In the previous lesson we reached the conclusion that the human being, in addition to being material, has a spiritual dimension which is original and independent.
Now that we have proven that the spirit is non-material and we have shown its effects, to begin with we will mention the sophistry of Marxism which tried to show why the spirit is material. Then we will study the proofs given by materialism for why the spirit is material and answer them. Then we will discuss the second issue, the possibility for the resurrection.
Marxists have divided philosophy into two parts. First, the philosophy of idealism which stands for the primacy of the spirit, insight and thought over the material and the followers believe in them being the source and creator of existence.
Second, the philosophy of materialism which stresses the primacy of the material over thought and the followers believe that the spirit, insight and thought stem from the material.
With these divisions, Marxists place human beings through their special deceitful tactics and personal opinions, upon a crossroads which is inevitable. On one side is materialism which stresses the originality of the material and negates the metaphysical. On the other side is idealism which stresses the belief in the originality of thoughts.
It is natural that in such a situation, after eliminating the thinkers, materialism is the only way left. In this way, Marxism frees itself from what it considers to be the narrow limit of the reasons for metaphysics.
In answer to their monopolizing, we say, Marxists have confessed to three issues in spite of their sophistry which either stems from their unawareness or their bad intentions. First, consciousness, thought and mental processes. Second, the spirit or soul of the human being. Third, God and the Creator of the world of existence.
In the first issue, Islamic philosophy stresses the belief in the primacy of the material over thought and that after the appearance of the frame of the material, gradually the mental processes develop and begin to be activated.
In the second area, based upon the great wisdom of Islam, as to the relationship of the spirit to the body and the appearance of the human being, the material dimension precedes the spiritual, in particular, as to substantial movement because the material with its substantial movement, moves towards the perfection of the spirit and the soul of the human being.
In the third area, as mentioned in the previous lesson, God precedes the material and lie creates it. Of course this is not a precedence in time but is rather a precedence of cause over effect.
The followers of the material schools of thought in order to prove the materiality of the spirit, have presented witnesses to show the physical and chemical characteristics of the brain and nerve cells and the relationship which exists between them and our perceptions. Examples of this are the following:
1. The failure of one part of the central nervous system or nerve cells causes the destruction of a group of the effects of the spirit. Dr. Arani says, "The undermining of the facilities, that is, the time-place relationship of the organs, causes the decline of that characteristic. If they take away the brain of a pigeon, it will not die but its will-power will have been impaired. If they give it food, it will eat it and it will digest it and if they do not give food to it and give seeds for it to eat, it will not eat them and will die."
2. When the mind thinks, the brain consumes more food and at the time of sleep it needs no food. Dr. Arani says, "At the time of thinking, further material changes take place in the brain. The blood turns its attention to the brain and the brain requires further food. At the time of sleep when the brain is not performing any mental work, it takes less food and this is itself proof of the materiality of the effects of thought."
3.The weight of the brain of geniuses and the cream of the crop is heavier than that of the brain of normal people. Dr. Arani says the average weight of the human brain is 1.36 or 1.40th of a kilogram. A large brain is 1.2 kilograms but they have discovered that the weight of the brains of Bismark, Kant, Schiller and Lenin were from 1.492 to 2.2 kilograms.
Marxists believe this very relationship between our perceptions and the changes in the brain cells proves the spirit is material.
This great error has fallen to the materialists because they do not distinguish between a tool and the agent of an act. We accept the fact that the brain, nerve cells and physical senses are tools used by our sense of perception but we do not believe them to be the agents for our sense of perception. Pay attention to the following which clarifies this point.
Until the time when Galileo Galilei discovered a change in the study of the heavens, the human being did not have any means greater than human eyesight to discover the secrets of the heavens and the cosmological system. Galileo Galilei with the help of an optician was able to build a small lens which was the first step for human beings to become more familiar with the heavens. One night when Galileo Galilei looked through that lens at the heavens and bore witness to a wondrous scene which had never been seen by a human being before, he was very excited. He understood the extent of his discovery.
After that, telescopes developed and daily became more sophisticated until a telescope was built whose diameter is five meters or more wide which shows a part of the heavens to the human eye, which the human eye is incapable of viewing. Now, if someone were to say that it is the telescope which sees the wonders of the heavens and other than these great telescopes no agent exists, would you believe it? Would you not think that person to be joking?
Without doubt, telescopes which can help us see the heavens are very useful. Without them, our eyes do not have the power to see the wonders of the heavens. In other words, the extent of our vision depends on the power of those telescopes. Here, again, there is no doubt that we are the real viewers. A telescope only helps us to perceive a small number of the multitude of cosmological entities. A telescope plays the role of a tool or an instrument.
