The Republic of Rumi: A Novel of Reality
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The Republic of Rumi: a Novel of Reality

Chapter 27

The Collective Ego


By Khurram Ali Shafique

How does a nation become a real person? In the same manner in which an individual acquires personality, Iqbal tells you.

A nation becomes a collective ego by preserving its collective memory, which is history. A nation needs to know its history in order to make sense of its present because a process started by one generation can easily require several generations to finish it. If successive generations forget what ideals were adopted by their elders, the nation would become like an individual suffering from amnesia and asking every stranger, “Who am I?”

Hence by preserving its memory a nation achieves a real collective ego. The same is true of the Garden. At each step it seems to know the stages you have passed through. Its interaction is building up on your experiences. This is one the mysteries of the Garden. It remembers.

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  • Is the Muslim nation the same as the soul of all human beings?

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The collective ego is formed when a nation learns to remember its past. The Garden of Poetry is doing the same and hence it is acting like a collective ego of which the reader has become a part.
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