Category Archives: existence

LOVE IN ALL IT`S SPLENDOR

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How do you see  love and being loved?

I have always been a person that was hungry for love, to give love and to be loved. Since I can remember the idea that I had of love was like a Hollywood movie, full of drama, romance and high emotions at all times.

With my experiences in my relationships, I think I attracted willingly my idea of love but was it ever so draining and tiring.  Living at a constant state of powerful emotions, I love you, I hate you, fighting and making up. The middle was never an option for me, I didn`t even realize that I did have this option available because my perception was not real, romantic novels and movies are not real life. As a true romantic I needed to change my perception and my definition of love.

 

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First came the notion of self-love

With experience comes knowledge and wisdom for all of us and we can choose to repeat old patterns and expect different results but we can also chose to change our patterns and truly receive different results in every area of or life. We can choose to be a victim or the take responsibility for what we have co-created.

My idea of love changed completely and the more I started to honor myself, to love myself, to understand my being, my essence. To nourish my values, my commitments and my dreams. The less I needed to find someone to complete me because I felt complete on my own. The less I searched for love outside of myself. It was all and always was present from within, self-love simply needed to be nourished by encouraging it in my daily practice. I made a clear decision to divorce emotionally and mentally my past relationships and to start practicing new ways of love. This extended in my life, in all of my relationships, family, friends and even work. It has even extended in how I treat my home my things, the productivity of my work and with love we plant seeds, with nourishment we allow things to grow, with care we obtain results.

 

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How I define love now

Love is acceptance, love is patience, love is respect, love is choosing your battles, love is space, love is peace, love is being responsible for you own happiness, love is sweet, forgiving and humble because none of us are perfect and we are all here to learn from our journey on this earth. Love is understanding.

Don`t love like a beggar, love like a king or a queen. What I mean by this is love with elegance, kindness, courage, intelligence, composure and deliberation so the person you are with knows where they stand. No one can guess what you are feeling or thinking so be open and communicate with ease and peace.

Love is taking responsibility for your own insecurities and working on theme so they do not consume your relationships. Love is not blame, it is not using someone’s vulnerabilities as ammo. Words are powerful and they cannot be taken back.

Never settle! You are deserving just like any living creature on this planet.

I send all of you love and hope you enjoyed this article. Please feel free to send me your opinion’s on this subject.

Mélika Emira Baccouch

More Hard Hitting Words From the Dalai Lama About the Mass Brainwashing of Society

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The 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet is always garnering a lot of attention, and for good reasons. Most recently, he told the world that simply praying is not the answer for the incident that occurred in Paris, as well as other similiar atrocities that seem to happen all over the globe. He stated that humans have created this problem, and now we are asking God to solve it, which makes no sense. If we created this mess, we should be the ones to solve it, not God.  His comments went viral as they resonated with so many people around the world who realize that action on a mass scale is required at this time to change the direction our planet seems to be going in.

Intertwined with the Paris attacks are the realities of war, and there is a great piece written on the Dalai Lama’s website site regarding the mass brainwashing of human beings. This is something we touch upon regularly on our website, especially when it comes to incidents of terrorism, war, and the creation of these groups who are carrying out these attacks all over the world.

“War and the large military establishments are the greatest sources of violence in the world. Whether their purpose is defensive or offensive, these vast powerful organizations exist solely to kill human beings. We should think carefully about the reality of war. Most of us have been conditioned to regard military combat as exciting and glamorous – an opportunity for men to prove their competence and courage. Since armies are legal, we feel that war is acceptable; in general, nobody feels that war is criminal or that accepting it is criminal attitude. In fact, we have been brainwashed. War is neither glamorous nor attractive. It is monstrous. Its very nature is one of tragedy and suffering.”(source)

This (above) statement really hits home. If you think about it, these vast and powerful organizations, and the military in general, “solely exist to kill human beings.” As the Dalai Lama touches upon, we are conditioned and made to believe that military service is something to be proud of. Sure, these men and women may be entering into the service in order to serve their country, with a tremendous amount of bravery and good hearted intentions, but what they do not know is that this global war on terrorism is a complete fabrication. The enemy they are made to believe they’re defending their country from is actually a product of their own country. As Dr. Michel Choissudovsky, University of Ottawa’s Emeritus Professor of Economics tells us, the global war on terrorism is completely fake and based on fake premises. Soldiers have been brainwashed into thinking that they are going after an enemy and defending their own country when that same enemy is fully supported and financed by the western military alliance, and as the Dalai Lama sates:

This is exactly why “we feel that war is acceptable,” because we are made to believe it’s a necessary course of action.

