"The world of senses" that we experience in dreams
A person can experience all senses vividly without the presence of the
outside world. The most obvious example of this is dreams. A person lies
on his bed with closed eyes while dreaming. However, in spite of this,
that person senses many things which he or she experiences in real life,
and experiences them so realistically that the dreams are indistinguishable
from the real life experience. Everyone who reads this book will often
bear witness to this truth in their own dreams. For example, a person
lying down alone on a bed in a calm and quiet atmosphere at night might,
in his dream, see himself in danger in a very crowded place. He could
experience the event as if it were real, fleeing from danger in desperation
and hiding behind a wall.
When a person has a dream of being in a garden on a bitingly
cold morning in the winter, he can feel the cold and start
shaking. However, there is neither wind nor cold in his particular
location. He might be even sleeping in a very warm room. Nevertheless,
he feels the cold in all its reality. There is no difference
between the cold he feels in the real world and the cold he
is feeling in his dream.
A person sleeping in a comfortable bed in his home may dream
that he is in the middle of a war. And he might also feel
the fear, tension and the panic of the war as if it were taking
place in the real world. Yet at that time he is sleeping in
a comfortable bed by himself. The realistic noises and visions
he sees in his dream occur in his mind.
Moreover, the images in his dreams are so realistic that he feels fear
and panic as if he really was in danger. He has his heart in his mouth
with every noise, is shaken with fear, his heart beats fast, he sweats
and demonstrates the other physical affects that the human body undergoes
in a dangerous situation. However, there is no external equivalent of
the events in his dream. They exist only in his mind.
A person who falls from a high place in his dream feels it with all his
body, even though he is lying in bed without moving. Alternatively, one
might see oneself slipping into a puddle, getting soaked and feeling cold
because of a cold wind.
However, in such a case, there is neither a puddle, nor is there wind.
Furthermore, despite sleeping in a very hot room, one experiences the
wetness and the cold, as if one were awake.
Someone who believes he is dealing with the original of the material
world in his dream can be very sure of himself. He can put his hand on
his friend's shoulder when the friend tells him that "matter is an image;
it isn't possible to deal with the original of the world", and then ask
"Am I an image now? Don't you feel my hand on your shoulder? If so, how
can you be an image? What makes you think in this way? Let's take a trip
up the Bosphorus; we can have a chat about it and you'll explain to me
why you believe this." The dream that he sees in his deep sleep is so
clear that he turns on the engine with pleasure and accelerates slowly,
almost jumping the car by pressing the pedal suddenly. While going on
the road, trees and road lines seem solid because of the speed. In addition,
he breathes clean Bosphorus air. But suppose he is woken up by his ringing
alarm clock just when he's getting ready to tell his friend that what
he's living at that moment isn't a dream. Wouldn't he object in the same
manner regardless of whether he was asleep or awake?
When people wake up they understand that what they've seen until that
moment is a dream. But for some reason they are not suspicious that the
life that starts with a "waking" image (what they call "real life") can
also be a dream. However, the way we perceive images in "real life" is
exactly the same as the way we perceive our dreams. We see both of them
in the mind. We cannot understand they are images until we are woken up.
Only then do we say "what I have just seen was a dream". So, how can
we prove that what we see at any given moment is not a dream? We could
be assuming that the moment in which we are living is real just because
we haven't yet woken up. It is possible that we will discover this fact
when we are woken up from this "waking dream" which takes longer than
dreams we see everyday. We do not have any evidence that proves otherwise.
A person sleeping in his house
can see himself on a rapidly turning wagon in a fair ground
while dreaming. He can realistically sense the wind that he
would experience on a fast moving wagon in the real world.
Many Islamic scholars have also proclaimed that the life around us is
only a dream, and that only when we are awakened from that dream with
"a big awakening", will people be able to understand that they live in
a dreamlike world. A great Islamic scholar, Muhyiddin Ibn al-'Arabi, referred
to as Sheikh Akbar (The greatest Sheikh) due to his superior knowledge,
likens the world to our dreams by quoting a saying of the Prophet Muhammad:
The Prophet Muhammad said that "people are asleep and
wake up when they die." This is to say that the objects seen in the world
when alive are similar to those seen when asleep while dreaming, meaning
that they exist in the imagination.16
Someone could dream that he is arguing with a friend who
is claiming that matter is just a dream. This person can put
his arm on the shoulder of his friend and ask him "Am I a
dream now? Don't you feel my hand on your shoulder? So, how
can you be a dream?"
