The philosophy of Mulla Sadra
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A. Mulla * Sadra* and the Character of His Philosophy

Factual information about the life of Mulla* Sadra* is extremely scarce. He was born in Shiraz* to a certain Ibrahim* ibn Yahya* at an unnamed date, came to Isfahan at a young age, and studied with the theologian Baha’* al-Din* al Àmili* (d. 1031 A.H./1622 A.C.) and to an extent with the Peripatetic philosopher Mir* Fendereski* (d. 1050 A.H./1641 A.C.), but his principal teacher was the philosopher-theologian Muhammad* known as Mir* Damad* (d. 1041 A.H./1631 A.C.).

Mir* Damad* appears certainly to have been a thinker of eminence and originality, but there is no modern scholarly study of him as yet. It seems that when our philosopher (named Muhammad*, titled Sadr* al-Din*, and generally known as Mulla* Sadra* or simply Sadra*) appeared, philosophy, as it was generally taught, was the Peripatetic-neo-Platonic tradition of Ibn Sina* and his followers.

During the 6th/12th century, al-Suhrawardi* had criticized some of the basic doctrines of Peripatetism and laid the foundations of the mystic Philosophy of Illumination (Hikmat* al-Ishraq*) which subsequently found several followers. In the Peripatetic tradition itself, the important thirteenth century philosopher, scientist, and Shiìte* theologian Nasir* al-Din* al-Tusi* was influenced by certain views of the Illuminationist philosopher, although the exact extent and nature of this influence still needs to be closely determined.

These Illuminationist injections into the Peripatetic tradition chiefly concern the Ishraqi* attack on Ibn Sina’s* conception of God’s knowledge as forms or accidents inhering in God’s mind but later grew in other directions as well—the most important being the view that existence is an unreal mental concept to which nothing corresponds in external reality.

Mir* Damad* himself, for example, held the latter doctrine. For the rest, however, there is little evidence of the existence of any important Ishraqi* school of thought at the time of the appearance of Mulla* Sadra*. Nor is there any palpable evidence for the existence of a scholarly Staff tradition immediately before Mulla* Sadra*, although certain Sufi claims and clichés had become common due to the infusion of Sufi ideas into philosophy and, even more importantly, due to the permeation of Sufi terminology into poetry; the Shiì * orthodoxy had shown itself to be unsympathetic to Sufism, an attitude which, by and large, has continued to modern times.[01] Asfar, * IV, 2, p. 2, line 10-p. 3, line 5; p. 3, line 22-p. 4, line 10.

In this background grew Mulla* Sadra’s* peculiar system of thought which he seems to have evolved as something quite distinct from the intellectual and spiritual situation of his times. His devotion to religion is partly brought out (apart from his numerous works on religion, of which we shall speak briefly below) by the fact that he is said to have died in 1050 A.H./1641 A.C. (the year of Mir* Fendereski’s* death) at Basra*, while going to the pilgrimage to Mecca or returning therefrom for the seventh time. His life-span is estimated at being seventy or seventy-one lunar years.[02] On the irreversibility of the substantive movement, ibid., p. 16, lines 12-23, and as applied particularly to the soul, ibid., p. 21, lines 5-11. … Continue reading

While little is known about his external biography, we know something more about his intellectual and spiritual life thanks, mainly, to his autobiographical note prefaced to his magnum opus, al-Asfar* al- Arbaà*.

Sadra* tells us that from the beginning of his career as a student, he was deeply interested in theosophy or philosophical theology and that he applied himself keenly to a study of the basic problems and fundamental issues in the field as expounded by the masters of the past, unlike most other students who, in order to gain vainglorious fame, devoted themselves to the hairsplitting details found in later learned books which offered little insight into real problems. [03]Qur’an* V, 60, II, 65; Asfar, * IV, 2, p. 5, line 4.

