Bīrūnī, Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad, Alberuni's India (v. 1)

(London :  Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co.,  1910.)



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CHAPTER   V.                                     51

they prove to be good or bad. The object of the migra¬
tion through the world of reward (i.e. heaven) is to
direct the attention of the soul to the good, that it should
become desirous of acquiring as much of it as possible.
The object of its migration through the world of p^M^-
ishment (i.e. hell) is to direct its attention to the bad
and abominable, that it should strive to keep as far as
possible aloof from it.

The migration begins from low stages, and rises to
higher and better ones, not the contrary, as we state
on purpose, since the one is a priori as possible as the
other. The difference of these lower and higher stages
depends upon the difference of the actions, and this
again results from the quantitative and qualitative
diversity of the temperaments and the various degrees
of combinations in which they appear.

This migration lasts until the object aimed at has
been completely attained both for the soul and matter ;
the lower aim being the disappearance of the shape of
matter, except any such new formation as may appear
desirable ; the higher aim being the ceasing of the desire
of the soul to learn what it did not know before, the
insight of the soul into the nobility of its own being
and its independent existence, its knowing that it can
dispense with matter after it has become acquainted
with the mean nature of matter and the instability of
its shapes, with all that which matter offers to the
senses, and with the truth of the tales about its
delights. Then the soul turns away from matter; the
connecting links are broken, the union is dissolved.
Separation and dissolution take place, and the soul
returns to its home, carrying with itself as much of the
bliss of knowledge as sesame develops grains and
blossoms, afterwards never separating from its oil.
The intelligent being, intelligence and its object, are
united and become one.

It is now our duty to produce from their literature
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