Until now, I’ve attempted to explain our inadequate evaluation of the actual structure of the universe, due to the limited nature of our sensory perception.
Time and time again, we’ve explored the sequence of ‘sub-matter’, breaking matter down to the level of the cells, atoms and subatomic particles, until finally reaching the level of pure energy.
However, we never really directed our attention to ‘higher matter’, that is, the opposite extreme of the sequence; going from matter, up to a ‘higher state’ of matter.
When I say ‘higher matter’, I don’t mean another form of matter that is somehow higher than our current one. As stated before, matter as we know it, is only an assumed reality, based on the interpretation of our senses. This being the case, there is also a higher dimension of this projection!
Let’s try and understand this, by way of an example:
The human body is composed of trillions of cells, which we can view with the aid of specialized microscopes. In reality, we’re far from having completely deciphered all of the functionalities of the cells in our body.
What exactly are all these cells doing? What kind of relations do they have with one another? How do they live, and how do they die? How are new cells generated?
For the most part, we live our lives completely unaware of all this.
Each of the cells, in our body, maintains their life and functionality based on their unique structural properties. In actuality, trillions of cells in our body have all proliferated from one primary cell! The genes contained in the chromosomes of this primary cell, carry all of the information necessary to synthesize every other cell to accomplish all of the tasks during one’s lifetime. In other words, our kidneys, liver, brain, heart and all other organs are nothing but different molecular compositions of these cells. Despite having completely different functions, all of our organs come from the same source! And each one of them possesses their own unique consciousness, mission, and mechanism.
Now, when we view a body from outside, we say ‘a human body’ and see it as one ‘whole’ structure. We don’t see all the different cells composing the body. We don’t evaluate the countless chemical activities that are constantly taking place from the view of our organs, or more accurately, the cells that constitute them. We simply view them as a ‘mass’ and roughly label them as ‘the lungs’, ‘the heart’, and ‘the kidneys’ and so on...
A similar situation resonates on the levels of higher matter.
If we allegorize our galaxy, composed of approximately four hundred billion stars, as a human body, the stars can be likened to the cells or organs in a body.
Just as the liver possesses its own unique structure, processor, organic consciousness, and a mission that it attempts to accomplish with these means, so too the stars, which are like the cells or organs in the gigantic galactic body, are endowed with a conscious level of life.
When earth is viewed from space, neither plants, nor animals nor any humans can be seen. Earth appears merely to be a separate ‘mass’ of matter. It is however, inhabited by humans, animals, plants and other species, that are all equipped with unique properties and further sub-divided within themselves accordingly.
In the same way, the galactic structure can also be viewed as an individual body, an entity with a personality! This galactic structure, that we call ‘The Milky way’, is actually a living unit, a life form, only perceived as such by another galactic structure, not by us.
Just as humanity has consciousness, so does the earth. The structure that we refer to as the ‘earth’ also possesses consciousness that is specific to it.
Just as the earth has consciousness, so does the sun, and just as the sun is conscious, so is our galaxy!
The consciousness of the sun, in comparison to the galactic consciousness, is like the consciousness of a single cell in our body, in contrast to our consciousness. Our galaxy subsists in the universe as a conscious individual being, amongst millions of other such galaxies!
The constellations, that are associated to the zodiacal signs, are also conscious cosmic beings with unique characters. Muhyiddin ibn al-Arabi refers to these cosmic beings in his Meccan Revelations (Futuhat al-Makkiyya) as ‘the angels residing in the 12 constellations’. When we state that there are billions of galaxies in the cosmos, what we’re actually saying is that there are billions of conscious entities within the galactic realms of the cosmos!
So, if the similitude of the sun, in respect to the galaxy, is like a single cell in respect to our whole body, then to even try and comprehend the place of the earth, let alone an individual living on earth, is almost impossible!
Indeed, to expound the place of a human being in respect to a star, or a star in respect to the galactic body in which it dwells, is quite a challenge. We have always put our limited senses to work in the exploration of ‘sub-matter’ and pursued the path to the microcosm, without really evaluating ‘supra-matter’ and the macrocosm.
