reply to post by babloyi
"Metaphysical" doesn't mean the same thing as "mystical"
Metaphysical tends to be regarded as the intellectual (or discursive) aspect of what I gingerly term 'the mystical"; If by mystical, is meant the
experience of God, the metaphysical is that instruction which guide and helps explain the mystical experience, therefore, the metaphysical and
mystical are both usually codified under the term "esoteric".
thought up and decided that it sounded cool
If you prefer to look at religion that way, that's your opinion. I however think Islam - along with all other religions - has a basic metaphysical
outlook, and that the scriptures are the SYMBOLIC expression in tangible real life terms of that said outlook.
This is as much the case, in my opinion (and of many others) with Judaism and Christianity. Unlike in western traditions, where there is a wall put
between the esoteric and exoteric (leading some to erroneously think the exoteric stands by itself) in Eastern traditions, it's well understood that
the language of the Vedas, Upanishads and Puranas is metaphorical.
The deaths each year during Hajj have less to do with fanatical worship in an attempt to get close to the Ka'aba, and more to do with cramming 4
million people in 0.35 square kilometres. Unfortunately, they don't fit your extended metaphor...these deaths don't usually occur due to anyone trying
to get closer to the Ka'aba. In fact, muslims only need to circumambulate the ka'aba...there is no need to get near it.
And you still think that is normal? I never said it was a conscious metaphor - but it is still nonetheless reflective of the ontological dynamic I've
been describing: in their zeal, they ignore the fact that people are being trampled beneath their feet.
And if this happens every single year, why don't the authorities do something to prevent it from happening? Or, perhaps, is the worship of Allah - the
Absolute - more important than the relative safety of the hundreds of people that get killed?
sm based religions and mystical aspects of religions...so many words for so little meaning. The point being, if you ask a muslim about the
significance of Hajj, you're probably not even going to get 1 in 500 to go on about how the Ka'aba symbolises God, and the desert is this reality
I am quite aware of that, I never said that every Muslim was indoctrinated into this tradition - on the contrary, very few Muslims are acquainted with
the inner metaphysical basis of their religious beliefs. Even though I'm not a Muslim, I will admit that the symbolism is quite profound; the world,
creation, the realm of appearance, being treated as lifeless in itself (aptly conveyed by the desert) with the city of Mecca the realm of the holy,
the Kaaba as the intellectual apprehension of Allah, and the stone inside, the ineffable mystery of that connection - the symbolism is great indeed -
how could such an idea not enrich the religious feelings of the average Muslim? If he's intellectually able, why reject such an interpretation when it
makes so much sense - when the world we exist in, very much, is a physical expression of an ontological reality? I cannot honestly believe that the
early theologians of Islam didn't concieve that symbolism; I'm sorry, I'm not that naive, or gullible: i personally doubt whether Mohammad ever
existed - and frankly the evidence suggests that he was probably the creation of 8th century theologians of Baghdad. Check out the book "the hidden
origins of Islam" for a compelling discussion of why I consider that possibility.
But, if I'm unreasonable for thinking that, even though this is how human beings tend to operate (i.e. with political agendas) I don't think would the
conventional orthodox viewpoint, that some guy named Mohammad roused a group of Arabians into taking over the whole world, is anymore reasonable. In
fact, it just isn't reasonable at all.
Look at the intellectual climate of that period: Neoplatonism/Gnosticism, and you think Islam developed independently of these philosophical
More likely they'll tell you it is a pillar of worship, or that it builds a sense of community, or some such thing.
That's accidental (secondary) to the primary metaphysical (symbolic) reason. All human gatherings, btw, have the power to create a sense of
community. Religion is not - and should not - be thought of only in that way. In my opinion, that is definitely an important aspect, but I don't think
it is more primary then the philosophical (or personal) experience of God that religion can provide.
Also, you speak about the "Absolute" and "eternal" and talk about how it is separate from God being the "Creator", and thus having separate names in
Judaism. I'm not sure what you are on about here
The names of God in Islam are totally different than in Judaism. In Islam, it's Al _______ (fill in the blank with a verb) and these names, as I
understand it, refer to Allah in his mode as creator: but that still doesn't change the fact that one name applies to both God as Godhead and as
Creator (as Allah). Archetypally, Allah denotes the Absolute and the Relative (creative), but in his mode in the relative, he's given appellations
such as 'the truth', the deceiver and so forth.
Conversely (and I speak much more authoritatively with Judaism) God has distinct names for different realities, and there is no one name which
encompasses the roles of both Godhead (which is called Ein Sof in Kabbalah) and Creator. God as Creator is יהוה , and the name in itself denotes
"being", which already discounts it from also meaning "non-being" as Allah also implies (basing myself on the works of Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Rene
Guenon, Frithjof Schuon, AnneMarie Schimmel, Martin Lings, and Titus Burkhartd).
The names Elohim, or El Shaddai, Adonai, Elohei Tzvaoth, or EHYH, all denote levels of reality ALONG the spectrum provided by the name יהוה - but
none of them relate to God as He is in Himself. Even EHYH, a supernal name associated with the sephera of Kether, still refers to God in a determined
role because it implies a relationship with a created reality, and not as He is in Himself, which would be the Ein Sof.
"Only Judaism puts stock in the realm of appearance".
Judaism holds two contradictory points of view: it maintains the sanctity of God as commander, and this is his role as the Absolute source of all
reality, but, with that opinion, they also contend that this world - the simple realm of human relationships, right and wrong (which, I might add, the
above experts on islamic mysticism call a "parochial morality") basically, how things appear in themselves, is equally as important.
While Islam (I speak of Islam, but I could easily apply this to Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism) gives credence to ONLY the reality of the
Absolute: Allah commands and what he commands cannot be amended by human conditions, and this is perfectly reflected by the egregious expectations
Islam demands of it's followers. An apostate is to be killed? WHY? Why can't that person choose to leave? In Islamic thought, if i may endeavor to
answer that question, that could be due to that person leaving the umbrella of the Absolute truth of Allah - which, if he leaves, ontologically (but
not realistically) he leaves life, and so, as Islam seeks to bring the Godhead into the relative, a person who kills him or herself by leaving Islam
(the protective umbrella of the Absolute) should also be killed in this world. Make sense? To Islamic thinking - it does, but to any natural state of
being, it is ludicrous nonsense. So, killing apostates - check; demeaning non-muslims, wacking their necks with a stick when they pay their taxes, as
the tax collector is commanded to do by the Quran - is that a decent thing to do? Is it right that Muslim societies force Jews and Christians to walk
on the left when they pass by a Muslim?
Consideration of the realm of appearance completely modifies ones perception of the moral; in Islam, consideration is only given to the Absolute, and
so, the real life human woes of human beings, inasmuch as they do not accord with Islamic law, are to be neglected.
edit on 18-4-2012 by
dontreally because: (no reason given)