1. The 7 fold circuit of Shams
By the Sun and her brightness
And the Moon when he follows her
And the Day when he displays her
And the Night when he covers her (Qur’an 91:1-4)
Surah 91, Al Shams (“The Sun”), like the Qur’an itself, is grounded in tension with polytheism: because it asserts the unity of the One Love but, in asserting, is voiced according to a process of emanation dictated by entities that, in other cultures and times, have been called gods.
The Unity of Love expresses itself by means of a vow made over a multiplicity of primordial deities. (Historically we know that the ancient religions of the Middle East took the Sun and the Moon for gods.) It’s a typically Qur’anic paradox and constitutes Allah’s delight, His graceful smile.
In contemporary times, these gods might be called archetypes or governing psycho-physical principles. All these terms carry a kind of baggage of assumptions with them, different forms of baggage across different times. And this baggage obscures our gaining anything from reading of the surah. A a Sufi, I ought to argue that we must discard our assumptions first before even opening the page on this surah. Quite right, but then you might ask me “How?”.
Thankfully, the “How” is encoded within the surah itself: in a sense it short-circuits our assumptions on what the Sun is by presenting us with the Sun as it is, inspiring us with its light. For the surah itself is the light of that Sun: it is the inspiration of Absolute Knowledge, transmitted down into the bioliterary subsystems that constitute the multicore processor that is humanity’s cyclical circuitry of self-contemplation/calculation.
The Qur’an (as the felt effect of Absolute Knowledge) corrects our assumptions in its recitation, not by deconstructing them (as we often do in Sufism) but by presenting us with the real deal: the sun’s light as a metaphotonic inspirational functor.
Light is Divine Love and Truth and Knowledge in transmission to the lover: “Her brightness”. It is therefore wrong to think of the Sun as a fixed object of worship, a privileged archetype that is fixed in its psychological or astrological influence. Rather, the Sun is called a source of inspiration inasmuch as She is subject to the Her “proportion”, the “proportion” of the nafs, human psychology/representation, the map of the human psyche within which She is defined as a source. But this map is one of signs in transmission, not in stasis. The proportion is transmissive, the proportion is the circuitry by which the Sun’s Truth is felt.
And the transmission takes the form of metaphotonic data transfer, an exchange whose mythopoetic description both houses and yields the result.
First there is “Her Brightness”. Then there is the moon, “Her follower”: a phantom second Sun, lesser and diminished. Her dual is necessary for the process to be one of Love: because the Moon god/goddess is the companion of the Sun goddess/god (their sexes change depending on which phase of the data transfer we are at and whether we speak of their sons or daughters). Or deeper still, because the process is Loving, Her dual appears to follow. That there can be a dual (and yet there only be infinite, Brightness/Mercy/Love) means that there is never a true absence of Light. The system demands a relativistic diminishing rather than an extinction of Light. There is Her Brightness and there is His lesser Light: hence there is relativity, hence there is measurement. At the same time, there is no absolute 0 with respect to Allah’s Brightness, only degrees of Her Light/Love in relation to His following.
And this relativization of Love in transmission then creates signs of Love, to speak itself and make itself known. Signs arise, they are born of the Sun and the Moon as a relational crystallization (an industrial by product) of their differential relativization of Brightness. The light crystallizes as a shell of “hardened” light (a hologram of a shell), whose inner kernel contains full exposure to the Sun’s rays as they move through in transmission and whose outside aspect appears as an obscured single unit of signification: a sign or archetype, a concept, an entity, a fixed identity in appearance. But that hardened, outer appearance is formed of light itself, there is nothing in reality but light in transmission. The inner part of the sign is called Day, the outer aspect is called Night. Remember though, that these two aspects are themselves transmissive, not fixed identities: the Night is a process of covering (holographic crystallization and hardening of an aspect of Truth’s transmission, necessitated by the biocybernetics of its delivery) while Day is a process of uncovering, revealing, deconstructing the covering of the orb to release that light outwards. The Day and Night follow each other in an cycles of covering and recovering, and diffusion and specificity. Speaking self-referentially, they are, internally/intensionally, the by-product of transmission (which “falls” into inner and outer aspects of signs, in order to fall in love with us, in order to encapsulate and transmit Divine packets of data in a regular and efficient manner) and, externally/extensionally, the drives by which the Sun is followed by the moon and the cycles of life continue.