How could we have? This is like trying to view the human body from the nucleus, or from a chromosome within the nucleus of a cell! How can a single gene, on a chromosome within the nucleus of a single cell, have a complete view of the body it inhabits? Clearly, this is not possible. It can’t even see or comprehend a single organ in the body! The cytoplasm, surrounding the nucleus in which it lives, would seem like an infinite ocean to this gene!
Based on this then, it is senseless to say that the space between a particular planet and a star is empty, or void.
As mentioned before, everything is composed of atoms, and, the atoms that make up my body are no different to the atoms in another object. As such, all of us are an interconnected part of a composite compound. In other words, at the level of atoms, we are all ‘one’.
It is this reality of ‘oneness’ that invalidates the ‘empty space’ between the stars. From the realm of the atoms to the galactic dimensions, the ‘unity’ of our existence abolishes all concepts of division and emptiness.
Our eyes perceive the stars to be randomly scattered in space, separate from one another by so many light years… Whereas in reality, the stars are no more apart from one another than the individual cells in our body are to each other. On the contrary, the apparent ‘emptiness’ in space is ‘satiety!’
Whether it is our lack of knowledge, or the limitation of our senses, we fail to recognize, and duly evaluate, the galactic body and its consciousness.
Based on the reciprocal truth in the Hermetic maxim, ‘As above, so below’, it is not inappropriate to say that the ‘ego’ and the awareness, possessed by each of us, is also inherent in the galactic being of which we are a part, even though we may not be aware of it.
The place that we occupy in the universe is like the brink of the membrane surrounding the Milky Way in our local group of galaxies. There are approximately 30 galaxies in our locality. That is, 30 ‘conscious galactic beings’, perhaps a family of them!
This being the case, we can’t even be likened to a single cell in the body of ‘one’ of these galactic beings! If we suppose that our Solar system is like a single cell, you and I are but one person amongst the billions of people residing on only one of the heavenly bodies in this solar system!
One form of the beings, referenced by the word ‘angels’ in religious terminology, is this ‘Spirit’ within the galactic dimensions; i.e., a galactic consciousness…
Indeed, a mystic who tried to expound on this grand Spirit once said:
“We have discovered an angel so great, that it is not even aware of our existence!”
Just like a single cell in our body may not necessarily be aware of the structure we call ‘the brain’, or our brain may not be aware of a particular cell that comes to life, or that it grows and proliferates, then dies in some part of our body…
Every cosmic dimension is perceived as ‘matter’, according to the receptor senses of its inhabitants. This is similar to how we perceive the objects, in our dreams, to be of the material world…
If we take the scale of existence to be like a ruler of infinite length, and assume the level of pure energy to be at zero point, then the quarks, ions, atoms, molecules, cells and what we perceive to be material objects can all be placed in the range between 0-50 cm. So, if the material realm in which we are living, and everything we perceive to be ‘matter’, is within this range, and beyond the point of 50 cm, there are infinite forms of life within the universal dimensions of the macrocosm.
How infinitesimally small is our place in the universe!
The evaluation of the infinite nature of such existence is unfathomable for us. Nevertheless, with a little straining of our intellectual muscles, there will be great value in the understanding that we can attain as a result.
As an extension of earth and our life here, the Afterlife, and the dimensions we refer to as Heaven and Hell, are all parts, perhaps organs, of the aforementioned galactic body.
This grand, glorious and magnificent being is only one out of billions of others, and part of a 30 member tribe or family residing on this side of the universe, encompassing our galaxy…
What are they talking about? What are they arguing over? What are they thinking? We live our lives completely unaware of all of this.
A cell in a human body is like the Solar system in the Galaxy!
Is everyone completely oblivious to this reality?
This is the pivotal point!
