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The Inner War: Conquest of Self

by Dr. Stewart Bitkoff

The most excellent Jihad is that for the conquest of self.


Sufis have long held that the inner war- Jihad, the fight between a traveler’s higher and lower nature is a moment by moment struggle. Those who are somehow able to turn toward their higher self and use in daily life their access to spiritual awareness are on the road to enlightenment. This world is made a better place: one person at a time and each person’s life is made-up of small moment by moment conflicts, decisions and actions.

Remembering Who We Are

Within each of us there is an ancient knowing and awareness that has been covered over by the dust of living in this world. This dust is comprised of things we are taught, things that we want and things that are necessary to living in the body. This friction between the things we want and need: pushes us forward and gives life both meaning and urgency. Yet those of us who are able to overcome this pull and somehow elect things which help others- have transcended the physical reality.

Balanced Living

As the soul has entered or taken on a physical form- there are requirements and needs of living in a physical body. Our physical, mental and emotional needs must be balanced in relation to our spiritual needs and the job of the spiritual traveler is to recognize, use, develop, and balance all these needs and as necessary transcend lower pulls. For the individual spiritual goal of the journey is choosing that which brings you closer to the Light: as opposed to that which distances you.

Typically that which distances us is that which is sought purely for self and our own need. Here a distinction is made between feeding oneself in order that we might maintain health and over eating to point of excess; it is a matter of balance. The physical body has many needs and part of the point of living in this world is to experience and enjoy all these needs; this expression of our inner needs helps us go out into the world and become who we are: we are multi-level beings who have taken on a physical form to live, enjoy, express and make this a better world. We are creators of our own and larger reality around us, every moment of every day. Even when we are sleeping, the higher and lower consciousness, continue to create and wish to express themselves through the various levels of consciousness and physicality.

Spiritual Destiny

The soul is on a long journey through the universe expressing itself, creating, learning and serving. It has entered the earth phase, ultimately, to express itself in relation to that which it wishes to Become. It is a Child of Light who creates and expresses itself, at its highest level, when it creates in the Name of the Creator. Fulfilling its destiny as Emissary of the Light, with each action and thought, rising Higher than the Angels.

The inner war or Jihad, for the spiritual traveler, is a moment by moment crisis. Do we choose ourselves and our own need or choose that which the situation requires- aligning with Higher Consciousness. To see what is before us and not be caught-up in our own need is a sign of maturity both emotionally and spiritually. The world requires people who consistently choose the higher in themselves and the situation; that is our Higher Destiny.

* *

Beyond words and desires

There is an underlying Reality

This unifies all things.

This Reality

And the method to perceive it

Is the birthright of humanity.

In their journey through this world,

Most people become distracted

And fixate on all manner of things.

In a sense, these things,

Then become their reality

And they have no need of anything higher.

* *

Why do people

Have so much trouble accepting

We came into this world

To grow closer to God/Light?

While our time in this world

Serves a multitude of purposes,

In some respect, it will have been wasted

Unless we come to accept this unifying principle.

* *

Man/woman can never duplicate

The majesty of God.

But man/woman can touch the glory

For an instant

With their heart.

* *

Everything you ever wanted

Or ever dreamed

Is waiting within.

All you need is the key.

Pick it up!

It too is within reach.


Check-out my two new books: Sufism for Western Seekers: Path of the Spiritual Traveler in Everyday Life and The Ferryman’s Dream . Both books are available through Amazon.com or local booktore.

Press inquiries or to contact the author visit: www.stewartbitkoff.com.

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