AwoFa'lokun Fatunmbi - Ifa, the Wisdom of Nature
Type of Spiritual Experience
In 1989 David Wilson, who has an academic background in law, traveled to southwest Nigeria where he became a member of Egbe Ifa Ogun ti Ode Remo which is a society of Yoruba diviners living in the west African rain forest. At this time he was given the name AwoFa'lokun Fatunmbi and has continued his study of traditional Yoruba spirituality on four subsequent trips to Nigeria. This tradition is called Ifa. Awo Fa'lokun Fatunmbi has written three books on Ifa,
- Iwa Pele: Ifa Quest the Search of the sources of Santeria and Lucumi,
- Awo: Ifa and the Theology of Orisa divination,
- Iba se Orjisa: Ifa Proverbs, Folktales, Sacred History and Prayer.
A description of the experience
The PK Man Seen From an African Perspective - Awo Fa'lokun Fatunmbi
I have been fortunate over the past ten years to have had the opportunity to study the shamanism used in the rain forest of southwestern Nigeria. This is the traditional home of the Yoruba Nation which is one of the largest cultural groups in Western Africa consisting of over twenty million Yoruba speaking people. The shamanism of southwestern Nigeria is called "Ifa" which means "wisdom of nature"…….
All Things Have Some Consciousness
The world view of Ifa differs from the world view of mainstream Western metaphysics in two ways; Ifa teaches that everything in nature has some form of consciousness called ori, and it teaches that the world is a multi-dimensional reality. Most forms of shamanism teach the idea that the visible world is influenced by invisible worlds that co-exist in the same dimensional space as the physical world.
The invisible realms are usually called "Spirit Worlds". The word "spirit" means "essential nature" or "essence". From a shamanistic point of view Spirits are fundamental Forces in Nature that help shape the physical reality perceived by the senses in a non-altered state of consciousness.
Ifa teaches that all things in the world have some form of consciousness. The first step in developing the shamanistic skills of an Ifa initiate is to learn how to empathize with the consciousness of non human Forces in Nature.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to sit in the presence of an Oroko tree. In Africa the Oroko tree can have a trunk the size of a house. Biologists estimate that as many as a thousand different life forms co-exist within the sphere of influence of one of these trees. That would include everything from tiny microbes living under the earth to birds and mammals living near the top of the trees. The cumulative effect of this vast network of consciousness involved in the cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth within a confined space can be extremely informative.
Merely being in the presence of the tree produces an altered state of consciousness that seems to generate information that transcends the experience of the person involved in the encounter. The tree is a universal symbol of spiritual growth because a tree is capable of giving instruction to those who are willing to watch and listen.
Communication with non human forms of consciousness is generally described by two Yoruba words; "Ini" meaning "I am", and "ogun" meaning "medicine".
The student of Ifa who learns to empathize with the consciousness of various Forces of Nature uses their ability as a problem solving tool. From an Ifa perspective learning how to empathize with the consciousness of a cloud is a way of retrieving information related to future weather conditions. It is also the first step in learning how to influence the weather.