Our philosopher, having learned the wisdom of past philosophical traditions—the Peripatetic and the Illuminationist—wished to write a comprehensive work combining the wisdom of earlier masters with his own intellectual insights. [04]Asfar, * IV, 2, p. 6, line 1

But this noble objective was thwarted by an intense opposition—indeed, persecution—by those religious men who showed the characteristic stolidity of traditionalism and unmitigated externalism in religion and who regarded any deviation from popular religious beliefs as pure heresy and dangerous innovation.[05] Ibid., p. 153, lines 8-9; p. 7, lines 3-19; p. 26, line 12-p. 28, line 2; p. 33, line 8-p. 34, line 8, et seq. Sadra’s* point here is that the … Continue reading

Sadra* gives us no information as to what precisely the questions were on which opposition to his views centered, but the short biographical note in the new edition of al-Asfar* by Muhammad* Rida* al- Muzaffar* (dated 1387 A.H./1958 A.C.), states that Sadra* had expressed himself in a treatise, Tarh* al-Kaunain, in support of a pantheistic doctrine of exis criticism of him by the

orthodox Shià* ‘ulama’*. 6

Sadra* himself tells us both in al-Asfar* and al-Mashaìr* that in his early philosophical career he had held that essence was the primary reality, while existence was a merely derivative or “mental” phenomenon— like al-Suhrawardi* and his followers including Sadra’s* teacher Mir* Damad*—and that it was later on that the primacy of existence dawned upon him. 7

But probably there was more to this opposition than the doctrine of the unity or pantheism of existence. The fact that many orthodox still frown upon Sadra’s* philosophy is shown by the apology offered by the publisher of the recent edition of al-Asfar *, Rida* Lutfi*.

After stating that works like Mulla* Sadra’s* are not free from controversy and that the efforts of all great Muslim philosophers to harmonize religion with philosophy “are mere intellectual attempts and personal views, having nothing to do with the essence of religion,” 8 Lutfi* goes on to say that the present edition of al-Asfar* is therefore being offered not “as a religious or Islamic source” but represents an effort to preserve an encyclopaediac philosophical work. 9

Be that as it may, Sadra* says that having been left with two alternatives—either to wage an offensive or to retire from the scene—he, following Imam* ‘Ali*,chose the second path10 and resorted to seclusion in “a certain place in the land.” 11 Some say that he went to an isolated place in a mountain, possibly near Qum, where he is said to have stayed for as long as fifteen years. 12

Our philosopher began his seclusion with an acute sense of disillusionment with the world, its wayward behavior, and particularly with the extrinsic motivations of worldly glory and power common to scholars; and an awareness that he himself had gravely erred in having practically followed the same path and having relied on his own intellectual powers rather than submitting himself humbly to God’s will and power with a sincere and pure heart. 13 His new posture was, therefore, one of prayer and utter resignation to God, with all his being. 14

Rather than operate by the superficialities and artfulness of logical reasoning, he contemplated deeply and sincerely the fundamental problems of God, being, and the universe and “gave himself up” to an intuitive invasion “from without.” 15 This intense contemplation was accompanied by strenuous religious exercises. 16 As a result, his mind was indeed flooded with insights: not only did he rediscover what he had previously learned through rational proofs in a new, direct, intuitive way, but many fresh truths dawned upon him, which he had not even dreamed of before. 17 This experience infused an altogether new life into him. If he had gone into retirement totally disillusioned and broken-hearted, he now obtained renewed courage and vigor which drove him out of that seclusion and compelled him to write the work, al- Asfar* al-Arbaà*.

This account, given by Sadra* himself, requires interpretative elucidation of the exact nature of what transpired in his seclusion and the transformation he experienced. As we have seen, the training of Sadra* had been that of a philosopher (this does not deny that he had also learnt orthodox disciplines like Hadith*, Tafsir*, and Kalam*) before he went into seclusion, partly because of persecution but largely because he was unsure of the philosophical truths whose purely rational method he regarded as superficial and extrinsic. He was, therefore, in search of a method that would give him certainty and would transform merely rational propositions into experienced truths. In his “confession”

stated above, he makes precisely this point. This situation closely parallels that of al-Ghazali*, except that in al-Ghazali’s* case, what was primarily to be transformed into living truth was orthodox Sunni Kalampropositions *, whereas for our philosopher it was the rational philosophic propositions that needed to be so transformed and ”lived through.” Neither in the first case nor in the latter is Sufism a source of a new genre of knowledge, but an experience or intuitive certainty: the cognitive content of this philosophy and this Sufism is identical, but the quality is different.

