A R C H I V E S
Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|09/07/04 at 11:34:34|
|[i]You need lose only one piece of leg to be sure-footed no more...[/i]|
When you take away the soul, the superior half of man, you cease to experience your experience [i]as[/i] experience; because you only know the laws of things physical – those autocratic laws of flesh and blood – you are diseased by the cruellest pox of all: [i]if I give more, I will have less.[/i] As with food, for instance.
You forget that the soul, your better half, only increases when it gives – [i]and who will lend unto Allah a goodly loan?[/i] – and so you find that life ceases to add to the sum of your knowledge; instead, it subtracts from it until your hair greys and your teeth rot and you lose the simulated armour of dignity that hid your neglected soul, your poor, starveling soul...
So it is here, in the Occident, where people believe implicitly that they are all damned. [i]If you start out with nothing, they’ll take even that away from you, the Good Book says so...[/i]
But wait, is it really like that here, way out West? Damn the celluloid that has filtered the light through which we see the world – [i]When lightening flashes they [the hypocrites] walk therein, but when it darkens, they are still[/i] – yes, damn the celluloid that has strained the light before it reaches the eyes in our head and the eyes in our hearts. “It’s just a movie,” it’s just a cliché publically declared and privately flouted. The whole of society chooses its times and sets its scenes with the histrionic precision of a born artiste.
The boy coming home from school: They all hate me. [i]A David Copperfield theme, he fingers his huge glasses and turns up his large coat-collar in a lonely way. Zoom out to the playground, the jumbled screechings of all (note: all) the schoolchildren dominated by the Copperfield soundtrack.[/i]
The wife waiting for her husband, her exhausted husband, to come home from work: He didn’t even kiss me goodnight. [i]Love theme rises over a pan blue sky, with clouds. She bangs the door and immediately finds herself struggling, like contraflow traffic, through a crowd of shoppers who are gliding, almost marching, through the streets in the opposite direction, in the heart of the city, barren, cold.[/i]
Our society. Histrionics. Melodrama. Unreality. Look, I’m doing it myself – I haven’t seen all the Occident, I barely remember the rude Frenchmen of Tolouse, or the passionate youths of Rome. I have never visited Germany, Austria, Spain, nor even the greater part of my native England, and yet I say [i]here, in the Occident[/i]…perhaps there are more experienced souls who can say so, but I? Did I stop to ponder who told me the whole of it was like this?
Truly, when we deny the existence of a second leg, we begin to limp. Truly, when we lose sight of the Unseen realities that shoot the world through with splendour and menace, [i]the hearts in the breasts grow blind[/i]. Truly, our horizons dissolve every time we stop looking at them, when we choose to substitute our search for reality with an acceptance of the flawed representations offered us by the evil or the ignorant. [i]Like the media[/i], my friend said, like the media. [i]Media[/i], plural of [i]medium[/i], from the Latin, a means. Like a telescope, magnifier and distorter of our natural vision. So much of what I know comes from sources I now realise I cannot trust, so much of my life is built upon...nothing certain.
I would like to say “most people think”, but I have not taken a census, neither can I know what people’s hearts think. So I will speak of the grandly accidental abstract expressionist – he doesn’t seem to mind the problem I have just raised, because he says that we make our destiny like blind men chucking paint at a wall and never understand or even see the marks we leave behind us.
(Though I have met his kind in this odd age of ours, I have never come across such an immature individual in my limited studies of history, in all the texts scrivened with such pious care by the believing scholars in the many rigorous [i]isnaads[/i] we now speak of, chains of men who could be trusted.)
In this age where schools and television teach us that nothing is absolute and all is relative, in this age where we cannot get on with our relatives, I find myself going back to the simplest virtue hidden so deeply in the recesses of my layered soul like the true blue core of a flame: my own integrity. And it is only in doing so, now, several years on since the first time I read it, that I begin to understand the practical implications of that old hakim’s words:
“...[i]certitude is the clear and complete knowledge of things, such knowledge as leaves no room for doubt nor possibility of error and conjecture, so that there remains no room in the mind for error to find an entrance. In such a case it is necessary that the mind, fortified against all possibility of going astray, should embrace such a strong conviction that, if, for example, any one possessing the power of changing a stone into gold, or a stick into a serpent, should seek to shake the bases of this certitude, it would remain firm and immovable. Suppose, for instance, a man should come and say to me, who am firmly convinced that ten is more than three, "No; on the contrary, three is more than ten, and, to prove it, I change this rod into a serpent," and supposing that he actually did so, I should remain none the less convinced of the falsity of his assertion, and although his miracle might arouse my astonishment, it would not instil any doubt into my belief.
I then understood that all forms of knowledge which do not unite these conditions (imperviousness to doubt, etc.) do not deserve any confidence, because they are not beyond the reach of doubt, and what is not impregnable to doubt can not constitute certitude...”[/i]
(Al Ghazali, DELIVERANCE FROM ERROR)
And like an alabaster lamp lit by dawn’s first flush, I began to understand the demands of certitude, and feel fear.
|09/07/04 at 18:14:17|
|Re: Dissolving Horizons|
|09/07/04 at 11:40:39|
|PS Mods, I like the censoring ;D "Darn" huh? Meaning to stitch or sew, to repair what is torn. A meaning that, most ironically, is the precise opposite of the word I used, and that reminds me of my grandmother whose curse phrase was:|
[i]Tera bera tarjai![/i]
(rather than the usual [i]Tera bera ghark![/i])
If words truly have a profound effect upon the soul ("the tongue is the translator of the heart," say the Arabs) then there is food for thought in this...
|09/07/04 at 11:41:42|
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