In his The Holographic Universe, Michael Talbot presents the theories of Bohm and Pribram, and in reference to their proposed new way of looking at the world, he says:
“Our brains mathematically construct objective reality by interpreting frequencies that are ultimately projections from another dimension, a deeper order of existence that is beyond both space and time: The brain is a hologram enfolded in a holographic universe.”
Let’s try to understand the implications of this powerful view. First of all, let’s put time and space aside, and focus on the words:
“... A deeper order of existence from another dimension.”
A ‘deeper’ order is the order within the depths of our existence; our essence, in Sufi terms, the Absolute Existence!
Beyond the illusory existence that we refer to when we say ‘I’, exists another ‘I’, one that is common to all existence, the Absolute ‘I’, the Absolute Self!
The brain, then, is the converter of the frequencies that are projections from this Absolute ‘I’, who projects the frequencies of His implicit meanings that He wants to disclose!
I cannot adequately stress the importance of the following:
“Allah has created each person for a particular purpose. Only by complying with their natural disposition (fitrah), and following the path that is best suited to their makeup, can people fulfil their unique purpose. It is this fulfilment that renders their servitude accomplished!”
If we can truly grasp the meaning of and internalize this truth, we can no longer feel angered, depressed, annoyed or critical! For we will be cognizant of the reality that each person can only disclose their own natural disposition, regardless of whether their disposition complies with or contradicts ours! It is as absurd to question another’s motives, as it is to question the liver as to why it doesn’t pump like the heart!
Indeed, this truth is the essence and the summary of the system and the order as described by the Quran.
As long as someone fails to comprehend this reality, their claims to believe in Allah are false; their faith is only an imitation.
Real faith is the fruit of the comprehension, internalization and application of this reality.
First of all, a Sufi aspirant must abandon his anger! For, as soon as one is angered by something, one is veritably dismissing and denying Allah! Each individual can only execute what is in his creation program. To become infuriated by another is no different than being infuriated by the disposition assigned to him by Allah, i.e. the decree of Allah.
If Allah has willed to create that individual with that particular program, how can we question His absolute knowledge and will? Clearly, Allah has deliberately chosen to designate that particular composition to that particular individual. To think they are wrong, or flawed or inappropriate, is to undermine, doubt and even deny the Godhead of Allah!
Question: What do dreams signify? Do they have a valid place in the system? How do we see what we see in our dreams? Do our spirits leave our body and go elsewhere?
The term ‘astral travelling’ denotes a state of the brain, where the emission of a certain kind of radar waves projects certain images to our brain, allowing us to see and experience certain things or events.
The general concept is that the spirit leaves the body when we sleep, takes a little tour, then re-enters at the time of waking. This isn’t so! The spirit does not leave the body or go anywhere! The enlightened ones, who have been able to activate their third eye, have mastered the ability to direct their radar waves to a particular location and perceive that place through images that get projected back to their brains.
Those who are ignorant of the mechanics of this process think their spirits actually leave their body and go to some other place.
Whereas the spirit can only leave the body in two ways:
2. Self-conquest (fath)
The truly enlightened ones, who have been able to conquer their souls, who have ‘died before death’ and attained the state of haqq al-yakeen (the certainty of the reality), are the only ones who can observe without the body. All other observers rely on the radar waves emitted by their brain!
The radar waves can either be miracle-based and directed to the material dimensions above Earth, or phenomenon-based and directed to the dimensions of heaven, hell and the intermediary realm. It can also be directed towards lower dimensions, depending on the expansion capacity of the brain.
To give an example, when we dream of angels, we see them in various forms and figures with which we are already familiar.
Angels do not have ‘forms’ in their original state; they only have certain frequencies in relation to their particular function. In other words, angels are ‘high frequency vibrations’. When one of these frequencies reaches our brain, we crosscheck it with our pre-existing database and decode it based on the closest frequency we can find, and then assign an image to it.
When a tree talks in our dream, for example, it’s actually an angel; a high frequency vibration that is decoded and interpreted as a tree, as this is the closest frequency the brain is able to find in its database!
As such, when various incoming frequencies reach the brain, an automatic search engine is activated to find the closest corresponding match to ‘define’ it. Whatever form has already been assigned to that closest match remains unchanged. Hence, we see dreams in symbols and not in their original state.
If we take it a step further... Muhammad (saw) says: “People are asleep and will be awakened with death!”
What does this mean? If this life is like sleep, then we must all be dreaming! This world, and everything in it, is like a dream in respect of the afterlife... Everything we experience here, the pain, the joy, our possessions, our loved ones... All of it is going to feel like a dream when we wake up to the afterlife with death... And just like we perceive dreams, in the form of symbols as a result of our brain’s frequency converting mechanism, so too we perceive everything in this dimension by the very same process.
