We Can Never Reach The Original Of The World
That Occurs Within Our Brain
As has been demonstrated here, everything that we live
through, see, hear and feel in our life occurs within the brain.
For example, someone who looks out of the window while sitting
on an armchair feels the hardness of the armchair and the slipperiness
of the fabric in his brain. The smell of the coffee coming from
the kitchen occurs in the mind, not in the kitchen some distance
away. The view of the sea, birds and trees he sees from the window
are all images formed in the brain. The friend who is serving
the coffee, and the taste of the coffee also exist in the brain.
In short, someone sitting in his living room and looking out of
the window is in reality looking at his living room, and the view
seen from the window on a screen in his brain. What a human being
would refer to as "my life" is a collection of all perceptions
being put together in a meaningful way and watched from a screen
in the brain, and one can never come out of one's brain.
We can never know the true nature of the original of
the material world outside the brain. We cannot know, whether
or not the original, for example the green of a leaf, is as we
perceive it. Likewise, we can never find out if a dessert is really
sweet or whether that is just how our brain perceives it to be.
A person who is observing a particular view supposes that
he is watching the view before his eyes. However, that view
actually forms in the center of vision at the back of the
brain. The pertinent question is this: who is that takes
pleasure from watching this view, if it cannot be the brain,
which is made of lipid and protein?
Anyone who considers this will clearly see the truth.
One such person, George Berkeley, expresses this truth in his
work A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge:
By sight I have the ideas of light and colours, with
their several degrees and variations. By touch I perceive hard
and soft, heat and cold, motion and resistance... Smelling furnishes
me with odours; the palate with tastes; and hearing conveys sounds...
And as several of these are observed to accompany each other,
they come to be marked by one name, and so to be reputed as one
thing. Thus, for example, a certain colour, taste, smell, figure
and consistence having been observed to go together, are accounted
one distinct thing, signified by the name apple; other collections
of ideas constitute a stone, a tree, a book, and the like sensible
The truth Berkeley expresses in these words is this:
We define an object by interpreting different sensations that
are experienced in the brain. As is the case in this example,
the taste and smell of an apple, its hardness and roundness and
those sensations related with the other qualities of it are perceived
as a whole by our brain and we perceive this whole as the apple.
However, we can never actually deal with the original of the apple,
only our perception of it. What we can see, smell, taste, touch
or hear are only the copies within the brain.
When we consider all that has been discussed up to
this point, the truth will be revealed in all clarity. For example:
If we can see a street full of colorful lights and all the colors
with their own brilliant shadings inside the brain where there
is no actual light, then we are seeing copies of the notice boards,
lights, streetlights and the headlamps of cars which are produced
from the electric signals within the brain.
Since no sound can enter the brain, we can never hear the original
of the voices of loved ones. We hear only copies.
We cannot feel the cool of the sea, the warmth of the sun - we
only feel the copies of them in our brains.
In the same way, nobody has been able to taste the original of
mint. The taste someone would sense as mint is only a perception
which occurs in the brain. This is because the person cannot touch
the original of the mint, see the original of the mint or smell
or taste the original of the mint.
Imagine that you are entering a dark room which has a big
television screen inside. If you could only watch the outside
world through this screen, you would naturally get bored
of it after a while and want to get out.
Consider for a moment that the place you are in is no different.
Inside your dark little skull, similar to a box, you watch
visions of the outside world during your life. You continue
watching all of these pictures in your brain without getting
out of this small place and never get tired of it.
In addition to this, you would never believe that you were
watching all of these things from a single screen. The vision
is so convincing that in thousands of years, billions of
people were unable to realize this great reality.
In conclusion, throughout our lives we live with copy-perceptions
which are shown to us. However, these copies are so realistic
that we never realize that they are copies. For example, lift
your head and have a look around the room. You see that you are
in a room full of furniture. When you touch the arms of the armchair
in which you are sitting, you feel the hardness of it as if you
are really touching the original of it. The reality of these images
shown to you, and the excellent artistry in the creation of these
images are sufficient to convince you and billions of other people
that the images are "material". Even though most people have read
that every sensation relating to the world is formed in their
brains, since it is taught in high school biology classes, the
images are so convincing that they have difficulty believing that
these images are only fantasies in their brain. The reason for
this is that each image is created very realistically and perfected
to an art.
Some people accept that images occur in the brain,
yet they claim that the originals of the images are external.
But they can never prove this, because nobody has been able to
move out of the perceptions that exist in the brain. Everybody
lives in the cell that is in the brain, and no one can experience
anything except that which is shown by his perceptions. Consequently,
one can never know what happens outside of his perceptions. Thus
to say "there are originals outside" would in fact be an unjustified
presupposition, because there is nothing that could be held up
as evidence. Furthermore, even if there are originals outside,
these "originals" will again be seen in the brain, meaning that
the observer would deal with the images formed in his or her brain.
Consequently such claims are unsupportable because people are
unable to reach the "material equivalents" which they suppose
We should also emphasize that scientific or technological
development cannot change anything, as every scientific discovery
or technological invention occurs in the minds of people, and
consequently is of no help to people in reaching the outside world.
The views of renowned philosophers like B. Russell
and L. Wittgenstein on this subject are as follows:
For instance, whether a lemon truly exists or not and
how it came to exist cannot be questioned or investigated. A lemon
consists merely of a taste sensed by the tongue, an odour sensed
by the nose, a colour and shape sensed by the eye; and only these
features of it can be subject to examination and assessment. Science
can never know the physical world.13
Philosopher G. Berkeley clearly expressed that our
perceptions exist only in our minds and that we would be mistaken
in automatically assuming that they exist in the outside world:
We believe in the existence of objects just because
we see and touch them, and they are reflected to us by our perceptions.
However, our perceptions are only ideas in our mind. Thus, objects
we captivate by perceptions are nothing but ideas, and these ideas
are essentially in nowhere but our mind
Since all these exist
only in the mind, then it means that we are beguiled by deceptions
when we imagine the universe and things to have an existence outside
the mind. So, none of the surrounding things have an existence
out of our mind. 14
In addition, it is of no importance for people whether
something which a person cannot reach, see or touch, exists or
not, because regardless of whether or not there is a material
world, a human being only watches the world of perceptions in
his brain. A person can never come across the true original of
a material. Furthermore it is enough for everyone to see the copy.
