Should training the soul or killing it be preferred?
Ones who perform the training of the soul as killing the soul keep away from everything the soul likes. As a result of it, they can come about a situation that they do not like the world; they do not show ambition, do not be obstinate and they never get furious. Although we can accept it as a form of training of the soul, we are of the opinion that directing the soul to good is better than killing him. The first one is likened to reducing the feed of a bad-tempered horse and dominating it by weakening it; the second one is likened to feeding it normally but treating it well and attaining the aim in a shorter time by a strong horse.
Indeed, the world has sides to love and sides to hate. There are fields where one should have ambitions and fields where one should not have ambitions. There are situations where obstinacy is favorable and there are situations where it is not favorable. There are states where fury is bad and there are some states where it is good.
It is nice to love the world as a mirror of Almighty Allahs Divine Names and a field of the hereafter (1). It is ill-favored to love its side that is attached to mans desires and that is a veil of heedlessness. (2) It is nice to have ambition in knowledge and service; it is ill-favored to have ambition in possessions and positions for fame. It is nice to be obstinate in what is right. It is ill-favored to be obstinate in what is wrong. It is nice to be furious with tyrants; it is ill-favored to get angry with believers.
As you see, directing the feelings and desires present in the essence of the soul to the good is much more useful than killing it, namely, silencing it completely. (3) It can happen by finding a good channel for the desires and wishes of the soul and directing it to good things; like damming a stream that damages the things surrounding it and by irrigating the things surrounding it with its water.
1- al-Ajluni, I, p. 412
2- Nursi, The Words, p.584
3- See Nursi, the Letters, Envar Publications. Ist. 1993, p. 33-34
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