Saturday, April 24, 2010

Ibn Arabi, Pentecostals, and the lovely Mr. Khan

Oh no, you’re saying. Not another obsolete medieval Muslim poet!!!

Yes, I’m afraid. Yes. But afterwards we can have snack and recess. Ibn Arabi rocks for one big reason: he taught that even though God is “out there,” he is also IN YOU. Each person is a piece of God.

This makes me think of the earth as a big brain, and every person as a kind of neuron. If you put it all together, you get a big fat consciousness somewhere. Now being irreverent: what if that consciousness isn’t fully “conscious” yet? But trying to be?
I think this is what most mystics believe: that by giving up material concerns and meditating on the “oneness of being”, they will elevate the consciousness of the world. The preferred way of doing this is by getting into a trance state. Like meditation. Or Gnawa music. Or whirling in a circle for hours. In fact, one word: PENTECOSTALS!!!

Anyway, this morning’s way of doing it is by listening to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.


This song just BEGS you to jump up, clap your hands, and spin in circles in your living room!

So what's the point of trance? The Sufis say that, like sex, you have to experience it in order to understand it. NOT an answer! But both things can have something in common.

A garden among the flames!

My heart can take on any form:
A meadow for gazelles
A cloister for monks,
For the idols, sacred ground,
Ka'aba for the circling pilgrim,
Tables of the Torah,
The scrolls of the Quran.

My creed is Love;
Wherever its caravan turns along the way,
That is my belief, 
My faith.

- Ibn Arabi

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