The importance of character in orisa worship

It is by a devotee's efforts that they gain perfect alignment throughout their lifetime. This is done through by having good character, which is greatly emphasized within the Lukumí tradition. The Yoruba understands the importance of having iwa pele (gentle or cool character) and that is must be developed in order to move towards perfect alignment with our higher selves. In order to attain ire (blessings), one must practice iwa pele by bearing true feelings unconditional love for the world around us and love for ourselves. The Yoruba believe that it is only through iwa pele that a devotee will advance and progress in life. Every individual has the ability to change their course of life by choice (akunleyan) and the elements of life that we choose to change are the results of our actions (akunlegba). Although there are akunleyan and akunlegba, there are also elements in our lives that we cannot change or that can't be altered because of destiny, such as a predetermined time of death; because of akunleyan death can be brought about more quickly with bad character. The development of one's character is not only of interest to the individual but it also of interest to a devotee's ile and the community in which they belong. This illustrates the Yoruba's belief that we all live the same life as we are all cells in the body of Olorun.

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