Aboru Aboye. Ogbo ato asure iworiwofun. Àse.
In today’s world there is so much stress, strain, pain, sorrow, and pressure of all sorts. Some of us are in sorrow, strain and excessive states of stress due to the pressures of the environment which surrounds us. Others are suffering mentally and emotionally due to unhealthy conditions in the home and dysfunctional relationships. Others suffer due to inherited congenital defects. Some are suffering from physical, psychological and emotional illness and disorders. Others suffer from loneliness, melancholy, depression and from the sensation of feeling out of place or misunderstood.
Many suffer from things that are not their fault and which they did not cause. Life can be difficult. Life can be hard. Even though we know that there is a supreme person, Olódùmarè, who loves us and cares for us, it is hard to accept certain situations in which we find ourselves in. During times of great pain and suffering just listening alone to speeches, talks and lectures about Olódùmarè somehow is not sufficient to heal the pain and wounds in our hearts and lives.
What we need is to see and feel Olódùmarè manifested in and through flesh-and-blood people to derive comfort, hope and confidence. We cannot always fathom the plan and purposes of Olódùmarè in our lives. We cannot fathom the mystery of suffering and pain especially when we are the ones who are personally being overwhelmed with suffering, pain and anguish, and which seems in all honesty senseless, meaningless and purposeless in our lives.
It is easy to speak about the love of Olódùmarè and His wonderful plans for us, the love of Ifá and the love of the irunmole-orisa when we are enjoying health, means, opportunities and a success sustaining environment. But when pain, mishap, great suffering, anxiety and fear comes knocking in person at our doorstep, it can be hard, difficult and even impossible, to see, feel and acknowledge the reality of Olodumare, His love and His glorious plans for us. How can we accept, feel, see and find love in suffering, in worry, in anxiety and in fearful times?!
It is hard if not impossible to convince ourselves of the existence, goodness, wisdom and perfection of Ifá-Olódùmarè, when we are personally and individually undergoing a great crisis and a prolonged period of worry, anxiety and depression due to illness or other upsetting events.
Human beings of all faiths, traditions and no traditions, including many Ifá-orisa devotees are suffering from diverse illnesses and ailments simply because they are human beings who are susceptible to sicknesses and ailments like all other human beings. Whether we are at present healthy or not, the fact of the matter is that we are all subject to mortality. Not a single one of us will live forever in our present bodies. We will all in one way or another succumb to sickness, old-age and death.
Even when we are healthy and life seems to be smiling upon us, our lives can be taken from us, due to time and unforeseen circumstances. Our bodies and lives as far as the human body is concerned are limited, transient and impermanent. We are all dying…with every breath we take we are getting closer to the grave. This is a sobering but strangely comforting fact if we understand that we are all undergoing and experiencing this process TOGETHER.
There is a reason and good purpose for everything that Olódùmarè institutes, even if we cannot at present comprehend or accept this fact. What often makes our pain and suffering unbearable is not necessarily the fact that we as human beings are mortal and that we will die someday from one thing or another, but what injures our minds and feelings is when we have to endure our pains, sorrows, suffering and loneliness alone. There are hard and difficult things to accept or comprehend in regard to the divine arrangements of Olódùmarè that we cannot at present understand, and to be quite honest there are things that are hard, difficult or impossible for us to accept.
The only comfort that we have is in knowing that somehow or other everything is tending towards our ultimate good and happiness, and that we are not alone, and that we have friends, companions and family who love us, who will be with us and there for us. Our friends, companions and family might not always be able to do something about our illness, problem, situation or ailment but it is surely easier to enjoy life, to cope, to persevere and to live with hope and gratitude when we have good friends, companions and family who are with us from moment-to-moment and day-to-day, who are able to impart strength, comfort, love and hope to us, by which we can live one-day-at-a-time.
The fact of the matter is that there are things for which a solution, reason or cause will not be found in this world at the present time. Only trust in Olódùmarè, resignation to His will and the comfort and company of beloved friends, companions and family members will be able to give us strength to live and courage to press forward.
