Harun Yahya - Knowing The Truth - Day 2
Knowing The Truth


Day 2

"…As to the sense of touch when we press the table with our fingers, that is an electric disturbance on the electrons and protons of our fingertips, produced, according to modern physics, by the proximity of the electrons and protons in the table. If the same disturbance in our finger-tips arose in any other way, we should have the sensations, in spite of there being no table." B Russell 5

The next day the discussion continues at the dining table.

AHMED: I thought about it all night but there's still a question I can't answer.Everything is perceived in the brain but there must be a corresponding reality to these things outside that have the same form to others that I see.If this weren't so, could I be speaking with you? How could you understand what I'm saying? Other people are here with me. We speak the same language and share the same tastes. For example, the lemon on the salad was sour to us all. Outside ourselves, there's a taste of a lemon that we all share. Or, when I go to a factory, workers are working there and the products they produce are sold. Although I have nothing to do with it, this world exists outside. Is that right?

MURAD: Ahmed, it's good that you asked that. It gives us the opportunity to remind ourselves of what we talked about yesterday. Now, let's start from the beginning and go step by step. Yesterday we demonstrated in a scientific way that every kind of image, sound, smell and taste, and all kinds of senses that we call the world is an impression in the brain. You accepted this didn't you?

AHMED: I did.

MURAD: Then, where do you see me?

AHMED: In my brain.

MURAD: Where do you hear my voice?

AHMED: In my brain.

MURAD: This room, the furniture, Aisha and IBRAHIM:'s voices and appearances. Where are they?

AHMED: In my brain too, but...

MURAD: Where do you sense the sour taste of the lemon?

AHMED: It and you are in my brain.

MURAD: In the same way, your house, your family, your work place and your workers, your manufactured products, the television you watch, a country you visit, the foreign language they speak there, together with all the information that goes with these things and the memory that allows you to compare them are all in the brain. Isn't that so? Here are the thoughts of two famous philosophers, Bertrand Russell and L. Wittgenstein on this important truth: "... for example, you can't ask if a lemon really exists or not or how it came into existence. A lemon is only a taste perceived by the tongue, a smell sensed by the nose, a color and shape seen by the eye. These qualities may be the subject of scientific enquiry and definition, but science can never know the objective world."6

AISHA: So we can't be sure whether or not the taste of food or a sound is the same as someone else perceives it.Is that what we are saying?

MURAD: Yes, Aisha. You've expressed it very well. The famous scientist Lincoln Barnett also makes this comment: ''No one can know if his perception of red or of the note 'do' is the same as that of another person.''7 We can only know as much as our sense organs communicate to us, because it's impossible for us to directly reach the concrete reality outside. It's again the brain that interprets. In fact, we can't reach it under any other condition. Therefore, even when we think we're talking about the same thing, each person can actually be perceiving something different. The reason for this is that the perceived object depends on the person perceiving it. You see there's no objection to be made and no counter-evidence to be produced against the fact that every moment we see only an impression created by our senses and we have no kind of connection with the reality of any object outside ourselves. Having come to this point, there's no honest doubt to prevent a person from accepting this as a fact. Such an impediment could only come from personal prejudice, attachment to the world or ambition.

AHMED: I have to think about that a little.

AISHA: There's no doubt left in my mind but it's difficult to get used to it because of the endless number of details in the things I see which distracts my attention. Murad, I want to ask a question too. Where do these wonderful impressions come from? I have an idea of what the answer is but it would be better if you explained it.

IBRAHIM: Before you do that I want to add something. I've looked at a considerable number of books about the subject Murad explained yesterday. I spent a long time on the Internet as well investigating this subject until the early hours of the morning. It is as you said; a large number of thinkers have expounded this subject in one way or another from Plato to Muhyi-dun Ibn Arabi, from Immanuel Kant to George Berkeley. But because of the conditions of the time and the pressure of opposing views, this subject could not be properly discussed and understood, and some thinkers wrongly interpreted what they discovered. I then did some research in some foreign sources on the biological, physical and anatomical sides of the question. I have no more doubt that everything takes on meaning in cognition and that we are seeing an impression in our brains.

What has been said to this point shows that everything a person relates to throughout his whole life is actually seen in his brain. For example, when you open a window on the twentieth story of a skyscraper and look down, the whole city with its buildings, people, work places, cars, streets, avenues, the sea, and the countless other things you see are composed solely of impressions perceived in the brain.

