GBAWONIYI ADEBOLU FATUNMISE AND AWO FA’LOKUN FATUNMBI – PART I

April 21, 2001 at the African Culture Center, Atlanta, Georgia

LECTURE BY

Falokun: I’m going to start by asking a question, I believe it’s an important question. Somebody tell me what we’re up to with Ifa, what’s the point? What is it we’re really doing? Does anyone have an opinion on that? Audience: To make a connection with nature. Falokun: Okay, that’s good and it’s not wrong, and what I want to do is talk about what Ifa says it’s up to. Here’s what I want to do, this is my agenda, this is the point of the day, I want to give you a cultural and spiritual context about how to study Ifa, how to learn, how to proceed, and how to get better at it. In some ways it’s really ridiculous having me teach in Baba’s presence, because in my lifetime I will never know as much as he does. Hopefully what I can do for him and you and all of us is share some of my experience on how you bridge the cultural gap so we can all end up on the same page and move forward. I have been trying to bridge that gap for the last twenty years. Hopefully you can learn from my mistakes and not have to go through the trial and error process that I went through. So here’s the first thing I want to say. In Africa if you ask any elder a question they won’t give you an opinion. They’ll recite Odu (sacred scripture), they’ll recite proverbs, they share the wisdom of the ancestors, then they might comment on that as it relates to your specific concern. In America everyone has an opinion about everything and that’s kind of what we’re brought up to learn and believe. But Ifa has very specific things to say about what it’s up to. The first thing it says is you come to earth to develop good character. The word for good character is iwa-pele. Are

I come to greet the earth. So greeting the earth means we have a relationship with the earth and there is something mutually beneficial in that relationship. Aye meaning. Now a key to making the earth a better place is a fundamental belief called atunwa. The first thing Ifa is about is greeting the earth with good character.you with me? What the heck does iwa-pele really mean? Most Yoruba religious words are elisions of sentences shortened to form a word embracing a concept. Ifa knows this because Africans live close to their natural environment and they’re smart enough to figure that out. We’re not smart enough to figure out that doesn’t work and now we can’t understand why we have to buy water from a . good. creating a good place to live or literally good earth. good-good implying absolutely good. Are you with me? We come to earth to develop good character and to make the earth a better place. We believe that coming to earth is a good thing and we do not try and free ourselves from the cycle. come. Iwa-pele is an elision of I wa ope ile. We also believe that you reincarnate within your family lineage. atun. Reincarnation through your family lineage means that to make the earth a good place is to make the earth a good place for you and your offspring to return to. Creating aye rere. Ifa is also about making the earth a better place when we pass on. We reincarnate in either the family lineage of your father or mother. There is a whole worldview implied by the notion that this is our job as human beings to come and greet the earth. Here in American we piss in our drinking water more than any other culture in the history of life on the planet. Coming to earth is a good thing and we do it repeatedly. There is a Yoruba proverb that says essentially that if you continuously piss in your drinking water it becomes unfit to drink. In terms of the popular notion of reincarnation Ifa is significantly different from Middle Eastern religions. In Ifa atunwa is the Ifa concept of reincarnation. I come back to earth again. Wa means. again. earth. means. You greet something when you are in relationship with it. than it was when we arrived. re. rere meaning. meaning.

