The phenomenology of a racist world

You know, for those living in the shadow of the system, black people and other POC (I wonder if the distinction of a person according to their skin colour is a subconscious symbology to describe the shadow cast on them) they can’t describe or develop their own phenomenology because it’s so antithetical to how white people experience their world that it’s an existential threat. They hear, anti-whiteness.

The stability of their world DEPENDS on the repression of its shadow, therefore they feel implicated and the cost of that implication is too high. Because to see the experiences of black people is to acknowledge the illusion of the world you’ve planted your identity in. It calls into question EVERYTHING you’re about. It starts to feel like disintegration- it’s not. It’s just an integration into WHAT IS. A collapse of dissociation.

You can see this mechanism in play when climate change is mentioned – the denial that the unsustainable lifestyle of dissociation is causing active harm, then the invalidation of earth itself (it’s getting cooler, it’s always been this way, it’ll course correct on its own)

Meaning towers over you

In silence, I hear the deep pain reverberating through the earth, absorbed through the aching feet of people whose bodies express their pain for them. Through the noise I feel the extreme incongruence embedded in social conventions that like a game of Jenga people are hoping they can keep playing without it collapsing on them.

It never made sense to fixate on a compartmentalized life when I can hear the din over the walls. I tried, but I could never fool myself into believing the illusions. Maybe that’s also why I haven’t married yet. It’s impossible to believe someone’s hollow words that are meant to seal me off into a niche.

I don’t know if pain brings clairvoyance or if clairvoyance brings pain but I realized too late that all my peering into the voids also magnetized to me the shadow forms and unclaimed pain that are like massive land fills of the collective’s energy.

The other day I joked with my therapist that it’s not only I that come to these sessions but all the unhealed aspects from ancestral trauma and unresolved conflicts in Somalis. I bring them to my sessions to release what I couldn’t metabolize through my intellect alone. It’s through these alchemical transmutations that I often gain insight into us, into our people. The noise has been tuned out to reveal the harmony in the sound. The image has been made symmetrical. It’s easy to see the potentiality in all things then.

I thought this path was going to be easier, but I accessed things that carry a hefty import tax, and I’m still paying off the debt of insights that I’m not entirely sure what I’m meant to do with?

I asked myself the other day if I’d have felt fulfilled in the conventional realities I so often compare myself to, and I wouldn’t. I guess being filled and feeling full also means that you don’t get to cut out what you don’t like. You have to taste all the flavours to develop a rich palate. You have to allow the opposites to co-exist because they give each other meaning and definition. I’m not here to define things, only to experience things as they already have been defined.

Perhaps the grief of our age is that definition often decontextualizes the opposites. Detached intellect compartmentalizing what was created concurrently. The connection is lost, and all we’re left with are pieces stacked on each other, like the Tower of Babel, like a game of Jenga. Building constructs that no one can inhabit or embody.

The loss of meaning : Islaamic epistemology in our age

The deen is simple because to integrate it is difficult, and exceedingly so in our times.

A lot of people in their enthusiasm look to replicate the trajectories of scholars of yesteryears not realizing that their scholarship arose as a result of the need in that time and the developmental phase Muslims were in as a collective. We’re in an entirely different epoch with unique and unprecedented challenges which can’t be overcome through knowledge alone.

The epistemological ground itself is rumbling and crumbling, and there are intense psychosocial conditions that require Muslims to synthesize context and perspectives for. That’s the only way to not only find true stability and a sense of self that isn’t rigid, but also to make the practice of the deen possible when you’re up against the momentum of a civilization going belly up. The debris from the deconstruction of postmodernism whips up a storm that Muslims can’t hide from. The very coordinates they require to navigate life will change abruptly and they won’t have the resources or foreknowledge to know how to not only survive existential uncertainty but to retain faith when knowledge loses meaning. It takes a lot of discipline to withstand that level of force and it will never come about by trying to bypass this deluge.

I see many people assume antagonistic or resistant positions to this deluge, trying to protect a heritage. Bro, this entire ship is sinking and there comes a time that it’ll get too late to get off it. Unless we deal with the facts of this age in a non-reactionary and open minded way, self-righteousness will be the death of us. And an ugly death at that because when reality as you know it is erased, so will be whatever anchors you relied on for faith and you’ll lose faith itself, existentially. It’s not a hypothetical scenario. This is happening.

Abu Huraira reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily, you are in a time when one who leaves a tenth of what he has been commanded is ruined. Then, there will be a time when one who practices a tenth of what he has been commanded is saved.”

The STAGES Matrix Roadmap

My gripe with the term mental illness

I don’t believe in mental illness.

(Wtf is that even?? Please don’t give me that reductivist bs of chemical imbalance.)

I want to see the diagnosis of the societal structures that are innately unhealthy. Show me a DSM of all the ways society fucks us up. Of the impact of colonialism, neoliberalism, capitalism, segregation, immigration, racism, Islamophobia. How schools are essentially dysfunctional. The productivity culture. Diagnose THAT. Diagnose the apparatus we’re conditioned by and socialized through. That’s the baseline against which mental health is measured : how well you can tow the line, conform, do what’s expected of you. How neurotypical you are.

Mental illness is such a patronizing term. It’s like calling poison a neurological dysfunction. It’s not a dysfunction if the reaction is proportionate to the toxin!

What we have is the pathologizing of the ways people have attempted to survive. Look at all the symptoms. They are all in reaction to something and yet diagnosis is decontextualized. All the symptoms are attempts at regulating a nervous system that’s gone haywire because of the inhumane expectations and pressures, not to talk about the environmental toxins in the soil, air, food and medicine.

That’s why “mental illness” is getting worse. Flip the picture and you’ll see a society nosediving as it’s becoming increasingly technocratic.

But sure, posters, campaigns, hashtags and assigned mental health awareness months will do the trick. 🙄

A fear born of love

Taqwa is not a dread of God, a hypervigilant fear of the unexpected things He may decide to do to you. It’s the fear of losing the wholeness and protective love you’re immersed in through His awareness because you crave it and need it to tolerate this worldly life. It’s the fear of falling from grace, of being shut out from that garden, not through being booted out, but through blocking out awareness, slipping into walking sleep.

Love makes you vulnerable because your heart is exposed and attached. But a taqwa that comes from a preemptive self-punishment because you think Allaah punishes by default unless you give Him a reason not to – that isn’t taqwa. It’s a rigidity that leads to hate eventually. It always does. Always.

إِنَّ الدِّينَ يُسْرٌ وَلَنْ يُشَادَّ الدِّينَ أَحَدٌ إِلَّا غَلَبَهُ فَسَدِّدُوا وَقَارِبُوا وَأَبْشِرُوا وَاسْتَعِينُوا بِالْغَدْوَةِ وَالرَّوْحَةِ وَشَيْءٍ مِنْ الدُّلْجَةِ

Abu Huraira reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily, the religion is easy and no one burdens himself in religion but that it overwhelms him. Follow the right course, seek closeness to Allah, give glad tidings, and seek help for worship in the morning and evening and a part of the night.”

Source

Ease. Closeness. Glad tidings. Seek help. Seek. Help.

The praxis of the deen may be summed up in those words. But that won’t sit right if we have healing to do, if our fitra has been tampered with and traumatized such that we are attuned to a hellish reality that makes the divine reality seem like a wistful fantasy.

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