Man's Relationship with God
This question has engaged the attention of thinkers through the ages. Some philosophers argue that the relationship between man and God is like the relationship between a dead father and his surviving off-springs. Others have argued that God once lived but died several millennia ago and that it is his spirit that continues to direct the affairs of the planetary system just as some believe that the souls of one's departed ancestors continue to play a leading role in one's affairs.
Orunmila's revelations confirm that God's existence cannot and should never be a subject for debate. The way he has ordered the design of heaven and earth and the retributive justice for those who contravene the laws of nature are unquestionable testimonies to the interventionary role of God in our lives.
It is my considered view that the concept of a personalized and personified God who is constantly watching over the affairs of all his creatures wherever he may be, might on closer examination, be defective. The idea of an unforgiving Almighty Father who condemns offenders to ever lasting hell fire is simply atrocious and untenable. If an ordinary mortal cannot be unforgiving enough to condemn a bad child to the wolves or into a burning fire, why should anyone think of the Almighty Father as being even more heartless and ruthless. The punishments for contravening any of the natural laws are laid down. They are not based on the will of God. We shall not sketch for God therefore, the picture of a disciplinarian who sits in judgement over any and every offence committed by his creatures. The penal sanctions for offending the laws of nature are retributively automatic. They are similar to the application of terrestrial laws. The law enforcement agencies will carry out the dictates of the law on any offender whether or not he is the son of one of those who made the law--that is under normal circumstances. It goes without saying therefore that God cannot harm humanity, the way he is adjudged to do, to those who offend natural laws. After all, any harm done by God to man is a harm done to himself, since humanity is an embodiment of His own being.
God is equal to all that is and exists, and that includes both organic and inorganic creatures. We all play one role or the other to make His whole body work more effectively. The forces of good and evil coexist within his physiological make-up just as they exist within our microscopic bodies. The relationship between God and ourselves is analogous to the relationship between ourselves and the living organisms operating inside our bodies. To perform and live as human beings we have millions of cells operating within our bodies each of which performs a distinct role.
There is no means through which we can directly influence the way these cells perform their individual functions except through our general behavior. For instance, when one hits one's hand on the table to make a point, one has destroyed or injured hundreds of thousands of living cells inside one's body and these are cells which may have been praying inside one's body for some form of deliverance.
In the same way, what excitement can it give to God to kill hundreds of thousands of his creatures, made up of mankind, plants and animals, in an earthquake? Nor does it give him pleasure when the world destroys itself in wars. Wars are intra-fratricidal conflicts within the body of God, since conflicts are part of the living process. We have no means of knowing the wishes and aspirations of the living organisms inside our bodies except that their conditions reflect on our own outlook and health. If they are hail and hearty they perform their jobs well and we also feel healthy. In the same way, God is happy when all the tiny little cells inside his body, plants, animals, water, fire, sun and moon, men and women are all performing their functions happily and satisfactorily.
Orunmila on the other hand reveals that God once had a physical existence and that it was often possible for his closest aids, the divinities and living beings to interact with him like we openly interact with our parents. As the planetary system expanded in size and population, the task of listening to everybody coming to him became cumbersome. It was at that point that He decided to evaporate into thin air. Before doing so however, he appointed the 200 divinities to assume the responsibility of adjudicating and intervening in the affairs of heaven and earth. It is therefore not an accident of history that each of the various divinities has his own retinue of adherents. The worshipers of Ogun Osun (Osonyin in Yoruba) Olokun, Orisa Nla, Sango, Christ, witchcraft,' Budda, Judaism Orunmila, Asukporu etc have no justification for claiming superiority in their modes of worship over others, because according to the revelations of Orunmila each of these agencies came to different parts of the world to assist the forces of good to become preponderant over the forces of evil. The common dominator between all of them is that they advise their followers not to do any evil and not to destroy their fellow beings, because it is against the laws of nature so to do.
They are all subject to the natural laws, that their followers should do to others what they also wish for themselves. Those who contravene this golden rule get their due reward in punishment here on earth.
In the light of the foregoing, it is clear that the relationship between God and man is likened to the father who dispatches his children to leave home to pursue different vocations for the total advancement of the whole family. The father leaves each of his children the discretion to determine how best to carry out their assignments. He is only interested in the end result of his children's efforts.
God creates us with hands, feet, intelligence and discretion to enable us fend for ourselves within the broad rules of the body of ethics called Natural Laws.
God does not stop anyone from doing good or evil, because it is ordained in the divine laws that like the night follows the day, whoever does good shall have good coming his way and he who does evil will surely reap the fruits of evil.
Orunmila reveals that God only laughs in two circumstances, when a wicked person who plots evil against his fellow men, goes on his knees to beg God for a favor, God laughs hilariously at him. On the other hand, when people are plotting against a person with a clean heart, and they pray to God to bless their evil plans to manifest, God laughs at them.
