Heightened Senses

Hello. I'm Imraan. This is the only thing I own outright; I write from time to time, in the hopes that free-association might save a trip to a sanatorium.

Subsistence in God

“The final point of the Tarīq (Path) is that your own being, and even your Nafs, reminds you more of Allāh than it reminds you of itself. In other words, al-baqā’ billāh (Subsistence through Allāh). You find your true identity. You are not just some human being that lives at such-and-such an address, but you find your true identity as an Aya (sign) of the Ayāt (signs) of Allāh. An ‘aya’ means something that signifies something beyond itself, it ‘tells’ something. What does it tell, what does it direct you too? Allāh.” –

Sh. Nūh Keller.

London Review of Books – Shared Article ‘Ella George: Purges and Paranoia’

I’m reading Ella George: Purges and Paranoia via the London Review of Books app https://www.lrb.co.uk/v40/n10/contents

Love, not Reason…

It’s love, not reason, which has no reign;

Reason is concerned with interest and gain.

A lover ever gives, not expecting a return.

Like God Who gives freely, for us to learn.

Virtue is to give without any cause;

The Domain of religion, at this point would pause.

Being saved from punishment, or gaining a reward

Is what pulls the masses to religion and the Lord,

But Lovers don’t like to amass and hoard;

Above this plane they’ve risen and soared.

Rūmī (abridged a little; trans. Tawus Raja)

From Liberated Soul: In Memory of Sayyid Hashim Haddad, A Translation of Ruh-i Mujarrad (ICAS Press: London, 2017).

If only this was the ethos with which we pursued our interpersonal relationships; heck, our online discourse, even? Truly splendid jewels from the great master himself.

 

“Borrowed” from Facebook – On Virtue

Jesus said, ‘Devote yourselves to obtaining that which fire cannot burn.’ ‘And what is that?’ asked the disciples. ‘Virtue’ he replied.”
–– Cited in Ghazali, Ihya, from Jesus in the Eyes of the Sufis by Dr. Javid Nurbaksh.

NYTimes: The Boys Are Not All Right

Sometimes I wonder if these gendered roles are there for some evolutionary purpose, or if they have intrinsic psychological imperatives, and that we ought not let French post-structuralists completely decimate them! Here you have someone on the Left talking about the full expression of the masculine gender, and all I can hear in my mind are attacks from more SJW-inclined friends who will scream that he seeks to perpetuate the Patriarchy. In truth, we as men should be able to live in harmony with ourselves, with women generally. But whilst feminism can serve as an inspiration to a discourse on masculinity, the reduction of male-ness to nothing more than a series of power games is perhaps what is most destructive. Their contributions are rendered meaningless especially if they’re straight and white, because their ability to ‘see’ the other side is somehow impaired by aspect blindness. I love Foucault as much as the next guy, but this is nuts.

I think enough is indeed enough. I’m all for a particular brand of feminism that does not reduce our sisters to the sum-total of their sexual organs – but male-ness shouldn’t be so reduced that the male psyche is emptied of its intrinsic nature. We too, can be loving, nurturing, productive, protective. I suspect it’s that latter one with which many of my sisters will have a problem. But else, if testosterone isn’t channeled towards healthier ends, then the psyche is damaged (I suspect) and we will see more carnage in America.

MIB has done us a service. We need more progressive voices speaking out for men, for the sake of their mental-health issues, their self-worth, for the safety of the women around them.

If they might tackle violent films, video-games, pornography and so on at the same time, it might help re-orient the discourse. Jordan Peterson has such sway precisely because he gives the male back his inherent worth – but I can’t follow him purely because I do not believe in his kind individualism except in the moral life. But he has men reading Dostoyevski, Nietzsche and the Bible. That’s something.

Grovelling Sycophants

https://youtu.be/53tqxdYlspg

So, is it just me, or are the grovelling sycophants being…well sycophantic?

Paul Ryan wants to *spend* federal dollars? I’ve never seen something so tragically asinine. What is it with the Republicans that they can’t tell the President to well… go to Hell?

I’m all for an infrastructure bill…. I guess if it costs the congressional Republicans their dignity, then so be it.

NYTimes: My Year of No Shopping

My Year of No Shopping https://nyti.ms/2k1AuLR

Definitely worth a read, as we descend into further materialism still. Sickness and chronic difficulties make this endeavour that much harder – Lord knows how many supplements, health foods and creature comforts I need to make it through the hour, but this (whilst a little superficial) might tap into a religious impulse that society has so-quickly lost, a rage against rampant Capital and value-materialism. Even if it’s not as radical as I’d like! 

“Are Christians Supposed to be Communists?” By David Bentley Hart in the same newspaper 

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/11/04/opinion/sunday/christianity-communism.html 
Perhaps a little more theological, but an intriguing (and perhaps not all-too-controversial) reading of the Gospel

The Door or the Road?

Return to yourself, oh heart. For from the heart a hidden road can be found to the Beloved. If the world of the six directions has no door, then come into the heart, the place of contemplating God, though it is not so now, it can be so.”

Rumi, Diwan (6885)

North Korea may have nukes, but we need to focus on the real issue. Lack of diversity in North Korean leadership roles.

The funniest thing I’ve read all day. In fact, at this hour, it still has me chuckling!

Blogging Theology

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Breath of Life and Navel Gazing

http://www.gosh.nhs.uk/news/latest-press-releases/gosh-position-statement-issued-high-court-24-july-2017 

…”what is in their child’s best interests.” That’s the only bit with which I have a difficulty. That doesn’t seem to be an inherently medical question but seems more loaded with moral urgency than anything; to let someone die (as in, switching off whatever support is keeping said child alive) does indeed go to the heart of medical ethics. I find it troubling that the courts have a remit over what inherent ‘dignity’ is, and that physicians can have a say in it if they simultaneously, essentially, argue in favour of death. Sure, there are fates worse than death, so we believe, but could they scientifically make that case, or give an account for the phenomenology of what occurs when the eyes close permanently… ? I don’t see how medical professionals or the court systems can.

…There has to be a change to the system; whilst these parents will have had to accept a treacherous fate for their son and their family, it seems to me that the system is essentially mechanised to sever the link between parent and child based purely on the knowledge of the day; either the bond and the decision of parents in favour of life has to be acknowledged, or we get to that point in our history where we decide that that particular line is an arbitrary construct. That someone is irrational if going against medical advice for the sheer glimmer of hope of some experimental therapy….

Lord knows I’ve been told by at least three doctors that I ‘may as well be dead’ (or words to that effect) – and my conditions are chronic but not terminal, mind you – when their treatments or approaches haven’t worked on me – and Lord knows, with all cards on the table, that I have for short periods begged for death in the moments I have suffered extreme pain before it could be controlled- and I worry that such cynicism prevails to the extent that the void of death (which is the only thing they can assume) is better than a very difficult life, that the marginal hope that these parents might have is not worth the investment, and that death is an actual solution to a particularly complex problem. Close to two-thousand years of religious, particularly Christian, history in the ‘West’ doesn’t seem to strike me as believing in that, in fact the Resurrection is the Triumph over death in a fallen world – is the problem that it’s a post-metaphysical world? And what of the place of the family and the parent, and marriage as a union open precisely to life, not death?

Obviously I’m not a doctor so will not necessarily see it from that vantage – trying to mitigate harm and construing the Hippocratic Oath in such a way as to insist that a procedure may do more harm still strikes me as going against the spirit of such an Oath, or an oath to that effect.

I reckon that there are broader philosophical problems here that navel-gazers may have to thrash out.

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