3.4.5 The Great Chain of Consciousness

Golden Eagle Hunters of Mongolia, by David Baxendale, 2014.

Reality begins with and proceeds from God, the Supreme Being, and ends in the most miniscule and discrete kinds of beings. Each thing in the cosmos, including the cosmos itself, forms a vital link with the other parts of this great chain (Renovatio, 2017).
In this article Professor Mohammad Rustom discusses “being” and the mind-body question from the perspective of the Islamic theological tradition. In a strand of this tradition, all things are manifestations of God’s consciousness, imbuing all things with awareness. This stands in opposition to metaphysical naturalism, or materialism; the belief that all of creation is reducible to matter and its interactions.

Read: The Great Chain of Consciousness // Renovatio


Guiding Questions:
    1. What is “Islamic metaphysics”? How does it connect science, theology, and philosophy?
    2. According to this view, is mind a substance? Or is substance mind?
    3. What are the limits of what materialism can tell us about an object?
    4. How might the idea of a “chain of consciousness” change how people consider the Anthropocene?
    5. According to this article, in Islamic metaphysics what is the path to awareness of God?


Photo: “Golden Eagle Hunters of Mongolia.” Photo Credit: David Baxendale, 2014. CC BY-ND 2.0.