by Navid Zaidi
کیہہ کردا نی کیہہ کردا نی
کوئی پچھو کھاں دلبر کیہہ کردا
وچ مسیت نماز گزاریں،بت خانے جا وڑدا
آپ اکو کئی لکھ گھراں دے،مالک ایہہ گھر گھر دا
اکے گھر وچ وسدیاں رسدیاں،نہیں ہوندا وچ پردا
جت ول ویکھاں اُت ول اوہو،ہر اک دا سنگ کردا
See, what He does; See, what He does, friends!
Let someone ask, “What does the Beloved do?”
He offers prayers in the mosque,
Then He enters the temples adorned with idols.
He is One, and the houses are many.
He is the Master of every house.
To dwell joyfully together in the same house,
There cannot be drawn any screen in between.
Wherever I look, I find Him present
He is ever in the company of all……………..Bulleh Shah
These verses of Bulleh Shah awaken in us a higher consciousness of our manifold relations with God and universe. The Lord is within us and He pervades in everyone and all places. This is the delicate secret Bulleh Shah has unraveled. God is to be found not only in mosques but also in the temples adorned with idols. Indeed, God resides within every human being as his or her Master. He is present not only in His lovers but also in His enemies.
However, this gives us a pantheistic view of God which needs a closer examination and makes us wonder about our relationship with God and the universe.
In order to grasp completely the ultimate nature of existence we must be able to study such a case of existence that is absolutely unquestionable. Now, my perception of things around me is superficial and external. But my perception of my own self is internal, intimate and profound. Therefore, my own conscious experience is the ultimate point of departure in the direction of Reality.
What do I find when I fix my gaze on my own conscious experience? There is nothing static in my inner life; all is a constant movement, a perpetual flow of states in which there is no resting place; I am changing without ceasing.
Similarly, all levels of experience—the level of matter, the level of life and the level of mind and consciousness—have all been reduced to movement, vibration and energy according to the new physics. Consider these words of the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Max Planck, the father of Quantum Theory, as he accepted his award for the study of atom:
” As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear-headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as the result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such! All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particles of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together…..We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.”
Thus, a close examination of our own conscious experience finds that the universe is a free creative movement. The ultimate nature of life is a psychic activity. The universe is not something static but a structure of events with the character of a continuous creative flow.
The Ultimate Reality (God) consists of a rationally-directed creative life in which thought, life and purpose inter-penetrate to form an organic Whole. We cannot think of this Unity except as the unity of a Self—an all-embracing concrete Self—the ultimate source of all individual life and thought.
Thus, based on the analogy of our own conscious experience, God is an individual. He is the most unique individual. All life is individual; there is no such thing as universal life. However, to interpret God as a Self is not to fashion Him after the image of humans. It only means that life is an organizing principle of unity. It is not necessarily pantheistic. The facts of our own conscious experience lead us to the conclusion that the ultimate nature of Reality is spiritual and must be conceived as a Self.
Now, let’s turn our attention to the universe. The universe is not an independent reality standing in opposition to God. It is not something co-eternal with God that is being operated upon by Him from a distance with space in between. It is, in its nature, one continuous act. But our thought breaks it up into a plurality of mutually exclusive things.
Space, time and matter do not exist per se. They are only interpretations which our thought puts on the free creative energy of God.
In other words, God is not a transcendental being, prior to universe, and operating upon it from outside. The universe is not a finished act; it is still in the course of formation. There can be no complete truth about the universe because the universe has not yet become ‘whole’. The universe is only self-revelation of the Ultimate Self. It is not an accident in the life of God that might not have been created.
From the standpoint of God, there is no ‘other’. In Him, thought and deed, the act of knowing and the act of creating, are identical. From the Divine point of view, there is no creation in the sense of a specific event having a ‘before’ and an ‘after.’
We have conceived the Ultimate Reality as a Self; and we must add that only from the Ultimate Self selves proceed. The creative energy of the Ultimate Self functions to unite all the selves.
Every atom of Divine energy, however low in the scale of existence, is a self. But there are degrees in the expression of selfhood. The selfhood gradually rises in the entire gamut of existence until it reaches its perfection in the human being.
Therefore, humans occupy a genuine place in the heart of Divine creative energy and thus possess a much higher degree of reality than things around them. Of all the creations of God, humans alone are capable of consciously participating in the life of their Maker.
God is an individual and the universe is an association of individuals. But the members of this association are not fixed. New members are constantly coming to birth to cooperate in the great task of creation and formation of the universe. The human beings also take their share in this great task, inasmuch as they help to bring order into at least a portion of the chaos.
Says Dr Allama Iqbal: ‘Like pearls do we live, move and have our being in the perpetual flow of Divine life.’ In other words, we are distinct but not isolated from God. The gap between us and God is not physical but informational. The greater this gap, the less our individuality. We become unique by becoming more and more like the most unique Individual by closing this informational gap. He/She who comes nearest to God is the completest person. Not that he or she is finally absorbed in God. On the contrary, he or she absorbs God into himself/herself.
The human beings are endowed with the power to imagine a better world and the human self aspires to use all the various environments on which it may be called upon to operate during the course of a timeless career.