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Portraits of the imperious self (3): the imperious self is domineering

Portraits of the imperious self 2

As we have seen, the imperious self functions on the basis of the “terrestrial” values (ego and material interests). Its action on us could be summarized as follows: to focus our thoughts and aspirations solely toward terrestrial values and to make us forget celestial values; to put it in another way: to make us act solely according to our own material and selfish interests with no regard for others’ interests or for our spiritual dimension.

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Portraits of the imperious self (2): the imperious self is imperious

Portraits of the imperious self 2

If the plural “portraits” is used here, it is to best illustrate the multifaceted and elusive figure of our inner life for the imperious self is a shape-shifting model that makes for a difficult subject for a painter. We never really know where to find it when we look for it, and we often find it where we have not been looking for it—at times in our outward behaviour, more often in our thoughts and emotions, in our most daily activities as well as in our actions that appear most spiritual and most noble. The imperious self is like a creeping rootstalk that runs underground and spreads itself out in the Self.

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Portraits of the imperious self (1): an ethics of transformation

Portraits of the imperious self 1

This is the first piece in an extended series dedicated to the practice of ethics and more specifically to the identification of the main source of our anti-ethical tendencies: the imperious self. This concept is given a precise definition in The Path of Perfection: “The imperious self is a powerful psychological energy that is harmful for the soul. This energy is continuously produced by the activity of our character weak points, resulting in anti-ethical and anti-divine impulses and desires at the level of our conscious self”.
The paradox is that the fierce resistance deployed by our imperious self against our ethical endeavours actually constitutes the necessary condition for the process of spiritual perfection to take place. In this sense it could very well be considered as our “best enemy”.

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146 Vote

Practising humanity in times of a pandemic

SARS-CoV-2

In dire times, it is not only human beings that are being tested, but the humanity in each of us. In the midst of generalised lockdown in place, here are a few reflections on the ethical significance of an unprecedented situation…

“My last point is practise humanity. We don’t talk about practising humanity, but now if ever there is a time to practise humanity, the time is now. The time is now to show some kindness, to show some compassion to people, show some gentility—even as a New Yorker.” Who spoke these words? The Governor of the State of New York, in a press briefing on March 21, 2020 to New Yorkers about the management of the coronavirus pandemic. That ethics should invite itself in such a way in political discourse is worth reflecting on. Other public voices out there struck the same chord: physicians, journalists, writers, etc.

I live in France, so when I realised that the ongoing situation was spontaneously interpreted by many in terms of what one should do as a human being, I had already been in lockdown for a week and it struck me as an echo of Bahram Elahi’s words in his latest book, Fondamentaux du perfectionnement spirituel : le guide pratique (Fundamentals of the Process of Spiritual Perfection: Practical Guide, forthcoming).

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157 Vote

At the Met, the tanbur is back

By - May 28, 2019 - Category Articles
Showcase of Ostad Elahi's instruments at the MET

The tanbur is back… A few months ago, in 2018, a couple of steps away from the oldest piano in the world, a showcase was inaugurated in the department of musical instruments at the Met (Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York). Dedicated to a few “famous musicians” of the 20th century, it featured a Benny Goodman clarinet next to a guitar that belonged to Andrés Segovia as well as one of Ostad Elahi’s tanburs, crafted by the lute maker Nariman, along with a video including explanations and archived images that harked back to the 2014-2015 Sacred Lute exhibit, that we covered here.

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“One character weak point after another”: a new lab on OstadElahi-inPractice

one character weak point after another

After two “28 days straight” labs (In Ostad Elahi’s footsteps and One day, one Maxim) OstadElahi inPractice has gone back at the request of numerous users, to its classic 5-phase labs.

The website will soon offer a new lab entitled “One character weak point after another – delving within our unconscious psyche”. As this title suggests, the objective is self-knowledge. Users will be invited to follow a protocol—as is appropriate for students in the medicine of the soul—that will allow them to progressively diagnose their character weak points.

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The imperious self (1): definition

Having just celebrated its 10th birthday, e-OstadElahi is launching a new type of thematic series based on “close reading”. The goal is to encourage reflection and interaction around key concepts from Ostad Elahi’s thought through collective analysis and discussion, both from a theoretical standpoint and with a view to drawing practical conclusions. The recent publication, in French, of a new edition of The Path of Perfection (La Voie de la Perfection) by Bahram Elahi provides an ideal resource and reference text for such a project.

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144 Vote

10 years!

By - Oct 27, 2018 - Category Articles
e-ostadelahi - 10 years

Yes, this fall, e-ostadelahi is celebrating its 10 years of existence! A good occasion to look back at what has been accomplished and where we are now.
10 years ago, the Web 2.0 wave was peaking: the “blogosphere” was emerging; so-called “social” media that have since transformed the way we use the internet were starting to develop; the first iPhone had only just come out… The site has naturally accompanied these evolutions. While its content was expanding, it also took on new forms. A mobile version was made available in 2015, followed by a dedicated app, the functionalities of which have not stopped evolving.

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189 Vote

Foolish pride, foolish arrogance—feed the fire with that vain Self!

This article completes the series based on Attar’s Canticle of Birds (also known as the Conference of the Birds), following “The nightingale and the rose: from attachment to renunciation” and “Our intimate enemy: the imperious self”. We now turn to an aspect of the imperious self that stalks all spiritual seekers: pride and arrogance in spirituality. Attar evokes it in the form of an earthy anecdote…

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189 Vote

The Quintessence of Religions according to Ostad Elahi: reflections (3)

abstract illustration with waves

This third article of reflection on the “Quintessence of Religions” is the last in a series dedicated to Ostad Elahi’s poem. After the question of “God” and that of “evil”, Leili Anvar’s commentary now invites us to reflect on the notion of the “good”. To give a “quintessential idea” of what the good is, Ostad Elahi reformulates here the two phases of the Golden Rule that determine what the theologian and philosopher Olivier du Roy defines as the “ethics of the reciprocity and fundamental intersubjectivity of man”.

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