The fact is that Islam saved the Middle East, but especially ancient
Persia, from the devastating effects of pseudomorphosis, that lay-
wasting sickness of the soul that happens when civilizations,
devastated by warfare, assume the identify of alien cultures.
Before Islam, the Persians were forced into the alien expression-
forms of Greece, then of Rome, and finally Christianity, before
finding its own artistic center. Then and only then was the Persian
soul capable of actualizing itself in art. Through the arabesque,
and not through Roman iconography, the Persian artist discovered
himself; he saw his world-view mirrored, not in the Greek Corinthian
columns, but in the great domed mosques of Tehran; not in statuary,
but in rich abstraction, the Persian found a mode of self expression
appropriate for conveying the complexity of Islam. In all these
expression forms---down to the minimalism of his garb---you'll find
the essence of the Arabic soul that screamed to be unleashed 1800
years ago. This essence is the spirit of universalism, of being
children of the Cosmos, not fragmented bands divided by tribal
warfare, laywasted by pseudomorphosis, but a nation transcending
human differences, stretching forth beyond the idea of "tribe",
beyond even race and creed, and above all reaching beyond the
personal Self. In Islam, the self has value only to the extent that
it serves the universal principles represented by Allah.
"There is no God but Me: therefore fear Me," are Allah's words in
the Koran. This is the voice of God the Father, the One True God,
at once vengeful and wrath-filled, loving and compassionate. His
words resonate within all of us equally regardless of nation because
they're based on a universal/archetypal principle. Allah is a god
whose heart is the firmament, who created the firmament out of his
own self. This is not a passive god who delights in nothingness,
but a God of Creation, not an abstract ideal, i.e. a Platonic Form,
but the impersonal force of the Cosmos. Allah is a living, active
being of pure will, whose very essence angrily rejects worldliness
and demands submission.
Historically, why then are Islamic nations so violently divided?
Why can't Islamic nations live in peace, at least among themselves?
We can answer this question by first observing the fact that no
dominant branch has emerged from Islam capable of creating a
marginalized consensus among its followers. Instead you have
opposing schools of thought dividing Islam into different factions,
say, for instance, the factions Sunni Muslims and the Shiites
fighting over Iraq. Fortunately, Christendom does not suffer the
degree of division that plagues Islam. Although Christianity today
has different branches---i.e. Catholics and Baptists---early
Christianity was brought under one unified banner: minimalizing the
influence of the monophysites, Nestorians, coptics, etc. This had
to be, because it was God's Will. In the Bible, Jesus smartly
specified which doctrine his church shall be built upon,
Peter. "And I say unto thee, That thou art Peter, and, and upon
this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not
prevail against it."
Maybe somebody can come forward and tell us what it is about the
Petrine doctrine that made Jesus build his `church' there. We can
see distinctions unique to each gospel in the Bible. What is unique
about the gospel of Peter?