Posts Tagged ‘Black Muslims’

The Second Coming And Malcolm X


22 Apr

yeats

William Butler Yeats

samplex

THE FOLLOWING TWO POETIC stanzas, two of the most famous and widely discussed were penned by Irish poet and scholar, William Butler Yeats in 1919, first printed in The Dial in November 1920, and afterwards included in his 1921 collection of verses Michael Robartes and the Dancer.

The Dial was a premier American literary magazine published intermittently from 1840 to 1929. In its first form, from 1840 to 1844, it served as the chief publication of the Transcendentalists. Led by such early lights as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, the movement became the first intellectual cohesion, religious and philosophical, founded and concentrated from the new American continent.

In the 1880s the magazine was revived as a political magazine. From 1920 to 1929 it was an influential outlet for Modernist literature in English, publishing many of the most groundbreaking poets and authors we know today, including the first United States publication of T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land. It's no accident that these stanzas of Yeats' seem to be of particular interest today.

    THE SECOND COMING

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    Surely some revelation is at hand;
    Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
    The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
    When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
    Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
    A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
    A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
    Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
    Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
    The darkness drops again; but now I know
    That twenty centuries of stony sleep
    Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

    —W.B. Yeats

I've often considered these past few years since September 11, how this particular Yeats' poem strikes the mind as glaringly prophetic—in that most compelling sense of the word—prophetic of the current and 3rd wave of Islam. For us, the Camp of Islam is lodged in stout context as the "rough beast" we see pitting itself against civilization, although elsewhere, Yeats portrays the antithetical Messiah as the royal Oedipus, an image from Homer's age, who lays down upon the earth and 'sank down' soul and body into the earth. But note these three battles and their dates as Islam forces made invaded and made war with Western cultures.

    1st wave: Battle of Tours, 732.
    2nd wave: Battle of Vienna, September 11, 1683.
    3rd wave: New York City, September 11, 2001.

One can imagine the Irish poet balancing Messiah who, crucified standing up, went into the abstract sky, soul and body. What if Messiah and Oedipus are the two scales of a balance, the two polar ends of a seesaw? What if every two thousand and odd years something happens in the world to make one sacred, the other profane; one wise, the other foolish; one fair, the other foul; one divine, the other devilish? What if there is an arithmetic or geometry that can exactly measure the slope of the balance, the dip of the scale, and so date the coming of that something?

“There is nothing in our book, the Koran, that teaches us to suffer peacefully,” Malcolm X declared in a speech in November 1963. “Our religion teaches us to be intelligent. Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery. That’s a good religion.”
Frankly, the Oedipus motif is not as far-fetched in terms of the Islamic relationship to Abraham and Yahushua (Jesus) as it first seems. Islam would kill the Abrahamic father, and usurp the redemption of the mother church, and long blinded by its own egotistical forces unable to see where it has erred, has earned its own destruction in the full accordance of time, victim of its own beastly rebellious nature, thus losing access to the global redemption of ancient prophecy.

A few contradictions do rise to the top of this analysis, however. The puritanical Islamicists, as a death cult, characterized in their own words as "loving death while the West loves life" could be seen as despisers of this world, and lovers of God. On the other hand, this posture is merely a well-honed tactic by which they crucially calculate aggressive actions in order to subdue and dominate the whole world through these specific tools of terror and warfare.

An outward resemblance to religion and godliness, but nothing but raging lions inwardly. This description nails many a soul past and present, great and small, around the world, but it seems to describe perfectly the last stand of the last beast of religion. And we appear to be the witnesses against that last generation.

"There is nothing in our book, the Koran, that teaches us to suffer peacefully," Malcolm X declared in a speech in November 1963. "Our religion teaches us to be intelligent. Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery. That's a good religion."

In 1965, Malcolm X was assassinated in Harlem by three men who shot him sixteen times in what is generally surmized as retaliation for his late distancing from both the Nation of Islam and Elijah Muhammed. His last words? "Let's cool it, brothers..."

malcolm

Malcolm X

In prison, Malcolm X adopted the creed of the Nation of Islam (later known as the Black Muslims). Among the group's core beliefs is that God had visited Detroit in 1930, in the form of a man named Wallace D. Fard, aka "Mr. Farrad" (whose teachings were disseminated by Elijah Poole, later known as Eliljah Muhammad); that God created humans 66 trillion years ago; that humans were originally black; that their {black) civilization ruled for most of those 66 trillion years; that black scientists created animals and the moon; that whites, a race of devils created to torment blacks, were created by a rebelious black scientist named Yacub 6000 years ago; that God granted whites control of the world for a limited time; and that God would deliver blacks from their bondage and destroy the white race, possibly in the year 1984.