For example, someone who wanders around a garden with colorful
flowers is not seeing the original of the garden, but the copy
of it in his brain. However, this copy of the garden is so realistic
that everyone receives some pleasure from the garden, as if it
were real when in fact it is imaginary. Billions of people, right
up until the present day, have assumed that they have been seeing
the original of everything. Consequently, there is no reason for
people to be interested in the "outside".
The Sense Of Distance Is Also A Perception That
Occurs In The Brain
Imagine a crowd on a street, with shops, buildings,
cars, horns honking
When you look at this picture it appears
to be real. That is why most people cannot understand that the
picture they see is produced in their brain, and mistakenly suppose
that all of it is real. The picture has been created so perfectly
that it is impossible to understand that the image that they perceive
as real is not the original of the outside world, but only a copied
image which exists in the mind.
The elements which make a picture so convincing and
impressive are distance, depth, color, shade and light. These
materials are used with such perfection that they become a three-dimensional,
colorful and vivid image inside the brain. When an infinite amount
of detail is added to the picture a whole new world emerges that,
without realization, we assume is real for all life, although
we only interpret it in our mind.
Imagine now that you are driving a car. The steering
wheel is at arms length from you and there is a set of traffic
lights about 100 m (or 300 ft) in front of you. The car in front
of you is about 10 m (30 ft) away, while there are mountains on
the horizon, which, according to your estimation, would be many
kilometers (miles) away in the distance. However, all of these
estimations are wrong. Neither the car nor the mountains are as
far away as you would assume. In fact, the entire picture, as
on a movie reel, exists on a two dimensional frame, on only one
surface within the brain. The images reflected to the eye are
two-dimensional, like those on a TV screen. In such circumstances,
how can a perception of depth and distance occur?
What is referred to as a sense of distance is a way
of seeing three-dimensionally. The elements causing the effects
of distance and depth in images are perspective, shade and motion.
The form of perception called spatial perception by optical science
is provided by highly complicated systems. This system can be
explained simply in this way: The sight which reaches the eye
is two dimensional. That is to say, it has measures of height
and width. The senses of depth and distance result from the fact
that two eyes see two different images at the same time. The image
that reaches each of our eyes differs from the other in terms
of the angle and light. The brain assembles these two different
images to form our sense of depth and distance.
We can perform an experiment to understand this better.
First, extend your right arm in front of you and hold up your
index finger. Now focus on this finger while closing your left
eye first and then your right eye. Because two different visions
come to each eye, you will see the finger move slightly to one
side. Now open both of your eyes and while continuing to focus
on your right index finger, move your left index finger as close
to your eye as you can. You will notice that the closest finger
will have created two images. This is because now a different
depth has formed in the closer finger from that in the farther
finger. If you open and close your eyes one by one, you will see
that the finger located nearer your eye will appear to move more
than the finger which is further away. This is due to the increasing
difference in the views appearing in each eye.
While a three dimensional film is being made, this
technique is used; Images shot from two different angles are placed
on the same screen. The audience wears special glasses which have
a color filter and polarize the light. The filters in the glasses
filter out one of the two views, and the brain transforms these
into one single three-dimensional image.
The perception of depth in a retina with two dimensions
is very similar to the technique used by artists to give the observer
a feeling of depth in a picture with two dimensions.
There are certain factors resulting in the feeling
of depth, such as the placement of objects on top of one another,
the atmosphere perspective, changes in texture, linear perspective,
the dimensions, the height and the movement. For example the change
of texture is very important in perceiving depth. For example,
the ground that we walk on in a farm full of flowers is actually
a tissue. The tissues closer to us are more detailed while the
tissues further from us seem pale and harder to discern. Therefore,
it is easier to estimate the distance of objects located on a
tissue. Besides this, effects of shadow and light also contribute
to the perception of a three-dimensional view.
The reason we admire a picture made by a successful
artist is the sense of depth and reality which are given to the
picture, which is created by using the elements of shade and perspective.
Perspective results from the fact that distant objects
appear smaller in proportion to those which are nearer, depending
on the person who is looking at it. For example, when we look
at a view, distant trees appear small, while those nearby appear
large. Likewise, in a picture with a mountain in the background,
the mountain is drawn smaller than the person in the foreground.
In linear perspective, artists use parallel lines. For example,
train tracks produce an effect of distance and depth by meeting
with the horizon.
One of the significant elements which
provides the feeling of depth is tissue differentiation.
Tissues closer to us can be observed in detail while
those further away appear less clearly. For example
as we can observe from the picture on the side, a
three dimensional tissue has been created on a paper
with the feeling of depth, and which seems to be embossed
due to the use of color, shadow and light. Even though
all the dots are white in the above picture, they
appear to be flashing in both black and white.
The method that painters use in their paintings is
also valid for the image that occurs in the brain. Depth, light
and shade are produced by the same method in two dimensional space
in the brain. The greater the amount of detail in the picture,
the more realistic it appears and the more it deceives our senses.
We behave as if there was real depth and distance, as if there
was a third dimension. However, all pictures are like a film square
on a flat surface. The
visual cortex in the brain is as small as a credit card! The distances,
the images such as those of distant houses, stars in the sky,
the moon, the sun, airplanes flying in the air, and birds - they
are all crammed into this small space. That is to say, there is
technically no distance
between a glass that you can hold by extending your hand and an
airplane that, if you looked up, you would understand to be thousands
of kilometers above; all of them are on the single surface, that
is, in the sense center of the brain.
For example, a disappearing ship on the horizon is
not actually miles away from you. The ship is in your
brain. The window sill that you are looking at, a poplar tree
in front of the window, the road in front of your house, the sea
and the ship on the sea are all in the sight center of the brain,
on a two dimensional surface. Just like a painter can represent
the feeling of distance on a two dimensional canvas by using the
proportions of size, elements of color, shade and light and perspective,
so can the sense of distance also occur in the brain. In conclusion,
the fact that we sense objects to be far away or nearby should
not fool us, as distance is a sensation like all the others.
Are You In The Room, Or Is The Room Inside You?
Just as everything we see in our
environment is an image formed in our brain, so is
our own body an image in the brain.
One of the reasons that prevent people from understanding
that the images seen are actually sensed in the brain, is that
people see their body in the image. They come to this wrong conclusion
that "since I am in this room, the room does not occur in my brain."
