2 years ago I has so much energy to engage with my Islamic, particularly Sufic, detractors. I wrote pages in response to the spam I’d get from the ummah on this site and on social networks.

Often, as in the linked article above, I’d be challenged for being in authentically Sufi: “who’s your teacher?”, “I’ve never read this in Rumi”, “Lacan wasn’t a Sufi”, “you’re over intellectual, you have no heart, you think but don’t feel the Divine”.

On the surface, I’d debate with people as I believed I had something to “give” them, that the effort to tease and play with detractors was somehow of service to the religion.

But I’d say the reason I fought so hard – and took criticism so personally – was because it hit home when people would say, you’ve no right, you bring foreign western ideas and have no legitimate initiation into a recognized Sufic order. Of course I had no initiation into any order and my background is very western: because I was pretending to be something I was not, and suppressing the reality of my DNA, I’d get agitated because their criticism would directly shake up my fictional identity as an Islamic mystic. This resulted in what was, fundamentally, an emotional response on my part.

I was a tightly coiled serpent, that gripped a space so hard it seemed that there was a Sufi there, beneath it, and maybe Satan on the other side. When in fact there was nothing at all within or without, but the serpent, coiled and uncoiling over intervals of 12 years.