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Saturday Discussion – 1 November 2014

The flutes are pure and powerful as though issuing from a heavenly exalted orchestra. The mind does not hear from the sorrowful plaints of separation, that foremost Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi and all lover hear, but dominical praise and laudation and grateful thanks offered to the Most Merciful One, the Ever-Living and the Self-Subsistent.

Nursi does not approve the idea of seeing the beings as suffering from the “separation” from their Creator as promoted by some followers of Sufi tradition. On the contrary, he sees every being in this world exalts God with praise and offers thanks to Him.
– Our nature is “pure”. Just as a diamond retains its original state after being dusted off, our nature is similar to that of a diamond.
– It is important to build the confidence in ourselves that: “in our creation there is nothing dirty, nothing is faulty”.

Do we think that we are damned because of our egoistic tendencies? In order to be saved, you have to seek refuge with God and you have to suffer so you will be purified?

– My Creator creates me in a pristine state and He does not want me to suffer.

Ego=making a choice against your nature/misusing freewill.
Belief= not contradicting your nature/not spoiling your perfect creation.

How do we perceive the orchestra? (The underlined words are deliberately chosen)
– It is our interpretation of the way we see the world. For example: If I perceive that something is wrong with my creation, I will have a negative attitude towards the Creator and the creation.
– We have to be careful how we perceive ourselves.
Are the leaves really suffering from separation i.e. being separated from God who created them?
Similarly, are we supposed to complain and feel the separation because our spirit/soul has been separated from God?
– We love our origin, our origin is with God.
– Mentality of the one who feels the separation is similar to the one who does not understand the nature of the creation: I love my Creator but only if this world was not between us, so this world needs to be shunned away.
– With this type of mentality, one complains about every event/object because they think that it is an obstacle preventing them from connecting their existence with Him/the Beloved.

  • Our endless complaints about events/objects become the source of unhappiness

We are perfect in our creation
Theory of “original sin” comes from the idea of khuboot i.e. God sent Adam away from paradise because he sinned. The problem is that we may think: to sin for a human being is original to its creation. This implies that Adam was created with a fault in his factory settings and if this was the case, then it would not be his mistake. However, the scripture says:
“We have created human beings with the most perfect stature” (laqad khalaqna al-insana fee ahsani taqweem). [95:4]
– The wrong option/evil choice/sin is external to my nature/my reality. Our nature is in our creation. Through this option, I may improve/develop what is already in me.
– We have to acknowledge our faults but it does not mean that we have a corrupt nature: It is beautiful to realize that you have made a mistake.
– Don’t be judgmental about other people; try to listen to yourself/your own nature: we cannot talk about other people; I can only speak about myself.
– All the qualities that I need to know my God is innate in me. I may only get to know them by using my freewill.
– I may struggle like a seed in the soil that gives shoot: it has to get out of the soil/earth, it has to blossom in the air. That is the process of acknowledging my Lord within my nature.

Denying your nature=denying the truth=denying your origin=denying religion.

– Religion is my source of existence. If I deny religion, then I am denying that I am created.
– We need to have a definite understanding about our existence: I am a created being.
– Quran is the reminder to what is already in your being. It is a guide for those people who are careful not to misuse their given nature

How do I confirm the guidance which I receive from revelation?

Quran speaks to our human qualities. We can only confirm the source of our existence by using our human qualities. Our human qualities are the judge: they establish the criteria; we do not have any external criteria to tell whether the Quran is telling the truth.
– The Prophet and revelations are plugged in to my criteria: to guide me ensuring that I am using my qualities in the right way.
– If you are not sure about something, listen to yourself and confirm it to what the Creator is saying: The criteria to assess are with you.

  • I ought to ask: Does it fit my nature?

