I recently posted the following statement in my Ifa African Spiritual Technology Facebook group, “The key to Ori is the use of empowered symbols.” I asked how can this be so and got some good responses. Here are my thoughts on the subject. In the realm of Ori everything is a symbol which can serve as a tool or weapon in manifesting phenomena. Olodumare in its community centered creative spirit has given us in the form of Ori both an all powerful ally to accompany us but also one which is not independent, but interdependent on the internal and external symbols in and around is. Ori uses these symbols to read and communicate to the world and most importantly, to manifest phenomena.
Ori must use symbols and symbols can be spiritual, mental or physical. Symbols can be persons, places or things. What’s a symbol for one person can have a different symbolic meaning for someone else. These symbols can have a beneficial or detrimental effect on a person based on Ori’s perception of them, it’s belief in the symbols as empowered, and the inherent value of the symbols themselves. Ori however only uses and or acknowledges empowered symbols, which in this case means symbols that it believes works; symbols it thinks is powerful and authentic.
An example of Ori’s power lie not in the realm of religiosity but in science in the form of the placebo effect. A simplified explanation of this effect is as follows. A patient is given an inactive medicine by a doctor yet the patient doesn’t know the medicine is in fact inactive. The person thinks the medicine is active. The patient is healed of his or her ailment by using the inactive medicine. The healing of the patient through the use of inactive medicine is called by science, “the placebo effect.”
The same effect has occurred in sham surgeries of leg injury in which patient body healed because they thought they had been operated on but in actuality no surgery was performed only the perception of a surgery. The inverse of this is called “the nocebo effect” where a perceived harmful symbol creates a harmful effect in the body.
So let’s break this situation down and see what really happened. In the original situation, it was Ori which healed the person through a symbol (the medicine) it perceived as empowered (empowered because it was given by a licensed doctor, and the person had faith in that doctor).
The actual medicine was inactive but because of Ori’s perception of the medicine (symbol) as real and authentic (it perceived it as an empowered symbol), Ori was able to use the medicine (empowered symbol) to heal the body.
So the question remains, why couldn’t Ori just heal the body without the medicine if in this case the medicine was actually inherently inactive? Well, this is because Ori needed to use the medicine as a SYMBOL or TOOL to manifest the phenomena which in this case was healing. Ori needed a symbol.
So does this mean that the things don’t have power in themselves? Of course not! Symbols can have power independent of Ori’s perception of them. However, when Ori is aware of the supposed inherent power in a symbol, Ori can use that symbol and ultimately manifest the phenomena in tandem with the inherent power of the symbol or just with the power of Ori itself as the placebo effect phenomena demonstrates.
So in summary, the key to Ori is the use of empowered symbols. These symbols can be spiritual, physical or mental. They can be persons, places or things. Yet Ori must perceive these symbols as powerful and this is based on personal and or societal cultural perceptions of power. Culture helps shape Ori’s perception of an empowered symbol. And this leads to way more questions than answers. And to connect this to our spiritual tradition, our shrines are just one example of empowered symbols which are continually empowered by our feeding them, praying to them and ritually purifying and strengthening them in ceremony. Thanks for being an ear for my mental ramblings...lol!