|Translation of the Persian explanation of Shaykh Saleh Sabziwari|
Unity of intellect and its levels
(I seek refuge to God from the expelled Shaytan
In the name of God, the most merciful and the most beneficent
Praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds, and peace be upon Mohammad and his purified family
It has already become clear that the cognition standard has three characteristics: firstly, it is necessary, secondly, it is unit and it is not numerous and thirdly, it is trivial and does not require cognition itself. We said that this question arises that whether intellect has these three characteristics to be the cognition standard? It became clear from the previous lesson that it does have the first characteristic; since it became clear that whether the human likes it or not, he has to use his intellect and using intellect, is his intrinsic character and this is the highest level of necessity. But the second characteristic is)
Unity of Intellect
(Which means intellect is a unit truth and there are no multiple truths in it. Our master, Mansoor says in explaining this characteristic: ) The intellect is a peerless gem (by analogizing in regards of spiritual value) which is common among Adam’s children (in such a way that all of them are blessed with it) and is regarded as the basis for their individual wills and social responsibilities and connection links to each other (meaning every person individually is being considered to have free will and to be able to choose good or evil when he has intellect and therefore an insane person is not considered to have free will and is unable to choose. Also, every person socially and in relation with others is considered to be responsible and responsive of his acts to other people when he has intellect and therefore, an insane person is not considered to be responsible and obligated to anything. Also, the thing which is the basis of comprehension and perception between humans and connects them in different fields, is intellect. He says: ) and since it has a unit origin (meaning creator), has unit perceptions too (because multiplicity of truths with the meaning of difference and incompatibility between things that have been created by one creator is not possible) and there is no disagreement among its individuals (meaning its examples like Zayd’s intellect and Amr’s intellect and Bakr’s intellect). The origin of intellect is the creator of the earthlings who is Himself, the pure intellect (meaning pure comprehension and absolute and complete perception) and master of the wise people (given the fact that He has granted them from His intellect, meaning His comprehending, and they are His servant and audience. The meaning of God being Intellect and being intellectual is His being comprehending; as he says: «وَهُوَ يُدْرِكُ الْأَبْصَارَ», which means He comprehends visions and views and understands them; given that intellect also is nothing but the force of perception, and consequently attributing it to God in this sense is correct and does not have a religious problem; because God has said: «لِلَّهِ الْأَسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَى»; meaning all beautiful names belong to God and intellect or intellectual with the meaning that we mentioned is a beautiful name too and has no conflicts with His other beautiful names and attributes) and there is no contradiction in His deeds (meaning creating people and examples of intellect which are all His creations). Therefore, the wise people from all around the world with any race, language and culture (although these people are habitually distinct and have differences in their opinion), are in agreement in the theories that refer to intellect (not in theories which, for example, refer to taste or feelings or imitation) and there is no disagreement between two people from them about it. For instance, all of them agree that anything that can be sensed (meaning by five senses), does exist and the whole is larger than a part (meaning its own part) and congregation of two contradictory things (meaning congregation of two contradictory things in the same time, such as to be or not to be of one thing at the same time) is impossible and the created (meaning a thing which did not exist before and have been created later) needs a creator (meaning a thing that has created it) and the mutawatir narration (mutawatir is a type of narration which numerous and dispersal individuals have narrated it in one form without the possibility of collusion between themselves) is true and oppression is bad and justice is good and alike. This (meaning the unity of perceptions among all the wise) means that intellect, is a unit existence and therefore, has the competency to be regarded as a cognition standard (considering to what was said about unity which is necessary for cognition standard) so that through commitment to it (meaning to refer to intellect and act according to it), disagreement among the wise people will be transformed into agreement (given that their controversial ideas ultimately return to one of their respective ideas, and their differences about it are due to their lack of commitment to intellect about it, or is because they are affected by some of the impediments to cognition which will be explained later; Otherwise, whenever they are fully committed to the intellect that God has given to them and they remove impediments to cognition from it, then it is not possible for them to disagree on something. It is a very important point that whenever the intellect becomes the ruler among people, their disagreements would change to agreements; because intellect, as a light that God has enlightened in all human beings, would not cause disagreement itself, rather naturally and according to its heavenly essence, would cause sight and consciousness in human beings and, as a result, resolve their disagreements. But the question is, does not intellect, as a unit entity, have different levels while being unit? In this case, does not the difference in its levels in different individuals cause differences between them if they obey it? Another question is that whether the level of intellect’s perceptions is one for all theories or whether it has ups and downs? If its perceptions have different levels, does compliance with its perceptions at all levels resolve the disagreement or merely at a certain level? These are two questions that our master, Mansoor answers here and in mentioning).
