear, direct and easy become so complicated, confusing, hazy, unsatisfying, superficial and difficult?”

The simple, direct and truthful answer is that true spirituality has been lost because many are not looking for true spirituality. When true spirituality is lost then dry, powerless and pointless perfunctory rites, rituals and ceremonies begin to increase and multiply. Instead of orisa spirituality being a wholesome, holistic and satisfying lifestyle it becomes a money making venture and an avenue for self-aggrandizement. Instead of orisa spirituality being what it was intended to be, an authentic spiritual path that produces honest, humble and loving people of courage, spiritual virtue and integrity it has become a means to promote arrogance, megalomania, self-worship and narcissistic tendencies!

The true heart of Ifá-orisa spirituality is non-existent in a great many professed devotees. This is why no matter what such devotees do or practice nothing happens, and nothing of genuine benefit emerges from all of their dizzying activities. They gain no true benefits of any kind for themselves and they confer no true benefits of any kind to anyone. Instead of getting better, pressing forward and improving many are going backwards and losing themselves in pride, arrogance, delusion, confusion, ostentation and make-believe.

How can someone in this condition receive the favor and support of the irunmole-orisa? How can someone in this condition be entrusted with responsibility and power? How can someone in this condition expect to receive answers from the irunmole-orisa and how can they expect to truly understand, experience and know the true nature of Ifá and the irunmole-orisa? How can someone in this condition find and enjoy genuine and lasting fulfillment, prosperity and contentment?

How can we remedy and eliminate the corruption and spiritual malaise within the tradition today? How can we recover the many jewels and riches of life giving spirituality that have been lost?

What is the answer, solution and remedy to such present day dryness, insincerity, impotence, disenchantment, competitiveness, strife and disappointment?

THE ANSWER: It is time to return to the original simplicity of the divine ancient tradition [isese-isembaye] of the irunmole-orisa as it was originally bestowed upon humanity. The irunmole-orisa entrusted to us something that was thoroughly beautiful, attractive, effective, satisfying, clear and simple but through our own greed, pride, neglect, irresponsibility, indifference and arrogance we have corrupted, ruined, diminished and distorted the true power, beauty, splendor and simplicity of the isese.

What is needed among devotees today is not a lot of complicated, perfunctory and expensive rites, rituals and ceremonies.

A body without a spirit is useless. A mind without intelligence is useless. A heart without sincerity, sensitivity, divine sentiment and purity is useless.

Rites, rituals and ceremonies can never take the place of genuine reverence, faith, simplicity, wholesomeness and love. Genuine reverence, faith, simplicity, wholesomeness [personal integrity, self-respect, character] and love are the things that we must offer to Ifá and the irunmole-orisa so that our legitimate needs and requests are fulfilled. These are the things that we must have to find meaning, fulfillment and satisfaction. These are the things that generate and cause the descent of the power of divine manifestation, blessings and auspiciousness in our lives and our community.

Let us offer to the irunmole-orisa the sacrifice and offering of a pure heart that is seasoned with the satisfying, aromatic and attractive spices of love, gratitude, simplicity and innocence of mind. Let us approach the irunmole-orisa with guilessness. Let us walk with the irunmole-orisa with a mind that is free of perversity, malice, lust and greed. Let us approach the irunmole-orisa with self-respect, respect for others and with respect for the irunmole-orisa. Let us approach the irunmole-orisa in sincerity, honestly presenting ourselves to them as we truly are and entreat them with the genuine sentiment that they are our shelter, our friends, well-wishers and our family.

Let us put all superficiality, trickery, nonsense and game-playing to the side once and for all. When we do this then the simplest act of devotion will be reciprocated and rewarded a hundred-fold.

Dry and mechanical rites, rituals and ceremonies, in-and-of themselves, will take you no-where. Such rites, rituals and ceremonies will prove themselves to be useless and ineffective. Putting a lot of money into such rites, rituals, ceremonies and sacrificial materials will not add an iota of effectiveness and efficacy, it will not cause the irunmole-orisa to take notice of you and it will not make the irunmole-orisa do anything on your behalf. It will add nothing to you as a person and it will add nothing to your spiritual life [your inner-life] and your overall quality of life.

If with simplicity, sincerity and expectant faith we approach Ifá and the irunmole-orisa we will be the better for it and we will definitely come out of all of our troubles and we will get spiritual and temporal prosperity and uplift. Peace of mind, health and contentment will be ours. Spiritual vitality, merit and strength will be ours. Divinely sanctioned authority and power will be ours.

When we approach Ifá and the irunmole-orisa in this dedicated, determined and settled manner the difficulties, obstacles and problems in our lives will be easily removed and resolved, and our legitimate desires will find fulfillment.

Ifá and the irunmole-orisa will enter and remain in the heart, mind, life and home of those who lovingly think of them with simplicity, love and gratitude. Wherever Ifá and the irunmole-orisa are truly present peace, contentment, prosperity, wellbeing, love, courage and happiness will be there.

Ifá and irunmole-orisa will laugh at, deride and ignore all those who are false, even if they worshipped Ifá and the irunmole-orisa with costly and rare sacrificial materials. Ifá and the irunmole will laugh at, deride and ignore all those who while seeking and desiring their own happiness yet are plotting to harm and undermine others.

Falsity, malice, revengefulness and hypocrisy are not [and will never be] acceptable to Ifá and the irunmole-orisa.

The attention, grace, love, power, friendship, commitment and nearness of Ifá and the irunmole-orisa can only be received by love, reverence, sincerity, simple-faith and good-will. If you do not have tenderness in your heart, if you are incapable of feeling the pain in the lives of others, if you are incapable of shedding tears over the plight and suffering of others then you cannot know and you will never truly know Ifá and the irunmole-orisa because Ifá and the irunmole-orisa are embodiments, expressions and manifestations of pure divine love.

