The whole universe including all the species and all the individuals of the species have one common single center. Apparently, the various phases and different stages of life have nothing in common and appear to be diversified but no matter how much is the diversification and variation in the ups and downs or in the phases of life, these all have a unified centrality. And, the waves are the medium of this centrality. On one hand these waves or, to say, the rays emitted from this unified centrality are descending to feed the individuals of the universe and, on the other, these rays are ascending back towards their origin after completing their descent in an individual.
This chain of ascent and descent is the life. In other words, a wave or the ray is circulating in the whole of universe and keeping the circulatory movement of the wave in view, the universe appear to be having a circular structure, that is, the whole universe is a circle and when this circle moves up and down, it gives rise to six more circles. These very six circles have been denominated as ‘Six Days’ of Creation, as mentioned in the Holy Scriptures. God has stated in the holy Quran, “ I created the universe in Six Days.”
The first circle of the universe and individuals of the universe is named as Latifa-e-nafsi (Subtlety of the Self). We can exemplify this subtlety as a lamp that is emitting light. The name of the light of this lamp is the sight. Flare of the lamp makes the atmosphere bright and clear. The light of the flame of the lamp, on one hand, illuminates the atmosphere and on the other it is witnessing the atmosphere coming into the range of its illumination. The light of the lamp contains incalculable colors and the variegation of the universe is proportionate to the numbers of these colors. The light and the flare of the lamp keep on flickering causing it to become very dim, soft, strong and intense. Things upon which the light falls very dimly are conceived as a fantasy. Thoughts are produced about the things coming under the soft light. Things coming under the strong light create concept about them in our mind and our sight sees the things that come under the intense light of the lamp, id est., a vision about them is produced in our mind.
In order to see a thing, we have to pass through four stages. When an object is sighted, initially, a very dim sketch of that object is formed in our mind. This dim sketch is named as Fantasy. When the sketch becomes deeper, it turns into Thought. Upon deepening of thought, the details of the sketch transform into the features and the object is imagined. This imagination is called Concept. When the imagination is consolidated the sight catches the features of the seen object.
Rests of the four senses are produced gradually when the lights of the lamp of the Subtlety of Self scatter and disperse and the sight repeats it’s functioning time and again. The five senses are produced when the lights of the Latifa-e-nafsi become busier and disperse more frequently.
A spiritual associate who enjoys the blessings of his spiritual mentor and manages to acquaint himself with the Latifae-nafsi, comes to know the laws related to with Fantasy, Thought, Concept and the Being; manifestation of existent.
His Divine Grace, Qalander Baba Auliya has allegorized the Subtlety of the Self as a lamp and the universe as a circle, that is, according to him, a lamp is placed in the center of a circle and the whole area of the circle is lit by the light of the lamp. The light that is lighting up the circle is a means of sighting the circle, that is to say, the flame of the lamp is sighting the universe. The variation of the sight is proportional to with the distance and the intensity of reflection.
A fantasy is produced in our mind about the objects upon which the light of the lamp falls very dimly, that is, our mind does feel a presence of a sketch but it fails to put enough pressure upon the conscious to make its presence noticed consciously. When the light gets better the sketch of the object becomes clearer and the presence of the sketch is noticed by the conscious in the form of a thought. An increase in the power of thought gives rise to imagination and one can visualize the object. It means that where the light intensifies, the things existing within the cosmic circle are grasped by the imagination as the pressure of their impression is felt by the conscious. And, the objects that come under the glare of the light are seen in a manifested form.
This whole explanation reveals a very odd thing. Our eyes or the physical sight does not see anything but it is the light that becomes the eye, the sight and the vision. After becoming sight, the light exhibits itself far and nearby, close by and away. But before sighting anything on the basis of its distance, the light passes through four stages of fantasy, thought, imagination and manifestation. There are many exercises that could be suggested for knowing the laws that govern the sighting and one of them is the Istarkha that has been explained previously.
A spiritual associate can encounter different situations during the course of his attempts to see things at their levels of fantasy, thought, imagination, and in the manifested forms. Sometimes, resulting from the practice of Istarkha, the hearing becomes functional before the sight, that is, the lights taking the form of thoughts are converted into sounds and voices. The light that is generating thoughts in a person, in an angel, or in a bird becomes an acoustic sound and is heard by the exerciser of Istarkha. This is the first step of Istarkha. Normally, the sight starts functioning before the hearing. The Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) has stated that at the time of receiving Revelation the humming of flies and the ringing of bells is heard.
Certain material items are also used for success in Istarkha. Besides remaining awake continuously and exercising control over the sleep if the powdered peppers are applied on cotton swabs and are placed in the ears then the lights, responsible for the formation of thoughts, start echoing in the mind. When a person who is practicing Istarkha, places the cotton swabs in his ears after applying powdered peppers upon them and sits to perform muraqba, hears the echoes of distant objects in his inner. For instance, a person after practicing Istarkha, putting cotton swabs in his ears, is sitting for muraqba. Now, if he happens to think about a factory, he would be hearing the sounds of the machines of the factory from within. And, in the same way, he can hear the other voices from within.
After the activation of the hearing, during the course of Istarkha, the senses of smell and touch are also activated. If the attention is focused on a faraway object of fragrance, one would smell its fragrance even if that thing were thousands of miles away. And, in the same way, if one were attracted to touch an object, he would feel it tactually even if that thing exists at a distance of thousands of miles.
I would like to share one of my personal experiences in this regard. When His Divine Grace, Qalander Baba Auliya dictated this law to me, I concentrated upon the saffron fields in Kashmir and tried to smell the fragrance of saffron. In a short while, the room was filled with the aroma of saffron. This aroma was strong enough to be felt even by my guests who expressed their surprise for such a strong aroma in my room.