Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Good and Bad!

"There is no Black and White in this world. There are only shades of grey with different intensity" These are quotes from my Philosophical points of views which I have said numerous times in my poems and my articles. CNN would say the above concept in a politicized form when it is applied to worlds affairs. They would say “Someone’s terrorist is someone else’s freedom fighter". But I left politics long ago and it is a very narrow field and unsatisfying for me. Neither am I qualified to discuss religion here. For one religion has been distorted and abused beyond recognition. It is next to impossible to clean up religious mess now. Even mystics like Rumi with their vast treasure of religious knowledge stayed away from bringing a new path in religion. That would have been one on top of thousands more. “I am depressed from all the noise and the crowd of religious schools : Rumi"
ز قال و قیل مدرسه حال دلم گرفت
But my theology is not independent from my overall philosophy. I cannot think another way even if I wanted to. In a big picture of Universe and God what makes sense to me stays and common sense and different interpretations of faith takes the back seat.

So what is bad and good in your religious views is your business. I am not going to try to change that. My purpose here is explaining perfection and beauty in creation. The God I believe in only creates in perfect harmony, beauty and order. What we see imperfect, ugly, incomplete and out of order is either creation of our imagination or made ugly, bad or broken by us misusing our free well, or our limited knowledge.

There is only one creator and that’s God and creation is perfect. I know you are going to give me a thousand examples to say he creates good and bad, perfect and imperfect, orderly and out of order. That’s why this discussion is so important and worth exploring more.

So let’s see and start from the worst of all creations. Satan was created as an angel. For a very long time he was on the right path, only when he chose to defy God’s order he turned bad. That is if you consider Satan as an independent entity. If you are considering him to be our desire to do the wrong things the way I believe it to be the case and he is part of our will that commands us to leave the right path, meaning the Satan within us, still we were born innocent and innocence is angelic. Or the Satan that is the sum of all that's evil which is also caused by humanity and effects humanity and its environment by the means of his acts. So Satan cannot make volcano erupt or cause earthquakes. He only can make us do evil deeds. The difference is in interpreting the scriptures literally and word by word or you consider it allegorical and metaphors.

Now let’s get close to home. Is rain good or bad? Short answer will be good, right? Billions of people are dependent on rain for food, electricity, weather stabilization, cleanliness, medicine etc. True, sometime rain causes flood and people die. Even flood has a big role in enrichment of farmland but when you get in its path, you cannot blame rain for it. Do you see people’s houses in the same area years after year get flushed by flood? Do you blame Individual choices, society or government? That is debatable, but certainly we can neither blame rain or God for it. And you cannot blame the ocean when you decide to swim in it and get drowned.
There is benefit in every creation. What we think is useless, has some use to it, from volcano to microbe to electron, from Galaxies to asteroids. If Venus which is symbol of beauty and love but in reality is full of deadly gas and scorching heat, hell of our solar system, didn’t exist and didn’t absorb big part of sun’s heat and deadly gas and radiation, life in planet Earth would have been nonexistent. In human society human bring misfortune to human, cause war, destruction and killing, torture and slavery. Free well can either bring us prosperity and fortune, or misfortune and misery.

©2010 all rights reserved.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Order or Chaos?

