Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Why does God do miracles?


148.  System of the World. Part Six


This leads us to a paradox: On one hand mankind is supposed to develop on their own, without outside interference, on the other hand glaring examples of divine intervention. No doubt is left in the mind of the participants (like prophet Muhammadpbuh, Giri Bala, and Therese Neumann) and the people around them, that this is the finger of God doing it, because the two women lived on air for years, for everybody to see. God is supposed to be hidden. Why manifest Himself by miracles? 

I do not know the answer, but I can try. 

God intervenes in a major and a minor way due to His three eminent qualities. I have picked these three, in a litany of others, with some consideration. These are Goodness, Mercy, and His desire that people should appreciate Him, and if possible love Him.

Goodness. The proof of His goodness is that when He intervenes in a major way through prophets like Moses, Jesus, Muhammadpbuh, Buddha, Krishna, the ensuing teaching is to love the fellow man. To create a good society. All the preaching of prophets and mystics, inspired by God, is to do good and make the society better.

Mercy. Although He appears indifferent, but He is merciful. If a society becomes selfish, a major reformer, like Jesus, is sent. Here is a thoughtful verse in Gita, the Hindu scripture: Lord Krishna (human incarnation of God, according to Hindu religion) said;


“Whenever dharma (Divine way) declines and the purpose of life is forgotten, I manifest myself on earth. I am born in every age to protect the good, to destroy evil, and to re-establish dharma.”                                                                                                                                  The Bhagvad Gita. 4:7-8
Why would God take the trouble of helping if not from mercy? 

Consider the two prayers of Mufti Sahib (blog 112). He begged God to help him in feeding his guests. Prayer was immediately answered. Money was provided. His other request was for helping him to spend Eid with his family. Again his request was granted, and money came through the hands of a stranger. The person who wept so much that skin under his eyes broke down.  He importuned God for a huge debt relief (blog 112). His request was granted. All these three episodes denote mercy. Out of all the qualities of God, this mote, appreciates His mercy the most.

To be appreciated if not loved: When Jesus was asked what the most important commandment was, he replied; to love God.

There is something in God which is attracted towards the people who love Him. The person, who loves Him without any reward, and without any answer (from Him), is indeed rare. Because it is very difficult to love somebody which is just an idea in the mind in the form of infinite expanse of empty space; Dionysius the Areopagite gave it the name of Divine Darkness. It is difficult to love a concept. To love Goodness, Justice and Beauty. It is much easier if there was a human form to love, such as Jesus, Muhammadpbuh, Buddha, Krishna, and Ram, or an object such as Kaaba ( the holiest site of Islam ).

2. What is the purpose of life? I don’t know.

3. Is God personal or impersonal? By personal God is meant that He is approachable. He has human qualities such as joy, sadness, love, and justice. Requests can be sent to Him as supplications. He takes interests in the affairs of the world. And finally, he interferes in the world. 

By impersonal God it is meant that He is somewhere, far, alone, absorbed in Himself. Nobody can reach Him. He is not aware of the affairs of this world. 

He is neither happy nor unhappy

He is neither angry nor jealous

He is neither just nor unjust

He is neither merciful nor cruel

He does not love or hate

He is neither good nor bad


From my own personal experience and from centuries of mystical thought, I am certain, as certain can be, that God is personal. To experience Him, one has to invite Him in one’s life. As I have said earlier, this is a cardinal principal. I have narrated so many incidents of His (or His deputies) interventions in blogs 102-112, that there is no doubt left of a personal God. 

But part of God is impersonal. Unapproachable.

The only fact which is still unclear is that what if all these instances of miracles, answering of prayers, prophecies, spirits of dead connoting life after death, are perpetrated by His deputies and not by Him? He may be remote and unattached to this world. It is an unanswerable question, but it does not bother me at all, because the system under which these deputies operate has been created by God, and all the prophets and thousands of mystics have said the same thing ( except Buddha ), on rooftops, at peril of life. These systems, such as spirits of bygone human beings, (trillions of them, over millions of years) and life after death, are huge systems. They cannot be created by humans, since they predate them. The spirits could not have developed spontaneously, because brain, like the rest of body, disintegrates.

Therefore, God is both personal and impersonal. The great saint Sri Ramakrishna said that impersonal and personal God cannot be separated; they are the same, like milk and its whiteness.

This mote thinks that the Holy Spirit in Christianity is based on the same principle; it is the kinetic energy of God.­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­_____________________________________________________________________________________

(1) Dionysius the Areopagite, ‘De Mystica Theologia’. Taken from the book, ‘Mysticism’ by Evelyn Underhill

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Does God intervene in human affairs? Why?

147.  System of the World. Part Five 


We were discussing the ways by which God intervenes in human affairs. 

b) Major way. When He interferes with human development and history. Take the example of prophet Muhammadpbuh. I have chosen prophet Muhammadpbuh because his first encounter with a disembodied entity was very dramatic, and he told it to so many people and it is mentioned in Koran also. And the event did not take place in remote past but in 7th century, in a cave in Saudi Arabia. The historical evidence is fairly authentic. But, I could have chosen Jesus or Moses, except that there is no account of Jesus accosted by God or His deputies, and encounter of Moses with, allegedly God, was close to 3500 to 4000 years ago­­­____ a long time ago, we may have received a distorted account.

