Sunday, 27 September 2009

Why We Live

The greatest Sufi Master Sheikh Muhammad Mohiuddin Ibn ul Arabi (1165-1240) commonly known as Ibn Arabi said "meaning of Life is nothing but Life itself". In my journal where I write reminisces I wrote following after reading a Book “Good and Evil” by Richard Taylor. The following point of view so effectively resonates with greatest Sufi master’s remarks, but then Sheikhs remarks are always elusive. This is one point of view; I would come up with others’ also, as this remark always fascinated me to look for its all possible dimensions and meanings.

The point of any living thing's life is, evidently, nothing but life itself. If the builders of a great and flourishing ancient civilization could somehow return now to see archaeologists unearthing the trivial remnants of what they had once accomplished with such effort-see the fragments of pots and vases, a few broken statues, and such token of another age and greatness-they could indeed ask themselves what the point it all was, if this is all it finally came to. Yet, it did not seem so to them then, for it was just the building, and not what was finally built, that gave their life meaning. This is surely the way to look at all of life-at one's own life, and each day and moment it contains; of the life of a nation; of the species; of the life of the world; and of everything that breathes. Even the glow worms, whose cycles of existence over the millions of years seem so pointless when looked at by us, will seem entirely different to us if we can somehow try to view from within. Their endless activity, which gets nowhere, is just what it is their will to purse. This is its whole justification and meaning. Nor would it be any salvation to the birds that span the globe every year back and forth, to have a home made for them in a cage with plenty of food and protection, so that they would not have to migrate any more. It would be their condemnation, for it is the doing that counts for them, and not what they hope to win by it. You no sooner drew your first breath than you responded to the will that was in you to live. You no more ask whether it will be worthwhile, or whether anything of significance will come of it, than the worm and the birds. The point of living is simply to be living, in the manner that it is your nature to be living.

You go through life building your castles, each of these beginning to fade into time as the next is begun; yet it would be a condemnation, and one that would in no way be redeemed were you able to gaze upon the things you have done, even if these were beautiful and absolutely permanent, as they never are. What counts is that you should be able to begin a new task, a new castle, a new bubble. It counts only because it is there to be done and you have the will to do it.


1 comment:

  1. Poet lovers here, be sure not to miss Marzieh's blog-postings recently!

    Akhtar Sahib, I am thrilled with this one because I am trying to know more about Sufi masters as well as in other ways. Sounds as if the journey of life is more important than arrival. Is this correct? I am amazed at how impermanent that which sometimes seems so permanent and familiar becomes so quickly. Thus the value of detachment and then as you say the ability and will to begin anew...kind of reassuring if looked at this way...

    Will be back in a few days...