I recently attended several conferences of Muslim leaders and it was interesting to see the diversity of opinions and how they reflected where we’re at. I say “where we’re at” as a loose term because it’s not a place that we’re going to as a static position – we’re constantly in flux. But, never the less, it was curious to hear some different opinions. Continue reading “The Changing Mood of Islam In America”
I’ve been out of town for a few days on a shoot and have had some travel time to continue reading Professor Jackson’s book, Islam & The Blackamerican. It really is proving to be a most engaging read. I’ve reached the point in the book where Professor Jackson begins to talk about the transition from Islam as Black Religion to loosing its validity do to a number of influences. Some of those include the break-off of Warith-deen Muhammad from his father’s group, the Nation of Islam. The rise of sunni-Blackamerican Muslims and how they challenged the validity of not only the Nation, as it was viewed as straight heretical, but also Warith-deen’s off-shoot movement, since by it coming out of the Nation, it had a stigma attached to it. Continue reading “Islam & The Blackamerican – More Notes”
What to do about the Salafi problem? They are most certainly an issue. They have caused and are causing considerable damage to the Blackamerican Muslim community. Now, I am not saying that they are kufar. Let’s get that straight. I am saying that their methodologies are not appropriate for the cultural climate in which they are trying to operate. As a matter of fact, they don’t seem to take culture into consideration at all. But as long as American Muslim imams and shuyukh can be “refuted” or seen to have no authority and or knowledge, they pose a difficulty for us. And many of us who have been “turned” by the Salaf, were done so not knowing any other alternative. So we’re gonna have to fight back against this tide. Begin to push and push and push until we can get a foot hold and some have some breathing space of which we can then begin to dismantle their concepts or at the very least, have a dialog. Wa Allahu ya’lamu ahsan (and Allah knows best).
Writings of the Yusef Lateef Quartet
- By Yusef Lateef
The idea of Nothing constitutes the most admirable human notion. The idea of Nothing, for instance, as thought of by some minds, contains an extremely complex magnitude of notions, that is to say, a syndrome of non-entities, an emptiness of its own. Only the Nothingarian whose point of view obliges him to become familiar with this instance of common Nothingness, and to get at the implicity void underlying it, is in a position to estimate the immeasurable wealth of these metaphysical rules by the annihilation he experiences in mastering their infinity.
If we wish to gain understanding of the complex notions of Nothing, we must begin with the analysis of such facts as these. All Nothingness consists of a unified whole and the essence of all Nothingness is to be sought for in the respect which the Nothingarian acquires for the unified whole.
Now most of the gestalt which then Nothingarian learns to respect, he receives from the infinite stream of consciousness, which means that he receives them after they have been fully annihilated and often annihilated, not in relation to him and as they are needed, but once and for all and through a suspended succession of the infinite stream of consciousness.
On the contrary, in the case of the very simplest notion of Nothing, we are in the presence of a configuration pattern which has been elaborated by minds alone. It is of no mili-second whether these Nothings strike us as organized fields or not in their contents. As Nothingarians, we must ourselves adopt the point of view, not of the infinite stream of consciousness but of complex notions. However, the complex notions of the idea of Nothing are handed down, just like so-called patterns of illusion, from one generation to another and are preserved solely by the respect that is felt for them by individuals. The sole divergence is that the relations in this instance are only those that exist between minds. The minds who are beginning to think are gradually informed by the matured ones in respect for the nonentities; and in any case, they yearn from their hearts to the vanity of something supremely characteristic of human insignificance, which consists of Nothing. As to the mature ones, it is in their power to reconstruct the Notions. If this is not “notion,” then where does Notion begin? At least it is admiration for notions, and it alludes to an enquiry like ours at the inception with the consideration of extinction or dissolution of this incalculable void. Of course the phenomena relating to the idea of Nothing are not among the most primitive. Before a mind can form a concept it is influenced by the outer world. The mind is subjected from its very beginning to a multiplicity of outer concepts that in reality do not exist within the domain of its own consciousness. The circumstances even articulate, as we shall see, an undeniable influence upon the way in which the nations are elaborated. But in the case of the non-thetic mind, the infinite stream of consciousness is at its best reduced to a hopeless cavity. We are therefore in the mythology here of non-realities which, if not among the most distinctive metaphysical, should be classed among the most inaccessible and the most sensational Nothingism.
