Friday, January 11, 2008

What the burning bush spoke, so spoke Mansur al Hallaj


Tarquin Rees, the author of blog Anulios shared something interesting about the statement of mystic Mansur al Hallaj, "anal Haqq" or "I am the Truth", as Mansur was accused of blasphemy that he claimed, "I am God" by interpretation. Previously i posted few perspectives on this statement in a series titled Study on Masur Hallaj. Earlier post links are provided at the end of the post.

Noteworthy is the comparison of Moses' account where God spoke through the burning bush on the base of the sacred mountain, though Tarquin's prime emphasis is somewhere else. I feel the symbolical reference of burning bush and Mansur Hallaj's statement do hold certain depth when it comes to inner realities. The Quranic description of the event (which is also present in the Bible) can be recalled briefly:

(...) So when he came to the fire, a voice was heard: "O Moses!
"Verily I am thy Lord! (...)" - The Quran 2:11,12

I quote from Tarquin's post:

(...) mysticism in general and Sufism in particular does not in any way aim to ‘unite the aspirant with God’ or enable them to partake of God’s being. In my opinion, this is impossible.

Rather, the method is one of eradicating that which stands in the way of perception of God: the false self or nafs. As these do not really exist - as nothing really exists in the final analysis (except God) - then we do ourselves do not really exist. Sufism is the means of realizing this in actuality.

If the above is true (and I could be wrong obviously) then how can the non-existent perceive the existent? Or, put another way, how can Hallaj say “I am God” ? Hallaj is non-existent. God could say it THROUGH the form of Hallaj perhaps ... certainly He is rumoured to have once said something similar through a burning bush but is that really what we are talking about in this case?

(...) I think that certain realized people - teachers, for want of a better term though I am learning to view this term with extreme distaste - say specific things with a view to their being considered deeply by a specific audience, perhaps even one generations after their time.

This is the category into which I suspect Hallaj’s saying might be placed - alongside Bayazid’s earlier near-identical utterances and Jesus’s famous “I am the Way, the Truth, the Life”.

In a way they are Legominisms in Gurdjieff’s phrase or ‘teaching phrases’ in Shah’s sense. Meant to be pondered for deeper understanding ... they are also invitations to literalism if one is so inclined.

One sees in them a reflection of what one believes based on what one IS at the time - this can be used for change or for justification or for more or less anything. They are magic: you get what you put in - but you also get exactly what you want to take out.


[>] read the full post "I am God"

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