We grew up on hero movies. Rambo, the Terminator and Super Man showed us how one man could literally save the whole world.
But this story of the one man army has nothing to do with reality.
In reality, systems are far more powerful than individuals.
African Americans have been conditioned to distrust systems because we have been victimized by institutionalized White supremacism for 400 consecutive years.
The legal system, the medical system, the educational system and the banking system have all conspired against us with total impunity.
So African Americans have a healthy distrust of systems.
We tend to prefer the story of the underdog, who uses raw determination and sincerity to overcome impossible odds and beat the system.
Our folklore is rooted in the underdog archetype. If it's Brer Rabbit or High John the Conquerer, or even Harriet Tubman, African American heroes tend to be lone individuals who defy a corrupt system and win.
Jesus is our favorite hero. We identify strongly with his journey, from an innocent child, who rose from humble beginnings to topple a corrupt system and save the world.
So, in the most important aspects of human activity, African Americans have been conditioned to believe that the highest expression of power is to dismantle and destroy systems.
Our greatest heroes are rebels, like Nat Turner, Dr. King and Malcolm X.
Unfortunately, this perception is not altogether beneficial. More importantly, it is not based upon reality.
In reality, individuals are not as powerful as systems.
Even when Obama became President, we could not seem to grasp this inescapable truth. Some of us expected him to be a magical Negro, who could completely transform some dimension of African American life with a stroke of his pen.
But that was impossible because Obama was and still is, just one man, operating within the confines of a well-organized system.
Now, as it pertains to Orisa Lifestyle, I see the same problem. That is, our people refuse to grasp the significance of systems thinking.
Consequently, too many of us have allowed ourselves to be convinced that rituals and ceremonies will somehow allow us to defy the laws of nature.
Recently, I posed a question on Facebook, "What's more powerful, a degree from Yale or Ifa initiation?" Out of 270 comments, about 95% of the people really believe that a three day ceremony would render them more powerful than if they had a degree from Yale.
That is utter and complete madness.
POWER is not imaginary, subjective nor conceptual. There are three main elements of power:
1. SOURCE (e.g., a battery)
2. CONDUIT (e.g., a wire)
3. OUTPUT (e.g., a toaster)
Together, these elements constitute a system. Power can only be expressed through systems. If you remove or compromise any of the elements, the power will not be fully expressed.
Orisa Lifestyle is an elaborate power system.
Do you know why the electricity never fails in the USA? It's because we have a highly efficient system. It is extremely consistent everywhere you go.
Until we build efficient systems that harness and distribute our spiritual power, we cannot realistically claim that Ifa is as powerful as a degree from Yale.
THIS IS AN OPEN CHALLENGE TO THE LEADERSHIP.
Build a system that properly prepares devotees to optimize the potential power of Orisa and not people who use empty cliches like character and destiny.
Build a system that efficiently distributes knowledge, skill and wisdom across the community instead of peddling beads, pots and titles to anybody with a dollar.
Build a system that empowers the people to be the highest versions of themselves, who can actively solve their own problems and not feeble minded dependents, who never even learn how to pray properly.
I am in search of leaders who are committed to changing the world through positive influence. Is that you? If so, find out how Obafemi Origunwa and the Orisa Lifestyle Academy can take your practice to the next level: ObafemiO.com
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.