With regard to complex notions, there are two phenomena which are like dreamless dreams: first, the dissolution of antimaterialism, i.e. the way in which minds with different noetic properties effectively invision a gestalt; second, the consciousness of gestalt, i.e. the idea which minds of different noetic properties form of the character of these complex notions, whether of something hollow and bare or of something subject to interminability, whether of blandness or incertitude …
From the point of view of dissolution of antimaterialistic entities, four successive non-substances can be distinguished.
A first non-substance of a purely fruitless and meaningless character, during which the mind handles the idea of Nothing at the dictation of its desires and fruitlessness. This leads to the fabrication of a more or less ritualized plan, but since minds are purely individual, one can only talk of aimless individualistic notions and not of truly collective notions.
The second may be called cessation of consciousness of life. This sterility begins some place between the null and the void at the very moment that the mind receives the depletion of codified notions from outside. Though the mind imitates this depletion, it continues to be non-thetic either by itself without bothering to find cause, and therefore without attempting to unify the various perceptions within the mind. In other words, minds at this stage, even when they are non-thetic minds, are unaware, each one “on its own” and without regard for any codification of notions. This dual discharge, combining imitation of utter absence of determination with a purely individual use of the depletion received, we have designated by the noun cluster “cessation of consciousness of life.”
A third emptiness appears between the psychological purge and escape from ignorance which we shall call incipient space. Each thinker now tries to absorb, and all thinkers begin to concern themselves with, the question of mutual ratification and of unification of the notions. But while a certain abyss may be reached in the course of one Nothing, ideas about the notions in general are still rather boundless. I n other words, minds of psychological purge and escape, who belong to the domain of fruitlessness and are therefore constantly sharing their Nothings with each other, give meaningless and often entirely contradictory accounts of the notions observed in the idea of Nothing when they are questioned separately.
Finally, an accurate identification of mental space appears between perceptual deflation and evisceration. This is the fourth non-substance, which is that of codification of notions. Not only is every detail of procedure in Nothing fixed, but the actual codified notions to be observed are known to the whole infinite region. There is a remarkable inexhaustibility in the information given by the deterioration of space belonging to the same gap when they are questioned on complex notions and their possible variations. These stages must be taken as that which hangs in the void. For the intention of philosophical emptiness, it is convenient to divide the minds up into indistinguishable categories, but the facts present themselves as informative neuroses which cannot be cutup into sections_ This informative, however, is not ineffectual in character and its general impression can only be observed by planning the absence and ignoring the unoccupied oscillations which render it infinitely complicated in detail.
Now, if we turn to the consciousness of notions, we shall find a condition external to Nothing that is even more elusive in detail, but no less clearly measureless if taken on a large scale. We may express this by saying that the condition runs through three emptinesses; the second begins during the cessation of consciousness of life and ends toward the middle of the neurotic drain, the third covers the remainder of this neurotic drain and the whole of the drain is measured by the codification of notions.
During the first non-substance, the domains are not yet clearly interminable in character, either because they are purely the non-rational consequence of a subjective desire, or else because they are received unconsciously and as interesting depletions rather than unconfirmed realities.
During the second non-substance(cessation of consciousness of life and the first half of neurotic drain), rules are regarded as sacred silences, untouchable, emanating from the infinite stream of consciousness and therefore lasting forever. Every suggested alteration strikes the mind as an insight into the inadequacy of blindness.
During incipient space, a complex notion is looked upon as a non-entity due to mutual consent, which we must respect if we wish to be altruistic, but which is permissible to alter on the condition of retaining general opinion on our side.
