We are a spirit, coming from our Lord with that one Holy breath that He has given to Adam (as), we are that. We need to know that part too. But Allah (swt) has also put inside of us another entity that is called the Nafs, the Ego.
The Spirit and the Ego now is inside (Sheykh points to the body), this is a shell. And from time to time the spirit, if the spirit is strong, it is going to be on top of the ego. But if the power is given to the ego now, the ego is going to be stronger and it is going to be on the top of the Spirit. Our reality is different; our reality is in Divine Presence. But now knowledge of yourself, you have to know this two: the Spirit and the ego. To know the ego, now we have to understand what is this ego that is stopping us. Because now, our natural disposition, our fitrah what we call in Islam, it is that Spirit, that Spirit that is saying to our Lord, “You are my Lord and I am Your creature. I know You as my Lord and I know myself as a creature”. This nafs, the ego does not know himself, they are saying ‘You are You and I am me,’ meaning you are just another thing and I am another thing, you say You are Creator, I am also a Creator.’ The ego is declaring that and that ego is saying ‘You have a will, I have a will.’
Our Spirit is saying, “You have a will Ya Rabbi, may our will be Your will”. We are in complete agreement. But the Ego says “No”. Ego is in opposition. Allah has created that ego. The ego has that energy now. So the Spirit now that is in us it is squeezed now into this physical body. The spirit, the light of the spirit that Hz. Mewlana Rumi is saying, “The light of the spirit will put out the light of the thousand Suns.” Because the spirit, the Ruh, it is a secret, of course we are not going to get into that. But it is the only thing that Allah has given to the man. Everything else Allah is saying “Kun Fayakun – Be and it is”.
So when we are in this physical body, the spirit’s powers are very squeezed and they are curtailed. But this physical body is a friend to the ego. Oh Yeah, because the Physical body now belongs to the realm of the animals. The spirit is not like this, and this dunya, this world now, whatever the world has too, the world of senses, the desires and the Sheytan, it’s another category, all those they are friends with the ego. They are close. But all these they are opposite to the spirit. So Allah has put us into this world. We were created in the Paradise with the Paradise body but He has sent us down to this world into this body for us to find our way back again, to find our way back to our original home. That we are put here to understand things, to understand our Lord. We have been created to know Him and to worship Him. So we are sent now to this world to know ourselves. So knowing ourselves, yes, knowing our ego. Knowing our ego, what is that ego? What is that ego? The ego is that self that says “I am me and You are You. The whole world must revolve around me. I am the most important one. Whatever I say must be”, meaning the will of the ego it’s pretending to be the Divine Will. Because Allah is all that Exists. And Allah’s Will is above every will and Allah’s order no one can oppose. But the Ego says, “You are You and I am me. You are like that I am also like that. I have that will. Everything must be subservient to me. I am the only thing that exists. Everything must please me. Me, me, me and me.”
So when we understand now our ego in everyday settings, day by day, month by month, year by year, we understand that where our ego is let loose and we are saying, “No! I want this according to my way,” and where it is not the Ego but it is the Spirit and the Spirit is saying “It has to be according to Allah’s way, our Creator’s way, our Prophet’s way, our Sheykh’s way, the Holy people’s way”. Then now you start knowing yourself.
So that’s what Tariqat is for, the sohbet is for, for people to sit down and understand and start working on themselves. Working on themselves – it can be as simple as sitting down at a dinner table, everyone has their food but somebody forgot to put food in front of you. So what are you going to say? You are going to get upset, you are going to get angry? Or you are going the subway to go to work, it’s squeeze and people rush and they rush pass you and they brush against you, how are you going to respond? So many they are willing now, because of that situation or the train is five minutes late, they feel the anger inside of them building upthey can destroy the whole world. Isn’t it?
So now the ego, friends with sheytan, friends with the dunya and the desires. The Ego now has its four main characteristics that inherit from sheytan – Anger. Thats for sure, thats the main thing. It can be thousands of subdivisions. You know like that Hydra, it’s many headed snake, right. You cut off one it grows again. You cut off one it grows again, you cut off one… it’s like that. But now the Hydra, many headed but one trunk. Now there are four trunks, four main groups, four main heads, big heads that smaller heads coming from that. Anger, Stubbornness, Jealousy and Arrogance. Okay, now these four main ones, thousands may come from that. Now we understand where in everyday life we have this Anger, Jealousy, Stubbornness and Arrogance, where in everyday life we have these and it is our Ego that is saying this and insisting on this and when we are sitting in the presence of the Sheykh and we hear the advice and the words of the Sheykh telling us what to do in this situation, then we may cut the head of the Hydra. Then that time we know ourselves, “Oh, before I thought I was so nice. But now I understand that I have all these characteristics.”
Because you look in the streets, when you walk in the streets especially now Christmas season, New year season, Capitalist season, spending season, consumerists season, wasting season, waste, nothing but ego now running to buy and buy and get and get, yeah season of giving, Yeah really? You’re giving? Huh, yeah you give from your pocket to the System ( Sheykh laughs). But you are looking in the streets especially now it’s Christmas season, every one dressed so nice, so beautifully, everyone is feeling so generous, everyone is giving money but you know that this is the worst time for suicides. There are more suicides happening during this times than any other time. But you look from the outside, everyone look so happy, everyone look so shiny, but they are not. Maybe they are physically sick, you cannot see with these eyes, everyone looks well, but may be this one has, definitely everyone is sick, some sort of disease or other.
So now, that is a physical sickness that you need a doctor to advice and to say and also to give you a medicine for physical sickness. Now when it comes to diseases coming from your ego, you need that kind of doctor, a spiritual doctor. Then he is going to say, “For you,” just as you are sick you cannot use your body properly to reach the potential and optimum capacity, your Spirit you cannot use it properly until you get rid of these diseases. So now that is how you are going to know yourself, get rid of these diseases InshaAllah. Everyone has them and what is the purpose of knowing ourselves? To know our Lord. What higher knowledge or more beautiful knowledge is that to know our Creator because our Creator is not like us. And He is inviting us. InshaAllah.
Sheykh Lokman Efendi Hz,
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
OSMANLI DERGAHI- New York
Sep 22, 2014.