Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Creative Joy and Human Sacrifice

Well, the early appointment canceled, so I have to renege on my promised lack of a post. I'll use the space to fulfill another broken promise, which was to finish with Corbin yesterday. Then we can move on to a new subject tomorrow, or at least beat an old one to death.

Corbin sounds more trinitarian than strictly uni-theistic to me when he writes that "we must never forget that He is the Lover and the Beloved," and that "it is in His essence to be both one and the other, just as He is the Worshiped, the Worshiper, and the eternal dialogue between the two."

Indeed, if God's essence is Lover, Beloved, and the Love between; or Knower-Known-Knowledge; or Worshiper-Worshiped-Eternal Dialogue; then that seems to me more Christian than Islamic -- or at least I've never heard Muslims speak of God as a one-in-threeness, and vice versa.

Here is a major difference: instead of a preexistent Trinity of eternal communion-in-love, Corbin postulates "a Divine Being alone in His unconditioned essence, of which we know only one thing: precisely the sadness of primordial solitude that makes Him yearn to be revealed in beings who manifest Him to Himself insofar as He manifests Himself to them."

First of all: like anybody could know that. But here we confront a major difference: either God joyfully creates in such a way as to allow creatures to participate in his selfless trinitarian love; or because he is sad and lonely.

No, really: creation "is not the bursting into being of an autarchic Omnipotence, but a fundamental sadness: 'I was a hidden Treasure, I yearned to be known. That is why I produced creatures, in order to be known by them.' This phase is represented as the sadness of the divine Names suffering anguish in nonknowledge because no one names them, and it is this sadness that descended in the divine Breath which is Compassion and existentiation..."

Eh, I don't buy it.

The following, however, rings a bell which 'peals to the process theologian in me: that "creation springs" from "the potencies and virtualities latent in His own unrevealed being," such that "the Creation is essentially the revelation of the Divine Being, first to himself, a luminescence occurring within Him."

Yeah, I think God surprises himself. But only eternally. Otherwise, how can we call him "Creator"?

I do not believe God creates because he's sad. On the other hand, I do believe the creation must sometimes -- okay, often -- make him sad. Or maybe angry. But one cannot believe a moral agent -- let alone the ground of moral agency -- can be neutral, for example, with regard to members of the Islamic State who urge western followers to engage in random knife attacks:

"Many people are often squeamish of the thought of plunging a sharp object into another person’s flesh. It is a discomfort caused by the untamed, inherent dislike for pain and death, especially after 'modernization' distanced males from partaking in the slaughtering of livestock for food and the striking of the enemy in war.... However, any such squirms and discomforts are never an excuse for abandoning jihad."

News you can use!

Oh, and although the Koran calls for decapitation (Sura 8:12), "jihadists are encouraged to go for major organs, arteries or the neck, but not the skull as their knife blade may break. 'It is advised to not necessarily attempt to fully detach the head, as the absence of technique can cause a person to spend a long time attempting to do so, that is, unless the individual’s circumstances and capabilities allow for such.'"

As we've been suggesting, God appears in the form of our ability to comprehend him. What to make of this grotesque form? It is not as if they are the first to call for human sacrifice as a way to obey and manifest the Almighty.

The imagination "is subject to two possibilities, since it can reveal the Hidden only by continuing to veil it. It is a veil; this veil can become so opaque as to imprison us and catch us in the trap of idolatry" (Corbin).

The imagination is a space where nonlocal realities -- ranging from the upper to lower vertical -- are "materialized." Logically, the only "cure" for the murderous jihadis is Christ crucified, which satisfies the idolatrous impulse to engage in human sacrifice once and for all.

18 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

Haven't read the post yet; sure there will be time aplenty later.

For any raccoons in a praying frame of mind, if you could add a couple for us in the next couple of days, it would be appreciated.

10/05/2016 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Will do, Julie. Be safe.

10/05/2016 12:28:00 PM  
Blogger doug saxum said...

Prayers and hugs to you Julie!

10/05/2016 01:36:00 PM  
Blogger Abdulmonem Othman said...