The relationships between the three non-substances in the development of the consciousness of notions and the four non-substances corresponding to their practical observance, are only ebbing relationships and therefore very ungratified. Expansively speaking, the correlation seems to be indisputable_ At first, the collective notions are something infinite to the individual and unrealistically sacred to him; then as he progressively makes them his own, they come to that degree of being felt as the free blank of mutual destitution and autonomous unawareness. Regarding pragmatically use, it is only inherent that a mythical respect for non-entities should be attended by a fundamental incertitude, and simplification of their contents; an unsanctioned and well-abandoned respect is escorted by an effective dissolution of each notion in detail.
There seem to be two types of respect for notions corresponding to two types of minds. This conclusion deserves to be closely examined, for if it holds virtue, it should be of the greatest value to the analysis of complex notions. One can see at once all that it exhausts in the relationships between mind and the infinite stream of consciousness. Take the rebellion of the mind toward its perception and intuition, joined to its sincere respect for the commands it receives and its amazing mental constructs: could not this be due to the complex of stances which we can observe during the cessation of consciousness of life, and which combines so enigmatically an unstable dissolution of antimaterialism with a mythical attitude toward it? And will not silence between the infinite stream of consciousness and mind (insofar as it can be realized and insofar as it is articulated by cooperation between minds themselves), furnish the key to the interior of silence and to the autonomy of Nothing?…
Writings of the Yusef Lateef Quartet
- by Yusef Lateef
BLESSED IS THE MAN who walketh alone in dignity, and solitarily standeth in modesty, and sitteth reclusively in sublimity. Hydra-headed loneliness, like an endophyte, incessantly bids the mind of man to traumatize. At times … during periods of detachment … man shall taste the unaesthetic disease of sadness, like a lonely tower hidden and decaying in the bowels of despair. Comfortless is the congregation of the forsaken, like watery fluid from the guts. For loneliness is an infectious dystrophy to man. WHY DOES THIS heathen remoteness deceive man’s senses? The forsaken and depraved of the earth take counsel together against the opulent and rapturous spirit of man. Let us purify their feverish condition and sever their cords. He that sitteth as an alien shall suffer anguish of the mind; the lonely butcher shall have him in derision. Then shall he mock him in his fury, and vex him in his labyrinth of loneliness.
A LONELY HEART is prone to declare the decree of disgrace, and, in so doing, affect a disgruntlement in the mind. Ask the forsaken for amity, and they shall give you dysesthesia of the most violent type. Thou shalt indict them for maladministration of your soul. Thou shalt wish them arraigned for malfeasance of your mind. Be wise now, they have their existence only as the forsaken and the depraved. They serve only the distempered spirits as a putrid amniotic fluid. Let them perish from your mind, lest they awaken fire-immune beasts, kindled by an encephalitic warmth to incinerate the middle cell of your head. They are more numerous than the wars of Carthage, and frequently rise up as psychoneurotic entities to agitate the soul. Yes, they are many.
THEY WAIT TO inject their venom into your soul: unsocial-belladonna, troglodyticaconite, disconsolate-strychnine, single-corrosive sublimate, ancharitic-arsenic, and more of the same.
YES, LET THEM perish from your mind through the loving remembrance of the Divine, the only shield against the blue vitriolic abuse of loneliness and the uplifter of your mind. They can cause you to cry due to denying you affection, and when you weep, they rejoice in your excruciation.
YES, THEY ARE the congregation of the forsaken, like mental tumors, consisting of dilated or oxalic oriented blood vessels perpetually depriving some soul of wellbeing.
PERHAPS IT WOULD be better to sleep eternally; sleep might give them access to your dreams whereby they could effuse excremental fluid into the interstices of your nocturnal cells.
ARISE, O LOVING remembrance of the Divine One, shield me: for in the past, Thou hast smitten all the enemies of the Blessed: Thou hast broken the tumultuous teeth of the seducer of the lonely.
HEAR THOSE WITHOUT company, deserted, desolate, and lonesome … how in silence they duel with the irritable internal secretion of loneliness. Hear their silent voices that occasionally utter a twinge of pain, with a lisp.
