POWER: The ability to define your reality and have others respond to that world as if it were their own. Òrìsà are divinities of the Yoruba pantheon. They facilitate spiritual unification through social & ecological consciousness and ACTION. Knowledge is potential, action is power. Òrìsà Lifestyle enables you to act in ways that empower you emotionally, financially and culturally, which sets the stage for spiritual empowerment. Òrìsà Lifestyle Agreements (OLA) is a worldwide, hands-on campaign designed to create 16 generations of sustainable world culture. OLA16 reflects the collaborative efforts of the finest scientific, indigenous and activist minds in the world. Live the medicine of total empowerment.
I've been woodshedding lately. If you don't know, woodshedding is what jazz musicians called it when they would retreat to some secluded place in order to hear the music from within themselves, as oppossed to responding to what they heard from other musicians. In my own seclusion, I have been hearing the sounds of dischord. More exactly, it seems that more and more people are displeased with their priests, be they babalawo or olorisa, American or Nigerian. At first glance, it would be easy to simply chalk it up to incompetence on the part of the priests. But Ifa teaches us;
K'a má fi kánjú j'aiyé. K'a má fi wàrà-wàrà n'okùn orò. Ohun à bâ if s'àgbà, K'a má if se'binu. Bi a bá de'bi t'o tútù, K'a simi-simi, K'a wò'wajú ojo lo titi; K'a tun bò wá r'èhìn oràn wo; Nitori àti sùn ara eni ni.
Let us not engage the world hurriedly. Let us not grasp at the rope of wealth impatiently. That which should be treated with mature judgment, Let us not deal with in a state of anger. When we arrive at a cool place, Let us rest fully; Let us give continuous attention to the future; and let us give deep consideration to the consequences of things. And this because of our (eventual) passing.
So, when I apply mature judgement to the situation at hand, I do see instances of incompetence, insensitivity or narrowmindedness on the part of some priests. We are all learning and developing. More importantly, however, you have to remember that the general competence level of the priesthood is outside of your circle of influence. There is very little you can do about that. But there is a great deal that you can do about the ways in which you approach the priest for services and support. Furthermore, the more clearly you define your needs, the easier it will be for you to optimze your relationship with the olorisa or babalawo. So, first things first: You must properly assess and define your real need.
If you're like most people I see in my own practice, you have been conditioned to think in fragmented ways. As such, you see your life in compartments; your house, your family, your job, your religion, your entertainment, your car and your health are all seperate compartments. So, when something goes wrong, you naturally seek the assistence of the appropriate specialist, like a lawyer, a doctor, a therapist, a trainer, and so on. In addition, you are probably interacting with several specialists at once; and each of them is bombarding you with a barrage of highly specialized knowledge and information. To complicate matters even further, these specialists have nothing to do with one another. And, as they saying goes, when the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing, calamity lurks around every corner. Consequently, any progress you enjoy will likely be overshadowed by the chaotic method by which you achieved it.
I hope that, by now, you're asking, "So what's the solution?" The solution is to free yourself from compartmentalized, detailed thinking by expanding your capacity for patterned, systems thinking. Systems thinking helps you to see and understand the relationships between things. This is what Carl Jung calls synchronicity. It is the logic behind divination. Synchronicity teaches you to move away from cause and effect thinking so that you can explore the ways in which certain things "like to occur together." The value of systems thinking is that it helps you to gather the various streams of knowledge and information -the details- and integrate them into a single, harmonious system. This requires more than mere expertise, more than the accumulation of knowledge.
This runs counter to the common misperception that "knowledge is power." Knowledge is NOT power!!! Knowledge is potential. Action is power. Action is the dynamic application of knowledge. The limitation of knowledge is that, by itself, it causes you to draw conclusions. Conclusions close you off from the full spectrum of possibilities. Conclusions, therefore, contradict exploration, creativity and ideation. This is why investment bankers, policemen and even lawyers make poor advisors. Their training and thinking make them obsessed with details. Another limitation of knowledge is that it is quickly becoming reduced a commodity, like rice, gravel or manual labor (Not there is anything inherently inferior about commodities. We need them to run civilizations). But in the same way that industrialization has greatly reduced the value of labor, for example, so has internet and cell phone technology reduced the value of mere knowledge and expertise.
So, it comes as no surprise to me that, in spite of the fact that more people are finding priests with highly specialized ritual knowledge, more of you are also coming away from the experiences dissatisfied. The problem is not that the priests lack knowledge. The problem is that, instead of a knowledge broker, you actually need a trusted advisor; who will help you to do three things:
1. Put your issues into proper perspective: This requires that the advisor can draw pertinent analogies from many disciplines and vantage points.
2. Help you streamline your decision-making process: This requires that the advisor be gifted at asking penetrating questions that will help you move beyond WHAT you see, so you can discover HOW you see.
3. Co-create real solutions to real problems: This requires that the advisor will not rely exclusively upon "canned solutions" that come out of the textbook. Instead, he will work with you, hand-in-hand, to integrate all aspects of your life and bring more of your consciousness into action.
This is not what you get from an occasional reading. This only results from cultivating of an on-going relationship with a trusted advisor. Live the medicine of systems thinking and integrate your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual genius into a single expression of your personal greatness. Ask Ifa how. 510.485.2336 | www.ObafemiO.com
Available for 1:1 consultations, workshops and retreats.
Obafemi Origunwa. MA 1409 35th Avenue Oakland. Ca 94601 510.485.2336 www.ObafemiO.com
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