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The Emerald Hills of the Heart

Absorption (Jam’) - 2

Absorption can never mean the unity of being—the unity (union) of God and the universe or God’s being identical with the universe—in the sense that pantheists claim, nor is distinguishing totally its opposite. The One Who is the Eternal (beyond all time and space) is eternal, and the beings who a...
| M. Fethullah Gulen | Issue 141 (May - Jun 2021)

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Absorption (Jam’) - 2

In This Article

  • “Absorption with respect to knowledge” means that at the beginning of their journey, travelers to God base themselves on the knowledge that comes from, or that is obtained through, the proofs and indications of God.
  • “Absorption with respect to existence” is when the travelers to God are perfectly aware in their consciousness of how things and events occur and how they are maintained.
  • In “Absorption with respect to the (Divine) Being Himself” means that all the indications and proofs of God that originate in the outer and inner human world are no longer visible in the face of the light of knowledge of God.

Absorption can never mean the unity of being—the unity (union) of God and the universe or God’s being identical with the universe—in the sense that pantheists claim, nor is distinguishing totally its opposite. The One Who is the Eternal (beyond all time and space) is eternal, and the beings who are contained in time and come into existence within time are mortal and different from the Eternal One. The Creator cannot be and is not the same as the created. The relation between them is not that which comes from appearance; that is, the universe is not an apparent form of God. Rather, this relation is that between the Creator and the created. We can also see the creation as the totality of the manifestations of God’s Names. These manifestations are completely pure and transparent, while that which issues from the created is usually tangible. Human beings have both a pure, transparent aspect or dimension, and a dense/tangible one.

This is why, as declared in the verse (17:84), Each being acts according to his own standard of measure, they can display behavior either according to their bodily dimension or according to their spirit. As they are made up of a body and a carnal soul, they fix their eyes on nature and corporeality, while they carry inclinations toward spiritual, exalted worlds as well because there is an immaterial spirit in their composition. By means of the ways of rising which the Shari‘a has appointed and guaranteed, travelers on the way to God cut their relations with fleeting and decaying things and turn to eternity. As described in Is he whose breast God has expanded and opened to Islam, so that he follows a light from his Lord...? (39:22), when travelers to God turn to Him in submission, they travel in the exhilarating horizons with utmost self-possession and awareness under the guidance of the light of their Lord. Even though they may sometimes encounter confusion or bewilderment, they easily overcome these with the assistance of the never-deceiving leadership of the master of creation (Prophet Muhammad), upon him be peace and blessings. They always head for the sources of knowledge that God has determined and secured through Prophethood, and never err as some pantheists do.


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