by Henri Luc
[This is an excerpt from an interview conducted across time & dimensionless constancy by our peripatetic & transdimensional Kirth Gersen, of your own Cosmopolis magazine & writing as Henri Luc! This time he has, so to speak, flang himself back over fifteen hundred years with his modified Jarnell Intersplit, to hob-nob with the beloved late-Gaean Dervish, Naml al-Haddad, of the hallowed Lincoln Park district in Old Mankato in Minnesota, on the North Coast of Ioway in Old Earth. Al-Haddad himself had re-incarnated ‘back in time’ five hundred years or so from the 26th century (Old Style), in order to assist a perplexed early-postmodern humanity. He then located himself in the old American heartland of southern Minnesota, and in the Mankato ‘Silk Stocking’ neighbourhood, for then-contemporary reasons of “fong shooey!” Throughout it all, the rhodomontade & piffle, we may think to detect the authentic voice of a former phase of human spirituality.
[Such recorded material as we have been able to retrieve from the universal light-cone, of al-Haddad’s Old Earth writings on ‘Sufism’ is available by courtesy of the Institute, in the ‘Muslim and Beyond’ archive at this link:
[All rights are reserved, to any actual quotation of the following material. Those interested in citing specific passages at length should correspond with the syndics of Cosmopolis, Ltd, In The Canary Wharf, London, Old Earth. The agent for Vega System-rights is: Jehan Addels, New Wexford, Aloysius Planet.
HENRI Luc, Special Correspondent, Cosmopolis: “…our readers wonder, ‘now’ I mean in the 16th century of the post-Gaean Space Age [1501-1600 years from the year 2000, Old Style — BW], how do you, Naml al-Haddad, ‘back there’ in your time — and nonetheless with all your privileged knowledge from years of Sufi-study about the multidirectional character of time itself – assess the real nature of the Islamic renaissance and attack on the postmodern West of your day? AND, the fear-filled repsonse of the West?”
NAML Al-Haddad: “Well at a guess, Islam is just at the beginning of its Renaissance. As Chesterton said, ‘history does not rhyme, but it puns.’ For Mahometans it IS something like the early 14th century AD. For the rest, of course a little kid almost always cries when you take it to the doctor for a shot. So, likewise, you can only expect the so-called grownup and vastly pre-diabetic children of all ages, and of OUR exhausted western setup, to whine just like a basket of poison pups at the very idea that Wal Mart is finally shutting down for-good-and-all, and so that just maybe they should maybe all get their duds back on once-and-for-all and — just ONCE for Christ’s sake! — look AHEAD. As Marianne Faithfull points out in one of their Christawful pop songs, they’ve got plenty of sex, football and Tee Vee, so naturally ‘they think they are all so effing free’. And of course they are ‘free,’ oh Hell yes…of every damn thing but themselves!”
LUC: “I note that for a popular religious figure, and one who has almost singlehandedly through your private writings, and those only among a limited audience, brought the hostility between Mahometans and non-Mahometans — AND the war in Iraq! — to an end, that you speak, well, pretty vernacularly….”
AL-HADDAD (Speaking now in a nasal and high, his most didactic, tone): “That was the teaching of an immediate predecessor, Idries Shah, peace be upon him. Mind you! I AM paraphrasing, but Shah did say in effect that you can’t communicate unless you adopt the language around you, however attenuated, of ‘the poor dumb SOBs!’ That’s just one of the constraints on humans at this time [the early 21st century, OS — BW], so that really all you can say is that for these folks now, ‘freedom’ all by itself IS a mere bagatelle….
“In the evolution of creative human possibilities which altogether WILL carry us beyond human being at some point, periodically the detritus must be swept up. Of course some will choose out of sincere emotion and love for familiar places and folks to spend THEIR energy in hopeless resistance to the future — and all that lies BEYOND! — but others will make another choice, a decision to explore it all! See, in Islam there are hidden away immense profound intuitive and imaginal riches, all of which will both renew our worn-out scientism and, indeed, transform human beings themselves into genies and actual honest-to-God MAGICIANS. But of course this gift from the future all has to be ACCEPTED with the right openminded and openhearted attitude. Just right now most of us can’t, or just plain won’t, see it that way because — you guessed it! — WORK is involved, first of all on ourselves — and believe-you-me, together with fear and anger, greed and lust, it’s the damn LAZINESS and not the Mahometans that’s the great enemy of us all.”
LUC: “In essence, though, you are proposing an alarming amount of change in people’s lives! Surely as One Of The Aware you realize that this is heard to bear? Pardon my impertinence, Sir, ’tis but an objective question, merely….”
