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From chaos to order - II

by Fethullah Gülen on . Posted in The Statue of Our Souls

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Fethullah Gülen: From chaos to order

The harmony between creation and natural phenomena is predestined; the order among men is voluntary or by free will and to a great extent has its origins in love and fear. Order is another name for peace, satisfaction, and societal harmony, as well as a promising future. As there is no peace and harmony in chaos, it is not possible to talk about the future or efficiency in anarchic circumstances.

At first sight, order seems to be the product of simple willpower and mind isolated from belief; yet the mind which is not under the control of the soul, and the willpower which is not able to cut the roots of evil tendencies and incite inclinations for good are considered to be more on the side of anarchy than with order.

All creation, apart from humanity, has always maintained in order since the world came into existence. An enthralling order prevails everything and everywhere, from the harmonious movements of electrons and atoms to the splendid design of flowers, from the balance and harmony between the living and non-living to the stars which twinkle and wink at us and flow like a poem and emotion from deep space into our hearts, from the meanings represented in the flowers, leaves, and branches of the plants and trees to the life that breathes vitality in and out.

If the conscience observes and evaluates the book of creation for an instant, it observes and perceives the order and harmony that emanates everywhere, the fascinating beauty and awe-inspiring richness of essence in everything. It does not require a very profound sensitivity; a heart even with very little, or limited, sensitivity can feel, sense, perceive a poem—chanting and reciting in the tones and tunes of infinity—in every form, pattern, color, voice, and sound, from the harmonious, pleasant warbling of the birds to the terrifying, awe-inspiring, thunder of lightning flashes, from the colorful, delicate, vibrant patterns of flowers to the mysterious lights of the stars and sky. And those who are one step ahead of the others, those who know, observe what is performed by means of physics, chemistry, biology, and astrophysics. From the awe-inspiring depths of the sea, from its tumultuous waves to the cool tranquility of the paradisiacal glades in the woods, from the dignified standing of the hills to the unreachable, insurmountable majestic peaks of the mountains, from the continuous flow and ripple of water to the depths of the sky stretching to infinitude, everything says order and harmony, and cries out the vast meanings in the spirit of the creation.

So, if order is imbued in everything and everywhere, where did this chaos, which we will call disorder, irregularity, and illegality, come from? The world came to know chaos and the immorality behind it through human beings: the human beings who did not surrender their minds to God, who were unable to slam on the brakes of their willpower and to stimulate their feelings for the good. Humans are creatures vulnerable to a great variety of ambitions and they have a greater number and variety of weaknesses than other creatures. The emotions of destruction, feelings of anarchy, and eddies of disorder are manifest in different frequencies in almost all our weaknesses, such as greed, ambition, anger, hatred, malice, violence, and lust. It is impossible for humanity to save itself from the negative consequences of these without taking control of all the evil feelings; this can only be done by virtue of being cultivated, well-mannered, and well-educated. We cannot save ourselves until we invigorate and consolidate our humane feelings, until we say yes to a tacit social contract in our conscience by taking into consideration the existence of others in our wishes and desires, our joys and sorrows, and our freedoms and rights.

The education which will raise humans from potential humanity to true humanity must be directed toward the Divine and by the Divine, and it must be based around the gifts and talents that have been bestowed by God. Our culture should be fed on the roses grown in our own ground and on the nectar that emanates from our roots of spirit and essence; thus it will not create any adverse reaction or criticism from the collective conscience or the verdict of history. The social contract should be realized according to the conditions and requirements of the age and within a framework of the most advanced rights and freedom, so that the different sections and circles of the society do not lose their power, authority, respect, credit, self-esteem, or nominal value within a tangle of opposition, nor be caught up within the vicious circle of neutralizing one another with contradictions. What we mean by the contract here is not a collective contract on paper with so many people’s signatures adorning the foot of the page, but a contract which is related to and limited by respect for the concept of rights and freedom and by love for the truth, on the part of people who have awakened to the humane values in their consciences.

The limit and the framework of this contract is defined by the structure of the individual’s heart, the vastness of their spirit and the realization that their faith and what they believe in constitute one part of their nature or disposition. That is why the contract of each person’s conscience corresponds to their level of humane feeling. A community which is composed of mature individuals, who have overcome corporeality with respect to their heart and spiritual lives, is one which is in exemplary order. Such order in the world of humanity is permanent and promising for the future, as it is a dimension of the universal harmony that encompasses the whole of creation.

In our world, the state is like the captain on the bridge of the ship whose crew is made of merits, virtues, and morality. This captain’s duty is to employ and make the best of the crew under his authority, to establish harmony and concord among them and with the order of the universe, and thus make them reach the destination and attain their goals without having them collide with the crushing waves of events. As it is impossible to produce a healthy society and a perfect state from a community whose members are deprived of virtues and who wallow in the abysses of immorality, so too is it misleading and self-deluding to expect the masses of disorder and chaos, which is attacked on all sides by some disease, to be promising for the future. It is therefore a mistaken conjecture, an illusion and a baseless consolation to expect something significant in the name and fields of administration and security from the masses merely from their dark fortune, no matter what their names and forms are. Both authority and state can only be well-established through targeting a high ideal which will give life to and maintain it within the society, planning everything according to that ideal and if every effort and action can be referred, ascribed and reduced to “One.”

Every individual and every vital unit should be prepared and should plan to carry or raise all the people to the summit so that small interests, schemes, and accounts within individual plans cannot spoil the general harmony, and so that different circles or groups cannot be born, swell, clash, and dissolve within and at the expense of one another, like the waves of the sea. Once, as the spirit of Islam prevailed over the whole of life, this objective was defined and established so well that the members and units which constituted society were each made a pillar of order, and thus the walk to the summits was achieved as if within the natural course of life.

The biggest gift of today’s generations to the world of tomorrow is the act of revising our idea of order, of renewing the belief that the Divine harmony within creation will be carried to the world of humanity by means of our willpower, and of pulling the balance of nations into this axis. For such an important mission it will be enough, I believe, to review once more our own willpower, to establish and ascertain our place in the eye of God, to set the targets for our people and nation, to consolidate sound, logically consistent, strategies and policies, and to realize or bring to life the dynamics we already possess.