Sunday, October 5, 2008

My best description of Reality/Haqiqat

One of the classic questions out there I think is: “What is reality? Or What is Haqiqat? (urdu)”

I don’t think I can define it but I will try to describe it as best I am able.

One description of Haqiqat:
I was being taught a course by an accomplished teacher where I landed with bad grades for the first few exams only to do better in the finals. The sense I made of things that enabled me to get a grip on the course eventually was the fact that the answer written in the exam, that the teacher checked, was only as smart as the understanding that I carried with me. In a sense 'cracking the paper' or thinking smart while working the hours that I put in would get me the grade I wanted.

So if I were to study the subject just a few times, slowly, one chapter at a time, make notes and finally make an “abstract” model of the chapter in my mind which I would carry with me, I would then be able to use that chapter best to my benefit. This is what I understand by the Haqiqat of the chapter.

The Haqiqat of the chapter would dawn on me even more if I related that chapter to everything else I had previously studied or knew, discussed it with my friends and family and looked up related material on the internet.

The more I could relate to the chapter the more the Haqiqat of that chapter would be known to me!

Extension of first description of Haqiqat:
If you notice there are people who make bricks and then there are those that design software for satellites. Having studied computer science I know I can do the latter. All it required was studying a few text books - making of a model in my mind; knowing what to do - and viola there I am. In a sense it will be harder for me to make bricks (till I learn how to) then to make this software.

Similarly somebody born in a Memon family (business community in Pakistan) with a business background would find it a lot easier to do business than I would.

And by a similar token Mao ran China in a way unimaginable to most of us. He “knew” (and kept learning each day) how to do it better.

So at each stage from brick maker, to satellite programmer, to Mao one needs a certain body of knowledge which will enable him to do what he wants to do.

Second description of Haqiqat: (What I learnt from the Zahir)
My mother always tells me that there are people who are shallow and then there are those who have a strong character. I now know what that means. In the book The Zahir by Paulo Coelho, there is a show within the story, a show which has an audience as we read. This audience is told to discuss the most pressing issues that are bothering them in their present lives. When they do discuss it, it becomes apparent that the issues are not very serious rather, what this proverb says applies well: “making a mountain out of a mow hill”.

And here is where having a strong character helps tremendously. You are able to look above the conflict and see clearly that the conflict is too small a matter to worry about.

You therefore (in the sense of the second description) see Haqiqat for what it is.

Third description of Haqiqat:
So if you carry with you an:
1. Abstract model – which is knowledge of reality
2. A strong character which enables you to see beyond conflicts – to see clearly things as they are;

The better you can do this, the more powerful you get: you are more in control of yourself and are able to use your mental faculties better in more difficult situations.

In a religious context Satan has less control over you, other people have less control over you and you have more control over yourself.

In the sense of the ideal of philosophy and psychology you are a happier person.

In terms of philanthropy you are able to help others because you are now in a position to help yourself.

In terms of our third description of Haqiqat you come closer to it.

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