Does the universe follow a pattern of predetermined laws and is it bound by an order or everyday brings something new and unpredictable?
Is the destiny of the Universe and us inside it predetermined or it follows a pattern of Chaos.
There are ideas that say not a leaf falls out of a tree without God’s permission. If it is so, then all our efforts are useless. Even though what God chooses and what God permits are two different things, I am not going to focus on that here. I mention it so you think about it. Everybody may have better idea than me. That’s what I call personal God. I know it is controversial statement to make. But in reality, my God and your God does exist. Even though there can only be one God from eternity to eternity, God of that shepherd in Moses story in Masnavi was different than Moses God.
Let me start with some opinions here: Avicenna (Ibn Sina Balkhi), famous Islamic philosopher and father of medicine believed God can choose to create or not to create apple tree but he is unable to choose and make apple tree grows apricot.
Einstein believed there has to be a universal truth. He would say “God cannot be playing dice with Universe” He wanted to discover a magic formula that can explain everything. His whole life and work was focused towards that idea. In his words he wanted to “Read the mind of God”. Reaching that goal kept physicists busy for last two hundred years. Efforts toward discovering theory of everything will still kept them busy for very long time to come. Amazingly when you finally know one thing, a hundred new unknowns pop up. String theory, M Theory etc are steps in that direction which calls for Multiverse, parallel universes and dimensions above 11 from which only three are visible to us.
Einstein finally failed and others want to finish his work. As soon as everybody thought Einstein succeeded with theory of relativity, quantum physics came to existence which follows totally different set of rules.
Let’s get back to Avicenna. Did he say that and exactly that way? I don’t know. I can only go by what I read about him which is not necessarily always precise. But I can understand he was too much under Greek Philosophy influence, and was trying to create an Islamic version of it by including his own opinions. He was one of the greatest thinkers and philosophers and his books on medicine, the great medicine, was thought in western medical universities even 200 years ago. He was way ahead of his time but every theory has an end and something better replaces it. That’s how God made us, constant evolution.
Prophet of Islam Mohammad said the best of affairs lies in the middle. I will try to follow that path. But first let’s explore some concepts and misconceptions.
Over 1400 years, Quran has been misused; People quote Quran and interpret it wrong, either from ignorance or on purpose. Quran had been made a prisoner, taken hostage for the benefit of criminals. They do anything they want to, enslave women, and abuse children then they quote Quran for power, for money and for their unholy deeds. One of the common mistakes purposely or unknowingly is interpreting it word by word without looking at full sentences and full idea. Literally meaning of Quran takes you astray. Quran is full of metaphors. Stories told in Quran are for the purpose of understanding an idea. Do you think all the stories told in masnavi are true? Did the lady talk to boiling peas? Did pumpkin really talked to grape vine? Of course not. But when it comes to Quran, Bible and Torah, people forget that important fact. God knew we are going to take it out of context and warned us not to do so. Those are the verses of Quran that we always ignore. That’s why we believe there are running creeks of honey in heaven and we are going to set on silk carpet under the shade of tree and eat singing bird’s kebab on gold plates. God wants us to use our brains. Let’s see that warning God gave us:
"He it is Who hath revealed unto thee (Muhammad) the Scripture wherein are clear revelations - they are the substance of the Book - and others (which are) allegorical. But those in whose hearts is doubt pursue, forsooth, that which is allegorical seeking (to cause) dissension by seeking to explain it. None knoweth its explanation save Allah. And those who are of sound instruction say: We believe therein; the whole is from our Lord; but only men of understanding really heed. (Quran 3:7)."
Can it be clearer than that? Ignoring that important verse turn some of us to monsters that misuse religion and some to atheists because we cannot in right mind believe in mambo jumbo (Kherafats). That is one of the verses that Rumi calls core and brain of Quran. Whoever understood that, will understand the whole thing. (We picked the brain out of Quran. **** We left the skin for others. Rumi).
Now by understanding that fact we can examine every concept in Quran. But the discussion here is Lawhi Mahfooz or protected seal, protected title, whatever you translate it in English. It is an Islamic concept that supposedly everything happening in this world was written before creation somewhere that is not part of this world. Is it written in a book or a stone like Ten Commandments or is it in flash drive or a huge hard drive? None of the above, it is part of God’s conscious. For lack of better word, because all the words are invented by human and words are not powerful enough to explain God, nothing is powerful enough for that purpose.
We can compare Lawhi Mahfooz to what Einstein calls reading God’s mind or what today they call theory of everything.
Can God make apple tree to grow apricots? He certainly can. Will he do it? Not in a million years. Why not? There is the whole answer, the whole point, the magic formula that explains Free Will and Destiny, The Theory of everything that Einstein was seeking, etc. God created this universe with a set of rules, universal laws or law. I can only speak for this universe not other parallel universes. No one knows if those worlds use the same rules or not. The amazing thing about this order that I call God’s democracy is that the rules stay the same because they are so perfect and because they work. You need to change the rules only when they stop working. Other fact about that democracy is God himself follows the rules that he created for the Universe. That is why he is not going to make the apple tree  grows apricot. If we use our free will in the future to change apple tree grow apricots, that is possible but it is not going to be apple tree anymore. When God says stars and moon and trees and everything else praise Allah, that means even though they have to follow universal rules, they have some freedom of will. I don’t know, again to sun, it will live and burn helium for another 4 billion year and shine upon us, you don’t know from which corner and in which direction and power and when the flares will spit.
Avicenna explained it in tenth century A.D. the best he knew then, we explain it according to what we know at 21st century, someone else will explain it in 31st century differently, if we make it that far. The ultimate explanation is with God himself.

© 2010 All rights reserved

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Free will and Destiny !!!!

