Gronos The seventh edition continues to have a streamlined organization to help students understand its cross-cultural, global, and frrager perspectives in psychology. He is also a Sufi sheikh. Like great spiritual parables, the themes are universal and their applications ageless. This book is not yet ueart on Listopia. Books by Robert Frager. The Wisdom of the Sufi Sages.

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Next time I will die to human nature and lift up my head among the angels. Once again I will leave angelic nature and become that which you cannot imagine. Each represents a different stage of evolution. There are the mineral, vegetable, animal, personal, human, and secret souls, and the secret of secrets.

The Sufi model of the souls is one of balance. According to this model, spiritual growth is not a matter of developing the higher souls and ignoring or even weakening the lower ones. Each soul has valuable gifts, and in Sufism, real spiritual growth means balanced development of the whole individual, including body, mind, and spirit. Modern education focuses almost completely on the mind. Many spiritual disciplines stress spiritual principles and practices, yet they ignore mind and body.

In Sufism, all of life is part of spiritual practice. Family, work, and relationships provide as much opportunity for spiritual development as prayer or contemplation. The Arabic term for soul, ruh, also means "spirit" and "breath. Each facet of the soul has its own dynamics, its own needs and strengths. At different times, different souls may be dominant. Knowing which soul is most active is important information for a Sufi teacher. For example, a dream that comes from one soul will be interpreted very differently than a dream from another soul.

When the naturally healthy dynamics of the soul shift to one extreme or another, what is healthy can become toxic. For example, curare is a wonderful heart medicine, but it can also be used as a deadly poison. If we are concerned about some of our souls and ignore others, we are inevitably thrown out of balance. For example, if we ignore our vegetable and animal souls, we lose touch with the fundamental needs of our bodies and put our health at risk.

A classic example are stereotypical computer programmers who are so involved with their demanding intellectual tasks that they eat junk food and suffer from chronic lack of sleep and exercise. If we neglect our secret soul and the secret of secrets and disregard our spiritual needs, our spiritual health suffers. Many people lead lives that are rich in material success and worldly activity, yet they are spiritually malnourished.

Ideally, balance of all seven souls brings about balanced health and growth and a rich, full life. The Mineral Soul The mineral soul, the ruh madeni, is located in the skeletal system. In the diagram of the seven aspects of the soul, the mineral soul is adjacent to the secret of secrets, which is the place of the pure divine spark within each of us. The mineral world is close to God; it never revolts against divine will.

Wherever a rock is placed, there it will stay eternally unless some outside force moves it. If someone asked for a description of your mineral soul, you probably would not know how to begin. Yet what is difficult to know, what we frequently take for granted, often is of great value.

Imbalance in the mineral soul can manifest as either extreme flexibility or extreme rigidity. We say that people "have no backbone" or are "spineless" if they are too easily swayed by influences around them.

One example of a lack of solid structure is the jellyfish. The boneless jellyfish is a highly successful life form that has survived and flourished for countless millennia. However, it is completely at the mercy of the tides. We would be violating our basic physical structure, which gives us the capacity for independent movement, if we behaved like the jellyfish.

The other extreme is someone who is "fossilized," calcified or unbending, rigid and unyielding, incapable of responding flexibly and appropriately to changes in the environment.

Some people are "stiff-necked," too proud to bow their heads, while others are "thick-skulled," or unable to take in new information. One definition of neurosis is to continue doing the same thing even though it does not work. Some people are so rigid that they cannot change to save their own lives. The Vegetable Soul The vegetable soul, the ruh nabati, is located in the liver and is related to the digestive system. It regulates growth and the assimilation of nutrients, functions we share with plants.

This is a new function, evolutionarily speaking, as the mineral world has no need of nourishment. In other words, there is a soul in us that is like the soul that God also gave to plants. When we were in the womb, we functioned mainly from the vegetable soul. We developed and grew larger, and that was just about all that we did. Our functioning was essentially the same as that of plants. There is tremendous intelligence within the vegetable soul. We generally overlook this intelligence because we place so much value on the abstract learning of the head.

These kinds of basic physical functions are all carried out through the age-old wisdom of the vegetable soul. The Animal Soul The animal soul, the ruh haywani, is located in the heart and is connected to the circulatory system.

Animals have developed a four-chambered heart and a complex circulatory system that distributes blood throughout the organism. In reptiles, the circulatory system is not yet fully developed, and the reptile heart has only three chambers.

As a result, their capacity for movement is inhibited, and reptiles require warm weather to be fully active. The more developed mammalian circulatory system holds heat better, and this allows mammals to be more active in all climates. The animal soul includes our fears, angers, and passions. All organisms tend to move toward whatever is rewarding passions and to move away from fears or push away angers whatever is punishing, toxic, or painful.