AL-HADDAD: “Well, as they say out East of here in the Eagle Lake country out on the pesticide- and weedspray-farms in the heart of the Tornado Belt: ‘Jesus Christ!’ Now what I mean by THAT is — and I ask you in all sincerity! — does anyone in the country today who’s still in their right mind still even PRETEND that Mr Rumsfeld and Mr Bush and Mr Cheney and Mr Rove and all them other skunks, all of ’em alike, would NOT be lots better off if ONLY they was all toiling away humbly as night-janitors in Denver, USA — and saving up their pennies for the Mecca-trip? Another Eagle Lake-phrase that comes to mind about that one is this… (al-Haddad pauses dramatically, whereat his words ring forth in a voice full of immanence and like a gong):
“‘GOD Damn it, USE yer heads fer once!'”
LUC: “Surely though, Lord Of Inquiry, freedom is not some ‘mere bagatelle?’ Is it not the difference between having choice and not having choice?”
AL-HADDAD: “That SOUNDS real slick, like old Hubert Humphrey giving away the dome off the Capitol or something — but first of all, you have to know what ‘choice’ is. And it sure as Hell ain’t EITHER fifty different colors of underwear at the hardware store OR only ‘two parties’ in some rigged election. Choice is always limited, but you don’t have to be suicidal about it — and, with all of this ‘choosing’ comes a whole load of individual responsibility. THIS is a pain in the butt that most human beings don’t even want, at least not as long as they personally can keep on getting free stuff for themselves from off of the government….
“So they all run like Hell to sell their souls to some quack version of religion or politics, preferably one that offers plenty of violence and mayhem on Tee Vee — either to be liberal about and oppose just for the sake of the cussedness — OR to leer and gloat over and then cry to beat Hell, when THEIR kids get their fool selves killed in some battle or ambush….
“This is all other-directed zombiedom, and to speak of freedom NOW, over two hundred-and-thirty years after Concord and Lexington, just MAY be, well, a bit late….”
LUC: “So the times, ‘they are a-changin!’ And, Islam just like any religious or mystical tradition doubtless has many valuable truths to impart to humanity. These, however, will be worthless if they are imposed at the point of a knife or barrel of a gun, nicht wahr? It’s a scary business, I mean, so it’s not really fair to lambast EVERYONE for a fool and halfwit, is it, oh Agency Of The Mercy Of God?”
AL-HADDAD (Grins broadly): “‘TIS True, alas, I DO sometimes lay it all on with — an axe! Mainly, well, it’s a lot of FUN just to give ’em all Hell…plus they sure do NEED a dose of the hotfoot!”
LUC: “It is all very well to sneer, Si Haddad, as you do so much at the degenerate state of western civilization, but it is still the best THESE folk have got and I, just like Madonna there in your time, would not be prepared any more than them to trade in all the lurid sex and shopping and squalid parties. And still less so in return for the physical — and even more importantly! — mental servitude that these bomb-warriors of the Caliphate are seeking to shove off on the world!”
AL-HADDAD: “Hmm…well, to paraphrase Idries Shah — peace be upon him — who was writing in the 1970s about ‘spiritual’ people desperate to find Sufi-teachers in the last decades of the late-modern age and even though they plain warn’t READY, well, people DO also seem to get the Mahometans they DESERVE in one way or another….
“Nor is that always so bad a deal when you think it through carefully — Hell, there ARE Mahometans and Mahometans, a whole shitload to choose from you know!
“Publicly as a damn convert myself to Islam in the Old Spanish Mosque in Fes, in 1979, I AM more-or-less the Mankato-area House Mahometan-Convert AND “happy to be here!” in the Mr Garrison Keillor-phrase. Not unreasonably at all, God damn it, I ALSO take a whole lot of pride in the fact that what I do bring to all you skunks USUALLY — unless somebody really rankles my ass! — IS the gentle and literate, kind of mocking and sweetly ironic, above-all CHEERFUL, Islam of some five centuries from now.
“Our material existence ‘out there’ is not even to be described as to the sheer FUN everybody is having, and because I am from there in the ‘first’ place, well, I REALLY know what a swinepit THIS era is! I’m here simply simply as a tour of a number of workers, trying like Hell to straighten out a bunch of links for you all….”
LUC: “You would agree then, oh Sheikh Of The Age, that Islam just like any religious or mystical tradition doubtless has many valuable mystical truths to impart — but these are vitiated if they are imposed at the point of a knife or barrel of a gun?”
AL-HADDAD (Makes a suave dismissive gesture): “Yeah, those God-damned Wahabbi sonsofbitches…. One thing that’ll lay the bastards by the heels in twenty years or so of course is demographics, less young people PLUS the fundamentalist mullahs’ll have killed off all of the impressionable bucketheads meanwhile!
“It’s a sewer of the old self-righteousness, you got THAT right!