 This difference in quality is not a small matter, since, as Sadra* repeatedly tells us, the nature of existence and its uniqueness, for example, can be only experienced; the moment you conceptualize it, it ceases to be existence and becomes an essence. Yet, Sadra* has employed numerous and extensive rational arguments to prove this. Tills shows that for him, mystic truth is essentially intellectual truth and mystic experience is a cognitive experience, but this intellectual truth and this cognitive content have to be “lived through” to be fully realized; if they are only intellectually entertained as rational propositions, they lose their essential character—not as cognitions but as verities. There is an obvious and close analogy between this position and that of Plotinus, whose pseudo- Theologia Aristotelis is regarded by Sadra* as the highest expression of gnostic or spiritual philosophy. But whereas Plotinus makes specific claims to visions of the Intelligible Realm “lifted out of my body,” Sadra* makes these claims only in general terms. Again, Plotinus also provided extensive philosophic proofs for the existence of the Intelligible Realm, like Sadra*. In more recent times, 18

Bergson told us that “pure duration” is an experience and may not be merely rationally understood; yet Bergsou provided extensive intellectual proofs for this, which constitutes his philosophy.

The point we wish to make here is that Sadra* is a philosopher of the genre, say, of Bergson, since the content of his experience as well as of his thought is the same and is cognitive in character. Experience or intuition is needed not to produce new thought-content but to bestow on this thought-content a quality of personal experience. This is very different from those Sufis who deny intellectual content to their experience, which they declare to be ineffable. These Sufis, rather than dealing with philosophic or intellectual propositions, devote themselves to a purely experiential spiritual itinerary, divided into a hierarchical chart of “stations” ( maqamat*) and their concomitant spiritual “states (ahwal*),” ending up in an ethico-ecstatic ideal. There is no trace of this in Sadra’s* thought and there he differs fundamentally from al-Gha/ali*. Hence his model becomes—presumably since his experieuces in his seclusion—Ibn

‘Arabi* who. although he often uses Sufi terminology, is a theosoph with a cognitive content through and through.

Under the root of this over-arching model which has profoundly influenced Sadra’s* ontology, psychology, and eschatology, all the thought currents of Islam are brought anti synthesized—Kalam*, philosophy, Illuminationism.

We have somewhat dilated upon this point because several contemporary scholars of Sadra * seem to insist that, according to Sadra* or even for understanding his thoughts, Sufism is needed besides philosophy, as though Sufism was an independent cognitive avenue to truth, indeed, over and above philosophy. This is simply not true. What Sadra* claims to have performed and he also strongly advocates is sincerity of purpose ( khulus*), single-minded devotion (tawajjuh gharizi*) and light of faith (nur* al- iman*) in philosophic activity, which alone will result in intuitive certainty and direct appropriation of objective philosophic truth. This is what is meant by wisdom ( hikma*).

Extrinsically motivated thought will be sterile philosophy, since extrinsic considerations—of gaining worldly power and fame—will detract from true philosophic pursuit. He denounces Ibn Sina* for pursuing medicine and a professional career while God had given him the capacity for the highest art—philosophy: the result was a truncated philosophy full of doubts and uncertainties. 19 But this is true of every pursuit: if a scientist spends time in horse-racing and other hobbies at the expense of his work, his scientific work will be truncated. For Sadra*, this is most true of philosophy, the crown of all knowledge, since it is knowledge of God and man’s destiny. This, however, is a far cry from saying that one should be a Sufi in order to be a philosopher and Sadra* gives no hint anywhere of his Sufism, except in the sense of theosophy, which he calls màrifa or ‘irfan*—after Ibn ‘Arabi’s * model. But whereas Ibn ‘Arabi’s* method of writing is not philosophical—he works by analogies and images rather than rational proofs, Sadra’s* method is out-and-out rational and philosophical. Indeed, just as Sadra* condemns philosophy without intuitive experience, so he denounces pure Sufism without philosophic training and pursuit. 20

When Sadra* talks about experience, he is not talking about what is generally called Sufi or mystic experience at all, but about an intuitive apprehension of truth or rational experience ( marsad* ‘aqli or musbahada* ‘aqliya). This he opuses to pure ratiocination, and particularly to superficial logical reasoning and rational disputation ( bahth* nazari* or jadal ‘ilmi’ ). He insists that when something has been known repeatedly by direct perception or intuitive experience, it cannot be disputed by purely logical reasoning and such superficial disputationism is, for him, no more than verbal quibbles and noise. Particularly on two issues are such statements made by Sadra*. The first is the question of the reality of Platonic Forms which, we are told, have been proved by repeated experiences of different men. There may be differences of opinion and interpretation about the nature of these Forms but there can be no doubt about their existence. 21 The second important occasion on which he explicitly states this principle is when he seeks to bring the Muslim Peripatetic doctrine of transcendental Intelligences under the impact of Ibn ‘Arabi’s* ontology, transforms them into positive Attributes of God (which Muslim Peripatetics deny) and declares their content to be the Platonic Forms (see below Part I, Chapter Iv). In effecting this radical change in the Peripatetic tradition, Sadra * says: Beware of imagining by your perverted intelligence that the objectives of these great gnostics (i.e., like Ibn ‘Arabi*)

