Why is The Truth About Matter Such an Important Subject?
That what people see, hear, touch, smell and assume to be absolute entities are in reality perceptions, and that throughout our lives we merely deal with copy images is as remarkable as the facts that the universe was created from nothing, that existence is eternal, and that we rise again to eternal life after death. God creates the universe at every moment with its numberless details, perfect and without defect. Moreover, this creation is so flawless that many people who have lived on the earth so far have not understood that the universe and everything they see is an illusion, and that they have no connection with the reality of matter.
In the 21st century, this truth has become more evident because scientific discoveries have definitely proven that we are actually never in touch with matter. Although some people still refuse to accept this fact, it is not something that can be ignored, disregarded or rejected. On the contrary, knowing the true nature of matter is an important condition of being a realist. For this reason, it is very important for those who consider this question to grasp its significance. Some of those who read about the real nature of matter have stated that they do not understand why so much importance has been given to this question. They even think that it has no relation to faith, and ask why it has a place in every discussion about faith. However, the importance of this topic is now evident. A knowledge of the true nature of matter scares materialists because it destroys their worldview, and it is very important for Muslims to understand this truth and to try to let people know about it.
This knowledge helps people to understand some questions about faith and must be explained as being as important as any other matter concerning faith. As a result of an explanation of the real nature of matter, people are cleansed from their attachment to the things of this world, they direct their thoughts to the afterlife, they are rescued from a grave error and they can easily grasp some truths that those errors prevented them from understanding. Someone with a materialist view of the world, or someone who has been brought up under the influence of this kind of worldview, can never understand certain questions such as, "Where is God?", "Do heaven and hell and hell exist?", "What is the nature of spirit and eternity?", "Is there life after death?". But perceiving that matter is an illusion naturally provides answers to these questions, and enables people to clearly see that God is the one absolute Being.
When people understand what matter is , they strongly sense that everything by which they are bound to the life of this world—their desires, passions and everything that makes them forget God and the Day of Judgment—are deceptive and vain. Learning the true nature of matter is what saves people from the desires of this world. It directs them with pure hearts and sincerity towards God and saves them from the error of associating others with Him.
This is a century in which people display arrogance, conceit and every kind of inhuman and amoral behavior. However, when they realize that they themselves, and those whom they look up to, are just shadow beings, their arrogance and conceit will be replaced by humility and gentleness.
All these developments will be the means by which we will achieve a secure and comfortable society, in which people can live without meanness, selfishness and pitiless competition.
Certainly, there will be one important result that will come from an awareness of the fact that we have no contact with the original matter: The collapse of materialist philosophy.
Now, we shall discuss in detail why the fact that matter is not absolute is one of the most important discoveries in history.
The Truth About Matter Shows That God is The One Absolute Being
One of the most important things implied by this fact is that God is the One Absolute Being. Some people, under the influence of materialist philosophy, think that matter is absolute being. Some of these people believe that God exists, but when they talk about the existence of God, and where He is , they display their ignorance. For example, if they are asked "Where is God?", they will ignorantly answer, "Show me your intelligence; you cannot. So, God is a reality like intelligence, but you cannot see it." Others assume in their own minds (God is surely beyond that) that God has an illusory existence like that of radio waves. According to their false view, they themselves and the things they possess are absolute existence and God's existence encompasses this material existence like radio waves. However, what is illusory is they themselves and the things they possess. The One Absolute Being is God. God's existence embraces everything. Human beings are in no way absolute beings but a transient image.
God reveals this truth in a verse:
God, there is no deity but Him, the Living, the Self-Sustaining. He is not subject to drowsiness or sleep. Everything in the heavens and the earth belongs to Him. Who can intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is before them and what is behind them but they cannot grasp any of His knowledge save what He wills. His Footstool encompasses the heavens and the earth and their preservation does not tire Him. He is the Most High, the Magnificent. (Surat al-Baqara: 255)
The fullness of faith consists of understanding this truth, avoiding the mistake of associating others with God and acknowledging God as the One Absolute Being. Someone who knows that, apart from God, everything is a shadow existence, will say with certain faith (at the level of Haqq-al yakin – truth of certainty) that only God exists and there is no other deity (or any being with strength) besides Him.
The materialists do not believe in the existence of God, because they cannot see Him with their eyes. But their claims are completely invalidated when they learn the real nature of matter. Someone who learns this truth understands that his own existence has the quality of an illusion, and grasps that a being which is an illusion will not be able to see a being which is absolute. As it is revealed in the Koran, human beings cannot see God but God sees them.
