THE THIRTEENTH FLOOR
in The Matrix, this movie's subject is the amazing similarities between
the real and virtual worlds. In the year 1999, the lead characters, Hannon
Fuller, and his business associate Douglas Hall, create a computer generated
virtual world on the 13th floor of a Los Angeles office building that
recreates Los Angeles as it was in 1937.
As the photos on the following pages show, people who want to log on
to this computer program stretch out on a bed, and the program's data
is then transferred to their brains. Whoever connects to the system acquires
a virtual personality back in 1937. When the data is loaded into his brain,
for example, Douglas Hall-a wealthy businessman and successful company
executive in 1999-become a bank cashier named John Ferguson, living in
the year 1937.
Once the data is loaded, anyone connecting to the system suddenly finds
himself in the 1937 environment, with everything-buildings, cars, clothes-of
authentic 1937 vintage. When people enter this simulated world, what surprises
most is that both of their lives seem similarly real. In both, they feel
the coolness of water and air blown by the wind and experience the same
fears and excitement in the situations they encounter.
As the film progresses, people connected to the system begin to realize
that the life in 1999 Los Angeles, which they thought was real, is itself
a specifically designed program! Everything they thought to be real up
until then-their companies, jobs, cars, computer systems, families, friends-are
actually imaginary. In reality, the year is 2024, and all the events projected
as their "real lives" are part of a simulation. The film's most amazing
aspect is that the characters connect to a simulator-within-the-simulator
and live lives that, in these successive virtual environments, all have
stunningly convincing similarities with reality.
The stills on the opposite page show Douglas connecting to the simulation
and the transfer to him of 1937 banker John Ferguson's personality.
Douglas Hall - John Ferguson consciousness transferring
User: Douglas Hall
Preparing user for download into simulation.
Program link: John Ferguson
Aligning user to program
Ready for download.
Mr. Grierson, 117 West Whinston, Pasadena.
Even though Douglas's body is motionless, once connected to the simulator,
he finds himself alive in the year 1937 as a bank cashier named John Ferguson.
Even though every detail appears perfectly realistic, the old-fashioned
cars, the people he meets, his own clothes and physical appearance-everything
is part of a vision created in his brain by artificial signals.
the fact that Douglas is the designer of this system, he is amazed by
his appearances and the realistic environment he is in, as the movie still
below demonstrates. Spending a long time in front of a mirror, he even
observes his hair, moustache, and the color of his skin.
Because of 1937 John Ferguson's weird behavior, his bank manager tells
him that he looks appalling and should take a break. But 1999 Douglas
Hall, deeply affected by the realistic quality of his computer-generated
life, is proud of designing such a system.
Douglas Hall : I think I look pretty good.
Simulations and Misleading Reality
As pointed out extensively in the previous chapters, things we perceive
as the "external world" are only the effects of electrical impulses on
the brain. The blue sky when you look out the window, the soft chair you
are sitting on, the scent of the coffee you drink, the ringing of the
phone, even your body-all are your brain's interpretation of electrical
Were it possible to send the required electrical signals with the aid
of a computer, just as in this film, you could have experienced the same
feelings with the same degree of authenticity. As you've seen, artificial
stimulation can create a living, convincing world inside our heads, with
no need for an external physical reality. With the help of simulators,
we can now recreate some aspects of our lives realistically. With a special
glove, for example, it's possible to feel the sensations of stroking a
cat, shaking someone's hand, washing your own hands under a tap, or touching
a hard object-without these actions taking place physically. More sophisticated
systems let you feel that you're playing golf, skiing, driving a race
car or flying an aircraft. In reality, none of these environments exist.
This shows absolutely that humans experience sensations only in their
brains and are not interacting with the "originals."
In The Thirteenth Floor, computers create virtual lives, indistinguishable
from real ones. Through the simulation machine, characters in the film
connect to different times and environments where they live just as in
their "real" lives.
