A debate on the radio made me think about religion today. I’m not a ‘religious’ person. As in, I don’t subscribe to any of the text books or manuscripts pertaining to be the definitive word on our purpose, existence, history or future.
My view is too simplistic for all that anyway, I perceive religions to be simple guidelines, constructed in order for people to exist in proximity to one another for any period of time. Imagine if there were no rules on a crowded train. Or in the flagship Mulberry store in Mayfair. Chaos and probably death. Anyway, I just think that people just took those original rule books way to seriously back in the day as they didn’t have ‘The Wire’ or ‘Casualty’ to watch then.
I was thinking why people go to their places of worship and what is the transaction that occurs. Everything must have a transaction. Nobody does anything for no reason at all. I guess that for the most part, you get to feel like a ‘good’ person. For a short while. You get to show other people that you are a good person. But what of the transaction with the host, Him, or the Priest? What do they get? They also get to feel good about being seen to be good I suppose. Either way, there seems to be a lot of presumption based on demonstrating good.
In Yoruba mythology, an Orisha is a guardian spirit, a manifestation of the Oruban deity Olorun. Adherents of the religion appeal to specific manifestations of Ọlọrun in the form of the various Orishas. Ancestors and culture-heroes held in reverence can also be enlisted for help with day-to-day problems.
If you want to read more about the Orisha
One of the many Orishas is Babalu Aye (also known as Omolu, Shonponno, Obaluaye, Shakpana, Sakpata). Babalu Aye, for example governes epidemics and infections diseases. Worshipers must offer him, white wine, popcorn, sesame seed, grains, beans and seeds.
What I like here, is the honesty of the transaction that takes place. Each of the Orishas represent things like disease, fertility, war, marriage, healing, food, everyday human struggles and issues. And so the worshipers will take offerings (items of real value and currency) to the Orisha who is most able to help them.
This isn’t such a bad idea. Perhaps if the Bishop of Guildford asked for an i-Phone, bottle of Jack Daniels and a few tins of Ambrosia Custard in return for 10 minutes of focus on my wisdom tooth I might be more inclined to visit.
That’s too serious for a Saturday morning. I’m off to buy something frivolous now.