Sufism pertains to Islamic spirituality; and one can argue that the aim of all religions is to develop human beings spiritually. Sufism has established not only an authentic culture but also a technique through which one can nourish spirituality. In “An Introduction to Sufi Psychology: The Spirit” we will explore the Sufi understanding of the spirit in detail based on the book Emerald Hills of the Heart.
Human psychology as a whole is related with the spirit or the soul rather than the body. Unfortunately, modern psychology heavily focuses on aspects of the physical body rather than the spiritual dimensions of human beings.
In this course, we will examine the spirit from philosophical, theological and Sufi perspectives. First, we will survey the notion of spirit in Ancient Greek Philosophy based on the ideas of Plato and Aristotle. Furthermore, we will investigate the notion of the spirit in modern philosophy through the thinking of Henry Bergson. We also focus on the Islamic thinkers’ thoughts on the spirit including Ibn Sina and al-Ghazali. And finally, we will pay special attention the Said Nursi’s perspective on the matter of human spirit. Through this intellectual journey, this course aims to present not only the Sufi vision of human souls, but also a Sufi methodology through which one might be able to nourish their spirit.