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A few fundamental principles: excerpt 4 of a lecture by Bahram Elahi, MD

Ostad Elahi used to define his teachings as a new medicine of the soul: one that is adapted to the true nature of human beings and adheres to the law of causality governing both their spiritual and material lives. The spirituality he practiced was natural spirituality, and he viewed the process of spiritual perfection as a curriculum.

The excerpts presented here are drawn from a lecture given at the Sorbonne in March 2011, in which Professor Bahram Elahi revisits various aspects of Ostad Elahi’s philosophy. Rephrasing them in a simple and direct manner, he relates these points to fundamental questions and examines them from a rational standpoint.

Is it enough to have faith and become acquainted with the fundamental principles of spirituality to secure one’s spiritual future? That is the question addressed in the following excerpt by Prof. Bahram Elahi who also touches upon the general meaning of our life on Earth as well as the undeniable link between spiritual progress and individual effort.

Further readings:

The soul and the conscious self Excerpt No. 1 – The soul and the conscious self

To begin with, who are we? What is this self that we identify with? And what prevents us, in practice, from connecting to it? These questions relate to the issue of the soul and the fight against the imperious self. [read more]

The purpose of our existence Excerpt No. 2 – The purpose of our existence

Why are we here? What is the meaning of this earthly life? These questions relate to the idea of spiritual development as a cognitive process: the process of perfecting our ordinary reason into sound reason. [read more]

Sound reason Excerpt No. 3 – Sound reason

We are like pupils: our life on earth should be used to obtain the “certificates of primary and secondary education” that will then allow us to go through the higher stages of our process of perfection. [read more]

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  1. leana Jun 08, 2012 4:09 pm 1

    This is amazing. Thank you for posting this. It is so much easier to act on something that motivates us due to material gain but so much more difficult to do the same for our spiritual well-being due to non-immediate/non-material gain, which at times has been my problem.
    Does anyone have any suggestion on how to stay motivated on daily basis?
    I have noticed that at times I do get neglectful when I do not see immediate results.

  2. Johnny Jun 08, 2012 9:05 pm 2

    A lecture by Prof. Bahram Elahi
    Sorbonne, March 2011
    Excerpt 4: A few fundamental principles

    You know, everyone is free to think what they want, do what they want, and believe what they want. And if we lived on Earth forever, they would be right. But since we are only here for a while and then leave, if it turns out that there is a hereafter, that we survive physical death, then once we are there it will be difficult to answer.

    Don’t forget the accounting. Believe me, I am not one of those intellectuals who just archive principles in their intellects. Everything I tell you, I have studied, I have practiced – to the extent of my ability – and of this much I am certain: there is a hereafter; we never die; and we take with us what we have understood. And if we don’t do anything for ourselves here, we won’t have anything there. For in the hereafter, no one is able to spare anything for others. You can beg, but no one there will give you anything.

    Here is another principle you should know: the Creator, God, the Source – use whatever name you want, the Truth, anything! – created the whole of creation on the basis of causality; His judgment is on the basis of causality; and the results we obtain, we obtain through causality. Don’t let yourselves be taken in by saying, “Well, as long as you have faith, it’s enough.” I agree to a certain extent. Having faith in a true entity will make your soul a little more active; it will make it more active, more alive, but it won’t give it cognition. In other words, you are motivated, but this motivation must be put to work; if you don’t use your motivation, it will remain as motivation and that’s all.

    No divine person can give anything to anyone if that person doesn’t merit it, because doing so would be a transgression of divine law, and no spiritual entity can transgress divine values. There is the One, there has always been only the One; there will never be two. To my knowledge, limited as it is, He always observes the rule of causality. He is very generous, I agree; you might take one step forward, for example, sacrifice a little, and be given a great deal. But that little step, you still have to take it.

  3. Saiid Jun 09, 2012 1:44 pm 3

    Leana: We live in a material world and we do get neglectful when we do not see immediate results. I was reading some of the old posts of e-Ostadelahi.com and found an article posted on Aug 15, 2009. The title of the article is “Spiritual understanding and the causal system”. I thought the last paragraph (It should be remembered that delving in the self…) may be an answer to your question. Just a thought and I look forward to seeing more from others here.