  “One day suddenly the Truth descended upon him while he was in the cave of Hira. The angel came to him and asked him to read. The Prophet (pbuh) replied, “I do not know how to read.” The Prophet (pbuh) added, “The angel caught me (forcefully) and pressed me so hard that I could not bear it any more. He then released me and again asked me to read and I replied, “I do not know how to read.” Thereupon he caught me again and pressed me a second time until I could not bear it any more. He then released me and again asked me to read but again I replied, “I do not know how to read (or what shall I read)?” Thereupon he caught me for the third time and pressed me, and then released me
and said, “Read in the name of your Lord, who has created (all that exists), has created man from a clot. Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous.'“(96):1-3.

Then Allah's Apostle (pbuh) returned
with the Inspiration and with his heart beating severely. He went to his wife, Khadijah and said, “Cover me!” she covered him until his fear was over. After that he told her everything that had happened and said, “I fear that something may happen to me.” Khadijah replied, “Never! By Allah, Allah will never disgrace you. You keep good relations with your kith and kin, help the poor and the destitute, serve your guests generously and assist the deserving people afflicted with

Khadijah then accompanied him to her cousin Waraqah Ibn Nawfal, who, during the pre-Islamic period became a Christian. Khadijah said to Waraqah, “Listen to the story of your nephew, O my cousin!”

Waraqah asked, “O my nephew! What have you seen?” Allah's Apostle described that which he had seen. Waraqah said, “This is the one who keeps the secrets (angel
Gabriel) whom Allah had sent to Moses. I wish I were young and could live until the time when your people will turn you out.” Allah's Apostle asked, “Will they drive me out?” Waraqah replied in the affirmative. After a few days Waraqah died and the Divine Inspiration also paused for a while.”

This mote thinks that God, through His deputy, intervened in a major way in human history that day, and also in the case of Moses, because his account of the first encounter is similar to that of prophet Muhammadpbuh; confusion, fear and chills. 

God might have intervened at critical junctures in the case of origin of life on planet earth. Early snowfall in the winter of 1941, did contribute to German defeat in Second World War. Imagine the world history for the next thousand years if Nazi Germany had won. Many biologists think that life could not have erupted on earth without a Designer, and DNA molecule is too complex to have originated just at random, as if the first watch was made by a blind watchmaker.

To be continued

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

146.  System of the World. Part four 


We were discussing that you have to invite God in your life.

How do you invite God in your life? By praying to Him. You have to beg God again and again. He may or may not grant your prayer. But if you are earnest in your desire to reach God (and God will look in your heart), this mote is certain, as certain can be, that He will grant you your prayer. He will transform you. Some people are lucky (because they are ready) and get transformed quickly; otherwise, most often it is a gradual process and may take decades (two or three decades in the case of this mote)

God enters your life, often, in an unobtrusive way. Law of cause and effect is not violated, although there are exceptions. For instance, in the case of Shahab, a letter came from Germany, which was a supernatural event, because the spirit of Fatima (daughter of holy prophet) could not have known the prayer of Shahab (blog 65). There are other examples.

The principal that is never violated is that the sanctity of the overall experiment is preserved. The rules of the game are not changed. One is not allowed to interfere in God’s system. Let me give you some examples to illustrate this important point.

               Giri Bala did not eat or drink for fifty six years (blogs 79- 80). Therese Neumann did not eat and drink for twelve years (except for a wafer each day). When Sri Yogananda asked Giri Bala that why didn’t she let the public know her secret of living on air, it would eliminate hunger in the world, she was shocked. Her answer was most revealing. She said it would be against God’s plan.

               A seer learnt the seven winning lottery numbers, one day in advance of drawing, by a spiritual technique (blog 135). He was strongly warned by higher powers, never to do it again. God’s laws, such as hiding the future, are for important reasons. To look into future, without God’s permission, is against God’s plans

               Jesus Christ performed miracles left and right. Why didn’t he (or other powerful mystics like Sri Yukteshwar, Data Sahib) disclose the secrets of making electricity, or a fusion nuclear reactor, or disclose the existence of American Continent, etc. Because, that would have interfered with God’s plans. It would violate the sanctity of the experiment.

               I used to wonder in the past (I don’t anymore) that why don’t Data Sahib, the highest saint of Pakistan, help the inhabitants of Lahore in a major way (Blog 62-63). He helps in the form of daily free food for hundreds. Perhaps few dozen are helped, monetarily, each day. In a city of 6-7 million, and in a country of 190 million, these efforts seem to be very insufficient. I used to wonder, why doesn’t he eradicate the basic problem of poverty, and thus help millions. Perhaps he could do that. He could provide the secret of cheap solar energy, or to produce rain on demand, or reveal a cheap way to convert sea water into fresh water. I don’t wonder anymore, because he is not allowed to do so. It would interfere with the basic premise of the experiment, that human beings should progress ( or regress, as in the case of 16 centuries of stagnation in human thought from Greek period to Renaissance ) on their own.

