Spirituality Today: Environment, Adornments of This World

interdependence in the worldwide web of life which shows an exquisite harmony. Such harmony points to an unquestionable wisdom in the order of the universe, which in turn points to a conscious purposefulness in the existence of all things. We need to understand the duties of the beings, both animate and inanimate, around us to develop proper respect and care for our world while we are here on Earth to fulfill our good stewardship. The great scholar of our time, Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, gives us his words to review how we need to understand the purpose of the environment:
“There are numerous purposes for the existence of everything, and numerous results flow from its being. These are not restricted to this world and to the souls of men, as the people of misguidance imagine, being thus lost in vanity and purposelessness. On the contrary, the purposes for the existence and the results of the being of all things relate to the following three categories.

  • The first and the most exalted pertains to the Creator. It consists of presenting to the gaze of the Pre-Eternal Witness the bejewelled and miraculous wonders He has affixed to the object in question, as if in a military parade. To live for a fleeting second is enough to attain that glance. Indeed, the potentiality and intent for existence is enough, without ever emerging into life. This purpose is fully realized, for example, by delicate creatures that vanish swiftly and by seeds and kernels, each a work of art, that never come to life, that is, never bear fruit or flower. They all remain untouched by vanity and purposelessness. Thus the first purpose of all things is to proclaim, by means of their life and existence, the miracles of power and the traces of artistry of the Maker and display them to the gaze of the Glorious Monarch.
  • The second purpose of all existence and the result of all being pertains to conscious creation. Everything is like a truth-displaying missive, an artistic poem, or a wise word of the Glorious Maker, offered to the gaze of angels and jinn, of men and animals, and desiring to be read by them. It is an object for the contemplation and instruction of every conscious being that looks upon it.
  • The third purpose of all existence and result of all being pertains to the soul of the thing itself, and consists of such minor consequences as the experience of pleasure and joy, and living with some degree of permanence and comfort. If we consider the purpose of a servant employed as a steersman on some royal ship, we see that only one hundredth of that purpose relates to the steersman himself – i.e., the wage he receives; ninty-nine hundredths of the purpose relate to the king who owns the ship. …”

Bediuzzaman Said Nursi brings to this subject further light in the following paragraph:
Third Principle: You will understand, further, that the adornments of this world are not simply for the sake of enjoyment or admiration. For if they yield pleasure for a time, they cause pain for a longer time with their cessation. They give you a taste and whet your appetite, but never satiate you. For either the life of the pleasure is short, or your life is short, too brief for you to become satiated. These adornments of high value and brief duration must, then, be for the sake of instruction in wisdom, for arousing gratitude, and for encouraging men to seek out the perpetual originals of which they are copies. They are, then, for other exalted goals beyond themselves.” (The Words, Tenth Word, Sixth Truth by Bediuzzaman Said Nursi)
–Dr. Osman Birgeoglu


1 Comment

  1. MarlieFebruary 3, 2012

    That insight’s just what I’ve been looking for. Thanks!

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