He then invites his friend into his car for a ride: "Come
on, let's go for a ride by the sea, and you'll tell me what
makes you think of all these things."
The dream he sees is so realistic that he can sense herself
starting the car, pushing the accelerator and almost jumping
the car, just as he would in a car in the real world.
While he is driving with his friend in the car, he can smell
the sea, hear the noise of the waves and feel the blowing
of the wind, as in the real world.
While he drives faster, he can see the trees disappearing
past him on the side of the road. All of these visions in
his dream have no difference from the reality.
At the moment he is trying to convince his friend that all
of these things are real, he is woken up by his alarm clock.
And when he gets up, he realizes that everything he saw, the
reality of which he was so sure of, was just a dream. But
what if he is now in a different dream, from which he will
soon wake up?
In a verse of Koran, people are told to say on doomsday when they are
resurrected from the dead:
They will say, "Alas for us! Who has raised us
from our sleeping-place? This is what the All-Merciful promised us. The
Messengers were telling the truth." (The Koran, 36:52)
YOU MIGHT BE OBSERVING YOUR
LIFE FROM SOMEWHERE ELSE JUST AS YOU OBSERVE YOUR DREAMS
A person drinking coffee in his dream can feel the exact
taste of the sugar, the milk and the coffee, when there is
no coffee or any other drink there. If someone were to come
up to him and tell him that he is just dreaming, and that
there is no coffee, then the person would reject such an idea.
He might ask how it could be just a vision when he felt the
heat of the coffee on his tongue, and when after drinking
the coffee he no longer felt thirsty. He would ask how it
could remove his thirst if it wasn't real? However, he understands
only after he wakes up that the coffee, which he thinks he
drank, was an image formed in his brain, and that sensations
such as warmth and thirst, which he felt while drinking the
coffee. were perceptions formed in his brain.
Our experiences in our dreams and in the real world are based
on the same logic. We experience both dreams and the real
world in our mind. The only reason we believe that our dreams
are imaginary is that when we wake up, we find ourselves in
our bed, so we believe that we were actually sleeping and
saw everything in our dreams.
What would happen if we didn't wake up and continued dreaming?
Would we be able to realize that we were not actually dealing
with the originals of any of the things we lived and saw in
Of course not. Unless we wake up and discover that we have
been sleeping, we can never realize that we have been dreaming,
and spend our entire life by supposing that this is our real
So, how can we prove that our real life is not a dream? Do
we have any information about what happens when we depart
this life and find ourselves watching the pictures of our
present life from a different location?
As the verse demonstrates, people wake up on doomsday as if waking from
a dream. Like someone woken from the middle of a dream in deep sleep,
such people will similarly ask who has woken them up. As the verse points
out, the world around us is like a dream and everybody will be woken up
from this dream, and will begin to see images of the afterlife, which
is the real life.
Worlds that are produced superficially
Modern technology presents many important examples of how sensory experience
can be simulated with a high degree of realism, without the help of any
external or material world. In particular, the technology called "virtual
reality", which has developed considerably in recent years, gives us some
insight on the subject.
Simply put, virtual reality involves showing animated three-dimensional
images generated on a computer so as to construct "a real world" with
the help of some equipment. This technology, which is used in many different
fields for different aims, is called "artificial reality" or "virtual
world" or a "virtual atmosphere". The most important characteristic of
virtual reality is that a person who uses a special device believes that
what he sees is real, and moreover he is captivated by that image. For
that reason, recently, the word "immersive" is also used to describe virtual
reality, with "immersive" meaning to involve deeply. (i.e. Immersive
Simulators used for virtual reality. Because
of the equipment he is using.the person in the picture above
is imagining that he is touching rapidly flowing water. The
people shown below are watching themselves as heroes in the
film shown to them and they become excited from what they
The tools used to create a virtual world are a helmet (which houses a
screen that provides an image) and a pair of electronic gloves (which
provide a feeling of touch). A device in the helmet checks the movements
and angle of the head in order to provide an image on the screen which
is consistent with the head's angle and position. Sometimes, stereo pictures
are reflected on the walls and floor of a room-size cell. People who wander
through the room can see themselves through stereo glasses in different
places, such as at the side of a waterfall, on the summit of a mountain,
or sunbathing on the deck of a ship in the middle of the sea. The helmets
create 3D pictures with a realistic sense of depth and space. The pictures
are provided in proportion to human sizes and the sense of touch is provided
by other equipment, such as gloves. Thus, a person who uses this equipment
can touch the objects that he sees in the virtual world and can pick them
up and move them. The sounds one hears in such places are also convincing,
coming from any direction with different depths and volumes. In some applications,
the very same virtual atmosphere can be presented to a few people in very
different places in the world. Three people from different countries (even
different continents) can see themselves with the others getting on board
WORLDS FORMED IN VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENTS
With the aid of rapidly improving technology, simulators are being
used in many different fields. By wearing a hat with glasses and
gloves, a person can be provided with very different 3-D pictures
and imagine himself in this picture.
