Detachment From Self
Over and over the past Sufi masters versed the concept of detaching from one’s Self. Tainted by the Western education and ideals, a lot of readers are misinformed thinking that this ‘I’ vs. ‘Self’ is that of good vs. evil. In order to make this detachment more clear a mind experiment is proposed:
  1. All your long term memories are wiped out
  2. Your short term memory is about a day to an hour worth
  3. Your persona is preserved i.e. your likes and dislikes and personality traits are still the same [1]
  4. You are given a database of your past life. You can type names, dates and keywords into this index and read what happened in your past life. Other than this database you have no other avenue to know about the past
You continue with your daily life as though things are not any different. However you need to keep referring to the database as you go forward in time:
  1. Reading about the people you loved, you find them pleasing. You may meet them but no longer in love with them. They are strangers to you and you are a stranger to them. No longer you respond to them by means of your emotions stemming from love, you respond to them now by means of the index of past events. For the most part you discover asking yourself regretfully, “How could I have ever loved this person?”
  2. Reading about the people who did you wrong and hated you. You find disapproval of them but there are no emotions of hate within you. Feeling no urge to revenge and you are more inclined towards peace and distance. Wondering, “How could I have ever tangled with this person?”
  3. Reading about your own evil deeds. Totally shocked, as if another person committed these heinous crimes! Utterly upset asking, “How could I have ever done this?”
Dealing with new people in your life things are dramatically different:
  1. Once you like someone, you like them de novo each time you meet them. As though it is the first time, since you forgot the freshness of love thus you love again and again.
  2. People doing you wrong, you get angry quickly and you forget about them quickly. Thus not much room for prolonged conflict because simply you forget and once referring to the database seeking the peace and leaving them afar.
In this peculiar brave new world there are also surprising new effects:
  1. Cyclicity: [2] Tendency to do the same task over and over with great determination and energy preserving the exact details each time. For example, meditations and chants the same words over and over, dances (Samaa Dervish dance) and other such rituals. Rewriting the same poems about the same subject again and again tirelessly.
  2. Outside world becomes/serves as memory bank for your Eyes! You no longer have your own memory and need now to seek another source of meaningful memories.
  3. Memorial Ruins: In all this you are desperate to reconstruct a reality around yourself. Therefore whatever of the past you have, whatever of the world you can see, you may use to fabricate a new reality which the Sufis like Araqi called the ‘Kharabaat’ and the psychologists call the Memorial Ruins
In all this a secret is uncovered:
  1. If your heart was broken in the past prior to this detachment, then pain and sorrow are still there but peculiarly the person who hurt you no longer is the focus of the blame because you forgot them! Now you have a huge crack in your heart and there is no one to blame. This is the most incredible moment when you realize that behind the cracks, there is the Beloved the Creator, you are drawn to It by love and in need of Its affection.
  2. Memories are a Hijab (veil) between you and the Beloved. Once the memories are gone, the Hijab is pulled away and you see not the people within the memories but Allah. Now people and things no longer the focal point, rather all things are act of God.
  3. Now you feel or you see beauty whether a person or a thing, then you know that is the Beloved’s beauty because you forgot the people already.
[1] 1-3 are the classic neurological definition of the Korsakov disease, please click on this line for the research. What is interesting is that these conditions are normally associated with alcoholism! Sufis had to have a reason to use the metaphors like Wine and Drunkenness.
[2] The memory-less systems have been studied by the roboticists and biologists for many decades. Please click here for the research. Rats with memory damage known to do prolonged repeated tasks in their cages. Robots with limited memory are only able to do cyclic tasks.

Background: EEPROM Memory chip.

© 2003-2002,  Dara Shayda