Ogbo Ato Asure Iwori-Wofun
Spiritual life, order (harmony), divine morality, personal integrity (rectitude) and holistic living must keep pace with the advancement of science, technology and modernity. Without a divinely given outlook or sacred philosophy of life, our personal and collective lives will be barren, empty and lacking in life affirming meaning. Modern human society is moving at an unprecedented accelerated pace.
The advance of science, medicine, art, music and technology during the last hundred years has surpassed the accomplishments of mankind in the previous thousand year, or so it seems. We live in an information age, and the world has become smaller and closer knit together. Countless technological and scientific advancements have improved and furthered the quality of human life for which we are appreciative and thankful. All kinds of aesthetic endeavors and forms of entertainment have evolved to satisfy humanity’s increasing need for more and more pleasure. Through a limitless assortment of goals and aims mankind is seeking to fulfill its intellectual, moral, emotional and spiritual needs. Mankind seeks to fulfill itself through art, music, science, medicine, philosophy, mysticism, religion and so forth. Inspite of all of the wonderful discoveries and advancements of this age of science, technology and personal recreation, people generally speaking, do not appear to be more satisfied with their lives when compared to their ancestors from ancient civilizations. Without doubt, life today is more comfortable due to modern conveniences. People are also living longer and healthier physical lives, but not necessarily healthier mental, emotional, intellectual and spiritual lives. Individually and collectively people do not appear to be entirely content or satisfied with their present quality of life. Why this state of affairs? Because most of the development in this modern world is geared mostly towards indulgence in comfort, ease, convenience and gratification of the senses.
Mankind has forgotten Olodumare, His reality and importance. Mankind has forgotten how to make Olodumare their father, to rely on Him, lean on Him and trust Him. When we forget how to do this, Ifa tenderly and gently instructs and reminds us. Human nature cannot be satisfied only by satisfying basic material needs, seeking endless comforts and excessive recreation. Quality in human life comes from living ones life in harmony and conscious union with the divine, in harmony with nature. Animals are dedicated to seeking shelter, food, sexual gratification (pleasure) and sleep. While human beings also require to satisfy these fundamental needs, if all mankind does is seek these things, then mankind would be no better endowed than animals. Animals are driven by instinct. Human beings have instinct but we are driven and led by the gift and power of divine intelligence, illuminative perceptivity and a highly superior power of understanding and free will. We have the power of self awareness and the ability to discern, reflect, change and choose. We have been given the ability to choose the course and direction of our lives by Eledumare (the supreme and sole Creator and Emanator). The human being is essentially a spiritual-divine personality. The human heart needs to be informed, led and guided by divinely supplied instruction.
Ifa is the divine instruction, spiritual food and empowering agency provided to us by Olorun Alaaye (the life bestowing Supreme Being who is Himself the sole and original eternal life). The universal and timeless message of Ifa is infused with the potential to enrich humanity eternally. Now is the time when the divine treasures and holy science of Ifa is to be revealed and showcased to the world at large, because now is the time when humanity needs Ifa the most. The divine messages and teachings of Ifa were specifically prepared for the moral-ethical, intellectual-spiritual enlightenment and guidance of mankind. Through Ifa study and practice we promote the spiritual evolution of mankind and are able individually and collectively to be blessed with divine vision and reach divine realization (Ifayelele). Ifa teaches us how, as individuals and members of the divine human family, how we can transform and evolve. Ifa teaches us how to rightly and accurately perceive the world and our place in it. Ifa teaches us the best way to respond to the challenges and choices that confront us. Ifa is an unequalled blueprint to genuine inner richness, prosperity, fulfillment and divine realization. Ifa opens our spiritual eyes to the realities of the primordial realm of Olodumare and unfolds before our understanding the meaning and purpose of our lives. Ifa unfolds before the eyes of our understanding the sublime goal of creation! Ifa makes us able to experience and know the power, beauty and wisdom of the divine realm. Mankind is discovering in this age of convenience and affluence, that accumulating things and enjoying mere gratification of our outward senses does not and cannot satisfy and fulfill us. When we personally experience this, our heart then is prepared to open up to the divine realm i.e. the majestic world of Ifa. The mystic verses (utterances) of Ifa were formulated not only by Orunmila but by a chain of divinely inspired seers and a collective of spiritual masters through whom these divine words emanated from the depths of their hearts and were infused with divine radiance and transformative power. These mystic verses, sayings and teachings of Orunmila Awinrin offer invaluable guidance, understanding, insight and knowledge to bonafide aspirants (awo). The vision of life that Ifa presents and offers to us is so attractive, beautiful, astounding, life affirming and empowering, that for thousands of years, wise seers, holy sage-scholar and divine priests dedicated themselves to commiting to memory this treasury of divine understanding. Through a carefully protected, guarded and cultivated lineage of disciplic succession from the time of Orunmila until our very day, the unique wisdom, power and healing efficacy of Ifa has been preserved for posterity. Orunmila is surely a compassionate and understanding divine visionary. He is able to see and take in the whole of all things. He sees and understands the complete picture. Continue reading