Sincerity, love, good-will, good-faith and integrity are the best ebo [sacrifice], offering and akose [spiritual remedy]. If these are not present in any act of worship or during the performance of any duly constituted and authentic rite, ritual and ceremony then nothing will be gained or achieved. Love, virtue, generosity and rectitude must be recovered. The shrine of our hearts must be re-consecrated, and love, virtue, generosity and rectitude must be permanently installed therein. This is the answer and solution my dear friends. We must return to the original simplicity of the isese and the original simplicity of the divine pattern that was entrusted to us by the irunmole-orisa.

Each one of you reading and considering this lesson must make the choice for himself. Will you be a true and genuine devotee, or will you be a pseudo and imitation devotee? Will you give yourself the opportunity to truly know, love and experience the irunmole-orisa, or will you shut yourself out from experiencing their life transforming and uplifting love, goodness, power and wisdom? Will you recover and embrace simplicity, clarity and truth or will you continue on the fruitless path of hypocrisy, superficiality and arrogance that Ifá and the irunmole-orisa will laugh at, deride and reject?

The tradition can be yours and known by you only if you embrace it, make it your own and live it. The tradition will only be [and can only be as good] as the people who comprise it. The tradition will benefit you only if you approach it with sincerity, and if you live it with firm resolve, commitment, honesty, purity, love and dedication. Other than this there is no other way.

Aboru Aboye. Ogbo ato asure iworiwofun. Àse.

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

ifa

FINDING MEANING, SATISFACTION, STRENGTH AND FULFILLMENT IN OUR IFÁ-ORISA FAITH AND PRACTICE

[Ifá-orisa] Finding meaning, satisfaction, strength and fulfillment in our Ifá-Orisa faith and practice.

 

[***The secret of the power, happiness, wellbeing and fulfillment of the venerable elders, priests and seers of yore.***]

[1] Having meaningful spiritual-religious dialogue or discourse with others is useful, beneficial and should be encouraged. It is a necessary and good beginning. It needs to be said at the outset that dialogue and discourse, in and of themselves, are not enough to bring another person to the platform of fullness of awakening, understanding, deep qualitative change and personal transformation. To truly be able to deeply and permanently elevate and change the immature and incomplete beliefs and undeveloped inner state of others something more than just words, dialogue and reasoning are needed. Words, dialogue and reasoning can change others superficially or for a short period of time but not at the core of their being.  We can reason, dialogue and debate without end and yet experience no true fundamental change and transformation in our lives, our thinking, our experience, our inner quality of life and our perception of reality.

[2] The fact of the matter is that we can challenge, repudiate, deny and refute certain ideas or beliefs but we cannot challenge, repudiate, deny and refute a true life changing spiritual contact and uplifting personal spiritual experience! As devotees of Ifá we will need more than just the limited power of words, logic and reasoning to convey to others the beauty, depth and power of Ifá. We need to be able to communicate meaning, power, value and understanding by a means greater than speech. We need to be able to communicate inner-spiritual reality and power directly from spirit to spirit and mind to mind. To be able to reach the heart, mind and life of others with Ifá, we have to first of all have personally experienced, must presently be experiencing, and must be established in a vital union with Ifá in our own thoughts, words and actions! Only when our own thoughts, words and actions are thoroughly permeated with direct inner-realization of the heart, mind, beauty and power of Ifá are we then able to communicate to others the fragrance, grace, light and power of Ifá beyond words. This inward union, fusion and deliberate collaboration with Ifá is what we call integrity or ìwà-tító. What is the heart and essence of ìwà-tító or integrity? Ìwà-tító is the inward, personal, deliberate and spontaneous desire to do and pursue that which is good, beautiful and pure. Ìwà-tító transcends the current ‘social morality’ which is solely motivated by fear of public disapproval or the desire for rewards.

[3] Ìwà-tító or integrity is a divine quality and power which lifts the life above blind obedience to man-made laws and man-made traditions and establishes all our thoughts, words, actions and behavior on the divine platform of truth or otito. Ìwà-tító or integrity implies perfect consistency between ones inner life and ones outer actions. When one has attained to and realized ìwà-tító ones outer life is dominated by sublime and eternal inner convictions, and there is no interval of difference between the beauty of the inner qualities of the soul in the state of ìwà-tító and the nobility of the outward deed. Ìwà-tító is the living truth, essence and actuality of a person. Ìwà-tító is the truth of Ifá internalized, realized, fully expressed and thoroughly lived. Ìwà-tító which is born of Ifá consciousness transcends mere theories and platitudes. Ìwà-tító is always being in unity with, in harmony with, in complete conformity with Ifá truth, light, understanding, conduct and behavior. The life in ìwà-tító is not artificial, neither is it something imposed upon ones life from without. It is not something contrived and it is not something that one enters into by compulsion, force, sense of obligation or coercion. Ìwà-tító is the flowering, awakening and maturing of a soul that is determined to live by truth only and who has completely abandoned all falsity, hypocrisy, superficiality and shallowness. When one is completely fed up with the foolishness, hypocrisy, deception and lies that one has seen in others, and more importantly when one is fed up with the foolishness, hypocrisy, deception and lies in one’s own life and one wants nothing more to do with it, this is the evidence that the seed of ìwà-tító has awakened in us and that the life of Ifá is being integrated into our being. The free, deliberate and intentional union and collaboration of ones inner being and essence with Ifá, this is integrity or iwa-tito. This is why true Ifá realization, spirituality and religion cannot be professionalized and commercialized.

