Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

Awakin Readings

Every week, we post a reading from various wisdom traditions, to provoke insights and deeper reflection. Each thought is also accompanied by an illustration and an audio recordings (and often translations in other languages). Explore and enjoy!

Seven Stages Of The Ego

--by Rumi, as told by Elif Shafak (Apr 16, 2018)

The first stage is the Depraved Ego (Nafs), the most primitive and common state of being, when the soul is entrapped in worldly pursuits. Most human beings are stuck there, struggling and suffering in the service of their ego but always holding others responsible for their continuing unhappiness. If and when a person becomes aware of the ego’s abased situation, by starting to work on himself, he can move to the next stage, which in a way is the opposite of the previous one. Instead of blaming other people all the time, the person who has reached this stage blames himself, sometimes to the point of self effacement. Herein the ego becomes the Accusing Nafs and thus starts the journey toward inner purification. In the third stage, the person is more mature and the ego has...

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