The Four Intellectual Journeys of Mulla Sadr Ad-Din Shirazi

 

السفر الاول

A Commentary on the First Premise: The First Journey 

by Dr. Steven Nur Ahmed

“وهو الذي الخلق الي الحق في النظر الي طبيعة الوجود وعوارضه الذاتية وفه مسالك.”

“And He is of those of creation [then] to The Reality wherein gazing upon the Seal of Existence and His Presence is immediate and in it [he] is one coursing [the path.]”

 Here, Mullah Sadr makes the point about the First Intellectual Journey. He does so with a simple premise: “He is of those of creation.” That we are ‘of those’, i.e., all life forms created, is self-evident. We are symbiotically related to all life forms on earth and maybe other life forms on other living or dead planets.

 PROOFS

An aspect of our existence is a mixture of atoms, molecules, and bacteria. That mix of biochemistry culminates in the development of our central Nervous system. It is structured to develop outwardly and to experience by mediation outwardly three-dimensionally, i.e., spatially and temporally; it is not developed to know immediately- inwardly extra-dimensionally.

Secondarily, that we are of this creation is self-evident because we are literally dependent upon minerals including certain gases for nutrition as well as upon sense impressions by means of which we orient our bodies by time and in space.  Intellectually, we are dependent upon sense impressions to form concepts of things we symbolically identify in our environments. Language is the greatest example of our symbolic life of the mind.

 The Limitations of Sense Impressions

We each have different orientations in the world. That is so because our sense impressions are different and limited by varying degrees of personal sensitivity. We are thus hampered not only by blurred vision and inaudible sounds but also by correspondingly vague conceptual clarity. More often than not, that results in defective reasoning and judgments. We find it very difficult to agree on almost every other persons’ description of nature. We are always in need of some extra technological assistance to artificially light the path before each step we take. We are never certain about our circumstances. We literally do not know ‘where’ we are let alone ‘when’ we are. So, we improvise measures of time and space and pretend by consensus to be oriented rightly. But generally, we are not oriented rightly.

Our Origin in The World

Neither do we know the nature of our origin in the world. Did we originate chemically here on earth? Did we originate chemically on some other planet? Did we originate chemically in some remote region of the solar system or galaxy? Is our soul an epiphenomenon of our biological birth into the world? Or did our soul get infused into the world extra-dimensionally in an immeasurably short moment when the forty-six chromosomes from our parent’s paired and united?

The Quran answers paradoxically both yes and no. We are from water[1] and we were thrown down “…Radadnahu Asfala Safaleen رددنه أسفل سفلين”[2]. We are both light and darkness. That being so, was our conception by chance or was our conception predetermined? We don’t know the answers to those questions and it may be logically impossible even by use of our most advanced scientific methods to discover the answers to those questions because we cannot follow the chain of causality back in time and space to that moment the material universe came into being. But this we do know. This sphere of creation has a degree of luminosity that is very low and which is dependent on power sources we call stars and atoms or technology. It is a place that is analogous to a ghetto street lighted by a dim lamppost because within this four-dimensional place we are not in the Light of Reality. As we move farther from the source of light we are increasingly surrounded by darkness until darkness becomes impenetrable. It is impenetrable darkness because we are away; we are not in the Perfect Unchanging Present Tense Existence.[3] Mullah Sadr alludes to that by the phrase: “… [therein] His Presence is Immediate…”.[4]  Yet, though we are repulsed to a lowly state, we are simultaneously attracted to Allah. Thus, we are driven by our attraction to Allah to journey to the Reality out from this fractionalized place but not physically, rather extra-dimensionally by and through our minds. Therein lies the purpose of salat. Salat is the mind’s means to Allah.

We are surrounded by dark matter shrouding dimly lighted stars. Over spans of time in billions and maybe trillions of years, trillions of stars are born, flicker for a moment in comparison to the age of the multiverse, then they burn out. Our vision is turned toward the edge of nothingness. We make our way in what light illumines the path before us aware that we are always stalked by dark shadows. We are terribly isolated, alone, unconsciously insecure, and in fact, with most of the time spent in our lives, we are quantitatively more autonomic[5] than conscious.[6]

Why are We Here?

A better question for us to ask would be: ‘Now that I am here, what should I do?’ There is an explicit moral implication in that question.    First, it is self-evident, we are in this earthly sphere because we are an ongoing effect of it in it. We are an effect of an ongoing complex chain of non-linear causes. We each carry the impress of those causes in our bodily chemistry. For example, we are more bacterial than we are cellular.[7] In relation to our environments, we continually receive its impressions as does a soft substance being continually cut by a harder substance.

