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3 ‐5 November 2006 The University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, USA
FROM ABSURDISM OF RELATIVITY TO THE COMPLEX TRUTH: THE KNOWLEDGE VIEW OF FETHULLAH GÜLEN
Prof. Dr. Samir Boudinar1 [Please Note: This paper is not for quotation without permission from the author, since it is subject to checking and finalisation before publication] Often, a fundamental critique was addressed to modernization as a system that has a great quantity of release Its views and judgments resemble the religion release especially at the level of discourse that has taken it from its heavenly source of release. Modernization as a view of the cosmos, life, nature, human and the relation ship between these element may be established on an ancient idea which belongs to the Greek legend world, where “Prometheus” stole the immortal knowledge and wisdom flambeau from gods ‐ hence he gave it to man. In fact, this Prometheus philosophy has been manifested in modernization philosophy beginning from the European revolution period with its great intellectual, literature and art works; a crossing the lightened philosophy and the movement it has created in European societies especially, the French society with its inspiring revolution, arriving at the change (transformation/development) that happened at the level of state and society during nineteenth and twentieth century.
Chairman of CERHSO‐Oujda City/ Morocco
The fundamental critique on the notion of modernization that was rushing from the upper authority of reason on the existence and consequently, the man centrality due to his power of controlling it . Modernization has changed the power of God by the power of reason which becomes a new God, and it has abolished religion release contrary to what the church judged so as to invent a rational religion, that separates the world according to a sequence of intellectual value, and a strict philosophical judgment, it’s history follows it with developing subsidizing on the total predominance of human reason without any reason and knowledge source, or authority upon human. This critique that modernization was addressed by, is manifested in a shake directions against law frame work of man and world, may be the most important of those directions, which was considered as anarchy and vehicle and that not present a convincing alternative is: “post‐modernisation”. So, if modernisation is the offspring of mind and its authority, post‐modernisation is an essay to disengage from that authority. Also, if modernisation considers the knowledge mind as a solid base in human law development, post modernization dropped that knowledge to man himself that is undisciplined by reason knowledge discipline. In sum, if modernisation was a strict thought construction described an absolute discourse, post‐modernisation will be an absolute relativity by considering the relativitism results of self reaction with the surrounding and its react in it .the mark of his reaction is instability. And, the relativity in dealing with the creativity itself, is a difficult or may be an impossible thing that can be realized. It was that the alternative school fell in a case of absurdism, when it lost the sense of individual view, and emptied language from its communicative message, also, it made one truth no matter how simple were numerous truths, different due to the differences of the points of the view that it’s viewers have. But it is a just a modest thing with regard to its truths. Perhaps, this dialectic in philosophy between modernization that idolizes the mind at the expense of any other source of knowledge that transcends human beings and capable to draw the right direction in its progress time, and between post‐ modernization that is against that idolizm to absolute relativism to any knowledge. It is the one in charge of the puzzled case, the absence of sense, and the erection of worrying and “perplexing” questions by the Prof Mohamed Fethullah Gülen term’s, namely, in it’s existence level, where great issues about man: causes of sort and end, essence, sense and message, and the essence of life itself, Which attracted the general direction of human mind, have been manifested in Europe and America where modernization and its alternative indications both in human and society building mode, and often in other world regions respectively.
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Continuously, this reality is calling for the need of knowing the truth, which is not submissive to simplification, either that one which is narrowing from search sources about it or that restricts it in the inside man himself, so that man’s answers are about the desire to look for the truth and the utmost ambition to it has been roofed by his absolute reason limitation, or the truth simplification by making it a deliquescent thing without any indications or identity, and consequently without value. That book is an essay to answer many questions that face not only believers, but also human reason. Indeed, the nature of truth is not simple essential property is complex, in order not to fall as a prey of any part any matter what is it. To be steno graphed or monopolized it. And if the knowledge view of man was the representative image of the truth, that started from it to view and read the reality, or it is a reflection on the cognitive reason of the make and available upon the universal, the knowledge of the teach Fethullah Gülen may be is right to mark it as an assembling view of the truth image, since, who follows his works saw constantly his continuous farness from the stenograph the truth in a simple answers whatever the degrees of trust, and no matter what his level of mastering the mind arguments and proofs which consolidate it. Maybe the best what clear that character is: his complex deductive system, on all what he beliefs of truth. It is that what makes his ideas has two fundamental properties in this field: • justifying the complete truth according to building the fraction truth • drawing out the truth by harmonization between approximates I was in touch with books and articles of this man who has scooped up from the essential sources of Islamic knowledge, either, the inspiration sources, or the explanatory tradition that are the most topics of though sensitivity due to its existence as an affair masked the present of the Muslim, and shaping his image to the other. Or, the nature of the spiritual, psychological and mental fields that he concentrate on them on his writing, because, they are pillar in his project of education, thought and learning. However when he was in touch with that topics, he never drift in simplification to deal with truths either, by proofing or denying them, he did not give up his style of building the truth image with a harmonious pieces (subsidizing) on drawing out the truth from the opposite truth that he harmonize between them, in order to be an affirmation proof of what he is saying and fluent argument upon him.
