Based on the evidences about the importance of human beings emotional world and psycho biologic communication in the complex process of getting sick and healing, I asked Ifa for clarification about the general sense of the healing process. As the sacred Odu Okanran relates about the communication process that involves emotions and communication, I started from this precise point, supported by old observations. Okanran speaks about the importance of emotional communication as related to Conscious and Unconscious dynamics.
where the ones who divined Ifa
for the people at the city of Owa.
They were told to perform sacrifice so that
a stranger would be made the King.
Whatever the Babalawo wanted would be the sacrifice.
They heeded the advice and offered the sacrifice.
Osunsun-igbo-yi-kos’oje, Oburokos’eje where the ones who
divined Ifa for Sakoto when he was going to Owa town.
He was advised to sacrifice a pigeon, a sheep and three bean cakes.
He heeded the advise and sacrificed. The Babalawos further advised him to eat
the bean cakes and not give them to Esu.
As he was going on his journey he tooks the bean cakes with him.
He met the first Esu and said “if I give you this bean cake, you would cause the rain
to beat me until I got to Owa town!”. He then ate the bean cake himself and went on.
He came across the second Esu, stretched out his hand with one bean cake to Esu,
and repeated what he had said to the first. Then he ate the bean cake.
He did the same thing with the third Esu.
Enraged, the third Esu caused the rain to beat Sakoto until he arrived at Owa town.
The Babalawos had predicted that thenext person to be installed as King at Owa town
would arrive heavily drenched by rain.
The inhabitants of Owa town made this drenched stranger their king.
For three times the traveller must resist to the interference of Esu before reaching to the arrival point. Three is a sacred number in yoruba philosophy and metaphorically it seems to indicate that emotional stimula cannot easily be erased off from the interventions of our deep Ego. Our deep Ego (unconscious mind) is very interested in disturbing the flow of information to the Consciousness as Unconscious nourishes itself of emotions and tends to keep them inside without any sharing as Consciousness might criticize and erase the emotional impact. Instead, they tend to reach the brain and the conscious Mind as if they would not, they could remain into the deepness of our Unconscious Heart and give birth then to inner (psycho-somatic) conflicts.
Esu in this case might represent the interference from Bara onto a specific anatomic structure that is the so called Thalamus/Lymbic system. As even all the negative emotions are a message from spirit saying, “change your behaviour!” (from Awo Fa’lokun and Awo Fategbe) here is the importance they reach the awareness. I would say Okanran highlights the importance our emotions reaches the level of awareness without remaining confined in the deeper layer of our wide Unconscious mind, giving then birth to dangerous dreams. Thalamus is a point in the centre of the brain (cross point, orita meta) that works as gatekeeper allowing the flow of information to our superior cortical centres (Consciousness).
Then Okanran refers to the importance of the Heart as main effector of this kind of communication (Okan in Yoruba is the word for the physical heart)
McCraty explains in “The Energetic Heart”. “The heart generates the largest electromagnetic field in the body. The electrical field as measured in an electrocardiogram (ECG) is about 60 times greater in amplitude than the brain waves recorded in an electroencephalogram (EEG).” The heart electromagnetic field extends up to several feet away from the body in a 360-degree radius. These are the conclusion of a paper recently published on the Journal of Medical Hypothesis: “Although in physiology the heart is often referred to as a simple piston pump, there are in fact two additional features that are integral to cardiac physiology and function.
First, the heart as it contracts in systole, also rotates and produces torsion due to the structure of the myocardium. Second, the heart produces a significant electromagnetic field with each contraction due to the coordinated depolarization of myocytes producing a current flow. Unlike the electrocardiogram, the magnetic field is not limited to volume conduction and extends outside the body. The therapeutic potential for interaction of this cardioelectromagnetic field both within and outside the body is largely unexplored. It is our hypothesis that the heart functions as a generator of bioinformation that is central to normative functioning of body. The source of this bioinformation is based on: (1) vortex blood flow in the left ventricle; (2) a cardiac electromagnetic field and both; (3) heart sounds; and (4) pulse pressure which produce frequency and amplitude information.
Thus, there is a multidimensional role for the heart in physiology and biopsychosocial dynamics. Recognition of these cardiac properties may result in significant implications for new therapies for cardiovascular disease based on increasing cardiac energy efficiency (coherence) and bioinformation from the cardioelectromagnetic field. Research studies to test this hypothesis are suggested”.