do the right thing. do the moral thing. Ile awo ni ile. so I read everything written in English on Ifa at the time and had the silly mistaken notion that I knew something. I was told they were going to test me before they initiated me. It’s real simple. and still haven’t seen written about is the fact that Ifa is taught through the sanctification of the extended family. People always want to know what is my destiny. That would translate as my ancestral tree. It doesn’t take a lot to figure out this doesn’t work. Ifa is a mystery school and the school is the family. The other thing is we believe as we come back through reincarnation we have a specific destiny.bottle. destiny is good character. not the people who fill each position at any given . and the thing that I did not understand from any of the books that I read. When I went to Africa for the first time in 1989 there was very little Ifa practice in the United States. and please God don’t let them test me. I was in Africa for less than an hour when I realized the little kids knew more than I could every hope? Who did I think I was. do the elevated thing and you will do the right thing. it’s not someplace where you read a book and get a certificate. absolutely. If you are ever not sure what to do. good character is destiny. I am belaboring an obvious point. the mystery school is the family. everybody receives spiritual training in relationship to that job. Ifa says ayanmo ni iwa-pele. Destiny in Yoruba is ayanmo. I could get on a rant about this so don’t let me get sidetracked. You do not come to earth to make it a better place to deal drugs. but not Ifa. Do you understand? The thing that was most profoundly revealing to me. it isn’t some secret place under a cave. It is the structure of the family that is important and eternal. What does that mean? Sanctification means deification. Ayan is a tree. The school is not some monastery up on the hill. There was Orisa. I think. everybody gets training to advance to the next job and next job is incumbent on age and maturity. mo is my. I’m going to tell a story about myself. do the honest thing. You do not come to earth to make it a better place to beat up your loved ones. It means everybody in the village has a job. or making sacred the extended family. iwapele ni ayanmo.

Three years ago I became a grandfather. When you are a grandparent you eat first. you sit first. the future and leaving your good name to future generations. there is a reason for that I will get to later. I hadn’t told anyone in Africa I was grandfather. but the chair. a rite of passage. Fatunmise: Just to confirm what baba is saying. when you get to Nigeria when you meet my dad or something like that you call me baba you will call my dad babagba. and you have certain responsibilities and privileges. people give you a chair. That changes your life forever. It changes again when you become a grandparent. the position. That perspective clicks into your brain and you are forever changed. That title has existed for thousands and thousands of years. In American it was no big deal. I want you to get the big picture. The minute I arrived in Ode Remo they treated me like babagba not baba. Baba Fatunmise will tell you. grandfather not father.moment. That’s called. as does the expectation for what you do in that job as does the responsibilities that come with that job. Let me give you one small example. by that we mean an older one. yeah. maybe. That is a position within the extended family. There is a position in the extended family in baba’s hometown of Ile Ife called the Araba of Ile Ife. Falokun: Thank you baba. One of the easiest . You start thinking about legacy. you become an older person. The faces who fill that position change every thirty forty years. You can think of things that happened to you before you had a child but you can’t feel what it felt like not being responsible for a child. the job remains the same as does the qualifications for holding that job. For those of you who have child you know the moment your child is born your life changed forever. there is a difference from the way you treat baba and the way you treat babagba. The body who sits in that seat is different every few decades. I told people in America I became a grandfather and people said. okay. the seat. whatever.

if your life gets better. Falokun: Can you imagine what it would be like if everyone in Memphis. That’s a wound that is as deep as it gets. The entire family comes together to invoke that. it isn’t fixed for white folks either. They invoke Eji-Ogbe the first Odu of Odu Ifa (Sacred Scripture). pepper. honey. Tennessee. meaning the foot touches the earth. with no negative judgment. then that baby is tracked in that direction. when he first came to American he . Tennessee knew that you had a destiny to be an Ifa priest? Every time you did something inconsistent with that you get your little butt smacked. Its called dysfunction in the world of psychology. Just get. If it isn’t fixed for African American families. Until we come together for that and collectively atone for that it’s going to be wound that festers and gets worse. salt. Divination is done to see what that child’s destiny looks like. Ifa says. If the essence of African spirituality is the sanctification of the extended family. what did slavery do? It destroyed the family. It isn’t near about getting fixed. perfect alignment with destiny. I suffer. it tore apart the heart and soul of the African worldview. families are broken in America. Unfortunately baba. The baby starts life with an invocation of its highest destiny. my life gets better. Every baby is given a ritual in which they are introduced to the basic foods of the Yoruba diet. Every time anybody could do anything helpful for that they would bring it to you to encourage that. We do that in Western culture really poorly. Esu Yemi where did you grow up? Esu Yemi: Memphis.things to understand in terms of the sanctification of the extended family is that the family comes together to help everyone go through rites of passage. It’s called nurturing children. It not only destroyed the family. that’s as good as it gets. water. When everybody is born in the Fatunmise compound in Ile Ife they have a naming ceremony for the baby called esentaye. Families are broken. palm oil. It’s no mystery. Eji-Ogbe speaks of perfect alignment with the head and the heart. if you suffer. cola nut. Think about it. bless his heart.

