The way of Ifa is a path of divine straightforwardness and simplicity. The way of Ifa or Ifa consciousness ‘Ifayelele’ is a path of freedom from bewildering complexity, confusion and sophistication. Ifa simplifies, harmonizes and unifies. Ifa delivers from disharmony, inner disparity, mental-emotional turmoil and fragmentation of integral personality. Simplicity, straightforwardness, guilelessness and pure intelligence is the way of Ifa and the way of its aspirants and devotee’s. In Ifayelele (Ifa consciousness) there is no place for feelings of fear, hatred, disgust or discrimination. To be an awo means to be a partaker of Ifa consciousness.
Awo is a settled upon state of heart and mind, marked by peace, serenity, joy and optimism. Awo is an inner state of being, consciousness and outlook that completely fills ones life and governs all of ones interactions and relationships. An awo delights to abide in cleanliness. An awo thrives in demonstrating love, compassion and divine wisdom to all. A person who is inwardly established in this inner quality of divine sentiment is an awo. There is no such thing as a fake or false awo. If one is an awo one is genuine, authentic and true. If one is not genuine, authentic, honest and truthful, one cannot lay claim to the sublime status or name of awo. One is either awo or not. An awo has a strong sense of social responsibility and identifies himself with the sufferings of humanity and is dedicated to bringing relief to the suffering ones. An awo struggles individually and collectively against social injustices. An awo Orunmila or follower of the Ifa spirit of limitless light and life stays very far away from doubt. An awo Ifa stays very far away from those things that the wise do not approve. Awo Ifa do not dwell in ogberi consciousness (state of mind of those whose understanding and intelligence is stained by ignorance, blind passions, conceit, foolish stubbornness and selfishness). Awo Ifa dwell in the divine sentiment and are rooted in and nourished by the divine power.
The vocabulary of an awo Ifa or one growing in his awareness and experience of Ifayelele has no place for defiling, provocative, slanderous words that spread enmity and strife. Such words or thoughts do not arise in an accomplished awo. Whenever you come across such divine, holy and peculiar awo, know them to be blessed by Olorun Alaaye (The one supreme God who is eternally living and full of beginingless life, light, immeasurable wisdom and boundless power). Such awo are living holy shrines. Wherever they go and whatever they touch becomes auspicious, purified, uplifted and blessed. Such awo are fields of merit. Whatever ones bestows upon them in love, affection, respect and appreciation returns back to the giver many, many, many times over. With unshakeable faith and reverence they are moved by human sufferings. They live for the happiness, peace and wellbeing of others and not for themselves.
Olodumare takes care of all their requisite needs. Olodumare takes full responsibility for such awo and upholds them with His grace, truth, power and love. Before such awo, even the Orisa bow in reverence, love, respect and amity. Such divine awo are well cultivated and do not like to see anyone spreading disharmony. Their way is one of friendliness and compassion. Their way is one of respect, dignity and seeing love within each other. The awo who pursue Ifayele (Ifa way of peace, fulfillment and harmony) do not have any special appearance. Their character and noble personality are their garments. They do not worry about themselves and are possessed of contentment. They accept life as it is without complaint and see the mysteries and love of Eledumare in everything and everyone. Their aim is only to increase the pool of goodness in the world and strengthen the rope of life. Such aspirants and devotee’s of Ifa aspire to and delight in remaining blameless in their undertakings and firm in their determination to live clean, honest and sympathetic lives. Such awo may get cheated by others but they never cheat others. They do not pay others in the same coin. They believe in and entrust themsleves to the power of truth, loving-kindness and the law of divine justice. Such awo are free from conceit, pride and vanity. They avoid these three things as if they were poisons or burning fires. They delight in showing respect to others and they delight in hiding their strengths, virtues, powers and wisdom from others. They seek the glory of Olodumare and His wisdom/power called Ifa.
Awo Ifa avoid intoxicants of mind and body. Such awo avoid immorality and promiscuity as if these were merciless ravenous wolves or lions. They avoid deceit and lies. Awo live lives of altruistic heroism, courage and inspiration. Such awo are not easily found or identified but they are known to Olodumare and His orisa. These awo are continuously engaged in providing for the well being of others. They do not discriminate whether others are worthy or not worthy. They are like the light that emanates from the sun and the rain that descends from the clouds. They pour out goodnes and blessings to all without partiality. They give to each one what he needs and not always what they want. Such awo grow to have presence, power and ability like Ela Asiwaju, who is able to bestow and effect positive changes, healings, wholesome corrections and divine realizations by his mere presence, look or touch. Even without speaking, even through silence such divine awo can speak peace, love, assurance, comfidence and meaning to those who draw near to them and to those to whom they draw near. The way of these awo is marked by simplicity, clarity, straightforwardness and purity. Everything they say and do emanates from their pure being. They abide in the life of the heart.
