Recap: Continuation of “The First Table” page 231 of “The Words”. We need to see which category we are on, heedless or conscious being? Is it really true or not, do we feel it? Is it just a claim? We have to open ourselves.
Line Four: “If you say, being, I dressed in it;–Alas! It was non-being; I suffered much”
-It means in the eyes of the heedless people, I am, I exist.
-I experience my being regardless of being heedless or not.
- Are we aware we exist? Have we thought about it this morning?
- It is kind of an introspective analysis, looking at yourself, not at your status in the society or your profession.
- We have to first identify ourselves in our existence.
Heedlessness= not thinking about the meaning of existence.
For example: I will enjoy my life until I die, I will try to make the most of my life now or let me take care of my worldly future instead of my eternal future, for which I have an internal desire. Here, I am not taking into account the meaning of existence. In this case, I realize I exist but immediately, adjacent to it, I realize that my existence is in reality non-existent, according to a heedless attitude.
- If someone is heedless, not paying attention to existence which is a transient thing then existence becomes so fragile, feeble, disappearing. Like a bubble, it’s artificial.
- When you don’t change yourself, your existence becomes non-existence in your perception, your eyes.
- If I take this attitude, will I experience what the author is saying? That is reality, which is what we need to exercise in our existence.
-In the eye of the heedless, when they think about existence, it becomes non-existent. Do we agree with this?
-Author says if you take a heedless attitude, you will find that although you exist, your existence is almost like non-existence because you cannot keep it.
-Heedlessness is something unbearable. “I have experienced much” the author says. It is valuable when we take our existence seriously.
- I may be as big as a galaxy; we have to learn that being big or small is irrelevant. The reason is that human capacity is as huge as the universe. The nature of your being is important. The nature of our being is subject to be dependent on something else. For example someone says God is huge, I am nothing. It is not realistic; God is the Creator and I am the Creature.
- Big and small are magnitude’s of measurements that have no TRUE point of reference
- The only real aspect of creation is the fact that I am a being created by the Creator.
- If you are heedless, your existence becomes so feeble. Since you cannot really trust, it hurts you.
- Why? It hurts because you want to keep your existence but you are unable to.
-Everybody is aware of his or her own existence. But heedless people cannot focus on their own existence because there is no hope.
– The heedless person hopes innately to be happy now and forever but because he has decided that there is no eternal happiness, he cannot even experience happiness in his present life either because it is fleeting momentarily.
– Thus, the heedless turn away from their reality. If I ascribe myself to the external sources, I then forget about my existence. Not being aware of the fact that I even exist.
- That’s why people keep themselves busy to run away from reality. If attitude= heedless attitude, they cannot stand their existence. It’s easy to keep myself busy with other things. It is a way of escapism. For example keeping busy with a job or even with religious activity. It is the same thing. It does not mean that you should not do all that but do it with awareness.
-First question your existence. It is in human nature, intrinsically engraved in human nature that when I am heedless it hurts. It hurts because I cannot secure my existence.
-When religion is a cultural thing for me, it doesn’t get into my being or understanding. It actually becomes a means of socializing; keeping myself busy thinking that it’s not harmful.
- If someone is not sure of his own existence and the meaning of his own existence, he cannot be sure of his religious activities. Because he doesn’t know who he is. For example: I am a white Anglo-Saxon protestant or I am Muslim and it’s the best religion. These are external pieces of information.
- Finding meaning should start from your own being, reality.
- We have to think who am I? What does it mean for me to exist in this world? If you start from here, everything will be settled down. Most people if they have no security in their life, they escape to charity organization, volunteerism. It may be a means of escapism because we cannot face our reality because we have not found a solution to make our existence secure.
- We usually take the short cut i.e. God created me; He will take care of me. Did I explain my existence? I have to start from scratch. I should not borrow from cultural sources to explain my being without experiencing it within myself. That is the foundation of everything. Your religious stance will start making sense if you are sure of yourself. Don’t run away and use religion or culture as a way to escape.
