Let us now briefly sum up the results of our survey. We have seen that the Persian mind had to struggle against two different kinds of Dualism — pre-Islamic Magian Dualism, and post-Islamic Greek Dualism, though the fundamental problem of the diversity of things remains essentially the same. The attitude of the pre-Islamic Persian thinkers is thoroughly objective, and hence the results of their intellectual efforts are more or less materialistic. The Pre-Islamic thinkers, however, clearly perceived that the original Principle must be dynamically conceived. With Zoroaster both the primary spirits are "active", with Mānī the principle of Light is passive, and the principle of Darkness is aggressive. But their analysis of the various elements which constitute the Universe is ridiculously meagre; their conception of the Universe is most defective on its statical side. There are, therefore, two weak points in their systems: —
1. Naked Dualism.
2. Lack of analysis.
The first was remedied by Islām; the second by the introduction of Greek Philosophy. The advent of Islām and the study of Greek philosophy, however, checked the indigenous tendency towards monistic thought; but these two forces contributed to change the objective attitude characteristic of early thinkers, and aroused the slumbering subjectivity, which eventually reached its climax in the extreme Pantheism of some of the Ṣūfī schools. Al-Fārābī endeavoured to get rid of the dualism between God and matter, by reducing matter to a mere confused perception of the spirit; the Ash'arite denied it altogether, and maintained a thorough-going Idealism. The followers of Aristotle continued to stick to their master's Prima Materia; the Sufis looked upon the material universe as a mere illusion, or a necessary "other," for the self-knowledge of God. It can, however, be safely stated that with the Ash'arite Idealism, the Persian mind got over the foreign dualism of God and matter, and, fortified with new philosophical ideas, returned to the old dualism of light and darkness. The Shaikh-al-Ishrāq combines the objective attitude of Pre-Islamic Persian thinkers with the subjective attitude of his immediate predecessors, and restates the Dualism of Zoroaster in a much more philosophical and spiritualised form. His system recognises the claims of both the subject and the object. But all these monistic systems of thought were met by the Pluralism of Wāḥid Maḥmūd, who taught that reality is not one, but many — primary living units which combine in various ways, and gradually rise to perfection by passing through an ascending scale of forms. The reaction of Wābid Mahmud was, however, an ephemeral phenomenon. The later Sūfīs as well as philosophers proper gradually transformed or abandoned the Neo-Platonic theory of Emanation, and in later thinkers we see a movement through Neo-Platonism towards real Platonism which is approached by Mulla Hādī's Philosophy. But pure speculation and dreamy mysticism undergo a powerful check in Bābism which, unmindful of persecution, synthesises all the inherited philosophical and religious tendencies, and rouses the spirit to a consciousness of the stern reality of things. Though extremely cosmopolitan and hence quite unpatriotic in character, it has yet had a great influence over the Persian mind. The unmystic character and the practical tone of Bābism may have been a remote cause of the progress of recent political reform in Persia.