One’s heart also communicates with one’s brain (via the nervous system, hormones, pulse waves, and electromagnetic fields) and with the brains of other individuals (via pulse waves and electromagnetic fields), according to McCraty, Tiller, & Atkinson (1996). The brain emits its own electromagnetic field and waves of energy (known as alpha, beta, delta, gamma, and theta waves, each of which results from different states in brain functioning). The heart’s electrical field, however, is almost 60 times greater in amplitude than that of the brain and is more than 5000 times greater in strength than the brain’s electrical field (McCraty, Tiller, & Atkinson, 1996). The heart also sends more information to the brain than the brain sends to the heart.
Research is proving that the heart and brain interact with each other which impacts consciousness, perceptions, and performance. Heart-brain synchronization can occur between two people in interaction (McCraty, Tiller, & Atkinson, 1996) when they are responding to each other with sincerity, appreciation, and love, in other words efficient communication (McCraty & Atkinson, 1999). Theories do exist that the heart contains a system of neurons-like cells that have short- and long-term memory and that their signals affect our emotional experiences when they are sent to the brain. Hypnosis experience teaches us that when people are in rapport several unconscious activities synchronize among which respiration, pupil dilatation, skin conductance AND cardiac rate.
As the heart is involved in generation and manipulation of emotions, one should first highlight all the emotions are varieties of two: fear and love: Fear-stress is contagious and causes contraction: inhibits creativity, brain activity, inhibits the immune system,selective perception and over extensive periods of time leads to breakdown. Love (positive beliefs and emotions) has high impact and causes expansion: creativity, physical and mental endurance, more productivity in shorter time because we take decisions quicker because we are receptive and highly perceptive.
The quality of the field one creates with his heart influences his experience and reality.
The idea is that the body’s emotional response to events do not always occur from “top-down” processing (i.e., the brain sends signals to the heart and other organs, and the body responds accordingly). Rather, it has now proven that often times our emotional state triggers our heart to send out its own signals to the brain and other organs, and the body then responds accordingly. For instance, while two-way communication between the cognitive and emotional systems is hard-wired into the brain, the actual number of neural connections going from the emotional centers to the cognitive centers is greater than the number going the other way.
In fact, researchers have determined that the physiology and nerve centers of the heart are so complex and active, that they constitute a “brain” all on their own, termed a “mini-brain.” We now know that the heart contains cells that produce and release norepinephrine and dopamine, neurotransmitters once thought to be produced only by the brain and ganglia outside the heart. Even more remarkable is the discovery that the heart produces oxytocin -the “love hormone” – in concentrations that are as high as those in the brain.
Now, new evidence arose that there is a complex duality in the relation between Conscious and Unconscious mind as different organs and systems are involved: brain, heart and intestine. In fact intestine too is equipped with an extensive neural web, that constitutes a real intestinal brain. So, when one refers to mind, should think about the complex relations that organize between brain, heart and intestine, with two or three way routes that depend on the prevalence of different systems. Even more complex is so the concept of Conscious and Unconscious mind and their frequent opposition of ideas (dystonia). It is from this opposition that generates an active force gradient that may be the effector to several changes, both organic, psychologic and spiritual. These changes, if persistent, may guide to disease.
In theological terms the personal Esu represents the personal Unconscious and lives in specific points of the brain, the heart and intestine. These point are what Yoruba call iwaju and corresponds to the so called chackra. Yoruba defined in the far past the arrangement of the psychoneural relation between heart, brain and intestine.
In the iwaju that corresponds to the Head there are at least three diferent subpoints in the pineal gland, thalamo and neck (spinal cord) that express the esuoic activity. This activity is the gatekeeper for the swithces of communication between Conscious and Unconscious minds. Ifa often refers to this as “traveling from Orun to Aiye”. The union of these points represents what in Ifa mythology is called Esu Onibode. Esu Onibode is so both a general and personal Spirit that controls the traffic of information between Orun and Aiye and between human Conscious and Unconscious.
The sense and the quality of this traffic is very important as it can favor disease or healing.
