Question: What is the original nature of the ego?
Our ego has always been disobedient. To put the ego under our feet, that is our job, that is our work. All the Prophets and all the Saints and all the Books and all your brains and all your conscience and everything, your intelligence, is to make you first to put your ego under your feet, and then with the power of your ego, with that knowledge, for you to be able to ride with that power, to understand Allah. The ego is like the buraq. You are not supposed to kill it, we are not Buddhists. It is created there for a reason. It is to use it.
Everything that Allah has created has a use. It has a use. The proudness of mankind is to say ‘this is not useful.’ The proudness of mankind is to say ‘this is only for me.’
The proudness of mankind, especially these white people, crazy white people, they are. They destroy everything. They destroy the animals, they destroy the natural order of nature and everything, saying ‘this is not useful.’ They see so many whales, they start killing them, so many buffaloes they start killing them, and then 200 years later, their descendants are saying ‘okay, now we found out they are very important for the balance of everything.’ Breh, don’t you have faith? Why would you think they are not important? Leave aside whether you like or you don’t like, you hate or you don’t hate, you racist or you are not. Leave that aside. You have intelligence, right? And you are Ahli Kitab, right? You are not an idol-worshiper. In fact, idol-worshipers have a better understanding of nature than you do. Why is that? What’s wrong with you? Then they discover ‘oh, we cannot upset anything from nature, because the whole balance is off. It’s so delicate.’
So, the buraq. We are not like Buddhists to say ‘destroy even your ego.’ In Islam, it doesn’t say ‘destroy sheytan.’ It has a use. You have your own sheytan, you have your own ego. How are you going to use that? How are you going to control that? When you do, then it’ll be like a buraq, that you can ascend to the heavens with it. While you are here, you can ascend. Then that’s the time you realize ‘oh, I am here, yet I’m there. I’m here, yet I’m everywhere. Where am I? Who am I coming from? The sun doesn’t shine from this world, it is somewhere else. Where is my sun?’ This ray of light that is coming, reaching down to this lowest of the low, if the sun of mankind’s existence, any one of you, the sun of your spirit shines, it will blind 70,000 suns. So our spirit is not here-here. Our reality is not here. Our reality is in Divine Presence. So it is our ego, when our ego was created, and when it comes to Tarikat and Tasawwuf and dealing with the ego, it is only among the Naksibendi Order, that it is dealing with this. All other orders, they don’t. They may talk about it a little bit here and there, but the concentration is not on that. This is what makes the Naksibendi order Tarikatul Aliyya, the highest, following Hz Abu Bakr as-Siddiq. Because now, this is beyond form. This is beyond worship also. This is beyond zikr also. This is about sohbet. Tarikatuna sohbet fil khayri min jamiat. So this is about sohbet. Sohbet means association. Association means that now it is not even your effort so much, but because you associate with someone, we associate with someone who is sitting in the Divine Presence, you will get the understanding. Your color will start to change. Everyone changes according to their association.
We are not relying on our worship or this or that. We are doing it, but now this is over and beyond anything. And we don’t go straight to Allah. It is through underground ways. The ego, when it was created, Allah SWT called it into His Presence. And Allah is saying ‘Who am I and who are you?’ And the ego declaring itself lord, saying that ‘You are You and I am me.’ You are you and I am me. You exist, I exist. You are Lord, I am lord. And Allah sent it to the valley of heat, fire, 70,000 years he was there, burning. He comes out, ‘who are you and who am I?’ ‘You are You and I am me.’ Stubbornness, again. Sending again and again. Finally, third time, Allah SWT is saying ‘send him to the valley of hunger.’ Within three days, the ego is saying ‘You are Lord, and I am just Your servant.’ So that defiance, that disobedience is only given to the ego too. Sheytan, sheytan disobeyed Allah one time. Once. Sheytan is not the enemy to Allah. Sheytan is the enemy to mankind. Things were fine before mankind was created. For sheytan, things were great. ‘I have my Allah, I have my friends, they all look up to me.’ Then He created this new thing, and suddenly everything turns upside down. And he’s blaming us. Sheytan never declares himself lord. So the ego is more powerful than sheytan, more disobedient than sheytan. But sheytan guides the ego, and the ego is the greater enemy, because the enemy is inside, the enemy is already inside. Sheytan is outside, he cannot enter you.
So, to understand this, it is important to have a Sheykh. It is important to look into a mirror. It is important to see. It is important to consult. It is important to have someone who is going to guide you. You know, you want to go up the Himalayas, you get all the best equipment, you still need a Sherpa. You still need a guide. And those Sherpas, they are coming in a t-shirt, sometimes not even wearing shoes, going up and down in that snow, in that altitude where they need gas tanks to breathe. Meaning, your guides they don’t function the same way as you. Don’t say ‘why are you like that? You are asking me to wear shoes and you are not wearing shoes? You are asking me to carry all these oxygen tanks and you are not even carrying anything? That’s not fair.’ Look, a guide is different. Guide means he has gone up and down that way so many times. But us, we are just learning how to walk. So this is a also a big problem with people following guides. Even people following Prophets as guides. Because they say ‘you are a man, I am a man. Why do you get to be so special?’ It is not about special. You want to be special, follow me. You will be special too. But it’s not about special. It’s about doing your work. When you do something so much, you can even do it with your eyes closed. It doesn’t mean you are special, it just means that you are doing it so much. If you don’t do it so much, you have to open your eyes. Everything is according to it’s own law.
So Allah SWT is saying ‘follow those who as you no fee, and they themselves they are rightly guided.’ This is important. And in this way, they are not going to explain so much your spiritual stations too. Other Tarikats they may talk about, whole day, whole night, spiritual stations. Oh, what dreams you have, what visions you have, what colors do you see, what light is this, what light is that, da, da, da, everyone talks about their emotional states. ‘Oh, I feel Allah was speaking to me and this angel came, and this thing and this thing, wow,’ you understand? A lot of Tarikats they are like that. But not the Naksibendi Tarikat. These are just, it’s okay and it has a role, up to a certain point. After that it’s just a game also, because now, your ego. What are you doing with it? Are you understanding, as Sheykh Effendi is saying in the Khutbah, just the smell of the ego, if it was released, the whole world would drop down dead. The smell of an Evliya, if people breathe it, they will fall down dead too, because the smell of the Evliya would remind them of home, and their spirits are going to get pulled to that too. And once in a while, you get a little bit of that smell here and there. Not too much, otherwise people would go crazy. When we were in Turkey, ohh, every tomb has a special smell. To remind us. Just to remind us. Eyvallah.
Shaykh Lokman Efendi Hz
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
Osmanli Dergah, New York
6 Jamada al-Ahir 1441
January 31, 2020