The first four lines of the surah describe the “primordial” axes of transmission. But that description becomes transmissive itself in the next three lines, completing the oath:
And the Heaven and who constructed her
And the Earth and who extended her
And the Nafs and who proportioned her (Qur’an 91:5-7)
The Sun’s First Transmission generates a design of heaven, a shelter of security and Sakina (the heaven is a tent over the earth and the tent is security and Sakina). But this shelter is multiplied and dispersed, bifurcated, fragmented and scattered, like data-seeds sewn upon grounds both barren and fertile: and so we have a multiplicity of Sakinas, a multiplicity of Heavens constructed for Parallel Earths (Earth-I containing Good Umar, Earth-II featuring the Shia Umar, etc). This scattering is necessary because the primordial axes of transmission (born themselves, as we have said before, from an original surplus of love) are in surplus of Love and cannot contain that Love to a linear sequence. The primordial sign formed by the from the First Transmission is unstable and must descend further, fall further in Love, by replicating signs upon signs, all subsystem variants conceived and imaginable. By creating humanities, worlds, universes of Experiential Knowledge, each with their own Heaven/Earth Sakina nexus.
This entire picture then is what constitutes the “proportion” of the nafs.
And He inspired her, her wickedness and her righteousness:
Indeed he succeeds who purifies her
And indeed he fails who buries her. (Qur’an 91:8-10)
Thus the nafs is proportioned to catch the Light of Inspiration — by virtue of her space of 0’s and 1’s (for here in the realm of the nafs, there can be absolute darkness, there can be an absolute 0, because her Imagination runs wild at times). Fertile and barren, wicked and righteous, the buried or the purified: the Lilith or the Matronita.
And here, speaking in terms of the primordial transmission of Light, the oath — as a solar flare — might be grasped though we subsist here, so far below the Unseen. Though we speak of wickedness and right here, in absolutes, playing our Imaginary games as if they were Real: the solar flare might pass through the circuit, broken down into a minute drop of sunlight, appearing as a small thing, a surah short enough to fit entirely on a computer screen, but still, within its internal signs, operating in resonance with that primordial process: by the 3 lines of proportion consciousness is made to resonate with the 4 preceeding lines inasmuch as their transmission is always contained. And then the polarity is reverse: the Sun goddess is “captured” down here as Prophetic masculine engendering while the Moon god, the diminished light is Her receptivity, the “She” purified. Thus the Absolute Knowledge, while unknowable, may be registered and recited back upwards by our own personal Heaven-Earth connection.
2. The Qur’anic Hollow (Parallel) Earth theory
In this way, the Qur’anic solar system is neither heliocentric nor geocentric. Rather, it is a parallel hollow earth system: in which life consists of an infinity of hollow earths, each an orb with sunlight passing through the south pole followed retroactively by moonlight that then follows on to another Sun, repeating the same process of injection into the next earth, and so on.
3. The flip-side
The surah moves its oath into an elucidation of how this process of recitation back upwards works. From the perspective of the human nafs, It is ironically unsymmetric compared with the process of Love’s transmission into the nafs proportion yet, at the same time, it contains a Truly Hidden Blessing and Mercy.
Thamud denied in transgression
When sent forth the most wicked of them.
But the Messenger of Allah said to them: “She camel of Allah
and her drink.” (Qur’an 91:11-13)
The process of recitation involves adoration of Allah and a consequent abandonment/destruction of denial. The worst denial is the failure to register the Love circuit. The camel is a manifestation of that Love circuit, carrying the Waters of Love as she does, withstanding the barren deserts of the souls. As we have said, the camel is an inverted Ark: she is the immanence of Love contained, coded and hidden within the sign of the journey beast. The Camel is the Sun’s Truth, encapsulated within, brought out of the mountain by Prophecy’s agency: she is the Qur’an itself.
To deny her is to affirm only differentiation, only the machine and to deny the Spirit of Love. It is to fail to register the hidden meaning behind the surah, to fail to register the inner daylight of this particular parallel universe (Thamud-II).
But they denied him and they hamstrung her. So their Lord destroyed
them for their sin and leveled them.(Qur’an 91:14)
And here we witness the Mercy of Allah’s Oath. The Oath is a Mercy: they deny and the Lord destroys their city, leveling them. “Leveling” here is from the root S-W-Y, with the connotation of “making equal”, “fashioning”, drawing “proportions”. Allah destroys the Thamudic by another cycle of reconstitution, transmission, another opportunity to reinterpret, to recover, to recite, to grasp the meaning of the Sun’s Brightness. Allah reboots that nafs. The circuitry of this verse feeds back to the earlier 7th line: Allah proportions another world, another people, another you. Game over. Play again? (Y/Y)
Thus the proportion of nafs is the carriage for Allah’s Love. Thus the camel-Thamud complex is, ultimately, a distillation process: they are the proportion, its temporary tragedy of illusion and its ultimate Reality of carriage.
Ultimately, the camel-Thamud complex is means by which Shams is known: the camel-Thamud complex is the expression and realisation of Her Brightness, it is Allah’s Kalima voiced to every world, to every universe.
The complex is not symmetric. Allah himself is beyond the process: does not even feature as a source of it.
And He does not fear her consequences. (Qur’an 91:15)
He does not fear consequence because His Love is the Unknowable Truth of all consequence.