The 24th Word (continuation)
“Anyway, your intense love for yourself and your soul is love for the Divine Essence, which you misuse and spend on your own self.
The author is now suggesting that the intense love that I have for myself is in fact love for Divine Essence. However, I do not know Divine Essence. From my perspective, I can conclude that such an essence exists. That is, I know this universe must have a Creator who cannot be obscure. Since the Creator does not have the same nature as this universe, for me, its Essence must be beyond my perception. However, it does not mean that I cannot comprehend the existence of the Creator. What I cannot comprehend is the Essence of the Creator.
Do I know myself? I am aware of my psyche. I know that I do not consist of my physiological being only. My existence has other variables in it which are non-physical such as thoughts, inclinations… My capacity is not limited to my physiological being only. I need to use myself as a criterion to understand Divine Being by comparing it to my being. That Divine Being is the Creator, which is not of the nature of this universe. Thus, I use myself as a criterion, to get an idea about the essence of my Creator (Divine Essence) by using my essence (non-physical variables).
Instead of getting lost in technicalities of spirit and soul, we should rather refer the non-physical variables as our “human side”. Without my human side, I am a living being like a plant, animal, insect… I need to use my human side (i.e. feelings and senses) to become aware of the qualities that I experience in my being. Example: I see and I analyze what I see. My analysis of seeing is given to me according to my capacity. Example: I think and I learn something new. My thinking is a created phenomenon and thus limited because I am not given the capacity to learn everything at once.
I am given human qualities, although they are limited to my capacity, it is as if they are indicators of the qualities of my Maker (but not in the complete form because I can never know Its essence) only pointing to the existence of those qualities. As said earlier, due to the created nature of this universe, I cannot describe the essence of the Creator. The qualities that I observe here can only be used as indicators to the existence of the One that gives these qualities to me. But it does not mean that the Creator has exactly the same qualities as these because by definition the Creator must be not of the nature of this created universe and hence is Absolute. I can only conclude for myself that this Creator must be possessing the Absolute forms of these qualities that I experience here in this universe.
Universe is continuously being renewed and the Source is continuously manifesting its qualities to me at the same time. Millions of people have been brought into existence and are being brought into existence. The Source is creating me with my eyes, creating you with your eyes and creating her with her eyes. Therefore, my qualities are limited, It is the Source and Its qualities that are unlimited or (Absolute). It must be the ever existing One. This universe is a witness that its Creator must see what it is doing: “Yes, my Creator must have the power to see, it is the Source of it. I cannot describe its essence/nature but I can comfortably confirm that It is not of a created, dependent nature.” It is manifesting its existence at the same time in billions of different ways.
Question: How do I know it is not dependent and limited?
If it was limited, I will not be able to explain the existence of the universe as it is being given existence now in front of my eyes. One event is enough for me to conclude that the event is created by the One who brings the whole universe into existence because the event has been put in harmony in this universe with a perfect position. If someone was not able to give existence to the whole universe, cannot give existence to one thing in it because it has a universal connection happening concurrently, renewed at the same time. How can I say that a limited thing is renewing and operating the things at the same time without any crack? If I cannot reach an end in my conclusion, I have no right to say that the Source of existence of this universe is limited because it is beyond the limits of this universe.
- For its own sake, anything that cannot be defined within the conditions of this universe must be described as unlimited. My understanding of unlimited is within my power of created-ness because I cannot comprehend anything beyond my power of comprehension.
Comment: The Creator says that It never does injustice. Is that not a limitation?
The limitation is for me. I cannot imagine that It can be limited because Source manifests itself through creation coming into existence. I cannot speak beyond my capacity. The existence of the universe demonstrates that everything is taking place at the same time, with no difference between big and small particles, complicated and simple events and no time limitations. There is no sign in creation demonstrating the limitedness of the Source. The Source of existence of this universe should have no limit according to my capacity/conclusion.
When the Speaker in the scripture says: “I am Absolute, I have no dependency, I do not need anything at all, I am self-sufficient”, it means: “O human being, you should understand and conclude this within your own capacity, you can do that”.
Question: The Creator chose to create. Why did he It choose to create?
This question is for you to analyze and conclude something. When I say limitless, it means that I cannot describe It with the limitations of my capacity or the creation that I observe and experience. As I start going beyond the limits of my observation and capacity, it is speculation. Stop speculating! We have to concentrate from my perspective and conclude from my perspective saying: Nothing in this universe can be qualified with the capacity to be the Source of existence of anything in this universe. That means in the language of the Quran (lailaha).
- You can never read the Word of the Creator from His perspective, you can never comprehend the Absolute. You can only study and conclude that you are created and thus you must have a Creator.
