Everything existing in the universe, whether it is an indivisible entity, it is of spiritual nature or is manifested in form and shape, is a reflection of the Will of God, that is, the whole universe is the SYNTHESIS OF PLURALITYe materialization of the Holy Will of God. The universe, the pictures of the existents of the universe and the arrangements of the resources to fulfill the needs of the existents, all came into being when God willed so.
Creation has two aspects. One is the external appearance of the creation and the other is that one which generates and arranges the appearance of the creation. Explaining this thing God has said, “We portray a picture in the womb of a mother”. The picture that is portrayed in the womb does not exist before nor the creatures know anything about that picture but when this picture is drawn in the mother’s womb a movement takes place, which cannot be observed by the creatures. That attribute of God is working in this movement, which, in actual fact, takes the shape and form upon the behest of God.
We all know it well that when a clot of blood takes a form and shape, organs and parts of body like ears, eyes, brain, etc. are formed in it then it hears, sees, talks and feels through senses. One is born with all the senses and feelings and grows according to certain laws so much so that he is called a man of wisdom and intellect. But, we all know that when a person is dead and despite the fact he has the eyes, ears, nose and brain, he cannot hear, see or feel anything, no matter how hard we may try to make him to do so. This thing clarifies that someone else is controlling the physical body. This very relation of the movement with the picture gives shape and form to the creatures. Another common experience of the individuals of mankind is to have an independent and separate perception by every individual. This very individual perception is the mode of identification and recognition of the picture, which God portrayed in the mother’s womb.
During the course of our discussion on oneness and plurality, we described that the creatures have a relation and affinity with their Lord Creator and there is only one way to have this affinity directly, in other four the association cannot be developed directly. Whether the creatures acknowledge this affinity consciously or not but it does exist all the same. To put this affinity in simple, for maintaining their individuality the creatures have to be dependent upon someone. To be in need of someone implies upon existence and presence of another being, which is the source of recognition and, this very cognition helps in perceiving other things.
There are two ways of identifying and knowing the others. One is to conceive oneself physically with a vivid perception and then step forward to know the other person or the creature that come in our way.
The other way of knowing depends upon all the pictures of the Will of God, which are preserved in the inner of human self. When manifestation of any of such pictures is witnessed externally, we recognise it. And, when a picture appears in our vision internally we recognise it innately. This thing is also to be understood that every manifestation is a reflection of the inner. Nothing can be witnessed in its physical form if its inner dimension is not there, that is, the whole manifested dimension is the reflection of the inner side of an existent.
This is to be understood very carefully, when God commanded “Be!” the universe came into being with all its characteristics just as it was there in the Mind of God, that is, souls of the human beings also came into being. This means that the unified collective programming for the universe was finalized. This programming transferred from the Mind of God. All the creatures of the earth and heavens became existing with God’s commanding it to be. Man, when he was there in the mind of God, was familiar with the other creatures, Paradise and Hell, animals, jinns and angels and the other creatures also knew him.
The program existing in the mind of God started displaying, after it was commanded to be and with the display of the program recognition of others was also transferred to the creatures. Man existed in the Mind of God in the form an indivisible entity and that is the inner side of his existence. Since the soul is being exhibited in the plurality, therefore, every individual representing this plurality happens to know the plurality individually.
The whole universe is inscribed, collectively, upon the Preserved Scripturum, in a unified form. This purports to this fact that every individual of the universe enjoys the faculty of knowing the other individuals and this is termed as sighting the inner side.
And, now we shall delve upon the modes of sighting in the external side.
When we stand in front of a building, we see only that part of the building, which is there before our eyes. If we get aside and change our position by taking few steps, the angle of our sight also changes and with this change another portion of the building appears before our sight. And, if we want to see three sides of the building simultaneously, we have to change our position to get that angle of the sight which may allow us to see all the three sides of the building simultaneously. This means that for changing the angle of sight, to have a better view or a view that is desired by us, we have to cover some distance. And, during covering of a distance Time and Space both become involved. Covering a distance of, say, ten steps is the Space and the time spent in taking these ten steps is the Time. This is one way of seeing things, that is, to see something some distance is covered and to cover that distance some time is also spent. The angle of sight changes when the Space is covered and the Time is spent. The other way of seeing things is to concentrate upon the features and impressions of an object existing in our mind. By doing so, the inner impressions are surfaced on the screen of our mind. In generating this vision neither any time is spent nor any distance is required to be covered.
This revealed Two laws.
First, just as one sees and witnesses things using the physical eyes, sees after travelling distances of thousands of miles and spending days and months, similarly, one can see and witness things using the power of visualization according to rules and regulations applicable in this regard without involving the spatial distances and units of time. It is altogether a different issue that the scenes witnessed using the physical eyes, appear to be more clear and vivid but once the inner eye starts functioning properly and it could be exercised at will then the dim scenes also become clear and vivid.
