The Buddha and his Original Teachings

Our Illusory World (Bashir Ahmad Orchard) “It is a palace paved smooth with slabs of glass.” (Quran 27:45). Belief in life after death is a basic teaching of Islam. The Quran contains abundant passages on this subject. Denial of the Hereafter deviates a person from the Right Path: “And those who believe not in the Hereafter, are indeed deviating from that path.” (Quran 23:75). It is unfortunate that many people give insufficient care and attention to the preparation of their souls for the next life; and it is even more unfortunate that there are numerous people who do not believe in life after death at all. They are unable to conceive of any other kind of existence than life on this planet. They are prepared to believe only in what is apparent to them through the aid of their physical senses — sight, touch, smell, hearing and taste. God says in the Holy Quran that a believer is one who believes in the unseen (2:4). This is not a blind belief but one which is upheld by scriptural authority and confirmed by personal experience. Those who hold the view that this universe and all things in it are composed of solid substance are under an illusion. We propose to show that this world and all that is in it is not really as it appears. There is no such thing as matter in the understood sense of the word. When this great truth is understood then the existence and nature of life after death is no longer a stumbling block. This world is a spiritual realm as is also the next one but their states are different. Analysis of Matter A pilot flying above a beach sees below him a golden strip stretching along the coastline. Close inspection reveals that what he sees is a mass of tiny grains 30 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS of sand. Microscopic inspection shows that each grain of sand is composed of innumerable atoms which are so small that a million times a million of them would not make a lump large enough to be seen by the human eye. Chemists had thought that the atom was the smallest particle but now it is known that the atom itself is composed of even smaller sub-atomic particles known as electrons, neutrons and protons. All things are made of atoms and each one is practically all empty space. The protons and neutrons form its nucleus. The electrons which vary in number in different kinds of atoms revolve around the nucleus at great speed as the planets of our solar system revolve around the sun. Indeed every atom is a miniature solar system floating in space. Keeping in mind the size of an atom the distances separating the electrons from the central nucleus have been compared to the distances separating the planets from the sun. There is no wonder that radio waves, X-rays and other kinds of rays can pass through the hardest rock or steel. Switch on a radio, seal it in a trunk and it will continue to play. The waves pass through the steel as easily as an apparition passes through the door of a room. Almost all of solid matter is empty space in which not one atom or sub-particle is touching another. Our sense of vision is extremely restricted and what we are able to see around us is different to what it seems. We live in an illusory world. Howbeit, matter — as we call it — does exist. What is matter? Whence from has it come? . . . . .. Matter is Energy There exists the law of cause and effect. Something cannot come from nothing. This is a self evident truth. Islam teaches that God is the Original Cause of all things. He is Unique in as much as He has no beginning or end. He is the Creator of all things: . “He is indeed the Supreme Creator.” . . . . . . . (Quran 36:82). “He is Allah, the Creator, the Maker, the fashioner.” • . (Quran 59:25). There arises the question whether matter was created in one direct stroke by God or did it evolve from immaterial forces which already existed in the great void? Einstein (1879-1955) is. the greatest name in mathematical physics in the twentieth century. He proved that matter and energy are one and the same OUR ILLUSORY WORLD 31 thing in different forms. Both are interchangeable. Matter has been converted into energy and energy has also been converted into matter. Energy was present before the creation of matter which is a manifestation of that energy from which it evolved. Thought is intangible energy which lay behind the creation of the universe and all the multifarious and intricate systems and creations within it. In the human and animal kindgom thought-energy demonstrates its power through the brain. Scientists have built apparatus which can chart the vibrations of thought energy emanating from the brain. Thought energy and other kinds of energy existed prior to the creation of the universe; and some of that energy became concentrated into matter. We live in an ethereal world and when this truth is grasped.then the existence of a higher ethereal world called the Hereafter lies within reason. Creative Vibrations We have seen that the myriad orbs which adorn. the heavens are embodiments of energy from which they originally evolved; and that matter and energy are no more than one and the same thing in different guise. Energy vibrates on different frequencies and wavelengths. The .whole universe is composed of one gigantic network of vibrations. Different kinds of energy vibrate on different frequencies producing their effects accordingly. The.next world is as real as this world with the difference that it functions on different levels of vibration to those on which this world functions. This will be clarified a s w e proceed. . . . While we are bound to this planet our senses are tuned only to the vibrations of this universe. We are unaware of the nature and conditions of the next world which vibrates on frequencies beyond the ability of our senses to pick up and interpret. God says in Holy Quran: “And no soul knows what joy of the eyes is kept hidden from them as a reward for their good deeds.” (Quran 32:18). The Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) has said: “They are such as the eye has not seen them, the ear has not heard of them and the mind cannot con- ceive of them.” 32 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS The television set which has been designed to pick up certain channels only is unable to show on its screen the programmes on other channels. Similarly our senses are limited in their performances and are unable to view worlds operating on frequencies for which they have not been designed to observe or comprehend. We are conscious of vibrations within a fixed range of frequencies. The human ear, for example, is able to hear sound frequencies which vibrate only from twenty thousand cycles per second. It is deaf to all sound vibrations oscillating beyond the extremes of this range. Bats emit a shrill ultra squeak which we cannot hear. These squeaks serve as a kind of radar whereby the bat listens for echoes bouncing back from any object in its path thereby enabling it to avoid collision. There is the silent dog whistle. The owner who blows it hears nothing; but its ultra high notes are heard by the dog which will respond to the call. All kinds of activity is going on around us in the silent and invisible unknown. Our physical senses are deaf and blind to them. Sometimes, however, through the latent power of extra-sensory-perception we are able to perceive and learn some of these veiled mysteries. Light is a wave motion. Every colour is a series of vibrations. The vibrations are conveyed through the eye to the brain where they are converted into the respective colours they represent. A prism will break up a ray of white light into the seven colours of the rainbow — red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. These seven colours are called the spectrum. All other visible colours can be made through the mixing of various colours in the spectrum. However, there are some colours which the eye cannot see because their rates of vibration are beyond the power of the eye to absorb. These known invisible light rays are ultra violet and infra red. They have been discovered by the spectroscope which is an instrument for studying the spectrum. It has been claimed that the seven perceived colours within the spectrum are infinitesimal with the unperceived ones. All around us vibrates the great unknown and different kinds of creation to which our normal senses are insensible. All praise be to Allah the Lord of all the worlds.