FASTING DAY 14: Self-Restraint Against the Powerful EGO

The Fast is also known as the season of self restraint. We have learned that tests are necessary for our growth as spiritual beings. We have also reflected on the promise that we are destined to receive a greater portion of Divine Bounty during these days of the Fast. Well, it seems that there is a condition for receiving that bounty, and that is allowing our ego to veil us from receiving.

“For, no veil is greater than egotism and no matter how thin that covering may be, yet it will finally veil man entirely and prevent him from receiving a portion from the eternal bounty. (1)”

“For man, by his constitution, has an ego, a lower self within… The quelling of this ego is indeed the essential task that confronts the aspiring soul.” (2)

Tests have a vital purpose, for they remove “the rust of egotism from the mirror of the heart until the Sun of Truth may shine therein. (3) ”

‘Abdu’l-Baha calls the ego by different names, the insistent self, Satan, the animal within us, and the lower nature. He warns that,

“The love of self, which if directed to the ego will deprive man of all true development, but if the love of self is a realization that one is a creature of God and must therefore attain to the station appointed for him, this love will be an uplifting one.” (4)

We were created noble! The ego abases us and is one of the sources of our shame.

Our sense of shame is because the nobler element within us, the divinely bestowed reality, is fully aware of the surrender of the conscious ego to inferior and wholly mortal snares.” (5)

“Attachment to the self includes attachment
1) to
ideas which are “mine”,
2) to the
ego which can be bruised,
3) to the
desire for one’s own wishes to be accepted.”
(6)

We all want clarity and certitude; fortunately, “A mind freed from personal ambition and detached from the ego, can see more clearly.” (7)

We have also learned that we cannot afford to become hopeless. So, what can we do? The All-Merciful Creator, through His Manifestation, has shown us four specific things we can do to subdue the powerful ego:

1) “By OBEYING the laws of God,

2) SEEKING to LIVE THE LIFE laid down in our teachings, and

3) PRAYER and

4) STRUGGLE, we can subdue our egos.

We call people ‘Saints’ who have achieved the highest degree of mastery over their ego.”(8)

Walking the spiritual path together as we subdue our egos

Barbara Talley 2019,2021, 2022

SOURCES

1. (Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i World Faith – Abdu’l-Baha Section, p. 371)

2. George Townshend(BW – Baha’i World Volumes, Volume 15, p. 792)

3. (Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i World Faith – Abdu’l-Baha Section, p. 371)

4) ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, in A Brief Account of My Visit to Acca, Chicago, 1905, p. 38. page 127 (SOW – Star of the West, Star of the West – 5)

5) (BW – Baha’i World Volumes, Volume 5, p. 623)

6) (BW – Baha’i World Volumes, Volume 15, p. 776)

7) (BW – Baha’i World Volumes, Volume 11, p. 690)

8) (SOW – Star of the West, Star of the West – 

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