The Jewel of Man

The Jewel of Man

          It is narrated in Kitab-e-Uzar from Hazrat Ali about the creation of man, “Man was created from a rational self.  If it is purified through knowledge and action, then it will become a jewel as it was before” (i.e. before creation it belonged to a high place, Illiyin).  When will it become such?  “When it becomes purified and when man’s disposition (arrangement) becomes temperate (mild), so that he is not worried by any event (like oppression is jealousy) and all opposites are eliminated.  Then the seven heavens will be beneath his feet.”  It can be inferred from this tradition how man can recognize himself, not just recognize his body.  It is through action.  When the disposition becomes temperate and extremes are terminated, worship will become stable.  You may observe that sometimes you cry during worship and sometimes you do not.  When man purifies the self, then opposites will be terminated, and he will always obey God.  Then the seven heavens will be beneath his feet.  It is established from this tradition that recognizing yourself does not mean that I have two hands and two feet.  Even a dog recognizes itself in this manner.  O man!  Purify yourself, then you will be temperate and your true jewel, meaning the soul (not the body) will return.  When you will have spiritual morals then knowledge will manifest itself.  Here the Imam made it even clearer by saying that the seven heavens are beneath that person’s feet, i.e. he knows the reality about everything.  This is what it means to recognize yourself.  The first step is purifying the self; until he does not purify the self, he cannot recognize himself.  For instance, pride is a filthy veil (hijab).  How can he recognize himself if the self is in love with this world?  These are all opposites.  When these are eliminated, then you will recognize yourself.  When you recognize yourself, this path is (to) God.  The door to recognition of God has opened.  Now the seven heavens are beneath his feet.  Even if someone attains wealth, we are stuck in the world of dirt, which is oppression.  It is a world of darkness, or in other words, a world of ignorance.  We do not know what happens in the grave or on the Day of Judgment[1].  We are in the world of oppression.  Like the animals see, we also see.  Rather, some animals can see for miles, but we cannot see for such a distance.  When man progresses, then he reaches the world of the self.  This reality is the soul or the self; in truth, it is a light.  When it came to the physical world from the spiritual world, then it became enclosed in oppression.  Its reality is with the spiritual world, but when it was put in the body, it fell into oppression.  It is not truly from here, but it is from the spiritual world.  Now man should recognize for himself where it is from.  When he will recognize himself, then he will journey to the spiritual world, since recognition of God is a light.  Recognition has thousands of stages and oppression has seventy veils (covering).  Whoever reaches the stage of recognition ascends 70,000 stages, and 70,000 veils are spiritual.  All of recognition consists of 70,000 classes.  Those 70,000 classes are all classes of recognition.

[1] The Holy Prophet (S) said:

  “There is nothing better than good moral conduct which could be written on the “Letter of Deeds” on the Day of Resurrection.”  -al-Kafi.


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