The question of free will and predetermined destiny is one of the most ancient questions in human mind. Philosophers, priests, theologians, Islamic scholars, poets, writers all are haunted and fascinated by this fundamental question. Everybody tried their best to explain it, give examples, and write short stories to explore it. Mystics have put it in beautiful poems. No matter how it is explained I don't think anybody has given the clear cut answer. When it comes to the end they take one side or other. Either nothing happens without the approval of an out of this world power, that you call God, Ultimate power or any other entity that created and maintained this world or rule on an world that is never created and always existed but he is still the only power who has final say in what happened and what happens next. Like Buddhist don't believe God created universe but still he has the absolute power over it. And other who gives free will more importance and makes God like a United Nation that shows people the right rules, if they follow it or not doesn't have any power to change it. Both side given one or other various degree prominences. Or some tried to bring a balance between both. Either way if God has absolute power why there is the judgment day. If it is free will, still as free nation that we got this freedom with his approval, when we use it than for doing stuff that we are allowed to do, shouldn't be punished right?
Anyways the question remains unsolved. Any answer we find turns to faith again. It is this way or it is that way and the rest is with him. Something that everybody has tried to explain, at the end it still stays unexplainable.
There is no room in this discussion to explain all the different philosophies and explanation and not useful either since unexplainable still stays unexplainable.
The purpose here is that I want to explain the flaws and if I call it so the fallacy of the question.
Our understanding of the world changes dramatically over time. I regret using the word time, you will know why, later in this article. Even scriptures have to be revisited and retranslated. I give you a little example. The first Ayah any Muslim reads is Alhamdu lillahi rabil alameen. How many people thought about what that simple phrase means? Ask any scholar, Islamic theologians, mawlawi, the ones who give fatwa, how many words there is? They are going to say this world that we live in and that world that comes after the judgment day. That is what we heard for 1400 years and we hear today. But does it really say that? God has said worlds. !!!! In that first ayah, if he meant two, he would have said Alamain, not Alameen. Arabic has special plural for two of everything that ends at aain, so the plural like in aalameen is three or more. Now at 21st century we come to multiverse instead of universe. And we talk about String, theory, multiple dimensions, parallel universes, etc. That said, I am not going to take this as proof, because I don't know if string theory is going to last or going to be replaced by something else. This is the problem with people who try to explain the religion and sometime false ideas with science. Science is going to change. And sometime that change comes at a blink of an eye. What used to make sense and justify their beliefs is no longer there and they are wrong again. But still as much as we know now and I strongly believe that definitely there are no two worlds, there are more than two or infinite, I don't know, but I know it is not two. Something in science sticks and this will be one of them. Everyday evidence is making this argument stronger not weaker.
This is a gigantic task. The subject has been beaten to death, everybody that knows something has tried to explain it, it the end all they have done is to state their opinion not proof.

The encouragement I get is the fact that I believe advancements gives us the right to answer this question once and for all. Whatever comes next, it will make it easier to answer, like say a hundred years from now, but even today I think we have the tools to answer.
I give you a little humor here off the subject. There was a student during Rumi's life. He went very excited to meet Shams Tabrizi. He came with a solution. He finally had proved the existence of God. Shams didn't say anything to his ignorance, smiled and said good. But he thought about it overnight and decided to teach a lesson. The guy came in the morning. Shams told him good morning young man and congratulations. I heard all the angels came down to you last night to thank you for proving their God's existence. Until yesterday their God was unproved and you did a great impossible deed for them. Then he start saying to him, you are so ignorant that you think you can prove God's existence. The power of our brain is so unfit for a task like that and will never happen. No one will ever prove God's existence. If you just prove your existence instead of God's existence. You have accomplished a big task.

I recalled this little story because I don't want to sound like that student. Shams is right, until the end of the world no one will ever prove existence of God because he is much bigger than the capacity of our brains to understand and solve.

Now let’s go back to subject.

Time yes the concept of time is very important in this argument. It is a very useful tool. Even though I believe time is a man made concept and probably the fakest concept man ever invented but it works, this is the way our brain is conditioned to understand and this is the only way I can explain it because I am a human. And nothing can be explained to human without using time.
The concept of time is fundamental to this problem.

**** ****** ****

Understanding time is gone through some very deep changes especially in last three hundred years or since 18th century. We still don't have an idea what it is but like I explained before in example of two worlds or many worlds, we know what is not.

