To Know Yourself is the Only Aim
Now my most recent post, focussed on one particular area of realisation, the art of Knowing Yourself. I wish to expand on this topic again today due to a recent Sufi Islamic book, I have been reading strenuously originally written by a Islamic mystic, named Balyani who’s teachings were greatly inspired by the famous Islamic mystic Ibn Arabi. This book is simply named ‘Know Yourself’ and is a very profound and powerful short read on the science behind, simply realising everything we experience, is just the ONE Reality. That One Reality is God himself. If everything is One and there is no separation, then the conclusion the book draws is that we are also God, as there is nothing in existence apart from God. Again, God is the Only Reality!
Know Yourself and therefore Know God
Many people confuse finding God and finding Yourself as two separate journeys, it is made very apparent by this book that this is simply not the case. Many people believe that God is an external being a million miles away. This book teaches us that us, that this is simply not the case.
This wonderful book states that the two journeys are actually the same journey. The book makes it clear time and time again, that if we discover who we truly are inside, we will also discover who God is. It also makes it clear that we do not need to change ourselves dramatically or to kill our egos to achieve this.
Removing Ignorance and to Know is our Only Aim
We simply need to remove the veil of Ignorance that shrouds our eyes from seeing the truth. If we remove the ignorance of ourselves, as being these separate lowly individuals and realise we are part of the fabric of nature itself/God. We immediately become enlightened to who we truly are, our only ignorance is our insistence on viewing ourselves as powerless separate individual entities. If we wake up to the fact, that we are deeply connected with the Universe and God itself, then we immediately stop viewing ourselves in this destructive ignorant manner. This brings us back to a previous point, that our ONLY AIM must be removing the ignorance of who we truly are. If we find ourselves, we also find God as a side effect.
Due to the risk of this post, becoming hard to comprehend and losing its narrative and message. I am going to start simply today and explain the basic quote that this book was inspired by. This book is not for the faint of the heart, as its teaching is brutally Direct and to the point. It does not focus on techniques or methods, the focus of the book is on direct realisation of the very unity of all existence. The key premise being here that if you have this realisation, you immediately become enlightened to who you truly are. No further techniques are required.
‘Whoever Knows their Self, Knows their Lord’
This particular quote was attributed to the Islamic Prophet Muhammad and is taken from the Hadith. Now, the book is an explanation by Balyani/Arabi of the inner meanings behind this particular quote. This post would appear as heresy or blasphemy to some people. But it is abundantly clear, the message Muhammad was trying to get across here. Finding God is not about trying to connect with some distant angry deity up in the sky who is a million miles away. It dismisses such notions. God is closer to us than our jugular vein. Allow me to add another quote from the Holy Quran to emphasise this very point.
“And indeed We have created man, and We know whatever thoughts his inner self develops, and We are closer to him than (his) jugular vein.” – Quran 50:16
So there we have it, Muhammad was conveying here that if we wish to Find God, we must know Ourselves. As the Quran emphasises, God is not some distant figure or man in the clouds. He is inherently within us, God is the very Inner Self we are seeking to reconnect with. Therefore, If we strive to go within and connect with our Inner Self, we then Know ourselves and we also Know God as an end result. The two are not separate journeys, if we strive to find God, we must find ourselves first.
God is ONE and ALL things
Now many may question my idea, that it teaches in Islam that God is All things. But again allow me to add some quotes here to reveal that this is the truth of Muhammads message, these quotes were revealed in the book itself. The Sufi Islamic movement is a deeply spiritual and esoteric movement, that delves deeply into the inner meanings and interpretations of the Quran and Hadith. The following quote shows us, that there is nothing but God –
‘God is, and nothing is with him’– Hadith
This is pretty self explanatory, God is All and nothing exists beside him. Which therefore means, God is One and All. All that exists is God and nothing exists besides him.
‘He is the first and the last, the apparent and the hidden and he has Knowledge of everything’ – Quran 57:3
Again, God is the first and last, which means God is the start of creation and the finish of creation. God is the Apparent and the Hidden, which means God is Seen and is also Invisible. He has the knowledge of everything, meaning God is the intelligence of the universe and nature itself. God therefore is the One and the Absolute Reality of all existence, hinting that we must also be intrinsically part of the Oneness of God if we are to exist.
There is only one reality, so by knowing Ourselves, we therefore know God. By knowing ourselves, we begin to realise that we are closer to God than we first anticipated.
There is no division or separation in these terms. Our only ignorance and foolishness is to believe we are these separate lowly molecules cut off from God or creation itself. There is Only One Reality and that is God, so by knowing who we are, we therefore also know God.
The Power of this Little Book
In a time when self help has never been so complicated, this book is a breath of fresh air. The book is a very direct and brutal teaching. But once you can comprehend the saying-
‘Who ever Knows their Self, Knows their Lord’ – Hadith
You will find enlightenment is knocking at your door. This saying alone teaches us who we truly are. Meditate on the line or recite it back to yourself, if you truly realise the inner depth of these words. You will be close to full self realisation.
We don’t have to seek spirituality, we must realise that we are inherently a spiritual being. We don’t need to go anywhere, seek anything or kill off our egos as some would have us believe. Our only task and aim is to simply remove ignorance of who we truly are. The ignorance, we have is our thinking that we live in a word of duality, when the true nature of the universe is one of Non duality. There is no separation, I repeat, there is no separation. Our feeling of being separate is one of the root causes, of all of our feelings of loneliness and suffering.
I will be writing more about Sufism in the future, I am astonished by the beauty and profound nature of many of it’s teachings. I will delve into how the heart is the entrance to finding ourselves, the purification of the heart method was the Sufis way to Self/God realisation.
The famous poet Rumi was also a Sufi, his teachings are all highly recommended for anyone wishing to discover more about Sufism. To finish off, the excellent Non duality teacher, Rupert Spira is also a great fan of this book, here is a link to him reading directly from the ‘Know Yourself’ book itself if you wish to hear more of its teachings.