by Nejmi MuHammad
I think the world of journalist Robert Fisk, and here is his today in the (UK) Independent newspaper:
If you have now read the foregoing, please let me just say that understandably enough Mr Fisk is focused on the tragic side of life. So I want to close the discussion on a new point of perception. It is one which has been that of a handful in every lifetime now for many years.
It is this:
Inside of Islam and islamic culture and scholarship, as anyone may know for themselves if they will just do the work, are hidden great treasures of thought and insight. They are the riches alluded to in all of the fairy tales of human beings and told in one form or another all over the world. They are the real jewels concealed in Aladdin’s cave.
In fact — literally in their own terms — they are the gold and the precious pearl itself symbolically sought by alchemists all throughout the long modern age detour through chemistry.
Nor are these curiosities solely of historical interest, simply because the historical excursion through modernity was indispensable for human beings in order to acquire important new tools. This is the real meaning of the the frontier that opened out across the earth, starting with European man over five hundred years ago. Now that we have arrived at the stage of subatomic physics and, now, truly creative cosmology, it is time to be moving on. The very exhaustion of the natural world tells us this very clearly. And indeed, even the most hardboiled western leaders themselves know this unbeknownst to themselves, for example when US Secretary of State Dr. Rice for instance speaks of “moving forward.” This is more than just a matter of Sir Paul McCartney’s ex-wife putting a happy face on it as she makes do with a derisory pittance. Her destination as well as Dr Rice’s and Sir Paul’s, the destination of us all even including Usama bin Ladin and the American Vice President, that destiny awaits all of us. Though we mostly perceive it only dimly so far, it is the step across the threshold of modernism into a new age. All will be “welcome” so to speak.
This so-called “postmodern” age in fact is the period in which men and women shall enter into — posthuman being.
In this is will be seen soon enough the decisive value of the cultural treasures of Islam, and of such of those as have not been completely lost from the legacy of old China in their (belated!) rush to modernize. They are the seeds, precisely, of the first islamic Renaissance now upon us — and of the second Renaissance of the old Atlantic West. Hellish scenes may be immediately ahead. But in the looming collision with a revived confucianism, and at the end of the next five hundred years, we — human beings — will have then once and for all stepped off of this awkward and inadequate platform of embodied physical existence. In the process of leaving human existence behind, self-awareness in the universe will have finally and fully entered upon a state exactly identical with all that is implied in the Quranic writings for example, about paradise.
The great task is the final resolution of this transition, and easing the terror and grief of creatures, by taking up the unfinished mental and alchemical sciences of the 13th century, and which have been in a necessary state of arrested development since the (first) Renaissance.
[Emmett R Smith
[all transcription-rights reserved
[20 March 2008]