Are we aware, my friend, of where we’ve come from, and where we’re going?
Some may say, “Sure… after a brief experience of earthly life we’re all going to go on to the afterlife…”
Some may say, “Why of course! We came from Allah and to Allah we shall return!” just as they’ve heard or read…
But where is Allah? Does Allah have a location from which we departed and to which we will return?
Isn’t this the outlook of a deity-centric understanding?
Did we really contemplate how we came from Allah?
According to the intimates of reality, at every instance, we come into existence from nothingness and become inexistent the next instant, then come back into existence the instant after, and become inexistent again the next instant, ad infinitum…
So, where exactly are we coming from and where are we going?
From nothingness to nothingness, you say?
As far as I’m concerned, with all this excess baggage of existence, I don’t think we’re going anywhere near nothingness, despite coming from it… It seems we are unable to leave our precious world behind!
But the Rasul of Allah (saw) says, “The world and everything in it will be cast into hell. The world and everyone who is attached to it have been created for hell!”
It seems to be a good idea to rid ourselves of the world!
Blessed are those who have no possession…
Neither worldly, nor of their ‘self’!
But where is this ‘self’ coming from in the first place?
What’s the path?
The intimates of reality have made a classification encompassing the body, self, heart, spirit, secret, and the hidden treasures of the Names and Attributes…
And they talked about the levels of consciousness or the layers of the self as:
Nafs-i Ammarah: The Inciting Self
Nafs-i Lawwama: The Self-Accusing Self
Nafs-i Mulhima: The Inspired Self
Nafs-i Mutmainna: The Peaceful Self
Nafs-i Radhiya: The Pleased Self
Nafs-i Mardhiya: The Pleasing Self
Nafs-i Safiya: The Pure Self
Consider these as levels of consciousness, each more inner and deeper to one’s essential reality than the preceding one…
The general notion is that, as a person evolves, he moves out of the station of the Inciting Self and moves on to the station of the Self-Accusing Self, then moves out of the Self-Accusing Self and moves on to the Inspired Self and so on…
But this isn’t how it actually works… The person doesn’t move anywhere; the understanding and perspective of that particular state becomes disclosed through the person, for all seven stations or states are already present in each person as a whole. They comprise the person. But the person can only observe those that he becomes conscious of.