Life, Rising Up
7-Nobody will pay any attention to one who pays no attention to his/her own self. If man does not care about himself, and does not activate his talents and potentials, he should never expect others to care about him, either.
As Imam Ali has said about this essential principle of evolutionary life:
و اعلموا انه من لم يعن علی نفسه حتی يکون له منها واعظ و زاجر لم يکن له من غيرها لا زاجر و لا واعظ
"Lo and behold, he who does not care to be his own internal advisor and conscience, nothing and nobody else will do that for him."
No one, not even God's prophets, can guide man toward perfection and development unless man himself attempts to progress. Man must have the will to construct and develop himself if he is to move toward evolutionary life.
8-If you know yourself, you will know your God. As the Holy Prophet of Islam Mohammad (P.B.U.H.) has said:
من عرف نفسه فقد عرف ربه
"If you discover yourself, you have in fact discovered your Lord."
Thus, if the human "self" – the human"soul", in fact – is comprehensively known and discovered, the greatest step toward knowing God has been taken, for:
a)One of the aspects of the "self" is a monotheist nature which puts man in contact with God.
b) The human self can gain complete knowledge of the universe, and see the divine light shining on the universe.
c)Knowledge of the unity of the human disposition, with all its diverse qualities, is a sign of the conceptual multiplicity of God's qualities.
d)Abstracting the human soul – the human self – from material aspects and the dominance of such abstraction on the body without making physical contact with it.
e)All the activities of the human disposition without subtracting anything from it or analyzing it.
f)Creating works of art or mathematical operations is a sign of how God works.
g)The imaginations formed in the human mind are examples of creating facts with no physical background about them whatsoever.
9-Always calculate and balance yourself. Self-calculation and self-balance is a fundamental principle on the path to elevating evolutionary life. Some may think that in these days of machine-like life and people's hectic lifestyles, no one has the time to do self-calculations, whereas they would take serious steps toward doing so if educational systems and social leaders made them understand the crucial importance of having an original character. If man analyzes and calculates his own nature and character, life will have a different meaning to him; social leaders and those responsible for education must realize how necessary this is.
10-In evolutionary life, you must not degrade the value and glory of your own self by submitting to profanity and being prolific. Let us quote from Imam Ali:
و اکرم نفسک عن کل دنية و ان ساقتک الی الرغايب فانک لن تعتاض بما تبذل من نفسک عوضا
"Consider your nature, your disposition, as too great to be traded with lowly, decadent affairs, even though your nature may encourage you toward them, for they are quite attractive and satisfying. But you will lose far more than you gain if you fall for them."
Giving in to lowly affairs and decadence is the greatest barrier on the path to development and perfection. Not all means can guide one to the aim of life. Man should not sell the elixir of his existence for a meager price. If the human ego is lost, nothing can ever replace it. The value of the "self" is higher than anything else. Countless human beings have sacrificed themselves for meager desires and lusts, thinking that they have gained something.
11-One of the most significant effects of evolutionary life is adjusting oneself with regard to others. The correct criterion for the relationship between human beings is a crucially important issue. Here, by relationships between human beings we do not refer merely to social life, for the main factor that makes social life is not making any disturbances in life and providing the grounds for people's talents and potentials to be harmonized and put to better use in order to make social life a reality.
The criterion necessary for the relationship between human beings on the path toward evolutionary intelligible life is far beyond the rules and criteria in social life. That criterion is nothing but the human ego – a purified human ego, of course, that moves on the path toward development and perfection.