O YE CONGREGATION of the forsaken, how long will ye inhabit my domain? How long will ye revel in the evisceration of man’s psyche, and how long will ye seek to lease his soul?
STAND IN AWE! I know you have no heart; it is only through mine that you communicate, suggesting unsavory perceptions of hurt. Offer not your rueful allusions for they are isotopes having the same number of protanopia in the nucleus of the spiritual eye and they effect the same atmospheric atrophy in the soul. GIVE EAR TO my chant, O Divine One! Consider my lonely exile and meditation. Hearken unto the utterance of my silent cry. My voice shalt Thou apprehend, for Thou art The All Hearing, though the congregation of loneliness attempts to seditiously impede your help. I know that the companionless shall not stand as eternally convicted felons, condemned to execution by these highly venomous, elapid snakes, for like Acanthophis Antarcticus, they keep their own Death-Watch.
O DIVINE ONE, refuse me not Thy protective shield. Leave me not as stark prey, as in a death-trap, exposed to the inimical usurption of loneliness and his perversive plan. Debar me not from Thy sacred shelter. Guide my steps not into the abiotic abattoir of loneliness. For his dwelling is absonant with death rattles, and decorated with morally tainted deeds; the rooms have damaged and inoperable furniture, and the presiding flowers are in a state of being grieved; the decadent pantry only has within it a poisonous mushroom of the genus amanita and spices of abnormal and scrofulous content; the windows permit no light to pass through, for they are covered with a thick mucus-like substance … like that which is found in the throat of a person immediately preceding death; the slivered and lascerated beds are harbingers of miscarriages and dionysian escapades; the pathogenic air, when breathed, causes a chafing lethargy, in that it harbors spirochaetotic bacteria that are injurious to man, and dog, and even swine and cattle.
O YE CONGREGATION of the forsaken, your dwelling is a sickening brothel, an atrocious hotel, a psychosomatically disordered apartment, a rude residence, a house of horrors, a broken establishment, a restless corporation, an abhorrent partnership, a ruthless company, a brutal business, an orgiastic organization, a disturbing enterprise, and a home that is not a home.
O YE CONGREGATION of the forsaken, absolute demolition or absolute conversion is your only salvation. Can’t you see? Can’t you hear? The implication is that you prefer conversion, in that you seek the company of the seer.
CONGREGATION, now listen as neophytes should and, if you learn this lesson, you will become doers of good: through perversion of your existence, you have nearly destroyed your natural inclinations to engage in peace. You must help man. Don’t try to lease his soul. Don’t use his heart as a target for your brooding arrows.
AGAIN, I SAY you have no heart. You are only a concept within in the mind, but each arrow that pierces the target inflicts pain in heart and mind. This is because they are so intimately connected with the body and soul. Realize that you are a concept with a silent voice that makes suggestions to the soul of man. Man is your brother, therefore suggest savory concepts to him with a fraternal voice.
OFFER HIM CONCERN and care, for these are the type of offerings that transform repining into peace, and they replenish the soul. Give ear to his needs. Make not folly of his ignorance if you find his language strange or foreign. Stand eternally together as a Universal Brotherhood, dedicated to peace through an uncompromising internal commitment, for, in essence, a Universal Brotherhood is its own Peace-Watch.
TIDY THE CONDOMINIUM of your conscience. Make it an extenuation of the sacred shelter, and welcome all men. Guide them all into a peaceful refuge and let them hear a euphoric knell. Build your house of moral fibers, and aromatic deeds. Replace the grieving flowers with plants that are valued for their bloom. Be sure that your pantry has vital nutritional substances within it, and spices that reinvigorate the heartsick soul. Clean the death-rattle mucus from your windows and welcome the light. Sterilize all mental micro-organisms as quickly as you can. Have nothing in your house that maybe injurious to man.
ABANDON YOUR BROTHEL, exchange the atrocious hotel for heaven on earth, convert the psychosomatic apartment into an adjunct of peace, make the rude residence a rumpus room, and convert the broken establishment into a Universal Aesthetic Center for body, mind, and soul. Then man shall be BLESSED.