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(Nafs) Ego or Self


07-23-2015, 07:33 PM #1
celle76
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So much detail on this from the Islamic perspective..I will only post a few things and keep posting as the thread goes. Interested to hear from other religions and belief systems. What is your concept? How do you conquer your ego or self?


http://www.livingislam.org/nafs.html
http://www.al-islam.org/nutshell/merits_soul/2.htm

A human soul is the scene of a struggle of two competing powers. Divine power attracts him towards heavenly spheres, and inspires him to acts of goodness. Satanic power tempts him towards realms of darkness and shame, and invites him to acts of evil. When the divine forces are victorious, a person emerges as a virtuous and blessed being, in the company of prophets, saints, and the pious. When, however, the satanic forces dominate, the person becomes rebellious and vicious and is grouped with infidels, oppressors, wrongdoers and those who are cursed.

Concept:
Nafs (pl. Anfus or Nufus) lexically means soul, the psyche, the ego, self, life, person, heart or mind.

This Nafs resides in the world of the senses and is dominated by earthly desires (Shahwat) and passions….

What is the struggle against the self?

Jihad al-nafs is the struggle against evil ideas, desires and powers of lust, anger, and insatiable imagination, placing all of them under the dictates of reason and faith in obedience to God's commands, and finally, purging all satanic ideas and influences from one's soul.

This struggle is considered as the major struggle (al-jihad al-akbar) as it is much more difficult than fighting in the battlefield, for in the struggle against the self, one has to constantly battle enemies that are hosted inside his own existence.

Islamic ethical teachings indicate that the one who succeeds in this struggle can rise above and beyond the level of angels, and one who fails in this struggle will descend to a level lower than the level of animals, and may even be grouped among the legions of the devil.

By the soul and (by) Him who made it perfect, and then inspired it to understand what is wrong and what is right for it. Truly is successful the one who purifies (his soul). (Holy Qur'an, 91: 7-9)
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07-26-2015, 09:45 PM #2
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Good, thought-provoking post, celle76,

Quote:... What is your concept? How do you conquer your ego or self?

By riding it until it is exhausted, then putting a bit in its mouth and leading it into a stable.  Speaking metaphorically, that is, and not trying to be funny.


Serv
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07-27-2015, 07:55 PM #3
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The human being has 4 enemies, according to the Islamic tradition: your ‘nafs’ (lower self), your desires (hawa), shaytan (satan), and the ‘dunya’ (this temporary material world). The test of this "world is to conquer these 4 enemies,  but it is a lot easier said than done. I am no way close to  beating my nafs. I am learning as I post haha.

"Avoiding the temptation to sin and being patient upon that, is greater than being patient whilst being afflicted with trials." - Ibn Taymiyyah

CHARACTERISTICS OF NAFS

*** False pride (Takabbur)

*** Greed (Hirs)

*** Envy (Hasad)

***Lust (Shahwah)

***Backbiting (Gheebah)

***Stinginess (Bokhl)

***Malice (Keena)


"There are two kinds of people, one are those whose Nafs have overcome them and led them to ruin because they yielded to them and obeyed their impulses. The other kinds are those who have overcome their Nafs and made them obey their commands."

Rumi says: "your worst enemy is hiding within yourself, and that enemy is your nafs or false ego."

7 LEVELS OF NAFS
THE SEVEN STAGES OF CONSCIOUSNESS OR THE LEVELS OF SELF (NAFS, EGO)


The Commanding Self (nafs al-ammara)

The Blaming Self (nafs al-lawwama)

The Inspired Self (nafs al mulhimah)

The Satisfied Self (nafs al mutmainnah)

The Consenting Self (nafs al radiyah)

The Consent-Given Self (nafs al mardiyyah)

The Purified Self (nafs al safiyyah)


......next up, how to battle your nafs

Salaam
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07-28-2015, 12:20 AM #4
khadeejah
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(07-27-2015, 07:55 PM)celle76 Wrote:  The human being has 4 enemies, according to the Islamic tradition: your ‘nafs’ (lower self), your desires (hawa), shaytan (satan), and the ‘dunya’ (this temporary material world). The test of this "world is to conquer these 4 enemies,  but it is a lot easier said than done. I am no way close to  beating my nafs. I am learning as I post haha.


(...)