—are devoid of demonstrative force and are mere conjectural frivolities and poetic images. Far it be from this: The (apparent) non-conformity of their statements with correct demonstrative proofs and principles

… is due to the shortsightedness of the philosophers who study them and their lack of proper awareness and comprehension of those demonstrative principles; otherwise the status of their experience is far greater than that of formal proofs in yielding certainty. Demonstration, indeed, is the way of direct access and perception in those things which have a cause, since … on the principles of these very philosophers things which have causes can be known with certainty only through their causes. This being the case, how can demonstration and direct perception contradict each other? Those Sufis who have uttered (in the defence of experiences of men like Ibn ‘Arabi*) words like ‘If you disprove them by arguments, they have disproved you by their experience’ are actually saying, ‘if you disprove them by your so-called arguments

…’ Otherwise, correct rational proofs cannot contradict intuitive experience. 22

This forceful statement is most explicit that the intuitive experience Sadra*. has in mind, far from denying reason, is a higher form of reason, a more positive and constructive form, than formal reasoning. But Sadra* also fully confesses that even experiential or intuitive truth cannot claim to be “The Truth.” All experiences of reality are partial and even though they are characterized by certainty, the search for truth is endless since reality is endless: “For Truth cannot be confined to any single (man’s) intelligence and cannot be measured by any single mind.” 23 Again, “Nor do I, indeed, claim that I have said the final word in what I have said—not at all! This is because the ways of understanding are not restricted to what I have understood … for truth is far too great for any single mind to comprehend.” 24 It is in tiffs connection that Sadra* avers that in the Asfar* he has not been content to give his own philosophic views, but has stated in detail the views of earlier philosophers, has analyzed and criticized them and then reached his own conclusions. Indeed, what makes Asfar* so highly interesting for a student is this procedure followed by Sadra* which has bestowed upon this work a richness rarely matched by any other work except the Shifa’* of Ibn Sina*. Now, Sadra* tells us that he has followed this procedure to “whet the appetite and sharpen the mind” of the student. 25 This in itself is proof enough that, by the same token, Mulla* Sadra* could not Page 7

have regarded his views, however original, to be the final and absolute truth. What his philosophic genius fundamentally sought was both truth and originality and this is what makes him a genuine philosopher.

B. Sadra’s * Sources and His Originality

1. General

This brings us to the question of the source of Mulla* Sadra’s* doctrines and the assessment of his originality which, in various contexts, he proclaims loudly and unreservedly. He does it particularly and recurrently when he expounds his doctrine of the sole reality of existence (as opposed to essences), of motion-in-substance, and of the identity of the subject and object of knowledge on the basis of his doctrine of existence. Mulla* Sadra* had his critics in his own time, but later he was charged by some critics with having “stolen” the views of others and given them out in his own name. Particularly since Mirza* Abu’l- Hasan* Jilwa (d. 1312 A.H./1894 A.C.), a series of “Sadra* debunkers” have tried to prove that all of Sadra’s* ideas were either borrowed or stolen. It appears that this trend parallels the opposite and stronger trend—since ‘Ali* Nuri* (d. 1246 A.H./1831 A.C.)—of an ever increasing number of his students, commentators, and admirers. Some of these latter also hold extreme views, and think that Sadra* represents the

“truest” of all philosophy and the apogee of all Islamic philosophic thought. 26 Indeed, lately Sadra* has come to occupy a focal point of interest for many intellectuals in Persia, for some of whom our philosopher has become the greatest symbol of Persian intellectual nationalism. 27 That this spirit is diametrically opposed to Sadra’s* own teaching is manifest enough, but it is basically a kind of symptomatic protest at the relative neglect, on the part of modern Western scholarship, of post-al-Ghazali* Islamic philosophy in the East, which—whether Sunni * or Shi’i*—occurred mainly in Iran.