Through the sacred Odu Ogunda Meji Ifa says:
A fi ipa lowo won kii ka dun
A fi warawara lowo tii se ologun won, won kii d’ola
Bo pe titi n o lowo
O nbe laba ti nje esun isu
Ojo esan lo titi kii je oro o dun ni
Difa fun Adigunla
Ti yoo digun sese
Ko pe o ko jinna wo Ifa Awo ki bi ti nse
Ifa de o, Alase
Ope abise wara
Those who get rich by the use of force don’t last a year
Those who acquire instant wealth like warriors don’t last a day
The patient ones are still alive enjoying a life of bliss
The day of retribution is always at hand
These were the declarations of Ifa to Adigunla (he who became wealthy by force)
And who would also get injured violently
Not too long, not too far
Ifa’s declarations had come to pass
Here comes Ifa, the ultimate authority.
Ifa admonishes healing is a slow process. Every solution that is excessively rapid is the source of further disease. By this wise declaration Ifa reminds to us that in the so called modern Medicine the approach to treat symptoms is a rapid process, but unfortunately it will not be going to cure the disease in itself. Even surgery that sometimes may radically solve some problems, will not go to the inner essence of the problem, and will transform the person in a different patient with the same spiritual source of illness. So, the ultimate authority is Ifa, intended as real knowledge of the processes that bring to deterioration. Suuru is the basic attitude that may bring one to the route of healing.
Speaking about the possibility to go to the source of disease in order to readjust the primary cause of inhability to healing, Ifa says:
Alagbara ni nsokun Ade was the one who divined Ifa for Ogun
He was advised to sacrifice a cutlass, a cock, and a roasted yam. Ifa said the cutlass would be the key to Ogun’s prosperity. He must always walk around with it. He was asked to eat the roasted yam.
He ate it.
When he was thirsty, he went to drink water from the river. After drinking the water, he saw two people fighting over a fish they had caught.
Ogun advised them to be patient and said that they should go home and share the fish. They refused.
The first man said he came from the east and the second man said he came from the west.
After listening to their excuses, Ogun took the cutlass he had been advised to carry always and cut the fish in two for them. The first man thanked him and requested him to open a footh path from there to his hometown. The man promised to enrich Ogun’s life if he carried out his wish. The man also assured Ogun that he would receive valuable things that would boost his confidence.
The second man likewise thanked Ogun and made a similar request.
Ogun agreed to do as they requested.
Ogun has always be called Ogundameji since the day he divided a fish for two people who were fighting.
Ogun is the symbolic Warrior that fights against our internal enemies. This is the kind of war that will bring one to healing. The cut lass of Ogun can kill many of our inner derangements, realigning our Ori to our Destiny. This internal warrior has to be ready to fight and should be maintained active and alert as we fragile human beings are always exposed to the insult of many challenges that come from our inner mind. To be always ready and forceful our Warrior should be alimented both in terms of feminine and masculine energies in order to make him behave with discernment. In fact our mind is constantly divided in an eternal fight for the own Ori. Conscious and Unconscious consider themselves the owners and fight to prevail. They fight over the same Ori as they have different intentions and ideas, so they create the dystonia.
This dystonia is the initial cause of disease when directed to the wrong path. This ese reminds to us we have a bichambered mind. It is from this bilocation of ideas and feelings that evil or good may be created. In case of disease, bilocation comes to be distortion starting from a spiritual and then mental and then organic point of view. The fight between Conscious and Unconscious translates in the emergence of symbols that translate into symptoms. However, there is no solution but to maintain two separate spaces in order to transform dystonia in syntonia. Conscious mind must be appeased. And Unconscious mind must be appeased recurring to the logic explanation of the initial derangement that comes from unconscious analogic information. Both logic and analogic minds must be appeased. It is from appeasement of both of them that one can obtain healing. So, to be concrete, if to cure a disease one should use only a pragmatic approach like surgery, without solving the original inner issues, he-she will be destined to a recurrence of the disease in the original or correlated form and would also get injured violently.
The Ifa says:
The sea does not harm the baby fish
The swamp does not scare the crab
Crab lives in the ocean wih relish
Divined for the Mighty Crocodile
they threatend to drive him away from his father’s house
Mighty crocodile, you own the sea and its surroundings
Mighty crocodile no one will run you away from your habitat
No one will run you away from your habitat
No fish can take the river from the crocodile
Crocodile, you own the river and its surroundings
No one can take the river from the Crocodile.
