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I did not lead a busload of others down a path

Monday, May 29th, 2017

[ by Charles Cameron — the unrealities and realities of dream and vision, sensitive compartmented information, zahir and batin, bin Laden and the Mahdi, more ]
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I did not lead a busload of others down a path to a hotel.
I did not arrive near my childhood home by bus.
I was not a member of a CIA team meeting for a conference.
I did not attend breakfast in the hotel.
I did not have a pen clipped inside my trousers.
My attention was not called to my pen having leaked by a female friend.
I did not have a female friend.
I did not manage to remove both pen and leaked ink from my trousers.
I did not wonder how I would climb hills or trees if ncecessary during the conference exercises.
I am in no condition to climb hills or trees, nor to lead others down a path.
There is, however, a conference center very close to the house I used to live in during my childhood.
I dreamed these things.

**

The De Vere Horsley Estate, just a couple of fields away from my childhood home, now a conference center:

Google images thinks of it more as a marriage location. This particular photo is from the Hetty Hikes album.

Ada, Countess of Lovelace, who intuited the operational utility of punched cards of the type used in Jacquard looms for retaining information generated by her friend Charles Babbage‘s Difference Engine, prototype of today’s computers, lived at Horsley Towers, built by the same architect, Sir Charles Barry, who designed the Houses of Parliament..

My own more modest childhood dwelling was within the grounds, just a few hundred feet inside the Horsley Towers Gates.

**

Dreams are, in a sense, occulted from waking life: there is a secrecy to them.

When the time comes that we can reliably scan and record the visual and verbal imagery of dreams, perhaps even at a distance from and without the consent of their dreamers, questions will arise as to whether their contents should be classified, indeed perhaps deemed Sensitive Compartmented Information, and dreaming permitted only in SCIFs?

Various occult, psychological and imaginal theories suppose that dreams can touch upon a subjective yet absolute realm, Jung‘s collective unconscious with its archetypes, Shia Islam’s ‘alam al-mithal, termed by Henry Corbin the mundus imaginalis

there exists an inner world, which lies ‘outside’ our personal minds, and in which they are contained in exactly the same way as our bodies are contained in the outer world revealed by the senses

writes D Streatfeild in Persephone.

And Corbin, writing of the Suhrawardian mundus imaginalis:

Essentially the relationship involved is that of the outer, the visible, the exoteric (in Greek ta exo, in Arabic zahir) to the inner, the invisible, the esoteric (in Greek ta eso, in Arabic batin), or the relationship of the natural to the spiritual world. Leaving the where, the ubi category, is equivalent to leaving the outer or natural appearances that cloak the hidden inner realities, just as the almond is concealed in its shell.

Zahir and Batin are, respectively, the literal or apparent meanings of Quranic verses, and their hidden or spiritual meanings, known only to those who have eyes to see, ears to hear…

**

For a dream in which the young bin Laden is instructed to carry a black flag (“similar to the flag of Saudi Arabia” and with “something written on it in white color”) to the Mahdi at the gates of Al-Quds, Jerusalem, see A “Big Dream” attributed to Osama bin Laden.

I’ll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours — Bob Dylan said that.

Ali Soufan on strategy & tactics

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

[ by Charles Cameron — short and sweet ]
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Everyone here knows that we are in a conflict with Islamic extremism. Everyone here knows that strategic outweighs tactical success. And most everyone here knows that Ali Soufan is one of the key voices on that topic — lead FBI agent investigating the Cole bombing, author of The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against al-Qaeda, and outspoken interrogator-spokesman against the use of torture.

Hear him on strategy & tactics:

BTW, flags

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

[ by Charles Cameron — along the lines of yoga chitta vritti nirodha ]
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Obviously. I am going to be interested in the DoubleQuote in the Wild juxtaposition to two flags in a political cartoon commentary on last week’s events in the US, but I still find it very hard to decide whether the appropriate DoubleQuote to embed it in is this:

SPEC DQ flags 2

where the “ISIS flag” is in fact a satirical play on the IS flag with silhouetted sex-toys in place of the calligraphy…

Or this — well, actually, no contest, this one gets my vote by a zen mile!

SPEC DQ flags 1

Because, well..

SPEC DQ flags 3

I guess that’s my analytic bottom line, right there in Patanjali‘s Yoga Sutras.

**

Sources:

  • This week in flags #lovewins
  • CNN Claimed to Spot an ISIS Flag at a Gay Pride March. It Was Actually a Drawing of Sex Toys
  • Not the wind, not the flag
  • Yoga Sutras: ‘Yoga Chitta Vritti Nirodhah’: ‘Yoga is the Cessation of Modifications of Mind’
  • Yes and no — but by analogy with innocence, yes?

    Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

    [ by Charles Cameron — Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and those black banners again — I’m just curious ]
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    Judy Clarke, an attorney specializing in death penalty cases, addresses the Tsarnaev jury in the closing statement for the defense:

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    Clark is right that the flag is a religious flag, but whether or not for Dzhokar Tsarnaev it had further, specifically jihadist or even eschatological implications is open to question. As you know, black banners commonly signify apocalyptic jihad.

