The chapter you are about to read reveals a crucial life secret. It should be read attentively and thorougly, for it is concerned with a subject that is liable to make a fundamental change in one's oulook toward the external world. The subject of this chapter is not merely a point of view, a different approach, or a traditional philosophy. It is a fact which everyone, believers and non-believers, must admit to and which has been proven by science today
Sitting with his family, watching television, a person is actually at the presence of a great miracle. The miracle is that every image the people sitting in the room see is actually in each person's brain. Is the person in the room, or vice versa?
To clarify the point, assume you are holding a cup of coffee. Receptors under your skin transform the cup's hardness and heat into electric signals and send them to your brain. Simultaneously, the coffee's strong smell, its taste and dark brown color all become signals sent to the brain. The clink when the cup touches the table is perceived by your ears and sent to the brain as an electric signal. All these perceptions are interpreted in the relevant brain centers, working harmoniously with one another. As a cumulative result of these impulses, you sense yourself drinking a cup of coffee.
Anyone who sits in a room, watching television or dining with his family, experiences a great miracle, even though he is unaware of it. The image of four surrounding walls is, in reality, within that person's brain.
That being the case, are you in the room, or is the room inside you?
Most people are unaware of this great truth, assuming themselves to be sitting in a room, watching television or chatting with their family. Those who do grasp this fact, on the other hand, pretend not to understand this miracle, since they fear it. Yet this fact of which they plead ignorance is undeniable, confirmed by science. Stimuli reaching the eye from the room's four walls, the pictures or paintings on them, the television, carpet, furniture, and light on the ceiling are all transformed by the retina's cells into electrical currents, then transmitted to the visual center in the brain. A person perceives the image of the house, which he thinks he is in, in a tiny space in the rear of his brain.
Never in his whole life can he move outside this space; never can he see another image, apart from the one on the "screen” in his head. He can never hear a sound apart from those transmitted to his brain. A person lives out his whole life within this small, bony room.
Throughout his life, a person cannot leave this space; cannot see any images in his brain; cannot hear any noises apart from those perceived in his brain. A person's whole life transpires within this little room.
Everything we see around us is the work of electrical signals producing an image in our brain. To explain this more clearly, imagine that you are looking at the bowl of fruit on a dinner table. When light rays from it reach your eyes, several operations come into play: The rays, converted into electrical stimuli, are transmitted by nerves to your brain's visual center. In this way we can say that we see "fruits of various colors,” as can easily be found in any biology or physiology textbook. But what is most amazing is that the visual center is a place of complete darkness. Actually there is no screen in the brain: When electrical stimuli come from the table, no image is formed in the visual center. When we say we see the table and the fruit on it, we are actually seeing electric signals transmitted in total darkness.
Here we meet a fact.
What we call the visual center is composed of fat, protein and nerves. It cannot perceive incoming electrical signals as images by these. In that case, who is it that sees the electric signals in the darkness of the brain without the need for eyes?
This is what materialism, with its lying attempts to explain everything in terms of basic matter, can never understand. What leads materialists definitely into a blind alley is an extraordinary reality that most people cannot conceive of. In the darkness of our brain is a being that need no eyes to see a table clearer than one projected on the finest television—three-dimensional, life-like and indistinguishable from the original.
Light rays from the table reach our eyes, where they are turned into electrical stimuli transmitted by nerves to our brain's visual center. There is no actual screen in our brain,of course: Electrical stimuli coming from the table do not form an actual image in the visual center. We say that we see the table with the colorful fruit on it, but we actually see the electrical signals reaching the pitch darkness inside our brain.
What sees this perfect image is also what separates human beings from animals and all other animate and inanimate things is the Spirit that God "breathed into” them when He created them. In the Qur'an (15: 28-30), God reveals the existence of the "spirit” in these words:
When your Lord said to the angels, "I am creating a human being out of dried clay formed from fetid black mud. When I have formed him and breathed My Spirit into him, fall down in prostration in front of him!" Then the angels prostrated all together, every one of them. (Qur'an 15: 28-30)
Miraculously, the perceptions of the spirit are completely the same as reality. Despite the fact that the spirit has nothing to do with material originals, but only with electrical signals reaching the brain, it sees shapes and colors and feels hardness and texture, just as they are in reality. So clear are these impressions that he's convinced that he's seeing and touching the original.
For example, a swimmer in the sea's cool, blue waters is actually immersed in a great miracle. He thinks he is swimming in the water, but has never emerged from the darkness inside his brain. From the moment he entered the water, every stimulus entering his body is immediately converted by the cells into electrical current and transmitted to his brain. At this point, something miraculous happens: the spirit, with no arms or legs to stroke with or feel the wetness, senses that water is touching his skin and buoying him up.
However, the person never has any connection with the color of the water, its temperature, and the sound of the waves—all these things are inside the human brain. A person really has no connection with even his own body; but only perceives electrical signals from inside it. Even though this miraculous reality is taught in schools and written about in textbooks, many people are not aware of this extraordinary reality; and most of those who are aware of it do not want to understand it.
Have you ever considered that all the material things you know in this world— your house and belongings, spouse and children,your parents and colleagues—are perceived as images that occur in the darkness of your brain?
In light of this extraordinary and exciting knowledge, consider that all the material things you know in this world—your house and belongings, spouse and children, your parents and colleagues—are perceived as images that occur in the darkness of your brain. Has it ever occurred to you that you are fixed to an image that occurs in your brain, you can never see the outside, you can see the things listed above only in your brain and you can never get outside this small world?