Now Ifa is introducing a new concept. Differently from what one may think, human beings are connected to three minds, the neo cortex (logic), the paleo cortex (analogic) and the ARCHEO mind. Archeo mind is a definition of the most ancient mind, that served the environmental and survival exigences of the first humans. The archeomind never existed as separated form obviously, but undoubtedly it fulfilled important functions during the initial stages of human life, prevailing over the other parts. The archeo mind could be represented as reptilian, as it manages those mechanisms that are instinctively in action when we are facing a sudden threat. Those mechanism are three: flee, fight or freeze. And they are conserved in the behavior of modern humans even though their meaning has changed. We cannot neglect the influence of this archeomind over the paleo and the neo cortex (most recent minds mainly unconscious the first and mainly conscious the second).
There is no behavior or communication that does not come from the integration of these three minds, acting in coordinate sequence: the archeomind judges the threat of some changes in the external or internal environment (in this case environment is a nominalization, that is a generic name able to describe whatever is representing a change in the orderly sequence of events of the ordinary life), the paleo mind elaborates the consequent emotion and shape it to its profound exigences, presenting it to the logic mind that may eventually have only the function to criticize the new “idea” or to accept her from a logic point of view (process of rationalization and justification).
In terms of Ifa the archeo mind is able to work in very rapid binary terms, allowing to define in few msecs (40 to 120 msec) the ibi or the ire of a new situation. After realizing the terms of ibi or ire, the archeo mind provides an immediate reaction that may be, in case of ibi, flee, fight or freeze with the consequent activation of the ortosympathetic nervous system. In case of ire the archeo mind provides the reaction of parasympathetic activation with consequent relaxation. So we could say that in modern terms ibi and ire are related to the term “stress”. Ibi represents the “distress”, while ire represents the “eustress”. Distress and eustress are the paths to disease or health (or healing).
Furthermore, Ifa subtly introduce the concept of inheritance as one of the hidden causes of disease. Without going in depth, there is the implication of the necessity to deal with generational curses in order to heal.
Then Ifa explains the source of healing is in taking care of all the components of our spirit, and all the components of our mind that are three.
When we forge a hoe, we beat it out flat; when we forge a cutlass, we beat gbonrndan-gbonrandan (sound made when beating iron on an anvil), when we forge a brass gong, we turn it over and over and over; if we bring them together, they become only one alone was the one who cast Ifa for Orunmila when he was going to attack his enemies. They said he would defeat them. They said he should sacrifice three cocks, money and one bag made of etu cloth.
Ifa spaks about the existence of three minds, as stated before. Interestingly, describe archeomind as a brass gong, able to resonate its messages over and over. In fact the intervention of the archeomind tends to perpetuate the stress (either in terms of eu or distress) to create the ire or ibi of that particular moment.
Etu refers to a particular pattern used for indigo-dyed woven cloth among Ifa Orisha people of West Africa. Etu is also the Yoruba word for guinea fowl. Guineas are large birds, very fierce. They have beautiful feathers of white speckles on very dark brown or black. The weaving pattern of etu cloth mimics the speckled patterning of the guineas through the use of light and very dark indigo warp and weft. Interestingly, these birds are related to the energy of Osun. In Candomble Tradition, they are offered to Osun any time one is ins earch of abundance, inspiration, creativity, and radical transformation. In this Ese the subtle implication is for the needed radical change that is requested to heal.
Sequentially, Ifa selected a diferent version of a previous Ese.
If the eyes do not see things as taunting as being bounded by a rope
It cannot see things as beautiful as brass.
Cast Divination for Wobuwobu Oloko
Also cast Divination for Gbonbugbonbu Oloko
Wobuwobu saw an expansive lake
But he had not an Ogbun calabash
Gbonbugbonbu on his own
He had an Ogbun calabash
When they both arrived at the bank of Ijamo river
Wobuwobu had studied the lake
He noticed the lake with its current moving up and down
Wobuwobu exclaimed excited
There are so many fishes in this lake!
