Sunday, September 25, 2011

Annihilation of ego

"Fanaa (فناء) is the Sufi term for extinction. It means to annihilate the self, while remaining physically alive. Persons having entered this state are said to have no existence outside of, and be in complete unity with, Allah.
Fanaa is similar to the concepts of nirvana in Buddhism and Hinduism or moksha in Hinduism, which also aim for annihilation of the self. Fanaa may be attained by constant meditation and by contemplation on the attributes of God, coupled with the denunciation of human attributes."

The 'self' to be annihilated refers to the ego, while 'Allah' is the Self of the universe.
The term Jihad originally referred to the struggle against one's own inner enemies: the false desires and aversions, and ego that drag us away from the Self. Like so many things in religion, a spiritual, internal concept has been debased into a physical, external one, and has come to be interpreted as war against others instead of the ego-self.

"In western societies the term jihad is often translated by non-muslims as "holy war". Scholars of Islamic studies often stress that these words are not synonymous. Muslim authors, in particular, tend to reject such an approach, stressing non-militant connotations of the word."

The Goddess fighting demons (symbolising inner enemies such as lust, greed and the ego), Art Gallery of New South Wales.


John Ptacek said...

This is a beautiful site with a powerful message. Thank you for creating it and keeping it updated. I will be back for return visits.

jeronimus said...

Thanks John. I found your essays refreshingly clear and relevant. It's not always easy to find time for blogging, but I hope new posts won't be too long in coming.

Nat said...

Hi Graham, this post is very relevant to today! Sorry I didn't see your comments on my painting blog until today - please feel free to link anything from any of my blogs - you don't need to ask!
Looking forward to reading more here,

jeronimus said...

Hi Nat. I aways enjoy reading your blog.