LITERALISM


 IDOLS - VISUAL FILE - YANTRA?

The word Taghut covers a wide range of meanings: it means anything worshipped other than the Real God (Allah), i.e. all the false deities. It may be Satan, devils, idols, stones, sun, stars, angels, human beings e.g. Messengers of Allah, who were falsely worshipped and taken as Taghut. Likewise, saints, graves, rulers, leaders, are falsely worshipped, and wrongly followed [See Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Vol. 1, page 512; and (V.2:51)].

 

  • 'I used to venerate, O what blindness! Images just taken out of the furnaces, gods fashioned on anvils with hammers, elephant's bones, fillets of paper painted with pictures and hung up on aged trees; and if I saw a well-lubricated stone, begrimed with olive oil, I would address it with flattering words, as if there were in it a real presence (uis praesens), and would ask for blessings of a stock that had no sentience. Moreover, I really inflicted the worst insults on the very gods of whose real existence I had persuaded myself, inasmuch as I believed them, to inhabit logs, stones, and bones and other such material objects."

  • Arnobius

  • Conybeare, F.C. The Baetul in Damascius, Transactions of the 3rd International Congress for the History of Religions, Oxford, 1908, Volume II, p. 179.

    Lactantius, heaping ridicule on the heathen for worshipping many deities of small duties, specifies Terminus as one because he was rough and rude.

    "He was the stone which Saturn swallowed thinking it was Jupiter. When Tarquin wished to build the Capitol and found these shrines of many ancient gods, he consulted them by augury whether they would yield to Jupiter. All agree to go save Terminus, who was suffered to remain. Hence the poet calls him the immovable rock of the Capitol. And what can I say of people who worship such stocks and stones (lapides et stipites) save that they are stocks and stones themselves?" (Adversus Gentes, book I., chap. XX.).

    Leland, Charles Godfrey, Etruscan Magic & Occult Remedies,University Books,New York, 1963, p. 63.

    The thoughts of a wise theology, wherein men indicated God and God's powers by images akin to sense, and sketched invisible things in visible forms, I will show to those who have learned to read from the statues as from books the things there written concerning the gods. Nor is it any wonder that the utterly unlearned regard the statues as wood and stone, just as also those who do not understand the written letters look upon the monuments as mere stones, and on the tablets as bits of wood, and on books as woven papyrus.

    The Work of Porphyry entitled Concerning Cult Images is available online at:

    http://cosmopolis.com/texts/porphyry-on-images.html

    And:

    On Images By Porphyry - Translated by Edwin Hamilton Gifford - at:

    http://classics.mit.edu/Porphyry/images.html

    Christians assert that `Idol worshippers' are evil - and presume that a Buddhist worships the statue of the Buddha - as a concrete `thing' on the same interpretive level as if one was worshipping a shoe, or a rock. Naturally, Christians do not worship paintings or statues of Christ Crucified - but Buddhists and Hindus are not allowed the same visual icons as symbols only.

    Islam short-circuits the problem by banning all visual representations of the Prophet. There is a deep meta-programme here.

    If we refer to that departmental tapestry of words: Roget's Thesaurus, we find the word `fetish' under the heading of Idolatry. No doubt the viewpoint of Roget is that of a certain order of consciousness - and an Aquarian Age Thesaurus will in due time make an appearance; but it is strange that `image-worship' lies side by side with `devil-worship' in this section.

    Therefore, imagination, is evil. Certainly, this is the case if Hard Times by Charles Dickens, where 'fancy' is the evil polarity to 'facts'.

    Perhaps we have a connection with the complete lack of images in Islam and later Protestant reforms. The imagination itself was banished. Possibly this is the reason that alchemy, algebra and numerology emerged from Islam. They were non-visual sciences in opposition to the visual, tactile and kinetic development of the European cultural circuits. In this context, Africa has always been more textural.

    There seems to be a great mental split in this form of thinking where eyes exist and yet a great horror arises for worship of `images' or `icons' and therefore `idols' the most heinous of sins. It must be remembered that in the Age of the Eye, it is the Television that has emptied the Churches, or brought the Churches into our homes, and the Cinema's Silver Screen that still produces the Stars and Hero archetypes that the masses worship. As by definition of Faith, I am a Buddhist, there is no need to launch a theological tirade on this issue - as the field to be covered is essentially oriental i.e. orientated to the Visual aspects of Religion.


    LITERALISM

     

    "The True Course of Action Usually Lies Somewhere Between Advocated Extremes."

    The extreme literatalism of the Alkahest Forum…

    Maier on "…chemical senses…"

     

    "It is difficult to tell whether the alchemists were so hopelessly muddled that they did not notice these flat contradictions, or whether their paradoxes were sublimely deliberate. I suspect it was a bit of both, since the ignorantes, stulti, fatui would take the texts at their face value and get bogged in the welter of analogies, while the more astute reader, realizing the necessity for symbolism, would handle it like a virtuoso with no trouble at all."

    C.G.Jung, Psychology of the Transference, p 125