MURAD: Ibrahim, congratulations on your work! Those who only partially understand the truth that the whole of matter is a perception try to avoid the question by saying: "This is a kind of that old-fashioned philosophy of Idealism." But the question can't be avoided. It's an extraordinary truth and one that is of great importance for all humanity. As you said, this subject is not a new one in the world of ideas or the world of science. In the ages when science was still little developed, a number of wise and thoughtful people had come to know this subject either through holy books, words of prophetic guidance or by contemplation. We have already quoted from some of these thinkers earlier. Idealism, one of the two branches of philosophy, and the mysticism (Sufism) we encounter in monotheistic religions have been deeply engaged in this subject. Moreover, as science developed, physics, astronomy, atomic physics, psychology, biology, and medical science have all, whether they intended to or not, demonstrated the technical sides of this truth. The reason why some people regard this subject as strange and incomprehensible is their unfamiliarity of these subjects. However, these days, even in high school biology classes, the fact that perceptions are formed in the brain is taught in some depth. That is, everyone can grasp this truth even in a school biology course.

IBRAHIM: It's hard to believe that someone could be uninformed about such a familiar subject. I can't understand what would prevent a person from thinking about it.

MURAD: Prevailing conditions, misinterpretations and adverse reactions by opponents have prevented it from being widely accepted. Those who hold the materialistic view of the world have resorted to every means to hide, falsify, and impede the truth. For example, Berkeley was one of the greatest thinkers of his day and he understood the subject well.He was subjected to insults and a defamation campaign initiated by the French materialists against the work he had done in this area. They even accused him of being mad but his works were the means by which some people came to see the truth. And you must realize that to understand this truth means the beginning of a new and authentic life and a complete change in the way a person looks at the world. In this situation, those deceitful materialist ideas urging you to think that matter is the basic reality disappear from the scene and you get a view of the real universe. Throughout life, a person is educated and tested by impressions based on perceptions. Hidden in this truth are the secrets of eternity, timelessness and fate.

AISHA:This is such a great truth! But I still wonder.Will you explain to us the source of these impressions now?

MURAD: Yes, it's time for Aisha's question. Later I'll go into more detail but first let me tell you a truth that you know. It's God Who imprints all these impressions and causes us to live a life based on perceptions. This is a very clear truth. But before explaining the endless power of God and His creation of everything from nothing, I want to give you a few more details.

AISHA: Yes. I understand very well that God has imprinted everything in us. But, continue. Afterwards, there'll be a few things I will want to add.

MURAD:Now we know that everything we experience as life, everything we see, everything we hear is formed in our brains. What we call the world is a three-dimensional impression formed of perceptions. There is no information or evidence to prove that we have any connection to an outside material world. In that case, such an imaginary world is of no use to us.Throughout our lives, we have no relation to anything other than those impressions we're given. Look, there's a famous television host who interviews journalists. IBRAHIM, can you explain what's going on here?

One of the best examples to show that an artificial situation can be created without reference to an outside world is the practice of hypnotism. Under the influence of hypnotic suggestion, a person can be made to believe that hot is cold and salty is sweet. He can be made to think that he is on holiday on the seashore even though he is at that moment in the studio.

IBRAHIM: This host is probably not aware of it but, when he goes on television he's not doing a show for crowds of viewers; he's doing the show for an impression in his brain. That is, he thinks he's doing a show. When he thinks he's doing a press conference, he's really making a report to impressions of reporters in his brain. In other words, he thinks he's doing it. Those who watch this host's program each see the host differently in their brains. He tries to explain something to these people, but all this activity occurs in the dark recesses of his brain.

MURAD: Well said, Ibrahim. But we're not used to thinking in this way. So let's look at some more examples. What channel is your favourite program on? Wait, let's try some other channels.

IBRAHIM: Here's a talk show. Have you seen it before? They always have a hypnotism segment on this program. Murad, hypnotism is a part of our subject, isn't it?

MURAD: Sure it is.Hypnotism can help us understand our subject much better. Look at the hypnotist.By the suggestions he makes, he has the audience do things that aren't really happening. Look, that guy thinks he's a famous football star, and thinks the pillows are footballs. That woman is trying to wipe away imaginary stains. The tall fellow thinks that everyone he sees around him is from outer space. There, you see? Through hypnosis, a person constructs a non-existent dream-like world, on the basis of suggestions. And as long they're under hypnosis, they live in that world.