Their mistake is to forget that their body is an image too. Just
like everything we see around us is an image which exists in the
brain, so does our body also exist as an image in the brain. For
example, while sitting on an armchair, you can see the rest of
your body below your neck. This image too is produced by the same
perceptual system. When you put your hand on your leg, you sense
a kinesthetic feeling in the brain. This means that you see your
body in the brain, and you feel yourself touching your body in
If the body is an image in the brain, is the room inside
of you or are you in the room? The obvious answer to this is "the
room is inside of you". And you see the image of your body inside
the room, which in turn is in the brain.
Let us explain this with an example. Let us suppose
that you call a lift. When it comes, your neighbor, who lives
upstairs from you, is in it. You get into the lift. In reality,
are you in the lift or is it in you? The truth is: the lift with
the images of the neighbor and your body all occurs in your brain.
In conclusion, we are not "inside" anything. Everything
is inside us; everything occurs in the brain. The sun, the moon,
stars or an airplane flying in the sky many miles away cannot
change this truth. The sun and the moon, like the book that you
hold are only images which occur in a very small sight center
in the brain.
Since your body is an image seen
in your brain, the question is this: are you inside
the room that you are in, or is the room inside you?
The answer is clear: Of course, the room is inside
you, in the vision center of your brain.
The World Of Senses Can Occur Without Outside
One factor which invalidates the claim that the world
of senses that we see has a material equivalent is that we do
not need an outside world for senses to occur in the brain. Many
technological developments such as simulators and also dreams
are the most important evidences of this truth.
Science writer, Rita Carter, states
in her book, Mapping The Mind, that "there's no need for eyes
to see" and describes at length an experiment carried out by scientists.
In the experiment, blind patients were fitted with a device that
transformed video pictures into vibrating pulses. A camera mounted
next to the subjects' eyes spread the pulses over their backs
so they had continuous sensory input from the visual world. The
patients started to behave as if they could really see, after
a while. For example, there was a zoom lens in one of the devices
so as to move closer the image. When the zoom is operated without
informing the patient beforehand, the patient had an urge to protect
himself with two arms because the image on the subject's back
expanded suddenly as though the world was looming in.15
In an experiment,
blind people were made to see some visions by a device.
Through the device, these blind people could see some
very realistic visions not belonging to the outside
world but produced artificially. They were under the
impression that something was coming towards them,
so they stepped back to protect themselves.
As it is seen from this experiment, we can form sensations
even when they are not caused by material equivalents in the outside
world. All stimuli can be created artificially.
"The world of senses" that we experience in dreams
A person can experience all senses vividly without
the presence of the outside world. The most obvious example of
this is dreams. A person lies on his bed with closed eyes while
dreaming. However, in spite of this, that person senses many things
which he or she experiences in real life, and experiences them
so realistically that the dreams are indistinguishable from the
real life experience. Everyone who reads this book will often
bear witness to this truth in their own dreams. For example, a
person lying down alone on a bed in a calm and quiet atmosphere
at night might, in his dream, see himself in danger in a very
crowded place. He could experience the event as if it were real,
fleeing from danger in desperation and hiding behind a wall.
When a person has
a dream of being in a garden on a bitingly cold morning
in the winter, he can feel the cold and start shaking.
However, there is neither wind nor cold in his particular
location. He might be even sleeping in a very warm
room. Nevertheless, he feels the cold in all its reality.
There is no difference between the cold he feels in
the real world and the cold he is feeling in his dream.
A person sleeping
in a comfortable bed in his home may dream that he
is in the middle of a war. And he might also feel
the fear, tension and the panic of the war as if it
were taking place in the real world. Yet at that time
he is sleeping in a comfortable bed by himself. The
realistic noises and visions he sees in his dream
occur in his mind.
Moreover, the images in his dreams are so realistic
that he feels fear and panic as if he really was in danger. He
has his heart in his mouth with every noise, is shaken with fear,
his heart beats fast, he sweats and demonstrates the other physical
affects that the human body undergoes in a dangerous situation.
However, there is no external equivalent of the events in his
dream. They exist only in his mind.
A person who falls from a high place in his dream feels
it with all his body, even though he is lying in bed without moving.
Alternatively, one might see oneself slipping into a puddle, getting
soaked and feeling cold because of a cold wind.
However, in such a case, there is neither a puddle,
nor is there wind. Furthermore, despite sleeping in a very hot
room, one experiences the wetness and the cold, as if one were
Someone who believes he is dealing with the original
of the material world in his dream can be very sure of himself.
He can put his hand on his friend's shoulder when the friend tells
him that "matter is an image; it isn't possible to deal with the
original of the world", and then ask "Am I an image now? Don't
you feel my hand on your shoulder? If so, how can you be an image?
What makes you think in this way? Let's take a trip up the Bosphorus;
we can have a chat about it and you'll explain to me why you believe
this." The dream that he sees in his deep sleep is so clear that
he turns on the engine with pleasure and accelerates slowly, almost
jumping the car by pressing the pedal suddenly. While going on
the road, trees and road lines seem solid because of the speed.
In addition, he breathes clean Bosphorus air. But suppose he is
woken up by his ringing alarm clock just when he's getting ready
to tell his friend that what he's living at that moment isn't
a dream. Wouldn't he object in the same manner regardless of whether
he was asleep or awake?
When people wake up they understand that what they've
seen until that moment is a dream. But for some reason they are
not suspicious that the life that starts with a "waking" image
(what they call "real life") can also be a dream. However, the
way we perceive images in "real life" is exactly the same as the
way we perceive our dreams. We see both of
them in the mind. We cannot understand they are images until we
are woken up. Only then do we say "what I have just seen was a
dream". So, how can we prove that what we see at any given moment
is not a dream? We could be assuming that the moment in which
we are living is real just because we haven't yet woken up. It
is possible that we will discover this fact when we are woken
up from this "waking dream" which takes longer than dreams we
see everyday. We do not have any evidence that proves otherwise.
A person sleeping
in his house can see himself on a rapidly turning
wagon in a fair ground while dreaming. He can realistically
sense the wind that he would experience on a fast
moving wagon in the real world.