All of this is confirmed by the world’s leading neurophysiologist, Stanford University professor Karl Pribram, and the world famous physicist, David Bohm.
Question: Can people have different perceptions of the same object?
If the same frequency reaches two different people with the same database, then the resulting evaluation will be the same. This is precisely why we all perceive and see the same objects in the same way, because we all have the same perception mechanism and have been conditioned to function in pretty much the same way!
The visible spectrum, that is the frequency range that can be detected by the human eye, is definite. Whether the same frequencies reach one eye or 1,000 different eyes, the result will always be the same. They will all see the same thing, as all of them will be processing the incoming data using the same system.
Question: Why does color-blindness result in different perceptions of colors?
This is because, in the case of color-blindness, there is also a difference in the mechanism of the brain.That is, a person who is color-blind processes the incoming frequencies differently than a person who isn’t. It’s not that they receive different frequencies; it’s that they possess different brains! The database, i.e. the accumulation of data during one’s lifetime, is what defines the brain’s capacity.
When we are born, our database consists only of genetic and astrological data, but as of birth, we are constantly prone to new information, new conditionings, and new data. This is why a newborn baby has limited vision, not because of a lack of sight, but because of the lack of data in the brain to ‘evaluate’ the information.
We can only project outwardly what we possess inwardly. Our ability to decipher a certain input of data depends solely on the database we have been building since our birth.
For example, the tendency to be fond of and drawn to beauty is a property of the brain. It may be related to either genetic traits or astrological influences, such as the position of Venus in one’s natal chart. In any case, how this inclination externalizes in Iran is different to how it is expressed in Africa or Japan or the United States of America. Depending on how environmental conditionings shape one’s database, traits that are primarily common to the whole of humanity become externalized through innumerably various means.
Question: Are ‘heaven’ and ‘hell’ states of particular frequencies?
All information or ‘data’ in our database is particular frequencies.One’s experience of heavenly pleasures is directly proportionate to how rich and comprehensive one’s database is. Hence, the different levels of heaven!
This is why Muhammad (saw) encourages the aspiration of knowledge with his words:
“Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave”, for the acquisition of knowledge is what increases the capacity of our database that exists in our brain and gets uploaded to our spirit. Our experience of life is the result of the information contained in this database. The quality and abundance of knowledge that we supply to it is what defines our ‘experience’ of life, and whether it is hell-like or heaven-like.
The Sufis say: “Abstain from conversing with the foolish!” Who are the foolish? Those who are ignorant of their ignorance!
Why must one ‘abstain’? Simply because such people cannot add anything to an aspirant of knowledge. An aspirant should befriend those whose knowledge is greater and further than his, approaching the contrary only with the intent to share his knowledge.
An aspirant seeks to accumulate knowledge with the same eagerness that a worldly person seeks to accumulate money and wealth, as he denies the afterlife. This is because an aspirant knows he cannot attain any more knowledge; hence, develop his spirit any more after the point of death. This is why it is crucial for the aspirant to take heed of his masters’ words: “Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave”, “Seek knowledge even if it is in China”, “Befriend those who are ahead of you in knowledge!”
Commodious knowledge is knowledge that is useful after death, whereas useless knowledge serves no purpose in the afterlife.When the enlightened ones warn us against the attainment of useless knowledge, they are not prohibiting the acquisition of such knowledge altogether but, in fact, advising us not to be fixated or obstructed by it. For all encountered knowledge serves some purpose in life and nothing is encountered by coincidence.
All things experienced by creation are inclusive of their preordained purpose and program. Nothing is without reason. We are all individually equipped with the necessary program to fulfill the purpose the Creator has willed for us. We cannot execute a code that isn’t written in our kernel!
Let me give an example from myself...
When I was around the age of 15-18, I thought of myself as a highly intelligent person. I often wondered why Allah willed for me to be born in Istanbul and not in a more developed country, such as some place in Europe or the USA. I even thought it would have been more fitting if I were born in Mecca or Medina. What was the wisdom behind this will?
After many years, I realized, if I had been born and raised in Mecca or Medina, my religious apprehension would probably not have surpassed the ‘literal’, disabling me from deciphering the symbolic and metaphoric nature of religion. If I was born in the West, on the other hand, I would probably have become a great scientist, deprived however of the knowledge imparted by Muhammad (saw).
Allah willed for me to be born in Istanbul instead, a city on the border of the East and the West, right in the middle of both worlds! Thus, I was able to benefit from the teachings of the East and the resources of the West, forming a synthesis of both. I would probably have been deprived of this had my place of birth on the map been a little more on the left or a little more on the right!
As such, Allah designates the perfect environment and resources required for the fulfillment of every individual’s unique purpose.
All of the above is based on a view going from the Essence to the outer.
If we employ the counter view, and look at the Essence from the outer reality, we may reversely conclude that the people in our lives, our environment and our occupation are all a herald of either good news or a catastrophe.
