Distinguishing ego from true self

(Quotations from Titus Burckhardt)

The Spirit (ar-Ruh) and the soul (an-nafs) engage in battle for the possession of their common son, the heart (al-qalb). By ar-Ruh is here to be understood the intellectual principle which transcends the individual nature and by an-nafs the psyche, the centrifugal tendencies of which determine the diffuse and inconstant domain of 'I'.
(p. 26)

Paraphrased: The saying, the 'Sufi is not created', can be understood to mean that the being who is thus reintegrated into the Divine Reality recongizes himself in it 'such as he was' from all eternity according to his 'principial possibility, immutable in its state of non-manifestation' - to quote Muhyi-d-Din ibn 'Arabi.
(p. 26)

'Abd ar-Razzaq al-Qashani from his commentary on The Wisdom of the Prophets:
In so far as man is a possibility of manifestation, but does not see Him Who manifests him, he is pure absence ('udum); but on the other hand in so far as he receives his being from the perpetual irradiation (Tajalli) of the Essence, he is...
(p. 67)

Paraphrased:... The identity of the 'I' is merely a recollection of the 'Self' (al-huwiyali), the possiblity of the being which subsists eternally in the Infinite Essence. That which 'lights up' and knows the transitory nature of material phenomenon and connects them with their archetype is clearly not the individual consciousness but pure and transcendent Intelligence.
(pp. 68-69)

©1999 by Deb Platt

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