Eyesight cannot perceive Him but He perceives eyesight... (Surat al-An'am: 103)
Certainly, we human beings cannot see the Being of God with our eyes but we know that He completely encompasses our inside, our outside, our views and our thoughts. For this reason, God reveals Himself in the Koran as "controlling hearing and sight" (Surah Yunus: 31) We cannot say one word, we cannot even take one breath without God's knowing it. God knows everything we do. This is revealed in the Koran:
God – Him from Whom nothing is hidden, either on earth or in heaven. (Surah Al 'Imran: 5)
It is very important that God watches us, sees us and hears us at every moment. Someone who realizes this, even if he does not see God with his eyes, knows that He is aware of him at every moment. For this reason, no matter what he is doing, he knows that God is a witness of him. Consequently, he is careful not to do anything to displease Him and will be mindful of what he does, says, and thinks. In the Koran, it is revealed that God is close to us in everything we do; that He watches us and that nothing eludes Him.
You do not engage in any matter or recite any of the Koran or do any action without Our witnessing you while you are occupied with it. Not even the smallest speck eludes your Lord, either on earth or in heaven. Nor is there anything smaller than that, or larger, which is not in a Clear Book. (Surah Yunus: 61)
Certainly God, Who is Absolute Being, knows every aspect of the human beings He has created. This is a very simple thing for God. But some in their ignorance may find this hard to understand. However, when we observe the impressions we think are the "external world", that is , as we lead our lives, the closest being to us is not an impression, it is clearly God. The secret of the verse "We created man and We know what his own self whispers to him. We are nearer to him than his jugular vein" (Surah Qaf: 16) is hidden in this fact. But when a person thinks that his body is composed of "matter, the absolute entity," he cannot conceive of this important reality; this is again because he thinks that the nearest thing to him is his body. For example, if this person conceives of his existence as being his brain, he does not admit the possibility that there is a being closer to him than his jugular vein. However, when he conceives of the fact that matter is not absolute, and that everything is a facsimile that he experiences in his mind, then concepts such as outside, inside, far and near have no meaning. His jugular vein, his brain, hands, feet, his house and his car that he thought were outside himself, even the sun, the moon and the stars that he thought were so far away, are all on the same plane. God has encompassed him all around and is eternally near to him.
That God is eternally near to human beings is also revealed in this verse: "If My servants ask you about Me, I am near (to them)..." (Surat al-Baqara: 186) In another verse the same reality is expressed, "Surely your Lord encompasses mankind round about." (Surat al-Isra': 60). In spite of this, some people continue to err by thinking that the nearest thing to themselves is themselves. However, God is closer to us even than we are to ourselves. The fact that God is the nearest Being to a human being is emphasized again in these verses: "Why then, when death reaches his throat and you are at that moment looking on-and We are nearer him than you but you cannot see" (Surat al-Waqi'a: 83-85) Indeed, a person on the point of death or lying in a hospital bed may think that the closest being to him is the doctor at his bedside, his mother who is embracing him, or his friends touching him and holding his hand. But as it says in this verse, God is closer to him at that time than anyone else. Moreover, God is the single closest Being to him not only at that particular moment, but from the first moment of his existence. But, because people do not see it with their eyes, some of them are ignorant of this reality.
The fact that God is not circumscribed by space but embraces all things is revealed in another verse:
Both East and West belong to God, so wherever you turn, the Face of God is there. God is All-Encompassing, All-Knowing. (Surat al-Baqara: 115)
In another verse, God explains this reality in this way:
It is He Who created the heavens and the earth in six days, then established Himself firmly on the Throne. He knows what goes into the earth and what comes out of it, what comes down from heaven and what goes up into it. He is with you wherever you are—God sees what you do. (Surat al-Hadid: 4)
All of this implies that God is the One, True, Absolute Existence. With His Knowledge, God embraces human beings who are shadow beings and every other thing. This fact is also pointed out in the following verse:
Your God is God alone, there is no deity but Him. He encompasses all things in His knowledge. (Surah Ta Ha: 98)
In another verse of the Koran, God warns people against being heedless:
What! Are they in doubt about the meeting with their Lord? What! Does He not encompass all things? (Surah Fussilat: 54)
Human Actions Also Belong To God
God has created man as a shadow being with no power or will independent of Himself. This reality is revealed in this verse:
But you will not will unless God wills... (Surat al-Insan: 30)
Some people are unaware of this great fact. They accept that God created them, but think that the work they do belongs to them. However, every action performed by a human being is created with the permission of God. For example, a person who writes a book writes it with the permission of God; every sentence, every idea, and every paragraph is composed because God wishes it. God reveals this very important principle in several verses; one of these verses is , "... God created both you and what you do?". (Surat as-Saffat: 96) In these words "... when you threw; it was God Who threw... ", (Surat al-Anfal: 17) God reveals that everything we do is an act that belongs to Him.
