In a letter to the poet Ghulam Qadir Girami d. Nicholson , who translated the Asrar as The Secrets of the Self, says it caught the attention of young Muslims as soon as it was printed. Iqbal wrote this in Persian because he felt the language was well-suited for the expression of these ideas. Overview[ edit ] In , he published his first collection of poetry, the Asrar-e-Khudi Secrets of the Self in Persian. The poems emphasise the spirit and self from a religious, spiritual perspective.
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Iqbal has gone so deep into the ocean of the self that it has become difficult for a common person to dive with him to that depth. This is why he had to face severe criticism during his lifetime particularly from religious people. In fact he possessed a very high aesthetic sense, on account of which he adopted a highly literary and poetic method to explain his creative ideas with respect to developing the rich faculties of the human mind through the self. Since the language used by him contains very rich poetic imagination, it creates some difficulty for the reader to understand him, especially when it comes to the expression of his intuitive ideas.
His learned teacher Professor R. While translating the book Professor Nicholson wrote a letter to Iqbal in search of certain answers.
The reply from Iqbal received by Professor Nicholson was so interesting that he published the whole of it in the introductions of the Secrets of the Self, which was published at London in The introduction to this book alone covers twenty-five pages. In the poem, naturally, this philosophy i. Self presents itself under a different aspect. A passage from the said article of Hawi, quoted below, will help us to understand the dynamic power of the self which Iqbal advocates in his various verses that will come under review later in this article.
Iqbal has similar feelings about the dynamic power of the self,but with it he includes Love as an essential ingredient for development of the self. In fact the human being is the master of both the seen and the unseen as well as capable of exploring what is still not known to the temporal eye. The selfin an individual is speculative and also possesses a sharp insight that sees the whole. It sees not merely the observable part of an object but the whole of it.
According to Kierkegaard, if a person possessing such an insight stands on a high point and gazes out over a flat region he will see roads running parallel to each other with fields in between. But a person lacking this insight will either see only the roads and not the fields or just see fields and not the roads. If you want to understand God you have to understand your self first. Your awareness about yourself is the discovery of selfin you, and for that purpose you have to undergo a long fight against external forces.
These external forces determine your actions as long as you are unaware of the power of your self. Once you are free of the grip of external forces you are the master of your destiny. There are different methods of achieving this including meditations and prayers. However faith and love play a major role in this direction.
In very fact it is love; love is the origin of everything, and spiritually understood love is the deepest ground of the life of spirit.
Spiritually understood, thefoundation is laid in every person in whom there is love. And the edifice which spiritually understood, is to be constructed, is again love. Transparency or purity of heart is one of the subjects widely dealt with by Iqbal. The place of God, as regarded by Iqbal, is the human heart.
It is love that purifies the heart, cleans it up, clears it from wordily rubish, and makes that heart a worthy place for God. Kierkegaard connects Self, edification, spirit, upbuilding, belief, transparency and purity of heart with love. Iqbal carries the love further to the highest point and connects it with God.
In order to understand the real self the individual must question himself and the responses he gets will vary from time to time and state to state of the individual. A person is the best judge of himself, and by questioning himself he knows his weaknesses and his sins. This is part of the process of cleaning up the heart, which involves a hard struggle against opposing external forces, which drag the individual towards the wrong path.
In this way one is able to keep himself within the norms of morality and religious limits. Simply for the reason that the depth of the sea determines its purity, and its purity determines its transparency As the sea mirrors the elevation of heaven in its pure depths, so may the heart when it is calm and deeply transparent mirrors the divine elevation of the Good in its pure depths.
Toward this end he struggled to plumb the depths of the unconscious and scale the heights of creativity. Midway on his journey he stumbled upon a clue: the road to the heights was by way of the depths. In the subjective intensification of existence, truth comes to be in the life of an individual.
Historically speaking there have been persons, the men of God, the loving and pious intellectuals, who stand witness to it. The limit is reached when a man, to speak figuratively, achieves a conception of himself — his real self — that is so transparent he sees clear through it, it vanishes as an object and obstacle to his vision, and he sees only the absolute Truth.
He sees God. Thus the edification of belief paves the way for a transformation of the heart. Yet in the experience itself there is no mystery. Nor there is anything emotional in it. Iqbal says that rest means death and death is nowhere in the life of theself.