Many Islamic scholars have also proclaimed that the
life around us is only a dream, and that only when we are awakened
from that dream with "a big awakening", will people be able to
understand that they live in a dreamlike world. A great Islamic
scholar, Muhyiddin Ibn al-'Arabi, referred to as Sheikh Akbar
(The greatest Sheikh) due to his superior knowledge, likens the
world to our dreams by quoting a saying of the Prophet Muhammad:
The Prophet Muhammad said that "people are asleep and
wake up when they die." This is to say that the objects seen in
the world when alive are similar to those seen when asleep while
dreaming, meaning that they exist in the imagination.16
Someone could dream
that he is arguing with a friend who is claiming that
matter is just a dream. This person can put his arm
on the shoulder of his friend and ask him "Am I a
dream now? Don't you feel my hand on your shoulder?
So, how can you be a dream?"
He then invites his friend into his car for a ride:
"Come on, let's go for a ride by the sea, and you'll
tell me what makes you think of all these things."
The dream he sees
is so realistic that he can sense herself starting
the car, pushing the accelerator and almost jumping
the car, just as he would in a car in the real world.
While he is driving
with his friend in the car, he can smell the sea,
hear the noise of the waves and feel the blowing of
the wind, as in the real world.
While he drives faster, he can see the trees disappearing
past him on the side of the road. All of these visions
in his dream have no difference from the reality.
At the moment he
is trying to convince his friend that all of these
things are real, he is woken up by his alarm clock.
And when he gets up, he realizes that everything he
saw, the reality of which he was so sure of, was just
a dream. But what if he is now in a different dream,
from which he will soon wake up?
In a verse of Koran, people are told to say on doomsday
when they are resurrected from the dead:
They will say, "Alas for us! Who has raised us
from our sleeping-place? This is what the All-Merciful promised
us. The Messengers were telling the truth." (The Koran, 36:52)
YOU MIGHT BE OBSERVING
YOUR LIFE FROM SOMEWHERE ELSE JUST AS YOU OBSERVE
person drinking coffee in his dream can feel the exact
taste of the sugar, the milk and the coffee, when
there is no coffee or any other drink there. If someone
were to come up to him and tell him that he is just
dreaming, and that there is no coffee, then the person
would reject such an idea. He might ask how it could
be just a vision when he felt the heat of the coffee
on his tongue, and when after drinking the coffee
he no longer felt thirsty. He would ask how it could
remove his thirst if it wasn't real? However, he understands
only after he wakes up that the coffee, which he thinks
he drank, was an image formed in his brain, and that
sensations such as warmth and thirst, which he felt
while drinking the coffee. were perceptions formed
in his brain.
Our experiences in our dreams and in the real world
are based on the same logic. We experience both dreams
and the real world in our mind. The only reason we
believe that our dreams are imaginary is that when
we wake up, we find ourselves in our bed, so we believe
that we were actually sleeping and saw everything
in our dreams.
What would happen if we didn't wake up and continued
dreaming? Would we be able to realize that we were
not actually dealing with the originals of any of
the things we lived and saw in our dream?
Of course not. Unless we wake up and discover that
we have been sleeping, we can never realize that we
have been dreaming, and spend our entire life by supposing
that this is our real life.
So, how can we prove that our real life is not a dream?
Do we have any information about what happens when
we depart this life and find ourselves watching the
pictures of our present life from a different location?
As the verse demonstrates, people wake up on doomsday
as if waking from a dream. Like someone woken from the middle
of a dream in deep sleep, such people will similarly ask who has
woken them up. As the verse points out, the world around us is
like a dream and everybody will be woken up from this dream, and
will begin to see images of the afterlife, which is the real life.
Worlds that are produced superficially
Modern technology presents many important examples
of how sensory experience can be simulated with a high degree
of realism, without the help of any external or material world.
In particular, the technology called "virtual reality", which
has developed considerably in recent years, gives us some insight
on the subject.
Simply put, virtual reality involves showing animated
three-dimensional images generated on a computer so as to construct
"a real world" with the help of some equipment. This technology,
which is used in many different fields for different aims, is
called "artificial reality" or "virtual world" or a "virtual atmosphere".
The most important characteristic of virtual reality is that a
person who uses a special device believes that what he sees is
real, and moreover he is captivated by that image. For that reason,
recently, the word "immersive" is also used to describe virtual
reality, with "immersive" meaning to involve deeply. (i.e. Immersive
Simulators used for virtual reality.
Because of the equipment he is using.the person in
the picture above is imagining that he is touching
rapidly flowing water. The people shown below are
watching themselves as heroes in the film shown to
them and they become excited from what they are experiencing.
The tools used to create a virtual world are a helmet
(which houses a screen that provides an image) and a pair of electronic
gloves (which provide a feeling of touch). A device in the helmet
checks the movements and angle of the head in order to provide
an image on the screen which is consistent with the head's angle
and position. Sometimes, stereo pictures are reflected on the
walls and floor of a room-size cell. People who wander through
the room can see themselves through stereo glasses in different
places, such as at the side of a waterfall, on the summit of a
mountain, or sunbathing on the deck of a ship in the middle of
the sea. The helmets create 3D pictures with a realistic sense
of depth and space. The pictures are provided in proportion to
human sizes and the sense of touch is provided by other equipment,
such as gloves. Thus, a person who uses this equipment can touch
the objects that he sees in the virtual world and can pick them
up and move them. The sounds one hears in such places are also
convincing, coming from any direction with different depths and
volumes. In some applications, the very same virtual atmosphere
can be presented to a few people in very different places in the
world. Three people from different countries (even different continents)
can see themselves with the others getting on board a powerboat.
WORLDS FORMED IN VIRTUAL
With the aid of rapidly improving technology, simulators
are being used in many different fields. By wearing a hat
with glasses and gloves, a person can be provided with very
different 3-D pictures and imagine himself in this picture.
Car designers test the new model cars in virtual environments.
Another field this technology is being used for is training
of the pilots. In a little cabinet, these people feel as
if they are flying a real plane and landing it thanks to
The system used in the devices that create the virtual
world is essentially the same as the system used in our five senses.
For example, with the effect of a mechanism inside a glove worn
by the user, some signals are given to the fingertips and then
transmitted to the brain. When the brain processes these signals,
the user has the impression of touching a silk carpet or a vase
with a serrated surface, with puffy prints on it, even though
there is no silk carpet or vase around.
One of the important fields in which virtual reality
is now being used is medicine. With a technique developed in Michigan
University, doctoral candidates (in particular emergency service
staff) complete a part of their training in an artificial operating
room. In this application, images related to an operating room
are reflected onto the floors and walls of a room and the images
of an operating table and a patient are reflected in the middle
of the room. By putting on 3D glasses, doctoral candidates start
to operate on this virtual patient.