In other verses, God instructs the prophet to take charity from believers, but in the continuation of the verse, He explains that it is really He Who takes charity:
Take charity from their wealth to purify and cleanse them and pray for them. Your prayers bring relief to them. God is All-Hearing, All-Knowing. Do they not know that it is God Who receives repentance from His servants and accepts such acts of charity, and that God is the Ever-Returning, the Most Merciful? (Surat at-Tawba: 103-104)
The great Islamic scholar Muhyiddin Ibn al-'Arabi explains that the deeds we do belong to God:
As for the spirits, the source of the actions that derive from them is not found in their entities. It is God alone who puts spirits and objects into action continuously. … Spirit and matters are not comprised of chosen beings and determined facts. They are comprised of divine acts; various manifestations of the almighty being. In the same way, things that are said to be finite or infinite are nothing but a single entity seen from two different points.35
As Muhyiddin Ibn al-'Arabi explains, it is God Who creates every deed and makes the soul of the doer believe that it is he himself who is performing it. God creates this sense so realistically in every soul that someone who throws a stone, for example, really thinks that he is throwing it himself. However, a person who is a shadow being cannot perform the act of throwing, but God makes him feel as if he is performing the act. As a result of the wonderful perfection in God's creation, a person senses this feeling intensely and actually thinks that he is holding the stone, drawing back his arm to exert strength for speed and throwing it.
Human beings live at every moment dependent on God and, whether they know it or not, or whether they accept it or not, they are subject to God. God reveals this in this verse:
Everyone in heaven and earth prostrates to God willingly or unwillingly, as do their shadows in the morning and the evening. (Surat ar-Ra'd: 15)
Whoever you know, who lives or has lived in this world, in the present or in the past, wherever he may be, whatever he may possess, or no matter how stubborn a denier he may be, this reality does not change for him or for anyone. Every human being is subject to God's will, every person is a shadow being created from the breath of God's Spirit. Anyone who knows this finds it impossible to accept praise for his wealth, knowledge, title or reputation; nor can he accept adulation for his place or position in society or success in his profession. Those who are still arrogant despite this are in fact completely powerless. After God has revealed that the person who thinks he has thrown the stone has not really thrown it, but that it was God Himself who threw it, it is unfathomable ignorance for anyone to think that he deserves credit for any human success.
In this way God tests and trains every human being. Today those who cannot understand or accept this obvious reality will, when they are raised from the dead, see everything in its true light and understand that their own strength avails for nothing:
The metaphor of those who reject their Lord is that their actions are like ashes scattered by strong winds on a stormy day. They have no power at all over anything they have earned. That is extreme misguidance. (Surah Ibrahim: 18)
God is the only Being who has power over all things:
Everything in the heavens and everything on earth glorifies God. Sovereignty and praise belong to Him. He has power over all things. (Surat at-Taghabun: 1)
An Understanding of The Real Nature of Matter Will Lead People To Faith
People who will come to realize that they have been watching images shown to their spirits throughout their lives, will believe with certainty that it is God Who created both their spirits and these uninterrupted images.
The reason why some people stubbornly refuse to accept the secret of matter is their unwillingness to conceive of the magnitude of God's greatness and to accept their own nothingness. But even if these people do not want to accept it, there is an indisputable truth: Everything in heaven and on earth is God's and a manifestation of God. The only absolute Being is God. The other beings that God has created are not absolute beings but appearances. All the 'I',s , that is individuals, who observe the appearances that God has created are all spirits from God.
When people grasp the great secret of this knowledge, they will attain great clarity of consciousness and the haze enshrouding their spirits will lift. Everyone who understands it will freely submit to God, love Him and fear Him. In addition, human feelings of pride and self-satisfaction will be replaced by humility and modesty. This is what God wants from human beings. Those who understand this amazing fact will look at things from a different point of view and start out on a totally different life. They will acknowledge God's power appropriately, and distance themselves from the kind of person described by this verse:
They do not measure God with His true measure. The whole earth will be a mere handful for Him on the Day of Rising and the heavens folded up in His right hand. Glory be to Him! He is exalted above the partners they ascribe! (Surat az-Zumar: 67)
Understanding The Reality of Matter Removes Worldly Ambitions
What we have described so far is one of the most profound truths that you have heard in your whole life. We have shown that the whole material world is really a shadow, and that this is the key to understanding the existence of God, His creation, and the fact that He is the one absolute Being. At the same time, we have presented a scientifically undeniable demonstration both of how helpless human beings are and a manifestation of God's wonderful artistry. This knowledge makes people assured believers making it impossible for them not to believe. This is the main reason why some people avoid this truth.
