KNOWLEDGE of self is the key to the knowledge of God, according to the saying: “He who knows himself knows God,” and, as it is Written in the Koran, “We will show them Our signs in the world and in themselves, that the truth may be manifest to them.” Now nothing is nearer to thee than thyself, and if thou knowest not thyself how canst thou know anything else? If thou sayest “I know myself,” meaning thy outward shape, body, face, limbs, and so forth, such knowledge can never be a key to the knowledge of God. Nor, if thy knowledge as to that which is within only extends so far, that when thou art hungry thou eatest, and when thou art angry thou attackest some one, wilt thou progress any further in this path, for the beasts are thy partners in this? But real self-knowledge consists in knowing the following things: What art thou in thyself,
[1. Traditional saying of Muhammad.]
and from whence hast thou come? Whither art thou going, and for what purpose hast thou come to tarry here awhile, and in what does thy real happiness and misery consist? Some of thy attributes are those of animals, some of devils, and some of angels, and thou hast to find out which of these attributes are accidental and which essential. Till thou knowest this, thou canst not find out where thy real happiness lies. The occupation of animals is eating, sleeping, and fighting; therefore, if thou art an animal, busy thyself in these things. Devils are busy in stirring up mischief, and in guile and deceit; if thou belongest to them, do their work. Angels contemplate the beauty of God, and are entirely free from animal qualities; if thou art of angelic nature, then strive towards thine origin, that thou mayest know and contemplate the Most High, and be delivered from the thraldom of lust and anger. Thou shouldest also discover why thou hast been created with these two animal instincts: whether that they should subdue and lead thee captive, or whether that thou shouldest subdue them, and, in thy upward progress, make of one thy steed and of the other thy weapon.
The first step to self-knowledge is to know that thou art composed of an outward shape, called the body, and an inward entity called the heart, or soul. By “heart” I do not mean the piece of flesh situated in the left of our bodies, but that which uses all the other faculties as its instruments and servants. In truth it does not belong to the visible world, but to the invisible, and has come into this world as a traveller visits a foreign country for the sake of merchandise, and will presently return to its native land. It is the knowledge of this entity and its attributes which is the key to the knowledge of God.
Some idea of the reality of the heart, or spirit, may be obtained by a man closing his eves and forgetting everything around except his individuality. He will thus also obtain a glimpse of the unending nature of that individuality. Too close inquiry, however, into the essence of spirit is forbidden by the Law. In the Koran it is written: “They will question thee concerning the spirit. Say: ‘The Spirit comes by the command of my Lord.'” Thus much is known of it that it is an indivisible essence belonging to the world of decrees, and
This video provides useful tips on how to avoid some common problems encountered in Ramadan. If followed, it would enable one to fast comfortably and enjoy fully the spiritual benefits of Ramadan.
Watch the full lecture…
“We are not living to eat, we are eating to live.” – Mufti Menk
First off, you need rules to cut down on smoking. Mark Twain, remarking in an article on smoking, said that there needs to be rules for smoking and thus his rules were: He never smoked two at a time, and never smoked while asleep.
One needs discipline. To go from a pack or more, to 5 cigarettes a day is really hard at first, but it gets easier after several weeks and months. One’s body chemistry becomes acclimated and will adjust to less nicotine over time, such that too many or too few cigarettes might make one feel ill. Also it might be like moving from the basement to the top floor, consciousness wise. Cigarettes cloud your consciousness; fewer cigarettes will make for a clearer mind. One will always slip and smoke more. The mind can rationalize anything. The trick is to limit the slip to only one, two or three. And always, always the next day and day thereafter go back to the five only rule.
Change cigarette brands. The secret to fewer cigarettes is a strong hit that gives you satisfaction that can last from 3 to 5 hours. You are not only reducing nicotine content, but salt, sugar and unknown chemicals as well, and menthol is addictive in and of itself. Get off of menthol. A technique is to change to Sherman’s, which is a brand of cigarette sort of like a cigarillo. Sherman’s are organic and salt and sugar free, so they get you off everything but the nicotine. Try smoking only a quarter or a half and see how long you can make it to the next quarter or half. Do not smoke them like regular cigarettes, or there is no purpose to the exercise.
If one starts with a strong cigarette like Sherman’s and changes to another brand after consumption has been reduced to 3 to 5 a day, find a cigarette that is strong enough to maintain same no smoke periods, and seems to have the best salt/sugar relationship for you.
Never smoke a cigarette dry. Always drink something with it, like coffee, tea, milk, or some other beverage. Make this drink a very small amount, 6/8 ounces, just enough to take a sip before each puff. This will mean you have to prepare to have a cigarette. It will also mean that your mouth, throat and wind pipe will be coated so as less the chance of cancer. It will mean you can’t just light up. This enforces the discipline. This means also, you might not smoke the cigarette unconsciously. If smoking is killing you, seems one at least should be conscious of the suicide. Make those five cigarettes like a spiritual experience each time.
If you can do this you can quit. If you can do this you can do anything. But for sure you will know you are a drug addict, and your life revolves around cigarettes. Some might say – 5 cigarettes a day, why smoke at all? But if one loves smoking, or needs it for self-medication, maybe better than other uncontrolled substance abuse, pharmacological depressants with side-effects or moonscape. Once one has found a state of consciousness, as feeling great all the time, it is difficult not to want to feel great all the time. Discipline is the means to maintaining a steady state, which is steady feel good consciousness.
Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.
La disciplina es el puente entre las metas y los logros.
Discipline is de brug tussen doelstellingen en prestatie.
La discipline est le pont entre les objectifs et les réalisations.
Disziplin ist die Brücke zwischen Zielen und Leistung.
Jìlǜ shì mùbiāo hé chéngguǒ zhī jiān de qiáoliáng.
Disciplin är bryggan mellan mål och prestation.
Distsiplina yavlyayetsya mostom mezhdu tselyami i blagoustroystva.
Disiplin hedefleri ve başarı arasındaki köprüdür.
La disciplina è il ponte tra obiettivi e realizzazione.
Disiplin adalah jembatan antara tujuan dan prestasi.
In this deadline-demanding, rat race society, it seems like we’re pushed to run and run everyday beyond our capacity. Suddenly, one day passes like an hour, and an hour seems like a passing mosquito. But now, instead of making stress a scary green monster that’s ready to eat you alive, we’re going to find out how to manage stress and keep it under control.
1. Address the Root Problem
What would you do if suddenly in the middle of night, your fire alarm rings? Would you switch off the alarm and go back to sleep? Of course not! You’ll search the house and try to find the source and spring into action to douse it out.
Likewise, your stress. You don’t just slap a “this too shall pass” attitude then turn on the TV comedy show to distract yourself from the problem. Stress is merely a smoke, and fanning the smoke alone won’t save your house from the fire.
Now do a quick contemplation: write down the things that stress you. Stuff you have to accomplish, including those you must do but you’re just “finding no time” to do. Just write them all down, from big stuff like “I want to publish a novel!” to something as trivial as giving your cat a bath. This is only the start. Next you’ll have to: