Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Purpose of Life and Self-Realization

There are two disciplines related to meaning of life: psychology and mysticism.

These address the same aspect of our life yet these are so far apart from each other.

Psychology, basically the modern psychology, developed with the studies of its pathology.

Soon psychologists realized that this is not a wholesome approach to, perhaps, the most complex discipline of studies - human psyche.

Hence they came up with the ideas related to positive aspects of psychology.
Self-realization is one such aspect.

Basically psychologists assert that a healthy psyche will have an irresistible urge to put its creative abilities to utmost use. This, according to them, manifests itself in extra-ordinary feats of achievements of people.

What does mysticism say about these matters?

Does mysticism assert that human beings have extraordinary inclination to become religious?

This certainly is not true. If there are people with extraordinary commitment to religion then opposite too is true - there a fanatic atheists.

Indeed in Islam faith is a voluntary step with the responsibility ensuing from it falling squarely on the undertaker.

This is quite different from and extraordinary urge to do some thing.

Things are further compounded by the very well known observation that Divine love, Ishq-e-Haqiqi in mysticism, has all the manifestations of the extraordinary urge for self-realization.

But it is self-realization after personal choice and decision to have a faith.
In sense worldly self-realization is a basic instinct while faith is a conscious choice for which we are responsible.

It is clear from this analysis that the two concepts, self-realization and a purpose of life, are neither the same nor opposite to each other. Nor we can assert in a straightforward way that these are complementary to each other. In fact we are simply talking about two very different things. One is human urge ( self-realization) and another one is responsibility ( accepting that life has a purpose).

We hope these words help those who are curious about the connection between psychology and mysticism.