Car designers test the new model cars in virtual environments.
Another field this technology is being used for is training of the
pilots. In a little cabinet, these people feel as if they are flying
a real plane and landing it thanks to the equipment.
The system used in the devices that create the virtual world is essentially
the same as the system used in our five senses. For example, with the
effect of a mechanism inside a glove worn by the user, some signals are
given to the fingertips and then transmitted to the brain. When the brain
processes these signals, the user has the impression of touching a silk
carpet or a vase with a serrated surface, with puffy prints on it, even
though there is no silk carpet or vase around.
One of the important fields in which virtual reality is now being used
is medicine. With a technique developed in Michigan University, doctoral
candidates (in particular emergency service staff) complete a part of
their training in an artificial operating room. In this application, images
related to an operating room are reflected onto the floors and walls of
a room and the images of an operating table and a patient are reflected
in the middle of the room. By putting on 3D glasses, doctoral candidates
start to operate on this virtual patient.
In the University of Michigan,
doctoral candidates and especially emergency service units
are being trained with the same technology in an artificial
operating room. In the first stage, images of an operating
room are reflected to the walls of a simple room. In the operating
room to the side, all that you see except the three doctors
(including the patient) is virtual. With simulator devices,
doctoral candidates conduct their first operations in a virtual
environment on virtual patients.
These examples illustrate that a person can be placed in a realistic
yet unreal world with the help of artificial stimuli. With current technology,
an image can be produced which is an effective practice aide. There is
no reason in principle that eventually this technology couldn't produce
a reality which is indistinguishable from the real world. It is very interesting
that some famous films made recently deal with the subject. For instance,
in a Hollywood film called "Matrix", when the nervous system of two heroes
of the film are connected to a computer while lying on a sofa, they can
see themselves in completely different places. In one scene, they find
themselves participating in eastern sports; in another, they are in completely
different clothes walking in a very crowded street. When the hero, under
the influence of his realistic experience, says that he does not believe
that the pictures are created by a computer, the picture is frozen by
the computer. The person then becomes convinced that the world which he
believed to be real is indeed only an image.
VIRTUAL OPERATION IN A VIRTUAL OPERATING ROOM
In conclusion, it is possible in principle to create artificial images
or, in other words, an artificial world with the help of artificial stimuli.
So, we cannot claim that the "life image" that we are seeing all the time
is the original outside world, and that what we deal with is "the original".
Our senses could well be coming from a very different source.
THE SUBJECT OF THE REALITY OF MATTER
One of the significant developments that has taken
place with the bringing of the subject about the reality of matter
to the world's attention and its being told to the world through
a variety of means has been the subject's being taken up in various
In the movie, Total Recall (starring Arnold Schwarzenegger), Arnold
Schwarzenegger realizes that the life he believed was real was merely
a program which was loaded to his brain. However, he cannot differentiate
between the real world and the dream world.
The subject of the movie The 13th Floor is this: The two lead characters
in the film have created a virtual world by using computers. In
the virtual world, they are animating the year 1937, although in
the real world they are living in the year 2000.
The person connected to this computer program lies in a bed where
information and details about his identity in the virtual world
of 1937 are loaded into his brain. For example, a character called
named Douglas Hall, who is a rich and successful CEO of a computer
company, gets the information of a bank treasurer called John Ferguson
living in 1937 loaded to his brain.
All of a sudden this person finds himself in the year 1937. All
the cars, buildings, clothes belong to that year. What surprises
him is that both of the lives appear perfectly real. He can feel
the wetness of the water and the wind and experience fear and excitement
in both of these lives.
Later on, that person realizes that what he has been living through
was no more than a computer program, and that the cars, buildings
and even his friends, which he thought to be real, were just a dream.
In reality, he is living in a much later year than 2000 and he is
watching all of his life through a simulator. What the movie attempts
to illustrate is that it is hard to differentiate life which is
supposed to be real from imagination.
