Wednesday, August 02, 2006


I am taking up where the last blog left off. When the two beings I mentioned in the previous blog put the thought in my mind that there are no rules I did not know quite what to do with the information. From an anarchist hippie point of view it is a glorious thought. One which can be savored and discussed and theologically developed forever. But we need some rules. Traffic rules for instance. It is nice to know when you proceed through a green light that people coming the other way will stop for the red one. Construction standards are pretty important too. When you ride in an elevator you would like to be assured that it is safe. You want to know when you purchase tires for your automobile that they meet a certain standard of reliability, that the manufacturer is following the rules. And so on. All of these things, plus many others are very obvious, so what could these beings have meant?

In Sufism there is a principle called Necessary Reality. What it is is a way of stating how the Universe organizes itself in order for it to exist. For the Universe to exist certain things must be in place. The most important thing is a means of, what I could call, Cosmic echo or feedback. The Universe has to have a means of giving itself information. Why you ask? What if it is all random and nothing is required to make any sense at all. I suppose that could be true but I prefer thinking of the Universe as intelligent. Taking that as a basic precept we can then postulate that the physical universe, with it’s various natural laws, is the means of echo for the intelligence that comprises the body of the Universe and whatever lies beyond. What is basic to this concept is limitation. What that means is that in order for some kinds of physical reality to be in place there must be certain limiting laws. Orbital mechanics for instance or the necessity of creating some kind of mobile physical unit that can explore, human bodies come to mind. Bodies have limitations too, no air no life no movement. Never the less the message was clear, There Are No Rules. What could it mean?

After almost 35 years I am still not quite sure but I have some ideas. The whole message had to do with how we see things. Looked at that way then it becomes an inquiry into societal rules. In my last blog I talked about being a pot smoking hippie. One of the basic tenants of that period was that societal rules are bogus. Of course we still used society. We drove cars and trucks, dependent on society to provide fuel and spare parts. We used the roads, sent our kids to school, etc. But society was bogus. We were on the right track but kind of misunderstood how to go about achieving our ideal. The problem was that our ideal was pretty vague. War is bad, that was fairly firm. The way that people deal with one another can be improved, we understood that but not quite how to do it. We had a continually evolving list of societal wrongs that needed righting which we studiously ignored because, after all, we had dropped out, or so we told one another. Still it was the beginning of discovering how to understand There Are No Rules.

I think I have learned a little bit since those days. Not a lot but a little bit. There Are No Rules really means, as I understand it currently, what you observe or participate in has exactly as much reality as you ascribe to it. And, there really are no rules.

I know that a lot of scriptures insist that God has rules, the ten commandments and what not, but I am beginning to think that all of these rules were assumptions that became firm reality because everybody agreed they had reality. After a few centuries the agreement seems to be a rule that is inviolable. You will notice however that society, while giving lip service to the rules, ignores them if that is convenient. Notice for instance the Conservative Christian movement that has no problem ignoring Thou Shalt Not Kill. That’s pretty simple really, don’t kill except for those dirty Muslims of course. We can kill them. We will just ignore the rule in order to kill them. So, are there rules really? Only if it is convenient.

I invite your comments.

Love & Blessings, Musawwir


Anonymous said...

Dear Musawwir!

I understand that there are no rules curved in stone for all eternity. Rules come from agreement. There is nothing like a devine "law" valid for all mankind and all times to come.

Love is the law; love under will is all the law!

Lots of love

Qalbi said...

I have the pleasure of making up rules! Because I'm in charge of a 60 bed, 6 month residential program for pot smoking hippies;-)it is my job to raise the bar with rules that teach shahid (witnessing), self-discipline and self-regulation.

It took me years to come out from under the shadow of having grown up with no one enforcing rules, the adults had no rules and so we six kids made up our own, but it was a terribly insecure life. I love rules and I am a tattletale once I know the rules.

Anonymous said...

Pot smoking hippies? I met only one and I'm not sure what else he used to use... yicks... How do you deal with them?


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