[4] There is a great danger and loss involved in professionalizing Ifá. Ifá is not profession, Ifá is devotion and vocation. Ifá is personal consecration. Ifa is a path of self-mastery, empowerment and service to others. Ifá means delighting in living a life of order, consistency, transparency and discipline. There is a great danger and loss in attempting to commercialize Ifá, because when we undertake the commercialization of Ifá wisdom, power, spirituality and lifestyle, we inadvertently kill the very spirit, grace, virtue and power of Ifá in our own lives. Through commercializing and professionalizing Ifá lifestyle, religion and spirituality we inadvertently sever ourselves from the nourishing, sustaining, enlightening and life-giving power of Ifá.

[5] Ifá is continual remembrance and experience of the divine. Ifá is the continual nourishing of our spirit, strengthening of our souls and enlightening of our minds. Ifá is the spirit of selfless service to our fellow man, our family and community. Ifá intends to build up wholesome, vibrant and healthy spiritual people and communities. Ifá is never in need, Ifá is never in want and Ifá will never cease to be. This is an eternal fact, but we as individuals can find ourselves outside the provision bestowing power of Ifá and outside the life giving and protective potency of Ifá when we refuse to allow Ifá to penetrate deeply into the core of our being and life to do his spiritual work there! We have Ifá verses and knowledge in our minds and/or memory but not in our heart, spirit, intentions, will and actions. We might know Ifá protocol and procedures and yet be lacking divine asé (grace, power and virtue)! To have Ifá partially is to have nothing! For Ifá to have only a part of us is also undesirable and regrettable. We have to embrace Ifáyelele (Ifá understanding, faith and practice) in its entirety. Only by embracing Ifáyelele can we personally know and understand what it really means to fulfill our destiny and who and what we really are. Ifá has to have the totality of our being.

[6] Our spiritual ancestors enjoyed greater inner peace, charismatic spiritual powers, simplicity, longevity and greater harmony than we do today. Our spiritual ancestors lived straightforward, meaningful and satisfying lives even though they lacked many of the modern conveniences, amenities and technological blessings that we have today.

[7] Why did the ancients experience the quick acting and quick manifesting power of Ifá regularly, whereas today we see few people actually having and enjoying true spiritual inner changes, improvements and uplifting lasting transformations in their lives? Why do we not see the great virtue of Ifá manifested on a regular basis in the lives of individual Ifá devotees and Ifá communities? This is happening because worldwide a spirit of selfishness, self-preoccupation, artificiality, blind faith (unexamined faith), superstitious beliefs, fantasy (delusion) and superficiality has been accepted and adopted by a great majority of humanity, which they then carry with them to their respective religious beliefs, communities and spiritual traditions. The spirit of vanity, superficiality, conceit, arrogance, artificiality, rudeness, materialism, commercialism and faithlessness has penetrated into what was once a vibrant and satisfying spiritual life. Yes. Many in the Ifá community and the various Orisa traditions are living diseased moral-spiritual lives by their own choice, and others by willful heedlessness and ignorance. Many do not really love Ifá or intend to live a wholesome Ifá lifestyle. What they want to attempt to do is to use Ifá and the Irunmole-Orisa to promote their own unspiritual and hypocritical interests. This is why Ifá conceals himself, withholds and hides his true meaning, virtue and power from the lives of such people. Such disingenuous ones can never know, understand and experience the true reality, mystery, sweetness, meaning and power of Ifá.

[8] Many are quick to point their fingers at others and many are quick to highlight the flaws and blemishes which they see or think they see in others, but they are slow and reluctant to look deeply and objectively at themselves to acknowledge that they too are at fault for contributing to the degradation, demoralization, corruption and materialization (commercialization) of our great and spiritual tradition. Many are slow to acknowledge the superficiality, hypocrisy, double-dealing, insincerity and dishonesty in their own lives. Such ones are responsible from taking and stripping away from others their initial sense, appreciation and perception of the beauty, power, sufficiency and gracefulness of Ifá. Many feel justified in pursuing less than honest practices because according to them others are also doing it! This is the so-called spiritual strength, outlook, virtue  and practice of many so-called leaders and so-called pillars of the Ifá-Orisa community! My face becomes reddened with embarrassment just to think about it. Only with the light, truth and power of Ifá that we personally have and carry within us, and daily express outwardly via our attitude, demeanor, conduct and behavior can we deeply change others, correct (heal) others and impart power filled saving knowledge that will penetrate to the core the lives of those who approach us for divine comfort, understanding, solutions, hope and meaning. You cannot live and base your life on the light and power of Ifá that is in another. You can surely warm yourself, be encouraged by, be illuminated and strengthened by the light of Ifá that is in another person in whose heart the life, power and light of Ifá dwells, but if you do not learn from this person how to fill your own life with the light, power and life of Ifá, then you will always be at the mercy of circumstances, situations and other people and you will not know true strength, stability, self-sustaining power and confidence. If the light, truth, compassion and power of Ifá does not live in you, does not burn brightly in you, and does not freely flow through your thoughts, actions, will and words then nothing you do will be beneficial, lasting, remarkable, authentic and life changing.

[9] Serve Ifá with love, by love and for love. Give yourself the opportunity to experience true change, uplifting and lasting transformation through your wholehearted and loved filled devotion to Ifá. Ifá is love manifested in the beginning. Ifá is love manifested in the middle. Ifá is love manifested in the end. You cannot commercialize and professionalize love. You cannot take ownership of the divine power and activity Ifá. You cannot take credit for the divine action, the wisdom, the intelligence, the kindness and the power of Ifá. You can only respectfully love, serve and rightly represent Ifá. You can choose to collaborate with Ifá or you can choose to not collaborate with Ifá. Ifá can dwell in your heart, life and mind, or you can choose to live without the indwelling presence, light and power of Ifá. For those who want to enjoy this intimate union with Ifá and who want to know for themselves the greatness, efficacy, depth and power of Ifá, there is only one path to pursue: Ìwà-tító or divine (sublime) integrity.