In the movie The Matrix, the person in the leading role realizes
that he has been living in an imaginary world in a glass cover formed
by the electrical signals given to his brain. While he believes
that he is a computer programmer, he is sleeping in the place shown
above. What he believed to be his life existed only in his imagination.
In the movie, computer cables are connected to the brain of the
person in the leading role, and some programs are loaded to his
brain through the electric cables.
After the computer program is loaded to his brain, this person who
is actually sitting in a very different place on an old chair in
shabby clothes sees himself in a totally different place in totally
different clothes. His unkempt clothes are changed, his hair is
longer. He has a totally different outlook from his image sitting
in the simulator chair.
This person does not want to admit the truth under the impression
that what he sees is too close to reality to be a dream, and touches
the armchair and asks "This isn't real?" The answer he receives
is "What is real? How do you define real? If you're talking about
your senses, what you feel, taste, smell, or see, then all you're
talking about are electrical signals interpreted by your brain."
Then they show him that the whole world has been created by a simulation
program. This includes all the details he has seen. Cars, the noise
of the city, traffic, skyscrapers, ocean, people, basically everything
he sees and experiences are just animated in his brain with a computer
The person that shows him the facts also tells him that he has been
living in a virtual life and he imagined everything to be real.
And yet the real world at that time is totally different. There
is just a collapsed, destroyed world. All the nice modern buildings
and cars are just imaginations in his brain.
He learns that even the history he thought was real was a dream
and that he actually lives in a totally different time.
Another scene from the movie The Matrix. The person in this scene
knows that his whole life is shown to his brain by a computer program.
He mentions that the beef he is eating doesn't exist in reality
but he still enjoys the taste of it.
The important truth indicated by hypnosis
One of the best examples of a world created with artificial
stimuli is the technique of hypnosis. When a person is hypnotized, he
experiences extremely convincing events which are indistinguishable from
reality. The person under hypnosis sees pictures, people and various images,
and hears, smells and tastes many things, none of which exist in the room.
Meanwhile, because of the experience, he becomes happy, upset, excited,
bored, worried or flustered. Moreover, the effect of the experience on
the person under hypnosis can be watched from outside physically. In very
deep hypnotic trances, certain kinds of symptoms can be observed in the
hypnotized person, such as an increase in the pulse rate and blood pressure,
redness of the skin, high temperature, and the removal of an existing
pain or ache.17
In one hypnotic experiment, a hypnotic subject is told
that he is in a hospital and that there is a dying patient on the tenth
floor of the hospital. He has been hypnotized into believing that if he
rushes to the patient with the right medicine, the patient will be rescued.
The subject, under the influence of hypnosis, thinks he is rushing to
the tenth floor. Meanwhile he gets out of breath and can't control it,
due to a feeling of being extremely tired. Then the subject is told that
he is on the top floor, and succeeded in fetching the medicine, and that
he can lie on a comfortable bed. The subject then starts to relax.18
Although the subject experiences the locations and the atmospheres as
if they were completely real, the places, people or events as told to
him do not exist.
In another experiment, a hypnotic subject in a normal room is told that
he is in a Turkish bath and that the bath is very hot. As a result, he
starts to sweat.19
After being hypnotized, this
person imagines herself to be rapidly climbing 10 flights
of stairs. At that point she loses her breath and becomes
tired. The hypnotized person lives in the environment produced
by the hypnotic induction, and accepts that it is real, despite
the fact that the location, people and incidents that she
has been told about do not exist.
This draws our attention to a very important point. In order for a person
to sweat, some conditions must exist. The reality that we come across
in this instance of hypnosis is that the hypnotized person has sweated,
even though there is no physical factor which would cause him to sweat.
This example shows clearly that there is no physical necessity of physical
existences of places or atmosphere to feel such an atmosphere or place.
