Search results for tag "Introspection" - 6 answer(s)

47 Vote

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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214 Vote

This feeling of injustice

Singe capucin

According to Ostad Elahi’s model of the self, we are bi-dimensional beings. We carry within ourselves a celestial part that, combined with our animal terrestrial part, forms our humanity. It is within this intimate combination—perhaps best compared to fertilization (when two gametes, or sexual cells, one male, the other female, unite to form a new zygote)—that our psychological and spiritual personality is forged. It is a crucible for our character traits and for the powers within us. In this equation, also lies the enigma of free will, in other words the question of evil

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241 Vote

Mirror reflection

By - Nov 15, 2013 - Category Practice
Illustration old lady

To complete and sharpen my self-portrait, I decided to consider others as mirrors. The idea was to observe people’s behaviour towards me in order to find clues about myself and about what to focus on to further perfect myself spiritually. Having made this resolution, I got ready for my day and went off to work. As I pulled the car out of the garage and was about to turn into the street, I realized I had forgotten my cell phone. I left my car on the sidewalk right outside the gate and rushed inside to get my phone. I rushed back out less than two minutes later, just in time to find the neighbourhood grumpy old lady vehemently banging her walking stick against the metal rim of my front wheel. “It happens every time!” I said to myself. “Every single time I leave my car for one second on the sidewalk she pops up out of nowhere and starts banging on it!” This time, I wasn’t going to take it and so I gave her a piece of my mind: “I never leave my car out here for more than two minutes, this is completely out of line, it’s technically my driveway”, etc.

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379 Vote

Finding the cause within

Magnify glass and maze in man's head

“The cause of everything that happens to you is in you; you should therefore look within yourself to find the cause.”

My reading of this maxim by Ostad Elahi triggered a number of thoughts that I would like to share by way of this article. A hearty thanks to e-ostadelahi.com for the opportunity to share with their readers.

We tend to spend a lot of time blaming “the world” for our misfortunes. On the other hand, we consider anything good to be the fruit of our own doing. But as always, giving it a little thought can make us realise that reality is a lot more complex.

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