[10] How can you have faith in what you have not personally seen or experienced? How can someone highly recommend to others something that they have not personally known, benefitted by or enjoyed for themselves? Our faith and confidence in Ifá has to be progressive and it must be based on real and not imagined personal experiences and not pious fabrications. Real faith, confidence and assurance are born from, and can only be had from real experiences and benefits received from Ifá. Until we have seen Ifá face-to-face we will not be able to truly love, trust and confide in Ifá. Ifá faith is based solely on the evidence of personal experience and the real quantifiable benefits we have received and that others can perceive we have received.

[11] Begin by initiating yourself into ìwà-tító and continue re-initiating yourself in ìwà-tító or integrity. Just like one pours fine oil out of a container without breaking the continuity of the thread of the flowing oil, in like manner we should continue without breaking the continuity of the thread of the sacred holy oil of ìwà-tító or integrity.

[12] What a beautiful, intelligent, faithful, kind, honest, hardworking and graceful woman is to a respectable and deserving man, so is the person of ìwà-tító to Ifá.

[13] What a handsome, intelligent, faithful, kind, honest, hardworking and charismatic man is to a respectable and deserving woman, so is the person of ìwà-tító to Ifá.

[14] Just like our soul joins and holds our spirit and body together, in like manner does ìwà-tító or integrity join and hold together our life with the Life of Ifá.

[15] If we follow the path of ìwà-tító, Ifá will heal our conscience, Ifá will cleanse our heart and Ifá will fill us with abiding peace, health and power [spiritual-vitality]. If we follow the courageous path of ìwà-tító or the Ifá path of integrity, then Ela and Òrúnmìlà will reveal and manifest themselves and their power personally to us.

[16] The heart, essence, foundation and core mystery of Ifá can be captured, understood and expressed in the following esoteric secret:

 

***Without sacrifice there is no reward.***

Please think deeply about the significance, importance and practicality of the above esoteric secret and relate and apply it to your life:

***Without sacrifice [effort, toil, continual work, personal commitment, personal initiative, perseverance and determination] there is no reward [there can be no reward, fulfillment, satisfaction and true happiness].

This is the essence, core, central and foundational spiritual root of Ifá. If one understands this one singular truth, embraces it, internalizes it and practices it, one will break through to unanticipated victory, triumph, success, fulfillment and prosperity.

Do you want to know the secret to success, achievement, prosperity and success? Do you want to know the key to guaranteed self-mastery? Do you want to know the remedy to your challenges, difficulties and dissatisfaction?

No sacrifice no reward.

No sacrifice no reward.

No sacrifice no reward.

According to your sacrifice so is your reward. Look at your life as it is at the present and reflect  [recall and look] to the past to see what sacrifice or sacrifices have you made or what sacrifice or sacrifices have you not made. Our present life condition is directly correlated with the degree, frequency and quality of our past and recent sacrifices or our lack of genuine sacrifices.

No sacrifice. No reward.

No sacrifice. No reward.

No sacrifice. No reward.

This is the heart, core, essence and foundational mystery of Ifá and of your essential being. Please think about this deeply and let it penetrate into the depths of your spirit.  Let it nourish the root of your being. This is the teaching, mystery, empowerment and lesson that will resolve your life problems and will undo the knots of doubt, uncertainty, unclarity and confusion and remove them from your life. This is a message for people of resolve and self-initiative. This is where the true magic is. This is the spiritual work that will set you free and make your self-reliant, confident, successful and strong. Apply this message and you will succeed in breaking through the fetters that have been holding you down, restricting you and limiting you.

Come what may continue to make the sacrifice and your rewards will be immeasurably great, fulfilling and satisfying.

Èlà takun wa gureh!

Èlà takun wa gureh!

Èlà takun wa gureh!

 

Èlà-Òrúnmìlà mo yin Aboru!

Èlà-Òrúnmìlà mo yin Aboye!

Èlà-Òrúnmìlà mo yin Abosise!

 

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

Diploma_on_yoruba_Spirituality_concepts

DIPLOMA ON YORUBA SPIRITUALITY CONCEPTS

Bilingual Diploma Course via Zoom on Yoruba Spirituality, presented by the Ancestral Pride Institute of Cultural Studies in Nigeria @ancestralpridetemple scheduled for Saturdays April 10th, 17th and 24th, taught by Oluwo Faniyi Babatunde Fasola, Awise of Owode Ota, at 5pm Nigeria time (11am Panama time). Cost, details and themes on the poster attached. Inbox us at @ancestralpridetemple on FB and Instagram Or +234 805 656 5200 (Whatsapp) & fasolafaniyi@gmail.com for details. The course is open to the general public.
Diploma_on_yoruba_Spirituality_concepts

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orisha

ÒRÒ ÒTÍTÓ TI ÒRÌSÀ: TRUTHFUL WORDS OF [AND FROM] THE ORISA

Where has the love, respect and sincerity gone? The crisis and state of affairs within the worldwide Ifá-orisa community. An appeal to those who truly care about the tradition.

[***An honest, sobering and serious reflection for those who care. A message of hope for people of action.***]

I do not know if you are aware of the general state of affairs within the world-wide Ifá-orisa community, but it is clear to me that generally speaking the Ifá-orisa community is in a state of spiritual crisis, spiritual-decline and spiritual deterioration. There is a lack of exemplary leadership today, and there is a lack true spirituality today within the lives of a great many professed followers of Ifá-orisa. Everything we look we see is ostentation, glitter, make-believe, insubstantial nonsense, ineffective rubbish, trickery and superficiality. Mounds of valueless pebbles abound, but a true gold nugget is hard to find.