Similar effects can be created through artificial stimulants or hypnotic
The British hypnotherapy specialist, Terence Watts, a member of many
organizations including The National Hypnotherapy Association, The National
Psychotherapists Association, The Professional Hypnotherapists Center,
The Hypnotherapy Research Association, states in an article that during
hypnosis, some people who are recollecting a past event exhibit some physical
changes related to the event. For example, if there was an element of
suffocation in the event remembered, a hypnotic subject might become breathless
while explaining the event under hypnosis and might even stop breathing
for a while. Watts stated that under hypnosis, even finger marks appeared
on one of his patients where a slap on the face was recalled. Watts also
explains that this is not a mystery but a reaction to sense of pain in
One of the most striking examples
seen in hypnotic applications is that even a wound can appear on the skin
of the hypnotized person through inculcation. For example, Paul Thorsen,
a researcher, touches the arm of the person under hypnosis with a tip
of a pen and tells him that it's a hot skewer. Soon, a blister (as would
have been produced by a second degree burn) formed in the region where
the tip of the pen touched. Thorsen also hypnotized a person called Anne
O. into believing that the letter A was being drawn onto her arm by pressing
hard. Although nothing else was done, redness emerged in the shape of
an "A" in that area.21 Researchers H. Bourru and P.
Burot, persuading a hypnotized person that his arm was being cut, saw
that the arm was bleeding after being slightly drawn on by a pencil.22
It is a fact that some skin
diseases can be cured by using hypnosis. On the pictures above
we see the disease before being treated with hypnosis, then
we see it after the person has been hypnotized and the disease
has been cured.(D. Waxman, Hypnosis, p. 113)
J.A. Hadfield told a sailor in hypnosis that he was going to press a
hot iron bar on the sailor's arm and that the arm would burn. However,
he merely touched it gently with his fingertip, after which he covered
it. Six hours later when the cover was removed, there was a slight redness
and puffiness in that area. Hadfield states that "the following day the
puffiness became larger and swelled like a burn."23
These changes that occurred to the human body during hypnosis show that
we do not need the outside world to produce sensations of sight, sound,
touch, feeling, pain or ache. For example, although there is no hot iron
bar in the outside world, if the person is persuaded, there can be a burn
mark on his arm.
These examples show that when we examine how an image occurs, and follow
technological developments, and also when we add consciousness-altering
methods such as hypnosis to this knowledge, a certain truth becomes clear.
Throughout his life, a human being assumes that he is living in a world
which is external to his body. However, everything referred to as the
world is only our brain's interpretation of the signals which reach the
sense centers. In other words, we can never deal with any world other
than the one that occurs in our mind. We can never know what happens or
exists outside us. We cannot claim that the sources of signals reaching
the brain are material existences that exist outside. This reality has
begun to take its place in science books and is taught to people since
high school age. The problem is that people do not consider the full significance
of this fact.
Who Is It That Experiences All These Perceptions?
So far we have established that everything we perceive takes place in
our brains, and that we have no need for the outside world or material
beings to experience these perceptions. At this point we face a question
which would be asked by anyone who thinks on this subject a little bit.
As we know, the electric signals coming from the cells in our eyes are
transformed into an image in our brains. For example, the brain interprets
some electrical signals coming to the visual center in the brain as a
field filled with sunflowers. In reality, it is not the eye that is seeing.
Therefore, if it is not our eyes which are seeing, what is it that sees
the electrical signals as a sunflower field, at the back of our brain,
in a pitch dark place, without feeling any necessity for any eyes, retina,
lens, visual nerves or pupil and enjoys the view in the sight?
Or who is it that hears (without needing an ear) the voice of a very
close friend, becomes happy on hearing it, and misses it when he cannot
hear it, when the brain is totally sound proof?
Or who is it in the brain that feels the fur of the cat when stroking
it, without having any need for a hand, fingers or muscles?
Who is it that feels sensations such as heat, cold, and a sense of consistency,
depth, and distance, as they originate in the brain?
Who is it that smells the lemon, lavender flower, rose, melon, watermelon,
orange, and barbecued meat inside the brain (even though the brain is
smellproof), and feels hungry because of the smell coming from the grill?
We have thus far discussed how everything we perceive continuously is
actually formed inside our brains. Who is it then that sees the sights
in a brain as if watching television, and becomes excited, happy, sad,
nervous, or feels pleasure, anxiety or curiosity while watching them?
Who is responsible for the consciousness which is capable of interpreting
everything seen and everything felt?
What is the entity in the brain that has consciousness and throughout
life is capable of seeing all the sights shown to him in a dark, quiet
head, that is capable of thinking, and reaches conclusions and makes decisions
in the end?
