|Why has God created this universe as it is? --part II|
|ساعت ۱:۳۸ ب.ظ روز شنبه ۱٦ بهمن ۱۳۸٩ کلمات کلیدی:|
So far we have shortly discussed about the starting point of our universe. Now we are to discuss about creation of the rest of our universe in the course of time. Let start the discussion by explaining a little about the underlying structure of this universe as this is preliminary to answering why God has created it this way. It is believed in Shia Islam, if I am right, that our universe is created as consisting of a face (sensible reality) and an inside (intrinsic reality), or even maybe created in infinitely many different layers of reality, each alive species living this universe understanding its reality to an extent defined for it. Indeed, it is believed that each layer of reality of this universe acts like a face for the deeper layers, covering them. This understanding of “face” as a cover for “inside” has also a witness in Quran:
سَنُقْرِئُکَ فَلَا تَنْسَى، إِلَّا مَا شَاءَ اللَّهُ إِنَّهُ یعْلَمُ الْجَهْرَ وَ مَا یخْفَی (أعلی، 6 و 7)
[By degrees shall We teach thee to declare (the Message), so thou shalt not forget, Except as Allah wills: For He knoweth what is manifest and what is hidden.]
In the original Arabic version of Quran one may read the second part of the above statement either as “for He knoweth what is manifest and what is hidden”, or as “for He knoweth what is manifest and what manifest hides”, and the latter is the one considered here.
By the way, humans (and maybe elves, although I think not), are apparently the only alive creatures that can break through the layers significantly, improve and understand more and more realities, going deep into inside of the universe and find their creator and the logic behind his creations more understandable than before. The question now is around the reality of this universe that why God has chosen such a layered structure for it? The answer to this question, however, is seemingly clear. Just imagine of the layers as the limits of understandings of several different creatures. For example the angels --as were created-- live in almost inside of this universe but they can touch its face and affect it as well, the animals live in the face of this universe and never touch its inside appreciably, whereas the humans (and maybe elves, although if I am right the elves also similar to the angels live in almost inside of the universe, experiencing its reality less covered) start their life journeys from face toward inside, as they start to sense the universe before they start to think and understand things beyond their senses. The face of this universe for us is actually what we sense as sensible, watchable, hearable, touchable, and etc., and its inside is what we can never reach (before leaving our present temporal bodies in dreams, by death and etc.) unless by the power of mind and rationality. There are some witnesses in Quran and Shia Islam that hell and heaven are nothing other than the inside of this universe, people already leaving in hells and heavens while not understanding them completely as they are covered by an illusive face (e.g. one that steals an orphan's patrimony may become glad for what he has done and what he can do with that much money, but according to Quran whatever that e.g. he eats bought from that money would actually be a bulb of fire being swallowed by him:
إِنَّ الَّذِینَ یأْکُلُونَ أَمْوَالَ الْیتَامَى ظُلْمًا إِنَّمَا یأْکُلُونَ فِی بُطُونِهِمْ نَارًا وَسَیصْلَوْنَ سَعِیرًا (نساء، 10)
[Those who unjustly eat up the property of orphans, eat up a Fire into their own bodies: They will soon be enduring a Blazing Fire!]
that is, he is eating a bulb of fire indeed, but in the face of this universe --that he has not experienced any level of reality beyond it-- he saw that fire as, say, a delicious food and enjoys eating it, and death is a level of removal of the covers so that he will just understand what he has really done during his past life). As an example about how the face of this world hides its inside just recall that there are people who deny everything that they cannot sense, from God to angels, elves and etc., even though there are many many counter examples and reasons for that there exist some existences that are not sensible to humans. As another example recall how the faces of humans can hide their insides, they can be deeply upset and yet hide it by a simple smile while they are talking with us. The skin of our bodies hiding our inside limbs, bloods, and etc. is also a trivial example. Anyway, there is a strange statement from Imam Ali (pbuh) --and it is actually considered to be a statement of him, a poem by him-- that you think of yourself as a small amount of mass and material whereas the greater universes is put inside you:
دَوَآؤُکَ فِیکَ وَ مَا تَشْعُرُ *** وَ دَآؤُکَ مِنْکَ وَ مَا تَبْصُرُ
[Your cure is in yourself but you don't understand, and your illness is rooted in yourself but you don't see; and you think of yourself as nothing more than a small amount of mass, whereas the greater world is put in your inside; and you are a manifesting book that each individual letter of it depicts a secret; so you do not need to anything in your outside to inform you of what is written there inside you.]