In the following dialogue, Whitney, one of the system's designers, explains
the simulation they are working on to detective McBain:
Detective McBain : The whole thing's a giant computer
Whitney : No, not at all, it doesn't need a user
to interact with it to function. Its units are fully-formed, self-learning
Detective McBain : Units?
Whitney : Electronic, simulated characters. They
populate the system. They think they work, they eat... Let's just say
that they're modeled after us. Right now we have a working prototype:
Los Angeles, circa 1937.
Detective McBain : Why '37?
Whitney : Fuller wanted to start by recreating
the era of his youth. You see, while my mind is jacked in, I'm walking
around experiencing 1937. My body stays here and holds the consciousness
of the program link unit.
As you can gather from this dialogue, in the simulated environment there
is no reality whatsoever, only artificial signals. There is no need for
eyes to see, ears to hear, or no body to feel. Someone stretched out on
the bed can feel himself somewhere else in a different time, simply by
some data being transferred through the computer.
Our books on this subject offer some explanations:
- All our senses work more or less in the same way. All the stimuli
(sounds, smells, tastes, sight, hardness, etc.) from objects we believe
to exist outside of ourselves, are transmitted, via the nervous system,
to the brain's perceptual centers. All the stimuli reaching the brain
are in the form of electrical impulses. For instance, streams of light-photons-reflected
from external objects reach the retina at the back of the eye; in the
process of seeing, they are converted into electrical signals, then
transmitted by the optic nerve to the brain's visual center where, in
an area of a few cubic centimeters, we perceive a vivid, colorful, three-dimensional
The same basic process applies to our other senses. Cells in the tongue
convert different flavors into electrical signals, scents are transmitted
by cells in the epithelium in the nose, feelings of touch (hardness, softness
etc.) by receptor cells under the skin; and sound by a special mechanism
in the ear. All are then forwarded to be perceived in the relevant areas
of the brain.
If you are drinking a cup of tea, special cells under your skin convert
the warmth of the cup into electrical signals sent to the brain. Likewise,
when you take a sip, the tea's strong scent, sweet taste and the brownish
color are all converted into electrical currents transmitted to the brain.
When you put the cup down onto the table, the sound of its making contact
with the tabletop is received by the ear and sent to the brain as an electrical
impulse. All these perceptions are interpreted by separate sensory centers
in the brain, in conjunction with one another. As a result of these interpretations,
you think you are drinking tea, while everything is really taking place
in your brain's sensory centers. You go wrong in thinking your perceptions
are for real, because you have no proof whatever that they exist outside
your skull. Were there any complications in your optic nerves, vision
would instantly disappear. Likewise, if there were a problem with your
auditory nerves, the sounds you believe you hear outside of you, would
cease to exist. (Articles-II, "Splendid Science Beyond Matter," pp.112-113)
There is No Light Outside
Everything we taste, smell, hear and feel
are only perceptions in the brain.
In light of some recent discoveries, scientists have come to an interesting
conclusion: In reality, our world is in utter darkness, because today
it is known that "light" is a wholly subjective term. In other words,
it's an experience taking place in the brain.
There is no light outside, really. Light bulbs do not emit light, neither
do your car's headlights, not even our biggest known light source, the
Sun. Our experience of light is produced by photons reaching the retina
at the back of our eyes, where cells convert them into electrical signals
that we come to perceive as "light." If the cells of our eyes perceived
photons as heat, we would never have terms like "light," "darkness," or
"color" and therefore, would look at objects only in terms of "warm" or
In The Thirteenth Floor, upon Douglas Hall's return from the artificial
but realistic environment of 1937, he has the following exchange:
Whitney : How's the lighting? Textures?
Douglas Hall : Colorization needs work, but the
units don't notice.
Whitney : What are they like?
Douglas Hall : They're as real as
you and me.
Someone looking at a rose garden is in reality
interacting with the perception of roses in the brain. If the optic
nerve were to be severed, the roses' images would instantly disappear.
