Anthropology: A New Scope

Spiritual Moderation

Spiritual moderation involves a harmony among man's internal potentials and the factors that activate them. The better man's potentials do their orderly duties, the more moderate man will be. Since human potentials are interrelated, the balance of man's spiritual system is a sign of the moderation of each potential. Likewise, if each and every potential is well-balanced, the whole system is moderate, too. 

Spiritual moderation can also be regarded as "mental well-being." The higher man's mental well-being is, the better his spiritual moderation, too. By "mental," however, we do not refer to only formal thoughts, but man's overall mental activities, including incoming feelings, imagination, associating meanings, selecting the means and balancing the means and the end.

Spiritual moderation does not exist, or cannot be scientifically discovered. The reasons for this are:

1-The infinity of man's greed for gaining advantages, whether selfish or seeking perfection: Since man knows no boundaries in expanding his "self-love" or "supreme self," there can be no true moderation for the free psyche. The endless quality of the self is due to man's supernatural aspect. The human character has two sides. On one hand he deals with what his senses reveal to him, and on the other hand he is concerned with the supernatural and moral values. The human self can infinitely advance on both sides, so we cannot imagine a real moderation between them; neither on the positive side, which pertains to the "supreme self," nor the negative one, which involves the natural self. 

2-Man's endless flexibility: Man can vary fatalistic factors and make optional selections due to his infinite flexibility. Proper education and training, for example, can bring about such a spiritual revolution in man that a criminal becomes a fair person, or vice versa. This proves that true moderation is not verifiable. 

The Relativity of Spiritual Moderation 

Man's spiritual moderation is a relative truth, for each human being has his/her own spiritual balance depending on his/her specific social, moral, legal, cultural and historical circumstances. The impurities in the spirit make it have relative balance. If the human self succeeds in harmonizing the flow of his internal potentials, there will be spiritual moderation in the domain of "how it is."

The management of the "self" in this domain involves preserving the desired self – this is the main goal of the self in managing man's existence.

The self can aim for two kinds of self-preservation in the domain of the psyche:

a)Self-preservation based on fatalistic factors: Like animals, man lives only according to his natural instinct and tendencies in this state. In such people, spiritual moderation is merely the harmony between instincts and fatalistic factors. It is a pseudo-fatalistic product of the management of the self, and if the unconscious parts are put together as a machine, they would all function harmoniously. 

b)Self-preservation based on the development of potentials: Some people to some extent put their potentials and powers to work. Influenced by geographical, cultural, legal, and political factors of their society, they cannot consider ideals any higher than their society offers for their "self," so they make no attempt for its advance. They go after anything they consider useful – that is, what their social circumstances offers them.

If there are sophisticated figures in such social conditions that can make people realize that they can make better use of their potentials and forces, they will have a chance of being guided to the path of perfection and greatness.

By elevating himself from the "how it is" to the domain of "how it should be," man can have better spiritual moderation. Man is a being that possesses the basic factor for such a promotion; he has a built-in tendency towards the proper virtues he deserves.

There are two reasons that prove that man possesses a strong internal force that moves him from "how it is" to "how it should be:

a)The fact that many human beings throughout history have achieved extreme greatness and perfection: History shows us many prophets of God, men of wisdom and moralists that have harnessed selfishness and achieved the ultimate level man can advance to. Without such internal purification, Abraham could never have attempted to slay his own son.

b)The necessity of education and guidance: If the potential to enter the domain of "how it should be" didn't exist in man, education would never have existed; we clearly see, however, that education has had a profound effect on human beings. 

The essential factor that evolves man from "how it is" to "how it should be" is his perfection-seeking, intense eagerness to expand his existence all across the whole universe and totally dominate it.

Any human being who enjoys mental well-being will be interested in such spiritual development. 

The moderation man achieves through development and perfection is true moderation, and he will see every event and moment of the universe as new. As Jalal-addin Mohammad Molawi  says:

تازه می گير و کهـن را مي سپـارکه هر امسالت فزون است از سه پار

جان فشان ای  آفتـاب    معنـویمر    جهان   کهنه   را بنمــــا  نوی

اي جهان  کهنه را تـو  جان  نـو از  تن  بي  جان  و  دل   افغان   شنو

گرچه هر قرنی  سخـن  نـو  آورد ليک   گفت    سالفــان يــاری  کند

تا   نزايد   بخت  تـو   فرزنـد  نو خون نگردد شير شيرين، خوش شنو

(Don't let yourself get stuck in the past and the old; remember that your current year is worth more than your last three years altogether. Endeavor to elevate your character the best you can, for your efforts will refine your inside of all the old precipitated in you from nature, and refresh your soul. When your soul is refreshed, the universe before you will also be fresh and new. When man thinks about God's divine state from the very depth of his conscience and devotes his whole ego to perceiving divinity, he will completely realize that each moment of his life will be new, and his soul will be fresh is its contact with God. Though each century brings with itself new speech and new speakers, the past also promotes it by establishing the fundamentals of human culture. Your spiritual prosperity should present the results of original truths like newborn babies, which open their mouths and feed upon previous knowledge, thus evolving your spiritual life.) 

In fact, Jalal-addin Mohammad Molawi (Rumi) is inviting man to abandon this material world, and submit himself to divine changes.

Internal moderation in the domain of "as it should be" is not possible without considering the supreme aim of life and obeying moral values. If the human self is to develop and establish a correct relationship with the universe, it must be attracted by the ultimate aim of life and acquire the highest of human virtues. 

In brief, taking into consideration the philosophy of creation and obeying divine values is absolutely crucial if spiritual moderation is to be achieved. Only then will man's internal potentials be in harmony with various factors, and result in his mental well-being and spiritual moderation. 


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