The God of Self and Ego
Nafs, the god of Self in the Ourstory cosmology, represents the human experience and religion, serving as a guide and a teacher to help individuals navigate the complex nature of the ego and attain balance and harmony within themselves. Nafs is most likely to manifest in times and places where egos clash, and his role is to guide clashing individuals towards understanding each other as well. Uniquely among the pantheon, Nafs is the only deity that has a human form, albeit with many variations, highlighting the deity's deep connection to the human experience. As a powerful symbol of self-discovery and personal growth, Nafs embodies the complex journey that lies at the heart of human existence.
Tracing its roots back to various religious and philosophical traditions, Nafs is closely connected to Atman in Hinduism, the individual soul, and Krishna, who symbolizes divine love and the ultimate reality. In Buddhism, Nafs resonates with the Middle Way, a path avoiding the extremes of self-indulgence and self-mortification, reflecting the importance of balance and harmony in our pursuit of self-knowledge and personal growth. The Greek philosophy of the Golden Mean, which emphasizes the virtues of moderation and temperance, also echoes this notion of equilibrium.
From a psychological standpoint, Nafs intertwines with the ideas of Carl Jung, particularly the concept of the Self, encompassing both the conscious and unconscious aspects of one's personality, and his role as an integrated deity resonates with Jung's concept of the collective unconscious. In Christianity, Nafs shares similarities with Christ, the ultimate embodiment of divine love and compassion. Nafs' character resonates with various archetypes such as the Magician, Guru, and Sage, which represent different aspects of wisdom, guidance, and self-awareness.
Nafs' role as the god of Self is related to the superpower of "Reading Minds" or Just Listening, described by Krishnamurti's "Listening is the great miracle" interview. This notion emphasizes the importance of passive and sensitive listening in understanding others and ourselves, fostering empathy and self-awareness. The process of listening enables individuals to confront their ego and transcend inner dichotomies, similar to how Aether transcends outer ones.
The Fool's Reading List offers further reading on the concepts related to Nafs, with titles such as "The Bhagavad Gita," "Psychotherapy East and West," by Alan Watts and "The Perennial Philosophy" discussing the struggle with ego and the pursuit of self-awareness and self-improvement, while books like "The Four Loves" talk about our interpersonal relationships and how to better integrate charity into our lives.
In conclusion, Nafs serves as a powerful reminder of the complexity and beauty of the human experience, integrating concepts from various religious, philosophical, and psychological traditions. By embodying the virtues of omnibenevolence, balance, and wisdom, Nafs encourages us to engage in a process of continual self-reflection and growth, cultivating a spirit of empathy, understanding, and self-compassion to navigate the challenges of life with grace and resilience. Through the exploration of Nafs' diverse connections and influences, we gain a deeper appreciation for the power of self-awareness and the transformative potential of personal growth, recognizing the beauty and complexity of the human spirit.