The connection between you and I is very old and familiar,
the attachment of today is from the past,
albeit you are forgotten.
In the Persian language the word for human beings is Ânsân. One of the qualities of Ânsân is to be flexible and be able to detach. In contrast, humankind is referred to as Naas, which means forgetful. These are two important attributes of human beings: being adaptive and flexible on one hand while on the other hand being forgetful. Some traditions claim that the ego can be controlled and the higher Self awakened by self-discipline and asceticism. However, the awakening of the inner metaphysical senses, also referred to as the third eye or the sixth sense, cannot be achieved by asceticism. While asceticism can stop the ego to act in extremes, the awakening and finding of the true Self and becoming one with this true Self requires remembering. Remembering differs from asceticism, which is not enough to discover the true Self.
Thus far, we learned that Gnosticism or Erfan comprise a way of discovery, which utilizes our suprasensorial perception. This perception does not involve the use of our five senses. Contemporary science is contrast is purely based on discoveries that are derived from repeated laboratory experiments, which utilize the five senses. We also mentioned the vast origins of Erfan, which means that anything can be the subject of one’s discovery.
Let us remember the two meanings of Erfan:
The first meaning entails a more general description, meaning that anything can be the subject of one’s discovery. The second meaning of Erfan concerns the discovery of the true Self and God. The Self and God are connected and this connection can be summarised in one sentence:
Those who discover themselves, will discover God
as is carved above the entrance of the temple of Delphi. Hence, Erfan specifically means the discovery of the true Self and God. However, at a basic level, Erfan is the discovery based on one’s extrasensorial suprasensorial perception. This approach complements science, which is based on repeated laboratory experiments, logic, and rational thinking. The two approaches, science and Erfan, therefore go hand in hand. Yet, one might wonder why we need to develop our sixth sense and learn methods of mysticism, when we can also use science and our five senses to discover the whole universe? And how Erfan could contribute to and complement science? These questions can be answered in the following way. The three-dimensional world can be discovered and understood by the five senses. However, scientific evidence shows us that the universe is not limited to three-dimensions. More specifically, from science we know that the majority of the universe is made up of dark matter and dark energy. These types of energy cannot be observed by the five senses. In the early days of conventional modern science, existence was based on the five senses of humankind, and anything that could not be experienced by the five senses was completely denied its existence. But today science calls increasingly more this belief into question.
Discovery based on the suprasensorial perception is based on awakening the sixth sense and opening the third eye. Yet, it is not necessary to experience metaphysics through this method. We can utilize this suprasensorial perception or the sixth sense in the physical world that we are living in now. For instance, imagine two people are exchanging information by one being able to grasp and understand the thoughts that are going through the other person’s mind, which is also referred to as telepathy. Telepathy is just one type of inner insight. There are many facets of reality that can be understood without spoken words. Telepathy is a way of understanding thoughts and words through the suprasensorial sense, which differs from the understanding that occurs through the five senses such as seeing and hearing.
Where our brain and rational thinking hinder the development of evolution, the mystical observations and discoveries can be used as a guide towards evolution. We could even claim, that the mystical discoveries are more advanced than scientific discoveries. This has always been like that. Mystics and philosophers such as Descartes, Kant, or Avicenna, who were very logical and rational people, acknowledged that the horizon of the intellect and logic are limited. However, humankind is not limited by the intellect and logic alone. In addition to these obstacles, there is an enormous distance between the great field of the soul that can fly and have a mystical experience and the rather limited field of rationality and the five senses.
The mystic Hafez writes:
The rationalists think that they sit at the centre of the circle of knowledge (existence),
However, only the lovers know that in reality they are lost in this circle.
Dr. Seyed M. Azmayesh