While—partisan controversialism apart—the question of Sadra’s * originality can only be fully settled after a comprehensive history of post-al-Ghazali* Islamic philosophy is written, the claims that Sadra* took over earlier doctrines whose sources he did not disclose must be summarily dismissed. This is because in the pages of his vast work, the Asfar*, he has named the sources from whom he has quoted and either rejected or supported them. It is unthinkable that he should have had access to sources whom he considered important and yet chose not to reveal them. 28 This attitude also goes against the very grain of stern demands for sincerity, discounting of Page 8

worldly importance, and fame, etc. that he makes on all would-be genuine students of philosophy. More important is the following consideration. Although Sadra *, claims absolute originality in some of his fundamental doctrines, as indicated here, he is at times acutely aware that these doctrines will be branded as “novel” and rejected by the followers of traditional philosophy. He, therefore, makes strenuous and, indeed, often fruitless efforts—as we have pointed out in the body of the book on the discussions of existence and substantive movement—to draw support from the authorities of Ibn Sina* or the pseudo- Theologia Aristotelis or the “Pahlavi Sages” to justify his stance. In doing so, Sadra* is in line with those ancient and medieval writers who attributed their opinions to earlier and more accepted authorities.

These two positions, claims to originality on the one baud (although he usually claims originality only within Islamic times) and attribution of his ideas to earlier authorities, are apparently contradictory. What is true—and also what probably Sadra* wants to say—is that the inspiration for his doctrines on which he claims originality came from certain passages in these earlier writers, which he alone has been able to see in this new light.

Anybody who peruses the Afsar* is struck by the hypercritical spirit displayed therein. Not infrequently does Sadra*

reject all tile alternative solutions to a problem given by earlier thinkers and finally give his own solution which is identically, or almost, the same as one of those alternatives. This is the case, for example, when he rejects, in the discussion of eschatology, the solutions of al-Ghazali*; and yet his own solution is hardly distinguishable from the one offered by al-Ghazali* on physical resurrection being of the order of an image-body. Al-Ghazali*, indeed, is the first Muslim thinker, so far as I know, who pioneered this line of thought on bodily resurrection—influenced undoubtedly by certain remarks of Ibn Sina*—out of which grew the idea of a World of Images (‘Alam al-Mithal*) propounded by al-Suhrawardi*. Although Sadra* has criticized pretty well all of his Muslim predecessors, he reserves unqualified praise for the author of the pseudo- Theologia Aristotelis (i.e., Plotinus) and the “Pahlavi Sages” about whose identities, however, we are given no clue. Among Muslim thinkers, Ibn ‘Arabi* is criticized only rarely (for example, Safar, IV, Part 2 pp. 253 ff.), while Sadra’s* most persistent targets are Fakhr al-Din* al-Razi*> and Jalal*

al-Din* al-Dawwani*, about whom he sometimes uses unusually harsh language. Both of these men wielded great influence on the subsequent philosophical tradition in Islam and both were Sunnis. (Al- Dawwani* has been more iecently claimed by some to be a Shiì*, but apparently without requisite evidence.) Yet it would be wrong to conclude that their Sunnism was a motivating factor in Sadra’s* criticism, since on occasion he supports al-Razi* (and al-Ghazali*) against al-Tusi* and his own teacher Mir* Damad* (for example, Asfar*, III, Part I, pp. 380-82). Al-Razi*, although an extremely learned man

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in philosophy, is basically an Ash’arite theologian, while al-Dawwani * is a rationalist philosopher in the Peripatetic line; neither’s attitude is in harmony with Sadra’s* gnostic orientation.

Sadra’s* critical spirit stops only at texts which tradition regards as sacred: the Qur’an*, the Prophetic Hadith*, and the dicta Shiì* tradition has attributed to the infallible Imams. Here faith must guide and inspire reason even if this leads to an interpretation which apparently the words of a text do not bear. A striking illustration of this is aflorded by Sadra’s* quotation of an alleged khutba* (sermon) of the Imam* ‘Ali during the discussion of God’s Attributes (Asfar*, III, Part 1, p. 135 ff.). Sadra* inveighs against those who deny God’s Attributes and affirm a pure Divine Existence, as well as against those who affirm God’s Attributes as being additional to His Being; and he wants to prove the identity of Existence and Attributes in God on the basis of his dot trine of the primordiality of existence. The relevant words of this quote are: “The perfection of sincerity for God is to deny attributes of Him, since every attribute is evidence of its otherness from its subject and every subject is evidence of its being other than its attribute. Thus a person who assigns an attribute to God, is guilty of pairing Him and anyone who pairs Him, duplicates Him….” (p.

