By Harun Yahya
Superficial WorldsModern technology presents many important examples of how sensory experience can be simulated with a high degree of realism, without the help of any external or material world. In particular, the technology called "virtual reality", which has developed considerably in recent years, gives us some insight on the subject.
Simply put, virtual reality involves showing animated three-dimensional images generated on a computer so as to construct "a real world" with the help of some equipment. The most important characteristic of virtual reality is that a person who uses a special device believes that what he sees is real, and moreover he is captivated by that image.
The tools used to create a virtual world are a helmet (which houses a screen that provides an image) and a pair of electronic gloves (which provide a feeling of touch). A device in the helmet checks the movements and angle of the head in order to provide an image on the screen which is consistent with the head's angle and position. People who wander through the room can see themselves through stereo glasses in different places, such as at the side of a waterfall, on the summit of a mountain, or sunbathing on the deck of a ship in the middle of the sea. The helmets create 3D pictures with a realistic sense of depth and space. The pictures are provided in proportion to human sizes, while other equipment, such as gloves, provides the sense of touch. Thus, a person who uses this equipment can touch the objects that he sees in the virtual world and can pick them up and move them. The sounds one hears in such places are also convincing, coming from any direction with different depths and volumes.
The system used in the devices that create the virtual world is essentially the same as the system used in our five senses. For example, with the effect of a mechanism inside a glove worn by the user, some signals are given to the fingertips and then transmitted to the brain. When the brain processes these signals, the user has the impression of touching a silk carpet or a vase with a serrated surface, with puffy prints on it, even though there is no silk carpet or vase around.
In conclusion, it is possible in principle to create an artificial world with the help of artificial stimuli. So, we cannot claim that the "life image" that we are seeing all the time is the original outside world, and that what we deal with is "the original". Our senses could well be coming from a very different source.
The Important Truth Indicated By Hypnosis
One of the best examples of a world created with artificial stimuli is the technique of hypnosis. When a person is hypnotized, he experiences extremely convincing events that are indistinguishable from reality. The person under hypnosis sees pictures, people and various images, and hears, smells and tastes many things, none of which exist in the room. Meanwhile, because of the experience, he becomes happy, upset, excited, bored, worried or flustered. Moreover, the effect of the experience on the person under hypnosis can be watched from outside physically. In very deep hypnotic trances, certain kinds of symptoms can be observed in the hypnotized person, such as an increase in the pulse rate and blood pressure, redness of the skin, high temperature, and the removal of an existing pain or ache.1
When we examine how an image occurs, and follow technological developments, and also when we add consciousness-altering methods such as hypnosis to this knowledge, a certain truth becomes clear. Everything referred to as the world is only our brain's interpretation of the signals that reach the sense centers. In other words, we can never deal with any world other than the one that occurs in our mind. We can never know what happens or exists outside us. We cannot claim that the sources of signals reaching the brain are material existences that exist outside.
Who Is It That Experiences All These Perceptions?
As we know, the electric signals coming from the cells in our eyes are transformed into an image in our brains. For example, the brain interprets some electrical signals coming to the visual center in the brain as a field filled with sunflowers. In reality, it is not the eye that is seeing.
Therefore, if it is not our eyes that are seeing, what is it that sees the electrical signals as a sunflower field, at the back of our brain, in a pitch-dark place, without feeling any necessity for any eyes, retina, lens, visual nerves or pupil and enjoys the view in the sight?
Or who is it that hears (without needing an ear) the voice of a very close friend, becomes happy on hearing it, and misses it when he cannot hear it, when the brain is totally sound proof?
Or who is it in the brain that feels the fur of the cat when stroking it, without having any need for a hand, fingers or muscles?
Who is it then that sees the sights in a brain as if watching television, and becomes excited, happy, sad, nervous, or feels pleasure, anxiety or curiosity while watching them? Who is responsible for the consciousness, which is capable of interpreting everything seen, and everything felt?
What is the entity in the brain that has consciousness and throughout life is capable of seeing all the sights shown to him in a dark, quiet head, which is capable of thinking, and reaches conclusions and makes decisions in the end?
It is obvious that it is not the brain, made up of water, lipid and protein, and unconscious atoms that perceives all this and is responsible for consciousness. There must be a being beyond the brain.
In the following passage, Karl Pribram describes this important search by science and philosophy for the identity of the perceiver:
Philosophers, since the Greeks, have speculated about the "ghost" in the machine, the "little man inside the little man" and so on. Where is the I-the entity that uses the brain? Who does the actual knowing? Or, as Saint Francis of Assisi once put it, "What we are looking for is what is looking".2
Although many people venture close to this reality in answering the question "who is the entity that sees", they hesitate to accept all of its implications. As demonstrated in the example above, in discussing the entity in our brains, some refer to the "little man", while others say "the ghost in the machine", some refer to "the being using the brain" while some say "the internal eye". All these terms have been used to describe the entity beyond the brain that possesses consciousness, and the means of reaching this entity. However, materialist assumptions keep many people from understanding the true nature of this being which actually sees and hears.
The only source that answers this question is religion. In the Koran, God states that He created man in a physical way initially and then "breathed His Spirit" to the man He created:
When your Lord said to the angels, "I am creating a human being out of dried clay formed from fetid black mud when I have formed him and breathed My Spirit into him, fall down in prostration in front of him!" (The Koran, 15: 28-29)
(He) then formed him and breathed His Spirit into him and gave you hearing, sight and hearts. What little thanks you show!(The Koran, 32: 9)
In other words, the human being has another existence besides its physical body. That entity inside the brain which says "I am seeing" the sight inside the brain, and "I am hearing" the sound inside the brain and aware of its own existence, and which says "I am me", is the soul given to human beings by God.
Any human being with a mind and a conscience can understand this: the being that watches every incident inside the brain-watches as if looking at a screen throughout his life-is his soul.
Every human being has a soul that sees without the need for an eye, hears without the need for an ear and thinks without the need for a brain.
Who Lets Our Souls Watch All Of These Views?
At this level there is another question that should be asked: Our soul watches the sights in our brains. But who is it that creates these sights? Could the brain itself form a bright, colorful, clear, shadowy sight and form a whole world through electrical signals in a tiny space? The brain is no more than a wet, soft, curvy piece of meat. Could a simple piece of meat like this create a sight clearer than any that could be provided by a television set with the latest technology, without any snow or horizontal jitter? Could a vision of such high quality be formed inside a piece of meat? Could this wet piece of meat form a stereo sound of higher quality than a stereo hi-fi system with the highest technology, without any sizzling noises? Of course, it is impossible for a brain, which is made of one and a half kilograms (four pounds) of meat to form such perfect perceptions.
Here we arrive at another truth. Since together with everything surrounding us, the body we have, our hands, arms and faces are the shadow beings, then our brains are also shadow beings. Thus we cannot say that this brain that is itself actually only a visual sensation, forms these visual sensations.
Who, then, is the being that shows these sights to our souls, with all their reality and clarity, and lets us live a life with all of these perceptions and without any interruptions?
The being that shows all the sights to our souls, lets us hear all the sounds, and creates all the tastes and smells for our pleasure, is the Lord of all the worlds, the Creator of everything, God.
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1- William Kroger,
2- Poul Thorsen, Die Hypnose in Dienste der Menschheit, Bauer-Verlag, Freiburg-Haslach, 1960, pp. 52-53