RE: Theos-World Be aware. - Anathema and Candle-throwers at the Vatican! :-)
May 04, 2008 06:42 AM
by kolad beth
Some will never let the past die, but I'm outta here. who is bashing who? is the question. In the words of Elvis Costello,
what's so funny about peace, love and understanding? (there are many sufis who have bad reputations in their own cultures, as there are buddhists, brahmans, etc. it seems it is this thing called human nature that is the problem)
> To: email@example.com
> From: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Date: Sun, 4 May 2008 14:51:24 +0200
> Subject: Re: Theos-World Be aware. - Anathema and Candle-throwers at the Vatican! :-)
> Why not?
> Are you saying that people aught not to be made aware of the activities of the Catholic Church?
> Almost the only thing I hear coming from you is a complaint about what I am doing.
> Is there a special reason for you to keep bashing my emails without explaining why you do it?
> Let me at least try to explain to you just a very small part about the reason why I wrote these words in my previous email on Anathema and Excommunication.
> Try to read the following article taken down from the hand of Doris Lessing - who recently got the Nobel Prize in literature.
> Doris Lessing learned from the Sufi named Idries Shah.
> - - - - - - -
> There has always been travellers to the mystic East.
> 'Tell me, Master, what is the Secret?' 'Oh you want a Secret, dear child, is that it? Well, stand on your head for a week, and chant this mantra...'
> But those of us who tries to approach Sufism through what is offered to us in the West seem nearly always to have gone through something like that, and had to outgrow it: it ishow we have been conditioned to think. What we find in the East isnot glamorous and the mystic, but an approach to humanity, both as individuals and as an organic unity, that goes far beyond our own sciences, in conception and achievement - in sophistication.
> How has this come about?
> For one thing, perhaps the culture we inhabit is not the advanced, open-minded culture we believe it is. Outsiders, who have always been valuable in providing insights into sciences, although they are always resisted at first, judge us differently.
> We are judged as being fettered, and in many ways. We easily talk now of Western arrogance; we begin to know we are insular. But it is a slow business, for we have to contend, in the case of the Middle East and Central Asia, with the implanted results of hundreds of years of suspicion of the dreaded Saracen. This has had, still has, stultifying effects on our culture, from ignorance and bigotry about Islam, to something like this: that the symbols for the planets in astrology - Mars, Venus, Mercury and the rest - are no more than Arabic letters, easily recognisable as such to those who know Arabic. Yet we ascribe to them amazing origins. A tiny example, even an absurd one, of an enormous unmapped area. But why is it not being researched?
> We may go on murmuring about Western complacency, but it is another thing actually to face it. Idries Shah instances our belief that we in the West pioneered certain psychological ideas. But the 'discoveries' of Freud and Jung are to be found in Al Ghazzali and Ibn El Arabi, who died in the twelfth century, and in other great thinkers of the time. (Jung acknowledged his debt to the East. Is it not remarkable that his disciples are not curious about what else there might be?) Al Ghazzali wrote extensively about conditioning: then, as now, Sufi teachers were concerned about freeing people from social and religious indoctrinations.
> What happened to all that expertise? It was used. It became the property of doctors of the mind, of the soul, of the body; it has been built on, developed...But we, in the West, have been cut off from it - are still cut off from it, and will be until we are prepared to think hard about our own mental sets.
> Another instance: we tell ourselves about our inifinitely various and
> rich language. But the fact is that English is impoverished; it lacks
> words and concepts we need. Any writer who has tried to describe
> certain processes and experiences has come up against it: the absence of words. There are ways around it - analogy is one - but the problem
> remains. A handful of pitful and worn terms - unconscious, soul,
> spirit, collective unconscious, super-mind, ego, super-ego, id, paranormal,
> ESP, super-nature - and suddenly, very soon, you've run into the sand.
> You cannot use these words for fresh experiences, new ideas,
> because each is loaded with unwanted associations. But other
> languages are not so barren; their words are not so overloaded. No,
> this is not an essay in disparaement of English, or in admiration of
> other tongues, for the sake of it, but a plea for recognition: if there is
> a desperate and urgent need for something, that need may be met. I hope so. Meanwhile, it is hard going. I am not a linguist, to put it mildly, but my tiniest aquaintance with Persian, for example, shows
> our own dreadful deprivation. But that is the language of a culture
> where certain kinds of spirituality were in active operation for
> hundreds of years....
> ... Friends who study 'primitive' cultures and know the language of
> American Indians, or certain African societies,
> say that these, too, are well supplied with concepts that we lack (in the english language). Our english language is problably the best
> of tools for technical processes, as long as technical processes are
> still conceived of as being restricted to the mechanical, but when they
> impinge on the frontiers of the mind...
> And there is another, Himalayan block, which we scarely consider.
> It is that for 2.000 years the West has been under a most terrible
> tyranny, the Christian religion. (I am aware that at this point, readers
> are sighing, thinking vaguely, 'How very nineteenth century.') But it
> was, historically speaking, an extremely short time ago. I have met
> people who came into conflict with the churches, when all they wanted
> was to opt out of certainties and dogma into agnosticism. Wives and
> husbands left them, they lost jobs, were socially ostracised, were cast
> off from families - and went to the colonies. There I met them as a
> child. Now the churches has a benevolent, harmless aspect, half
> social agency, half genial bully; they cajole people into thinking that
> they really have to be born again, or BELONG to something or other. But
> for 2.000 years we were kept in a mental straitjacket, and even the
> most limited rebellion was horribly punished. Luther's was limited.
> He said, I insist on the right to talk with God directly, without the
> mediation of the church. He did not say, For many thousands of years there have been people in this world who have had techniques, the
> information, to enable those with sufficient preparation to make use of
> these tools, to acheive states of mind, or of spirit, that the churches
> know nothing about. (But at this point I have to make clear that
> Sufism respects all religions, saying that the Truth is at the core of
> each. It is the tyrant, benevolent or wicked, who has to be exposed.)
> What I would like to know is this: how is it that, understanding that
> our culture has had two millennia of certain kind of indoctrination,
> we, our scienctist, are not researching the effects on our mental
> processes? For these effects are there; once you begin thikning on
> these lines, they are very evident."
> M. Sufilight
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: kolad beth
> To: email@example.com
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