Monday, 11 July 2011

Ahmed Ghazzali's causationless aetiology

There's a wonderful translation of the Savaanih here which got me wondering whether there might be a specifically Sufi esoteric orthopraxy- parallel to Ashari Occassionalist orthodoxy- which we ought to bear in mind while savouring a Ghazal's 'husn-e-talil' (beauty in poetic aetiology).

The hackneyed way to do this would be to gas on about teleology and the 'medieval mind- final causes, allegory, highly correlated systems, blah, blah, blah.

The trouble is, Ghazali's Lebenswelt was, in many ways, more sophisticated and urbane than my benighted intellectual coolie-dom in which all efficient causes are occluded by Media pi-jaw or Managementspeak or User Interfaces specially designed for morons almost as stupid as myself.

What, then, would a causationless aetiology cash out as for a bloke like me? Like most people of my generation,I think of emotions as 'Darwinian algorithms of the mind' and even efficient causes as arising out of a sort of Anthropic Selection Principle operating across a fitness landscape of Multiverses with different fundamental Laws or constants. Thus, to get away from efficient causes and glimpse the lifted horizon offered by causationless aetiology, is essentially (in Hindu terms) to escape Prakriti and seek to adopt the viewpoint of Purusha. The Ghazal then becomes not a trivialising 'talking to women' but talking to Prakriti.
Since, in our Weltenshaung, efficient causes gain efficacy by having been selected for, husn-e-taleel becomes the last word in pathos as that all puissant 'tyrant' is proven to be nothing but a series of snapshots in the mirror whose temporal existence is virtual and imaginary.
For which, needless to say, I blame David Cameron.
That boy aint right.

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