A recently hutba given by the Rev. Immanuel G. Moon, your friendly parish sheikh, on the Egyptian situation.
Something has been conspicuously absent during the tumult we witnessed unfolding in the middle east. Where were the voices of the ulama? Or to phrase the question more precisely: why was the ulama unable to contribute anything of value to the revolution’s unfolding?
Because surely our supposedly spiritual leaders had nothing of value to say, to inspire, to caution, to comment. Some backed the regime in throwback Asiatic kowtow to state/military authority. Others might have muttered some enthusiastic platitude, parallels with Pharoah’s failure in the Divine Revelation. But how does drawing a parallel between Mubarak and Pharoah help? The parallel is too obvious to be of any poetic/practical worth, and surely those verses did not inspire the youth of Egypt to act as they did.
This is important: it was not religious Word that led to this, it was a humanist need to be free, a desire for justice that led to this, the Word bypassed.
And yet now we see what was missing in the revolution, what the revolution requires. It requires God to be put at its centre. Not in any kind of theocracy, not some Taliban innovation, not the satanic caliphate that is on the lips of those who seek to deceive within the City. No proxy leadership, no authority, no human on the throne. But Allah at the centre.
This will ensure success: there is no other way to success.
Look what is happening now in Egypt: the danger those young people face. Their Pharoah has been displaced, but some repetition threatens. The same kind of people remain at the top of the chain.
There was only one thing that led to the momentary rupture of the system they were enslaved to: and that was a group mental shift, where the threat/power of the authorities was suddenly revealed to be an illusion, en masse. A reverse group hypnosis occurred. Who lifts that hijab?
The problem with lifting of hijabs is that there’s always another one underneath. There will always be displacement, but this inevitably yields some kind of bifurcation and crystallization of new power structures, new authorities, new modes of mind control and group consent. Another Pharoah, bigger, badder, more virulent than the last — or maybe refactored, shinier, more slick and appealing than ever before.
And this moment of crystallization is fast: in fact the Friends agree that it is lightning fast, instantaneous (there being a calculus of infinitesmals forming the semantics of the impossible rupture, but I digress).
You see: the protesters of tahrir square would have experienced the jouissance of the unveiling in that group moment when they all thought: “Why, you’re nothing but a pack of cards!” And the rest of us, those who marched in solidary around the world, would have vicariously tasted that Alicine brew. And that drink sustained them, that drunk awakening led to their tyrant’s fall.
But this is when they are most vulnerable: and no amount of human strength can protect them. They are vulnerable because rupture necessitates displacement/reformation of the Pharonic principle.
As can be seen: the old guard remain still largely in power.
Who lifts the hijab? And lifts it again? God offers them the prospect of infinite jouissance and, through this, the true strength, the true success of revolution: eternal revolution of the ruh, through each and every sign, and sign complex, the Breath running through unobstructed, correcting, reforming, comprehending, the Breath breathed by itself, and so knowing Love loving to be Known.
To act in an Islamic mode is to operate according to a mode of infinite pleasure, that each word spoken, each thought thought, each action taken — is made through pleasure and joy in reading the message behind it all. Self-awareness that the subject and object of every action is a message of Love. That the cables of Love’s conception runs down into the machinery of human action.
This is the Tantra of Islam. To regulate Kali. And her regulation is what the Sufism contributes to the revolution — to inspire, to caution — it is what the Sufi reading offers to the Muslims, not only to sew the seeds but also to reap the harvest of dissent. In eternal revolution of eternal pleasure.
To cultivate such a state of mind is the protection, the precondition, the postcondition of any successful revolution. There is no “internal” greater jihad separate from the lesser “physical/political”, nor does one precede the other. They are, rather, two sides of an ourobus strip: the running of one into the other itself a revolution of exterior against interior and exterior against interior.
This is the politics of Islam. The politics the ulama have been unable to deliver. A political technology of cultivation.
Without this cultivation: the authorities will reappear and injustice/obstruction will be the order, sooner or later, and you’ll be slaves again. With this cultivation: you will never be enslaved to any power, human power will exist in a constant state of overthrow, and you will be Slave to the Kiss of Truth alone.
So let us say, to those who have ears to hear and eyes to see: you have returned from lesser jihad by means of the greater.
From temporary revolutions in Tahrir square to eternal (sevenfold) circles about the Cube of Love.