Every thing in life is subject to polarity, do and do not,buy and not buy ,obey or disobey, be adulterous or straight. God himself is wrathful and merciful,harsh and gentle, has friends and has foes after all where from have we learned our attributes but from his attributes. The story of the image.The verse you quoted from the koran is addressed to the angels to tell the humans that there are unseen forces that can be mobilized to support the humans in their fight for truth and justice, after all prophets are sent to correct the perversions committed by the humans including the impostor mohammad. Trinity is the basic principle of activation and procreation in both the physical and non-physical world, father ,mother and son,lover beloved and love etc but even this basic principle can falter some time where no intercourse of male and female give a son. God is not a human and we can not apply the human attributes on him,after all we do not know his essence to tailor it according to our human limited knowledge. The story of the human representation of god in earth is a recurrent story and thus he was endowed with divine consciousness to be able to exercise that representation and that is also what is behind the story of the treasure which you do not buy another situation of buy and buy not. This is basically the purpose of the freedom given to the humans so he can not blame any one for his choice as they say everyone is the slave of his action. The perverted pictures of any religion can not be cited as representative of that religion, there are killers everywhere. Generalization without qualification is a dangerous road. Sometime I ask myself after this more than eighty years on this divided earth about the use of knowledge if not to know the where about of god and be a more honest person and more truthful in expressing myself and dealing with others. Thank you

10/05/2016 02:03:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

That is a willfully obtuse view. Check out the list of Islamic attacks in the left sidebar: 29, 384 in the last 15 years. And this leaves out the state violence perpetrated on citizens in virtually every Islamic country.

10/05/2016 02:21:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I mean, let's be intellectually honest. The fact that most Muslims deny the problem only makes one more suspicious of a creed so lacking in self-awareness (or simply engaging in jihad by deception, a la CAIR).

10/05/2016 02:26:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I might add that that is 29, 384 attacks despite a worldwide effort, no doubt costing in the trillions, to stop them. Imagine how many there would be without the constant surveillance and disruption, not to mention everyday nuisances such as TSA?

10/05/2016 02:34:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Have to say, there are a lot of women in hijab around where I live, and it gives an unpleasant chill every time.

10/05/2016 04:46:00 PM  
Blogger Abdulmonem Othman said...

It is easy to produce statistics, and forget the other violent statistics around the world, this is not to justify the unjustifiable but let us ask ourselves who made the death camp in Iraq and ignite the fire in Libya and Syria, as you said let us be intellectually honest and seek the truthful causes behind the symptoms and know the reality that the islamic countries are governed by puppets put their by the western power. In a world whose trade mark is lie, let us leave it to the divine you talked about and you are seeking his knowledge, to settle this difficult issue. I do believe we are moving toward a time where every thing will be exposed in fair or in foul. Thank you again , for me I like to seek points of convergence because the world has for a long time been living in the swamps of divergence picking on each other,pursuing the destructive road that we see its signs every where. Of course it is easy to accuse but it is very difficult to find good evidences for the accusation.

10/05/2016 06:10:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I understand. Everything is someone else's fault.

In America we call that philosophy "liberalism."

10/05/2016 06:17:00 PM  
Blogger Abdulmonem Othman said...

As I said in my first comment that every one is the slave of his action which does not mean everything is some one else*s fault, the comment you thought was willfully obtuse. Away from the label I repeat everything will be uncovered according to the plan of the god which most people have no faith in. I have faith and I am waiting.

10/05/2016 07:15:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

In the west we are more inclined to believe that God is waiting for us.

Or in other words.

10/05/2016 09:12:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

"Eh, I don't buy it."

Nope, me neither. Sounds like an alcoholic artist.

10/06/2016 04:54:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Prayers Julie.

10/06/2016 05:57:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Julie said "Have to say, there are a lot of women in hijab around where I live..."

I haven't really flown in years, going from airport to airport, but we went with my wife on one of her flights for an extended layover in San Diego over Labor Day... went St. Louis-> Chicago-> San Diego, and the number of hijabs, and full body-bagging was... alarming.

I also couldn't help noticing that the shops in the harbor touristy place, which we'd last visited with the kids when they were all pre-teens, had drastically changed. Still the same sort of shops, but it was apparent that blocks of them had the same middle eastern owners, gaudy flash and smarmy attitude to employees and customers ... a very different, and unwelcome, vibe all around.

10/06/2016 06:06:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Yeah. Re. the hijab, Sultan Knish stated my concerns exactly.

In the years after 9-11, I always thought it weird and disturbing that most of the janitorial staff at Sky Harbor airport in Phoenix seemed to be Somali immigrants, and they always wore the blue sack garment that covers everything but the face and hands. God forbid anyone should express concern, though. That would be insensitive.

10/06/2016 06:53:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

abdull said "...prophets are sent to correct the perversions committed by the humans including the impostor mohammad..."

Sorry, that sounded very nearly sensible, so obviously what you meant, isn't what I took that to mean - could you clarify?

10/06/2016 07:32:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Julie, I'd almost prefer zombies to the bagged people - they at least actually are mindless devourers of the living, where as the baggers possess an intentionality that is far more frightening.

And refraining from insensitivity isn't going to stop what will eventually come - if the baggers aren't somehow reformed, we may all need to take a tip from that helpful sura - sooner or later.

10/06/2016 08:05:00 AM  

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