Ifá is about community and wholesome, nurturing relationships: this means to come together in unity with care, affection, sympathy and concern. Ifá means family, friends and associates bound together by mutual love, respect, care and concern. How wonderful it is when a true friend, brother, sister or family members arrives to comfort us when we are not well, when we are sick, when we are fearful and worried. How wonderful and comforting when a friend, family member and fellow believer arrives to comfort us, to bring cheer, to laugh with us and to cry with us and to tell us that they are here for us and will always be there for us.
How wonderful to have someone or many people to come around you and then they throw their arms around to tell you that they care about you and that they are going to be with you come what may. These people are veritable Orisa to us! They are bearers and emitters of life, strength and hope!!! They are a life-line to us. We see and feel Olódùmarè in them, thru them and because of them.
This compassionate and sympathetic feeling, sentiment and attitude is the all consuming disposition of Òrúnmìlà, of Ifá and of Olódùmarè, and of all genuine devotees of Ifá-Olódùmarè. No one here can go at it alone. We all need each other. We are all in part strong. We are all in part weak. We are all in part resilient. We are all in part vulnerable. We all experience periods and moments of fear, doubt, worry and insecurity, but… oh…how wonderful it is when during these periods of struggle, unclarity and challenge a friend, brother and companion in the faith comes alongside you, to stay and be with you, until all things unfold as they must and as they will!
Do you know that there were moments in the life of Òrúnmìlà when he completely felt alone and misunderstood? Do you know that there were periods in the life of Òrúnmìlà that were intense in pain, worry, suffering and anxiety in which he was only able to make it solely through the assistance, comfort, relief, encouragement, nearness and dedication of loyal friends and companions?! We are all subject to suffering, fear, illness, worry and anxiety. We are all subject to impermanence and decay, no matter how our bodies feel at the present time and no matter how our bodies look at the present time. We are all ‘sick’ with mortality. We are all ‘sick’ with aging. We will all succumb to illness, decay or dis-ease of one form or another. We are all in this together.
Olódùmarè arranged things like this so that we might learn to value our lives, our health, our time, our faith, our friends, family and each other. Olódùmarè arranged things like this so that we might learn to discern and value what it truly important in life. What would we give to have another moment with our father, or mother, or friend, or brother or sister, or son or daughter who passed!? How would we treat them and speak to them? How much more time would be have dedicated to them? What would we do different if we could go back in time to our youth with the experiences, maturity and knowledge that we now have?
Olódùmarè arranged things like this so that we might learn the highest and greatest values. Olódùmarè arranged things like this so that compassion, generosity and sympathy might arise in us towards others. It is a fact that those who have been through the fire of pain, affliction and suffering are more sensitive, understanding and responsive to the pains, sufferings and ailments of others.
When we are in true need we really discover the value, blessing and preciousness of our genuine friends, relatives and companions of faith. Through these unwanted but necessary processes of alternating pain and pleasure in life, we are developed, matured and perfected by Olodumare. His purpose is that we might grow, develop and bond together. His purpose is that we might simultaneously learn how to unpretentiously serve others and that we might learn how to receive humbly the generous service of others. This is what Ifá reveals and teaches to us.
Friend you are not alone. Olódùmarè loves you and is caring for you no matter how things may seem. He is not upset with you or angry with you. Your pain, ailments and/or sufferings are not existing because you have done something wrong. You are not alone. There is a community of faithful devotees who reach out to you with their means, time, practical assistance, resources and strengthening prayers. Our bodies are transient, impermanent and subject to decay and decline. We are spirit beings who inhabit and utilize these physical bodies to connect us with the physical world through which we experience lessons which purify our lives and which cause our spirit to gain intelligence, maturity, knowledge, values and advancement.
We are all on our way to the higher states and higher worlds of completion and perfection where all suffering, pain, illness and worry will exist no more because they will have fulfilled their training purpose in our lives.
