View Full Version : The Inner World

14-07-2011, 05:48 PM
One of the basic principals of spirituality for me was becoming aware of the External (Zahir in Arabic) and the Internal (Batin in Arabic). The dividing line between the External and the Internal is the 5 senses: SIGHT, SOUND, TOUCH, BREATH/SMELL AND TASTE.

The External world is one which you share with the public and the Internal world is your private world of thought and emotion. An example of an occurrence in the external world is a sunrise, which everybody can look at and share; an example of an occurrence in the internal world is a dream whose nuances only you could ever hope to fully appreciate.

The awareness of the Internal was very significant because it was like discovering a private personal sanctuary that I could retreat to in times of stress. Closing my eyes in a quiet place and breathing deeply gave me the realization that the senses are like gates, the only way anyone could ever possibly communicate to you or reach you is through one of these gates. With this realization came the understanding that you could be sitting next to someone but you are really in fact, infinitely far away from them…like two people sitting on vastly distant planets trying to communicate to each other through some radio waves (or in our case through vibrations in the air we call sound).

This newfound independence was very empowering, I was in control of my emotions and responsible for my actions…if someone tried to stress me about anything, I realized that I was responsible for my own emotions…they didn't make me mad or sad, I made myself mad or sad; yes they were the catalyst but now I had some distance with which to observe my own emotions and regulate them accordingly.


14-07-2011, 08:04 PM
Think of the Internal world not just as a concept, but an actual place that you can go to. Create a mental picture of what you would like your Paradise to be: your home, your mode of travel, your wife your activities...go all out, think of an ideal world.

The external world is real and the internal world is real; when you dream, you wake up with very real emotions and experiences that you will remember. Most of the time we are in reaction mode, something happens and then we react to it...when you have an ideal world inside you, you will tend to shape the external world to align with your vision of the ideal. Of course things will happen to frustrate you, but as you spend time in your internal world through mediation, prayer, art and self-development; those things will not frustrate you as much...you strengthen the barrier between the internal and external against the evil of this world, while carefully opening your gates to the good of it. The guards you have put around your heart questioning and examing all who wish to gain access to your internal world.

When you are by yourself, waiting in line, driving to a place...shift your perspective, view the world as if you're looking at it from the safety of your internal world. There is a difference between this and daydreaming; daydreaming occurs involuntarily when you become bored...when you shift your perspective to the internal world, you are still very much engaged with the external world, but just changing your vantage point.

In a war, the army that takes the high ground has the advantage; this is what we are doing when we shift our perspective to the internal world. This gives you the opportunity to look at situations in a context of the bigger picture, from the high ground of your ideal world.

14-07-2011, 09:06 PM
This newfound independence was very empowering, I was in control of my emotions and responsible for my actions…if someone tried to stress me about anything, I realized that I was responsible for my own emotions…they didn't make me mad or sad, I made myself mad or sad; yes they were the catalyst but now I had some distance with which to observe my own emotions and regulate them accordingly. ...

Good for you for stepping into the empowerment of taking charge of your emotions, using your distanced observer skills.

It is useful to examine the relationship between our feelings & emotions. The feeling is the initial awareness of it while the resulting emotion is secondary. A choice. We first begin to master our emotions as the secondary response. As this becomes second nature we find that our feelings are also modified. The initial charge that we may have felt w/ the feeling is often lessened in regards to feelings that would have generated negative emotions. As we continue to master our energies we find that the lessing moves into being completely being neutralized.

For instance, someone says something hurtful to us. Our hurt is the initial feeling while the likely resulting anger is the emotion. After we regularly address the anger, actively choosing or not choosing it, we find that all of a sudden someone says something that would have hurt us before & we don’t have the same initial feeling. We might simply wonder what is going on in their life to make them say something odd like that, but what they said no longer has any charge for us or power over us.

Distanced Observer- http://www.spiritualforums.com/vb/showthread.php?p=176685#post176685

15-07-2011, 03:00 PM
Mattie, I appreciate your thoughts on this. As I was reading about the beliefs of various religions, I found great similarities in the internal aspects and great differences in the external aspects.

I found that the teachings of the mystics of all religions speak in very much the same language when it comes to the inner world; I am a Muslim by birth, but I found the teachings of St. Teresa of Avila very close to the teachings of Sufi masters such as Rumi.

It amazes me how Buddha walks out into nature, without books and returns a master. This happened with Moses as he climbed the mountain and came back with the 10 commandments.

There is a power within that when it is cultivated brings wisdom, honor,dignity and success.

15-07-2011, 03:14 PM
I really enjoyed reading this, thanks so much for sharing.

15-07-2011, 04:21 PM
Below is an excerpt from the writings of a Christian St. Teresa of Avila, which expounds a little more on aspects of the internal world. She likens the inner world to a castle:

1. WHILE I was begging our Lord to-day to speak for me, since I knew not what to say nor how to commence this work which obedience has laid upon me, an idea occurred to me which I will explain, and which will serve as a foundation for that I am about to write.