Anyway, if one accepts this structure for the universe created by God, then one can start asking about the reason for it being so. To answer this we should first recall that God creates everything possible that has also a cause for its existence, therefore, if one asks “why e.g. God has created us as some evolving existences, requiring to try this temporal world before to reach our last state of existence in heaven or hell, and why he has not created us from the beginning in our last state in the other world?” one can easily answer that God has already created such non-evolving creatures but they are not called human anymore, but e.g. they are called angels or animals! The humans are created such that they should experience an evolution and this is the only way that the humans were existable! The angels have only wisdom but no carnality, the animals have only carnality but no wisdom, while humans have both wisdom and carnality, if the former dominated the latter that human would have been greater than angels (like for prophets and some others), and if the latter dominated the former then that human would have been less than animals in the eyes of God, that is in realty! This domination process however is not an immediate process and needs time for one of the wisdom or carnality to dominate the other, and this temporal world is a bed for the humans' inside evolutionary process. Interestingly, even the angels and animals that need not any evolution are existable in this temporal world as well, and also some of them have cause to become existed before the judging day, although some may find no cause and thus will appear to exist not before the other world begins (like the angels that would be created from nothing in the next world, and this can be true for infinitely many other species as well not created ever before)!
Now we are to some extent familiar with the structure of this universe and why it has such a structure, and also to some extent we have discussed its initial condition in the deepest possible layers of reality (note that face of this universe is not unique, as it depends on the kind and quality of the sensors put in different species' bodies, we can sense the universe through our bodies different than a snake understand it, and etc.). Maybe now it is the time to seek for what the “cause” --in the causality principle (maybe a part of the background logic for this universe)-- is! This “cause” is what relates one instant to all its previous instants, so that it should be a prime concept in the understanding of our universe. My understanding of “cause” in the “causality” is “the rights and the needs”, as I think these are what relate the creatures to each other in this universe! Now let clarify this answer better:
The creatures can be categorized into alive and inanimate creatures, and the alive creatures can also be categorized into those having arbitrament and those lacking it. If I am right the alive species having arbitrament consists of angels, humans and elves which all benefit from having an extent of wisdom, and those lacking it consists of animals (and maybe plants?) which also lack in any appreciable wisdom. However, among those having arbitrament the humans and elves have also an extent of carnality. The inanimate creatures are created in a way that they all do their predefined jobs exactly as defined for them with no fault, so that throughly studying them one can find a set of rules for how that they behave, and now e.g. one can talk about the rules of nature governing chemical reactions, the movements of celestial bodies, fluid flow, electromagnetism, and … . Before the alive species to begin to appear in the “face” of this universe there were a number of conditions that had to be met and it was the nature's rules that provided such conditions for them to appear and also for keeping them existed and evolved in the course of time. Beside that we should mention that such rules also exist for the behavior of the alive species with lack of appreciable arbitrament, i.e. the animals and maybe plants as well. However, when we talk about arbitrament we mean that God has given a significant independent effectiveness to those species benefiting from arbitrament. Such creatures are given possibilities to affect things in some (limited and predefined) different manners, some may go well with the rest of creation and some may not. That is, every alive creature have some needs which should be satisfied for it to continue to exist the way originally suggested by its creator, and the alive species having arbitrament, like the other species, are expected to satisfy some of these needs, but these specific species can decide to do so or not to do their right role in this universe. Do to their tasks accurately it is clear that they should be told of what is expected from them, and of course