(C) by www.martin-liebermann.de

Fate and free will do not form a dichotomy in my view. Both are a part of life. However, I subscribe to a greater level of free will than many Babalawos. In my opinion, very little is absolutely “set” in our lives, in the sense of being “fated” and immutable.

I think the rock-bottom basics include such things as the physical laws of our universe (e.g., gravity, the necessity of breathing, eating and sleeping), but even these have been transcended, at certain times by some individuals. I prefer to operate under the assumption that I am not positive about what, if anything, is fated. This always gives me the option of change and improved circumstances.

I do feel that very few precise events in life are “fated” in the sense of being foreordained when we came into life. However, there is a certain amount of interaction in life. If I come into (for learning purposes) a body with a predisposition toward high cholesterol and proceed to eat, drink and be merry with high- sugar, high-fat foods while getting very little exercise, I am setting myself up for an eventual heart attack. There will come a time when that result is, essentially, “inevitable” or “fated.” But it is my action and attitudes which have created that. Had I chosen to act differently, I would have a different “fate.”

The analogy I like best is that we are all afloat on the River of Life. Some of us are in rowboats. Some of us are in motorboats. Some of us are hanging on to a log, while others are floundering in the open River, swimming as best we can. Down the River is a waterfall. Those of us who have learned to swim or who have a boat and have learned to steer, have an excellent chance of going over that waterfall in an easy fashion — or even choosing to steer against the current for a time and bypass that waterfall by taking another byway on the River. Those of us clutching a log or adrift in the current are much more at the mercy of whatever comes down the River, whatever swift eddies carry us along.

I believe we are “fated” to face certain issues in each life by virtue of who we are. Our attitudes and actions create our karma and determine our fate. If we are of a quarrelsome nature, we will continue to get involved in fights and arguments until we change our nature. If we are excessively sweet and nice, we will continue to attract others who use and abuse our power against us, until we change our nature.

I do not believe the details are fated. I do not believe anyone must marry an alcoholic, lose a job, be chronically ill. I do believe that we attract events and situations that give us opportunities to become more of what we are capable of becoming. And, if we are stuck in a negative pattern (floundering in the River), we are likely to continue our same unhelpful reactions because they are familiar. But change is always an option.

And karma is immediate. As soon as we change our actions and attitudes, we change our karma. Because we are different, we begin attracting different circumstances for learning.

What Ifá offers us is a map of the basic psychological issues and principles we are facing and trying to balance. It does not reveal “fated” details which “must” happen. Any principle can have a whole range of possible details. But, if we understand the basic principle being dealt with, we can choose to operate with the more fulfilling (less frustrating) details available.

Tags: fate, free-will, karma

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10 Comments

    1. Alaafia;

      Thank you for visiting my site. I hope you have found the articles useful and informative.

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      Agbo Ato
      Awodele Ifayemi

  1. I love this post. Partly because it’s what I’ve been trying to explain to my friends but the analogies you used I think are awesome and helped me understand better what I’ve felt for a while now.

    Thank you so much, I’m now following you on twitter 🙂
    Peace and Love
    Mbeng.

    1. Alaafia!

      Thank you for your kind words. I always like to get feedback on my articles, and your words are very encouraging. As always, please feel free to comment and or ask any related question.

      Ogbó àtó Asure Ìwòrìwòfún.

      O dábò!
      Awodele Ifayemi
      Follow Me on:
      Twitter: https://twitter.com/IfaBabalawo

  2. Oh Baba, this is food 4 thought. Fate vs freewill or nature vs nurture is a hot topic. I don’t have fatalism in my vocubulary or a pie in the sky anathem when it comes down to the work you must put into this journey to evolve. My people (in da hood)can free themselves with less litany of prayers and more self actualization-education beyond the walls of secondary education can help us crack open the windows to possibilities. Why take a sandwich to a buffet- a rich man told me once. The world is a buffet, and poor people like myself have to mobilize toward the greater good of it all. self determination is the key to evolution.

    1. Alaafia;

      Well spoken.

      At the end of the day, if it’s raining on you, then get out of the rain!

      We are the authors of our successes as well as failures. We “design” our tomorrow by virtue of our actions and more precisely that which we give most of our thoughts, and emotions to is what we manifest. So there is a “Road” we where born to travel, as we chose such journey, yet our “ace” in the hole is our “freedom of choice”….

      I really appreciate your visits and thought provoking comments!!!

      Ogbó àtó Asure Ìwòrìwòfún.

  3. aboru aboye abosise ogbo ato asure iworiwofun cuanto orgullo y despertar ocasiona en mi sus escritos me hace pensar un poco en la importacia de los pensamientos y la posible revelaciòn de la luz a todos hasta llegar a imaginar que existiran muchos iniciados pero pocos elegidos no se si estoy siendo fantasia pero me da mucho gusto poder leer sus definiciones y pensamientos espero seguir compartiendo y relacionarme de manera eficaz para un mejor aprendisaje de ifa con respecto a mi entendimiento y capacidad.

    orunmila a gbe wa ase o. odabo.

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