Line Five: “If you say, life, I tasted it; — I saw it was torment upon torment”
-If I am sure, I am alive; you become aware of your qualities as a living being. You become connected to the rest of the world, with emotional attachments, detachments, running away from things, having feelings…Then I become a “living being”. As a heedless man, the author feels that.
-If your existence is the result of random happenings, accidents or I do not know why I am alive…This is heedlessness again. Here I do not have a substantial or satisfactory answer for my human inquisition. If I do not have this, I feel tormented because I have enormous quality given through my life which is subject to annihilation. You are going to lose it. For example you have ten million dollars and you know you will lose it across the street because there are robbers there. You get more tormented as oppose to if you had a dollar in your pocket and you were to lose it. Unfortunately, for heedless people, the more they become aware of their lives and opportunities, the more they will feel tormented if they lose it.
Line Six: “The mind became pure torture; — I saw permanence to be tribulation”
-The more you think, the more you are aware of all this and the more torture you see.
-Mind is important for human beings; it reminds us of our reality. We cannot escape from it. If we take a stance of heedlessness, it becomes a means of torture i.e. we do not want to think. We try to escape from it.
– We do not want to be in tribulation. The permanence becomes tribulation. Why? Because mind is aware that whatever I have, I have to keep it. But I cannot. (We are thinking of the vision of the heedless.) This desire for permanence is within us. That’s my problem; I cannot kill my innate desire for permanence. Heedlessness has no answer to that.
Line Eight: “Deeds became pure hypocrisy; –I saw hope to be pure pain”
-Why do you think when we are heedless our deeds become hypocrisy? Heedlessness means your life is accidental. I cannot enjoy myself. I am cheating myself. The moment we are heedless, no matter what we do, that action of ours will be hypocritical because that act is going into annihilation.
-When I am a heedless person, whatever I do will be hypocrisy. We try to neglect it, we run away from reality, gamble, take drugs so as not to think of reality. THIS IS NOT HUMAN!
-To be heedless is not human. That’s why we are reading this gloomy picture. DO NOT CONTRADICT YOURSELF! BE YOURSELF! We are not reading this to make ourselves feel guilty. Life is beautiful but if you are heedless everything is horrible. WAKE UP and be realistic within yourself!
-We sometimes want to shut our brains and do meaningless things. Even listen to a beautiful recitation of the Quran could be intoxication. Solution is to get rid of heedlessness. Attach your being, your life, your human values, mind to the source of existence and being with the eternal one. Do not lose yourself, face your reality. You will feel beautiful when you understand that your reality belongs to the Absolute one.
- Let’s be brave, our belief in God may have no real base. Because we may not really see our existence completely attached to the existence of the Eternal Being. For example mind, hearing, seeing and tasting is a representative or a reminder of the Eternal Source of those qualities. If you eat something and enjoy you say that my Creator of this power of taste is just demonstrating a small example to me that He is the source of existence of all Absolute tastes. I belong to Him. Then your life becomes real because you found that your existence owns to an Absolute existence who is the provider of your life, human qualities.
- All our aspirations are from Him, He gave it to us in order to call us to Him and identify myself with the Eternal Absolute source. Then you do not get tired, that is the way to relax. Example when you are working you get tired because if you are not aware of your reality, its hypocrisy, it is just a way of ignoring your reality. If you want to relieve yourself, turn your heedlessness into reality.
There are three qualities that the Quraan says:
1/ Malikin Naas- Your owner
2/ Ilahin Naas- Your existence belong to the one who is God
3/ Rabbin Naas- Everything is provided by that source
-My existence is the property of the one who gave existence to the universe. Human qualities (spirit, soul or whatever name you give) only get a fresh air from being secure in his existence. Like a child, when baby is on the breast of his mother he feels safe, if you leave him alone, he screams because he wants to be in a secure place. When you are aware that you are in the breast of your Lord, you belong to Him; you are being taken care of. He is my God, Lord, Owner.