It is obvious that it is not the brain, made up of water, lipid and protein,
and unconscious atoms, that perceives all this and is responsible for
consciousness. There must be a being beyond the brain. Despite being a
materialist, Daniel Dennett ponders the above question in one of his books:
My conscious thinking, and especially the enjoyment I
felt in the combination of sunny light, sunny Vivaldi violins, rippling
branches - plus the pleasure I took in just thinking about it all - how
could all that be just something physical happening in my brain? How could
any combination of electrochemical happenings in my brain somehow add
up to the delightful way those hundreds of twigs genuflected in time with
the music? How could some information-processing event in my brain be
the delicate warmth of the sunlight I felt falling on me? For that matter,
how could an event in my brain be my sketchily visualized mental image
some other information-processing event in my brain? It does seem
impossible. It does seem as if the happenings that are my conscious thoughts
and experiences cannot be brain happenings, but must be something else,
something caused or produced by brain happenings, no doubt, but something
in addition, made of different stuff, located in a different space. Well,
IN THE ABSOLUTE QUIETNESS OF YOUR
BRAIN IT IS YOUR SOUL THAT LISTENS TO A CONFERENCE
In a large room people listening
to the speaker very carefully might think that they hear every
sound coming from the speaker's mouth. In the same sense,
the speaker confidently explains his thoughts thinking that
the audience is hearing him. However, the reality is completely
different and an extraordinary miracle is taking place which
nobody in the room is aware of at that moment.
In reality, the speaker is explaining things to the listeners
in his brain, while the listeners listen to the speech in
their brains. Indeed, everyone in the room who is convinced
that they are sitting in the room is actually living through
this event in their minds. And there is an entity in the brain
of every individual in the room which hears the electric currents
as the voice of the speaker, and this entity has no need for
This entity experiences everything so realistically that people
cannot realize that they are not actually dealing with the
real sound itself. This entity, created by God through a unique
creation, is the SOUL. Despite the deep silence inside the
brain, the soul hears everything perfectly clearly, the same
as its original.
On the other hand, R. L. Gregory questions the existence
of the entity in the back of the brain, which sees all sights:
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.25
Materialists who believe that nothing exists except matter cannot
understand this particular question. Who does this "internal eye", which
sees and perceives things seen and reacts to such things, belong to?
In the following passage, Karl Pribram describes this important search
by science and philosophy for the identity of the perceiver:
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". 26
Although many people venture close to this reality in answering the question
"who is the entity that sees", they hesitate to accept all of its implications.
As demonstrated in the examples above, in discussing the entity in our
brains, some refer to the "little man", while others say "the ghost in
the machine", some refer to "the being using the brain" while some say
"the internal eye". All these terms have been used to describe the entity
beyond the brain which possesses consciousness, and the means of reaching
this entity. However, materialist assumptions keep many people from understanding
the true nature of this being which actually sees and hears.
The only source that answers this question is religion. In the Koran,
God states that He created man in a physical way initially and then "breathed
His Spirit" to the man He created:
When your Lord said to the angels, "I am creating
a human being out of dried clay formed from fetid black mud when I have
formed him and breathed My Spirit into him, fall down in prostration in
front of him!" (The Koran, 15: 28-29)
(He) then formed him and breathed His Spirit into
him and gave you hearing, sight and hearts. What little thanks you show!
(The Koran, 32: 9)
In other words, the human being has another existence besides its physical
body. That entity inside the brain which says "I am seeing" the sight
inside the brain, and "I am hearing" the sound inside the brain and aware
of its own existence, and which says "I am me", is the soul given to human
beings by God.
Any human being with a mind and a conscience can understand this: the
being that watches every incident inside the brain-watches as if looking
at a screen throughout his life-is his soul. Every human being has
a soul that sees without the need for an eye, hears without the need for
an ear and thinks without the need for a brain.
The materialistic view-which maintains that matter is the only thing
that exists, and that human consciousness is only a result of some chemical
reactions in the brain-is in a quandary about this issue. To see this
it might be instructive to ask the following questions to a materialist:
Sight is formed in our brains but what is it that watches this sight in
Try to see in your mind's eye your neighbor living downstairs in your
apartment building when he is not with you. Who is it that vivifies this
person so clearly in your imagination down to the details of his costume,
the lines in his face, the whites in his hairs; the tone of his voice,
the way he speaks, the way he walks?
A materialist will be unable to give a satisfactory answer to such questions.
The only explanation to these questions is the soul given to man by God.
However, materialists do not accept the existence of any being other than
matter. For this reason the truth explained in this book deals a massive
blow to atheist materialist thought, and constitutes a subject that materialists
refuse to discuss most.
Who Lets Our Souls Watch All Of These Views?