Iqbal says that soul is in constant motion, and that is the fate of the soul. My sins did not find refuge in the whole world, the only place where I found shelter - O my Lord! The self can be for itself only insofar as it is for others. His idea of collective self and individual self, or universal self and individual self, highlights the importance of his understanding of the full scope of the self.
Every pulse of thought, present or perishing, is an indivisible unity, which knows and recollects. We appropriate the ego itself in the act of perceiving, judging, and willing. Man without losing his identity, remains a part of the Organic Whole.
The ego of man i. The selfis a synthesis of ideality and reality, infinitude and finititude, possibility and necessity, eternity and time, universality and individuality. God is not identified with any one element but all the above-mentioned elements are comprehended in His Essence.
But these attributes and aspects do not imply limitations or restrictions, differentiations, distinctions or duality in the Divine Essence. God is one Organic Whole in which all the above mentioned attributes are comprehended. Being individual and remaining individual it must nevertheless also be universal as a part of the Whole.
According to Hegel such a misfortune as a result of the defeat or fall of a nation, is always due to fragmentation of the individual, and fragmentation of the individual is the result of spiritlessness within him.
The Spiritlessness, as already explained earlier, is not being without spirit but it is the stagnation of spirit. For Denmark Kierkegaard remarked that his country was stuck on the mud bank of reason. In fact it was not only his country but also his remarks applied to many other nations during 19th. This is the reason that the philosophy of the selfwith all the three revolves around ethico-religious thought as a centre. By applying this method Hegel and Iqbal achieved what they desired, and to a great extent they succeeded in integrating the fragmented individual and managed to build a united society.
But Kierkegaard was not fortunate enough to see a change in his nation during his lifetime. However, it appears only when the ego self is developed in a man and makes him an active organ of the body of mankind.
That he is able to play his constructive role in society. The development of such an ego in the individual ultimately culminates in the development of a collective ego in a group of people, which strengthens moral values in them and makes the nation strong in every respect. Thus when the heart is transparent man is able to discover the right path and then continue his journey onward with God given power, wisdom and courage to fulfil his duty and work as a representative of God on this earth.
Most importantly, the subject clearly distinguishes what it is from what it ought to be by differentiating its givenness and its possibility, its reality and its ideality.
The self that the ethicist wills to become is not an abstract self which passes everywhere and hence is nowhere, but is a concrete self which stands living in reciprocal relation with these specific surroundings, these conditions of life, this natural order. This self which is the goal Formaalet is not merely a personal self, but a social, a civic self. He has, then, himself as a task for an activity in which, as this definite personality, he grasps the relations of life.
It is a moment of supreme bliss and also a moment for the greatest trial for the ego. Iqbal in his following verses explains the way of such trial self examination.
The second witness is the consciousness of another ego— See thyself, then, with the light of an ego other than thee. If thou standest unshaken in front of this light, Consider thyself as living and eternal as He!
That man alone is real who dares— Dares to see God face to face! A witness whose confirmation alone makes thee eternal. No one can stand unshaken in His Presence; And he who can, verily, he is pure gold. Art thou a mere particle of dust? Tighten the knot of thy ego; And hold fast to thy tiny being!
And to test its lustre in the presence of the Sun! Re-chisel, then, thine ancient frame; And build up a new being. Such being is real being; Or else thy ego is a mere ring of smoke. The less of the universal he is able to take up in his life, the more imperfect he is. During the journey of self-development the individual is aloneanddespite all the hustle and bustle of life around him he remains mostly alone throughout this journey.
As described by Mark C. Both of them belonged to their age as much as they belong to us today. They were indeed great reformers who not only offered reforming ideas but saw their lives as a mission to guide the people of their respective countries towards the right path.
On the contrary Kierkegaard, as stated earlier, did not belong to his age and as such could not possibly move his fellow countrymen. It was almost a century later that his nation started understanding the essence of his moral and religious teachings. Since they were basically reformers of their time, they wanted to gather together fragmented splinters of the individuals of their society.
This they believed was the result of stagnation of spirit, as according to them men in society with stagnant spirits were the cause of misfortune for the whole nation.
Hegel and Iqbal maintained their unique mystical and religious approach, while at the same time remained involved in the affairs of their respective society. Iqbal made himself a real force of change in the society and ignited the power of the collective self within his countrymen.
His final goal was to create a realisation of the importance of the collective self at a higher level in the society of mankind as a whole.
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