The Divine Purpose of Life Struggles and our Destiny
People understand concepts according to their consciousness. If the consciousness is earthbound, they will understand events as being good or bad based on their experience of pleasure or pain. If their consciousness is spiritually aware, they will understand events as being Lessons with varying difficulty to master. I received my first reading in 1992. The Babalawo said I needed to initiate. He said if I didn’t initiate there was a chance that I would be kill myself. It was extreme to me..and the motivation to initiate because of fear did not appeal to me. As I became aware of Odu more and heard some other interpretations, I noticed a thread of fear , dread, or doom that seemed to permeate in many of them or alternatively success. I swear some made you feel that everyone was your enemy and death was around every corner of you didn’t give a goat!
Instinctively, I knew there had to be more to these ancient traditions than fear based perceptions of the world. Of course based on the human condition we would assess from this framework.. but what of the Ori? The Ori , holds the blueprint of our destiny. The Ori, our Divine selves, choose our destiny before we come to earth. So the idea of choosing a bad destiny never made sense to me because it’s coming from a soul level that we choose.
Coming from a soul level means it has a higher understanding of existence and the purpose of life than from the limitations of the human condition. The human condition experiences through the senses which amount to pleasure or pain. It experiences through the ego which amount to persona , drives, passions, environment, fears, and its relationship with the outside world. The human condition is the soul entrapped in matter but it is not the soul itself.
The human part of us thinks that these things are who we are. But the ancients understood a concept called Know Thyself… and that meant going deeper than your physical self. It is the spiritual self that exists before we are born and after our physical body dies that comprises our true Self. This is the nature of the Ori.
The Ori, our personal deity, transcends the physical limitations of understanding and delves deep into the mystery of consciousness itself. That said, in order to truly understand things happening in our world, we must learn to perceive it beyond the trappings of a world of matter and from the perspective of spirit.
So when we are exploring the things happening to us and want real understanding, we must learn to see it beyond whether we experience pleasure or pain. We must see it in terms of what we are supposed to learn from it and how it evolves us as a soul. When we interact with others, we must learn to look at them beyond whether they are good or bad people. We must see them for the role they are to play in our lives and their divine purpose.
To that end, we must learn to see spiritual forces beyond good and evil. These are really concepts from an Abrahamic traditions that exploit the war between these things and a battle to win. Alternatively indigenous cosmology suggests more a complementary opposite in terms of forces. Gentle and yielding complemented by assertive and strong. Neither is better than the other. Neither is good or bad. They just are…just as the earth is the earth and heaven ( Air) is the heavens. Different energies. Different forces. Both necessary for existence, both work in conjunction with one another in a cosmic dance that being them together. Same hold for Day and Night, fire and Water , and the like.
So too in our lives, there isn’t good or evil. The closest we come in the Ifa tradition to malevolent forces is ajogun. In the Ifa Orisa Tradition, there are considered 401 primordial forces. 200 are to the right and 200 to the left and plus 1. Those to the right are often translated as forces for good while the left is often translated as forces for evil. In the human world it is translated as things bringing g pleasure or pain. But we must ask, can our right hand be better than our left if part of the same body? Because Ajogun are forces also created by Olodumare, they must have a divine purpose beyond just making us miserable. So maybe we should seek to explore this concept from the perspective of the soul. From a soul level this might be seen as things that are either in alignment or out of alignment or.. lessons that come from challenges and experiences that come from ease.
We must remember that Iwa..character and building character is the ultimate purpose for destiny. Often, it is through things that appear tragic or painful that we grow the most or are propelled to fulfill our destiny. Ajogun are said to control death, dis-ease, Loss, curses, paralysis, imprisonment, and afflictions. What I have seen as a diviner is that often when we delve deeper, there is more at play than just some evil force coming after you.
One may be that certain laws of nature or taboos have been violated and the challenges that result from breaking those taboos. If you have a taboo not to smoke. And you continue to do so, a natural result may be lung cancer or dis ease. If you break a law, you may be imprisoned. This is a result of the law of cause and effect. In this way Ajogun simply enforce the law that was already there. Their name means warriors.
In that same vein, perhaps it’s something more subtle.. say, a person is diagnosed with cancer. This is a real story. A woman was diagnosed with breast cancer. She wanted to find out what she could do to assist her healing. The reading said there was a conflict with 2 elders. I asked her did she have conflict with someone… that has been ongoing. It seems that the source of the cancer was in this conflict. She said it was just her and her mom and and she was a caretaker for her mom. She said she had no issues… and dismissed it…BUT she did the ebo.
As time went on, she would get a reading once a month and it would reinforce the same as the previous in some form. At the same time, she was going through chemo and preparing for a mastectomy. During one of those sessions she spoke of a long standing frustration she experienced growing up. Her mom made some choices that she felt was unfair and she suffered from them. As a result, would chastise her mom for her choices. This grew into a passive aggressive resentment towards her mom.
One day she told me her mom had these bruises on her body and sent me a picture. I recognized them I instantly as pressure sores. I also recognized they could be deceptive and could easily be much deeper than they appear and cause death. I told her she needed to get her to a hospital immediately. As it were, her mother refused to go and accepted her fate. The woman, however, still struggled with her mothers choices. It came to a head when the Divination that she really needed to deal with this if she wanted to heal and keep her breast. We talked through her struggles and I helped her to see her other did the barest she could as a single mom with no help. I told her the ebo but also told her she needed to,forgive her mother. Eventually she saw what I was saying. It was shortly after that she had a realization and she went to her mothers bed and cried tears of forgiveness and release. It was at that moment, her mother crossed over and had her last breath. It was her mothers choice.
At the same time the following Divination revealed that she had done the ebo and that Esu would take it from there. She would be fine. A day later she got a call from her doc that the cancer had been nearly completely eliminated and that while she still needed surgery, she would be able to keep,her breast. That’s exactly what happened and she is cancer free with 2 breast today.
This is the healing power of Ifa. But it also speaks to the nature of how and why Ajogun may show up in ones life. Holding on to hatred, bitterness, and anger created an internal chemical process that mutated her cells into cancer. While she did the outer Ebo , the inner Ebo was to do the internal work of forgiveness. Only then, could she be able to fully heal. The Ajogun was released not so much because they were evil forces that were exercised by an Orisa. It was because she did what was necessary to be back in alignment and there was no need to tie her to that path she was one from violating the law.
This is just a tiny way that show how the great challenges that Ajogun cause are not evil, but actually designed to force you to deal with things you may have neglected or ignored either through ignorance or through needing to learn a lesson. As warriors, they are enforcers of the law when it has been violated.
Other ways the appearance of challenges turn out for the good is say when a soul chooses to be born to poor parents or in a body that overweight. The poor person will struggle with poverty, and hunger and it could motivate them more than anything to be successful. That success and the lessons that came from achieving success through hard work and perseverance, etc. could influence several generations after.
The one born in a fat body may struggle with self esteem issues until that soul learn the lessons that was intended from having that body. For some it may mean committing to a lifestyle change. For others it may mean learning to love themselves in the body they are in. Maybe they have great wisdom and chose a body where their wisdom would supersede physical beauty. In any case, the point is there is a higher purpose to all of this. There is more to meet the eye when we experience ease or challenges. We learn that struggle can build character. And that through some challenges we grow into our greatest potential.