Are We Alone In The Universe?
Truth and wisdom require that the heavens have inhabitants appropriate to them as the earth has. Those various beings are called angels and spirit beings. Reality requires it to be thus, for despite its small size and insignificance, the earth being filled with living and conscious beings, then emptied from time to time and once again repopulated suggests, rather makes it clear, that the heavens, too, which possess magnificent constellations and are like adorned palaces, should be filled with conscious and percipient creatures. Like men and Jinn, those creatures also are the spectators of the palace of the universe, the observers of the book of creation, and the heralds of the sovereignty of Dominicality. For the universe is arrayed and embellished with innumerable adornments, decorations, and ornaments, and self-evidently requires the thoughtful gazes of those who will appreciate it and wonder at it. Indeed, beauty requires a lover, and sustenance is given to the hungry. However, man and Jinn are able to perform only a millionth of this endless duty, this grand viewing, this extensive worship. That is to say, endless sorts of angels and spirit beings are necessary to perform these endless duties and diverse worship.
According to the indications of certain narrations, and the wisdom in the order of the universe, it may be said that some kinds of travelling bodies, from planets to drops of water, are the mounts of one kind of angel. They mount them with God’s permission and tour and gaze upon the manifest world. And it also may be said that one type of animal bodies, from the birds of Paradise called “The Green Birds” in a Narration, to flies, are the aircraft for a sort of spirit being. They enter them at God’s command, travel around the physical universe, and observe the miracles of creation through the windows of the senses of their bodies.
For sure, the Creator Who continuously creates subtle life and luminous percipient beings from dense earth and turbid water also creates types of conscious beings suitable for spirit and life, from those seas of light and even from the oceans of darkness. And He creates them in great abundance.
The earth and the heavens are connected to one another like two countries under one government. There are important relations and transactions between them. Things necessary for the earth like light, heat, blessings, and mercy in the form of rain come from the sky, that is, they are sent. And according to the consensus of the revealed religions, which are founded on revelation, and the agreement of all those who uncover the mysteries of the universe, relying on what they have witnessed, the angels and spirit beings descend to the earth from the skies. From this it may be understood through a surmise so certain it can almost be felt that for the inhabitants of the earth there is a way to ascend to the heavens.
Indeed, everyone’s mind, imagination, and perpetually rises to the skies, and so also having left behind all heaviness do the spirits of the prophets and saints rise there with God’s permission, and having stripped off their bodies, the spirits of the dead. So since those who become light and subtle rise there, for sure, one sort of the inhabitants of the earth and the air who are clothed in what resembles a body and are light and subtle like spirits may rise to the heavens.
The silence and tranquillity of the heavens, and their order and regularity, and vastness and luminosity, show that their inhabitants are not like those of the earth; they are obedient, they do whatever they are commanded. There is nothing to cause overcrowding and disputes, because the country is vast. Their natures are pure, they are innocent, and their stations are fixed.
On the earth, opposites come together, evils are mixed with good, and disputes start between them. For this reason, conflict and suffering are born. And from them examination and competition are set. And from them progress and retrogression occur. The wisdom in these facts that man is the fruit of the tree of creation, its furthest part.
Since there is coming and going from the earth to the heavens, and there is descent and ascent from the heavens to the earth and important necessities for the earth are sent from there; and since good spirits rise to the heavens, for sure, imitating the good spirits, evil spirits too will attempt to go to the realm of the heavens. For they are light and subtle in regard to their beings. Furthermore, they will doubtless be repulsed and expelled, for by nature they are evil and inauspicious. Also, without doubt, there will be a sign, an indication, in the Manifest World of this important exchange, this contest outside the realm of materiality. For the wisdom of the Sovereignty of Dominicality requires that it should place a sign and leave an indication for man in particular, whose most important duty is observation, witnessing, supervision, and acting as a herald, to these significant disposals in the Unseen.
By Bediuzzaman Said Nursi