I’m going to make mistakes. Perhaps you can imagine that may have been a better way to deal with the transition. Are you with me? Osuntokun you looked puzzled. He thought what is this? Am I right? Fatumise: Yes. The family is the school. you figure out where the baby is tracked. Falokun: Unless you’ve seen a fully functional extended family. work with me. it’s really difficult for an American to understand what it looks like. the Ifa family lives across the street from the Ogun family. If the baby tracked for Ifa and is born in the family of Ogun worshippers. No big deal. In terms of the man’s rite of passage. It’s not like we don’t know. Its not like they’re sending him to another part of the world. I hope that I am not offending anyone. he goes and lives with an Ifa family. I’m just amazed. it is my perception that southern African American families have retained some of the elements of the African extended family better than in other areas of the country. We are talking about stuff that is not often discussed cross-culturally. Its just a difference of where he hangs out during the day. but really seeing it in a religious context fully is something that is worth the trip to Africa. The family is the training center. imagine what it would be like to have that happen in a ritual context where you are taught the secrets of womanhood by older women. All the kids play together all day anyway. Osuntokun: No. I have to say and this is a judgment. You have a naming ceremony. If you think about what a trauma that was. you figure out what it means to be a woman. the biggest thing I deal with as an awo (diviner) is the issue of adult men acting . Falokun: So at puberty you figure out what it means to be a man.couldn’t understand broken families because they are so fixed in Africa he thought he’d arrived in lala land. There is a ritual around your first menstrual cycle.

as a culture in terms of psychic wounding is a non-existent problem in Africa. They have figure something out. We need to pay attention. in other words children in adult male bodies. They never enter an arranged marriage unless they have the resources to feed the children. Here’s the African courtship ritual. That isn’t it. That gets all confused in this culture and the concept of polygamy in America is fooling around as much as you can without your wife finding out. One of the responsibilities of Ifa in Africa is to make sure single women have the option of having children and are connected with a family that provides food. Once they have done that the father of the baby has an obligation to marry the mother. young women prove they are fertile. Fatunmise: You don’t have to get pregnant. maybe you have a friend and you want to get married. Men who never figured out what it meant to grow up. There is no such thing as an orphan in African because everybody your parent’s age is baba or iya (father or mother). men who never had the guidance of elder fathers. Falokun: Once you make a woman pregnant you are the father and the husband and the entire community insists on it. They may also have arranged marriages with single women who want to have children.as children. because they don’t have . Fatunmise: In this country people come to me who don’t know what their work is to do. You go to the Ifa priest because it is assumed the Ifa priest will arrange this in a way that is morally appropriate. Africans have fixed that. they don’t have that problem. There are no single mothers. Ifa priests will have primary relationships like marriages in this country. The next biggest wound in America among men is the fatherless son and it’s the hardest thing to fix. the whole family comes together to sanction a relationship. The major problem we deal with. but once you get married you must take care of the children. The next rite of passage is marriage. Do you catch my drift? If two people make a baby they get married.