The things that are being explained here are as true as a physical law or a chemical formula. When necessary, human beings can solve the most difficult mathematical problems and understand many very complex matters. However, when these same people are informed that throughout their lives they have experience of only the images formed in their mind, and that they have no connection with the original of matter, they have no desire at all to understand. This is an exaggerated case of an inability to understand, because the idea discussed here is no more difficult than the answer to the questions, "What is two times two?" or "How old are you?", If you ask any scientist or professor of neurology where they see the world, they will answer you that they see it in their brains. You will find this fact even in high school biology text books. But despite the fact that it is clearly evident, information pertaining to the fact that we perceive the material world in our brains and the results that this information entails for human beings can be overlooked. It is of major significance that one of the most important scientifically proven facts is so carefully hidden from people's eyes.
The fundamental reason why people easily accept all scientific facts, yet are so afraid to accept this one, is that learning the truth about matter will basically change the way everyone looks at life. Those who believe that matter and the self are absolute beings will discover one day that they have merely dealt with the reflection in their minds of everything they have worked for and protected based on this idea - their spouses, their children, their wealth, even their own personalities. People are very afraid of this reality and pretend not to understand it even if they do. They try with determination to disprove the facts, which are simple enough for even a primary school child to understand. The reason behind this opposition is that they are afraid to lose what this world offers.
For someone who is attached to his possessions, his children, or the transient offerings of this world, the illusory nature of matter is cause for great fear. At the moment such a person understands this, he will have died before his natural death, and he will have surrendered his possessions and his soul. In the verse, "If He did ask you for it (all your wealth) and put you under pressure, you would be tight-fisted and it would bring out your malevolence." (Surah Muhammad: 37), God reveals how human beings will behave with meanness when He demands their possessions from them.
But when a person learns the real nature of matter, he will understand that his soul and his possessions already belong to God. If he knows that there is nothing to give or to resist giving, he will submit himself and all he possesses to God before he dies. For sincere believers, this is a beautiful and honorable thing and a way to draw nearer to God. Those who do not believe or whose faith is weak cannot recognize this beauty and stubbornly reject this reality.
Those Who Own Factories, Yachts Or Land, Which Are Images In The Brain Worry Themselves For Nothing
In this section we will consider the example of a heedless factory owner who has lived all his life with the ambition of being rich, and who worked day and night since he was young, thinking that he would earn everything by the sweat of his brow. This example will show us a very important truth.
The person whom we shall describe is middle-aged. He has two children, a boy and a girl, whom he sends to good schools. He owns a few cars, a yacht, some houses and some land. This man thinks he has everything that is admired in the life of this world. He thinks he has attained everything that a person could hope for in this life. Besides his wealth, he has gained a great deal of respect. Everyone who knows him regards him as a person who is respected, and has standing and position in society. This opinion is shared by the servants who attend him in the morning, the chauffeur who bows as he opens the car door for him, the security guards who greet him with respect when he enters the company building, and the employees who stand to attention from the moment he enters the factory until he gets to his office. He has many close friends and acquaintances in high places and positions. Every day he runs from meeting to meeting; he is a member of some boards and societies, and even chairman of others. In the course of a day he gives orders to hundreds of individuals. In his bank and private safe he has more money, stocks and bonds that he can count. As he adds up these things from time to time, he gains even more satisfaction; he is proud of himself and congratulates himself. What gives him a special feeling of satisfaction and self-confidence is the fact that he earned everything himself by his own hard work, and that he attained what he had devoted his whole life to achieving.
One day, while he is sailing on a yacht with his friends, someone comes up to him and says: "Everything you see here at this moment—all these people, this yacht, the sea, the factories, the houses, the employees who jump to your command… You merely deal with their images formed in your brain. You never know the originals of these appearances. If the nerves entering your brain were severed, this yacht, the people on it, their voices and conversations, the smell of the sea, the taste of the fruit juice you are drinking, in short, everything would cease to exist in a moment. All of these things as well as everything you have owned in your whole life are in your mind. There is no difference between your houses, cars, yachts, factories and companies and things you own in your dreams. It is like having a dream about going to Europe in your own private airplane and waking up in the morning to find that there is no airplane, and that you are not in Europe but in bed. If one day you wake up from this sleep you call your life; how can you be sure that you will not be in a completely different place observing images pertaining to this life? "
This rich man will react strongly to what he is being told. If these facts were told to him plainly with all scientific proof, even if he understood he would not accept the truth. In his mind, to accept that everything he owned was a dream-like fantasy would mean that he had been following an illusion his whole life. Then, everything for which a person is praised, everything that gives him a sense of pride and self-importance is an illusion. The situation of that person will be as humiliating and ridiculous as that of a person who is rich in his dreams and puts on airs because of this imaginary wealth. When the rich man in our example goes into his company after he has grasped this truth, he will not be moved to arrogance by the respect and esteem shown to him. This is because he now knows that those who show him respect and bow to him are only facsimiles in his mind. Or when these things are told to him, he will not be able to "show off" to his guests with his yacht because both the yacht and the guests on it are appearances in his brain.