Second law is that when we travel in a direction, the angle of our sight under goes a change. The angle of our sight changed when we traveled down in the Ethereal Realm from the Realm that came into being after God uttered ‘Be!’ And, at every descent the angle of sight keeps on changing. When it is accepted with conviction that all that exists without is a reflective impression of that which is found within. With the dept in the insight and deepening of perception, the sighted objects become solidly felt things.
Classification of Perception
This thing, by now, must have made some room in our understanding that the unified cosmic program is the knowledge of God. When God willed to display the features of the cosmos, as they were there in His knowledge, He commanded, ‘Be!’ and the whole cosmos came into being. At that stage the universe and its existents were only aware of their existence, they did not know who they were, why they were and that who had created them.
In order to put an end to that static state of the existents God exhibited Him before the existents of the universe and said, ‘I am thy Lord.’ The first thing that caught the attention of the existents was the Voice of God. When the existents got attentive towards the voice, they saw that someone is introducing Himself as their Lord and Creator, someone who had created them, given them knowledge and understanding, hearing and sight and created means of their sustenance.
Man, before the faculties of hearing, sight and understanding were given to him, was merely a perception. And, when God proclaimed His Lordship and the existents looked at Him after hearing His Voice and acknowledging His Lordship, they had the realization of their existence. It means, everything, including man, is a perception in itself and this faculty, in terms of its activity, would be named as sight, or to say, man is nothing but the sight other than this everything is a fiction. This faculty also includes the realization that God is our Creator and we are the creatures. Man was only a perception as long as he had not witnessed his Lord and after he had witnessed His Lord he attained the status of knowledge and the senses of hearing and seeing also produced in him.
Sighting is of two types. One is that we are looking at something extrovertly and the other is that we see a thing in its real perspective. In this context, example of the mirror can be taken into consideration. When we look at our reflection in a mirror, we think that we are looking at ourselves whereas, in actual effect, we are not looking at ourselves rather, we are witnessing our reflection in the mirror.
The mirror absorbed us into it and after absorbing it reflected our image. If the mirror in the first place, had not accommodated our picture, and reflected it back, we would have not been able to see ourselves in the mirror.
One is indirect sighting or sighting through a medium. The other way of sighting is direct sighting or seeing things without any medium. Using the method of direct narration, we would say that initially the mirror absorbed our picture into it and then we saw the reflection produced by the mirror, that is, we are not looking at ourselves but we are seeing what the mirror sees. This goes for all the acts and deeds of our life. If we take our mind as if it is a mirror, then the direct approach would be that anything is firstly seen by our mind and only then we see it. That is, all that we see is the sighting of what our mind sees. Any thought, any idea, any concept or anything is not acceptable to our sight unless its picture is displayed upon the screen of our mind.
A glass filled with water is lying before us. According to the indirect approach of sighting, we are looking at a glass having water in it. According to the spiritual ways this is fictional and unreal sighting. To narrate the process of sighting a glass of water, using the direct approach, it would be said that our unconscious mind accepted the reflection including the properties of the glass and water upon the screen of our mind through the sight; the knowledge-giving agency, and then we perceived the existence of the glass of water, that is, our inner sight received all the information about features and impressions of the reflection of glass and water containing by it. This very perception by the inner sight is the process of sighting. In other words, according to the spiritual approach, the sighting is not the process of viewing things in the out.
First of all, impression of an object by its reflection is registered upon the screen of mind by the human sight and then we see that object. One approach is that we see things that are lying before us and according to the other, reflection of the things is registering in our unconscious and we are seeing things because of that. Thus, the direct approach is that we are witnessing the seeing of our soul. This is the reason that when one is dead, one cannot see anything despite having all the organs of sight in place because we stop receiving information from where the reflections are registering.
A similar situation is experienced in our daily routine life when, for instance, a man loses his eyes. He cannot see anything although all the things are lying before him because the medium of the sight, i.e. the eyes are not there, that is, the organ responsible for transferring the image or the reflection of things is not there. Sometimes, this also happens that the eyes are healthy but the cells responsible for producing the vision or the senses stop functioning. In such a case neither one can see nor feel the presence of a thing.
All other activities of life generate in our mind after the process of sighting is activated. If, for example, an ant bites a person, although he did not see the ant biting him, he still feels the bite, that is, the sense responsible of generating knowledge, somehow or the other informs the mind that something has bitten him. That is to say, the first stage of perception is the knowledge whether it comes through touch, taste, smell, hearing or sight. Understanding after hearing something is another category of perception. Having knowledge about something, for the first time, is the first stage of perception. Sight is the second stage of perception. Hearing is the third stage of perception. Feeling the fragrance or odour by smelling it is the fourth stage of perception. Feeling something tactually is the fifth stage of perception.