At this level there is another question that should be asked: Our soul
watches the sights in our brains. But who is it that creates these sights?
Could the brain itself form a bright, colorful, clear, shadowy sight and
form a whole world through electrical signals in a tiny space? The brain
is no more than a wet, soft, curvy piece of meat. Could a simple piece
of meat like this create a sight clearer than any that could be provided
by a television set with the latest technology, without any snow or horizontal
jitter? Could a vision of such high quality be formed inside a piece of
meat? Could this wet piece of meat form a stereo sound of higher quality
than a stereo hi-fi system with the highest technology, without any sizzling
noises? Of course, it is impossible for a brain, which is made of one
and a half kilograms (four pounds) of meat to form such perfect perceptions.
Here we arrive at another truth. Since together with everything surrounding
us, the body we have, our hands, arms and faces are the shadow beings,
then our brains are also shadow beings. Thus we cannot say that this brain
which is itself actually only a visual sensation, forms these visual sensations.
Bertrand Russell points out this truth in his work The ABC of Relativity:
Of course, if matter in general is to be interpreted as
a group of occurrences, this must apply also to the eye, the optic nerve
and the brain.27
Realizing this fact, French philosopher Bergson said in his book, Matter
and Memory, that "the world is made up of images, these images only
exist in our consciousness; and the brain is one of these images."28
Who, then, is the being that shows these sights to our souls, with all
their reality and clarity, and lets us live a life with all of these perceptions
and without any interruptions?
The being that shows all the sights to our souls, lets us hear all the
sounds, and creates all the tastes and smells for our pleasure, is the
Lord of all the worlds, the creator of everything, God.
One Of The Most Important Dilemmas Of Materialism: Human
Materialist philosophy can never explain the source of human consciousness,
i.e. the qualitative experiences that belong to the human soul. For the
materialist philosophy, matter is the only thing that exists. Qualities
belonging to the soul of a human being, such as consciousness, thought,
decision-making processes, happiness, excitement, longing, enjoyment and
judgment can never be explained in the materialistic concept. Materialists
pass quickly over this subject saying "human consciousness is only the
result of the functions of the brain". A materialist scientist, Francis
Crick summarizes this materialistic claim as follows:
Your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions,
your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than
the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules.29
However, such a claim cannot be defended by either science or logic.
The materialist prejudices lead materialists to make such explanations
regarding the qualities of a soul that belongs to human beings. In order
not to accept the fact that there is a being beyond the material world,
they attempt to reduce human intelligence to matter and make such claims
that have no relation with intelligence or logic.
The science writer John Horgan, although sympathetic to the materialist
position called "reductionism", points out the following problems with
Francis Crick's claims:
In a sense, Crick is right. We are nothing but a pack
of neurons. At the same time, neuroscience has so far proved to be oddly
unsatisfactory. Explaining the mind in terms of neurons has not yielded
much more insight or benefit than explaining the mind in terms of quarks
and electrons. There are many alternative reductionisms. We are nothing
but a pack of idiosyncratic genes. We are nothing but a pack of adaptations
sculpted by natural selection. We are nothing but a pack of computational
devices dedicated to different tasks. We are nothing but a pack of sexual
neuroses. These proclamations, like Crick's, are all defensible,
and they are all inadequate.30
|| It is very clear that mere cells
cannot give a person consciousness, intelligence, the ability
to think and talk, and feelings such as love, compassion, mercy,
Of course, these explanations are all inadequate and they are definitely
not logical. Any fanatic materialist is in fact aware of this truth. Not
surprisingly, Thomas Huxley, the foremost advocate of Darwin also stated
that consciousness cannot be explained by the interaction of neurons:
"How it is that anything so remarkable as a state of consciousness
comes about as a result of irritating nervous tissue, is just as unaccountable
as the appearance of the Djin, when Aladdin rubbed his lamp."31
From Huxley's time until the present, the failure to explain human consciousness
through neurons hasn't changed. However, this is not because of the inadequacy
of science regarding this issue. In contrast, especially towards the end
of the 20th century, there have been many developments in the field of
neurology with many mysteries being solved. However, these findings have
showed that human consciousness can never be reduced to matter and the
reality lies beyond the material. One of the leading Darwinist-materialist
writers in Germany, Hoimar Von Ditfurth, also confesses the fact that
the currently adopted methods cannot describe human consciousness:
With our present research in natural history and genetic
development, it is obvious that we will not be able to give an answer
to what consciousness, spirit, intelligence and feelings are. That
is because psychic-consciousness level is the highest level that evolution
has arrived, at least in this world. Therefore, although we are able to
look at the other stages and phases of evolution from the outside, by
rising above them, again by the help of our consciousness, we are unable
to approach consciousness (or spirit) itself in a similar way. That is
because no level higher than consciousness is available to us.32
American philosopher and doctor of mathematics, William A. Dembski, states
in his article, "Converting Matter into Mind", that the bio-chemical functioning
of neurons in the human brain and which mental functions it involves have
been understood, although qualities such as decision making, wishing,
or reasoning cannot be "reduced to matter". Dembski also points out that
specialists on consciousness have realized the error of reductionism;
Cognitive scientists abandon hope of understanding
this higher level through the lower neurological level.
