A Young Man's Quest (I)

(*Intro*: A letter once a time ago I wrote for dispatching it with the book Spiritual Perspectives and Human Facts, by Frithjof Schoun, I presented to my teacher (not in the formal sense), which I as usual forgot to dispatch with the book. Written with an unconscious manner, it amuses me often how much wordplay I like.)


A Letter To A Teacher Far Far Away

Once A. K. Coomaraswamy, the great twentieth-century Indian expert on traditional metaphysics and art, said, “In Modern society the artist is a very special kind of person, while in traditional society every person is a special kind of artist.” Seyyed Hossien Nasr adds that this holds true for traditional Islamic society as well, where no distinction was made between fine arts and industrial arts or major and minor arts or religious and secular art.

While I recognize in you, every time, blend of both these kinds of artists, as, primarily, a special person and a special artist too. Because you made it possible for me to imagine and comprehend that this is a world an integrated form and element of psychic and material, i.e. in our terminology, soul and body. What Martin Lings made me aware recently of, is the world of Spirit, which happens to be transcending both the psychic and material world. But to be able to reach there, they say one needs highly tuned intellectual intuitions and a fitting mind to receive its rays - a discerning, discriminating mind, not merely a ‘brainy’ one.

This book which you have very graciously accepted bears testament and account to this world, i.e., of Spirit. What true intellect or art is, as this book lay bare is in transcending both psychic and material world (I know its confusing). The purpose of this practice is to evolve meaning out of weary material and psychological etc, facts which are evidences of that transcendent world. This is to find an end, purposeful and meaningful in our vision. Love of wisdom- philosophy- is to find our ways to reach that end, a journey that might never end in this mortal life. This quest, this question - who are we? - and many more like it, I am enthralled to observe in the mind of every child, every human being, no matter what his/her intellectual or religious environment be (and there fairy tale(s) help a child a lot in providing him answers to such universal questions, in a contemplative manner, not in scientific or rational).

I must end this letter here with a request: I am too young and unperceptive to decode the meaning and symbolism of this book. Frankly, I am much desperate in making sense out his symbolism, or of any artist because, firstly, I am not a serious and experienced an artist and intuitionist as you are; secondly, I have such inadequate diet of, no less infinite, ‘human facts’ which an old (not in terms of spirits but period of life) soul keeps locked and manifest in his memory and personality. I know an artist and intuitionist or be an ‘analytical’ mind, penetrates easily into the ideas and theories of the ‘specie’ of his/her kind. I am looking very much forward learning from you, and decipher mysteries and secrets of our cosmos and what may happen to be lying beyond it.

Seeker of the true path,

Yours faithfully,

Muhammad Umer Toor.

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