Outwardly, we mirror many of its characteristics. We are often fooled into thinking that our mirror image is our identity. But our physical body is not our authentic identity. The body is literally ‘unconscious’, but paradoxically it is also a pathway or tunnel that leads out of the body because but for our birth into this world we would have no chance to, as Mullah Sadr states, “…gaze upon the Seal of Existence…” If men and women remain physical, then they remain as unconscious as all other things around them for a time. Then they die. Death means absolute impossibility and thus non-probability.

Mind or Soul, separate from the body, is our authentic identity. But we have no guarantee that we will become a free mind or soul. The body was born into the natural world simultaneously living and dying; simultaneously being and not-being. But mind or soul can live forever in the unmixed Light of Allah. Eternal life is the act of thinking in extra-dimensional consciousness if the soul can as Mullah Sadr said: ‘course the pathway’ out of this world.

 CONCLUSIONS ON THE THESIS OF THE FIRST JOURNEY

This outer sphere of creation is resistant to Divine Light because it inheres a necessary privation due to its grade in the creation. Thus, here, we generally experience a low emanation of Divine Light through our minds. Here, the ‘…Seal of Existence…” can only be known partially or in a narrowly framed consciousness which is heavily shrouded in sensation, perception, and reasoning. All three faculties preempt certain knowledge (ilm-ul-Yaqin) of Allah but such faculties are at the same time necessary for our orientation in and through our experience here.

We were born along in a biotic stream into this sphere of existence by chance and set afloat. We assume the form and characteristics of this four-dimensional creation as a stream must assume the shape and contours of the banks it courses through. We are both in the biotic stream and of the biotic stream. Our burden is to struggle against its unconscious power which is both in us and around us.

We were born with the potentiality to autonomically develop the anatomical skills necessary to live out our natural life to its term.

We were born with the potential to react automatically- biologically, emotionally, and imaginatively to things and life forms around us.

We were born with the potential to rationally categorize sense impressions, to form concepts, and to make logically derived judgments about the relationship between things in space and through time as well as to form mental concepts which permanently signify things in our minds.

We were born with the inherent potential to construct and participate in a virtual reality of mind shared by and with potentially unlimited numbers of other human beings. For some souls, it is the first step along an Intellectual Journey that will consciously lead them to the Beatific Vision of Allah.

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] Quran, Sura 23, Mu’minun, Ayat: 13: “We then placed him as a sperm-drop in a place of settlement, firmly fixed…”

[2] Quran, “Thereupon, We repulsed him, low of the those lowly. Sura: At-Tin, Ayat 5

[3] The Perfect Present Tense is the Eternal Now.  Sura: Al-Ikhlas, Ayat 2“Allahu-Samad..”

[4] Italic mine

[5] The Autonomic Nervous System; both sympathetic and parasympathetic.

[6] Add the time you sleep to the time that you are reacting instinctually (unconsciously) then compare that sum to the time you are conscious. See the ratio of sleep to wakefulness. We are sleepwalking most of the time.

[7] The bacterial to cellular ratio is 9:1. This underscores the Quranic phrase: “radadnahu safala safaleen…”

Welcome to EarthColony.Net: The Myth of Noah’s Curse, by Dr. Steven Nur Ahmed

Book Cover Earthcolony

Chapter 3

Friedman puts the epic of Noah and the Great Flood in Genesis under both the ‘J’ (Yehweh) and ‘P’ (Priestly) accounts.  The two accounts have two or more different authors and as a result the two stories differ in many respects.[1]  For our purpose it is important to note that in the first story or the ‘J’ (Yahweh) account there is no mention of Noah’s sons by name.  However, in the second account or the ‘P’ (Priestly) account circa 485 B.C.E. there is mention of Noah’s three sons by the names of Ham, Shem, and Japheth.[2]  One can clearly see that the two stories were written by two different authors.  In one story, Noah sends out a ‘black raven’ to determine whether the flood waters had subsided; in the second account, Noah sends out a ‘white dove’ to see if the flood waters had subsided.  Further, in the ‘J’ and ‘E’ account, Noah takes a pair of each species of animal whereas in the ‘P’ account, he takes seven pairs of each species of animal.