Salaam

walaykumus salaam Brother,

May Allaah increase you in good.   Have you read Al Fawaa'id of Ibnul-Qayyim?  Here is a link to an online version.

Another heart softening classic is "disciplining the soul"  from ibn Jawzee.  You may download that and many other classic books related to heart and soul  HERE  It starts with this precious reminder:

Every breath we take is taking us closer to death.  The time we spend in this world is short, the time we are held in our grave is long, and the punishment for following our lowly desires is calamitous.  Ibn Jawzee

I don't think many people today give much thought to this matter -  they live by their desires, don't have the correct understanding of God (Tawheed and `Aqeedah) and hardly any of them fear God.   Sadly it is the case for many Muslims as well.  Brings to mind the prophetic hadeeth of Ar-Rasool (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam ):

 "The nations are about to call each other and set upon you, just as diners set upon food." It was said: "Will it be because of our small number that day?" He said: "Rather, on that day you will be many, but you will be like foam, like the foam on the river. And Allah will remove the fear of you from the hearts of your enemies and will throw wahn (weakness) into your hearts." Someone said: "O Messenger of Allah! What is wahn?" He said: "Love of the world and the hatred for death."

One more link for you:  an excellent commentary on this hadeeth from Shaykh al-Albani (rahimahullaah).

Wa billaahi tawfeeq,
This post was last modified: 07-28-2015, 12:52 AM by khadeejah.


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07-28-2015, 06:34 PM #5
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(07-28-2015, 12:20 AM)khadeejah Wrote:  
(07-27-2015, 07:55 PM)celle76 Wrote:  The human being has 4 enemies, according to the Islamic tradition: your ‘nafs’ (lower self), your desires (hawa), shaytan (satan), and the ‘dunya’ (this temporary material world). The test of this "world is to conquer these 4 enemies,  but it is a lot easier said than done. I am no way close to  beating my nafs. I am learning as I post haha.


(...)

Salaam

walaykumus salaam Brother,

May Allaah increase you in good.   Have you read Al Fawaa'id of Ibnul-Qayyim?  Here is a link to an online version.

Another heart softening classic is "disciplining the soul"  from ibn Jawzee.  You may download that and many other classic books related to heart and soul  HERE  It starts with this precious reminder:

Every breath we take is taking us closer to death.  The time we spend in this world is short, the time we are held in our grave is long, and the punishment for following our lowly desires is calamitous.  Ibn Jawzee

I don't think many people today give much thought to this matter -  they live by their desires, don't have the correct understanding of God (Tawheed and `Aqeedah) and hardly any of them fear God.   Sadly it is the case for many Muslims as well.  Brings to mind the prophetic hadeeth of Ar-Rasool (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam ):

 "The nations are about to call each other and set upon you, just as diners set upon food." It was said: "Will it be because of our small number that day?" He said: "Rather, on that day you will be many, but you will be like foam, like the foam on the river. And Allah will remove the fear of you from the hearts of your enemies and will throw wahn (weakness) into your hearts." Someone said: "O Messenger of Allah! What is wahn?" He said: "Love of the world and the hatred for death."

One more link for you:  an excellent commentary on this hadeeth from Shaykh al-Albani (rahimahullaah).

Wa billaahi tawfeeq,


Sister Khadeejah
Thank you so much and may the Lord of the Worlds bless you for your efforts as well. We as muslims know that Islam has the answer to all questions. I am still waiting to hear from other faiths and beliefs on this topic if they have a response at all...

the Quran says:


38:71  Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: "I am about to create man from clay:"


38:72  "When I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of My spirit, fall ye down in obeisance unto him."


Two things happen here. First God creates man from clay - a substance of this earth, of this material world. Second, he breathes His Spirit into man and since this Spirit comes from God we can assume it to be of a very high, noble substance - at the opposite end of the spectrum from clay. So where does nafs enter into this equation?

