February 6th, 2020
US, Florida: Religion is doctrine. Religion shapes societies and builds cultures. Religion politicizes the spirituality of the land or country. Religion is the science of institutionalized established faith. The elements of religion are mythology, politics, and indoctrination. It independently doesn’t supply the human spirit with holy revelations. Religion is defined by the culture that has developed a doctrine for the population, e.g. Christianity. Religion can be viewed as repeated experiences. Religion: re means to repeat; li is lie; gion is story. If you tell a lie long enough, it becomes the truth (Odu Obara Meji). The Google dictionary states that religion is “the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.” Religion has become a broken glass bowl. Wright (1971) stated in her article that “religions have secular and spiritual aspects, the secular being most frequently observed and reported in connection with political and social institutions or behavior” (Odu EjiOgbe). To understand religion, we must understand what religion is and what is the relation between religion and spirituality which is used in manipulation tactics in orisa and ifa practices.
Spirituality is a fragment of life, political system, and society. The Google dictionary states that spiritual is the “relating to or affecting the human spirit or soul (character) as opposed to material or physical things.” Spiritual emphasizes on the transition, transcendent, metaphysical, intangible, and time (Wright, 1971). Africa has not been able to change the negative and be fruitful. Africa is rich and full of life even after slaves’ blood fell and painted the land on both sides of the pond red (Odu Osa meji). Taylor and Chatters (2010) believe that spirituality is important to African Americans in the diaspora more than religion. For clarity, spirituality has nothing to do with religion. There is systematical corruption and manipulation that affect the Orisa and Ifa spiritual faith. The Orisa and Ifa spiritual faith in the diaspora has become sterile as it is in West Africa. Today, everything is being manipulated and fabricated. Therefore, the Orisa and Ifa system is broken in both West Africa and the diaspora (Odu Oyeku Meji).
Manipulation can be a state of being and a state of action. Google dictionary stated that manipulation is “the action of [influence of] something in a skillful manner.” For example, when there was a conspiracy to embarrass Orunmila and manipulate Olokun (Odu OgbeAlara). It is people who manipulate people and not religion or spirituality that manipulate people. Manipulation is found in many cults, religions, cultures, and political communities. Regardless, spiritual manipulation is very popular in various religions.
Spiritual manipulation is a very strong technique used in institutionalized religions by high monarchs with cult like rules. The institutionalized religions teach and influence those cultures because it is the same people who attend both forms of religion, institutionalized religions and cults. Spiritual manipulation practices falsely and dishonestly control and negotiate for personal gain under the guise of spiritually teaching. The spiritual manipulation is rooted in the syncretism of the West African orisa and ifa spiritual faith in the diaspora. As time passes, people themselves manipulate the mythology and ideology of the Orisa and Ifa spiritual faith by applying systematic corruption and a fabrication of lies (Odu Odi’Wori).
Today, the Orisa and Ifa spiritual faith is like a broken glass bowl. There are one too many lies and fabrication against various groups of people simply due to their race, gender, and age. Through centuries, Odus have changed to benefit certain people and empower the scammers and cons. It is the curse that follows Yoruba slave descendants in the American-diaspora (Awole’s curse). American-diaspora slaves are not only dislocated, but slightly spiritually broken in fragment pieces because of continuous spiritual and religious manipulation. There are illusions that those spirits are non-wakening spirits that are floating and wandering from zero to zero levels in life not understanding their destiny. Over and over the spirits are like a broken bowl. The broken glass bowl is the bowl full of poison, fabrication of initiations, spiritual limitations, and curses of Nigerians on the lost fragmented pieces for money. There is no love, care, or authenticity in the diaspora in orisa and Ifa systems.
The broken glass bowl mythology is found in all religions. The broken glass bowl represents anger, instability, loneliness, and being lost, dislocated, spiritually broken, and spiritually manipulated by the privileged. Spiritual manipulation affects an individual’s destiny. For instance, Yoruba slaves were cursed by their own relatives who placed them into slavery for wealth. The manipulation re-shaped the diasporan’s destiny spiritually. When a diasporan looks back to West Africa, there is no real substance to build on. The broken bowl can be mended with gold by having clarity, learning, and accepting the truth of the orisa and Ifa system without misogyny, narcissism, political dogma, and biased behavior.
Strenski, I. (2015). Understanding theories of religion: An introduction. United Kingdom: John Wiley & Son
Taylor, R., & Chatters, L. (2010). Importance of Religion and Spirituality in the Lives of African Americans, Caribbean Blacks and Non-Hispanic Whites. The Journal of Negro Education, 79(3), 280-294. Retrieved from www.jstor.org/
Wiebe, D. (1999). The insider/outside problem in the study if religion. A&C Black Publisher
Wright, M. (1971). African history in the 1960’s: Religion. African Studies Review, 14(3), 439-445. doi:10.2307/523775