He then goes on to state that:

“We are so conditioned to see it as thrilling that we talk about this or that marvelous weapon as a remarkable piece of technology without remembering that, if it is actually used, it will burn living people. War also strongly resembles a fire in the way it spreads. If one area gets weak, the commanding officer sends in reinforcements. This is throwing live people onto a fire. But because we have been brainwashed to think this way, we do not consider the suffering of individual soldiers. No soldiers want to be wounded or die. None of his loved ones wants any harm to come to him. If one soldier is killed, or maimed for life, at least another five or ten people – his relatives and friends – suffer as well. We should all be horrified by the extent of this tragedy, but we are too confused.” (source)

The extent of this brainwashing is quite massive, and if we are going to stop the murder of other human beings and war in general, it is that ‘brainwashed’ soldier that needs to wake up. It is a human being pulling the trigger, giving the orders, and thinking that they are doing something good. We are the reason why war exists in the first place, we created it, we participate in it and we prolong it. Just imagine what would happen if every human being on the planet refused to participate in war? This is why we say change needs to come from within, and as more soldiers wake up to what’s really happening here, there will be more of them who refuse to go to war.

“No matter how malevolent or evil are the many murderous dictators who can currently oppress their nations and cause international problems, it is obvious that they cannot harm others or destroy countless human lives if they don’t have a military organisation accepted and condoned by society.” (source)

Some of these soldiers that are used by their corporate/big bank puppet masters are starting to wake up and speak out. Linked below is an article that provides two excellent examples, with some shocking information that many people are still waking up to (graphic footage warning).

Horrible & Numbing”: Chilling testimony from U.S. Air Force Drone Operator On His First Kill”

As far as this manufactured global war on terrorism, you can check out this article, among others:

Professors & Politicians Gather To Warn Us About The New World Order

The Dalai Lama Then goes on to speak about how expensive war is. This is something many people think about – the fact that the money pumped into the military, and the Department of Defense in the United States alone (including black the black budget) could completely alleviate  poverty and hunger on our planet.  That being said, money is made out of thin air, typed up on a computer screen and printed at will by the controlling elite.

We are talking about, as X Canadian Defense Minister Paul Hellyer states, “trillions, and I mean thousands of billions of dollars” that “have been spent on projects which both congress and the commander in chief no nothing about.” Welcome to what president Eisenhower called the military industrial complex where, as he warned us, the rise for misplaced power exists and will persist. What would he say about what’s happened today?

The point is, if we are going to use money as a tool, why not take that many and allocate it to provide food, shelter and clothing for everybody on the planet? The defense expenditures of a couple of countries alone could do this no problem.

“We should feel fed up with the violence and killing going on around us. If a human being is killed by an animal, it’s sad, but if a human being is killed by another human being it’s unthinkable. We have to make a special effort to think of each other as fellow human beings, as our brothers and sisters.” – Dalai Lama (source)

Thank you Dalai Lama for saying the things that you have said within the past few months.

By Arjun Walia / collective-evolution.com

You can read his full article HERE.

DIVINE UNIVERSE

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Amphitrite

 

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I want to live in this world that artist Mariano Peccinetti has created out of pure creativity. A world where people realize that there is nothing more perfect then nature. No decor or material, designing all the decor around the universe and nature.

Find more of Mariano Peccinetti’s work on his blog and if you would like to support this artist you can buy his work in different forms on this link

society 6 an artist collective finding creative ways so that the work can still have a life and a use. Beauty is magical because it makes people happy!

I hope you all enjoyed and have a lovely day.

Love love love

Melika Emira Baccouche

http://trasvorder.tumblr.com/

 

 

 

 

 

My Body, My love

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Loneliness is an illusion—we are never truly alone.

I say this as someone who used to feel lonely most of the time.

Even with my spouse, even with my best friends, in my heart I felt separate, as if behind an invisible wall. At first, I chalked this up to poor socialization. Beset by frequent moves, childhood trauma and family unhappiness, I had grown up isolated. I hadn’t learned how to relate to others, so I could not connect with them.

Years later, I learned about attachment theory and realized the problem ran deeper. My mother suffered from low moods (she died in a psychiatric hospital when I was six years old). I have good reason to believe she was feeling poorly after my birth, a condition now called postpartum depression. She probably found it hard to resonate with me, her infant son, so my feeling of being walled off seemed traceable to gazing at my mother’s face, who was pained and distant rather than joyful and attuned.

Understanding that my feelings of isolation grew out of my earliest experiences, did not lessen them.

There seemed little to do but muddle through life as best I could, alone behind my wall.

Luckily, I was wrong.

There has turned out to be a way I can feel profoundly connected with another being, not just on occasion, but all the time.

Who is that being?

My own body.

How I came to appreciate my body as an intimate partner is a long story

Key factors include my training as a surgeon and familiarity with the body’s biology. Then came a series of medical crises, that both ended my clinical career and forced me to pay attention to my health. When a yoga institute enlisted me to teach anatomy and physiology to its trainees, I found that these sciences could be used to deepen my self-understanding. In meditations and yoga poses, I explored how human awareness relates to the organism who supports it.

This led to the key insight: the body isn’t a mechanical conveyance, as I’d assumed on the basis of medical training, it isn’t a blood-filled robot.