When he is told that matter is an illusion and that he can have no connection at all with the source of material existence, the farm he bought the day before will come into his mind. In that case, the money he counted out bill by bill and gave to the vendor, the farm he bought with all its fixtures, the surrounding area surveyed as he made the purchase—all would exist only in his mind. It would be exactly as if he had dreamed the night before that he had won an important contract and made a lot of money from it. When he woke up nothing would be left, and what he thought was real would be a dream.
If this is the case, he is not in the yacht now. The yacht is an appearance inside him. When he thinks he is going into his house furnished in the latest style, in fact, he is opening a big garden gate and entering a house in his brain. The house, the furnishings, the garden and the garden gate are in his mind.
If this person is aware that what he is being told is clearly true, he will come to realize that everything he owns at that moment are fundamentally shadow beings. All these things are images shown to him by God Who created him. In order to test him, God created his life and the appearances of the things that he would think he owned. But forgetting that God gave him these things and blessed him with the wealth of these appearances, he became arrogant and spoiled by these things, gave himself airs and regarded people as his inferiors. Then, he has spent his life vainly clambering after an illusory dream world. But one day he realizes that he has been caught up in illusions and wasting his time, that none of these things has absolute existence and that only God exists.
In one verse, God calls attention to those who have refused to accept this reality throughout history and those who have pretended not to know it:
But the actions of those who disbelieve are like a mirage in the desert. A thirsty man thinks it is water but when he reaches it, he finds it to be nothing at all, but he finds God there. He will pay him his account in full. God is swift at reckoning. (Surat an-Nur: 39)
As we can see in this verse, God compared the deeds of deniers to a mirage or a phantom. When these people attach themselves to these phantoms and discover that they cannot expect help from them, they understand that the phantoms are not real and that God alone is the one absolute reality.
One of the main reasons why people are so afraid of this reality and do not wish to accept it is that they understand, like the man in the example above, that everything they own, their respect, their wealth will pass away in one moment. Here we call your attention to one point: we are not saying here that "everything a person owns will stay behind after death and do him no good". We are saying that "everything a person owns is an appearance." When he sees that what he has striven for throughout his life, has troubled him and made him sad, and that he has tried to beat down other people in the process, he realizes that it was all an empty deception. In one verse, the Koran reveals that heedless people live in deception. The greedy attachment of people to property is related in a verse as follows:
To mankind the love of worldly appetites is painted in glowing colours: women and children, and heaped-up mounds of gold and silver, and horses with fine markings, and livestock and fertile farmland. All that is merely the enjoyment of the life of this world. The best homecoming is in the presence of God. (Surah Al 'Imran: 14)
In another verse it is revealed that the life of this world is a game, a waste of time and a deception:
Know that the life of this world is merely a game and a diversion and ostentation and a cause of boasting among yourselves and trying to outdo one another in wealth and children: like the plant-growth after rain which delights the cultivators, but then it withers and you see it turning yellow, and then it becomes broken stubble. In the hereafter, there is terrible punishment but also forgiveness from God and His good pleasure. The life of this world is nothing but the enjoyment of delusion. (Surat al-Hadid: 20)
When people realize that these appearances they thought they owned during this life are actually an illusion, they understand that they have struggled and worried in vain, and that they have wasted their time. There are those who jealously guard what they own, and for the sake of these things become angry and abuse others, get irritated and pound the table with their fist. But when they realize that they have no connection with the actual material things, they are ashamed and deeply sorry that they are like be someone who, in a dream, assaults other people, gets angry and shouts at them. They immediately understand that they should act in a way that will be pleasing to God, the Origin of all the appearances shown to them. Those who comprehend this reality, that is , believers say:
Say: "My prayer and my rites, my living and my dying, are for God alone, the Lord of all the world." (Surat al-An'am: 162)
It is important never to forget this important point: It does not matter at which point in his life a person comes to understand this reality; it is never too late. He can change his way of looking at life right away and reorder his way of living according to this principle; he can begin to live not for illusions but for our Lord, the One Absolute Being. God is always forgiving to His servants.
Those who slyly pretend not to know this reality, and refuse to accept the fact that God is the One Absolute Being, have fallen into a powerful trap. God describes their state:
... What they achieved here will come to nothing. What they did will prove to be null and void. (Surah Hud: 16)
Even if a person does not want to accept this reality now and prefers to deceive himself by believing that the things he owns are absolute things, everything will become very clear after he dies on that Last Day when he is raised again to life. On that day, as it says in the verse, his "sight is sharp" (Surah Qaf: 22), and he will come to a much clearer awareness of everything. But if he has spent his worldly life running after illusory goals, he will wish that he had never lived in that world. He will perish saying, "If only death had really been the end! My wealth has been of no use to me. My power has vanished." (Surat al-Haqqa: 27-29)
Those Who See The Real Nature of Matter Lose Their Arrogance
Some people who become aware of this plain truth get upset. When they understand that they merely deal with the copies in their brains of their factories, houses, cars, property, children, spouses, relatives, and social position, their helplessness and powerlessness lies open before God. They understand that both they themselves and all that they own, even the whole universe is an illusion and that they themselves are nothing. All that is left is the spirit they call "I". Because it was God Who gave them this spirit, they certainly believe in God and submit to Him, even though they may not have believed before.
