Home Commentary Finding Direction in a World of Images

Finding Direction in a World of Images


The term ‘image’, which in today’s world has made it to the top in terms of its popularity, has made a leap because of its relationship to personal efforts of trying to live more meaningful lives based on a positivist worldview; consequently, we are being exposed to a serious conceptual bombardment of the replacement of truth with the image.

The images surrounding us are in fact akin to the ghosts which appear despite being invisible to exist. At the same time, images relate to the concepts that are created in the mind and that are long awaited to be realized in real life. This refers to the meaning of the term. Let’s think why one would run after images so much? Its other meanings include form, appearance, copy, similarity. As one can see, it always refers to a replica of the truth, its irreplaceability with the truth (being a tool rather than the goal), its instances of being deformed most of the time.

In some way, one of the dictionary definitions of the image include the idol. Idols are for those who worship them as a kind of god. Yet, the only god (that which is worshipped, served) is God. Fake image gods, which impose taxes upon those who follow them, will become another dream. If one were to put the letter ‘I’ at the beginning of the word onto its end, “magi’, aka magic, will emerge. What is of question here becomes the deceptive magic of the idol worshippers.

At this point, it may be worth to remember how Prophet Moses dealt with the magicians of the Pharaoh and put forth the dragon that choked down the snakes created by these magicians. He took his power from Truth. God made him reveal the essence of reality by means of his stick and made him notice the Truth. The way is His way, the way of all prophets, messengers, sages, true servants… With His Essence (His laws), His way leading to Truth (‘tariqa’), His Reality, he is perfect and whole (happy are His messengers and all those who follow the path)! Those who try to distort his Essence commit self-incrimination, so are those who try to distort its way and who think that they imitate the truth, so one should not bother about them!

The promise of the Righteous One is true, it will surely be realized. Therefore, in order to make one’s way to his Truth, first, it is necessary to get away from the black clouds constituted by the fake images. It could be that the first step for this is to develop mindfulness and to convince one’s ego to make some compromises, if necessary to compel it and to prompt it with all efforts and struggle. Yet, we are in the world of images. How will we do this? The response will be; “again with the mean of images.” True, righteous images which lead the way to the Truth and are hence liked…Establish the correct relation! Blessings, wisdom, zeal, mercy will flow….

“And to God belong the best names, so invoke Him by them. And leave [the company of] those who practice deviation concerning His names. They will be recompensed for what they have been doing.” (Qur’an, 7:180)

Connection can be defined as the process of the individual’s purification and his being honored by more spiritual manifestations through means of his feeling of an energy flow from the Creator and the emergence of positive impacts of all of this over time as a result of the individual focus of attention towards an image which can conduce a way towards the Creator. Connection gains a meaning along with the intention. As a matter of fact, it is said “if intention is good direction is good”. Among the well-known and most commonly practiced examples with regard to connection are directing oneself towards Kabaah during the prayers, the remembrance of God’s names, reading the Qur’an, listening to it (of course most extraordinarily, understanding and implementing it).

When we implement this onto our daily lives, we will realize that we often try to connect. Thinking of beloved ones or watching TV hours long, reading a book, walking through social media on our phones, these all are in fact being in a flow, a kind of connection. We cannot prevent this, yet we can try to manage it with God’s permission- in terms of being directed towards simplified and pure paths leading to the Creator-. This is because of the fact that whoever, whatever or wherever our connection is, a related feeling, knowledge and life flow take place. So does the destination.

One common observation is that the spiritual connection is replaced- often times by those with the intention of abusing this process by directing our attention towards their own channels (and who convinced us to do so )- by the “technological connection”. Those images should not turn us into those individuals addicted to the imaginary world. Our world should not turn into a thrash of artificial, fake images. Given the hearts full of love for the Creator and conversations full of love for the Prophet, our path should not end up in a waste yard by following the crow instead of following the nightingale towards a rose as a Turkish proverb says.

In short, one should not get busy with the fake images and follow the Truth instead, one should seek means to do so and embrace these means of the blessed direction (get connected), one should love so that the energies lethargizing and imprisoning his own soul should not extinguish his own light.

“They are not but [mere] names you have named them – you and your forefathers – for which God has sent down no authority. They follow not except assumption and what [their] souls desire, and there has already come to them from their Lord guidance.” (Qur’an 53:23)

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Ayse Kok
Ayse completed her masters and doctorate degrees at both University of Oxford (UK) and University of Cambridge (UK). She participated in various projects in partnership with international organizations such as UN, NATO, and the EU. She also served as an adjunct faculty member at Bosphorus University in her home town Turkey. Furthermore, she is the editor of several international journals, including those for Springer, Wiley and Elsevier Science. She attended various international conferences as a speaker and published over 100 articles in both peer-reviewed journals and academic books. Having published 3 books in the field of technology & policy, Ayse is a member of the IEEE Communications Society, member of the IEEE Technical Committee on Security & Privacy, member of the IEEE IoT Community and member of the IEEE Cybersecurity Community. She also acts as a policy analyst for Global Foundation for Cyber Studies and Research. Currently, she lives with her family in Silicon Valley where she worked as a researcher for companies like Facebook and Google.


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