How can the reality of being in many places at the same time be understood? Will you give information about luminosity, which is a dimension of existence?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

 2.1.5-Subtlety and Density: To Be in Many Places at the Same Time

            People usually limit their thoughts by their previous knowledge and experience, and they have difficulty in accepting things that they have not personally experienced with their five senses. The common general knowledge of humanity that is based on numerous observations and experiments and that is tested and confirmed is expressed as “laws”. For instance, what blocks the perpetual machines and does not give them a chance is the law of the conservation of energy, which is a law of physics like that. However, these universal laws and principles can cover and hide some subtleties and there may be stronger laws hidden in depths of those subtleties that are overlooked. For instance, according to the Newton laws, which form the foundations of classical physics, time and space are independent; and the watch of a person on the ground and the watch of a person flying on a plane at a speed of 1000 kilometer/hour show the same time. That is, the observations in macro cosmos confirm Newton. However, when the speed of light is approached, time starts to slow down. In a satellite that turns round the earth with a speed of 30 thousand kilometer/hour, the time difference originating from the speed has to be taken into consideration. That is, in situations where very high speeds are in question, we need to deal with the events through the principles of Einstein’s modern theory of relativity – though we do not understand how it happens – not Newton’s classical physics rules. The issue of time’s dependence on space, which made Einstein the father of modern physics, has become an ordinary fact in our age today. 

            It is definite by our experiences that an apple can only be in one place at a given time. If it is in the fridge, it cannot be on the table; if it is on the table, it means it is no longer in the fridge (I wish it were; it would help the budget of the families a lot). However, as it has been explained above, in the level of subatomic particles, this fundamental fact starts to be invalid.

For instance, in one of the classical experiments in particle physics, there is a piece of paper with two holes; an electron passes through the paper from the two holes at the same time – it is like a person entering a house through two different doors of the house at the same time. That is, one thing can be in more than one place at the same time. The phenomenon of being in more than one place, which our minds have difficulty in understanding, is one of the basic principles of quantum mechanics in physics.

It is really difficult to understand this when beings are regarded as matter only and when the space and time limitations in matter are taken into consideration; even geniuses like Einstein could not accept it. The way of understanding the reality of being in more than one place at the same time is to understand luminosity and the concept of subtlety, which is a reflection of luminosity on matter.

The materialistic approach, which limits beings with things that can be put into laboratories, that can be subjected to experiments and measured and whose mind is in its eyes, refuses to eliminate the previous prejudices and insists on acting indecisively in paradoxes. However, the acceptance (or rather the expression of its acceptance courageously and honestly) of luminosity, which is not subject to the laws of physics and hence which represents timelessness and spacelessness, as a dimension of existence, will clear the way for physics. It is interesting that the laws of physics, like the law of gravity whose existence nobody doubts, are luminous; they are everywhere though they are nowhere. As long as the rigid materialistic approach accepts the existence of laws of physics – opposite of which is out of question –, the concept of luminosity is accepted implicitly. Claiming the opposite is hypocrisy and it does not comply with scientific approach, which has to be objective.

Each difference between the movements of two men – one dead and one alive – is metaphysical because the movement of the dead body is determined by laws of physics in a pattern but the movement of the living body is determined by the product of the laws of physics and the metaphysical dimension of the will. To accept the correctness of this example (it is not impossible to claim the opposite) and to deny metaphysics is not science but scientific blindness and even scientific bigotry.

If physics manages to get rid of the snare of the ideology of materialism that limits beings with matter, it will get rid of the strangeness of denying the will, which has been determined to exist through experiences; and it will approach the truth one more step.

In order to understand many mysteries in the beings and some strange states that the mind cannot realize, it is necessary to understand well the concepts of subtlety (luminosity, fineness, lightness, luminance, airiness) and density (hardness, matter-density, weight, stiffness, bluntness, darkness). Despite the materialistic philosophy, all of the physical beings that we know are a combination of subtlety and density. Although the same matter, that is, the dense matter, is present in men and women, due to the fact that the pleasantness, elegance and kindness aspects are more prominent, women are known as the subtle gender. Therefore, the rude attitudes that do not offend the eye in men are regarded ugly in women because they do not fit the subtlety of women. I hope the dark philosophy that sees all beings including human beings as ‘a mass of dense matter’ or ‘a pile of atoms’ will understand it. May God bless the soul of the poet Yunus Emre, who said, “There is another self insidemy self.”  

            In non-living beings like stones and iron, density is essential. However, even they have some subtle aspects visible to careful gazes. In living beings, matter, which is like dense tulle, functions like a veil on which the subtle meanings behind are reflected. For instance, a person who looks at a cherry or at a butterfly sees the fine arts and subtle meanings on them first and feels the subtleties through his heart, which is the center for meaning. Man is a strange combination of subtlety and density consisting of a dense body and subtle spirit; it is assessed based on the dominant element. As a physical being, man is subject to laws of physics and cannot be in more than one place at the same time.