[Levels of the intellect and its perceptions]
(Says: ) although there are numerous degrees and different measures (meaning magnitudes and sizes) for intellect, but it is clear that the difference of its degrees and measures, may not damage its unity as a basis for cognition (meaning although it has different degrees and measures, it is unit); such as light that has intensity and dimness but in all degrees and intensities, it is considered as the basis for observation (this is the best example; because intellect is exactly like light in functioning and acts like light. The light of the lamp, though is weaker than sunlight and is at a lower level than it, still causes objects to be seen and objects that can be seen in its light, do surely exist. With this description, although our intellect is weaker than the Prophet's (Sallallahu Alaihi wa ‘Alihi wa Sallam) intellect and is at a lower level, still causes recognition of concepts and their examples, and is valid and reliable). Moreover, intellect to the meaning of power of thinking and knowledge (meaning the power that leads to knowledge and science through thinking and cognition), although, it is more in some human beings (such as prophets and disciples and intellectuals) compared to others (like the common people), it sufficiently (meaning as sufficient as necessary to recognize things they need) exists in all human beings and this is sufficient for its unity as the cognition standard; since the just God (due to his justice), has gifted every adult human being (meaning a human being whom He has obligated to cognition), a sufficient amount of intellect (meaning the amount that he needs to act his duty) and its abundance (meaning plenty of it) in some of them, is a favor granted to them, without this being an oppression to others (because oppression is to give someone less than his need, but if He gives everybody as much as they need and gives some people more than what they need, then this is not a problem); as God has said: «وَاللَّهُ يُضَاعِفُ لِمَنْ يَشَاءُ ۗ وَاللَّهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ»; “God increases for anyone he wills and God is indeed the wise extender”! (Meaning He extends for some people on the basis of His knowledge, otherwise He does not have kinship with them) As the intellect of some people (which is more complete), completes intellect of others (which is more flawed), through a natural and reciprocal process (meaning an unconsciousness and two-way cycle and process); since they have interaction with each other (meaning they are naturally have relations to each other) and make a collective intellect through discussion (meaning discussion and consultation and question and answer) that compensates for the deficits in individual intellects; As God has said: «وَرَفَعْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ فَوْقَ بَعْضٍ دَرَجَاتٍ لِيَتَّخِذَ بَعْضُهُمْ بَعْضًا سُخْرِيًّا ۗ»; “And We have given some people, superiority over others in rank, so that some of them may take others into service”! (Meaning We have made intellect of some people more complete than intellect of some others, so that they would use each other's intellect in addition to their own intellect. This was about the levels of intellect. But about the levels and types of perceptions of intellect, he says: )
But indeed, intellect’s perceptions is not simple in no human being (meaning is not just one level and not in one kind), but depending on the amount of knowledge and impediments for him (meaning depending on how much information he has and what impediments he has for more information), it has different degrees (meaning it has severity and weakness) that includes “illusion” which means the defeated probability (meaning the possibility of less than 50 percent), “doubt” which means the equal probability (meaning the possibility of 50 percent), “conjecture” which means the dominant probability (meaning the possibility of more than 50 percent) and “certainty” which means improbability of any contrary (meaning the possibility of 100 percent). Notwithstanding the above matter, although all the above arise from the intellect (given that all perceptions are intellectual and basically, perception, whichever form it comes with, is the work of intellect,), this is only the certainty that is regarded as the cognition standard (not illusion, doubt and conjecture); whereas illusion, doubt and conjecture, contradict more or less (meaning less in conjecture and more in illusion) with their contrary probability (considering that the illusion about one thing is, in fact, conjecture about the opposite of that thing, and doubt about one thing is, in fact, doubt about the opposite of that thing, and conjecture about one thing is, in fact, illusion about the opposite of that thing, and in all these three cases, intellect has two conflicting possibilities) and in this way, they need a standard for cognition themselves, so that the correctness of one of two probabilities embedded in them, may be recognized (given that whenever there are two conflicting possibilities, such as being true and false, there is a need for cognition and cognition requires a standard), and that standard is indeed the “certainty” in which there is no contrary probability (and therefore there is no need for cognition in it, and thus there is no need for another standard) and therefore, its authority (meaning its validity and verisimilitude) is inherent and self-evident (meaning it exists in its essence and it is not destructible, and exists in it naturally and there is no need to argue it). It is hereby understood that the basis for human being cognition (or his cognition standard), is merely the certainty (which is one of the perceptions of intellect, so wherever it is said: intellect is the cognition standard, the purpose is only the intellectual certainty, not all types of perceptions of intellect, including certainty, conjecture, doubt, and illusion) and any cognition not referring to certainty, has no validity (even if it, for example, refers back to conjecture); as God has said: «إِنَّ الظَّنَّ لَا يُغْنِي مِنَ الْحَقِّ شَيْئًا ۚ»; “Undoubtedly, suspicion does not reveal anything from the truth” (meaning it does not suffices cognition of the truth and accordingly it is not a proof) while suspicion is the most powerful perception of human being after certainty, and his other perceptions (meaning doubt and illusion) are much weaker and accordingly are not preferably regarded as a proof.
wa salamualaikum wa rahmatullah
↑ . Al-Baqarah/ 261.
↑ . Az-Zukhruf/ 32.
↑ . Yunus/ 36.