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Harun Yahya - Matter: The Other Name For Illusion

MATTER: The Other Name for Illusion



 

"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 our dream?
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 life.
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 Virtual Reality)

 

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 are experiencing.

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 a powerboat.

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 IN FILMS

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 Hollywood movies.



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 program.


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 suggestion.

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 the body.20

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 of … 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, why not?24

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 an ear.
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 our brains?

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 Consciousness

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, longing.

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. …Thus while 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 God.

 

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 does so?34

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 friend.

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.

 
   
    

16- Muhyiddin Ibn al-'Arabi, Fusus al-Hikam, p. 220
17- William Kroger, Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, http://www.lucidexperience.com/HypnoPapers/512.html
18- Dr. Tahir Özakkaş, Gerçeğin Dirilişine Kapı HIPNOZ (The Door Opening to the Awakening of Reality: Hypnosis), "Üst Ultrastabilite" (Upper Ultrastability), Se-da Yayınları, Vol.. 1, 1st Edition, p. 204-205
19- Dr. Tahir Özakkaş, Gerçeğin Dirilişine Kapı HIPNOZ (The Door Opening to the Awakening of Reality: Hypnosis), "Üst Ultrastabilite" (Upper Ultrastability), p. 267
20- Terrence Watts, Abreaction, The psychological phenomena that hypnotherapists either love or hate, http://www.hypnosense.com/abreaction.htm
21- Poul Thorsen, Die Hypnose in Dienste der Menschheit, Bauer-Verlag, Freiburg-Haslach, 1960, p. 52-53
22- René Sudre, Traité de Parapsychologie, Payot, Paris, 1956, p. 341
23- Dr. Recep Doksat, Hipnotizma (Hypnotism), p.106-108
24- Daniel C. Dennett, Consciousness Explained, Little, Brown and Company, NY 1991, p. 26-27
25- R. L. Gregory, Eye and Brain: The Psychology of Seeing, p. 9
26- Ken Wilber, Holographic Paradigm and Other Paradoxes, p.20
27- Bertrand Russell, ABC of Relativity, George Allen and Unwin, London, 1964, pp. 161-162
28- Henri Bergson, Matter and Memory, Zone Books, New York, 1991
29- John Horgan, The Undiscovered Mind: How the Human Brain Defies Replication, Medication, and Explanation, New York:Free Press, 1999, p. 258-259
30- John Horgan, The Undiscovered Mind: How the Human Brain Defies Replication, Medication, and Explanation, p.258-259
31- John Horgan, The Undiscovered Mind: How the Human Brain Defies Replication, Medication, and Explanation, p.229
32- Hoimar von Ditfurth, Der Geist Fiel Nicht Vom Himmel (The Spirit Did Not Fall From The Sky), p.13
33- William A. Dembski, Converting Matter into Mind, 1998, www.arn.org
34- William A. Dembski, Converting Matter into Mind, 1998, www.arn.org
35- Cumhuriyet Bilim Teknik Dergisi (Cumhuriyet Science and Technology Journal), 7 July 2001, no. 746, p. 18; Der Spiegel, 1/2001.