the commitment to materialism persists, the hope of explaining human intelligence
at the neural level, which for the materialist is the logical level, is
not a serious consideration.33
It is impossible to describe consciousness with a materialist worldview,
regardless of the extent of scientific development. As details of the
brain surface, it becomes clearer that the mind is irreducible to matter.
Materialists must put aside their prejudices and think deeper and research
further if they are to understand the concept of human consciousness,
as it is impossible to define the real meaning of consciousness through
matter. Consciousness is a function of the soul that is given to man by
Questions For Materialists
It is totally illogical to state that thoughts, judgments, decision mechanisms,
or feelings (such as happiness, excitement, and disappointment) are merely
the results of the interaction of neurons in the brain of a human being.
Materialists who consider this issue more deeply are aware of this truth.
The famous materialist, Karl Lashley, made the following comment towards
the end of his career, even though he had defended the idea for years
that human consciousness could be reduced to matter:
Whether the mind-body relation is regarded as a genuine
metaphysical issue or a systematized delusion, it remains a problem for
the psychologist (and for the neurologist when he deals with human problems)
as it is not for the physicist. . . . How can the brain, as a physico-chemical
system, perceive or know anything; or develop the delusion that it
Lashley drew attention to this conflict in one single question. However,
there are many other details that materialists must consider. The explanations
listed below illustrate some of the issues that reveal the impasse of
the materialist approach, and which must therefore be considered in depth
Stating that thoughts, excitements and feelings are products of neurons
is to claim that such things are the products of the unconscious atoms,
or products of the sub elements of atoms, such as quarks or electrons.
Unconscious atoms cannot know the feeling of happiness or sadness and
neither can they enjoy music, taste, good friendship or a chat with a
Unconscious atoms cannot be Darwinist or materialist and come together
to write a book.
Unconscious atoms cannot view themselves or the nerve cells that form
themselves under an electron microscope and reach scientific solutions
from their research.
What is meant by the statement "consciousness is in the neurons of our
brains"? Neurons, just like other cells, are made of cell membrane, mitochondria,
DNA and ribosomes. Therefore, according to the materialists, where does
consciousness lie in these things? If they suppose that consciousness
is a result of chemical reactions between the neurons and electrical signals,
they are mistaken, because they cannot explain a single "chemical reaction
with consciousness". Nor can they show us an "electric wave" that starts
to "think" at a certain voltage level.
If materialists think sincerely about these issues, they will realize
that all people including themselves are different from groups of neurons
or bunches of atoms. Despite being a materialist, the brain specialist
Wolf Singer, admits this fact by saying "In this confusing material
of the universe there is 'something' that perceives itself as 'I am'."35
This "something" that the scientist refers to is actually the soul that
is given to the human being by God. Due to this soul possessed by the
human being, a person can think, be happy, get excited, produce new ideas,
or oppose the ideas of others, or know the concepts such as honour, respect,
love, friendship, loyalty, sincerity and honesty. The neurons and atoms
that form human beings cannot think, make decisions, produce philosophical
ideas or know the feeling of love, compassion or affection.
Materialists, when they are alone, know this truth and accept it. However,
due to their regarding their materialist prejudices as the requirement
of science and reason, they cannot come to accept this absolute reality.
On the other hand, the predicament they put themselves into just to defend
materialism, and the illogical ideas they accept, actually cause much
greater damage to them. A person who says "Our thoughts are the product
of our atoms and neurons" is no different than a person who thinks his
or her dreams are real, or a person who invents incredible stories like
fairytales and then believes in them.
The truth is actually this: a human being is a being that possesses a
soul given by God, and with this soul, he can think, talk, be pleased,
make decisions, establish civilizations and manage countries.