Malcolm X, [born Malcolm Little] [aka El-Hajj Halik El-Shabazz] (1925-1965) American activist, member of the Black Muslims (1952-1963), founder of the Organization of Afro-American Unity (1964) [noted for his espousal of separatism and Black pride, for his conversion to orthodox Islam, and for his assassination in Harlem]

When A Vision Is Just A Vision, But A Cigar Is Something Else


09 May

cigar-smoke

Cigar Smoke

samplex

Much has happened on the ground here since I last entered this profile log. Contrary to my usual accommodations to visitors I had to decline an eight o’clock evening visit to our home by two Mormon missionaries last Thursday night. I was cooking dinner, and had Suzette send them away with regrets.

This was the first time in our ten years here at the Stadium Armory that we’ve ever been singled out for proselytizing by Mormons, although JWs frequent our ghetto neighborhood about once every six months. They left their card inviting us to call and to visit their most exquisite Tabernacle which can be seen for miles when driving around the northern I-495 beltway at night, its lighted spires a Disney-like beacon in the huffing black government night. Their parting shot was of course, “Please call. We know the truth.” Well, the way I read this book, Jesus has one hell of a mess to clean up. Everyone shouting, “Which side are you on? Come on in, we have the truth!” That last remark reminds me that the Black Muslims are becoming a major force here in Washington, but they won't even sell me one of their magazines, as they stand in the medians of major thoroughfares, dark suit with bow tie as usual, profiling the cars, and hawking their wares only to the lost tribes of their own race." A classy bunch.

“I would that no man teach you but I myself.” is the word from Isaiah. In a nutshell George, it is plain that I do not seek to teach or upbraid anyone, but am merely a stout witness to freedom and compassion as the winding down of days take their toll, mark the culled, and refresh the breath of God’s own chosen.
Almighty God, creator of heaven and earth, where in this blistering alternative universe of flickering lanterns, scripted whirlwinds, and smashing bonds of liberty does it all end? I believe everyone. I believe nobody. It’s probably in bad taste, but the next morning I drove out to the mall to find a card for my pop's birthday. While standing at the cashier in J.C. Penney’s I saw a woman who looked exactly like your wife Ann, just as I remember her. Every body feature, size, shape, and coloring was intact. Her style of eyeglasses. Her voice. Perhaps she was a few years younger than Ann was when I knew her. She was cupping an infant to her breasts, and she kept walking back and forth and chatting as if uncertain as to where her friend wanted her to stand while she was checking out a nightgown or something. This was no vision from the heavens. No, this younger woman was not your departed wife, and yes I have often seen others who have reminded me of you, her, and numerous others along this physiognomical fashion, but the coincidence of the sighting, coupled with the agonizing time I have had composing this letter to you was startling. But it is just this sort of logic of chance that informs most of what one finds is called the voice of God, nearly everywhere, particularly among the evangelicals.

On this spot I place faith. My confession, although hardly an evangelical one, as I have come to recognize them, is that I dwell in a dogmatic world dominated by the presence of the undogmatic Living God. Proofs are outside the boundaries of language but probably belong to the language of higher mathematics, caught as they are within the twin paradox of the spiritual macrocosm and the eternal microcosm. “I would that no man teach you but I myself.” is the word from Isaiah. In a nutshell George, it is plain that I do not seek to teach or upbraid anyone, but am merely a stout witness to freedom and compassion as the winding down of days take their toll, mark the culled, and refresh the breath of God’s own chosen.

Much has happened since I last saw you. But I wanted to stop this letter here. My whole weekend air was thick with self-doubt. I felt paralyzed, smothered. I try to do no harm. I tried twice since last week’s entry to sit down and further write this story, but I feared that I am either needlessly overwhelming, or patronizingly pedantic in my attempt to share some of the basics molding my recent years. I continually think of things, crucial moments I left out. My vision at Lofton Creek. I was rocking lazily in a suspended porchswing on a hot summer afternoon after checking on the chickens, gazing out, focused on nothing more than the sweet breezes of another miraculous day, heavy eyes maybe half-closed nesting upon the cool green waters of the lagoon. Suddenly I saw, or imagined I saw a gentle white-robed longhaired, lightskinned Christlike figure, typical of the myriad of Renaissance depictions common to this culture. He was bathed in a most brilliant animating yellow and white light, standing there on the southside of the lagoon, shoots of grass nipping at his bare feet. Fanning the grassy northside bank of the lagoon stood I, about fifty feet from where the Christfigure stood, he and I both barren of distinct expression distinguishing our faces from say, an old snapshot too familiar to tax the eye. He reached down without a word to pick up a small pebble and tossed it into the water as one might heave a dart toward a corkboard.

