عنوان مقاله [English]
This essay seeks to explain Mulla Sadra's philosophical-mystical encounter with the problem of death. The main question of this study is the explanation of the truth of death and its aspects from Mulla Sadra’s point of view. In this article, we do not merely focus on the philosophical vision of Mulla Sadra on death; rather, we explain the mystical views of Mulla Sadra, independently from his philosophical ideas, too. Thus, this research is innovative in its simultaneous explanation of the philosophical and mystical truth of death and its aspects from Mulla Sadra’s perspective. In his ontology, Mulla Sadra provides an account of the evolutionary course of the soul's development relying on such principles as principality of existence, the free trans-substantial motion, corporeal creation and spiritual survival of soul and specific multiplicity. He believes that human soul is of hierarchical degrees ranging from the mere deficiency to the ultimate perfection and precisely, the triple worlds of soul are associated with the triple ontological worlds and death happens in these worlds. Moreover, Mulla Sadra uses the principles of mystics, particularly the Knowledge of Names (ʿIlm al-ʾAsmāʾ), in order to analyze various aspects of the problem of death.
The current study has been conducted based on the method of content analysis. Using this method, Mulla Sadra's encounter with death is investigated through exploration of the ontological factors as well as different aspects of death and its relation with evolution, eternity and life, and the analysis of foundations of death within the framework of Individual unity of existence and its gradational unity. Achievements of the current research are as follows:
1) According to Mulla Sadra, death is a natural phenomenon which has its origin in the soul's turning her face away from the sensible world and paying attention to God and His Heavens. He describes death as the existential development of soul and believes that the soul, in the end of its evolutionary journey, enters the world of intellects and becomes united with Active Intellect and in higher stages with the First Intellect. Mulla Sadra opines that human’s otherworldly existence is the perfected form of his worldly existence and when the existential substance of the soul becomes intensified and strong and the soul reaches the last stage of its worldly existence, it departs its worldly existence and heads to the otherworld. In fact, the soul after death joins a superior existence, i.e. otherworldly existence, and gets existentially promoted.
Moreover, in the system of existence unity, man is the manifestation of God's existential perfections that emerges under the decree of the Name "The First and The Manifest" (Al-Awwal and Al-Ẓāhir) and under the decree of the Name "The Last" (Al-Ākhir), he returns to go with all his perfections. But due to the existence of worldly veils before the death, man is deprived of a complete union with the Intellects and reaching God as well as being a perfect manifestation of Divine Perfections; thus, death provides the necessary context for understanding this union and achieving the existential perfections.
2) Based on his philosophical principles like principality of existence, gradational unity, the trans-substantial motion, and particularly the corporeal creation and spiritual survival of soul, Mulla Sadra proves that the soul enjoys a natural existence in the beginning of its occurrence; however, in the following, based on its free trans-substantial motion, it undergoes through essential evolution and joins the world of immaterial entities; finally, it changes into an incorporeal entity. In this situation, due to the essential simplicity of the soul, it is not annihilated and also the soul becomes eternal following its union with the divine intellects. According to Sadra, soul intrinsically seeks after eternity and hates annihilation; because the eternity is among the attributes of the superior entities (intellect); then, the soul is essentially interested in eternity and glorifies the highest modes.
According to the individual unity of existence, soul is eternal as the manifestation of the Divine Eternity. Based on the knowledge of Names of mystics, the man is the manifestation of the decrees governing the world as long as he is in this world; after his going to the otherworld, the decrees of the Names of this world become dormant and the decrees of the Names of the otherworld prevail and he turns in to the manifestation of the Names governing the otherworld. Thus, the physical body and whatever else that exists in this material world is not annihilated with the death, rather it returns to dormancy state and its manifestation is gradually reduced. Therefore, death means transferring the manifestation of the Divine Names proportionate to the existential worlds for man.
3) According to the philosophical thought of Mulla Sadra, life is co-extensive (Musāwiq) with existence [life and existence represent the same extension] and every being enjoys as much life as its existential breadth allows. Thus, human life is a function of his/her existential level (ontological plane) and the latter is in turn a function of one's perceptual level (rational level); with an intensive gradational evolution, man reaches the highest levels of existence, i.e. ideal existence; then, it reaches the intellectual existence, and as a result, he enjoys a more perfect and superior perception and life. Thus, human’s true life lies in his intellectual life and since the life in the otherworld is an intelligible and incorporeal life, death makes the transition to this level of life, possible.
This goal can be achieved in this world; but its complete realization becomes possible via death and one's transmission to the world of incorporeity; because these existential worlds are purified of all types of diversity and material taints; as a result, the beings in it have an independent life and will enjoy the higher levels of life and its effects.
Additionally, according to Mulla Sadra, in the system of individual unity of existence, existents are among the existential attributes of God. Since the life of God is true, original and eternal, the man, as the perfect manifestation of the Divine Presence, his life is corresponded with God’s life and by the relation with the Truth, it makes sense; also, according to the manifestation of the Names, he enjoys a higher level of life; however, since the highest level of life is the otherworldly life which is essential and true, man will understand the true meaning of life only with death and transmission to the otherworld.