  4. 7 Jun 09, 2012 2:29 pm 4


    I suggest watching Dr. Elahi’s video daily for motivation.

  5. David Jun 09, 2012 9:33 pm 5

    I cannot even begin to imagine the value of the insights given here.

    In one stroke Prof. Elahi draws on our logic to use a cautious approach if/when in doubt of the existence of the other world, while at the same time giving us the clearest principles on how to deal with the ensuing pitfall. Once we choose to accept the existence of the other world, our Imperious Self is quick to use that conviction as a tool to keep us from striving at our best “since God is so kind anyway”. Prof. Elahi’s clarification on this matter is so clear that we can use it to counter our Imperious Self every time it attempts to ease our conscience and free us from responsibility.

    In this world and the next, we and our outcomes are governed by the principle of causality. His kindness is immense indeed, but we simply cannot expect any outcome unless we make any effort to merit it (cause it) through our actions.

    What better motivation to always make our absolute best possible effort while staying enthusiastic and confident of the grace of the One?

  6. Pourya Jun 10, 2012 3:59 am 6

    When I review of my daily activities I can’t see how much I did for my spritiual growth?
    It is difficult to distinguish those “little steps”.

  7. happi Jun 10, 2012 7:24 am 7

    “He is very generous, I agree…” Caught My Attention.
    Even though Being Generous is my number one value – I fail to make Being More Generous my number one priority. I think what gets in my way of Being More Generous is hurrying, being preoccupied, and being too focused on myself or a problem I am troubled by in my life. What I have experienced without fail is that when I am more generous with other people, I feel incredibly good.
    So this article motivates me to slow down and start a new habit and Be More Generous.

  8. A. Jun 10, 2012 9:41 am 8

    (@ leana) Since Dr Elahi talks about taking a little step, to practice, to make an effort, I take the freedom of briefly recounting my experience relating to my practice. I set myself a simple exercise : to identify once a day a thought by the imperious self and do the opposite. I realized that besides having negative thoughts about people, events … many thoughts, actually an invisible web of “tiny” thoughts, had to do with postponing tasks.

    For instance: “your gymnastics ?! Don’t worry, you will do it later, first finish what you are doing, relax a little bit, there is no harm if you do it later!! Come on!” OR “Your prayer! Don’t stop now for 5 minutes of attention to the Source, you don’t have the time, you need to finish these things. Do it later, what difference does it make? It won’t make any difference”

    Actually all this postponing makes a lot of difference as it accumulates throughout the day. We become overtaken by materiality, we are more prone to negative emotions, the sense of guilt for wasting the day increases throughout the day. Also, the more we give in to these arguments the more we are prone to give in to next set of similar arguments…

    For my part, I have found that a robust program of prayers/moments of attention (ideally 10 in a day), sincerely asking for the Source’s help to do one’s practice and then trying to implement my “simple” exercise was very beneficial. I could better cope with negative emotions, I felt better, I had the feeling I was doing what was right, became more efficient/successful in both my material/spiritual undertakings, lead a more balanced life etc.

  9. jk Jun 11, 2012 4:16 pm 9

    A critical point that can be inferred from Dr. Elahi’s discussion is that it’s counterproductive to sit and wait for motivation to come along in order to put spirituality into practice such that it can lead to spiritual merit. This point is similar to the example of going to school. I cannot sit and wait to feel motivated to go to school in order to get a degree. I think most people agree this approach is a formula for disaster! Perhaps a better way to do it is to make it a duty for myself to get up at a certain time every single day, get ready, and go to school regardless of how motivated I feel. Sure, some days are more unpleasant to my imperious self than others, but the end result is that I keep moving and making progress. So, I think it’s best not to focus on the presence or absence of motivation, and just perform whatever I set as a duty for myself on as much of a regular basis as possible.

  10. leana Jun 11, 2012 6:35 pm 10

    Thank you everyone for your suggestions and advice.

    @7: I think that is a great idea. Sometimes by just seeing Dr. Elahi I feel alot more motivated and at peace.