2. I thought of the soul as resembling a castle, 1 formed of a single diamond or a very transparent crystal, 2 and containing many rooms, just as in heaven there are many mansions. 3 If we reflect, sisters, we shall see that the soul of the just man is but a paradise, in which, God tells us, He takes His delight. 4 What, do you imagine, must that dwelling be in which a King so mighty, so wise, and so pure, containing in Himself all good, can delight to rest? Nothing can be compared to the great beauty and capabilities of a soul; however keen our intellects may be, they are as unable to comprehend them as to comprehend God, for, as He has told us, He created us in His own image and likeness.

7. Now let us return to our beautiful and charming castle and discover how to enter it. This appears incongruous: if this castle is the soul, clearly no one can have to enter it, for it is the person himself: one might as well tell some one to go into a room he is already in! There are, however, very different ways of being in this castle; many souls live in the courtyard of the building where the sentinels stand, neither caring to enter farther, nor to know who dwells in that most delightful place, what is in it and what rooms it contains.

The full article can be found at: sacred-texts.com/chr/tic/index.htm


15-07-2011, 05:09 PM
Another mystic, this time from the Islamic faith known as Al Ghazali (1058 AD)from the 11th century, likens the inner world to a kingdom. This excerpt is from his book called "The Alchemy of Happiness":

For the carrying on of this spiritual warfare by which the knowledge of oneself and of God is to be obtained, the body may be figured as a kingdom, the soul as its king, and the different senses and faculties as constituting an army. Reason may be called the vizier, or prime minister, passion the revenue-collector, and anger the police-officer. Under the guise of collecting revenue, passion is continually prone to plunder on its own account, while resentment is always inclined to harshness and extreme severity. Both of these, the revenue-collector and the police-officer, have to be kept in due subordination to the king, but not killed or expelled, as they have their own proper functions to fulfil. But if passion and resentment master reason, the ruin of the soul infallibly ensues. A soul which allows its lower faculties to dominate the higher is as one who should hand over an angel to the power of a dog or a Mussalman to the tyranny of an unbeliever. The cultivation of demonic, animal, or angelic qualities results in the production of corresponding characters, which in the Day of Judgment will be manifested in visible shapes, the sensual appearing as swine, the ferocious as dogs and wolves, and the pure as angels. The aim of moral discipline is to purify the heart from the rust of passion and resentment, till, like a clear mirror, it reflects the light of God.

Some one may here object, "But if man has been created with animal and demonic qualities as well as angelic, how are we to know that the latter constitute his real essence, while the former are merely accidental and transitory?" To this I answer that the essence of each creature is to be sought in that which is highest in it and peculiar to it. Thus the horse and the *** are both burden-bearing animals, but the superiority of the horse to the *** consists in its being adapted for use in battle. If it fails in this, it becomes degraded to the rank of burden-bearing animals. Similarly with man: the highest faculty in him is reason, which fits him for the contemplation of God. If this. predominates in him, when he dies, he leaves behind him all tendencies to passion and resentment, and becomes capable of association with angels. As regards his mere animal qualities, man is inferior to many animals, but reason makes him superior to them, as it is written in the Koran: "To man We have subjected all things in the earth." But if his lower tendencies have triumphed, after death he will ever be looking towards the earth and longing for earthly delights.

You can find the full article here: sacred-texts.com/isl/tah/tah05.htm


18-07-2011, 03:18 PM
The Body like a horse,

with the Mind as a saddle

The Soul holds the reins

and rides this beast into battle
The body is wild and impulsive, like an animal. To be able to put a saddle on a horse and use it to your advantage, you need to tame and control it; this is the role of the mind which must constantly say "control your eating, control your desires". Once the horse (the body) has been accustomed to living with the saddle (the mind) on it's back and not throw it off, then the Soul may comfortably ride the horse which now responds in a useful way.

21-07-2011, 05:01 AM
And anybody who knows about horsemanship knows the cues with which the mind (saddle) relays its messages to the body (horse), need to be kind, subtle and consistent to excel.

21-07-2011, 05:30 AM
I just have to say Mattie I always love your thoughtful posts

08-12-2011, 05:48 PM
thank you for your posts guys, this really a good food for thought!

Miss Hepburn
08-12-2011, 06:00 PM
thank you for your posts guys, this is really good food for thought!!
No, thank you, Waking Spirit, for finding this thread and bringing it to the forefront- I have never seen it, since this forum is so active.
How could I have missed this in July!

Every post is so thoughtful and full of insight, most are eloquent.

Thank you, seeker.
What a joy to have someone compare Interior Castle to the Sufi mystics, bravo.

Miss Hepburn
08-12-2011, 06:27 PM
Al Ghazali:

“In God, there is no sorrow or suffering or affliction.
If you want to be free of all affliction and suffering, hold fast to God,
and turn wholly to Him, and to no one else.
Indeed, all your suffering comes from this: that you do not turn
toward God and no one else."

This is the statement of my life- it may be on my headstone.
Or at least on the laminated card at my memorial - and all other
quotes of it's kind from every culture.

Dr. Emmet Fox

"Sooner or later you will have to put God first in your life, God
must become the only thing that really matters."

"...and to no one else..."

"If you knew nothing but this, it would be your life safer
from in this world every moment into the next and forever..."
~ me

:smile: Miss Hepburn