By and large [with few exceptions] no one follows any rules. Everyone simply does whatever they want, and they follow whatever their imagination suggests to them. Many have accepted their own imagination over truth and reality. Few care to know, and even less care to follow the true guiding and foundational principles of the sacred traditions that the irunmole-orisa entrusted to us. Few care about truth, and many are dangerously following the suggestions of their unregulated imagination [many are following their own self-created fantasies and delusions of grandeur].

Deception, fraud, hypocrisy, make-believe, trickery, arrogance, thirst for power [influence], hunger for undeserved recognition, and superficiality [spiritual powerlessness] are rampant and on the rise within the world-wide Ifá-orisa community. Only a handful of people can be found among each respective community who are truly endeavoring to follow and live the honorable path of the perennial sacred tradition of Ifá-orisa.

By and large [with few exceptions] there is no commitment and seriousness in the lives of a great many professed devotes. True respect for the irunmole-orisa and true respect for sincere and genuine elders has been lost by many, and in others it is waning. Only few are dedicated to spiritual growth, unfoldment and discipline. Precept and practice are as far apart today as east is from west.

All talk [much talk] and no action [no practice] is the path of many. Only few are actually living and pursuing a genuine, satisfying and healthy [balanced] spiritual life. No one listens to the truth anymore. No one cares about truth. Initiations and consecrated shrines are given to anybody, the only requirement today is money. Initiations are given only to increase personal prestige, to increase pocket money, personal power, to feed pride and to increase mere numbers. Few today exercise discernment in accepting prospective initiates. Today no distinction is made between a worthy and an unworthy candidate.True spiritual masters [spiritual teachers, guides and mentors] are a rarity and are almost impossible to find. They are few and far between. Whereas those who are willing to cheat you, trick you, manipulate you and take advantage of you can be seen and found everywhere.

Many have lost all sense of shame, propriety, self-restraint and decorum, and do all kinds of improper things openly! The shrines they worship are not those of the irunmole-orisa. They worship greed, lust, arrogance, money, lies and hypocrisy: they worship themselves and have made themselves the center of worship for others. They have propped themselves up as teachers, that is, teachers of gullible, undiscerning and ignorant ones. Today initiation is just a fad and is no longer a life long commitment of learning, spiritual growth and practice. Initiation has ceased to be a complete [comprehensive, clean and orderly] lifestyle.

It is high-time that all those who considers themselves a follower of the irunmole-orisa examine themselves and take a good and honest look at themselves. It is the responsibility of every member of the spiritual community to take responsibility for his or her life and to ascertain what is the contribution that they are making to the overall community and the perception that others may have of the community.

Aren’t you aware of what is happening? Don’t you see what is occurring today? How shameful and embarrassing it is to see professed devotees of Ifá-orisa attacking each other on social-media? How painful and embarrassing it is to see Ifá-orisa devotees undermining each other publicly and secretly, and causing the sacred tradition of the irunmole-orisa to lose respectability and prestige before onlookers and new investigators of the tradition. Isn’t this why many turn away from the tradition? Isn’t this why many lose their faith and resolve? It is bad enough to see devotees engage in these kind of things but what to say when can see elders and community leaders also engaged in these kinds of nasty, childish and shameful fighting and competitive activities!

As individual devotees and initiates we really cannot change others or force them to change, but we can and must definitely improve and refine ourselves. Individually we can change ourselves and thereby exert a positive, purifying [ennobling] and uplifting influence upon others. If we want our tradition and faith to be what we all know it should be and can be we must each make the resolve and decision to be true [sincere and honest] students [followers] of the irunmole-orisa. We cannot continue to justify living a mediocre, unsatisfying and uninspiring life because others have chosen to live a mediocre, wishy-washy and unremarkable life. Our lives should mean something to us and to others. Our lives should have a powerful, inspiring and uplifting impact upon others. We cannot base our spiritual life on what we see surrounding us. We cannot be like the chameleon that is always changing its colors to blend in with its environment. We have to go higher than that which surrounds us. We must do better individually and collectively. We must have a spirituality, morality and spiritual practice that is not determined by the moral-spiritual climate and circumstances that surrounds us. Our aim and standard must be higher. We have to embrace personal integrity and self-respect.

Let me ask you: Where is the love and unity today in the community? Why all this competitiveness and strife? Why all of this envy, selfishness and rivalry? Love and unity wane [disappear] when one abandons the wholesome spiritual lifestyle and ennobling instructions of the irunmole-orisa. Envy, selfishness and rivalry appear and increase when one abandons the true path and spirituality of the irunmole-orisa.

The irunmole-orisa are not restricted only to consecrated shrines. The irunmole-orisa and their àse [virtue, grace and power] also live [dwell] in the in the individual and collective feelings of reverence, love and thankfulness that exist in our hearts. The world should see and perceive the love, beauty, goodness and orderliness of the irunmole-orisa by beholding the clean, harmonious and wholesome lifestyle of the community of Ifá-orisa devotees. The world should be able to perceive and feel the wondrous, loving, healing and beautiful energy of the irunmole-orisa in the activities of the members of the Ifá-orisa community.

The orisa look to the heart only. A heart that is filled with arrogance, envy and hate is not worth a penny. The orisa draw near to people whose hearts are clean, generous, pure, kind and sincere. The orisa stay away from people whose hearts are dirty, petty, impure, mean and insincere.