The body is a lively, responsive animal.

Like a beloved dog or cat, the body is capable of wordless love. In other words, my body and mind are in a relationship. My mind, who felt so lonely, is not alone—at every moment it is embraced by the warm animal who surrounds it. By upholding my consciousness in myriad ways (breathing air, circulating blood, digesting food), this sensitive, vulnerable body is holding me with love.

Consider: If another person did as much for us as our own bodies, we’d have no doubt about that person’s affection.

One of the main points of yoga is to help us recognize the unity of body and mind.

How can the body love the mind if the two are one?

There are many answers to these questions—here, I’ll offer an analogy:

Two people in a marriage are separate, yet in their loving partnership, they are one.

Perhaps the goal of yoga practice isn’t to erase all distinctions between the mind and physical body, but to build a sweeter relationship between them.

To get a sense of how this relationship can be developed, here’s a simple but useful meditation.

It is best done after relaxation practices or a period of mindful breathing.

Bring to mind an adored partner, child or pet. Visualize the beloved in your arms. Feel the warmth that blossoms in the center of your chest. Now imagine holding your body with that same tender regard, feeling the same sweet glow of affection. As your mind honors the organism who gives it life, recall how the body supports the mind with its own encompassing embrace.

Your body works on your behalf every minute of every day.

Feel how your consciousness arises within this living, vibrant animal we call a human body. Appreciate how your body surrounds you with boundless concern for your wellbeing. Even in times of illness, it does its best to keep your life on track. You are your body’s beloved.

Practices, like this one, gradually melted my sense of isolation.

As my mind grew to understand its intimate partnership with my body, it no longer felt walled off. Instead, I felt nurtured and realized I was never alone.

At every moment, human awareness is wrapped in a sort of biological hug.

How wondrous! How healing!

THE BEAUTY OF BIRTH SUITS

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Body’s are an amazing gift.  It is our birthright to feel beautiful and free because we live in our body’s our entire life. They are an extension of who we are on the inside. If we feel good on the inside it reflects on the outside and vice versa.

There is a difference between nudity and sexuality, we have lost this simple ability to connect with our body’s. When we swim naked we feel the wonderful sensation of water on our entire bodies. When we stand naked we can feel the wind massaging our skin, from our toes to our fingertips. We should never deprive ourselves from feeling all of these wonderful sensations that is our entitlement.

When I look at these photographes, I see expression’s of true happiness and freedom. Real beauty comes in all shapes and forms. It comes from a raw place. Imperfections are part of the artistry and loveliness of the human body.

Let go of the guilt, let go of the shame and be proud of your body’s.

It all stems from the mind and now a days everything is sexual ” so they say”. Do not buy into this and simply start where you are. The more you love your body, the more you will love yourself.

I hope this inspires women as much as men to feel free in all that they are.

Human!

Love love love

Melika Emira Baccouche

 

 

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PLEASE REMOVE YOUR SHOES

49994394172a8ec05e7428102d4b8d21When I come home, I take off my shoes and go inside. I never thought to do it the other way around, until now.

Aside from the beach or your backyard, how often do you take off your shoes and walk around outside? If you are like me, you can’t remember when—it may have been sometime in childhood.

Every morning for the past 15 years, I’ve walked my dog in the woods next to my cottage. A couple of days ago I finally slipped off my shoes and walked barefoot. This is what I learned.

1. I still worry about what people think.

As soon as I took off my shoes I had a minute worrying that passerby’s might think I had either taken LSD or was stuck in the ’70s. I also realized how weird it was to have shoes on all of the time. We are animals after all. The only animals that wear lace up, padded shoes.

2. The earth is soft.

So soft in fact that it deeply moved me. Like touching a beloved’s cheek. The temperature of the dirt changed step after step depending on the tree cover over me, and the leaf litter under me. The moisture, the rocks, the shade, the direction of the wind. It all mattered.

3. Walking barefoot is best done slowly and gently.

This way of moving alters your mind and mood. The sharp rocks and prickly oak leaves are there, but it is no big deal. The animal in us knows how to shift our weight, slide a little to the left, step on a rock, or not.

4. Walking barefoot creates presence.

Mind chatter dissipates. The birds are less suspicious. We are quieter and the animals tend to stick around more. We notice sounds, smells and see more detail as we slowly pass by.

5. Sensing connection.

I could really sense the “mother” in mother earth as I stood on her warm skin. I felt the biosphere. The connection of us all. Roots nested under the soles of my feet, cool spikes of growth poking through the earth all around me, and leafing out above me. Feeling the rumble of the creek rise up through my small bones. The delicate nature of our world. I also realized why my dog walks where she walks.

