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Scandal: Essays on Islamic Heresy Paperback – 1 Jan 2000

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Amazon.com: 3 reviews
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Taking on the challenging subjects 12 July 2008
By B Brown - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am reviewing this book years after reading it, but I distinctly remember that this book basically ignores all mundane discussion of Islam, focusing only on those areas that you just won't find people bringing up in public discourse, either due to the taboo nature or the depth of the thought involved, all while showing due respect to the religious sects and cultures discussed. I was led to this book via casual readings of William S. Burroughs and listening to Bill Laswell and Mr. Bungle albums, and while it was the sci-fi beat writer and musicians that peaked my interest, I find going right to this source material far more interesting.
1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Sufi Sufism Ismailism 9 July 2008
By William Garrison Jr. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
From the back cover: Peter Lamborn Wilson "has collaborated with Iranian scholars on studies of sufism and ismailism, and on numerous translations of Persian poetry. Wilson's qualifications for this task includ travel and meetings with mystics throughout the islamic world from Morocco to Java, two years in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and seven years in Iran (where he edited Sophia Perennis, the journal of the Iranian Royal Acaemy of Philosophy)." My review: The old adage: "You can't judge a book by its cover" certainly applies to this book. Pictures of a nude teenage girl and a pubescent boy convey the image that maybe there is going to be some serious analysis of Islamic [...] to be offered in this book, but little is presented here besides some minor poetry -- despite its title. This isn't a serious, collegiate-level book. The author is interested in mysticism, in particular with the Islamic Sufi brand, but actually offers few deep insights into the differences of Sufism as practiced by Sunni or the Shia. The author spends more time in reviewing Sufism as practiced by minor Islamic sects. The author opines that the true Sufi wants to "get to know God" and thereby perhaps even become "God on Earth." The author briefly reviews (but well) the development of Ismalism and quotes some limited Sufi poetry from the 12th through the 17th centuries as to how man needs to get out of one's mind to find God. Some of the "out of mind" experiences range from the twirling Dervishes to those Sufi who use hashish and opiates to get "High on God". The author briefly ties in the use of mind-altering drug use in finding God in Nirvana throughout Arabia, in the Himalayas with the Hindus or "Semar" in Indonesia -- along with some experiences of his personal use. The author does not try to "justify" or "advocate" Sufism, as much as he "analyzes" it. As the author noted: "The 'facts' in this book (and some fictions too, perhaps) may prove of very little interest to students of Islam, and may in fact cause offense to many Moslems. It can fairly be said that [this] book is not really 'about' Islam." The author is being brutally honest here. Despite the author's review of early Sufi theorists, I didn't find much nirvana in this book -- but I'm sure it would have been much better had I been 'stoned' while reading it. {As the author noted: Sufism is not a religion, but it requires 'faith' to believe as there just aren't any 'facts' to defend it.} Not much "scandal" in this book; most of it is just through the hype in its title. Borrow the book to read before buying it; I really shouldn't have paid more than $5 for it -- and even that would be on a 'high' day.
1 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Entheogens: Professional Listing 2 May 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
"Scandal" has been selected for listing in "Religion and Psychoactive Sacraments: An Entheogen Chrestomathy." [...]
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