At a hypnosis session open to the public all the spectators show great interest in observing a hypnotized person. The reason for this is that this person believes he is in the situation that has been suggested to him and acts accordingly. For example, when it is suggested to him that he is a famous football star, and that the cushion in his hand is actually a ball, he is so convinced by the suggestion that he tries to play with the cushion as if it were a ball.

AISHA: True! Now, if we go to that guy and say, "This is all your imagination and you were hypnotised. You're not really a famous football star and what you're kicking isn't a football,"we'd get denial in response.If we said, "At this moment you're in a studio with almost a hundred people watching," we'd never get him to believe the reality.

MURAD: You're right. Now let's get to today's topic. To repeat what we said yesterday, "Everything is formed from perceptions which reach the center in the brain relevant to them. There we make sense of the impressions that we perceive."There are three important questions: First, does the brain perform all these functions?Second, what is the nature of the perceiver, or what we call "I?"Third, what is the source of these impressions and why are they transmitted to us?

IBRAHIM: Certainly, the brain performs all of these functions. Just think. If we didn't have brains, there wouldn't be any image or sense.

AHMED: You're right.

MURAD: Do you mean to say that the brain is the source of images that create emotions, laughter and tears, moral, spiritual values and conscience? Isn't the brain a piece of flesh weighing about one and a half kilos? Is there a difference between the material substance of the brain and of those other objects that we can see? Just think about this.Isn't the brain an impression just like an arm or a leg?

AISHA: I never thought about it that way.

AHMED: Just a minute. What do you mean, that the brain is an impression perceived inside the brain? In that case, can you tell us where we see everything?

MURAD: I'll try to explain this in terms of a subject that will surprise you. Now, you may be about to hear what I am going to explain for the first time. A little while ago when we were talking about how we see and how we hear, I explained how the sense of hearing was formed in the brain by sound waves striking our ears and being transmitted to our brains as electric signals via the nerves. But more interesting than this is the fact that there exists in the brain something that, as a result of all these wonderful operations, sees three-dimensional, full-color images, hears sounds perfectly, distinguishes between hundreds of different tastes, thinks, feels and judges. The brain simply collects the electric signals coming from the eye, ear, nose, tongue and skin. But inside the brain there is another being that interprets these signals and sees an impression. Aisha, you can't say that brain cells create these impressions, can you?

AISHA: Certainly not, Murad. A cell doesn't have an eye or an ear to see or hear with.

MURAD: Yes, that's the surprising thing. This being sees without needing eyes and hears without needing ears; and perceives what is seen and heard.Scientists have also offered numerous theories about this matter.A writer, R.L. Gregory has explained it this way. "There is a temptation, which must be avoided, to say that the eyes produce pictures in the brain.A picture in the brain suggests the need of some kind of internal eye to see it – but this would need a further eye to see its picture… and so on, in an endless regress of eyes and pictures. This is absurd."8 As you see, this writer understood and explained the problem clearly. But because of his materialist point of view, he wasn't able to give an answer to the question of "to whom this internal eye belongs", and has rejected the truth completely. In the world of science and philosophy, Karl Pribram draws attention to the important search for the identity of the being who senses the perception. "Philosophers since the Greeks have speculated about the 'ghost' in the machine, the 'little man inside the little man' and so on. Where is the I – the entity that uses the brain? Who does the actual knowing? Or, as Saint Francis of Assisi once put it, 'What we are looking for is what is looking.'"9

A person's brain is also a part of the collection of impressions one relates to. Think of a brain you buy from the butcher: you can hold it in your hand, see it with your eyes and examine it with your other senses. The same thing applies to your own brain. Furthermore, it is not possible for this piece of flesh we call the brain to feel pleasure and sorrow, to interpret the electric signals transmitted to it or to distinguish the hundreds of different sounds, smells and tastes.

Now I'll ask you again: If that consciousness that hears what I'm saying, asks for details of the pictures and diagrams it sees, seeks an answer to questions, isn't brain's cells or a cognitive center, what is it then?

IBRAHIM: Are you saying there's someone in our brain we don't know about who hears and interprets what we say?