Last month, my mentor, Martha Beck first encouraged me to remove my socks and shoes and venture out on the earth barefoot. We were at a retreat surrounded by horse pastures. I have been lucky enough to have spent much of my life in the company of wonderful horses but this was the very first time I was shoeless. It was a whole new, almost unexplainable experience. When the horses noticed me, they stopped eating and trotted up to the fence. I silently moved towards them. They seemed very curious and very calm. We stood together on the warm earth for a long while, and then noiselessly, we separated as one.

It is amazing to me how wearing shoes on my feet has separated me from so much of who I am, and what I am a part of.

I am completely aware that much of this may sound hokey but I encourage you to try this simple yet slightly radical act of slipping off your shoes and walking in the dirt. Please leave a comment and let me know what you discover.

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2015/11/please-remove-your-shoes-how-to-find-the-mother-in-mother-earth/

BALANCING KARMA

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light and energy, and affects how we see things. Many people leave the path because they cannot deal with the challenges they encounter when karma descends. These records have to be balanced, transmuted and consumed.

So, what exactly is karma? Karma is the law of cause and effect. It is well known in Hinduism, Buddhism and other ancient wisdom teachings and some scholars believe the doctrine of karma existed for a thousand years prior to the beginning of Christianity. We even find reference to it in Christianity: “As a man soweth, so shall he reap”. The masters describe karma as “energy/consciousness in action.”

Every thought, word, feeling, action and deed that you send out into the universe will return to you. This is the law of the universe. By our free will choices we are constantly qualifying the light-energy that is flowing to us. If we qualify it in a positive way, good things come back to us. By the same token, if we qualify it in a negative way, that too will return to us. Karma is a great teacher.

The law of karma is exact and states that whatever energy is sent out goes around, gathers more of the same, and returns back to the sender either as positive or negative karma. Sometimes the return of karma is instantaneous but not always. Some of us are dealing with karma made lifetimes ago.

The path of the Ascended Masters teaches us how to properly balance any negative karma we may have consciously or unconsciously made. One of the ways they do this is through the path of initiation. Everybody is being initiated. You have heard the saying, “the earth is a schoolroom.” Every morning when you wake up until you go to bed, you are being initiated.

Many of these tests are the return of karma and deal with everyday things that happen in our lives. Their purpose is to test and strengthen our soul and to help us master a virtue. Some tests have to do with balancing karma made lifetimes ago or even just recently. So, who is giving us these tests? Sometimes it is our Higher Self compelling us to deal with situations we have been neglecting or trying to avoid. At other times it is an Ascended Master. It is important to remember that the purpose of any test is to help us make progress on the spiritual path and we are never given more than we can handle.

Having discernment on the path is also very important. This is the ability to discern using, as the masters say, the eyes of the mind. It is easy to get distracted on the path and you have to be able to discern what is really important to your spiritual growth and what is not. You must “try the spirits.” There are a lot of things that are psychic but have very little to do with spirituality. We also need discernment when working with the Ascended Masters. One of the most important tests you will have is whether or not you can distinguish the vibration of a master from that of an imposter. People tend to think that a master starts working with them the minute they learn about them. This is not always the case. Just like in real life each one of us has to prove we are willing to do the work before a master will take us on as his student. Learning all you can about each master and their teachings is highly recommended. This helps you to make attunement with their vibration. Discernment is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit and it is extremely important to cultivate it.

http://www.ascendedmastersoflight.com/balancingkarma.php

SEVEN LEVELS OF BEING

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The first verses regarding Jihad were revealed in Makkah before the Hijra toMedina. These verses reference “Jihad al-Nafs” or the struggle against the self (ego/ base desires)

Al GHAZALI ON JIHAD AL-NAFS [FIGHTING THE EGO] )

Meaning of nafs: It has two meanings. First, it means the powers of anger and sexual appetite in a human being… and this is the usage mostly found among the people of tasawwuf [sufis], who take “nafs” as the comprehensive word for all the evil attributes of a person. That is why they say: one must certainly do battle with the ego and break it (la budda min mujahadat al-nafs wa kasriha), as is referred to in the hadith: A`da `aduwwuka nafsuka al-lati bayna janibayk [Your worst enemy is your nafs which lies between your flanks. Al-`Iraqi says it is in Bayhaqi on the authority of Ibn `Abbas and its chain of transmission contains Muhammad ibn Abd al-Rahman ibn Ghazwan, one of the forgers].

The second meaning of nafs is the soul, the human being in reality, his self and his person. However, it is described differently according to its different states. If it assumes calmness under command and has removed from itself the disturbance caused by the onslaught of passion, it is called “the satisfied soul” (al-nafs al-mutma’inna)… In its first meaning the nafs does not envisage its return to God because it has kept itself far from Him: such a nafs is from the party of shaytan. However, when it does not achieve calmness, yet sets itself against the love of passions and objects to it, it is called “the self-accusing soul” (al-nafs al-lawwama), because it rebukes its owner for his neglect in the worship of his master… If it gives up all protest and surrenders itself in total obedience to the call of passions and shaytan, it is named “the soul that enjoins evil” (al-nafs al-ammara bi al-su’)… which could be taken to refer to the ego in its first meaning.