If we consider our lives, this world and our bodies as a divinely established temporary school and as a temporary practice vehicle for training and developing our mind, spirit, will and emotions, it will be more easier for us to resign ourselves to the plans of Olodumare with courage and without fear.
Ifá teaches us to achieve clear-seeing consciousness and a sympathizing heart. Let us reach out to one another in a realistic way with compassion, understanding, patience, practical love and steadfastness. Let us help each other as best we can, each one contributing what he can to benefit and comfort his brother or sister who is enduring a difficult and painful time. Our love and sympathy may not instantaneously or completely rid them of their illness, problem or ailment, but it will contribute to their healing, it will relieve their suffering, it will give them hope and strength to endure one day at a time. It will minister to them moral, emotional and psychological health, strength and courage which will surely have an impact in the overall improvement of their health and situation.
This is the message and understanding that Ifá would have us understand, appreciate and assimilate. You who are well, remember that a day will come that you will not be. You who are not well, do not lose hope and courage. You will make improvement. Things will get better.
~ Awo Òrúnmìlà Mark Casillas /!!!\ A.O.M.C. /!!!\
[Ifá-Orisa]: Ifá message of divine optimism, confidence, assurance, inspiration and enthusiasm. Do not despair. Never lose hope and never give up.
Aboru Aboye. Ogbo ato asure iworiwofun. Àse.
Do not think or worry about who is on your side or who is not on your side while going about your service to Olódùmarè and Ifá. With great joy, enthusiasm and expectancy just think about how and in what wonderful way the àse of Olódùmarè Enitolaaye will manifest in your life.
Give space, time and occasion for the divine guiding power to manifest. When you do all things with care, love, respect, truthfulness and honesty, Olódùmarè will take personal and direct charge of all your affairs and will cause all your doings to bring forth abundant and satisfying fruit. Do not worry yourself as to how, when and where the divine àse will manifest itself in your life.
Do not see any secondary causes in your life, just acknowledge and see Olódùmarè alone, the supreme controller, master and guide of all things. Do not consider people, places, circumstances and things as the directors and/or determiners of your life.
Above all, and behind all, see the gracious and loving hand of Olódùmarè at work in you and in your life. Olódùmarè will surely bring accomplishment, peace, satisfaction, success, health [vitality] and prosperity into your life. Your patience, effort and perseverance will surely be rewarded. Just do not give up. Get up and try again. Keep moving forward.
Just be at peace, and know with unshakeable and unwavering assurance that the divine àse will unfailingly manifest. Deepen your trust in Olódùmarè and let your actions be the expression of the flow of the gracefulness, pure energy and invigorating power of Eledumare. Do your level best in all things, be inwardly still, tranquil and at peace.
Exert yourself diligently as if all depended upon you, but know in your heart that all manifests due to àse, grace, presence and will of Olódùmarè. Do not consider your actions and endeavors as something separate from the actions and endeavors of Olódùmarè. Affirm and recognize your essential and qualitative oneness with the Source Supreme, Olorun-Alaaye. Olódùmarè’s actioning is your actioning. Your actions are Olódùmarè’s actions.
Be calm, serene and at peace with yourself. You need not know how, when, in what way and where the relief and aid will come from. Why trouble yourself with what is not necessary when you can be at peace through the power of faith, trust and confidence in the Divine leading you! Having entrusting your situation, dilemma, problem and/or concern to Olódùmarè, know that the answer and solution is swiftly on its way and will reach you at the best and most [excellent] propitious time.
You are perfection in the making. All precious, shining, resplendent and finely faceted diamonds start off as a dark pieces of charcoal, but through the divinely established process of programmed tensions, pressures and stressors it emerges a transformed, beautiful, peerless, translucent, priceless and luminous gem.
Delight in your trials, glory in your challenges and thrive in your moments of adversity because that means that at any moment the mystic, pure and holy gem within you is soon to emerge and be revealed! Your true divine identity, greatness and power is to be manifested! Do not exasperate yourself. Practice patience, gentleness and kindness towards yourself. You will surely attain [obtain] benefit and advancement beyond your personal hopes and expectations, of this there is no doubt.