we do things to make sure they do the right thing in life. The odu of Ofundagbe. That doesn’t matter so much in Africa. While we are doing it their behavior confirms it. If you are born in African you have esentaye. Then you go from puberty rite to marriage. Falokun: You can see the consequence of this. If you are an herbalist you receive . If you have people who are born and raised and die with no spiritual guidance and you’ve got kids now killing each other and being reborn with that karma from a previous life. one is rebellious. So you support them that way. That’s true for all cultures in American. If it says they are going to become a chief they become a chief. In this country everyone wants to know whose on your head. So they are told what they will do and even though they are twins you’d be surprised. Esentaye means your future. The problem is going to get progressively worse unless the issue of creating healthy extended family is addressed. one is crying one is quiet. what’s your personality who is your orisa. then somewhere along the line. they are told different things. No matter who guides your ori (consciousness) if your family are blacksmiths you receive Ogun. what you bring from heaven.esentaye. there’s no set time for this. For example one of our family members had an esentaye for ibeji (twins). if Eji-Ogbe comes to them. I just wanted to support what baba said. The ancestors are coming back and they are not happy. and you get initiated into orisa. We have a serious problem on our hands spiritually that can’t even begin to be addressed without taking into consideration some of these issues related to rites of passage. means that child is going to be a thief. we start the ebo immediately for that child to reverse that tendency to be a thief. There is one particular odu. If you are a cloth maker you get initiated into Osun. because the family orisa is the corner stone of the family trade. But if the odu says he is going to be a robber. that person is going to make it in life no matter what. when a child is born. No matter who guides your ori if your family are wood carvers you receive Sango. what is your astrology. You get initiated into the family orisa.

I’m off on a rant. There is a relationship between orisa and Ifa. not because we’re better people but because we have good memories. when his older sister comes into the house we all bow. Is that correct baba? Fatunmise: Oh yes. I want to straighten this out. in the human context people get this confused. The Orisas are the specialists. After you have been initiated into a trade skill. Even the Christians and Muslims in Nigeria will not buy a knife from someone who is not a priest of Ogun. Falokun: I may walk through the village and look like a big Ifa priest and people will greet me and treat me like a chief. in baba’s example he has been initiated into six or seven trade skills so he is a generalist and . the village is a mat. Ifa is a generalist we have the big view we have a little piece of everything. meaning. The Araba of Ode Remo is the senior priest in the village. Falokun: This is all based on the notion that age brings wisdom. If I need a need a knife the Ogun priest is the chief. Get this. It has nothing to do with Ifa titles it has to do with respect for age. The chief at any given moment is the person in charge of what you’re doing in that moment.Osanyin. You’re orisa is not so much your consciousness as it is your job. It is about age and maturity. but when I go into Ogboni the Obatala’s are the chiefs and I prostrate to them because we are doing Obatala business. Based on the notion that people older than you have been trained longer so they know more. Right? Fatunmise: Right. If you’re a market woman you receive Oya. right. Here’s what it is. They become experts in different fields. there is no such things as the big chief who is in charge of everything all the time. Here is the important thing to understand Ile ate. It’s a trade skill. If you’re a farmer you receive oko. In Africa you would not buy a knife from someone who was not an Ogun priest because an Ogun priest knows the prayers to make the knife work right.

This is true for every awo who dies. In Western culture there is a popular religion built around the notion that this only happened once in human history. so I will repeat it. Part of the denigration of African spirituality is to make sure no one figures out what happened to our lord and savior wasn’t so special in the context of African culture. Then you become an elder. I see you didn’t understand me. Christianity created a religion based on the belief that this only happened once in the history of life on earth. correct me if I am wrong. Baba. then you sit on the elders council which is called different things in different places. . If you look at the fertile crescent (middle east) you will see that it is clearly a part of Africa. Are you with me? Fatunmise: We use obesilo (herbal medicine) and in three days they will get up and tell you everything they see in heaven. You need to know that all Ifa funerals involve levitating the dead three days after they die so they can communicate and give their last will and testament. and so on. emese. awoni. the last rite of passage crossing over. In all Ifa funerals. Iya mi.a specialist. If you are a grandparent you are able to make communal decisions and solve communal disputes. You need to get that it is a major cultural denigration and suppression of the real truth of the matter to believe this only happened once in human history. I am about to say something extremely controversial. Ogboni. I am telling you were baba lives it happens every time an awo dies. The last rite of passage is your crossing over. meaning a grandparent. that makes him a big chief and a wise man and we are blessed to have him here. We have been lied to about African spirituality and this is one of the more flagrant lies. Falokun: Here’s my point. three days after the awo (priest) dies his body his re-animated so he can talk to the family and give his last will and testimony. but in Africa this happens every day.

