Reality is not what you choose it to be, but rather it is what God Has Created. People of a superficial outlook typically become dominated by their biological and psychological urges to obtain luxury, ease and power. In their quest for these things such people often lose touch with any higher reality, be it morality, humanity or spirituality and thus to them all the world seems a meaningless ferment and fellow Children of Adam (and animals) are thus harmfully seen as being either potential threats to be fought or appeased or prey to be exploited in some way. What a lowly state Satan has brought many of us into.
Happily it is that many people are not like this at all. These are the people who recognize the Signs of God and who live in worship to their Creator and love and mercy to their fellow beings. These wise men and women with a depth of spiritual perception have, from time immemorial, been explaining to people not to be overly dominated by this worldly life, because it is just a temporal and limited place and a testing ground for the human soul.
‘The world is an illusion, yet also a reality.’….
‘The world is without a (true) substance.
It is only a collection of happenings,
Which subside by God.’…
(Ahmad of Sirhind (ra)
The worldly existence, in reality, may be seen as a mere secondary existence that God Almighty has created as a place where Children of Adam may choose either to serve Him and follow the path of goodness or to prove themselves worthy only of punishment. Although it may seem real, concrete and eternal this Universe is in fact impermanent and God Almighty has not even created it to run on its own. Rather He is the constant Cherisher and Sustainer of the cosmos and the foundation of every ‘law’ of physics is His command of ‘Be!’…
’The present world is just a dream,
but the dreamer imagines it to be real.’
When we die only then do we awake to the true existence. After we Children of Adam pass away the veil of worldly existence that once surrounded us is lifted and we then see the spiritual realities that we have made for ourselves. These true realities are very beautiful for the best of people, very horrible for the worst of people and somewhere in between for the rest of the people, those who have mixed good and harmful deeds. Divine scriptures inform us that in the grave and in the hereafter there will be no opportunities to increase for us to increase our score of good deeds and therefore e this is why sensible people dedicate their lives in a quest to live a good and charitable life, whilst avoiding doing harm or breaking the Commandments that God as laid down for us. Ali ibn Talib (raa) advised the people to
‘Work for this life as if you will never die.
Work for the hereafter as if you know that you will die tomorrow.’
When we wisely follow the guidance the Divine Scriptures and the teachings of the Prophets, limit our desires to the realistic, avoiding sins and things leading to sins and doing our best to avoid harmfulness and seeking to be benevolent and we trust in God, the Creator, trusting that He wishes well for us and remembering that one who loves the Holy Prophet (may God bless him and give him peace) and God will one day be with those whom they love then God-willing we will have pleasant personal realities through our lives, through the rough and smooth of it, the hard and the gentle of it.