In the University of Michigan,
doctoral candidates and especially emergency service
units are being trained with the same technology in
an artificial operating room. In the first stage, images
of an operating room are reflected to the walls of a
simple room. In the operating room to the side, all
that you see except the three doctors (including the
patient) is virtual. With simulator devices, doctoral
candidates conduct their first operations in a virtual
environment on virtual patients.
These examples illustrate that a person can be placed
in a realistic yet unreal world with the help of artificial stimuli.
With current technology, an image can be produced which is an
effective practice aide. There is no reason in principle that
eventually this technology couldn't produce a reality which is
indistinguishable from the real world. It is very interesting
that some famous films made recently deal with the subject. For
instance, in a Hollywood film called "Matrix", when the nervous
system of two heroes of the film are connected to a computer while
lying on a sofa, they can see themselves in completely different
places. In one scene, they find themselves participating in eastern
sports; in another, they are in completely different clothes walking
in a very crowded street. When the hero, under the influence of
his realistic experience, says that he does not believe that the
pictures are created by a computer, the picture is frozen by the
computer. The person then becomes convinced that the world which
he believed to be real is indeed only an image.
VIRTUAL OPERATION IN A VIRTUAL OPERATING
In conclusion, it is possible in principle to create
artificial images or, in other words, an artificial world with
the help of artificial stimuli. So, we cannot claim that the "life
image" that we are seeing all the time is the original outside
world, and that what we deal with is "the original". Our senses
could well be coming from a very different source.
THE SUBJECT OF THE REALITY
OF MATTER IN FILMS
One of the significant developments that
has taken place with the bringing of the subject about the
reality of matter to the world's attention and its being
told to the world through a variety of means has been the
subject's being taken up in various Hollywood movies.
In the movie, Total Recall (starring Arnold Schwarzenegger),
Arnold Schwarzenegger realizes that the life he believed
was real was merely a program which was loaded to his brain.
However, he cannot differentiate between the real world
and the dream world.
The subject of the movie The 13th Floor is this: The two
lead characters in the film have created a virtual world
by using computers. In the virtual world, they are animating
the year 1937, although in the real world they are living
in the year 2000.
The person connected to this computer program lies in a
bed where information and details about his identity in
the virtual world of 1937 are loaded into his brain. For
example, a character called named Douglas Hall, who is a
rich and successful CEO of a computer company, gets the
information of a bank treasurer called John Ferguson living
in 1937 loaded to his brain.
All of a sudden this person finds himself in the year 1937.
All the cars, buildings, clothes belong to that year. What
surprises him is that both of the lives appear perfectly
real. He can feel the wetness of the water and the wind
and experience fear and excitement in both of these lives.
Later on, that person realizes that what he has been living
through was no more than a computer program, and that the
cars, buildings and even his friends, which he thought to
be real, were just a dream. In reality, he is living in
a much later year than 2000 and he is watching all of his
life through a simulator. What the movie attempts to illustrate
is that it is hard to differentiate life which is supposed
to be real from imagination.
In the movie The Matrix, the person in the leading role
realizes that he has been living in an imaginary world in
a glass cover formed by the electrical signals given to
his brain. While he believes that he is a computer programmer,
he is sleeping in the place shown above. What he believed
to be his life existed only in his imagination.
In the movie, computer cables are connected to the brain
of the person in the leading role, and some programs are
loaded to his brain through the electric cables.
After the computer program is loaded to his brain, this
person who is actually sitting in a very different place
on an old chair in shabby clothes sees himself in a totally
different place in totally different clothes. His unkempt
clothes are changed, his hair is longer. He has a totally
different outlook from his image sitting in the simulator
This person does not want to admit the truth under the impression
that what he sees is too close to reality to be a dream,
and touches the armchair and asks "This isn't real?" The
answer he receives is "What is real? How do you define real?
If you're talking about your senses, what you feel, taste,
smell, or see, then all you're talking about are electrical
signals interpreted by your brain."
Then they show him that the whole world has been created
by a simulation program. This includes all the details he
has seen. Cars, the noise of the city, traffic, skyscrapers,
ocean, people, basically everything he sees and experiences
are just animated in his brain with a computer program.
The person that shows him the facts also tells him that
he has been living in a virtual life and he imagined everything
to be real. And yet the real world at that time is totally
different. There is just a collapsed, destroyed world. All
the nice modern buildings and cars are just imaginations
in his brain.
He learns that even the history he thought was real was
a dream and that he actually lives in a totally different
Another scene from the movie The Matrix. The person in this
scene knows that his whole life is shown to his brain by
a computer program. He mentions that the beef he is eating
doesn't exist in reality but he still enjoys the taste of
The important truth indicated by hypnosis
One of the best examples of a world
created with artificial stimuli is the technique of hypnosis.
When a person is hypnotized, he experiences extremely convincing
events which are indistinguishable from reality. The person under
hypnosis sees pictures, people and various images, and hears,
smells and tastes many things, none of which exist in the room.
Meanwhile, because of the experience, he becomes happy, upset,
excited, bored, worried or flustered. Moreover, the effect of
the experience on the person under hypnosis can be watched from
outside physically. In very deep hypnotic trances, certain kinds
of symptoms can be observed in the hypnotized person, such as
an increase in the pulse rate and blood pressure, redness of the
skin, high temperature, and the removal of an existing pain or
In one hypnotic experiment, a hypnotic
subject is told that he is in a hospital and that there is a dying
patient on the tenth floor of the hospital. He has been hypnotized
into believing that if he rushes to the patient with the right
medicine, the patient will be rescued. The subject, under the
influence of hypnosis, thinks he is rushing to the tenth floor.
Meanwhile he gets out of breath and can't control it, due to a
feeling of being extremely tired. Then the subject is told that
he is on the top floor, and succeeded in fetching the medicine,
and that he can lie on a comfortable bed. The subject then starts
to relax.18 Although the subject experiences
the locations and the atmospheres as if they were completely real,
the places, people or events as told to him do not exist.
In another experiment, a hypnotic subject in a normal
room is told that he is in a Turkish bath and that the bath is
very hot. As a result, he starts to sweat.19
After being hypnotized,
this person imagines herself to be rapidly climbing
10 flights of stairs. At that point she loses her
breath and becomes tired. The hypnotized person lives
in the environment produced by the hypnotic induction,
and accepts that it is real, despite the fact that
the location, people and incidents that she has been
told about do not exist.