MURAD: The answer to your question is very important, IBRAHIM:, because in research and investigations to date, no such center or being has been encountered. In that case, that which forms sound or music in the brain and that which listens to human conversation must be human consciousness.

IBRAHIM: So where in the brain is this consciousness?

MURAD: When I say consciousness, I don't mean a layer of fat or the nerve cells. This consciousness is the soul God created and gave to human beings. The soul doesn't need eyes to see images or ears to hear sounds. Nor does it need a brain to think. This is one of God's miracles.

AISHA: In that case, if what really sees, hears and feels is our soul only, is it true to say that our sense organs are simply a vehicle?

MURAD: Of course, Aisha.

AISHA: That's exciting!

AHMED: And besides being amazing, once more we learn our own strength is to no avail and we are witnesses to the power of God.

Actually, everyone relates to his own screen; that is, to images projected to his own soul. Even if several people are in one place, no one knows the images that the other person is in touch with. Everyone can see only the images projected on his own "screen".

MURAD: What you said is very true, Ahmed. People like you who've come to know the truth, understand that God has placed the whole three-dimensional universe with its color, shadow and light into a dark space of a few cubic centimeters in the brain, must think about God, fear Him and take refuge in Him.

IBRAHIM: I understand too that our brain is also a perception. There can be only one thing that does the perceiving, and that is the soul that God has created and given to us. It's clear that the soul is a special existence different from an impression. I don't know how I could have thought before now that all these activities were performed by the brain.

MURAD: A characteristic of the soul is to be affected by the impressions it sees. Impressions lead to the formation of sensations like satisfaction, pain, happiness and fear in the soul. These impressions are created in a way to affect the soul and the soul is created to be affected by them. In this way, each of us finds ourselves in our own world. It's a place of testing. So, what we call the world appears to be a group of particular impressions perceived by the soul.

AISHA: If the soul is the only existence that perceives impressions, there must be a supreme existence apart from the soul that causes us to see these impressions. Moreover, there must be a fundamental purpose in our being made to see these impressions.

MURAD: Yes, actually we can understand it without protracting the discussion too much. As you also know, it's God Who is the possessor of supreme knowledge and Who causes us to see everything. He uninterruptedly impresses these images in our souls. In this way, God makes us each live in our own world and tests us in it.

AISHA: We can think of it as a television broadcast, can't we?I mean, God, with His determining wisdom and knowledge, makes the entity we call the soul perceive those impressions as the world. While this broadcast remains uninterrupted and continuous, that is, while God shows us the impressions He wills, we react to things we experience without realizing their nature. Apart from the soul and what the soul observes, we have no relation to an external world.

MURAD: Exactly. Now that we've established the soul's existence, it remains to examine the source and the reason for these impressions. There are conclusions of vital importance that we'll draw from what we've learned. The first subject is the source and nature of the impressions. We know now that we are in no relation to a material existence and we observe a wonderful world composed only of impressions. The magnificence of these impressions, the art, wisdom and knowledge in their creation reveals to us the supreme Creator.There's no absolute being apart from God Who has created everything. Apart from the existence of God, what remains are His manifestations that God has impressed within us. To God belong all strength, intelligence, knowledge, art, power and wisdom. When we think of these impressions, the supreme knowledge evident in the creation of these impressions, the soul's position in relation to the impressions, we come to know in a most wonderful way, the existence of God and His attributes. If we don't grasp this truth, our faith in God can't be without deficiency and we may entertain very wrong notions about Him.

AISHA: In that case, nothing exists apart from God.

MURAD: Exactly. Apart from the existence of God, in an absolute sense, nothing exists. Nor is it possible for anything to exist. What exists for us, is only an impression seen by the soul, like the ghostly impression we see in a dream. To say something exists apart from this and that we can have any relation to it, arises from a false premise. Moreover, because everything is an impression created by God, there's no power or will that is independent of God. Those who try to explain the existence of God, construct a logic of their own and say, "We can't see God but we can't see radio waves either. We know radio waves exist, therefore, God exists like a radio wave."This line of reasoning is false. People who resort to such logic believe that matter is absolute and imagine that God (Surely God is beyond all that) is like an abstract being that surrounds matter. But truly, God IS the absolute being. Other things are manifestations created by Him. God alone exists; everything else is a shadow being.

AHMED: But we didn't learn these things that way! I mean, okay God created everything. There is no other deity besides God, and He possesses the highest attributes. But we live in this world with our own will and intelligence. That is, everyone makes their own life.