When viewed this way, interesting things come to mind! One no longer feels the need to say ‘I wish...’ for one realizes with conviction that everything is exactly the way it is meant to be and always will be! It is useless to say ‘I wish I hadn’t done such and such mistake in the past’.Indeed, that mistake had to be done, those lessons had to be taken, those emotions had to be lived and everything had to occur in the exact way it did for us to discover ourselves and accomplish our purposes.
Mistakes and sins teach us valuable lessons. By repenting, we can be cleansed from the sin, but the lessons we learn will forever be ours to keep. Life is a journey we must take to reach the destination of our purpose. Everything that is encountered on this journey, including the mistakes we make, is there to aid and guide us in that direction.
Imagine a staircase of a billion steps. If your purpose in life is to constitute the 22,222nd step, then that is exactly where your life experience is going to lead you. Through the people you meet and the events you live, Allah is going to shape you and sculpt you to befit that particular position, not one more or one less.
Allah, in His Pre-Eternal Knowledge, has designed such a magnificent staircase called ‘humanity’ where each person is preordained to constitute one particular step; no one can escape his role or position in this miraculous staircase.
Sooner or later, each person will play out his role and constitute the step that has been assigned for him. Once the staircase is completed, Doomsday will occur.
Although I mentioned the word ‘preordained’, let us also be aware of the verse:
“At every instance HU (the Absolute Essence of Existence) manifests Himself in yet another way!”
That is to say, Allah is present in every dimension, through the various forms within that dimension.
As such, just as it is true there is no ‘free will’ and only Allah’s will, it is equally true that every individual lives with their own will.
Though they seem to be opposite extremes in contradiction with one another, in fact, they are two sides of the same reality. It’s not that there is the greater will of Allah and the lesser will of the people. In its essence, there is no distinction between the two; the distinction arises only by perception. That is, when viewed through the five senses, there is dispersion, hence many wills. When viewed through consciousness, there is unity, hence only One will. Consequently, one may claim, “There is a greater will pertaining to Allah” and this will be true, but one may not claim, “There is also a lesser will pertaining to man” or vice versa, as they are different impressions of the same thing.
In the realm of consciousness, there are no parts or monads, there is only the whole. What appears to be multiplicity is only the different relations and expressions the Names of the One assume. Hence, when we say ‘also’ we are denoting ‘another’ in addition to the One, which is implicative of duality (shirq; associating another being with Allah).
Like the staircase we mentioned above, if we eliminate a single step from the staircase, would it mean anything on its own? Together the steps form the staircase; they have no substantial existence on their own, as a single step does not lead one anywhere. The will of the One is like the staircase; the individual steps that compose it are not separate or different from it. Thus, what we refer to when we say ‘individual will’ is essentially no different than the ultimate One will. As this staircase continues to evolve and extend, different manifestations appear. The verse, about Allah disclosing Himself in different ways every day, is in reference to these manifestations.
When Allah’s attribute of life is reflected on us, we say “I’m alive”. Our immortality is in respect to our source of life, being the life attribute of Allah. The same can be said about our knowledge, will, power and so on.
If we can change the direction of our view and start looking at things from the core rather than the outer shell, we may actually realize that everything we manifest is from Allah and submission to this divine guidance will inevitably take us to the actualization of our potentials.
The pre-ordainment, which we have discussed, does not in any way suggest that we sit back and do nothing as everything is already predetermined! The system does not allow inactivity! One who is static cannot survive in the system, just as the primary cell, formed by the sperm and the egg, would not have amounted to anything if it had said, “I have already been preordained to be a human being, so there is no need for me to undergo division and proliferation...” Indeed, it is impossible for the cell not to proliferate. It goes against its nature; it can’t help but multiply!
In just the same way, we can’t help but be ourselves. Whichever step we have been ordained to be in the staircase of humanity, we will be!
The ultimate destination is contained in the primary cell of our being. That cell contains my characteristics, i.e. by genotype and phenotype, but it doesn’t define me in every detail.
When we look at things from an astrological view, for example, we say that we are currently under the effect of Uranus, where Uranus reflects the traits of Aquarius. This does not mean we can conclude from this that “Hulusi is going to write a book” or “Hulusi is going to contemplate on such and such”.
The incoming new wave from Uranus will definitely stimulate certain thought processes, but the results will vary among individuals according to their already existing databases. If my database is ready to output a new thought, then the incoming stimulus will have a favorable effect on my intellect. But if I lack this capacity or am not in a receiving mode, then the same wave will come to me but have no effect on my brain function. The various planetary influences that reach the brain are nothing more than stimuli to activate certain parts of the brain.
