In Mullā Ṣadrā’s works, bliss (bahjat) is introduced as one of the effects of existence and, similar to other ontological elements, no quiddative definition could be provided for it. Hence, through an assessment of bliss in a semantic network consisting of “pleasure”, More
In Mullā Ṣadrā’s works, bliss (bahjat) is introduced as one of the effects of existence and, similar to other ontological elements, no quiddative definition could be provided for it. Hence, through an assessment of bliss in a semantic network consisting of “pleasure”, “happiness”, and “love”, it has been tried to develop a more accurate knowledge of their ontological meanings and referents. Accordingly, the authors argue that the ontological level of bliss is higher than pleasure and enjoys both generality and particularity relations. On the other hand, happiness means attaining an immaterial and independent existence or the same transcendental existence. Bliss means the soul’s awareness of the realization of such a transcendent level. Thus bliss and happiness are the effects of attaining the highest levels of existence and, in terms of reference, there is an absolute generality and particularity relationship between them. Love and bliss are both the effects of the realization of the perfection of the soul as well and, when it comes to their meanings and referents, they bear an equality relationship to each other. Therefore, it can be said that in Mullā Ṣadrā’s ontological system, the elements of bliss, pleasure, love, and happiness are tightly intertwined and related to each other so that the realization of each paves the context for the soul’s access to the other effects and good deeds of existence. Among them, bliss, as the main feature of such ontological benefits, plays an undeniably significant role. After clarifying the similarities and differences among them, the authors identify the affirmative and positive elements of bliss and, hence, conclude that bliss can be considered to be the contemplation of the most supreme ontological perfections of the soul which are realized through attaining the level of immaterial, independent existence and a transcendent configuration. Reaching such a level is possible for the soul through the knowledge of God as the cause granting life and self-knowledge to human beings. This results in massive bliss for the soul. The attention to the soul’s ontological grade at this level and its unique achievement, i.e. knowledge of God and self-knowledge, reveals the place of bliss and its effects on the soul.