Reviewed by Patty Sutherland
July 9, 2012
Ahmed Hulusi, a renowned Turkish Islamic philosopher and the author of nearly thirty books on Sufism, compiled The Observing One from a series of talks he gave on the synthesis between religion and science in 1989. Aliya Atalay translated the text to English, and in The Observing One, includes a lovely and helpful foreword that introduces the reader to Hulusi and expertly explains his use of certain words and concepts that transcend standard meaning.
The Observing One is not an easy book to read, especially for someone who is neither Muslim nor Sufi. To even begin to benefit from Hulusi’s mystical genius, one must endeavor to set aside his or her preconceived notions about the words “Allah” and “Muhammad,” and strive to see them unencumbered by popular politics, media, or religion. Both words are used so often, and with such consciousness-altering wisdom by Hulusi, that the reader’s understanding of them will be changed in a profound way.
The slender volume contains ninety-six pages of generously spaced type, much of it boldfaced or indented. There are eleven chapters with such titles as “The Holographic Universe Of Your Mind, The Observation Of The Essence” and “Does Creation Determine Knowledge?” Though the text will undoubtedly be confusing, overwhelmingly complicated, and even off-putting for some, the rewards of sticking with Hulusi as he unravels one’s world and weaves it back together in a new and magical way are potentially unfathomable.
Throughout the book, Hulusi is relentlessly unforgiving of small-mindedness. He challenges the reader to confront the reality that “You live and dwell within your imagination and your imagination alone!” This is actually one of the easier points he asserts, as few aspects of life, death, the universe, and God are left alone by Hulusi’s impassioned plea to “increase our knowledge, elevate our consciousness and raise the frequency of our vibrational energy.”
Hulusi also asserts that “Everything, described in the Quran and by Muhammad (saw), is reality and will be lived! The important thing is to decipher the meaning of these verses correctly, without misconstruing them or taking them literally.” This is likely to be the most difficult point to grasp for non-Muslims.
For spiritual seekers of all bents, especially those who find themselves in conflict with Islam, intellectuals who relish having their paradigms shifted, and open-minded scientists willing to have their quantum theories used to prove that everything is God, The Observing One is a must read.