You are responsible within your conclusion, your capacity: “I observe the universe and I see that everything has a purpose in its existence, a reason of existence, they are demonstrating something, so I say the Creator of this universe must have a reason. Do I know the reason? No. Do you know why the plant is created? As far as I know (from my perspective), the plant is functioning in a wise way, It is demonstrating that its Creator is wise. I do not know the real reason for the Creator’s sake, it’s NOT my responsibility + it is beyond my capacity/reach. That is why when it comes to the description of the essence of the Creator, we only use negation i.e. it cannot have limited knowledge, power…
- When we pay attention to creation, everything is taking place at the same time with no difficulty. Human mind can easily conclude that.
If one was to compare a huge number to infinity, then infinity is still incomprehensible. We are responsible to conclude according to our capacity by gathering evidence from the universe by questioning: Can something of this universe be the Source of existence of my human feelings/intelligence? When my conclusion goes beyond the limits of this universe i.e. I cannot find answers within the universe, then I cannot make any statement about the Source. I can only speak about the qualities giving proofs of Its existence (or as indicators as mentioned above) and describe the qualities of Its existence within my own perception since the qualities that I observe are within the limitations of this universe i.e. I can only speak within limitations of my observation and my capacity.
Analogy: I see a piece of art. When I look at it, I see some qualities. The artist made the art in front of me, I see the qualities of the artist manifested on the art. Artist makes another piece of art and I conclude that this artist’s qualities are beyond the limits of what he has produced because he keeps making another one, thus going beyond the limitations of the art work. I know that I cannot limit his qualities because he has the capacity of creating again and again. I cannot say artist is absolute because I can see him in front of me as a part of this universe which needs to be given existence. The artist in the example is also given existence. This analogy only demonstrates that the art work is the sign of the quality of the artist. By looking at the artist I cannot know her/his art quality unless s/he demonstrates it by action.
- Similarly, everything in this universe is a piece of art.
- Universe is an art. Since it is an art, it must have an Artist.
- Everything is renewed at every moment, same qualities are observed every moment in a new way.
- Artist of the universe must have an infinite capacity which cannot be described within the capacity of Its art work in this universe.
If the Source that I conclude is beyond the limitations of my observations in this universe, then I cannot speak about the qualities of the Source in terms of defining or describing Its essence. But I can say that this Source that I conclude MUST have this quality which CANNOT be similar to the qualities that I can experience in this universe.
- Example: I feel that my mother has compassion towards me. I conclude that the Source of existence of my mother has endowed her with quality, Compassion. Thus, I conclude that the Source of existence of my mother MUST have Compassion quality (referred in the scripture as the All-Compassionate One). However, this Compassion quality that I experience in this universe cannot be used to describe the essence of the Source. Because, by definition, the Creator is Absolute and I cannot describe Its Essence (as described above). All that is within my reach is to refer It as the One that is the Source of the quality Compassion that I experience.
I can just use qualities that I observe to describe its existence (wujuud). Again, I can never describe or define its essence. Whatever I conclude here is my personal conclusion based on my observation and experience here. I am just using descriptions from this universe to conclude its existence. The Creator of the universe is the All-Compassionate One. To conclude that, I first must have concluded that there must be a Creator. If there is a Creator (for me), then It must be the All-Compassionate One (personal conclusion). While practicing belief i.e. exercising my freewill, I consolidate this conclusion and therefore I practice it for myself while praying: “My Creator is the Compassionate One”. This conclusion is just valid within the condition of this universe because I cannot describe the essence of what I conclude.
- When the scripture describes the Source of existence of this universe, it is a suggestion for me to confirm this conclusion through my observation of what I have been experiencing in this universe. So I conclude that the Creator of the universe must be the All-Compassionate One according to my observation.
- That is how I understand something beyond my reach of power of perception.
I can conclude about the source of existence of this universe by using my own essence i.e. qualities. It is within me. Even if I am blind or deaf, I am responsible within my own capacity that I have some senses. NO EXCUSES!
- As much as I experience my human senses, that much I will experience qualities of my Maker. I have to pay attention to myself: Which kind of qualities do I have? So that through these qualities I will understand the qualities of my Maker.
Going back to the text, it seems as if the author is mentioning my intense love for myself is in fact the way I get to love the Source of existence of my qualities which is the Creator. Thus, love for myself is the criterion for me to understand the essence of my Creator (Divine Essence) by using my human qualities. In other words, love of my human qualities is given to me in order to understand the essence of Divine Creator. I am supposed to be aware that I am experiencing love of Divine Essence within my own essence.
Since the majority of people don’t see religion as having something to do with ones’ feelings and experience, they wait for others to tell them what religion is about. So, how can I work on Making belief central to myself?
