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Foreword

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THE JOURNEY OF THE SELF
(Excerpts Only)

By: Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri

Foreword

There is a great spiritual hunger today. Many people have found that their real spiritual needs and deep inner questions have not been met by conventional religious writings or institutions. Many have looked in vain to psychology to fill the functions religion used to provide. The Journey of the Self provides a genuine spiritual psychology that speaks directly to this spiritual hunger. It is a psychology that is rooted in an understanding of the human soul, and the relation of the soul to the rest of the psyche. It is a psychology of self-knowledge, grounded in a practical understanding of the elements of the inner spiritual journey, and grounded also in the knowledge of Reality that is behind the world as we usually know it.

This is a very special book. It introduces an old and complex psychology taken from a variety of Islamic and Sufi sources. Much of this material has never been translated before, relatively unknown even in the Middle East. The Journey of the Self is of real use for both practicing Sufis and others interested in spiritual psychology.

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The Journey of the Self provides a marvelous example of spiritual psychology, and reveals an understanding of the human psyche which is rooted in faith and spiritual practice. It also provides a complex model of human nature into which we can fit various concepts and theories from academic Western psychology. This book provides the best introduction I know of to this kind of model.

I have been particularly impressed by the relationship explicated between the development of the human soul and the development of the cosmos. This dramatically demonstrates that ancient spiritual wisdom can be shown to be completely compatible with the most modern scientific theories and cosmology. In addition, a wonderful combination of spirituality and practicality have been woven throughout this volume.

It takes a rare author to write a book like this. Shaykh Fadhlalla is a man who is completely at home in the East and the West. He is a scholar and an effective and practical Sufi teacher, an international businessman and also an international philanthropist.

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We are reminded in this book again and again how much we can learn from the wisdom of the Islamic teachings and the Sufi tradition. After all, over many centuries, Sufi shaykhs have served not only as spiritual guides but also as therapists and family counselors for their dervishes. There is much more 'clinical' wisdom and experience to be found in the Sufi and Islamic traditions than in the brief history of Western psychotherapy.

We are invited to self-understanding in this book, to psychology and spiritual self-knowledge. Not only are we invited, we are given examples and concrete help in making our way toward that goal.

Robert Frager, Ph. D
Founder, Institute for Transpersonal Psychology

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Acknowledgements ] [ Foreword ] Introduction ] Stepping-Stones to Self-Knowledge ] The Nature and Spectrum of the Self ] The Journey of the Self ] The World of Absolute Unitive Reality ] The World of Inner Dependence ] The World of Outer Dependence ] The World of Interdependence ] Towards Phase Five of Inner Reliance ] Phase Five: The World of Inner Reliance ] Treatment, Cure and Fulfillment ] Treatment, Cure and Fulfillment ] Treatment, Cure and Fulfillment ] The Unified Self ] Authors Quoted ] Bibliography ]