Prince Justice Faloye

One of the greatest hindrances to indigenous African critical thinking is categorizing and treating our traditional body of knowledge, Ifa, as mere religious. This limits our understanding to the artistic aspect of our traditions, which makes us ignorant of its scientific and philosophical foundations. Our knowledge bank, the world’s oldest knowledge bank, academically called the 16 sector African Information Retrieval System aka Ifa-Afa-Iha-Fa-Efa, includes arts, natural and social sciences, philosophy, metallurgy and practically every human study.

Unfortunately colonial epistemicide, the derailing and denigration of our traditional information systems, like wrongly equating Esu/Ekwensu to Satan, caused colonial mental slavery that limits our understanding and utilization of Ifa. This is not only limited to Yoruba philosophy, but affects all ethnicities of the indigenous African civilization. A civilization being tribes that share common cultural and genetic origins and linkages, and some moral and philosophical values.

Indigenous African civilizational beliefs are not based on dogma of religious beliefs, but on natural phenomena outlined in Ifa-Afa-Iha-Fa-Efa, therefore it is better called African Spiritual Sciences. Most people don’t know the key differences between Indigneous African and Eurasiatic philosophies. African philosophies are mainly based on Binary Complementarity philosophies while Abrahamic and other Asiatic philosophies are based on Binary Opposition philosophy. African philosophy is mainly cyclical while Asiatic/Abrahamic are linear.

African Binary Complementarity philosophies believe God and Satan, positive and negative, are one and the same, while Binary Opposition philosophy believe they are opposite and not part of a whole. Yoruba say tibi tire la da Ile Aiye meaning the world was created as both bad and good, and like atoms are inseparable into positive and negative. There is good and bad in every human and God. Nowhere will you find a shrine or temple for Almighty God in Yoruba, Igbo or other Indigenous African groups, and the belief systems are not redemptive like Binary Opposition that seeks to fight for the Almighty God and convert others by force. Binary Complementarity views hybridity and compromise as strengthening while Binary Opposition believe they are weakening and should be avoided.

Due to the fact that Western civilizational linear perspectives dominates world perspectives, modern Africans wrongly interprete their cyclical concepts from a linear perspective. We see history and Orisas from a linear perspective of one big man at a point in history, instead of cyclical concepts of natural essences exhibited by different personalities at different times. Oduduwa is not a single person but an exceptional leadership essence repeatedly exhibited by different leaders in different epochs.

Within the body of knowledge of the sixteen sector African Information Retrieval System known as Ifa-Afa-Iha-Fa-Efa – Ifa to Yoruba, Afa to Igbo, Iha to Edo, the Yoruba Orisas, Igbo Agbara and others, are philosophical and scientific essences.

Obatala represents government, civilization, law, Philosophy and higher education essences. Orunmila represents wisdom and creativity essences while Esu represents information, communication and analysis. Osun represents value, beauty and balance. Ogun represents positive action, iron, work, war etc. Shango represents justice and judicious use of information. Obaluaye represents structure of physical bodies, Lifecycles and institutions. Olokun represents leadership, spirituality, dogma, religion etc Oya represents revolutionary change, death and rebirth, while Yemoja represents fertility, moods and mothers. These are complete bonafide philosophies and their interactions describe not only human relations but the universe. The philosophies are deep, with the natural phenomena articulated over a long period.

Unfortunately the conquering Abrahamic civilizations demonize and denigrate our philosophies and sciences as religious mumble jumble, in order to rob us of our traditional Critical Thinking facilities and keep us mentally enslaved to their worldview.

By Prince Justice

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