For years, behavioral psychology has concentrated on these fundamental responses to the world in studying the effects of reward and punishment. As psychology has gotten more complex, we tend to forget the power and universality of the two basic instincts of attraction and repulsion. Even an amoeba will move away from a drop of acid placed on a microscope slide or move toward a drop of nutrient solution. If a single-celled organism has these responses, every cell in our bodies must have the same capacity.

These instincts are basic to self-preservation and species preservation, which first appear with the animal soul.

In plants, the instincts to reproduce and survive are severely limited. They are built into the structure of the plants and are relatively rigid and unchanging.

The behavior of animals is far more flexible and responsive to the environment. The instinct for self-preservation moves us to avoid what is painful or dangerous. Plants may put forth seeds and orient to the sun, but there is no passion in the plant kingdom. Within the animal soul, passion is rooted in the reproductive instincts.

In addition to sexual desire, it is the matrix of love and nurturing. The Judeo-Christian tradition has devalued the body and the functions of the animal soul. Traditionally, it is considered unfortunate if not outright sinful to have a body, and it is even worse that this body of ours contains so many drives and instincts, fears, and passions.

The drives of the body are considered antithetical to the development of the soul. In the Sufi model of the seven souls, all souls have to be healthy for the individual to develop as a whole human being. We all have passions, fears, and appetites, and these are useful, functional parts of us.

However, they should not dominate our lives. The animal soul needs to be in balance with the other souls, not in charge. When that balance is attained, a well-developed animal soul is an invaluable asset to our health and well-being.

The Personal Soul The next facet of the total soul is the ruh nafsani. The personal soul is located in the brain and is related to the nervous system.

Just as the development of the heart and circulatory system distinguishes the animal from the plant kingdom, the development of a complex nervous system distinguishes humans from animals. This highly developed nervous system brings the capacity for greater memory and for complex thinking and planning. The intelligence of the personal soul allows us to understand our environment far more deeply than the capacities of the mineral, vegetable, and animal souls.

It also allows us to respond more effectively to the world around us. We can plan ahead and create mental models of the possible effects of our actions. For example, in one classic psychology experiment, dogs were shown a bowl of food on the opposite side of a chain-link fence.

If the fence was short, the dogs quickly and easily went around it to get to the food. As the fence got longer, the dogs had to go farther and farther away from their goal to get around the fence. When the fence section became quite long, the dogs remained rooted to the spot directly opposite the food and tried to dig under the fence.

That problem poses no difficulty for humans, including relatively young children. Because of their inability to form complex mental models, animals tend to seek immediate gratification and to be dominated by short-term motivations. The development of human intelligence has allowed us to plan far ahead and to function much more effectively in the world. As a result, humanity has become more and more powerful, dominating all other species.

The personal soul is also the location of the ego. We have both a positive and a negative ego. The positive ego organizes our intelligence and provides our sense of self. It can be a force for self-respect, responsibility, and integrity.

On the other hand, the negative ego is a force for egotism, arrogance, and a sense of separation from others and God. The positive ego is a great ally on the spiritual path.

It can provide a sense of inner stability during the ups and downs that inevitably occur on the spiritual path.


Robert Frager

Mar 13, Ahmad rated it really liked it Sebagai sebuah buku yang memadukan psikologi barat dan nilai sufi, buku ini layak mendapat penghargaan. Frager bukan saja ahli dalam psikologi, dia juga pandai menyatukannya dalam konsep sufi -yang bagi banyak orang terlalu rumit. Frager tidak berhenti sampai di situ, dia juga memberi berbagai jalan dan cara menggapainya. Jun 16, Roger rated it liked it Overall this book was a decent read but I also found it a little hard to read.


Heart, Self & Soul: The Sufi Psychology of Growth, Balance, and Harmony

We appreciate your feedback. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Dervish rated it it was amazing Jan 29, Jul 22, Miroku Nemeth rated it it was amazing. Suffism is just that sacred science. Want to Read saving…. Robert Frager is a psychologist and the leader of the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. He currently resides in Northern California.



September 1, Quantity: Heart, Self, and Soul is the first book by a Western psychologist to explore the rich spiritual tradition of Sufism as a path for personal growth. Western psychotherapy aims largely to help us eliminate neurotic traits formed in childhood and adapt to society. In contrast, the Sufi goal is ultimately spiritual: Yes, we need to transform our negativity and be effective in the world; but beyond that, we need to reach a state of harmony with the Divine. Full of stories, poetry, meditations, journaling exercises, and colorful everyday examples, this book will open the heart, nourish the self, and quicken the soul. Robert Frager, Ph.


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