MURAD: As we can understand from Ahmed's statement, people have become confused about God and about fate as a result of some unfounded opinions. Someone who believes that matter itself is independent of God will naturally interpret everything according that belief. Those who can't grasp God's eternal power, knowledge and absolute existence have some very wrong views. They describe Him as a being who lives somewhere in the sky who doesn't interfere with the workings of the world. They believe that the world they live in is the only reality.They even assert arrogantly that they are actually material beings themselves, and that God (Surely God is beyond all that) is a phantom, an immaterial spiritual being who has no influence on matter.

AISHA: I always thought that way because that's what we were taught. But now I realize how wrong I was.How does our religion explain this?

MURAD: The Qur'an mentions this subject in some places and a few verses provide the key to understanding it. For people like you who believe that matter is a kind of phantom, everything becomes clearly intelligible. Such people grasp in a moment how close God is to them. They can see immediately mistaken ideas and false opinions concerning God that many espouse. It may have already occurred to you how close God is to human beings, but when you consider what we have been saying, you realize that God is closer to us throughout our lifetime than anything else.

IBRAHIM: I never thought of it that way.

MURAD: Ibrahim, God is closer to you than Aisha, Ahmed, I or even than you yourself.In Surah Qaf verse 16, God says concerning human beings, "We are nearer to him than his jugular vein." And in Surah Isra' verse 60, this truth is revealed in these words, "Surely your Lord encompasses mankind." But a person who believes that his body is composed of matter can't grasp this important truth. For example, if the brain is a place considered by one's 'self' a place accepted as outside would be about 20-30 centimeters away. But when one grasps that there is no contact to something called matter, and that one is only relating to perceptions in the mind, concepts such as outside, inside and closeness become meaningless. God has encompassed us and is eternally close to us.

IBRAHIM: ETERNAL CLOSENESS! I never thought about that before. It's clearly plain to me now but I never thought about it until today.This is really amazing.

MURAD: There are other verses relevant to this subject. I want to read these verses to you. Please listen.

When (your soul) leaps to your throat (at death)

And you are at that moment looking on.

We are nearer him than you but you cannot see. (Surat al-Waqi'ah: 83-85)

In another verse, it is said:

When My servants ask you about Me, tell them I am indeed close (to them). I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calls on Me. They should therefore respond to Me and believe in Me so that hopefully they will be rightly guided. (Surat al-Baqara: 186)

IBRAHIM:Yes, the verses are very revealing. When you mention eternal closeness, now I really know what you mean.

AISHA: I also understand and feel very excited. God is with me every moment. He hears every prayer.He knows everything I do and think.He's closer to me than I am to myself. This is really a wonderful thing. I don't understand how I could not have considered it before now.

MURAD: An understanding of the nature of matter also makes some other things clear. Someone who considers these things understands that besides God there's no other absolute being, He created everything and He is in control every moment. For example, Surat an-Naml verse 64 reveals that "He originates creation."That is to say, God is the creator of everything at every moment. Surah Fatir verse 41 explains this truth in this way: "God keeps a firm hold on the heavens and earth, preventing them from vanishing away. And if they vanished no one could then keep hold of them. Certainly He is Most Forbearing, Ever-Forgiving." This means everything in the universe is under God's control at all times and their existence continues only with His permission.

IBRAHIM: Therefore there's no power besides God. So when I say I am doing something, it's basically God Who is creating it while I think I am doing it. Is that true?

MURAD: Very true. There's no question of interfering with the impressions that are created by God and perceived by the soul. Whatever He causes us to observe, is what we see. It's not possible to change or influence the impression. At this stage, the idea of fate can be easily understood. Our fate is whatever we observe in this world of impressions created by God. We observe a definite sequence of events that we perceive as our life as if we were watching a film. Whatever is predetermined for us in fate is what we sense and perceive. In the Qur'an, this subject is clearly revealed in Surat al-Insan verse 30: "But you will not will unless God wills". In Surat al-Anfal verse 17, it is also said "…you did not throw, when you threw; it was God Who threw." The same fact is stated in Surat as-Saffat verse 17: "God created both you and what you do." These verses show that man is not independent of God.

