This second discourse of the series centers around the great Medinan Surah al Hadid - the Iron. Shaykh Fadhlalla leads the listener verse by verse though the many-tiered ladder of consciousness to which all human beings are exposed and navigate in the arc of life. Al Hadid is a perfect exposition of the seamless balance between the boundless and the limited zones of consciousness, balancing Truth, Light with boundaries, appropriateness, and accountability. Shaykh Fadhlalla indicates six primary dimensions that encapsulate the map of Reality, emphasizing throughout the unified nature of existence.
This talk covers the first four tiers: what is creation and existence; what is the nature of the path; where and what are the sign posts; the path of action and liberation - how to free oneself from oneself and the next zone, akhira. In introducing this discourse, Shaykh Fadhlalla cites examples throughout history of people who have awakened to Oneness and contrasts this with the general drift of civilization and cultures. The purpose of life is to become One.
A feature of these lectures is the in-depth reflection on various Qur’anic key terms and roots. Additionally, key themes include: a critical view of history and the evolution of traditions and culture; free will and determinism; and the developmental stages of the seeker. A central topic in this discourse is living presence and purification of the heart. Shaykh Fadhlalla delineates various subtle dynamics of self-soul interplay, indicating how these micro realties reflect in the macro, evidenced in modern society and evolution of essential knowledge and tradition. Further his contemporary model of the primary forces in life: consciousness, connectedness, and continuity is considered throughout the discourse. Interspersed throughout is a wide array of prophetic teachings, Sufi lore and allegory, lending to a rich offering.
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