According to Mûllā Ṣâdrā, a human being is a creature who is educable during his life. By “Education” Mûllā Ṣâdrā means to purify human soul from the vices and to prepare it for receiving the manifestation of the Divinity. Relying on his philosophical foundations, Mûllā Ṣâdrā argues that the soul is corporeal in its coming-into-being and spiritual in its survival. He believes that the soul comes into being with the coming-into-being of the body and thus begins its perfecting motion from the lowest degree in order to achieve its actuality, immateriality and the highest degree of perfection.
This paper tries to discuss descriptively and analytically on educating the human soul from Mûllā Ṣâdrā’s view and its relation with his understanding of the Existential Dependence on and the Essential Need to God. The Essential Need to God refers to the existential dependence of an effect on a cause and the essential dependence of a Contingent being to the Necessary Being. Among the things which can influence on educating the human soul and on a human being’s understanding of his existential dependence on God, one can refer to a perfect self - knowledge and its role in educating the soul, his understanding of his existentiating cause, and its influence on educating the soul. Of course, it should be noted that there are numerous papers about Mûllā Ṣâdrā’s view of education, but what distinguishes this paper from other papers is the role of the Essential Need to God in educating the soul, which has not been discussed in none of the other papers.
1.The perfect self-knowledge and its role in educating the soul
Self-knowledge is one of the things which play a very important role in educating the soul and a human being’s understanding of his Essential Need to God, because if self-knowledge is correctly done, this will make a human being reach his existential perfection, which is the purpose of educating the soul. Mûllā Ṣâdrā believes that the perfection of soul is the true eudaimonia. According to him, a human being will reach the perfection of soul, i.e. the true eudaimonia, if he know God and is committed to divine teachings and rules as well. Thus, the vision of God requires both the theoretical knowledge and using the theoretical wisdom and the practical knowledge and using the practical wisdom.
In fact, self-knowledge is a firm pillar that reliance upon it makes a human being approximate to God and reach other-worldly eudaimonia, and the negligence of it for those who have the capacity and possibility of acquiring it is the source of all miseries and evils in this world and the otherworld. Thus, if we study the cause of the close relationship between self-knowledge and knowledge of God from Mûllā Ṣâdrā’s view, we would reach the conclusion that, according to Mûllā Ṣâdrā, a Contingent being subsists in the Necessary Being, the Soul subsists in the Intellect, and the Intellect subsists in God.
A human being’s understanding of his Existentiating Cause and its influence on educating the soul
According to Mûllā Ṣâdrā, Existence is concomitant with Goodness and Eudaimonia, and since the existents are different in their perfection and imperfection, whichever existent is of a more perfect existence, its eudaimonia will be further and more perfect, and since the existence of God is the most perfect existence, He has existentially the highest degree of eudaimonia. For Mûllā Ṣâdrā, although the existence of everything is pleasant for it, understanding its existentiating cause is more pleasant for it, for its existentiating cause is the perfection of its existence. Hence, understanding the existentiating cause brings about more eudaimonia for a human being, for that cause is considered as the perfection of his existence. Thus, if a human being know his existentiating cause, his eudaimonia which is the purpose of educating the soul, will be more. Generally speaking, according to Mûllā Ṣâdrā, a human being’s understanding of his existentiating cause is, in fact, his understanding of his existence in a more perfect degree, for that cause is regarded as his existential perfection. When a human being understands his own existence, a pleasure and a state of eudaimonia are gained for him, and understanding his existentiating cause can bring about a higher degree of pleasure and edudaimonia for him, which is considered as the perfection of educating the soul.
In Mûllā Ṣâdrā’s view, the Essence of God is the manifestation of all his Attributes and Names, and His essence is a mirror in which and by which the forms of all Contingent beings can be seen, without happening any immanence or union. For Mûllā Ṣâdrā, one of the features of an Effect is that it is present for its Cause and this presence can be of certain educational effects for a human being. One of these educational effects is a human being’s attention to God’s presence and understanding this presence. This means that understanding God’s Presence can make a human being control him against the sins. In other words, our sins have a reversed relation with faith in God and understanding His Presence; i.e., the more the faith, the less the sin. Besides, understanding God’s Presence can bring about responsibility and commitment for a human being. The growth of moral virtues in society, controlling the instincts, and avoiding of the violation of people’s rights are some of the other educational effects of attending to God’s Presence. At the same time, the most important educational effects of attending to God’s Presence are to strengthen the human spiritual wayfaring in this world, to give meaning to life, and to be liberated from nihilism.
According to Mûllā Ṣâdrā, a human being’s understanding
of his Essential Need to God, who is his Exixtentiating Cause, can bring about educating the soul for him. Self-knowledge is one of the things which are very effective and useful in educating the soul. For Mûllā Ṣâdrā, the final end of a human being in his life is to reach his existential perfection, and his existential perfection is to reach the intellectual detachment and, thereby, the approximation to God. This means that a human being must be existentially assimilated to God, and his attributes must become similar to the Divine Attributes in order to understand God’s Presence. Besides, in Mûllā Ṣâdrā’s view, a Contingent being subsists in the Necessary Being, the Soul subsists in the Intellect, and the Intellect subsists in God. Finally, for Mûllā Ṣâdrā, Existence is concomitant with Goodness and Eudaimonia, and the existence of everything is pleasant for it, but its understanding of its existentiating cause is more pleasant for it, for that cause is its existential perfection. Therefore, if a human being know his existentiating cause, his eudaimonia which is the purpose of educating the soul, will be more.