Gbonbugbonbu moved near him
He has a calabash handy
What are we going to do? They asked each other
“Let us drain it with this calabash” Gbonbugbonbu said
They then drained the lake
But on evacuating the water
They could only find a single fish to kill
As soon as they got out of the swamp
They exploded into a fight
Gbonbugbonbu said he owns the fish
Wobuwobu said he is the one to take away the fish
They continued to argue
Meanwhile Ogun had gone on hunting spree
He was returning home
He met the two of them exchanging fisticuffs
Prompted, they narrated their case to Ogun
Wobuwobu said it is he that saw the expanse of water
Although I have no calabash
Gbonbugbonbu said he was the one that has Ogbun
The Ogbun that gave them the advantage of scooping the river
“If we don’t have Ogbun”
“How would we have been able to drain the lake” Gbonbugbonbu said?
“But if I did not see the lake”
“Can we fish in the air”? Countered Wobuwobu
“Do not fight again” Ogun said, amused
“Close your eyes” he ordered
They obliged and closed their eyes
He asked one to hold tightly the head of the fish
And the other to hold the tail
Ogun brought out his sharp cutlass from its sheath
In a flash, he cut the fish in two equal halves
To him that held the head side
Another tail miracolously became attached to it
He that held the tail end also
A new head became attached to it
The fish became two
They said “Ogun da eja si meji”…
They were dancing and rejoicing
They were praising their Babalawos
Their Babalawos were praising Ifa
They said it was as their Babalawos said
If the eyes do not see things as taunting as being bounded by rope
It cannot see things as beautiful as brass
Cast Divination for he that has a deep lake but has no Ogbun
Also cast Divination for the man that has an Ogbun but could not locate a fish pond
On the day they were going to drain one specific river
Life became easier for us
Life actually became easier for us
It was when Ogun divided the fish into two
That life became easier for us.
This long version is actually more specific and direct to the practical solution on how to recover the initial spiritual trauma from the depth of the Unconscious (the deep lake).
First of all Ifa points to the limitation of Consciousness that generally is not able to discern the truth due to her limited ability in judgement. According to what we today now, Ifa consider Consciousness misleading and illusory. She can see that there is a problem as is attacked by symptoms, but cannot find out the way to solve the issue.
While unconscious cannot see there is a problem as He is the source of the problem, but has inside the instruments to solve the issue. So, the solution comes from the collaboration between Conscious and Unconscious mind in order to go in depth to search for the hidden origin of the illness. We human being are divided at least in two different reasoning part and whether they do not collaborate, there is no chance to recover the original trauma that gave birth to the disease process. In fact that original trauma is unconscious, as originates from layers of soul that are no more accessible from the awareness. Referring to Ogbun Calabash, Ifa highlights the importance for a deep reasearch into the spiritual life that translates into the world of emotion (lake waters).
Ogbun is The black mangrove (Avicennia germinans), is a species of flowering plant in the acanthus family, Acanthaceae. It grows in tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas, on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, and on the Atlantic coast of tropical Africa, where it thrives on the sandyand muddy shoresthat seawater reaches. It is common throughout coastal areas of Texas and Florida, and ranges as far north as southern Louisiana and coastal Georgia in the United States.
Like many other mangrovespecies, it reproduces by vivipary. Seeds are encased in a fruit, which reveals the germinate seedling when it falls into the water.
Unlike other mangrove species, it does not grow on prop roots, but possesses pneumatophores that allow its roots to breathe even when submerged. It is a hardy species and expels absorbed salt mainly from its leathery leaves.
The name “black mangrove” refers to the color of the trunk and heartwood. The leaves often appear whitish from the salt excreted at night and on cloudy days. It is often found in its native range with the red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle) and the white mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa). White mangroves grow inland from black mangroves which themselves grow inland from red mangroves. The three species work together to stabilize the shoreline, provide buffers from storm surges, trap debris and detritus brought in bytides, and provide feeding, breeding, and nursery grounds for a great variety of fish, shellfish, birds, and other wildlife.
So this plant is a living metaphor for going in the depth of the waters (emotional Unconscious) and extract their contents (salt|emotions).
Ifa says the original source of suffering is always spiritual, and this spiritual suffering translates in emotional derangement, that lastly translates in uncovert symptomatic expression. All these components must be addressed in order to healing, starting from spiritual. So, Ifa suggests three distinct phases of approach: the spiritual one, the emotional one, and the symptomatic one, in timely order.