No matter how small or big the primary structure, whether it’s the microcosm with all its genes, bacteria, muons and quarks, or the macrocosm, encompassing the sun, the stars and all the heavenly bodies and galactic beings…
All of their ‘essence’, in terms of the Absolute Essence (dhat) and according to ‘holographic reality’, is composed of the same ‘substance’. Hence, any form of life, regardless of its position on the scale of existence, can establish a form of communication, an interaction with all of the units of life within the infinite micro and macro realms in the cosmos.
Provided, of course, that they journey within and discover their own essence first. As this form of communication is based on the principles of the Absolute Essence (dhat), one who hasn’t connected, to the ‘Essence’ inwardly, cannot correlate in the network, outwardly.
Primarily, we must free our consciousness and escape the blockage caused by the imposed limitations of our realm of existence. All of the conditionings, judgments, emotions, and fragmented perceptions have to go! Our consciousness must be cleansed!
For we know that the cosmos is a manifestation of the Knowledge of the Infinite and the Absolute One. As such, the Absolute Essence and Knowledge, the Divine One is present in every particle of existence!
Thus, the essence of your consciousness, the ‘Essence’ of your being, is no different to the essence of an atom or a galactic entity in the micro or macro cosmos.
However, because our consciousness has been subject to, and formed by, bodily conditions, it has been hindered by various assumptions and postulations. As a result, it has become a molded and obstructed ‘separate conscious’, detached from the universal reality of ‘Oneness’.
Whereas, ‘consciousness’ is not even a tangible thing with a certain form or mass. One does not incorrectly condition the consciousness by pricking and poking at it, but conditions it by imposing and uploading fallacious information to it.
Our consciousness can be purified, from such misinformation, according to the intensity of the communication that can be established [from the realm of The Absolute Essence (dhat)] with the micro and macro beings in the cosmos.
Evidently, many mystics and saints are known to have established such forms of communication. Indeed, anyone, who is able to break out from the ‘cocoon’ of their sense perception, can access the infinite network of the universe.
The biggest veil, that conceals our consciousness, is the ‘veil of words’. Words, or labels, and the images we’ve linked to them in our minds, blind us from attaining a tre understanding of the reality.
By identifying with the images we’ve linked to certain words in our minds, and believing them to be true, we stop seeking for more, and hence, prevent ourselves from seeing the absolute reality.
Consequently, our worlds become smaller and smaller.
Our whole lives become centered on basic needs and wants.
We become consumed by the things we eat, drink, buy and own and become confined in the base and primitive states of matter.
Our only reality becomes the material world and its corporeal affairs.
As mentioned before, the time, that we have to spend in this apparent material world, is so transitory in contrast to the life awaiting us.
The inhabitants of the macro dimensions are very grand and varied, though we have collectively labeled them all as ‘angels’. In actuality, they are all beings of the planes of higher consciousness.
If we don’t recognize this truth now, we will not have the opportunity to do so in the future.
Just as there is no impertinent component in our bodies, every organism has its unique mission and functionality. Just as the astral body, within our physical body, possesses its own consciousness and mission, there also exists, in the macro plan, conscious beings with unique missions.
If the sun takes 255 million years to orbit the Milky Way, then the sun is only 8 years old since it has only completed 8 tours around the Milky Way in its entire course of life.
Since we are 32,000 light years away from the center, or the ‘heart’ of that Galactic being, we’re nothing more than an electron in one of the cells somewhere on this galactic surface, of which there are billions of others!
Like us, they too come to life, grow, and die, and like us, they don’t become ‘nonexistent’ with death, for death is but a change of dimensions for conscious beings.
When viewed in this light, how futile it seems to rejoice over something gained, or feel sorrow for a loss in this world. Just as nothing we earn or possess, in a dream, has any value when we wake up, none of our worldly possessions are going to be valid in the afterlife. If we don’t want death to wake us up from a bountiful dream world to a desolate reality, we must wake ourselves up from our denial now, and start building our real world on the foundations of real knowledge.
When we are dreaming, all sorts of things happen to our bodies. We get shot, hit, perhaps even deformed, but we always wake up to find our bodies completely unblemished and intact. Moreover, our sense of ‘I’ or ‘ego’ never ceases to exist.
