Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Vanity and Luck

Every time you overcome a bad habit, say quit smoking, there is a moment that you feel in power, in control, so much so that you think you can start the habit again in moderation (smoke once a week). Most of times, this will be a slippery slope back to the old state (or even worse).

  1. In Islamic mysticism, at the critical point (of feeling in control) you are overcome by "vanity", believing that what you do is "only" the results of your own efforts and abilities. You forget the role of "God's will" and this is the presence of the "ego" that is the source of all sins.
  2. In a slightly different interpretation, you forget the help of your "luck" or your personal power. Even though our successes should help us to improve our confidence and trust, this trust must be placed on the right combination of our efforts/abilities and our luck. The bottom line is the necessity of modesty and humiliation. The feeling of "being in control" seems dangerous, an alternative is to feel "in harmony and lucky"! :)
  3. Amazingly, in Hafez poems the two interpretations meet!
Note: Items "1" and "3" are heavily influenced by my discussions with a good friend, mazzzz :)

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