For Newtonians time was independent and was fourth dimension. He was right in his explanation of the word and bringing one formula that explains the whole world. Gravity was the cause that all stars and planets staying in their orbits, the only reason. , Right? Yes explainable but wrong, now we know that dark matter if not more at least has equal role in not letting stars and galaxies absorbed by one other. What else? We still don't know yet.
Then Einstein came, Time wasn't miss independence anymore. , and was just part of space-time fabric. And wasn't absolute but relative, changeable. Now Einstein’s theories, at least some of them started crumbling. Maybe the rest will follow but still as Newton is still relevant today, Einstein will be relevant for a long time.

Then the theory of quantum came and it changed our whole perception about reality. Nothing is the way we see and sense it. Our basic understanding always changes. An electron can be in two places and multiple places at the same time actually can be in infinite places. So since an electron can be in infinite places in a specific portion of time, is there only one electron in the whole universe? Maybe not but we cannot definitely say no according to quantum explanation of probability. A man can be in Mars and earth at the same time. Sounds crazy, right? And you will dismiss it right away. But not so quick, if the theory and formulas of quantum physics were wrong, we would not have had microwaves and flat screen TVs and cell phones and car alarms and remotes etc. They all used quantum theory and formulas or it wouldn't have existed or worked. And everything else from now on will have to use it.
That is the biggest challenge to Einstein’s way of understanding Time, space and universe.
Variation to time includes the following. Time passes slower close to huge objects, like Egypt’s pyramids. It is proved. So in a sense Pharos could change time and that is proved with experiments. Time significantly slows down in higher speeds, and Very significantly at speeds closer to the speed of light. It may even stops, an astronaut travelling at that speed like say for 20 years, when he comes back to earth, centuries would have passed and all the people he knew would have died long ago.
Time bends, there is access between past and future and at least scientifically possible to go backward and forward. So time is not always from past to future and is not a straight line.
And listen to this famous theory of the end of 20th century that still forcefully exists. It is called Retro causality. Events that are taking places in the future can effect past. Mind boggling, right? True? I don't know.

Now one last thing about time and see how falsely we use it. People ask what was before Big Bang. The words (before) and (after) without thinking about time don't exist because they measures time. Time is a concept of our part of the universe. Time is part of space-time fabric at least until now. Time is not independent. And last, this time was created with big bang. Conclusion: The question itself is false, is wrong, you cannot use the word before when time itself doesn’t exist. Like your son is not born and someone asks how old is he.
I hope this is easy and make sense. Because this is the whole point for answering the question of destiny and free will.

We ask the question because we think time is the same for us and for God. Big ignorance, we know time is not the same even in this universe and we don't know even if exists in another universe. Time and space definitely doesn't exist in the world after judgment day, our bodies don't go there, and our soul does. So heaven and hell is not in space, so we can forget about trees and creeks. Sorry that is another subject.

So time for God is not the same, time for God doesn't exist, He doesn't use it, he doesn't use anything we use. He just creates and watches, or doesn't create if he chooses to. Actually using (wants) is the wrong word to use for God, he doesn't want, he chooses. That is how Quran puts it, if he chooses so, if he chooses to. Want is for us and also free well is for us.

What God does and how he does it we have no way to comprehend. But we do know that God created us. When he created us he gives us our weaknesses and our strength, our limitations and our power to explore. We have to advance, to expand to invent to take care of ourselves and of others and our environment. How we do it, he let us find out for ourselves. If there was no error, there never would be learning. The evolution of human being would have been worthless. If God would have prevented all the bad things and practices, we wouldn't have a human population now. Liker if he destroys Taliban before they blow a school killing fifty innocent children, or when they act like their car battery is dead as they did in Peshawar and when good hearted people gather to push the car to start in the middle of the market they explode it killing seventy people, think how many times God would have done that and how much world population would be now? He would have killed all the Taliban and Pharos and Tyrant armies and crusaders and Romans etc and the population of the world would have been 25 now.


Here comes the relevance and where all comes together. How we use time is the way we are conditioned to use it. Does God choose for something to happen? Is that act prewritten and is it destiny? We seem to think so because God knows it before we do it or see it, so God’s knowledge comes before our act and get precedence. The truth is God doesn't use before and after. He is not psychic to know what happens tomorrow in a sense we understand it. For him, time doesn't exist; he created it for us, in reality time is creation of our brain, the way we see our part of one universe. He created us with free will., to shape our part of the world, like he created sun to affect our solar system but he doesn't interfere with everyday’s sun's function but he still knows how sun would act and when it is going to burn out of helium, not because he sees in advance, but because time and before and after doesn't exist for him, he is not bound to it or by it. He observes it without looking back and forward and without before and after.
remember when you avoid false argument and put it the right way, suddenly you see the answer very clearly. With that I end this subject. God bless you all.

© 2010 by Kabuli