After visiting with my sister and mother for a couple of hours, I got them to drive me to the nearest interstate ramp to begin the second leg of this nearly eight hundred mile trek. The event which most concerns me here is one which took place about thirty miles and two hours after sunset into my return trip.
The pebble shattered the surface as it sailed through the conspicuous reflection of my face mirrored there, a perversion of reality since the sun’s location in the sky would not ordinarily permit a reflection from something on the north side of the lagoon at that time of day. The ripples distorted my image for a few seconds before it returned. Then the messenger picked up another stone and this time he hurled it right at my head and it would have plunked me had I not ducked in a downtown hurry. It was only then that the messenger spoke to me. “Rather than concern yourself with the outer image which can be easily distorted and likewise easily restored, you would be advised to beware of those who would attempt to harm your real body.”

I was shaken from my light doze. Puzzled but joyful I set about pondering the mystery of what I had just experienced. Right off the bat, I took this "vision" to mean simply that one’s reputation is of less importance than the temple itself. But that was old news, something I thought I had long ago understood and lived. But something was not right. The concept of preserving one's own flesh when attacked by one's enemy worked contrary to the extra mile and outer garment themes of Christ's gift, and so seemed to indicate another purpose for this parable in order to comport to the full depth I already knew to be Christ’s command. Eventually I came to reckon the spirit over and above the temple which must fall away as constrained by time’s fist while susceptible to the plunderings and picketings of predators and personal vanity. Making the spirit the true body, while the flesh is an ephemeral image much like one's reflection off a pool of water. Even this doctrine is orthodox teaching, but one much harder for many to endorse than the first. This occurred on July 23, 1980. I have never again been visited or touched by what I can even remotely refer to as a holy messenger in the bright lights of broad daylight. My first and final appointment to date.

However, there was the time I had hitchhiked from Lofton Creek to Atlanta to pick up my brother who wanted to come visit. He’d wanted me to drive up in the Camaro but I didn’t have any money for gas. So I told him I’d thumb up and we could hit the roads back together. The plan was set. Leaving in high afternoon at what little rush hour action there was out there in the sticks, I spent most of the night stalking the chilly stars and the full October moon on quiet I-16 between Savannah and Macon, finally arriving in Atlanta in great time just according to that plan. But by the time I got to my sister’s apartment near three o’clock the next afternoon my opportunistic brother Chaz had skipped off with a friend of his just an hour earlier on their way to Lofton Creek in his buddy’s car. Nearly floating with divine purpose I wouldn’t allow my brother’s quick change artistry to interfere with the essence of my journey. After visiting with my sister and mother for a couple of hours, I got them to drive me to the nearest interstate ramp to begin the second leg of this nearly eight hundred mile trek. The event which most concerns me here is one which took place about thirty miles and two hours after sunset into my return trip.

And later when retelling the story to a friend who lived down the road from the chicken farm, I characterized this event as quite possibly being a visitation from a deceiver, a demon disguised as an angel of light, so unresponsive I was to his message of joy through the release of sins by the laying on of hands. But I had already been exposed to that style of christianity and had found it unsuitable to my cerebral spirit.
A huge white cadillac pulls over and offers me a ride. I stare into the incredulously bizarre automobile to see that the driver is graced in all sorts of colorful jewels, silver, and gold, a studded white suit, white shoes and a hairstyle to complete the portrayal. I was being offered a ride by Liberace! No—it was not Liberace—but here was a highly stylized man quickly putting me on guard with this vainglorious decorum. I immediately suspected he was a homosexual, and he probably was, but his first words to me buried us both in another test. He said he had just come from his weekly prayer meeting, and it was all he could do to stifle his intense joy. You see, there had been a laying on of hands, and he had been released from all his pain and agony, all the sadness of his heart, all the tricks of the body were laid to rest. He then took it upon himself to declare that it was okay, in fact, it was absolutely necessary to receive this joyous blessing, this release of the spirit. Not once did he mention the name of Jesus, but contrary to biblical testimony, the invocation of the name of Jesus does not seem to indigenously empower in quite the same way suggested in the 4th chapter of First John.