Before we proceed any further we must address what is meant by supernatural. Miracles are supernatural events, because they apparently do not obey the existing laws of nature. They may yet obey some other undiscovered laws of nature.

 It is clear that there are souls. I have provided ample evidence (107-110). Now how do we explain souls scientifically? We simply cannot. A dead body is no different from an inanimate object like a lump of coal or a cup. Brain disintegrates after death. I suppose if we were to ask this question to Mr Einstein who reportedly did not believe in God, after showing him a soul and convincing him that there is life after death in the form of souls, he might have answered in the following way. “There must be physical laws governing the existence of soul forms, just as there are laws which govern the visible universe. It is just that we have not yet discovered those laws. After those laws are discovered the explanation will be very simple. Think, how our ability to predict solar eclipse to a second, might appear to a man living thousands of years before Christ. Or what would he think of a man walking on the street talking in a few inches long cellular telephone to another person who may be thousands of miles away, and only the recipient, out of 7 billion inhabitants of earth, can hear him. Think of a bird pecking at his own reflection in a mirror, a reflection that looks and moves like real.  Soul may be like a reflection in a mirror, both real and unreal, but obeying the laws of nature.”


To be continued



Wednesday, September 3, 2014

145.  System of the World. Part Three


 Materialism with God Theory. This hypothesis is an attempt to compromise the two basic observations that ordinary human beings make. First, everything is made by somebody; thus, this highly complex universe could not have come into existence just spontaneously. Therefore, there has to be a Creator who created it. Secondly, one thing leads to another, every action leads to its consequences. Every human being has observed that such and such thing happened or happens due to such and such thing. For ordinary human beings God never comes and plays any role in their daily lives or anybody else’s daily life

This theory is an amalgam of hypothesis no 1 and 2. It accepts a Creator, and therefore answers the first criticism to the “materialistic theory”, namely, that nothing can be created out of nothing. The theory also explains the second criticism to the  materialistic theory; i.e. the phenomena of miracles, answering of prayers, foretelling of the future, and the existence of the spirits of dead persons who once inhabited earth. God or His deputies are responsible for these occurrences.


It also answers the criticism to the religious theory (see details in blog 136), namely, why is there so much suffering and injustice; the answer is, because they have nothing to do with God. God ordinarily does not interfere in the running of the world; therefore, whatever is going on in the world is happening due to the law of cause of effect, just as it would happen if there were no God.  If people are poor, there are economic reasons for it. If they suffer due to old age or disease, that is due to the limitation of their body. If they are preyed upon by cruel or powerful people, it happens because they are weak, or their government is not redressing this problem, and so on. Even animal suffering is due to their weakness or old age. Remember, God does not have to be good according to this hypothesis; at best, He is indifferent and does not care.

God has to be hidden, because He wants human beings to develop on their own, be their own masters, and learn from their own mistakes. It complies with our daily experience of events happening due to our free will interacting with environment.

Human effort is not useless. As a matter of fact, it is the engine that propels us forward. The whole of human history is due to human effort.

If we were to take this theory in its pure form, then God created this universe 13.8 billion years ago, and since then it is running on its own.

But things are not so simple. We still have to answer three questions:

1. Does God ever interfere in the running of this world?
2.  What is the purpose of the universe?
3. Is God personal or impersonal? 

Let us try to answer these questions: 

1. Does God ever intervene in human affairs? This is a difficult question to answer, because logic will say No, while evidence points towards Yes. I don’t have the answer.

If you try to place yourself in the position of God, you will imagine Him as some form of tremendous energy with a mind. A mind that is supermind. That Mind sets up an experiment with a set of basic unchangeable rules, like the speed of light (nothing can exceed that limit ); charge of an electron; magnitude of strong nuclear force ( which holds the atoms together ); principle of conservation of energy ( energy can be neither produced or destroyed ); attraction of atoms to each other resulting in the formation of chemicals and thus formation of life, including us; force of gravity to be the weakest of the four forces of nature and yet the only one which acts at long distances, 4-7 billion km in the case of Pluto. It is this force which makes the earth revolve around the sun.  Dark energy pushing the galaxies apart; nuclear fusion atomic reaction that fuels all stars ( including our sun, which then provides solar energy to the earth ). liquid water, a source of energy from a nearby star, and oxygen, are the requirements of life anywhere in the universe, etc.

The purpose of the experiment may be to see the emergence of intelligent, self-aware (animals are not self-aware), sentient (capable of feeling) life forms, and follow their progress over billions of years. After the experiment is over, make necessary changes and start a new experiment. Logically there should be no outside interference because it would pollute the results.

But, this mote thinks that the evidence is to the contrary. God (or His deputies) interferes in two ways:

(a). Minor way, when a person invites God in his/her life
(b) Major way, when He interferes in human development and history 

(a) Minor intervention. Everything in our lives happens by the interaction of our free will with the environments through the law of cause and effect. God is not concerned. He does not interfere, whether we are virtuous or evil, whether we perform good deeds or bad deeds.  To ask God to interfere in your life, you have to invite God in your life. This is a cardinal principle.


To be continued.