I recently finished an article recounting the first 25 years of Al Quaeda. I took into account the fact that it was appearing in a Western newspaper and would reflect the attitudes and assumptions of the self-congratulatory liberal democratic West, just as I would if it were surfacing on Democracy Now, Al-Jazeera or Russia Today, where slightly different assumptions prevail. Every source of intelligence has its biases and agendas. All one can do is allow for them.
In the article a leader of that network was quoted that their intent was to bleed the US dry and have it collapse just as Russia did, presumably after wasting a decade in Afghanistan. There was also mention of taking the word of God to the unbelievers and spreading it around and doubtless, changing their ways. Of course radical Islamists have their particular take on what the word of God actually is, just as their counterparts in the various sectarian teams of Christianity do.
What intrigues me, as a practicing mystic, whose attitude, I might add, is not significantly different from your average Sufi or devotee of Rumi, is this notion that god communicates in the identifiably discrete units of language we think of as ‘words’.
As far as ‘Gordon’, the sentient incarnate typing this communication, is concerned, God cannot be reduced to mere words. That’s what prophets and saviours are for. They are the ones, the messengers of the divine, who come amongst us and speak wisely of how we should lead our lives and relate to each other. God is approached in contemplative prayer and meditation. And if the practitioner can break through his self-consciousness and into the transcendent realm, they will feel some of what God feels. They will know the truth which transcends personal concerns. They will know the sustaining miracles of light, breath and life, and understand that decay and death are mere transitional processes in the endless progression of states we travel through on our way to where we started, when we slipped from the grace of omniscience and into that garden of men, trees, women and apples, that place where everything seems quite apparent but is actually an illusion of limited vision.
Although I’m likely quoting Jane Robert’s Seth here, God is the consciousness of All That Is, including squirrels, furniture, clouds and fish, just to name a few. And to enter that consciousness is to know that words fail miserably in that particular context. Leave the words to Jesus, Buddha, Krishna and their comrades throughout history. They employ words for our benefit, whether we choose to pay attention or not.