Self Knowledge and Unfolding Into Presence¶
This guide is made up of of a series of interlinked extracts from various books written by Shaykh Fadhlalla over the years on the theme of Self Knowledge and Presence.
Energy and Awareness¶
In any given situation you will have a certain amount of energy. However we like to measure it, you will find a certain amount of energy available at any one time.
Why are most of us unbalanced or dissatisfied at the moment? It is because our energy is not harnessed. We are not contained and therefore not wholesome. Part of our energy is leaking away in the form of anxiety and worry.
If a third of my energy dwelling in the past, suffering from it or proud of it, and another third is concerned about the future – whether it is about the welfare of my children, my reputation, failure or success – then only a third remains. Therefore, only one third of me is really available to be drawn from now.
The more you worry the less likely you are to achieve the expected result, because some of your energy is dissipated in anxiety. And the body is absorbing some of it in the form of perspiration, heat or nervousness. These are all forms of dissipation. So where are you now if half of you is buried in the past and the other half is anxiously concerned about the future? What is left of you?
Self-knowledge is about wholesomeness.
It is in order to see totality inwardly, to see the absoluteness, to see the integratedness of everything, which is Oneness.
Generosity & Selflessness¶
We enjoy ease and the smooth flow of life, welcoming generosity at all levels — material, mental and emotional. A generous act can be transactional or free of the expectation of any return. Even then, there is a subtle transaction — the giver also receives.
All our actions are interactive and the dynamics of energy fields and matter are ceaseless. A generous mind is limited and measured, whereas a generous heart can be unconditional and simply flows. The ego self is the obstacle to such generosity and can darken the heart. Modesty reduces egoistic tendency and selfless acts touch hearts and souls. The human journey is from ego to soul.
A spiritual seeker may be initially motivated by the love of paradise and fear of hell fire. The awakened person is no longer concerned about either, due to being absorbed in the love of the ever present perfection. Then comes passion, in which the lover has lost direction and identification, being lost in the Beloved. In the outer world being lost is stupidity and ignorance, whereas in the inner world being lost to the essence is the entry into serendipity and bliss.
With the realization of life’s great potential, every moment becomes precious and is given its due respect and importance. To be deliberately enslaved to the supreme cosmic light is to be free from outer shadows. It is by God’s generosity, mercy and grace that we turn away from our egotistical dark shadows towards the luminous light of the soul within the heart. Prophets, messengers and enlightened beings have awakened to these companions and guides along the spiritual path. These revealed knowledges cannot be reached by reason, wisdom or supplication. They need to be imbibed or absorbed through passion.
The less the self is concerned with worldly matters, the greater the soul’s receptivity to messages and guidance via the heart.
People who excel in the material world are unlikely to be able to give sufficient attention to the exploration of the inner subtler realms. Love, trust and absorption in the outer world may harden the heart and hinder spiritual progress. Worldly people are often given a chance to reflect upon meanings and higher purposes through failures and difficulties, but their persistent mental habits and egos block inner openings and a balanced life.
When you concern yourself with what does not concern you, you will miss giving attention to what should concern you and is important for your evolvement.
There are always at least two viewpoints at any time. You can face the past or the future, origin or destination. You observe and hear what is outside of you or reflect upon your inner senses and feelings. You are always held in between these two zones and desire balance and stability. This tension enables us to grow and evolve physically, mentally and spiritually.
Everything that exists has an outer and an inner facet, which are in balance. For a youngster, most experiences are due to sensory stimulation. For an adult there is outer and inner consciousness. For an awakened being the outer and inner are seamlessly bound together due to the emergence of the light of the Oneness.