A true knower and lover of the orisa is one whose heart has been cleansed by the love that he or she has received from the orisa [and that he or she has personally experienced in the depths of his or her heart]. The orisa are sources, fountains and centers of divine love. In making true [genuine] contact with the real orisa and not imagined [or imaginary] orisa our lives becomes cleansed, empowered, uplifted and transformed.

A [true] devotee and knower of the orisa remains immersed in the love, purity, inspiration, nobility and goodness of the orisa, and likewise becomes an embodiment of love, purity, inspiration, nobility and goodness. This sublime and abiding state [or condition] is what is known as Ifáyelele.

The person who enters into and awakens to the reality of ifáyelele in his or her life forever remains immersed in the grace, power, merit and virtue of ifáyelele: the sublime [divine] state.

How do we know when someone has entered into and awakened to Ifáyelele? When arrogance, pettiness, hate, stinginess, indifference, deception, ignorance, belligerence and falsity has been permanently stripped away from his or her life such a person has become established in the power, virtue, merit, grace and illumination [realization] of Ifáyelele.

Those who are immersed in arrogance, pettiness, hate, stinginess, indifference, deception, ignorance, belligerence and falsity are ogberi or nescient people. They have an aberrant, unstable, erratic, volatile and sickly spirituality, that is if it can even be called spirituality at all! These are people who think they know it all, they do not listen to anyone nor are they amenable to taking or receiving advice. They learn only by getting burned and scorched, and some do not learn even after being burned and scorched by their own nescience and insolence [rude and disrespectful attitude and behavior].

Stay away from people who claim that the irunmole-orisa can be used to harm people. Stay away from people who say that they can send the orisa on errands to do hurtful things. Such people do not know the orisa. Such people are not devotees of the orisa. The orisa pay no mind [attention] to such ignorant, arrogant and insolent people. Such people are devotees [and victims] of their own ignorance, they are not following the orisa that really exist, instead they are following the non-existent orisa of their own darkened imagination.

The path of the orisa is a path of pure goodness, beauty, wellbeing and inspiration. Allow no one to deceive [and frighten] you with foolishness and nonsense. Allow no one to misrepresent the sublime love, goodness and beauty of the orisa. A person who truly knows and follows the orisa will himself or herself become an orisa. They will become divine in their attitudes, qualities, behavior, demeanor, words, conduct, thoughts and spirituality.

It takes an orisa [orisa-like person] to know an orisa [orisa-like person]. Men and women established in Ifáyelele become attracted to each other, they bond together and they mix together seamlessly like water mixes with milk.

Men and women established in ogberi spirituality repel each other, they ruin, contaminate and destroy everything that they come in contact with.

Preserve the purity, goodness and beauty of your orisa spirituality. Allow no one to misrepresent and tarnish the goodness, greatness and nobility of our orisa and of our orisa spirituality. Aspire for more and you will achieve more. My Ifá-orisa family and friends we are at the precipice. Our choices, decisions, manner of life and actions from today forward will determine the quality and direction that our previous faith will take.

Your attitude, outlook and practical actions will either contribute to the healthy growth and expansion of our traditions, or it will contribute to its corruption and erosion. If we want a vibrant, healthy, effective and satisfying Ifá-orisa spirituality then we must each personally embrace the lifestyle that will ensure that a vibrant, healthy, effective and satisfying tradition endures. Think about these things and take them to heart.

May irunmole-orisa inspire, bless, guide and defend you. Àse. May irunmole-orisa establish you in Ifáyelele at the soonest possible time. Àse.

