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Spirituality as a medicine for the soul

Natural spirituality provides us with a framework for a unified discipline that takes into account two interacting human dimensions which are responsible for our progress towards self-perfection. To further clarify this, Ostad Elahi points out that the conjunction of our terrestrial and celestial parts results in the formation of an intricate psycho-spiritual organism, that should be nourished by spirituality and kept in health and harmony until it reaches maturity.

Here, the traditional model of self-perfection is greatly modified. The concept of purification as presented in many religious cultures, is too primary in that it does not take into account the focal point of the matter, which is the necessity, for the celestial soul, to be immersed in the bodily matrix and its terrestrial milieu. The celestial soul is created pure and innocent but by itself, it is incapable of developing its multiple potential qualities. In order to mature, it needs the complement that can be provided only by the terrestrial matrix. Before being a metaphysical necessity, the cycle of an earthly life is, one might say, a physiological necessity. The terrestrial part of human beings contains within itself, albeit in excess, ingredients without which the soul cannot grow nor develop the truly human qualities that will transmute its substance.

The celestial soul can achieve maturity only through a process that can be compared to the process of osmosis. It is as if there was, between the terrestrial and celestial parts, an osmotic membrane through which exchange of substances takes place. An essential function of the celestial soul is to regulate the permeability of this membrane to establish a measured relationship between the inputs and the outputs. Ethics is not only a matter of balance, but also a matter of dosage. It is in this light that the practice of ethics, which is the mainstay of spiritual practice, along with the pursuit of self-knowledge, should be envisaged.

It is through the gradual assimilation of the right dosages of the nutrients residing in the terrestrial part that the celestial soul gradually attains maturity. The work of self-perfection consists, therefore, in letting the elements that are present in excess in the terrestrial part seep into the celestial part, in measured proportions. Here, Ostad Elahi is in agreement with the idea of virtue being a state of equilibrium between excess and deficiency, as famously set forth in the philosophy of Aristotle.

“Medicine for the soul” specifies the conditions necessary for a balanced and progressive growth, in which every element of human nature finds its place and fulfils its function. At the end of a long and exacting process of distillation, the soul, essentially pure but imperfect, acquires a quality homogeneous with that of the Divine. Thus it finally returns to the Source and attains perfection.

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