Indifference - The Most Widespread Of Faults

This1 is addressed to readers of a Christian (or people of general materialist, indifferent) background, although he describes truths which are universal. It is presented here as an introduction to the seeker of knowledge.2



1. Man Shut Off From Heaven

“Man having shut himself off from access to Heaven3 and having several times repeated, within ever narrower limits, his initial fall13, has ended by losing his intuition of everything that surpasses himself. He has thus sunk below his own true nature, for one cannot be fully man except by way of God,4 and the earth is beautiful only by virtue of its link with Heaven.

Even when man retains faith in God5, he forgets more and more what the ultimate demands of religion are; he is astonished at the calamities of this world, without its occurring to him that they may be acts of grace, since they rend, like death, the veil of earthly illusion, and thus allow man "to die before death", and so to conquer death.”

2. The Sin Of Not Having Loved God

“Many people imagine that purgatory or hell are for those who have killed, stolen, lied, committed fornication and so on, and that it suffices to have abstained from these actions to merit Heaven.

In reality, the soul is consigned to the flames for not having loved God, or for not having loved Him enough; this is understandable enough in the light of the supreme Law of the Bible6: to love God with all our faculties and all our being.”

3. Indifference: Hallmark Of The Fall

“An absence of this love7does not necessarily involve murder or lying or some other transgression, but it does necessarily involve indifference;8 and indifference, which is the most generally widespread of faults, is the very hallmark of the fall.11

It is possible for the indifferent12 not to be criminals, but it is impossible for them to be saints; it is they who go in by the "wide gate" and follow the "broad way", and it is of them that the book of Revelation says "So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth" (Revelations iii. 16).

Indifference towards truth and towards God borders on Presumption and is not free from hypocrisy; its seeming harmlessness is full of complacency and arrogance; in this state of soul, the individual is contented with himself, even if he accuses himself of minor faults and appears modest, which in fact commits him to nothing but on the contrary reinforces his illusion of being virtuous.

It is this criterion of indifference that makes it possible for the "average man" to be "caught in the act", and for the most surreptitious and insidious of vices to be as it were taken by the throat, and for every man to have his poverty and distress proved to him; in short, it is indifference that is "original sin", or its most general manifestation.”

“Indifference is diametrically opposed to spiritual impassibility9 or to contempt of vanities, as well as to humility. True humility is to know that we can add nothing to God and that, even if we possessed all possible perfections and had accomplished the most extraordinary works, our disappearance would take nothing away from the Eternal.”

4. Some Believers Too Indifferent

“Even believers themselves are for the most part too indifferent to feel concretely that God is not only ”above” us, in "Heaven", but also ”ahead” of us, at the end of the world, or even simply at the end of our own lives; that we are drawn through life by an inexorable force and that at the end of the course God awaits us;10 that the world will be submerged and swallowed up one day by an unimaginable irruption of the purely miraculous-unimaginable because surpassing all human experience and standards of measurement.”


- Islam1

2021-01-02 vs.1.6; from 2015-01-05
[livingislam][Main New Texts ][Muḥyiddīn Ibn ʿArabi] [Understanding God]

Disclaimer: First of all it is Islam that reigns (see Sura 5:3).
Traditional Islam does not accept the notion that the world-religions (and even less so any man-made belief system) would be equally valid paths to God, these are perennialist interpretations. Even so, they (their laws) still reflect some sacred truth, so they did not turn into falsehood by being abrogated. These two points need to be kept in mind.

• In the words of Muhyiddīn Ibn `Arabi: ”The religious laws are all lights, and the law of Muhammad ﷺ among these lights is as the sun's light among the light of the stars…”

”So all paths return to look to the Prophet's path ﷺ : if the prophetic messengers had been alive in his time, they would have followed him just as their religious laws have followed his law.…” [further reading]

  1. This is a text excerpt from ’Light On The Ancient Worlds’, by Frithjof Schuon; 1965 2nd. edition, footnotes and subtitles are by OmarKN, pp. 48/49

  2. What is meant here is not any knowledge, but sacred knowledge.

  3. by denying any other source of knowledge than sensible experience and measurement.

  4. One has to seek the reality of man, or of being human: it is infinitely more than the animal-like being.
    See also: Can the human mind or reason know God?

  5. faith : the original text had “belief”, but faith in God is more accurate.

  6. This is also the supreme law of the Qur'an, maybe not much known, but still so. Compare Sura 3 verse 31.

  7. Original footnote: It is a question “simply of the fact of preferring God to the world, whatever may be the mode of this preference; ’love’ in the Scriptures consequently embraces also the sapiential ways.”

  8. Original footnote: “Fénelon was right to see in indifference the gravest of the soul’s ills.”

  9. incapable of feeling or emotion.-?

  10. read: { And that thy Lord is the goal. } Surah 53: An-Najm: 42,

  11. i.e. hallmark of the fall from Grace

  12. Original footnote: The ghāfilūn of the Koran.

  13. This is the fall from Divine Grace, or from the Divine Presence; first from Paradise, then over and over again in Earthly existence.