“But, I want you to help me to try too get it across the THESE boneheads right here in America — I give you my word, the word of your old friend, Naml al-Haddad! — that we in the 26th century [Old Style — BW] in fact ARE taking steps to abate these horrible quack OLD shits who throw young kids wrapped in bombs — they ARE hysterical like old church ladies spying in on some porno and just as disgusting!”
LUC: “What do you suppose is their real effect on history, oh Exposer Of Scholarly Falsehoods And Denouncer Of The Hellish Lie?”
AL-HADDAD: “Well by God, you know…. I think it’ll all maybe teach some of the smarter ones here about the old alchemical Rule Of ‘Secret’ Correspondences…. (Here, al-Haddad paused to rummage a hairy nostril with a grimy pinky.)
“See, not the least of it is that these goof-mullahs have inveigled loads of podgy OTHER old, dirty men in the World there with you…old hounds too scared to actually go and ‘do’ some kiddie porn for themselves …OR anyway smoke a little opium and shoot-up! All of these WESTERN louses have been hounded by crass sex-frustration and their unlived depravity into ‘sublimating’ their unredeemed repulsive lusts — right smack-dab into ‘policy-making!’
“Which means that in squirming to wriggle out of ever doing anything ‘actually dirty’ for themselves well Hell, THEY have by now actually killed off probably way MORE people than the damned terrorists and are ALL overdue to make the trip from Jidda to Mecca — on their knees! I’D do it with CHAINS, here a mullah, there a neo-con, here another mullah, OK now shove me over another one of those there Republicans…like that. PLUS any of the guiltier Democrats — I’D learn the dirty pups BROTHERHOOD, by God!
“So, you can see for yourself — that’s what evasion and guilt does to people, especially these POSTMODERN loudmouths….
LUC: “You at least allude to certain ongoing secret spiritual activities, oh Preceptor Of Worlds — how long will it be before some ‘skunk’ like myself will actually notice any changes? Or, any of your kitchen-garden variety ‘assholes,’ around here?”
AL-HADDAD (Sketches a secret sign in the direction of a ceiling-corner with his stubby fingerends before speaking): “I Know that the numerous disjuncts of time, which only a mathematician such as I sure as Hell am NOT can unravel, are such that right now ‘it don’t seem like it, Alf!’ That’s what Dusty said to his mate while they lay under the warehouse listening for shovel-noises, in a Blitz-story my mother told me…
BUT, I give you my word, we ARE digging to beat Hell and you WILL see us soon — insh’Allah!
LUC: “I’ve read Idries Shah, you know, and many other Sufi tales with enjoyment and benefit, and in preparation for this interview — but somehow, Master, I think today’s Wahabbi fundamentalists would give him — and yourself, perhaps! — short shrift. I mean they are called ‘islamofascists’ with good reason, aren’t they?
AL-HADDAD: “Actually, ‘Islamofascism’ is semantically loaded and worse than that, it is inaccurate. If you’re so hot after analogy and since Islam like the neo-conservatism hoax has a ‘globalizing’ hair up its heinie, then a less-inapposite verbal sleight would be to label the whole boiling two rival forms of — trotskyism! A corporate vs a mullah version…
After the Hitler horror, certain more-determined Zionists and their allies, not unreasonably on the emotional side of things, decided to shove off the whole hatred in some quarters for ‘Jews’ onto these OTHER semites — and, of course, there ARE such big payoffs in this World in ‘persecution,’ and in HAVING BEEN persecuted, that these God-damned fool mullahs are playing tag with their own downfall — a la Bush and the Wyoming God-Damned Bonehead, sending out the young kids to be blown up!
“So, except for certain counter-revisionist moves against holocaust-deniers and such turds, the ‘islamofascist’ racket is a verbal GYP to anyone who has acquainted themselves with semantics.
“Really, I mean, now Mussolini and some of these here North Italians of HIS, THEY was fascists — but, the Mahometans are NOT a gang of Wops, plus they do NOT go in for gaudy uniforms and monkeys on leashes and them SILLY God-damned Roman emperors who almost all WAS crazier than Hell and screwballs….
“So it would be more way accurate to call these jerks we got on our hands today ‘islamomonists’ or ‘islamolemics’ or something…But, of course, neologism requires SOME literacy and it plain DON’T satisfy MY aging-beatnik generation’s need to redo their World War Two folks in some half-ashamed half-assed late way!
“There’s LOTS of crookedness and denial and cheesy motives all over Hell, all driving these dishonest propaganda gimmicks, and that’s the REAL point:
“Even though history has changed, I AM a Mahometan American Libertarian and hold the documents of Anglo-Saxon liberty in at least as high esteem as any of the other pinheads in a town THIS size! But as a student of reality, I KNOW a distinction it is important to put out at this point, and that is that you just plain CAN’T accurately judge either the values and actions of the past by the present, OR the present in a past light.
