[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.***]
 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.
 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.
 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.
 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.
 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.
 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.
 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.
 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.
 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.
 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.
 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.
 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.
 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.
 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.
 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.
 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. /!!!\