by A Dervish
…commentor Tony Lloyd writes: ‘….If nothing [or anything! BW] can be said about X then any counter arguments the chap disagreeing with you can come up with can be dismissed. The apophatic * is then free to make things up without being criticised’.
This is as far as it goes a fair statement of the Sufi position, at least as far as I, a minor dervish, now understand it. Apophaticexis is an imaginal interaction between outer circumstance and the resulting mental activity. It is about the stimulus and response that goes on between the molecular and electronic scales of physical existence. It is about fantasy in other words. This is because fantasy as such is objectively real. In many cases in fact “made up” fantasies precede what normal people mean by “reality”. This much should be clear when you consider that the mass murders of WW II began as the fantasies of not a few diseased minds.
So we see that not only is fantasy for all practical purposes absolutely real, so it is also often dangerous. Hopefully you can also bring up positive and happy events that also began in the same way….
Now so far we are talking about the very obvious rush from idea to “acting out” that is typical of most human activity.
However, fantasy also is the essence of longer term kinds of “wizardry”. In time to come this magical thinking will see the renewal of science, philosophy and, I suppose, “theology”. It is welling up now among the common people especially because the operations of the cartesian centuries have been brought to a successful conclusion. Needless to say, in their own terms our scientists have nothing to be ashamed of! After all, in the midst of many horrors caused by much of the normal unregenerate human activity, there have been also further gains in objective knowlege.
The real problem is to be wise now and not just go on being full of terminology.
Naturally on the face of it, at least to the terminologically terminal cases, some meanwhile can be seen to be getting away with being too playful!
Of course they are — they in fact are getting away every time, everytime.
Escape indeed is the essence of all human succcess after all.
That means objectively again that the real value is in learning freely to choose the best fantasies. The very fact of having them is additive in the first place. Secondly there is a lot of dirt left behind both in the molecular and electronic realms by the normal personalities. This is the problem of entropy in this world of decay of course.
The naturally occuring fantasies of the human mind wish in turn that this wasn’t so.
The trained operator, the “magical” operator, the wizard or wise person — all of these dreamers! — is simply guilty of working intentionally across time and generations to make fantasy the doorway to wider vistas. All of these statements are merely a tiny additional amount of the accumulating truth (NB) about fantasy. This understanding — that truth is additive over time — in turn is valuable because it opens onto what some Sufis now call the Final Epistomological Principle (FEP):
“All phenomena and all statements about phenomena are coincident.”
That is a real line of jargon, but what it means is:
Everything that happens or can be imagined happening, and everything that can be said about any of this, all fits together.
Naturally, Sufis sometimes have to use “big words” as above in the hope, however remote, of getting through once in awhile to maybe one or two of the various specialists at a time. But, when you really know what you are doing, this can lead to the working up of more “phenomena”! When chosen freely if only by one meditative operator in private at a time, the FEP is merely a practical working tool. In short, the imagination everyday cooks up new relationships between things endlessly. Neither man nor the something more man is becoming in nature can stop it. Still less can people who are supposed to be scientists, especially if their “method” continues to be to eliminate instead of to add information.
All the FEP does paradoxically is to name the active fact of fantasy that naturally saves us all from the kind of “final” authority that is the great bully of so much of philosophy and science today. It is happening now as the tide recedes from western shores for a time. In a final sarcastic irony, it is perhaps the kind of fantasy alone practised by the Sufi that offers any hope whatsoever for the renewal of the scientific and all other religious orthodoxies mentioned above.
* — one who uses the axiom that all statements on any subject are all true, all at once
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[5 October 2009]