The ‘I’ is ever present throughout our dreaming, regardless of what occurs to our apparent bodies. This is because the body, in our dreams, is of a spiritual nature, and since the spirit isn’t composed of parts, it doesn’t get fragmented.
Different laws govern different realms of existence. As such, the Afterlife also has its own set of administrative laws and conditions. Nevertheless, our sense of ‘I’ will never be lessened, regardless of how we live, or whatever pleasure or pain we experience, our consciousness and spirit will feel each and every bit of it.
What will be the capacity of our spirit and self-consciousness?
The degree, to which we develop them in this world, until the point of death, will be our fixed capacity indefinitely, in the Afterlife! What we fail to recognize in this dimension of existence, we will never have the opportunity to recognize in the next…
If we don’t strengthen our spiritual body now, we won’t get a chance to return to this dimension, to compensate for it later.
What we can’t comprehend or fathom now, we can never comprehend in the future.
We are not just the macro of the microcosm, but also the micro of the macrocosm.
Muhammad (saw) says:
“There are some angels, who have attained the State of Certainty (Yaqeen) who are not even aware of the existence of either this world or humans.”
In the same way, we are not aware of the cells that are constantly coming to life, growing, serving, and dying in our bodies.
If we don’t expand our consciousness and enlarge our comprehension now, if we don’t get to know ourselves in terms of the ‘Absolute Essence’ and connect with the system and attain the universal realities while in this world, we will never have the opportunity to do so again. This is because; death will replace our worldly endowments and capabilities with those qualities that are more befitting the nature and conditions of the subsequent dimensions.
“And whoever is blind in this [life] will be blind in the Hereafter…” (Quran 17:72)
Undoubtedly, the blindness, mentioned in this verse, is not in reference to a physical condition, but rather to spiritual blindness, or, the incapacity to recognize and evaluate the reality. The only way to be enlightened, from this kind of darkness, is by absolving our consciousness from unnecessary and false information.
Muhammad (saw) says:
“The state, in which you live, will determine the state in which you will die. The state, in which you change dimensions, is the state you will continue your existence indefinitely, in the Afterlife.”
We seem to occupy an intermediary position in the universe, right between the micro and macro worlds. Mankind is the transition point between the states of energy that comprise un-manifested matter and the ‘supra’ states of matter.
Every dimension is inhabited by specific entities, receptor systems to evaluate these entities, and a perception of matter based on these evaluations.
The cell, and its perceptible reality, as opposed to the reality perceived by an atom…
The corporeal world, created by our brains, as opposed to the ethereal world of the celestial galactic beings… And so on.
In terms of their origin and essence, the consciousness, that is present in all of them, stems from One Source: The Spirit.
In Sufism, the identity of The Spirit is referred to as The Perfect Man (Al-Insan Al-Kamil), and its consciousness as The First Intellect (Aql-i Awwal).
How imperative it is, that we understand our place and structure within the infinite micro and macro worlds. How crucial it is, for us to achieve this understanding to avoid dying like the billions who pass away without conquering themselves… Those who were able to see the truth will look at those who couldn’t and say “another one has passed away”, like a leaf falling off a branch, our departure will mean nothing for the universe.
So let’s stop wasting our time and energy on things from which we are inevitably going to part. Let’s start living with the awareness that our possessions, our loved ones, and all of our worldly accumulations are going to stay behind, when we continue our journey on to the next dimension.
Let’s accrue more of that which will enlighten our journey ahead; let’s increase our knowledge, elevate our consciousness and raise the frequency of our vibrational energy.
Now that we have become aware of the higher states of matter, or The Angelic Realm (Malakut), let’s now explore the Realm of Divine Power (Jabarut.)
In the following chapters, ‘The Observation of the Essence’ and ‘The Discretion of the One’, I will try and elucidate how the Absolute Essence (dhat) evaluates existence with the attribute of Knowledge, once our consciousness is purified and our souls are refined.