 

There is another problem with the Noah epic; circa 2650 BCE an earlier epic called Gilgamesh had already been written. It, too, had a flood account.  It also has a ‘Plant of Life’ analogous to the Genesis ‘Tree of Life’ in the ‘P’ or Priestly account of the Garden of Eden.  The geographical origin of the epic Gilgamesh is in or around the city of ‘Uruk’ (Erech). Thousands of Jews were captives in Babylon and subsequently, Persia. They were influenced by Babylonian myths and they also restructured their religious hierarchy to conform to the priestly hierarchy in Babylon.[3]  Thus, it is reasonable to infer that probably the writers of the epic Noah plagiarized parts of the epic Gilgamesh.

 

In the Biblical account of the great flood, Noah is said to have cursed Ham for what ‘Ham had done to him’.[4] According to this myth the Canaanites, Egyptians, and Nubians, et al, are the descendents of Ham; the Greeks and Medes or Aryans are the descendents of Japheth; and the Semitic peoples which include Arabs and Hebrews are the descendents of Shem.  Biblicists, historians, and anthropologists would take these three proper names and divide humanity into three distinct races.  The Hamite, Semite, and Japhetic or Aryan peoples would come to represent the three racial spheres.

 

There was no attempt to incorporate the Asian peoples into one of the preceding categories. That represented yet another fault line in the theory derived from myth. Those classifications are not used today because modern research uncovered obvious contradictions inherent within that classification scheme. No credible anthropologist would use them because they do not conform to the root language families of Indo-European and Afro-Asiatic. For example, all of the Semitic languages fall under the Afro-Asiatic language group as defined by Greenburg, et al. The Afro-Asiatic language group includes the Egyptian, Nubian, Ethiopian, Hebrew, Arabic, and Aramaic as well as many other African languages.[5]  This would rule out the category ‘Shem’ leaving only the two racial categories of Hamite and Japhetic.

 

No one knows what Ham supposedly did to Noah. The myth does not say. Noah’s curse only says that the descendants of Ham would be servants (slaves) to the descendants of the other brothers.[6]  There are no other characteristics identified by the curse which would set the descendants of Ham apart from others. However, that would all change by the 7th century A.D. when a nation of eastern European converts to Judaism called ‘Khazars’ would limit the Noah curse to African people or ‘black’ people.

 

By the 7th century A.D., the Babylonian Talmud expressly identified black skin color, swollen lips, kinky hair, red eyes, and elongated male genitals as ‘signs’ of Noah’s curse.[7]   Later, in the 12th century, Moses Maimonides (circa 1135) would reinforce those characteristics when he wrote the ‘allegory of the King’s Palace’ in his book Guide for the Perplexed. He used the term Hamite and suggested that under some conditions it was proper for Jews to exterminate Muslims and Hamites (Cushites).[8] Even more, we have the first evidence of ‘dehumanizing’ language. No longer are we dealing with just a curse, but with degeneration of one group from humanity based upon their physical characteristics. This type of anthropological categorization was pervasive in the United States from its founding in 1789.  The Mormon leader Joseph Smith took it even further to the extreme when in his doctrine they associate ‘Negroes’ with Satan in a pre-earthly rebellion against God.[9]

 

For centuries, the Noah myth has reinforced the myth of white supremacy in the western world as well as the Varna caste system in India. It continues today in the form of thousands of stereotypes propagandized through mass media owned by the descendants of the people who originated the myth.

 

 

 

 



[1] Richard Elliott Friedman, Who Wrote the Bible, Harper San Francisco, 1987, pp. 54

[2] Ibid, pp. 54

[3] See: Torah, Ezekiel’s dry bone metaphor. It was customary for the Persians to leave the dead in an open pit thus resulting in a dry bones burial site.

[4] “And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.” Genesis 9:24, 25, 26, 27

[5] Joseph H. Greenburg, The Languages of Africa, Bloomington, Indiana University, 1966; Christopher Ehret, Reconstructing Proto-Afroasiatic (Proto-Afrasian) Vowels, Tone, Consonants and Vocabulary, University of California Press, Linguistics Volume 126, 1995

[6] Genesis 9:25-27, (NIV): “Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers…May Cannaan be the slave of Shem…May God extend the territory of Japheth; may Japheth live in the tents of Shem, and may Canaan be his slave.”

