Holy Verse From Odu Ifá: Irete-Ose
“He is no coward who doesn’t run away at the noise of civil strife. Just as bees fly out of the hive but leave the hive protected. Just as ants guard their hill before, during and after their activities. In like manner should wise men lay stratagems and plans in advanced preparation for the attack of the antagonist long before the hidden attack of the enemy.”
Today we live in a world of conflict, strife, challenges and difficulties. We all strive to do our best to live meaningful, honest, peaceful, law abiding, caring and harmless lives. Even though we attempt, as far as it lies within our power, to live peaceable, useful and quiet lives there are human beings, as well as unwholesome spiritual forces that foolishly confuse or mistake our kindness, humility, goodwill and patience for weakness, powerlessness and lack of efficient ability to resist, combat and overcome them.
The fact of the matter is that there are human beings and unwholesome spiritual forces that do not care about how good, well-meaning, honest and diligent you are. They will attempt to obstruct you, frustrate you, resist you, harm you, manipulate you, undermine you and agitate you if you let them. They will plant seeds of disorder, chaos and confusion in your life if you through lack of clear-sighted awareness and forethought allow them to. Everyone is not kind, decent and good! Everyone is not who they seem or appear to be. Everyone is not who you think them to be! Some can be mean, uncaring, conniving, deceptive, callous and indifferent. Some could care less about your wellbeing, the wellbeing of your family and the success of your noble plans! What to do with such kinds of people and unwholesome energies that are stubborn, that cannot be reasoned with and that cannot be appeased with anything because they do not want appeasement. No! They simply want to take delight in your downfall, affliction and suffering because of the malice, envy, emptiness and conceit which is consuming them. Because they are failures they want you to fail. What to do? In this verse of Odu Ifá, Ifá wisely instructs us that these antagonists have to be confronted with strength, power, courage and iron-will but not directly…we confront them and defeat them by confronting them indirectly by always having a prepared defensive and offensive plan. Sometimes talking and reasoning with people will not work. Sometimes diplomacy falls short of the intended goal. If one side wants peace but the other side insists on fighting, should the peaceful side for the sake ‘peace’ lie down on the ground and allow the antagonist to step, walk and jump on his chest?! No! Not ever! Sometimes the fight cannot be avoided and we have to be willing to arm ourselves with spiritual wisdom, sagacity, divine power, patience, careful planning and the combined counsel and activity of courageous, upright and determined men whose hearts are the hearts of wise warriors. Just like the bee protects it queen and its hive by stinging and resisting its opponent by unrelenting attack’s until the antagonist withdrawals and gives up his foul plan, just like ants which seem to be small and powerless until you see them come together as one organized, powerful and efficient unit and army to defend their home, children and leader, in like manner we sometimes have to actively and decisively, individually and collectively take action against the enemies of peace, order, truth and wellbeing for the sake of our own lives, our family and our society. We cannot be cowardly when all means have been exhausted to reconcile but the enemy doesn’t want peace…the enemy only seeks your harm. We have to fight! Ifá tells us that we should not be afraid to enter a just conflict or fight when there is no other option. Our fighting against the activity of unwholesome spiritual forces and mean-spirited corrupt people is authorized. The only thing that good people have to do for evil, malice and disorder to prevail is nothing! We have to take action through spiritual and temporal means to mitigate and dissolve the activities of those that are malicious, stubborn and recalcitrant. Through our wise activity and resistance the Divine Olodumare will administer to such ones the right measure of discipline, punishment and correction that they are direly in need of. We cannot be complacent, passive and accepting of the harmful, malicious and callous doings of uncaring moral, spiritual and social criminals. We have to fight when fighting is called for without fear and with the confidence that truth and Olodumare is on our side! When we survey the life and activities of Òrúnmìlà we discern that Orunmila was not only a wise, kind and humble teacher and priest.
Òrúnmìlà was a also a courageous warrior of Olodumare. When all talks and efforts at peace making and the establishment of uprightness failed Òrúnmìlà sometimes had to wage spiritual and temporal war on certain people and communities that were ruining and destroying the stability, peace, health, order, progress and wellbeing of the community! Olodumare did not give the lion claws, strength and sharp powerful teeth to tickle those who would foolishly attempt to harm it! Olodumare did not give the rattle snake fangs, intelligence, agility, a rattle and venom so that it can allow others to step all over it, to kick it, jump on it and injure it! The rattle snake does not intend to hurt, harm or injure. This is why it sounds the warning alarm and it shakes it rattle so that the intelligent listener could withdraw immediately and avert a fatality. But let there be no doubt that if a person oversteps the kindness of the rattlesnake in giving its rattled warning, the rattle snake will strike with deadly efficiency. Is the snake to be blamed? Just like the rattle snake, we should patiently, clearly and determinedly shake our rattle so that our antagonist can discern what will follow if he persists to overstep the boundaries, but once the boundary has been deliberately overstepped its time for single minded action. Sometimes the best defense is a good offensive action, when divine wisdom determines and approves this course. Olodumare has fitted us with more spiritual, temporal abilities and powers than the bee, the ant, the lion and the rattle snake! When it is time to fight, when the fight cannot be averted or avoided, it is time then to utilize and masterfully apply our ‘weapons’ for the sake of the maintenance of peace, harmony, health and well-being of our society, our home and our own lives. Being humble, kind and godly does equate to being cowardly, unmanly and lacking in fighting-spirit and in fighting-ability. We can never accept a false ‘peace’ at the expense of truth, harmony, uprightness and the safety of our society, family, home and personal lives. Be fearless! Be determined to resist, overcome and defeat all unwholesome spiritual energies and all deliberately malicious, corrupt and callous human beings. The Irunmole-Orisa are not cowardly. They are divine, upright, courageous and warrior spirited personalities. When it is time to fight it is time to fight! Don’t turn back on your heels. Don’t run away. Confront and defeat the enemy with courage, honor and determination. Let kindness, compassion and truth fill your heart but let strength, courage, dispassion, valor and iron-will fill your arms, hands, legs, feet and mind. With a dispassionate, courageous, warrior-like and impartial attitude rise up and courageously defeat and overcome all that stands in the way of progress, health, well-being, prosperity, justice, peace and order.
Your friend and well-wisher Awo Òrúnmìlà Mark Casillas
Ogbo ato asure iworiwofun!