By February 2, 2014 Read More →

Ground Rules

They say there are three phases of truth;

• First, it is ridiculed.
• Second, it is fiercely and violently opposed.
• Third, it becomes self-evident.

I think this is a basic human reaction to a new idea/concept that undermining our previously established belief. I remember myself when I was first introduced to this continuous or dynamic creation. It was so shocking and I was so overwhelmed with the idea that I immediately opposed to the idea saying that how could it be, it is impossible as if God is not Absolute.

Another important thing to keep in mind that when we discuss the belief matters we always speak in abstract and black and white terms!!! It is extremely important to establish the principles and ground rules first before any abstract concept is discussed.

There are two different realms when it comes to discussing the belief matters. One is abstract, black and white theory, the other one is practical implications of the concept/idea. This is where we need to be extremely careful so that we will not confuse the two realms. In other words, once we are in the realm of the abstract concept one can not bring the implications into the discussion because it prevents us understanding what is being said and results in rejecting the concept without properly investigating it, just because it contradicts with my previous understanding then it must be wrong.

If we are to remember the critical reading steps again; What the author is saying? What the author is doing? What does it mean to me? This is the structure we try to follow in our discussions and we always but always speak in abstract terms. In the critical reading process, we rarely pass beyond the second step; practical implications only come into play when the question is asked “What does it mean to me?” and this is something very practical and personal.

What I get out of the concept for my practical life might be quite different than what others understand for themselves which is quite normal because we experience a dynamic creation and may have different experiences in life that the concept will mean something different to each one of us.

If we do not do that, then here is what happens; we read something that contradicts with my previous knowledge or belief, I see myself or someone from my loved ones in the picture that is painted in the concept as “unbeliever”, then I jump to the conclusion saying that No!!! This is a ridiculous idea and wrong. Why? Because it refutes my previous understanding if I am to accept what is being said here, it means “implications”!!! I am unbeliever, my mother is unbeliever and so on….so how could that be, you must be wrong, or else I am going to be in the hell with all my loved ones. You must be crazy!

So by using the compassion in such an unwise way as if we are more compassionate than the Giver of Compassion, the belief concept can not be properly understood. As a result of this attitude, the discussion ends before it even starts!

If you realize that we never ask the first question “what is being said here” yet!!!! Let alone understanding the subject in the abstract terms to see what is being said then what is being done and finally if this is true or not. If it is true, then if agree with it or not and why? And finally if I agree that what being said is true then I can ask the question “what does it mean to me and what I am going to do with this knowledge now?”. Again please do not forget that this very last step is completely personal!!!

Why is this important?
It is because Qur’an always speaks to us in black and white terms and showing us two different extremes. This is the reason why Qur’an is also called Furqan which is defined as “the criterion (of right and wrong, true and false)”. If it was not this way, it would be quite difficult for me to understand the truth and determine what direction I have to take!!! In my opinion, Nursi has imitated once in his life time and that was the imitation of the methodology of the Qur’an; speaking in abstract terms.

If we do not follow the methodology of the Qur’an, we always speak in our on terms/definitions claiming that this what Qur’an must mean; loading our own definition into Qur’anic terms. That attitude prevents us understanding the Qur’anic definitions so we would built a Qur’anic world view which brings paradigm shift into our understanding of the universe, the existence. So we miss the opportunity to live a life as an abd “vicegerent of the universe” with dignity with a world view which is full of happiness.

This is why anything said in the discussions, in the context of abstract terms, should not be taken in the realm of practical implications because this is an injustice to the speaker and it is an injustice to those people who may fit in the definition that is being discussed in the mind of the listener, then accusing the speaker that S/He blames the people with unbelief! No one has the right and authority to do something like this!!!If one is doing that, then that goes against teaching of the Qur’an and the Prophet who says “have you opened his heart and looked” to someone who blames someone else with unbelief.

If we are convinced that a concept is true, then with this criterion I must be the first one that I look and see where do I fall into. Definitely, it should NOT be the attitude that “see this is what the truth is and look at yourself, you unfortunate people, you are all going hell”. If one has this kind of attitude, it would be the evidence of his unbelief because he himself is so arrogant that he does not listen to the message for his own improvement!

If we do not accept the fact that Qur’an speaks in abstract concepts, then when we read verses like “kill unbelievers wherever you find them” (9:5) we would turn ourselves into bloody monsters who claim to do jihad in the Name of God who claims He sent the Qur’an and the Messenger as mercy and guidance for all mankind!

Anything I say in discussing the matters related to belief concepts should be taken in the context of above mentioned ground rules. I am neither in a position nor have the intention to judge other people which does not bring any benefit into my life other than boosting my Ego.


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