[7]  Edith R. Sanders, “The Hamitic Hypothesis: Its Origin and Functions in Time Perspective, Journal Of African History, Cambridge University Press, Vol. 10, no. 4, 1969  Original source: The Babylonian Talmud, Sixth Century A.D.; also see: Midrash Rabbah 1:292-293, Babylonian Talmud

[8] “…I consider these as irrational beings, and not as human beings; they are below mankind, but above monkeys, since they have the form and shape of man, a mental faculty above that of monkey. But those who hold false doctrines within the country (the followers of Muhammad and the supposed descendents of Ham ) recede more as they appear to proceed…under certain circumstances it may be necessary to slay them…” Moses Miamonides

[9] “There is a reason why one man is born black and with other disadvantages, while another is born white with great advantage. …All took sides with Christ or Satan…The Negro, evidently, is receiving the rewards he merits.” Joseph Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 1, pages 66-67

THE OLD TESTAMENT IS TO THE MIND WHAT JUNK FOOD IS TO THE BODY, by Dr. Steven Nur Ahmed

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Nothing in the Torah (Old Testament) makes futuristic reference to the United States or any other modern nation.

Nor does the Torah (Old Testament) predict any event that has occurred or is occurring today in the United States or anywhere in the world from the past times at which its 24 books were written.

Nor does the Torah predict the birth of any specific person who has ever existed in the past and up to the modern world.  Can you imagine all the microscopic spermatozoa and ovum which would have to be sorted out over millions of years by someone to make such a prediction! Can you imagine the magnitude of the mathematical analysis which would be needed in such an effort!

Nor does the Torah tell the history of most African people. The Torah has nothing to do with West and Southern Africa. It has nothing to do with African history in the United States.  It did not and does not predict the past and present predicament of African people in the United States.

Nor does the Torah tell an authentic history of Hebrew people who were an East African ethnic population who also lived on the African peninsula called today Arabia but which at least 1,600 years ago was included in Abyssinia and Mesopotamia and which at least 500 BCE was part of Kemet (Egypt).

The Torah is a mythological compilation of books written and redacted in 458 B.C. by Ben Ezra Abraham and a group of scribes after their captivity in Persia. It is relevant to only one group. They are called Jews.  It is a book of their traditions not yours.  It is a book which defines for them their cultural identity and language not yours. There is nothing you can do to change that because only children born of Jewish women are classified as ‘Jewish’. Yes, you can convert to Judaism, but orthodox Jews identify Jews by blood line.

Nor does the Torah convey to you how the universe and you came into being.  It is a montage of creation myths from Mesopotamia and Kemet (Egypt).

Does that make you afraid?  It should not make you afraid because the existence of God does not depend upon the existence of Jewish people or the Torah.  The existence of God is not dependent upon Jewish consciousness or anyone else’s consciousness because God is independent.

Negro urban ghetto churches and Mosques are full of those who interpret biblical passages in that way.  It has become a part of a Negro ghetto religious scam enterprise.  The scam artists do it to you because they know you are not skilled in the study of historiography and critical thinking. They also know that your ignorance and fears make you vulnerable to their lies.  Consequently, they make good money living off of you and your families. They sell to you false prophesies. Think for a moment. If the future could be predicted why can’t catastrophic events be avoided? Or why can’t African Americans avoid being poor and undereducated?

Such people claim that passages in the Torah are prophesies pointing from a past era identified in the Torah to what would happen in our modern world. That is a lie, too.  If you would study history then you would note that the same predictions were made one hundred years ago about the times and conditions prevailing then. Those predictions were false, too. Believing in such predictions will make you into a fatalist.

For example, if you are a descendent of slaves in the United States and your preacher or minister tells you that the enslavement of the Hebrews in the Torah is actually pointing to the enslavement of African people in the United States then think logically for a moment. What happens if you believe that?  Must African people also accept as their fate that they will suffer as did the Jews in Nazi Germany? Should African Americans resign themselves to the horrors of extermination camps?

You can conclude one thing for certain about any person who makes such a claim. He or she is a person who does not have divine knowledge.  Imagine yourself floating in space outside of any known galaxy without the possibility of death.  Just out there by yourself in total dark matter absent all light.  Now ask yourself: ‘what time is it?’ There is no answer to that question because there would be no present or future. There would be no time frame at all.  It is as impossible for Old Testament text to predict what will happen in modern time and space as it would be for you to predict in absolute dark matter what will happen to you there.

Historiography demands that you analyze what has happened in the past if you can get at the evidence and authenticate it.  But the best that you can do even if you have such evidence is draw more or less cogent inferences about patterns of change that have occurred which suggests similar probable outcomes.  That will require you to do hard intellectual work.  That would be like cooking a good nutritious non- GMO meal from scratch at home. It will take some work but it is better for you and will cost you less money.