When a person grasps these facts, a feeling of humility and dependence replaces pride, arrogance and self-satisfaction. If all the wealth of the world and the most important position in it were given to a person such as this, he would not become conceited, proud or arrogant. He will not forget that he is only observing images that God has given to him, and he will not get caught up in illusions. This sublime reality will remove ambition, pride and conceit, as well as such negative feelings as spite, hatred and anger. Those who know that everything is an illusion will not engage in cut-throat competition with one another or harbor spite or enmity against anyone. In an environment where everyone has submitted himself only to God, there will be humility, submission, compassion, deference, love and intimacy.
Therefore, it is highly unreasonable for a person to pretend not to know this truth, and to fear it and run away from it. A person without faith may well fear this truth because if he accepts these facts, he will also be forced to accept the existence of God. But believers must embrace with pleasure and enthusiasm the fact that matter is a reflection that God makes them experience in their minds and that the one Absolute Being is God. For a believer, to fear God's magnificent artistry and to avoid seeing it makes no sense. When the truth is evident, it is pointless not to acknowledge it, and to continue to be deceived by the clear lines of shadows and three-dimensional apparitions. The believer does not fear the truth, but thinks about the beauty and depth of reality, and considers how much more wondrous God's flawless artistry becomes within this system.
This Reality Threatens Those Who Are Attached To This World By Ambition
A man who has received an award for what he has achieved, received the award in his brain. Those who applaud him as he receives the award are, in fact, an apparition of people in his brain.
A person watching this awards ceremony on the little screen in his brain has no way of connecting with the source of the people in the auditorium, the award, or the auditorium itself. These things stay inside the brain. It is as if the person were watching the reward being given to him on a videocassette.
This is the reason why people avoid this reality with horror. When those who are bound to this world by ambition understand that their standing and position in society, the awards they win, their bank accounts, yachts, real estate, and the people that praise and esteem them are all apparitions in their brains, they are consumed by a tremendous anger. They avoid accepting this fact in all their arrogance because, they realize that it implies that their esteem, reputation and property will not be worth the ambitious commitments they have made. But no matter how hard they try to escape this reality, they cannot change the fact that they lead the whole of their lives inside their skulls.
Worries and Difficulties are Like Images in a Dream
Some people realize that certain things happen as apparitions in the brain, but tend to forget that this is true for all phenomena. However, in every second of one's life, one experiences copy images in the brain. For example, a businessman who goes bankrupt receives images of his workplace and his employees in his brain. The things he sold and the money he received for them are all impressions in his brain. When this man loses all his money, he loses the image of that money. A person who loses his workplace and all possessions loses the image in his brain of the workplace and the property. Or a person who has his car stolen again has lost the appearance of a car in his mind. He can no longer see this car-like apparition which he thought he owned, but of course he was never actually connected to the original of that apparition even for one moment throughout his whole life.
Not only things like this, but every difficulty a person experiences in the course of his life is in the brain. For example, consider a person who lives in a country where there is internal strife. He lives every moment in mortal danger and comes every moment face to face with assaults from hostile soldiers, but he is actually face to face with an appearance of hostile soldiers in his brain. A person who is wounded or loses his arm in a skirmish loses the apparition of the arm in his brain and all his feeling of pain is a perception formed in the brain. The threatening, spiteful and aggressive things said to him by his enemies are composed of sounds formed in the brain.
As a result, events which produce difficulties, worries and fear are illusions occurring in the brain. A person who sees what these illusions really are does not feel anxious because of the difficulties in which he finds himself, nor does he complain about them. Even if he were confronted by the most aggressive and dangerous enemy, he would know that he is face to face with illusions in his brain and would not be overcome by fear or hopelessness. He knows that each one of these things is an apparition formed by God and that He created them for a purpose. No matter what he encounters, he is at peace in his trust and submission to God. In some verses of the Koran, God reveals that there will be no fear or sorrow for believers. One verse reads:
Those who say, "Our Lord is God," and then go straight will feel no fear and will know no sorrow. (Surat al-Ahqaf: 13)
A person who knows that throughout his whole life he has experience of the images created by God in his brain of everything that has happened, and every sound he has heard, will, instead of becoming fearful and vainly filled with anxiety and panic, trust in the endless mercy and compassion of the Creator Who made him and these images.