This draws our attention to a very important point.
In order for a person to sweat, some conditions must exist. The
reality that we come across in this instance of hypnosis is that
the hypnotized person has sweated, even though there is no physical
factor which would cause him to sweat. This example shows clearly
that there is no physical necessity of physical existences of
places or atmosphere to feel such an atmosphere or place. Similar
effects can be created through artificial stimulants or hypnotic
The British hypnotherapy specialist, Terence Watts,
a member of many organizations including The National Hypnotherapy
Association, The National Psychotherapists Association, The Professional
Hypnotherapists Center, The Hypnotherapy Research Association,
states in an article that during hypnosis, some people who are
recollecting a past event exhibit some physical changes related
to the event. For example, if there was an element of suffocation
in the event remembered, a hypnotic subject might become breathless
while explaining the event under hypnosis and might even stop
breathing for a while. Watts stated that under hypnosis, even
finger marks appeared on one of his patients where a slap on the
face was recalled. Watts also explains that this is not a mystery
but a reaction to sense of pain in the body.20
One of the most
striking examples seen in hypnotic applications is that even a
wound can appear on the skin of the hypnotized person through
inculcation. For example, Paul Thorsen, a researcher, touches
the arm of the person under hypnosis with a tip of a pen and tells
him that it's a hot skewer. Soon, a blister (as would have been
produced by a second degree burn) formed in the region where the
tip of the pen touched. Thorsen also hypnotized a person called
Anne O. into believing that the letter A was being drawn onto
her arm by pressing hard. Although nothing else was done, redness
emerged in the shape of an "A" in that area.21
Researchers H. Bourru and P. Burot, persuading a hypnotized person
that his arm was being cut, saw that the arm was bleeding after
being slightly drawn on by a pencil.22
It is a fact that
some skin diseases can be cured by using hypnosis.
On the pictures above we see the disease before being
treated with hypnosis, then we see it after the person
has been hypnotized and the disease has been cured.(D.
Waxman, Hypnosis, p. 113)
J.A. Hadfield told a sailor in hypnosis that he was
going to press a hot iron bar on the sailor's arm and that the
arm would burn. However, he merely touched it gently with his
fingertip, after which he covered it. Six hours later when the
cover was removed, there was a slight redness and puffiness in
that area. Hadfield states that "the following day the puffiness
became larger and swelled like a burn."23
These changes that occurred to the human body during
hypnosis show that we do not need the outside world to produce
sensations of sight, sound, touch, feeling, pain or ache. For
example, although there is no hot iron bar in the outside world,
if the person is persuaded, there can be a burn mark on his arm.
These examples show that when we examine how an image
occurs, and follow technological developments, and also when we
add consciousness-altering methods such as hypnosis to this knowledge,
a certain truth becomes clear. Throughout his life, a human being
assumes that he is living in a world which is external to his
body. However, everything referred to as the world is only our
brain's interpretation of the signals which reach the sense centers.
In other words, we can never deal with any world other than the
one that occurs in our mind. We can never know what happens or
exists outside us. We cannot claim that the sources of signals
reaching the brain are material existences that exist outside.
This reality has begun to take its place in science books and
is taught to people since high school age. The problem is that
people do not consider the full significance of this fact.
Who Is It That Experiences All These Perceptions?
So far we have established that everything we perceive
takes place in our brains, and that we have no need for the outside
world or material beings to experience these perceptions. At this
point we face a question which would be asked by anyone who thinks
on this subject a little bit.
As we know, the electric signals coming from the cells
in our eyes are transformed into an image in our brains. For example,
the brain interprets some electrical signals coming to the visual
center in the brain as a field filled with sunflowers. In reality,
it is not the eye that is seeing.
Therefore, if it is not our eyes which are seeing,
what is it that sees the electrical signals as a sunflower field,
at the back of our brain, in a pitch dark place, without feeling
any necessity for any eyes, retina, lens, visual nerves or pupil
and enjoys the view in the sight?
Or who is it that hears (without needing an ear) the
voice of a very close friend, becomes happy on hearing it, and
misses it when he cannot hear it, when the brain is totally sound
Or who is it in the brain that feels the fur of the
cat when stroking it, without having any need for a hand, fingers
Who is it that feels sensations such as heat, cold,
and a sense of consistency, depth, and distance, as they originate
in the brain?
Who is it that smells the lemon, lavender flower, rose,
melon, watermelon, orange, and barbecued meat inside the brain
(even though the brain is smellproof), and feels hungry because
of the smell coming from the grill?
We have thus far discussed how everything we perceive
continuously is actually formed inside our brains. Who is it then
that sees the sights in a brain as if watching television, and
becomes excited, happy, sad, nervous, or feels pleasure, anxiety
or curiosity while watching them? Who is responsible for the consciousness
which is capable of interpreting everything seen and everything
What is the entity in the brain that has consciousness
and throughout life is capable of seeing all the sights shown
to him in a dark, quiet head, that is capable of thinking, and
reaches conclusions and makes decisions in the end?
It is obvious that it is not the brain, made up of
water, lipid and protein, and unconscious atoms, that perceives
all this and is responsible for consciousness. There must be a
being beyond the brain. Despite being a materialist, Daniel Dennett
ponders the above question in one of his books:
My conscious thinking, and especially the enjoyment
I felt in the combination of sunny light, sunny Vivaldi violins,
rippling branches - plus the pleasure I took in just thinking
about it all - how could all that be just something physical happening
in my brain? How could any combination of electrochemical happenings
in my brain somehow add up to the delightful way those hundreds
of twigs genuflected in time with the music? How could some information-processing
event in my brain be the delicate warmth of the sunlight I felt
falling on me? For that matter, how could an event in my brain
be my sketchily visualized mental image of
some other information-processing
event in my brain? It does seem impossible. It does seem as if
the happenings that are my conscious thoughts and experiences
cannot be brain happenings, but must be something else, something
caused or produced by brain happenings, no doubt, but something
in addition, made of different stuff, located in a different space.
Well, why not?24
IN THE ABSOLUTE QUIETNESS
OF YOUR BRAIN IT IS YOUR SOUL THAT LISTENS TO A CONFERENCE
In a large room people listening
to the speaker very carefully might think that they
hear every sound coming from the speaker's mouth. In
the same sense, the speaker confidently explains his
thoughts thinking that the audience is hearing him.