The "reality" depicted in the film is in fact true. By means of artificially
created signals, quantities like color or light can be experienced quite
realistically. Some examples from our books on this subject explain:
brain is insulated from light;the inside of the skull is absolutely
dark. Therefore, the brain itself has no contact with light . . . You
can watch a burning candle at length. However, your brain never has
direct contact with the candle's original light. Even at the moment
you perceive the candle's light, the inside of your brain is pitch dark.
We watch a colorful and bright world inside our dark brain. (The
Evolution Deceit, 7th edition, p.218)
- As we all know, light cannot penetrate the skull. In other words,
our safely contained brain is in utter darkness. Yet in this darkness,
we see the blue ocean waters, the green trees, colorful flowers, brilliant
Sun and every shade and hue. . . . If we saw the true state of the objects
outside ourselves, we wouldn't perceive this external brilliance, colors
and light, because the images would bounce off our skulls and never
reach the visual center in our brain. If this is so, then how do we
see this brilliant light of the Sun and moon? How do images of the bright
chandeliers in our lounge form in the brain, where light can never reach?
(Articles-II, "Splendid Science Beyond Matter," pp.112-113)
The light we know and understand does not reside outside our brains.
Light, as we perceive it, is also formed within our brain. What we call
light, supposedly in the outside world, consists of electromagnetic waves
and energy particles called photons. When these electromagnetic waves
reach the retina, only then does light, as we experience it, come into
Consequently, light comes about as a result of the effects caused in
us by some electromagnetic waves and particles. In other words, no light
outside our bodies creates the "light" we see in our brains. There is
only energy; and when it reaches us, we perceive a bright, colorful world.
(Matter: The Other Name
for Illusion, pp.27-28)
Just as with light, the experience of colors forms in our brains too.
When photons from the Sun hit an object, it reflects these in photons
of different wavelengths. Reaching the eye, the retina converts them into
electrical impulses. Carried to the visual center in the brain, they are
interpreted as colors. But these are personal, specific interpretations
within ourselves; there is no light and no colors in the real world. A
defect in our eye, or the different eye structures in other creatures,
will convert the photons into different electrical signals, resulting
in our perceiving the exact same object in a wholly different way.
are some passages dealing with this subject from our books:
Starting from the time we are born, we deal with a colorful environment
and see a colorful world. But there isn't one single color in the universe.
Colors are formed in our brains. Outside, there are only electromagnetic
waves of different amplitudes and frequencies. What reaches our brains
is the energy from those waves. We call this "light," although this isn't
the bright and shiny light we know. It's merely energy. Our brains interpret
this energy by measuring the different frequencies of waves, and we see
"colors." In reality, the sea is not blue, the grass is not green, the
soil is not brown and fruits are not colorful. They appear as they do
because of the way we perceive them in our brains.
Both color and light exist in our brains. We do not actually see a red
rose as red simply because it is red. Our brain's interpretation of the
energy that reaches our eye leads us to perceive that the rose is red.
(Matter: The Other Name
for Illusion, p.28)
- Color blindness is proof that colors are formed in our brains. A
small injury in the retina can lead to color blindness. A person affected
by color blindness is unable to differentiate between red and green
colors. Whether an external object has colors or not is of no importance,
because the reason why we see objects colorful is not their being colorful.
This leads us to the conclusion that all of the qualities that we believe
belong to the object are not in the outside world, but in our brains.
However, since we will never be able to go beyond our perceptions and
reach the outside world, we will never be able to prove the existence
of materials and colors. (Matter:
The Other Name for Illusion, p.31)
God brought you out of your mothers' wombs
knowing nothing at all, and gave you hearing, sight and hearts so
that perhaps you would show thanks. (Qur'an, 16 :78)
Flowers That You Smell in Your Brain
Most people believe that they smell the scent of a flower with their
noses. Like all our other senses, smell too is an interpretation of the
brain and works in a similar way. After entering the nose, a flower's
scent molecules are converted in the epithelium into electrical signals.
