A group of high-school students in Kastamonu* were not happy with their teachers because they were not mentioning God at all in their teaching. It was as if teachers were instructed to teach assuming there was no creator and even if there was, He had no place in the school. With these concerns in mind, the students visited the exiled scholar, Said Nursi, for learning about God and asked the following: "Tell us about our Creator, our teachers do not speak of God." They were surprised with Nursi’s response. Nursi neither criticised the teachers nor asked the students to learn about God in a ‘Godly’ place. Instead, he told them, "All the sciences you study continuously speak of God and make known the Creator, each with its own particular tongue. Do not listen to your teachers; listen to them.” Clearly, Nursi did not have any problem with science itself. In his view, the problem was with the way science was taught.
In his advice to the students, Nursi pointed to the hidden potential in the sciences through which the Creator of the universe can be known with His Beautiful Names. Each science, according to him, has an innate potential to disclose a particular attribute and perfection of the Creator with its “broad scale, particular mirror, far-seeing eyes, and searching gaze”. The lesson to those students (and everyone who listened to Nursi’s advice) was to discover that potential in the sciences by viewing scientific knowledge through a different perspective rather than perceiving it through a materialist lens. Nursi gave the students examples from medicine, engineering, electricity, astronomy, economics, literature and military science in order to show them how any kind of scientific knowledge can be used to learn about God and derive moral lessons. Interestingly Nursi mainly chose to use applied sciences in his examples. This is likely because applied sciences are a combination of more than one basic science. By using the useful information embedded in the combination of those basic sciences, a scientist performs his research for the benefit of mankind. For example, a researcher in the field of pharmaceutical science needs to have knowledge of the following disciplines: basic sciences, maths, chemistry, biology, botany and anatomy.
Nursi offered the high school students a multi-dimensional thinking model in order to approach the sciences using a mana-i harfi (other indicative) approach. In his model, he begins by explaining a branch of science within which is a knowing and potent agent (doer/maker/performer)apparent to everyone. The first example Nursi gives is a pharmacy. When we witness the existence of several healing remedies and medicines in a pharmacy, our mind can easily ascribe their existence to a knowing and potent pharmacist.
No one has difficulty in doing that. That is, pharmaceutical science teaches that an active professional agent is necessary to perform the act of producing those complex medicinal substances and remedies. This science has a clear benefit to mankind. Therefore, the pharmacist -regardless of his personal gain out of this work- is working in the service of mankind.
We think the 5D thinking approach can be applied to each example within the above mentioned story. It does exist in this particular story and many other writings of Nursi either explicitly or implicitly. Below, we will show how the 5D thinking approach can be applied to a pharmacy and a food store.
Applying 5D Thinking to the Pharmacy Example
Applying 5D Thinking to the Food Store Example