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TTEM - Transformational Tools Energy and Mind  |  Mind  |  Other-Mind & Miscellaneous  |  Topic: The Commanding Self 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Mike
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The Commanding Self
« on: 04 October 2005 »

The Commanding Self in Sufic terminology, is that mixture of primitive and conditioned responses, common to everyone, which inhibits and distorts human progress and understanding...

Its also the title of an excellent and most commendable book by Idries Shah a prolific author of perhaps the most esoteric form of Sufism - Universal Sufism - (ie the sort of book you can read cover to cover and come across the word Allah maybe once or twice only).

Rather than attempting to review the book I shall proffer some quotes:

"The tendency to seek reassurance and regularity is common to all human beings.  This is reflected in their cleaving to over-simplified systems.  It explains why many people are drawn to organisations which offer authority and certainty.  There is nothing wrong with order and discipline: indeed, these are essentials to all human groupings. But the misuse of this proclivity in areas where it does not apply attenuates or delays progress. It results in the uncomfortable feeling, even amongst the most regimented, that "there is something else" "

"..very many 'people of the spirit' are only religious in the sense that they have been conditioned to feel certain emotional responses... such people are anthropologically speaking, little else than members of a tribe."

"It is by no means unknown among members of authentic mystical schools that trying to force something is the best wat to stop it happening."

"Sufis are not against, say, human emotion: they are against the over-activity of emotion, which leads to vice or to the other extreme imagined holiness and spurious spritual experiences... Many familiar religious systems have over-simplified matters.  They have assumed that, say, emotionality is bad, so they trued to get people to destroy their emotional life.  This has only produced delusory effects.  Or they have channelled emotions into what they have decided are 'good' or 'spiritual' emotionality.  At best, this is of course, only another form of self-indulgence.  What has to be done ... is to regulate it (whether it be the desire for gain, the need to achieve...) so that the necessary 'space' mayb be found."

"All human societies are based upon, and their continuity and growth are reinforced by, the use of hope, fear and repetition... The structure is employed in every type of organisation: whether tribal, natioanl, political, religious, recreational, educational or other."

"The Sufi contribution to the release of human potential is dependent upon the understanding of the need to clear away barriers to understanding."

"You have to try and see that a person groping or asking certain questions originating in an unprepared mind is not capable of assimilating an answer except in his own terms of thinking, which may be inadequate for profiting by that answer."

"The Sufi's role is ... to help remove the barriers erected in the other person, which have reduced his sensitivity."

"Spirituality is understanding, not imagining."

"All propaganda, religious or secular, is generally built on a narrow factual base.  This is one reason why all propagandists resist the broadening of contexts as much as they do any direct opposition to their activities."

"People who will become sincere are those who strive towards sincerity not those who think they have it."

"Slavish imitation...results in nothing and may even be harmful."

"A man is anxious to free himself from a prison and yet he strengthens the bars. Will he escape? These bars are the habits of depending only on the secondary self, the desire for emotional stimulus and greed.

Suppose someone were to want to rise above the surface of the water but persisted in holding on to stones at the bottom of the sea.  What would happen to him and what would you call him? These are attachments to outworn and irrelevnat systems, ideas and slogans.

Suppose someone were to want to grow taller, but kept himself in a box whch dwarfed his growth? This box is the reliance upon cults and organisations which dwarf people's capacities.

Supposing again that someone were to think that he wanted to travel but yet he placed great weights on his feet so that he could not walk or even move.  What would you call such a person?  Those weights are the desire for attention and for getting something before the time is right."

"The rigid application of an inflexible principle, considered as an inflexible law, produces an equal image; a belief in the rigidity of the principle."

"If you get too many answers you will not be able to absorb them. Not be able that is to work on the question, make the answer 'your own property'; attain a permanent increase of cognition through experiencing the answer.

Ponder questions and answers, because there is no shortcut to the process of which they are a part.  If you do not digest the question and then the answer you will ask it again in another for and so we will go on until 'the penny drops' ""

"The theologian and ecclesiastic performs a less useful service... Generally he hands out reassurance, alternating with threats."

OK enough quotes for now  Smiley

Mike
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"If I hear Truth couched in a Sufi way or a Christian Mystic way or a Psychotherapeutic way or in a Paleontological way or whatever, you know, its still Truth for me." Ajahn Viradhammo
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