those that have pure wisdom (i.e., the angels) will choose to obey this wise advise. However, those having also carnality (i.e., the humans and the elves) may obey it or not and their possible disobey can cause disasters in many situations. To clarify the difficulty of making decision for such creatures let us bring an example about the human beings: [Our arbitrament is not general and complete, we can decide to work or not, to take a shower or not, to go to the school or not, and etc., but we can not directly decide for our heart to pump the blood into our veins or not, for our stomach to digest the food we have just eaten or not, and etc. . But why is that so? We all have somethings that we claim to be ours, watches, shirts, and …, if we lose one of them and want to prove that it belongs to us when it is found by some one else we should and in most of the times we can explain its characteristics, so that the person who has found it can be assured that it is ours, but do we know our bodies and spirits as well? Not only we know very little about our bodies and souls, but even some of us don't know how many freckles do they have on their skins! Today, maybe, we know about our bodies more than people knew thousands of years before, but we still know very small about our spirits. If we also didn't know much about our bodies, as was the case for centuries, how was it possible to feed our bodies with the right materials required by them to keep us alive from instant to instant for tens of years? Yes, God has created us in a way that we think we want something sour to eat when some specific mineral materials is required by our bodies, we want something salty when we need salt, we want water when our bodies need water, and … . God has even given us a feeling of enjoyment and satisfaction (as a measure!) when we eat foods that we need --although our tastes has been demolished during the last century after eating fast foods and unhealthy foods like them-- otherwise no person other than the prophet and the real wise people were to bear the discomfort of eating what their bodies need, a job that is also accompanied by discharge of what is left unused by the bodies as excrement. By the way, the joy of eating is really a reason (instead of a guide or help!) for many of us to eat what our bodies need and, unfortunately, when we eat something that we want we usually wish we could eat more and less get filled so that the joy of eating could continue further. In the other words, there are very few people that eat because their bodies need something, but the majority of people eat to enjoy eating, so that we see people eat even many times more than their bodies need! It should now be clear how carnality makes difficult to use wisdom in making the right decisions. To eat only what our bodies require and to the extent required by our bodies is just one example of using wisdom, the issue of inclination to the opposite gender and what this tendency should in reality do in preparing the conditions for two person to set up a new family yielding to a new generation is one another important example that in some situations using wisdom is not at all easy, there are also many other examples that should be discussed thoroughly but for now let us pass over them for the sake of brevity.] With this example one can easily confess how living merely based on wisdom is a really very difficult task for humans and of course this is exactly what is expected from us, to think and live a life based on wisdom even though our senses and carnalities try to deviate us from this direct way. Well, of course we have no doubt that not all the people behave in the right way, at least not in all the situations that they encounter during this temporal section of their lives. So what next? What would happen? Why God let all these happen? That these happen is an inevitable matter of fact that humans and elves have arbitrament (so wisdom) and carnality at the same time. God has told us what is right and what is wrong, but in the face of this universe we sense the reality illusively, those humans who believe what their wisdom tell them would become greater than the angels, and those who believe only the face of this universe (that we should only satisfy our carnalities) would be less than animals. We would then experience a process, sometimes called death, that will take us from this face to a higher level of reality deep inside the universe, not illusive any more. There we should continue what we have already chosen as the style of our lives but at the same time that carnality will not follow us to that level of reality for it to make the upcoming events to appear differently and illusive, the bads there would appear really bad to us and the goods would appear really good to us. Good for those who choose to behave like God has ordered, before death!