Olorun Alaaye [the master of limitless, immeasurable and boundless life [vitality] is with you! Àse.
Olorun Alaaye [Enitolaaye] [the supreme absolute truth and power] is with you and within you! You will succeed! Do not give up! You will surely break through the barrier of resistance and achieve your sincere goals! You will defeat and transcend all negativity, pessimism, hindrances and obstacles! You will be made stronger by your experiences and you will unfailingly triumph! You will surely advance, triumph and succeed because your iponri and ori will not abandon you and will not allow you to give up! You will be a better, new and more advanced you! Àse.
Do not dwell on the past. Let go of the past [past mistakes, past errors, past offenses, past hurts]. Let it go and your present and future will become light, joyful, serene and new [refreshed]. Àse.
Forgive others and forgive yourself. Do not repeat what has caused you regret, sorrow and pangs of conscience in the past. You have been created for great, marvelous and wonderful purposes, so have no fear or worry. Àse.
Dignity, honor, peace and abundance are yours. Àse.
Blessings, honor, success and prosperity will follow wherever you go! Àse. Peace, joy, abundance and happiness will be your constant companions. Àse.
Make a fresh start. From this day forward do not allow any palm-oil [negativity, impurity and pessimism] stain your [spiritual] white garments. Àse.
Do not despair. Never give up and do not lose hope. Àse.
Oruko Odumare ni ka fi iyin fun. Àse.
Oruko Odumare ni ka fi iyin fun. Àse.
Oruko Odumare ni ka fi iyin fun. Àse.
May you be comforted, strengthened and empowered by these truths. Àse.
Aboru Aboye. Ogbo ato asure iworiwofun. Àse.
~ Awo Òrúnmìlà Mark Casillas /!!!\ A.O.M.C. /!!!\
Who should you trust? Be selective in whom you confide in. Appearances can be deceiving. It is best to trust in Ifá.
If a person comes to you to reveal to you the secrets and private matters of others, you must be aware and mindful of the fact that such a person will also reveal your secrets and private matters to others.
It is better to not entrust one secrets and private matters to others, but if one feels the need to entrust and reveal ones private and confidential matters to another person, make sure that the person that you are sharing it with is a person of honor, self-discipline and good-reputation. Make sure that that person has your best interest at heart and really cares about your wellbeing, peace and happiness.
The way things are today, in my estimation, it is best to share ones inner concerns, challenges and troubles with Ifá because only Ifá can completely sympathize with us, and only Ifá can give us the counsel, impartial-practical solution, and strength that will lead us to freedom, clarity, peace and happiness. Only Ifá truly understands in complete and full detail what we are experiencing, feeling and what we are going through. Ones own Ifá is ones own best friend, confidant and helper.
Whatever we entrust to Ifá we can be absolutely sure that Ifá will keep in strict confidence. Ifá will not divulge to others what we have confided to Ifá. If you do not have a proven and trusted friend to share you heart and mind with then say nothing to no one. Speak to Ifá. Ifá will hear you, sympathize with you, and better yet Ifá will help you. There is no selfishness or calculating motive in Ifá. Ones own Ifá is ones best friend, confident and helper.
One more thing: If you are fortunate enough to be the kind of person that others open up to, please make sure that you keep in strict confidence what others in trust are sharing with you. As you act towards others so will they act towards you. Do not betray the trust that others have conferred upon you.
~ Awo Òrúnmìlà Mark Casillas
The true meanings, esoteric truths and sublime teachings that we derive from the pastime of Obàtálá when Obàtálá unintentionally got drunk and began creating mis-shaped humans.
