The 7th Encounter
Jem didn’t get much sleep that night as, by the time Alph had left, the roosters had already started to crow… He took a short nap on the sofa before Gonul woke him up.
It was Friday.
He sleepily went to school and taught his classes in what had recently become his usual aloof manner… He just couldn’t apply himself to anything as he was so consumed by all the noise in his head… His level of knowledge just wasn’t adequate to answer the obscure questions that were torturing him…
On Saturday, Gonul suggested they take a break and go to the shore to unwind… Jem liked this idea. They sat by the seaside and pondered… As Gonul watched the ferries and other boats come and go, she asked Jem:
“For a month now, it feels almost as if you’re not living in this dimension anymore… I understand that you are having an extraordinary experience, but what are you gaining from it in the practical sense? I mean, is it worth all your troubles and worries?”
“When you feel hungry, you eat, right?”
“When do you stop eating?”
“When I’m full.”
“But you eat until you feel full, right?”
“Well, I’m not full yet, Gonul… I’m not full with existence yet… I want to know the origin and the essence of existence, I want to understand what it is, and how it is…”
“Can’t you just say ‘God created it this way and it is what it is’ and just let it go? I mean, are you God to know everything?”
“If I have not yet become the being who encompasses everything with his knowledge, then it is impossible for me to become it in the future… But is the One who contains everything in His knowledge beyond everything or is He everything? Or maybe He is everything itself, but He is beyond ‘thing-ness’…
“You see, there goes more questions that I can’t answer! Perhaps the ‘I’ that comprises my being exists to find the answers to these questions, for no matter what I do, I can’t stop thinking about these; it’s almost as if I’m made for this!”
“Yes, it really is about what you’re made for, isn’t it…,” Alph suddenly appeared. “For example, you Jem, no matter how hard you try, you can never be jeweler or a sportsman!”
“If it is not possible for me to be something that I’m not made for, than this obviously applies to everyone, in which case we can say, ‘everyone has a fate to live; a destiny to fulfill, whatever is written for them, shall come to be’ right?”
“If I were to tell you your future has already been pre-ordained and determined and the ‘pen that wrote it has been broken’,meaning it is not subject to change, would this surprise you?”
Gonul jumped in:
“If I’m inevitably going to live out what is written in my destiny, then why should I try for or put any effort into anything? What is the point?”
“Let me answer your question first, then I will ask some questions…
“The purpose for which you have been created will seem pleasant and attractive to you; it will come to you easily and naturally! It is not possible for you to ‘not’ do anything; you will always be engaged in some form of activity, whether you chose to or not, but those activities with which you find yourself engaged, will be the ones that you find easy to do. So if something is ‘easy’ for you, that is, it feels natural for you, this ease is an indication of it being your destiny.
“But who is it that determines your destiny? How is it written? What is it written on? Can you answer these?”
“If I had these answers I would be a sheikh… In fact many sheikhs can’t even answer these questions… All they ever say is ‘Allah writes it’ but how does Allah write it, where and with what He writes it I have no idea!”