However, the reality is completely different and an
extraordinary miracle is taking place which nobody in
the room is aware of at that moment.
In reality, the speaker is explaining things to the
listeners in his brain, while the listeners listen to
the speech in their brains. Indeed, everyone in the
room who is convinced that they are sitting in the room
is actually living through this event in their minds.
And there is an entity in the brain of every individual
in the room which hears the electric currents as the
voice of the speaker, and this entity has no need for
This entity experiences everything so realistically
that people cannot realize that they are not actually
dealing with the real sound itself. This entity, created
by God through a unique creation, is the SOUL. Despite
the deep silence inside the brain, the soul hears everything
perfectly clearly, the same as its original.
On the other hand, R. L. Gregory
questions the existence of the entity in the back of the brain,
which sees all sights:
There is a temptation, which must be avoided, to say
that the eyes produce pictures in the brain. A picture in the
brain suggests the need of some kind of internal eye to see it
- but this would need a further eye to see its picture
on, in an endless regress of eyes and pictures. This is absurd.25
Materialists who believe that nothing exists except
matter cannot understand this particular question. Who does this
"internal eye", which sees and perceives things seen and reacts
to such things, belong to?
In the following passage, Karl Pribram describes this
important search by science and philosophy for the identity of
Philosophers since the Greeks have
speculated about the "ghost" in the machine, the "little man inside
the little man" and so on. Where is the I-the entity that uses
the brain? Who does the actual knowing? Or, as Saint Francis of
Assisi once put it, "What we are looking for is what is looking".
Although many people venture close to this reality
in answering the question "who is the entity that sees", they
hesitate to accept all of its implications. As demonstrated in
the examples above, in discussing the entity in our brains, some
refer to the "little man", while others say "the ghost in the
machine", some refer to "the being using the brain" while some
say "the internal eye". All these terms have been used to describe
the entity beyond the brain which possesses consciousness, and
the means of reaching this entity. However, materialist assumptions
keep many people from understanding the true nature of this being
which actually sees and hears.
The only source that answers this question is religion.
In the Koran, God states that He created man in a physical way
initially and then "breathed His Spirit" to the man He created:
When your Lord said to the angels,
"I am creating a human being out of dried clay formed from fetid
black mud when I have formed him and breathed My Spirit into him,
fall down in prostration in front of him!" (The Koran, 15: 28-29)
(He) then formed him and breathed
His Spirit into him and gave you hearing, sight and hearts. What
little thanks you show! (The Koran, 32: 9)
In other words, the human being has another existence
besides its physical body. That entity inside the brain which
says "I am seeing" the sight inside the brain, and "I am hearing"
the sound inside the brain and aware of its own existence, and
which says "I am me", is the soul given to human beings by God.
Any human being with a mind and a conscience can understand
this: the being that watches every incident inside the brain-watches
as if looking at a screen throughout his life-is his soul. Every
human being has a soul that sees without the need for an eye,
hears without the need for an ear and thinks without the need
for a brain.
The materialistic view-which maintains that matter
is the only thing that exists, and that human consciousness is
only a result of some chemical reactions in the brain-is in a
quandary about this issue. To see this it might be instructive
to ask the following questions to a materialist:
Sight is formed in our brains but what is it that watches this
sight in our brains?
Try to see in your mind's eye your neighbor living downstairs
in your apartment building when he is not with you. Who is it
that vivifies this person so clearly in your imagination down
to the details of his costume, the lines in his face, the whites
in his hairs; the tone of his voice, the way he speaks, the way
A materialist will be unable to give a satisfactory
answer to such questions. The only explanation to these questions
is the soul given to man by God. However, materialists do not
accept the existence of any being other than matter. For this
reason the truth explained in this book deals a massive blow to
atheist materialist thought, and constitutes a subject that materialists
refuse to discuss most.
Who Lets Our Souls Watch All Of These Views?
At this level there is another question that should
be asked: Our soul watches the sights in our brains. But who is
it that creates these sights? Could the brain itself form a bright,
colorful, clear, shadowy sight and form a whole world through
electrical signals in a tiny space? The brain is no more than
a wet, soft, curvy piece of meat. Could a simple piece of meat
like this create a sight clearer than any that could be provided
by a television set with the latest technology, without any snow
or horizontal jitter? Could a vision of such high quality be formed
inside a piece of meat? Could this wet piece of meat form a stereo
sound of higher quality than a stereo hi-fi system with the highest
technology, without any sizzling noises? Of course, it is impossible
for a brain, which is made of one and a half kilograms (four pounds)
of meat to form such perfect perceptions.
Here we arrive at another truth. Since together with
everything surrounding us, the body we have, our hands, arms and
faces are the shadow beings, then our brains are also shadow beings.
Thus we cannot say that this brain which is itself actually only
a visual sensation, forms these visual sensations.
Bertrand Russell points out this truth in his work
The ABC of Relativity:
Of course, if matter in general is to be interpreted
as a group of occurrences, this must apply also to the eye, the
optic nerve and the brain.27
Realizing this fact, French philosopher Bergson said
in his book, Matter and Memory, that "the world is made up of
images, these images only exist in our consciousness; and the
brain is one of these images."28
Who, then, is the being that shows these sights to
our souls, with all their reality and clarity, and lets us live
a life with all of these perceptions and without any interruptions?
The being that shows all the sights to our souls, lets
us hear all the sounds, and creates all the tastes and smells
for our pleasure, is the Lord of all the worlds, the creator of
One Of The Most Important Dilemmas Of Materialism:
Materialist philosophy can never explain the source
of human consciousness, i.e. the qualitative experiences that
belong to the human soul. For the materialist philosophy, matter
is the only thing that exists. Qualities belonging to the soul
of a human being, such as consciousness, thought, decision-making
processes, happiness, excitement, longing, enjoyment and judgment
can never be explained in the materialistic concept. Materialists
pass quickly over this subject saying "human consciousness is
only the result of the functions of the brain". A materialist
scientist, Francis Crick summarizes this materialistic claim as
Your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your
ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are
in fact no more than the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve
cells and their associated molecules.29
However, such a claim cannot be defended by either
science or logic. The materialist prejudices lead materialists
to make such explanations regarding the qualities of a soul that
belongs to human beings. In order not to accept the fact that
there is a being beyond the material world, they attempt to reduce
human intelligence to matter and make such claims that have no
relation with intelligence or logic.
