The Spirituality of Ifa and Collapsing Bridges
Several people lost their lives in the bridge collapse in Minnesota. One of the people who lost their life in the collapse was a woman who didn’t drive across the bridge normally but made a last minute choice to go across I-35W on her way home that Wednesday evening. Another person who normally takes the bridge on a daily basis decided to go a different route possibly saving his or her life. Somebody is killed in the collapse while other people walk away without the slightest scratch. What factors go into determining who dies and who lives on?
Such an understanding is so far beyond mine or anyone else’s understanding. That information isn’t even shared amongst all the Orisas. Orunmila pretty much keeps that information to himself. I’ve asked baba if someone is a devotee in good standing and stays in regular communication with him would they have been warned to stay away from impending danger. The answer is not necessarily. When our time is up and we need to move on from this life, our final moment is just as likely to be in a bridge collapse. And it’s not Orunmila’s place to protect us from expiration. It’s not a matter of if someone is good or not or if someone is obedient or not. Our fate is not something that can be earned, purchased, or extended through something as simplistic as an ebo or some other service to earn favor from spiritual entities.
We are only allotted so much time at this plane of existence and then we must move on. To stay here longer than we have to could possibly retard our development on our next level of existence. Our fear of moving on isn’t enough to keep the divine plan from keeping its schedule and staying on track. Our participation in the divine plan may be infinitesimally small on the cosmic scale, but to our family, our children, our friends, and our community, we can have a major impact that will drive others to change. The death a family member can be the inspiration they need to make significant changes in their life. Without the inspiration someone may be doomed to continue living off their path.
Who here on the Earth understands how the big picture actually works? If the woman had not made the turn necessary to be on that bridge the moment it fell something else may have happened to claim the woman’s life. She could’ve been involved in another accident a few miles away from the bridge collapse. She could have been the victim of a stray bullet from a gun as a police officers exchange rounds with some malfeasant. Or, she could have simply suffered a stroke or heart attack that would have taken her life away. Movies like Final Destination will give people the impression that an elaborate series of unfortunate events must take place in order for a life to be taken. But, despite the misinformation there is really very little that needs to happen in order for someone’s life to come to an end. I remember having an aunt who just got home one Halloween night from Trick or Treating with her children and grandchildren. She was sitting on the couch when all of a sudden she handed someone her eyeglasses and then suddenly simply stopped living. There is very little that needs to happen.
So what can we do or what needs to happen to keep death at bay? If what Orunmila says is true then nothing can do it. Ask yourself, why should your life be spared when everyone else is dying? Would it be fair to spare someone else’s life and let yours expire? Why my life and not someone else’s? Life isn’t about destiny but about choices. Life isn’t about the ending. Life is about the choices we make until we get to the end. And the end itself is not the end but merely a change of existence.
People have a misunderstanding about the entire concept of destiny. Destiny doesn’t mean that our path is planned out for us from childhood to the day we take our last breath. Destiny carries the implication that this is the way things are meant to be. We are destined to be this or we are destined to do that. We were destined to be a fireman. We were destined to live in So-and-so City. People incorrectly assume that everything that happens in our lives is just a matter of fate.
But according to Orunmila, the concepts of destiny and fate are woefully inadequate when applied to the way life really works. These two concepts, and more just like them, are developed by people to help us understand things that in our human state we simply do not have the ability to fully comprehend. Nevertheless, humans are arrogant enough to think we have the ability to understand, as well as explain, the workings of Supreme Being, Inc. and Associates. But in all honesty we are totally inadequate for the task. Although we feel like we may understand concepts of fate and destiny they are far from being absolutes in our lives. There are multiple paths to get to our final destination and all of them depend on the choices that we make to get there.
We are fortunate to have the ear of the Orisas. We are even more fortunate to have an ear that can hear the Orisas. If we learn to listen we will learn to traverse our life through the path of least resistance. And despite what we may have been told we don’t have the luxury of being able to manipulate Orisas to give us one more minute on our path then what we are entitled to have. As scary as it may be our termination on this plane of existence is not truly the end. It is merely a change. If we play our cards right we can learn everything we need in order to move on to the next level. If we get to the end of our path and we fail to develop ourselves properly we may not be prepared for what awaits us on the other side. And no matter who we are, Ifa devotee or not, initiate or not, tomorrow is not guaranteed.
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