This series addresses questions such as: Who am I? What is consciousness? How do I find Spiritual meaning in everyday experiences of the material world, even tragedies? What about fate and intention?
It goes into detail on the dynamics of self and soul, discussing how we experience light by its shadow and other seeming paradoxes. Shaykh Fadhlalla then moves on to discuss the heart and how it can be tarnished, the concepts of personality, birth, death, fear, mirrors and the role of leadership. The series concludes by asking why we don't intuitively and instinctively seek the higher, why the path to so-called "enlightenment" is often presented as something mysterious or mystical, and with an offering of some practical advice for those actively seeking enlightenment.
1 - Changing You¶
Beginning with the question, “What am I?”, this talk illuminates the depths of self-knowledge and the drive towards ever more evolved consciousness. You are a composite of body, mind, intellect and light - what we call soul or spirit - which activates all the layers of consciousness you experience. If you can keep these all in balance and focus your attention on the meanings behind physical forms, you may come to realise that you are not just the mind or intellect. In truth, you are a boundless light and it is your soul that gives sentience and energy to all the different facets of your experience. This knowledge can help you see, navigate and understand the patterns of existence so as to act with clear intention in this moment right now, relieved by the realisation that the final outcome is not in your hands.
2 - Light and Shadows¶
This talk approaches the topic of genuine self-knowledge through the metaphor of light and shadow. Through a series of questions about what drives us, what distracts us, and the apparent schizophrenia of our existence as worldly beings capable of knowing and embodying divine attributes, Shaykh Fadhlalla explores how we can use a clear and precise awareness of the shadowy sides of our lower self as the impetus required to turn towards the ever-present, perfect Light which gives life to all being. Once you know fully your limitations, it becomes possible to just accept them. Then you will be accepted by the limitless which is already in you.
3 - The Soul¶
After exploring how this world manifests as opposites through the metaphor of light and shadows, this talk moves into a discussion of the soul, guidance, leadership and how we can live with reference to the zone of constancy, reliability, stability and trustworthiness within. Shaykh Fadhlalla speaks about this “tuning” and resonance at many levels - personal responsibility, collective mirroring and social culture - all of which can help us make ever more constant reference to the One Absolute Good which is contained within, and reflected by, our soul.
4 - The Map¶
Having understood that you are the meeting point of light and shadow, and that this point can be understood and contained via constant reference to the soul within your heart, you now have to navigate along the map of existence, firmly between and capable of applying the prophetic template to every instant of life. Shaykh Fadhlalla discusses what it means to move along this map, what the highway codes are, and how this applies to religion, dogma, spirituality and the traps of spiritual materialism, ending with a discussion about Sufism and trust.
5 - Conducting the Ultimate Quest¶
Know your essential makeup; navigate between light and shadow with constant reference to the soul in your heart; accept the map of existence with its various road signs; and now perfect your conduct through constant awareness of death. If you are not ready to leave this world, then you are not qualified to take it, because it will take you. The two go together. If you are ready to abandon it, then you have access to the abundance of it. Turn away from that which is not; that which has always been is. Your job and duty is to accept limitations and the short duration of this life with humility and, if you can do so and use it as a platform to view what is shedding light upon this life, then you have access - inadvertently - to the limitless. You become godly; you do not become God with the implied spiritual pomposity. You become simply, consciously illumined. You were already illumined before without knowing it. Now you know it, _and _you know its shadow. You live by the two, through the courtesy of One.