references for Table of the Levels of Seven Nafs/Souls and Attributes

1.The mineral soul . Our deep mineral structure, connected to the skeletal system, includes our basic sense of connection, at atomic and subatomic levels, with all the universe. However, its characteristic is , like a crystal, to be rigid.

2.The vegetable soul . It is located in the liver and related to the digestive system. At this level transmission of energy and transmutation begins. Nourishment and growth is one of its functions. To have a healthy vegetable soul, we need healthy nourishment ( at physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual levels)

3.The animal soul . It includes our basic emotional states, passions and fears. It is located in the heart and the circulatory system. Passions and fears are functional, they can be useful and give us vitality and strength. but they must not dominate our lives otherwise they distort our perception and behaviour. Emotional unbalance in the student dervish is the first area of concern which the sufi teacher addresses with appropriate practices and correctives.

4.The personal soul , located in the brain and the nervous system. It allows us to elaborate advanced response to the environment by developing complex thinking models and planning. This centre is also connected with the ego and the sense of personal identity or self.

5.The human soul is located in the inner or spiritual heart, it is the focus for spiritual values such as compassion and creativity. This is heart intelligence

6.The secret soul, is what remembers our divine origin and it is therefore the seat of inner consciousness. It is also located in the inner heart.

7 .The secret of secrets , the soul of the soul, totally transcendent (beyond space-time).

Each of the souls ( except the last two) have positive as well negative characteristics, the negatives occuring as a result of unbalance.The last three souls (human and secret souls) can be seriously damaged, even anesthesised and deadened by abuse of substances such as drugs and alcohol. For this reason these are forbidden in Islam.

reference The Sufi view of wellbeing - by Annalisa Orselli-Dickson