Humans possess potentialities for deriving excellence, Imam Khomeini highlighted

Imam Khomeini through his theological works stressed that as man is born, he possesses abundant potentialities for deriving excellence as well as instincts for his security and survival.

ID: 49462 | Date: 2017/09/26
According to Imam, in fact, since the time he sets foot on earth, man is in need of attributes that could keep him away from dangers.

In this aspect, he is not significantly different from the other animals.

Self-love, the need for food and drink, and the need to ward off danger and to reproduce are all attributes common to human beings and other animals.

But, man does not remain in that stage as he possesses the capability to go beyond it and attain spiritual perfections while the other animals are devoid of that potentiality and only revolve in the vicious cycle of their instincts.

In view of this, this monotheistic and perfection-seeking disposition is the demarcation line between human being and animal.

Nonetheless, it does not necessarily mean that as he enjoys a truth-seeking disposition man is no longer in need of training and education, and that every human being actually possesses all excellences.

 It is only through self-edification that he can elevate himself from that position, leave behind him the degrees of existential perfection, and finally reach a station that is beyond imagination. 

In short, from the viewpoint of Imam Khomeini, man in the state of nature is a ruthless and self-centered creature possessing strong egoism, and in the words of the Imam, an adherent of the logic and  “law of animal nature.”

However, his monotheistic and perfection-seeking disposition—provided that it constitutes the basis for growth and development—compels him to overcome his self and his animalistic logic, and to tread the path of perfection, and go beyond the stages of Divine Proximity, becoming the vicegerent of God and all-encompassing embodiment of His Attributes.

But, this proximity to the Divine Presence is commensurate to the exit from the door of selfishness and self-worship as “the gnostic journey toward God and the spiritual migration does not take place without leaving the dark house of the self and the disappearance of its traces.”

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