Philosophy of Selfhood

Man is a macrocosm encompassing the entire cosmos in his bosom

EGO

AMIR SUHAIL WANI

 “God has nothing to do with a believer who does not possess an efficient and conscious spirit in his body”, says Iqbal.
Plato’s philosophy and his concept of man, despite its own legacy suffered a heavy criticism. It considered man as the measure of everything and rejected the existence of external universe out rightly. This concept could have been an ideal playfield for idealists or for those who held the views of skepticism. But for millions of conscious people who pondered upon this paradox found Platonic claims to be vague. Socrates, parallel to Plato believed that man’s only object of study should be man himself. He too propagated nihilistic aspirations forward in his own style. It was only with Kantian assertion of “cogito ergo sum”, that the existence of creations beyond human self gained appreciation. In fact history stands witness that those who drew inspiration from Platonic super sensuous picture of universe contributed marginally in the evolution of civilization. Thus Allama Iqbal rightly said:-
Fiqr I aflatoon zi arasood guft
Hikmati o bood ra nabood guft”
Iqbalian concept of man is much comprehensive and multidimensional. Iqbal, when speaking on human existence and the “philosophy of self” maintains equipoise between endogenous and exogenous dimensions of human personality. In Iqbal, pristine man is seen as the cause of creation. Chronologically man was created at the conclusion of creation but teleologically it is man who directed the course of evolution. A microcosm in form, man is a macrocosm encompassing the entire cosmos in his bosom. Man is biological by nature but metaphysical by origin, chemical in composition but spiritual in essence. The man whom Allama talks of is one who successfully undertakes the construction of self and makes himself accordant with the divine scheme of creation. By the realization of self what is meant is that the man may realize his origin, his essence, his pedestal and the infinite capabilities he is endowed with. This realization of self Allama terms as “Ta’emeer-i- Khudi”.  Allama’s Khudi, if translated in psychological language is an advanced form of ego. This ego, as Allama deemed, is not identical to soul in the trivial sense. Nor is it a rigid substance occupying space like a physical object, rather it lies beyond the realm of space-time fabric. Iqbal maintains that the reality of ego (self or consciousness) is too profound to be intellectualized and the present day psychology in beset with a number of hurdles to put the concept of khudi on experimental footing. Despite that, practical side of this philosophy is of such productive and pragmatic value that it compels us to accept it in its totality and pragmatic spirit. It is worth to mind that the use of the word khudi or equivalently translated as ego as used by Iqbal, is not, in any way related to the issue of pride, superiority complex or any other negative tendency, and does not convey any other prevalent meaning of the word. Rather “khudi” is a process of self-construction strictly according to Quranic prescriptions and the one who succeeds in this process of construction is deemed as “Mard-I-Moomin”. This “Mard-I- Moomin” is Iqbal’s ideal man which is well symbolized by Shaheen and is characterized by distinct spiritual and moral values. He is the trustee of universe and a treasure of secrets. Every corpuscle of human creation holds a secret in it and as such man is himself the biggest secret of universe.
    Iqbal Mard-I-Moomin is the ultimate manifestation of manhood and is pertinently seen as an ambassador of Allah on earth. Secondly, this Mard-I-Moomin is a pragmatic equivalent of Quranic lexicon. The commandments and prohibitions of Quran appear to him as his own desires. He does not deem Quranic dictions as forced injections but as his own instincts. Thus Iqbal’s Mard-I-Moomin is not akin to Natchez’s superman, despite the fact that the influence of Natchez’s ‘superman theory’ on Iqbal is undeniable. But as opposed to Natchez’s  “superman” which is the merely an imaginative fabrication and a mere outcome of biological and physical forces, Mard-I-Moomin is essentially spiritual in nature and stands above the physical, biological and psychological confines. He, despite earning world is least influenced by its glory. He doesn’t turn away from universe as Platonic concept demands but rather conquers it as demanded by Quranic dictions. On qualifying all these strenuous trials he is blessed with a throne where his becomes the will of God and his thoughts and acts reflect the divine plans. He is bestowed upon an authority, the authority of which Iqbal says:-
Koi andaza kar nahi sakhta uskay zour I baazu ka
Nigah I mardi moomin se badal jaati hai taqdeeray”

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Lastupdate on : Sat, 3 Nov 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 3 Nov 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 4 Nov 2012 00:00:00 IST




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