Love and Intellect
It is very common in sufi literature for Love to be praised and the intellect disparaged. Of course, what is being disparaged in these instances is only the particular intellect and not the universal intellect with which it is not to be confused. As Rumi has pointed out:
The particular intellect has given the (universal) intelligence a bad name;
Worldly desire has deprived the (worldly) man of his desire (for the world hereafter).
Mathnawi(Vol. VI, p. 30)
What the sufis have meant by Love is nothing but the perfection and intensity of iradah, the motivating force of the heart and the fire of the heart’s longing. It is by such a force, and not by the particular intellect, that the heart reaches perfection. Obviously, the particular intellect is dependent upon the perceptions of the senses and the experiences of life. Love, however, is a divine gift and blessing. It is not surprising, therefore, that in every age those who have followed the particular intellect exclusively, such as jurisprudents and ascetics, have denied the lovers of the Divine Beloved and considered them to be misled. As Rumi has noted:
Partial (discursive) reason is a denier of Love,
though it may give out that it is a confidant.
Mathnawi (Vol. II, p. 107)
The sufis, on the other hand, have always accepted those who denied them, for they have considered such men to be prisoners of the particular intellect, not only ignorant of Love but unaware of their own ignorance.
The Transference Phenomenon
According to psychoanalysts, the creation of the relationship between a patient and analyst is a crucial element of the therapeutic process. Freud termed this phenomenon “transference.” Under certain circumstances an individual being analyzed transfers his past to the person of the therapist. H. Racker has explained, “Freud denominated ‘transference’ the entirety of the patient’s psychological phenomena and processes referred to the analyst and derived from the other previous object relations.”
In transference, a relationship is formed between the analyst and patient in which the latter becomes obedient to the former and puts his trust in him. This obedience and surrendering of trust, which stem from the child’s relationship to his parents, are used in the psychoanalytic situation as a therapeutic instrument. By virtue of the new relationship that is formed, the analyst comes to be perceived as a person to be relied upon. Such a relationship usually occurs spontaneously at some point in the course of therapy and is indispensable for any real therapeutic progress to take place. As Freud explains:
We observe that the patient, who ought to be thinking of nothing but the solution of his own distressing conflicts, begins to develop a particular interest in the person of the physician. Everything connected with this person seems to him more impottant than his own affairs and to distract him from his illness.
The Differences Between Transference and Iradah
When the bond of iradah brings master and disciple together, the disciple unconsciously projects his image of the ideal person upon the master and transfers his feelings and worldly passions to him. In this way, the disciple comes to fully accept the master and surrender his total being to him. The question arises of whether or not this phenomenon is what Freud has called transference.
As noted earlier, the term iradah is used in sufi terminology to describe what takes place when God establishes a bond between the heart of the disciple and that of the master. It has been said, “The reality of iradah is the motion of the heart in search of the Truth.” In order to determine whether or not iradah is the same as transference, we must distinguish between two different kinds of iradah. One, which can be called iradah only in the loosest sense, is the iradah of those who are dominated by the “commanding self,” that is, of those who suffer from the sickness of the self. Such patients practice iradah firstly and essentially because of the demands of the carnal self, and secondly and apparently because of the judgement of the particular intellect. It is only this kind of iradah that can be related to the transference of psychoanalysis.
The second kind of iradah is the iradah of the lovers of the Truth who practice it in relation to a spiritual master, first by virtue of the guidance of God, and second because of the approval of the heart. Only in such instances can the sufi term iradah be accurately applied.
On the basis of what has been said here we can conclude:
- Transference is the establishment of an appropriate relationship between the patient and the analyst which may result in curing the patient and bringing him to the state of a “normal” person. Iradah, on the other hand, is a spiritual relationship between master and disciple for the purpose of elevating the state of a normal person to that of the “Perfected One.”
- Transference is the establishment of a relationship with an analyst to fulfill the desires of the self (nafs-i am.m.ara); iradahis love of another person established to escape from self-love.
- The transference phenomenon demands the choosing of an appropriate listener to listen to the words of a self-worshipping speaker, while iradah requires becoming a listener qualified to learn how to worship the Truth.
- Finally, transference is a material, relative, and temporal phenomenon, while iradah is spiritual, absolute, and eternal.
- A Comparison Between Sufism and Psychoanalysis (1) by Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh (mycaravanofdreams.com)
- Must sufis live without wealth? – By Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh (mycaravanofdreams.com)
- Who is a Sufi by Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh (mycaravanofdreams.com)
- New Issue of Sufi Magazine with an article from Yours Truly (mycaravanofdreams.com)
- Madness Runs from Me a Poem by Rumi (mycaravanofdreams.com)
- Initiatic Grace in the Masterwork of Jalal ud-din Rumi by Lynn C. Bauman (mycaravanofdreams.com)
- Love (olmwsimpletruths.wordpress.com)
- The Sufi Question (via Darvish) (mycaravanofdreams.com)
- Two poignant Line from The Sufis of Afganistan Film (Roughy translated) (mycaravanofdreams.com)
- Bayazidian Sufism: Annihilation Without Ritual (3) by Dr. Alireza Nurbakhsh (mycaravanofdreams.com)
- What is Sufism? _|_ Sufism Today by Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh (mycaravanofdreams.com)
- A Comparison Between Sufism and Psychoanalysis (2) by Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh (mycaravanofdreams.com)
- Traveling and Social Conduct on the Path by Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh (mycaravanofdreams.com)
- A Comparison Between Sufism and Psychoanalysis (3) by Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh (mycaravanofdreams.com)
- A Comparison Between Sufism and Psychoanalysis (4) by Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh (mycaravanofdreams.com)
- Do I have to convert to Islam to be a sufi? Answer by Dr.Javad Nurbakhsh (mycaravanofdreams.com)