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!