If you sow corn, you can only expect a corn harvest. No one can justifiably expect the serpent to give birth to a fowl. These are against the divine laws of the universe. That is why the divinities can only listen to the voice of the righteous. Those who resort to the use of diabolical medicines for giving manifestation to their evil intentions, do so because they could not enlist the support of the divinities. Neither God nor any of his servants will cooperate with anyone who prays for help to destroy or harm his friends, relations or neighbors. TO engage in wicked behavior against one's fellow men in the hope that praying round the clock can save one from the long arm of retributive justice, is to put the efficacy of prayer in doubt. One can only wish for success if one also appreciates or encourages success in others. One cannot constantly obstruct the cause of justice and expect the higher powers to do justice to one's cause. That is the law of retributive justice.
Several messengers from heaven have through the ages tried to teach the world how to serve God. They have all emphasized that we do not serve God by flocking into a house of prayer to praise and flatter Him or to pray for selfish favors. They have all emphasized without exception that the only true way of serving God is by doing good to our friends, relations, neighbors and even enemies.
What favor can a man expect from God when he refused to use his car to convey the neighbor's wife to the hospital when she was in labor? The man who sped his car past a dying victim of a motor accident without helping to take him to the hospital, may call for the help of God sixteen times a day, it will never come to him because he did not sow for it. If he had obliged the needy in his critical moment, God would also send help through any source to him when he was in difficulties. Can prayers bring deliverance to the man who refused to oblige a jobless relation with N2.00 to feed his family, when in fact he had over N300.00 in his cupboard at that material time. We do not have to pray for what we have not earned. We could only earn the benevolence of the divinities if we did not hesitate to assist those who needed our help on any previous occasion.
Here lies the similarity between prayer and sacrifice. For prayer to manifest there must be evidence that the offerer had previously sacrificed his effort, time or money to assist the needy. This approximates very closely to the physical sacrifice often made to divinities when we desire their assistance.
That is why Orunmila advises his followers never to refuse assistance to needy friends relations and neighbors. We shall see how the forces of the night punished the man who concealed the deer which he killed in the bush, to look like a human corpse merely because he did not want any member of his community to share out of it. He lost two of his children before he was able to determine the causal relationship between his treachery and the children's deaths. In fact Orunmila advises his followers to always have food at home so that chance or hungry callers may have something to eat. He assures that anyone who behaves in this manner will never be denied the means of funding his hospitality. As long as we are behaving the way God ordains us to do, we shall remain happy because one is only truly happy by making others happy. There are many ungrateful persons in the world, but the victim of ingratitude always lives longer and happier than the ingrate.
The story of how God sent Nene to fetch snails for sacrifice to soften the heat of heaven will illustrate how we are expected to use our discretion to chart the course of our lives. Nene, a maid in the Divine Palace was sent by God to fetch snails for sacrifice. Without asking any questions, she left for the assignment. God called her back to collect four gifts for the journey; one kolanut, one alligator pepper, one piece of white chalk and a piece of white cloth.
She knew that at that time, snails were not available in heaven, but she was determined to comb the length and breadth of heaven and earth to get the snails. After wandering in the bush for sometime, ESU, the evil divinity, transfigured on four different occasions to tempt her. First, an elderly woman appeared to her who cried for chalk to do some work for her daughter who was in labor. Nene obliged with the piece of chalk that God gave to her. Next, an elderly man appeared to her crying for a piece of white cloth to bring relief to his grand child who was suffering from convulsion. In a gesture of genuine concern and sympathy, Nene parted with the only piece of white cloth given to her by God.
Not long afterwards, a woman emerged with a child crying on her back. The child was hungry. As soon as Nene heard the cry of the child, she ran to the mother to find out what was happening. She explained that she had been in the forest all day without any food to give the child. Kolanut is the staple food in heaven. Nene gave the only kolanut she had to the woman who was very happy.
Finally, a hunter came along to ask her for an alligator pepper, which she also willingly parted with. With that, she had done favor with all the materials given to her by God. As soon as she gave the alligator pepper to the hunter, he moved a little distance forward and returned to meet her.
He asked her what she was doing in the forest. When she explained that she was sent by God to fetch snails, the hunter told her to wait. He opened the alligator pepper and threw the seeds into the bush. He then told her to enter the bush in the direction to which he threw the seeds of alligator pepper. She went into the bush and saw a countless number of snails. It will be noted that it was only by parting with what Nene had that she was able to obtain what she was looking for. If she had sat at home or knelt down in the forest to pray for the snails to come to her, she would have failed in her mission. It should also be noted that God did not tell her what to do with the gifts given to her. She was left to use her own discretion.
by Mr. C. Osamaro IBIE
from ch VI of IFAISM The Complete Work of Orunmila Vol1