Analogy: Adam was sent from Paradise to earth. The seed has fallen into the earth to grow. It has the potentiality to acknowledge eternity: we are pure and heavenly. We need to grow our seed. We are here to reunite back with our Origin by acknowledging it. That’s why for a seed to be in soil is perfect. The process of acknowledgement takes place in this earth.
– We are Adam and we are here to grow ourselves and become acquainted with our source of existence/origin.
In the analogy, Tree->Paradise->Eternity->Origin=being with God.
– When we are taken away from here, the fruit of our life tree will have its seed i.e. the origin will be with us. The fruit of our life tree is to acknowledge the Source of my being and becoming acquainted with Him. Once we realize that our existence belongs to the Eternal Creator, we stop worrying about the future of our existence.

Author says that we are not here to suffer from separation at all. We are here to become more and more acquainted with our nature/origin/source of existence.
– The leaves are not really crying from the rustling, there is a symphony that is going on. The falling of the leaves from the tree is not suffering but on the contrary, it represents “death”.
– When I die, I am not going to suffer from death.
Analogy: The stem of a ripe fruit on the branch of a tree becomes very fragile, when you touch it, it falls. Is that a fall or is it fulfilling a mission?
Similarly, when I get old, I must be ready to fulfill my mission i.e. get to my original seed. For example: The state of most elderly people is similar to that of a baby where they need an attendant.
– That is our reality which demonstrates that in the creation, there is no imperfection. Turning back to our baby-like state is the ultimate goal of our progress in this world according to the purpose of our lives. We are here to acknowledge that we are not the owners of our existence; our duty here is to become aware of the fact that everything given to us to get to know our origin of existence, who is the Creator.

Analogy: An engineer designs/makes a machine. He gave an external existence to what was in his mind.
Is this machine aware of its own existence? Machine is not, but human beings are aware of their existence.
Does the machine have any right to say that my maker made me just in order to throw me away?
A human being must be pleased that his maker made him with all the qualities through which he has to acknowledge his Maker?
– Through our human qualities, we become aware of our Lord.
– The machine is made so that it is not separated from its maker but on the contrary, it represents the engineer. That is why human beings are Caliphs/vicegerent (khalifah) i.e. representatives of the Creator.

  • Our existence is not separated from God while we are here on earth, neither is it separated from God when we are given death.

In the analogy above, the machine represents the qualities of the engineer. Here are two attitudes human beings can undergo:
1/ I am a conscious being and I am thrown away from my maker.
2/ As a conscious being, I am here to demonstrate/announce the qualities of my maker: “Look at me, you can see the signs of His qualities manifested in me. My creation is meaningful, I can see the qualities of the Creator manifested in the things, I have to communicate with them to get to know my and origin…”

Depending on your attitude towards creation, you take either of the above mentioned approaches.
– We must have a positive attitude towards our/any existence in the world.
– I should praise my Maker and acknowledge everything He has given me
– We have to build self-confidence in our existence. We have to be proud of our Lord because of our existence.

  • I ought to acknowledge the qualities of my Creator in my existence

Since the trees have all become bodies, their leaves have become tongues. At the touching of the breeze, each recites over and over again: It is He! It is He! With the benedictions of their lives they proclaim their Maker to be Ever-Living and Self-Subsistent.”

The word “breeze” signifies: God breathes into Adam from His very own soul/His essence. Taking the analogy above, the engineer blows his qualities into the machine.
– As a result of the breeze, the machine reflects the engineer’s qualities in it. In this process of blowing, the engineer loses nothing.
– From the scholars, we hear: “It is not a part of Me, neither it is independent from Me” (la huwa ‘aynuh wa la huwa ghayruh)
(If you want to understand your own existence, it is as if God has breathed from His own spirit into you) – We all have the qualities of God manifested/reflected in our creation.
– We are not independent from our Creator: we are expected to acknowledge it.
– All beautiful names (perfect qualities) belong to the Creator (lahu al asma al husna)
– God taught Adam all the names (wa allama adama al asmaa qullaha), which means we humans have the capacity to know all the names.

The author, in his writing is very careful in naming the qualities of what is manifested in the universe. He calls it the inspiration/breathing coming from the origin/Absolute source. In the universe, we are experiencing the fundamental principle of the Absolute Power, Absolute Wisdom, Absolute Judge, Absolute Mercy…
– Objects are given the reflective form of qualities of God in their existence.

