ON PRIDE

A friend said:

Sure, don't be "proud" but still do not be deceitful either because there's a certain amount of "pride" involved in saying.. "Oh, *I'm not a Sufi". goodness.  maybe it's best to just be...... sufi or otherwise.

Right on! 

Also, 

"Sufi" can also be merely a statement of temporary preference, or momentary choice. It is a like course of study, you are, at the moment, a student of the psychology of Islam. Like 'Muslim' is a statement of choice or preference for that particular religion. Choice or preference does not have to be a declaration of supremacy, but simply of a resting-place for a while. 

It's the adamancy, the sense that the salvation of one's soul depends upon the unequivocal stance that one (and only you) is on the 'right' path that throws it off. And this, again, comes from a lack of self-sufficiency, a sense or fear of insufficient understanding, a certain 'unknowing' of Allah, resulting from a deliberated  assumption or pretence  of deficiency in willingness to fully know and understand Allah in every face, every place and every case. For it is stated in Qur`an "Hasbunallah, wa ni`amal wakil". Allah is sufficient for us and the best of guardians. But this implies a TRUE knowing, and not merely a comparative one (as in "I know but you do not.") It has to do with seeing the world, and yourself, as a Unity, and not as a duality, and hence the affirmation of the Unity of God is the essence of all true religion. And hence the truism of the jihad al akbar, the greatest struggle, being the struggle against the nafs, the divisive self that would seek to divide and conquer. 

This is the true Islam, the true meaning of Islam (surrender) and the true Ahli-baiti teachings, of which the sufis are the cleared and permitted representatives (khulafa`). 

The reason that you can tell yourself "Don't be Proud" is that you are proud, and rightly so . You have pride, and there's no way we cannot feel it. It is not 'evil'. It is actually quite healing and beneficial. But the use, or abuse, of it is haram (forbidden) because it is harmful . Like Forrest Gump said, "Evil is as Evil does" (or was that 'stupid', o well).  Pride is one of the inherent traits in our created nature. It is the 'use' of it that is reprehensible for several reasons. 

It is (always) used to cover up  for a sense of lack, a feeling of diminishment or an absence of sufficiency to meet a situation with the compassion and understanding that it deserves.
It's an inadequate attempt to substitute for compassion and is used to feebly cover over (to yourself) or disguise that sense of inadequacy. The sense of inadequacy is always a result of feeling diminished in some way and is in itself a blessing for it is a hint to be noticed in one's search for the truth of God and self within.

Since the use of pride is always defensive, it can be classified as a weapon, and weapons are created to hurt people, not help. So it is no wonder that people get hurt or offended in the presence of someone else's manifestation of pride. It is in reality saying, "thanks for telling me about your self, but not only can I not do or say anything positive or helpful to you as you might have hoped in your telling me, but my personal choice is to be so cut off from those or similar characteristics in my own being that I choose not to exercise my ability to resonate with you on that frequency or to access a similar and therefore helpful feeling from my own self. So basically, I can only manifest denial and invalidation of it in both of us. Sorry." And of course that hurts, because not only is the reflection that one hoped to receive denied, and therefore the cause of disappointment, but the hope itself is also disrespected or trashed, in other words, invalidated (yet again), and that's painful. 

Due to the fact that they are in the mode of actively seeking help themselves, it is not often the case that one hoping for helpful reflection in another and receiving pride and pain instead is able to understand this prideful and self-reactionary stance with the required compassion. But it is to be hoped that upon reading and understanding this, a substantial insight will be introduced sufficient to allay the increase of pain that can be received from such a prideful reaction. It then becomes possible, difficult as it may be, to take such reaction with the understanding that it is not a reflection upon the self of the inquirer, but a reflection upon the needs for self understanding in the being of the inquired-upon. 

So don't forget that pride is also manifestation of truth, as are all things and qualities. It is simply a matter of understand the 'degree of removal', distance or 'separation' of the manifestation from its true source, or point of origin. Hope this helps. 

So, in "don't be proud" the operative word is "be". In other words, don't 'manifest' your pride. 
But a pride properly understood with true self-compassion need not be manifest at all, for it simply is, and in that is-ness, is self-sufficient. And also since a manifestation of this sort is simply the expression of a need to be (self-) recognized. In knowing ourselves and learning to know ourselves we will find all of the self-recognition necessary for total self-satisfaction and therefore no need to 'try it out' on others, so to speak. 

I think the case is herein adequately stated. Would you care to add?

W/love
ali


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