Baqa

Baqa is the Islamic concept or term which connotes the ‘autonomous’ process or stream of knowledge and information which undergirds ‘generalized intelligence.’ Hence, the ‘generalized intelligence’ or the trigger which would enable ‘generalized intelligence’ that a number of government agencies and tech companies are spending billions of dollars to engender and foster is actually embedded in the techniques and methods of Islamic ‘mysticism’ or “Sufism.” 

Baqa is also considered to be the “apex” or “summit” of one’s being or existence, which then lodges the individual into a being or existence that is defined and shaped by “divine eternity.” No further intellectual and spiritual development can occur beyond Baqa, given that any other power granted to an individual beyond Baqa would amount to prophethood, and prophethood ended with the Prophet Muhammad a number of centuries ago. 

In essence, there are three categories of people, according to Sufi thought. For one, there are the prophets who received this autonomous process or stream of knowledge directly from the source, namely, God. Second, there are the “saints” or the awliya who receive this autonomous process or stream of knowledge and information through words and ‘visible forms’ to borrow from Spinoza. And third, there are regular people who are the recipients of the knowledge and information granted to the “saints” or awliya by the aforementioned autonomous process or stream of knowledge and information. 

In turn, knowledge, as David Bohm argued, is grounded in thought, and it is thought which is a major part of the autonomous process or stream which we are to consider. Bohm defined the term ‘thought’ as “the active response of memory in every phase of life.” Bohm also noted that thought is an “interplay” or a “combination arrangement and organization” of memory with “structures of ideas and concepts” and “categories” which happens to be “mechanical.” 

But the energy which fuels this mechanical process of thought, as Bohm argued, is known as “intelligence.” As Bohm argued, intelligence “is able to perceive a new order or a new structure (of thought), that is not just a modification of what is already known or present in memory.” In essence, thought and intelligence come together to prompt this autonomous process or stream of knowledge and information. 

Also, this energy which is known as “intelligence” cannot be grounded in material considerations or material laws. As Bohm wrote: “The actual operation of intelligence is thus beyond the possibility of being determined or conditioned by factors that can be included in any knowable law.” Bohm added that the ultimate origin of intelligence “is deeper and more inward than any knowable order that could describe it.” 

And while the mechanical process of thought and the mysterious energy of intelligence come together to prompt an autonomous process or stream of knowledge and information, the ultimate origin of this “coming together” or combination which prompts the autonomous process or stream of knowledge and information is “the unknown totality of the universal flux” to borrow from Bohm. Hence, the only thing which “remains” or “subsists” or “survives” or remains “eternal” or “permanent” (Baqa) is this autonomous process or stream of knowledge and information amidst what is essentially ‘universal flux,’ hence the modern focus on ‘generalized intelligence’ on the part of the most advanced governments and societies. And as mentioned before, this autonomous process or stream of knowledge or information unfolds or reveals the various dimensions and layers of reality to all involved parties. 

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