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

Obatala_Obataasa

THE DIVINE KNOWLEDGE OF OBÀTÁLÁ AND THE TRUE GLORY OF A HUMAN BEING

The divine knowledge of Obàtálá and the true glory of a human being: The necessity of [true] manhood [manliness]. Obàtálá the master of genuine manliness and perfection.
Aboru Aboye. Ogbo ato asure iworiwofun. Àse.
There are many benefits, gifts and endowments that we receive from Olódùmarè Agotun by the blessing [virtue] of just being born. Elevation of mind and noble character is not something though that we are born with. A mind of divine quality and a lofty character must be and can only be acquired through diligent [persevering] effort and the practice of patience. Why do we revere, honor, love and worship Orisaala? What is it about Orisanla that inspires confidence in us, that ennobles us, and fills us with great fondness and dignity? What it is that makes Obàtálá Obatasa Takun-takun so venerable, endearing and attractive?
Is it not the divine quality of his mind? Is it not because of his lofty and unequalled character, demeanor, conduct and behavior? Is it not be because of his attributes of fearlessness, holiness and selflessness? Who is like Obàtálá?! He is peerless in conduct and wisdom!
We too can transform and elevate our lives to a divine and lofty level, here-and-now, if we dedicate ourselves to acquiring divine character and holy thoughts.
When we consider Oba-Orisa Obàtálá there is one word that comes to mind: Dignity!
Dignity comes through the assimilation and practice of divine knowledge and unselfish lofty deeds carried out without arrogance, conceit and pretense.
Who is humble, courageous and guileless like Obàtálá? We too must cultivate and nurture humility, courage and guilelessness. Obàtálá is always appreciative and thankful for any sincere, loving and unselfish service or favor rendered to him, or performed in his name.  Obàtálá easily feels indebted to those who worship him by worshipping him with his own divine qualities. Obàtálá represents true manliness. Obàtálá demonstrates and reflects the highest and most pure dignity of a man like being a hard-worker [industrious], being friendly, displaying genuine brotherly love, doing everything with joy and enthusiasm, treating others with respect, fighting against injustice, being a follower [practitioner] of the code of morality [iwa-pele], being a keeper of ones word [vows, resolve and promises], being truthful [honest], and being a faithful [loyal] person.
How unmanly and shameful it for a man to always be whining, complaining and making excuses. How unmanly and shameful it is for a man to be lazy, to lack of motivation and to lack purpose. How unmanly and shameful it is for a man to behave like an immature child who always needs to be coddled and told what to do. How unmanly and shameful is it for a man to be passive and dependent upon others. How unmanly and shameful is it for a man to live an uninspiring, unremarkable  and unfruitful life [a life lacking in achievements and a life that has accomplished nothing worthwhile].
How much does our world and our Ifá-orisa community need real men, manly men, courageous men, valiant men, men possessed of character, virtue, patience, courage and endurance?! Our Ifá-orisa community and our world needs men who know how to shoulder responsibility and who know how to accomplish divinely assigned tasks. We need reliable, resilient and dependable men to help promote the advancement of world civilization and divine culture.
Such a divine man was and is Obàtálá, and such men must we not only desire and aspire to be, we must actually be such. Olódùmarè is not going to ‘magically’ make us such men. We have to want to be such, and we have to pursue, inculcate and master the divine discipline and science of Obàtálá. If we out of ignorance, immaturity and laziness refuse to accept the challenge of becoming divine human beings [true-men], then our minds will always be restless and our lives will never be truly fulfilled and accomplished. We will never know self-respect nor will others truly respect us.
We must learn to drive away selfishness, immaturity and pettiness from our lives and must learn how to practice genuine love, generosity and rectitude. We must put to the side the desire to be seen, acknowledged and applauded by others for our kindly acts of service and generosity. We must love to do what is right and just, simply out of love for justice and rectitude, and not for the purpose of being seen, acknowledged and applauded by others.
Obàtálá is the King, Leader and Head of all irunmole-orisa. He is truly deserving and worthy of being Oba-Orisa. Even though Obàtálá is such a great and extraordinary personality he is not ever swayed or filled with pride, conceit and pretense. He never feels like he is better or superior to others. He never gives the impression through his comportment that he is better or more deserving than others. Is this not the reason we love him so and are willing to do anything for him?! He treats all with dignity and respect. He relates to all with affection, sympathy and fondness. He inspires confidence and he reveals [displays] the content [essence] of true manliness. He is inflexible in the performance of his duties and he impartially upholds righteousness, law and order in his domain.
We too must adopt the outlook and manners of Obàtálá. He is Oba Iwa. We too must become masters and kings of good character, noble character and holy discipline. Obatala is no coward. He is the quintessential man. Valorous, courageous, brave and fearless. It is time to revive and restore the cult of divine manliness because without it all dignity, order, purpose, dignity, progress and uprightness will be lost. We must fight, defeat and overcome the inner and outer elenini and ajogun of avarice, arrogance, conceit, greed, anger, hate, deception and lust. We must resist all who promote injustice, disorder and malice with courage and determination. We must be gentle but firm. We must be kind, but not gullible and servile.
One who leads an honest life and is ever ready to assist and help those in need without showing off and singing his own praises, such a one leads a dignified life, a divine life, an Obàtálá life. The true knower and worshipper of Obàtálá is the one who delights and takes pride in one thing only: In cultivating, perfecting and exhibiting the godly qualities, and the auspicious symptoms of divine holiness, uprightness, integrity, courage, and devotion to what is right, proper and clean.
Is it by accident that Obàtálá sleeps in white, awakens in white and conducts all his affairs in white without ever becoming stained? No. It is no accident! Obàtálá is that way because that is the way that he chose to live and that he determined that he would live, irrespective of what others do or do not do. Obàtálá does not change his holy habits and endearing conduct, character and personality because others have changed their former good habits for bad habits. Obàtálá does not ever abandon his principles and ways, even if others abandon their previous good principles and ways. No wonder he is the great king, the true manly man, Olódùmarè’s much loved son, because he brings honor, delight, wholesome pride and good repute to his Oluwo and Baba, Olódùmarè.
To be a human and to be a man being means to be divine in thoughts, words and actions. To be human and to be a man means to be generous, kind, just, dependable, reliable, persevering, optimistic, industrious, honest, sincere, trust worthy and impartial. Anything less than this and we cease to be human even if physically we appear to be so. There are many cruel animals with human faces in the world! There are many human beings in name only. There are many men in name only but not in actuality. Let us be true and complete human beings and true men by following the science, example and ways of Obàtálá which reveal to us in a crystal clear fashion in what consists the true glory of a human being and the true glory of a man.
Eeepa Orisa! Orisa Eeepa!
“Orisa Eepaaaa, alaba lase, Obàtálá, obataasa oba tapa tapa ti n ba won gbe ode iranje, o ti iranje lo si iranje oko, iku Ike oro oko afin, oro ti n ba won te opa oje…..Eepaaaa Orisa!!!”
Aboru Aboye. Ogbo ato asure iworiwofun. Àse.
~ Awo Òrúnmìlà Mark Casillas /!!!\ A.O.M.C. /!!!\

THE ESSENCE [HEART] AND PURPOSE OF THE TRADITIONS OF THE IRUNMOLE-ORISA

The Essence [heart] and purpose of the traditions of the Irunmole-Orisa: The outlook you adopt will determine where you end up. Your intent will determine your quality of being, your potential [ability and capacity] for progress and your experiences. You must first know and understand the true purpose of the path of the irunmole-orisa if you are to successfully reach [achieve] the goal [the aim and purpose] of that path. You must first know, understand, choose and define your goal prior to choosing your path, then, upon choosing your path you must commit to that path. All paths will not take you to the destination you seek. All roads will not take you to the same place. The irunmole-orisa will not help you see, seek and pursue a purpose and destination that is contrary to the good, noble, satisfying and loving purpose and destination that they have in mind for you. You must understand what the path of the irunmole-orisa was really established for, what it was intended to give you, and what it is supposed to do for you so that you are not disappointed and your expectations are fulfilled.

