Khalid Hussain (khalid_hussain) wrote,
Khalid Hussain


The subject line has numerous connotations. One of them refers to the fact that I listened again to my colleague's CD of works that were inspired by Don DeLillo's Falling Man novel. It seems to me that the theme that runs through the works on the CD most likely references the shirt that the protagonist of the novel sees floating down from one of the towers. It's an image that appears at both the beginning and end of the novel, as a rather haunting framing device.

Another meaning of "falling" is a shift in feelings I became aware of the other day. It began with an awareness of a bit of anxiety, something I would associate with the feeling of free-falling. That was followed with a bit of depression and a concern that the feelings from which I had started to fall might not come back anytime soon. I remember this kind of feeling after spiritual retreats in the past. This was an indication to me that I really must have been somewhat high/expansive/in-a-heart-space for a bit of time previously: otherwise it's unlikely I'd have a place from which to fall.

Actually, a few nights ago I began to have some spontaneous feelings of forgiveness around friends and family who had hurt me and/or let me down in the past. It's a lot easier to feel forgiving when you realize that you can feel good again, even without those people whose attention, approval, love, etc., seemed to help you feel good in the past, in ways in which you seem not to have been able to feel good all on your own.

Another thought that I have had lately is that it seems to me that having a foundation in salat and in at least some knowledge of Qur'an seems to make for safer "flights" and "landings" than the Hindu practices I had been doing. Granted, there are similarities between the two sets of practices, but it seems to me that I had been working to try to get the Hindu practices to try to serve purposes for me that I know Islamic practices had served for me in the past. Not only was I only partially successful in doing that, but I did not find other Amma devotees who were interested in working toward similar ends. On the other hand, it's not that difficult to find other Muslims who take similar attitudes to spiritual practice and to study of the Qur'an as the ones that I find helpful.

Yet another thought I had was that it seems to me that the philosophical content of some Hindu writings, to which some intellectually-oriented Westeners allude, is really somewhat overrated from the standpoint of modern philosophy (whether Western or otherwise). A lot of it is fairly logically inscrutitble, myth-based assertion that therefore relies on traditional customary usage for its authority. For Westeners at any rate, even Plato has a lot more to offer to a reasoning mind than the things I have become aware of in the Upanishads or in Kashmir Shaivism, etc. In my rather limited perusal of contemporary philosophy, which is centered primarily in the work of Badiou and his commentators, I have come across mention of Suhrawardi and modern studies of his work by Corbin and Lardreau has having some points in common with Badiou's, although Badiou denies an ontological grounding in a One. Yet there are some points in his work that seem to have an affinity with quasi-mystical notions. The flavor of his work reminds me, in some respects, of a remark of Xenakis's in which he referred to his work as a "mystical, but atheistic, asceticism."

All this is to say that I am enjoying my renewed exploration of spiritual practice, while at the same time subjecting my experience to examination on the basis of past experience and on the basis of philosophical reading that I'm currently doing.



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