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First: The Complex from Building Truths Proofs Parts The knowledge view of truth essence that professor Gülen has is taken from two principals sources: First, the persist reading of existence, the effort for recognizing it and submitting its essence. Second the directed reason with aiming elements that are hidden in human depths, and manifested on the soul reaction to call inspiration. In that field he was very influenced by the professor Nursi.2 Concerning the persist reading of existence; Fethullah Gülen condenses the essence of reason in the function of view meditating. When he interpreted the Nursi view “reason by considering its depths that are in Bediuzzaman Said Nursi view and Muslims thinkers, in an eye that reads the creatures book, and an internal ear opened on larger and various shakings.3 Reason according to him is not a part from the material nature, but it is separated being to rediscover it again, and to continue its truth reading. And with equal to his performance of that role which is extended materiality arriving at post‐material or what he defines reason as “essence” free from matter, but adjoining it… And luminary extended inside physics and metaphysics …it is an essential colleges of soul, the brightest light of human and a distinctive between right and fake. It is that the basic of the second source of Gülen view of truth knowledge. It means directing reason with other knowledge elements. Firstly, he decides that: “reason is a sense of meaning is the guiding spirit of the man as directed to the human thought, awareness and understanding and the restrain from ugly and the insist on good deeds”.4 Reason is not separated from value sources, but taken from it, so as to be trust worthy on principal presentation, from that its tasks on (soul guidance) as professor Gülen said: “is the founder by supporting inspiration and emotion, also its opposite” : the narrowing reason that is not turned around the metaphysics observations which is separated from the heavenly relationship.”5 No wonder to see that harmony in Fethullah Gülen thoughts. He forbids any formula of alienation or contradiction between religion and reason, or Qur’an and logic. But he believes that “the Qur’an never leaves in his direction and his calls an empty reason, heart or spiritual, when it refers all that issues‐except for floods orders of worshiping‐to reason and logic”.6 Which means that the knowledge view that the Qur’an established, is subsidized on reason to invent the truth that answer all human question, no matter what its numerous sources:
The great reformist Bediuzzaman Said Nursi lived in the first half of that century. He was famous by his letters “The Light Letters” which are a philosophic view about the Quran and the norms. 3 Fethullah Gülen. We also build our civilisation. Chapter: Rationalism. http://ar.fgulen.com /a.page/building_the state_ofsoula/a754.html. 4 Itself 5 Itself 6 Itself 4 | P a g e
Reason, Spirit or Soul However, the importance of the reflection of view and rational meditation of the professor Gülen represent the means that lead to the truth, and its indications. It is the production of the fraction of the truths that yield from two sources, the heart and the reason. He rather presents a view of history track. He says:” progression and regression in the continuous repetition of history are alternation, between languor stages towards inspiration and neglecting “reason”, and between an atrophy of divine and reason activity. so, whenever heart and mind were enlightened with light that the prophets spread it, and corporality and matter were contracted in their angels, and metaphysics and physics were stated in their places, and the “divine reason “(in words of Mawlana Jalal al‐din Rumi) and “re‐mind” (in words of imam al‐ Ghazali) and “dusty reason”, then a new intermixture of heart and reason has achieved. In that time, the truth was born by building its nucleus:
“The new birthday”. It means “birth connects existence with its real owner in the wariness (perception) of the age again, by interpreting the existence and the birth of the salvation of human internal contradictions”.
On the basis of the necessary conditions to touch the truth in the universe. The professor Fethullah Gülen mentions a description of the truth man by this formula: “he is capable to: 1. confrontation and resistance all the puzzles 2. His thought and reason are mixed in one causable of modern knowledge and concept with an eternity with an eternity truth. 3. His spiritism and heartism faculties are by the same flavour of dispositions and faculties that our master Rumi (1273‐1207), and Yunus (1320‐1238) to one melting pot. From that we can see how the professor Gülen explained that truth which is not only justified by its founder conditions, and its special features and its trace in history. But also in world goodness of “human truth” and with whom participate in life with him because “ at the end he has a mature and knowing heart, while he sees himself a normal man among people who could forget and sacrifice his pleasures and chances for the best and the happiness of others”.7 Maybe that view is looking for the original of a truth and the method to arrive to it. It presents a suggestion in that level which manifests a view of disputation to it, between withdrawals of rationalism influences among many direction. Either on the complete beliefs, or the complete cancellation.