you’re not doing Ifa. Can we go that far? Okay good. I have never asked him. Dysfunction is rampant. Have I asked you how you are doing even in causal conversation. Can we all agree without going into detail that families in American are in deep doodoo? We can agree to that. have I? Fatunmise: No. He’s the teacher. so now what we need to talk about is the brass tacks of how you put it together on a daily basis. do you get the concept? Okay. go somewhere else. Falokun: It is rude to ask an elder how they are doing. I have known Baba for ten or twelve years. Here is why we need to look at that. The reason I’ve never asked him is because it’s not my business. I’m the student. Can we agree this might be the result of a tactic of divide and conquer by the ruling class. it isn’t a free ride. your wasting my time. But we’re going to get a concept of what it is so we can all agree about what we’re up to and so we can all agree about what it is we’re trying to create.So you see what I mean about the family being a mystery school. I am here to tell you that what it takes is more than any of you can imagine. Are you from the south? Student: Yes Falokun: Does your family have the rule that kids don’t speak to an adult unless they are spoken to first? Student: Indirectly. . how are you doing? Never. what are you willing to do to fix the family? Everything else is irrelevant. Here’s the only question you need to ask yourself as Ifa worshipers or potential Ifa worshippers. It isn’t a picnic. Here is the first and foremost rule. if you get this you will be well on your way. it isn’t easy. Falokun: You are aware of the concept. If you aren’t willing to do much to fix the family.

Here’s why Ifa says s’otito. I’m there. this looks good. We would think the person was whacked. Fatunmise: Osa tura. The family is a school with different jobs. So then he tells me his problem.Student: Yes. I don’t get it. s’ododo. That is very alien for our cultural orientation. we go to the Araba of Ile Ife and we say. what in the heck am I going to do to fix it? I don’t want to know. down south the old folks say this is a racehorse conversation no jackass allowed. . That’s his baba’s job. The whole culture is orientated towards trying to get teenagers to buy tennis shoes. That’s a lot of information based on four trips. Yet as Americans we go to Africa. No. I’ve made four trips to Africa and I’ve written three books. People to this day accuse me of making the stuff up. This is true even if they are in pain and suffering. show me some of this stuff. show me about this Ifa deal. Falokun: It is a fundamental concept. If you can fix it. a big secret that is worth a lot of money. Falokun: Thank you baba. it isn’t my job to fix the problem of an elder. What would you think if someone from Ile Ife who had never been to a Western school came to America and decided they wanted to be a brain surgeon and walked into the hospital and interrupted the brain surgeon while they were doing an operation and said. because he is an Ifa priest he has to tell me the truth. they believe I couldn’t have possible learned all that. don’t ask. Do you understand? Now if he asks me for help. show me how to do this. I’m going to tell you a big secret. But it has to be on his terms. the concept that teenagers can have opinions that adults kunle (bow) to is the norm here. If I say baba how are you doing. Why do they do that? Most Americans say. If his baba didn’t do his job it isn’t my problem. But look at it from the other way around okay. Baba did I get some of it right? Fatunmise: Oh yes.

After I did that at the end of my last trip the old folks in Ode Remo said next time you come you can talk to us. I’ve known Baba for ten or twelve years and he started answering my questions maybe three or four years ago. I spent my first drip in African talking to the nine year olds. go with a bag of balloons and talk with the kids. come on guys talk to me. I spent my third trip to Africa talking to the teenagers. Is that right? Fatunmise: Thank you. every question I asked they recited Odu and I didn’t understand the Odu. The first day I was there I figured out the family was the school and that the eight year olds teach the six year olds and the ten year olds teach the eight year olds. Falokun: I did the same thing. I talked with baba’s elders. Each time he would ask me I would say you are not old enough to know that. Falokun: It will never happen on your first trip. I was thirty-eight years old and in diapers. the twelve olds teach the ten year olds and I figured out that I was in diapers. Here’s my point. I was thinking I could read this in Bascom. am I lying? Fatunmise: No. It took more than twelve years to get to that point. Baba.Falokun: Here’s how I did it. I went to baba’s family with my tape recorder. Student: I want to take a tape recorder. . that is right. Falokun: If the old folks do talk to you. I’m giving you an important secret. I spent my second trip to Africa talking to the twelve year olds. Osuntokun: I thought I was going to go to Africa and take my notebook and sit down with the elders. you’re not going to understand what they’re talking about.

