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Iyalorisa Omitonade Ifawemimo‎

The Yoruba metaphysical concepts of Ori and Akunleyan

If you can reconcile the Yoruba metaphysical concepts of Ori and Akunleyan, on one side, with the concepts of dafa (divination) and ebo ruru (sacrifice), on the other, then you can easily reconcile the rationalist arguments with the empiricist arguments about the source of knowledge.

Is knowledge in-born or is knowledge acquired through experience?

The rationalists argue that Ori inu plays an important role in what we know, how we process what we know and how we make propositions about what we know. That is, Ori is what drives rational thought and choice (Akunleyan). However, the empiricists contend that information gathering through experience is what drives knowledge. In other words, Ifa, as a powerful information retrieval system, is central to information gathering, and thus a source of knowledge.


Now, if Ori drives human choice (Akunleyan), and if Ifa divination drives knowledge, then Ifa, by virtue of its infinite data bank and power to prescribe correct sacrifices, can alter human choice. For example, a young king who wants to choose between war and peace will ask Ifa a specific question phrased in terms of two mutually exclusive alternative propositions. One is, the war will lead to victory – a positive affirmation. The other is, the war will not lead to victory – a negative affirmation. If Ifa says, yes, the war will lead to victory, the young king will go to war. But, if Ifa says, no, the war will not lead to victory except if the young king makes some sacrifices, the young king will oblige, make the prescribed sacrifices and go to war to take his victory. So, while Ori has made the young man a king, Ori cannot choose for him the best way to rule and navigate reality. Ifa does.


In conclusion, yes, Ori, being a metaphysical head or DNA, can be a factor in how we reason, process information and navigate reality. However, it’s Ifa that provides us with essential information that helps us to choose correctly between two alternatives. In other words, Ifa can alter Akunleyan through sacrifice(s) and guide our Ori towards the right path.

Ifa Dare

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  1. Seyi Sotubo Seyi

    Ifa thru ebo helps an individual to actualize his innate tendencies and reducing guesswork

    Aremo Seyi Esudamilare Sotubo da oracle

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