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From the beginning of our entrance into the school of Sufism, we have been taught about the seven levels of being. These seven levels are like grades in any educational system which one must pass through in order to graduate. In our system, however, evaluations are made by a Higher Authority than the teacher.

Passing and failing grades are made known through real dreams, through the interpretation of which the teacher gives new responsibilities and duties to the seeker. But what is most important is that the seeker himself should be able to realize his own states so that he can live up to the next level to which he aspires. Obviously, first it is necessary that he be conscious, aware of his character and actions, and be sincere in looking at himself. But it is also necessary to thoroughly know the characteristics of each level, especially the level in which he is presumed to be, and the next level, in which he hopes to be.

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Therefore, once again we should study the characteristics of the seven levels of being(Nafs) and try to see where we are. Hopefully this attempt will increase our efforts to reach the next highest level, and will make us careful not to revert to a lower level.

There is no question that complete potential for perfection is contained within every human being, because Allah Most High has placed His own Divine Secrets in the essence of man, in order to bring from unknown realms into evidence His Beautiful Names and Attributes. But we have forgotten the perfection placed in us before we arrived in the world clad in flesh and bone. Our physical being and its attachment to the world in which it lives, covers and leaves in darkness the beauty and wisdom hidden within us, has made us forget our origin, and left us in a state of ignorance.

Allah in His Mercy has revealed instructions in His Divine Books, and has sent His prophets and saints as guides and examples to teach and to lead us back to heedfulness, to light from the darkness with which we have covered ourselves. Those of us who are able to wake up, who rediscover that which is holy in ourselves, and who wish and will to come close to our Creator and to our origin, which is perfection, are promised that if “We take a step towards Allah, He will come running to meet us.”

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Man has two souls. One is called Ruhu Hayvani, the animal soul, and the other is Ruhu Insani, the human soul. The animal soul is a created, refined substance which controls life, mind, senses, feelings, emotions, will, and movement of the physical body. And our being, which relates to this animal soul, is called the “animal self,” the self ruled by the desires of our flesh or Nafsi Ammara, the evil commanding self which is the first and lowest of the seven levels of being.

Nafsi Ammara is a manifestation of the animal soul in man, while the six steps above the evil commanding ego are the development of the human soul, which is also called theNafsi Natiqa, the being who can communicate with speech, or the Rational Being.

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The next six levels are: Nafsi Lawwama, when man hears the voice of his conscience and tries to resist his carnal desires; Nafsi Mulhima, when man receives direct instructions through inspirations from his Lord; Nafsi Mutmainna, when man is freed of self-indulgence and finds peace and tranquility in his state of piety and obedience to his Lord; Nafsi Radiyya, when man accepts all that happens to him without any resentment or pain, and when good and bad become equal to him, and he is pleased with his lot;Nafsi Mardiyya when man assumes the Divine Attributes, leaving his materiality, andNafsi Safiyya, when man reaches the purity of perfect harmony.

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1-      Nafsi Ammara

In this first level of the development of man, the rational self and human conscience have been defeated by lust and carnal desires. At this stage, our self does not recognize any rational or moral barriers to get what it wants. It expresses itself in selfishness, arrogance, ambition, stinginess, envy, anger, cynicism, laziness and stupidity. Originally, nafs, ones self, identity, ones own personality and reality, is one of the Creator’s gifts to man. But because we allow it to lean towards material values, to take pleasure only in worldly life, and because we succumb to fleshly lusts, it has turned ugly and become almost animal-like, while its shape remains that of a human being. It is a fauve camouflaged in the appearance of man, a mad wild animal which bites and claws itself as well as others. This ego is our private devil, our worst enemy, who is living inside us, dominating and tyrannizing us and keeping our human soul imprisoned and forgotten in the depths of our subconscious. If we are fortunate enough to be led by a guide to seek a better state, then the devil whispers in our ear: “What business do you have to be on this path? Don’t you see that everyone who was on this Path sooner or later died? All that remains of them is a few words. I know that you want the Truth, but where are the wise ones who would be able to teach you anything? Show me a single saintly man who receives revelations, who can show miracles! They belonged to another time. Now is the time of facts, of science, of prosperity, and the good life. If you want to be religious – all right! Go to the mosque, pray, fast, and pray that the spirits of these holy men of the past help you, for there is no teacher alive worth your while!”

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Thus the devil hides the truth. Kufr, infidelity, means covering, hiding in Arabic ( coffer in english). Kafir, the infidel, means the one who hides something. The devil conceals the fact that at all times there are perfect men in the world and worthy teachers who can lead one to salvation.

Our Master, The Messenger of Allah (saws), has two aspects. One is his prophethood, hubuwwa; the other is his sainthood, his friendship, closeness to Allah, or walaya. He is Hatemul Enbiya: the last, the Seal of Prophethood, but his other aspect of sainthood has always been and will always be inherited by perfect men, who love and imitate him, and they will exist at all times, until the end of time.