repeat everything I’ve said for the brother who just came in. As adults we go to Africa. That’s the model baba is working from. He is just going to avoid your question. I am going to give you some guidelines on how to communicate with Baba. If he looks sad. That is not the model that anyone here fully understands so you are missing each other in terms of communication. Give him the short version. the family is the school. don’t ask Baba how he’s doing. If he is . . oh that’s a secret Ifa something. Falokun: Exactly. So even though he’s not going to be offended if you say how are you doing as a greeting. the mystery school of Ifa is the extended family and the sanctification of everybody in the family. He has elders back home. that’s the way it works. he is not going to tell you he’s not a happy camper. Let’s stop wasting time over that one. you learn more. you have to help me because it’s the first time I’ve been here. as you get older your job changes. Esu Yemi: Talk to the kids first. Everybody in the family has a job that is more or less related to some form of initiation. I thought if I hear the secret Ifa something answer one more time I’m going to scream. Let’s review. Osuntokun: You don’t climb the tree from the top down.Falokun: Do you get my point on that? Before that I would ask a question and Baba would say. awo ile. angry or annoyed. how he is doing is none of your business. Falokun: Let me review. you get a new initiation. Here is the first and most important thing. but in the context of the mystery school we are children. But I realized . He is a proper Yoruba man. we want to be treated as adults. It never ever will be. and you have more responsibilities. Are you with me on that? Here is the problem you are having I believe. you have to climb the tree from the bottom up. but if you really ask the question how are doing expecting an answer he is not going to be a happy camper. Esu Yemi. . don’t do that ever.

did you sleep well. No one even asked me how I was doing. it isn’t any of your business. Get it? How old are you? Student: Thirty one. they will make sure you get food on the table. it would be total chaos if it were not for that rule. all his uncles. Because of the way the system works. I didn’t get anything to eat. The expectation is that you will answer them honestly. What happens is the oldest mother and the oldest father get up in the morning and walk the square courtyard and ask everyone in the house. But because Ifa is teaching you how to live life everybody in American thinks they are an authority and an expert. By the time I got home a box of medicine was sitting on the front porch waiting for me. Those of you who read Iwa-pele might remember I interviewed . Until you get that. One day I was walking through Ode Remo like a complete knuckle headed idiot when I realized no one else was outside because it was too hot. do you have food. I started to get sick. there are ninety eight children living in the house.doing poorly and needs your help he will tell you. Grandma and Grandpa are respected as the voices of authority. You can’t ask grandma if she needs food because you have no authority to fix the problem. if you say. In baba’s uncles house. I’m fifty-four you’ve got no clue. You won’t know how it got there. Falokun: I know what it’s like to be thirty-one. That’s why I can have an opinion about what’s going on in your life. do you have something to do today? Every time you meet an older person in Africa they are going to ask you those same questions. nothing here is going to work. we’re all going to be playing at doing Ifa. We don’t stand up in school tell the teacher well the test was too hard ask some easy questions. Six wives. but you can’t have an opinion about what’s going on in my life. We know you can’t do that. Someone saw me and the word got home before I did. You need to really. they find out who has extra food and make sure it gets to you. really get it.