- I need to come to myself and realize that religion starts with who I am and what I am in existence.
- Then I try to explain the universe in terms of its Creator i.e. the universe must have a Creator who is Absolute.
- As a result I must come to the conclusion that the Creator must provide me with guidance to organize my thinking and life.
- Religion must start from our selves.
- Guidance comes in the form of a proposal.
We must start within our own selves and then develop a view of the universe which should have at least six dimensions.
- This universe must have a Creator (my conclusion)
- This universe is bringing news from the Creator i.e. belief in Angels
- The Creator of this universe knows that I learn when I am taught. i.e. belief in Messengers…
One has to have the need of having a teacher, a Messenger of the Creator that can help one with getting guidance. Every human being is created free. At every moment, we are given the opportunity to start our existential questioning journey from scratch. That is the only way to revive our true human nature and get out of cultural influences.
- I must first start with my own existence: WHO AM I? Then, I can give priority to the meaning of existence of other things.
Due to not questioning my own existence, I jump into adapting cultural values. Quran establishes the foundations of our existence. The earlier revelations are nothing but a call, a reminder for us to ponder on our existence and creation around us. How things are coming into existence? Have you noticed your feelings? If one skips this step, anything else that the scripture offers (including belief in Messengers) can never make sense. As a result, people are bound to misinterpret verses that mention the consequences of disobeying parents for example. It is human nature to be respectful to people but the moment someone presents and imposes an idea on you which you do not conform to, your free being should disobey such an idea. That is all what the Quran proposes. Thus, one can only obey the Creator, Its Messengers and teachers appointed by It. That is the acknowledgment required of a free thinking human being.
To sum up, Divine Essence is referring to the Source of one’s existence.
In which case, rend the egotism in your soul and show Him.”
Egotism is the act of attributing existence of something to your own self or itself. Example: attributing qualities of plant to its parts. Attributing the sense of helping others to yourself. The author is drawing our attention to be aware that any human quality that I have cannot be attributed to me. Everything that belongs to me is GIVEN to me. When I learn something new, the capacity to develop the understanding is not mine. I think I am developing it. In reality, it is already there. I am only using it.
I cannot attribute anything in my existence to myself as the source of existence of something. I am not the Creator of my own feelings. Do plants have the ability to create my feelings? Even my feelings as well as the plants need to be given existence.
Him= There must be a Creator to what is given exsitence.
Just as I cannot attribute the art qualities to the pieces in the art, similarly, I cannot attribute the existence in the universe to the universe and its objects themselves. I can ONLY attribute qualities and feelings to the One that creates everything. Desiring to see the Artist in person is worthless. My responsibility is to acknowledge the existence of the Artist of the universe. Being honest with oneself means that my human qualities assure me that the art that I observe in the universe must have an Artist.
Tear off egotism means acknowledging lailaha (the object is not the source of its own existence.) Only by rending my egotism, can I realize that there are no accidental happenings in the universe.
- I need to see and understand my Creator through my own existence. That is the only way to fulfill one’s responsibility and “be yourself”.
- When you are confident with your worldview, you can share your feelings and conclusions with others to help them get out of cultural swamp.
If someone turns blind to the Creator who creates out of Mercy, then he chooses not to question the Source of his existence.
“But as for anyone who chooses to remain blind to the remembrance of the Most Gracious, to him We assign a satan, and he becomes his other self.” Zukhruf (43):36
In light of the above verse, if one does not question the source of his/her existence, he will be assigned a sataan. What is sataan?
- Any idea which is false and has no reality. It is presented as an alternative.
- Example: Light/Darkness. Truth/Lie. Whatever we lie about does not have an external existence. We may imagine this alternative. Similarly, non-existence does not exist. If I give it an external existence, that is satanic (false idea).
In the light of the above verse, sataan is assigned to the person who does not question the Source of his existence and he is always with it i.e. he starts developing his views according to false ideas including religiosity in most extreme cases. Sataan is always with you i.e. alternative to false ideas is always with us. We cannot get rid of it. What is the solution then?
- Solution is to go back to the beginning i.e. question the source of existence of everything and find its source and see the wisdom in its existence. When you find the Source and attach your being to the Source, there will be no room for false idea to penetrate your being.
All problems arise from the lack of not questioning. We all desire to be the perfect human being but we cannot be perfect at once. There is a thorough process of questioning one’s existence that one has to go through. That is what we are trying to establish in these classes, establishing foundations of my own reality. Scripture guides us how to reach the Perfect One. We have endless qualities and therefore there is no end point. We just need to learn to tear off our ego, which is a never ending education.
Tags: 24th Word, Az-Zukhruf, Creation is Love Series, Egotism, The Words