Mac Haque on 6th February : Dear Habibur Rahman, in the second part of my response to your points earlier, I am keen on advancing my very limited understanding of the four stations as in Ilm-E-Tusawwuf (popularly Sufism) in Shariat, Haqiqat, Tarikat and Marifa.
Over all the techniques that you have mentioned are available in the public domain and there are very many books that gives us a more or less clear idea in the ascribed road to spirituality in Islam.
You mention them as 'path', 'journey' etc and I have no hesitation in accepting these terms, nor do I dispute that in parlance of popular communication when the topic is spirituality or mysticism they are only appropriate.
As the scope of our discussion is to examine whether or not Fakir Lalon Shah was an agnostic, I think it only makes sense to indicate a select allegorical passages from his kalaam to appreciate the Sages understanding of the same:
"করে অতি আজব ভাক্কা গটেছেন সাই মানুষ মক্কাহ/ কুদরতি নূর দিয়ে
with a strange format the Lord created man, with spark of the divine light
ও তার চার ডারে চার নূরী ইমান/ মধ্যে সাই বসিয়ে ||
oh, on four corners are these four illumined leaders, at the center is placed the Lord himself
মানুষ মক্কাহ কুদরতি কাজ/ উটছে গায়েবী আওআজ
the Man Makkah is a blessed piece work, it sounds words from the unknown realms
সাত তালা ভেদিয়ে/ আছে শীন রজায় একজন বাদী নিদ্রাত্যাগী হয়ে ||
stretching the seventh stories, in the penultimate doorway stands a respondent in sleep deprivation "
herein - the 'four illumined leaders' are the four stations themselves and the 'center' sums up the correlation of the FOUR on the ONE - i.e that moves and as is moved - the center or hypothetical FIFTH .
The five therefore adds up to the basis tenets of the pillars of Islam - which to my understanding follow these strict orders and flow: 1) Iman 2) Zakat 3) Siyam 4) Salah 5) Hajj and not as is popularly assigned or imagined - Iman, Namaaz, Roza, Zakat, Hajj.
The 'five' have more significance in our culture than merely meet the eye and I will later attempt to incorporate Shonaton (Hindu) traditions of the পঞ্চবেনা - but for easier and deduce-able analysis for now, suggest and admit our 5 senses of 1. Sight 2. Hearing 3. Taste 4. Touch and 5. Smell - and it interaction with the existence of a 6th as much as as 7th sense generally understood and scientifically permitted - which Lalon Shaiji also admitted.
But what is really perplexing is when I try to reason with the 7 is how did our great Sage deduce the same back in the 18th century - when in today's reality we are still coping with it in the domains of para-psychology?
For future inputs in my discussion, I humbly submit that the 7 - interrelates and gives coherence to the 7 basic principals of humanity - 1. Mentalism 2. Correspondence 3. Vibration 4. Polarity 5. Rhythm 6. Cause and Effect and 7. Gender - and I will build my argument upon these principals as I go further.
However the caveats I mentioned in my earlier posting are ones I want to sound off at this point.
1) Although we recognize the four stations in Tusawwuf, to quote your text :
On the other hand, the more s/he advances in the journey the more divine spark within her/himself becomes individualized, for that reason it is no longer possible for the self to dissolve into the Divine Self. But the Seeker now has the capacity to reflect the Divine image in his/her own self.
words and passages like 'path', 'journey', 'self to dissolve into the Divine spark','divine image' are all limited to individual - sometimes very personal experiences that are and will always remain challenging to the popular imagination.
Part of the problem is that the 'seekers in the path' tend to dissolve their discourses into strange idioms which takes spirituality to the domain of the few, exclusive and patronizingly 'blessed' (as is often inferred by 'spiritually enlightened') making it appear as though one has to be genetically attuned - or may or may not have to seek guidance of a 'Master' to embark upon this 'journey' which only a limited understand and/or appreciate.
This supposition defeats the egalitarian and lofty ideals of Islam and the Quran - and reduces it to an occult - that is not permissible at any rate - for Quran other than a book of 'signs' is an ever opening and wider vision of science that is yet to be discovered.
2. On the flip side, there are also certain undefined and highly perplexing 'schools of thought' that believe that the only way forward is in accepting 'spiritual transmission's' in the form of 'bayat' or 'khilafat'.
While these may or may not have scientific premises, they nonetheless revolve around the principals of vibrations. Where the many 'shirzanama' or flow chart of spiritual transmission that I have studied fail - is whether the construed vibration that is supposed to head back to that of Mohammad or even earlier is really verifiable?
The much abused concepts of 'Pir-dom' originates from these very dangerous thought pattern in the public domain and again is contrary to the principals of Islam and Quran - whereby each women/man has been given the capacity to experience this individually - without any 'prescribed' human to direct/dictate the same.
All that one has to look for is a syllabus - the ultimate Master is the Quran itself. No human intercession is at all necessary in my estimation.
3. The four stages of Shariat, Tariquat, Hakikat and Marifa - defies imagination as they can never be quantified or are they mathematically verifiable. For all practical purpose, how is it possible to evaluate or measure what stage in the 'journey' is an individual at a precise time - and if so - who is the authority for these evaluation/s?
We have also taken it for granted that we may swerve and careen through the four stations and will have reached Marifa - but at the point of Marifa will it then not be realistic to conjecture that all the stations are corresponding and complimentary to each other - and that even at the stage of Marifa or even Wilaya - we will need to combine forces of all four stations to make it meaningful to our entire existence as the exercise of spirituality?
4. The following is also fraught with a lot of risk and to quote your text again:
According to Qur'an, Allah creates Human Being as His vicegerent, or representative, this idea of representativeness is not something given but something to achieve, what is given is the Divine Spark, the proper utilization of that energy gives the human being the opportunity of being the Perfect Human Being.while you mention this exercise of assigning 'vicegerent or representatives of God' on earth is something that has to be 'achieved' - what possible scientific mechanisms are in place for anyone to evaluate who has or has not achieved the Divine Spark other than fellow man?
If that be so, what scientific parameter of judgement does the Quran advance for us to recognize and evaluate these 'vicegerents or representatives' and their respective status?
What possible scientific premises are available to the two of us to determine what 'stage of enlightenment' are we at the current moment and how on earth can you or I, quantify whether either of us have reached the stage to be assigned the term 'vicegerent' or 'representative of Allah' ? May Allah forgive our arrogance...
I will conclude for the time being and advance what I believe are scientific judgement that are mensurable and verifiable than dwell on this hocus pocus words and phrases that are nothing more than a lot of sound and thunder signifying NOTHING.
To end - you mention the 'perfect man' but I believe in the old adage NOBODY IS PERFECT, I AM A NOBODY!
Till the next post..joy be yours, peace, love and tranquility...
To be Continued.................