On Paradise

3 12 2018

When in a vision I saw
A mullah ordered to paradise,
Unable to hold my tongue,
I said something in this wise:

‘Pardon me, O Lord,
For these bold words of mine,
But he will not be pleased
With the houris and the wine.

He loves to dispute and fight,
And furiously wrangle,
But paradise is no place
For this kind of jangle.

His task is to disunite
And leave people in the lurch,
But paradise has no temple,
No mosque and no church.’

-Muhammad Iqbal, translated by Naeem Siddiqui

Pious impiety

26 07 2010

…Or: How some would say that religion is bad for virtue, and the sense in which they are right

Previously posted on my old blog at the beginning of 2008

As I have mentioned in a previous post, I am hacking my way through Matthew Stewart’s book, The Courtier and the Heretic on the philosophical journeys of Baruch Spinoza and Gottfried Leibniz. My philosophical studies have been very informal, and I have a distaste for meticulous arguments. As always, however, there are certain aspects of philosophy that do interest me, and one of them is the relationship between religion and virtue in the philosophy of Baruch Spinoza. In my opinion, this philosopher helped to found a spiritually deadly anti-pious piety that even contaminates religious people to this day often without their knowing it. I should know, because I too was affected by it once.
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Re-run on cosmic symbols

12 07 2010

Just to show you folks that I haven’t changed all that much…

The following is a four year old essay on the old blog. I am brushing up on my Neoplatonic theurgy, so you might as well follow along. I think since I have written this essay, I have become far more sober about the nature of liturgy and Christianity in general. Insofar as they preserve any sense of the “primitive ontology” that is at the heart of ancient discourse, they do so purely by accident. But without further ado, here is your dose of Iamblichus

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On science – ancient and modern

6 05 2010

For how shall we account for those plants called heliotropes, that is, attendants on the sun, moving in correspondence with the revolution of its orb, but selenitropes, or attendants on the moon, turning in exact conformity to her motion? It is because all things pray, and hymn the leaders of their respective orders; but some intellectually, and others rationally; some in a natural, and others after a sensible, manner. Hence the sunflower, as far as it is able, moves in a circular dance towards the sun; so that if any one could hear the pulsations made by its circuit in the air, he would perceive something composed by a sound of this kind, in honour of its king, such as a plant is capable of framing. Hence, too, we may behold the sun and moon in the earth, but according to a terrene quality; but in the celestial regions, all plants, and stones, and animals, possessing an intellectual life according to a celestial nature.

-Proclus, On the Hieratic Art
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