Saturday, November 2, 2013

Sacred and Profane

As I said in a previous post, "Allahu Akbar" can mean "I am getting ready to shit on God and curse the righteous".  It can also of course mean "I am grateful for my existence, made possible by the only God there is, and intend to serve the cause of righteousness diligently."  This latter is never the meaning when someone is preparing to commit, or celebrating, murder, particularly of innocents.

All phrases--all "gestures", to use a term common in Kum Nye for both physical and emotional movements--mean what our inner reality projects into the universe.  This is already in, I guess, Wittgenstein, or perhaps Korszybski, one of whom I  believe said that the meaning of a communication is what is understood by the recipient.

But this goes beyond that.  Let us posit a universal recipient, an omniscient God, or perhaps merely angels who at our level are functionally omniscient.  What are you saying?  What would be heard by a Being capable of comprehending the entirety of that "gesture" which is your incarnation in this world, and what you have done with it?  This is the question we need to ask when dealing with questions of sin and redemption. 

One of my favorite books, although I have not taken it up in some years, is Idries Shah's "Wisdom of the Idiots", which is a collection of Sufi teaching stories.  I have long felt an emotional affection for, and attachment to, the Sufi Way.  It is not to be my way in this life: I am much too far afield culturally.  But they offer many useful truths. 

One of them is that Sufis hide in many disguises, and that of "profane" can be one of them.  It is your inner gesture that matters.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've ordered the Idries Shah book, thanks for the recommend.

It's funny - I too feel an affinity for Sufism, and have a huge resonance with the name "Allah" for the creator (I would say, it's the name by which my heart knows God, the Beloved); but Islam itself, as it's manifested in the world today, utterly repels me. Go figure.

Mountain Goat said...

Gurdjieff said the true soul of Islam was in Bukhara. He claimed to have infiltrated Mecca, and found nothing but rote, mechanical fanaticism there. An obsession with conformity is an obsession with power, not God. It is a repudiation of all the lessons God is trying to teach.