These signals reach the brain's olfactory center, where they are perceived
as the scent of a daisy, rose, or some other flowers. Were the relevant
signals sent to your brain by artificial means, you could smell these
scents without the flowers themselves.
In The Thirteenth Floor's simulated environment, scents are perceived
in a perfectly realistic way. . Mr. Grierson, a bookstore keeper in 1937,
is a virtual character crafted to resemble the elderly Hannon Fuller,
who connects to the simulator and uses this person's body to spend time
in Mr. Grierson's virtual environment. He listens to 1930s music, watches
the dances of that era and acquires a social circle there. As one of the
program's requirements, when he leaves the system, the body he's been
using continues its old life. Therefore, Mr. Grierson-bookstore keeper
in the virtual year of 1937-can't quite remember what he experienced,
or else considers his memories to be only products of his imagination.
In one exchange of dialogue, he says:
Mr. Grierson :When I wake up, I even have a perfume
smell all over me.
Douglas Hall : Real or imagined?
this scene shows, the units in the virtual environment perceive smells
realistically, via computer-generated data transmitted to them, without
the existence of any perfume in the real world. Some passages from our
books explain this matter:
- You suppose that the end-effects formed in your center of smell are
the scents of the objects outside. However, just as the image of a rose
exists in your visual center, so its smell resides in your olfactory
center … (The
Evolution Deceit, 7th edition, pp.223-224)
- To understand that smell is only a sensation, consider dreams. When
people dream, just as all images are seen realistically, smells too
are perceived as if they were real. For example, a person who goes to
a dream restaurant may choose dinner amid the aroma of the foods on
the menu. Someone who dreams of a trip to the seaside senses the distinctive
smell of salt water, and someone who dreams of a garden would experience
the pleasure of magnificent scents. Likewise, someone who dreams of
choosing a perfume would be able to distinguish the smells of the different
perfumes, one by one. Everything is so realistic that when people awaken,
they are often surprised to realize they were dreaming. (Matter:
The Other Name for Illusion, p.39)
To Feel that Your Experiences are
Real, You Don't Require the Existence of the "External" World
In the late 19th century, people who faced a movie screen for the first
time believed the objects they saw on the screen to be real. They began
to panic when they saw a train racing towards them. Much more convincing
effects are achieved today by means of special glasses which create holograms
(3-D view). People wearing these glasses, believe the imaginary scenes
they're watching are real, respond with fear and excitement. Even though
they're well aware that they're interacting with a virtual environment,
they can't help becoming absorbed in the recreated environments of this
situation is also true for our lives: We believe in the real world because
of the perfectly realistic appearance.
The Thirteenth Floor points out how technology can mislead. In the virtual
year 1937, a character named Ashton reads a letter he wasn't supposed
to, written by Hannon Fuller, one of the system's founders. When Ashton
finds out that his entire life until then was not real, that he lives
in a virtual world, first he thinks it's all a joke. Later, when he sees
that this environment, created specifically for him, comes to a predetermined
end, he goes berserk. But none of his actions can change the reality that
he is living in a virtual environment. Becoming aggressive, he furiously
demands that Douglas Hall, one of the system's founders, tell him the
truth. The following dialogue takes place between them:
Ashton : When I read it, I thought it was a gag.
The world's a sham. Fat chance! But I'm not stupid, Mr. Hall. I watched
you and Ferguson do the old switch-er-oo. And all that stuff about going
to "the ends of the earth."
Douglas Hall : What stuff?
: I did exactly what the letter said. I chose a place I'd never go to.
I tried to drive to Tucson. I figured, whatever, I've never been to the
countryside. And I took that car out on the highway. I was going over
50 through that desert. After a while, it was the only car on the road.
It was just me, the heat and the dust. I did exactly what the letter said.