because of Hollywood and movies like Angel’s heart. a fundamental principal of Ifa. the Devil’s Advocate and all those voodoo pins in the dolls movies. We’ll welcome you as the second coming. black and red. If you can properly identify your problems you don’t need elders. okay chief this is your chance to talk to a lot of people in America. beyond that he is the teacher I am the student. I’m thinking what the heck does that mean? Then he said for you. If I know what it means to be thirty-one you have two choices. bring it on. He gets to decide when I am ready to know something based on his perception of how I have progressed with what I do know and whether or not my iwa pele is good enough to use the information in a responsible way. I’m a grandfather. Is that right? Fatunmise: You are right. when you treat me like your real father things will go well for you. red. That was it. one day he might ask me what that’s like. You can’t fix a problem until you accurately identify it. We were woken up this morning before we got out of bed by somebody who had a problem and believed baba . doing magic. Your choice. we are not going to be moving forward. getting the power to get what you want. Until we get on the same page.my elder in the back of the book. He started shaking his finger meaning. this is important so listen. You tell them in America when they see something back to call it black and when they see something red to call it red. I said. many people believe that Ifa is about getting the power to hurt people. you ask me for my guidance about being thirty-one. baba isn’t. here’s what it means if your muffler is broken on your car. doing juju. he’s not going to teach me anything. or you can reinvent the wheel. I can share what it feels like. I don’t care either way. There is little else I can tell him. Falokun: If I am a knuckle headed idiot. What was he saying? Call black. you can change the carburetor fifty times and the muffler’s still broken. It would be irresponsible. Get this.

Any power you can gain on your own without it being a part of a communal context will be one degree off when you start and fifty miles out in left field at the end of the day. the power of the word affects reality. oh yes. Why is that? Because the world is created by sound. that’s the universe we live in. We don’t do magic. The only way you can get on the same page is if you trust each other. The new age movement has created a syndrome I call guru of the week. If you come into the mix its not three times as strong it’s twelve times as strong. That power and that magic are only effective in a communal context. We access the maximum potential of human consciousness. That’s the truth of the matter. The problem was a day late.could fix it because he knows juju. you aren’t doing anything. It happens in a communal context. Do you understand what I am saying? You will think you understand something. hoping it will fix their lives. Have you ever cleaned up somebody’s spiritual mess who thought they were doing good? Fatunmise: Oh. But it is only strong if we are all on the same page. With twelve people in a room even the bible says you can move mountains. it always has been it always will be. If . you will be just a little bit off and unless and elder is around to whack you in the head with a stick when you mess up. Those three people will completely disrupt the work of the other nine. you’ll end up out in lala land thinking you’re some kind of evolved spiritual being doing nothing but creating spiritual mess. But any prayer he and I say together will not be twice as strong it will be four times as strong. But if you have twelve people in a room praying and eight of them are trying to heal somebody and two of them are thinking why is Falokun in charge and one of them is thinking I’m late for my dentist appointment. People go from one thing to another looking for power. Falokun: All right. Any prayer I can say by myself will have a certain amount of juice. never understanding that power is a function of community. Which looks magical to people who have never done it.

He and I have disagreed. Why did I go through all that effort? To preserve the structure of the family. That doesn’t mean baba is always right. It is a nonsensical argument. He’s the professor you’re the student. The same thing is true of life. including me. You will never make progress. That’s his prerogative. That doesn’t mean he won’t piss you off. this won’t work. We are all too ignorant to have that conversation. He might not want to talk to you about it at that moment. knows enough to have that argument. The old folks in Africa when they say think. I said I want to discuss this with you in the presence of an elder. It took me six months to arrange the meeting. Have you ever seen a person in fight walking backwards saying I’m going to kick your butt? Not convincing. I’m out of here. So why do people go there? People disagree with Baba and they run off and start their own church. My choice was to fix the problem. you’re still a good person. the unity of consciousness is the unity of the head and the heart. once we had the meeting we resolved the problem in a couple of minutes. There are at least a dozen congregations in America founded on the principal that Falokun is a doody head. red. black and red. Why do people do that? They do that to do what I call. (Part II coming soon…) . Standing still saying I’m going to kick your butt starts to be believable. People in America are constantly arguing over who knows the most about Ifa. The circle in Ifa is a picture of consciousness. just go somewhere else. That’s the syndrome we have here in America. they don’t point to their head they point to their heart. deify their problems. Ifa says the ori (consciousness) that leaves in the morning is not the same ori that returns home at night. Nobody here in America. Your heart is your ori inu your head is your ori. when those two are in alignment you have a chance of calling black. and you’re wasting your time. But if we can’t get on the same page with regard to what we’re up to nothing will ever work. If you have an issue with Baba ask his permission to discuss it.you don’t trust. not say I disagree.

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