|Why has God created this universe as it is? --part I|
|ساعت ۱۱:۱٧ ق.ظ روز چهارشنبه ۱۳ بهمن ۱۳۸٩ کلمات کلیدی:|
Apparently studying the way things can be created and exist (i.e., answering “whats” and “hows”) is the subject matter of what now we call science, and the reason why they exist (i.e., answering “whys”) would on the other hand be a subject matter of religion and philosophy (although philosophy as yet work with reasons and is based on rationalism is usually accounted for as to bridge an apparent gap between science and religion). However, to me this is not very interesting a classification. Actually, as much as I have understood and with the aids of God I would discuss it further below, religion is everything and contains everything itself, it discusses every question and not only “whys”; however, as “whys” are always more important than “whats” and “hows” (since knowing the answers to “whys” can depict a suitable final goal --and thus a set of suitable intermediate goals-- for us, and a suitable direction from our present position towards our aiming position; it is only after this that one should exploit the answers to “hows” and “whats” in order to become able to move in the direction already determined by “whys”, trying to reach his intermediate and eventually his final goal), religion insists on “whys” more frequently, otherwise we have, e.g., Islamic philosophy, and also Islamic science (from medicine to engineering, from art to laws and etc.)!
But why has God created this universe? Actually if one asks why has God created the creatures in this universe we simply answer because they were existable according to the logic of this universe and he creates them originally as soon as they find a cause for their existence. But if one asks why had God originated such a specific logic that our universe is based upon, to me it seems like he has originated all the possible logics that could exist, and what logic could exist returns to the definition of “logic”: I guess logic, as is meant within these discussions, consists of any set of rules that based upon which no created universe would be self-contradicted. Maybe the number of logics that God has created things upon tends to infinity but in Shia Islam there is a statement from Imam Sadegh (pbuh) that there exist maybe infinitely many universes (actually he said only God knows their numbers, ref. “مغز متفکر جهان شیعه” written by a number of western scientists, translated by “ذبیح الله منصوری”, the section on Imam Sadegh's Definition of Science) with different logics, so that maybe this number is the total number of logics that can exist!?!
Well, according to Shia Islam but the above reasoning is just the answer to the question “why has God created this universe?” in one aspect. A complete answer may have several aspects when is given by a limited creatures as me! In Shia Islam there is a quotation quoted from God by the great prophet Muhammad (pbuh) that reads:
(یا احمد!) لَو لاک، ما خَلَقتُ الأفلاک ...
[(O Ahmad!) If you were not I would have never created the heavens ...]
In this statement it is suggested that the great prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is the main reason for why God has created this universe: for him! In some other statements it is suggested that the universe is created for the 14 innocents, and even in some others (including the surah AlBaghareh, 29, in Quran) it is suggested to be created for the human being. All of these can be true and of course there is no contradiction either. But is it rational or even meaningful for us to assume that the creation of, say, one creature is the reason for the whole creation? It may appear unreasonable in the first sight but let ask a question first to later clarify the situation better: according to our first discussion God creates here everything that is existable and has a cause for its existence, and the causes for the next existences are set to be some existences in some previous instants of this universe (causality), but what would have been the cause for the first existences in this universe? Certainly God has created the time and he is not limited to or confined by any of his creations, so he himself has no beginning, but all his creations in any of the universes to which the concept of time is introduced should have a beginning, a zero instant! What is created as the initial condition for a universe can have no cause within the same universe, that is to say, they have came to existence only because they were existable and had a cause for existence beyond the logic of that universe. This cause may be the direct will of God, the creator, and these initial conditions would then serve as causes for the rest of creations in their corresponding universe. If the above stated quotation introduces the great prophet Muhammad (pbuh), or all the 14 innocents (pbut), as the main reason of this universe being created, that is, the cause for the whole creation of the rest of this universe, then they should also be the very “initial conditions” for this universe as well, and surprisingly this also has some witnesses in Shia Islam! According to a statement of the great prophet Muhammad (pbuh) the 14 innocents are the first creatures that God has created in this universe, even before angels, and the earth and heavens (ref. “علل الشرایع” written by “شیخ صدوق”, the section 7). Of course they were not created as humans with material bodies to need spatial extensions and etc., but maybe pure spirits with no even initial or transitional bodies, as they were depending only on God in those initial instants of this universe and not any other creature of God in the same universe! Then their needs to God were perhaps guided into many different channels in the course of time and the universe started to evolve this way and to exist in a more complex fashion. For example it is stated in Shia Islam that it was them, the 14 innocents (pbut), that taught the angels what to do or what to say as praying of God just after they were created, and etc.. Well, to know why God has chosen such a specific initial condition for this universe, why 14 entities, and …, one should understand that God is not an insensible creating machine, as he is the one who has created our minds, our imaginations, our senses, and etc., albeit it is true that he never exploits any of his creations for doing his jobs but he is also beyond these things, and this height that he is maybe he intends to create the universe from a starting point and has a reason for this but we cannot understand this reason, even maybe someone tells us the true reason and we think this cannot be a reason for that, only because we do not understand a line relating this reason to that starting point. By the way, maybe this way that he has started this universe he has also defined the background logic of this universe, that is to say maybe other initial conditions and the way they could cause the next creations would define other logics yielding to universes different than ours!?! If someone could answer these questions he should be one of the 14 innocents (pbut): the last of them now alive on earth living through his material body, Imam Mahdi (pbuh).