"Don't follow any road signs and don't stop for anything. Not even barricades."
But just when I should've been getting closer to the city. Something wasn't
right. There was no movement, no life. Everything was still and quiet.
And then I got out of the car. And what I saw scared me to the depths
of my miserable soul. It was true. It was all a sham. It ain't real.
Douglas Hall :Why would Fuller write about the
limitations of the simulation? I know them.
Ashton : I'm asking the questions now. I want to
know why... Now I want you to show me what is real. Is this real? Is that
When Ashton discovers that his environment is actually virtual, he refuses
to acknowledge it. To prove his point, he even shoots Douglas in the leg
and asks him if the blood flowing from the wound is real. But when someone
gets injured, because the blood from his leg, the pain and fear he feels,
are all perceptions. Therefore, nothing changes. The fact of someone experiencing
pain or fear can't constitute evidence for the existence of an external,
The same is true for us. We can't prove that material equivalents exist
for the perceptions we experience in our brains because we can never step
outside of our brains. It's impossible for us to tell whether these perceptions
derive from some artificial source, or if they have a material existence
in the outside world.
Some people who disagree, without pondering this subject, say things
like, "Step in front of a truck, and you'll understand whether or not
matter is real." But even when the truck runs us over, still we live in
our brains: The sensation of being run over, like the vision of the truck
and the anxiety of trying to escape it are all brain-based perceptions.
Likewise if someone strikes you, the blow of his hand, the sensation of
pain on your face and the reddening of the skin are all experienced in
Some passages from our books are in line with the subject:
- Objection: "Matter exists outside my brain. The pain when a knife
slips and cuts my hand and the blood that flows are not images. Moreover,
my friend was with me and saw it happen."
The hummingbird in the picture is only the
sum total of perceptions to the beholder. The bird is drawn and
colored in the mind, where its voice is also heard.
Reply: . . . Those who say this kind of
thing ignore the fact that not only sight, but the other senses like hearing,
smell and touch, also happen inside the brain. That's why they say, "I
may see the knife in my brain, but the sharpness of the blade is a fact.
Just look how it has cut my hand." However, the pain in that hand, the
warm wet blood, and all the other perceptions are still formed within
the brain. That a friend witnessed the incident changes nothing, because
the friend is also formed in the same visual center of his brain as the
knife. The speaker could experience the exact same feelings in a dream-the
way he cut his hand with a knife, the pain in his hand, the image and
the warmth of his blood. In that dream, he can also see the friend who
saw him cut himself. Yet his friend's existence doesn't imply the physical
existence of what he sees in his dream.
What if someone came up in that dream and said, "When you cut your hand,
what you saw is just perceptions. That knife isn't real, nor are the blood
and the pain. They are just events you're witnessing in your mind"? The
person would not believe him and would object. He might even say: "I am
a materialist. I do not believe in such claims. There is a physical reality
in everything I see now. Look, can't you see the blood?" (Matter:
The Other Name for Illusion, pp.183-184)
- It's impossible for us to reach the physical world. All objects around
us are apprehended through one or more means of perception such as sight,
hearing, and touch. Our brain, processing the data in the visual and
other sensory centers throughout our lives, confronts not the "original"
of the matter existing outside us, but rather the copies formed inside
our brain. (Timelessness
and the Reality of Fate, p.32)
We can never prove that the perceptions we observe in our brain have
material correlations. Those perceptions may well be coming from an "artificial"
- We can visualize this with such an example:
First, imagine that we remove your brain from your body and keep it alive
artificially in a glass tank. Next to it, let us place a computer that
can produce all kinds of electrical signals. Then, let us artificially
produce and record in this computer electrical signals of the data related
to some physical setting, such as image, sound, odor, hardness-softness,
taste, and body image. Finally, let us connect the computer to your brain
with electrodes that will function as nerves and send the pre-recorded
data to your brain. As your brain (which is literally you) perceives these
signals, it will see and experience the corresponding setting.