I explained that I was not unduly sad, nor was I extraordinarily jubilant. I certainly appreciated the ride in this luxurious white horse Cadillac and told him so, but I was also somewhat ill at ease with the pentecostal fervor of this particular driver. In accepting the ride, as was customary among hitchhikers for obvious reasons, I asked how far he was going. He responded with a smile and a non-committal "a good long way" or something like that. An alarm bell immediately went off in my head, and though I suspected him of ulterior sexual motives, I felt fortified and safe enough to welcome the hitch. He continued to prattle on about the intense joy and sense of release he felt after the laying on of hands session he had just left. I was not convinced this was a godly message. I mentioned the weeping Jesus, sad outside the gates of Jerusalem, Jeremiah, also known as the weeping prophet, and how if Jesus and Jeremiah could exhibit a sense of grief concerning the state of God’s people, why not me, if indeed the purpose was true? I glanced again at his fingers fat with expensive rings and gems. The man attempted no answer, but his dark eyes shoot wide open purging any hint of rapture from his now-soured face, and he immediately snatched the car, traveling I assume at sixty miles an hour or so, to the shoulder of the road just shy of only the second exit ramp past where he’d only minutes before picked me up. Gravel was pitched and his tires squealed as he pulled out and immediately exited after rattling off a quick, “Oh I just remembered something I’ve got to do. You’ve got to get out.”

This event happened so fast and seems even now so fantastical that I hardly believed that it had really happened. But it did. Had I wronged him by apparently squashing his joy? Or had he really just remembered something just in the nick of time to make his exit? I felt justified in my half of the dialogue. And later when retelling the story to a friend who lived down the road from the chicken farm, I characterized this event as quite possibly being a visitation from a deceiver, a demon disguised as an angel of light, so unresponsive I was to his message of joy through the release of sins by the laying on of hands. But I had already been exposed to that style of christianity and had found it unsuitable to my cerebral spirit.

Blinded by the total whiteness of this car, his clothing, the aborted ride, perhaps I was doing evil by judging this fellow like I did. But I'd become uneasy, and so I trotted out my only defense, scripture with its minefield of paradoxical intrigue with its way of asking had I "loved" this man, this glittering stranger in his white on white, jumpsuit blanco, diamond, and grin? I certainly loathed and feared him more than I could "love" or even respect him at that moment of his joy sermon, leaving me with only two choices: either to condemn him as a devil, or further prostrate myself for my failure to accept God’s passion as I ramble, docile in my ability to volley scripture with those who offend my own personal sensibilities.

The next letter, if there is to be one, will certainly be informed and tempered by your own voice. My best to you and your family. Please write when you can. I am not perfect, but what does that mean, in terms of human reality? Save me Jesus, for I am unsure.
What is your take on this bizarre Liberace episode, George? Again it was fourteen years ago, but I hope that you feel able and willing to articulate your impressions on anything I have written in this letter, particularly the more peculiar narratives.

Victorious? Hardly, beyond my wife's devotional paradigm. She has little interest in my work, but I am forever trying to explain myself in writing to those who simply aren’t interested or else, assume my stance is merely an out of control posture of chaos and ignominy, bluster or sciolism, and as such, my efforts merely bait them as tehy accuse me of advancing one sort of arrogant surfeit, mundane spew, or another. Or else the bulk of my writing is completely ignored. That's fine, but leave my soul alone, then.

Let me close this to put my anxiety—over communicating in full this way to you—to rest. Once I post it I will feel much better. Sorry, more up to date material hasn’t been included, but should this letter make a favorable impact, you can be sure I’ll be able to snap off another stack of pages bringing you up to date. Hope you'll include lots of stuff about your boys, along with any other details of these past thirteen years you wish to share.

Good health and straight shootin'...

Yours in Christ

Gabriel

P.S. You can call me whatever you wish, but since my name has been legally changed for over ten years, I and the postmaster would probably prefer you to address any correspondence to my new name. I make no demands on family to switch their allegiances, or comment on mine, and so I make none upon you. Meanwhile, I shall start a second letter picking up where this one ended, but I do hope you write back soon in some small way reaffirming our friendship and your willingness to read and respond to these disclosures, both biographical and theological. I also want to construct a list of the most influential scriptures, that is to say, those scriptures which seemed to have singled me out for exposure. You once advised me on this, and I took your advice to heart since I already owned the notion. Catholicism has a word for this sort of so-called heresy, but it currently escapes me. I think I came across it once in one of Herbert Armstrong’s WCG publications.

P.S.S. Forgive me George if these notes strike the wrong chord in your own poetic make-up. The next letter, if there is to be one, will certainly be informed and tempered by your own voice. My best to you and your family. Please write when you can. I am not perfect, but what does that mean, in terms of human reality? Save me Jesus, for I am unsure.

S A M P L E X

"Ignorance and virtue suck on the same straw. Souls grow on bones, but die beneath bankers' hours.""


Top

Login