There is no need to discuss on how the spiritual issues may be addressed as Ifa gives us all the “diagnostics and therapy” through Divination and Ebo.
To proceed toward the second phase (emotional exploration) Ifa suggests a specific tool, symbolically expressed by the statement “got out the swamp”. To go inside the emotional trauma and erase the emotional suffering it is needed to profoundly alter the consciousness and go deep to search for the culprit, then come out and present it to Consciousness. After that it is very predictable a conflicting phase were Consciousness will not accept what Unconscious presents. The solution to this conflict will be a spontaneous re arrangement of logic and analogic definitions of the problem, so that from the initial divided fish two new fishes will arise. This subtle explanation deals with the concept that sometimes Consciousness and Unconscious should remain well separated, each of them conserving its own definition of any fact, from the logic and emotional side.
Duty of our internal Warrior is to fight against the initial spiritual trauma, to reaccess the emotional derangement and to present it to Consciousness in order to erase it.
The tools Ifa advises are 1. Ifa Divination and Ebo, 2. hypnotic regression and restructuring.
From a physical point of view 3. recurring to medication and surgery.
Ifa then stresses the necessity to recur to Divination in order to prevent disease and any other kind of evil.
We know today
We know tomorrow
if the day after tomorrow will be good we do not know
Ifa’s declaration to Orunmila
Ifa provide a protective shield to his child
Ifa give me your protective shield, evil abounds out there
the leaf of oori plant provides a protective shiled over the land
Ifa protect me in a similar fashion, evil exists out there
when chicks of the hen hatches
the hen will provide a protective shield over them
Ifa protect me in a similar fashion, evil abounds out there
as the river gives a protective shield over the river bed
Ifa please protect me
evil abounds out there
protect me from enemies that pretend to be friends
protect me from the evil that exists within my house
protect me from the evil that exists from the moment I step out of my house
protect me from both known and unknown evil
give me your protective shield.
Going back to the rol and importance of the Heart, intended as focal organ of emotional communication, as revealed in past Divination, Ifa says:
The Owner of Ìtildeè
It was they who cast Ifá for Èjì Òkànràn,
Who was going to the city of Ìtildeè
Èjì Òkànràn was advised to do ebo
Because of a certain thing pertaining to his father,
Which they wanted to steal from him.
He did the ebo
After doing the prescribed ebo,
He triumphed over his enemies.
He said that it was exactly as they had divined
It was they who cast Ifá for Èjì Òkànràn
Who was going to the city of Ìtildeè
Let him walk in peace,
Let him move freely and proudly.
Èjì Òkànràn, he became an owner.
Let him walk in peace.
Let him walk freely and proudly. ”
The role of the Heart is so to allow a free communication, intended as emotional discharge to consciousness. Nevertheless the presence and the role of Esu in this Okanran-mediated flow of information is also to interrupt definitely the journey, at least sometimes. This is very important in the sense of the control of compulsory response to emotional stimula. Sometimes human beings react to emotion in a reflex unconscious (talamic) way so that the somatic reaction is always the same (as in case of phobia for example).
In these cases the disrupting intervention of Esu may be curative. In this sense I recognize the value of therapeutic (Esuoic) communication in many forms of inspired Ofo ase among which one of the most modern is neuro linguistic programming. Nlp has this precise meaning: to intervene in the flow of information between heart/talamus/soma to interrupt the neuro automatic pathology circuits.
Furthermore, as the heart expresses his function with a definite magnetic field, that is more powerful than the brain field, one should reflect about the possibility that this magnetic field is influenced by different modalities of spiritual intervention that make it more or less powerful depending on the purpose of Ifa Divination results.
Ifa ko o jebo naa fin ko je ebo o da ,koje ebo naa orede orun burebure
Okanran kan nihin
Okanran kan lohun
Okanran mejeji pakun kale oju won kpon
Kanrin kanrin di fa fun LAALU
Tii somo kunrin ode
Oruko ti a i pe ESU
Make our sacrifice auspicious, Ifá
Let the ritual be accepted, and let my undertaking go up to the place of divine realm
If Okanran is cast on the right
And Okanran is cast on the left,
The configuration result in
Is fraught with grave consequences
Thus declare ifa oracle to LAALU mighty lord of the cross roads
Whom we call ESU