Every motion performed at every moment by the man in the frames on the top has been determined in his fate long before he was born. What he is doing is simply following the path of his fate. Walking to the car, reaching out his hand to the door, taking hold of the handle, opening the door, getting in, sitting down, closing the door - all of these motions exist in his fate.

AISHA: But we so often hear expressions like "He beat fate" or "He was a victim of fate."

MURAD: Such expressions stem from ignorance, a failure to understand the reality of fate and an inability to conceive of God's eternal power.Fate can be generally defined as "God's immediate knowledge of past, present and future."

AHMED: Can you explain a bit more, Murad? How is it possible that events can be known that haven't yet taken place?

MURAD: To say something hasn't happened is to speak from a human perspective.The event hasn't happened just so far as we can know. But God isn't limited to time and space.Indeed, it is He Who created time and space. For this reason past, present and future are all one to Him. Everything has "happened".

AISHA: So, there's no such thing as "beating fate".

MURAD: Right, Aisha. A human being can't interfere with fate.There's no recourse beyond it. For example, a person can't lengthen or shorten his life.This has been revealed in the Qu'ran, in verse 30 of Surah Saba: "Say: 'You have a promised appointment on a Day which you cannot delay or advance a single hour.' " It can be understood from this that there's no such thing as chance, accident, or luck. Everything happens as God has determined it and when He has determined it. It is not in human hands to change it or prevent it. That is, human beings have no such power.

IBRAHIM: When people die, have an accident or get sick, or when things don't go the way they want, they go through a kind of rebellion. Now I understand better how fatuous that is.

MURAD: Because every moment is created by God, everything we observe has reason, purpose and intelligence. Nothing is created at random. For example, a business man boards a plane for London but at the last moment he remembers that he has left his wallet in the airport and gets off the plane. The plane leaves without him and crashes and so the business man doesn't die. In such a situation, someone who has no concept of fate might say something like, "He escaped death, he changed his fate." In fact, every moment this person lives is a part of his fate. Getting on the plane, forgetting his wallet, the crash of the plane and the interpretation given to the event by a person standing outside are all determined by fate. There has been no change. In fact, fate is created as a whole and rules over the whole of life. This fate is determined from the first moment of creation.

IBRAHIM: It means that before coming into this world every thing that we're going to experience has been determined and is known to God. Is that what you're saying?

MURAD: Yes. I'll explain this with another verse from the Qu'ran. God addresses people in this way: "You do not engage in any matter or recite any of the Qur'an 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)As we can understand from this verse, everything that has happened and that will happen on earth has been recorded in God's sight even before the creation of the universe. For this reason, even before you came into the world, even when your mother, your father and your grandfather were not yet born, God knew that you would be having this conversation with us.

AISHA: I want to give an example to show another misunderstanding of fate. Someone I know got skin cancer. It was said that he had only a short time left but he went abroad for treatment and got better. At that time, I frequently heard people say, "He beat death" and "he extended his life."

No matter what a person experiences, he is living out the fate that God has created for him. If he becomes ill or has an accident and must undergo an operation, his survival of the danger to his life and every event he experiences afterwards were first written in his fate. Someone who suffers an accident and gets better has not "beaten his fate"; he has experienced these ordeals because having an accident and getting better were in his fate.

MURAD: As you've also understood, there's no question of shortening or extending life. It was according to his fate that the person was sick, came close to death, received treatment and got better. All these occurrences proceeded in a definite sequence, but, in fact, the result is determined from the beginning. Once we know the truth, we can easily solve problems we never understood before. The most important thing is that God is the one absolute power Who encompasses all. He is closer to us than our jugular vein. Everything is under His control.Everything has been determined and ordered by Him in the most wonderful way. A human being observes only what has been predetermined for himself. This nullifies every sort of spiritual or material anxiety and fears about the future. It reduces to unimportance a human being's passion and ambition in relation to the world. Only the consent of God gains importance. So, a person begins to see and understand things in the correct way according to their true meaning. He comes to appreciate the power and sovereignty of God, the absolute Ruler and supreme Creator of all things.

IBRAHIM: What you're saying is very important and subtle. Were there those in the past who wrongly understood and falsely interpreted these things?