The Spirit, which derives from God, is a reality that possesses, in some measure, all the Divine attributes. It represents a link, a relation and connection to God. Remember, it is only after this Spirit is breathed into Adam that God orders the angels to prostrate themselves before Adam. It is only after this receiving of the Spirit that Adam is given knowledge of the names of all things. The Spirit then manifests in some manner, in some measure, the characteristics, attributes or names of God. It is luminous, alive, subtle, unseen, knowing, unified etc. The body on the other hand, being composed of a low type of matter (clay), has a lack of the luminous divine attributes - instead it represents that aspect of a human which “inclines towards the earth, and follows vain desires” (Qur’an 7:176). So spirit and body do not have a common measure but represent opposite ends of a spectrum - one is like a breath from God who is Unique, who is One. The other is from the material world which is characterized by multiplicity and dispersion, where true unity is impossible due to the very nature of matter which requires existent material things to be separate and apart from one another in both space and time.

The nafs becomes the mediator, the meeting point, between the Spirit and the body. The nafs is characterized by opposing characteristics. It is both luminous and dark, high and low. It is a mixture of the two sides. It possesses the attributes present in the Spirit in a watered down manner. Mulla Sadra refers to the soul by the Quran’ic phrase ‟...it is the junction of the two seas....” (18:59) The sea of the spirit and the sea of the material world. The Quran says:‟And it is He who has made the two seas to flow freely, the one sweet that subdues thirst by its sweetness, and the other salt that burns by its saltiness....And it is He who has created man from the water....” (25:53-54). The material world is the visible world or the manifest world (the world of the salt sea that burns). The non-manifest world is the unseen world, the world of the Spirit (the sweet sea that quenches thirst). The human nafs is a microcosm containing characteristics of both these worlds, created from the‟water” of both of these worlds.
This post was last modified: 07-28-2015, 06:47 PM by celle76.
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07-29-2015, 05:03 AM #6
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The Ego simply refers to 'Identity', and is a tool the inner divine Self/Soul uses to manipulate 3D reality. One of the purposes of the Ego is to provide a personality that can interface/identify with other Egos, as well as to organise incoming data from both physical stimulus and internal/personal unconscious. Without the Ego and some semblance of a Human self image you would be too alien to interact with, and to a large extent 'Earth reality' would be too foreign for you to work with as well.

Your Ego for example is comprised of the identity known as celle76 (or rather your name outside of the forum), and is comprised of various beliefs it has accepted under your command, These beliefs are then leveraged in providing 'context' for incoming stimuli. These can range from the most basic as being Human, your Gender, Likes/Dislikes, to your relationship to others and framework of reality you adopt (E.g. Religious belief).

It is humorous how the Ego is seen as Evil when it simply operates under the ideals and beliefs you have set. It is not 'negative', simply attuned to physical reality. The idea that you are somehow in an struggle with the Ego is a curious thing indeed, for that will always be a losing battle. How can you declare war on yourself? What ideas have you chosen to accept about the nature of the self? You do realise that it is only through suppressing aspects of yourself will those very aspects you so fear become more prominent in your reality.

This is all fairly basic stuff within analytical psychology and once you realise the mask you are choosing to don will things become much clearer. Look towards the work of Jung, Seth and similar. If you want to break down certain ideas about the self then take a look at this site: http://www.no-self.com/ . Not 100% accurate but there fundamentals are there for anyone who is genuinely interested in self inquiry, rather than giving their innate power away to some external 'authority'.

I wrote a bit about the Ego here: http://www.intelligentinfinity.net/the-n...f-the-ego/

"We check and repress the divinity that stirs within us, to fall down and worship the divinity that is dead without us."
--  Henry David Thoreau, 1851

My Site: www.intelligentinfinity.net

İmage
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07-29-2015, 06:20 AM #7
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Hex Wrote:Look towards the work of Jung, Seth and similar. If you want to break down certain ideas about the self then take a look at this site: http://www.no-self.com/ . Not 100% accurate but there fundamentals are there for anyone who is genuinely interested in self inquiry, rather than giving their innate power away to some external 'authority'.
Because the Grand Master of the Swiss Lodge and demonic entities are much better candidates for "external authority" than "religious" ones? And what's this "innate power" you speak of? Unlike what celle76 has been talking about, it seems like gnosis with no practical application other than to have people chasing their tails.
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07-29-2015, 06:29 AM #8
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(07-29-2015, 06:20 AM)Axiom Wrote:  
Hex Wrote:Look towards the work of Jung, Seth and similar. If you want to break down certain ideas about the self then take a look at this site: http://www.no-self.com/ . Not 100% accurate but there fundamentals are there for anyone who is genuinely interested in self inquiry, rather than giving their innate power away to some external 'authority'.
Because the Grand Master of the Swiss Lodge and demonic entities are much better candidates for "external authority" than "religious" ones?
Who told you this?