If the materialists—who deny the existence of the spirit, believing that matter is the only reality—accepted this obvious truth, they would have to throw aside all the principles and goals on which they've based their lives. Angered by this great miracle, they have resorted to many methods to attack it and made irrational claims to obfuscate the facts. Some materialists pound tables with their fists or kick walls to convince themselves that matter is not a perception. Other materialists may claim that a bus hitting someone is no mere perception, but objectively "real.” They want to escape the understanding that all feelings of pain from the impact are already perceptions formed in the brain; the victim has never been in contact with the "actual” bus. Again, all the sensations of the blow are perceived in the darkness of the brain, by the human spirit.
Materialist philosophy has always existed throughout history. Very assured of themselves, materialists revolted against God Who created them and maintained that since matter had no beginning nor end, it couldn't possibly have been created. Denying God out of their arrogance, they took refuge in matter which they held to have the only "real” existence. So confident were they in their arrogance and denial that they believed that no argument put forth could ever disprove it. That's why the facts regarding the real nature of matter surprised them so much. Suddenly it destroyed the very basis of their philosophy—matter, on which they based all their lives—and left no ground for further debate. They saw the material world, in which they so blindly believed in, trusted and relied, taken away and could do nothing about it. Since no human being actually sees the reality of matter, hears real sounds, or smells genuine scents, how can we talk of materialism?
One of the attributes of God is His plotting against the unbelievers, as stated in the Qur'an, verse (8: 30):
They plot and plan, and God too plans; but the best of planners is God. (Qur'an 8: 30)
God entrapped materialists by letting them assume that matter exists and in so doing, humiliated them in an unseen way. Materialists grew arrogant against God by relying on their possessions, status, rank in society. They revolted against God by being boastful and adding to their unbelief by relying totally on matter. Yet, they were so lacking in understanding that they failed to realize that God encompasses them. In the Qur'an (52: 42), God reveals the state to which unbelievers' thick-headedness leads them:
"Or do they intend a plot [against you]? But those who defy God are themselves involved in a Plot!". (Qur'an 52: 42)
This is most probably the biggest defeat in history. While growing arrogant of their own accord, materialists have been tricked and suffered a serious defeat in the war they waged against God by devising a monstrous thing against Him.
In another verse (Qur'an 24: 39), God says: "But the disbelievers, their deeds are like a mirage in sandy deserts, which the man parched with thirst mistakes for water; until when he comes up to it, he finds it to be nothing.” Materialism, too, becomes a "mirage” for the rebellious when they seek to depend on it. Just as stated in this verse; they find it to be an illusion. God has deceived them with such a mirage, beguiling them into perceiving this whole collection of images as real.
All those eminent professors, astronomers, biologists, physicists and others, regardless of their rank and post, are simply deceived and humiliated for having taken matter as their god. Assuming a collection of images to be absolute, they based their philosophy and ideology on them,and involved themselves in serious discussions. They deemed themselves to be wise enough to offer an argument about the truth of the universe and, more importantly, adopted a so-called "intellectual” dispute about God, Who explains their limited intelligence in the Qur'an (3: 54):
"And [the disbelievers] plotted and planned, and God too planned, and the best of planners is God." ( Qur'an 3: 54)
From some plots, it may be possible to escape. But there is no way to avoid God's plan against the disbelievers. They can never find a helper other than God. As God states in the Qur'an (4: 173), "They shall not find for them other than God a patron or a help."
For materialists, realizing this fact is no doubt the worst possible thing, because it leaves them all alone with God. Thus, they understand that God is always with them and He encompasses all things. With verse 74: 11 of the Qur'an, God calls us to remember that each human is, in truth, totally alone in His presence: "Leave Me alone, [to deal] with the [creature] whom I created alone!”
This remarkable fact is repeated in many other verses:
And behold! You come to us alone [individually] as We created you for the first time: you have left behind you all [the favors] which We bestowed on you. (Qur'an, 6: 94)
And each one of them will come unto Him on the Day of Resurrection, alone. (Qur'an, 19: 95)
In another sense, these verses state that those who take matter as their god have, nonetheless, come from God and will return to Him. They have submitted their wills to God, whether or not they wanted to. Now—however unwilling they may be to realize it— they await the Day of Judgment, when every one of them will be called to account.
The world to which we're connected is composed not of matter, but perceptions. Because this fact knocked the foundations from under materialist philosophy, its ideologues are very uncomfortable and try not to think about it, even recommending that their colleagues not think about it either. Chief among them is Lenin. In Materialism and Empirio-Criticism, a book he wrote a century ago, he warned that materialists should not think about this subject, else they might become "caught up” in religion:
Once you deny the objective reality [that is] given us in sensation, you have already lost every weapon against fideism [reliance on faith alone], for you have slipped into agnosticism or subjectivism—and that is all that fideism requires. A single claw ensnared, and the bird is lost. And our Machists [an adherent of Machism, developed by the Austrian philosopher Mach, one of the leaders of modern positivism], have all become ensnared in idealism, that is, in a diluted, subtle fideism; they became ensnared from the moment they took "sensation" not as an image of the external world, but as a special "element." It is nobody's sensation, nobody's mind, nobody's spirit, nobody's will.1
As this quote shows, the only thing materialists can do about the "real nature of matter” is to avoid thinking about it!—the clearest indication that the myth of materialism derives its strength only from people's self-deception.