Thursday, January 10, 2008

sun, you and shadow

When you stand with your back to the sun, your shadow is before you; but when you turn and face the sun, then your shadow falls behind you.

- Bowl of Saki, by Hazrat Inayat Khan

Plato wrote that we live in a shadow world, where we confuse the shadow of ourselves with reality. This is the Nafs, the false ego, which stands in the light before God, causing, so to speak, a spiritual eclipse.... The Nafs turns us from the One to the many, enticing us with the things of this world. Then man attaches himself to one thing after another, which brings, at best, momentary satisfaction. Through his spiritual practices the Sufi learns to chain the Nafs, to perceive that it is only a shadow of reality; and finding the sun of truth within his being, looking upon it, one is no longer aware of the shadow.

Then the Nafs is not destroyed, but harnessed. The whole of man's being is attuned to God and everything within him serves God. This is the work of all on the path of illumination, of whatever school they may be. There is no other obstacle than this false self, and there is no better means of controlling it than by meditation and by practicing the presence of Allah.

~~ "Githa II, Dhyana 2, Meditation", by Hazrat Inayat Khan (unpublished)

The whole idea of life is to live freely; to look through space freely, having nothing to hide or conceal; allowing the light of truth to shine from within and the light of the sun without; light all around, no shadow of any kind hindering the light which is the soul of every being. (credit)

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