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Friendship and Commitment

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Friendship and Commitment

Our ancestors were profound deep thinkers. If we analyze our LIVING languages we will see that thought played out. The language is both mundane and cosmological. I want to share a brief Ìşèşè view of friendship and commitment as revealed by Yorùbá language and Odù Ifá.

The Yorùbá view the whole body as divine and symbolic of things deeper on a spiritual and moral level. Many of us in Ìşèşè (Òríşà) tradition are familiar with Orí and what it means. However, the àyà of an individual has deep implication. The word àyà in Yorùbá is used for the body part we know as the chest. The deeper implications of àyà are that to the Yorùbá and many other West Afrikans it symbolizes ìfé inú òré (friendship) and ìfé (love). Friendship is one of the highest relational conditions amongst Afrikans. A friend will help you in times of need and be happy for you in times of good. A friend will always want your best interest in mind. Who are your friends? Who may NOT be your friends? Think about that one for a minute.

In Afrikan culture, we often greet each other chest to chest three times. 3 is the number of friendship and the manifestation of things into fruition. When you are hugging someone, even if they are not your friend then, you are saying to the spirit world that you are willing to be friends with this person. Now, of course, this leads to the FAKE hugs that are given out by the ton. The symbolism of the chest exhorts us to be SINCERE in our dealings. Do not go chest to chest, or even go through the motions thereof, if you are not willing to go through with what àyà TRULY means according to the Yorùbá.

Friendship is very vital. Friendship and the commitment of love in the Ìşèşè tradition are automatic pacts or what we call in Yorùbá imulè. To break them is of deep consequence both in person to person relations and it violates spiritual ordinances. Odù Ifá Òkànràn Òtúrúpòn says:

Eke ko sunwon ara eni Odale ko sunwon ara eni B’omode ba nyole da Ohun abe’nu a maa yo won şe A difa fun ajubona Ti o lo nfe obinrin Oluwo

Falsehood is not good for anyone Commitment breaking is not good for anyone If young people act secretly to break commitments Secret things will happen to them Divined Ifá for Ajubona Who was going to proposition the wife of the Oluwo

We can liken line number 3 to people who fake hug and ultimately fake friendship. It is not good for the spirit. It causes other things to fester (“secret things will happen to them”) and eventually manifest. Let’s at least be right with the spirit world.

Another verse found in Odù Ifá Òràngún Méjì (Heepa Odù) says it all:

Afinti ni p'omoodo Ile dida nip'ore Epe ni p'ole

Rumor mongering destroys servants Breaking commitments destroys friends, And damnation destroys thieves

Finally, Ôyèkú Méjì states:

Let us not lie against a companion. Let us not break a commitment to an associate

We are asked today to be sincere in what we do and say we are about in relation to our friends. Reexamine your commitments to your spouse and friends and all those important to you. Check self to see if you are doing everything that you can to show you are committed to them. At the same time, don’t be fake in your dealings with people that you know you don’t like and possibly don’t like you. Remember…when you hug someone chest to chest àşe (spirit energy) is being shared and passed along.