Frederick Douglass asked, What does the 4th of July mean to the slave? That is, what does independence mean to the African American, who is only considered 3/5 of a man by the Constitution of the United States of America? What is the meaning of Independence Day to the African American, when we consider the third verse of the Star Spangled Banner, which boldly affirms the Nation's desire to perpetuate slavery?
I can assure you that freedom does NOT mean the ability to be less African and I am certain that my ancestors would agree. In fact, I can site a few solid examples of when African Americans embodied the truest spirit of freedom. In every instance, they did so in spite of mainstream's insistence that we associate freedom with assimilation.
As custodians of the Ancestral Promise, we are called to observe current events, juxtaposed against historical trends, in search of wisdom that has always been hidden in plain sight; wisdom that accounts for the economic, political and spiritual realities of freedom.
The mainstream American narrative has always emphasized the idea of independence as ‘freedom from oppression by an external force’, namely England. As such, American independence was centralized and institutionalized in the forms of Government, Business and the Church, the three of which are said to be working relentlessly to uphold and defend the virtues of freedom and democracy.
Consequently, according to former US President Jimmy Carter, there have actually only been five years of peace in US history. As a result, billions of dollars have spent, countless local and federal elections have happened, and a plethora of Civil Rights laws have been passed, all in the name of independence that has had an extremely limited merit, from an African American perspective. Ultimately what has happened as a result of these situations has simply been an exchange of one form of limitation for another one, but nothing has really changed for us: In the final analysis, African Americans are expected to assimilate in order to be free.
As emissaries of Ancestral Memory, our most powerful tools are Self Discovery, Daily Discipline and Sacred Service. In order to optimize our natural gifts and talents the quest to help bring about the Good Condition, we must be acutely aware of the underlying energy that supports the base of any existing situation – before we can shift it into another one.
Buckminster Fuller said it best when he explained that, You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. The truly committed practitioners of OrisaLifestyle will quickly recognize this moment in time as a powerful opportunity that holds an energetic message that resonates powerfully with the Ancestral Promise, as it has been handed down since the beginning of time.
That is, in the exact same way that the Orisa themselves have followed the principles of Odu Ifa in order to establish and govern the world as we know it today, so can we use the principles of Odu Ifa to create and sustain economic, political and spiritual freedom for ourselves and those who were are destined to serve. For this reason, Booker T. Washington rightfully declared that, There is no escape; man drags man down, or man lifts man up.
Consider what the Holy Odù Ifá Irosun Iwori says:
Let us do things with joy.
Those who want to go, let them go.
Those who want to stay, let them stay.
Surely, humans have been chosen to bring good into the world.
Omniscience, priest of Òrunmìlà,
Cast Ifá for Òrunmìlà.
He said the people of the world would come to ask him a certain question.
He said that Òrunmìlà should sacrifice fish and two hundred grains of cornmeal. Òrunmìlà heard and complied.
One day, all kinds of people; good people and
those who do not allow good to enter into other people’s lives
They then went to Òrunmìlà saying,
“Coming back and forth to earth tires us, Òrunmìlà.
Therefore, please allow us to rest in here in Heaven
Òrunmìlà said, “You cannot avoid going back and forth to earth
Until you bring about the good condition
that Olódùmarè has ordained for every human being.
After then, you may rest in heaven
They asked, “What is the good condition?
Òrunmìlà asked them to confess their ignorance
They said, “We are ignorant and would like to be given knowledge by Olódùmarè Òrunmìlà said, “The good condition is a good world;
a world in which there is full knowledge of all things; happiness everywhere.
Life without anxiety or fears of enemies.
Without clashes with snakes or other animals,
Without fear of death, disease, litigation, losses, wizards, witches or Èsù.
Without fear of poverty or misery...
Because of your wisdom, your compelling desire for good character
and your internal strength
The things needed to bring about the good
condition in the world then are; Wisdom that is fully adequate to govern the world; Sacrifice, character, the love of doing good for all people, especially those in need, And those who seek our assistance,
And the eagerness and struggle to increase good in the world,
And not let any good at all be lost.
People will continue to go to heaven
And they will go back and forth to earth after their transfiguration Until everyone has achieved the good condition.
Thus, when the children of Odùduà gather together,
Those chosen to bring good into the world
are called Èniyan, or the chosen ones
- Holy Odù ÌrosùnÌwòrì
Eniyan are the chosen. We have been mandated to bring about the Good Condition. Just as our people have been charged by Olodumare to embody the principles of Creation, so will Olodumare bless our endeavors to attain economic, political and spiritual freedom.
Live the Medicine
Obafemi Origunwa, MA
Thought leader, Ifa priest and author of four definitive books, Obafemi Origunwa inspires metamorphosis through living the medicine that will heal your life and heal the lives of the people you're destined to serve.