The reason we love and cherish Oba Òrìsà Obàtálá [Eèpàà Òrìsà, Òrìsà Eèpàà] is because he is a model of true and realistic perfection. The perfection of Obàtálá [Eèpàà Òrìsà, Òrìsà Eèpàà] is not a fantasy or fairy tale perfection where no-one ever makes any errors or mistakes. The perfection and excellence of Obàtálá is of a different order and quality. Obàtálá made some mistakes, errors and incorrect decisions in his life. This is a fact but he accepted his mistakes. Obàtálá took responsibility for them and he did not seek to excuse or justify his error. He displayed humility, true strength of character and dignity. He did not give up on himself. He did not subject himself to self-pity, complaining, blaming others and a life of indolence because he made a mistake. He learned from it, he got up and pressed forward. He took ownership of his erroneous decision and he corrected himself. He also formulated teachings and injunctions for his children and followers based on his many experiences so that we would learn from his experiences and not repeat what was not wise. Obàtálá also vowed to become the special guardian and protector of all people born with limitations and/or disabilities.
Obàtálá made some mistakes but he also made many good, wise and extraordinary decisions. Through it all Obàtálá was humble, guileless and pure. So he made a mistake. So what? If Obàtálá ibikeji Olódùmarè displayed humility, willingness to accept correction and purity of heart, then how much more so should we ordinary human beings do so. This is the meaning, value and lesson that we derive from the life and teachings of Obàtálá. These events in the lives of the irunmole-orisa must be understood and interpreted with true insight and an elevated understanding. Even the errors of the irunmole-orisa are not like our own. There is a lesson, purpose and meaning intended in all of their activities and pastimes.
Ifá teaches us that we should not dwell on the honest errors or mistakes of others. We should dwell on the positive, uplifting and sterling qualities of others. When we focus on the negative aspects of others we are pulling that person down, making them more negative, hurting them and we are staining our own heart. When we focus and zoom in on the positive qualities in others we strengthen them and we strengthen ourselves. When we focus and zoom in on the positive qualities of others we strengthen them and give life to them as well as strengthen ourselves with vital energy.
A person who only looks for the flaws and shortcomings in others is really demonstrating and reflecting only what he or she thinks and feels about himself or herself. A person who only sees the negative aspect in others while ignoring the sterling and good qualities that also are in others is only expressing how he or she sees themselves. No flaw or shortcoming is permanent. All flaws and shortcomings are temporary by nature.
Olódùmarè created us with strengths and weaknesses side-by-side so that we can exercise our wills to rise above our temporary flaws and sublimate them. Olódùmarè created us with strengths and weaknesses side-by-side so that we might learn patience, sympathetic-understanding and forgiveness. Olódùmarè created us with strengths and weaknesses side-by-side so that a space can appear within us where love, consideration and compassion can dwell.
I hope that this short consideration helps to shed some light on matters that are not as simple as they appear. I hope it helps to give one-and-all a new perspective or angle on things. My dear readers and friends let me ask you: Are your father, mother, relatives and friends perfect or flawless? Are you perfect or flawless? Do you love your parents, family and friends any less because they are not perfect or flawless? Should your parents, family and friends love you less because you are not perfect? Just because your parents are not perfect or flawless does that mean that you do not have to listen to them, respect them and consider them?
We understand and account a person to be perfect not when they no longer make mistakes but when they are mature in love, in kindness, in respect, in consideration and good-faith notwithstanding their human flaws and limitations. Our weaknesses and strengths exists so that we learn humility, gratitude and cooperation. Strength and weakness exist in us so that we can see that we have no reason to be full of ego, pride, arrogance and conceit. We cannot perfect ourselves all by ourselves. Where you are strong you help others. Where you are weak you receive the help of others. And in this way we develop, mature and grow into perfection in association and service towards one another. These are some of the divine lessons, spiritual mysteries and esoteric secrets that we learn from Obàtálá.
Eèpàà Òrìsà! Òrìsà Eèpàà!
Treat yourself and others with kindness, forgiveness, tenderness, sympathetic-understanding and compassion. Have faith in your potential and power [ability] to change and improve yourself. Have faith in the potential of others and in their power [ability] to change and improve themselves. Never give up on yourself and never lose hope for others. Never forget that you as well as others are perfectly imperfect.
~ Awo Òrúnmìlà Mark Casillas