135, line 10-p.

136, line 2). Now, these words absolutely and uncompromisingly deny attributes of God—quite in Muslim Mùtazilite rationalist spirit, and to think the opposite would render all language meaningless; yet Sadra* gives us an extensive commentary on this text where the words “deny attributes of Him” are simply restated as “deny additional attributes of Him.”

2. Sadra’s* Predecessors

Sadra* studied the entire philosophical, religious, and spiritual heritage of Islam, the apparent notable exceptions being the Spanish philosophers Ibn Bajja*, Ibn Tufail*, and Ibn Rushd—from Spain and the Islamic West; and was particularly indebted to Ibn ‘Arabi*, who exerted, indeed, one of the foremost influences upon him. The Peripatetic philosophical tradition emanating from Ibn Sina*, the tradition of the Kalam* theology, both Shiì* and Sunni*, the Illuminationist philosophy of al-Suhrawardi* and his followers and commentators and, finally, the Sufi tradition culminating in the theosophy of Ibn ‘Arabi* and his disciples and commentators—all these went into the intellectual makeup of our philosopher. Both Sunni* and Shiì* Kalam* had become thoroughly penetrated by the rationalist philosophical ideas and themes, the former at the hands of Fakhr al-Din* al-Razi* in the twelfth century, the latter in the work of Nasir* al- Din* al-Tusi* in the thirteenth. The more mystical ideas of Ibn Sina’s* philosophy, which had al-

Page 10

ready found a home in the esoteric writings of al-Ghazali *, also gradually fructified in Sufi circles until they were finally incorporated in a developed form in Ibn ‘Arabi’s* system and the writings of his followers. The three main strands of thought, therefore, which were—although there had already been a good deal of interpenetration among them—consciously combined by Sadra* to yield a “grand synthesis” are: (1) the Peripatetic tradition of Ibn Sina*, (2) the Illuminationist tradition of al-Suhrawardi*, and (3) Ibn ‘Arabi’s* theosophy.

Of these three masters, Ibn Sina* is, in a sense, the most important. This is because Ibn Sina’s* doctrines constitute the

“floor” or the “fundament” upon which all discussion takes place. This is so not only with Sadra* but equally with al-Suhrawardi*, as, indeed, it has been the case also with al-Ghazali*. Ibn Sina* was the philosopher who had constructed a full-fledged philosophical system—on an Aristotelian-neo-Platonic

 basis—with an inner cohesion, that sought to satisfy both the philosophic and religious demands. In all fields—metaphysics, theory of knowledge, and theology—discussion must start with what al-Shaikh al- Ra’is* said. Sadra* criticizes him, modifies him, supports him against later criticism by al-Suhrawardi*, al- Tusi* and others, and even seeks support from some of his statements for his own peculiar doctrines, like the reality of existence and inanity of essences. He blames al-Tusi* for having departed from his master’s view of Divine knowledge, even though he had promised in the earlier part of his commentary on th

natural and metaphysical parts of Ibn Sina’s* al-Isharat* that he would not contradict the latter. 29

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References / Footnotes

01 Asfar, * IV, 2, p. 2, line 10-p. 3, line 5; p. 3, line 22-p. 4, line 10.
02 On the irreversibility of the substantive movement, ibid., p. 16, lines 12-23, and as applied particularly to the soul, ibid., p. 21, lines 5-11. For the simultaneous development of soul and body, see the previous reference.
03Qur’an* V, 60, II, 65; Asfar, * IV, 2, p. 5, line 4.
04Asfar, * IV, 2, p. 6, line 1
05 Ibid., p. 153, lines 8-9; p. 7, lines 3-19; p. 26, line 12-p. 28, line 2; p. 33, line 8-p. 34, line 8, et seq. Sadra’s* point here is that the earthly body is there to realize the soul’s potentialities and its own. When these potentialities have been realized—whether for good or for evil, whether intellective or imaginative—this material body becomes or is replaced by a subtle body which no longer has potentialities to be realized; the soul also has attained its perfections and is no longer in need of movements and works. In this connection, Sadra* rejects the doctrine of medical men like Ibn Sina*