Thursday, September 11, 2008

How to achieve the ultimate goal

The measure of value of a person is directly proportional to the measure in which he holds the following qualities:
1.Pre-disposition to think critically
2.Knowledge
3.Self control

With these qualities every man can achieve his goal weather he be a philosopher, businessman, Sufi or even a school going student.

Critical thinking has the following components:
1.Rules of logic
2.Socratic Method: adoption and comfort level with it – the heart of critical thinking
3.Values: accepting every idea after putting it through an: “intellectual due process”, however difficult that may be either socially or against one’s preferences
4.An upside-down worldview: awareness that many things in the real world work differently from how they first appear

It develops by acquiring knowledge of science and thus understanding the body of knowledge experimentally proved by scientists ,whether this be natural sciences or the social sciences. It also requires lateral thinking in order re-pattern, previously held beliefs and notions about how the world works, and align it with how it really works.

The method required is that of “deep thinking through asking questions i.e. the Socratic Method”.

A beautiful way to develop self-control: an "abstract" exercise is given by the following pillars of Islam:
1. Praying five times a day with regularity and conviction
2. Fasting in the month of Ramzan for a period of approximatly 30 days
3. Hajj pilgrimage
4. Giving of Zakat, which is money given to the deserving out of one's earnings

Note that the reason lust is bad is because it requires one's emotional capital and time and takes away from one his "self-control". Ego, melodrama and a number of other things are bad for the same reason.

With the above three qualities present one can achieve any goal and so one must try to develop these three qualities.

The ultimate goal as i understand it is happiness.

While improving these qualities the freedom one is gifted with is beautifully captured by the following shair of Amjad Siraj:

Bohot din aseeree mein bhee reh liya mein
Hua chahta hoon bass ab khud sae bahar

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