Spirit, which is a luminous being, is beyond time and space; no law of physics can dominate it. Therefore, it can be in many places even everywhere – just like the law of gravity. However, since man is a whole with his spirit and body, the spirit and the body have to act together. In this case, the dominant element will be in control. If a person is physically strong but spiritually weak, that spirit will be virtually a prisoner in that body and density will be essential in that person in whom the spirit becomes virtually dense. That person may even claim that he consists of the physical body only. However, if a person is spiritually developed and physically weak, the opposite will be valid and his body will assume subtlety; in such a person, the rules of luminosity rather than the laws of physics will be dominant. Then, this person, with his body that assumed subtlety, will be subject to the laws of the spirit and will be able to be in more than one place at the same time. However, many mysteries will make it an exceptional state not a common state.

Badiuzzaman Said Nursi states that the concept of time and space disappear when the body becomes subject to the spirit and rises to its level:

            “Like the incident of ebb and flow (tide) in the sea, the expansion of time zaman (living long in a short time) FOOTNOTEand disappearance of place (a person’s being seen in several places at the same time)is common among saints. Briefly: according to a narration in Kitab Yuwaqit, Imam Sha’rani studied Ibn al’Arabi’s four-volume al-Futuhat al-Makkiya (Makkan Conquests [Discoveries]) two-and-a-half times in a day. Incidents like that should not be regarded odd. There are many examples that approach such odd issues to confirmation. For example, during a dream that lasts for a few seconds, you seem to have lived for a year. If you read the Quran during such a time, you could read it from beginning to end several times. For saints, those incidents occur when they are awake. Time expands and the issue approaches the scope of the spirit. The spirit is not restricted by time. The deeds of saints, whose spirits are dominant over their bodies, occur with the speed of the spirit.   

FOOTNOTE:For through its mystery, a few minutes’ Ascension become many years and prove the existence of this truth and demonstrate it in fact. The few hours of the Prophet’s (PBUH) Ascension had the length, breadth, and comprehensiveness of thousands of years, for by way of it he entered the world of eternity, and a few minutes of that world comprise thousands of years of this world.

There are, besides this, the numerous occurrences of the expansion of time experienced by the saints, constructed on this truth. It is related that some of them did a day’s work in a single minute, and others performed a year’s duties in an hour, while others recited the whole Quran in the space of a minute”.1

If we remove luminosity, whose existence we are not aware of and even we deny, from man, what is left but a bag of dark atoms.

This issue can be explained by likening the body to a balloon and the spirit to helium, which is seven times lighter than air and which soars very fast when it is released. If we release a balloon that has very little helium in it, the balloon will fall to the ground due to the effect of gravity. That is, the subtle helium will surrender to the dense matter of the balloon. Thus, slightly inflated helium balloon will act like a dense matter. However, if the balloon is inflated with helium fully and released, it will be seen that the soaring power in helium will dominate the falling power in the balloon and the balloon filled with helium will soar to the sky. That is, the body will be subject to the spirit and the laws of the spirit.   

Man cannot fly like a helium balloon but he can weigh himself on the scales of the conscience and he can assess his state of density and subtlety. As it is stated in the sentence, ‘I feel as if I have been relieved of a burden of a thousand kilos’, when man does a good deed, he feels as if he is lightened or relieved; and when he does a bad deed, he feels as if his shoulders are stooped, which indicates that meaning – unless the scale of a person’s conscience is out of order.

As man is engaged with luminous things like knowledge, belief and virtue and assumes subtlety, he is elevated in terms of humanity although he does not walk on air; he does not even feel the weight of his body. Although his body is here, he travels in different realms with his mind, heart and feelings just like a dream. Probably, the real poverty is to be unaware of this dimension of the existence.

The spiritual heart of man, who has a material and dense body and a luminous spirit that gives it subtlety, is the best-equipped center of luminosity and the receiver and transmitter of all of the luminous things. As a matter of fact, what is called as ‘positive energy’ are the luminous meanings that are transmitted through transmitters like words with the relation of the will or directly from heart to heart. If the meaning that is transmitted is the light of science, it is called telepathy. If the meaning is good wishes, it becomes a remedy, which is also a light. If it is the light of love, it becomes happiness. If it is the light of the Quran, it becomes nourishment and a remedy. If it is the light of the Attractive Sun, with its name in the sufist terminology, it becomes ecstasy and trance; and the ties of the laws of physics start to be undone. If we remove luminosity, whose existence we are not aware of and even we deny, from man, what is left but a bag of dark atoms.

1. Nursi, B. S. Mesnevi-I Nuriye. Diyanet İşleri Başkanlığı Yayınları1182. 2nd Impression, Istanbul, 2015, p. 277-278.

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