The science writer John Horgan, although sympathetic
to the materialist position called "reductionism", points out
the following problems with Francis Crick's claims:
In a sense, Crick is right. We are nothing but a pack
of neurons. At the same time, neuroscience has so far proved to
be oddly unsatisfactory. Explaining the mind in terms of neurons
has not yielded much more insight or benefit than explaining the
mind in terms of quarks and electrons. There are many alternative
reductionisms. We are nothing but a pack of idiosyncratic genes.
We are nothing but a pack of adaptations sculpted by natural selection.
We are nothing but a pack of computational devices dedicated to
different tasks. We are nothing but a pack of sexual neuroses.
These proclamations, like Crick's, are all defensible, and they
are all inadequate.30
|| It is very clear that
mere cells cannot give a person consciousness, intelligence,
the ability to think and talk, and feelings such as
love, compassion, mercy, longing.
Of course, these explanations are all inadequate and
they are definitely not logical. Any fanatic materialist is in
fact aware of this truth. Not surprisingly, Thomas Huxley, the
foremost advocate of Darwin also stated that consciousness cannot
be explained by the interaction of neurons: "How it is that anything
so remarkable as a state of consciousness comes about as a result
of irritating nervous tissue, is just as unaccountable as the
appearance of the Djin, when Aladdin rubbed his lamp."31
From Huxley's time until the present, the failure to
explain human consciousness through neurons hasn't changed. However,
this is not because of the inadequacy of science regarding this
issue. In contrast, especially towards the end of the 20th century,
there have been many developments in the field of neurology with
many mysteries being solved. However, these findings have showed
that human consciousness can never be reduced to matter and the
reality lies beyond the material. One of the leading Darwinist-materialist
writers in Germany, Hoimar Von Ditfurth, also confesses the fact
that the currently adopted methods cannot describe human consciousness:
With our present research in natural history and genetic
development, it is obvious that we will not be able to give an
answer to what consciousness, spirit, intelligence and feelings
are. That is because psychic-consciousness level is the highest
level that evolution has arrived, at least in this world. Therefore,
although we are able to look at the other stages and phases of
evolution from the outside, by rising above them, again by the
help of our consciousness, we are unable to approach consciousness
(or spirit) itself in a similar way. That is because no level
higher than consciousness is available to us.32
American philosopher and doctor of mathematics, William
A. Dembski, states in his article, "Converting Matter into Mind",
that the bio-chemical functioning of neurons in the human brain
and which mental functions it involves have been understood, although
qualities such as decision making, wishing, or reasoning cannot
be "reduced to matter". Dembski also points out that specialists
on consciousness have realized the error of reductionism;
Cognitive scientists abandon hope of understanding
this higher level through the lower neurological level.
while the commitment to materialism persists, the hope of explaining
human intelligence at the neural level, which for the materialist
is the logical level, is not a serious consideration.33
It is impossible to describe consciousness with a materialist
worldview, regardless of the extent of scientific development.
As details of the brain surface, it becomes clearer that the mind
is irreducible to matter. Materialists must put aside their prejudices
and think deeper and research further if they are to understand
the concept of human consciousness, as it is impossible to define
the real meaning of consciousness through matter. Consciousness
is a function of the soul that is given to man by God.
Questions For Materialists
It is totally illogical to state that thoughts, judgments,
decision mechanisms, or feelings (such as happiness, excitement,
and disappointment) are merely the results of the interaction
of neurons in the brain of a human being. Materialists who consider
this issue more deeply are aware of this truth. The famous materialist,
Karl Lashley, made the following comment towards the end of his
career, even though he had defended the idea for years that human
consciousness could be reduced to matter:
Whether the mind-body relation is regarded as a genuine
metaphysical issue or a systematized delusion, it remains a problem
for the psychologist (and for the neurologist when he deals with
human problems) as it is not for the physicist. . . . How can
the brain, as a physico-chemical system, perceive or know anything;
or develop the delusion that it does so?34
Lashley drew attention to this conflict in one single
question. However, there are many other details that materialists
must consider. The explanations listed below illustrate some of
the issues that reveal the impasse of the materialist approach,
and which must therefore be considered in depth :
Stating that thoughts, excitements and feelings are products of
neurons is to claim that such things are the products of the unconscious
atoms, or products of the sub elements of atoms, such as quarks
Unconscious atoms cannot know the feeling of happiness or sadness
and neither can they enjoy music, taste, good friendship or a
chat with a friend.
Unconscious atoms cannot be Darwinist or materialist and come
together to write a book.
Unconscious atoms cannot view themselves or the nerve cells that
form themselves under an electron microscope and reach scientific
solutions from their research.
What is meant by the statement "consciousness is in the neurons
of our brains"? Neurons, just like other cells, are made of cell
membrane, mitochondria, DNA and ribosomes. Therefore, according
to the materialists, where does consciousness lie in these things?
If they suppose that consciousness is a result of chemical reactions
between the neurons and electrical signals, they are mistaken,
because they cannot explain a single "chemical reaction with consciousness".
Nor can they show us an "electric wave" that starts to "think"
at a certain voltage level.
If materialists think sincerely about these issues,
they will realize that all people including themselves are different
from groups of neurons or bunches of atoms. Despite being a materialist,
the brain specialist Wolf Singer, admits this fact by saying "In
this confusing material of the universe there is 'something' that
perceives itself as 'I am'."35
This "something" that the scientist refers to is actually
the soul that is given to the human being by God. Due to this
soul possessed by the human being, a person can think, be happy,
get excited, produce new ideas, or oppose the ideas of others,
or know the concepts such as honour, respect, love, friendship,
loyalty, sincerity and honesty. The neurons and atoms that form
human beings cannot think, make decisions, produce philosophical
ideas or know the feeling of love, compassion or affection.
Materialists, when they are alone, know this truth
and accept it. However, due to their regarding their materialist
prejudices as the requirement of science and reason, they cannot
come to accept this absolute reality. On the other hand, the predicament
they put themselves into just to defend materialism, and the illogical
ideas they accept, actually cause much greater damage to them.
A person who says "Our thoughts are the product of our atoms and
neurons" is no different than a person who thinks his or her dreams
are real, or a person who invents incredible stories like fairytales
and then believes in them.
The truth is actually this: a human being is a being
that possesses a soul given by God, and with this soul, he can
think, talk, be pleased, make decisions, establish civilizations
and manage countries.