15 Nov The Spirit and Its Identity.Part2
Science cannot define or perceive the spirit. While matter or anything in the material world is composed of atoms, and atoms are made up of more minute particles, the spirit is a simple, non-compound entity. We cannot see it, but we can know it through its manifestations in this world. Although we accept its existence and observe its manifestations, we cannot know its nature. Such ignorance, however, does not mean that it does not exist.
We see with our eyes, as they are our instruments of sight. The main center of sight is located in the brain. But the brain does not see. You do not say: “My brain sees”; rather, you say: “I see.” It is the individual who sees or hears or senses. But what is this “I”? Is it something composed of a brain, a heart, and other organs and limbs? Why can we not move when we die, although all our organs and limbs are there? Does a factory operate by itself, or does something else (i.e., electrical energy) cause it to work? Any defect or error in a factory that causes a disconnect between it and its electrical energy can reduce a once highly productive and invaluable factory to a heap of junk. Is such a relation at all comparable to that between the spirit and the body?
When the body’s connection with the spirit is cut by death, the body is reduced to something that must be disposed of quickly, before it begins to rot and decompose.
The spirit is not an electrical power, but rather a conscious, powerful thing that learns and thinks, senses and reasons. It develops continually, usually in parallel with the body’s physical development, as well as mentally and spiritually through learning and reflection, belief and worship. The spirit determines each individual’s character, nature, or identity. As a result, although all human begins are substantially made of the same elements, each individual is unique.
The spirit commands our inner faculties. According to the Qur’an, God has given a particular nature to each creature:
All that is in the heavens and Earth submits to Him, willingly or unwillingly, and they will be returned to Him (3:83); and Glorify the Name of your Lord, the Most High, Who has created (all things) and well proportioned (them); Who has assigned for each a particular form and a particular way to follow and ordained their destinies, and guided (them). (87:1-3)
Whatever exists in the universe, including the human body, acts according to the primordial nature God Almighty assigned to it. This is why we observe a strict determinism in the universe’s operation. What we call natural laws are no more than names we give to a thing’s or a creature’s God-given primordial nature.
The primordial nature of things does not deceive. For example, since God orders the Earth to revolve around its own axis as well as the sun, it always does so. A seed says in the tongue of its being or primordial nature: “I will germinate underground in proper conditions and grow into a plant,” and it does what it says. Water declares that it freezes at 0ºC and vaporizes at 100ºC, and does what it declares.
Similarly, the human conscience, as long as it remains sound, does not lie. If it is not deluded by the carnal self or desires, it deeply feels the existence of God and finds peace through believing in and worshipping Him. Thus, the spirit directs or commands our conscience and other faculties. It seeks the world from which it came, and yearns for its Creator. Unless it is stunted and spoiled by sin, it will find the Creator and attain true happiness in Him.