Beware the Fatal Flaw
Each week I receive dozen or more e-mails from individuals who have been involved with practitioners who reflect a biased, or phobic, worldview. Some dislike Europeans, others feel women have no equality in the philosophy, still others are outwardly homophobic. This, of course, no longer surprises me. What does continue to astonish me, is that the individuals writing to me, who are aware of these flaws, are willing to overlook them and, more alarming, believe that by so doing, they can continue on the road to knowledge and growth.
I recently received a return e-mail from an individual who had written about some of her problems with the priests she was dealing with. I had cautioned her about the possible consequences of the relationship. This is what she wrote in return:
"Alafia. Yes, you are correct; it is not logical. But I feel as If I already made a commitment to the Orisha and am willing to honor it. In addition I have come to terms with what I will and won't accept in my relationship with my godparents.Believe me, I wanted to walk/run away from these people and the entire process, but I was guided to proceed with caution..."
Tragically, this is the attitude of many that find themselves in similar situations.
The Ifa Foundation's rigid view on inclusion and logic is not based on some kind of modern day Political Correctness. It is, as in every genuine aspect of Ifa, a pragmatic imperative!
The reason for this is that our entire journey in the paths of the Orisha is guided and determined by divination! From finding our guardian Orisha, to perhaps embarking on initiation or other ceremonies, there is no single event that is not determined by divination. If a priest performs divination for you, no matter what the configuration of the shells, regardless of the energy of the odu, if he believes (for example) that gays cannot become Babalawo, or that women cannot become Iyalawo, or that Europeans shouldn't be involved in any serious fashion, then despite what the actual energy of the divination implies, he will see only that he believes acceptable! He will be incapable of anything else.
It doesn't matter whether they are a really nice person or a scoundrel. The result, for the person looking to have their lives properly guided, is a twisted view of their potential growth and development.
And, if you think that you can somehow, as the individual I quoted above, rise above it, you are taking a horrible chance with your destiny. For an illogical worldview, resulting in a handicapped interpretation of your divination, can seal you forever from the path and destiny you might well have followed.
In our philosophy, flaws can truly be spiritually fatal.