Word 1: How can the one who did not know oneself know another?


Word 1: How can the one who did not know oneself know another?

Prophet Mohammad said in a prayer, “O God, show me things as they are truly”. It turns out that the properties and effects of objects can be understood, but the truth of objects are hidden for us. What is the truth of water? What is the truth of stone? What is the truth of an animal? What is the truth of you and me? For example, we understand the shape, color, size, weight, and other properties of objects, but the truth of the objects themselves is hidden for us. The way to reach the truths of things is through self-knowledge.

If you ask someone who you are, he will laugh at your question and he will answer. Well, it is very clear that I am myself. My name is X, my family is Y, my weight is Z,  here is my body, here is how I look like, my  father is A, my mother is B. But the main question was who are you in reality? What is your truth?

Cognition is of two types. Sometimes cognition is done with thought and reasoning, and sometimes cognition is based on intuition and divine vision. The second cognition has different levels. To clarify this subject, pay attention to this example. A person who sees a smoke from a far distance understands with his thought and reasoning that there must be a fire in that place, but he does not see the fire. Sometimes the person sees the fire with the eyes. These two levels of perceptions are different. The first level is called belief in the unseen and the second level is called certainty, which is also called intuition and divine vision.

Allameh Tabatabai (Great Quran interpreter and philosopher) gives an example in this case. Suppose a person knows all the characteristics of the city of Los Angeles, for example, population, type of climate, the best place to live, the amount of income in the city, traffic, etc. It is not comparable to someone who lives in that city. Another example is that you can never convey the pleasure and taste of fried fish to someone who has not seen the fish and have not eaten the fish before. Knowing something with seeing something with eyes or seeing in higher level with divine vision and intuition are different.

Amir al-mu’minin Ali (A) was asked if he had seen the god he worshiped. The Imam replied, “I do not worship the God I do not see.” The Imam (A) was asked how he saw God? He replied: “God cannot be seen with the eyes, but hearts can see with the truth of their faith”. So, we have another kind of seeing.

Do not be like those who have forgotten Allah so that He has caused them to forget their souls. Those, they are the evildoers” Al-Hashr 19.

The key message from this word is first know yourself before trying to know others.

All praise is to God to the extent that He deserves it.

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