Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Sixth Valley

We are living in an age when the media is bombarding us with information at such speed that it seems no longer possible to process and investigate each story. Perhaps what we need is to cut down to principles.

Disregard for law and human dignity is an ugly reality which is surfacing today at those highest levels which were previously barred to such behavior. The United States and Pakistan are two countries where this change can be gauged more easily but unfortunately in both places the symptoms are being ignored primarily because they are not being taken seriously.

My study of history has led me to accept that at this point in time, Pakistan holds the only solution for the intellectual crisis looming over the world. However, that solution cannot be discovered until the Pakistani nation finds courage to accept itself.

That was the point about the Sixth Valley of Attar. We know that the journey of birds in search of Simorgh is an allegory, but most commentaries tell us that it is about an individual’s search for God in which Simorgh is symbolic of the Ultimate Reality. This is the interpretation which Iqbal questioned.

According to Iqbal, the “Real Love” (ishq-i-haqeeqi) preached by genuine Sufis was not a quest for nothingness. It was all about connecting with the collective ego. It is shocking that in Pakistan never interpreted its literature in the light of this national ideal.

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