These awo are not in competition with anyone nor are they comparing themselves to anyone.They are not led by a superficial intellect but a heart full of true understanding and insight. In them, the heart and mind are a unified reality. The heart and mind of an awo remains unsullied from the contaminants of ogberi mentality. Awo are truly free from greed, anger, lust, worldliness and pride and the corrosive effects that they produce. Awo live in serenity, divine beauty, gracefulness and contentment. To such awo Olodumare gives the privilege and power of command, authority and leadership because such awo do not practice deception and do not bring others down into the depths of despair and fear. Such awo do not point people to themselves but to Olodumare, Ifa and the noble ways of Orisa. These are the divine qualities and characteristics of (genuine) aspirants and devotee’s of Ifa.
Do not go out into the world seeking for the ones who have these qualities and characteristics, but study yourself instead and see if these traits are in you and are you. Only when you are personality established in these qualities and characteristics or Ifayelele will you then be able to truly see, know and discern the awo who is truly awo in quality of spirit and manner of life. Like attracts like. Like attracts like. Like attracts like. To truly know and discern a [true] awo you have to be one. No one should be content with being an ‘awo’ in name only. What good will come of it? What benefit will be accrue?
Consider daily these qualities and characteristics and make them your own. Do not concern yourself with others, whether they are true or not, reliable or not. One thing only is there for you to accomplish. Make sure that you are true, authentic and accomplished, and all others things will take care of themselves. One cannot be a part-time awo. One cannot oscillate between awo (ogbon) and ogberi. One has to be true, authentic and real from the center of ones being to the outermost extremity, through and through, all of the time. Dear followers of Ifa, takes these words of wisdom and guidance and incorporate them into your lives. Do not just listen, ponder and consider them but be motivated to practice and be the truth and do the truth. If you are not persuaded to follow this course, your lives will always feel and be hollow, empty, lacking in substance and accomplishment.You will always feel that something is missing from your life and you will be erroneously be led to think that what you are needing are more ceremonies, more initiations, more contacts with different kinds of initiates etc etc. You will never be whole and will always be jumping from here to there looking for inner satisfaction, peace and rest. Do not fall into the self created trap of seeking misguided, erroenous or imaginary solutions to your real problems and longings.
What you are needing and looking for, no one can instantaneously give to you. Even to receive divine benefits ones has to qualify to be able to rightly receive or be receptive to the divine light, grace and power. Stop jumping here and there. Be humble. Gain stability, foundation and balance. Follow the pattern of divine guidance. Re-initiate yourself through a clarified intelligence, firm will and holy determination. Be persuaded to ground yourself in the perennial truths and spirit Ifa and make them your own through assiduous practice.
A true seer is defined as one whose understanding, intelligence and actions are indivisibly one. If one does not do the truth and good that one knows, that shows that one has not truly understood or penetrated into realm of divine understanding. In the divine realm, to know the truth of iwa means to marry iwa and embody iwa in all one thinks, says and does. In the life of an awo, comprehension and action cannot be two seperate things. They are inseparably one and form a single, indivisible complete reality. The whole of Ifa consists of doing. Of doing what? Of doing, of practicing, of demonstrating the guidance, principles and counsel of Ifa. Ifa is the one who counsels us and advises us with a meticulous care, concern and love that surpasses that of our relatives.
Become a master of the essential and do not waste your time on the non-essentials. Time is running out. The time to adjust oneself and do what is true and right is now. A blade of grass is soft and pliable yet it can cut the hand if not properly handled or improperly grasped. The way of Ifa is like this. Ifa is soft, pliable, flexible and firm but when one handles Ifa wrongly or improperly through negligence and deliberate forgetfulness one ends up cuttings oneself or injuring oneself. Let Ifa be to you a healing herb of life, delightfulness and joy and not a cutting blade. It all depends on you and how you handle the wisdom and guidance that Ifa repeatedly sends your way. The love, power and gracefulness of Ifa is hidden within the counsel and advice Ifa gives. Only when you take the kernel of Ifa wisdom and plant it in your heart and nurture (cultivate and practice) will you experience its efficacy and wonder. Ifa is more interested in you receiving and applying the words of guidance for daily living than in offerings and sacrifices. Only when you do and apply the former does Ifa delight in and accepts the latter. For those who really want to benefit and make genuine progress in their spiritual life these words are sufficient.