SR: Yes. For instance, if we stay with
the stages of the nafs, what happens
next, after the regretful nafs, is
that we come to what's called the
"inspired nafs," the inspired self in
which the wisdom of the heart, the
wisdom of that inner light, begins to
come more and more into the personality,
into consciousness, so that we really
have an alternative now to the forces of
the egowhich is intuition, a sense of guidance, a sense of connection to truth.
The problem is that the lower forces are still somewhat in action.
The reign of the ego is not by any
means over, and the biggest danger,
of course, is that the ego can begin to
use the wisdom and the light for self-aggrandizement, for inflation,
rather than for self-diminishment.
Ideally, one says, "This light isn't
mine, this wisdom isn't mine. It's
something that comes through me. It's something from another source." But the
ego wants to say, "This is my wisdom.
There is an interesting book that's
just recently out by Mariana Caplan
called Halfway Up the Mountainwhich is
a bad metaphor because it's probably
an endless mountainbut it talks about
many of the dangers of having spiritual teachers who are halfway up the mountain,
but have somehow stopped at this stage.
It's the most dangerous stage of all
because if the ego gets inflated with
real wisdom, real light, it's very hard
to change things. Because the light is
real, the wisdom is real.
The only problem is that the ego begins
to attribute it to itself, not to
something greater than itself. And so
the self gets firmer, crystallized even;
but what we want, of course, is for
the self to become more transparent,
less of a "thing," lighter.