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But if the seeker pays any attention to the insinuations of the devil, he suffers doubt about his teacher, he is called away from the Path, his efforts are slowed down, and he will lend his ear to the whispers of the accursed devil again. This time he will say, “Allah is forgiving, count on His Mercy; He does not dislike people who do things which He permits. Be kind to yourself and don’t tyrannize yourself. If you are kind towards your ego and give it things it wants, then it will obey you!” If the seeker is fooled by these temptations, he will start having doubts; he will then be unclear as to whether things are lawful or unlawful, whether they are right or wrong. When that happens, he is more likely to opt for the unlawful, since it is usually more pleasing to the senses. And the more his senses are satisfied, the more his heart will be blinded and hardened, and the more he will be led towards evil.

On the level of the evil commanding ego, all these influences are very heavy. To get out from under them, someone strong has to hold you by your hand and extricate you. It is very difficult if not impossible to do it by yourself.

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But through Allah’s help, you may hear the voice of reason which says, “To do what Allah permits one to do out of His Mercy, instead of doing that which He orders us to do, is the profession of creatures who are lazy.” For the true servants of Allah, it is an obligation to live according to the rules of Shariat and the ideals of the Tariqat.

And if we either follow this rational decision, which is an undeserved gift of Allah Most High, or we are rescued from our misery by a strong teacher, then we may rise to the second level of Nafsi Lawwama. Thus the soul is pulled out from the dark dungeon of the ego to the light of conscience, and we will see our arrogance being transformed into humility, vengefulness and hate into love, anger into kindness, lust into chastity. . . If Allah so wills.

2-      Nafsi Lawwama

This is the second step in the development of man, when man becomes aware of his actions, is able to differentiate right from wrong, and regrets his wrong doings. Yet he is not able to totally stop doing wrong because it is very difficult to break the habits of his previous state. He tries to follow the obligations of his religion and he prays, fasts, pays alms and tries to behave properly. But he wants to be known as a reformed person. He publicizes his piety, his good deeds, and expects appreciation from people. This makes his behavior hypocritical. Sometimes he realizes this, regrets it, and tries to change. Hypocrisy, a major sin, is the principal danger in this state.

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There are two other grave dangers as well: arrogance and anger. Every little attempt to be good, compared to the previous state, seems like a major achievement. So we think we are the best, and get angry with others who do not seem to respect us. Arrogance, lying to ourselves, hypocrisy, anger, and intolerance are the soldiers of the devil. At the level of Nafsi Lawwama we are not safe from the devil, who injects his character of arrogance into our veins and whispers into our ear: “You are as good as your teachers now; not only do you know as much as they do, the way you behave is better. If they were able to apply what they teach in their own lives they wouldn’t be half what you are. You don’t need their preaching or their advice. Now let people see your wisdom and your deeds so that you will be an example to them.” Not only the whisperings of the devil, but all worldly life, is against the seeker at this stage. Certainly the world cannot lose its attractiveness for him; it calls to and tempts him.

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If the resolve of the seeker is weak, he will be afflicted with arrogance, not listen to good advice, and in fact, fight with the ones who wish for his well being, thinking they are belittling him and behaving in a superior manner. In anger, he may attempt to do much greater deeds than he is incapable of, and fail. Failure will further anger him. His mood will become dark, disappointed; he will think he took the wrong way, that he was better off before, and he may blame the ones who led him to this Path, falling back to his previous condition of being an animal in human shape.

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If he is warned at the beginning of the second step of Nafsi Lawwama of these dangers, and if he is intelligent enough not to release the hand which leads him, and if he follows the advice on how to fight the three enemies of hypocrisy, anger, and arrogance, he will pass this stage quickly. The longer one lingers in this transitory stage, the worse will be the trials.

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The cure for hypocrisy is to realize how the value of everything in the world, including the opinions of others, is temporal, inconstant and subjective, changing from minute to minute, from place to place, from person to person, and finally disappearing. Therefore, one should opt for that which is permanent, eternal, and powerful instead of something which may be here now and gone tomorrow. What fool lights a candle when the sun is out? Do not count on the respect and the praise of others, and do not fear them. For it is said, “Whoever praises you is your enemy because he is the ally of your enemy, and whoever points out what is wrong with you is the enemy of your enemy.”

The cure for arrogance is to remember that your beginning came from a drop of semen from your father and an ovum in your mother’s belly, and that your end will be as a rotten corpse in the ground. Beauty, strength, intelligence, will soon dwindle and disappear. All your fortune, properties, reputation, and friends will be excluded when you are lowered alone into your tomb. Your prayers, piety and good deeds, if performed to impress others, will evaporate, and worse still, may turn against you.

Realize that all you have, including your body and your very life, is not yours, but lent to you and entrusted to you by your Creator. Your actions are also His if they are good, and when they are bad, it is you who are tyrannizing yourself. Offer thanks for everything, and feel shame your wrongdoings; then you will be humble. The fall of the one who stands low is much less painful than the one who falls from high.

