Self-Knowledge and Spiritual Yearning
The dictionary definition of person is “an individual and a human.” Few people would disagree with this definition. The definition also includes the “body of a human being or a person’s bodily appearance.” One of the obvious means of recognizing someone is to look at the person or a photograph of the person, to look for the outer features that distinguish a person from others. This is one fundamental reason for physical distinctiveness.
O people, we created you from the same male and female, and rendered you distinct peoples and tribes, that you may recognize one another. The best among you in the sight of GOD is the most righteous. GOD is Omniscient, Cognizant. (49:13)
Let Me deal with one I created as an individual. (74:11)
Personality is defined as: “the quality or state of being a person or human being, the characteristics that distinguish an individual, nation, or group; the totality of an individual’s behavioral and emotional characteristics, and a person of importance, prominence, renown, and notoriety.” Even companies and corporations are designated as “individuals” with rights and duties under western law. Self is defined as the “the entire person of an individual, an individual’s typical and temporary character and behavior, and elements that constitute the individuality and identity of a person.
In the definitions of person, personality, and self, mention is made of a person’s physical body and appearance, individuality and distinctiveness, behavioral and emotional characteristics, and identity. But one critical element is notably absent. A keen observer notes that soul or spiritual identity is not
mentioned. A person’s spiritual nature and characteristics are treated as acquired “add-ons” and not integral to what it means to be human. Many people believe that spirituality is simply taught, a mere cultural “add-on,” and not essential for mental health. This distorted vision of what it means to be a person may be convenient for some, but it is counter to the truth and very toxic. There is more to being human than physical, psychological, and behavioral features. God blew His Spirit into each one of us, into each human being. We were placed in this world and given our last chance to worship God alone.
"Once I perfect him, and blow into him from My spirit, you shall fall prostrate before him." (15:29)
He is the One who perfected everything He created, and started the creation of the human from clay. Then He continued his reproduction through a certain lowly liquid. [32:9]
He shaped him and blew into him from His spirit. And He gave you the hearing, the eyesight, and the brains; rarely are you thankful. (32:7-9)
In his recent 200-page book, Self-Knowledge and Spiritual Yearning: The Role of Spirituality in Psychological Health, Dr. Douglass Brown states:
To deny or discount the Divine origin and purpose of humanity is to write off fundamental psychospiritual characteristics of
the human being. As a consequence of ignoring the characteristics and relegating inquiries about them to philosophers and theologians, contemporary psychology has presented a personality type devoid of a soul, absolved of spiritual faith and ambition, and absent an integrated well-being…[I]n the Quran, no distinction is made between spiritual growth and personality development. (pgs. xii, xiii)
Presenting clarifications from the Quran, Dr. Brown discusses the human being in the Great Chain of Being, the latest scientific proof that God created humans and all life, universal human personality traits, the meaning of submission to God and spiritual yearning, active God consciousness as integral to psychospiritual development and health, the Submitter Personality, the ego, the true meaning of normal and abnormal personality development, the definition of a Theophobic Personality Disorder (a spiritual psychopath), adjustment and mental health, and this life as the last opportunity for each soul (self, personality) to heal and merit return to the presence of God.
The book offers revitalizing prescriptions from the Quran for cultivating a healthy personality and for healing the self that has suffered psychospiritual injury. It is not possible for a person to attain self-knowledge without re-affirming his or her inherent awareness of God, as Lord and Creator.
Do not be like those who forgot GOD, so He made them forget themselves. These are the wicked. (59:19)
Published in June 2007 by iUniverse, Inc., Self-Knowledge and Spiritual Yearning: The Role of Spirituality in Psychological Health (ISBN: 9780595880966) is available from Amazon.com, Barnes and Nobles stores, other book retailers, and iUniverse.com. Hardcover copies can be purchased directly online from iUniverse.com.