Will you evaluate the beings in terms of the relationship between matter and meaning?
Submitted by on Thu, 18/06/2020 - 11:42
Dear Brother / Sister,
4.3.7-Beings through a new viewpoint
We can do many simple mental experiments to shed light on immaterial or non-material beings. For example, let us consider a 100-gram book consisting of 99 grams of paper and 1 gram of ink and compare it with 99 grams of paper, on which 1 gram of ink is randomly spilled. There is no difference between a 100-gram book and 100 grams of inked paper in terms of matter. If we send them to a laboratory for substance analysis, both of them will come back with the same result. Since the 100-gram book and 100 grams of inked paper are the same in terms of matter, every difference between them is related to the meaning and hence spiritual. What is meant by meaning for the book is everything except paper and ink. The book is a visible and hand-held material composed of ink and paper in appearance. However, what makes the book a book is the meaning in it in reality; the substance of the book is almost nothing compared to its meaning, which is its spiritual being.
Besides, electronic e-books, which have become increasingly widespread in recent years and tens of which is included in a single CD or flash memory, have no paper or ink. Words can be written or deleted in the desired color with the electrical energy converted to light on the screen pages. It may even be said that what is called a book is a curtain, a screen, a sheath or binoculars that make the meaning appear on pages.
Since the 100-gram book and 100 grams of inked paper are the same in terms of matter, every difference between them is related to the meaning and hence spiritual. What is meant by meaning for the book is everything except paper and ink.
Another example that will help us understand the relationship between matter and meaning (spirit) is the rose. Let us take two roses that are completely identical, and smash one of them until it turns into sludge. Then let us ask if there is any difference between those two. Such a question would be regarded odd and it would be said that a rose could not be compared to a pile of sludge. However, if the rose and its sludge twin were sent to a chemistry laboratory for analysis, the laboratory report would state that both were identical. Thus, materially, there is no difference between a rose and the sludge of its smashed twin. However, they are different, and since the difference between them is not matter, it is entirely meaning. (Nobody would think of giving a person rose sludge instead of a rose thinking that they are the same.)
This means every attribute and quality that the sludge does not have is related to meaning; and the value of matter of rose is virtually nothing compared to the value of its meaning. In other words, what makes the rose a rose is not its matter, but the meaning that becomes manifest in that matter. The rose is virtually a carrier of meaning and it is the first thing that comes to mind when somebody wants to send nice meanings. The person who receives the rose receives the nice meanings sent through it, not the substance of the rose; he absorbs the rose with his feelings and takes pleasure. However, if it is sent, by mistake, to a being that sees nothing but matter – like a cow or a donkey - things will change. The most fundamental difference between a human and an animal is spiritual feelings and stomachs. That is, an animal has one stomach but a human has hundreds of stomachs; and all of those stomachs except one are related to meaning. Therefore, living in order to eat means being away from humanity.
What makes a rose beautiful is obviously not the beauty in its atoms since the hydrogen or nitrogen atom in a rose is identical to the one in a smashed rose - just like the carbon atoms in diamond and graphite being identical. Since what does not exist in the parts of something cannot exist in its whole, the beauty of a rose comes from outside, not from its matter - just like a diamonds’ fascinating glitter originating from a source of light outside. The property of rose and other beautiful things is their ability to receive and reflect this beauty just like diamond receiving light and reflecting it in a fascinating way. This requires a common beauty and therefore a beauty layer, which is not related to matter (and time) in the universe. Even the ancient Greeks felt this meaning that they sanctified this layer as Venus or Aphrodite, “the goddess of beauty”.
Let us observe a fly as another example. Like other living beings, the basic building blocks of the fly are hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and carbon atoms. They consist of electrons, protons and neutrons like other atoms. That is, all beings, whether living or non-living, are made up of atoms or subatomic particles: electrons, protons and neutrons. The mortar that holds these basic building blocks together is forces. Now, let us compare a fly that has just died with a living fly. Since there is no loss or gain of substance with death, these two flies are identical materially. Then we can say that the differences between the living fly and the dead fly is life, sight, hearing, system, beauty, consciousness, love, etc. are non-matter, that is, meaning.
Questions on Islam
- What is the difference between the viewpoints based on matter and Names (of Allah)?
- Al-Khaliq (The Creator)
- Al-Bari (The Maker, The Producer, The Maker from Nothing)
- Chapter 19: The Proof of the Meaning of Creation
- Will you explain the issue of Allah’s creating the beings in the form of ibda and insha?
- Why do the Majority of Scientists Accept Evolution?
- How can we tell unbelievers about Allah’s existence?
- Tell me about Allah!
- Why were holy books sent down?
- If one day the creation of universe is explained within physical laws and all questions are answered, do we not need to become atheists? If we need to deny the creator in such a situation, why should we not need to deny the creator?