Passion versus career – in the words of a 11th century Islamic philosopher

by Rob on December 15, 2010

From Fabian Pfortmüller (from Sandbox) who writes a great blog.

“After that, I examined my motive in my work of teaching, and realized that it was not a pure desire for the things of God, but that the impulse moving me was the desire for an influential position and public recognition. I saw for certain that I was on the brink of a crumbling bank of sand and in imminent danger of hell-fire unless I set about to mend my ways.

I reflected on this continuously for a time, while the choice still remained open to me. One day I would form the resolution to quit Baghdad and get rid of these adverse circumstances; the next day I would abandon my resolution. I put one foot forward and drew the other back. If in the morning I had a genuine longing to seek eternal life, by the evening the attack of a whole host of desires had reduced it to impotence. Worldly desires were striving to keep me by their chains just where I was, while the voice of faith was calling, ‘To the road! To the road! What is left of life is but little and the journey before you is long. All that keeps you busy, both intellectually and practically, is but hypocrisy and delusion. If you do not prepare now for eternal life, when will you prepare? If you do not sever these attachments, when will you sever them?’”

http://pforti.posterous.com/passion-versus-career-in-the-words-of-a-11th

The Islamic philosopher Al Ghazali, in “The Faith and Practice of Al Ghazali”, p. 59

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