The Human Ego - His Freedom and Immortality - Excerpts
- The only course open to us is to approach modern knowledge with a respectful but independent attitude and to appreciate the teachings of Islam in the light of that knowledge, even though we may be led to differ from those who have gone before us
- My experience is only a series of acts, mutually referring to one another, and held together by the unity of a directive purpose. My whole reality lies in my directive attitude
- The timing of the daily prayer which, according to Quran, restores "self-possession" to the ego by bringing it into closer touch with the ultimate source of life and freedom, is intended to save the ego from the mechanizing effects of sleep and business. Prayer in Islam is the ego's escape from mechanism to freedom
- Barzakh is a state of consciousness characterized by a change in the ego's attitude towards time and space. There is nothing improbable in it... it is a state in which the ego catches a glimpse of fresh aspects of Reality, and prepares himself for adjustment to these aspects
- Heaven and Hell are states, not localities. Their descriptions in the Quran are visual representations of an inner fact, i.e., character. Hell, in the words of the Quran, is "God's kindled fire which mounts above the hearts" - the painful realization of one's failure as a man. Heaven is the joy of triumphp over the forces of disintegration. There is no such thing as eternal damnation in Islam. The word "eternity" used in certain verses, relating to Hell, is explained by the Quran itself to mean only a period of time
- Time cannot be wholly irrelevant to the development of personality. Character tends to become permanent; its reshaping must require time. Hell, therefore, as conceived by the Quran, is not a pit of everlasting torture inflicted by a revengeful God; it is a corrective experience which may make a hardened ego once more sensitive to the living breeze of Divine Grace. Nor is Heaven a holiday. Life is one and continuous. Man marches always onward to receive ever fresh illuminations from an Infinite Reality... And the recipient of Divine illumination is not merely a passive recipient. Every act of a free ego creates a new situation, and thus offers further opportunities of creative unfolding
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