From this computer, you can also send electrical signals related to your
body to your brain. If we sent to your brain the electrical correlates
of senses such as sight, hearing, and touch that you perceive while sitting
at a table, your brain would think of itself as a businessman sitting
in his office.
This imaginary world will continue so long as the computer keeps stimulations
coming. It will never become possible for you to understand that you consist
of nothing but your brain. This is because what is needed to form a world
within your brain is not the existence of a real world but rather the
stimuli. It is perfectly possible that these stimuli might be coming from
an artificial source, such as a recording device or a different source
of perception. (Eternity
Has Already Begun, pp.29-30)
In the following dialogue, Douglas's connection to the simulation gets
disrupted, returning him to real life. In the virtual world, his friend
Whitney-in the person of Ashton-is trying to kill him. In the virtual
world, Douglas experiences fear so realistic that upon returning to real
life, he's out of breath. Still trying to defend himself, he even punches
Douglas Hall : He tried to kill me.
Whitney : Who?
Douglas Hall : Ashton. He found out his world isn't
real. This is a mistake. This whole project, this experiment. We are screwing
with people's lives!
Whitney : Now you're talking crazy. I know you
just had a bad trip...
Douglas Hall : "Bad trip?" These people are real.
They are as real as you and me.
Whitney :Yeah, that's because we designed them
that way. In the end, they're just a bunch of electronic circuits.
As this scene dramatizes, it's possible to live in an unreal world, believing
it to be the real life. Douglas, despite being one of the system's designers,
and despite his friend's reminding him that the people he encountered
were the sum total of electronic circuits, still has trouble believing
his experience wasn't real.
While engaged in this argument about the emulation of reality by a system
they designed, they themselves live in an artificial environment. But
they aren't aware of this, and so believe their world to be real.
Many passages in our books touch on the possibility of creating the impression
of reality by artificial stimulation:
- ... In principle, it's possible to create artificial images and an
artificial world with the help of artificial stimuli. We cannot claim
that the "real-life images" that we see and deal with all the time are
of the original, outside world. Our senses could well be coming from
a very different source. (Matter:
The Other Name for Illusion, p.74)
- When nerves to the brain are severed, no image can form. Then there
is no meaning to the sentence, "The originals of the images do exist
outside," because we can never perceive these originals-even if they
do exist. (Matter:
The Other Name for Illusion, p.182)
Dreaming Within a Dream
Someone who falls asleep at work might see
himself drowsing at the beach in his dream-and in that sleep, be
dreaming of spending time with his child. In other words, he could
be dreaming within his dream, despite the lack of physical actuality.
Towards the end of the film, viewers are surprised to learn that the
characters who designed the system, living a virtual life when they connect
to it, are really with their bodies in 2024. The life of Douglas Hall,
who believes himself to be living in Los Angeles in 1999, is itself a
dream. He's living a fantasy inside a fantasy.
This can be compared to dreaming within a dream. Even though a dream
has no material reality, yet we can experience realistic feelings and
even think that we are sleeping and waking as a part of our everyday lives.
We can even tell our dream-friends about very realistic dreams we dreamt
in our dream.
Consequently, it's possible to experience an artificially
created fantasy in which we realize it to be so. Douglas, facing such
a situation, can't overcome the shock of this reality.
Douglas Hall : How many simulated worlds like this
Jane Fuller : Thousands. Yours is the only one
that ever created a simulation within the simulation. Something we never
Your Body is an Image Formed in Your Brain
People think they're interacting with their real bodies, because they
can touch it, provide for its needs, and feel pain. Just as with all other
"outside" objects, our own body is a perception too, and we can never
reach its material reality. The pain when we cut our finger is a perception,
as is stilling hunger with a decent meal. It too is a perception. Artificial
stimuli can provide the same feelings of satisfaction without us having
to eat a meal. For this reason, we can never be certain about the physical
reality of our bodies. It's the soul who feels the touch, the pain, and
who reads this book.