    @A: Your recommendation is an excellent way of working on my will-power as well as staying motivated. I might have unrealistic goals. Even though I have been working on myself for sometime now, I think I need to keep working on my little steps. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  11. Ilana Jun 13, 2012 12:29 pm 11

    I like the image of an invisible web. I guess that could be spun of good thoughts and intentions or of not so good ones.

    I had this experience 10 days ago where I felt all alone, and not loved, and even people I didn’t know were angry at me: in the street someone yelled at me for not looking where I was walking and while I suppressed an outcry in my defense and said I was sorry the person continued to yell that that was not good enough…I felt all weak from “trying” but vulnerable and worthless. I still don’t know exactly how and why, but I guess the important thing is also to focus on the good results. So when this video was posted, I was so excited, and somehow realized that being unhappy with others was not right. That “I” needed to “do” something. And only my efforts to fight against my imperious self were going to make a difference. So then my outlook on things changed because I realized “my” attitude and actions, no matter how small have an effect. That day, instead of looking at the other people’s faults, I just tried to be more friendly- even in my thoughts- toward people. And while I have run into some hardships this last week, I have been surprised at how kind people have been to me. A whole sequence of events in which people have shown me kindness that was not based on their knowledge of who I was, because they didn’t know me. And I had done nothing to deserve it. I also felt that I was not alone. That God was with me, despite the hardships that I was having and that perhaps were the result of other things. But now, even on the phone, instead of thinking in the first place that people are rude and stupid, I feel more kindly toward them and realize that most of the time they “are” then also. If God is happy with these little efforts, then I am happy. Because I have of late complained a lot in my mind about others. Maybe it is time to let go and look forward and just be happy that I can work on these small steps and that I know that this is what I am supposed to do : )

  12. Juneone Jun 18, 2012 4:49 am 12

    Thank you administrator for continuing to release these videos. They are so helpful. Taking “the little steps” is not easy, but these videos are a support in my attempts.

  13. Jimmy Jun 28, 2012 7:59 pm 13

    What a wonderful video … with my limited understanding I found the lesson to be a very encouraging invitation to practice spirituality since there is a causal system that explains what steps must be taken to carry out the appropriate actions.

    In addition, it seems that faith, while an essential ingredient, is by itself not enough to develop the type of intellect that is of use in the other world! Since life is indeed short, I find myself losing much precious time by neglecting to evaluate my thoughts, actions, and intentions on a regular and preferably real-time basis, much less attempting to correct them.

    This lecture is a wonderful reminder to take action and take our spiritual future seriously.

  14. 723 Jun 29, 2012 2:06 pm 14

    Thank you for this wonderful lecture. That little step maybe one percent and God’s help might be 99%, but we need to put 100% of our effort for that little step. Easier said than done.

  15. mat Jul 05, 2012 10:52 pm 15

    Thank you for posting this motivating lecture. Hearing that no one is able to spare anything for anyone in the “hereafter”, and just visualizing myself in that situation where I would cry and beg for help, but nobody could help me, I began to feel pain under my skin! But then being given the assurance of “God’s generosity” and that “we would be given a great deal” for every little step that we take toward him, I felt as if I had been lifted up again, so that I can try to get on track.

  16. k Jul 07, 2012 12:57 pm 16

    In excerpt No.2 I asked a question about the fundamentals of spirituality:
    What does the fundamentals of spirituality consist of?
    Some of you guys made some references, but I was not completely satisfied. But I think I have found the answer here on the website in the lecture “The process of spiritual perfection” http://www.e-ostadelahi.com/eoe-en/the-process-of-spiritual-perfection/ – Question 1.

  17. naghme da Sep 23, 2012 9:02 pm 17

    to K
    The first basic fundamental in spirituality is DIVINE PRESENCE and it needs a correct education of thought. That is not possible through the ordinary intellectual or theoretical knowledge. One may be familiar with all the theories and have mastered them as well but still deny this presence.

  18. kbld Apr 02, 2015 1:39 pm 18

    To truly understand what those fundamentals are means to have acquired them. As Buddha said “You will understand once you arrive there” (The Path of Perfection, p. 151)

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