Whenever knowledge is discussed, two things seem to be encountering invariably, positive and negative aspects of the knowledge. When we deny something, in actual effect, we are negating its existence, that is to say, there does exist that thing which is being denied or negated because if something does not exist, its denial is not feasible and it cannot be discussed at all. When we say something about knowledge, we do have some meanings in our minds about that knowledge. And, when we negate, in fact, we accept our ignorance about existence, that is, we are mentioning that of which we do not have any knowledge. It means that negation is the name of unawareness or the nescience and affirmation is the name of knowledge.
We cannot advance in knowledge unless the nescience or the unawareness on our part is not acknowledged, that is, nescience is also knowledge. The spiritual people have named the cognition of nescience as Ilm-e-la* and awareness of knowledge as Ilm-e-illa** because one Beatific Vision pertaining to cognition is known as La and the other one is called Illa.
When a spiritual associate learns Ilm-e-la, or to say, he wants to know his Unconscious, he is required to negate all that he knew, he should forget all the worldly fantasies, thoughts, and imaginations temporarily and if this is not done, he cannot learn anything.
It is not very difficult to understand. If someone, no matter how educated he/she is, wants to learn new science, he/she is just like a child of nursery class as far as that branch of the knowledge is concerned. For learning anything new, we have to forget about all that we already know. Nobody can learn any new art or science if he/she sticks to his/her previously learned knowledge. A person versed with English wanting to learn Urdu, would not insist upon the phonetics of the English alphabet and would concentrate upon the Urdu alphabets only.
Let’s consider another example. If a child is taken to a teacher so that he could learn the language. The teacher, in order to bring the child out of his ignorance, tells him to say ‘A’. If the child starts imitating the teacher without following his own intellect and reason, succeeds in transferring his ignorance into knowledge and awareness. But if the child starts arguing with the teacher instead of following what he is told to do and starts raising questions as to why this ‘A’ is an ‘A’ and why it is not called ‘B’ then, one thing is sure that this child can never be able to learn anything. We are constrained to acknowledge that we cannot learn anything unless we acknowledge our unawareness, or to say, when we cognize our ignorance, we start having knowledge. Doesn’t this remind you of the statement of a Greek philosopher who had said, ‘I know that I don’t know?’ He was honored as a great philosopher because he acknowledged that he did not know.
What was there before God? Many times people tend to ask this question. It is such a question, which does occur to every man of reason and intellect invariably and, the people who are not versed with the art of deliberation, incline to ignore this question considering it a whimsical or passing by thought. Nevertheless, those having depth in their thinking keep on repeating this question and, when they do not find any answer to their question, they opt to deny the very existence of the Godhead. It only happens because they try to have knowledge by the sheer force of their intellect and with a predetermined mind and a set knowledge try to understand the nescience.
When a spiritual associate comprehends the concept of the unity of Godhead successfully or fully cognizes Ilm-e-la, he steps forward on the path of cognition of God. In the beginning, he cognizes himself, that is when he finds himself nowhere despite all his efforts and the pre-existing knowledge in his mind is negated altogether, the real sense of the unity of Godhead and the exact meanings of cognition of God transpire upon him. This is the very stage, which is known as ‘Lostfulness’ or ‘Lost in Deity.’
When a spiritual associate conceives the luminescence of La in the depths of his perception, he enters into the Unconscious rising above the limits of the Conscious. And, when it is observed by him that he has no significance in the vast cosmic scenario and that his knowledge equals naught, he gets into a state of absorption. In order to achieve this state of absorption, the course of discernment is required to be completed.
The first stage of this course is to remain awake at the least for 72 hours continuously, which is to be followed by the habit of sleeping for 2 hours and 45 minutes. This exercise helps in developing the intuition in the spiritual associate. This power of intuition lays the foundations of that thinking, which contains the full range of luminescence of the Ilm-e-la. The efforts to remain awake besides meditating give a boost and polish this thinking and when this thinking is developed, the luminescence of La starts appearing in the state of Reminiscence.
When the power of intuition is further strengthened, Khizar, the Auliya on administrative duties, and angels begin to appear before the inner sight. Resulting from the continuous performance of muraqba and interest in this regard, the spiritual associate happens to listen to them, and gradually he can even have the chances of conversing with them and many unseen arrangements are revealed upon him through the angels. During performing Muraqba of La, one is required to make arrangements for keeping the eyes closed as securely as possible.
Muraqba of La
Basically, knowledge is of two types. The thing that we claim to know is called knowledge and the thing that is not known to us, we call it ignorance or nescience. But when the nescience or ignorance is taken into consideration, we find it something, about which we do not know anything i.e., the knowledge about which we are not aware. Whether it is knowledge or nescience, both are related to sight. Being students of spiritual science, we have to search that what is the difference between seeing things by the physical sight and the spiritual or inner sight.
Apparently, when we look at something, we say that something caught our sight or we looked at that thing, in any case, analysis of sighting things suggests that this also involves blinking and the blinking is the process in which the eyeball is struck by the eyelid intermittently and as long as the eyeballs are struck either by their own movement or because of the blinking things remain in our vision.
The other way of sighting is that neither the eyeballs move nor there is any blinking involved but still everything is sighted. This sighting is the sighting of the soul or sighting the inner. This can easily experiment in the following manner. Place a placard with a black spot on it, at an appropriate distance and start staring at the black spot without letting your eyeballs move or blinking the eyelids.
I had the opportunity of noticing His Divine Grace Qalander Baba Auliya in his state of absorption and engrossment many times. I observed that in that state his eyes stayed focused on an unseen point at a faraway distance, without moving or changing their focus for hours. Once I was watching him transfixed in a state of absorption when I happened to see him controlling from within, millions of strings of waves, each one tied to one creature at the other end. He was moving the light rays like the strings that were holding the creatures. Only then I realized the actual meanings of the Quranic verse,
“ And, indeed, We have subjugated everything that exists in the heavens and on earth”.
Muraqba of La, in fact, invites us to negate all that which we have learned remaining in the body of matter, using our reason and intellect and claim it to be our conscious knowledge. The technique to negate things is to change the method used for sighting things during wakefulness, that is, the movement of the eyeballs should be suspended. The lesser is the movement of the eyeballs the more would be the power of inner sight. If the movement of the eyeballs is completely stopped, the working of latifa-e-nafsi is also halted and since the lights of the Channel of manifestation are feeding it, this suspension causes an over-flow of these lights, which results in the activation of the inner sight. When the inner sight is awakened and its awakening is maintained through continuous practice, its range of functioning expands to outreach the limits of the physical world. And, one starts witnessing both the material and spiritual realms simultaneously remaining within the confines of this material body or after getting liberated from them.
We blink when we shift the focus of our sight or we look from one thing to another or a scene that we were witnessing changes. Blinking causes a temporary disconnection of the lights responsible for providing information. The information about the sighted things is processed in the period between disconnection and reconnection. In order to awaken the ability to sight things spiritually, we have to make arrangements against our habit of seeing things during wakefulness. And, the technique to do so is to suspend the movement of the eyeballs with will and determination.
There are two ways for checking the movements of the eyeballs. One is to make them inactive by gazing in the dark without blinking their eyes. And, the other one is to use a blind folder. The cotton blind folder having lint on it or a towel is tied upon the eyes in such a manner that the movement of the eyeballs is completely suspended, as long as the blind folder is put on.
The eyes of the soul become active when the physical sighting method is abandoned.