Another example can be given of medical experiments performed on cats. Sexual activity of cats was observed to increase significantly when the sex centers in their brains were stimulated with electrodes. When their anger centers were stimulated, they started to growl. Thus, it can be understood that when certain sections of the brain are ‘irritated’, the brain responds. Likewise, when astrological data reaches the brain it comes in an elementary format, without a particular notion. Depending on which part of the brain receives the data, how it processes it, the contents of its database, and the interpretation it makes, the resulting behaviors differ.
As for fate...
A final destination and general path to lead us there have been predetermined for us. Everything else depends on the individual program we run and its natural consequences. Our program is constantly in sync with the angelic influences coming from our dimensional depths. Hence, our behavior is a synthesis of both the inward and outward influences that constantly surround us.
This formation is what we call ‘individual will’. To deny individual will is to deny this formation! To say individual will and the ‘will of the One’ are ‘one and the same thing’ is not to deny individual will; just as claiming ice to be water doesn’t negate the formation called ‘ice’ (but doesn’t assign a separate existence to ice either).
When we observe the reality from the dimension of pure consciousness, we cannot see anything in existence other than the One. In this state, there is no dispersion or multitude; there is no ‘other’ to possess a separate will. Only when we observe from an individual point of view, that is the dimension of multiplicity, we see individualized expressions of the One will, which appear to be many, but, in essence, they come from the same source.
The Quran elucidates this matter to those of understanding by saying “You will only live the consequences of your own actions”, referring to the individual will in the domain of multiplicity. Then, reflecting it from the projection of unity, it says “There is only one will: Allah”, referring to the reality that “there is no existence other than Allah”.
Both are true, as both are different projections of the same reality.
Note that the verse says “Every day He manifests Himself in yet another way”; it does not say ‘Allah’. He is translated from the Arabic word ‘HU’, which does not connote gender, of course, but a pure being beyond description.
We can think of HU as the dimension of unity in the essence of each monad, the source of the constant formation.
HU is the unity disguised as multiplicity. HU is the dimension of oneness implicit in the essence of all things!
Question: Is the acquisition of knowledge in our control? How does it affect our future; the ‘step’ we have been destined to compose?
Knowledge, experience and guidance shape us into becoming the ‘step’ we are meant to be. The degree to which someone acquires and applies knowledge is the degree of ‘shaping’ that occurs. Without getting shaped, one cannot become. Therefore, knowledge without application is futile.
Let’s say, for example, that I have attained much knowledge and internalized the fact that each individual can only express their natural disposition and can’t display behavior beyond the limits of their capacity. Now, let’s suppose I go to a restaurant, the waiter comes and throws the menu at me. Can I get angry or yell at him? He is only displaying the behavior resulting from his internal program; obviously he lacks the data to enable him to act in a different way!
If I were ignorant of this truth, I would react with anger and frustration. I would question his behavior with fury and try to correct him. Knowledge enables me to remain calm, to not react with emotions. Knowledge saves me from the unnecessary burdens of impulsive reactions and the tiresome repercussions arising as a result.
When a person gets infuriated and angry, millions of cells are terminated instantly! One moment of anger, depending on its intensity, can cause millions of short circuits and explosions at the molecular level, sometimes even damaging irreplaceable brain cells! So, how can a learned person who has acquired knowledge display such behavior and cause his own demise? Could this be true knowledge? If knowledge does not prevent us from harming ourselves and others, if knowledge does not ‘shape’ us, then we cannot really claim to have knowledge.
The cut of a diamond is what determines its value. A one-carat diamond with 52 facets is much more valuable than the same diamond with 32 or 16 facets. The more a diamond is cut, the more its value will increase.
We, also, are like diamonds. The more knowledge cuts and shapes us, the more we increase in value.
Question: If the level of knowledge that I can acquire is up to me, that is, if I’m in charge of using my brain to evaluate knowledge, then it’s logical to assume the ‘step’ we form in the staircase is not fixed, which means the staircase itself is not stable?
Our place in the staircase is fixed. The place we occupy, the ‘step’ we compose, is the very purpose of our creation. However, its final shape is determined at the point of death. So long as we are living, we are still being cut and shaped.
As for the ‘shaping’ that happens in hell, it is like a final cleansing of the residues of impurities we carry from our worldly life. Like purifying gold with fire, it doesn’t add any further value to it; only purifies it.
As such, hell is not a place of getting shaped, but rather, it is a place of purification.
Hellfire purifies and solidifies the things we’ve gained in the world, so we may enter heaven as refined beings.
No matter what the apparent reason may be, everyone experiences an intermediate phase in their lives, during which they suffer an internal burning. This burning, referred to as ‘hellfire’, is a way of cleansing ourselves from inappropriate states that impede our heavenly existence.
Those who are destined to stay in hell forever will also eventually reach a state of refinement after intense and extended suffering.
But, at the end of all suffering, the fire will be extinguished, the burning will end, and new life will spring from the ashes.