I don't need authority. I simply take those works and perspectives applicable at any one given time, and integrate accordingly. They are what have worked for me with positive benefits. It is of no consequence to me if you choose to not take that particular framework on board.

Quote:And what's this "innate power" you speak of? Unlike what celle76 has been talking about, it seems like gnosis with no practical application other than to have people chasing their tails.
Catalyst is what is provided; obviously there is no application. You cannot provide practical application when certain foundational frameworks are not in place, and even then it is a one that is implemented on an individual basis rather than the 'one size fits all' framework that seems to be par for the course in present times.

Edit: Addition

"We check and repress the divinity that stirs within us, to fall down and worship the divinity that is dead without us."
--  Henry David Thoreau, 1851

My Site: www.intelligentinfinity.net

İmage
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07-29-2015, 06:51 AM #9
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(07-29-2015, 06:29 AM)Hex Wrote:  Who told you this?
Who told me what? That Jung was a Master Mason or that Seth is a demon like all entities that are channelled by mediums? If the first, then I refer you to Carl Gustav Jung: A Biography by Frank Mclynn. If the second, then the "spirits" themselves attest to this.

Q.  Medium: "Do you know of any such spirit as a person we call Devil?"
A.  Spirit: "We certainly do, and yet this same Devil is our God, our Father."

The medium in question is one Mrs. Fanny Conant and the conversation of this seance was published in the spiritist journal The Banner of Light, Feb. 3, 1866.

Quote:I don't need authority. I simply take those works and perspectives applicable at any one given time, and integrate accordingly. They are what have worked for me with positive benefits. It is of no consequence to me if you choose to not take that particular framework on board.
If you say you don't need authority, it does not nullify the fact that you give authority to something in order to entertain it.

Quote:Catalyst is what is provided; obviously there is no application. You cannot provide practical application when certain foundational frameworks are not in place, and even then it is a one that is implemented on an individual basis rather than the 'one size fits all' framework that seems to be par for the course in present times.
How conveniently ambiguous.
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07-29-2015, 07:04 AM #10
Hex
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(07-29-2015, 06:51 AM)Axiom Wrote:  
(07-29-2015, 06:29 AM)Hex Wrote:  Who told you this?
Who told me what? That Jung was a Master Mason or that Seth is a demon like all entities that are channelled by mediums? If the first, then I refer you to Carl Gustav Jung: A Biography by Frank Mclynn. If the second, then the "spirits" themselves attest to this.

Q.  Medium: "Do you know of any such spirit as a person we call Devil?"
A.  Spirit: "We certainly do, and yet this same Devil is our God, our Father."

The medium in question is one Mrs. Fanny Conant and the conversation of this seance was published in the spiritist journal The Banner of Light, Feb. 3, 1866.
Ah, you used a book with a supposed dialogue with a 'Spirit' as confirmation bias. Well, why didn't you say so. You are of course free to use any literary works to confirm your own biases, and I wont hold that against you. That being said, this discussion won't bear much fruit either if that is the case.

Question: Have you actually read any of their works? Their perspectives affirm quite the opposite of what you are stating if you read without certain filters and biases in place.

Quote:If you say you don't need authority, it does not nullify the fact that you give authority to something in order to entertain it.
Not really. It was a perspective I used for convenience sake to convey a point. I hardly have the time nor care enough to write a thesis on the steps I have found for self inquiry which led me to the conclusions/perspectives provided in the initial post. I may do so at some point however, but it sufficed for the purposes of the thread.

Quote:
Quote:Catalyst is what is provided; obviously there is no application. You cannot provide practical application when certain foundational frameworks are not in place, and even then it is a one that is implemented on an individual basis rather than the 'one size fits all' framework that seems to be par for the course in present times.
How conveniently ambiguous.
Ah, If only practical application of knowledge, wisdom, and/or understanding gained after years came conveniently packaged in 500 words or less.

"We check and repress the divinity that stirs within us, to fall down and worship the divinity that is dead without us."
--  Henry David Thoreau, 1851

My Site: www.intelligentinfinity.net

İmage
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