“Human NATURE has been the same for long time — THAT is our bond with our forebears, being hungry, tired, horny, scared as bastards or else just pissed off most of the time…. But human BEHAVIOR — all the different societies! — is a dang kaleidoscope!
“That means that the American founders were NOT ‘just like us’, and as far as OUR so-called ‘values’ go, Hell, THEY’D all throw up their shoestrings…and they didn’t even HAVE shoestrings! The terror of time carries us farther apart everyday, too. So when I say to you that I vote Libertarian here, I do so only in the same way that you’d water an obscure shoot of something rare and endangered in a damn greenhouse. I value the freedom this type of thinking represents and know that at some time in the future it MAY again be workable and desirable in certain types of societies — the sort of setups, I’m afraid, that can only come back into existence for a time only AFTER a major population-holocaust of some sort….”
LUC: “So you detect that the West is passing, oh Perceiver Of Disasters?”
AL-HADDAD: “Yep…AND pissing away a Hell of a lot FASTER than us Mahometans anyway!
“The funny thing is that only as the late-modern age recedes at an accelerating speed can we even BEGIN to understand more deeply and thoroughly what political liberty was. AND ‘democracy’ AND the republican chisel….
“One key thing that I think I notice is that populations in the most interesting democracies are low, maybe just a few score thousands like the Greeks or Viking farmers, to no more than 3-4 million, you know…in New Zealand, Switzerland, Minnesota. Also, either populations was homogenous or ROOM was available for safe difference at a distance.
“So it seems real clear to me that small states like the Icelandic free farmer-republic or the Swiss Confederation really gave a good experience of freedom to a doable number of members.
“But as against that, real community LIBERTY, people was more collective both as to their need to work together at food-production and the kind of personality-types that you get out of THAT. There just was NOT a lot of A-holing around that idiots called ‘individualistic’ and REALLY just meant burning all the God-damn lights all night….’
“And finally, on the way up and when their stories are all the most interesting, most democracies and sure as Hell the republics, they have had severe LIMITS — on the damn voting!”
LUC: “Oh Guide Of The Age! You are describing a sort of graph of an historical form….”
AL-HADDAD: “By God, young man, that’s GOOD…a BLINDING glimpse of the obvious — Je-Sus Kay-Lee-Rist!
“Because it IS the ‘obvious’ unfairness of restrictions on sufferage that drove the whole late-modern nation-state swindle, from the American Civil War and 1871 at Versailles right down to the farting-out of Communism in Berlin back in 1989. Most of all, it just plain made politicians NOW almost one hundred per cent liars-for-votes as well as the COMPLETE sonsofbitches they was already.
“In the L B Johnson 1964-version this was explicitly out there and stark naked in front of God and everybody, right in keeping with the social march through the twentieth century to the respectability of all pornography:
“‘NOT Only can the sonofabitch BE, but THE state SHOULD be, all things to ALL of you jackoff American layabout God-damned do-nothing sonsofbitches — so vote fer ME you stupid dumb bastards and I’ll build yew some fine NEW schools full of MORE liberals! Plus vote fer me yew DUMBBELLS and git yer FREE stuff TODAY! And PLUS I’ll pack all of the REAL assholes off to God-damn VEET NAM! I’ll have the FREE shit right out there in YER hallway tomorrow — so git yer ASSES in gear NOW and vote just as often as yew CAN!'”
LUC: “Finally, as An Humble Dervish and the Pillar Of Foreverness, you allude temptingly to the possibility that somehow the future returns to our aid — in addition to to our memories and thoughts about the historical past, I mean — and yet most unfortunately for those around us, who are banned by the Institute from access to the Intersplit, unfortunately those around us live in the 21st century. They do not share the treasures of your 26th, nor the 16th of my era! And the more the pity for them, since these hellishly are indeed ‘interesting times’, certainly for the Chinese. But, they are deadly menacing for everyone else!”
AL-HADDAD: “We of course do NOT imaginally live ONLY in the time in which a physical body may be stuck. It is good to learn about this, and the late-twentieth century books by Miss Barbara Hannah and Mlle Marie-Louise von Franz contain exercises that can help any sincere individual, not only historians and dervishes, to become proficient — actually — at changing the times.
LUC: “Si’ Naml al-Haddad, Interrogator Of Texts And Of Time, Instructor Of All Men, thank you, thank you very much, Sir, I’m sure that I may say so, too, on behalf of all of the many grateful readers of Cosmopolis — thank you again, Sir, oh, so very, very much…truly, you, Sir, ARE the Magnetic Pole Of The Aeon!”
AL-HADDAD: “Oh, Hell, don’t worry about all THAT guff, kid! Tis’SbaH al-Khair, as they say…Nighty-night!”
[Emmett R Smith
[all transcription-rights reserved
[17 August 2007]