Monday, January 19, 2015

NOTES: Tim Winter in Melbourne

In late 2011, Tim Winter (also known as Abdal Hakim Murad) toured Sydney and Melbourne. His tour was hosted by Islamic Realm, a private educational foundation. I was fortunate enough to attend his Melbourne classes which were held in the Melbourne suburb of Box Hill. I recently found my hand-written notes for these some of these talks.

[01] Humans need stillness, meaning and rootedness. The modern world, including the virtual world, cannot provide these. Modernity knows how to sell but these commodities cannot be sold. All modernity can provide is entertainment to help us forget just how meaningless our lives are.

[02] One of the signs of the end of times is that distances are folded. Globalisation.

[03] How do mind, body and spirit draw us together to make us “centred”?

[04] The oldest thing in creation is insan, the imperfect, negligent human. We are a riddle. Our lives are like a bumpy progression from one strange experience to another.

[05] Post-modernity says that generalisation is impossible. What counts is one's self-perception. It's all about finding irony.

[06] Historically Muslims have had respectful interactions with other civilisations.

[07] There is evidence of human habitation in Cape York (northern Queensland) dating back 40,000 years.

[08] Islamic civilisation had a capacity to hybridise with indigenous civilisations. There is plenty of historical precedent for this. Wherever Ilam went, indigenous civilisation was invigorated. But what about with the historic singularity of post-modernism? We are in a post Judeo-Christian (Ahl al-Kitab) world that has turned its back on itself, its values etc. Its core “truths”, its values, its legislation etc is no longer touched by the Unseen.

[09] Modernism was about the clash between science and religion, between reason and mythology. But the narrative of modernism as collapsed and been replaced by an equality of all stories and narratives. The prevailing intellectual currents are about deconstruction of religious iseals, indeed all ideals.

[10] Most surrogate religions of the past 2 centuries (fascism, marxism etc) have been complete nightmares.

[11] Islam is not mmerely a series of rearguard actions, of defensiveness, even of despair and depression. Islam is not merely a way of staying afloat but rather a healing. We don't need a siege mentality or an attitude of insisting on difference as many migrants use as a survival mechanism. We are walking through the ruins of post-modernity.

[12] Beauty was left behind 100 years. The new Freudian human is just a bubbling of desires and ugliness. These days people look not to beauty or ugliness but to tolerance and intolerance.

[13] Reactive religion never reacts successfully. It must be true to itself. We don't need the outraged pride or the khutbah (sermon) screamed out like some kind of ego-based jahili rant.

[14] Modern spirituality has become commercialised egotistical stuff, the work of false gurus and televangelists.

[15] The diagnosis of the current human condition is dire. It is a complete dislocation of mind, body and spirit. Ethics and philosophy have collapsed. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the main reason for people's shortening of life will be depression.  

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