We live in a world where complexity too often equates to value. The more bells and whistles our car, TV, or cell phones have, the more attractive they appear. Yet, when one gains a measure of wisdom, you realize that the greatest Truths are the simplest. Profundity lies in the core of ideas and energy, not in the accessories. This is particularly true of the Yoruba concept and understanding of Nature.

What is the great Truth the Yoruba wise men and women discovered?

It is:
Every aspect of Nature exhibits constant dynamic movement designed to achieve, or maintain, Balance. A Thunderstorm dissipates the excess heat; earthquakes remove excessive tectonic pressure, the hours of daylight signal the dormancy or awakening of trees, plants and animals into a current habitable environment.

The Yoruba observed, felt and understood both the power and necessity of this balance. When, for short periods, Nature appeared out of balance, be it through drought, forest fire, flood or excessive heat, all the inhabitants of the area suffered. It was only after Nature dynamically corrected the short term imbalance that health and safety were restored. They also observed another critical Truth: All living things on this planet achieved their own balance as a result of Natures balance!

On a basic level this is easily understood. If our crops are destroyed by drought, our homes washed away in floods or our children struck by lightening, we suffer great imbalance in our lives. When Nature has restored its’ balance, we are able to restore our own. But on another critical level, they also realized that just as the energy of a Thunderstorm could correct the imbalance of drought, or the energy of a forest fire could clear the way for removing dead trees and allowing new growth to take place, that in the symbiotic relationship of ALL living things on this planet, the various energies of Nature could maintain or restore our personal balance as well!

They identified, and named many of these energies. They called them Irunmole or Orisa.
They became specialists in these various aspects. They became intimately connected to specific aspects of Nature and worked to be able to effectively access and use that energy to restore or maintain balance in other humans.balance that allowed for our natural symbiotic connection and relationship to the world we live in. But they NEVER forgot that the process of restoring, or maintaining, our personal balance was simply a bridge allowing us to connect to and become balanced within the larger, more powerful Whole (Nature) of which we are a literal part.
It was not until the World View of the West, a view that Man was Supreme- in charge of Nature- insidiously wove its way into African culture, that cause and effect became twisted.
The result of this twist is the almost permanent state of imbalance most of the West lives in.
When the fan thinks it controls the wind, imbalance results . So, as the West has increasingly co-opted the ability to use the Natural energies the Yoruba discovered, they have used them in ways that, rather than restore balance and connect us to the Whole, separate us from it in a frighteningly self-absorbed manner. A manner which not only creates temporary imbalances in Nature through our total disregard for its balance, but imbalances within ourselves, as we remain in a constantly contradictory vibratory state with the Whole. We are like the percussionist in the orchestra that continually bangs the symbols in total disregard to the symphony itself.

In order to begin to understand, feel and restore ourselves to the proper relationship with Nature, we must once again become part of it. Quite frankly, I do not believe it can be done in Chicago , New York , Los Angeles , London or Paris . The overwhelming dissonance of energy that Western societies metropolitan areas exude make it virtually impossible. Instead you MUST find the time to place yourself in a quiet, Natural environment. An environment where the sounds of car horns, sirens, trains and planes cannot be heard. An environment where you can hear the sound of waves, birds, frogs wind rustling through the trees and bushes. Where you can , without intent , allow your own energy, to meld with and become part of the Whole from which you came. It is something that must be felt and experienced in order to re-connect you to the energies in a productive and rational way the ancient Yoruba understood. It is the reason the Foundation, for almost twenty years, has created Sacred Space, Sacred Gardens , embedded within the purity of Nature for our initiations and work. When one is in harmony with the Whole, those connections you make, those sacred articles you create, will reflect the purity and Natural flow of the energy.


Philip Neimark