Sunday, April 1, 2007

Belief/Taqwa vs. Imagination

Category: STRONG

For Muslims:

In Islam, it is literally God-consciousness. You are conscious of God. And if you ascribe these original scenarios to God, then what better way to be conscious of Him than if He talked directly to you? (which is what a theist would describe these as)

Remember the Prophets! Muhammad(saw) in the cave when Jibrail(as) first came to him... Musa(as) and the voice of Allah(swa)... Ibrahim(as) and the fire...

Prophet Muhammad(saw)'s was my favorite example. Because he went through it just like one of us would have.

And it was just like those scenarios. Your imagination is screwing with things. You have crazy imagery in your head from when you were a kid of Jibrail(as) carrying down stuff from the sky to the Prophet(saw). That is not what the Prophet(saw) saw. He saw NOTHING. He just, out of NOWHERE, HEARD A VOICE. It just was. He saw nothing, so it was nothing talking to him. THAT was his reaction. The understanding of what happened came to him later, and that understanding fuels our imaginations, but unless we have that raw reaction he had... that consciousness of Allah(swa), and not just imagination, you won't feel 'it'.

Faith is belief. Beliefs are, like Einstein said, like knowledge. You can use them interchangeably in the same mental processes. One in fact, leads to another. Imagination is DIFFERENT. Imagination is not the same as wonderment. Imagination can be triggered by it, or will be, even. But it's also it's own seperate thing and it is not real. That's why children aren't responsible for their beliefs, because their imaginations ARE their beliefs... It's not a question of children believing in God, it's that they'll believe in EVERYTHING (and it's friggin' cute as all hell). In adults though, that becomes disconnected.

Spirituality is objectivity. It's reality. When Allah(swa) had the whale swallow Yunus(as), did He talk to the whale? Whales can't think! They can't understand! It's related in our terms, but if you were there swimming next to the whale you would not have heard Allah(swa)'s Voice whispering commands to it. It was just 'inspired'. But what is that? A whale's brain can't be inspired, inspired is what HUMANS use to describe it. The whale just ate the Prophet(as). That is the reality. If you think about it like that, and try to ponder how Allah(swa) made that happen... then you will feel Him (as in, be conscious of). If you use your imagination to visualize some magical angel flying down from the sky, tapping the whale and being like 'yo eat that guy', then you're killing the feeling. The imagination there is being utilized to rationalize something, not feel what actually happened. Sometimes, you really just have to stop filling in the blanks when you just don't know. Because after knowing, BEFORE imagination, comes belief. Don't IMAGINE Jibrail(as) coming down from the sky with a book in hand, you're not a child! FEEL what happened. Rasulullah(saw) heard that chiming/buzzing sound, and then it's as if existence itself spoke to him, clasped him tightly, and SQUEEZED HIM. That's all you would have seen had you been there! Don't imagine beyond existence, because then you're getting into theory and imagination! Save that for LATER.

If you're in a car driving up a hill. Faith or belief is knowing or expecting or waiting for the city that you know is on the other side. Imagination is just sitting thinking about this random city in your head. You might not even be driving anymore, cuz daydreaming while driving can cause accidents.

Imagination is not bad. It's a wonderful essence of human nature, but it can be tied to different things or used by different things. Do you know what's in charge of yours? Imagination is great. But of course, it's not real... we can get very childlike where the imagination is borderline reality, but it's not the same as him actually FEELING that scenario had it actually happened.

It's like "oh lolz. God is so wonderful, He's probably like this this and that." vs. "zomg, God is right there, I'm afraid I might see Him if i look around too suddenly" (that feeling anyway, you won't actually see Him of course, lol). In both cases, you don't actually see God. In fact, both people might have had the same experiences. But they are different.

Q) Which of these represents the essence of 'Faith'?
A.) Imagining B.) Knowing C.) Waiting

Correct answer is C (other terms could fit too probably). B (Knowing) is no longer Faith. And A isn't Faith either.

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