The Original Sin: Correcting the Perception of the Separation from God
By: Dr. Mushtaq H. Jaafri
Publisher: Mushtaq Publishing Company
Publication Date: September 2010
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: October 18, 2010
Like many of us, Mushtaq Jaafri has struggled with the spiritual side of his nature. Our struggle begins when we are born and doesn’t cease until we die. In part this began with Adam and Eve when they decided to disobey God and eat the forbidden fruit. The story, both in the Bible (Genesis 2-3) and the Qur’an, present similar narratives. At this point Adam and Eve separated themselves from the Creator as they “saw themselves as having a will that is separate from God and they chose something different than what God had chosen for them. This act showed a power of choice–a birth of the ego.” (pg. 9) With the birth of the ego came our struggle with guilt, the source of which emanated from that moment we separated ourselves from Him in the garden of Eden.
The serpent simply did not slither into the garden presenting himself to Adam and Eve in an attempt to make them sin. Jaafri carefully recreates for us the role he played in the story, why he was in the garden, and what his motivation was. In order to work through his thoughts on our separation from God, he turned to and studied a classic metaphysical text, A Course in Miracles, by Dr. Helen Shucman.. Kenneth Wapnick, a teacher of the course and mentor, was a sounding board and support of Jaafri’s in his search. Jaafri explains that when “A Course in Miracles speaks of the world of spirit, this has nothing to do with the world of matter. Spirit is our true identity. It is not an abstract force, but a real thing inside of us.” (pg. 18). In essence, we were never totally separated from God.
According to ACIM, the mind operates on three thought systems, on both the conscious and subconscious levels. In between the conscious and subconscious minds there is a level described as being blank, or ‘no-mind.’ The subconscious mind’s operating system so to speak, is called the “One-Minded thought system.” This system or level one, which represents the Holy Spirit (our Inner Being), is the link to level two, our conscious system. Level two is distinctly divided into two thought systems, which are easier for the neophyte to ACIM and its metaphysical doctrine, to absorb and understand. Those well versed in Islamic metaphysics and theology or those who understand Aristotelianism will have little trouble following Jaafri as he plunges into his explanation of these systems.
The two divisions are the wrong-minded and right-minded thought systems. The wrong-minded system, which feeds the ego, “reinforces the separation from God, and the right-minded thought system offers correction to undo the separation.” (pg. 19) The wrong-minded system encourages us to dwell on “sin, guilt, fear, denials, projection, and hate” while our right- minded thought system connects us to God. The key word being Atonement. Shifting one’s thought processes from the wrong- to right-minded thought system is a conscious venture, not easily attained, that is metaphysically referred to as the “Awakening” process. In this book we learn how Jaafri, who is no different than anyone else, strove to change his thought processes in order to experience personal and spiritual growth.
We follow Jaafri as he too struggles with the reality of life, but juggles with abstract thought. In this book he attempts to explain the Three Thought Systems, how they affect us, and then launches into the story of Adam and Eve, the seed or cause of the mind division. Prior to eating the forbidden fruit, “Obeying God’s will was priority number one until God gave humans the power of choice to do what they will.” (pg. 44) You will then learn about Satan’s goals in this process, why ego is synonymous with his name, and his challenge to God (Holy Qur’an - Chapter VII AL-A’RAF S. V. Mir Ali). You will read several examples of how Jaafri struggled as he attempted to incorporate what he learned into his own life and realizations he came to. You will learn what it takes to lean toward right-minded thought as he guides you through by quoting examples from ACIM and halting to explain via focus points.
This book, although quite short, appears to be deceptively simple, but I soon discovered it was intensely complicated. There are numerous quotations from A Course in Miracles, so many in fact that it almost seemed as if I were reading from another book. After a great deal of thought I decided that the quotations would fall under fair use doctrine and when I was finished reading (and thinking) I could see how important they were to this writing. Dr. Jaafri himself struggled as he ended up rewriting the text four times. This is not an easy book to read and I myself was only able to read a few pages at a time as I had to stop and think about the material. If you are at all interested in ACIM or metaphysics, this is a highly fascinating read!
Quill says: This amazing work is of deep, pedagogical significance for those who would like to learn more about things like celestial speed-up and what effect A Course in Miracles has in our lives.
For more information on The Original Sin: Correcting the Perception of the Separation from God, pleae visit the book's website at: www.theoriginalsinstory.com