Tracing the dimension of non-duality in Mikhail Naimi’s The Book of Mirdad
AuthorFaisal, Hafiz Shahrear
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There are very few literary works which have put all their attention and efforts to express what is commonly referred to as non-duality or non-dual consciousness, the unalloyed and uncharted dimension of existence. Usually in the field of spirituality and religion, and to a certain extent in the sphere of philosophical studies, the concern of non-duality is addressed through contemplation and exploration. However, there are some rare literary works which do address the issue of non-duality, both as a concept and as a reality of being. Amongst those literary works some are deemed with reverence whereas others have remained hidden in oblivion, but nevertheless still contain immense potential as literary works. One such work is Mikhail Naimi’s The Book of Mirdad which is infused with rich allusions of non-duality, metaphysics and spirituality. Non-duality can be said to be the essence of all religion and all earnest practices of spirituality. The Book of Mirdad is significant as a literary work that has the ability to bridge the gap between duality and non-duality through some illustrative pointers and wisdoms. The narrative of this book is pervaded with these pointers which can help the reader to contemplate upon the deeper dimension of being. As the contemplation upon the non-dual dimension of being deepens human beings can potentially move from a state of duality towards a profound non-dual recognition of being. This novel furthermore provides a domain of realization where the readers can feel the necessity of pursuing the quest of knowing one’s true nature or self. This study will inquire into the conceptual dimension of non-duality, as far as intellectual understanding is possible, and differentiate between the esoteric and exoteric attitude of seeing and positioning religious teachings through which the concept of non-duality can be more maturely perceived. In addition to that this study will aim to establish the possibility of contemplating the non-dual dimension of being, which remains as the Absolute, through the relativistic position of the human mind and the intellect in order to express how a literary work can carry the potential of transmitting profound and essential spiritual teaching. In the final analysis this paper will attempt to sieve out elements of non-duality from all the concepts and elements which the author of this study has found to be important for understanding the reality which Mirdad himself represents through his existence, the reality of human beings as indivisible consciousness. The analytic standpoint of this study would be a conceptual exploration, firstly, of the teachings of Mirdad and its conveyance of Consciousness as the true nature of human beings, and secondly, the virtues mentioned by Mirdad which are required to establish one’s sense of existence not as a person, who operates in the field of duality, but as Consciousness, which is non-dual and the very base from which perception begins to function. In other words, this study will endeavor to bring forth an area of awareness through which readers can discern what they have been conditioned to identify with and what is the true nature of human beings, and this discernment can take place maturely and aptly with the teachings, understandings and virtues presented by Mikhail Naimi through The Book of Mirdad in the light of non-dual understanding.