Anyway, now we have a sound answer to the question that why God has created this universe in the way that it exists. But let clarify a point here. The initial conditions for this universe are introduced as the most absolute and immaterial existences, having the pure will of God as the only cause for their existences, but how they could cause the creation of new species and entities in the next instants of this universe? For example how they could cause the angels to exist, the earth and heavens to exist, the water to exist, the animals to exist, their own bodies to exist, this world to exist, heaven and hell and the judging day to exist, and …? It's not an easy question to answer at least in the first sight! Well, let bring another statement of themselves here to mention their importance in the hierarchy of creations of God: (I don't remember the exact words)
Any great that you think of us, as much as you can even imagine, yet we are greater, so say anything good that you can but only mention that God has created us and we are his creatures.
These great creatures never disobey God's orders, they like anything that he likes and dislike anything that he dislikes, so that their will is a restriction of God's will onto the set of creatures, they can rule the universe under the will of God, make the dead persons alive, make the alive persons dead, and any other thing that goes well with the logic of this universe. Remind when Jesus (pbuh) created a pigeon from dust and blew in it and it got alive and flew away. The 14 innocent can also become an origin for creation of the new species on behalf of God, they are not creator but can sign on behalf of the unique creator in his universe! They are the creator's representatives, and vicegerents, in his universe and, of course, they do all such things in the lines of God will and not for their own caprice and dalliance. In Shia Islam almost any kind of species (mule and some others being exceptions) has a unique origin different than others, so that we do not think like how Darwinians think, e.g., we believe in that the first parents of the present human being were Adam and Eve (pbut) created some 7 thousands year ago in their bodies and some thousands year before that in an original way before to descent into their material bodies; the first dog parent were created for Adam and Eve to keep him safe having a scary loud sound more scary than it really was dangerous (ref. “علل الشرایع” written by “شیخ صدوق”, the section 250); the first pigs and cats were also created in the Noah (pbuh)'s ship --if my memory helps-- when they were needed to keep the ship clean and the mice population under control (ref. “علل الشرایع” written by “شیخ صدوق”, the section 248); also humans were existed on earth before that Adam and Eve (pbut) were created from other parents we do not know; and etc. Not all of these were created by the 14 innocent (pbut), but maybe God has created them as their and the next creature's needs were growing (e.g., recall the reason for creation of dogs, cats and pigs when they were required directly by human being). So right now we have found another answer to the question that “why God has created this universe this way”, this time yet from another aspect, the “needs” of the God's creatures. This will guide us to the next topic that we will discuss if God would let us do so!
توضیح جالبتر و شاید کاملتر از حدیث قدسی «لولاک ما خلقت الافلاک، و لو لا علی ما خلقتک، و لو لا فاطمة ما خلقتکما» ظاهراً در «مقتل الزهرا، تألیف سید علی موسوی ده سرخی» آمده است:
این حدیث قدسی بیانگر این نیست که مقام حضرت زهرا (س) بالاتر از مقام پیامبر اسلام (ص) و حضرت علی (ع) است. بلکه مراد چیز دیگری است که بیان خواهد شد.