Day and night are two modes of life. The day is where one performs their daily affairs whereas the night is for rest, but this fact does not apply to all creatures. As the timings for day and night vary between the creations, what we deem as day is not really ‘ day’ and what we consider night, is not the ‘ night’.
Night and day are two ways of observing the same senses and are associated with the state of sleep and wakefulness, respectively. When a person sleeps and then wakes up in the other realm, they do not remember that they are sleeping in the material world. This is because, even in the state of sleep, the needs of life remain intact and uninterrupted – individuals walk, talk, think, experience sadness and happiness, and also witness the superior realms i.e. dreams within dreams.
What is it that we refer to as sleep, and what does it mean to see one’s self in motion in that realm? This should be reflected upon.
A person does not push aside the realities of sleep when they wake up in the material world, because the impressions of what they went through during their sleep leaves marks in their memory, and the person feels them in the material world as per the intensity of the marks.
When one sleeps in this material world, and wakes up in the other realm, they accept that phase of life with all certainty, and forget the realm where their physical body lies. This propels us to think that when one is awake despite being in the zone of sleep, then what is sleeping, and who is it that remains awake here, and there?
Life is a combination of the body and soul. The body is clothing, while the soul stirs movement within it. A body is synonymous to a toy, which does not move on its own, and lives on energy to stimulate movement in it. For example, a windup doll moves once energy is generated by rotating a winder. The doll then walks, talks, smiles and after consuming all of the stored energy , comes to a standstill. Is the position of a doll, without the winding key, anything but a corpse?
The following points elaborate on this further.
- Winding up (movement)
- The one who wind up the key
Have you ever paid attention to what the doll is?
What is the key analogous to?
What is movement?
And who is it that winds the key?
Does the toy (man – aadmi) hold any significance without the key and the entity who winds it?
One of the elements in the making of a body is sounding clay. It is an attribute that indicates the presence of a void in a body. Void refers to a space that contains forms and features, and features are triggered by movement. One must observe that features do not function by themselves, it is the movement ‘ in’ them that keeps them dynamic. ‘ In’ is the inner of a person. What we see outside is the manifestation of movement, which is present inside.
An individual who lacks knowledge of the reality attributes ‘movement’ to forms and features. However, after successive alterations, forms and features disappear, but the movement remains.
When a person is attentive towards the features, they are unable to see the void. Nevertheless, if they were to concentrate on the void, the features would go into the background. If you look at the space between the sky and earth, you will see a void but not the lives inhabiting it. This void, however, has innumerable worlds within it, and is the abode for jinn, the air and other creatures that are foreign to us and cannot be seen even through a microscope.
We look at things at the surface level yet are oblivious of their foundation (void). Since everything is made out of definite proportions, the best of all proportions is Ahsan-e-Taqweem (the best of statures), which formulates an Insan (human). But despite possessing this highest stature among the creatures, mankind has harmonised itself with proportions lower than their stature. That is why, they see the facade and not the void.
Clothes are worn to cover a body. When the sleeves of a shirt move due to the movement of the hands, nobody declares the movement to come from the sleeves, as they are certain that it is the hand that moves them. However, we do not perceive the body and movement in the same context. The sight observes movement through the body and concludes it to be the movement of the body. When we are dead or asleep, the body appears to be immovable, but it does not occur to us that we see ourselves fulfilling the needs of life in the state of sleep. Who is it then that spends life in the state of sleep, and what is the standing of the body?
The person in the realm of sleep is someone else, but at the same time one must also consider that the material body does not travel to that realm and remains on the bed. If the physical body is responsible for
movement, then who is it that spends life in the other zone? It is said that, “L during sleep, saw myself roaming around in different places, wearing elegant clothes, eating delicious food and in the company of revered people.”
Please go through the above sentence again and answer who it was that traveled around, had food, and who is the ‘I’ that witnessed all of these events and actions? In the dream state, the one whom we refer to as ‘I’, in actuality is the observer, the observation, and also the one who is being observed.
Life is one of the secrets of the universe where the reality of everything can be understood through its opposite facet. The state of death, like the state of sleep informs us that movement is not ascribed to a body. It is caused by the One who instills life in the effigy (body). When the source of movement is not the physical body then why do we consider the body dead, only after one’s death?
