Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Truths to Live By: No Devil

In Ifa we believe that there is no devil. There is no force in the Universe designed to tempt humans and distance them from God. In this post we’ll explore this truth and the reason that it is critical to the Ifa world-view.

This tenet is not based on some naive idea that only good exists. We fully acknowledge that there is evil and darkness in the world. They are necessary for balance. We do not perform cleansing or shedding ceremonies on Wednesdays and Saturdays in respect to the chaotic and destructive forces in the Universe.

If the Universe was created by a single benevolent force why would that force create an entity whose sole purpose was harm us? From a mystical perspective, the devil makes no sense. If God is the ground of being and we, at our deepest level, are also God. How would it be possible for us to be tempted away?

In a traditional religious context it was important to enforce an absolute code of ethics. It was critical to our growth as a species. It freed  us from the warlords who destroyed so many lives. God was seen as a stern enforcer. Only the worthy could gain admittance to heaven. The devil tested the faithful. People had to  prove that they deserved the after-life. If not, they would suffer for eternity. It was a very effective way to keep people in line. It prevented the fiercest among us from ruling the world.

In our benevolent world-view it is unthinkable that God would have created a being whose sole purpose is to tempt, and misguide, us. There is evil and negativity in the world. We have tools to deal with them. The rest of our success, or failure, is a matter of our own character and our chosen destiny.

It’s up to you to achieve your destiny. The Universe is there to guide you. If you let it. Do you believe in the devil? I’d love to know why, or why not.

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