Thursday, August 28, 2008

THE ANTI-CALIPH - Heresy in Islam

. . . from:


Ibn 'Arabi, Inner Wisdom, and the Heretic Tradition

by Peter Lamborn Wilson


The Shariah bestows many privileges on the adult heterosexual male, but few on anyone else. Homosexuality for example is strictly forbidden. The devotees of Witness Play in theory remained chaste, arguing that desire for a boy was permitted even if sexual union were forbidden. Certain hadith seem to support this point of view; for instance it is said that those who love but remain chaste and die as a result of frustration, must be considered holy martyrs. Iraqi and Kermani believed also in the yogic or alchemical efficacy of chastity - but clearly from a psychological perspective their path must indeed have seemed a sort of martyrdom... and their poetry does contain elements of repression and melancholy.

Such poetry, however, often attains the opacity of code; moreover, many heretical texts have vanished. Did any mystic ever hit upon the idea of combining the Witness Game with the Qiyamat, the abrogation of the Shariah? Some dervishes boasted of enjoying far more than `glances', or even kisses. Why should they not have enjoyed a philosophy - a spiritual hermeneutics of sex - with which to understand their practice and construct their apologia?

Such a philosophy might of course interest all believers in sexual freedom, not merely a few mystical boy-lovers. If we combine Ibn 'Arabi's 'tantrik' teachings with the actual practice of the Witness Game (the yoga of music, poetry, dance, wine and love) under the sign of the Qiyamat, we arrive at a new valuation of all and every variety of sexuality - both as 'permissible voluptuousness' and as spiritual practice.

This valuation uproots all orthodox morality - but even from the usual modern `Sexual Liberation' standpoint it appears highly radical as well. Religious morality condemns non-ordinary sex as sinful and criminal, but vulgar materialism condemns sexuality itself to joyless commodification, the fetishization of desire, the proliferation of a pornography of violence and advertising. Without a `spiritual dimension', the sexual revolution can only betray itself into libertinage and other distortions.

The Anti-Caliph dares to assert that its new valuation of sexuality transcends both religious morality and vulgar materialism. It affirms the reality and centrality of physical love, and at the same time identifies this love with the highest form of spiritual experience. It frees every amorous individual from the myriad varieties of repression, whether chains of the Law or numbness of alienation. Its touchstone is joy, and the agreement of two sovereign monarchs to share it. Body and soul are one - the erotic constitutes the essence of spirituality.
the Anti-Caliph

Also see
and at tail-end of post

the Anti-Caliph

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