Lead Article

  • Issue 76 / July - August 2010



    The Inner Dimension of Existence

    M. Fethullah Gulen

    The inner dimension of existence, for those who are open to it, is never a fantasy, a dream, an illusion or a delirium, but instead a phenomenon and an inner system. It seems feasible only through such an inner dimension that the satisfactory explanation of our existence, the secret of our life, the reason of our creation, manifestation of our desires directed towards eternity and our thoughts related to all these points become plausible and acceptable and that our groundless fears and worries melt away. The inner dimension is the path of concise faith, the spiral of light which conveys divine knowledge to the pinnacles, the heavenly steed of love and ardent desire, and the call of heavenly attraction. Each believer’s view of the universe, the provisions of each soul en route to attaining this knowledge, each lover’s inner dynamism, and each person of truth’s inextinguishable zeal are always nourished from the expansive pool of that dimension. Souls and hearts that liberate their roots to such a source form such a metaphysical poetry with the emotions and thoughts that overflow from within, thanks to it, every single thing from microcosm to macrocosm coalesces in a lucid order and turns practically into a proper sentence with each word in its best place.

    Just like it is unimaginable to be in love with anything without considering its reasons and motives, it is unlikely that everyone is receptive of inner dimension at all times. Some are born as receptive while some keep on developing this aptitude of theirs for a whole lifetime, then subsequent to a certain term, they attain a capacity large enough for encompassing space and time in their entirety. Such individuals lead their lives in an appetite for inner meaning and metaphysical profundity on an infinite scale and throughout the path they live as if their hunger is insatiable. Many others obtain material and corporeal phenomena to achieve fulfillment but time and again grow weary as this often turns into routine. However the ones with their spiritual lives that are transcendent above the boundaries of reality at full speed and with an endless yearning, walk on new paths, stop over at different places, associate each visited place with a wisdom in the real time context and in connection with the past and future stations; in search of divine knowledge, love and spiritual delight, they roam with incessant desire, just like lovers seeking each other, running from one horizon to another.

    The created’s relationship of intense, ecstatic love and yearning with the Creator is for mortal and ephemeral beings the horizon of metamorphosis and becoming immortal by attaining a second existence via their essence. Considering a different perspective, such a relationship is a lover’s stripping of his or her existence and growing radiant and spiritual, thereby melting in the beloved’s existence and submitting altogether to His will. Having reached to such a spiritual culmination, each soul is purified to the extent of decency in the heart, even as it is a mere particle, it reaches a breadth huge enough to encompass the entire creation and becomes “the perfect pattern of creation.” Such a relationship that commences with belief and develops through divine knowledge, deepening with love and attaining eternity through passion, is a sort of reply we give to what God, the All-Truth, seeks in us. Thanks to such a relationship God’s presence is always felt free from any limitations of quality or quantity in the course of which an infinite bliss flutters about constantly. Except for such a horizon of delight which turns thousands of souls proceeding on the line extending from all prophets and saints, as well as – irrespective of any differences in considerations – such heroes of love like Musset, Pascal, St. Augustine, and Jeans into moths to the flame; a manifest chain of calamities are Pharaoh-like tyranny and vanity, Nimrod-like decadence and deviance, delirium and insanity, lack of vision and utter dejection that befog humanity’s atmosphere of thought, invade their hearts with doldrums, and even turn their lives into a void within a void. Contrary to the former group’s use of this world as a spiral of human perfection and turning celestial, the latter, by indulging in the darkness they bred within their own souls, sentenced themselves to eternal death.

    Those who are open to spiritual life from the very beginning or those who have waken up for such a horizon after a surprise favor from God – no matter if their paths at times intersect with murky darkness – lead their lives as one with light and chase light for a whole lifetime. Just in that way, their every distress is the outset of a new expansion and each suffering is the travails of a new birth.

    Almost all respites across the globe have always been nurtured by hardships and developed on the bosom of oppressions. Each period of love and enthusiasm has materialized throughout an episodic span of suffering and tribulation. Just like Greek philosophy gained its perfection through love and ordeal in the valleys of reflection and inquisitiveness, the Renaissance movement too developed after nurtured by love of truth and ardor for research. The inner dimension of the cycle of other historical recurrences in the same extent is yet another topic entitled to special consideration...

    In the realm of the faithful, ardor for eternity, love for truth, systematic reflection and inquisitiveness experienced a phase of eruption to an extent out of bounds and either directly or indirectly radiated the world for centuries. How we wished the continuance of such a golden age! How sad it is that time, in consequence of countless reasons and throughout subsequent periods, has revealed unpredictably agonizing interpretations against our favor. In the present era we are in need of superhuman efforts to imbue the flow of time with our own colors. Not only shall we live in utter misery until the time we display such an endeavor, put forward our genuine character and aptitude by means of sufferance and anguish, and crochet our lacework of thought and life in accordance to these; neither does it seem possible to form a moral movement which is nurtured by a unique array of faithful life, art or science. Just like individuals devoid of love and divine knowledge, the nations experiencing the same deficiency are also doomed to collapse and disintegrate.

    Individuals or societies, who are sealed against metaphysical thought and without profundity in essence, one day, after losing their entire vital dynamics altogether, get strewn and scattered around just like autumn leaves. In such a condition, cultural movements stagnate, slowly the society, with the young and the old, with its numerous walks of life, grows tired and educational institutions succumb to formalism. Words of thought and learning lose their real essence and context, then as a consequence everything becomes a means of conceit and airs for the administrators of the ill-fated educational institutions. Conversely, in Ancient Greece, across the Islamic world (especially in the fourth century following its advent), and during the Renaissance years in the West, those stunning developments had always sprouted in the condition of countless pangs; were nurtured by the love for truth and passion for divine knowledge; depicted through arts and technology, then were entrusted to history by way of reconciling them with the societies’ spiritual and essential values.

    For the last one or two centuries a major part of the world has been experiencing complete loss of sight, severe spiritual infirmity, and arrhythmia in hearts. The condition is such that eyes can see nothing, ears cannot hear a sound, and consciences cannot make their voices heard amidst the din of those who seek everything in material. In such a world science is blind, religion is lame, art is paralyzed, government is incoherent and is caught in the web of oppositions and overthrows. Politics is linked to interests and acclaims, people of science are in pursuit of medals and awards, young generations are light-headed, carefree and in delirium, the mighty are locked in on despotism and tyranny-in the face of all these things the masses moan under misery and humiliation. In such a society there may be many people who read, think, do research, and dream of arts. However, among them only a very few rise against various privations, each making a retreat to the depths of their hearts and strive to explore their spiritual strength. On the other hand, there are innumerable individuals, each of whom follow a different idol and are in vigil of a different expectation; those who are disrespectful to knowledge, insensible for morals, superficial on the passion for truth and extremely unfaithful to upholding their own values. Curious enough, in such a society the ever-despised and disdained popular crowds display through their voices discourses and traits, a more coherent stance than a group of insincere elites whose minds are as disorderly as their hearts and whose emotions are as inconsistent as their thoughts.

    Seemingly, we need nothing else but the “hearts of fire” who will deliver us from such an extent of misery and indolence, and make us hear the voices of our own souls. It seems that until the time each of these sincere hearts – by means of erupting streams of lava from their magma-like bosoms – will form everywhere new avenues for our society and channel us towards the horizon of our fortune; we will always suffer from the disadvantages of our indolence. We will undergo stifling anguish around the clock and will never be able to get on our feet again. On these days, as people turn to metaphysics and spiritualism, we wish from God to bestow vigor on our willpower and radiance on our horizons.

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