The knowing heart, A Sufi Path of Transformation by Kabir Helminski
THE KNOWING HEART
From the book
The Kingdom of The “I”
What is it that we are searching for? Our situation as human beings is that we live in a world of pain and death. No amount of pleasure can negate this reality.
Our means of pleasure are in the body, and the body is subject to satiation, sickness, and death. Even if we no longer fear the punishment of hell, we have to somehow deal with our animal selves.
We try to know which of our desires can lead to real and perhaps lasting well-being.
We try to know when and how much is enough, and yet this animal self has endless desires. Repression, or at least self-discipline, is an inevitable condition of our situation.
Our very identity, our ego-self, is a complex of psychological manifestations arising from the body and related to its pleasure and survival. There is a terror in living with a body that is irrational, fallible, and, finally, mortal.
We have no cultural and spiritual value systems to reconcile us with the body. We serve the body but we do not teach it how to serve. We worship the body, but we do not sanctify it. Our cultural value systems today are among the least spiritual ever offered to a human community.
The meaning of life has been reduced to an unconscious operating mode: get a job that will enable us to buy what we want, pass through life with a minimum of pain and discomfort
The fulfillment offered to us is the fulfillment of being good and intelligent consumers, effective seekers of pleasure. We will have to repress many of our desires to eventually satisfy a few of them.