Galileo had his facts right, but the Church had good intentions. Above and beyond arguments over geocentrism vs. heliocentrism, the Church was (ineptly) defending its vision of earth as a God-centered planet.
In a sense, earth and all other celestial bodies have always been, and will always be, deocentric. At the “center” of existence is a unified superconsciousness (allahu ahad) that is eternal (allahu samad), not part of any natural chain of causality (lam yalid wa lam yulad) and incomparable to anything in creation (wa lam yakun lahu kufu’an ahad). (Source: Qur’an, Surat al-Ikhlas.)
Science cannot prove the existence of God any more than it can prove the existence of consciousness. But it can offer powerful hints.
The “Mary’s room” experiment reveals consciousness as an entity that cannot be reduced to an epiphenomenon of the material world (which is the materialist position). Imagine a woman named Mary, born and raised in an environment carefully controlled to remove all traces of color. Growing up in this black-and-white world, Mary is trained to become the world’s leading scientific expert on the phenomenon of color as described by science: light waves of various wavelengths striking the retina and triggering neural impulses in the brain, which is what materialists tell us is “all that color really is.” Once she has learned “everything there is to know about color” (according to the materialists), the door of her black-and-white controlled environment is unlocked, and Mary is led outside into a garden bursting with flowers of every imaginable hue. The million dollar question: Does she learn anything new? If so, it would appear that the materialist description of reality misses something important: The direct experience that we call “consciousness.”
Quantum physics suggests that this mysterious “consciousness,” irreducible to anything physical or material, is an integral part of reality. Quantum mechanics describes the universe as made up of probability waves. But in the world as we experience it, these waves have collapsed into particles, and these sub-atomic particles are the basic building blocks of reality. So how did the waves, representing zillions of possibilities, turn into the particles making up space-time as we experience it? The answer, according to the quantum physicists, is that the wave “collapses” into the particle at the moment it is measured by an observer. In other words, physical, material reality is brought into being by an act of consciousness.
It seems unlikely that the entire universe (or the pluriverse, for those who accept evidence for multiple universes) is the creation of merely human consciousness. More likely, we only see a tiny bit of what is “out there.” So could there be a GUC (grand unified consciousness) bringing into being everything that exists – and could our isolated individual consciousnesses be tiny fragments of it? Of course there could. And there is. It’s called God.
God, the posited superconsciousness, created the universe/pluriverse through an act of thought/will whose material trace is the Big Bang. The purpose, as far as the greatest minds have been able to determine, is for the space-time continuum to give rise to increasing consciousness that seeks to know God, in part by contemplating His signs, which are everywhere in creation. As matter “runs down,” as the second law of thermodynamics says it must, consciousness “bootstraps up.” In this way, all of creation is going back to God.
The kind of knowledge I am summarizing is more important than scientific knowledge; and just as Galileo’s tormentors censored scientific knowledge, today there is a a vast atheist-materialist Inquisition dedicated to suppressing this higher kind of knowledge. The motives for both kinds of suppression are probably the same: The members of a bureaucracy (the church then, the scientific-technological establishment now) are unconsciously driven to suppress competing forms of knowledge that threaten their special privileges and self-esteem.
Earth has been a God-centered planet at least since the rise of Islam as earth’s leading civilization, perhaps even since Christianity overthrew pagan Rome. But during the past two centuries, the rise of technopoly in the West has challenged deocentrism — and created a civilization whose psychic center is meaninglessness and whose material effect is the destruction of the planet. Obviously we need an alternative. But what?
Christianity and Judaism, for all their past glories, today do not seem to have the energy to return the planet to deocentrism. In fact, they may have contributed to the problem: Today’s West and its worship of the all-too-human, i.e. the self (God being the ultimate Other who is paradoxically closer to oneself than one’s own jugular vein). Judaism is supposed to be about worshiping God and God alone; but it has devolved into the narcissistic self-worship of the “chosen people.” Jesus, like all the prophets, taught the worship of God and God alone; but many of his followers have fallen into the worship of Jesus himself, the symbol of their faith — which amounts to another kind of narcissistic self-worship. And both groups have made the mistake of worshiping through their priesthoods and institutions, rather than going straight to the Source.
Only Islam, as a discursive and practical tradition, seem to have gotten it right enough, and to have persisted with enough energy, to maintain earth as a God-centered planet. That is why the demonic forces have marshaled their hatred and directed it at Islam.
These demonic forces were behind the controlled demolition of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon bombing — crimes designed to demonize Islam (but which in fact revealed their perpetrators as the demonic ones).
The same demonic forces are visible everywhere where Islamophobes rage. Just watch these “Christians.”
Do these “Christians” look like people blessed with the inner peace that comes with a God-centered life, and the knowledge that the purpose of life is contemplation of God’s signs and the knowledge of God?
Or is it their Muslim victims who carry on with that kind of inner peace and dignity?
Which group, the Islamophobes or their victims, has a trace of the “peace that passeth understanding” that characterizes people of spiritual knowledge?
Which group is on the way to inheriting a God-centered planet — and which is raging blindly against the twilight of its own narcissistic illusions?
The death of the West isn’t going to be pretty. But does it have to be this ugly!?