The body is merely a medium to exhibit movement. Movement is an ‘entity’ that is present in every zone, as there is no alteration or disruption in the laws of God. When movement transfers into another zone, the body of Nasoot (the material world) becomes immobile, and when it returns to the material realm, it goes to sleep in the realm it has come from. Sleeping is to be oblivious of one’s presence despite their existence. Then what is the basis of feeling one’s presence and who prompts this feeling?
A medium is a cover to reflect the presence of the being who cannot be perceived through the physical eye. Every realm has a particular medium but the movement in all of them is uniform. To enlighten one’s self with the basis of movement, one needs to be cognizant of all the mediums in each realm.
Every medium reflects the characteristics of their respective zone. In Nasoot , it is composed of clay, and in the realm of Nasma, it is made of Hayula (prime material) , and prior to Hayula are the realms of Roshni, Noor, and Tajalli – all of these are stages of light and mediums to manifest life in their zones. However, life in itself is a medium to display movement. But what is movement and to whom does it belong?
The Almighty God breathed soul in an effigy of clay, and displayed movement through it.
“And when thy Lord said unto the angels: Lo! I am creating a mortal out of potter’s clay of black mud altered. So, when I have made him and have breathed into him of My spirit, do ye fall down, prostrating yourselves unto him.” (Quran, 15:28-29)
A machine without electricity is merely a structure made of iron, just like a dead body devoid of energy. As people turn into particles of dust without a soul, in the same manner, a machine with no energy rusts, meeting the same fate.
The soul is distinguished through different stages in the material world. These stages reflect the phases of one’s understanding. It needs thorough contemplation that life is one, and that movement in it is singular as well. But to make it easier to understand, we have classified life in stages.
An illusory mind sees that the day and night alter, and this alteration turns today into tomorrow and tomorrow into the day after and so forth. But in actuality, the day and night do not undergo alterations. On the contrary, a person free of illusory senses – who does not see alteration in objects – distinguishes the celestial entities and everything else in their true facet.
Example: The size of a human sperm is said to be 0.002 inches. When one is acquainted with the hidden reality, they can see a six-foot-tall person in the sperm. It makes one wonder if the stages of material growth have any significance at all?
Movement is reflected through a medium called senses. Senses are fragmented in the state of wakefulness, but they remain fixed on one point in the mode of sleep. The material body attains dominance when senses are disintegrated, whereas the realm of sleep defies such fragmentation. We do not hear and see through the ears and eyes, nor does our nose smell or mind and tongue understand and speak. The sense of hearing, sight, feeling, understanding or that of speech etc. is one. Had they been in multitude, a conflict would have risen among them.
The body is just a medium, but by regarding it as the prime entity, one gives foremost importance to its features. If the physical eye is responsible for enabling sight, then who is it that sees in our imagination?
The division in senses is an illusion and this is what creates a distinction between the state of sleep and wakefulness.
The admirer of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) – Allama Iqbal (RA) says,
The eye of the seed lies awake deep beneath the earth, Anxious to bloom and mature.
A spark of life encased deep within the seed,
Is coerced to birth through the crust for fulfilment.
The cold grave has failed to dishearten it,
Neither has its burial succeeded in draining its passion.
Rising over its tomb, it has blossomed into a flower, Borrowing attires of life from death.
The grave merges and uplifts the distrait energies, Casting a noose around the neck of the skies.
Death becomes the renewed flare of life,
While the veil of sleep, brings in the message of awakening.
Death and sleep are merely clothing – there is life on their edges. The entity within the clothing is the same but its apparel continues to alter, and we name it childhood, adolescence, youth, and old age. During this passage, one also adorns the clothing of relationships as their role and responsibilities vary due to a change in their surroundings i.e. being decision makers in homes, being an employee in an office, or a citizen of a country.
Law: All creatures are bound to live in a certain clothing that differs according to their proportions and characteristics. However, among these proportions, both the best and the lowest are associated to mankind i.e. Ahsan-e-Taqweem, and Asfala Safileen respectively.
“Surely We created man of the best stature. Then We reduced him to the lowest of the low.” (Quran, 95:4-5)
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