"The weak lose themselves in God; the strong discover Him in themselves." ~ Allama Iqbal

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Level of Being: A Life Evolved

Please go here for a very significant article by Khurram Ali Shafique (award-winning Iqbal scholar, historian, screenwriter and educationist) on two distinct models of democracy, both manifestations of worldviews that can be traced to distinctly different religious understandings.  It is clear that the understandings granted to us from differing religious contexts has a profound psychological influence on how we conceive of ourselves, and thus how we grow and evolve in life, and create the outer world.

The ideas in the aforementioned article demonstrate that there is a level of being - not isolated to the intellect - which is a key to be remembered (and developed) if humanity is to liberate itself from its condition, and evolve onward toward more elevated states of life. 

Compare the philosophy of Iqbal to this below by Maurice Nicoll, a British psychiatrist and noted Fourth Way teacher.  Written in 1941, and in the form of a letter, Nicoll writes;

"Ordinarily, of course, we imagine that man can grow and develop in what I might call the natural normal way, simply by education, example, and so on.  Yet, if we look at history, we find that man has not really developed, and particularly if we look at the present day we cannot boast that man has reached any real further stage of development. Look for a moment at the horrors that humanity imposes on itself nowadays.

Yet people are prone to imagine that time means progress and that everything is getting better and better as time passes. And as a rule people take the obvious contradictions as *exceptional.* That is to say, people are always inclined to think that what are really the usual and ever-present circumstances of life, in a bad sense, are exceptional. You will agree with me perhaps that people usually regard war as exceptional.

Yet you must admit that if you pick up any book of history you will find that it deals with war in the main, with war, intrigue, people seeking power, and so on. Actually, unless we have the strength of mind to see what ordinary life on this planet is like, we will remain in imagination, or illusion, if you prefer the word. As you know, in this system of work, amongst many sayings which have a great density of meaning- namely, that it takes a long time to understand- there is one saying that 'the level of being of a man attracts his life.' This saying applies to humanity in general- that is, the general level of humanity with regard to its being attracts the form of life that it experiences. It is useless to think that wars and horrors and revolutions, etc., are exceptional. What is at fault is the level of being of a people. But nobody is willing to understand this and whenever war takes place, as I said, people take it as exceptional, and even speak about a future free from war, as soon as the existing war is over. We can see the same process at work now. History repeats itself because man remains at the same level of being- namely, he attracts again and again the same circumstances, feels the same things, says the same things, believes the same things. And yet nothing actually changes. All the articles that were written in the last war are just the same as the articles written in this war, and will be for ever and ever.

But what concerns us more is that the same idea applies to ourselves, to each individual person. As long as there is no change in the level of being, the personal history of a man remains the same. Everything repeats itself in his own life: he says the same things, he does the same things, he regrets the same things, he commits the same things. And all this belongs to this immensely deep idea that the level of being attracts the life."

Thursday, April 4, 2013

5 Principles of Spiritual Democracy

Go here for a brief yet incisive post from Khurram Ali Shafique (award-winning Iqbal scholar, historian,
screenwriter and educationist) detailing five statements which, according to him, constitute the basic principles of spiritual democracy.

He asks, when examining the statements, if they challenge our existing views in any manner.

If they do challenge our existing views, what shall we do?

What do we typically do when potentially new understandings challenge our existing views?

Please go and read the post now. 

Named must your fear be before banish it you can.
~ Yoda

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Spiritual in Origin

"The great point in Christianity is the search for an independent content for spiritual life which, according to the insight of its founder, could be elevated, not by the forces of a world external to the soul of man, but by the revelation of a new world within his soul....The search for a purely psychological foundation of human unity becomes possible only with the perception that all human life is spiritual in its origin."