The Environment That Will Come To Be When The Real Nature of Matter is Not Kept Secret
Those who know that they have no connection with the actual material things, and that they are in the presence only of images that God presents to them, will change their whole way of living, their view of life and their values. This will be a change that will be useful both from the personal and social point of view, because someone who sees this truth will live without difficulty according to the high moral qualities that God has revealed in the Koran.
For those who do not regard the world as important and who understand that matter is an illusion, it is spiritual things that deserve to be given importance. Someone who knows that God is listening to him and watching him at every moment, and is aware that he will render an account of his every action in the hereafter, will naturally live a morally virtuous life. He will be very careful about what God has commanded and what He has forbidden. Everyone in society will be filled with love and respect for one another, and everyone will compete with one another in the performance of good and noble deeds. People will change the values according to which they judge others. Material things will lose their value and therefore, people will be judged not according to their standing and position in society but according to their moral character and their piety. No one will pursue illusion; everyone will seek after truth. Everyone will act without worrying about what others will think; the only question in their minds will be whether or not God will be pleased with what they do. In the place of the feelings of pride, arrogance and self-satisfaction that come from possessions, property, standing and position, there will be a sense of the understanding of humility and dependence. Therefore, people will willingly live according to those examples of good moral qualities spoken of in the Koran. Eventually, these changes will put an end to many problems of today's societies.
In place of angry, aggressive people, anxious even about small profit, there will be those who know that they have experience of an illusion of everything they see. They will be well aware that reactions of anger and loud shouting make them look foolish. Well-being and trust will prevail in individuals and societies and everyone will be pleased with his life and possessions. These, then, are some of the blessings that this hidden reality will bring to individuals and societies. Knowing, considering and living according to this reality will bring many more goodnesses to human beings. Those who wish to attain these goodnesses should consider this reality well and endeavor to understand it. In one verse, God says,
Clear insights have come to you from your Lord. Whoever sees clearly, does so to his own benefit. Whoever is blind, it is to his own detriment... (Surat al-An'am: 104)
Knowing The Real Nature of Matter is The End of Materialism
The philosophy of materialism is the worldview that is most threatened by the fact that we never have direct experience of the original material world. In order to understand this better, we must look at the general definition of materialism. The wicked philosophy of materialism is defined in materialist writings as:
Materialism accepts the eternity and endlessness of the world, that it is not created by God and is infinite in time and space.36
In the 8th volume of the Larousse Encyclopedia, materialist philosophy is defined as follows:
Materialism is a doctrine which does not accept the existence of any other substance than matter. It is the opposite of idealism which says that the essence and substance of reality is created by spirit.
As we can see in this brief definition, materialist philosophy regards matter as the only absolute existent and believes that, apart from matter, no thought or thing exists. Materialist philosophy does not accept the existence of spirit but regards human consciousness as a product of the activities of the brain. (We considered the invalidity of this materialist claim in the section entitled, "One of the Most Important Dilemmas of Materialism: Human Consciousness"). One of the most important implications of what is explained throughout this book is the fact that materialist philosophy is completely invalid. This is due to the fact that it is now very clear today that we merely know the version in our mind of what we call matter; it is impossible for us to demonstrate what the original of matter outside our mind is like. This is because it is impossible for us to come out of our minds and come into contact with a material source of things. If we accept this fact summarized in two sentences, neither matter nor materialism remains. Seeing that we can never attain to the material existence in the external world, it is clearly unnecessary and pointless to construct a philosophy on matter and to base a view of life on it.
The basic reason why those who espouse materialist philosophy are disturbed by this important secret underlying matter and refuse to accept it even though it is very evident, is that they understand that it will mean the end of their philosophy. Throughout history every materialist has been disturbed by the description of the nature of matter, even by the other materialists' reading books telling about this fact, and they have expressed their misgivings. For example, one of the leaders of the bloody Russian Revolution, Vladimir I. Lenin, in his book written almost a century ago called Materialism and Empirio-Criticism, warned his followers of this fact:
Once you deny objective reality, given us in sensation, you have already lost every weapon against fideism, 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 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.37
These sentences show how uncomfortable this fact made materialists; Lenin was very afraid of it and wanted to erase it from his own mind and from the minds of his comrades. But materialists today are in a much greater state of discomfort than Lenin was because the invalidity of materialism has, in the last 100 years, become more clearly and strongly established. Considered in the past to be a philosophical speculation or a matter of opinion, the unreality of matter has now been proven for the first time in history in an irrefutable and scientifically based manner. The science writer Lincoln Barnett says that even hinting at this possibility makes materialist scientists anxious and fearful:
Along with philosophers' reduction of all objective reality to a shadow-world of perceptions, scientists have become aware of the alarming limitations of man's senses.38
In Turkey and throughout the whole world, this fear and anxiety can be seen very clearly in every materialist who confronts this issue. For example, in Turkey, materialists have suffered a serious set-back from the collapse of the theory of evolution, which they supposed to be the basis of their philosophy. Now they have begun to understand that they have lost a more important support than Darwinism—matter itself. For this reason they are now saying that, from their point of view, this issue is a very serious danger which causes their cultural fabric to be totally shredded.
