What does training of soul mean?
The way of gathering good crops from a field depends on cultivating the field well. If the field is not maintained well, weeds and thorny plants cover everywhere. Thus, mans soul is like a field. If it is not trained well, evil abilities appear. If it is trained well, it gives many benefits.
Like refining the crude oil, purification of soul (cleansing it from evil attributes) is in question. Some kinds of Sufis talk about seven stages of soul. They are:
1. the evil-commanding soul
2. the self-accusing soul
3. the satisfied soul
4. the consentient soul
5. the approved soul
6. the inspired soul
7. the purified soul (1)
The untrained situation of soul is the evil-commanding soul. (2) Soul in that situation commands evil strongly. He wants to plunge into sins.
The soul accusing himself is called the self-accusing soul. (3) Soul at this degree accuses himself of his sins and he regrets them.
As training goes forward, soul comes up to the degree of the satisfied soul. He meets everything coming from Allah with consent. He attains a situation that Allah consents. He receives Divine inspirations. He becomes a purified soul. His first situation can be compared to an untrained, wild horse; his last situation can be compared to an obedient horse that is very beneficial to his lord.
As it is known, lions used for shows at circus are trained when they are cubs. During the show, sedative pills are given to their mouths so that they will not remember their times in the forest and would not attack their masters. Similarly, it is necessary to begin training of soul at early ages, and also to read the truths addressing to soul and tranquilizing it. Otherwise, a soul trained for years is capable of returning to his previous form. When we step on a bow, we straighten it to the ground. However, when we release our foot, it will rise up. Soul is similar to that. It pipes down through a good training. It executes its disposition again when it finds a suitable situation.
Some people use the expression killing the soul. We accept that is also a kind of training of soul but we are of the opinion that it is better to direct the feelings, abilities present in the nature of soul to the good. For example, strong ambition is present in everyone. It is more beneficial to turn that towards good acts instead of completely keeping it quiet. Thus, he will not regard his deeds, his service he made sufficient and he will try to achieve further. (4)
Soul is capable of accepting to be trained. For example, stinginess is present in everyones nature. It is possible for a stingy person to become a very generous person through an Islamic training.
Souls natural position is compared to a river flowing strongly. Its trained position is compared to both illuminating and watering the surroundings by building a dam in front of it
1. Yazır, VIII, 5817.
2. the Quran, Joseph (Yusuf); 53 ().
3. the Quran, the Resurrection (Qiyamah); 2 (75: 2).
4. Refer to Nursi, Mektubat, p. 33-34 for the issue.
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