Linking back to the Pierre Teilhard de Chardin quote; "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience." I decided to do some research on these experiences, both human and spiritual. In the religion of Islam it is believed that the soul goes through 7 stages of life and experiences.
1. Life in Lau Ho Mahfouz: Allah (God) created all the souls that are destined to come to earth. These souls are kept in Lau Ho Mahfouz. As a person is born, the soul is transported to the physical world and into the human body. Everything about the universes and our souls before and after creation are believed to be recorded in a tablet (book) board in heaven or Lau Ho Mahfouz.
2. Life in the Mother's Womb.
3. Life in this word: When a baby is born, it is clean, innocent and free of all sins. This reminds me of the portrait painting of Gainsborough's daughters Mary and Margaret. Both have an innocent look and the tender feel of the portrait reminds me of childhood innocence. In this world, children develop, learn and grow into good or bad individuals depending on their upbringing and surroundings. All this is a part of the human experience. This 3rd life stage is a very crucial and important testing ground for human beings.
This way of viewing life is not just in Islam. Many philosophers such as John Hick share similar ideas about the purpose of this world and the experiences we gain from it. Hick believes that God created humans as free but immature and imperfect creatures with the intention that life in this world provides an environment for the moral growth of human beings from immature creatures to true “children of God”. This school of thought originates from the Christian theologian Irenaeus’ teachings, which suggest that God’s image gives us huge capacity for moral growth. This world is like a school, further linking in with my previous ideas regarding children. As the contemporary saying by officer Anil Sinha goes; “in every mistake, there is a potential for growth”.
4. Death: After we die, we are kept in a place called Alam Barzaak. Here, we await our judgement.
5. Resurrection On The Day Of Judgement.
6. The End Stage - Hell
7. The End Stage - Heaven
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