The right name for perception is the sight; therefore, unless the creatures’ sight focuses upon the Creator, the classification of perception does not take place. The creatures after the command ‘Be!’ was pronounced had the realization of their existence only. Then the sight was granted to them. And with the sight the hearing was given to them and then the rest of all the senses followed.
Unification of the Being and The Unification of Observation
Previously, we had discussed by giving the example of the mirror that viewing ourselves in the mirror reveals two types of sighting, or to say, there are two approaches concerning the mode of sighting. One is that we are looking at the mirror and say that we are looking at ourselves. This is the indirect approach of sighting. But, when we try to comprehend the process of sighting and a deeper perception is achieved, it transpires automatically that we are viewing our image in the mirror. Having this realization that we are viewing our image in the mirror is the direct approach. This thing applies for all the sections of life equally.
One form is to think that we are viewing things without and not within. The other form is to believe that whatsoever we view is being sighted from within and reflection of things is transferring from without and we see things because of those images. The former one is called the indirect approach and the later one is called the direct approach of viewing things.
Example of the dead person proves this fact beyond any doubt that it is not the eye that sees but it is the soul that has the faculty of sighting. It means that a person having the indirect approach of sighting thinks that he is watching thing without and when a spiritual associate becomes acquainted with the direct approach of sighting, he understands it that sighting, in actual fact, is sighting within. As long as a person sees indirectly, he is at par with the animals, plants and inanimate objects but when the direct approach of sighting becomes active in a person, he rises up from the level of animals and enters the human level.
The relation exists between the creatures and the Creator is revealed upon a spiritual associate when the direct approach of sighting is activated in him. The relation between the Creator and the creatures cannot be given any name except the Elohistic Knowledge, that is, creatures can have affinity with their Creator only by that knowledge which is the knowledge of God
By asking His creatures, “Am I not your Lord?” God, in fact, granted them the knowledge of sight. Among the approaches of sighting
this law is one of the most important and significant laws that the process of sighting does not complete if the sight has no target to focus upon, or to say, the sight cannot see anything if it is not provided any target. God is the first and foremost target of the sight for man and the universe. When God inquired whether He was the Lord of His creatures or not, the man’s sight was provided with the target to see and caused the man to emerged out of his state of lostfulness and first he saw the Supreme Being of God and then heard the whole universe in the form of a unified program, acknowledging His Lordship. Listening to the acknowledgment of the universe and beholding the whole universe as one single family and having this perception that our position is nothing more than the sight, is the second activity of the sight. And, thus the sight took third, fourth, and fifth steps downward and observed that only that exists that we see. This type of sighting is termed the Unification of Observation.
When the sight functions indirectly, it finds itself confined within the limits of Time and Space and the more this approach strengthens the more stages of the plurality are formed and this sight becomes an observation, changes into hearing at one step, touch at another, smell at other and taste yet another step. Observation, smell, touch are all limited within the confines of Time and Space. These movements of the sight are called “descent” and every desecnt has two parts. God has stated this law that he He has created everthing inpairs and therefore each one of these desecnts too, have two asprects.
Now, this could be said that when man entered the second descent he was acquainted with the conscious, perception, sight, form and shape, speech, hearing, variegation, attraction, and touch. The first descent is one stage of Unity ( wahdat) and the second descent has five stages of Plurality (Kasrat). This makes them six descents in all. The first descent is called the Subtlety of Unification and the other five descents are termed as the Subtleites of Plurality.
As far as the Unification of the Bring ( wahdat-ul-wajood) and the Unification of the Observation (Wahdat -ul- shahood), which are simply called the unity or oneness by the Sufis, is concerned, it is only an artifice of the human mind. All that man states is limited up to his limited understanding and thinking ability. This unity by any chance is not the unity of Godhead because it is simply not possible for the human conscious that oneness of God or any of His Attributes could be captured by words or phrases.
This fact cannot be ignored that the unity being an artifice of human thinking, at the most, is indicative of the reach and extent of human thinking. When the word unity is uttered, it only indicates that we have understood the uniqueness of God to this extent only, or to say, the meanings of this word remain limited up to the limits of human thinking. Man terms his limited as limitlessness. whereas God, in actual fact, is much greater and sublime to these praiseworthy descriptive limits. When in this context the word unity is uttered, actually we refer to the unification of our own thinking only.
Man mentions and describes God according to his ability of understanding and with reference to his own reach and access. Since man’s unlimited vision is also limited, therefore he cannot see beyond a certain limit and it does not occur to him that there could be yet something more to be seen and discovered. In this state of helplessness, he terms this imperceptible state as the Unification of Being or the Unification of Observation.
The Holy Prophet of Islam said, “We couldn’t do justice in cognising God that He deserves.” And, a verse of the Holy Quran proclaims, “And, if all the trees are made pens and all the oceans turn into ink, these will not be enough to write down the things related to God.”