Consider this subject from another perspective: The book appears to you
at an approximate distance of 30 centimeters. You see walls around you,
and your being seated on a chair at a certain height from the floor creates
the impression that you're located somewhere inside a room. In reality,
this environment is an illusion created by your mind. Because of this
mistaken belief, you have the sensation of living in the world. Actually,
the opposite is true: everything is inside of you.
In the accompanying photos, the virtual character Ashton, who has just
learned the truth, is seen speaking with Douglas. Ashton is experiencing
the shock of discovering that for all those years, he has lived an illusion
he thought to be reality. But Douglas, who created that virtual system,
shares his feelings because he is part of yet another virtual environment.
Hall : No, Ashton... I'm just like you. Just a bunch of electricity.
Ashton : What are you talking about?
Douglas Hall : It's all smoke and mirrors. Just
like your world. We're nothing but a simulation on some computer.
Ashton : But the letter said…
Douglas Hall :Everything was fake? The letter was
meant for me. Fuller was talking about my world.
Ashton : So what are you saying? You're saying
there's another world on top of this one?
It may be that you hate something when it
is good for you, and it may be that you love something when it is
bad for you. God knows, and you do not know. (Qur'an, 2: 216)
Douglas Hall : That's right.
Ashton : I don't understand.
Douglas Hall : Fuller found out about it.
These characters realize they've been living in a virtual environment
with illusionary bodies, without the existence of a material reality.
Nothing they ever saw or experienced was real. In another scene, Douglas
explains, "None of this is real. You pull the plug. I disappear. And nothing
I ever say nothing I ever do will ever matter."
When these characters discover that they're part of a virtual reality,
they realize that everything they've ever experienced happened outside
of their control, determined by whoever developed their virtual world.
Our own situation is very similar to theirs. God controls everything
in the world we live in; He has created every detail therein as part of
our trial. Someone who realizes that everything he sees and hears is in
fact a perception in his mind God has created, trusts in the infinitely
merciful and compassionate Creator of us all, instead of suffering from
sadness, fear, or panic.
It's appropriate to remind the reader of the some passages from our books
on this subject:
All the events that cause people difficulty and anxiety in their lives
actually "happen" in their brains. Someone who realizes this will show
patience in the face of whatever happens to him. He will know that God
has created everything for a good purpose, and will maintain trust in
Him. (Matter: The Other
Name for Illusion, p.119)
… God gives everyone the impression that he can change things, making
his own choices and decisions. For example, when a person wants a drink
of water, he doesn't say, "If it is my fate, I will drink," and sit down
without making a move. Instead, he drinks a predetermined amount of water
from a predetermined glass. But throughout his life, in everything that
he does, he thinks he's acting according to his own desire and will. The
person who submits himself to God and to the fate He created, knows that
everything he does is according to the will of God, even despite his sense
that he's accomplished it all himself. Other people mistakenly assume
that they've done everything with their own intelligence, under their
own power. (Matter: The
Other Name for Illusion, pp.146-147)
Nothing occurs either in the earth or in yourselves,
without its being in a Book before We make it happen. That is something
easy for God. That is so that you will not be grieved about the
things that may have escaped you or exult about the things that
come to you. God does not love any vain or boastful man. (Qur'an,
…Everything in heaven and Earth is God's and a manifestation of God.
God is the only absolute Being. The other beings whom He has created are
not absolute beings, but appearances. All the individuals observing the
appearances that God has created are all spirits from God.
When people grasp the secret of this great knowledge, they will attain
great conscious clarity, and the haze enshrouding their spirits will lift.
Everyone who understands it will freely submit to God, love Him and fear
Him… Those who understand this amazing fact will view things from a different
perspective and embark on a totally different life. (Matter:
The Other Name for Illusion, p.103)