Ori (Yoruba)

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Ori is a metaphysical concept important to Yoruba spirituality and mythology.

Ori, literally meaning "head," refers to one's spiritual intuition and destiny. It is the reflective spark of human consciousness embedded into the human essence. In Yoruba tradition, it is believed that human beings are able to heal themselves both spiritually and physically by working with the Orishas to achieve a balanced character, or iwa-pele. When one has a balanced character, one obtain an alignment with one's Ori.

Alignment with one's Ori brings, to the person who obtains it, inner peace and satistaction with life. To come to know the Ori is, essentially, to come to know oneself, a concept far from foreign to Western philosophy.

[edit] Bibliography

  • Camara, Louis, 1996. Le choix de l'Ori: conte. Saint-Louis: Xamal.
  • Gbadegesin, Segun, 2003. 'Ènìyàn, The Yoruba Concept of a Person', in P.H. Coetzee and A.P.J. Roux (eds) The African Philosophy Reader (2nd ed.), 175-191. (This study originally appeared under the same title in Gbadegesin, Segun, 1991. African philosophy: Traditional Yoruba philosophy and contemporary African realities. New York: Peter Lang, 27-59.)
  • Makinde, M.A. 1985. 'A Philosophical analysis of the Yoruba concepts of Ori and human destiny', International Studies in Philosophy, 17, 1, 54-69.