Monday, October 14, 2013
A meditation on the Muslim mind
Bill Warner's theory of Islamic dualism may or may not be accurate; it's certainly ostensibly so, but even acknowledging a fundamental schizophrenia in the Mohammedan psyche and his culture -- principally manifesting as a disordered tension between puritanism and depravity -- there are also other ways of looking at the data.
Firstly, there is the fact of Islamic abrogation, which has been attested as an Islamic practice in developing legal interpretations and fatwas (though many Muslims slyly through taqiyya try to conceal this practice). By the practice itself and by the Koranic verse they use for it, it's not so much a paradoxical dualism, but rather it's the belief that Allah can, and did, change his mind about certain things. In effect, what Allah revealed through his abrogation of his own words was the mirror-image opposite of the Judaeo-Christian principle of the universalization of God's Covenant with Noah and Jesus's Gospel through Paul's exegesis: to wit, the universalization of perpetual violent warfare to bring the whole Earth under submission and prepare it for the Final Jihad of the Last Days, which in turn will finally end all jihad so Muslimkind can relax and enjoy itself carnally for eternity in Paradise (while the remaining filth and traitors -- viz., the rest of Mankind -- must suffer dreadful physical tortures in Hell for eternity).
With his theory of dualism, I think Warner is trying to make Western sense of the Muslim mind. But I would maintain the Oriental mind doesn't need to make sense in our linear, oh-so-sincere way: it operates in a more sinuous, serpentine fashion, sly eyes ever ready to pounce on the bottom line serving power, greed, rapine, lust along with the constant fears of paranoia -- a logical paranoia that knows all too well that other Orientals around one think the same way. In this mindset and worldview, the only order injected into this personal, societal and moral chaos is two-fold: from the bottom up, so to speak, in the base drives of the Id; and from the top down, from various forms of tyranny in the Strong Man Superego who seizes power.
The theology of Islam only changed this dynamic by codifying both sides of this chaos -- rather exacerbating the fundamental disorder than curing it, as Western political science has (not without imperfections along the way, of course) worked out over the centuries. The Islamic exacerbation in this regard is paradoxical in that by intensifying the power dynamic: more power to the Strong Men in great part through a deeper enmeshment with the dictates of the Strong God as explained by his Pupper Master Mohammed -- and more license given to the deadly vices of human nature as long as those vices serve the overall power. This in turn has a relentless totalitarian-supremacist logic, perpetually voracious for more power until all Mankind submits.
Finally, it should be noted that in Islam, totalitarianism is necessarily -- not just peripherally or accidentally -- physically violent. And that is the only significant problem we should have with Islam; for if they believed and desired totalitarianism, but didn't also believe in forcing that on people through terror-cum-physical violence, then Muslims would just be some kooky cult that poses no great danger.
By "Oriental" I am including the entire Orient, but would add that non-Muslim Oriental cultures have in various ways over the millennia tried -- and to a great extent succeeded -- to develop ways to refine some of the rough edges out of this fundamental psychological/sociocultural nature of theirs, in ways that often have developed degrees of genuine order analogous to the order divined through (ancient) Israel, Christianity, and Graeco-Roman philosophy -- including aspects of Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Tao. While these movements are not perfect and have, at times, colluded with the baser Oriental nature, they also brought varying degrees of good reform and growth to it, often to raise it to a luminously useful and wise contributor to the ongoing mystery of Mankind; whereas Islam was, uniquely, an utterly deleterious and depraved force for not only doing nothing to reform the Oriental mind, but actually to degrade it to its worst possible form in a self-perpetuating malignancy whose raison d'être is a metastatic voracity with a hormetic telos thoroughly destructive in its means and end, as is the mind of the mythical Satan who simultaneously wants supreme power and knows, deep down, that he can only win by making everyone -- the whole cosmos -- lose, including himself (or, to put it more colloquially, Satan knows that the only way he can win is by "dragging everyone down to Hell with him" -- which, needless to say, would be the gold standard of the Pyrrhic victory). Metaphorically, this is motive of everything a Muslim thinks and does, insofar as he is Muslim; even if he may not fully realize the ultimate destruction his own Id (Satan) has in store for him, whereby Paradise is really an inverted mirage of Hell.