(Based from Sura Naas) If you establish these three qualities of the same God (given above) then you can make an eternal analysis. Something comes from inside that says forget about God and object of your worship and enjoy your life. How can I keep myself away from Him? All my actions will be hypocrisy, I will be a hypocrite. All these whispering such as you are going to die, this life is transient… becomes not effective for me, the alternative is being aware of your Lord, Owner and God.
- Take refuge with these three qualities when you feel depressed or are being affected by these whisperings. These whisperings or alternatives have no base and therefore my life does have meaning.
- Pre requisite is to be aware of your source of existence.
- This world by its own nature is transient and will tell you that you will die. Solution is to think about your existence. You have to find the source.
-What are your expectations? In the mind of heedless person, whatever he is aspiring for is painful. Every hope turns into pain. The more you hope the more pain you get. That’s why we want to run away from reality when we are heedless. If you hope for one dollar and you do not get it, you only get one dollar worth of pain. If you hope for million dollars and you do not get it, you get a million dollar worth of pain.
-When you are aware, God conscious, then you will want not to remain in heedlessness. As soon as it slips from you, you start feeling disappointed, despair. When we are alone, we cannot be with ourselves. Why? We do not have an answer to our expectations when we see our existence accidental.
-Solution is asking yourself what are you doing in this world and what is it calling you to? It urges us to think. We cannot get satisfaction by not attaching ourselves to the Eternal Source. Human Beings are desired, hardwire with eternal satisfaction.
- We have to make an analysis on whether heedlessness is correct or God Consciousness is correct. We may find ourselves in the middle. There is no black and white distinction in our practical life. If we find ourselves closer to the heedlessness part, then we should start to shift
- towards awareness/consciousness. We are doing here a theoretical analysis. We talk about what is absolutely wrong and what is absolutely right.
- How do I see my own self, my own existence? Which way am I closer to?
- We have to discover ourselves. If I do not see eternal happiness in my life, it is very depressing. Why do people fall into depression? They don’t say it. Not everyone is brave. We love escaping from our reality. Because belief in the resurrection is so essential to our human being, it is directly related to our existence. We cannot neglect it.
-If someone is not aware of his existence, there is no way for him to be aware of the hereafter.
-You cannot go against your nature, your fitra, the way you are created and be happy. No one can be happy by doing something which contradicts the way he is created, contradicts the consciousness or the heart.
- If we take a conforming attitude towards our “own nature”, then we will discover that religion is calling us to come in terms with our nature i.e. fitra.
- If we start with religion, we cannot come back to fitra.
- Fitra is internal, religious information is external.
-Revelation comes from external i.e. somebody says I have received a message from the Creator. When I understand reality of my own nature, I confirm this message. Revelation and my nature become one, compatible with each other. I will be happy within my own existence and I will be in harmony. That’s why we have to start with our nature.
- Listen to revelation which comes from my own Creator as an external source and try to apply it within my own nature. And see the conformability within my nature and the religion. Now, religion becomes not external anymore.
-We usually start from religion and try to imitate it. For example in religion, they say we are created, we have a Creator. (Notice that this is from outside). I believe in my religion but I don’t feel relaxed, that’s why there is tension. Prior to having a depressing moment, if you established your existence on a firm, confirmed and secure base, then as soon as the waswasa (language of the Quraan) comes to you or the whispering, you say but I have an Absolute One who gave me my existence, He will take care of me.
-You are given existence; the One who gave you existence will not forget you, He is not a forgetful guy. The One who has given me existence has endowed me with such capacity as large as the universe, even larger. Universe is going to be destroyed and is limited. My expectations recognize no limitation. For example I expect from the One who gave me this need to give me assurance that He will take care of my needs. My capacity is larger than the universe. He must be my Creator, it’s not a joke.
-Why do we torture ourselves then? By being heedless we do that. God will say what is wrong with you, use your given capacities and do not be lazy.
-Religion, in particular “belief and confirmation” should become my own property. Without internal training (using my given human faculties), I cannot be practicing religion and benefiting from it.
Tags: 17th Word, An-Nas, Glad Tidings, Human Desires, Human Reality, Permanence, Purpose of Life, The Words, Transience