    By analogy with the presumption of innocence, though, this flag should be presumed to be purely religious (ie without jihadist implication) unless demonstrated otherwise, no?

    **

    Incidentally, Aaron Zelin dealt carefully with a similar question about essentially the same flag — the calligraphy differs slightly in detail — in a tweet regarding the Sydney incident:

    **

    And in any case, while we’re waiting for the verdict in the Boston trial, I’m just curious.

    How does the law deal with issues such as this? To what extent is non-definitive circumstantial evidence contextual and cumulative?

    On the Prophet’s banner, and the Coming One

    Sunday, January 25th, 2015

    [ by Charles Cameron — from battle-flag to transcendent symbol ]
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    Father of the Imam Mahdi, postcard from Masshad, Iran, author's collection

    Father of the Imam Mahdi, postcard from Masshad, Iran, writer’s collection

    **

    I have written so much on the topic of the black banners from Khorasan [eg], which in turn arguably derive from the black raya or battle-flag of the Prophet, that I thought these ahadith from the Shia text by Muhammad Baqir al-Majlisi, Bihar ul Anwar, would be of interest. They are drawn from the section titled:

    Flag of the Qaim is same as the flag of the Prophet

    Note here that the Qa’im — literally “He Who Arises” — is a Shia term for the Mahdi, as is Imam Zamana — “Imam of the Age”.

    129- Ghaibat Nomani: It is narrated from the same chains from Abdullah bin Hammad from Abdullah bin Sinan from Abi [Abdullah] Ja’far [bin Muhammad] that he said:

    “The Almighty Allah has fixed the time of the reappearance of Imam Zamana (a.s.) against the time fixed by the time-fixers. The flag of the Qaim is the same flag as that of the Prophet, which Jibraeel brought from the heavens in the Battle of Badr and he waved it during the battle.

    Jibraeel said: “O Muhammad, by Allah, this flag is not of cotton, flax or silk.” I said: “Then what is it of?” He said: “It is of the leaves of Paradise. The Prophet (s.a.w.s.) spread it on the day of Badr and then he has folded it and gave it to Imam Ali (a.s.). It was still with Imam Ali (a.s.) until he spread it on the day of the battle of Jamal against the people of Basra and gained victory. Then he folded and kept it safe. It is with us and no one is to spread it until the Qaim (a.s.) appears. When he appears, he will spread it and then everyone in the east and the west will curse it. Terror will move a month before it, a month behind it, a month on its right side and a month on its left side.”

    Then he said: “O Abu Muhammad, he (the Qaim) will appear depressed and angry because of the anger of Allah with the human beings. He will appear wearing the Prophet’s shirt, which the Prophet put on in the battle of Badr, turban, armor and holding the Prophet’s sword Zulfiqar. He will unsheathe the sword for eight months. He will kill excessively. [ .. ]

    Here the banner is woven of no earthly cloth but of an angelic provenance…

    130- Ghaibat Nomani: It is narrated from Abdul Wahid bin Abdullah from Muhammad bin Ja’far from Ibne Abil Khattab from Muhammad bin Sinan from Hammad bin Abi Talha from Thumali from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) that he said:

    “Once Abu Ja’far Baqir (a.s.) said to me: “O Thabit, as if I can see the Qaim of my family coming near to your Najaf.” He pointed to Kufa and then added: “When he comes to your Najaf, he will spread the banner of the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and then the angels of Badr will descend to him.”

    I asked him: “What is the banner of the Prophet (s.a.w.s.)?” He said: “Its pole is from the pole of the Throne of Allah and from His mercy. The rest of it is from the assistance of Allah. Everything that he swoops on with this banner Allah will make it perish.” I asked: “Is it kept with you until the Qaim (a.s.) appears or it is brought then?” He said: “No. It is brought then.” I asked: “Who will bring it?” He replied: “Jibraeel (a.s.).” [ … ]

    Here the banner is clearly transcendent, cosmic in scope.

    134- Ghaibat Nomani: It is narrated from Ali bin Ahmad from Ubaidullah bin Musa Alawi from Muhammad bin Husain from Muhammad bin Sinan from Qutaibah Aashi from Aban bin Taghlib that he heard Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) say:

    “Abu Abdullah Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said: “When the banner of the truth (the Mahdi) appears, the people of the east and the west will curse it. Do you know why?” I said: “No, I do not.” He said: “That is because of what harms the people receive from his (the Mahdi’s) family before his appearance.”

    And here, one reading of the English translation would suggest that “the banner of the truth” is the Mahdi himself, though I’d need the help of a linguist to know if that’s a plausible reading in the original..

    **

    In any case, the first two, at any rate, are clearly referring to spiritual realities rather than exclusively to a flag of cloth, and can thus serve as correctives to a more literal understanding.


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