The cure for anger is basically accomplished if you can cure your arrogance. It is the arrogant one who becomes angered by adversity, or even by lack of sufficient rewards which he thinks he is owed. The negative emotion of anger, when it flares up, is faster than the rational effort to suppress it. Once anger has caught fire it is difficult to extinguish. Like fire, it burns all that is human in us; compassion, love, gentleness, generosity, the ability to communicate, to think of consequences, and intelligence are all reduced to ashes. All that remains is a dangerous wounded wild animal.

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As a remedy to recall and remember our humanity, The Messenger of Allah (saws) suggests that when anger strikes, immediately you should change your posture. If you were standing, you should sit. If you were sitting you should fall to your knees. It is difficult to shout and curse in the most humble position of kneeling.

Or you should lie on your back and pray: “Oh Lord, enrich me with knowledge, beautify me with kindness, give me the gift of piety and the fear and love of You and sanity and health, Amin”

Or you should go and take ablution with cold water.

If we could avoid these dangers, with Allah’s will and the guidance of our religion, and the help of our teacher, and our wish to advance, we might rise to the third level of Nafsi Mulhime, the level where we receives the Lord’s inspirations.

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3-      Nafsi Mulhima

This is a stage when the seeker is rewarded for his efforts, persistence, and obedience to his teacher. Now he occasionally receives messages from inside of him: soundless wordless inspirations which give him direction, encouragement, and the strength to continue in his advancement. Yet there are still grave dangers, the worst of which is that the devil is capable of imitating divine inspirations, and the seeker may not be able to differentiate between them. That is why at this stage the guidance of a master is so necessary, one who will be able to distinguish the true inspirations from the false imaginations inspired by the devil.

It is during this period that the relation between the seeker and his master has to be the closest. The seeker should not hide anything from his teacher: he should reveal all his hopes, his fears, his faults; even if he feels resentment or opposition to his teacher, he has to confess these to him. They are like the symptoms of a disease which a sick person must reveal to the doctor in whom he has confidence. Just as he heeds the advice given or the diet prescribed, or diligently takes the medicine given, if he obeys the counsel of his master, he will be able to advance.

The voice of the ego could easily be mistaken for inspiration, especially when the ego changes its vocabulary from material to spiritual. Its aim is to isolate the seeker from his fellow seekers and from their teacher. His brothers on the Path may appear to him as obsequious slaves of the master, and the master as a self-centered tyrant taking advantage of his followers; actually, his brothers and his masters are the mirrors in whom he sees his own ugliness.

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When this happens, the accursed devil speaks to him, pretending to be an inspiration, and says; “Now you have seen and understood everything. Now you know it all. You are a wise man, a teacher yourself. Why do you have to obey, and do all these unnecessary things which your teacher imposes on you. He is trying to pretend that he is still above you. Let him and his followers who have not penetrated to the inner meaning of things keep doing the exterior work of praying and serving. You are now at a level where your Lord talks to you directly. So do the inner work: meditate, try to listen to the secret messages coming to you…”

In this storm, the only life preserver which will save him from drowning will be the rules of his religion. He should pray, fast, and give alms with more fervor and attention than he ever did. Above all he should try to revive the feelings of love in him which he once felt for the shaikh and his brothers on the Path. For love cures all ills and the lover is able to follow all the wishes of the beloved.

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Another affliction during this period is a change in understanding and sensibility. It is as if he forgets all that he knew, even his idea of himself. New impressions do not correspond to the old ones. He is apt to see things differently, to misunderstand them, to make mistakes. He feels as if he does not exist. He may imagine that he has reached the final level of Fana Fillah – to lose oneself in Allah. But this feeling has nothing to do with that high state. He should realize that it is a state of helplessness, of emptiness, a state of desperate need, the state of Fakr, the state which is praised by our Prophet (saws), who said, “I am proud of my fakr.”

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But, if the seeker has tired of waging battle against his ego and has become reluctant in the performance of his religious duties, then he hears the voice of the devil again, “Your Lord is your secret and you are the secret of your Lord. You have reached the final goal of losing yourself in God, the Eternal One. All that was forbidden or were obligations for his other servants do not apply to you. Whatever comes to your mind, do, for all you do is from Him and is right. You have no accountability.”

May Allah protect us from such an eventuality, for failing in this state is like falling down from a high roof top. It is deadly. It kills the heart. The one without a heart has no conscience or fear of God; he becomes a toy of the devil. He steals, kills, drinks, debauches; there is no limit to the sins he commits. He is also blinded when he is about to fall into the pit of hell; when his shaikh and his brothers on the Path try to hold him, he kicks and tears at them, and there is danger that he may pull them down to hell with him.