[***A brief lesson and reflection for the sincere. May these spiritually passionate, caring and loving thoughts serve as a timely path-finder, guide and way-maker for the sincere. Àse. May you all find peace, clarity, hope, wellbeing and contentment. Àse.***]

Aboru Aboye. Ogbo ato asure iworiwofun. Àse.

[1] The path of the noble irunmole-orisa is not for everyone. The path of the divine irunmole-orisa is only for those who have been chosen. The path of the irunmole-orisa is only for those who want to know, enjoy and live in spiritual reality, contentment, peace, love and truth.

[2] The sweet and beautiful path of the irunmole-orisa is for those who have chosen to accept their selection. It is for those who want to press forward to spiritual maturity, clarity, fulfillment and harmony. No one really comes to the irunmole-orisa purely by their own initiative, strength and/or will-power alone. We come to the irunmole-orisa as a result of an empowered response on our part that has been made possible by the initiative, attention and direct action of the irunmole-orisa upon our lives. Fortunate, blessed and accomplished are those have been chosen by the irunmole-orisa and who wholeheartedly strive on the noble, adventurous, exciting and fulfilling path of the irunmole-orisa.

[3] Upon being chosen we must willingly, joyfully and deliberately adjust, modify and conform our heart, mind, speech, actions, behavior, manners, conduct and life, according to the loving, joy-conferring, peace-giving and health-promoting wise directives of the irunmole-orisa. The irunmole-orisa accept those who wholeheartedly dedicate and commit themselves to them.

[4] Upon finding ourselves on the path of the marvelous irunmole-orisa we must participate, and we must allow ourselves to be acted upon by the wonder-working sacred energy or àse of the irunmole-orisa. This energy is pure wisdom [intelligence], love, power, vitality, health and bliss [happiness]. This very special and unique divine energy is curative, ennobling, empowering and purifying. Our part is to deliberately choose to bring our intentions, feelings, will, manners and actions in harmony with the workings of the divine power [sacred energy] of the irunmole-orisa. We must not work against or go contrary to the wonder-working energy and power of the irunmole-orisa. We must allow ourselves to be moulded, taught, guided, developed and corrected by the divine inflow of the àse of the irunmole-orisa. This divine flow enters us, fills us, empowers us, surrounds us and shields [perfectly protects] us. Our own will [intent] and the will [intent] of the irunmole-orisa must become progressively and experientially one.

[5] The irunmole-orisa choose, select and attract us by exercising, applying and directing towards us an attracting, sweet, uplifting [energizing], ecstatic, pleasure-giving and irresistible power. The irunmole-orisa move us, they awaken us to the reality of their existence, and they gently draw [attract] us to themselves by provoking a mysterious exaltation of intimate nature within us, something that can be called spiritual ecstasy, delight, optimism, supernatural pleasure, supra-mundane inspiration and supernatural confidence. We then come to know how sweet, good and loving the irunmole-orisa are and what their divine works truly consist of. We awaken to the true nature of the irunmole-orisa, and we awaken to the remembrance and recognition of our true and eternal identity.

[6] This mysterious, attracting, pleasure-giving, enlightening and enrapturing power fills us with divine pleasure, satisfaction, confidence, expectancy [hope] and delight. It satisfies us, completes us and gives us peace, serenity, abiding inner-calm and harmony. It guides, motivates and inspires us. It give us a fresh, inspiring and new vision, understanding and experience of life. This power completely transforms and revolutionizes our inner state, condition and outlook to such a wonderful degree that what we formally thought to be obstacles, we now experience as stepping stones to victory, fulfillment and greater happiness, prosperity and abundance. We look forward to overcoming the obstacles, because to us they are not obstacles but stepping stones [blessed and fortunate opportunities] to greater achievements. The àse of the irunmole-orisa awakens our inner-spiritual powers and faculties, and teaches us how to develop, use, employ and perfect them. This energy exercises a healing, correcting, calming and purifying influence upon our lives. Upon experiencing this spiritual, emotional and psychological healing, empowerment and purification, we must resolve to remain in purity and cleanliness and we must pursue a healthy and wholesome lifestyle. The àse of the irunmole-orisa imparts health, vitality, strength and wellbeing to our spirit, soul, mind and body. How wondrous is the àse of the irunmole-orisa!

[7] The path of the irunmole-orisa is a path reserved for the spiritually mature [spiritually maturing], awakened, resolute and sincere person. Humility, patience, realism, gentleness and perseverance are a must for anyone who is serious about treading the path of the noble irunmole-orisa.

[8] The irunmole-orisa desire that all of us be free from distress, sorrow, anxiety, fear and perversity. The irunmole-orisa desire and want us to know the state and condition of abiding [permanent] bliss [divine happiness, satisfaction, fulfillment, ecstasy, pleasure, delight and contentment]. It is unfortunate that many seekers, aspirants and devotees have become overcome by superficiality, arrogance, nonsense, superstition, baseless-fear, aimlessness and hypocrisy. So much so that they care not to hear about the true heart, purpose and intent of the irunmole-orisa and the sacred traditions which were founded and instituted by the irunmole-orisa for our individual wellbeing, happiness and peace, and for the wellbeing, happiness and peace of the world.

[9] Only few people can see, understand and embrace the true path of the irunmole-orisa: the path of divine morality, honesty, humility, love, moral-courage and sanctity. Only the rare, select, chosen and determined ones can receive, direct, manifest and exhibit the full and true power of the irunmole-orisa. Only the select, rare and determined few can embrace this holy, divine and sacred path. Will you be one of them?

Aboru Aboye. Ogbo ato asure iworiwofun. Àse.

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