Now if we carefully study the relationship between the senses, nerves, brain and the agent of perception, we will clearly realize that this relationship is that very relationship which exists between the telescope and the person who perceives by means of the telescope. The senses, nerves and brain are in reality, means or instruments for perception and the agent who perceives is really and truly another. Of course, if these tools were not to exist, we would not perceive but this does not mean that the telescopes perceive. Now Jet us turn to the things that materialists say to prove the materiality of the spirit which will show their unfounded reasoning.
2. The Possibility for Resurrection: Each and every one of us has born witness to wondrous scenes in our lifetime. Each one of them bears witness to the possibility that there is life after death. For example:
Revival of nature: In our daily lives the only things which draw our attention are those things which are exceptional. Those affairs which we have to continuously deal with even though interesting, surprising and educational, still they tend less to draw us to themselves. One of these is the revival of nature. We have many times born witness to the arrival of new leaves in nature but we have paid less attention to it.
During the winter season when nature applies the greatest of pressures upon a tree, not only do leaves leave no trace of themselves but their spiritless forms decline and are transformed into a handful of earth. But after a few months when spring arrives with its life-giving breezes, it enlivens the dead earth and gives life to new leaves. That force which has the power to give new life to leaves and the earth, has the power to revive the human being. What difference is there in reviving leaves and giving new life to human beings?
The Holy Quran presents many examples of this. It says,
"And among His Signs is this that you see the earth barren but when We send down on it water it is stirred and swells. Verily He Who gives life unto the dead, verily He has power over all things.” (41:39)
"O people! If you be in doubt about (your) rising again (resurrection), then (reflect that you) verily We created you from dust, then from sperm, then from a clot, then from a lump of flesh, formed and partly unformed, that we may manifest unto you and We cause to stay in the womb what We will until an appointed term, then We bring you forth as babies, then (foster you) that you reach your maturity; and of you is he who is caused to die and of you is he who is brought back to the feeblest (state of) old age that he knows not aught after knowing (much), and you behold the earth dried, dead, but when send We down on it water, It is stirred (to life) and wells up and produces every kind of attractive herbage (in pairs). This is because verily God, He is the Reality and because verily He gives life unto the dead, and because verily He, has power over all things." (22: 5-6)
2. The First Creation of the Human Being: The first creation of the human being is another proof for the possibility of the resurrection. The power which initially exists had the power to create the human being without any previous model and created it in the light of Its knowledge and power. This power can thus once again gather together all of the particles and give life to it again to be reborn at the time of the resurrection. The second creation is in no way more difficult than the first one was. "He says,
‘Who will enliven the bones when they are rotten?' Say (oh Muhammad), 'He will enliven them Who created them for the first time and He is fully cognizant of creation.' " (36:78-9)
"And He it is Who originated the creation then caused it to return again and to Him it is most easy; His are the most exalted similitudes in the heavens and the earth and He is the All-mighty, the All-wise." (30:27)
We know that coal, the power of electricity, the winds, the wood of trees and also all the living creatures in general are forms of energy. Atoms also contain a great deal of energy called atomic energy. Have you ever thought about what the source of this energy is?
All of the energies come from the sun other than atomic energy. These words are not to exaggerate or condemn but relate to an external truth. If you study the history of these energies, you will see that the source for all of them is the sun.
Wood: The new science after chemical study made on wood, proved that wood consists of oxygen, nitrogen, carbon and that it is a composite. Trees in the earth take gases from the air. Then the cells take these gases unto themselves and release oxygen. This process takes place in the light of the sun. Some of the transformed gases are then stored in the trees. Coal is that same tree which due to special conditions took this form and transferred existing energies in the tree to itself.
Oil: Oil which is one of the in1portant sources of energy, according to the latest scientific information, comes into being from the remains of large and small sea animals who were buried in the depths of the earth. The bodies of these animals as a result of various actions and reactions were transformed into this black gold and the potential energy which it contains is that very solar energy in trees which was transferred to animals and then became oil.
This stored energy which in this case is buried energy is another example of the resurrection which will take place for human beings.
"He Who made for you the fire from the green trees and lo from it you kindle (fire)." (36:80)
God is able to re-enliven human beings for He has made fire from green trees and He will make use of you to kindle the fire.
1. Materialists have not distinguished between tools of work and an agent who works and the existing relationship between physical and chemical characteristics and believe the nerves and the sense of perception to be the proof of the materiality of the spirit.
2. The agent for the sense of perception is the human soul and the brain, nerve cells and senses are tools for the soul. Thus the sense of perception and thinking has no relation to them.
3. The revival of nature, the first creation of the human being and the revival of energies are clear proof of the possibility of the resurrection and life after death.
1. Is the spirit primary to the material?
2. How do physics and chemical facilities of the nervous system effect our sense of perception? Is it because the agent who perceives is that very nervous system?
3. Prove the possibility of the resurrection with the revival in energies.