But Allah, the All-Powerful, will save the ones who are heedful to the warnings, and who hold on to their religion and to the hand of their teacher, and who nourish the love which they feel for their shaikh and their brothers on the Path for Allah’s sake. And surely he will be pulled to the level of peace and harmony in the realms of Nafsi Mutmainna.

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4-      Nafsi Mutmainna

This stage is the safe place reached by the seeker after a long and difficult struggle with his private devil, his ego, and the army of devils tempting him in his worldly life. To be able to reach this level, he must have subdued both of them. Thus he is comparatively free of dangers. Now he is under the command of his human soul, which takes pleasure in following the rules of the religion and the example of the Prophet (saws). He possesses the qualities which Allah praises: he is kind, generous, patient, forgiving, sincere, thankful, content, and at peace. He has heard Allah say:

“O the one who has found peace

Return to your Lord, pleased with Him

and He with you.

And become amongst my good servants

And enter my Paradise.”

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He finds his peace, his happiness, his delight, in his Lord. He has been given heaven on earth. He enters Paradise in this very life.

Every word which comes from his lips is either from the Holy Qur’an, or from the tradition of the Prophet (saws), or from the teaching of the saints. His worship and devotions are nourishment for the growth of his soul. He is a teacher not only through words, but by example. Miracles which transpire through him, he attributes to other causes, never claiming them, disowning them to the point of denying them. His every action corresponds to the rules of the religion. He has regained his name of Insan, a true human being; the name is derived from the word uns, being close, intimate with ones Lord. Thus his Lord will take him by the hand, and lead him forward without much difficulty from now on.

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5-      Nafsi Radiyya

Alas! Very few men can aspire to reach this high state. Up to and including this level, the seeker is taught by words and/or examples of others than himself, through Ilm al Yaqin, acquired knowledge. Now he has approached the level of knowledge through personal experience and revelations: Ayn al Yaqin, Certitude. Up until now, everything was relative. Now he is offered the Truth. The manifestation of this state is love, all-enveloping love. He sees all and everything as Allah’s perfect acts, thus loving them as the actions, fil, of the Beloved. He achieves perfect submission to everything which happens. That is the “Truth of Islam”. There is perfect harmony, of which he is aware. There are no possibilities of error as he is the master of his ego, and the ego itself has become a Muslim, submitting to its Lord. He does not want anything other that what he has. Therefore he does not ask for anything for himself from Allah. But when he prays for someone else, his prayers are immediately gratified. He is seated on the throne in the spiritual realm, while the exterior world is in attendance to serve. His acceptance, submission, pleasure, thankfulness, and love of his Lord are so perfect that the Lord responds with His pleasure for His servant in return.

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6-      Nafsi Mardiyya

At this level is manifested the bond between the Creator and the created, with a love common to both. The Creator finds in the perfect man the qualities which He has bestowed on him when He created him, as He says,

“Certainly we created man in the best form. . .”

His own Beautiful Names, His Attributes which He taught to our father Adam, become manifest in the seeker. Thus the perfect man who has attained the level where he deserves Allah’s pleasure has lost all of his physical animal characteristics as well as his imperfect human aspects under the command of his ego. Now Allah’s Divine Attributes are manifest in him, and he sees the Real Reality, the Truth, because he is blessed with Ayn al Yaqin, Certitude. He sees beauty in everything, loves everyone, forgives the faults of those who do not know, he is compassionate, generous, giving, never asking, serving with all he has to bring others to the light of the soul, and to protect them from the dangers of their egos and the darkness of their worldliness. All this he does for Allah’s sake and in His name.

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It is difficult to recognize these beings. Their state cannot be described in words. They cannot be compared to concepts one ordinarily knows. One identifiable characteristic particular to them is that they are always in a state of perfect balance, like the center of a circle, like the fulcrum of a balance: right in the middle, neither more nor less, the medium. Allah asks usto, the Prophet (saws) advises us to, everyone wishes to, but no one succeeds in achieving this goal of balance except these perfect ones.

7-      Nafsi Safiyya

In the middle of everything, having found the center, the soul finds its proper place. It is a point, without length or width, not covering any area or space. Thus it is pure. There is no wish, no claim. It is the beginning and the end. As it is with the dot under the Ba and the dot over the Nun, all knowledge is contained within it. When the being who possess this pure soul moves, his movement is beneficent power; when he talks it is wisdom, and music to the ears; when he appears it is beauty and joy to the beholder. His whole being is worship; every cell in his body is in continuous praise of his Lord. He is humble. Although he is sinless, he sheds tears of repentance. His joy is to see man reach for his Lord; his pain is to see him go astray. He loves the ones who serve Allah more than anything. He is angered at the ones who revolt. All he wants for mankind is what Allah wants, and he fears for the fate of the faithless. He is just, more than just! He is the one who will intercede for the sinners.

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Allah knows best. May He guide us to the Straight Path and lead us to levels which meet His approval and give us patience, perseverance, strength and wisdom to succeed in the Path. Amin.

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