MURAD: Yes, there's been various forms of perverse tendencies in the past. Some factions looked at the matter from a single point of view and said,"What's the use of worship since God is already doing everything?" They then abandoned worship. Some have said, "Humans strive in vain," and then adopted a lazy attitude, putting forth no effort or struggle. There were some who had even a more perverse attitude and went so far as to consider themselves on the same level as God (Surely God is beyond all that). Surat al-An'am verse 148 says this about those who have taken up in such a perverse view:"Those who associate others with God will say, 'If God had willed we would not have associated anything with Him, nor would our fathers; nor would we have forbidden anything.' In the same way the people before them also lied until they felt Our violent force. Say: 'Do you have some knowledge you can produce for us? You are following nothing but conjecture. You only tell lies.'. " As seen in this verse, such people act upon conjecture and are in truth, liars.

AISHA: This is a very important point. Can you be more precise?

MURAD: God has created the world as a place of test and has sent to humanity apostles and books through which He has revealed the right way and pointed out their responsibilities. We, who are bound to physical impressions in this testing place, are obliged to act in the way God has revealed. That is, we bear the responsibility for the reactions we give to these impressions. Finally, in return for those things we do in this realm of impressions, we will go to heaven or hell.

AISHA: We do nothing and we do everything, is that right?

MURAD: Aisha, there are two sides to the question. First, the external side or appearance. From this angle, a person is responsible for every action. We're physically bound to this world and our souls are influenced by occurrences which happen in the world of impressions. God gives us such a sense. When we are hungry, we have to fill the physical impression with the impression of food. When we are physically ill, we resort to the impressions of a doctor and medicine. There is an eternal intelligence and reason for these things in creation. The second, and the hidden side of the question is to understand the basic meaning of life – which is projected to us through impressions – and to see the truth. A person who discovers this reality understands that there's no strength apart from God, and that all power belongs to God.So, he correctly evaluates this life and the world.

IBRAHIM: That is, a person who is aware of this matter also gets sick, goes to a doctor and takes medicine but in doing this he knows that he is basically following his fate; he realizes that God is the cause of the illness and of its cure; and his reaction will be according to this understanding. Is that right?

MURAD: What you said is revealed in Surat ash-Shu'ara in these words: "(It is) He Who created me and guides me; He Who gives me food and gives me drink; and when I am ill, it is He Who heals me; He Who will cause my death, then give me life; He Who I sincerely hope will forgive my mistakes on the Day of Reckoning." (Surat ash-Shu'ara: 78-82) A person who understands that all power belongs to God and that there is no friend or helper besides God, attains a complete sense of intimacy in faith and in the worship of God. So long as he remains conscious of this, he will be protected from the damaging and destroying influences of the world. He takes medicine but he knows that God is the One Who cures; he eats but he knows that God is the One Who satisfies; that is, he continues to lead the same life, but with an awareness of the truth.

AHMED: But you didn't say anything about the things that bind me to the world now.My house, my name, the property I've accumulated over so many years, and my children who'll continue my name and my family after I die. If I accept what you have said, I must accept that I have no connection to the reality of these things. That I relate only to copies of them in my mind.

MURAD: Ahmed, if you wish, think about the things we have talked about today and be sure to come to our final talk tomorrow. A large part of what I'm going to talk about tomorrow is of interest to you and people who think as you do.

AHMED: Of course, I'll be happy to come. Anyway, I don't intend to reject such an evident truth; that would really be to run away from the truth despite being certain of it. But there are still some details that I want to learn more fully.

IBRAHIM: There are no question marks left in my mind about the fact that everything is composed of impressions in my brain, that I have no relation to an external world, the nature of the soul, or about the existence of God.I hope we can extend the subject a bit farther. In the meantime, I'll prepare some more questions too.

AISHA: Murad, why does such a wonderful truth make some people uneasy? It does them no good to stop their ears and close their eyes to the truth.

MURAD: You have a day to think about that. Tomorrow, when we meet, I think you'll have the answers to all your questions.


5- Bertrand Russell, ABC of Relativity, George Allen and Unwin, London, 1964, pp.161-162
6- Orhan Hancerlioglu, Dusunce Tarihi (The History of Thought), Remzi Kitabevi, Istanbul: 1987, p.447
7- Lincoln Barnett, The Universe and Dr. Einstein, William Sloane Associate, New York, 1948, p.20
8- R.L.Gregory, Eye and Brain: The Psychology of Seeing, Oxford University Press Inc. New York, 1990, p.9
9- Ken Wilber, Holographic Paradigm and Other Paradoxes, p. 20