For example: “mountain” is not the real name of the object. The name for objects/events that Adam was taught is that “mountain” is the manifestation of the Absolute Power (jalal)/Magnificence of God/His Awesomeness… Similarly, an “orange” is Mercy, gift from my God, Wisdom, Nourishment, Beauty…
– In and of itself, the word “mountain/orange” represents no Name/no value/no quality it signifies.
– We ought to be aware of the “reality of existence” in order to use the Quranic vision, and not to be satisfied with the name we call them as “mountain/orange” which signifies no quality.

We should use qualities given from our Creator and not inherited from the society. We usually misrepresent God’s names with dictionary names.
For example: instead of “mercy”, we call it an “orange. In reality, the objects represent their Creator’s qualities on them, such as “Absolute Mercy, Power to create, Originate the existence, Knowledge, Wisdom… In the language of the Qur’an they are: He is Raheem, Khaliq, Bari, Aleem, Hakeem…

– One Angel represents one name. Human represents all names (kullaha). In this sense we call ourselves better than Angels.
– That’s what the Quran teaches us: we have the ability to acknowledge all the qualities of the Creator manifested in the universe. It is all within us.
For example: Compassion is in you, you can acknowledge it.

– We have to read everything with a new vocabulary. Law of nature needs to be replaced with law of the Creator’s qualities. I can see the manifestation of the Law of the Absolute Power, Absolute Knowledge….

  • Human beings represent God’s qualities on Earth in the form of reflection.

We have the capacity to acknowledge the manifestation of the Names of God in every object with all of their manifested qualities. Angels represent only one quality and cannot develop their realization of the Qualities of God, whereas, human beings can.

Analogy: Orange is a chest, inside of which, there is a treasure.
– Don’t be misled by the chest/orange.
– I am concerned with: what is hidden in the orange?
– The names of the Creator are hidden in the orange.
– We have to decipher the meaning in creation and that needs training.
– The treasure of the heavens and earth is with God. (khazainu al samawati wa al ard).

HE has breathed the key into us
– We hold the key (our human faculties) to the treasures (makalidu al samawati wa al ard).

The example of those who were entrusted with the scripture and then did not take it on is like that of a donkey that carries volumes of books.

“The likeness of those who are entrusted with the Torah (revelation,) yet apply it not, is as the likeness of the donkey carrying books. Wretched is the likeness of folk who deny the signs of God. And God guides not wrongdoing folk.” Jumu’ah (62): 5

– This means that we: human beings need to extract the meaning we get from the scriptures.

Qurans speaks to its own audience- As I read, it is speaking to me “only”.
– We cannot understand the Quran with dictionary meaning. We need to read the Quran according to the purpose of the Quran. The purpose of the Quran is to connect you with your origin and to remind you with the following:
a/ why do you exist?
b/ what is expected of your existence in the universe?
c/ how to interpret the universe: to read creation as a place of manifestation of the Exhibitor where each object exhibits the qualities of its Maker.

With the tongue of disposition, they continuously declare: “O God!”, and seek the necessities of their lives from Him, from the treasury of mercy. And through the tongue of their manifesting life from top to bottom, they recite His Name of “O living One!”
The trees/objects continuously declare the qualities of their maker. We conscious beings are expected to read them.
– We ought to seek help from the Creator of the object, “not the object itself”.
– The trees/leaves are the heralds, the news bearers. They are not complaining about the separation.
– When they make noise, they are declaring: “we are conscious beings; my source of existence is the Eternal Living One. If you open the chest/box, you will see the treasure i.e. I have been given life, my Creator is the Ever Living One.”

O Ever-Living and Self-Subsistent One! Through the Names of Ever-Living and Self-Subsistent, endow the heart of this wretched one with life, and bestow sound direction on his confused mind.
– Through the influence of external factors, we have become confused and so we have to seek guidance.

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