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Human Beings

by Fethullah Gülen on . Posted in As a Teacher

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1. Each individual is equipped with sublime emotions, has a natural disposition toward virtue, and is fascinated with eternity. Even the most wretched-looking person has a rainbow-like atmosphere in his or her spirit comprised of the thought of eternity, love of beauty, and virtuous feeling. If people can develop these most basic, inherent elements of their being, they can rise to the highest ranks of humanity and attain eternity.

2. People are true human beings not in the mortal, material aspect of their existence, but rather in the attraction of their spirits to eternity and in their efforts to find it. For this reason, those who disregard their innate spiritual aspect and concentrate only on their physical existence never find true peace and contentment.

3. The happiest and most fortunate people are those who always are intoxicated with ardent desire for the worlds beyond. Those who confine themselves within the narrow and suffocating limits of their bodily existence are really in prison, even though they may be living in palaces.

4. Our first and foremost duty is to discover ourselves and then turn toward our Lord through the illuminated prism of our nature. Those who remain unaware of their true nature, and who therefore cannot establish any contact with their Most High Creator, spend their lives like coolies who are ignorant of the treasure they carry on their backs.

5. All human beings are essentially helpless. However, they discover an extraordinary competence by depending on the Infinitely Powerful One, which transforms them from a drop into a waterfall, a particle into a sun, and a beggar into a king.

6. Our familiarity with the "book" of existence and events, and our establishment of a unity between ourselves and that book, causes sparks of wisdom to appear in our hearts. We begin to recognize our essential nature and obtain knowledge of God through the light of those sparks. Finally, we reach God. To attain this goal, however, we must not set out this (mental) journey with a mind conditioned by atheism and materialism.

7. Those who are truly human interact with other living beings in the consciousness of personal duty to them and within the limits of need. Those who abandon themselves to bodily desire and pleasure go beyond what is allowed, and therefore cannot maintain the proper distance or balance between duty and desire. [Criteria or Lights of the Way, Vol.2, 12th edition, Izmir, 1996, pp.36–9]