The Balances or Light on the Street. Chapter: Equilibrium between Body and Soul. http://ar.fgulen.com/a.page/building_thestatue_ofsoula /a754.html. 5 | P a g e
Second: The Harmony Between Approximates As A Source of Drawing the Truth According to many centuries, more than one philosopher like Plato, Karl Marx, and Hegel were considered the dialectic as a generalising principals to the necessary elements for developing thought, consequently, the development of human social life and that is den of the existence of two contradictory principals produced a third principals, but in reality the knowledge view of Fethullah Gülen does not use that interpreting tool to understand and analyse phenomenon. He relies on his writings to view issues and ideas on frequency principals to make out the fraction truth and build the complete truth. Maybe Gülen uses that style for two reasons: 1. the accuracy of educational and ethnics topics in Gülen, he is aware of the importance to treat it so as to avoid statement and ready made ideas shorthand that many people do it .they repeat it without any conscious. 2. Gülen thought engagement that deals with education, spirit and ethics issues, and beginning from the Qur’an source making him avoid the monism view of religion truth that others full in it. He allows his readers to think over the one truth from two different angles, or help him by presenting the complete truth trough the conciliation between two opposite truths because truths usually refuse simplification and its perception level connected with the capacity of watching the complex images with its complete dimensions. It maybe, one of an excellent conceiting examples between the opposite fraction truth is what appears in Fethullah speech about death as an important existing truth that continuously stops man, he is speaking about “the other face of death”, and he says “that death according to us is always a place with a variety of dimensions, and time with depths soul in travelling in”.8 He carries on manifesting sides of truth till he arrives that” it’s suitable for us even with regards to materiality – not to cry and be unhappy, but we should be happy for death”. Examples for those types are numerous in his writings. And as an example is his speech on oppositeness of grasping and extending”.9 The professor begins according to his fixed method in his deductive system by putting the two concepts inside the finale and the complete truth .he says “constriction and expansion” enter the orbit life of any man and at any level, and with different dimensions to obsess him. They are clinging any individual lives with feelings”.
Mohamed Fethullah Gülen N. Soul And Hearty Grieves. Trans Orkhan Mohammed Ali. First Edition 2004. No House of Publication and Press. 9 M. Fethullah Gülen. Emerald Hills: towards life of heart and soul. Trans. Ihsan Kasem Asolhi. T1‐ 1425_2005.nile house of publication and press, P 227 and the following. 6 | P a g e
Than, he defines by detailed the two concepts, and emphasizes on that oppositeness and its rule by saying» constriction and expansion are a treatment with a secret that has no relation with some willing causes. They either cut off the way, or elevate the person who chooses the right way. Taking the same method, the professor Gülen explains sides that are not noticeable in both opposite truth. He tells us that” constriction on one hand, benefits from fear of those who are still in the way”. On the other hand, he manifests that “expansion maybe is a cause of delusion and a loss part of skinny souls that are not bloom up to matching supernatural, and are not changing its system according to the after live”. We arrive with him that “maybe extension which is due to our nonfeasance and inadvertence, is an introduction to other extension. And Extension that leads to slackness is a cause to other varieties of destructive construction” To shed light on the darkness side of one topic, by compromise between oppositeness builds a new problem about truths that reason sees it and soul know it. All that is achieved by method forbid contradiction, and harmonize between the simple units to build the one complex truth. Method that Gülen approaches truth from an accurate world like the world of spiritualism is the one that he treads with other human truth like in individual life and social with other oppositeness as • Poverty and wealth when he reminds us that poverty leads to wealth”.10 the most important side of that method is the contradiction with truth that are standing front of reason, is his answers to questions that seem to be very difficult reason like: The relationship between geographic field with the appearances of prophecies, and the responsibilities of all people towards those prophecies. • the conciliation between the complete will of the creator and the fraction will of human • The conciliation between guidance of God and volition if human. • The relationship between grant life to man and the love of them by the supreme granter. • And other issues that are related with many truths that are facing man, and he determines in each one by his fixed method.11 The knowledge view of the professor Gülen establishes a method to build the complex truth from the fraction truth. It works to solve a problem about the relation
Itself p. 284 Gülen. The Perplexing Question of That Age. Chapter: Solving the Problematic Between Two Opposite Ideas. P37‐44.
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between opposite fraction in that truth. In reality, it participates to present a style that neglects many advantages when we deal with a truth, either from its source, or from considering it a unit that refuses analysis and disassembly or, by focusing on one tool of knowledge to arrive at the essence of the truth that is presenting towards man and its governor laws .maybe that is the most important features of that knowledge view that transcend release of the knowledge of modernization and its philosophy without falling down in the absurdism of the absolute relativity. But it is an establishment of a new method requires his depths and preference to view truth without any simplification which neglected it immortal character: each truth is a complex truth.
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