This is a small post to express a thought that I have been forming for a few days now and it is important for me to express it, in order to internalize it. As a muslim, it is a common thing to hear and say Allah-hu-Akbar (Allah is greatest) or Subhan Allah (glory to God) or Alhumdullillah (all praises are for Allah). However, I always wanted to understand for myself what do they truly mean. Their meaning, not lost in translation, but lost in shallowness of my own understanding. This is not a post about Islam, nor is it a post about the God, who we have created in order to understand Him. This is about the absolute infinity that Georg Cantor introduced in mathematics, the Absolute that Newton was unable to find due to his inertial frames, the Reality that mystics experience and the concept that religious are pretending to worship. The source of all existence, the power that runs everything and the owner of words behind the Big Bang.
All the religions and the mystical experiences have in common the basic fact that God is beyond comprehension. The question I had for myself is that, how much of my comprehension have I exhausted in order to try and comprehend. It is very natural to give up on understanding something that you just can’t understand. But the question is that off the effort and how much of it was poured before giving up. What was the nature of surrender with which the subject matter was given up? Was it that it does not matter so let us move on to something more close to our desires? Or was it that I have invested my life, witnessed what was out there, exhausted my emotions, challenged my intellect and yet I do not comprehend! The last type of surrender is what we see mystics perform. What is gained by that kind of physical, moral, intellectual, emotional exhaustion and how worthy is that endeavor?
We have not but one life, a mystical existence which may as well be mere simulation. The physics coded in by programmers like in a matrix. Or maybe, the universe truly exists, in its vastness and greatness. It is infinite and not in the sense of number line, but in our exploration of it. In this one life, small existence, we can find purpose in loving who are close to us, doing what we must to protect and provide for ourselves and that would still be worth it. However, how much greater is the worth to stand at the edge of this world and gaze out in the universe to seek the face of the one who created it. Or look down on the ground and into the center of earth, inside the smallest particles to the force that holds it all together and see it as an extension of the words that created it all. Science is secular and rightly so, to avoid to superstitions from running amok and impeding the progress of knowledge. But, only the method is secular, not necessarily the intention. Newton gave the science it’s one of the biggest boost and yet his intention was to come face to face with God. So was Descartes, who busied himself unraveling the structure of the creation. Why cannot a man seek God through science? Since it is but an extension of philosophy? Philosophy was merely speculative and deductive as long as Aristotle was the fashioner of its process. It become empirical and observation based over time, but does not mean, speculations are not happening. what is a hypothesis if not a speculation first that are backed by observations later?
How deeply the connection runs between what is reality and what is symbolic knowledge like mathematics? As a human, the thought that there is such a connection at all and that a human mind was able to comprehend such a connection is a case for God and divine purpose of humanity. This brings me to the point I mentioned at the beginning of the post, that I wanted to understand what it means to say God is greatest. The fact that we are so insignificantly small that billions of people are living on a planet, on the lands which are 1/3 of the surface area of that planet. A planet so small compared to other planets in the same solar system and a sun so huge that none of the planets comes close in comparison. And yet, the sun, a start, which is less than the average size of existing stars. The billions of such stars in the universe! How insignificant it can get for human! There cannot be a shred of arrogance in a person, when they realize how small and helpless they are on a distant planet in the backyard of an average galaxy, which is in the trash can of universe. And yet, these humans were able to comprehend this. The fact that humans have embarked on this journey of understanding due the capability they are endowed with in terms of intellect, becomes a case for a God who cares enough to give that intellect. Therefore, it is an amazement to me, that the human beings, being as insignificant as they are, are given the purpose so magnificent that such a purpose cannot be denied. A moral obligation, a divine purpose.