In fact, this points to a promise revealed to human beings by God in the Koran. Where truth is plain, false ideas are bound to perish:
Say: "Truth has come and falsehood has vanished. Falsehood is always bound to vanish." (Surat al-Isra': 81)
Rather We hurl the truth against falsehood and it cuts right through it and it vanishes clean away! Woe without end for you for what you portray! (Surat al-Anbiya': 18)
Materialism and those who have espoused it throughout history use matter as a pretext to rebel against God, Who created them from nothing, gave them life and created the universe for them to live in. Asking such superficial and ignorant questions as "If matter exists, where is God in it?", they deny the existence of God and exert much effort to get others to deny Him. Today they see one of their most important supports destroyed; the reality described here has ripped their philosophy up from its roots and left no possibility for further discussion. The matter on which they had based all their ideas, their lives, their arrogance and their denial has slipped from their hands in an instant.
Throughout history, materialists have left a heritage of denial and methods of denial. For example, many materialists today use the words of Lenin quoted above and urge their associates not to listen to or read about this reality. However, the fact that science has clearly explained the nature of matter, together with the fact that it is so easy to use technology such as the internet to diffuse this information throughout the world, has brought their efforts to nothing. Individuals are reading about this reality, learning about it and coming to understand it. Those who have accepted materialism until recently as the most valid worldview now are very surprised to learn the real truth about matter and life in this world. This is an extraordinary trap that God has set for the deniers. No matter how deniers throughout history have set traps with their foolish minds for true religion deviantly making material idols just to deny God, God, in turn, has prepared an environment where their false idols will be taken out of their hands and where they themselves will be caught in the traps they have set. God reveals how throughout history He has responded to the traps set by deniers.
... they were planning and God was planning, but God is the Best of Planners. (Surat al-Anfal: 30)
By giving people the impression that they are in contact with the source of matter, God has made materialists fall into a trap and has humiliated them in a way that has not been seen before. They have regarded as absolute being things composed of illusion-their possessions and property, positions and titles, the society in which they live, in fact, the whole world. And by trusting in these things, they exalt themselves before God. In their own arrogant minds they rebel and go forward in their denials. While doing this, their only strength lies in matter. But they have fallen into such a lack of understanding that they never think that God encompasses and surrounds them. In the Koran, God reveals the final condition that deniers will reach as a result of their lack of understanding:
And likewise in every city We set up its greatest wrongdoers to plot in it. They plot against themselves alone, but they are not aware of it. (Surat al-An'am: 123)
No doubt, the realization of this fact is the most horrible thing that could happen to a materialist. The fact that he merely has experience of copy images of everything he owns is , in his own words, to be sentenced to a living death.
Together with this reality, only God and they are left. In this verse, God points out the fact that everyone is totally alone in His presence.
Leave the person I created on his own to Me alone. (Surat al-Muddaththir: 11)
This remarkable fact is also revealed in many other verses:
You have come to Us all alone just as We created you at first, leaving behind you everything We bestowed on you... (Surah Maryam: 95)
Each of them will come to Him on the Day of Rising all alone. (The Koran, 19: 95)
In another verse, God reveals that deniers will be addressed with these words on the Last Day:
On the Day We gather them all together, We will say to those who associated others with God, "Where are the partner-gods, for whom you made such claims?" (Surat al-An'am: 22)
After this, deniers will see the loss and destruction of all the things they regarded as more important than God, things they thought existed in the world such as possessions, children and all the things around them. God reveals this truth in this verse:
See how they lie against themselves and how what they invented has forsaken them! (Surat al-An'am: 24)
The 21st century is a turning point in which this reality will be spread among all people and materialism will be wiped off the face of the earth. Why people believed what they believed in the past or held the opinions they held is not important. What is important is that, after seeing the truth, they must not resist it and not be too late to understand this truth which will be completely understood at the time of death. We must not forget that there is no escape from truth.
35- Ferid Kam, M.Ali Ayni, Ibni Arabi'de Varlik Dusuncesi (The Idea of Being in Ibn Arabi), p. 37
36- Materyalist Felsefe Sözlüğü (Dictionary of Materialist Philosophy), Istanbul, Sosyal Yayınlar, 4. Edition, p. 326
37- V.I. Lenin, Materialism and Empiriocriticism, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1970, p.334-335
38- Lincoln Barnett, The Universe and Dr. Einstein, William Sloane Associate, New York, 1948, p. 84