In IFA, an ancient African Spiritual System of Belief and Action, we are educated to the fact that in this UnI verse, there are no Absolutes. This is the foundation of my next statement, which is this:
IFA Practitioners and members of it’s branches – those who were captured and brought to the Americas and the Caribbean, are NOT Devil-Worshippers!
A true practitioner of Ifa “overstands” that with there being no Absolutes, going so far as to “personify” an Absolute Evil is contradictory to the Path. Believing in an Absolute Evil is contradictory to the Path. What Others may not comprehend is that under the “FREE WILL” doctrine that is found in many world religions, ANY Human Being has the ability to choose right or wrong, good or evil. The choice is Ours.
We need no Devil to tempt Us – unless we are trying to make excuses for our Poor Choices, that lead to Poor Actions, that lead to Poor Habits, that then become Poor Character.
These Actions are out-of-Alignment with the intent of Human Incarnation, which in IFA is to bring about the Attainment of the “Good Position” by ALL. In the “Good Position,” ALL will have the wisdom as individuals, to govern the world as a whole in Goodness, without Fear of ANY Untowards Occurrences taking place. (taken from Irosu ‘Wori- one of the Sacred Odu of the Ifa Divination System, intended as a diagnostic and prescriptive Oracle for Humanity)
A “Devil” serves no true purpose in such a system. However, there is a Divine Emissary – sent to correct Any Imbalance, at Any Time and AnyWhere. He is not necessarily malevolent. He only responds to the Degree of DisOrder with the corrective and corresponding Degree of Order. He is given Divine Access to All Roads, All Doors and All Gates, as He is the Keeper of Keys. If we are “out-of-alignment,” a Blessing fully intended for Us may not reach Us because We are at the “wrong angle to Receive it.” It will be “delayed in Delivery” until one has made the “proper sacrifices” to propitiate, restore and/or foster Balance. In IFA, that elemental force – which actually works in Harmony with the Universe and not necessarily contrary to It, is known by the cosmic name of Esu. He is also called Elegba, Legba, Ellegua, Lekba, Lecba or even Labas – as in the Zydeco music chant
“Ehhhh (Eeee) LaaaBas!”
a coded exhortation addressing Him in a fashion that would not be recognized by an untrained and unknowing Ear. “Ehhhh, Labas!” in Krio (Creole) French, means “Hey You – Over There!” A reference to Esu’s position of being the Divine Force that Sits at the Divine Crossroads, where the Spiritual and Material Worlds meet; the place where He sits to listen to the prayers on Earth and carry them to Heaven. He then returns from Heaven with either Our Blessings or Our Tasks that we Must First Fulfill, all the time interpreting Divine Language into Human Language and Human Language into Divine Language; constantly linking the Worlds of Heaven (“ORUN”) and Earth (“AIYE”). He is often vilified because of His Presence at the Time of Retribution(s), when He is simply the Deliverer of a Divine Message. People want to make a “Devil” of Him, until they Remember that He is also present on the day of Their Own Salvation as the Bearer of the Good News and the Deliverer of Divine Mercy and Pardon.
IFA practitioners are judged by many to have a lack of sophistry in their Cosmology and Practice when nothing could be further from the Truth. Not being “devil-worshippers” or even believing in such a “Being,” places the practitioner directly in charge of What They Themselves Choose to Do and What Happens to Them in this Lifetime. To claim that “I AM” is probably the greatest of all Spiritual Declarations, for it acknowledges the God/dess within Us, living as US. No excuses needed, only the Knowledge of How to Proceed and the Wisdom and Courage to see it Through. Believe in the coming of the Attainment of the Good Position. In the course of coming Human History, it will happen. You are going to play out your role. Sooner or Later, it will Happen. You can Choose – and You will Pay for Your Choice. When We finally make enough Good Choices as a Whole, the mechanics of the “Trick or the Truth” will no longer be Necessary. Both hands of Esu will open to Us and reveal a new light. We will be Delivered a message that announces the arrival of Our Ultimate Consciousness, Our Becoming One with the ALL. This is a worthwhile goal. Even if/as it has taken each of Us this many Lifetimes thus far and may take many more. It is still worth Our Struggle as a Goal to be Attained by All.