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By Kenneth S Avery

ISBN-10: 020345829X

ISBN-13: 9780203458297

ISBN-10: 0415311063

ISBN-13: 9780415311069

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Additional info for A Psychology of Early Sufi Sama : Listening and Altered States (Routledgecurzon Sufi Series)

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10), various topics mentioned earlier are given further elaboration. The main subject taken up later in this chapter concerns the transformation which listeners undergo on hearing poetry. In Chapter 9 Sarraj mentioned a type of projection taking place from the Sufi’s ‘momentary state of mind’ onto the particular sounds or words being heard. Here the author mentions that the original message may remain intact, but is so transformed in interpretation that it takes on a completely new aspect, its secular meaning becoming one of religious significance.

Ghazalc summarises the earlier writer’s statement that the Qurxan is uncreated, and revelation of the least part of it to created hearts produces bewilderment. Poetry and music, on the other hand, being created, have a relationship with our human passions and qualities which they can easily arouse. As was mentioned in the analysis of Sarraj’s use of this argument, there are real problems in this division between created and uncreated texts. The alleged power of the Qurxan to have such overwhelming effects is problematical when the issue under discussion is its failure to elicit emotive responses.

Titus Burckhardt argues that dhikr can 22 SAMFW IN EARLY SUFI LITERATURE mean ‘memory’ in the neo-Platonist sense of reflected knowledge of archetypes, and also the traditional ‘mention’. 26 That samAW and dhikr are not meaningless incantation and sonorous melodies is reinforced by the author’s citing of Sikma as a vehicle of samAW along with Qurxanic recitation, poetry and recollection. This illustrates the juxtaposition of dhikr with the Divine Word. Sarraj concludes that what is important is the heart’s encountering the strong emotion or ecstasy of sacred recollection.

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A Psychology of Early Sufi Sama : Listening and Altered States (Routledgecurzon Sufi Series) by Kenneth S Avery


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