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 Disturbing Sanity

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Join date : 2012-12-11
Location : here

PostSubject: Disturbing Sanity   Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:48 am

I had a moment of very disturbing sanity earlier when I went to post evidence of my rambling madness - under what forum should I put it? I was concerned, which is why it was so disturbing. Is it Eastern? Western? Ancient? Modern? Is it all the above? And I had a moment when I felt like the Irish fella who was shown four shovels and told to take his pick.

By accident of birth I am a man of the west. I am, however, an eclectic - which, by the way, seems to me to be quite in keeping with the ethos of this site. My madnesses include elements of eastern, western, ancient and modern (sounds like a certain hymnbook I've heard of) and some self induced varieties, gleaned from psychology - traditional and modern, western and eastern; anthropology; Taoist and Zen teachings, poetry and prose; Ghaidhlig myth and legend and its prose and poetic wisdom; I borrow from Christian Mystics, Islamic saints, Taoist masters and Zen men such as Benkei the warrior monk and, of course, the wonderful Haiku of Basho. I've even read The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon, for gosh sake, and I know that, when a horse farts on the ferry boat, four or five suffer! What about Rabindranath Tagore and Khalil Gibran? And Moroccan sufis live west of the Bosphorus, but south of the Med'. Ghazali lived in Spain, as did el Arabi and Abu Bakr, not to mention some others. Cornelius Agrippa was a central European - neither east nor west, for fucks sake! And neither modern nor ancient - kind of a while ago but ... you know.

Is there such a thing as ancient wisdom which is not also modern wisdom? Does it have a shelf life? Is east and west not one thing, essentially? Does the accident of birth make Mahmud Shabistari's works an eastern phenomenon because Mercator (sic) drew some straight lines on a map he made for merchants?? And while we are at it, where the hell does east end and west begin? Is it a straight line down through the Bosphorus, or does it squiggle about to take in the foreign devils inhabiting out of the way places who just happen to have a different established religion from the one we suffer with?

There are a number of western philosophers and mystics whose works are, at least in part, entirely dependent on earlier works by eastern thinkers. In fact, some entire schools and movements in the west are modelled directly on their eastern counterparts. Francis of Assissi, for one. Blavatsky's Theosophical society, for another, and Gurdjieff's Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man for a third. There are others. Gurdjieff was a Russian Armenian - so is he east or west? His teachers were from the Levant but he was operating in France! Does that make it slightly eastern? Or a bit western? And Chaucer and Bunyan's epic works are a complete plagiarism of earlier Sufi products -  Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress is a rendition (not extreme) of Rumi's Mantiq ut tair - Parliament of the Birds. What does that make it? Was Christian theology Islamicised, or esoteric Islamic teachings Westernised?

This sanity is killing me! Perhaps I should call upon the Sidhe who ride the winds, or the spirits of the sixties Cult of Ellessdee to assist me in this most difficult of matters. Any help out there? Can we make the four subsets into one big forum?
I tell ya, it aint easy bein' me today!

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