[Türkçe kaynak metin için yorum bölümüne bkz.]
What led us to this state? Instead of signs that say `Baby On Board` we have signs that say `Fight Club On Board`. Which of our values have degenerated so far that we arrived at this unbecoming state? Cities have become a nexus for people who have almost lost their values.
The news that young people in the streets of New York, and California, committed homicide or that serial killers went on a murdering spree used to surprise us. Such news do not surprise us anymore. We are now accustomed to see similar news among the daily news of our community. The spirit that informed our cities and minds has been impaired. Our Master, the Prophet is reported to say “A piece of flesh in the human body [which could be called “the motherboard” in computing terms], should it go awry so does the whole body. ” Once the Prophet was asked: “What is this piece of flesh, o Rasulallah?”, he answered: “It is the heart”. If the heart goes corrupt, so does everything else.
This is the era where hearts go corrupt. However, let’s pay attention to this word: “heart”. Reductionists of modern times have degraded our words and concepts. We shall not forget that man has one faculty of knowing and not ten. Declaring that they’re doing scientific work, some people point out to their heads as the center of their intelligence. Unfortunately some of our theologian colleagues also point out to their heads. Where the scientist points out to the head, the theologian should point out to the heart as the center of intelligence. Qur’an the Generous ordains: “Bestowed with hearts, they perceive”. Thus according to the Qur’an it is the heart that perceives. The brain does not perceive.
Only the Heart can edict knowledge out of Absolute Perception.
Scientific research demonstrates that a patient lying in deep coma still thinks. For thinking resides not only in the brain. It has been shown that the skin thinks as well. The entire body thinks. The brain records perceptions and acts as a decipher. The eye registers what it sees, the ear registers what it hears, but neither register perception as it is. The eye can only see by certain angles. The ear can hear sounds that are above its auditory threshold. We can only hear an earthquake after it’s over. But the ant, an animal that you classify as a lower being, hears the earthquake before us. The ant’s angel of hearing is ahead of us. The ant hears before us, packs up his bags and goes away anticipating what is about to happen.
We become aware of what happens later. The five senses cannot perceive the absolute but can only register it. That which harmonizes the registers, thinks and edicts knowledge out of them is the heart. When we mapped the heart onto the brain, the human being became some sort of a monster. For now we attempt to think with the brain, not with the heart, and the heart has different levels of acquiring knowledge. Our civilization springs from the heart. Our dialogues with Truth, and our symposiums of Love address the heart as much as the brain. God bring love and peace upon him, Neşet Ertaş used to chant in his song, “Mountain of Heart”: “Unseen, a path passes from one heart to another”. He doesn’t say, however, “a path passes from one brain to another”. We shall meet at the crossroads of the heart.
Undoubtedly Yunus Emre is one of the `door-keeper` in the civilization of the heart. Yunus Emre is usually portrayed as an illiterate, uneducated commoner. This portrayal is far from the truth. Yunus Emre came from a wealthy family and received a madrasa education (t.n. equivalent of today’s university education). Today, all these facts are documented. Moreover, it is also known today that Yunus Emre took branch from Sayyid Ahmad al-Rifa’i’s lineage. People of humility say: “The only thing that I know is that I know nothing”. Should we ask why they say so, it is because people who are spiritually mature have humility. Men of today are in a competition to list everything they know. In our tradition, if a man says “I don’t know a thing”, it means that he doesn’t know anything. Should a man say “I know not”, you should stick to him. The books of great sages say the same. The sages express their feelings and experiences through poetry. However, the sages do not knit words together simply for the sake of poetry. They prefer poems because poems expand the field of expression through metaphors, symbols and signs. Yunus Emre, one among the great sages, conveys deep meanings in each one of his poems. Transcribe his poetry into prose, and a great work of philosophy and wisdom will appear. One of the verses that reside in his book of wisdom is:
“They chant an elegy: ‘Yunus died away’
Only the animal died away
Lovers are undying”.
What Yunus and the fellow sages mean here is this: Man, before all else, is a spirit; He is the in-crusted form of its outer shell. Think of a turtle: it builds its shell and lives in it. So has man his animal part. The word “hayvan” comes to our language [ i.e. Turkish] from Arabic, and it means vitality. In English they designate this by the word “animal”, marking the animal part of the human being. When uttered, the word “animal” carries different meanings today. Our living body, which we call animal, has a part which consists of the four elements: earth, water, wind and fire. Each human being comes to be from a mixture of these four elements. God created us and in-breathed us with His spirit. We all bear God’s Soul. The science of Tasawwuf (Sufism) builds towards this realization. The moment when Man truly carries God’s Spirit all veils will come apart, and He shall know how he came to be; his source, his origin, his essence.
After God in-breathed Man with his Spirit, the human body was formed by borrowing fire from fire, earth from earth, water from water, and air from air. At the time of death, the elemental composition begins to dissolve. The first element to leave is air, the quickest among the elements, as the human being exhales its ‘last breath’ to never inhale again. However, looking at the body, we can observe that the warmth of the fire element still resides in it. After five to six hours, we see that fire leaves the body as well. The body loses its warmth, and the corpse grows cold. Fire is the source of conviviality on earth; once it leaves the body, one will become alienated from the dearest of friends. There remains two elements: earth and water. The funeral is buried with these two elements. It is widely known that seventy percent of the human body is made of water. The water in the corpse dissolves back into the soil, and there remains only a material residue. This residue decays and mixes back into the earth. That which dies during this process is the body, the animal part of the human being. The human being, which ascends the spiritual ladder, does not die.
As it is known Man is superior to Angel. But which man? Each and every man? No. The spiritually mature man, envied by Satan, is superior to the angels. After creating Man, God commanded all angels to prostrate themselves before Man. Each angel except Iblis (Satan) accepted the Lord’s command. Iblis advanced his reasons for his refusal, and claimed: “I am the one who is superior”. Remark that the modern man advances similar reasons: “I am a savant, I am skilled…” These are the shifting grounds where Iblis’ foot slipped. Slipping of the foot is of the utmost importance. Iblis who revered God, did not revere Man. The Perfect Man, informed by God’s Spirit, is immortal, undying. What dies is the animal composed of the four elements. This is why when the angel of death came to take Rumi’s life, His Holiness said: “We’re already dead.” This is why the night that Rumi died is called ‘Şeb-i Arûs’, the ‘Wedding Night’.
Death. One of the greatest fears of contemporary French philosophers and the modern man is the fear of death. In our tradition, we have no fear of death, since we know where we’re going. Those who fear death don’t know they are going. People who know where they are going are also those who know where they are coming from. If we fail to institute this philosophy; this consciousness and self-knowledge in our community, one cannot imagine what sort of things could come out from this community. People who lack self-knowledge are disposed to commit any kind of harm. People who lack self-knowledge fear death the most, yet they spread it with ease. So this is the meaning of the verses from Yunus, and he indeed proved that he did not die. Although everyone knows of Yunus, no one knows of Molla Kasim who decried him. Yunus still inspires the living and is, in turn, kept alive by them. One will not find panels, symposiums and meetings on Molla Kasim throughout the world, but will find numerous research and work about Yunus Emre. His poems, in the form of hymns and folk songs, keep circulating among hearts and tongues.
Emir Abdulkadir İnanç.
Mahmud Erol Kılıç,
About Yunus Emre here